tvordlj: (Default)
 Welcome to May. Facebook is littered with those stupid Star Wars Day  memes. Every year, the same damn thing. I'm not going to repeat it so if on the off chance you don't know what that is, go look there :) 

There was supposed to be a baby shower for my niece on Saturday but she's had a bit of a crisis and is in hospital. She started losing amniotic fluid yesterday and my sister took her over to the maternity hospital pronto. They're keeping her for 72 hours and giving her stuff that might prevent her from going into labour and giving her steroids to encourage strong lungs in the baby in case she does. She's 31 weeks along and they say the baby weighs about 3.5 pounds. Her sister-in-law had a preemie even younger than that last year and the little fella made it through. They're going to put her on strict bed rest and hope to keep the baby inside as long as they can. Seems likely she won't go full term to July though. Needless to say the shower has been postponed. The cookies I'd ordered were already made but the woman said she'll feed them to her grandkids and make more later when we do go ahead with it. I thought she could just pop them in the freezer but she prefers to remake fresh which is nice of her. 

Yes we did get the Hawaii package booked and now I'm looking at hotels for Vancouver. Booked the airport one already. My cousin invited us to stay with them so I think what we'll do is stay in a hotel for the first few days in the city and go to her on the last two and maybe she can take us to the airport when we go to Hawaii. Or at least to the skytrain where we can change to the airport line in the city centre. Another friend in Victoria wants us to stay there as well. I can coordinate that with my aunt and uncle's dates, a few with them and then a night or two with my friend. That way, we aren't imposing on any individual too long and we still have some hotel time for our own privacy as well. 

Our second anniversary is next week but as it's a weekday, maybe we will do something on the weekend though I hear we're in for torrential rains so it might be prudent to wait and see. It's gorgeous out today but the forecast shows rain for the next week. Ah, spring. 

The series for The Handmaid's Tale has started. I have seen the first episode but not the second. They broadcast two on the premiere night and it will be once a week after that. So far, so good. I recently reread it and it was all pretty new because it's been decades since I've read it and quite a long time since I saw the movie that was made from it, too. I like the series so far and even G. watched it with me and thought it was ok. Not usually his sort of thing but he was interested enough. But for our mealtime tv watching last night, he was far more interested in the latest Gotham which I do enjoy as well. I saw something yesterday, though, that there was approval for a second series of Handmaid's Tale. Wtf? How they would be doing another series from the one book, unless someone's going to write  a sequel, I don't know. Having said that, I did hear rumours that Margaret Atwood may be doing just that so we'd finally get to know what happened to Offred after the end of the book/movie. 
tvordlj: (Meez avatar)
I don't really have a particular favourite type of movie. A lot of the time, it will depend on what kind of mood I'm in. I do tend not to like horror movies, at least not the bloody slasher type. I have liked some, Alien for instance. Brilliant movie. Hauntings, zombies, monsters, blood and guts, not as much. I'm not a huge fan of cgi though it's a necessary thing these days. Sometimes it's done quite well, I admit, and background modifications and things are ok. Even actor modifications can be good. I liked that Golum was a real actor and then digitized to skew his body. The end product felt more realistic. I dislike fully digitized bodies flipping around, fighting cgi monsters etc. I might as well be watching a video game. I know, how else are they going to do it? Still doesn't mean I have to like it much. I bet it's more challenging for the actors to get their reactions when they're acting against a green wall.

It was a surprise to me, therefore, when I was watching a short interview the other day with Samuel L Jackson, who is da motherfucking BOMB, by the way, He's promoting Kong: Skull Island and they showed bits of the film in between bits of the interview and I thought, holy hannah, that actually looks pretty impressive. We went to a movie a few weeks ago for my birthday, Hidden Figures which had no monsters, no car crashes, no guns, but G. liked it. Probably not as much as I did but it kept his interest. We have different likes for movies and it's not always easy to find something to go see that we will both enjoy. When I went home, I told him about the interview and clips from the movie. He got it. "Annnnnnddddddd....." he said, his little face starting to look ever so hopeful. "Are you telling me........." Yes, Yes I think I would like to see it. I made his day! He figured he'd have to wait for it to come out on DVD to see it/rent it/download it and I would have watched it at home likely if that had been how it went. We're going to go see it tomorrow on the big screen though not in 3D because neither of us is overly keen on that. I have to draw the line somewhere! (I do go to see 3D if it's something like Star Wars/Trek or if we can't see it any other way.)

There's another sci fi movie coming out next week called Ghost in the Shell with Scarlett Johansson. She's some sort of manufactured warrior. Looks like it is probably based on some Manga or something like that. Definitely Japanese in origin. Very heavy cgi all around and a lot of action. IT's a "maybe".

In other news, we're having a family meal out on Sunday. One of my nephews organized it, saying he's going off on vacation in a week and  we haven't all seen each other in awhile. That makes me suspicious. We have all just had a tri-birthday get together about a month ago and he never usually organizes family meals off the cuff like this. I shall be half expecting some sort of announcement, which, since it would be done in public, will probably be something that will make us all very happy. I don't want to be specific just in case i'm wrong or it might be jinxed. Stay tuned. 
tvordlj: (Reading Woman)
I'm currently reading a quirky little book right now called Tooth and Claw. (by Jo Walton) It's all about family, two brothers and three sisters who lose their father and then have to contend with expections, dowries, law suits, love and betrayal. The quirk is that they're all dragons who eat their dead, the infirm and sometimes their young because that's how they get larger and stronger while servants have their wings bound and parsons bind their by choice. young virgin females have gold scales that go pink when they aren't any more and get redder and redder with each clutch of eggs they hatch. They become grey scaled when they're very old. The society rules are old fashioned but it's very inventive. Liking it a lot so far.

Books have always been in my life and I cannot imagine life without them. eBooks have been a godsend, now I always have something to read. I have been borrowing ebooks from the library using either Adobe Digital Editions to put them on my ereader or through an app called Overdrive. I've just discovered Open Library, an online library from where you can also borrow books in epub or PDF format or they also source the book in real libraries and link to various places you can buy a copy, hard copy or e-copy since I don't think they lend out kindle format books. I don't think Kindle will read epubs yet, right? My Kobo will read mobi format which is Kindle though I did have one that wouldn't work. It might have been DRM locked possibly. If i find a book that's only in mobi format I can convert it using Calibre anyway. You can go the other way and convert an epub to mobi and load it on the Kindle through the probram (Calibre that is).

Quite pleased to find it because i was looking for a copy of The Diviners by Margaret Laurence which is an older book and one that i need to read for a Goodreads monthly group read this month. My library hasn't had it available and yes, I could go to the library and see if they have a physical copy but i do prefer e-books. All the ones for sale were a stupidly ridiculous price which makes no sense as it's a good 40 or 50 years old. Someone pointed me in the direction of Open Library and they have it though I'll have to download it from home because I don't have ADE here at work. Or do i? Nope. Thought i might have had to install it for a course last year.

Long weekend this weekend. No plans. No decent movies on either.

My cousin is getting married today and the weather looks decent so far. Not sure when they're doing it. It's a very small, immediate family only ceremony. They're heading to Barbados tomorrow for a week and having a big party later in the month. He lost his wife suddenly nearly three years ago in December. He met this new lady through a Facebook group for people that grew up in Dartmouth and they were both at Dartmouth High School at the same time though I think she was a year behind. She offered the hand of friendship after his wife died with no intentions of more than that but it grew. Yes, they faced some disapproval due to it being less than 6 months after his wife died but she's proven to be a really nice, very genuine person and they have been very happy together. His adult children have accepted her from the start and they're the only ones whose opinions really matter. They're happy he's happy. I liked her immediately AND she's a Coronation Street fan!

2016 books )
tvordlj: (Meez avatar)
There's a reason i never had kids. Well, there's lots of reasons but yesterday was a reminder. I went to a baby shower for a cousin (first cousin once removed, actually). They are having family parties now for baby showers and that's ok, they are young and all their friends have little ones so it's easier if you can bring your children rather than find sitters. They had activities and stuff for the kids to play with. There were 5 or 6 of them under 4 years old. Oh. My. God. Mostly they were ok, excited and a bit loud but that's like any group of people, young or old. I'm used to that in our family! Our family get together decibel level is something akin to three running cars each with a serious muffler problem! ;))) I love them all, really.

Anyway, I find that in any group of little ones, there's always one screamer. You know. That one kid that gets really excited/tempermental/hopped up on sugar and screams at the top of his voice. *shudder* My first cousin, the grandfather of the new baby due in September says that kind of thing (Party, excited and screaming children) is the best birth control ever! I doubt that, since there were also two other pregnant women there in addition to the mom-to-be that's due in a few weeks! Most of the kids were fine, and there was an infant as well to coo over. I love babies (because I can give them back!).

The theme of the shower was bees. The first time around, two years ago, everything was Hello Kitty. I think bees and the bright yellow is much more cheerful. One little girl wore a yellow dress with a netting skirt and yellow and black striped top, and it had little wings and a stinger on the back of it! It was pretty cute, I have to say.

Yeah. You know you're getting older when all the new baby pics on your Facebook feed are your friends' grandchildren! Life goes on. I never had kids and didn't want them. Don't really feel I missed out. I have two nephews and a niece, grown adults now and I can reliably brag that I am their favourite aunt of the two they have. (the other is their father's sister). The daughter of my best friend was also close when she was growing up. All four are awesome adults and were great kids.Of the four, I think maybe only one will end up being a parent, my niece who has every intention of getting pregnant in the next year or so. She's finally got a full time job as a dietician after covering maternity leaves since she left university. She can now have the security of a job waiting for her after her own maternity leave.

Changing the subject, just note to self: I must get some photos printed. I have a large frame with a variety of spots for the wedding photos and I do want to bring to the UK an enlargement for my new sister-in-law so i should get all that done before i go rather than have to post it. Or I'll get G. to do it since their paper sizes are slightly different than ours. A4 size is a little bigger than our 8x10 but I think i can still get an 8x10 frame over there so nah, I will do it myself here. Costco, I think. 
tvordlj: (Meez avatar)
There's a sign in the mall for one of the hair salons saying they have a "happy hour" deal, $19.99 for a blow dry. I assumed this might mean a trim and blow dry but no, they just want 20 dollars, and that's the "on sale" happy hour deal, to wash and dry your hair. Bizarre. Though I suppose if you had a lot of hair or a special event to go to, you might take advantage of that service. Boggles my mind. However, on further inquiry, they will wet (not shampoo), trim and dry my short hair for 5 dollars more. A shampoo would cost me an extra 10 dollars on the total cost of the haircut. Ladies of my grandmother's era would make a weekly appointment to get their hair "set" and styled, because they would spend a lot of time putting their hair in rollers when they did it themselves. They'd get a set (maybe a trim and shampoo as well), with loads of hair spray and it would do them all week. My white haired Gram would have a tint of blue or purple put in her hair, which is supposed to stop your white hair from looking yellowed but instead, she'd have blue or purpleish hair long before it was funk-chic to have that! My other grandmother was a hairdresser so she did all of this for all the other older ladies! She had a chair in the front living area of her house with a little waiting area to one side.

Did I mention the crack in my kitchen cupboard ceiling came back? I noticed it in the summer. I called about it a few weeks ago, didn't hear anything. Called and left a message last week, I think, and still nothing but I got hold of the building manager today and he said they'd been up on the roof two days ago so now they had to wait and see if they fixed it i.e. if i got more water in my kitchen! If I'm dry (we're supposed to get a heavy rain tomorrow, it's raining a little today but i don't always get leaky if it's not heavy) then they can re-patch the ceiling. tsk. I am, or my ceiling is,  the weakest link.
tvordlj: (Corrie)
ITV has moved their production from the old Granada Studios location in Manchester city centre to a new media centre in Salford, they've rebuilt all the Coronation Street sets inside and out. The old location is probably going to be torn down and redeveloped. Everyone was hoping the outside Corrie set would be taken on by the Museum of Science and Industry next door but they aren't going to do it. However, between April and early October, whoever it is that bought the property has set up a tour. You can buy tickets and they will take people around in groups on a timed-entry basis. You will see backstage sets, hear stories, and have time out on the cobbled outdoor street set. Tickets went on sale yesterday so you know i got some! I have been lucky to have been able to visit the set four times already, twice backstage but I would never pass up the opportunity to go again. I may never get the chance to visit the new set (thought never say never! knock on wood!) but this is the last chance to see the old set.

The Downeast Streeters are hosting the actor that plays Dev Alahan in April, but I'll be in the UK. It'll be the first of the shows here that i will miss. A bit disappointing but i'd rather be with Graham so i'm not all that bothered. Still, i booked the tour of the set for the date that the event would be held here in Halifax :) Might as well be doing something Corrie-related on the day.

Graham's dad had a bit of a spell the other night. He'd not been feeling all that well for about a week and, being stubborn, didn't tell anyone. But he got up, went to sit back down again because he was feeling off and missed his chair, slid to the floor and couldn't get up. Graham and his dad's carer couldn't get him back up so they called an ambulance. They did keep him in a couple of nights and he's coming home today. They said he had a bit of a chest infection. He's 86, nearly 87 and he has COPD which is a lung disease. This appears to be a flare up. He always says he'll make sure to get to the doctor if he starts feeling ill but he doesn't. He has a thingy on a chain that he's supposed to wear around his neck in case he does fall while alone and he doesn't wear that either. His carer is in and out through the day, but still... He's so stubborn and I think it's also hard for him to accept that he just doesn't have the mobility and health that he used to have.
tvordlj: (Meez avatar)
Driving feels good. Even though i don't do much of it, now that i'm allowed to do it again, yes, it's a good thing! Even so, I took my mom to the airport with me today anyway.

Graham is finally here and is snoring in the bedroom. He'd been up for over 24 hours. I know what that feels like and you get to the point where you almost feel drunk, you're so tired. I'll get him up in a little while though, then we'll order our traditional first night take out.

My uncle passed away the other night. He was 91 and it had been expected. He'd been failing and had prostate cancer I think. His daughter lives here and both sons live away. One had come for his birthday last week and stayed and my uncle held on until his other son arrived, dying about an hour later. They think he knew M. was there though, he raised an eyebrow when M. spoke to him. He didn't want any funeral or fuss but they're having a memorial service at the end of the month for him. This was Dad's oldest brother. There is only one brother and one sister left from his siblings.

Ever since my nephew J. moved out of Mom's house, she has been talkng about getting a phone that can text. Her old one probably could but it's the type you'd have to click each button multiple times to make a letter and I'm not even sure her account was set up for it anyway. She says that texting will be the only way she'll be able to get his attention since his head is always in his phone or iPad! She wanted an on screen keyboard, not one with those little keys like a Blackberry or the slide out keyboard. She wouldn't really have a lot of use for most of the functionality of a smart phone but we went yesterday and looked at the ones that were available for no money with her contract, with the basic plan available for smart phones. It's probably double and a bit what she's paying now but it does have one bonus in that it has free Canadian long distance in the evenings and weekends. She likes the app I have for making lists so once we get her set up and figure out her gmail password, we can get that for her. Can also import her gmail contacts and she can add the phone numbers. She'd opened a gmail because she couldn't get into her regular email when she got the laptop at christmas but got the IP provider's help so went back to what she was used to. The gmail was still out there.

Anyway. I am also putting a lot of music on a micro card so that she can listen to it when she goes walking or is in bed at night. I know she'll like that.

And so the helpdesk support is open again. ;) Last night she called and said she could hear whistling. Was that her phone? Well I don't know! But it probably is. Turns out that yes that was the ringtone for her text message system.  It's going to take awhile to get used to the phone and using it but my other nephew lives with her so he'll be on site to help lol Oh, she got an older model Samsung Galaxy I think, so it's an Android OS. The lowest model of iPhone they had was only free if she went on the 70 dollar a month plan!!! That's a blatant rip off, I would say. the basic smartphone plan is a little over half that. It's not as if an iPhone really does anything different than an Android system phone.
tvordlj: (Meez avatar)
Ace music in Starbuck's this morning. Roxy Music and then something bluesy by Clapton. Busted teabag had little loose leaf floaters so i traded it for another. The barristas at my local are all very nice and now they wear name tags so i can thank them by name.

It was nice to be able to stay home yesterday and work from home. A storm was forecast and though we didn't get it as bad as predicted, we don't usually, the morning commute would have been difficult and my bus didn't seem to be forthcoming around the time i usually get it. I'd taken my laptop home just in case after verifying with my manager it would be ok. I seem to get more work done too and not just because there are no distractions. I think it's more because i feel guiltier if i slack off!

Spring in Canada.... don't expect the grass to go green and the sun to come out. There are more birds around, i can hear them in the morning when i wait for the bus. I wonder where they go when it snows. Gonna get more flurries scattered over the next few days too.

My gorgeous niece got another job. She's a dietician but it's difficult to get full time permanent work round here. She's been lucky to get sequential maternity leave covers since she graduated and this one is another of that. This one will also have management experience so that will be very good for her resume. She gets the highest of recommendations and she is so confident and enthusiastic in interviews that she always wows them. Both of my nephews and my niece are awesome!

Game of Thrones and Doctor Who both start up again on the same weekend, Easter. Can media life get any better than this?

Corrie has been good this week. They've set the pub aflame and there have been lots of exciting scenes and a few really horribly acted ones by one actor as predicted. The rest is good, though. The studio is going to be moving to a new location either end of this year or sometime next year and I guess they also want to spruce up the pub set in preparation. It's going to be interesting really. Currently the outdoor street set is 1/3 smaller than a normal street. Narrower, smaller buildings etc. Actors have to walk slower or they'll get down the road too quickly, doors are a little shorter but most of the actors are small anyway. They use creative camera angles to make it look the proper size. At the new location, the outdoor set will be full sized though i do wonder if they'll make the doors shorter as they are now just so the actors don't look like hobbits going in and out of the buildings.
tvordlj: (Movies)
Been a good weekend so far. I like when that happens. Most weekends, especially through the winter, I don't do very much unless Mom and I go out shopping somewhere. Friday was a day off and my cousin came over to help me put the book case together that Mom gave me for my birthday. There's two small bullet like bits missing, not sure what happened as we counted them all and there was the required number. They're the bits that stick in the holes that let you put the adjustable shelves where you want them. I can use something else i'm sure if i can't find them in the carpet or on a side table somewhere.

Yesterday my friend Denise and I went to a movie and lunch. There's a little cafe in a hotel near a retail area, the Redwood Grill and it's quite good. Not an extensive menu and the food is all ordinary stuff like sandwiches, burgers, salads but it's quite tasty. The movie we saw was Quartet and we both really enjoyed it. It's about a retirement home for musicians in England, it looked like it might have been in the Cotswolds, or at least the scene or two shot in the village nearby was similar. The time of year was autumn, with some leaves already off the trees. Some beautiful sunsets. All very symbolic of the later years in life, I think.

Every year there is a musical gala put on by the seniors to raise money to help keep the home open. The planning is underway for this year's gala, organized and directed by the character played by Michael Gambon, late of Dumbledore fame. He's marvellous as the diva-like Cedric (pronounced See-dric don't you know!). He despairs of some of his performers but pulls it all together in the end. Three of the residents were part of a famed quartet of opera singers whose best work has just been re-released on CD, a Verdi piece. Into the home comes Maggie Smith whose character, Jean, is feeling old and defeated, her fame long gone. Turns out her ex husband is living in the home and is not happy to see her at all. She hurt him very much and he's reluctant to accept her apologies so many years later.

Her other friends, played by Pauline Collins and Billy Connolly, talk she and her ex husband (played by Tom Courtenay) into performing the quartet for the gala.

The movie is a gentle ensemble movie. The comedy comes from the lines, the looks, a lot of it from Billy Connolly but not in his usual vigorous manner. They are all people in their 70s and up and experiencing the aches, pains, and illnesses of age, an old age not for sissies, as they say. Pauline Colins' character seems to be experiencing dementia or Alzheimers at times. Billy's character is an old scally wag, flirts with anything in skirts and could charm the birds out of the trees. Tom's character is more reserved, still nursing his pain from all those years ago. Maggie's Jean is coming to terms with age and her confidence is in the toilet, she'd had to end her career due to crippling stage fright that came on as she got older. She get some great lines in as only she can.

A lot of the cast is made up of musicians and actors from very presigious origins, we see this as the end credits roll. I really enjoyed the movie. It might not be for everyone but I would recommend it anyway.

Today my aunt and i will have a little party at my mom's. Her birthday is tomorrow so we've often shared our celebrations over the years.
tvordlj: (Reading Woman)
Work's going ok. Cracked a problem yesterday with some help. It wasn't anything I was doing wrong, it was a problem with a connection from one server to another and it had to be done using a direct IP address instead of a server name. Have got quite a lot of requests on the board which is good plus a fwe other ongling projects. Training on Mondays to learn html5, css3 and PHP programming, also going well.

Mom's birthday was the 17th and we had a family party for her. We went together and bought her  Keurig coffee maker, similar to the popular Tassimo that uses a little pod or cup and makes one cup of beverage at a time. Everyone seems to be getting them and she wanted one. They're best for coffee though they do make tea and other things but for tea, I still find boiling the kettle is the best. I don't expect I'll get one until G. and i are living in the same apartment since he's a coffee drinker. My nephew's birthday was yesterday and we had another family get together on Sunday for that. Gave him the reusable filter for his Keurig that he got at Christmas. My birthday is this weekend and yet another family get together for that. My aunt's is the day after and we will have a joint party which is nice. My cousin, the one that lost his wife recently is coming over to my place on Friday to help me put my birthday bookcase together. I have to stop off and get some groceries because i promised to cook!

Also this weekend, my friend and i are going to a movie, possibly Quartet which looks wonderful. It's about a senior citizen's home for retired musicians. The ex-wife of one of them arrives and there's all sorts of friction while they are trying to put on a recital. Great ensemble cast including Pauline Collins, Maggie Smith, Billy Connolly, Tom Courtenay, Michael Gambon and Andrew Sachs (That's the guy that played Manuel in Fawlty Towers!)

This is the first year i watched none of the Oscars. Usually I watch the first hour or so but i just didn't bother for some reason. I did record it and i might FF through some of it over the weekend just to see some of the musical performances and the dresses, of course! I didn't see any of the nominated best movies this year. I'm not sure what it says when I can only say I've seen four of the five nominated animated movies! Pretty much everything else that was nominated for anything I also didn't see. Last year was not a year that i managed to get to see that much in the theatres though i did download a number of films.

I've been struggling to keep up with various tv series that i've been following, mostly British things including Utopia, Being Human, Mr. Selfridge, Ripper Street, US Shameless, Big Bang Theory, and soon Grimm will be back, also Game of Thrones. On top of that is my daily Corrie and Young and Restless as well as UK Corrie. Something has to give!

Now to catch up on 2013 books below the cut
Read more... )
tvordlj: (Meez avatar)
Morses TeaWe had a nice family meal yesterday a Baton Rouge, a newish restaurant downtown Halifax. They built it in an old warehouse building that used to house Morse's Tea and there had been a big sign on the side of that building long after it's demise. The restaurant owners, I think, recently covered over the sign and a lot of people were upset about it, as it was a kind of landmark as you can see here.

Anyway, the restaurant is really nice and the food was superb. In spite of the name, it's not really a "cajun" themed restaurant although there were a small number of that sort of food on the menu. They seem to specialize in ribs though i had a lovely piece of salmon with a fruit salsa on it. I found the prices a little on the high side but then I don't think they were out of range for the type of restaurant that it is. I just don't usually go to places that are above the "casual" type. They did have a set menu choice which is what I had which was  pretty good value for $25, a started of either soup or salad, three choices of entree, and two desserts you could pick from and I think they had a Prime Rib special as well.

The dinner was in celebration of Mom's birthday yesterday and we went back to the house for dessert. We all chipped in and got her a keurig coffee machine, something that's been quite popular lately and she's been wanting one and hinting strongly. She's been getting more into coffee than tea lately so she'll get good use out of it. I was able to get her the top of the line model at Costco and it came with 5 boxes of coffee "K-Cups" and a reusable filter so she can use her own ground coffee in it which is much cheaper. The price for it all was the same as you would normally pay for the same model on its own elsewhere. Usually I think they do come with a box or two of coffee but the filter alone usually sells for about $20 so it was a good deal. It's not something I would get mainly because i don't drink coffee too much but when Graham moves here eventually, it might be a good thing to get as he does drink it. Maybe we'll put it on the wedding present list.
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: (Lady)
I can has new pots and pans!
For the first time in about 30 years I've bought a whole matching set of Cuisinart pots, stainless steel (not the kind that has non stick lining as i find they wear). Three sizes of pot with glass lids that fit down inside them but with steam vents, a high sided "dutch oven" which though it's taller than my current one, is not really bigger since it actually can sit inside the other one. I think it probably holds about the same amount, just taller and a bit narrower. I'm not getting rid of my old one because it's good to keep a spare. I have one even older that's being turfed. There's also a nice stainless steel frying pan as well. Not getting rid of two others i have as they're bigger and higher sided than the one that came with the set. There's also a steamer about which I'm excited because if I want to steam something now i have to fit the metal colander into a pot and balance a pot lid over it. It doesn't work all that well but it's all i have. This will be ace! I'm keeping two pots I have though, because it's a double boiler set and I use it at least at Christmas for melting chocolate when i make Turtles. The other pot and a few small ones are going out along with the older large one and a frying pan.

I also bought a new coffee grinder, something else I don't use a lot but it's nice when i want it. They were on sale for 15.99 so that's good for something that isn't used all the time. What else.. oh I got a frame for a triple print I'd bought in Rome, a matte with three bright watercolours of Italian cafes. The matte is a bit creased from travel but in the frame it looks ok. It's slightly smaller than the matte that came with the frame but that is white and the prints look much better with the black matte. The frame itself is black too so i put the matte i bought with the prints on top of the white one, and used a black marker to cover the white edges. Looks nice! I'll have to hang it tomorrow. Bought an album for those extra large photos i had printed, too.

We had some awful news this week. My cousin's wife was on her way to work Wednesday morning and must have felt quite ill because she drove herself to the hospital but collapsed in the parking lot. Apparently she died but they resussitated her. She's still in ICU and they aren't giving out a lot of hope but there is a small chance she can come out of it. I don't know, though and every time the phone rings, I think that's *the* call. She's a year younger than me. They don't really know what happened though are leaning to a heart "event" though it could have been a stroke or aneurism that hasn't shown up on the tests yet. It's been such a shock to the family.

Things like that really shake you up. You realize you really have very little control, and it really can happen that fast, with no warning. She had an inner ear disease but as far as I know, no major health issues and she never smoked either. It makes you angry too because it just isn't fair and it isn't right.

My niece and her fiance have bought a house! They're so excited! They had an offer accepted early this week and their closing is January 7. It's a semidetached with three bedrooms, the bedrooms being below instead of upstairs. She's been living with Mom for 5 or 6 years though spending most nights with him at his mother's house so they will finally have privacy and a place of their own. I think they've set the wedding day for the summer after next. We're all excited for them! One of my nephews is heading to Paris with his fella in March. First time he's been overseas. I must ask why his choice was Paris? I do know he's bilingual but I also know he would love to go to England too. Paris is a great choice for the first time to Europe, though. He'll love it! I must dig out my guide books and maps and things to inspire him!
tvordlj: (Default)
Had a nice weekend even with an "oops" element.
Got home Friday and saw that my curtain rod is back up, Yay! I thought the fellow was coming in yesterday to do the final sanding. He didn't show up while i was home so when i got back, i put my curtains up. If he does show up, fine, if they're in his way, too bad. They'll have to come down again when they come to do the painting but they'll put a notice under the door first and i can do it then. It's just nice to have them up and closed! I leave them open more in the evenings in summer to let the air through but in winter, where it's dark so early, i like them closed. It also keeps the heat in better.

Saturday, my Aunt Bonnie had a group of the women relatives to hers for a lunch. She does a seafood chowder and some sandwiches (with the crusts cut off of course!) and a nice dessert. There were aunties, cousins and children of cousins, wives of cousins, all related in some way, either by blood or marraige. It's also nice that a few of the younger group come too. It's good that they can get a sense of family as a whole as well. The family is shrinking as the oldest generation passes on and the next group doesn't seem to get together as often. When my grandparents were alive, there was always at least one a year in summer where quite a large group would descend for a birthday or something. But after they died, and many of their children are now gone, you don't see those numbers except at funerals. Little pockets of family get togethers do connect some of us though like this ladies' lunch :)

Sunday, my mom and niece and i made our annual trek to the Chapters bookstore to spend our Christmas gift cards and hang out in Starbucks for awhile. Our family are readers and when my sister had kids, my mother was determined at least one of them would be too. The boys (young men, now) are not readers so much, not like we women are (my dad was an avid reader too) but my niece is taking up the mantle and likes to read. I said, in my mother's "voice" "At least one of my grandchildren are going to love books or my name isn't N. J.!!!" She's succeeded!

She and I went to my cousin's apartment after that. She's just moved into a new apartment right around the corner from me. She planned to have a New Year's Day party ("levee") but cancelled it because she'd only just moved in. She said to me it will be next weekend (i.e. this one past). Ok. We showed up at the allotted time as per last Sunday's party, 2 p.m.. To find... nobody. She had the party yesterday and wondered why we weren't there! I don't think she told me Saturday, just "next weekend instead" and I guess I assumed same day, next weekend. Cross purposes. Never mind, we had a nice visit with her and her sister who was there helping with the clean up duty. I went home after, hung my curtains and did laundry.

Back to work today, going to the gym after work, gotta remember to buy orange juice on the way home. I hate it when i'm out. Gotta go mail something now and get some lunch.
tvordlj: (Default)
The happy couple

The wedding was really nice! [livejournal.com profile] sammantha and Rick got married yesterday under sunny blue skies and gentle breezes. There was a marquee type tent in the back yard of Rick's son's house. The daughter-in-law did all the decorations and it all looked lovely.

The ceremony was short, just the basics. There was a toast to the bride by our cousin Barry and one to the groom by his brother-in-law. There were about 35 guests, mostly family with a couple of friends and all lovely people. All four little ones were well behaved and adorable to watch.

Sis looked beautiful and Rick looked great and he even smiled for some of the photos and didn't grumble too much about the photos!

There are more pictures here on Facebook.
tvordlj: (Default)
We're thinking of going to Rome next spring so of course i'm already looking at hotels. We were going to stay three nights but maybe will stay a fourth and do a day trip to Pompeii. Graham has not been to Italy at all though i have and he really does fancy seeing Rome and the ruins. There's lots of choice for hotels at least so it's a matter of picking one, probably in the walkable vicinity of the train station so if anyone has any reccomendations, please let me know. Price range up to 150 Euros if poss. Definitely not more than 200.

Lovely weekend. Weather wise it was hit and miss. 50/50. Saturday it rained alllllll day. So much for "Scattered showers"! But luckily by the time i did have to go out it had more or less stopped. [livejournal.com profile] sammantha had her birthday party at her house for the family. Rick did some lovely bbq chickens on a spit plus some jumbo hot dots, veggies, fruit and Mom and I got a cake and brought that. I took the car home overnight and then picked up Mom and my auntie on Sunday.

We were heading out to the country for an anniversary party. I say "country", it used to be, but it's grown up a lot with lots more houses and a couple of subdivisions off the road. This is the community where my grandparents had a small cottage, or "camp" and several other relatives lived on the road as well. A few still do and that's where the party was. The sun was gloriously warm with a lovely breeze so you didn't mind the heat at all. Nice to see some family members that we don't often see. Unfortunately the ones that do go are fewer and fewer these days as the oldest ones pass on and the next gen and younger don't seem to go as often. Of course there was a lot of guests that were friends and neighbours of the anniversary couple (25th ann.) that i wouldn't know anyway. Very good turnout with 4 or 5 barbeques going and several cooks. Lots of food. My aunt Bonnie cooked 50 pounds of potatoes for salad!! She was giving it away as people were leaving!

This week will be the usual. A work week isn't usually filled with much. Gym after work two days is about the extent of it. Evenings otherwise are spent chatting to my sweetie (53 sleeps!) Next weekend is the start of Halifax Pride week and there's a softball game on Sunday i think, the "Divas and Dykes" game which is always a laugh. The parade is the weekend after. Not sure yet if i'll go. I do like it but year after year makes it feel very "samey" so i prefer to go every few years but they do have an outdoor picnic and concert after which might be good. I didn't go to that last time because i'd been out in the sun for so long that i just needed to go inside and cool off.

Had a lovely chat on the phone to my "bezzie" mate last night. She might be in town for a flying visit at the end of the month, picking up her daughter at the airport so i might get a chance for some face time then.
tvordlj: (Lady)
Friday evening I went for a meal and to see Adjustment Bureau with a friend. We liked the movie which is a bit science fictiony and also has a bit of morality/religious undertone but not so much you feel preached at. It's about free will vs. predestination, Do things happen because we choose them or are the choices already made for us? Yet the path of our lives can still be changed by our own acting on impulses so isn't that also free will? Anyway, it's a Matt Damon movie with Emily Blunt and they were good in the parts of the couple that are followed around by these men in hats that are sort of pseudo angels or something that keep throwing blocks in their way so they can't be together because they aren't supposed to be. Well obviously if it's a love story, they're going to end up together in the end, not really a spoiler because they all end up that way. In fact the ending was a little bit of a fizzle but we didn't mind.

Saturday morning my best friend arrived on my doorstep for a quick birthday visit and she brought me tea! One of the ones i had mentioned to her that i had tried from the sample pack she'd given me for Christmas, the one with chocolate in it and another type that had chocolate, chile and chai. Nom! I had some of that today and it's really good.

Last night i went to a nearby pub for a surprise birthday party for my cousin's 50th. She more or less knew there was something on because she was supposed to go to a coworker's 40th birthday out of town so her family said she had to come back early and told her to dress up. She didn't know where she was going, they picked her up and blindfolded her and drove around awhile before they came to the pub. She was duly "surprised" and very pleased to see everyone, including and especially some out of town relatives that made the journey. I got home about 10 having been there since 5:30 and since someone was leaving and going right by my place, i took the opportunity to get a lift.

Today did not start off well, though. We got word that one of my cousins, a few years older than me, died of a sudden heart attack last night. This would be my mother's sister's oldest daughter. It was quite a shock. Though she'd had a heart problem for years, a couple of leaking valves caused by rheumatic heart when she was young, she'd never had any problems because of it. Apparently she did have some heart racing a few months ago but was thoroughly checked out as ok, and managed to quit smoking after that. It was a shock that she went so quickly but as it was a heart attack, given her history, that wasn't so much of a surprise but there was no reason to suppose she would pass on so young. An awful shock for her immediate family and her husband has been working away in Ontario so he's only just been contacted this afternoon and is on his way back.

I will still be having lunch tomorrow with my cousins and auntie though Mom won't be coming. I think her sister is coming to the house for awhile and she needs to be there for her.
tvordlj: (Default)
I bought a couple of ebooks from the Kobo website this morning and thought i should try the wireless feature. I went down into the shops area where there's a few free wifi spots (Rogers, Starbucks, Second cup) and fired up the reader. It found all the wifi spots and there was no problem connecting at all. Went to the menu for the Kobo site and synced and though it took a few minutes, it popped the new ebooks in no problem. I do think it's a nuisance that it also put on one i'd already read but i think i just need to remove that from the "My Library" listing on the kobo site and it will not re-sync that next time. I think you can do that from the desktop app as well.

I don't have the desktop app installed at work because i don't like to put too many personal types of things on this pc like that and they do frown on it. I have Irfanview on here for photo viewing and i also installed my purchased copy of Paintshop Pro for when i want to do some graphic work. I use Foxit for pdf reading too as it's wayyyy better than Adobe reader. So fast, doesn't always look for updates every time you open it. I also use Firefox which is considered non-standard as well. They're saying when we go to Windows 7 that we might not be allowed to install anything non-standard. I hope that's not true as i would hate having to use IE all the time.

We are approaching our family birthday season. My mom's was last week, my nephew's is this weekend. Mine is next week along with my aunt, then two cousins and two of my best friends by the end of March. There's a 50th birthday party next weekend for one of my second cousins. I think my family will celebrate mine this weekend with my nephew. Our other birthday season is June-July when there's another flurry of birthdays. (Niece, nephew, father-in-law-to-be, sister, friend)
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 )

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