lance_sibley: (screaming)
I just got back about half an ago from having Christmas lunch with my parents at the Granite Brewery. The usual sniping took place, perhaps a little worse than last time...

Dad: I find it hard to think of you as being 41 years old.
Mom: Almost 50!
Me (in what was intended to be a humourous/sarcastic tone): Oh, fuck off.

Of course, that set my mother off, because she's not really good at reading tone into things people say... and despite the fact that she's been using language like that at me (without any humourous intention) since I was about six years old. (As I said to her, "Where do you think I learned it?" She could embarrass a drill sergeant.)

But even so, I don't think "almost 50" was particularly called for. Or anywhere close to true, for that matter, unless you're using a time scale of a few thousand years.

Giftwise, from my father:

  • a cordless phone

  • a $60 gift card from Future Shop

and from my mother:

  • a new wallet

  • a 2009 day planner

  • one shirt, size medium

  • a $25 gift card from Indigo

I was going to add some comments, but upon rereading I realized that they made me sound quite bitchy and ungrateful. (I will say that of those gifts, the only ones I'll actually be using are the gift cards, and perhaps the wallet. I haven't worn a size medium since I was about 16 years old, my current cordless phone/answering machine is only about eight months old, and I use my Palm to keep track of appointments...)

(Edit to add: it's actually one shirt, not two - it has a false double collar, kind of like a dickey - and miracle of miracles, it actually does fit, thanks to it being stretchy. If it shrinks in the wash, however, that may change. And while it looks a lot like the thermal undershirt she gave me last year, it's actually more of a casual pullover.)

As I always say at this time of year: "Well, at least that's overwith for another year."
lance_sibley: (kiss - by Raelala)
I just wanted to wish every one of my friends (well, those who celebrate it) a very Merry Christmas! Whether you're having a fancy dinner with family or just taking it easy, may it be enjoyable.
lance_sibley: (Happy In My Pants - by Raelala)
I seem to have made it through eight days with something to post about every day. Who'd've thunk it?

Today we had our Polaris holiday gathering. It was small, because of the bad weather (while I was waiting for a bus, there were times when I couldn't see the stoplights one block to the west - not just the housing of the stoplights, the lights themselves), but the 20 or so who showed up had a lot of fun.

The gathering was an afternoon of bowling - this might be the first time I've ever bowled four games in a single day, not to mention seven in a weekend. My legs are going to be killing me tomorrow. I did manage not to embarrass myself too badly - after all, I'm expected to be good at this game. (No pressure.) Though I think [ profile] bnddbl07 managed to beat me in one game, and Declan almost beat me in another. (My excuse is that the lanes hadn't been oiled, and I'm sticking to that. :P )

Because we went to the same bowling alley where I have my Friday night league, and my league has a Sunday session as well, there were several people there whom I know. They all thought I was there to bowl off for some future date. (And apparently I wasn't the only one having trouble with the lanes today - one guy, whose average is something like 195, bowled a 136 in his first game.) Only a couple of people came over and said hi (on their way to the washrooms, presumably), saving me from more "Lance knows everyone" cracks.

Afterwards, a smaller group of us went to Swiss Chalet across the street for dinner. (That's a chicken-and-ribs place, for my non-Canadian friends.)

I got home to find a voicemail from my father - it's been decided that he, my mother and I are going to get together for lunch next Saturday to exchange Christmas gifts. Which reminds me, I still have to wrap theirs... I'll probably do that on Friday night. ;)

And the third thing that made me happy today was finding that I'd gotten an email from Eric - I'm meeting his family tomorrow night. *gulp* Wish me luck. :)

I suspect that I'll be told to work from home tomorrow, given the weather we had this weekend. I certainly hope that my remote access will be set up - I don't want to spend another 5 hours in transit like I did on Friday. But just in case, I should probably get to bed early tonight...
lance_sibley: (Strike)
I'll get the bowling scores out of the way first: 136, 187, 123. Ick. I just couldn't avoid splits in that first game (I had four), and in the third, I couldn't have bought a spare. And we lost all three games (if either of my two missing teammates had left us declared scores, we might have won at least two of them).

Oh, and the trip down took a little over 2.5 hours. I left work earlier than usual despite having gotten in so late (my boss' business partner practically threw me out at 3:40) and I arrived at 6:15, which is a little earlier than I usually arrive, but I didn't want to chance getting there late (as I would have had I left at my usual time).

Now that that's overwith... on to part six of the happiness meme.

As I mentioned yesterday, I got home to find a notice of a package waiting for me at the post office. I picked it up this morning on my way to work, and tonight when I got home, I called Eric and we opened our Christmas gifts together. (Well, he opened the necklace last night, but left the other packages.)

I had mentioned, during a previous conversation, that I wasn't enamoured of how George Lucas was always tinkering with the original Star Wars trilogy, adding CGI and changing things I felt were unnecessary (like the bad CGI Jabba in the first movie). Well, Eric was obviously listening, because he got me the original trilogy on DVD (which I actually didn't have - I had the 1996 versions on VHS only). And when I say "original", this includes the original theatrical versions of each movie - to the point where the first one doesn't even have the subtitle "A New Hope" on it. I wonder if Han shoots first. ;)

Though what really made me happy was seeing his reaction upon opening the rest of his gifts. A month or so ago he'd mentioned that he wanted to get the Absolute Sandman collection - reprints of Neil Gaiman's graphic novel Sandman, leather-bound in slipcases - but that he was going to have to wait. Well, I bought him all four volumes. When he opened the first one and saw what it was, he said, "You didn't!", to which I simply replied, "Oh, yes I did." Apparently, I done good. :)

So, seeing his reaction made me very happy today. :)

He's heading to Memphis tomorrow morning to see his family for Christmas, so we won't see a whole lot of each other until he gets back next Saturday. Though he's taking his computer with him so that he can introduce me to his parents and brother. Note to self: make sure at least one nice shirt is clean, and shaving would probably not be a bad idea. ;)
lance_sibley: (Strike)
Since I haven't posted in a week, and it's been a bit busy, I'll put each paragraph behind a cut...

Bowling went well... )

Work is going okay, except for the 'getting there' part... )

Headaches aren't supposed to last for six days, are they? )

Christmas? )

Anticipation )

About the latest political shenanigans... )

Well, that's all for another week (or unless something really exciting happens in the next little while).
lance_sibley: (Facepalm - by prettygood)
Argh. I don't know why I should be surprised, because about every other time I try to start a post here, Firefox crashes. But it's particularly annoying when one is in the middle of something time-consuming and has to start over from the beginning. I swear, I've got the computer of the damned here. "Kylie Eleison", as they say...

First, I have to apologize to [ profile] rosemary_ca for missing brunch on Sunday. I went to bed around 1:30 on Saturday night, figuring I'd wake up on my own around 9:30 and have plenty of time to get there for 11. Well, I woke up at 11:30. *headdesk* I didn't realize I was so tired - especially since I hadn't done anything.

Backtrack to Friday... we left the office early and my boss treated Zak and me to lunch and a movie at Richmond Hill Centre. We were going to see The Golden Compass, but we couldn't find a conveniently-timed showing, so we ended up seeing Walk Hard instead. Having seen Walk The Line on a flight a year or so ago, I thought they did a fairly good job spoofing the musical biopic genre. I ended up going straight home after the movie (since the theatre was about five bus stops north of Steeles, my boss said there was no point in my going back to the office), meaning that my bonus cheque is still sitting on my boss' desk where he'd forgotten it. He apologized, both for forgetting it and for it not being that big, but I wasn't really expecting anything. And that gives me something to look forward to tomorrow. :)

It seems to have become something of a tradition for me that I spend the days around Christmas watching an entire season's worth of television on DVD. I started watching Lost S2 on the weekend and finished it last night, and started watching S3 this evening while I finished the last of the leftover chili that was Christmas dinner. (I should have at least bought ground turkey instead of ground beef, I suppose. At least I had egg nog ice cream.) If I'm lucky, I'll get through S3 before S4 premieres (that's in a couple of weeks, no?) and I'll be able to watch it at the same time as the rest of the world.

Most of the rest of my Christmas break has been spent cleaning the junk out of my solarium and dining room, as I mentioned in my last post. Now, all that's in my solarium is my bike, the situp bench I bought about 20 years ago (don't say it...), and the curtains and curtain rod I bought a few years ago but haven't gotten around to putting up. (Oh, and about a tonne of styrofoam bits, thanks to my cat having had a penchant for climbing into the box that my air conditioner came in and shredding everything inside.) My dining room still has all the old videotapes and books piled on the table, but other than that, a cooler and an air mattress I seem to have inexplicably acquired (I have no idea where it came from, and don't remember ever buying one), and some cases of empty beer bottles I really should return for the deposit, the rest of my junk has either been thrown out or put into my storage locker. (All that carrying might explain why my shoulder is so sore today.)

I guess the next step (after doing something about the books and videotapes, and taking the bottles back to the beer store) is to do something about the moisture damage under the air conditioner - I'm going to have to repaint that wall and figure out how to replace some of the parquet flooring that's warped. I should probably try to figure out if I can fit the stuff that's on the shelves in my hall and bedroom closets in the locker, too.

I tried to do some shopping today - I've been wanting a new leather jacket (in soft brown leather) for quite some time, so I schlepped up the the strip where all the outlet stores are and had a look, but I couldn't find anything I liked. And while I was heading up there, I thought I'd drop in and quickly say hi to Ambrose if he was at work, since his store is up in that area. I felt a little awkward about going in, even though I was in the area on my own errand anyway (go ahead, point out how convenient that was, but I usually do my shopping at Yorkdale anyway, and his store is about a ten minute bus ride away), but he hasn't been answering his phone lately and I did, after all, have a Christmas gift for him.

Things were a little insane in there (I was surprised to see how many people were shopping for kitchenwares on Boxing Day), but I managed to find him and give him his Christmas gift, and we arranged to have dinner this Friday evening. I think we're going to be having a Talk. If we're going to continue to see each other, there has to be better communication. And if his lack of communication is because he's lost interest, then I need to know. He didn't even respond to my "Merry Christmas" text message - which is just unacceptable. (His explanation was that he got five text messages yesterday and when he finally turned his phone on - he said he's been keeping it off most of the time lately - he didn't realize there was more than one and only looked at the first, which wasn't mine. Okay, that's plausible, I suppose, when when we talked a couple of weeks ago, he said he was going to try to do a better job of staying in touch when things were too crazy to get together, and he didn't return two voice mails from this week.)
lance_sibley: (bite me)
Well, there's that pagan ritual overwith for another year.

And I only wanted to get up and walk out twice. Wow.

Why my mother feels it necessary on how, exactly, to store a Chapters/Indigo gift card so that it won't be lost between my hand and my coat pocket, I'm not sure...
lance_sibley: (Different POV)
I'm sitting here all warm and toasty in my living room, unable to see across the street due to the layer of frost that coats my windows. The headache that I've had since last night seems to have abated for now. I hope it stays away - it was so bad that it woke me at 7 this morning. I stumbled into the bathroom and took an Excedrin for migraine - which may have been an error, since it contains caffeine. It took me 45 minutes to get back to sleep - I should have taken an Extra Strength Tylenol instead. (OTOH, in the dream I was having when I woke up, I was working on solving the problem I was having on Friday at work. Perhaps it's just as well that I woke up. I hate dreaming about work.)

It's particularly nice to sit here all toasty warm because I chose to brave the storm and go out this afternoon despite the fact that my two Polaris meetings were cancelled due to the weather. (City TV reports that the downtown core got between 20 and 25 centimetres today. [ profile] eastman23, you're welcome to come and take it away if you want it. :P )

(Edited to add some snow-related weirdness: I was outside the Eaton Centre when I saw an ambulance get stuck in the snow, its wheels spinning. Fortunately the lights weren't on, so I guess they weren't responding to an emergency. I just thought it was weird. They had to back up twice and try again. It was on the third attempt that I thought to take out my cellphone and try to get some video - and of course, that was the time they successfully made it.)

I was actually surprised that the subway was running north of Bloor - last time we got this much snow in such a short period of time, the subway couldn't run in the above-ground sections of the system. (I did hear an announcement that the third rail was covered in ice.) The crowds were manageable (probably because few people were as foolish as I) and I was able to get my Christmas shopping more or less finished. I picked up a portable DVD player for Mike and his wife and the Disney version of "Scene It?" for their kids (I'd already gotten them each a book last week). Add that to yesterday's shopping, when I got my mother the paper shredder she'd requested and a piece of digital art for Ambrose (a triptych depicting a desert scene - I have no idea if it'll match the decor of his new apartment, but I figure that with his just having moved, he'll need stuff to decorate with), and I would hazard to say that I'm finished. I just have to wrap it all now. :(

Oh, and I treated myself to Lost S3 and BSG: Razor on DVD. :) (I guess this means I have to get around to watching S2 of Lost, which has been sitting on top of my TV for a year... Heroes S1 will have to go back into the pile.) Couldn't find Doctor Who S3 or Torchwood S1, though... the clerk who was helping me said that they had Doctor Who in stock, but he couldn't find it on the shelves either.

I have to admit that shopping for Ambrose was tricky, because while I know what TV shows and movies he's into, I don't know what his DVD collection is like. I don't know what clothing sizes he takes, and I have an idea of what kinds of books he might like, but again, I don't know what's in his library. (Which is pretty sad considering that it's six months since we met.) And gift certificates seem so impersonal. One thing seems to be certain: I'll never, ever be able to top what I did for him at Dragon*Con. It's kind of depressing to know that you've already hit the apex of gift shopping for a particular person... which may have been a contributing factor to the trouble I had deciding what to get him.

Flash back a bit to Friday night: it was the last night of bowling until January. It didn't go all that well for me: 156, 135, 154. I was having my usual problem of hitting the headpin a little too heavily throughout the first game, and Mario suggested I move over to the middle and put the ball over the second arrow from the right. I tried it, and I just couldn't find the line I needed to take (hence the 135 - I was at a complete loss), so I ended up switching back halfway through the third game. And even then, I had to get two strikes in the tenth (my first strikes since the first game) to salvage my score. Mario pointed out something odd: we're sixth in the league (IIRC) in total pinfall flat, and dead last (28th place) in points in the standings. Probably because our team handicap is so much lower than most other teams.

Anyhow, hopefully I'll be able to get to bed at a decent hour tonight. I expect tomorrow's commute will be hell, and for some reason I've been unable to connect to my work computer over the Internet this weekend. (I wanted to put in a couple of hours to make up for arriving late and leaving early on Friday.) So I want to get in at a decent hour and solve this problem that was bedeviling me on Friday and probably led to the dreams I was having last night.

Oh, and one other thing I bought for myself today:

Available for $20 through the Writers' Guild Of America Strike Swag website.
lance_sibley: (Yay - by Raelala)
My weekend in a nutshell:

Bowling Friday: 169, 160, 158. Not as high a series as the previous week, but pretty consistent, so I'm not unhappy. Not to mention that despite some residual pain from my fall on ice last weekend, my arm was no more sore than usual. Our opponents were razzing me late in the third game because my arm usually starts bothering me about halfway through the third game and I start making audible pain noises as I throw the ball. One guy started calling me Monica Seles. Since I started joking about three months ago that "here's where I start doing my Monica Seles impression," I wasn't that amused. (Well, I was in a pretty pissy mood anyway over the whole situation with Ambrose. Pissy to the point that Mario noticed and asked what was wrong.)

Saturday: I finally started my Christmas shopping. My mother is making things slightly easier for me by telling me what she wants this year - a paper shredder. I haven't picked it up yet, but I happened to be in the Grand & Toy at the Eaton Centre this afternoon and checked out their prices. I did pick up a couple of books for her to go with it, though - The Devil Wears Prada and a Kathy Reichs book (the author upon whom the TV series "Bones" is based). I also picked up Stephen Colbert's book and a box set of the 1972 Canada/USSR series for my father, a book on space for Mike's older son (who's 7 or 8, if memory serves) and a pop-up book on dinosaurs for his younger son (who's 4).

Oh, and I also picked up some treats for myself because Music World is going out of business and having a 30% off sale: I got the new Erasure and Pet Shop Boys albums and two PSB DVDs ("A Life In Pop" and a concert DVD from their "Fundamental" tour, which I saw when they came to Toronto). Both albums are a little strange - the Erasure one hearkens back to their album "Union Street" in that it's all acoustic. Not only is it all acoustic - because it's a live album from a concert they did in Nashville (it's called "On The Road To Nashville", in fact), all of the songs have a country-and-western touch. "Blue Savannah" and "A Little Respect" are a little weird in that style. The album also came with a DVD containing two bonus songs, two "fancam videos", and a short film called "The Road To Union Street". Overall, though, if I weren't already an Erasure fan, I highly doubt that I would have bothered to buy it, not being a country music fan.

The PSB album is "Disco Four", and like their first three "Disco" albums, all of the songs are remixes of older songs. Unlike their first three "Disco" albums, however, not all of the songs are PSB songs. The album includes Madonna's "Sorry", Yoko Ono's "Walking On Thin Ice" (which they actually made palatable, probably by burying the chorus very deep in the mix), The Killers' "Read My Mind", Atomizer's "Hooked On Radiation", and Rammstein's "Mein Teil" (which they called the "There Are No Guitars On This Mix" :) ). It also includes versions of PSB's "Integral" and "I'm With Stupid," plus a version of "Hallo Spaceboy" that they did with David Bowie. (According to the Wikipedia article on the song, this was actually the version that was released as a single back in 1995, and Bowie wasn't too sure how much he liked Neil Tennant's addition of chopped-up lyrics from "Space Oddity".) The album as a whole isn't up there with "Bilingual" or "Fundamental", but I think it's better than "Disco 2".

Today: I had a Polaris Exec meeting. I was only recently added to the Exec (I replaced someone who had to step down) so I didn't know what time or where the meeting was. Fortunately I was able to reach one of the Chairs this morning, otherwise I would have been in the wrong place an hour and a half early. Strange thing: even though I routinely don't have lunch until 2 or so during the week, today the lunch I had during the meeting filled me up to the point where I'm still not hungry, and it's after 9. I probably shouldn't have had the peanut butter brownie sundae for dessert. It was good, though...

So I got home and decided I was going to try to reach Ambrose one more time. Lo and behold, he answered the phone! He apologized for not returning any of my calls, but it seems that the move turned out to be much more complicated than he had anticipated. Add to that the fact that his work hours have been extended - but into the morning, so he's having to get up at 6 o'clock twice per week - and it seems that every time I've called he's either been at work or asleep, and the stress of it all kept him from returning my calls. He also thanked me for offering to help, but said that it would have been "weird" because his parents were there. (I didn't ask what that meant - I'm not sure if it's because he's not out to them or because they'd disapprove of him seeing someone so much older than he is...)

Anyway, we're getting together next weekend. Depending on how his unpacking/reorganization/IKEA furniture-building goes, it may only be for coffee, but you know what? I don't care. *grin*

I'll leave you with the Bowie/PSB video of "Hallo Spaceboy":

and the live version from 1996:

lance_sibley: (Strike)
I think I need to go and stick my right arm in the freezer for the next three or four hours. Ow. Ow. Ow.

In case it's not obvious (though the icon should be a dead giveaway), tonight was the first night of bowling after the Christmas break. I made sure to warm up slowly and carefully, because it was the first night after Christmas last year when I wrecked my arm, and it hasn't been 100% since. At least, unlike this time last year, I can reach over my shoulder and put my hand flat on the area between my shoulder blades (my inability to reach the back of my neck to scratch was what clued me in that I had hurt myself last year).

So... after two previous weeks of bowling against first one wall, and then the other, tonight we were smack in the middle which meant... it was our turn to sell 50/50 tickets. Yay! There wasn't much of a rush, anyway - the pot only got up to $50 or so.

Mario wasn't there tonight, as he had a bridge game, but he had a declared score. This made me, as the #4 bowler, the anchor. We had a reasonable first game, but the opponents had a really good one, which meant that when I went up to bowl the tenth frame, I had to strike out to tie. Yeah, right. I said to Bridgette, "I never get strikes. I'll try to keep it close." She disagreed that I never get strikes, but it tends to be true - I tend to get 7-9 spares per game, maybe one strike, and one or two open frames. So I went up, threw the first ball... and left the five pin. *facepalm* I spared it and picked up 7 on my third ball, though, so we only lost by 14.

Naturally, after the whole "I don't get strikes" thing, and failing to get the needed strikes in the tenth frame of the first game, I then proceeded to start the second game with five strikes in a row... and then the league VP, who was on the team we were bowling against, decided to call the break. I asked him not to, but I guess he thought I needed to cool down for 15 minutes... argh. Naturally, in the sixth frame, I threw the ball right in the pocket and... left the five pin. *facepalm* However, we managed to win the second game by 125, and we won the third game as well, though it was closer because their anchor got two strikes in the tenth (forcing me to do the same - and this time I actually did it).

Anyway, that's pretty much the long way of reporting tonight's scores: 166, 239, 210. Not bad for the first night back after a three-week break. Okay, pretty damned good. *grin*

(Before anyone asks, no, 239 isn't my best game ever - that was 244, about five years ago. Nor was this my best night ever - the night I had a 244 I also had a 235 and 150.)

But as I said at the top of this post, I need to go and stick my arm in the freezer. And I just know that tomorrow I'll be walking like I'm 90 years old.

Remember last week or thereabouts when I said that the secret to the Leafs doing well was for me not to watch them? Well, last night's game was televised on a digital channel, and I don't have digital cable... so naturally they won 10-2. [ profile] hoskie, your boy Alex seems to have broken out of his slump - he had a hat trick.

And finally, while I still haven't heard from the recruiter who wanted me to come in at some unspecified time to meet with some unspecified person for a technical interview, I did get an email from RBC tonight saying that my application for a Team Leader position I applied for last week had been referred to the Hiring Manager with the recommendation that I be interviewed. Go me! I'm sure it has nothing to do with the phone conversation I had with Mike last night in which I asked him to put in a word for me... it's far too early for that to have happened.

Oh, yeah, I guess I should mention that I talked to Mike for about an hour last night. I'd called him at work, but they seemed to have moved him - the number I had wasn't in service. I tracked down a central number on the RBC website for the Visa department and called them. Even though it was a Toronto area code, I think my call was transferred to Montreal. I asked if they had the new number for the Toronto Visa department, and the very nice woman I was speaking to looked it up, but said that she wasn't sure if that would get me to the right area. Then it occurred to me to ask if she could give me his direct number from their employee directory, and she not only had his direct number, but she actually gave it to me. That was a pleasant surprise. Anyhow, so I managed to reach him, but since he's not supposed to take personal calls at work he said he'd call me back later, which he finally did around midnight (he works a 3-11 shift). We made arrangements for him to come over on some as-yet-unspecified Saturday so that we can exchange Christmas gifts, and maybe go over to the bridge club for a game (I haven't been over there in ages - it's going to be embarrassing, I know it). He needs time to exchange my gift first, though - apparently he'd gotten me the Star Trek animated series on DVD, but I had already bought it for myself with the gift card my father gave me. (He didn't ruin the surprise - I happened to mention that I had gotten it, and he said, "Oh shit. Good thing I kept the bill.") So he asked me what I don't have - and apart from QAF S5 (which I'm not going to ask him for - it's $99 before tax), I can't think of anything that I don't have but I want. I'm pretty up-to-date with my DVD collection. Well, I haven't yet gotten Family Guy Vol. 4, but that's not a particularly high priority. I went over to Future Shop today to browse - Numb3rs, maybe? Dead Like Me? X3: The Last Stand? Anyone have any suggestions?
lance_sibley: (sunshine - by Raelala)
Thank you, [ profile] hico, for the virtual pressie on my profile page. (I wonder what it is? *shake*shake*shake* :) )

I got up around 1:30, made my way to the other Starbucks on Yonge Street (the one just up from me closes every Christmas Day, but fortunately the other one stays open) where I may or may not have been cruised by the cute Asian boy serving at the latte bar (or whatever that section is called). That's not a bad way to start Christmas.

I came back home - and on the way, for the first time while outside, I heard that mysterious noise that sounds like a train whistle. It sounded more like a bandsaw, which kind of makes sense because there's a condo being built about 200 metres way (so close that the lights from the crane on top of the roof sometimes bother me when I'm trying to get to sleep), but if that's the source, a) why would I hear it at 4 in the morning? and b) why would I be hearing it on Christmas Day? Unless they're so far behind on construction that they're now working 24/7, but from here it doesn't look like there's anything going on over on the site.

And there it is again. Maybe I should go outside and try to follow the sound to see where it's coming from...

Anyway, I came home and opened the presents from my parents. Of course, I already knew that I'd gotten a Future Shop gift card from my father (which I already spent) and an Indigo gift card from my mother (which I haven't, yet), but I also got an Arrow shirt and a fluffy vest (it feels like fleece, but it actually polyester) from my father and a sweater from my mother. Both of them also gave me day planners for 2007 - which is kind of funny. Also kind of pointless, since I have a perfectly good PDA with a calendar function...

I also checked my messages, as the light on my phone was flashing. My mother called me (actually before I'd gotten up) to thank me for the grill and the books. I was half-expecting her to complain that I got the same thing for her this year as last year, actually - though it's not the same thing. (Last year I got her a sandwich maker from the same manufacturer.) She surprised me.

I should probably call Mike at some point to find out when we're getting together. Not to mention [ profile] basebrat, though it's been so long since we last spoke that he might not be expecting to hear from me. (That's not anyone's fault in particular, I don't think - we just seem to have fallen out of the movie-every-two-weeks habit, around the time that he moved in with his bf.)

Before I sign off, a note for my Canadian friends: I just heard a commercial on Space that The Dresden Files will be premiering January 21. I'll probably check it out, though I still haven't read the first book in the series, which I bought back in August.

Anyway, back to what Space is calling their "Trekmas Day Movie Marathon"...


Dec. 23rd, 2006 04:00 pm
lance_sibley: (Coffee Addict - by xnickstax)
The headache I've had since yesterday morning seems to have finally dissipated. It must have been caffeine withdrawal. Or sheer exhaustion - I'm thinking that last night's crash was the result of two straight months of go-go-go.

I was just on my way into my apartment building from having used my Future Shop gift card to pick up Star Trek: TAS and Boston Legal S2 on DVD, and a group of three people were on their way out, so I held the door for them. The last one out wished me a Merry Christmas, and I couldn't resist... I said, "Thank you, and Happy Hannukah."

Hey, I get mistaken for being Jewish every year at the bridge club, I may as well get some mileage out of it...

I don't know what it is, but for several days I've been hearing what sounds like a train whistle. I can't imagine what it might actually be, since there are no train tracks anywhere near here that I know of (except for the subway), and until about two days ago I hadn't heard anything like it in the nine years I've been living here. And I don't recall noticing it when I was outside (then again, there's a lot more background noise outside with the traffic over on Yonge Street). Not to mention, it's been pretty constant - I was hearing it at 4 this morning. Weird.
lance_sibley: (Intense)
My father picked me up at exactly noon today, as he said he would, and we made the trip down to my mother's place. She wasn't ready, though, and we didn't actually get out for lunch until about 1:30. The whole time, she kept nagging at us to open our gifts, but neither of us wanted to open them until Christmas itself... I do know, however, that she gave me a Chapters/Indigo gift card, and my father gave me a Future Shop gift card, so I know I've got a couple of things I'll appreciate. She also kept telling me all about how Chris, the son of her life-long best friend, whom I knew growing up (he's two years younger than me), recently got married for the second time and insisted that I look at pictures. Oy. At least she didn't explicitly nag me about my being single, though I'm sure she wanted to...

When we did finally leave for lunch, she insisted that my father drive us even though the pub we were going to was about three blocks away. It seems she tripped over a curb a couple of weeks ago and hurt her arm - which she kept reminding us about - and so she didn't want to walk. (I'm not sure what her arm has to do with her ability to walk, but that's my mother for you.) So we got over there, my father found a parking spot, and we went inside. The place was nearly full - we got the last table. The people in there seemed to mostly be a group from my old high school - I think I recognized my grade 9 science teacher when he walked past us to go to the washroom. He seemed to recognize me, as well - he said hello on the way by. Considering that neither of us has seen the other in over 20 years, that's either a case of remarkable memory, or remarkable coincidence.

The service was pretty terrible - we placed our orders around 2:10, half an hour after we got there, and my father had to go out and put more money in the parking meter before our food even arrived. The whole time, I was reminded of one of Professor Plum's lines from Clue: "Are you afraid of silence, Mrs. Peacock?" I swear, she never shut up the whole time... most of the time, it was to criticize my father because for some reason, he had decided not to put his false teeth in, and she thought he looked disgusting. (I admit, I was averting my eyes as well, though I didn't feel the need to verbalize my feelings.)

Anyway, the food eventually arrived around 2:45 - and it was nothing special. I had a steak and kidney pie with fries, and a pint of Carlsberg Red. Passable pub fare.

After we were done, and my father had gone to the beer store, and driven my mother all over hell's half acre looking for a convenience store she would deign to enter, and then dropped her off back at her place, my father gave me a ride home. I got back here around 5:30, and I couldn't stop yawning. I forced myself to read yesterday's and today's newspapers - taking over three hours because I was having so much trouble keeping my eyes open - and then I laid down on the couch to watch the Leafs game, which started at 8:30. I was asleep before the second period started, and didn't wake up until 11:30 or so. I was flipping channels, looking for the results of the game (how the hell did they lose to Chicago?!), and then tried to go to bed around 1. Naturally, I couldn't get to sleep... I may try again shortly.

So all in all, this afternoon was nowhere near as bad as some of our past Christmas get-togethers have been, but I can still think of a few hundred more enjoyable activities. Like removing grout from my bathroom tiles.
lance_sibley: (bite me)
So now I can avoid shopping malls for the next eleven months. (Okay, that can't happen, as my hair stylist is at Yorkdale and I kind of need a haircut... but at least I won't be shopping while I'm there, unless it's for something I'm getting for myself, in which case there won't be the stress of "what am I looking for?". Except when it comes time to leave, and I'll be stressed about trying to find the way out...)

So today, I wanted to pick up something else relatively small for my father to go with the books and DVD, since I had gotten my mother an indoor grill. Funnily enough, I ended up getting him an electronic spatula to use while barbecuing - it tells you when whatever you're barbecuing is ready to be flipped. :) I know he likes to cook outside when it's warm, so he'll use it.

I also picked up a watch for Mike that comes with four different-coloured dials that you can swap in and out (he may claim to be straight, but he worries more about matching his outfits than any gay guy I know), a pair of earrings for his wife, and a couple of Cars toys and a game based on Pirates Of The Caribbean for their kids. (I had to spend an hour in the Disney Store for those. Sorry, [ profile] rbegley, [ profile] esprix, [ profile] alpinemaps and the rest of the Disney fans on my friendslist - but I find spending that much time in close quarters with that many children excruciating.) I'm just hoping that the younger one gets something out of his gifts - for some reason I was thinking that he was 5, but when I got home I checked the photo they had sent me when he was born, and he's only 3. Well, the packages say "3 and up," so it should be okay.

I got home around 8, had dinner, and then wrapped everything. Naturally, the last piece of wrapping paper on the roll I was using was about half a centimetre (a fifth of an inch) too short to go completely around the gift I was wrapping...

My father's picking me up at noon tomorrow to go for lunch. Here's hoping that goes smoothly. I predict, however, that within the first five minutes, the topics "why aren't you married" and "why don't you have a job" will be brought up by my mother...

I don't know what's going on with LJ tonight, but I'm finding it very annoying that I can't post/read comments on several people's journals. I've been getting better results if I open the actual person's LJ in a separate tab, but even then, there are a few of you whose entries I can only read on my friendslist. I don't suppose it'll get fixed until after Christmas, either, unless it's just a temporary glitch...

Memeage, gakked from [ profile] redeem147:

I am:
Olaf Stapledon
Standing outside the science fiction "field", he wrote fictional explorations of the futures of whole species and galaxies.

Which science fiction writer are you?

I've only ever read one of his books, mind you - IIRC, Sirius was on the cirriculum of the SF class I took in university.
lance_sibley: (Absolutely Cuckoo - by crazybutgraphic)
... and I only just started my Christmas shopping today?

(Okay, I know the answer to that.)

I schlepped up to Yorkdale and managed to find some stuff for my parents - a couple of books each and an indoor grill (not a George Foreman grill, but the same basic idea) for my mother. I already have the Blue Thunder box set for my father, but I want to try to pick up one more thing for him.

For my mother, I got two novels: The Gun Seller by Hugh Laurie - yes, our favourite cantankerous drug-addict doctor is also an author IRL - and Women In The Background by Barry Humphries (who is better known as Dame Edna Everage). For my father I got The Toyminator by Robert Rankin (a fantasy/mystery along the same lines as the Jasper Fforde books or Roger Rabbit) and Roving Mars by Steve Squyres, about the Spirit and Opportunity Mars rovers. Is it bad that I want to read the books I bought before I give them as gifts? :grin:

I had just come out of Sears, I think it was, around 5:30ish, and was trying to figure out how to get to the subway entrance (Yorkdale is so big that I can never remember where anything is in relation to where I am), when I saw a familiar face go by. So I called out, and he turned, and looked quizzically at me... until that moment, [ profile] d0r0thy_zb0rnak and I had never actually met. I recognized him from pictures he's posted at TrekBBS, though. So after I identified myself and he realized who I was, we chatted for about 30 seconds (he was on his way to meet a friend and didn't have time to stop any longer, unfortunately). Still, that was a nice little encounter.

Then when I got home, there was a message on my phone from my mother. It seems that my father now wants to get together for something light earlier in the day rather than dinner, and we need to figure out whether it's going to be Friday or Saturday. I guess I should email him and ask which he prefers, since I don't really have a preference.

I can hardly wait until this pagan ritual is overwith for another year. There's a reason why "Scrooged" is my favourite Christmas movie.


Nov. 30th, 2006 03:59 pm
lance_sibley: (Opportunities)
*waves at [ profile] angrykat* I got your message this afternoon. The barista who conveyed it was much amused when I explained it. (Not quite as amused as Francis seemed to be the other day, but still amused.)

A grad student is studying how memes travel around cyberspace... go, click, and help him with his research: What is the speed of meme?

My Scripting Languages class was cancelled last night. I was sitting in the hall reading the newspaper, as I often do while waiting for the instructor to show up and open the door to the classroom, when one of my classmates came over and told me that there was a sign on the door which neither of us had thought to look at, despite both of us having been there for 20 or 30 minutes. (Oy.) There was a third member of the class who had been sitting nearby, but he had given up waiting in the hall and had gone to the lab to check his email - he hadn't thought to check the door either. Strangely, only the three of us were actually there the whole time - I don't know why nobody else had shown up, unless the instructor had sent out an email that the three of us hadn't gotten.

It also seems that about half the class has dropped out over the past month or so. Including, unfortunately, the cute young guy that I would talk to during our breaks, who hasn't shown up since the third week of classes or so. (I've been thinking about emailing him to find out what happened to him, since he'd given me his email address during the first week. I think that was for innocent class-related purposes, though.) But that doesn't explain why only three of us showed up last night - there are still about ten people in the class.

Anyhow, since class was cancelled, I came back home and was able to get dinner by 8:30. (Okay, I didn't come straight home - I spent about 45 minutes in the lab working on the lab exercise from Monday night's class that I hadn't finished because I had spent the last couple of nights working on my C# assignment. I still can't seem to get part of it to work, though - the VBScript interpreter won't let me ReDim an array.)

In other news, I had a call yesterday from a recruiter whom I first heard from several months ago. He has a government contract available, and while it's not a perfect match for my experience, he still thought of me because it was a good match for my skill set. (It entails writing a lot of JCL and modifying the batch schedule using CA7. I've done both extensively, though usually hand-in-hand with application development, of which there is none in this position. This is more of an Operations type role, but it's 9-5 with no on-call responsibilities.) He's sending me a skills matrix that I have to fill out, and then he's submitting my resume. *fingers crossed*

I just remembered, I have to call my mother at some point because my father called the other night to ask what was going on for Christmas. I'm not looking forward to this conversation. Then again, I'm also not particularly looking forward to calling my father back once I find out what my mother wants to do. He's getting a bit... strange. In his phone message the other day, he said: "This is your estranged father. Not your 'strange father,' but 'estranged.'" (WTF? He isolated himself by moving to Emsdale, since neither my mother nor I drive and Emsdale is in the middle of nowhere.) He then said: "I guess you've gotten yourself a night watchman job. Ha ha." Note that that's not actually laughter, nor even a chuckle - he literally said, "ha ha". Sort of like Nelson on "The Simpsons," but with less mirth.

Fortunately, my family's Christmas festivities for the past several years have entailed my father driving down from Emsdale and the three of us meeting up in a restaurant for dinner somewhere. Nothing big, and it's all overwith within about three hours, though there have been years where those three hours have felt like three days. I guess this means I should start my Christmas shopping, though it won't be this weekend as I have my Scripting Languages assignment to do.

I think I've mentioned that for the last little while, I've been listening to the songs on my iTunes in alphabetical order by song title. While it's good for randomizing the group or album that I'm hearing at any particular moment, sometimes it can give some odd results. A couple of weeks ago I was in the L's, meaning that I was hearing nothing but songs whose titles started with the word "love" for days. Now I'm in the O's, which allowed me to realize just how redundant some of my music library is. Even I find five different versions of "Opportunities (Let's Make Lots Of Money)" a touch excessive, especially when they all play one after the other...
lance_sibley: (drag queen - by brokenelevator)
Dinner with my parents this evening was relatively painless, surprisingly. My mother got through the entire evening and only made one bitchy remark (something to my father about how I think I'm "too good to work retail"). Though watching my father go through sample after sample of beer (the Granite is a brew pub, and they offer three three-ounce glasses of different beers on the menu in addition to the usual pints and half-pints) was a bit odd. Sometimes I think that all he does any more is sit around and drink beer, from the way he talks about his life. Hopefully, when I'm 68, I'll have more to keep me busy.

Dinner itself was fairly good - I had chicken florentine with mushrooms and roasted peppers, mashed potatoes (a bit on the dry side) and assorted veg.

Anyway, presents were exchanged, but not opened until we returned to our respective homes (or, in my father's case, hotel room). My mother called to tell me that she loved her sandwich maker and William Wegman calendar, and called back about ten minutes later to ask where I got the Ghirardelli chocolates because they were the best she'd ever had. I haven't heard from my father yet, and my mother mentioned that she tried to call the hotel where he said he'd be staying, but they didn't have anyone there registered under his name. Strange...

I had specifically asked that I be given no clothing, as I don't have space for the clothes I have as it is, but my mother still gave me a sweater, as well as a day timer, a notepad that hangs on a doorknob (apparently meant to be used for reminders of things to do while I'm out), a framed photo of her parents (believe it or not, I'd never seen a photo of my grandfather - he died around 1942 or '43, at the age of 22 - my mother says I look like him, but I don't really see it), a $30 gift card for Chapters/Indigo, chocolates, and Patrick Stewart's version of "A Christmas Carol" on DVD (also starring Richard E. Grant and Joel Grey). My father gave me a pile of used SF hardcovers (one of which I already had in paperback - oh well), a Star Trek Ships Of The Line calendar, and a $100 gift card for Future Shop (yay! more DVDs). Oh, and I also finally got around to opening the gifts from Mike and his family - a Roots hoodie, a Roots sweater, and a Beaver Canoe t-shirt. I think it may be time to get rid of some old clothes.

So the pagan ritual is almost over for another year. I still have to get together with Scott and exchange gifts - we'll likely do that some time this week. I have to remember to call him and ask if his German class in my neighbourhood is starting up again this week, as that would be a convenient time to get together. Otherwise we'll probably end up going to a movie as we usually do.

I'm thinking about going to Woody's for New Year's - they're apparently serving until 3. I'll decide tomorrow night, I guess.

And can someone please explain to me why Space, of all channels, is airing "Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?" in 45 minutes? I was sure that wasn't an SF movie...
lance_sibley: (If Looks Could Kill - by hoskie)
Mike came over this afternoon, as expected - though he managed to wake me up when he knocked on the door. It seems I'd inadvertantly left my phone slightly off the hook when I replaced the receiver after my last phone call yesterday afternoon, so he was getting a busy signal when he called to let me know that he was on his way, and again when he arrived. Fortunately for him, someone who lives here was coming in, and let him in. Unfortunately for me, people aren't supposed to do that...

He didn't stay for long, though, as he had to pick up the kids from their daycare around 5. So he was only here for about an hour, about a third of which was spent waiting for me to take a shower and get dressed. Oops.

So the mysterious gift that I'd bought for him last year and decided to hold on to until this year was a coat. I wish I could remember what it looked like. He said he'd wear it the next time he comes over, which has tentatively been planned for some time in January. This time, we'll actually schedule it so that we can fit in a game at the bridge club, and maybe a few beers afterwards.

I probably should have left the phone off the hook after he left, though - my father called while I was making dinner to remind me that we're having dinner tomorrow at the Granite at 4. (4?! Who the hell has dinner at 4???) He let me go when I told him that the timer on the microwave had beeped to let me know that my dinner was ready, so I took the chicken out of the oven and the phone rang again. This time it was my mother, calling to tell me that we were having dinner at the Granite tomorrow at 4. (Yes, Mom, I know.) And that she'd finally gotten off her ass and found the stock certificates. When I told her we'd have to get together to transfer the ownership of them to me, she said, "I'm not just doing that! They could be worth fifty thousand dollars!" (Um, no, they're not. Nowhere close. More like ten thousand, going by today's close. But again, I'm apparently not to be trusted to know anything about anything.) And then she pulled the whole, "Have you decided how much you're willing to settle for?" schtick again. Funny how I thought this was all sorted out... I'm going to have to put together some kind of spreadsheet or something and go over it with her step by step. Assuming she doesn't get paranoid and think I'm trying to rip her off. (Who am I kidding? She won't be satisfied unless some neutral third party is there and goes over my math. Which means paying more lawyer's fees. *headdesk*)

Five minutes after I got her off the phone (the chicken was cold by this point), Mike called to thank me for the coat. Then he put Adam (their seven-year-old) on to thank me for his gifts. Then he put Brandon (their two-year-old) on to thank me. Then Manuela took the phone. Twenty minutes later...

I knew I should have left the phone off the hook. I love my friends, and tolerate my family, but I like my dinner to be hot, too...

Oh, and I guess I should probably get around to opening the gifts from Mike and his family, shouldn't I...

Now what?

Dec. 29th, 2005 12:26 am
lance_sibley: (Lust - by crazybutgraphic)
I finished watching season one of "Lost" this evening. Now what do I do? (Okay, I've only watched some of the special features on the last disc, so I could watch the rest of those to tide me over. I'm finding myself liking Damon Lindelof, one of the co-creators. He's got that geek vibe that I relate to. I was surprised at how young he is, and I'm also surprised to see on IMDb just how little he'd actually done before "Lost.")

As it happened, I finished the last episode just after tonight's episode started on ABC, so I watched that too. Though it spoiled me for the beginning of season two, which I won't be able to see until the DVDs come out. :( I wouldn't be able to watch any more until then anyway, because bowling starts again next Wednesday night.

Mike's supposed to be coming over tomorrow, so I spent the evening (while watching the DVDs) wrapping everything that wasn't wrapped yet. I hate wrapping gifts. There's a reason I never took up origami as a hobby.

Got a cold call this afternoon from another headhunter for yet another contract with the Ministry of Community and Social Services. I told him I'd already been submitted there recently, but he thinks it was a different position based on the beginning and end dates of the contract. Plus, the other position was a P/A, and this is an S/A. He said that from the resume I have posted on Workopolis, I sounded perfect. Problem is, it's only a three-month contract. I'd much rather find something full-time (and take evening classes).

And now a meme, gakked from [ profile] redeem147:

Tell me of a fandom you know I know of and I'll tell you:

  1. The first character I first fell in love with:

  2. The character I never expected to love as much as I do now:

  3. The character everyone else loves that I don't:

  4. The character I love that everyone else hates:

  5. The character I used to love but don't any longer:

  6. The character I would shag anytime:

  7. The character I'd want to be like:

  8. The character I'd slap:

  9. A pairing that I love:

  10. A pairing that I despise:
lance_sibley: (screen name - by peach_passion)
As tiresome as I tend to find Christmas (the crowds, the having to deal with my parents, the stress), I found out today it could be a lot worse.

I was on my way home from Starbucks (not the one I usually go to, as it was closed, but the one around the corner - yes, there are two Starbucks within a two-minute walk of each other), and there was a police car with its lights flashing on the NW corner of Yonge and Eglinton. Two officers were standing with a teenaged boy in handcuffs.

Two girls came out of the subway station and hollered across the street, "Hey, are you going home?" No, doofuses. He's in handcuffs.

Anyway, it made me think that things could be a lot worse.

I went out to Woody's again last night, feeling the need for the illusion of company. They were having the Best Legs contest, which was won by a dancer from the cast of "Movin' Out" (the Billy Joel/Twyla Tharp musical that's playing here). Nobody seemed to want to enter, so two-thirds of the entrants were from the cast of the show. I saw John from bowling standing on the other side of the bar, so I wandered over to say hi, but when I got there I saw that he appeared to be with someone, so I didn't interrupt. I also saw Rick from Troy's team, but again, he seemed to be with someone, so I just said a quick hello as he was standing right next to the service area when I went to get another beer.

After I got home, I watched the first few minutes of the pilot of "Lost" on DVD while I ate a bowl of rice (exciting way to finish the night...). OMG, what have I been missing all this time? I think I'll spend the rest of today watching more.


lance_sibley: (Default)

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