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Archive for the ‘General’ Category

The end of an era

Want to know what $2600 and a very frazzled me look like?

mazda_accident

Yup. I was rear-ended yesterday. There go nearly 16 years (minus a few months?) of accident-free driving since I got my license. Not my fault – but the accident-free counter in my head still gets reset!

As for the other car? The stupid older SUV barely had a scratch on its own bumper. Likely a carrier of the same metal bumper that came in so handy as a defence mechanism when hubby got rear-ended while driving his own monster a few years back. A handy thing when you have one… on the receiving end, though, my opinion of said bumpers ranges quite far into the “unprintable” category.

It was also a good time to put my new smartphone through its paces, which it passed with flying colours, allowing me to look up the location of police stations. Not the phone’s fault that my hands were so shaky that I didn’t actually notice that the station I had picked was not open on Sundays. On the other hand… WTF Ottawa? We have 5 police stations in the city and only one that is open 24 hours, with at least one not open on Sundays???

The whole kerfuffle has also led to some very atypical behaviour on my part in the last 24 hours. I missed my volleyball game with about 5 minutes’ warning, as I was on my way there when the accident happened. Sorry team. I also was late for a scheduled appointment – our hardwood getting delivered, woot! (but more on that later) I had gone to the body shop to get an estimate and a time when I could drop off the car – and the nice estimator forbid me from driving my car away since with the trunk lid cracked open the fumes could seep into the car. Waiting for and dealing with the rental car ate well past the 1-hour buffer I’d left myself for that estimate appointment. Whoops.

The one nice thing about this has actually been the concern of the service people I’ve been dealing with. One of the first things everyone has asked was whether I was hurt, followed by assurances that it’s just plastic and it can all be fixed. Still… my poor baby! I feel so bad for my little car. 😦

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Checking out

A conversation I had with the cashier at the checkout today:

[general pleasantries]
Him: How was your weekend?
Me: Pretty good. A lot of driving..
Him: Oh yeah? Driving kids to hockey and stuff?
*sigh*

I mean, I know I don’t look 21 anymore, but hockey mom? I guess I need to upgrade my wardrobe and care routine before I leave the house. 😀

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What’s up, weather?

I woke up to this on Monday morning.

Monday morning, April 23rd. There was snow. In retrospect, it was actually somewhat funny – I did a classic movie double-take. I’m brushing my teeth, leaning over to the side to take a peek out of the window on the far side of the bathroom. I glance, look back to the mirror, pause, and slowly take a step towards the window.

So that’s why it feels so much later (i.e. brighter) than it actually is.

Of course, the snow was melted by lunchtime, but this is only the latest example of the screwed up winter we’ve had this year. Temperatures nearing 30 in mid-march, and snow in late April.

Despite the early heat wave, the spring has actually been unseasonably cold so far. The few days when I could have biked comfortably I was out of town, and since then the temperatures in the morning haven’t gone up above low single digits, which is more than I can handle. Which means I’m way behind on my biking compared to last year – so it’s probably just as good that I’m not here for the CHEO bike race this year. But hubby is – so go support him if you have some charity money burning a hole in your pocket. Please. 🙂

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5 p.m.

A wonderful thing happened today when I got home – I went to get the mail, and it was still light enough to see! I’m so happy that the days are finally getting longer!

So what have we been up to in this dreary month of January?

Dan stole my thunder in announcing that the laundry room was ready to be used. Ready to be used, mind you, but definitely not complete. I still need to finish the tiling and paint, but at least we can do laundry again! Given that this was my minimum goal for the month of January (a usable laundry room on the main floor), I’m pretty tickled with this accomplishment.

But why didn’t we get more done? aka other fun things we did in January? One more thing that’s been keeping us busy is salsa lessons. That’s right, my wonderful husband’s Christmas gift to me was 5 weeks of salsa lessons. Both of us are really enjoying them, and will probably sign up for the next level. Just not next month, since in February I’ll be taking a cake-decorating class. Because everyone can use more (and prettier!) cakes in their life! I’ve never been good at decorating pastry, and I have recently fallen off the baking bandwagon, so I’m hoping this class will kickstart both of those. Hopefully lots of pictures to come from that course… and if you’re lucky and live nearby, maybe lots of baking, as well!

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No, we didn’t go to Banff to the film festival. Although as has become our tradition in recent years (I think we’ve been to 4 or 5 in the last 7 years?), we went to the World Tour when it came to Ottawa. These shows are always sold-out, and I’m pretty sure the two years we didn’t go were (1) when I’d just gotten to Ottawa and didn’t know when the tour was coming through, and (2) the one year I didn’t remember about it until it was too late to get tickets.

I have a great time every year, and if my biggest complaint is that either of us has yet to win a door prize, I’m OK with that. I won one at a golf tournament last year, so I think my luck is tapped out on that front for at least the next couple of years.

Now, on to the movies. While I felt that there was a heavier-than-normal skew towards winter sports movies this year, overall it was still great. One complaint about the show is that they ended with a movie that is meant to be (and is) inspirational, but personally I’d rather end the night on a happier note (The Freedom Chair).

Actually, now I wish I hadn’t gone to look at the list of movies included in the Tour in order to jog my memory about the movies we watched – 80% of the movies we didn’t watch, I wish we had. (They rotate through all the movies included in the tour, so every stop gets to see a different subset of the movies)

And my biggest advice? Check our CARCA. The Canadian Avalanche Rescue Cat Association. That’s right. They do say that the whole short will be available on youtube after the World Tour, but for now you’ll have to get a taste with this little clip. My favourite movie of the night.

My for real favourite movie of the night was On the Trail of Genghis Khan: The last Frontier. I’m curious to see the other 3 parts, since we were only shown the 4th part. It was also a very timely movie because over Christmas, I had read In the Empire of Genghis Khan by Stanley Stewart – it was great to see a visual representation of a similar journey.

This is the movie that I think the night should have ended on (Skim Bums never die). Happy skiing seniors? Yes please – I want to be them when I grow up!

Reel Rock: Sketch Andy – this guy is a different kind of crazy (with a good measure of stupid mixed in). He’s famous for taking slacklining to a new level – and there were some incredible tricks, but it felt like a bit too much macho show-off. Meh.

We also saw a movie in two parts – your stereotypical powder skiing (sigh… I miss Whistler!); and a pretty neat second part with skiing down city streets (All.I.Can: The Short Cut). These guys climbed a mountain in the winter, and swore about the cold a fair bit (Cold). It was alright.

In a deviation from winter sports – a kayaking short (Seasons: Fall). Cute and sweet. Can’t find a link to any trailers, though. And then this guy ice climbs on glaciers he kayaks to from pretty much his backyard (Blue Obsession). How awesome is that?

I don’t really have a summary – other than to say that you should remember to get tickets next time the Banff Film Festival tour comes to town. It’s a great night out for those interested in all things outdoors.

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Bubble wrap 2.0

You know how you just can’t resist popping bubble wrap? It’s just so… pop-py. Inviting. Well, I think I’ve just found a suitable replacement.

Planing. Look at those curls planing produces. Aren’t they irresistible?

So soft. And crinkly. You just have to reach out and crumple them… you know you want to! 🙂

And the even more awesome side-effect is that it’s a great workout!

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Another amazing video

We all know I’m a sucker for high-res time-lapse videos. Here is another one, a compilation of videos shot from the ISS. That’s right, as in the International Space Station, zooming around the Earth. The whole thing is spectacular, but I find the video around the 1-minute mark particularly impressive, as the camera flies almost straight through an aurora.

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