tvordlj: (Meez avatar)
Not a lot to report. The baby shower was good, love to have snuggles with a newborn. He was passed from lap to lap most of the afternoon without a complaint. Our gift of the Star Trek "Kirk" onesie and black trousers was met with appreciation. The Ping didn't happen, there was a mixup with the booking dates with the pub so the ping will be this Sunday instead. We didn't know until we got there so we stayed for lunch anyway.

Getting Mom to take me out Christmas shopping on Saturday so I can get G.'s gift, which she will then hide at her apartment. Our Christmas project, well, it's his really, is done and ready to proceed to the next step, printing. I don't want to say more because I never know who's lurking in the shadows here! My sister knows about it and my mom has a suspicion about the nature of it but nobody else does.

I'm late getting my Christmas shopping done this year though because of the project, there aren't many to actually purchase which lessens the pressure. I have one thing to mail to the UK and I have to get that off this week. The other thing will not have to be sent far and I have to get some DVD labels printed up for that and I better get on that. I don't want to give them the dvds with  just the name of the movie scrawled on it in Sharpie black. I also have to make the turtle candy but I can do that on a weekend afternoon. We also have to do something with the stack of boxes which sits right where the Christmas Tree has to go. I have no idea where we're going to put them. G. can go through the boxes and we might be able to unpack some stuff like his dvd box sets and cds but much of it has to stay packed because there's no room anywhere until we eventually get a larger apartment.
2016 books )
tvordlj: (Meez avatar)
Christmas was lovely, but it always is. I stayed at my mom's for two nights. It's her first Christmas in the new apartment/condo (it's a condo but she's renting it) but we still had everyone in on the day for present opening. She's got the most room of anyone even where she is now. As always, they spoiled me! wine glasses, sheets, slippers, framed photo, earrings, wine, a Chapters gift card, face cream, homemade chocs, a warm fuzzy blankie, coloured pencils (i've got into colouring along with loads of other people), photo frame coasters, lots of lovely organic teas, and a sleep cover for my Kobo. There were a few other bits and bobs as well. Graham gave me my new computer chair and sent over a Game of Thrones colouring book, Diana Gabaldon's Outlandish Companion book, vol.2, another book I'd wanted and marshmallows with our photos on them! Very cool, and yummy. I didn't want to eat them because they were so pretty but I suppose if i kept them they'd eventually go hard or dry.

The weather on Christmas day was beautiful, warm with temps in the low double digits. When we drove over to my sisters for dinner we saw some people out in shorts and a tshirt. It really was nice enough, with no wind. Bikes and motorbikes out on the road. Then on Sunday we had lots of snow though not as much as they predicted and we're supposed to get more tomorrow. I came home on Saturday and had a quiet day yesterday. Was supposed to go to an open house but my cousin and I didn't want to chance the driving. Am off for a Chinese meal tonight with a friend.

I'm off all week and hope to borrow Mom's car for a few days later in the week to do some visiting and grocery shopping and New Year's Eve will be spent on Skype with my fella as always. Things will be very different next year, at least, they bloody well better be!

Since i had no place to go yesterday, and it snowed and it snowed and it snowed, I upgraded my desktop to Windows 10 which went very well. I've already done my laptop which also went well so was hoping this would be smooth. This machine is only 7 or 8 months old and was Windows 8.1 so i thought it would be. The only thing the upgrade didn't like was my antivirus software so i uninstalled that and then installed Avast free and will use Windows' firewall for now. I have to get a new wifi thingy and I'm thinking about changing my internet modem to the kind with wifi in it. They do charge per month but at least if it breaks i can get it fixed. The internet modem now does have some problems so it needs replacing. I must find out if i have to take it to them because when i have the car that will be the easiest.

Christmas wasn't without it's drama and trauma though. Justin's boyfriend had food poisoning all night and then on Boxing day was taken into hospital for emergency surgery with a ruptured appendix. Also that morning, my sister's ex father-in-law (the other grandfather for my nephews and niece) was taken into hospital and he's not going to last long apparently. They can't operate because his 90 (91?) year old heart won't take it. Justin's traveling between two hospitals and last night he got in a car accident when someone left turned into him and took his front end out. Never rains but it pours.
tvordlj: (Meez avatar)
It's been a very nice few days! Christmas Eve was quiet with just one visit from Ryan's friend Thomas and I spent time with Mom and Justin as well. We all slept in Christmas Day and had a great breakfast. Mom had made up these quichy kinds of things the night before, with bread, eggs, roasted veggies and cheese and the other one a kind of baked French Toast though it was more like a bread pudding and had caramel in it as well. With bacon and juice and lots of tea, we faced the rest of the day!

My niece and sister and her husband got there around 12:30 for gift opening and that always takes a couple of hours. We take turns one at a time so we can properly appreciate what everyone else has opened. Everyone was very generous as always. The list includes, earrings, towels, a teapot and tea, a leather stranded bracelet, a lovely photo album I shall keep for wedding photos, a "Keep Calm and Marry On" mug, gift cards for Starbucks and Chapters, wine, small wine rack, tea towel and coaster. Graham and I had our gift exchange on Boxing night. You can hear my new song, To Canada With Love, here. It's a James Bond type theme and is awesome! He's given me a lovely medallion that has Viking protective runes on it, a Doctor Who Calendar and beach towel and a toy sonic screwdriver with a notebook. My main gift was a lovely new jewelry box which is now set up and filled!

Yesterday I went to an open house at my cousin's place. His girlfriend has just moved in so it was a bit of a house warming/welcome for her too. He's the one that lost his wife suddenly two years ago but he's found a very nice woman to be with and move on with the rest of his life. His two adult sons really like her too which is very good. Bonus, she's also a Corrie fan! She comes with a cat and yesterday the cat stayed firmly well back under the Christmas tree. She poked her nose out once, very slowly, and then decided there were far too many strangers and turned around and slunk back under. Anyone trying to lure her out got hissed and growled at, which, according to my cousin, is all she does to communicate with him, too!

Today I'm getting together with a good friend. We always go to a movie and a meal for our gift exchange. Got a ticket to Into the Woods so we'll see how that is. I think it looks like a nice Christmassy type movie, a musical based on a West End/Broadway show. It does have Meryl Streep whose singing talents are a bit thin but it also has Johnny Depp as the Wolf!  :) After today, I think i'll have a down day, catch up on laundry and chores and then maybe borrow Mom's car for a couple of days for groceries and some visiting.
tvordlj: (Meez avatar)
December 1. And some stupid woman at the bus asked was I all ready for Christmas? That shouldn't be allowed before the 20th. As it happens, I could be smug and say i'd bought all my gifts already, just one or two other things to do (like put up the tree, make candy, wrap a few things) but it's still annoying.  She said she hadn't started so I guess she wanted someone to join her in a good moan about it.  There are far better small talk topics to discuss while waiting for the bus. Like weather, for fuck's sake.

Not that I don't like Christmas. I love it, especially spending time with friends and family and I love giving gifts. I don't stress over it at all. I still buy for my nephews and niece and they're getting easier to buy for as they get older. My niece loves anything and the lads  really just want money or gift cards. I prefer a real present but if i really don't find anything that I think will suit, i'll do that which is what i did this year.

I mailed off Graham's stuff last week. Had to recruit one of his friends who is retired to send the parcel to now that his dad isn't around. His neighbour is now working so can't be relied on to be home when the mail arrives and the post office depot is in an awkward spot for G. to get to. Today i have another round of Fun with Canada Post and have a few more things to mail, these going to Canadian destinations.

Am reading "All My Puny Sorrows" by Miriam Toews. It's a very moving book, very sad in parts and I dread to think how it's going to end. But it's so well written and feels so "real" even though the emotions are very raw. It's very good but the subject matter might not be for everyone, about a talented woman who keeps trying to kill herself and her sister trying to help her find a reason to go on. It's a hard book to read even for me. Even though I haven't had this experience, I do have a sister and those feelings and emotions written are spot on.

I keep buying ebooks even though i have a couple thousand of them that i've downloaded. These are mostly books released over the past 20 or 30 years but i see new releases and think oooooh so i then go to see if i can download them or, if i can get them cheapish, i'll buy them. I did buy a hardback the other day, my one concession to "Black Friday". The new Stephen King was selling for $15. I've recently got back to reading some of his books, with 11/22/63 being the first one, and that, my friends, is excellent!! Not his traditional horror though there are trace elements. It's about time travel and trying to change history and will history let itself be changed. Then I read Joyland which was good. Graham read Doctor Sleep and said it was really good, too but it's a sequel to The Shining which I haven't read so i've finished that now. Revival is the new one I bought and it looks quite good as well. I bought a couple other ebooks on Black Friday as well, new releases that were $4.99.

The ebooks were meant to be a lot cheaper than a new hard cover but you know, the prices of them are going up and up. It doesn't seem right. There's next to no overhead, no shipping, so why are some new released ebooks selling for nearly $20? If i can buy a new release ebook for less than the price of a new paperback, which is also getting up there in price, then yes, i might buy it. They have sales sometimes, and Kobo has trivia contests that give you 10 - 75% off ebooks but they are only a selected group, never new release ones. Sometimes I find something good in their selection, one or two maybe but that's about it. I do the trivia contests (one question a day for 10 days) because you can also win a prize pack of new ereader tablets. That is, when the website works. It's not today. When I pick the right answer i'm not getting a response, only when i pick the wrong one. I'll try again tonight or tomorrow.
tvordlj: (Meez avatar)
It's been unseasonably warm the last day or two. oh, not beach weather or anything, but mid to high teens in temps which is weird for late October. Keep waiting for the arctic air to hit and it will, oh yes, it will. I remember one year, though, a few years ago, I didn't have to wear my winter coat until December. That's very unusual.

It's been a quiet week so there isn't much to write about really. I've nearly got all my Christmas gifts bought, just a couple of gift cards to pick up and a few small items. Need to make Turtles and wrap and mail a couple of things, though, and order one thing online for G.

I got a call from Telus last week with an offer to upgrade my phone and renew my contract. Six months early. But the upgrade would apparently be free and the balance on my old phone written off. There's going to be a catch in there somewhere. I will wait until the spring when my contract is nearly up and go in then. But I did wonder should I upgrade the phone or not? I do like my phone, it's a Google Nexus um... 4 I think. It's made by LG and has been a good phone but there are a couple of things I don't like about it. The main thing is that it doesn't have external storage, ie. a micro sd card. There's 12 or 16 G. internal storage which is pretty good of course, but i couldn't put a lot of music on it and use it for the gym like i had done with my iPod. I don't particularly like the music player on it and it seems like these phones, being Android, prefer you to use the Google cloud for storage. I don't like to do that because it would use data to stream music from my storage, wouldn't it? I'd prefer to have it stored on an sd card.

The other thing is that if someone sends me a picture message, I can't save the photo to the phone. There doesn't seem to be a way to do it at all. I don't know if that's normal for picture messages. Anyone? Perhaps that is how they all work but it sucks if someone sends you a nice photo that you want to keep without it clogging up your message area. I'm sure my old phone allowed me to save a picture from a message though it wasn't a smart phone type device.  It's also stupid that you have to turn on Data to see it, even if already connected to wifi. I think they all work that way, though.

As for upgrades, the Samsung phones are generally thought of as the best of the Android devices. I got the Google phone because it was unlocked but apparently they are all sold that way now here in Canada. Must check to make sure. I'll stick with Android but wondered about the HTC phones. Are they good, reliable phones? I think they're Android, yes? Do Windows phones really suck? I kind of think they might, if only for the bloated OS if it's anything like any other Windows product. Any thoughts or recommendations?
tvordlj: (Meez avatar)
Starting to look around for Christmas presents for people. I have a couple of things already and I really hate to shop in December so i usually manage to get it done early where possible. It's getting harder to know what to get my nephews and niece and i don't like to give money or gift cards at Christmas if possible though I know they don't mind. I will for their birthdays but Christmas is kind of special and I like them to have something to open.

Wedding stuff:
Graham has to do the artwork for the invitations and the thank you notes then we can find  a printer. My sister can get a discount at Staples so maybe we can provide the artwork and get them printed there.
Flowers: A couple of people have recommended Costco for them. My niece got hers there and she did up their bouquets herself. I think they provide the pins as well for the buttonhole flowers and probably will do corsages as well. It's kind of a do it yourself and I don't know if she had table arrangements but that's also not so difficult to do either, I'd just have to get a couple of vases. I have at least one person i know that would be able to do nice flower arranging for me if i asked.
Ordered a white and a black Dalek for the caketop. Is en route. Will have to make a little bridal veil and top hat. And tiara if i  can find a dolly one :) Note to self, check the Dollar store.
I still having tried my outfit on!
I need red shoes. Not heels, though, my poor feet can't handle that anymore.
tvordlj: (Default)
Christmas itself was very nice, it always is. The season hasn't started very well with the death of my cousin's wife and the funeral was Monday morning (Christmas Eve). He was a little wobbly once or twice but got through it pretty well. The eulogy was by her younger sister and was amazing. One of the best i've heard. The gist of it was not to put off things and people. Make every get together an occasion and don't wait for one to get together.

Christmas eve was pretty quiet, just my nephew, mom and me. Justin and Staci both got home in the morning and we had breakfast and when my sister and her husband arrived we opened presents. It always takes awhile because we do it one at a time so we can watch each person open something and see what everyone's got. It makes it nicer so you can see the reaction of the others to the gifts. Dinner was at my sister's house. I made eggnog caramel cheesecake which turned out pretty awesome though the bottom crust was a bit hard. Overcooked a tad i think but the rest of it was wonderful. All the food was yummy and even though I tried not to over do, i still rolled away aching.

Christmas night, Mom and i went to my auntie's, a tradition. This is my cousin's mother, the cousin whose wife's funeral we were all at the day before. He was at his mom's and was ok, though his voice was almost gone. He's had moments, of course and maybe is still running on adrenaline. There's a lot of legal stuff and paperwork to keep him hopping for a few weeks. Once things quiet down, it'll probably hit him harder.

I brought my things home on Boxing day and kept the car overnight. Stores aren't open here on the 26th which is nice really, having that extra day where everything is still quiet across the city. Today my aunt was having the ladies in the family over for seafood chowder. The weather wasn't really cooperative but it was clear when we got there. We left early though, because the roads were getting pretty filled up. I got home about 2:30 and now, at 4:30 it sounds like it's turning to rain / ice pellets as forecast. Everyone is home and safe and warm.

Oh and last weekend I went to see the Hobbit with a friend. We were less than impressed. We both found it slow and draggy. Yes, the special effects were nice. Sometimes. But I'm usually underwhelmed when overwhelmed by CGI and there was so much of that. It's like they made the movie just to showcase what they can do on a computer. I can't imagine sitting through two more movies of that so I won't be. I liked Lord of the Rings in spite of the CGI because there was a lot more story to it. This didn't have that to hold my interest. A few scenes foretold some stuff from LOTR but even then it was extended out way too much. We didn't see it in 3D, neither of us are too fond of it and you could tell a lot of the effects that would have taken advantage of it. A couple of times, during scenes that you might expect to be filled with actual people, close ups and everything, I was pretty sure were all cgi versions of the actors, possibly even the close up of them speaking, it looked that faked. If that's the case, why not just make the whole movie animated and give up the pretense of having actors play the parts, just use their voice overs.

Mom, my niece Staci and I are hoping to have our annual trek to Chapters on the weekend, weather permitting. Everyone knows Mom loves getting Chapters gift cards so she gets lots. She gets one for Staci and I got one from Staci's fiance so we're all armed and ready. We all love reading and there are a lot of family members that do. At today's lunch, my cousin Pam and I exchanged books and one of my other cousins and I agree, how can anyone *not* like to read!?

I'm still off work until the day after New Year's. I was on call today but it doesn't look like i'll get any calls now. I did check my email and all was ok there. Good thing, too. I brought my work laptop home but forgot the electronic key that logs me in to the work network. Doh.
tvordlj: (Christmas Candy Canes)
Going to see the Hobbit this afternoon. My friend D. and I usually try to do lunch and a movie at Christmas, either before or after, whenever we can mesh our free time. We exchange presents and have a nice catch up. This year we have travels to talk about. She and her husband took a river cruise across the eastern part of Western Europe to see the Christmas markets. Not sure where all they were, probably Vienna, possibly Prague, a few places in that general area I think. Looking forward to seeing her photos. Those are all cities I'd love to see and maybe some year we can do the markets.

Graham and I had our webcam Christmas present opening last night. We were really on the same wavelength this year. I opened one of my gifts and could hardly wait because I gave him almost the same thing! He got to that gift last and I could hardly keep myself contained! We gave each other ceramic beer steins with the Stark Logo on it from Game of Thrones. The one he gave me is white and the one I gave him is black. Winter is Coming! He also gave me a GoT blank notebook and my other GoT gift to him was a Stark logo tshirt. He gave me a great Doctor Who calendar and I gave him a Doctor Who book, also a calendar but I always do that, get one made from photos from one of our trips. This year's was from Quebec City. Next year's will have a lot to choose from, Rome and probably New York city and possibly even Scotland. I'll have to create some collage photos I think! He also bought me two Liliput Lane Coronation Street houses. That was my "main" gift. :) Those I knew about because we got them when i was over in there in November and I bought myself the other two that were available. His main gift was Paintshop Pro X4. He's been working with a really old copy and I figured he'd appreciate a new one with lots of new features. He certainly uses that software a lot and when he eventually gets a new computer, this one will install far better.

I must look into seeing whether my X2 version can be upgraded cheaply so i can put it on my laptop. The laptop doesn't have a dvd/cd drive though we have a portable at work, i can always borrow that if i want to i suppose. I did look at downloading it but it wouldn't take my key. I should try again and if it still doesn't work, contact their support to say i'm reusing the key because i've got a new machine. That's probably why it wasn't accepting the key.

Guess I better get moving. Got to get a shower and get dressed before going out.
tvordlj: (Christmas Santa Reindeer)
It's that time again! Christmas song by Gramster, in the guise of Gram Zombie this year!

Here's the link to the song called Love Monster.

And the cd cover...

And the lyrics...

Love Monster

In the shadows, silent hallows
Whispers and a sigh
I am waiting, contemplating
In the corner of your eye
If you see me will you free me
From these chains that bar my way?
Coz’ I can be like a zombie
But I will be free some day

Wolves are calling, moonlight falling
On this barren land
If you need me, will you lead me?
Just take me by the hand
From the cold night, into daylight
What is done is meant to be
I won’t expire like a vampire
When the sun shines down on me

I’m your Love Monster baby
Your creature of desire
Nothing can quell this passion
Nothing can fan this fire

No deception, misconception
I am who I am
No deceiving, disbelieving
Trust in me you can
If you know me, will you show me
That I can be by your side?
I won’t be no Doctor Jekyll
And I ain’t no Mister Hyde
tvordlj: (Meez avatar)
canon 009I decorated my tree today and put it in a different spot. Usually i have it in front of the window and occasionally i've had it in the corner by the window. This year I thought I'd put it up away from the window, in the doorway to the dining room which I never use anyway and it looks very nice, I think.

I made some "Eccles cakes" too and they turned out quite well. Eccles Cakes are a pastry that are popular in the north of England. Eccles is near Salford and Manchester. They are puff pastry filled with a mixture of currants, sugar, butter and orange zest. Yummy with tea or coffee.

Tomorrow I shall try to get some gifts wrapped and one ready to mail on Monday. I also need to try out my work laptop and see if i can get connected from here. I'm dubious that it will work all correctly the first time in but I may have to get some network adjustments to make sure i'm in the right groups etc. It will be nice to have that option, to work from home, sometimes, especially if there's bad weather forecast. Over Christmas my coworker and I are sharing "on call" duties for emergencies so I need to ahve it working by then or else if i do get a call i'll have to go in. It's usually pretty quiet through Christmas week.
tvordlj: (Meez avatar)
I believe I have all my shopping done.
Need to put my tree up. Decorate. Turn lights on.
Need to wrap things or assess for size of gift bags. I love gift bags!
Office Christmas lunch is *this Friday*. Don't laugh. the corporate dinner/dance was November 23.

I had a voucher for 100 free prints at Black's after I bought my camera there. I also had 60 free prints at Costco for my first photo order so I split the uploads between the two. Didn't get more than the 100 at Blacks because their regular price is .39 per print where Costco is something like .15 or .16. Quite a difference. Picked up the Black's photos and the Costco ones over the weekend. Somehow, either the default was this or i made a mistick. Yes. "mistick" ,... you know, when you tick the wrong box on a website. Anyway, I have 100 6 x 8 inch prints from Black's. That's 6x8 which is non-standard for frames or photo albums. Sheesh. Now what? I have 200 4x6 inch standard prints of everything else. Doh.

I'll have to have a look around and see if i can find some sort of album or refill pages that will fit those and the standard ones because i want them altogether. And no, the larger ones are not all the same subjects, some are from Rome and some are not. Live and learn.
tvordlj: (Christmas Santa Reindeer)
Had a lovely Christmas as always. Stayed over at my mom's for a couple of nights. My two nephews and neice were there overnight for Christmas, the two boys were both sick, one with tonsilitis and one with a stomach flu but they both still enjoyed the holiday. My sister and her husband cooked Christmas dinner and it was lovely! I ate a plate full, not a heaping plate full but an average one i guess for this sort of meal and i was so full i couldn't fit anything in not even a cup of tea for the rest of the evening. Mom and i visited my aunt in the evening where there were other aunts and cousins to see as well. Today we did nothing, just chilled. Mom slept all morning and i chatting with my best friend up in Moncton for awhile. Now am home, downloading Doctor Who, Downton Abbey and Corrie though i did see DW on tv last night. Plans are loose for the rest of the week at the moment. Going to get together with a friend for dinner and a movie and with some other friends i think for same. Might hit the stores but not tomorrow when the first of the sales open. Things are too insane on that day. Might try to get to the gym as well at least once this week. A cousin is moving in to an apartment around the corner and is having an open house on New Year's Day. Will probably spend New Year's eve with G. online.

2011 was a pretty good year overall. The office was in a bit of turmoil what with the renovations and emergency relocation of staff when the office flooded but it worked out ok. My temporary location was great and now we're in our new digs and it's bright and cheerful and i have a nice spot. My new "roomie" is very good to share with too. Family had ups and downs. Lost one cousin suddenly which was a shock. There were successes in some areas, financial struggles in others but we all hold each other up and applaud the others. Graham's dad had a health crisis in September and though is recovering fairly well, there are still some issues. At 84, I guess these things are more likley to happen. Everyone else's health was pretty good all year for the most part. My sister got married and the wedding was really nice! Everything went off well and they are very happy.

I've been a bit less involved in the local Corrie group, have resigned from the committee but still help out where needed. The event this year was a success and we are waiting to find out who next year's guest will be. There was one "friend" who's behaviour suprised and shocked quite a few of us that knew him but I can't really go into that as it's not really my story. A few friends in that group were not as surprised as the rest of us, having seen signs of this behaviour in the past and we haven't heard his side of it all but he's not really making a big effort to tell it either yet. It's a classic case of "You think you know someone..."

With that in mind....

2011 year end meme, I'm crap at these things )
I'll have my usual end of the year roundup posted by New Year's.
tvordlj: (Default)
Four days to work this week then i'm off until the new year. I always enjoy this week even if i don't do much. while i love my vacations with Graham, we're always busy doing and going. This week i can veg out and take lots of quiet time. It would be nice, of course, if he was with me and we could do nothing together or decide on the spur of the moment to go see a movie or whatever. I expect i'll try to get to see a movie, try to get to the gym, get my groceries, visit a bit. I'm going to borrow the car for a few days to aid all that and I usually take Mom around visiting as well. Friday i'm having a movie and dinner with a friend and Friday night G. and I have our web cam Christmas present opening. That is, if his parcels to me arrive by then. This time of year it's dicey at best when expecting something from overseas. My stuff to him can get sent in pretty good time but for some reason, parcels coming this way take forever, and i blame Canada Post and Canada Customs.

I'll be at Mom's for Christmas eve, Day and Boxing Day, maybe come back home that evening. Sis is having the dinner at her place though the "kids" will stay overnight at Mom's for Christmas morning. I know they aren't kids anymore but i guess that's part of getting older. You still think of them as kids, or at least it's easier to just say that.

Kobo has had a contest running daily where you put a little puzzle of an ereader together and you can win coupons for up to 35% off or a Kobo touch ereader. I've been doing the entry every day and have got coupons for 25, 20 and 35% so i've used them. I've bought 4 or 5 books in the last week! I suppose that's their purpose isn't it? Get you to buy more books but they end up quite cheap with the coupons. I have looked and can't find out but I think the coupons might only be good for the day they're issued. I really should stop though lol! These ebooks are so much cheaper than buying even a new paperback these days. Well... sometimes at least. I see ebooks that they want 15 and almost 20 dollars for and i wonder why. It's electronic, there's no shipping, no overhead really.

I won't buy an ebook unless it's under 10 dollars. Most new paperbacks are that and up to 12 dollars unless it's the "trade" paperback, which is the size of a hardcover but paper covers and those can be up to 25 dollars! So all the ebooks i've bought with the coupons are under 10 dollars less the discount. The one i purchased today came to a total of something like $6.88 with taxes in. When i was buying paper books, i'd go to a bookstore and buy 3 or 4 at a time, spending 60 dollars. I can get 8 or 9 for that with ebooks and coupons! or at least about 6 without. Big difference.

I'm still working my way through a few books that i'm not really enjoying overly but i'll finish them. I usually do. It's rare i give up on a book but i may end up skimming through the end of the ones i'm struggling with.

In the news today, Bishop Raymond Lahey, who was a bishop in Nova Scotia, is going to be sentenced in Ottawa today on child pornography charges. He flew into Ottawa with a laptop and when they wanted to check it as a random search. They found a lot of images on there and he was immediately taken in. He confessed, rather than go through a trial and will be sentenced today. A few years ago he was instrumental in organizing a payout settlement to a group of people that had sued the church on abuse charges dating back decades. I have a feeling he won't end up behind bars as such. House arrest or something similar would be my guess due to his age (in his 70s) though he should spend some time incarcerated if it was up to me.

Halifax has had 16 homicides this year. I think that's a record. The latest one seems to be the result of a bar fight. There's only been charges laid in 6 of the cases and one was deemed accidental as a patient in a dementia unit in a senior's home pushed another resident who died from the fall. They said it was technically homicide but the resident was not really responsible. The murder total in this area is usually under 10 most years and they aren't usually random.
tvordlj: (Christmas Santa Reindeer)
It's almost HoHo day, boys and girls! If you celebrate, are you a last minute scrambler or are you hugely organized and are all decorated, bought and wrapped by now? I'm pretty organized for the most part. I do have to wrap things, or put them in gift bags and as i said recently, i didn't put my tree up which i miss. I need to nag the superintendant again on that drywalling. I'm taking next Friday off so i only have four more working days after today, then off until the New Year.

I've got the gym today and on Monday and i'll try to get there a couple of times over the holidays. I plan to borrow Mom's car and that makes it easier. One friend and I are having an afternoon movie and a bite to eat next Friday, probably see the new Sherlock Holmes movie as that was one she mentioned. I also want to see The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I was skeptical but the trailers and casting look pretty good so I think it might compare favourably with the Swedish version.

We're out after work today for a Christmas get together at a local bar. The Christmas potluck was yesterday but it was in the Finance department over across the harbour. We are now part of Finance apparently but it feels like we're very different and separate since they're there and we're here. I would have preferred us to have our own dinner in our office. Maybe next year. I didn't bother going.

Things in the office are getting quiet and next week will be even more so. Once the kids get off school, a lot of parents take vacation. The days between Christmas and New Year are like working in an empty office nearly. Just a skeleton crew. If you have stuff to do you can get a lot done, though.

Graham and I have our online webcam Christmas "party" next Friday night where we open our gifts together. Providing they arrive. Well, he's got his because i took them over in September when I went. I do have a post office card so i'm hoping that's his things arriving here for me. I know i said i was going to a movie and dinner but we're scheduling that for the afternoon with the food at normal suppertime so i'll be home in plenty of time. I know what he's got me this year as I had given him a list and he'd decided on some things off it. He's working on my song, of course, so that will be a surprise.

His dad is doing well, too which is great. There's a neighbour that's applied to be an official carer, too, so Graham knows he'll have someone to look in on him. The neighbour does up his meals and does his shopping for him and errands and also goes with him when he has appointments. When his dad is able to get out and about more, he'll go with him. The neighbour gets paid for doing that too through Social Services so it benefits him as well as he's currently unemployed. I don't think the payments affect his unemployment benefits either.

I guess that's enough of the here and there, this and that for now. Just wanted a quick update really.
tvordlj: (Reading Woman)
Last year i read 35 books. This year i've hit over 80 so far and i may reach 90 by the end of the year. That's all thanks to the eReader mainly because i've got back in the habit of reading before bed now and I often read at lunchtime as well as on the bus. Before, i mainly just read on the bus to and from work. With that in mind, book 82 is The Help by Kathryn Stockett. I see a lot of people with the book in their hands, mainly, I guess, because there's been a movie made out of it this year. I've seen that as well. It takes place in the early 1960s in Jackson, Mississippi and is told mainly from the point of view of two black women who are maids for white families and also from the point of view of a young white woman who ends up writing a book about what it's like for the women working for white families, all about their experiences. She learns a lot herself in the process, and starts to question the old segregation traditions which are starting to change as the civil rights movement starts to take hold.

This past weekend was the US Thanksgiving weekend which is also their biggest shopping weekend of the year. Black Friday and now there's Cyber monday where there are big bargains to be had online. Sadly to say that a lot of Canadian retailers are jumping on the bandwagon for the almighty dollar and holding "Black Friday" sales of their own. And equally sadly, i too jumped on the bandwagon and took advantage of a few of the sales online on Monday. I bought two tops from a place with free shipping and bought 3 ebooks from Kobo, with either 50 or 60 % off. Mind you, buying books is never wrong :) I bought another one today using an Amazon gift cert. i had. I'll pick that up on my ipod touch using the free Kindle app. I like to have a few ebooks on that in case my Kobo battery fades on me as it has now and then without me noticing that it had to be recharged.

Still have to get new winter boots. Might go to the mall right after work on Friday before the crowds descend. Am doing up Christmas card labels and i can't find the three books of stamps i know i bought. Anywhere. I think i may have thrown them out with a bag. Doh. I have some leftover stamps so i won't have to repurchase more than a book probably (10 or 12 in a book/folder) plus a few for the US and international. I do try to cut back on my card sending but i still like to send some out. Also need to wrap the two or three presents i have to post. I'll do that this weekend and mail them on Monday. I've got to make something for a bake sale at work on Friday and I've got to make my turtle pecan candy. I have most of my other gifts bought aside from a couple but they're all in hand.
tvordlj: (Christmas Candy Canes)
Had a very nice Christmas. Spent it with my family as always and it was great spending time with my nephews and niece. We had a nice dinner and everything helped out. I made a trifle and that was really good too, with lots of cream and amaretto, strawberries and raspberries. Nom! Christmas night Mom and i went to my aunt's where other family members were visiting as well. It's traditional!

I borrowed Mom's car for a few days and got a load of groceries on Monday. Didn't go out yesterday but i went to the gym this afternoon after my friend D came over for a visit. Went to Bed, Bath and Beyond and didn't get out of there cheaply. I went in looking for the covers they had for the ereaders. They didn't have much left and only one that fit mine so i got that. It's a bit jazzier than the ones Chapters carries for the Kobo. I wanted one so i could take it in my purse or bag and it would be protected. I also got a couple of shelves that go in the cupboard that give you a second surface that you can store stuff on. Like the plates go under it and the sandwich plates go on top of it. Gives me a bit more space. Will organize the cups and mugs with one as well.

Then i took myself to the movies. I went to see Black Swan tonight. Very good movie. It's about a ballerina who is very, very good. Very structured and very controlled but she hasn't got the passion. She is picked to dance the Swan Queen in Swan Lake and the pressure put on her starts to make her crack. You see little things almost from the start of the movie and by the end of it, you're not sure if everything you see that she sees or does really is happening. Natalie Portman plays Nina and she's quite good though i'm sure they had a dance double for her as the full body shots of her dancing were always at enough of a distance that you can't really tell for sure if it's her or not. Barbara Hershey plays her over protective mother. But as the movie progresses you wonder if she's over protective for a good reason. Still, Nina has been kept and coddled like a child, with a child's bedroom and a mother that will even help her undress and take out her earrings.

The movie was filmed mainly with a handheld camera that follows Nina a lot and you wonder if it's "stalking" her, like the demons in her head. I usually don't like that technique but it seemed to really work here.
Obligatory year end meme )
tvordlj: (Christmas Santa Reindeer)
I get the Movieentertainment magazine with my subscription to The Movie Network (pay tv movies) in Canada. In this month's issue was a very tongue in cheek article on predictions for 2011. Here's the full list. The one that had me chuclling the most was "Tom Cruise's latest attempt to regain his popularity will see him on Dancing with the Stars. Defying all industry predictions, it will turn out to be the lowest-rated episode ever." Ha.  Oh and "The list of superheroes to base movies on will become distressingly thin. Tobey Maguire will vow to make people forget Spider-Man when he accepts the role of Mighty Mouse, directed by Ridley Scott." *snork* I can picture it, too!

Actress Emmy Rossum is playing Fiona in the American version of Shameless, starting up in January. Even though the trailer gives me a lot of serious doubts, i think she might be the one bright spot in it. She's the only one on the brief glimpse in the trailer that looks like she really suits the part so far.

Had a lovely meal at Moxie's last night with my friend D. and we exchanged gifts. She gave me a really pretty floral brooch in coral shades with sparklies. I'll have to take a pic of it. Our meal was good, and as always, i shouldn't have had dessert because i was so full after! She's got a Sony ebook reader so we're going to get together next week and i'll give her that ebook library i've got.

Really looking forward to spending time with my family over Christmas. I stay over at Mom's for a couple of nights and the three kids (I say "kids" because it's easier to say than "my nephews and niece" but they aren't kids anymore really. They're adults and lovely ones, too!) anyway the kids stay over as well for Christmas morning. Well, two of them live there already but the third comes as well. It's nice to get up on Christmas morning to a houseful! We can't open presents until sis and R. get there, though, so it's breakfast first and then sitting looking longingly at the gifts under the tree, while texting L. to get her to hurry up!
tvordlj: (Default)
Didn't do that interview after all and now i hear they're interviewing a friend  of mine tomorrow for something on the news about Corrie tomorrow night. Not surprised, though, as  she lives up near Toronto so it's more convenient for CBC plus they do prefer to forget the rest of the country ;) that's not really fair, i know. I don't mind not being interviewed, really. I was actually on CBC radio a number of years ago talking about Corrie. I got to go to the studio and wear big headphones and everything. That was kind of neat. And the Corrie Crazy documentary is on tomorrow night so i can see the results of the interviews from this summer. I dread it in a way, but i think most of the shots are head and shoulders which i don't mind (aside from the wrinkles and grey roots!)  except the ping stuff where i'm on stage talking about the show. *shudder* I knew the job was dangerous when i took it!

The office elves are decorating today, there's glitter, tinsel, shiny balls hanging from the ceiling, all manner of Christmas tat being fixed to walls and i think they are going to put up our little tree too. Next Friday (17th) is the office Christmas party, a catered lunch i think and an afternoon of relaxation somewhere. No booze on company time, but there will be pubbage after business hours.

Coronation Street turns 50 years tomorrow and all week there's a huge, literally explosive storyline airing every night. A Tram crashed off the viaduct bridge and turned the corner shop and the newsagent, the Kabin, into rubble and the bar under the bridge is destroyed too. People are trapped, or missing. The rescue is ongoing. By Thursday i think most will be out from under and the hospital vigil begins. The ads say 4 will die and there will be a wedding as well. I contribute to a blog with a team of writers but i also have my own Corrie blogs, one for Canadians as we're 10 months behind in the storyline and one for the UK timeline where i'm blogging my thoughts about each night's episode this week. Any fans out there can read it here.
tvordlj: (Default)
Taking a break from decorating my Christmas tree to write about a local telethon called Christmas Daddies. This organization grew out of a conversation in a pub back in the 60s where a group of friends, businessmen, decided to raise some funds to help give local kids who were from underpriviledged families a proper Christmas. It started out as a local telethon on a local station and has grown over the years to a telethon that airs in all the eastern provinces, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. They feature local talent, school choirs, people singing and dancing. Some are professional performers or celebrities that donate their time and some are amateurs. Lots of schools have penny drives and bake sales. There are competitions between businesses. They have auctions. There's one auction on a little yellow rubber duck that has been auctioned off every year for over 30 years or more. The Navy Divers run long distance today and collect money along their route all the way to the studio in Halifax. I remember watching this telethon when i was a kid, it started in 1964 and is always on the first Sunday of December. I can remember being out with my family, cutting a tree down in the woods behind my aunt's house in the country, coming home and cuddling under a blanket with some hot choc and watching the telethon. There is a phone line for donations (1-877-947-2010) or there is a website for secure donations as well. You see the names of people who have donated being shown on the screen all during the telethon and many donate in memory of someone. I've donated quite a few times and this year it's in memory of Dad, Uncle Keith and Eddie.

The entertainment isn't always top of the line and is sometimes kind of funny but everyone does it to help raise money so who cares if they're singing off a little or are dressed in silly Christmas sweaters and things! The show is a lot more polished than it used to be, for sure, but the end result is the same. They bring Christmas to a lot of families via the Salvation Army that wouldn't have it.
tvordlj: (Christmas Santa Reindeer)
Mom and i went to the Metro Centre yesterday to see a touring production of Mamma Mia and we really enjoyed it! This was my early Christmas present to her. I've never seen it on stage before so i don't know if the set is similar to a permanent stage but it was minimalist, with two pieces of "walls" that spin around depending on whether you are outside the taverna or inside, with appropriate other ephemera like tables and chairs or a bed to indicate where you are.  The stage lighting was nice too. The show and plot were as expected and having seen the film, there were only a couple of songs/scenes that were different. It was nice that the three men cast in the father roles could actually sing! The three in the movie were not really very good and even the "best of them" Pierce Brosnan looked as if it was a struggle for him. Meryl Streep wasn't tooooo bad but the actress in this production was wonderful. There's always a difference in the acting style for stage, having broader gestures and the like but it was fun!

Another difference is that all the actors are, i believe, wired for microphones and it always gives me the feeling that they are not really saying the words, but are mouthing or gesturing to a pre recorded audio track which they are not doing of course. But sitting far enough away that you can't see if they're speaking in tandem with the words you're hearing so that's probably why it had that somewhat artificial feeling. I'm not being picky, it was just a strange sensation and i've noticed it in proper permanent theatre productions too. They're all wired into the sound system now rather than having to project and strain so it must be easier on their voices in the long run.

anyway, it was fun and bouncy and very enjoyable as far as the play went. I'm not really very comfortable in the seats in the Metro Centre as there's not much leg room and my knees or shins are pressing against the backs of the seats in front of me.

The rest of the weekend was fine. We did a bit of shopping on Saturday and treated ourselves to Chinese food for lunch at Fan's in Dartmouth and the food there is always top. This weekend i'm going to get my Christmas tree put up. That's always a chore because i always get the lights plugged into the wrong spots but at least i don't have to struggle to put the lights on or off the tree anymore. They're all wired onto it already. Also this weekend is the annual Christmas Daddies telethon where quite a lot of money is raised to bring Christmas to underprivileged kids in the Maritime provinces. The telethon features lots of local entertainment, school groups etc. Some of it's good, some not so good but it's all fun and all part of the tradition. People donate their time and money to help out and that's the main thing.

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