tvordlj: (Meez avatar)
Starting the year off on a low note, I attended the funeral for the father of one of my old friends, who also happened to be my brother-in-law for many years up to about 12 years ago and the man that died is the grandfather of my nephews and niece. I've known him since I was a teenager though I wasn't all that close to him. He was a very nice man....

There wasn't a lot of attendees, not many of my old crowd went but one man that was there was someone I hadn't seen in over 30 years, perhaps once in that time I think but only briefly. In fact, I think it was at a wake for the father of another of our friends. I think I did the classic double take when I saw him. Nice to catch up, though.

Two more books to round up 2015

101 - Blind Goddess - Anne Holt
A Norwegian crime writer, her police detective is a female and there's a male criminal prosecutor. This story involves a drug ring that may be engineered by some lawyers and possibly a higher up figure. Not bad. Will probably read more.

102 - Hundred-year-old Man who Climbed out of the Window and Disappeared - Jonas Jonasson
Good fun! Like the title says, an old Swedish man that escapes the nursing home on his birthday and ends up chased around the countryside by drug dealers who want the suitcase of money he took from the local bus station. In between chapters of that, they jump back and go over the adventures he's had in his long life in a kind of Forrest Gump kind of way, where he's had an inadvertent hand in some of the major events in history.

So that was 2015 reading, 102 books plus one i couldn't finish. 2016 is the year I'm attempting a reading challenge on a CBC Books group on Goodreads.com by filling in a Bingo card with various categories. You find books that match the themes, prefereably by Canadian authors but not restricted to them either. I will give it a go and I think I'll make a plan to pick up a few more "classic" Canadian books/authors. Our classic books of course, are not as old as classic UK books and authors. Most of the best known authors and books only go back to about the mid 20th century. I don't know much about the publishing industry in Canada but I would expect it wasn't much before that, just maybe smaller independent publishers rather than anything national. There are still a lot of smaller publishing houses, as well but Canadian authors and books are becoming a lot more numerous. Canada isn't really known for producing great movies and I can vouch for that. I would estimate that only about 15 percent are *really* good and most of the best ones are character driven, not big adventure movies or complicated crime dramas. In many of the ones I've seen, the writing is kind of cliche and the acting is ... not bad, just not great, but that could be the writing contributing to that.

But the more Canadian books I read, the more I respect the authors. We have some very well known authors that are famous outside the borders such as Margaret Atwood but a lot of the ones i've read in the past few years are very, very good, too. Some authors at the top of my mind are Gil Adamson, Miriam Toews, Ann-Marie MacDonald, Patrick deWitt, Michael Crummey, Linden McIntyre, Wayne Johnston, Susanna Kearsley, Frances Itani and Heather O'Neill. Classic authors include Atwood, Margaret Lawrence, Robertson Davies, Mordechai Richler and Lucy Maud Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables).

There's a couple of good lists, here for the 10 authors you should read if you're Canadian student, this list of 25 classic Canadian novels (including a couple 19th century ones). The 25 top Canadian novels on this list have a few of the same entries but quite a few different ones, too. Not all of them are going to be to the taste of everyone, and I probably wouldnt' like a lot of them but I do intend on mixing in a few in my 2016 reads if i can.
tvordlj: (Reading Woman)
Latest in the book list... Might finish one or two more by the end of the year.  I've decided to reread Anna Karenina, another book I haven't read since school. It seems to be something I've been doing, picking up a classic now and then to reread or try for the first time, but mostly only the ones I remember liking or figure I will like. When you haven't read something in so long, you definitely get more out of it than the first time but, like Tess of the D'Urbervilles, might not enjoy it as much as you think you did then. I think I will like Anna, though and I'm looking forward to what will feel like a fresh perspective since really, all i know if it now is the basic storyline, without remembering much detail about the book.
2015 books )
tvordlj: (Meez avatar)
Day two of the three day virtual course done and dusted. The instructor leaves a bit to be desired. He does have experience using the software but it feels like he's just reading the course material and it feels like he sometimes doesn't know what he's doing or telling you. Just sometimes. And sometimes he gets messing around looking for things or trying to make something work and I end up cursing. I can do that because the audio is muted so that there's no background noise from all the students. we can break in and ask a question or type a question in a chat box. I managed to ask a question this morning that had him wandering around for about 15 minutes trying to find the answer (unsuccessfully) and another question that had him again doing some digging and demonstrating. *sigh* I don't dare ask anything else complicated!!

The course is mainly him demo-ing different things that you can do and then us doing labs of pretty much the same thing. If I was teaching it, I'd be using some real life examples while explaining. A lot of this I know how to do but the version of the software is different so things are in new places. That alone makes it useful. It doesn't seem to be quite as powerful or customizable as the other version but it might be to an extent, I just have to dig around a bit more.

2015 books )
tvordlj: (Meez avatar)
I boxed up G.'s birthday box to send yesterday. Honestly, though, Canada Post is getting more and more expensive. It's utterly scandalous the prices they charge. The box I used is one i bought from them, but apparently it's too large to go parcel post. They insist now on sending it Express Post and it's not that big. Maybe the size of two shoeboxes though not that shape. It weighed a shade over 2kg which isn't particularly heavy. THey would send it by sea but that wouldn't get there until at least Christmas or later and his birthday is in a couple of weeks so i sucked it up and paid parcel post. I sent his gifts in the same box last year for Christmas and I'm pretty sure I didn't pay what i did yesterday. .... hmm i just went back and looked. And actually, it cost me more for his Christmas presents last year in the same box and it wouldn't have weighed that much more, I don't think. I shall have to remember though I won't have to worry about it much longer! I wrote last year that i'd remember for next time. Obviously not. The poor woman at the P. O.... she told me the cheapest price, by sea. Ok, no that's no good. Then she hesitated. She knew what the reaction was going to be. Poor thing, it's not her fault. She said she hates having to tell people the prices when it's high like that.

I plan to send him a couple of Amazon things for CHristmas and I can order them from the UK site and pay little or no shipping and he'll get it in days. There's one thing i have to post from here at least. I don't know what else to get him, and I may end up doing an Amazon gift card or cash because he needs to buy a couple of hard cases for two of his guitars so I can give him money towards one of those.

Books read :
2015 books )
tvordlj: (Reading Woman)
Just catching up on books read
2015 books )
tvordlj: (Meez avatar)
Whinge... moan... too warm and humid....

 But on the plus side, only two more weeks of work before I get to see my husband! It still feels odd using that term (but in a good way). I've taken the documentation to the consultant who said he thought he could get to it this weekend, the man has no life and admitted he's married to the job. I don't know how long he's going to be able to keep up the pace! I think he'll be able to get things together to send off the applications this week, or next if he's too backed up. Soon, anyway. Then the waiting begins for real.

Pulled out my suitcase to start chucking stuff in, like my wedding shoes, the guestbook, the thank you notes and the many charging and usb cords! Graham sent me a SIM card for my unlocked phone so i can hit the ground running. Just got to charge it. All these things that need charging and there's no point doing it until closer to the day i leave. Camera batteries, laptop, phone, the GPS can wait until I get there I suppose but I'll probably charge that too. I found my spare camera battery and I have the charger. The only thing I'm missing is the cord to attach the iPod to the sound system in a car. If the car has a usb then we're ok but I don't know until we pick up the rental. If i can't find it, I guess i'll have to buy another one  just in case we need it. I'll have to charge up the iPod as well and check the play lists.

A few more books for the list...
2015 books )
tvordlj: (Meez avatar)
In the old glory days of LJ, memes were common. They rarely pop up these days but there's one that I've seen via two lovely people on my Flist. I loved doing them and I'm going to do this one even though it really doesn't apply to me. With commentary.

How British Are you?
So am I British? )

And then to catch up on books:
2015 books )
tvordlj: (Reading Woman)
Just a book catchup
2015 books )
tvordlj: (Meez avatar)
More name changing adventures.
Today was the second time I tried to change my Social Insurance number name.
Today was the second time I was thwarted in my goal.
The first time, I had forgotten my birth certificate.
This time, I had it but the website wouldn't take the particulars. It's registered, but it's so old it's just a paper form. Apparently I have to have a new one issued by the province who issue birth certificates (hatches, matches and dispatches) for all this to work in the federal system which is where your Social Insurance number counts.
I have to go to the Vital Statistics office which is no longer in a convenient location for me, it's at the arse end of a business area on the other end of the city, where it's really awkward to get to by bus and closes by 4 or 4:30. To get there from my office would take two busses and a good hour with the traffic and a longer ride home because the traffic will be even worse coming that way. Then I'd have to go to the first office again, before 4 p.m. to get that sorted out. That's not so difficult to get to  at least.
25 or 30 minutes by car. Nobody available this afternoon.
Sod it.
it's not a piece of ID that I MUST change. It's not required, your SIN is always the same no matter what your name is and my sister said she'd filed her income tax under her number and two different married names over the years and they don't blink. I only really thought i should because of all the immigration stuff but I don't think I will now. I'll give the consultant copies of the other id i've changed so that he has that and I think my SIN is on my Tax information that i gave him anyway so they will know it's me. It's just not worth the aggravation at this point.

A few more books read:
2015 books )
tvordlj: (Meez avatar)
Quiet day, got lots of laundry done. Called yesterday to get my oven checked but they won't get to it until Monday. So naturally everything I wanted had to be put in the oven. Ended up having a sandwich and a yogurt for supper! The oven's probably not been working for weeks but what i've been cooking has been in pots or the microwave or on the George Foreman grill and the burners on the stove still work. I'm crossing my fingers that it's unfixable and they'll give me a new stove. Probably won't be that lucky.

My mother moved into her apartment today. She's going to find it strange, she's never lived on her own ever. She said she felt ok leaving the house and feels quite safe in the apartment where she was always a bit nervous if she was in the house alone at night. She did live with one or more grandchildren but often they were gone at night, especially on weekends. She never really got used to it. I know what she means about an apartment, though, you do feel safer behind the added security of the security doors at the building entrance. I'm going over tomorrow to help unpack.

This will be a short week, too. Canada Day is Wednesday and I booked Thursday and Friday off. Need to change one or two more things for my married name. I'll be around if Mom needs further assistance as well or maybe we can take a little drive. there's a historic house near here that I've been wanting to visit.

On to the books....Most of the ones in this list I've really enjoyed. I've been lucky with books so far this year, have read quite a few really good ones. there were one or two that i hated but mostly they've been pretty good.
2015 books )
tvordlj: (Meez avatar)
It's June 1. It's raining. And the temperature isn't supposed to get more than 8 degrees. Tomorrow, too. Jesus.
At least we finally have leaves on the trees.
Mom got an offer on her house for nearly the full asking price. And then the cheeky buggers said they wanted to reduce it by 16,000 to cover repairs and renovations that had to be done (new carpets, painting etc.) Mom starts second guessing herself, wondering if she should paint. NO! She was advised to sell "as is" and not to spend any money. There's no point in her painting when chances are the new owners will want something different anyway. There are no real repairs that need doing anyway and certainly nothing that's going to cost that much. People really do try to get something for nothing, don't they?

We went on a spur of the moment apartment viewing on Saturday at a new building not far from me. Very nice apartment but it's available now and she probably won't be able to get it even for July 1. It's a bit too soon. The other ones they may have available are on the ground floor and she wouldn't feel comfortable there. Neither would I, for that matter. This building is very nice but there's no bus anywhere at all handy so it wouldn't do for me.

G. and I were discussing last night how to get his musical instruments over to Canada. He doesn't think he'd want to have them shipped because it would cost more than they're worth. I think I could probably bring one back with me in September, bring it on board and they'd store it in a closet. Then when he comes here for good, each of us could bring one. I think that's the best solution. He'll have stuff to send on, a few boxes of things and when he comes for good, I think it would be worth it to pay for a second checked suitcase and bring anything else that way.

For more books to finish up May: Didn't read much for the two weeks Graham was here so there aren't as many!

2015 books )
tvordlj: (Reading Woman)
Catching up on books. Didn't read much the first two weeks of the month for obvious reasons.
2015 books )
So there you are, half a dozen books, fairly different from each other. I"m reading Out of Africa now, a book I've always wanted to read. I loved the movie and though have only just started the book, I think it's going to be good. Karen Blixen writes words that flow like melted butter! That alone is going to make it worth while.
tvordlj: (Meez avatar)
Still searching for videographer. Graham doesn't mind, it can just be someone that uses a point and shoot camera that has video. It may end up being just that! My cousin's girlfriend's daughter has ties to the film and tv industry, she's going to ask her if she can do it or knows someone that can and I have a second cousin that has film editing experience and I've asked his mother to find out if he can take video. I can't imagine he couldn't if he can also do editing and things. But he works 6 days a week and might not be able to get the day off though I'm willing to pay him to do it, same with my other cousin's girlfriend's daughter. She was made redundant last week and my second cousin usually needs money too so either may be willing. He may be willing to forgo a day's pay if i'm paying anyway. We'll see. I don't know if either one has a camcorder but even using the point and shoot won't be too bad as it does decent video. Usually.

I think that's the last big thing.

Little stuff includes making bits and pieces for decor and for the cake, picking up pantyhose (or knee highs if i'm feeling lazy), getting a pedicure and a manicure and maybe gel nails put on.

I made a homemade sugar scrub for my face yesterday. It did feel smooth after! Apparently that's a good thing to try if you have problem skin. It's got olive oil in it but you clean it off and I used an astringent as well to get the traces off my face. Otherwise, you don't really want oil on your face but i don't have oily skin to start with. The woman at the spa that did my facial the other day mentioned a sugar scrub for exfoliation. Maybe i'll try that once a week or so.

Dentist tomorrow. I delayed my appointment to have it closer to the wedding so my teeth would be fairly freshly cleaned and polished.

Had fun at the retirment party on Saturday night, excellent to see the old school crowd. I always thinks it's so great how we've all kept in touch over the years.  Most of the women are joining me for a pre-wedding lunch in a couple of weeks and most of the group will be at the wedding.

2015 books )
tvordlj: (Meez avatar)
Wedding week is going to be busy. We will  have a meeting with the photographer, checking out the park where we may do outside photos, weather permitting, and a stop at the hotel so he can suss out the layout etc. We have two airport pickups for guests arriving from out of town, then of course the rehearsal the night before and rehearsal dinner.

Gotta sort out the cake.
One or two more things to finalize.
G. has to do the Thank You note artwork because we're doing those as well so then will need to get that printed. Not sure how many to get. At least with blank Thank You notes, they can always be used in future.
RSVP coming in. Pretty much all the family I invited have replied, one couple still away.
A few on the friends list still outstanding, need to contact them to confirm one way or the other.
Got to contact a pub downtown for the post-wedding meet and greet. Not sure of numbers there yet. Both of the places I have in mind have a section that's kind of separated. Not private but off to one side.

And last but not least...
2015 books )
tvordlj: (Meez avatar)
Day 10 - One person you can trust
Graham. But then there are a number of others as well.

Book catchup:
2015 books )

Going to see Bryan Adams sing tonight. Looking forward to that. Good straight up rock music. Loved his 80s Reckless album.

Reports still coming in from the "Lost" City of Moncton in New Brunswick, which really got a pounding in the storm over the weekend as did P.E.I. On top of the over 200 cm of snow they already had, the weekend dumped another 70 cm on them. And winter isn't over yet. But still, snow is a heck of a lot easier to move than the freezing rain over all the snow we got turning the banks into near-concrete consistency.  Also saw a funny photo showing Han Solo and Luke Skywalker on some sort of beastie in the snow, with the caption "We're going to Tim's. Want anything?" Tim's being the venerable Tim Horton chain of coffee shops here in Canada. Always open.

Our bus stop got plowed out overnight. Now if the building people could make a concerted effort to shovel out the walkway. Ok it'll be difficult, it's all frozen but it can be done.
tvordlj: (Meez avatar)
Catchup on books. I've been really lucky so far this year, almost all the books I've read so far I have been able to give top marks or nearly top to on Goodreads. All generally very different from each other but excellent in their own ways.

2015 books )

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