Friday, March 27, 2009

in praise (?) of modern dentistry

I am a good dental patient. I don't freak out. I instinctively keep my tongue out of the dentist's way.  I am quite aware that if I didn't earn a professional salary while living in a first world country, I'd probably be missing many of my teeth. 

And I know that HUGE strides have been made to make dentistry as comfortable and as comfortable as possible. 

BUT! All the fancy pain numbing drugs given DURING a procedure wear off. My freaking jaw still hurts and my gums are a rather frightening black color. 

AND! Dental dams? If you still have to stick that suction-thingy in my mouth, then skip the stupid dam already. 

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sunday Sunday

Oscar woke me up this morning and said that it had snowed and there was at least an inch on the ground. I didn't believe him but it was true. I snapped some photographic evidence through the windows and then went back to bed. :P

The front yard.

The back yard. 

The snow turned to rain later on in the morning and all the snow has melted away by now.

And here's a picture of Seamus looking really goofy:

Saturday, March 14, 2009

25 Things About Me--The Musical Edition

  1. I have almost no musical skill despite having years of formal musical instruction in clarinet, guitar, saxophone, trombone, and flute. I can read music but I can’t keep time.

  2. I also learned to play the Scottish bagpipes. These are a much easier instrument than the others as there are only nine notes. But I still can’t keep time.

  3. I can’t sing either.

  4. With very few exceptions, my knowledge of popular music does not include any bands or songs released after 1996.

  5. I can’t stand Boston (the band, not the city). My dislike is visceral. Their music literally makes my stomach hurt.

  6. ELO is a guilty pleasure. I love it when one of their songs comes on the radio, and I will turn it up and hum or sing along.

  7. I would say that Franz Ferdinand is my “favorite” band at the moment.

  8. Past favorite bands have been U2, Simple Minds, REM, and Radiohead.

  9. The Beatles? I loved their music then, I love it now, and I will love it in the future.

  10. AC/DC is another guilty pleasure.

  11. Three bands that I loved in high school but was too “cool” to admit it are Duran Duran (didn’t want to be associated with the girls who wanted to marry Simon Le Bon), Def Leppard (didn’t want to be associated with the boys I thought were jerks), and Huey Lewis and the News (because I thought I couldn’t be cool and like this band).

  12. The bedroom in our Seattle apartment was right next door to an English pub which piped music from the jukebox to the outdoor patio. Even with the windows closed, we could clearly hear the jukebox selections. From the time the Verve released their song “Bittersweet Symphony’ in 1997 to October 2006 when we moved, we heard that damn song no fewer than three times Every. Single. Night. Amazingly, I still like the song but Oscar would be very happy if he never had to hear it again.

  13. However, I would be very happy if I never had to hear “Hotel California” again. I have hit my lifetime limit on that song.

  14. I’ve also hit my lifetime limit for “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” by Bauhaus. This is a very painful thing for this former Goth to admit to herself.

  15. Most people can list their favorite songs, and even rank them all but I used to work with a guy who had a list of his five least favorite songs, in order. I can’t remember his entire list but number one (least liked) was “Scarborough Fair” by Queensryche.

  16. I really loved Blondie when I was a kid, and when I got older I really liked the Pretenders. I thought Debbie Harry was cool but I wanted to BE Chrissie Hynde.

  17. My favorite Beatles song has always been “I am the Walrus”. It’s so weird!

  18. I have been trying for the past 10 years to develop an appreciation for opera and I am making progress.

  19. Not knowing how to play guitar is an advantage when playing Guitar Hero.

  20. A few years ago, I got Franz Ferdinand’s first CD and the Hobbit video game at about the same time. I listened to this CD endlessly while playing that game and to this day, whenever I hear any song off that CD, I get a mental image of maneuvering Bilbo Baggins through that game. Every. Single.Time.

  21. I don’t think I’m passionate about music but some songs have made me literally stop everything I’m doing in order to listen to the song: “The Quiet Man” by Jonny Hardie and Gavin Marwick (Scottish folk song medley), “Vocalise” composed by Wojceich Kilar and sung by Sumi Jo, and “Hallelujah” covered by Jeff Buckley.

  22. I have never been able to listen to “Neroli” by Brian Eno. I swear there is something subliminal in that composition that makes me grind my teeth and finally stop the CD because I literally can’t stand it anymore. But the music is not overtly annoying and I can’t tell you what bothers me so much.

  23. I’ve never been able to develop an appreciation for King Crimson, although I feel like I ought to.

  24. My favorite movie soundtrack is “The Ninth Gate” composed by Wojceich Kilar. The movie isn’t very good but the music is incredible. I bought this CD just for the theme song (see #21) but every track is great.

  25. I think “The Ideal Copy” from Wire and “Sons and Fascination” by Simple Minds have stood the test of time.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Gui Ling Gao

I found this product in the canned vegetable section of Uwajimaya (a local Asian supermarket specializing in Asian foods). Among all the cans of very usual and not so "usual" canned vegetables (did you know that there's such a thing as canned sushi filling?), was a display of ceramics bowl with matching lids, containing "Gui Ling Gao". It piqued my interest: I liked the bowl, I'm a bit more adventurous eater than many people I know, and I'm not afraid of foods I can't pronounce.  And it wasn't expensive, so I thought I'd give it a try. 

Plus, it was in the canned vegetable section, so whatever this product is was most likely made from plants. (Hey, I'm adventurous, not fearless.) The ingredient list wasn't too helpful because besides sugar, all the ingredients were listed by their latin botanical names.

Gui Ling Gao turned out to be a jelly, and it is also used as an herbal medicine, although I guess it can also be eaten as a snack.

Finding out it was described as "Chinese herbal medicine" should have forewarned me because in my experience "Chinese herbal medicine"  is synonymous with "it's very good for you because otherwise you would never consume something that tastes so foul." 

Sadly, I will never experience the health effects of Gui Ling Gao because I took one spoonful, let the jelly linger on my tongue and thought that at first it kind of tasted like blackstrap molasses but the taste quickly changed into the most intensely bitter flavor  as the jelly dissolved, and I couldn't spit it out fast enough. Ugh. It was terribly foul and the bitterness just lingered. (Why was it so bitter? The second ingredient was sugar!)

But I have a neat little bowl and lid now. 

Attack of the Crip Keeper

Here's the one side of the garage. There's about two feet (60 cm) of space between this wall and the fence so it's really quite isolated (as well as being a horribly planned waste of space and impossible to mow) 
Here's the side of the garage facing the alley way and is the only non-Crip text. I have no idea what it actually says. I later realized that the tagger started in the yard and must have done this bit last and probably ran out of paint.
The fence.
The side of the garage facing the house. 
The house. This bit pissed me off the most.

And blue bikes are just so last year. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


some *ssh*le or *ssh*les came into our yard today and spray painted graffiti in three places on our garage, fence, and house.  

Don't know if "crip" is still a gang or if it is some slang I don't know but that's what's written.

At least no one broke into the house. Perhaps the dogs frightened 'em off?

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Old Man Winter ain't dead yet

Last Friday, Oscar and I had to scrape ice off the INSIDE of the car windows. 

And today, it's been snowing off an on.

This (last gasp?) of winter isn't really a problem except that Mr Seamus has been violently sick with explosive diarrhea these past few days and we've had to leave the house windows open to try to get rid of the smell. 

Yeah, it's been bad. Real bad. 

How bad? 

"Decide to get rid of the carpet" bad. (There are wood floors underneath and wood is a heck of a lot easier to clean up than carpet.)

"Cut off the bottom of the curtains" bad. (The cat had already shredded them so they need to be replaced anyway.)

I don't know what caused Seamus's distress, but thankfully it doesn't seem contagious as neither of the other dogs has been ill. Also, Seamus seems to be recovering. No more accidents in the house and his toxic farts have almost stopped. He's on a diet of boiled rice and hamburger for awhile.)

But between the car, the furnace acting up, Seamus's illness, and finding out that we owe almost $1000 in income's been a rough week. 

Sunday, March 01, 2009

It is a truth universally acknowledged that ...

while trying to organize/declutter, you will make an incredible mess. 

I have been going through my yarn stash, ripping out all projects I started that that are either more than a year old or don't hold interest any longer. I know have lots more available needles to use for new projects. (haha)

Many knitters have lots of yarn.  
Some knitters have lots of sock yarn.
But I think I may be the only knitter who has a dresser drawer full of orange sock yarn.