Tuesday, June 30, 2009

June Out

The blog ended up being pretty quiet in the latter half of June. I meant to blog about several things, but they've now been forgotten. I finished up at Alberta Opera, got a passport, and decompressed from a single room dorm life to taking over the whole house.

The move was completed over about a week without any fistfights, deliberate bloodshed, or divorces. There were raised voices and snide comments. The only casualties I can recall were three small clay bowls I made last year. I did also lose my sofa bed which was infested by mice while in storage, but it's not a huge tragedy (we left all unwanted or unneeded furniture in the alley and it was gone within hours). We're not entirely settled, but all of the big stuff is done. Our former bedroom, out of which we lived every aspect of our lives except cooking, is now a dedicated games room. Video games, board games, card games. It's where we keep our DVDs, as well. The basement rec room, formerly the kids' room, is now the office/den/library. I'm set up at a large U-shaped desk in the corner and there are five bookcases stacked to the rafters, with two other tall bookcases and four small ones waiting for us to get around to them. I've wanted a room full of books for a very long time.

I'm really happy with the upstairs. That was always Dan and Darlene's space but we've managed to make it our own. We still have their sofa and coffee table/side table set, but David found some nice furniture on clearance to fill out the rest of the living room. A chaise lounge, two-thirds of a sectional sofa, and an ottoman. The kitchen isn't entirely mine, but it's getting there. I finally got to get out my lovely set of dishes I bought last year. I bought a new set of pots and pans at 60% off a couple weeks ago, and found all of my favorite cooking utensils in storage. I still need to clean out the fridge, pantry, and spice cupboard. (There are spice jars in that cupboard that Darlene bought before they moved to the city a decade ago!) David and I have a bedroom that is just a bedroom, and the kids each have their own bedroom for the first time since the younger one was born. They're really loving having their own spaces with their own toys and doors they can close. And a full-sized bathroom, with counter space and drawers!

There is still a lot of small stuff to do and some boxes to sort through, but it's getting very close to done. Thalia has ranged from stressed to delighted with the changes to explore. We managed to arrange the living room so she still has her favorite hiding spot available to her. She doesn't like to come into our bedroom when the air conditioner is on and she's really unsure about the ceiling fan. I think she's adjusted well overall.

My passport came right on schedule, so I'll be going to California for a few days in the next couple weeks. It's very exciting and overwhelming. I've never traveled very much or very far from home. David is afraid I'll like it so much that I won't come back, or that I'll get murdered by gangs. I'll be in a rural-ish suburb rather than south central LA, so I'm not too worried about gangs.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Wrap Party

I took the cast out for lunch yesterday. It was the annual "The tour coordinator is sorry for those all too frequent crappy travel days" lunch. I don't work for the company anymore but I still wanted to take them out since I'm not going to be invited to any of the company wrap parties. I didn't leave the company under the greatest of terms with the staff, but the cast didn't seem concerned with that and we had a nice lunch.

Blue Da Ba Dee

After quite some time of consideration, my hair is now black with blue streaks. I'd had the pink/red streaks since 2005. No pictures yet, but I like it.

The Shop on Blossom Street

I just read The Shop on Blossom Street by Debbie Macomber. It's the first in a series about a new yarn shop that brings together women from different walks of life. I'm enjoying it even though it's a bit more...emotionally feminine? than my usual taste in books.

The copy of the book I had from the library has some interesting defacement. On the blank page in the front someone started penciling out a family tree of the characters in the book, and later on someone underlined the word "naive" in red and wrote the definition at the top of the page. While I can't say that I support defacing library books, sometimes it's benignly entertaining.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Pod Showgram

You should really go check out The Better Than Jenn Show podcast. It's been less video game-centric of late. There's a theme song and rant about the gun control laws of Mississippi!


I stopped in at 7-11 on my way home this morning for a coveted cup of coffee with hazelnut cream. While I was adulterating my coffee with sweets and dairy, I looked up at the Slurpee machines. Do you know what I saw? Banana. That's right, banana. Easily my favorite but ever so hard to come by. The elusive banana slurpee has, for an unknown amount of time, come back.

Maybe I should be keeping an eye out for the even more elusive grape jelly powdered donut.

Passport Ahoy

For my new job, I'll need to go to California for training. For the first time in my life I'll need a passport. I've never gone through this process before and it was surprisingly painless. A form, various forms of identification, and a guarantor (the rules for which have been greatly relaxed).

I got my passport photos done a couple weeks ago, got the form filled out, and this past friend my friend Remy kindly signed on as my guarantor. The most delayed part of the process was waiting for my new provincial identification card. My old card had my previous address, which wasn't a good thing since I moved more than a year ago. As I understand it, there's a hefty fine for not having it updated. I considered myself mildy fortunate amid my bigger problems that the police who took the information after the break-in didn't ask for exactly how long I'd been living at my current address.

First thing this morning, David dropped me off near Canada Place and off I went. I wasn't sure what to expect. I know when the new rules about passports came into effect last year the wait times could be several hours, that the rest of the new rules came into effect in the last couple months, and government offices don't have a reputation for short and speedy queues. I walked into Canada Place at 7:50, stopped at the information desk for directions, walked all the way to the other end of the building, then went to the pre-screen wicket. I waited for about one minute, was pre-screened, and sent to wicket 8. The agent was as completely devoid of personality as he was efficient. I walked out of there at 8:02! Twelve minutes after entering the building! And I should have my passport via registered mail by June 30. Talk about painless.

Sometime in July, I'll be off to the City of Angels!


Last week I scheduled a manicure and pedicure a day apart for this week. It ended up being a little disappointing.

It got off to a delayed start yesterday. The spa, whose name I won't mention but it rhymes with Slaw-nation, called 10 minutes before my appointment to say that the esthetician I was booked with had called in sick and no one else would be in until 45 minutes later. I went to have second breakfast and coffee, then back to the spa. Except for the exfoliating (which I always hate) it was nice. I especially like the paraffin dip. My toes were painted a pretty blue with a stupid name (Blue me away, I believe).

As I was settling up I asked if the 9:15 appointment the following day was still fine. I was assured that it was. Sure enough, this morning I was walking through the mall on the way to the salon and got a call at 9:10 saying that the esthetician had called in again, she wouldn't be doing appointments before 10:00 anymore, and if I didn't mind waiting I could come in at 10:00. This time I did mind. It wasn't that I didn't have the time, I was just annoyed that this happened on such short notice the day before.

Additionally, I also discovered that the pedi wasn't quite as good as ones I'd had before. The rough spots on my feet weren't eliminated, just reduced, and the polish is a bit sloppy in places. A large part of why I want a mani/pedi is to fix the problem spots so it's easier for me to maintain them myself for longer. I didn't have a lot of faith that a better job would be done on the hands.

I'm sure I will still go for a manicure sooner rather than later, but it'll be at a different place.

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Despite the successful parties we've had in the past, the barbecue wasn't such a hit. There was a lack of promotion, people were busy, and other people were sick. We were also pretty unprepared. We got up around 9:30 and didn't even make it out to get groceries until around noon. We got hot dogs, smokies, rolls, and the makings for hamburgers and pasta salad.

It ended up being David and I, the kids, and David's friend Deanna along with her fiance, Aaron. It was still a nice afternoon, just lower key than our past gatherings. I think I should probably stick to food and let David take care of the guest list and invites.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I made it myself


Yes, there were templates and about an hour of help from tech support regarding hosting and domains, and it's very sparse, but I caused it to be done.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


My soon-to-be-former employers offered me a severance package so my last day is this Friday instead of June 26, which is awesome because things have gotten less tolerable since I gave my notice.

I'm really excited about my future employment.

I'm really enjoying being a podcast producer with David This is one of his dreams and it's great to be helping him out on it. Except when I have to call GoDaddy tech support.

My in-laws appear to be taking serious steps towards moving out.

My cat is far less broken in the head and is practically a normal lazy and spoiled cat.

Life is really very good right now. And I don't even feel like I'm being set up by the universe for some ironic smackdown. For perhaps the first time I feel like I deserve the good things that are happening after so many years of being downtrodden by life.


While still an Apple girl at heart, my primary computer is now a Toshiba laptop running Windows Vista. I'll admit, it's not terrible even though I don't care for Vista. My biggest complaints are the left shift key and the return key being oddly shaped and hard to get used to. And it's not a Mac.

Face for Radio

As previously mentioned David and I are producing a podcast. I don't know exactly how it happened, but I suspect me becoming a podcast producer happened in a similar manner to me becoming the assistant coach for a U8 soccer team. Date night found us at Best Buy, a music store, and a Source asking questions and pricing stuff out. The next day we found ourselves at Axe Music where a brisk and knowledgeable young man named Frank got us loaded up bought sound equipment and handed my Mac Mini over to David for a little studio in our house. I've got someone coming up with some logo designs for consideration and we'll get business cards printed up and I've put out feelers for a theme song.

I like the producing, I'll probably ultimately like the webmaster stuff though it's frustrating right now, and I don't even mind being on air much. I just really hate listening to myself. We had our first guest last night, James (Sherri's SO), and he did an awesome job. Very natural and personable and had really good timing with David.

It's been a pretty video game-centric podcast thus far, but I'm hoping we'll have some other guests come on. We'll talk about anything. We love and encourage shameless self-promotion and all we ask is that the guest help spread word about podcast in return.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Angels and Demons

As previously mentioned, we went to a movie for date night. We went out to see Angels and Demons, based on the bestselling novel by Dan Brown. David hadn't read the book but I had. I almost think that this was a case of it being better to go in without knowledge of the book story. There were a lot of changes and I was distracted by trying to remember what happened in the book and how things were changed.

That's not to say that I thought the changes were bad. Far too much happened in that book to possibly fit into a ~2 hour movie and a lot of the subplots or background details weren't really necessary. While I've enjoyed Brown's work, I think he's just a bit too in love with his own cleverness. He could use an editor who is a little more heavy handed when it comes to encouraging him to be a bit more selective with what goes into the final print. The more famous an author gets the less involved editors want to be when it comes to the story, which I think is often unfortunate since the more famous an author gets the more he or she wants to give in to the desire to pander to the fans (I'm looking at you, JK Rowling).

All that said, I really enjoyed the movie. I love religious conspiracy stories, I'm fascinated by the political structure and ceremonies of the Catholic Church, and I love mysteries and puzzles. Tom Hanks did a good job, as he usually does. I find that in my mind he's becoming more of an actor and less of an entertainer. It's a fine distinguishing line that really only exists in my own mind and affects most actors who become really famous. No matter how well he does at the role, I never forget that I'm watching Tom Hanks play a role. Maybe it's because he's really starting to show his age, but this time he was far less Tom Hanks and much more Robert Langdon.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Date Night

David and I had a really good date night on Saturday. It wouldn't be fair to say that we don't get to go out together much, but Saturday was very reminiscent of our first big date with dinner at Tony Roma's and a movie. We shared the Kickin' Shrimp appetizer like we did on our first date, when I previously had not liked shrimp. I'm still very picky about my shrimp, but the Kickin' Shrimp is always good.

Interspersed throughout datenight was trips to music and electronics stores for audio equipment. I can't say it was very datelike, but I think it's safe to say that the resulting purchases will become another integral facet to our relationship.


There was a parent-teacher conference at the littest one's school on Friday. About 15 minutes into the meeting, the kids' mom (who doesn't care for my existance overly much) arrived. She had no idea I would be there, I had no idea she would be there, and you could cut the uncomfortable awkward tension with a very dull knife. I offered to leave but she said since I was already there I might as well stay. I did stay, and I tried to be as invisible and unobtrustive as possible.

The staff did a really good job of diffusing things. I do hope that the experience will serve as an ice breaker of sorts. Life would be simpler if we could just go to these kinds of events together so both households know what's going on without having to rely on second-hand information and clouded lines of communication.


On Friday night, I went out with David and Kevin to see Terminator Salvation. Oy vey, was I ever bored. I normally like action films, but this one just didn't grab me. The preview trailers were the best part of the outing. I don't know if it was me or the movie, but there's a good chance it was my own fatigue. I was lukewarm on going out at all and tried to take a nap to boost my energy, but I didn't manage more than a light doze.

Christian Bale was good and I finally get why the ladies think he's a dreamboat. Sam Worthington, who played Marcus Wright, was fantastic. David really enjoyed the movie and would recommend it, and I seem to recall that Kevin liked it well enough but recommends that you don't think too hard about the plot.


There hasn't been a J3nny B3nny vs. Germoid update in quite some time. The theft of the XBox that had my saved games really derailed me from gaming. I was really disappointed over the loss of my Fallout 3 save and life got a bit hectic.

I played some Oblivion and Sacred 2, but for the most part have just been in a gaming rut. I haven't even checked on the gamerscores in weeks.

Germoid wins this round.

Too busy to blog

June isn't looking like the month of blogging. Lots going on, though. I quit my day job for a multitude of reasons, accepted an offer to make my evening job a full-time gig, changed my streaks from pink to blue, gave up on the gamerscore competition, saw three movies (two in theatre, one on DVD), spent a lot of money, and helped David get a podcast off the ground. Yikes!

The Better Than Jenn Show

Monday, June 1, 2009

June 1

April was the month of blogging. I averaged one blog post per day. In May, I averaged .323 blog posts per day. What will June bring on the blog front?

Lots has been happening, yet not much worth speaking of. Everything got worked out with the insurance company, an alarm system was installed, we got annual passes the science centre, the in-laws appear to be gearing up to move out. Things are just going along nicely.