Monday, February 25, 2008

Rocks in Circle Good Super-Duper Good

I went to watch one of Kevin's curling games at the Ottawa Curling Club and they won! I can't really provide any other insight because I don't really know anything about technique or strategy. Rocks in the circle - good, spilling beer on ice - bad. Those 2 sessions of curling in high school gym are still coming in handy.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Spent the Trustfund

Kevin and I spent Saturday shopping in the Market, and Racquel, I'm shaking my fist at you!

The last time I went to visit Quel in Seattle she convinced me to buy expensive jeans and ever since then, I haven't been able to go back to peasant denim. (I was forced to buy Old Navy jeans once when I was in San Francisco for a conference, ripped my pants, and had an hour to find new ones, but that doesn't really count.)

I ended up picking up 2 pairs of jeans and sunglasses, and Kevin got 2 pairs of jeans and a shirt from one of my favourite stores called Trustfund. The store name gives you an idea of the price point. It's also probably bad that the staff recognize us when we go in. I'm sure those lottery tickets will pay off any day now though, so it'll all work out.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Winterlude 2008

Today, Kevin and I took his cousin Jeff and his girlfriend Michelle downtown to go skating on the Rideau Canal, formerly the longest skating rink in the world (yay and boo Winnipeg). We made it 3.4 kms before turning around, and picked up free chocolate milk, mini boxes of Honey Nut Shredded Wheat, hot chocolate, American Express lip balm and a tacky, plastic, lighted necklace along the way. We also tried maple taffy poured on snow and of course, a Beaver Tail. We also met several mascots that I've never heard of and there some people dressed up in old-timey costumes shooting at people. Freezing rain started falling on the skate back so after changing to shoes, we stopped in at 2 stores and then headed home.
We spent the afternoon with board games and drinks (cocktails for the girls, beers for the boys). We played Killer Bunnies and Carcassone, taking advantage of the fact that Michelle is a one-drink drunk.

We were going to try to see the ice sculptures again, but the weather sucked. Our street was pure ice and rain was still coming down. We skipped it and went for dinner at MHK Sushi. We rented a few movies and watched Even Money, which was not that great. Despite having Danny DeVito and Forest Whitaker in it.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Beer and Ice

Kevin's cousin Jeff came to visit for the weekend with his girlfriend Michelle. They got in a bit late on Saturday so we had a few cocktails at our place, then went out to do some Winterlude (for Winnipeggers, this is like a non-French Festival du Voyageur) activities before dinner. I had looked up stuff that was going on and thought the Casino du Lac-Leamy Crystal Garden of ice sculptures would be cool. The only problem was, the Crystal Garden wasn't at the Casino. After losing $5 on the slot machines, the guy at the casino's info booth sent us to Dow's Lake. The only problem was, the Crystal Garden wasn't at Dow's Lake. They did have one sculpture of a canoe though.

We decided to give up and headed to the Italian district for dinner at Pub Italia. It's a neat little pub decorated like a medieval monastery, and they have a "Beer Bible" listing the over 200 beers. Especially awesome, considering Michelle and I don't drink beer. The waitress overheard us talking about our lack of love for beer and she suggested trying a sample of Strawberry Fruli. Our waiter brought us all samples and it was suprisingly good! Still not a girly cocktail, but fruity enough that it didn't taste much like beer and no bitter aftertaste.

After we got home I checked to see where I went wrong on the Crystal Garden, and it was only sponsored by the Casino, but it's in a park downtown. Apparently the casino staff were also not informed of the secret location. We're going to try again tomorrow.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

Yay Valentine's Day! Kevin and I went to my favourite Ottawa restaurant, the Urban Pear. Their crème brûlée is in my top 3, but it wasn't on the menu last night, so I got to try a new dessert. We also exchanged gifts. I got my standard case of Cadbury creme eggs (48 eggs). I may cut back from 100 to 50 this year, in the interest of being more health-conscious. I wanted to get Kevin a $7 gift certificate to Old Navy, but they only came in round dollar amounts, so I got him a Jamie Oliver cookbook and a sciencey book from his Amazon wish list.

For those that don't know the Old Navy reference:
Last year, we set a $25 gift limit for Valentine's day. I found Kevin a sweater at Old Navy, and then bought myself a bunch of stuff too. The sweater didn't end up fitting, so Kevin went to exchange it with a gift receipt. When he got to the cashier, she told him the sweater he was exchanging was $7. He phoned me at home and I got all huffy that they were trying to rip him off. I went to get the original receipt and discovered that yes, I had only spent $7 on his gift. I bought him stuff later to compensate, but I still had the shame.

Unrelated to Valentine's Day, we had an intense discussion about what toes that are agile like fingers would be called. Clearly they would be called "toengers". Not "tingers" as Kevin claims.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Who Controls the British Crown? We Do!

Kevin's mom and grandma arrived by train on Friday and stayed with us for the weekend. We went to dinner at the Zuni Grill on Friday night. The restaurant accidentally threw out my leftovers instead of wrapping them up, so they gave me a free dessert - cranberry & pomegranate crème brûlée. Score! Now I have to figure out how to get the new guy to help our table every time.

Saturday, the ladies had a luncheon to attend, so Kevin and I ran a round of errands. The lunch was for a group that Kevin's grandma belongs to called Eastern Star. Or I guess I should say Grand Chapter Order of the Eastern Star. Women have to be related to a Master Mason in order to join. What the heck is a Master Mason? The highest degree you can obtain in Freemasonry, duh. Gah, you ask? I agree. Copying from the Internet (so it HAS to be true): "
Freemasonry is a fraternal organization, religious in character, based on the principle of the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man which does charitable work in the community through its members. In addition, its teachings and ceremonies seek to make good men better and thereby make the world a better place in winch to live." In winch to live, indeed.

Basically, if you've seen the Stonecutters episode of The Simpsons, you probably get the idea. I find it intriguing that they offer Tetris on their website under the menu Masonic Fun. Perhaps the game was designed as a type of mind control over unsuspecting non-Masons? Anyways, both ladies avoided the special Kool-Aid and came home unharmed.

Saturday evening, just before dinner, we headed out to Louise's Belgian Chocolates and picked up desserts and chocolates. Their St. Mateo cake (kind of a
raspberry mousse thing) is awesome.

Sunday, we went for brunch at Cora's then started preparing for dinner. We had 3 other people over from Kevin's family - his Grandma's 2 brothers and a first cousin once removed (I had to look the cousin chart up on Wikipedia). They all live in Ottawa but I had never met them before. We cooked a whole whack of chicken and vegetables, and have a ton left over.

Kevin's mom and grandma are heading back on the train today, and then we have 4 days to prepare the house for Kevin's cousin Jeff and his girlfriend Michelle, who are coming in next weekend.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


For my job, I run webinars twice a month. "Webinar" has become a regular word in my vocabulary, but for all you non-geeks (basically all of my friends reading this), it's a live meeting over the Internet where people attending can chat by text while a presenter talks and gives a PowerPoint presentation or shares his computer screen so people can see what he's doing live. My role is to talk for 1 minute to start the webinar, make sure all the technical stuff like recording, sound and screen sharing works, and talk for 1 minute at the end to wrap it up. It sounds simple but wonky stuff always happens so I'm constantly nervous about them.

At the end of today's webinar during the question period, a bunch of co-workers were standing at the next desk and they started to get too loud while we were still recording. I yelled at them, but apparently my mute button didn't work and you could hear my,
"I'm on a webinar!" in the presentation. If you want to hear the shameful spectacle, go here and drag the time to 44:23. I was so embarrassed listening to it, I got dizzy.

Previously, I tried to avoid the noise problem by using an empty office that's enclosed. So of course that time I lost my wireless Internet connection half-way through, and since I control the sound streaming to the Internet, there was 10 minutes of silence (which couldn't be edited out of the recording) while I tried to reconnect back at my desk.

Another fun one was when we first started the webinars, we were advised to buy an expensive device for streaming the sound so we'd get better quality. The device was so powerful it would pick up nearby radio signals, so any time I used it you could hear a sports broadcast from a local radio station playing in the background. I tried filtering devices, wrapping wires in protective aluminum foil, pagan dances... and eventually bought a $20 plastic doo-hingey to replace the expensive device and it's never given me a problem.

But yay for me! I still manage to stay gainfully employed! I'm going to go blonde again so that errors like these are just self-explanatory.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Hillbilly Savvy

Even though Brandine and Spuckler were named after hillbillies, my poor Savvy is looking the part the most because he broke off one of his front teeth yesterday. I have retouched a photo to illustrate his new look.

It may have happened when Kevin accidentally dropped him yesterday when the bunnies were swapping cages, or Savvy may have broken it himself banging his teeth on the cage bars. (He recognizes the vegetable Tupperware bowl and mashes his face into the cage when he sees it. Obviously this makes the vegetables appear faster.)

In any case I found the tooth on the floor today. He doesn't seem to care at all and is eating fine, so hopefully it will grow back in the next few weeks.

I'll see if I can get some shots of him in a plaid shirt with a mini banjo. Neer neer neer neer, neer neer, neer neer neer (Dueling Banjos from Deliverance).

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Hatin' Michael Clayton

Last night Kevin and I went to see the movie Michael Clayton after dinner at Baton Rouge. Mmmmm... ribs. We went with Kevin's friend and co-worker Bogdan, and his wife Tricia. You know they're good people because they always pretend to be interested in my bunny stories.

I don't know if anyone else saw the movie, but I don't get all the hype. It's not a bad movie,
but it just seems like every other "lawyer involved in a class action suit realizes the big bad corporation IS responsible and is sabotaging/killing those that find out". I also have never found George Clooney hot, so he didn't even earn the movie any hot-guy bonus points. Perhaps if he had sported his Facts of Life curly mullet.

Anyways, it's worth renting but I wouldn't bother seeing it in the theatre. Thank goodness we got a 50 cent coupon for our tub o' Sprite because that totally made it worthwhile.