Thursday, April 29, 2010

Skywatch Friday and Today I...April 29th

This week's Skywatch post is a picture that I took in Stanley Park while on vacation in Vancouver a few years ago. We spent a lot of time in the park while we were in the city because we were just so taken with it, especially me since it was the first time I saw such impressive mountains that actually still have snow on them in June!!! The Canadian Rockies are a true thing of beauty and if you have never seen them, you should plan on it :o) If you'd like to see more fascinating Skywatch photos from around the world, head on over here.

For those of you who don't normally read my blog, I have a daily (99% of the time, at least!) feature called 'Today I...'. I'm merging it with my Skywatch post today because I'm moving tomorrow and Saturday and don't have time to type up two separate posts. If you enjoy this feature, please, feel free to become and follower and check back daily to see what I've been up to during the day, or at least what I find is worthy of your attention or not too embarrassing to share with the general public.

Today I...

...had trouble getting up this morning and was pretty grumpy until I'd been at work for a good half hour. Then I was snapped out of it by C's humorous antics.

...tried to figure out how the dividing up of 208 people, 201 of which were 15-16 year olds, into seven different tour groups became such a mess. Now really, how could handling that many people go awry? Honestly, it was a combined effort, but was mostly spurred into motion by one tour guide who was most certainly not in charge of the situation (I was the one who was wearing that hat and have been all week) trying to take charge of it. Unfortunately, my boss hat comes with an 'It's all my fault' sign on it automatically, which all boss hats do come from, She was my employee and she messed it up so I apologized all over myself for her, but fortunately the organizer was very kind and was basically of the opinion that if the worst thing that happened to his field trip was that it took 15 minutes to split his big group into little groups instead of five minutes, it was all good. Thank God he was a friendly tour organizer and not a cranky one.

...was thankful that the tour organizer was of the same opinion as me with regards to his students not wearing jackets when their school uniforms have short sleeves and the girls' uniforms have short sleeves, knee length (when not rolled at the waist, which is rare) kilts and knee high socks. If they freeze their little butts off while standing around outside for 15 minutes, that's their problem. Maybe they'll wear jackets next time :o)

...had an absolutely mad afternoon after that tour. I had to finish recruiting tour guides for next week, which I thought I had succeeded in doing, but then one pulled out at the last minute so I delegated that task to C for tomorrow. I then had to finish D's schedule for the payroll service for next week and run that down to them and then I tried to return the calls of people who had left me messages, but every time I started doing that I got interrupted and when I went back to I had another message. I would take that one down, return one call and then while I was on that call, another message would come in. My phone never rings that much normally, but it's Murphy's phone law. Whenever you wish your phone would stop ringing, it won't and vice-versa. I ended up delegating my call list to C for tomorrow too, because 4:30 came around and I needed to leave and I still wasn't done.

...went to get the keys for my new apartment and had another look around the place to see where all the plugs were and also to confirm my sneaky suspicion that I probably will indeed have to put my kitchen table in my living room. Oh well, no biggie. My new place is still way nicer than what I have now :o)

...only had time to eat half my dinner before running out to a spa appointment. Yeah, I still need to get back to the rest of it, it's waiting for me in the microwave.

...have no clue how I'm going to manage to do everything I want to do tonight, which includes washing the dishes, getting a load of laundry done, talking to my Sweetheart, having a shower and starting to load my food into bags for the start of my move tomorrow. I'd better get to it.

As a final note, don't expect much in the way of blogging from me again until Saturday night or Sunday. My internet is getting cut tomorrow along with my cable and phone (it all runs on cable, can you tell?) and I'm not getting plugged back in until Saturday at some point between noon and 5:00 P.M. I'll try and get a post in on Saturday if I have time, otherwise expect me back on Sunday :o)

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Today I...April 28th

Today I...

...was feeling kinda run down. Hormones and stress from the upcoming move I think, but I felt better after getting home and relaxing for a bit.

...recruited nearly all the tour guides for next week's tours. Not as easy task as so many of them are on vacation or in final exams at this time of year.

...gave an end-of-the-day tour to a group of high school students. It went quite well as far as tours with teens go. I always say a tour with teens is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get. Sometimes they're really into the Oratory and Brother Andre, but sometimes they couldn't care less if Brother Andre appeared right in front of them and stuck his tongue out at them for being so disinterested. Usually they're somewhere in between though and I'm actually pretty good at getting through to them, or at least some of them. The key is not to give up on them and make sure your stay interested in the tour even if they aren't. Usually if you act like what you're talking about is fascinating, they'll get into the game sooner or later :o)

...went grocery shopping since the weather turned out to be way better than expected today, it was sunny by lunchtime and went up to 13 degrees. Most of the snow from yesterday has melted away, thank heavens! A lot of trees lost branches due to the weight of the snow though, it was really wet. I always find it so sad to see trees with broken branches :o(

...spoke with my sweetheart for nearly 45 minutes on Skype. We followed the last period of the Canadiens' game online by listening to NHL radio and constantly refreshing the Habs' homepage to get the most up to date and score. And guess what? THEY WON!!! The kicked the best team in the league out of the playoffs!!! Never underestimate the Montreal Canadiens, you will be very, very sorry if you do :o) If we keep this up, we just might win the Stanley Cup :o)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Today I...April 27th

Today I...

...didn't have any tours to give at work for the first time in ages.

...was discouraged when it snowed!!! The folks on Météo Média, Quebec's french version of The Weather Network had said it was going to be a mix of rain and snow with mostly rain, but boy, were they wrong.

...regretted wearing shoes to work, until C offered to drive me home. Since she offered to do that, I cleared off her car for her.

...was miffed when I got mud on my white gloves from my recycling bin which the recycling pick-up fella kindly tossed on the we, snow-covered and hence muddy lawn. I took off my gloves and picked the bin up with my hands which were frozen by the time I tossed the bin into the garage after nearly tripping over my landlord's car, which he parked in the garage. What a wuss, no one else on the street bothered to do it. I actually think no one else wants to park in their garage because that would be admitting that it actually snowed today, which would be wrong. We were all walking around in t-shirts just last night, so it can't possibly have snowed all day today.

...was hoping to talk to my Sweetheart, but he must have gotten home from the steel mill late because he only popped on and off of Skype for two minutes just before 10:00, I didn't even have time to call him before he disappeared. My odds of talking to him this week are pretty low I think, it's his last week at the mill and he's going to have to work like crazy (meaning late) to try and get all his work done before he goes back to his regular job. I'll try and connect earlier tomorrow though, maybe I'll get lucky.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Today I... April 26th

Today I...

...started the day by finding an e-mail that a tour operator sent me at 6:30 in the morning on Saturday telling my that the tour group he was sending in this morning was going to include 66 people rather than 24 and that a second tour guide might be a good idea. No, you think??? I figured I would just go out there and do the tour on my own anyhow. Jeeze...I don't know what he imagined was going to happen. That I would be in the office on a Saturday to check my e-mails? Or on a Sunday? I just couldn't believe it. I have a hard time believing that anyone called him from that school on a Saturday to give him the info either, I think he must have just forgotten to do it on Friday or something, but seriously...Maybe call and keep calling until you get someone? Because we did have someone in the office on Saturday to mind the phones since D is away. But nope, he just sent an e-mail which I found at 8:45 A.M. when the tour was at 9:30 A.M. I was rather unimpressed as was C who worked yesterday and had a bit of a rough day and wasn't feeling up to doing a tour. She tried desperately to get a tour guide to come in, but no one was available at that hour so she had to do it. Luckily it went well for both of us and the group was very satisfied, but I did write to the tour operator and asked him to please give notice of any future changes on a weekday or else to make sure he gave the message to a person. Sending me an e-mail at the office on the weekend is akin to sending it a brick wall. There will be no reply, or at least not until Monday morning.

...had a day filled with data entry and phone calls after my tour.

...managed to get all my work done right on time.

...went to choir practice and enjoyed it, especially the part where one of my fellow sopranos said that the facial expression our director was trying to show us he wanted to see on our faces while we sang would make us ladies look like we had just had our behinds pinched unexpectedly and that she would bring us each a clothespin next week so we could better satisfy the director. I just about died laughing and it felt good :o)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Today I...April 25th

Today I...

...had a busy day.

...did my laundry.

...cleaned out my closet and packed up what needed to be packed and that was that. My packing is done, I have 20 boxes and used up exactly one roll of packing tape. I'm worn out, I've had it, but at least all that's left to do now is the actual move on Friday and Saturday.

...filled up three garbage bags this weekend with all the stuff I didn't need and cleared out of my night table and my closet and one bag with clothes and stuff to give away.

...spoke with my Sweetheart for a bit. two train tickets, one to come home from Toronto in May (a freebie with my frequent traveler points) and round-trip one for July in order to take advantage of Via's 60% off sale. wiped out and will try to make it to bed a bit early.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Today I...April 24th

Today I... sharing another picture from Thursday's lunch hour walk with you. This is the statue of Brother Andre that's standing near the Original Chapel. It's strange, sometimes I walk by and I find that he looks so serious, but here he looks like he's smiling. He must be enjoying the weather :o)

...went to the salon to have my haircut and was once again told 'You have so much hair, I took a lot off in that inch! You must feel, like 10 pounds lighter!'. Yeah, not far. Do you have a scale I can climb on? The hairdresser actually asked if I'd like to share some of my hair with her because I have so much of it. she said 'You could definitely stand to lose some!' Uh, no thanks. I like my hair right where it is. Help yourself to anything that's on the floor though! My hair is actually one of the things I really love about myself and I have absolutely no qualms about spending a fortune on high quality shampoo. If you're looking for some really good stuff, look up the nearest Aveda Spa in your area and buy their products, you will not be sorry! They also have amazing body product. I was a gymnast for 11 years and a coach for two and spent all that time spinning around on beams and the floor and flipping around bars in my bare feet. What that did to my poor feet...well, I'm pretty sure you can imagine, especially when I threw a few years of ballet on top of that, plus all the time I spend walking around at work. I was ashamed of my feet and wouldn't dare show my soles to anyone, not even my Sweetheart. The Aveda foot lotion has done wonders for me in just one week, my feet are SO soft now, it's incredible. I know I sound like an infomercial, but it's true, I can't help it. The have hand lotion too and that just might be my next buy once my tube of Aveeno lotion is done :o)

...packed two boxes and cleaned out my crawl space and night table. The only things I have left to go through are the top drawer of my bedroom dresser and my closet and I'll do that tomorrow and then I'll be done. Hopefully I won't run out of boxes, but if I do it won't be by much and I'll just pile the rest into people's cars next Friday and Saturday when I move. I CAN'T WAIT!!!

...spoke to my Sweetheart and then heard from him again by e-mail. We're planning our weekend together next month, we're going to go to the opera on the Saturday and then head up to Niagara-on-The-Lake and Niagara Falls on the Sunday and Monday before I take the train home. Ah, what a lovely week off I'm going to have. South Carolina and Toronto, here I come!!! I just have to move first :o)

Hiding out

This week's Camera Critters feature is another picture from my visit to the Toronto Zoo, a pair of camera shy frogs that I found to be quite cute. I've always enjoyed frogs and toads and love trying to catch them when I was little and was actually quite good at it because of my patience and how quickly and quietly I could creep up on them. I was also, actually, the only person who, in the over ten years my grandparents lived in Florida, managed to catch one of the many lizards that ran around their property. So yes, creepy crawlies don't bother me, as long as they're not huge snakes and as long as they're not actually inside the house. That's a whole other ball game. I'll actually touch any reptile or amphibian as long as it's in a controlled environment like a zoo though, even huge snakes. I just don't like coming across snakes in nature, that's just creepy. I actually wouldn't step foot in one of the lakes we were staying at as a child after seeing a massive water snake in it. But a pair of frogs like these guys? No problem :o)

I hope you all have a great weekend and don't forget to go and check out all the other critters there are to see on the Camera Critters blog .

Friday, April 23, 2010

Today I...April 23rd

Today I...

...was finally able to upload these photos from my walk in Westmount on Wednesday. These lovely houses are what a couple of extra million can get you in Montreal's housing market. Aren't they lovely? They're worth it, trust me. This is a lovely area, very quiet and it backs right into the Oratory, as I mentioned in my Skywatch post from yesterday. But yeah, it'll cost you couple of million.

...had an insane day, even nuttier than yesterday, which I didn't think was was possible. Thank goodness it was Friday! D is gone on vacation, you see, so C and I have to do his work and ours, otherwise the department will grind to a halt until he comes back on May 5th. That's what happens when the coordinator is gone and you have no boss. You have to become the boss along with your colleague and's a bit of a rude awakening at first, but we're getting the hang of it.

...went to visit my new place with C after work and I can't wait to move!!! It's even nice than I remembered and so clean and bright and it's not a brick wall I have across from my place, it's the windows from the apartments on the other side of the courtyard! Hooray! I'll show you guys some pictures of my place once I'm in it next week, like the lovely molding along the ceiling and the lovely lights and the beautiful wood accents and the faux fireplace and...well, you get the hang of it. Goodbye run-down apartment, hello apartment that's actually going to be worth the rent I pay for it! Next step: one of these houses ;o)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Skywatch Friday

I can't believe it's already Skywatch Friday time again!!! This week's feature is a photo I took of the Oratory from Westmount (a very ritzy neighborhood of Montreal that is literally right behind the Oratory, our back gate and side gates open onto it) while out for a walk during my lunch hour yesterday.

I hope you all like it, you can go and see more skies from all over the world by heading on over here. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Today I...April 21st

Today I...

...was annoyed along with C and D when a tour guide who was supposed to come in to give a tour didn't show up in the morning, saying I had told her twice that her AM tour had been canceled and not her PM tour, when it was the other way around, she had even written on a schedule at the tourism counter that her PM tour was canceled. We put her on a tour that C was supposed to give in the afternoon since she had to do the AM tour that the AWOL guide was supposed to do, but then she didn't show up for that one either! We had no clue why she didn't show and by then we didn't care anymore. D went out to give the tour and we are going to make darn sure that she writes down her hours whenever we give her some from now on.

...went for a walk with my camera in hand during my lunch hour and wanted to share some of the pictures I took with you, but stupid Blogger won't let me post them for some reason so they'll have to go up tomorrow.

...bought a couch!!! I went out to the furniture store with my grandparents after work and was in and we were in and out of the store in a half hour I saw the couch on the store's website yesterday, loved it and was thrilled to see that it was on special (100$ off!) and went out to get it today. It's a good thing my grandparents were able to take me, because there were only three of this particular model left! If I had had to wait until the weekend they would all have been gone for sure. The store is going to deliver it to my new apartment next week, I can't wait!!!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Today I...April 20th

Today I...

...had an adorable group of grade three students on my guided tour.

...told C that she would have to pay closer attention when booking tours, she nailed herself and Denis with 200 students in eight separate tour groups on May for me: not my problem, I'm going to be on vacation at that point!

...went to buy 'The Young Victoria' on DVD after work, I had been waiting impatiently for it to be released since seeing it in the theater.

...spoke with my Sweetheart on Skype for an hour and a quarter! It was total bliss :o)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Today I...April 19th

Today I...

...had a bunch of chatterboxes on my tour, but they had very good questions, so it balanced out :o)

...missed the bus that would have gotten me to my choir practice on time because he was running nearly five minutes early. I hate it when they're early...especially when I'm running a bit late! poured on while waiting for the next bus, but saw one of the most beautiful rainbows I have ever seen, so that balanced out too.

...was kicked by a little boy who was no more than three years old on the bus because he wanted my seat despite the fact that the bus was only about half full and he could have had any other. Yes, the kick was deliberate and no, the mother didn't do anything about it despite mine and several other passengers' shocked remarks. to choir practice in a rather unpleasant mood, but felt better after singing for a while.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Today I...April 18th

Today I...

...was most dismayed when my hopes that the weather would change overnight were dashed upon waking up and finding the sky still cloudy and rain still falling on and off.

...washed my dishes.

...packed that box I didn't get around to packing last night.

...decided to take advantage of a break between rain shower to go for a walk and take some photos of some of the spring flowers that are blooming in my neighborhood. caught in a rain shower during my walk and ducked into a cafe for a cupcake and some orange juice to give Mother Nature a chance to stop raining on my parade.

...walked back home and got ready to go to my uncle's birthday dinner.

...had a good time learning to play the djembe drum after dinner. My uncle is quite the talented musician and has all sorts of instruments from a mandolin, to several auto-harps, to a couple of guitars and harmonicas and a few Irish drums and now a djembe drum. He likes to teach me how to play his drums since I can pick up pretty much any beat in no time flat and I'm always more than happy to learn :o)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Today I...April 17th

Today I...

...had a rather...okay, let's say it, dull day. It was cloudy and chilly and I wanted nothing more than to go out anyhow, but I had boxes to pack and laundry to do so I...

...started my laundry at 1:00 and finished it, folding and all, at 7:30. Yeah, it took me that long. My washing machine works fine, but my dryer is antiquated and I have to run it for 1h40 minutes if I want to have chance of my stuff drying properly. Sometimes, depending on what's in the load and the size of it, I have to run it for another half-hour after that. So at 25 minutes per wash and 80 minutes a dry it takes me ages to do my laundry and today I had three loads to do since I decided to wash my sheets as well as my clothes. I may have to pay to do my laundry in my new place, which I don't here (otherwise the landlord would have replaced those machines long ago, trust me...), but I'll be perfectly willing to pay to have efficient machines and be able to go down and use two or even three at a time, toss my stuff in, wash everything at once and then dry everything at once and be done my laundry in two hours at the most instead of four at the least!!!

...packed three boxes and will maybe do a fourth, but I'll see. There's nothing stopping me from doing it tomorrow morning along with two more when I'll have more stamina.

...spoke with my Sweetheart on Skype. His parents has to go to Poland a few weeks ago, his father for five weeks and his mom supposedly for two, but now she's caught over there because of the volcano that's erupting in Iceland. There's no telling when she'll be able to make it back, but on the positive side, there are worse places to be caught that in your homeland, at least she can stay with family and isn't camped out at an airport or having to pay a King's Ransom in hotel fees. keeping an eye on the hockey game, it looks like overtime again. renting 'The Princess and The Frog' from Disney off of iTunes. I packed up all my DVDs today except for the X-Files ones I bought last week, but I've just about worked my way through those, I'll be renting until I move when I want to watch a movie.

Butterfly snacking

Hi all! Sorry for missing out on Camera Critters last week, but I had a very busy weekend and didn't have time for the extra post. I'm back this week with a photo I took at Montreal's Butterflies Go Free exhibit at the Botanical Gardens. They have this particular variety of butterfly in the greenhouse every year and they always set out a plate of fruit for them and this year put a lovely yellow flower on the platter as well, much to my delight :o)

I hope you all have a great weekend! You can head over here to see more Camera Critters

Friday, April 16, 2010

Today I...April 16th

Today I...

...had a semi-busy, semi-laid back day at work.

...finally made it to Second Cup during my lunch break so I could taste their hazelnut mocha latte. It was pretty yummy, but a bit sweeter than I expected.

...realized about an hour after finishing my coffee that it had been spiked with caffeine. Yup, you read that right! Unless I have my coffee in the morning right after getting up because it's one of my Sweetheart's lattes (he knows how to make them so they're 'me' friendly) or because I am going to be running on very little sleep, I always, always, always go decaf. Caffeine and I are NOT a good mix, I don't even have my caffeine-laced super intense migraine Tylenol unless I'm desperate and never after 3:00 or 4:00 P.M., because if I have them any later, I do not sleep. I'm actually hoping that I'm not going to have any sleep issues tonight, even though I finished my coffee around 2:00 P.M. So yeah, I told the guy to give me decaf coffee twice and I still got the regular stuff.

...went shopping after work and had a blast doing it for the first time in ages! I've had so little money for the past two years that I felt guilty every time I spent on something that wasn't essential, but since I became permanent and got a raise, that feeling has been slowly fading and today, when I went out to buy some new summer pajamas because most of mine are going on 10 years old, I was like a kid in a candy store! I got three pairs, plus a sweater from RW&Co. because they were having a 30% off sale and left the shops with a smile on my face instead of wondering what I would have to deprive myself of in order to make ends meet at the end of the month. Ah, the wonderful feeling of needing something a being able to get it as soon as the need arises!

...was hoping to be able to talk with my Sweetheart, but he was no longer on Skype by the time I managed to go online at 9:30. Darn, that's two days in a row that I miss him. Oh well, I should definitely be able to get a hold of him tomorrow.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Today I...April 15th

Today I...

...heard this typically Montreal exchange on between my bus driver and another passenger on the way home from work:

Passenger: 'So, what's the score gonna be tonight?'

Bus driver, who is wearing a Canadiens jersey and cap (in French): 'Pardon?'

Passenger: 'What's the score gonna be tonight?'

Bus driver: 'Le Canadien va gagner à soir!' (translation: 'The Canadiens are gonna win tonight!')

This is typically Montreal in several ways: Montrealers always find a way to communicate with each other, even if one person speaks no french and the other no English. We just figure it out because we have to live with each other day in a day out. From what I can tell, sign language, blatant facial expressions and images can be very helpful, but I'm perfectly bilingual (the best way to be in Montreal), so I'm just guessing at this from watching people less fortunate than me figure out how to get their messages across. In this case, images and the powers of deduction helped, as well as the fact that French Canadiens use the word 'score' as well and our hockey team's name is the same in English and French. Another way in which the exchange was Montreal is that even though the odds are stacked way, way, way against the Canadiens winning this playoff series, we Montrealers still strongly believe they can win it. We know our team, they do well under pressure. How do you think we managed to win 24 Stanley Cups? Nobody is ever going to beat that record, the next team behind us for the number of cup wins is the Toronto Maple Leafs with 13! Sorry fellas, there's just no way...:oJ Especially since we did end up winning the game tonight. Who knows, maybe we can make it 25!

Skywatch Friday

This week's Skywatch is a picture I took in Mount Royal Park on April 1st while out on a walk with my Sweetheart. If you follow my blog or visit regularly, you've probably noticed that I take pictures from here a lot. In my opinion, a good view never gets old and is most certainly not something to be wasted and I therefore never get tired of shooting photos of the city from here. No two photos I've taken from this vantage point have ever been alike, there's always something that makes them special. In this case, it's the seagull that happened to be flying by just as I took my picture. Enlarge it and you'll see him better :o)

Have a great weekend and be sure to go check out all the other amazing Skywatch photos that can be found here.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Today I...April 14th

Today I...

...opened my e-bill for my cable,Internet and phone (all one provider) and was scandalized to see that I had been billed for 105.03$ instead of my usual 84$ and small change.

...spent nearly an hour on the phone with my service provider's customer service department to iron out how an overall 2$ increase in the billing amount for my services that I had been advised was coming turned into a 21$ increase. She said it did after taxes and yada, yada, yada, so I told her that was unacceptable and that we would have cut some things off my package, like my four specialty channels because there was no way I was paying 105$ a month for cable, Internet and phone. I ended up axing the four channels and deciding to get a digital cable connection. My bill will now come up to 98$ a month, except for the first month when I'm going to have to pay 99$ for the cable box, 35$ for the technician for my move and 98$ for my services. Oh, for a second, I nearly gave up the whole cable and phone thing to go back to rabbit ears and just my cell phone and Skype.

...was stunned when I saw one the large, five foot tall statues of Brother Andre from our gift shop being wheeled out by one of the employees on a dolly to someones mini-van. It was the first time ever I saw one of them be sold, the things cost about 10 000$ after taxes!

...went to buy sheet music for my choir and browse at Archambault after work, but not for very long as I was bloody starving and actually ended up buying a vanilla rice-crispy square in the subway station because I just couldn't take it anymore. Oh, and a lottery ticket. Yeah, I had to get one of those because I needed to purchase a minimum amount in order to be able to use my debit card and then there was a 25 cent fee for using it. The shop attendant asked me if that was okay and I told him I was too hungry to care. That was probably the most expensive rice crispy square I ever bought, for its size at least.

...spoke with my Sweetheart and he was sounding much better tonight, he had been feeling down for a little while so it was nice to hear him be back to his cheerful self, making me giggle and all.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Today I...April 13th

Today I...

...went to a bistro near work to buy my lunch. It was very yummy, as usual, but they forgot to give me my miniature apple pie and I didn't notice until I got back to the Oratory to eat. Oh well, I'll keep a closer eye on them when they pack my lunch bag next time.

...was given the most original answer ever to the question 'Who knows what a pipe organ is?' 'It's a computer with a whole lot of floors!' Um, not quite sweetie, but thanks for making me giggle!

...partially ironed out the issues with my co-worker.

...went to guy groceries and treated myself to a flank steak. They're pricey, but I love them so every once in a while I treat myself to one. I had it for dinner tonight with pierogies. contemplating putting several band-aids on the scratch on my hand. It's starting to really dry up and itch a lot and I'm afraid I'll scratch it in my sleep and make it bleed and scar.It sure would take a lot of band-aids to cover the whole thing though...

Monday, April 12, 2010

Today I...April 12th

Today I...

...had my first conflict with a colleague (in another department, my departmental colleagues and I have never and probably never have a conflict, so like-minded are we). The said colleague is not being very cooperative, but I'm going to have a discussion with my superior about the issue tomorrow and all should be resolved quite quickly.

...had some very yummy sushi for lunch.

...had a very good time at choir practice. listening to the CD of my concert from last month, it came out quite well, although I do believe it could have been made better if the microphones had been placed a bit further back. That would have caused us to love too much seating though since there is always an 'audience free' radius around the microphones to try and minimize how much audience noise they pick up. I have a DVD of the concert too, I'm looking forward to watching it! wondering how, if I have 21 followers I very rarely manage to get more than 5 hits a day on my blog except for Thursdays and Fridays thanks to Skywatch Friday and Saturdays when I do Camera Critters. Is my blog dull or something?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Today I...April 11th

Today I... tired because I really didn't sleep well last night.

...have a sore hand. I let Magique under the covers with me so she would curl up beside me and purr away while I petted her to help me get to sleep, which she did. I, however, proceeded to have a rather nutty dream which caused me to turn over in bed violently and knee her, the poor sweetie. She flipped out because she was sound asleep and darted out of the bed, scratching me with her back claws on my left thigh in two places and along the top of my left hand from the middle of my index finger and nearly to my wrist. Yeah, ouch, she may never want to come under the covers with me again :ox

...went to a spa appointment in the West Island, then went to visit my mom. now going to try and pack two boxes before going to bed. Hopefully I'll have a better night than last night.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Today I...April 10th

Today I...

...had a busy day. I slept in and then finished my laundry right after getting up.

...ran out to buy frozen fish food (it's way better for fish than flake food, flake food actually considerably shortens the life of fish) and return a movie.

...was very touched when a little girl randomly gave me a beautiful little blue flower she had picked while I was walking home from the Metro :o)

...went to buy cat food and litter with my friend G and her boyfriend. G and I were planning on going out and they agreed to help me buy my cat supplies since I have no car and would have had to make two trips to the store to get cat litter and bag of food. There's just no way on God's Green Earth that I could carry both home.

...went to see the Tiffany Glass exhibit at the Musée des Beaux-Arts with G, it was absolutely beautiful, especially the lamps and stained glass windows from the Erskine and American church. The museum bought the church in order to turn it into a gallery and expand the museum while preserving its facade and stained glass windows and the windows were removed from the church while they refit it, allowing the public to see them up close.

...went to Chinatown with G after leaving the museum. While we were walking to the Metro to head home, I told G how I couldn't believe I hadn't taken a single photo all day despite hauling my camera around and then, barely a minute later, looked down a street to see some Chinese dragons sitting in front of a shop. Aha! It was 1$ to take a picture of the dragons, out of respect for them since in Chinese culture, they bring good luck. Into my bowl went my loonie and I happily snapped away, taking six pictures of the dragons, four of which I kept :o)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Today I...April 9th

Today I...

...had a fairly busy day at work. I finalized the schedule for next week, gave another one of those huge tours and then went to hand out the schedule.

...went to HMV (the biggest chain of music stores here in Canada) after work to get the Season 8 X-Files DVDs and to poke around the classical music section. I was very disappointed when I got upstairs to the classical section though because I saw that it was still mostly jazz and world music. They moved part of the jazz and world section into the classical sections months ago when they were redoing the basement and I was very dismayed at that time because I had a heck of a time finding anything up there. To put this situation into context, HMV has had a huge store on the corner of Peel and Ste-Catherine in Montreal for as long as I can remember and it boasted the largest classical music section of any HMV store, it took up half of the second floor of the store. I always loved it up there and could easily spend and hour browsing up there as could most of the store's clientele. I knew where everything was up there even before working there for six months back in 2006-2007. It was, quite literally, the classical music lovers' heaven and I can't believe they've cut in down by half and no longer actually play classical music up there, it's mostly always world and jazz music playing, not that I have anything against that type of music, I actually enjoy most jazz music. How they expect to sell much classical music though is beyond me, because they have basically relegated the stuff to second class merchandise up there and I find that most unfortunate, because they really did have a solid customer base while I worked there. All I can think that happened is that everyone who really knew anything about classical music quit and they didn't bother finding anyone to replace them who really knew about classical music. The customer base fizzled out and the section has now been shrunk to half of what it was and, sadly, I'm not planning on buys my classical music albums from there anymore because I wouldn't know where to find them anymore anyhow and probably no one would be able to tell me where to look...I'm going to go and get my classical music from Archambault or Grigorian or the classical music section at the HMV near Dundas Square in Toronto which, although it is small, is an actual classical music section with people who actually know classical music in it. So there's my rant for least I got my DVDs. I'm just upset that a place that I loved to go to so much for so many years and put hours of work into basically no longer exists :o(

Today I...

...decided to start my laundry because it looks like my weekend is going to be pretty busy. I have lots of errands to run and outings planned for both Saturday and Sunday. I actually don't know if I'm going to be able to get everything done, but I'll definitely try. enjoying a glass of Bailey's while writing this and waiting for the dryer to stop.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Today I...April 8th

Today I...

...had an easier tour group. 46 kids again, but more Christians, so less questions and they were a quieter bunch. The funniest question of the tour was when a little boy asked our organist if he could play 'The hockey song' on the Basilica's 5, 811 pipe organ. Answer from the organist 'Sure I could, I can play anything on here, but I won't play that particular piece of music because if anyone is down there praying they won't like it'. yup, that might definitely have been something awkward to hear in a church!

...was very slow out of the starting gate. I actually felt like I didn't quite wake up all day. This issue was probably a combination of the landlord waking me up every morning this week between 6:30 and 6:45 by wandering around his kitchen until I have to get up for work at 7:00 and the fact that the weather has been very dreary here since Monday. That tends to get to me after a few days and make me drowsy in a big way.

...heard thunder a bit earlier. That's the third time I hear thunder this week, but I have yet to see any lightning.

Skywatch Friday

This week's Skywatch feature is a photo of part of the view that can be seen from the Oratory at night. The building across the street is Notre-Dame College (private high schools are called colleges in Quebec), where Brother André, the founder of the Oratory lived and worked for forty years, since it was run by the Holy Cross order for over 100 years. Click on the photo to enlarge it, it's worth it! I even caught a plane coming in to land, as a major flight path to the airport crosses right in front of the Oratory.

I hope you all have a great weekend and don't forget to go and take a look at other Skywatch photos from around the world over here .

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Today I...April 7th

Today I...

...had a much better day than yesterday.

...was very busy at work. The phone wouldn't stop ringing, I was mildly stressed out because I had to give the first of a series of tours to a group of children from underprivileged neighborhoods of Montreal. I realized that I had forgotten to confirm the tour with the bell ringer who was supposed to ring the Oratory's Carillon for the kids under three hours before the first tour. It's not entirely my fault as this was something that my boss used to do. She took care of all the logistics and all I had to do was give the tours, but this year I had to do everything for this myself. I remembered to confirm with the organist, contact his substitute for the days he couldn't be there, count out the 450+ cardboard cutouts and went to the organizational meeting, but then in the madness of the Feast of St-Joseph, planning my move and my topsy-turvy Easter schedule (just keeping track of that was a job), I dropped the ball for the bell-ringer. Luckily she's a lot like me, very patient and very understanding, so she didn't take it personally or get upset, God bless her.

...ended up have a 45 minute question and answer session with the 46 children in the group when we got to the Basilica because we were so ahead of schedule. And believe me, 10-11 year-olds have lots and lots and lots of questions, especially when they aren't Christian (as was the case with about half my group) and know nothing about Christianity. Here's a sample of some of the questions I got:

'Who's the guy up on the cross?' 'Who killed him?' 'Why did they put him on the cross?' 'Why do Christians kneel during prayer?' 'Why is Jesus so popular?' 'How did the guy who sculpted Jesus know who he died and what he looked like?' 'Why does it say that St-Joseph is the husband of Mary and guardian of the son of God?' and it went on and on and on...And yes, I managed to answer all of the questions quite eloquently and without sounding like I was trying to convert anyone. Surprisingly, the question I found hardest to answer was 'Why don't Catholic priests get married?' I looked around to make sure so priests were wandering around before answering that one because that was the one moment that I wished like heck there was one around to answer the question for me!

Today I... on a school bus for the first time since High School when I had to direct the driver of the bus that had come to pick up my very curious tour group to the appropriate parking lot. She ended up going one level too high and I had to jog up the hill to help her back down. From where she was, there was no way she would have found the right turn-off on her own. It was fun being back in a school bus though, it made me feel kinda nostalgic!

...walked home after missing the bus on the way out of work. I could have waited for the next bus and I normally do since they come at least every five minutes at rush hour, but I felt like walking and needed to go to the bank anyhow, so off I went! I got home late, but the walk did me good :o) impatiently waiting for CSI New York to start, because I'm pretty sure we're entitled to a new episode tonight! After three weeks of reruns, it'll be nice to see a new storyline!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Today I...April 6th

Today I...

...had a Hell of a day emotionally due to some misunderstood information that 'C' gave me. Details of this will remain private because it is a private family issue, but what a rough time I had. Rest assured though, everything has been sorted out and I will try to make sure that this sort of thing never happens again.

...didn't feel very well all day because of the aforementioned emotional roller coaster.

...had the concentration level of a three year-old (if even that). hoping I didn't make to much of a mess of the work I did manage to do, but I don't think I did.

...went grocery shopping.

...booked tickets for my vacation in May with my grandfather. I'm looking forward to that, it'll be a nice reward after making it through my move.

...spoke with my Sweetheart on Skype for a half-hour and it felt so good. He seems to have caught a cold though, it's probably one of those pesky ones that often comes with plane rides. I'm gonna pump myself full of Cold FX before getting on the plane next month to make sure I'm not sick while I'm on vacation. worn out and am going to bed after feeding my fish and kitties. Goodnight!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Today I...April 5th

Today I... sharing pictures of some of the yummy sweets we had for Easter yesterday, thanks to my dad. He brought a yummy cake for us to have to dessert at my grandparents' place and Easter eggs filled with chocolates for everyone to bring home after. Thanks dad!

...slept in until 10:45. I didn't have a very restful night last night because I had some the aforementioned yummy cake a bit too late and the sugar and chocolate buzz caused some pretty interesting dreams.

...had a quiet morning and early afternoon. to speak to my friend in Switzerland for a half hour.

...packed two more boxes while watching two episodes of 'The X-Files'

...planned a potential museum outing with my friend 'G' for this weekend and gave her a few apartment hunting pointers. planning on watching 'Angels and Demons' after dinner. I rented yesterday on the way back from Mass and am dying to watch it!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Today I...April 3rd

Today I...

...packed five more boxes.

...took a whole bunch of books I no longer wanted to a used bookstore and made 16$ selling them. I still have some left and will try and find another place to bring them.

...worked in the evening and attended my first Easter Vigil ever. My Sweetheart was right when he told me I would love Easter Vigil at the Oratory, it was absolutely beautiful. very tired and didn't eat enough for dinner. I'm going to snack on something and go to bed. Goodnight and Happy Easter to everyone of the Easter persuasion :o)


When I was in Toronto for a week in February, I saw tigers for the very first time.
They made a huge impression on me, I was struck by their size and beauty as well as their elegance.
The next big cat I would like to have a chance to see: lions. I hope their habitat, wherever I see them, is as large and spacious as the one these tigers were blessed with.

I hope you all (at least those of you who are Christians) have a wonderful Easter with your families and a wonderful weekend if you don't celebrate Easter :o) Be sure to go and see all the other fascinating critters out there by visiting the Camera Critters blog here.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Today I...April 2nd

Today I...

...spent the day packing after allowing myself a bit of a leisurely morning. I did very well and got 90% of my kitchen stuff packed away in four boxes. very cross with Magique when she kept hopping into the partially filled boxes...particularly the one filled with crystal. That got her locked in my bedroom and I wouldn't let her out no matter how much she yelled at me.

...rewarded myself for a job well don by going out with my friend 'V' to take some pictures at the Oratory, as you can see. V couldn't understand why I would want to go to the Oratory on one of my days off and I explained to her that the day I couldn't stand going to the Oratory just because it was my day off was the day that I would have to look for another job. In my opinion, if you can't wait to get away from your place of work and can't stand to be there unless you need to be or even don't want to be there unless you need to be, you shouldn't be working there. Yes, I need a vacation every now and then and I'm tired at the end of my work days and work weeks, but I'm always ready to head back in the next day and the next week and am always happy to get back to work after my vacations. I even miss my job while I'm away sometimes. I miss the sights, and smells of the Oratory. You know, the smell of candle wax and incense, the smell of the cooking from the fathers' kitchen, the sounds of the different languages spoken by all the pilgrims and visitors, the sound of mass being said, of people praying, the bells ringing, the organs playing and the boys' choir singing, the sounds of my colleagues laughing and chatting and talking on their phones. Yes, I love my job and I wouldn't trade it for any other job even if I had the chance to. I dread to think that there might ever be a day when I don't love my work or I'm not willing to go there at the drop of a hat, because after all, how many people can say they're fortunate enough to work in a place like the Oratory?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Today I...April 1st

Today I...

...went out for a spa appointment in the morning and then spent the better part of the afternoon doing laundry and cleaning.

...heard something fall somewhere in the hallway leading to my apartment and peeked out the door to see what Magique had knocked over this time, only to find her sitting in the hallway looking up at me with an 'It wasn't me, honest!' look on her face. I opened the door to the laundry room and saw my bottle of laundry detergent on the floor. It had fallen off the washing machine due to the vibrations during the spin cycle and when I went to pick it up I found out that the top had cracked and that about half of what was left in the bottle had leaked onto the floor. I was pretty ticked off and it took me a good half hour to clean up the greasy, soapy mess on the laundry room floor.

...was thrilled when my Sweetheart called me around 3:00 to invite me for a late lunch-early supper and a walk through Downtown Montreal and Mount Royal Park. It had been ages since we had been able to walk in the park and Downtown together and it was absolutely lovely out. And here is a big first for most of you, that's my Sweetheart on the right hand side of that picture up there! Click on it and you can get a better view of him, but no, I'm not going to show him from any closer than that :o) I'm not big on putting recognizable pictures of anyone (including myself) online anywhere other than on Facebook where my security settings are pretty much maxed out. But still, you can tell that he's quite the tall, slender, dashing fellow, can't you?

Skywatch Friday

This week's Skywatch Friday feature is a photo I took of a very dramatic statue dedicated to the victims of World War I in Vancouver, BC while I was there back in 2007. If memory serves me correctly, it's near the port.

I hope you all have a great weekend and be sure to start it off on the right foot by heading over here to see all the other great Skywatch photos the world has to offer this week :o)