Sunday, January 31, 2010

Today I...January 31st

Today I...

...was woken up at 8:30 A.M. by my blasted landlord and his wife again. They woke me up Saturday morning too. They go into the kitchen, speak in high pitched baby-speak to their 3 month old son, fire up the blender for smoothies walk around in either thick-soled slippers or shoes and drag their chairs on their kitchen floor. All this right above my head, since their kitchen is right above me bedroom. Can it be June yet so I can move? Oh, and my bathroom door doesn't stay closed anymore. Lord, please let me get my permanent job at the Oratory to so can afford a better, more soundproof apartment, among other things. Pretty please? I've worked very hard for it, you know. Until then, please let this week go by quickly so Friday can come and I can high-tail it out of here for 11 days.

...went to lunch with some friends. We went to 'La Banquise', a restaurant that serves a very typical French Canadian dish, poutine. That's french fries with curd cheese and gravy if you go for plain, run of the mill poutine, but I had 'Elvis' poutine, which was french fries, curd cheese, gravy, ground beef, and sauteed green peppers and mushrooms. Yum! But yeah, I only ever have poutine once or twice a year, because it definitely isn't the healthiest stuff going. A darn sight better than Mc D's or KFC in my opinion though.

...had a fun time trying to get my scarf unstuck from the windowsill of the restaurant after it froze to it and to the window. See?
It took forever for the ice to melt off of it too and in the mean time I couldn't wear the darn thing. It kind of would have gone against the job description of a scarf, which is to keep your neck and chest warm. My friend 'M', who is a flight attendant, offered to take it with him of his flight to Puerto Plata and stick it out the front door of the plane when he got there to thaw it off, but he would have had to bring it back to me when he got back to Montreal and after he cleared customs at about 3:30 A.M., so I said thanks, but no thanks.

Today I...

...went shopping with two of the friend I had lunch with and used part of one of my gift cards to busy two tops from my favorite store, RW&Co.. I've been shopping there ever since it opened and about 90% of my wardrobe comes from them.

...went to use the gift card that my Sweetheart got me buy some delightful smelling cream for my hands and feet, but it turns out that the person who sold it to him forgot to activate it. I'll have to write to him to see if he still has the receipt since he wasn't on Skype tonight. He'll be awful disappointed, he was so happy when he gave it to me and saw that I liked it.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Today I...January 30th

Today I...

...had a quiet day filled with ironing, laundry folding and dish washing in the morning.

...went for a very chilly walk with afternoon as I needed to purchase canned cat food, nail polish remover (last week's manicure had run it's course) and tooth paste. It's -15 with a windchill factor of -25 and I was in for a 20 minute walk to the stores and a 20 minute walk back, hauling a granny cart along behind me. I bundled up big time wearing a polar fleece sweater, a scarf, a neck warmer pulled up to my eyes, a tuque and a Kanuk coat (they're very pricey, but trust me, they're worth it!!! You do not feel the cold in them at all), plus gloves under my mitts. It worked, I was fairly toasty except for the only part of me that wasn't double layered: my thighs.

...took some close-up photos of Magique while she was actually lying still for once.

...talked on Skype with my Sweetheart for nearly 45 minutes. It was lovely, we hadn't really been able to talk a lot during the past week because he was so busy at work. He sent me a lovely photo of a sunflower he took last October and we now both have it as the background image on our computers.

Tenacious ducks

My camera critters this week are these brave ducks who stayed on for the winter, living in the freezing St-Lawrence river. I was very surprised to see them while out on my walk last weekend, since I always thought that all the waterfowl flew off for the winter here, but I guess only the ones that live on the banks of the western portion of the river do, since the water freezes there. Maybe the just move further down river into the seaway where the current is stronger and the water never freezes completely? Anyhow, these ducks sure made for a pretty picture :o)

Have a great weekend and be sure to go and check out more camera critters here

Friday, January 29, 2010

Today I...January 29th sharing a picture of some children wandering among the Inukshuks at the Winter Fest last weekend with you.

...found myself thinking that it was cold enough here today that having Inukshuk lined streets would have been most appropriate. It was literally cold enough to freeze nose hairs.

...had a very quiet day at work, we didn't even get any mail!

...had some good giggles with my colleagues. It was Friday, so we were all pretty laid back. puzzled. How can I collect 10 comments on my Skywatch post some weeks and then others, like this week, only get two even when I commented on four peoples' posts? I guess some of those lucky folks that get, you know, 34 comments on their posts will read all their comments and then only answer a few of them. having a very quiet evening, winding down from my week and doing my laundry because I'm going out tomorrow and Sunday and was concerned I might not have enough time to do my laundry. slowly getting ready to leave for my 11 day vacation, which starts next Friday. I wrote my letter for my pet-sitter today and got the fish food measured out and put in a container in the freezer. Yes, I feed my fish fancy food! They get frozen brine shrimp (I thaw it before feeding them, naturally) and it does wonders for the longevity of my aquatic buddies, I've had some of my fish for going on three years now and have had goldfish last up for four years!!! I have little tropical fish now though, they're very fun to watch and I don't have to clean their tank nearly as often.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Today I...January 28th

Today I... not including a picture in my daily post so as not to confuse all my Skywatch visitors.

...gave two tours of the Oratory, the first one in the morning to a very small (7 people) group from a private school, the second one in the afternoon to two journalism students from Concordia University. I was given a very funky little microphone and filmed for that one, it was a very fun tour to give.

...went with my Colleagues C and D to check out our future office space on the second floor. The plan had me nose to the wall, which none of us were happy with since I've spent the past year working nose to the wall. We figured out a way to flip me around without compromising our very limited workspace too much. The upside to our new office space. It had windows all the way around!!! Yes folks, it is the proverbial corner office with a view :o) Huge windows too, pretty much floor to ceiling!

...walked home in a snow squall. Definitely not an activity for the faint of heart.

...did my Pilates and it left me feeling great!

...talked on Skype with my sweetie for a bit, but he was starving since he got home late from work again. He's been working very hard on a big project this week and he was a bit concerned that he wouldn't be able to get it gone on time, but he told me that he thinks he's managed to pull it off. I'll see if we can get a bit more of a conversation in tomorrow night :o)

Skywatch Friday

My Skywatch this week is a photo I took of the clouds from a huge weather system that dumped rain on us all day on Monday rolling in late Sunday afternoon. As with all the photos I have featured on my blog this week, I took it in Jean-Drapeau park in the middle of the St-Lawrence river. You can see Montreal across the river through the trees. Being the cloud fetishist that I am, I love this shot and I hope you do too!

Have a great weekend and don't forget to start it off on the right foot by checking out all the lovely Skywatch photos out there by clicking here.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Today I...January 27

Today I... sharing a picture of children playing in one of the playgrounds in Jean Drapeau park with a view of Montreal behind them. Can you see it through the trees across the river?

...was very, very tired, despite having slept nearly eight hours. It's a hormone thing, what can I say?

...was very happy when my colleague 'C' found out that her husband had succeeded in getting their eldest son on a Canadian Forces flight out of Port-Au-Prince thanks to the fact that he works with CECI. Our theory is that he met the plane when it landed in Port-Au-Prince with aid supplies and had brought their son with him and then he asked the soldiers if they would take him back to Canada with them. C's 17 year-old had not been willing to leave Haiti before yesterday, but he was finally scared into going by the three aftershocks that rattled the country yesterday. He was flown from Port-Au-Prince to Ottawa with the armed forces and then took a commercial flight into Montreal. C is so relieved to have him here, she's now hoping to be able to get her daughter over soon, but that is proving to be a more complicated situation since she is a special needs child and her caregiver is not part of C's immediate family.

...forgot to buy salt on the way home, it's a good thing I was having pasta with a ready-made sauce and didn't need any! I'll have to remember to buy some tomorrow when I go buy my shampoo, there's a grocery store on the way.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Today I...January 26th

Today I... sharing a photo of a parent-child sled race at Montreal's Winter Festival. The race was sponsored by the Montreal Transit Corporation.

...had a relatively busy day, filled with mail-outs for the Oratory's annual Novena (nine-day celebration) leading up to the Feats of St-Joseph on March 19th and packing boxes for our upcoming move. my groceries on the way home.

...realized while making dinner that I was out of salt. I tried substituting it with other spices and it worked with my fish, but not my potatoes or asparagus. I must buy more salt...soon!

...spoke with my wonderful, marvelous boyfriend on Skype :o)

...had a very run of the mill day ;o)

The Alarm System Debacle

So, yesterday I mentioned in my 'Today I...' post that I had been awake half the night due to my landlord's alarm system. While the system didn't actually go off, I think that might actually have been preferable, since normally when alarm systems are triggered, they ring, the central sends the cops and disengages the system once the cops get there, end of story. However, when your landlord has his alarm system connected to the home phone and then has the signal forwarded to his cell phone and the cell phone loses it's connection to the tower because the aforementioned landlord has gone to his cottage for the weekend in the middle of nowhere, it's another story. This will, I can tell you from experience, cause the alarm system to emit a hi-low beep that will go on and on and on and on and leave you wondering what in the name of Bob's pants is wrong. This is what happened to me in the middle of the night Sunday into Monday. I was woken up at 2:45 A.M. by a very persistent screeching coming from my AWOL landlord's apartment. I poked around to see where the sound was coming from, made sure it didn't smell like smoke, because for all I knew it could have been his smoke detector and made sure the power was still on. After 20 minutes of screaching and hearing a few suspicious noises that I was not entirely sure were being caused by the wind, I did what any good citizen would have done and dialed 9-1-1. They sent the cops who rang the doorbell to try and scare off anyone who might have been inside, then one of them stayed in front while the other checked to make sure my door was fine (my apartment has a private entrance) and then went to check the back door of the landlord's place and their balcony. No one was creeping around, so they left and I was doomed to listen to the screaching all.bloody.night!!! I finally fell back to sleep around 4:30 A.M., but it was not a very restful sleep and when I got up in the morning I was about ready to break in upstairs and rip the landlord's alarm system off the wall. He got home with his family around 10:00 A.M. and called the company who found the problem and made sure that the next time my landlord's cell phone goes out of range, his alarm system will not harass me, or the neighbors, or the people on the second floor. I can't wait to move to a new apartment in June, which will-and I will make sure of this- be alarm system free, except for basic security at the front door. You know, buzzers and all that stuff :o)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Today I...Janurary 25th

Today I...

... am sharing my promised daily Winter Fest picture with you. This rink has probably melted now due to all the rain we had today, but it's going to cool off again as of tomorrow so they'll probably be able to re-make it in time for next weekend's events. tired after spending half the night awake yesterday due to a mishap with my landlord's alarm system. Unfortunately he and his wife and baby were away for the weekend and only got home this morning, so they were unable to deal with it and the system made noise all night wasn't going off as such, just beeping rather loudly.

...saw that my permanent position was posted just after lunch. I took my CV and Cover Letter upstairs to the personnel office right away, so now all I can do is wait and pray...feel free to say prayers to that I can get the job.Things look good for me to get it, but this is still a rather nerve wracking process. I will probably have an interview right away when I get back from my vacation on February 16th or 17th.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Today I...January 24th

Today I... my weather wish from earlier this week. The rain and freezing rain are only going to be moving in tonight, so I was able to head out to Jean-Drapeau park out on Montreal's St-Helen's Island. It's a man made island that was built as the venue for Expo '67, the international exhibition. Some of the aquatic events for the 1976 Olympics were also held there, like the diving, swimming and rowing competitions. Now the old American Pavilion (seen above) houses the Biosphere and the French Pavilion became the Montreal Casino. I'm not giving you the direct link to the Casino because it doesn't actually give you any info about the building that houses it, just a really flashy gambling incentive ;o)

...had a very nice exploratory walk around the park and took 130 photos. I'll try and post one or two every day this week :o)

...really enjoyed seeing all the families out enjoying the Winter festival, my favorite sight was two ladies in period costumes initiating people to curling! For any of you who might not appreciate curling, here's one reason to: I'm a product of the sport!!! My parents met in a curling club their parents were playing at and I learned who to throw curling stones before I could even really walk and still remember how to do it properly to this day! So there :op

...finally installed my photo printer but was most disgruntled to find out that printer companies have become cheap since I last got one and no longer include paper with their products. I was longing to have a child nearby so I could have said: 'When I was your age, printer companies gave you enough paper with your new printer so you could go one year without buying your own!' Okay, so maybe we couldn't go a year without buying some, but at least a month or two. As it is, I'm going to have keep printing stuff at work for a while, namely a new copy of the reading I have to do at my cousin's wedding in two weeks because I had use one page for the test print and the printer chewed up the other one which was my first try at the test page. Nice...

...was most amused by the enjoyment my cats got out of the printer's empty box and then by their reaction to the printer when it turned on. Let's just say they don't really like it that much! lol

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Today I...January 23rd

Today I...

...didn't manage to sleep in quite as much as I would have liked. Hormone disrupted sleep sucks.

...still have a twitch in my right eye, but am getting so used to it that I don't notice it most of the time. Maybe that will help it go away? Has anyone else ever had this problem? Apparently it's quite common.

...finally fit my Pilates into my busy schedule. I'll see if I can do it again tomorrow so I'll get my 'twice a week' done.

...wore the shoes I bought for my cousin's wedding for two hours and 15 minutes at work before I had to take them off because they were hurting my feet too much. Standing around in high heels is not cool. Walking is okay, but standing around, not so much. Luckily I had foreseen this and brought my flats up to the Basilica and hid them under a table in the nursing station lol

...was very touched by the mass we held for the victims of the earthquake in Haiti, it was absolutely beautiful.

...was amazed by the amount of people who came to the mass. We filled the Basilica (1, 870 people) sent the overflow into the largest of our three rental halls so they could watch the video broadcast on a big movie screen (350 people) and they kept on coming so we filled the Crypt church too (1000 people). Yup, for those of you who are good at math, that's a grand total of
3, 220 people. We were masterful though and the entire thing went off without a hitch. No one got sick, no one passed out and no one fell down an escalator. No crazies showed up (we do tend to get them at the Oratory) and no one caused any trouble, plus the Basilica was emptied out within a half hour of the ceremony ending. My interim boss was most pleased :o) my weather wish, things shaped up for tomorrow, so I may be able to go for a picture outing after all!

Getting comfy

My lovely lady, Quinn, very much enjoys lying up against the radiator in my apartment. I always know as soon as the landlord turns on the heat every Fall because Quinn can invariably be found soaking up the heat every evening. She even misses it when they turn it off. I wonder what she'll do when I move this coming Summer? What if we end up in a place without radiators? I'm sure she'll find an alternative, but the radiator in this place will undoubtedly remain in her heart forever more :o) Can't you just tell that by the look on her face?

That's Camera Critters for this week, you can go and look for more radiator-loving critters by heading over here, but I'm sure you won't find any who are nearly as pretty as my kitty :o)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Today I...January 22nd

Today I...

...finally got rid of my bad shuttle bus karma. The Oratory has a shuttle bus that can take people up the hill from street to the level of the church. I normally take it up in the morning because as you can see, it's quite the climb. I have to go up about 79 of the 99 steps and in the cold and the wind, it can be quite brutal. It can also be quite brutal in the blinding heat, but that's not often an issue at this time of year. Anyhow, every morning this week except for today I would ride to work in a dangerously overcrowded bus and either get off just in time to see my fair-weather friend the shuttle bus leave or glance up the hill and see it parked up there waiting for people to bring down. Great...oh well, I burned a lot of calories this week, that's for sure! Built up my cardio, too.

...was so happy to see and feel the sun for the first time in AGES!!! Too bad I had to use my afternoon off to do laundry and tomorrow is our last nice day before a nasty looking weather system comes in. I'm hoping it stalls so I can get a bit of nice weather on Sunday, my only full day off this weekend.

...enjoyed having curly hair for the day. I didn't curl it, it just did it on its own, it does that sometimes.

...managed to do my laundry without ending up with stray socks! That almost never happens in the winter, I almost invariably end up with one stuck inside a static filled sweater. in 'for God's sake I'm sick of waiting, can my vacation just get here already?' mode. I only have two weeks left to wait, but right now that seems like for-e-ver!!!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Today I...January 21st

Today I...

...helped my former boss (from when I worked for the Oratory's Foundation for a few months last year) move into my...uh...other former boss' (the one who quit just before Christmas) office. I was asked to put all of the files pertaining to the running of the office into boxes along with all the other stuff she left behind and identify them. It didn't take too long to do, I filled up...gosh, maybe ten boxes? I don't remember, but considering how much stuff there was, the fact that it only took up two and a half hours of my morning and another hour of my afternoon was quite impressive. Anyhow, the bottom line is that the foundation and another department are moving into our office space and we're moving upstairs to the second floor and are taking over some offices up there that are currently being used by the magazine editor, some fathers and the director of the sacristans (a sacristan prepares mass and in the case of the Oratory also oversees the rotation of the 10 000 candles in the votive chapel to make sure there are always fresh ones to be lit. We should be moving within the next two weeks.

...went for a manicure with a friend after work. I don't go for manicures very often because I've never been very lucky with manicurists and even though I tell them that I don't get manicures very often and that my cuticles are therefore very sensitive, they're still not gentle. The manicurist I had today was particularly rough and hit the sensitive skin below my cuticles. Ouch!!! I made sure that I wouldn't end up with her when I made my appointment for two weeks from now.

...had a pizza and girl-talk evening with my friend after our manicure, it was lots of fun!

Skywatch Friday

So here's a double Skywatch feature for you guys! I took this photo, once again, while out for a walk in Old Montreal two weeks ago. The bridge you see in the distance is the Jacques-Cartier bridge, one of several that links Montreal to the South Shore suburbs on the other side of the St-Lawrence. The above photo is the color version and the below is the black and white desaturated version. Which is your favorite?

For more Skywatch photos, head on over here. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Today I...January 20th

Today I...

...spent the day stuffing envelopes and was surprised by how tiring it was. I started at 9:30 A.M., stopped at 12:30 for lunch and started again at about 1:45 and went until 4:00. My colleague 'J' whose I was doing this for misjudged how long it was going to take to get it done, bu there were only ever four of us at once and I was alone for about two and a half hours in the afternoon. J swore that next time he has a mail out to do, he'll get more people to help.

...was very happy to come home and crash.

...continued to count down to my vacation, T-minus 16 days now!!!

...decided to share this picture I took in Old Montreal two weekends ago with you. I desaturated it because when I took it I knew darn well that it would look great in black-and-white :o)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Today I...January 19th

Today I...

...had a busy day at work. I got four bookings for the Novena leading up to the Feast of St-Joseph, which is on March 19th every year...except if it lands in Holy Week. We're also in the process of organizing the mass for the victims of the earthquake in Haiti, it's going to take a lot of staff to get this thing off the ground, but I'm sure we'll pull it off!

...went grocery shopping on the way home from work, got in, unpacked all my food, turned around and went out to get cat food. It made for a lot of running around, I was happy to be able to shower and crash for a bit after all that!

...Finally got around to uploading some pictures of my sheet music, I picked the one I thought was best to share with you :o)

Today I...January 18th

Today I...

...was happy to see that my colleague 'C' was feeling much better. She was smiling and singing hymns the way she usually does. She's always singing, it makes the office quite cheerful and it seems oddly quiet when she's not here and it was even stranger to have her be so quiet last week. Her apetite is not back yet and she gets very quiet at times, but it was still a big improvement over last week.

...found out that Cardinal Turcotte, the Archbishop of Montreal, is going to celebrate a mass at the Oratory's Basilica (our big 2000 seat church on the 5th floor) on Saturday at 4:00 P.M. for the victims of the earthquake in Haiti.

...had a quiet morning, but a busier afternoon.

...went to choir practice in an earlier bus that was packed, but I made it on time for once! I'm usually a bit late (about 10 minutes, so I miss warm-up) because I get home from work at 5:00 and then only have an hour to eat in order to make it back out the door if I want to be at my practice on time.

...found out, with great joy, when our choir director gave us new placements and moved me down into the front row that the church is heated through the floor!!! I spent the entire practice standing on a delightfully toasty floor tile, so for once I wasn't cold by the second hour. I am never standing on the sanctuary steps to sing again! lol

Sunday, January 17, 2010

This weekend I...

This weekend I...

...did my laundry and changed the sheets on my bed.

...went to dinner at a friend's house and we exchanged Christmas gifts. Yes, we were late, but between her friends and my family it took us some time to get together! We had a great time though and very yummy food :o)

...went to the spa and then went shopping. It was a very successful shopping excursion indeed, I came out of it with a pair of Olympic mitts, the sixth season of the X-Files on DVD, a Charles Aznavour CD, new undies and miracle of miracles, the PERFECT pair of shoes for my cousin's wedding!!! I could not believe my luck, I am now the very happy owner of the most beautiful pair of silvery gray pumps from Naturalizer, they were just my size, are cut right below my bunions so they won't be painful (I have genetic bunions, arthritis and bone spurs on both of my big toes) and they were 100$ on special for 30$!!! I could not believe my luck :o)

...did my Pilates workout, I'm doing very well at keeping my new year's resolution of working out twice a week so far and it's really making a nice difference. I didn't have any excess weight and never have because up until I started working an office I was always very active, but I found that I was starting to get a bit of that 'desk job jiggle' around my waistline and in my thighs, so I'm working out to get toned up again! So my recommendation if you're looking to get fit in a gentle way: try Pilates! It's simple to do at home and you get results fast!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Family time

When my Sweetheart and I landed in Kelowna for a conference he was receiving an award in 2007, we were far too early to check into our hotel, much to our dismay. We had been up since about 3:00 A.M. because our flight out of Montreal was leaving at 6:00.We would have loved nothing better than to climb into bed and sleep until we had to go to the cocktail that night and then dinner. Instead though, we ended up going for a long walk. A very, very long walk. However, one of the first things we came across on our walk, was...

This delightful family of...

...Canadian Geese

They enchanted us, we went shutterbug crazy over them. With such cute, fluffy goslings, how could we resist?

If you would like to see more critters, head on over to Camera Critters, they have them in abundance :o)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Today I...January 14th

Today I...

...was happy that it was Friday.

...had the quietest day of the week at work.

...did my best to try and make 'C' smile every once in a while. Her immediate family is safe, but she has lost many friends, her husband lost two aunts and most tragically of all, the only daughter of her best friend, who was also her eldest son's girlfriend, was killed when her friend's house collapsed after the earthquake. 'C's son does not know about this as he is currently living with the order of brothers that rescued him from his collapsed school. C and her family could still really use your prayers, we are all hoping, at work, that she will be able to get some rest this weekend and that she will be feeling a bit better next week.

...went out to dinner with a friend of mine, it was great :o)

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Skywatch Friday

Hi all!

My Skywatch photo for this week was taken during my photo outing to Old Montreal last weekend. The street you see here is St-Sulpice and it leads up to one of our most famous tourist attractions, Notre-Dame Basilica. The building featured in this photo though is the one with the red lighting. I don't know exactly what it's named or what it houses, but I can tell you that it was the prototype building for New York's Empire State Building. Pretty neat, eh?

I hope you have a great weekend and don't forget to check our more Skywatch photos here.

Thank God!!!

Just before lunch my colleague 'C' got an e-mail from her husband and her ENTIRE family is safe and sound!!! What an incredible miracle! Her mother, five brothers and sisters, husband, daughter and even her son, who we were most worried about because he hadn't been heard from since leaving for school the day of the earthquake are ALL just fine! Her son was rescued from his school by the brothers who run it. Her house has collapsed and her husband and children no longer have a place to call home, but at least they're fine! Her mother's house is the only one in the entire neighborhood that's still standing and it's sitting right on the edge of a cliff!!! Yes, the fact that they all survived is truly a miracle. Thank you all so much for praying for them :o)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Today I...January 13th

Today I...

...had a very difficult day. My colleague 'C' is a refugee from Haiti and is living here in Montreal with her youngest son. She also has one sister and her family here, but C's husband, two older children, her mother and other brothers and sisters are all still living in Port-Au-Prince. C came in to work this morning despite having no news from her family in Haiti since the earthquake yesterday, hoping to be able to use the Internet at the office to try and find them. The longer she went without news from them, the more distraught she became. She had one meltdown shortly before I got to work where she cried so hard she made herself sick and she had another more severe one shortly after I got in. Words cannot describe how horrible it was to see and hear her, it was literally bone-chilling and it left two other colleagues and myself pale, shaken and in tears. I took me hours to be able to be able to begin to snap out of it and become semi-functional and I spent the morning crying every half-hour. C left after lunch after spending two hours with another colleague and good friend of mine, 'J', who was able to calm her down. She took two tranquilizers and drank some soda and was then able to eat some soup and did get some good news: they found her mother alive. She was going to stay with a neighbor so she and her son wouldn't be alone and we haven't had any news from her since then. Hopefully we'll get some more good news tomorrow, but the fact that they were able to hear relatively quickly that C's mother was alive and have still heard nothing from her husband and children is worrisome. I will keep you posted and please, please, if you feel called to do so, keep C and her family in your prayers.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Today I...January 12th

Today I...

...had another quiet day at work, it's that time of year.

...had some good laughs with my usual lunchtime companions, the electrician, the painter, the plumber and the carpenter.

...did my Pilates when I got home from work. praying for my two Haitian co-workers who have family back in Haiti. I hope they haven't lost anyone in the terrible earthquake they had there. also praying for my job offer to come up soon, still waiting and hated myself today for being jealous of one of our tour guides who was named the new curator of the crèche museum today. I didn't even know the job was still up for grabs, but even I had I wouldn't have applied for it since I'm not qualified it. I have a bachelor's in art and architectural history and our tour guide, who got the job has a Phd and trumped the assistant curator for the job and she's been at the Oratory for 20 years. I wouldn't even have had a chance and it isn't really the job for me anyhow. I was just jealous and miffed that I've been working at the Oratory for seven years and have been fighting for a permanent position for the pas two years and she's been with us for one year and the most and got a directorial position. Them's the breaks...her job in directorial and mine's unionized, so I have to go through the entire union process and fight off other candidates who have a better shot at the job even if they haven't been around as long as I have because they're permanent and I'm not. Is it fair? No. Is it frustrating? Yes. Am I sick of having to wonder day after day if my job offer is up yet and week after week if I'm going to lose my job if someone is cruel enough to try and take my job from me? Oh, yes. But I don't have a choice to go through this if I want to have a better salary and better working conditions. It was going to have to happen sooner or later, I just wish it could be done so I could get rid of all this excess stress.

...spoke to my sweetheart and he listened to me vent and say that I had hated myself today and then made me laugh and smile. Thank God for him, I'd go mad without him.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Today I...January 11th

Today I...

...had a very quiet day at work.

...was kinda late to choir practice because I forgot that the bus schedules changed last week since I rarely take them outside of rush hour. Oops!

...had fun at my choir practice since we started three new pieces for our concert in March, we're singing Handel's Messiah.

...had slightly murderous thoughts, along with everyone else in the choir, towards whoever used the unusually powerful glade-like spray after using the bathroom towards the end of practice. God, what an inhumanely powerful artificial Lilly-of-the-valley STENCH!!!

...had yet another interesting character as a bus driver on the way home, this one was wearing an 18th century three-pointed hat. Thankfully though, he was a better driver than Weird Al, much more cheerful too.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Today I...January 10th

Today I...

...had a bit of a slow start because of a migraine. It was the first one I'd had since the end of November and it was rather persistent, so I ended up taking some Tylenol Ultra Migraine for it. It numbed the pain, but the caffeine in it did a number on me.

...ended up feeling well enough at the end of the afternoon to go for a walk in Old Montreal to take some pictures.

...froze my fingers senseless taking said pictures.

...saw two pigeons who seem to have made Place-d'Armes Métro station their home.

...had a bus driver on the way home that looked, I kid you not, like Weird Al Yankovich...and drove like I imagine Weird Al does too.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Today I...January 9th

Today I...

...talked on Skype with my Sweetheart and had a good laugh when he sent back a caricatured picture of me that I had just sent him, telling me that he had fixed up the coloring a bit since he thought the original one was too red. He made my nose huge and my mouth into a frown! Good thing I have a sense of humor, eh? lol

...did my laundry.

...did my Pilates while waiting on my laundry.

...washed the dishes.

...practiced my singing so I won't be too rusty when choir starts up again on Monday.

...cleaned out my drawers and filled a bag with clothes to give away that I haven't worn in a while, I'll go drop it in the goodwill bin tomorrow.

...booked my train ticket for my vacation to Toronto next month, I'm going to my cousin's wedding and then I'm spending a week at my sweetheart's place, yippee! Toronto may not sound too exotic, especially since I normally go down south on vacation, but my grandparents are going to be in Toronto for the wedding so I can't go down their way and personally, I'd rather chew sand than take a plane to the States right now. Sorry US, but until these security issues are ironed out, I think I'm going to be staying up here in Canada or going to Europe on vacation once I can afford it.

Sleigh Ride

While out for my walk on New Year's Eve, I went through Mount Royal Park and when I was nearing the tobogganing hill, came across these two open sleighs.

I never even knew there were sleigh rides in the park in the winter, probably because I never went there very often at that time of year and certainly not for such long walks! I'm a bit of a wuss about the cold, you see, but on New Year's Eve it was actually not that bad out, I only started feeling after walking for about three hours.

So that's Camera Critter for this week, go check all the other critters out there over here and have a great weekend!

Friday, January 8, 2010

This week I...

Okay, soooo, it was a bit too quiet at work this week for me to find something to post every day, so I'm gonna lump it all into one post instead :o) Enjoy!

This week I... off to a bit of a rough start after a festive weekend. I was tired. And cranky. And just didn't feel like working very much.

...waited impatiently for my permanent job offer to be posted. The suspense reached it's climax yesterday, the stress go to me and I had a bit of freak out fit by e-mail to my boyfriend. I went out to get some lunch, ate, felt better, then got home, sat around for a half hour and walked to the salon to get my hair done and back. After the walking and the pampering I felt a great deal better and am now in 'Okay, so they'll post it next week.' mode...and am wishing that they would stop telling me 'we're gonna do it soon'. Don't tell me that, pleeeeeeaaaaaase don't tell me that, anymore unless you really mean it. This is just cruelty to yours truly at this point.

...spent three days writing my cover letter for said soon (apparently) to be posted job. I finished it this afternoon and e-mailed it to my sweetheart for his opinion on it.

...was worried about my sweetie when I didn't hear from him for a few days, but then found out he was just suffering from a post-holiday crash like me. He just happens to be better at going to bed early than I am.

...had a good giggle when the chief of technical services gave a lick and a promise to two holes in my cubicle wall from where a radiator pipe used to be that were letting cold air in, by stuffing Kleenex in them and muttering that our office building was going to give him nightmares.

..enjoyed my new haircut, lots of people complimented me on it, but I was sure to tell them not to expect my hair to be straight next week. My hair has a very persistent natural wave to it and I never, ever straighten it myself because it takes me forever. I leave the straightening up to the professionals :o)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Skywatch Friday

As this week's Skywatch feature, he's another shot that I took on my New Year's Eve walk, exactly one week ago today. This is an interesting view of the Oratory and the *ahem* rather impressive antennas sitting on top of the Rockhill apartment buildings, antennas that were the last of their kind to be put up before a law was put into place forbidding such lovely structures being built in a place that would impede the view of Mount Royal and the historic buildings on it. Impede the view, they do indeed, particularly in the summer once the leaves are on the trees, but in the winter they're not quite so bad.

Happy Skywatch Friday, and don't forget to add to the enjoyment of your Friday by going to check out my fellow skywatchers' posts over here

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Today I...January 5th

Today I...

...found out that my position, which has been full-time but temporary for about a year may become permanent by the end of the month. I'll keep you posted on how things go.

...called the techie about my obscenely noisy computer. The fan goes all.the.time!!! I can hear it clear at the other end of the office. He told me that there really wasn't anything he could do about it, that he had no other computer to give me and when I told him that I wasn't looking for a new PC, just a solution for the fan and that my mom's PC had had a noisy fan once and that her techie fixed it within ten minutes, he told me that I would have to speak to the director of personnel about it! Ugh...he's never been like that with me before, maybe he just got up on the wrong side of the bed? Anyhow, a colleague suggested that I try sticking it under my desk so the darn thing wouldn't be right next to my head all the time, but it didn't really make that much of a difference, it still made my ears hurt and wore me out, I really don't know what I'll do about it.

...went Downtown after work and got myself an exercise mat and a Pilates DVD. I gave the workout a try when I got home and it really is a full body thing, which I suspect may result in full body pain tomorrow lol I'm going to try and do the workout two to three times a week and see who it goes, it's supposed to be great for muscle tone!

...was a witness to Montreal's wacky weather. For anyone reading who has never been to Montreal, all sorts of things fall from the sky here: sometimes rain, sometimes snow, sometimes ice, sometimes a mix of rain and snow and sometimes something that can't quite decide whether it's snow, ice or rain and often these weather conditions will come on when you least expect them, like this afternoon. It was -7 (Celsius) when I left work and a colleague came out behind me and said 'Hey, that's weird, it looks like it's foggy!' and I looked into the parking lot and said 'Nope, it's not fog, it's freezing rain, look at the people scraping the ice off of their cars!' Now you see, normally freezing rain happens when it's right near the freezing mark, usually between -2 and +2, but not when it's nearly -10! So there's your wacky Montreal weather 101 class today, always expect the unexpected!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Over the New Year's Holiday I...

Over the New Year's Holiday I...

...broke in my new camera by going for long walks and snapping away...

...and bringing it to the Oratory. The above picture is of the Crypt Church...

... and here are our two biggest pipe organs. The above picture is of the organ in the Crypt Church which was recently restored...

...and here is the massive 5, 811 pipe Beckerath organ in the Basilica. It's so big that it's impossible to get the entire thing in one shot, except from the front of the church.

Over the New Year's Holiday I...

...spent a blissful amount of time with my sweetheart and am still on cloud 9 over it.

...went to a family dinner.

...spent a wonderful evening with my friends from work...including my sweetheart :o)

...took a friend to the Oratory's organist's weekly concert. It's a freebie every Sunday afternoon at 3:30 and he invites people to go and sit up in the Basilica's organ loft with him for the half hour concert. He answers as many questions about his job and the organ as he can fit into his 50 minute time-frame and seeing him play is quite the treat. If ever you're in Montreal on a Sunday afternoon, give it a try, it's a real blast!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Hanging Out

Happy New Year everyone! I hope 2010 brings you nothing but the best life has to offer :o)

For Camera Critters this week, I thought I would share these photos of Quinn hanging in one of her favorite places: the top of the cat tree. She loves lolling around in the sun up and the just generally being on top of it all :o)

I hope you enjoyed this Camera Critters post, be sure to go and check out all the other adorable critters out there by heading over here

Have a great weekend and see you all next week!