Thursday, July 31, 2008
Friday, July 25, 2008
Monday, July 21, 2008
After lunch, I was off to visit our family friend Janet and her 3 kids, Ariel, Cameron and Ethan. Her husband John is fighting in Afghanistan right now, but he should hopefully be back by September. I couldn't believe how big the kids are now! We didn't have a lot of time together but I got a tour of the house and an update on all the kids. Ariel showed me her collector Barbies (need I say awesome) and her favourite video game where you cook virtual food. Girl stuff is the best! Janet's always been good at sports, so it's no surprise that Ariel is amazing at ringette, Cameron loves hockey, and Ethan is already starting to skate. I don't know how Janet does it all on her own. Especially with 2 rottweilers added to the mix!
Back at my parents house, I was finally able to have one dinner at home with them before my flight back. However after dinner when I decided to double check my departure info one last time, I discovered my plane was taking off right then. My original flight was canceled and I had been looking at the wrong set of papers! And I had, of course, booked the last flight of the day. Well, one more night in Winnipeg won't hurt. Departure at 7 am. I hope. I think that's the first time I've completely missed a flight due to my incompetence. I showed up a day early to the airport once, but that doesn't count because I didn't actually miss the flight in that situation. I was all the wiser the next day.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
We met at Buccacino's with Christmas presents in tow. After recapping to Jenn what happened last night and enjoying the brunch buffet, we moved on to opening presents. It had been so long, we had forgotten what we had bought for each other and what we had even asked for, so it was a real surprise. Among many nice things Karene picked out for me (we rotate who buys for who based on order of birthdays), I got the The Muppet Show Season 2 DVDs. Now I remember why I only have Seasons 1 and 3 - it all makes sense! We're considering making Christmas in July the new tradition.
After brunch, my mom and I went to a wedding shower in Beausejour for our family friend Stacey, better known as "Stacey from the farm". If there's one thing that can be said about Beasejour, the women sure know how to make dainties! Stacey's dad also bought so much Arbor Mist there was enough for every lady to have her own bottle. We played a get to know the bride and groom game and were given papers to write down our marriage advice. Mine was, "The key to happy co-habitation is NO RABBITS!" Stacey took one in before, so she'll know what I'm talking about.
After we got back to Winnipeg, I headed off to Genie's house to meet her and Noemi for pizza and house tours. Genie's house is a bungalow with a really big yard. The best feature is the awesome bathroom upstairs that she renovated, with root beer walls and a jet tub. A close second is the one wallpapered basement wall that is overlaid with velvet stripes. There is a ton of closet space. What I wouldn't give to have a purse closet like Genie. Darn you bunnies and your closet of hay!
A short car ride later, we all arrived at Noemi's. Noemi's house is a 2-storey, also with a huge yard. For those that don't know, she'll need it, as the Ly's will soon be a family of 4. Unleash the uninvited tummy rubs! Noemi's just in the process of renovating the kitchen so I didn't get to see the full effect, but judging by the new counter tops, it's going to look fantastic. I also love the balcony off the main bedroom.
It's been a whirlwind tour. I leave tomorrow for Ottawa, but will be back in another month.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Meanwhile, Jenn was being thrown a surprise bachelorette party. I missed the pre-festivities including laser tag (very Jenn) and the stripper (those were separate events - there's no magical venue that offers strip laser tag), but joined the girls at Pony Corral for dinner. So digression... what would you name your strip laser tag company? I might go with "The Right to Bare Arms".
You know the night is going to be pretty wild when 25 women are packed onto something called the Bada Bing Party Bus, complete with "dancer" pole and free energy drinks. All the girls were given shot glass necklaces and Jenn came around pouring while we drove to the first bar. Don't spill on my precious Trustfund jeans! Nooooo!
The first bar stop was Alive (the former Au Bar or Wise Guys, depending on your age). It was only 9:00 so the bar was pretty dead except for about 4 bachelorette parties. Jenn's sister had prepared a book of tasks for Jenn to complete. My favourite was a sheet of stickers with titles such as "Best Pecs" or "Worst Pickup Line" that she had to go around sticking on boys. She also got called up on stage to dance with the live band. I joined as one of her backup dancers.
Next stop was Blush. Activities there included getting a guy to leave a message on Henry's (Jenn's fiancé) phone, cheers-ing with strangers and a whole lotta drinking.
Back on the bus, poor Jenn wasn't holding up so well. It probably didn't help that we all kept chanting instructions at her such as "dance, dance" or "cry, cry". A true highlight of the evening, in response to "speech, speech", was Jenn's deeply moving, "I love you, and I love you, and I love you, and I love you," speech. It will be interesting to see how our brunch at 10 am tomorrow morning works out.
Post bachelorette party event note: photos of Jenn at her party have been suspiciously hard to come by. Come on, they can't ALL be incriminating!
Friday, July 18, 2008
The girls met at Jenn's in the morning to get ready. My dress was made with measurements I emailed to Tess and I didn't get a chance to have it fitted, so it was my first time seeing it and trying it on. It was pretty big, but a few safety pins and a quick sew job later, it was wearable. There's a great picture of me in my underwear on Jenn's couch, sewing my dress, which for obvious reasons, I decided not to post here. Obvious reasons being you have to pay me $10 first. Sales of my LynnXXX operating system are slow, so I need to make up the lost revenue somehow.
We packed Jenn's vehicle like a clown car of bridesmaids and headed to the Manitoba Legislative Building for pictures. Pictures went on for about 2 hours, then Tess's family whipped out this entire lunch buffet from the trunk of a car. Another hour of pictures later, I was pretty sunburned. Not really a problem for the other girls. The photographer actually called me "Whitey". Then after being corrected, "Liz". Apparently he's not good with names.
After a slurpee stop on the way to the church (Winnipeg is the slurpee capital of North America, so it only makes sense), the wedding was underway. It's official - Tess and Jorge are married! They drove off in a hummer with a "Just Married Again" sign on the back. Awesome.
Dinner was at Rembrandts in Lockport, which is a restaurant and conference centre run by Frances, our friend from St. Mary's. The food was excellent and Tess's daughter Vina gave an incredible performance of Whitney Houston's I Have Nothing. Someone should YouTube that now, before she's famous. Just keep her away from boys named Bobby!
Special thanks to Noemi for being my wedding date. Her daughter entertained me with a 10-minute discussion of macaroni as well. The wedding was lovely, but the best part was seeing everyone again. Good thing there's still 2 days left of fun-packed activities.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
At 4:30, she dropped me off at Earls on Main for the ENSIS-tini Reunion. All previous and current employees of ENSIS that I could track down were invited for drinks on the patio - just like the old days. Thirteen of us hung out and caught up on news. We also tackled important issues such as should Bruce shave his mustache? Unanimous yes. Does Earls serve the same white wine to everyone and pretend it's different varieties? Likely. Should we have reunions more often? Definitely.
It was so great to hang out with everybody again. I guess as of next Thursday, ENSIS will officially become part of the GrowthWorks Canadian Fund and entrance to the ENSIS alumni club will be closed. I can't wait to see the alumni pin-up calendar in another 10 years. Yikes!
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
I wanted to dye my hair blonde before my trip to
I entered the house to the sound of screaming children. Apparently the hairdresser’s kids had missed their naps that day and they were not in a good mood. After the screaming from the smallest one wouldn’t stop, she let her come down to the basement and poke me/step on my feet/ shoot a blow dryer at me for the 2 ½ hour appointment to shut her up. Lovely. Plus there was some bonus screaming and random singing throughout.
I could have dealt with the kid, had my hair been perfect, but instead I ended up with a golden-orange stripe around my roots. I left with dignity, had Kevin confirm that I did indeed have a stripe and it wasn't just my contacts going bad, cried for 20 minutes, told myself that other people go bald due to serious illnesses so I should suck it up, cried for 1 more minute, then started packing for Winnipeg.
Luckily I still had 1 day to get my hair fixed. My co-worker recommended Byblos, known for good colour jobs. They were very nice and the lady they booked me with, Lucy, managed to get rid of the stripe. My hair is now worth $210. I charge $2/minute if you'd like to touch it.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
We watched Sean Paul first, who insisted on wearing a leather jacket despite the hot weather and bright stage lights. He had an entourage that randomly came to hang out on the stage doing nothing and some cheesy back up dancers. I couldn't understand anything he said, so it was just like listening to his cd's. Don't know why I like him, but I do.
Sam Roberts was next. He put on a good show and we had a good view even though the crowd was so big. He did the obligatory encore, then we left before Donna Summer came on to close out the festival.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
We were at the farm for a few hours, although a good 45 minutes was spent waiting for a wagon ride. The first time an employee told us to wait at the wrong spot and we missed it, so we had to wait again. I tried throwing a tantrum, kicking and screaming on the gravel path, but stuff like that happens every 10 minutes there, so the employees didn't care. Plus I had already had an ice cream cone, so there wasn't much else I could bargain for.
Two of my favourite mazes were the Mile Maze because it was the hardest, and the Musical Maze because who doesn't like to make a bunch of noise ringing bells? Hopefully we'll visit again in the fall for the Halloween corn maze, because it looked huge. (It was only knee-high on our visit.) Plus it will give me a chance to dust off the Britney Spears costume.
Friday, July 11, 2008
My co-worker Ralph, from
Thursday, July 10, 2008
I was a last minute replacement for a golf game with my co-workers at Links O'Tay, the oldest operating golf course in Canada. I called Kevin the night before and he offered to meet me halfway with my clubs, but I said I’d have to wait and see how drunk I was after dinner. He said, “Yeah, me too.” Needless to say, I had to rent golf clubs. I was also afraid of getting booted out for wearing a sleeveless top with *gasp* no collar, but no one yelled at me. For my sake, we played best ball and I declared a rule of do-overs whenever I felt like it. By the end of the game, everyone had resorted to using unlimited mulligans. I like to take credit for the moral decline.
After a quick lunch, everyone met up at our boss’s cabin for swimming and dinner. Our golf ran a bit late so I missed the water skiing. Just close your eyes and imagine photos of me doing awesome tricks. With perfect abs. I water skied once when I was 12, so this obviously would have equated to me being even better 20 years later. Most people spent their swimming time jumping off the roof of the boat dock. I opted out because I was a) scared, and b) told that I should check my bathing suit top after jumping as bikinis tended to shift upon lake entry. Sounded like advice based on real-life experience. I already managed to escape ridicule by successfully following Google maps yesterday and I didn’t want to steal attention from Barb’s Renfrew mishap by flashing my co-workers. I stuck to basic dog paddling.
After dinner and a campfire we went back to the hotel. I overheard more partying in the suite next door so I knocked and joined in. All the ladies were having post-dinner drinks and we ended up hanging out until 2:00 am.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Perth is just over an hour away from Ontario, but I'm terrible with directions and was paranoid about getting lost and being late. Luckily Barb and Janet took all the pressure off. They missed the first exit on their drive and ended up in Renfrew, about an hour and a half away in the wrong direction. I think it'll be a long time before they live that one down.
We're all staying at the new Code's Mill Inn. I lucked out with my hotel room. I’m right next to the party suite. Basically an extra big room that the hotel gave to Sharon W., for organizing all the meeting arrangements. From my room, I could hear joviality going on in the suite so I knocked on the door and joined the party. We had pre-dinner drinks, then went across the street to Fiddleheads for dinner.
Well, after 32 years I finally broke down and tried poutine. I didn’t love it. I’m not big on gravy to begin with. And now I can’t talk about how I’m Canadian and have never tried it. Darn you poutine! I also had a pasta dish with emu, which I’ve never tried. It just tasted like beef, but the meal wasn’t the greatest, so it might be better if I tried it again. I reserve judgement.
We closed down the restaurant, but many from the group still wanted to try and find another bar. I wasn’t optimistic about our options in
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Kevin’s work gave us free tickets to Ottawa Bluesfest. Bluesfest started as an event for blues music, but is now more a festival for music from all genres. Our night out included Snoop Dogg, the Loved Ones and the Weakerthans. Eclectictastic!
When we arrived, we witnessed Snoop Dogg on stage smoking illegal substances openly in front of the crowd. Or I should say, smok'n illegal substances openly in F-R-to-tha-izzont of tha crowd. How did we get by before Gizoogle.com’s “tranzilations”? Snoopdogg.com also has a translation feature that will “shizzolate” tweets on Twitter. I’m registered on Twitter, have never used it, but still have 7 people following me. My goal is to see how many followers I can procure without ever actually typing anything in.
The Loved Ones – meh. They were a punk band we’ve never heard of.
Kevin owns Weakerthans cd’s and t-shirts - i.e. is an official fan - so he probably enjoyed them more than I did. They’re from
Saturday, July 5, 2008
We went to Hog’s
Friday, July 4, 2008
Two couples that live on our street came over for dinner today: Maia & Erwin and Amy & Andrew. Amy’s a vegetarian so Kevin and I did our best to cook a menu largely made up of recipes we’d never tried before. Except for having to make a 2nd batch of meringues for the dessert (I shake my fist at you and your baking directions Jamie Oliver), it all went well. Although I’ve decided I’m not a big fan of bean burgers. Other than the fine company, the highlight of the evening was finally cracking open our last bottle of ice wine.
It’s nice to know that if our house is being robbed we now have at least 2 sets of neighbours that will care.
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Let the gabfest begin!