My Tummy Hurts Far too Much My stomach is currently full of cheesies. It seems to take well over 24 hours to fully digest my very favourite carbo-laden snack food. The occasion for downing nearly half a bag was the Super Bowl, which I watched on my friend's 54-inch fully-connected HDTV-ready TV. Not a fan of football, I watched for the ads, which were non-too-spectacular (kinda like the game) except for Reebok's "Terry Tate, Office Linebacker", which had us in stitches--watch for the guy playing solitaire getting his just desserts. Catch them all here. Before heading over to watch the game, I went toboganning on Mont-Royal, renting one of those super-cool inner tubes. My screams of delight ensured that everyone stayed out of my way. The night before, I made dinner for eight, cooking up some Grouper Provencal, which was essentially grouper baked with shrimps, fresh tomatoes, garlic, and herbes de Provence. It became exceptionally delicious when I reduced the cooking liquids and added 35% cream. Served with green beans. Num! The night before that, I stayed up far too late talking about death and eating hamburgers at Bistro Duluth. Finally, the night before that, I played music with my mates, ate far too many spare ribs (I bet the cow didn't consider them "spare"), and drank far too much chewy Portuguese wine.


A Real Friend (Sent to me today by my friend L.) Are you tired of all those mushy "friends" poems that always sound good, but never actually come close to reality? Getting testy with those neurotic people who think you should have to mail back those saccharine sweet little nothings dripping with kittens, hearts and smiles just to prove you're their friend? Again, and again, and again? Well, here is a "friendship" poem that really speaks to true friendship and truth itself! Friend... When you are sad ...I will get you drunk and help you plot revenge against the sorry ass who made you sad. When you are blue ... I'll try to dislodge whatever is choking you. When you smile ... I'll know you finally got laid. When you are scared ...I will rag on you about it every chance I get. When you are worried ...I will tell you horrible stories about how much worse it could be and to quit your stupid whining. When you are confused ....I will use little words to explain it to your dumbass. When you are sick ... stay away from me until you're well again. I don't want whatever you have. When you fall ....I will point and laugh myself silly. This is my oath ...I pledge 'till the end. Why you may ask? Because you're my friend! P.S. A friend will help you move.... A really good friend will help you move a body.


Random Acts Today, two people treated me with more kindness than I deserved. This makes me momentarily humble and introspective. Enjoy it while it lasts!


What Is Bliss? Bliss is getting a back rub while discussing behaviorial simulation with a Neural Scientist.
You Don't Need an Invitation to the Revolution i have no mouth and i must scream Being among the 20,000 or so at the peace march on Saturday was amazing. Stuck somewhere between the Brazilian Bongoers for Peace and the Cypriot Citizens for Disarmament, six cold women linked arms, laughed, shouted, and kept each other as warm as possible on the slow walk down Ste-Catherine, past the American Embassy, to Complexe Guy-Favreau. On the way, a pit stop in a Presse Cafe to warm cold toes between warm hands and an altercation between a visiting American and a man carrying a picture of an upside-down American flag. "Get back to the strip club", we shouted. He was outnumbered, and we suspect he was also eager to return to the dim and the flesh. Here's hoping this, among the many worldwide marches that day, keeps ignorance in the strip clubs and something approaching enlightenment in the cool daylight.


My pipes froze yesterday. I normally shut off the heat when I'm not home and the house rarely gets colder than about 15 degrees. However, yesterday the indoor thermostat read 10 and I had absolutely no water coming out of any tap anywhere. I quick call to the neighbour confirmed that the situation was localized to my house. I had just come from an after-work drink at Else's, had changed into my pajamas, and was ready to prepare myself something to eat. Waterless, I became slightly panicked, visions of myself lying parched in the kitchen, unable to wash dishes, and--worse--unable to shower for work in the morning. Unsure as to what to do, I called my friend A. who was sure to know about these types of things having run his own business for years. As I stood there pathetically in my pajamas, A. explained that it may take some time for the water to come back on and there was some risk of a burst pipe. I guess hunger, fear, and thirst were apparent in my voice as I asked him a whole bunch of questions. A. kindly offered to whisk me away to l'Express for something to eat and a place to sleep so that I could shower in the morning. It took me two seconds to pack a small overnight bag, make sure the cats were okay and head back up to the Plateau. This morning, I was clean and relaxed. The pipes finally unfroze at about noon today and the cats are happy that the house will be kept a little warmer from now on.


Tell me, was his orange? Reservoir, formally Nantha's Kitchen, is quickly becoming my favourite Friday night hangout: the beer is good and inexpensive, the crowd is eclectic and unpretentious, and the snack foods are exceptionally good. On Friday, the usual suspects and me headed out for sushi at Sakata's at around 7:00 p.m. and then over to Reservoir for about 9:30. We were all giddy from being back together again after a two-week hiatus from work. Or maybe that was just me. Finding a table upstairs, I discovered a distinctly house-party atmosphere. Already becoming a favourite among some of my other acquaintances, I mingled a bit among the tables and the bar, saying 'hello' and passing around New Year's greetings to the people I knew. Did I already say that I was giddy? One of my colleagues brought some friends along and I got along particularly well with one of his guests. At around 1:00 a.m., as I was about to leave, this charming young man asked if I wanted a nightcap at his place (conveniently two blocks from Reservoir), and I consented after making him list the contents of what I hoped was a fairly well-stocked liquor cabinet. There was no single-malt scotch, but the thought of Pastis with lots and lots and lots of ice sounded particularly appealing. Happily, his apartment was large and airy and comfortable and clean, unlike some bachelor pads I've stumbled into (is that pile of clothes moving or is your cat just happy to see me?). Armed with Pastis with lots and lots and lots of ice, I got a tour of the apartment, which, in the end, included an extended visit in his very orange bedroom. Remember the orange bedroom, as it's key to the rest of the story. (Skip the bits between the asterisks if you want to jump to the punch line.) **** **** **** **** **** **** **** **** I left at around 1:30 p.m.and walked to my car, which was parked near Softimage. I'm good at finding free parking, but that means that the Bug is never parked in the same place twice, and I sometimes have to force myself to remember exactly where it is. I walked to the corner of Clark and Prince Arthur to find that my car wasn't there. As the panic rose and as my cheeks flushed, I forced myself to think, think, think. I remembered moving it from that spot after discovering I was in a residential parking zone. I just couldn't remember where I had moved it to. Jeanne-Mance? Ste-Famille? Milton! It's on Milton! I got home to find the Gazette still there, but that someone had snitched the Globe & Mail, deeply marring my wish to curl up on the couch and read the Globe's Style and Book sections cover to cover. With extra time on my hands, I decided to take care of my bills and logged on--or tried to--only to discover that my internet banking service no longer recognized either my userid or my password. I hauled out my banking card and placed it against the screen and double-checked that each and every digit was the same. They seemed to be. I called the bank in another panic, with thoughts of some hacker having gotten in and changing my password and transferring my meagre funds to some untraceable bank account. Their tech support guy told me to check some security settings and try again. I did. I even logged off and on again. I reentered my number. When I entered the number, it looked bigger. It was taking up more space in the entry box. Poof! I was logged in. Duh! **** **** **** **** **** **** **** **** I went to meet friends at an opening at Oboro (this was on Saturday for those of you who skipped on down here), an artist-run space renowned not only for quality shows but a damn fine buffet. Three of my gal pals and I recounted what we had gotten up to the night before; two of us had gotten lucky. I started listing my charming young man's statistics. His name is "___". He's 28. He's a programmer. He lives in the Plateau. My friend J. stopped me and said, "You know I've been corresponding with a 28-year old programmer named "___" who lives in the Plateau through this internet dating service. Does he have a cat?" "Yes, he does." "Is his bedroom orange?" "Yes, it is." At this point the four of us whoop in unison, drawing the attention of everyone in the gallery, as we realized that we had to be talking about exactly the same person. J. has never actually met "___", their contact to this point being solely via e-mail. Between the two (three?) of us, we've put a whole new twist on never messing with someone one of your friends is interested in. There just isn't any girlz dating book in the world that covers this scenario. This situation also highlights something that many yulbloggers have blogged about from time to time: just how small the Montreal anglo community can be and how everyone is typically separated by one--not seven or six or five--degrees. Blork posted this in 2001 and yulblog newcomer Westexpressway posted this very recently. Did I mention I was giddy?


More Birthday Gift Ideas 4. A month's worth of home cooked meals. 5. Full year's worth of house cleaning. 6. A modest trust fund. 7. Stereo receiver and speakers. 8. Those cool earrings I lost on the 51 bus twenty years ago.


Happy Birthday to ME! Since I still can't get over that the season of gift receiving is really finished, I'm going to start posting a list of things that I would like to receive for my upcoming birthday. 1. A Hello Kitty toaster. 2. Two new hubcaps for my New Beetle. 3. A set of mag wheels for said Beetle. That's all that's coming off the top of my little blonde head today. More "wants" tomorrow.


Moving slowly into the new year. A la prochaine!