For you, the dress code is casual.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Pasta Improv

Inspired by the onslaught of expiry dates (heh, that's always good, eh?), I threw random things together to use my almost-expired fresh pasta up tonight, and, hey, it's not bad!

And easy...

So, no formal recipe here, just a bunch of stuff thrown together pretty quick.

I used 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion (but would have preferred slightly less of shallots, instead). I sauteed that with a couple tablespoons of olive oil and 2-3 tbsps diced proscuitto ends I scored from Bosa's. Gave it about five minutes to get happy over medium heat. Added two or three cloves chopped garlic and cooked it another minute or two, then threw in half a pound of asparagus, chopped into 1" pieces, with 1/4 cup chopped back bacon (aka "Canadian bacon" for Americans), covered it, and let it cook for five minutes.

After the asparagus was tender-crisp, I threw in some chopped slices of extra-hot capicollo, maybe 1/4 cup (deli-sliced, but chopped into little thin bands), 1/4 cup of Avjar (a Macedonian roasted red pepper, onion, and eggplant spread) and 1/4 cup light cream and 1/4 cup of pasta water.

I mixed it all up and threw it in the cooked pasta (two huge portions, three small ones), tossed it all well, and that's that. I'd have loved to have thrown some white wine in, though, instead of the pasta water... :) I think red would be too rich with this. You want the peppery capicollo to pop, which it would do against a clean white wine, methinks. No?

Still! Pretty decent. Good use of asparagus and leftover deli meats. :) And a well-spent 15 minutes.

What I like about improv meals is, it's probably a once-in-a-lifetime meal. How fun is that?

Hillary, Damn It, Whatcha Doin'?

God. Hillary's campaign is just coming apart, isn't it? I almost feel like she has no chance. Every extra bit of venemous angst and combative attitude's sinking her rowboat just a little more.

She's got this whole underdog victim mentality right now and she's flailing. It's not working. It's like the old Secret antiperspirant ad, "Never let 'em see you sweat." Unfortunately, we're seeing it all.

And it's backfiring. Obama's got this Teflonesque demeanor and it all comes rolling off of him. She's proving he has the poise and candor to be president, and that's hurting her campaign. Whenever she's blowing steam, he's a cooling front hangin' in to take over when an opening comes his way. Dude's seriously slick. Very good politician.

As is she. I might be into Obama, and mostly for the simple fact that his campaign could be his nail in his coffin if he doesn't deliver -- he's proven the country's in the mood for change. Should he fail to deliver, methinks they might be in the mood to do something about that.

...But I would have liked to see a better campaign by Clinton. I think she could have made this more about the issues than banging that same "Gotta be Prez day one!' drum of monotony.

I don't see her delivering wins on the 4th. I see Obama getting closer to locking this one up.

And I hope this lobbyist scandal of McCain's is big enough to pose a problem down the road but small enough to keep Huckabee in the wings. Huckabee seems like a great guy but he's way too fuckin' religious. That scares me.

And Nader? Oy vey. One thing great about him: He forces issues. But he's a divider, as Bush would say. Complicated there. I like Nader, though. Sigh. :)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Head Trips are Starting: When Cleaning Goes Weird

Oh, I'm torn! I want to write, but in two or three minutes, an episode of a comedy I captioned is starting, and I've always been curious as to what got changed in the final edit, if anything significant at all. One of the most entertaining challenges of the job is figuring out how to convey sound effects to the non-hearing viewer. And sometimes it's just downright fun.

This episodes was one of "those" episodes that had me busting a gut and scratching my head.

...But then again.

I just found a piece of paper in an old copy of Seattle's Cheap Eats. A life insurance and travel health insurance dated for my Epic trip I took the spring my mom died. (We thought she was getting better...)

Wow. What a great, weird, wonderful trip that was.

I was working at a bookshop and had all these great guides that I pored over for plans. Hopped in my Hyundai and spent almost four weeks driving down to San Fran and staying all over the place.

Kicked things off with a 2 night stay at my favourite writers' retreat in Oregon, followed by a night in Ashland for the Shakespeare's Festival, at which I say Othello starring Anthony Heald (who was awesome) on the Bard's birthday.

The next day I grabbed coffee and a muffin to go and drove up to the top of Mount Ashland to catch the sunrise while pondering life for a few minutes over a tasty pastry before the long drive to Sacramento, California.

I stayed at the hostel in the centre of town, by the historic district, in a restored 1880s hotel that the city invested some $2 mill in. Fantastic hostel. Met this guy there who I really hit it off with while I was applying aloe vera on my arms, swiped from the kitchen plant, standing the there in the kitchen. (Bad driver's burn!) Somehow started talking music. What, Orgy and Nine In Nails and all the basic food groups or something?

We started smoking cigs together on the porch as the sun went down, chatting, and next thing you know, we're the only people out on a warm spring night, wandering the historic downtown at about 2 in the morning on a Thursday. We came to a place on some strange street where we heard the strains of a band jamming in rehearsal. We sat down and who's rehearsing? Cake, man. We listened for, god, an hour? Found our beds somewhere around 4:30am.

The next morning, we all got up and pestered the staff for Where the Locals Eat, and had brekkie in this circa-1890 greasy spoon that had kickass potatoes. Guy's name was Dan and we never corresponded after that. Great night, though. I remember he was an American expat living in Germany, just over for a holiday after a breakup or something.

I spent the day checking out the local public market and wandering, learning the hard way that American money all looks the same when I paid someone a 20 I thought was $1, and found myself a little broker when I did it a second time. ($1us was about $1.35 Canadian then.) Christ.

Then it was off to San Francisco for moi.

And, that, friends, was where it all went a little odd. Never really wrote about that trip. Time to get it all down before facts and anecdotes start to escape me. The fortune teller, the strange religious analogist who lied when he said he could take a critique, El Fuego, the lost attempt to find the Church of John Coltrane, uh... the gross man who sat next to me at a fantastic dinner table who failed to understand the practical limits of napkin uses at the table, um... travels in the Mission District. Sleeping in a lighthouse. Santa Monica on a slow day. Great photos in Carmel. Strange hotel encounters with a persistent Jewish Guy who was 5'2 and wore lifts and lacked the capacity to understand anything spoken in negatives, like, "Never gonna happen", or "No, no, and no", or "Not a chance". There comes a time when even optimism cannot help you, people. And when that time comes, Accept it.

How many of the stories I'll bother to tell, I don't know. A couple need tellin'.

One day. :)

But, for now... Kurosawa's Seven Samurai's playing on Turner Classic Movies. How odd, but cool!

Whoo-hoo! Let's hear it for the Eskimoes! A native village in Alaska has slapped a monster lawsuit on the oil and power companies of the world, suing for global warming, since estimates of relocating their rapidly-eroding village are around the $400 million ballpark.

Awesome! Story's here.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

More Whining About a Body in Pain

I've had another neck/shoulder spasm since Saturday and I'm getting REALLY tired of this. Bleh.

But I've stretched a lot this morning, so hopefully it'll settle a little today.

I've got that whole-body tension that comes whenever I'm ramping things up. Yesterday I added 5 floors to my highrise climb and today's just an acclimatization day, more than anything. And a day of hurt, of course, but it could hurt much worse, that's for sure.

I am, however, really surprised at how the stairclimbing is affecting the whole body. One would think it'd only really impact my legs and ass, but, nope. It's definitely an all-over hurt. That's a good thing, of course, however much it sucks at present.

Back to the grind tomorrow. I'm trying to really ramp it up this week and next so that I can start with the bike to work by mid-March. How exciting. :)

Meanwhile, I have to go suffer at work. I hate working with bad neck spasms. It's just not fun. Oh well. Could be worse. I could be working on bad shows, too, but fortunately the work part of work is nice. It's just the bodily discomfort thing, but hey. It pays money! We loves the money.

I'm takin' a muscle relaxant at work today, though. It's better than becoming a complete bitch in discomfort... although I'll feel a little stupid, just happier about it.

My scooter: I LOVE IT! I'm so happy with how well it's riding! Now I just need to replace the drive belt and it's tickety-boo until the muffler and tires need replacing at the end of this riding season. Yippee!

Friday, February 22, 2008

death to the week. death! off with its head.

i've had a very difficult week. it's been hard keeping myself in the right headspace and it all kind of came crashing down before work today when my OTHER hearing aid fucking died on me this morning.

another $300 thrown away, and my medical's all used up on aids already... for the next 18 months. fucking unreal. medical plans are kind of ridiculous that way. they keep this fucking token $500 reimbursement over 2 to 4 years for the claimant, and the reality is, a good single hearing aid costs $2500 to buy, and at least $200 a shot to repair.

my job, ironically, in which i help non-hearing and hearin impaired viewers watch television is BAD for hearing aids. why? because i wear headphones 8 hours a day, trapping all that extra moisture in my aids. moisture + electronics = bad plan.

whatever. fuck it. this one has been about 18 or 20 months since i last died, so it's about due. i just can't believe the luck i've had with hearing aids -- three repairs, $900, since october. unfuckingreal.

i can afford to pay for the aid repair right now and i suspect i've had reduced volume for a bit, so it's probably a good thing it's getting fixed. and i'm telling myself this. soon i'll actually come to believe it. and when i get it back and things sound crisp and good, i'll be pleased.

sill, i'm hoping this is the end of that for a while.

despite all this bullshit i've kind of had whirling in my head this week, and this stupid setback today, i'm going to shake this mood off pretty quick in the morning. my scooter will finally be repaired for once and for all, i hope, and i can just keep on keepin' on.

still, i've accomplished a lot this month and i know it.

aside from my woe-is-me emotional bad eating today (within reason), i've eaten very well, i've been exercising the last couple weeks. so much so, in fact, that climbing the highrise stairs down the street no longer hurts at all the next day. which means, monday, i'm upping the floor count.

and, hey, they have no 13th floor there. i don't know whether that reassures me or makes me paranoid. like, when you're terrified of bad luck, doesn't it somehow land on you, something like bird shit honing in on a freshly waxed-and-detailed luxury car for kicks?

i'm the kinda person who'd move in on the 13th floor just to see what's up, whether there's any truth to the myth.

anyhow, i'm not given to keeping my shit all together very well during times of duress, so having been pretty on page with everything this week (health, fitness, etc) makes me feel pretty good about not having gone off the rails when, mentally, i kinda did just that.

it feels all grown up. whodathunkit.

and the moon just popped up, all hazy and happy and not-now-so-full, partially blurred by a fluffy little cloud. quaint. reassuring. our friend, the moon.


mom's birthday is done and gone, the evil anniversary is over with, and the coast is clear for stupid nostalgia until mother's day. :P

and i didn't behave too badly. in fact, i was even productive. who knew?

now, please, god, help this kid get things done right and good on my bike tomorrow so i can actually start to have confidence in my scooter again? if i get that, everything else is coming up roses, man. i just want a scooter i can trust again.

know how bad my scooter's been? (i think we put the wrong oil in and it fucked it right up.) when it goes up any hill at all, and i'm forced to stop and/or decelerate below 30km, my power descends rapidly.

it is so bad... so bad that it progressively chokes to below 10 kilometres depending on the grade of the hill. there's one hill on a bike route on the way home that i can't even mount. the last block, i have to physically push my scooter uphill. all 190 dry pounds of it.

fuck, man. humiliating? duh, yeah. heh. HOWEVER. i've actually found it pretty amusing a couple of times, and have enjoyed the just-springing flowers and such. i've even laughed out loud. most of the rides home now, i'm pleading and begging with my scooter, although i totally know it's not helping.

add to that the three new zits i've gotten today, and yes, this week's been quite the humdingerydoo.

yes, i'm quite done with this week.

damn, i've been home for one hour and 28 minutes and i have not yet opened a tantalizing bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale?

ho! so wrong. so, so wrong. retasking priorities: now.


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Gimme Strength or Gimme a Beer

Well, this is the week I hate the most every year, although I try to get through it upbeat and without wallowing. And I'm doing very well on that count. Got a lot done on the weekend, and, knowing my headspace was shitty and akin to making shitty emotional decisions, decided to lay out the groundwork for a healthy week.

The week's going as planned on that count. Sunday, I chopped up all my veggies for salads, and have had monster salads three nights in a row for dinner (with a little bread, my guilty addiction this week, but next week that stops). I come home, toss some already-chopped peppers, radishes, green onions, red onions, and lettuce into a big bowl with some shredded roasted chicken (bought roasted and whole) with my homemade spicy pecan dressing, and that's that. Oatmeal's breakfast, and lunch is tomatoey beans with peppers and Italian sausages, my own little concoction.

Not very imaginative, nor is it sexy, but it's one less thing to feel pissy and self-judging about in a week filled with old memories, PMS, a full moon, and a few things that need to be resolved. It's pretty heady convergence of cosmic mindfucks, and I'm just trying to pretend everything's tickity-boo. And, you know, doing a pretty good job of it, but it kind of feels like I'm eight and trying to ignore my brother when he's doing all he can to piss me off. Ha.

One thing finally got resolved yesterday that puts a nail in a relationship I'm really, really glad to be done and over with, and getting home to find the paperwork I've been waiting for was a huge relief. HUGE satisfaction to know that's dead and done for good.

The woman with the desk who's taking a couple of my pieces is apparently finally coming tonight. This weekend I'll be getting my scooter fixed up, I hope. New piston rings, new belt, carb cleaned again. Whew.

But by the end of this weekend, my furniture will have been rearranged, I hope, and my storage and organization quest will be pretty much over... something I've allowed to intimidate me into procrastination the entire time I've lived here. Yay for me.

The only regret I have so far this week is not heading down to the highrise to do the stairs today. I'll do them tomorrow and Friday. I figured I wouldn't have enough time to do the 20-30 minutes of stretching I need to do so it doesn't fuck me up, so. I'm doing nothing but a little cleaning, enjoying my coffee, and watching my Biggest Loser I taped last night. I'll be outta here soon, deal with my shit tonight, and then I'll know I'm almost done all the things I've dreaded doing for god knows how long.

THEN... new dread, new projects, but this time I'm ready to tackle them. Paint!! Four rooms, two months. Sound doable? Sure. Why not? :P

And even though I've organized everything and whittled shit down... my thinking is, I still have more of it to do and it'll be ongoing for the next several months as I gradually get more courage to throw out or donate more things I've got sentiment attached to -- especially since I've decided to keep this big piece that is huge on my sentiment scale. I've consciously told myself it means so much to me that I have to get rid of more little things that don't mean as much. So, I have a new normal to work from, and new considerations.

But it's great to have a new starting point, especially in a week I hate like this. When Mom's birthday rolls around tomorrow, I'll be able to feel pretty good about where I'm at after a few hard weeks of work around home, and hopefully this weekend caps it all with a few more achievements. I think I'll even pick up painters' tape so I can prep for painting next week. :)

Hey, great news though, is that I didn't realize my vacation pay had been accruing; I misunderstood my paycheques and thought I was being paid out for vac time. So, I can take a few days off in March and really knock this shit out of the park. That's wicked, wicked, wicked. I have a notion for taking three 4-day weekends in a row (which means four days off, plus the Easter long weekend), so I'll see if that flies with management, and if it does, zippity-boom-bah. Some paintin's happenin'!

Monday, February 18, 2008

could be political commentary, could just be weird

(ed. note: i've read this over, and i've got one thing to say: let's hear it for painkillers!)

this whole bit about the spy games, missiles in space, and both china and russia nursing itchy trigger fingers and sharp tongues... wow. what fun. is it sticky in here, or just dripping in sarcasm?

it'd be really fucking stupid if this thing escalated all because the u.s. doesn't want spy tech falling in the wrong hands (quite understandably, by the way... let's keep the technology away from the oppressive communists, please), and russia and china are all paranoid.

i don't even want to get onto the topic of how eerily like the '70s this is starting to seem with all the big bad Reds in one corner and us happy democratic capitalist types hangin' opposite, or really, just the u.s., with whom the primary beef exists.

personally, i'm curious what the necessary flight pattern for any boom-device might be. i mean, does it have to scream over mongolia or something in order to detonate said spy satellite? (i could probably find out but it's more fun to wonder and consider the possibilities. jetting over mongolia, scaring the wild camels and freaking out people in their yurts... goats' eyes popping off spoons as contented nomadic diners are about to chow down. i know they use chopsticks, but chopsticks don't fly with my analogy, and it's hip to be west anyhow, so, work with me here.)

but when this all comes down, i think china and russia have more reasons to be paranoid and their threatening tones aren't too surprising.

it's 72 hours from now that we'll know how this all shook down, but in the meantime, the diplomatic game of telephone is gonna be somethin' fierce.

"sucky" is how it feels to realize someone flipped the heater off and the Cold War's back in biz. i really was doing just fine living in a world where all the communist superpowers cradlin' nukes were of the contented / satisfied variety. they're really not very pretty when they're pissed, or when they'reaccepting new members, like ihavetheworld'slongestname over there in iran

just don't go poking the now-awake red bears with sticks, there, washington. compromise anyone? it's the new black.

this shit's so much cooler when it's a movie of the week. sigh.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Blown Wide Open... Floored by Nostalgia

Wow. I was just completely overcome with emotion as I leaned on my early 19th-century china cabinet, staring that the mid-19th century hall stand I just retrieved from the valley after not having seen it for 13 years.

It's only today that I realized how important my mother made me feel as a child when she made this piece of furniture reserved for MY hat collection. At the age of 12, I had everything from feather hats from the 1920s to naval hats from the '80s and everything in between, all piled on this stand, and hanging on nails all over the sunroom's walls around this stand. The best hats, however, went on this stand... and she even dusted them. :)

Standing here in the dim light of my casual living room, it strikes me just how beautiful and unique a piece this is, just standing there naked in the poor light. And to let some 12-year-old's poorly compiled weird little hat collection obscure it... what a way to tell a 12-year-old how special she is.

Man... she's been dead nine years, I haven't seen this for 13 years, haven't cared about it for 20, and now it has the ability to reduce me to tears after all these years. Wow. I didn't really get it back then, but I really did always feel valued. Now, though... this one piece of furniture somehow makes all that real again for the first time in a long time. A real, real long time. And my mind, it's blown. Blown wide open.

I don't think I can sell this piece after all. I'll get by without it. This one's different... I'll find the room to keep it. Sigh. For a while. Maybe forever. Definitely for now. For now, definitely.

It's her birthday in four days and I think she would be really, really happy to know I've decided to keep it. You know, I stood there with my hands wrapped around the scarves bar and for a moment, felt electrically charged. It's so weird, I can't explain it, but I just suddenly knew that, as much as I want more space in my home, to sell that... whew. It'd be something I would regret, and forever. Few things we own really represent something that helped shape who we are, and I know it was just a hat collection, but... it wasn't. :)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

OMG, possibly best health science news of the year! WOW! The possibilities! Read about this potential breakthrough in spinal rehabilitation. Science rocks.

A Foodie Day and a Grueling Day

Beloved GayBoy (THANK YOU!!!!!!!) spent about 8.5-9 hours helping me today, in driving shit around from place to place to place. I'll have to post a photo of this fabulous antique I picked up of Mom's, but I'm going to sell it because, as beautiful as it is, my being a city-dweller means I'm unlikely to ever have the kind of space needed for a piece like this, which is more indulgent than it is pragmatic. Beautiful though. I hope I sell it to a good home. :)

Thing about living in the city is, your furniture needs to be practical and compact. A 7' tall by 3.5 feet wide hall stand that is only used for hats, scarves, and umbrellas... when you're a party of one in a one-bedroom apartment? Yeah. Not useful. Plus, holds four hats, maybe the same in scarves, and maybe 6 pairs of gloves, and will hold maybe eight umbrellas. I don't think my friends own eight umbrellas combined (we're Vancouverites! rain doesn't scare us!) and I have about eight hats, so, I'm pretty much shit out of luck already.

The woman who's had it for the last twelve years broke the cardinal rule of antique ownership: She neglected the wood. You must, must, must oil up your wood. Love it! Dote on it! Not always, just once a year or so. I've sprayed it with almond oil twice in six hours and it's already making a wild difference.


I am suffering the worst headache I've had in months. God. I can't believe I've stayed in a good mood most of the day. Worst headache in MONTHS.

We drove boxes all over town and to reward ourselves, we hit up two of the best foodie haunts in the city, the Gourmet Warehouse and Bosa's Big Fucking Location Italian Importers.

The biggest culinary find of the day? Cuisine Perel's Spicy Pecan Vinegar. $8.99 for I dunno how much, at least 500 mill.

I've just mixed up my own batch of Herbes de Provence dijon mustard, which, when paired with this fucking AWESOME Spicy Pecan vinegar and walnut oil should be a world-class dressing.

I just had a hit of the vinegar from the bottle and it's among the best I've ever tried. Fucking great. Apparently all the vinegars from this company are out of this world. I plan to try their Key Lime vinegar sometime, and there were one or two it hurts too much to try and recall right now. Perhaps the Blood Orange one as well. I've tried blood orange juice in a dressing and wasn't wowed, but maybe it's because it didn't have enough acidity, and as a vinegar proper, that problem should be remedied.

I also happily discovered bocconcini PEARLS at Bosa's. I've had cherry bocconcini before, which I thought were just a little too large for salads, but these pearls are a third the size of the cherries, so I'm just thrilled!

This will be a wonderful week for salads! I'll buy a Nestor's roasted chicken and shred it up for a tasty salad experience. Time to hit up a good greens store on the way home Monday.

Bosa's also sells mild Italian sausage meat for $9.92 a kilo, so I picked up 300 grams to make meatballs for this bean recipe I've invented. I'll post it when I'm through. Great really mellow Italian bean recipe with tomatoes, peppers, caramelized onions, Italian sausage meatballs, and a little chopped basil. Yum! And cheap as hell, and not your standard beans recipe. I've made it a few times and always liked it, but when I served it to friends before the holidays when their computer-fixing chores went long, I was surprised how much they enjoyed it. A twist on comfort food.

I'm five minutes from pizza and wine, which I hope my Tylenol combines nicely will to murder my headache. The edge is coming off it. Love the codeine, man. I take painkillers very infrequently, but tonight merits it. God bless pharmaceuticals. Pain SUCKS.

And I cannot wait to try my new salad dressing tomorrow. (Hey, 9 degrees and sunny tomorrow! BIKE RIDE! WOO! Followed by good cooking. That's my Sunday. Rest and preparing food for a healthy week of eating. And the first bike ride of the year.)

(It's a half-hour later, I forgot to publish, and my headache's down by 50% already. Thank god! This is manageable. Yay for me.)

ADDENDUM: Another great culinary find! Destined for panini greatness, this product of Macedonia is by "Mediterranean Gourmet" brand and it's "Ajvar" -- a roasted vegetable spread. It's only got five ingredients: roasted peppers, eggplant, sunflower oil, salt, and onions. It's awesome! Comes in mild and hot, so I've got mild. Will be great on paninis, I imagine. $5.49 for 720 mill! Steal, dude. Cheaper than mayo, and think of the health factor in comparison. Three tablespoons of this is 65 calories with 5.6 grams of fat (none of that is saturated or trans, so... low in cholesterol), so it's certainly not guilt-free, but a panini can handle light on the toppings.

Also, scored proscuitto ends at half-price. Oh-ho! :) FOODIE DAYS ROCK. Tomorrow I cycle today off. :) (Plus, a lot of activity today, so, not too terrible, this food-finding thing!)

Friday, February 15, 2008

February Sucks Ass: More Reasons for the Suckage

Have I mentioned that I hate February? Oh, how I hate February. Today's one of two great reasons why. Two of three big "mom" related anniversaries fall this month, and this is the shitty one. Next week's her birthday and I'll celebrate that day in her memory, but today's the day I found out she had a rare cancer, and I'm just in a shitty mood.

It's pretty infrequent now that I miss her big like this and it makes me feel like shit, but it's happening today. It'll probably happen only a dozen times this year, maybe not even, but... it's happening today. I'm having trouble shaking it, but whatever.

It'll go away tonight or tomorrow and life will be peachy again.

I think part of it, too, is that all this crap I'm mired in -- trying to reorganize, trading someone for new furniture, planning my decorating -- is the kind of stuff we absolutely loved to talk about together, and even do together. I even have a "style" scrapbook she and I started together with paint colours and magazine photos that inspired us both decor-wise.

Add to that that I've been tossing little things that remind me of her, and I guess it all computes that I would indeed have a day like today at some point.

At least I got up and did my little 16-floor ascent down the street for a little workout. That helps. Tonight I'll pick myself up some Spicy Peanut for dindin and a bottle of wine, keep to myself with some television and housecleaning before the epic Truck Rental and Furniture Acquisition and Box Dispersal Day I've got planned tomorrow. Sunday I think the plan is to revel in exhaustion as I try to get more done.

Yeah, I think my mom would really enjoy hearing about all my homestead plans right now. And she'd be happy. Really happy. And she'd be free labour for painting so long as I bribed her with homemade bread, toasted with butter and a wedge of cheese, and coffee. That'd be all the pay I'd need. And we'd have a blast.

And, the weird thing is, just knowing that somehow makes the pain of missing her a little better. And a little worse.

The human heart's a fucking weird beast, man.

Anyhow, it's Friday, and I'm just feeling pissy. The weather's surely not helping. The sunshine this weekend will be awesome, and with a 10-degree sunny Sunday forecasted, I'm thinkin' I dust off the bike and take in the outdoors a little.

I know I'll shake this mood tonight, so I'm not fighting it. Embrace the pissiness. Sometimes it's necessary. Besides, with Spicy Peanut and a Chilean Syrah, I will be a blissed-out work-laden recluse. Mother would approve. :)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Of Ghosts and Idiot Politicians

So the BC government wants to gut the dormant Riverview mental hospital and turn it into posh yuppy residences. (Sure, they're telling us "nothing's planned" yet, but there's an awful lot of hypotheticals and specifics hammered out for something "unplanned".) Oh, I have problems with that on a number of levels, not the least of them being all the homeless people with mental illnesses that are crowding our city streets because there's no care anywhere for them.

BUT... on another level, a part of me wants all these friggin' politicians to have a camp-out in any of the wings for a couple of days. The stories I've heard from nurses that worked there during its operational years, and from film folk I've known who've shot projects on the grounds, could make hair curl.

The place is supposed to be a Mecca of ghosts, and ethereal creaking and groaning and wailful, mournful screaming supposedly fill its halls all hours despite most of the grounds being unused for more than a decade.

It's like building on an Indian burial grounds or something. A friend from work once lived in a condo built on a former burial ground, and the creepy things that happened to her were good for storytime and scared her the hell outta there. Another friend lived in a house where a murder had transpired years before and said there was always something creepy around the place, and anyone who tried to sleep over on the couch was always long-gone by dawn. One woke up with strangulation marks on their neck. Crazy shit. Couple of the friends said they'd never go back to the house again. Ha.

Part of me doesn't want to believe in ghosts. Part of me has seen too many inexplicable things to doubt 'em, though, with the creepiest experience ever happening up in Alaska. Tell ya that tale sometime.

I, for one, would never fuckin' move to Riverview. Hell, I probably wouldn't even wish the creepy vibes on most of the patients that could really use a great centralized care facility for mental illness, instead of this fucked-up plan to scatter services throughout the province. Stoooooopid.

The ghosts will love the excitement of a new build, I bet. Heh heh. 10 years from now, those new towers will be filled with great ghostly stories. Fun!

But the poor bastards with hallucinations and extreme mental illnesses that are roaming the streets because there's no facility to house them, I think they're gonna be a little disappointed.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Planning for a Girlie Bedroom AND a RANT Against the Stupid Truck Driver!

I feel I am surfing the great swirlie of life.

Round and round and round we go.

All the good work I keep getting done gets undone as more of my chaos is first unravelled only to be reincorporated elsewhere as some other organization thingie-ma-jobby. And in the days between when I have the time or energy or will to tackle it, I'm left with visible clutter needing sorting. Behind all the closed drawers and doors: Order. Right now, it just doesn't look it.

But at least I keep making bits of progress, and the more of that that I have, the equal amount of chaos-former is also undone. So, win-win, but slow and frustrating on the journey.

After a few days of losing steam, I'm starting to feel the cracklings of energy firing up again, so... More to do, but hopefully momentum's on my side.

The blah, blah, and more blah season's finally on the ebb now, and daylight stirring before 7am is tweaking my biological clock. Allah be praised and all. Jesus, too.

This weekend will be huge if it all unfolds as I hope. Getting rid of sideboard. Acquiring a rich old desk of promise. Rearranging some furniture. Downsizing my bedroom. Ditching the damned boxes everywhere.

Oh, my bedroom. Such high hopes I have. I think I have two priorities in my life right now. Okay, three. Rework the bedroom all over. Get scooter well. Poor scooter. I've been feeding him badly. Again with the too rich synthetic oil. Carburator clog's even worse than the last one was. I. Hate. It! Then there's souping up my laptop with a big-ass hard drive and at least a gig of RAM. Self-explanatory, that. Oh, then there's the organizing. Then there's the fitness, and the diet. All right. Six priorities in life. Outside the obvious of work and writing. "Two" sounded so nice.

Then there's my bedroom. Ahh. I finally know how to make it all work. I think I can afford it next month, too. It'll be a radical departure. Out with the chocolate brown and sand. In with a cross between a spring and sage green, all over, even the ceiling. I plan to stretch my artistic reach a little and try designing my own funky floral stencil. Big-ass one with a couple smaller ones, but really minimalist and modern. A floral twist on a sprig of clover, inspired by the inset. Thick cream border with either a maroon centre, or chocolate brown. Just in one corner, my to-be-a-reading-nook corner.

I want a feminine bedroom. I haven't had that since I was a kid... and I'm not a kid anymore. I want a womanly feminine bedroom. Modern, clean, simple, smart. Buying a bed for it. Something very cool and platform-ish from Ikea that I just love. Very modern, very sleek. Simple lines. And no footer. Footers feel too boxy, coffinish. Trying a really crafty approach to my nightstand that once was my folks'. Strip it, then paint the boxy body of it sage green and the one drawer the same colour that's in the flower, maroon or chocolate. But for the outside, I have a funky idea for a treatment on top of the painting that involves sourcing some metal meshing or something similar. I want it unique.

The only other furniture will be my rocker and a 1915 wood-cased Singer sewing machine that most people don't believe is a sewing machine. Yep. Modern meets 1920, methinks. Estimate? Paint: $50-60. Bed: $240. New duvet (because to have a new bedroom and my crap old comforter would be unthinkable): $60. Duvet cover: $60. New sheets: $30. So, $450? Purty damned good, considering it includes a whole new bed. I need no accessories, nor trinkets. I'm set. Furniture rocks, aside from the creaky crap homemade thing Dad made me. There's only so much you can do with an electric saw and a power drill. Sigh.

You know, the last time I really loved my bedroom, I was 15. Isn't that sad? Just wrong, that's what that is.

Hence why when I lie in bed at night I'm fantasizing about this beautiful new bedroom of mine. No, really. The painting will take a weekend, likely. The flowers, another week, maybe. Slow, deliberate. Sometime next month though.


I got to say, the first time I thought "Wow, I need to quit this job" last year was when my then boss came over, took a good look around my place, and said "You've got too much time on your hands."

And I thought "No, that's precisely the problem. I haven't any of it..." Fuck. Some people want to work for a "living". Other people want to work so they can do a little living. Pick your battles, man.

That I'm making my life this pressed with projects means one thing. Work's not the demanding place it was.

Hell, I've wanted to do all these things for a long time. First, I was injured pretty much solidly for a year and a half. Then I was broke off my ass off and on a long time. Then I just got consumed with work for a year or so. Now, I'm finally getting a little balance back. It's good. I need it. Bad.

I'll show pictures of all my little projects. I'm so excited. Can't wait to see what happens with everything. Getting all these things done will be just the kind of accomplishments I need to have right now.


But thank god I got me a little time on me hands, hey? Snicker.


Okay. I'm telekinetically inflicting a can of whoop-ass on the motherfucking truck driver who is REVERSING 3/4 of a block up my alley at 9-FUCKING-30 pm, with that goddamned "beepbeepbeep beepbeepbeep beepbeepbeep yes,i'mreallyreversing" alarm I REALLY BLOODY HATE.

Know how long it took? Just shy of four minutes! THREE-QUARTERS OF A BLOCK!


The alleyway can be accessed from both ends. All he had to do, was circle the block and enter the right fucking way. He even woulda been able to park easier! If only he had entered the right fucking way.

Okay. I'm taking a deep breath. But in the recesses of my mind, I'm kicking his ass.

Common sense? Fucking rarity, really. How stupid do these people have to be? Quite, apparently. What, is there some regional equivalent of a intellectual brownout going on? What the fuck? Oh, right. It's February.

Deep breath. Snicker. Better than therapy, every bloody time. Blogger: Good for ya! Take two!

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Monday, February 11, 2008

Curried Butternut Squash & Apple Soup

This is SO cheap if you just use water instead of the chicken stock I used. Maybe, what, $1.75?

But so delicious. Tastes like dessert, but it's dinner, and good for ya. Oh, and 125 calories a bowl! Adapted from Eating Clean's version, which I upped the curry on and doubled the apple factor.

The night before (or the hour before):

Take one medium or two small butternut squashes, slit in half lengthwise and scrape the seeds and pulp out. Put 'em face-down on a tin-foil-lined cookie sheet. Roast 'em at 400 degrees for about 30-40 minutes, until it's REALLY fork-tender at the thickest part of the part closest to the stem (not the hollowed out end, which cooks faster).

When roasted sufficiently, remove from oven and cool. When it's cooled, scoop all the squash meat out into a bowl, as much as you can, right down to the skin! Either cool it in Tupperware overnight in the fridge, or get cracking on the soup when you're ready.

When making the soup:

1 onion

Chop it up good (but no fussing; it's getting pureed later. Just a decent dice).

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil (yes, use it all, you need it for the spices in a minute). Saute the onions for about 7-10 minutes over medium heat until it starts to turn colour a little.

4 teaspoons curry (for a medium kick, 2 teaspoons was the original recipe)
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Mix and cook until fragrant (which means cinnamon-curry wafts up to you).

While the onions are cooking, peel, core, and chop up:

2 small apples -- I used Fuji, which was nice, but I bet Granny Smith would be great

When the onions and curry mix have become fragrant, add to it:

5 cups chicken stock, vegetable stock, or water
chopped apples
reserved butternut squash

So, mix the stock, apples, and squash up well with the onions, making sure all the spices are scraped free of the bottom of the pot, where they like to stick. Cook for 10-15 minutes, until apple in tender and your house smells kick-ass tasty!

Puree the soup when it's a temperature you're comfortable working with. Serve hot, but first taste it and add salt and pepper as required.

Secret to pureeing hot: taking the lid's centre cap/button out, covering it with a wet dishcloth you hold in place, then ratcheting up through the lowest blender speeds with a jar no more than half-full with hot/warm ingredients and that does not mean you can put cold shit in the other half of the jar up top.

Puree hot at your own damn risk. :)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sadly, It's All She Wrote

The plan, albeit clearly a naive one, was to get far more work done this weekend.

Well, so that happened. Right. I have, however, acquired a nice chunk of new music this weekend. A weird, conflicting chunk: Imogen Heap, Vampire Weekend, Arctic Monkeys, BRMC, Black Mountain, Explosions in the Sky, and a few others slipping my mind. Some 9 hours or so playing time, but it's time I get back in the music game.

I got all my laundry done, big accomplishment there, and tweaked all the organization systems I created last week. I've just done no cleaning.

It dawned on me yesterday, with my decision to accept the traded for the desk, I've unleashed an ungodly amount of work upon myself, and the notion of some downtime this weekend seemed far too compelling to ignore. I got a bit done. Not much. Just a bit.

Next weekend I'll test drive a lot of new music as I do horribly ambitious things, like setting up my new desk and reorienting my living space. (Thanks for the thoughts re: keyboard drawer, B, but I hate them. :)

It'll be great to have drawers in a desk. That's not something I have. I've already created new space on my bookshelves to get all my reference books out of my bedroom. By the time I done, there'll be no more bedroom/office, just a bedroom.

I deserve a place of solace. I need one. By the time I'm done, there'll be a reading nook, a bed, a table, and nothing else in my bedroom. Wonderful. I'll print and frame a couple shots in big format, and it'll be a whole new world.

I'll hate having an office in the living room, but I guess I'll have to tidy it up better. I can always change the plan down the road if it's not working out.

Trying something new, though... priceless.


Aw. Roy Scheider died. RIP, Roy. Maybe you'll finally get a bigger boat, Sheriff. JAWS... best worst movie to watch before a summer at the beach ever. Maybe I'll watch it this week. That, the French Connection, and Marathon Man, whew, he never needed to act again. That's it, great resume in 3 brilliant flicks. But he's Roy, man. He brought it time and again.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Behold! The Terror Propaganda-Monster Rears Its Head!

Oh, oh, oh! This is so disgusting. What a horrible return to the fearmongering bullshit that has largely defined the Bush administration. Just when I started to think a McCain presidency wouldn't be that bad, this freaky coincidental convergence of 'statements' comes out.

First Mitt Romney backs out because he doesn't want to weaken the country by diluting chances of victory against the Dems, but I'm articulating it better than he did. Not speaking ill of the dead and all. Then Bush comes out urging for unity of Republicans in order to avoid falling to the pall of terror by allowing a Democrat victory. Now McCain speaks (each of these events has occurred on successive days) and says how it's urgent the Republicans win or the focus on the war on terror will be scattered, maybe lost.

Fucking shoot me now. What's next, the warning that every house should have plastic sheeting and duct tape? Remember that high point in the Republican administration? No concrete evidence of anything. Whew. Long strange ride its been.

Sigh. I'll be so fucking glad when the Republicans finally shoot themselves in the foot for good. We need another Craig, or another scandalous email-meets-page controversy. C'mon, bring it. It's February and there's a writer's strike. Entertain me, please.


In other news, I've submitted my photos for consideration at a gallery. Cool. Hopes are low but my subset hopes are hoping like hell for a surprise. So, fingers crossed.

Ooh, A Dilemma! Decisions, Decisions...

So, I posted an antique of mine for sale on the web this week and someone wants to trade for my sideboard and has offered a few things for consideration.

What is interesting me is an old, old desk they're offering. It's around a turn-of-the-century, big, heavy old desk that was, at one time, had a leather. It has five big drawers and a filing drawer. Storage wise, it offers a lot. The leg opening isn't as wide as I'd like, but...

Ooh, how I intermittently have wished to have an old desk like that. I know how to restore wood a bit. I think I'd sand it all down and tung oil it, and since one pull's missing, I'd replace the pulls with repos from Restoration Hardware or whatever it's called. I'd look into what would have to happen to protect a leather surface, then I'd go about putting one in. A sheet of cherry leather, a 1/8" sheet of ply of some kind, adhere the leather to it. Easily done! I could make the leather removeable for changing it out sometimes with some kind of double-sided tape rather than a strong adhesive. It'd be a weekend of work, but...

Hmm. I'd lose some work surface, but I could come up with a solution to get some of the shit off my desk's surface so I'd not have to worry about that -- like a printer stand. Then, with all the storage I'd have in drawers, I'd be better organized in my bedroom, too...

God, I'm leaning towards it. I'd have to put my current desk top (which my dad and I made together and means quite a lot to me) in my storage so I can pull it out some other time.

I'd wanted cash, but I know, if this desk was in the kind of condition I think I can put it in, I'd be paying $600-1200. It'd be beyond my means for a long time as I doubt I'd invest that much in a desk that seems a bit tight for longterm seating... but to have the "dream" antique writer's desk would be really, really wild.

Boy, oh, boy, gonna ponder that tonight and tomorrow, for sure. I could maybe get an old trunk thrown into the deal and turn that into a printer stand. Turns out this chick I'm talking to is trying to restore a 100-year-old hotel out in the Valley, so there's a few things to choose from and I'm just assuming she has a little trunk. Or I could get a neat little travelling suitcase to use as a stand... drill some legs onto it. Could be just the change my bedroom needs. Hmm. You know this is growing on me. :) Here's the desk I'm pondering.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

#4 on Letterman's Top 10 Reasons Mitt Romney Dropped Out of the Presidential Race:

Country's not yet ready for a white male president.


Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Stop With the Weather, and a Salmon Dish

I was just reading about the terrible tornadoes sweeping the States while I watch a show on the Queen and eat lime-baked salmon with corn and greens (welcome to my ADD evening) as my bread rises in the kitchen.

So... I'm pretty into an evening already at 7:22, uncommon for me, since I'm usually leaving work around now. Hey, if they want me there at 9, they'll be telling me, man. It's my winter thing. I start earlier in the summer.

But the weather, man, it's insane, and it's why I'm home early. I was reading about these storms and how some of the tornadoes just appeared with no warning at all, and how odd (and obviously destructive) it all is. Well, weather here in Vancouver's the same these days. Not destructive or killer, thank god. Just weird shit and unpredictable.

Hence why I'm having the night I am. I was happily working along in my show, completely engrossed in it. Probably hadn't looked out the window for a couple hours. It's a pretty damned good British series I'm working on, so it's an joyable day. But I look up, and behold: heavy snow! What the fuck? Totally supposed to be 6 degrees and raining today.

Instead, wham. A wall of snow, out of the blue, and the snow warning's issued nearly an hour and a half after the system made landfall. This is what we've had of late. Weather forecasts are no good until six hours before the systems land, minimum.

I'm all freakin' out 'cos the snow's getting heavier. Then it slows, but I check the weather page and a formal snow warning's been issued, so out I go, jetting from my job 2.5 hours early. On my scooter.

Riding through rain's pretty shitty for visibility, but I have to say, riding through snow is like having a frosted shower curtain hanging over your head. Christ. Not making a habit of that.

Is it March yet? No? Aw, crap.

Love living on the ocean. Weather's like a spectator sport.

So my healthy thing's back in swing. I've been biding my time and slowly moving this way. In the past month, I've experimented with such healthy things as lentils, beans, quinoa, made my own granola, and probably a few other things I'm forgetting. Cooking more with bean sprouts. I've been making gains, healthwise, for sure. Still eating shit sometimes, but the frequency and sophistication of my health choices are definitely increasing. I'm totally getting on page.

Lowkey Lime-Baked Salmon for one Hungry Steff Recipe Begins Here

But this salmon's nice. Think I've posted it before, but this is a newer, healthier version.

The original recipe calls for butter, which I've got none of, and no oil. Put out a sheet of parchment (what, about 12x16 or so?). Just lime juice (just a sprinkling, add more when it's being served) and corn (1/2 cup) and cilantro (lots) and red peppers (1/4 cup diced) and jalapeno (1/2, minced), all mixed up with a little salt and pepper. When it's all mixed up, you make a little pile of it on the centre of the parchment.

A salmon fillet (recipe calls for 250 grams, I go about 175 or 200) goes on top, sprinkle it with sea salt and fresh cracked pepper. Slice up a lime and lay it on top of the salmon. Wrap the parchment packet up (basically just close it at the top, roll it over and make it tight so it's a nice air-tight package), bake 15 minutes @ 450.

My twists were getting rid of the tablespoon of butter, and I served the bed of corn on top of a bed of mixed greens. The greens I drizzled with a little hazelnut oil, then put a touch of sea salt and pepper. When the salmon was ready, I just cut the end off the parchment packet and slid it out, juices and all, on top of my lettuce to get a nice, juicy, wilted salad going.

I really dig that dish. I quite like having a bit of nut-infused greens thrown into the mix, too. I'm thinking I might switch the jalapeno with ginger sometime, too. I actually have some candied ginger around here, too, and a half teaspoon of that with a teaspoon of fresh ginger with the cilantro and lime might work. Worth a shot, says I. The original recipe comes from Williams-Sonoma's Cooking for Yourself (a book for single people filled with delicious one-serving meals that make being single a whole lot more fulfilling). I LOVE that cookbook. LOVE it. Recommend it to anyone. I've even doubled some to serve to date-type men with raving results, too.

This salmon recipe, actually, I had made a double batch of the corn/pepper/cilantro mix (but no lime juice) and froze it in a Ziploc bag a couple months back. Pulled it out, put the bag in a bowl of cold water, and 20 minutes later had it baking. Great easy healthy-as-hell dinner.

Since I'm home early and all.

Now that I'm making homemade bread, I have a craving to make my first peanut butter-and-honey sandwich since, god, 15 years ago? 20? 25? Long-ass time, I tell you. And never on homemade multigrain bread, either! I am SO gonna love that for lunch tomorrow. What a great (and cheap -- right on budget) lunch. Simplify, simplify, simplify, right?

Loaded the bread up with additional flaxseed, too, so it's super-duper Omega-goodness. Looks like I have to run to Galloways for more of their 12-grain flour mix again if I'm back on the makin'-bread kick.

If anyone wants the recipe, say so.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Just Another Tuesday... What's So Super About it, Anyhow?

The wind's howling, the rain's coming down, and work looms on the horizon. It's too bad... I could get so much done this week if I didn't have to work. :)

I'm trying to keep my "accomplishing things" momentum going and have one goal of something to accomplish each day this week, and some are double-goal days, depending how long each task takes. Today's a triple-goal day, if mailing something counts, and since I make the rules, yep, it counts! Set goals, meet them. Who knew it was so simple? Sigh. I'm hoping that I am laying groundwork for a better, more productive life by doing little changes like this, the "daily goal" plan and all.

Here's a nouveau goal. I have to break down a five-pound bag of espresso tonight. Yep. A certain party gave me a five-pound bag of a certain company's espresso beans when a certain service provider of theirs closed up shop and they gave all the supplies (including numerous big-ass bags of espresso) to their managers.

Me, I've been given a total of TEN POUNDS of whole espresso beans. I'm donating some to new parent friends of mine and my broke-ass brother. Spread the wealth around. That's what, $80 per 5-lb bag? Sweet.

Oh, dear god. The weather's taken a vile turn for the worse. Off to the bus. God, I'm SICK OF TRANSIT, ALL RIGHT? A little less-than seasonal weather for JUST A FEW DAYS would be really, really well-timed, oh deity of mine. COME ON. Cooperate. Stupid busses... Smelly people and dirty stuff. Bleh.

Monday, February 04, 2008


Everybody who's ever used a puffer/inhaler onscreen does it wrong. The point of it is to inhale. I know, I know, so shocking.

One should purse the lips around it, and, on empty lungs, take a hit and inhale it deeply. For, like, as long as you can. Which understandably is a little less sexy on screen.

But, seriously. The joke is so done. The frilly frou-frou types and their puffers in moments of nervous anxiety. Which I've never seen happen once in real life. And probably Mikey in the Goonies got it the closest of all screen portrayals (Sean Astin), but still...

Anyhow. Jon Stewart and his little puffer I'm-a-weak-man routine right now was the straw on the camel's back.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Behold! Order Borne of Chaos!

Oy vey. Shoot me now. I'm taking a breather to watch the evils of invertabrates and anemones on Planet Earth before I return to the madness of removing the madness from my life. I'm on Day Three of The Great Purge... The Purge I've never had the courage to do full-on. I'm doin' it, man.

I've spent a mere $100 on the organization quest, with $20 of that being on the red wine I've needed to end the nights with. Ha. It's the 80-20 budgetting rule on smallscale home improvement. 80% spent on the shit you need to do the jobs ahead of you, and 20% spent on the booze you need for the groaning-stiff-god-that-was-hard-work (but thank god it's done!) bitchfest that comes at the end of each day of hard work. As the costs of your projects go up, of course, the ratio of actual costs versus booze costs should widen, too, naturally. We're not encouraging alcoholic bingefests here, people.

Save that for the summer concert series, man, which feels like it's right around the corner. Oooh hoo! Spring! Warmth... outdoors... cherry blossoms. Mm. And in anticipation of all that... spring cleaning like never before, baybee!

I'm going to be done my coffee soon, then that means figuring out where to go next with this task ahead of me. Today's getting down to the easier, more menial jobs. I've already gathered all the papers around my apartment and stuffed them in a bag. Tonight I'll sit on an area rug for the first time in 18 months, after I pull it out of storage later, and I'll sort my papers. Huge accomplishment in that alone.

Before that, it's finding homes for All the Little Things, and going through a few more drawers and one kitchen cupboard. I've already finally dealt with the horrible wrath of the Broken Dresser and organized my bedroom closet, and my hall closet, and my two storage units... and I've purged about 40 square feet of belongings so far, if not even more than that, not including all the books I've been selling.

It probably sounds like a decent amount to anyone, but when you're living in a 700 square foot apartment, it's a lot. I've been able to move a lot of things around, creating a little extra space everywhere. Most notably, though, is in my postage-stamp kitchen, where "space" sounds like some exotic ingredient too elusive for my capture. In the next hour or so, I'll discover something as exciting to the foodie in me as discovering a wholly new species might be to a biologist: Counter Space.

Holy shit, man. Counter space! Who knew! How exciting. It'll be nice to not have to use, oh, the ironing board or the stovetop for additional space anymore when preparing for parties and such. Believe me, the ironing board thing has happened. Fittingly, the board's cover is a Teflon-coated one. I don't think they intended "Counter space on the fly" as a bonus use, though.

Tomorrow I'll have to make my fourth donation drop since this began on Friday. I'm proud that, out of everything I've gotten rid of, there's only been one bag for the garbage. Everything else has been donated or recycled. Yay for me. And yay for Mother Earth. Any bonehead can purge and throw shit in a Dumpster. Takes a special knack to know all that can be relegated for "other uses". Like clothes you think no one will want will happily be turned into rags for cleaning uses by more charities than you might realize.

A special item left for purging now requires me to visit, I think, a police station. I have a can of bear spray in my possession, which I kept in my car in the Yukon. Duh, it's the Yukon. Bearspray's handy in them parts. I almost stepped in a pile of bearshit when I was camping once. Funny how seeing bearshit so close and fresh kinda inspires you to similarly wish to shit. And run.

So, I digress. Thing's an explosive. I pity the fucker who causes it to explode, too. Not what you wanna be doing with highly concentrated, pressurized pepper spray with yourself being in the vicinity of less than, oh, 250 yards. And it's in a bottle about six times larger than your average pressurized can of pepper spray, too. Like, a litre. Mm, bear spray! It might be useful to keep, but I doubt it. I can just wear a bell. That's pretty effective.

Well, back to the grind here. It's been an arduous weekend, but I'll be reaping the rewards of this for a very, very long time. Yay for me. And yay for Planet Steff.

(Ed. note: Forgot to publish, and have since completed the kitchen. Nothing --NOTHING-- is on the counter except my toaster oven, coffee grinder, and knife block. Before, I had tonnes of cannisters, boxes of tea, and other crazy shit everywhere in the kitchen. Half the counter top (literally) was obscured. Now, everything is put away. Pictures will come at the end of it all!)

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