31.10.02 9:11 AM | rabbit rabbit (almost) ]

It was just ever so faintly snowing this morning as I walked into work. And rather than be upset with this sign of the impending winter, I was actually just a wee bit happy. Weird.

Oh, and never buy a costume meant to fit a five year old. My head already hurts from the rabbit ears I'm wearing and the day has only just begun.


29.10.02 2:51 PM | sugar rush ]

As much as the random reorganization of my desk by the cleaners drives me batty, I am glad that they empty the garbage every day. The little halloween candy wrappers pile up pretty quickly.


23.10.02 7:52 PM | fluuuush ]

Seen recently on the web somewhere: "Only dead fish go with the flow"

Seen recently in my apartment: alot of dead fish.

Yeah, I'm having fish tank issues. Andrew, who got his fish tank at the same time as me, has suffered only one fish loss (due to a stupid fish and a smart crayfish). They've also lost one crab, but again, that was due to the stupidity of the crab thinking it could survive a four foot fall.

I, on the other hand, have lost: two angelfish (got terrorized/attacked by the tiger barbs), three gourami (two unexplained deaths, the last one committed suicide and buried itself in the rocks), two tiger barbs (suicide/self burial and attack) and a puffer fish (although it never made it into my care so really it should be counted under Andrew's losses above). My new habit upon entering the apartment is to count my fish.

At first I blamed the barbs finding the angelfish too enticing not to nip. Fine, no more angelfish, they were pretty boring anyway. Then, with the unexplained gourami deaths, I thought maybe my feeshies weren't getting enough oxygen (I was told my filter added air to the water and I wouldn't need an airstone). So I went and bought an air pump and all was good for a few weeks. Then the mysterious self-burials started and I thought maybe I had an aggresive fish that was driving the others to suicide. But the remaining gourami, the only obvious choice since it had grown much larger than the others, is said to be a docile fish. With the latest fish death (r.i.p. tiger barb) the focus has shifted to the puffer. He looks all tame, just swimming around the tank with that grin on his face, but I'm beginning to wonder if he's hiding a deep dark secret. Of course since they're all nice and friendly around me I can't tell if the latest is a case of fin-nipping gone bad (it was missing most of its tail, not just the tailfin) by the tiger barbs, an uncharacteristically agressive gourami, or the innocent looking puffer.

All I can say is, I hope the fish turnover will drop down now. That and I'm *really* glad Andrew was around to fish (no pun intended) the decaying tiger barb out from under the rocks it had buried itself under. With all the others I've caught them the same day so they are freshly dead - this one fell apart when he picked it out.


21.10.02 7:34 PM | grrrrrrrr ]

Bell Sympatico has the worst customer service line I have ever encountered. What should have been a five minute phone call has turned into a two-day extraveganza that had me seriously considering cancelling my account in favour of a company that could actually give me customer service.

After doing a little research, I decided to switch to a lower plan, since I'm only home half the time and I don't really need high transfer rates or much bandwidth each month. Having had bad experiences with the customer service line before, I try the online help first. Can't downgrade a plan online, gotta phone customer service. Fine. I muster up the resolve to phone, follow their inane automated system, finally get to a point where I should be able to talk to a real person ... and I get dropped. I phone back, follow all the instructions once again, get told I am in the queue and ... get dropped again. I phone back, try a different route, and ... you guessed it. So I hang up.

I try again tonight, get the cookies ready for a long wait, go thorugh the system, start entering my information, press a few buttons at the prompts, start entering my informa - wait, I didn't I just do that? - finish entering the information, press a few buttons, end up somewhere completely different than where I was yesterday, follow the prompts, get really annoyed after five minutes of endless prompts and press 0 where I am taken, not to a person, but back to the first menu(!), enter my information *yet again* and finally get put into the queue to talk to a real person .. and get dropped. Call back, follow the instructions, actually get put into the queue, listen to ten minutes of elevator music ... and voila! less than two minutes later it's done and I'm finally off the phone.

And I told the nice customer service guy about the not-so-nice automated system (in a nice voice, not the voice I was using to swear at the system), so hopefully someone else will be spared my pain.


19.10.02 2:11 AM | stranger than fiction ]

I had something to say, really I did. But then the beer bled into my brain (did I mention I was going Oktoberfesting tonight?) and I can't remember what it was that I had to say or what it was even remotely related to. Funny how that happens.

Oh yes, now I remember. It was about the almost-New Year's resolution I made (that of course I didn't tell anyone about because it's like a birthday wish - if you tell what it is, it won't come true). But now that it is broken a mere two days after it was made, I guess it's safe to tell you.

It was Brad that made me break my non-New Year's resolution to stop lying tonight. In one fell swoop, I was agreeing that we had met when he was my skydiving instructor and that he was a professional skydiver who performed magnificent aerial stunts. It doesn't matter that we didn't know the people, or that it was quite fun, it still breaks my resolution to stop telling those little white lies.

But the thing that I wanted to tell you all about, the thing that amused me the most, is that I was going to tell the story of how my parachute didn't open the first time and that I had to pull the reserve, when I realized that they probably wouldn't believe me and the whole story of Brad being a professional skydiver would be shot.

The truth is sometimes less believeable than a lie.

Oh ... and you know when someone you know is suddenly a little *too* friendly to you, but you don't know whether it's actually anything you have to ward off or if it is just them being a little too drunk ... yeah, I hate that.


17.10.02 7:17 PM | sluuuurp ]

For that person on your Christmas shopping list who already has everything: The Bug Vacuum


14.10.02 11:27 PM | Hola ]

For those who have more than just a passing interest, I posted a subset of the pictures I took on my vacation. Trust me, you wouldn't have wanted to sit through the entire set.

(Mouseover the images for the description.)

10:27 PM | damn cold! ]

Poor Bailey. The whole "sock thing" is completely throwing her off and now she doesn't know what to make of my feet. When I sit she stalks them. I think she might think my toes are somehow trapped in there and that it is her job to save them.


12.10.02 10:32 PM | home sweet home ]

No mail awaited me on my arrival - not even flyers occupied my mailbox. My answering machine did not blink to tell me that there were voices waiting to be heard.

But I did have 112 emails. Even more interestingly, most were from friends. Aparently everyone picked the week I was going to be away to make all sorts of plans. My mother and I both decided that although the resort had internet access we could pay for, we wanted to shut ourselves off from the world for the short stint we were there.


[ 11.10.02 10:12am | full service resort ]

On a stroll through the resort grounds today, we passed by the spa and glanced at the list of services offered: hair braiding, massage ... tattoos. It has been my experience that more people disapprove of tattoos than approve, so it surprises me that this would be one of the services provided. What better way to remember your vacation than a permanent reminder inked by the massseuse.


[ 10.10.02 9:30am | deja vu ]

Adding onto the similarities of my mother and I, I went looking for my deodorant this morning only to spot it in my mother's travelling case. Upon further inspection, I discovered that it was infact the same make, and same brand as mine, but was a different scent. So besides the picture taking, the identical dinner plates from the buffet, the face cream, the underwear and the deordorant, my mother and I are as different as night and day. Oh yeah, and the fact that anyone can pick us as mother and daughter just looking at our faces.

[ 8:12am | twinkle toes she ain't ]

I awoke this morning to the pitter-patter of little feet ... for twenty minutes.

I'm guessing that we must have a small child staying in the room above us who found it amusing to run back and forth, back and forth, back and forth this morning, little shoes on a tile floor so all I heard was clip-clop, clip-clop, flip-flop above me.


[ 9.10.02 8:10pm | no eyes please ]

I obviously have a previously untested aversion to eating things that still have a head and legs attached to it. I have no serious problems with things that once contained these things, just with things that still retain these things.

[ 1:26pm | click ]

I have found in the past year or so that I am becoming that person who holds up everyone so he or she can take a picture of everything and at every angle so as to get the 'perfect' picture.

I am becoming my mother.

On family trips when we were younger, my brother and I would have a constant battle of wills with my mother to get her to stop taking pictures of the flowers and the sights and eveything she saw so that we could actually move forward more than a foot at a time. My brother actually *begged* my mother not to take her camera on a day trip into Charleton, South Carolina so we wouldn't be immediately pegged as tourists.

My mother still takes pictures of flowers and every pretty view, but she is now unencumbered by my brother's objections. And now of course I'm right there with her taking all the pretty views from multiple angles.

I still dislike being immediately pegged as a touurist but camera or no camera, this trip that can't be avoided due to the bright purple wristbands the resort slapped on our wrists the second we arrived.


[8.10.02 4:40pm | no tan lines ]

I have seen far too many breasts during our few days here. It seems that although topless sunbathing is illegal in Mexico, it is casually allowed, so much so that a bank had to post a sign indicating something to the effect that topless banking was not allowed there. I cannot even fathom walking into a bank without a top on. Tanning is one thing, nobody likes tan lines, but bank lines are an entirely other matter.


[7.10.02 2:30pm | Aktun Chen ]

Less than five minutes after we stepped off the plane in Mexico, I saw an ad to 'touch the Spider Monkeys' and knew that, no matter where else we went, we*had* to go there. So this morning, despite feeling less than stellar thanks to the Mexican water (sea - I was warned not to touch the tap water; lotta good that did me) my mother and I made the trek to the monkey place. Which turned out really to be a cave place with a monkey bonus. But I touched my monkey. Unfortunately, some clod stepped right in front of my mother as she was taking the picture, so I don't have a photographic souvenir of the encounter, but I do have the memory of me holding the monkey's hands.

And then it tried to eat me.

I also think I got peed on by a parrot, but I prefer to think that maybe it was just a raindrop. Mostly the parrot just seemed to want to climb in my backpack. Probably to leave a 'present' for me. Damn birds.

And, not learning our lesson from yesterday, upon our return to the resort we stopped by the miniputt course where the duck proceeded to try to eat my mother. She laughed when it tried to eat me ... serves her right.


[6.10.02 12:18pm | Quintana Roo ]

My mother and I took a stroll around the resort grounds today and found a miniputt course repleat with a gaggle of geese and two cute little ducks. Not the normal ducks, but ones with blue heads. Cute little things.

Until one tried to eat me.

Peckish little thing.


[5.10.02 11:20am | Coming into Cuba ]

Why preytell must you raise your window shade on landing? Does it somehow throw the balance of the plane off if you do not?

I bet you didn't know I was going to Cuba. Yeah, neither did I. Our travel company decided to kill two birds with one stone and make a pit stop in Cuba to pick up the people returning to Toronto. It seemed very nice from what I saw in our half-hour stop at the airport. The only thing that turned me off was the lady in the bathroom who seemed to expect a tip when you left. You stood outside the stall while I peed. Good for you. Here, let me give you money for this great deed you have performed.

[10:48am | the end of the world ]

I think one of the things I love most about flying is that feeling that you are at the very edge of the world. You can't see the ground below you, the sky above you is that beautiful dark blue that can only be seen high above the earth and there you are, floating somewhere between the two.

I also admit to liking the moment the plane lifts off the ground and you can feel it enter the air. That's why we always ask for a window seat on every flight. I always get that tiny fear in my mind that we're going to have a kid sitting beside us, whose mom will ask if we can switch seats so the kid can have the window seat. I'm not sure what I would say - can they not understand that I am a kid inside too?

My mom indulges this little love of mine with a little laugh. Now if only she remembered to ask for vegetarian meals for me when booking the tickets, my flight would be perfect.


5.10.02 3:49 AM | adios ]

I'm off on vacation. So now, when I don't update for a week, you'll know that it's because I can't, not because I'm ignoring you all. :)


4.10.02 5:08 PM | feeshie ]

This is my new wonderful fishie, thanks to a certain wonderful someone. ;)

'Course it's not in my tank yet, since I'm leaving for vacation in ... less than twelve hours ... but soon it will be all mine. And then I can give it a name. And hopefully it won't poison my tank.


2.10.02 5:32 PM | freedom ]

With all the extra hours I've put in over the last two weeks, I actually felt guilty about leaving work on time today. It just seemed so very wrong. It was light outside. There were cars in the parking lot. The cleaning people hadn't come yet to move my garbage can around.

Just. wrong.

(Ok, truth be told, I actually left a little early but only because my coworker and boss practically forced me out the door. "Tracy needs to go home now." "I do?" "Yes. You do.")

8:10 AM | peter pan ]

This is just a wee bit on the disturbing side I think. Funny, but disturbing.


1.10.02 10:32 PM | eh ]

I've also found myself automatically lapsing into American spelling, since I'm trained to do so for my job. Pretty soon I'll be saying "y'all" and "all y'all".

Oh, wait .. I already do that.

9:59 PM | ocd ]

I seem to have a mild obsession/compulsion centring around clocks ... and plants. Almost every single room in my apartment has at least one clock, with the exception of the bathroom, and that's only because I haven't found one that I like for that room yet. The plants are so far limited to the living room (so my cats can't eat them) but I have more than made up the limited range by filling all available surfaces. I'm working on finding a nice hanging planter so I can put a plant in my bedroom, but so far that hs been a bust as well. Oh for easy access to stylish home accessories.