Friday, April 29, 2011

Why the world needs editors

This is a door on the fourth floor that leads from our building to the adjoining one. Every time I go through it and read the sign, I snicker.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Cue the zombies

I'm moving offices again. Second move in six months, third move in two years. And in the same job, mind you.

My most recent office (well, cubicle within an office) is on the fourth floor, where we were stationed with the other workers in our unit. And now we're moving to a giant cube farm that will hold our entire branch.

The move has been in stages, with each sub-unit moving at different times. We editors are the last to go. Everyone else has moved. We're still waiting for our move date to be announced. Today, my office mate is on vacation. Except for one other editor on the far end of the long hallway, I'm the only person here in this wing of the fourth floor.

It's quiet and eerie. It looks kind of like this:

And it's making me feel very uneasy, being by myself in this quiet office. I can't help but be reminded of 28 Days Later.

All alone except for the zombies.

I don't think my survival skills are up to this. I wish I'd worn running shoes.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Culinary dilemma: solved

A couple of days ago, I went out for lunch with my friend Pat. We went to The Pantry, a vegetarian tea room that's been in business for more than 30 years in the Glebe Community Centre. The meal was delicious. I had vegetable-lentil soup, an open-faced tuna salad sandwich on rye, and Italian marmalata cake.

Yes, tuna salad. In a vegetarian tea room. Apparently tuna is a vegetable now.

Taking this into account, along with the European Union's Jam Directive of 1979, which declared the carrot to be a fruit (due to Portugal wanting to trade its carrot jam within the EU), I think I may have found a creative way to solve my Easter Dinner problem.

Due to the travel plans of the family members I've invited for an Easter meal, I'm having my ham and scalloped potato dinner on Good Friday, a day that is tradionally meat-free.

But that's OK. I'm not serving meat, I'm serving fish. Yep, those pink, curly-tailed, funny-nosed fish.

Hey, if it worked for Portugal, it can work for me.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Movies we'd like to see, vol. I

Screw the popcorn -- pass the wine! Three bottles ought to do it.
(For Jen, Allison, Julie and Josie.)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I have *got* to get downtown more often

I don't really work downtown. At Booth and Carling, I'm more downtown-ish. But I had occasion to go right downtown this morning, to Slater and Elgin (that's a hard 'G', for one of my readers) to have my "Test of Oral Proficiency" in French. Yes, my French oral exam. (No snickering.)

I had parked a fair bit away from the Public Service Commission building, and had a nice walk there, looking at all the stylish people walking purposefully down the sidewalks and into office buildings and at the varying architecture -- old churches cheek-by-jowl with modern multi-storey towers. The people downtown look more fashionable, the buildings look more dramatic, and even the bathroom reading is of a higher calibre. Remember that last bit, I'll come back to it later.

After the test (J'ai survécu à l'examen. Je pense.) I was starting to feel hungry, and detoured into the Esplanade Laurier to get some pho to take to work with me for my lunch (chicken soup being just the ticket for my poor stomach, recovering from a 24 hour period where, much like the Fukishima Daiichi nuclear plant, it had a containment breach and all its contents were expelled rapidly in all directions. You can thank Evelyn for that analogy, btw.)

While I was walking through the mall, I needed to use the ladies' room. And this is what was written on the back of the stall door:

Baby, I'm an anarchist
You're a bleeding heart liberal
We marched together
For the eight hour day
And held hands
In the streets of Seattle
But when it came time to throw bricks through
The Starbucks window
You left me all alone*

See, that totally kicks butt and is way more interesting than the more usual "Candace is a slut" kind of bathroom graffiti. Doesn't it leave you wondering about the doomed love affair? Yep, pho and literate bathroom poetry. I have to go downtown more often.

*Yes, I did spend an extra couple of minutes in the stall, copying the poem into the notebook I keep in my purse for emergencies such as this. The things I do for you people.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

This weekend by the numbers

Number of children affected by the violent vomiting virus - 2

Number of times Leah threw up Friday night - 1 (But it was a doozy)

Number of times per hour Rachel threw up between midnight Friday and 5 a.m. Saturday - 3

Number of mothers affected by the VVV in my house - 0 (So far, fingers crossed)

Number of degrees Celcius reached on Saturday in sunshine - 15

Number of yard waste bags filled with leaves which fell from the oak tree after the snow started to fall and I stopped raking last year - 4

Number of shoots of crocus and tulip poking through the soil proving that it's spring - ~25

Number of spider-related screams that startled passing dog walkers - 1

Number of Advil consumed due to muscle pain from yard work - 2

Number of RDJ movies acquired for weekend viewing after girls in bed - 1 (Sherlock Holmes)

Number of RDJ movies viewed Friday night, seeing as night-time hours spent running from one girl's bedroom to the other and to the bathroom to empty vomit bowls - 0

Number of times Grease was viewed instead by sick girls who ended up in my bed in the wee hours - 1.5

Number of RDJ movies viewed Saturday night, seeing as Friday night was essentially sleepless - 0.021 (I think I might have stayed awake for the first three minutes)

Number of feelings of accomplishment for starting to get yard in shape - 1

Friday, April 08, 2011

Dear Kraft,

This blog post first appeared at Jen on the Edge in February 2009, when I guest posted for Jen while she moved. I'm posting it here now because I have no idea what to blog about these days some of you might have missed it.

We all know that Jen is organized. Beyond organized, really. She arranged for guest bloggers during her move to the new house, she mentioned in a recent posting that she has all her bills and things arranged in expanding file folders filed by month, and I have a sneaking suspicion that if you looked underneath her Precious, you would find that each cushion is labelled so that, in case of catastrophe, she could put it back together again if she had to.

Me? Not so much. I try, I really do, but it’s hard. One thing that I’ve found that helps is What’s Cooking magazine from Kraft Canada. It arrives in my mailbox every couple of weeks, and there are always a couple of decent recipes in it. (All the recipes that will be mentioned from here on in can be found here. I won’t be linking to each one because I’m lazy I’m disorganized I don’t want to.)

Bruschetta Chicken Bake was pretty good. The Sky-High Brunch Bake kind of rocked. And the Oreo and Fudge Ice Cream Cake impressed the pants off some visitors from out of town. (Well, not literally.)

But, you know, after a while a lot of the recipes start looking the same. I realize that the magazine and the website are promotional vehicles for Kraft Canada, but seriously, how many things can you make using Zesty Italian Dressing? 343. I checked. Stove Top Stuffing? 207. Philadelphia Cream Cheese? A whopping 768! Cream cheese and Italian dressing? 23. Dressing and stuffing? 15. Cream cheese and stuffing? 30. Nothing hit the trifecta by using all 3 ingredients though, which is probably a good thing, because stuffing, dressing and cream cheese together? Ew. But, I digress.

I got to thinking that at some point they will hit the saturation point for recipes. There area only so many combinations that they will be able formulate. So, what then? And it hit me. A new marketing ploy for Kraft. (Note to Kraft: feel free to shower me with money for coming up with these ideas. No, really. Feel free.)

Introducing the Kraft Beauty Products website:

Philadelphia Cream Cheese Instant Deep Wrinkle Filler

Our rich and creamy Philadelphia Cream Cheese is the ideal ingredient in a decadent cheesecake, a savoury entrée, or to reverse the signs of aging! Our ultra-concentrated cheese formula will give you immediate, visible results. This fast-acting treatment instantly fills wrinkles, reduces the appearance of fine lines and crow's feet and plumps up those deep creases between your eyebrows and around the lips.

Zesty Italian Dressing Exfoliating Scrub

Why not give your skin a peachy glow while you marinate those steaks for dinner? Pour ½ cup of Zesty Italian Dressing over steaks, cover and put in the fridge. Then gently massage ¼ cup of dressing into your face. Feel the finely chopped garlic, onions and red pepper gently loosening dead skin to reveal a new glow! The canola oil base moisturizes, while the lemon juice refreshes.

And if that’s not enough, Kraft and Home Depot team up to bring you:

The Kraft Home Improvement website, DIY tips

Drafts keeping you cold? They don’t have to. Simply fill a caulking gun or cake-decorating bag with Philadelphia Cream Cheese and pipe a smooth bead of cheese along the edges of your windows. And pesto! The drafts are a thing of the past.

Oh oh. The guests are arriving and you’re out of clean kitty litter! Don’t worry, Stove Top Stuffing has twice the absorbent capacity of most brands of kitty litter on the market today. Fill the litter box to a depth of 3 inches with the bread cubes, and sprinkle with the flavour packet so that every time Fluffy visits the loo, she’ll release the fresh scent of chicken and sage.

I’m thinking this could work. You see, my fridge and pantry would also be acting as my tool box and make-up drawer. And that’s what I call being organized.