Monday, December 18, 2006

Weekend update

I have to say off the bat that this weekend was all about DW. While, as you all close to us know, she can be a royal PITA sometimes, it is a small price to pay for all the things she brings to this family. DW has a fierce loyalty to family tat essentially matches my own. She loves to entertain like I do. She loves to make food and I love to eat the food she makes. Ours is a symbiotic relationship. :)

This weekend was a doozy. Only two weeks removed from the "move from hell" and we were hosting what is typically our largest event of the year; our Annual Christmas Open House. Everyone, especially my MIL, was saying that we were positively nutso. Two friends that recently moved (last couple of months) also were not happy that we moved twice the stuff and was unpacked enough to even allow people to view the inside of the house while they were still looking for lost clothes among their boxes.

To compound the already tight time frame, we just had to challenge ourselves by adding to items that chewed into our working time. The first was to go and visit my cousin Ric who just got in on Thursday from Trinidad. Not so bad one thinks until you realize we are driving from Ajax to Brampton during the holiday season at 9:30PM. We were there for a couple of hours more than the one I told DW we would be so it was late night number four. On Saturday, we had much running around gathering supplies and such and then join MS and PS for their gathering at home (which was loads of fun, BTW). This was a longer time that included food, drink, stories, drink, shop talk, drink, food and, er, more drink. What was really nice is that TC finally got to interact with the kidlets and they hit it off famously. So much so that even though PS had to work, I got MS to drop the kidlets over so they could continue their Xbox rivalries with TC in the basement. Just to drop off topic for a quick sec, and to do some brown-nosing, we really lucked out in meeting, nurturing and enjoying a friendship with MS and PS. They are one of a kind and we always enjoy our time with them. Adult Gaming Night 2007 - Episode One will commence in January. Ok, back to the story.

So, we get home and DW lays down and pretty much passes out on the couch. TC was tired too but I sent her down to get her laundry sitting in the laundry room before she went to bed. I finally got DW up and ended up sitting on the devil's chair myself and passing out. DW apparently had a burst of energy at that point and went gonzo. She decided the tree was going up NOW so went off to the garage and dragged the box that contains our 7.5ft tree in by herself and proceeded, for the first time, to put the whole thing up herself. I must say, this year she did a better job of it than I did last year. the tree looks beautiful and though it took her a few tries and about an hour, she finally got me up to check the tree out and retired to bed with the hopes I was up enough to start working on the rest of the outstanding items.

Yeah right.

Back to sleep I went and work up around 6:45AM, got a couple of things done but there were still bits of stuff everywhere with the living room still looking like a nuclear testing facility on the French Atoll. So, DW woke up and heading to the kitchen to finish her preparations there. I woke TC in order for her to get up and get helping me make the place look respectable; I woke her a second time with better success. She knows better than to push her luck and have me have to do it a third time so se got up ad got going.

Long story short, a lot of things got dumped into the "office"; so much so that the small passage that allowed me into the room no longer existed. The guest room was cleaned up and I finished assembling the bed so that looked okay. The dining room is the only main room, besides the office, that really as boxes left unopened. The reason for this is that the buffet and hutch held a lot of our glass and breakables. The problem is the stupid carpet they laid down makes the thing rock more than a drunken Keith Richards so we have been weary to put our valuables into it until we get that behaviour corrected. The family room had the piano blocked off with various pictures to prevent anyone playing it; that is where the tree is as well. The living room had all the crap cleared off the table, boxes moved, game stuff into the stereo cabinet and other items... into the office. This shifting continued throughout the place but the majority were in the above mentioned spots.

The basement was a little tricky as I had to go into the garage to pull out the area rug. Then clear an area for it to go into. Then "walk" the TV stand into place behind it. Then hoist the 32" TV onto it. Then find the extension cord to get power to it. TC then was tasked with find a surge protector, the Xbox and controllers and attaching it all up. I gave her a hand when she got confused on the input and out and SVGA connections. So, the kids section, the area we expecting to swallow and keep all of their attentions, was set up.

Guests started arriving around 3:30 with DP, his wife and their daughter arriving first. Slowly, the house began to fill as more and more guests, including a surprise visit from my MIL (who indicated she was not coming) and our family from Chicago as they were in town for the week. That was the icing on the cake. Some folks were sick and could not make it. Some others got tied up and called in to apologize on no longer being able to make it. Others did not have the courtesy to even call and say they can no longer make it (no at all pleased on that). Still others never read or replied to the Evite if they did read it. Such is life. We had a good time and they missed out on DW's fab balls (thanks PS for that recipe), her Sorrel (Trini drink), the punch e creme (Trini drink), her black cake, my cousin's sweetbread, BB's white chocolate covered vanilla cake (that we never got to taste because it was devoured), sandwiches, meats, cheeses, crackers, peanuts, cashews, olives and much more. Oh yeah, and lots and lots and LOTS of alcohol.

This was a precursor to the Christmas weekend so if I blog incoherently one day, you will know why. As for my wife, I really am a lucky man to have a woman embrace a culture not her own so readily and impress those who have lived it all their lives (i.e. my mother, sister, aunt and cousins). If it were her ambition, I am certain she could become a master chef one day. As it is, I will simply continue to enjoy the fruits of her labour as will those lucky enough to be called friends and family. Thanks DW for making another social event a roaring success. The hard work you put in is never unnoticed and you will be rewarded in due time. Love you dearly. :)


Year end - Today's Idiot!

Oh mama. If you speak to me on MSN, you have the gist of what I will be posting today. If you do not MSN with me, read on.

Ok, off the top, this year has been like most in terms of one's fair share of idiot drivers who cut people off in the hopes of gaining two minutes on their over all trip. You have the village idiots in Peel region (i.e. Markham) that decide they MUST make that right turn now so let's just drive into the left lane and around the vehicle stop in the right lane so that they can make the turn now. You have the brainiacs all over the province who look at your vehicle, the one reversing towards them, the one with the reverse lights on, the one that is a good four TONS of steel and glass and plastic and decide that NOW is a good time to walk behind the vehicle through my blind spot. And you have all manner of stupid people performing stupid actions around or with moving vehicles.

And that brings us to this Monday morning. I dropped TC to school, as I always do since we moved into the new place in Ajax and then head across to and then up (north) on Birchmount to get to work. Somewhere between Finch and McNicholl, an Oriental gentleman of the middle aged persuasion decides that he liked my lane better since ihs was being close in with the stopped, turning vehicle in front of him.

Now, I am fine with changing lanes, even quickly and in short distances as long as the manouvere is fairly safely executed. This dipshit however decided that I did not deserve any warning and simply started to move his vehicle over. When I leaned on the Roo's horn with vigour, he ignored me and pulled his vehicle directly into my lane, cutting me off. I cursed him ass and then decided that since no one else was in my vehicle for a change, and I could safely get behind him to stop at the lights, and it was a Monday and he just pissed me off, AND most importantly, he was not part of the Jamaican, Tamil, Trinidadian or Sri Lakan local gangs and probably was not strapping, I was going to have a conversation with him.

He made some quick changes ahead of me but still ended up with space behind him so I tucked in and stopped directly behind him. I got out of my vehicle and went next to his and knocked on the window. When he looked at me like, "what the hell do you want?" and "What do you think you are going to do?" plus some flavour of the day as per Michael Richards, as well as mouthing something to me, I basically lost it short of opening his door and dragging his ass out of the vehicle.

The conversation went something along the lines of this:
Knock, knock. (cue look and the mouthed words) "What the ____ do you think you were doing back there? Are you ____ mental or something? Do you have a ____ clue how close you came to hitting my _____ truck? What?" Knock. Knock. "Roll down the glass. ROLL DOWN THE GLASS YOU STUPID ____ IDIOT ____!! You don't drive like that ____. You will get someone hurt. You will damage someone's vehicle. Try that ____ ___ again and I will ensure it is you that ____ gets hurt!! ____ ______ ______ _____ for this _____ day. ______!!!!"

At this point, he is sitting there praying for the green light to go, which it did while I was berating him. Others saw what was going on but knew better to keep their stupid asses in their vehicles unless they wanted some of what the big, black, angry, yelling man was dishing out. It just irks me something fierce that these idiot drivers get away with this, cause accidents that did not need to happen and really don't care about what they are doing on the road. It actually felt really good and I am going to do a few more of those. Safely, naturally. :)

To the ____ from this morning, I really hope your ___ day was ____ ruined and I have only one last thing to say to you about this: ______ ______!!!!!


Home Delivery - Wanigan Organic Vegetable Box Delivery

An interesting company that I ran across while reading NOW magazine today.

Home Delivery - Wanigan Organic Vegetable Box Delivery

Friday, December 08, 2006

Toronto Santa Speedo Run

Well, if you really need something to do, and you want to help a good cause, try this on for size. Any takers? Redsometime? Mossy? Penny? Anyone?

Toronto Santa Speedo Run

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Latest Michael Richards joke heard

The hottest item this year for the Christmas season is the new Michael Richards doll. The major feature is that it probably will not work this year and probably will not work for some years to come.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

CANOE -- JAM! - Andy Dick sorry for racial slur

You know, there really is a great divide in America and of all things it still centers around colour. Now, as a person who has been on more than his fair share of being called a "nigger" for various reason (most of which was hatred and/or prejudiced driven), I find it peculiar and strange that this is being made into this all encompassing huge issue. Let me explain.

Go into any music store and pick up almost any black artist's CD (Will Smith excluded) and you are almost guaranteed to hear the word in the lyrics of one of their songs. Jay Z, Snoop Dogg, TuPac, Kanye West, Mary J Blige, Missy E, all of them use the word. These artists are being played on mainstream radio everyday, being used in commercial jingles hawking various products, being used as interlude music in TV shows and theme music for movies and specials. Sure, those version are radio-edited and cleaned up for the airwaves, but the CDs being sold in your local HMV, Future Shop and Best Buy are not. So, you can see what happens when the kids get their parents to buy them the disc and the parents don't do their job of knowing what the kids are listening to (or the kids buy it themselves because it has been proven these stores don't check jack).

Now I will be the LAST person to blame violent TV, mature video games, movies and music on the state of our youth today. We had all of those things when I was a kid (hello, Duke Nukem in 3D, nuff said) and I never had the urge to go and rip someone a new one because they looked at me funny. That, I can attest, is because of the swift and sure retaliation from my parents that I know would be coming so my ass was kept in line (at least until it really did hurt them more than it did me). Parents need to step up and be responsible for the next generation growing up in the world. And Racism and Prejudice is the number one trait a lot of irresponsible parents pass on to their children. We are all, in some varying degree of levels, guilty of doing this with our own offspring. We may not directly tell them to be prejudicial or racist but we do so in our jokes, mannerisms, cussing at bad drivers and so on. We also do the same to promote equality to balance things out in life but as we all know, hate and anger are easy and strong emotions that often overpowers love and understanding.

So, back to Mr. Dick. Racist? Doubt it. Stupid? Without question. But, he can also be incredibly funny which I honestly think he was trying to be, but it is too soon and simply the wrong time. I have heard the word uttered by white people before and not every time was it derogatory towards me or others. We had a guy in school, RW, who used to hang with the brothers (literally, but that is another story) so we got into this whole thing with the names that each of us were called representing the worst against our heritage. It was a funny outburst and we all laughed and their were no feelings hurt.

But that was high school friends sharing a laugh, some understanding and some tolerance. Ever try that with an entire nation? No one has. That is the most disturbing part of all of this. And if they think some spotlight on it now because two Caucasians dared used the word is going to change anything or move things forward, they are stupider than Michael Richards himself for being caught in that position. You need to weed this out from birth to get it to stop. Some people think continuing the fight and the conflict is much more important than resolving it. the snowball effect is that the next few generations will not see it stop, merely change either for the better or (unfortunately the most likely) for the worst before someone emerges to really stop it.

Will you do your part?


CANOE -- JAM! - Andy Dick sorry for racial slur

Monday, December 04, 2006

Two years till the next one.

So, except for a couple of Roo-loads of items (long explanation but it involves paper, things we forgot existed and salvaged items from a very leaky garage), we are moved into our new home. It was a necessary move but at no angle was it an easy move.

Financially, it was a much harder hit than we wanted even though we budgeted for it. We simply did not take inot account the difficulty of moving out of the old house and into the new one. Each house has unique angles and challenges and they cost time. Add to that the short driveway which the eighteen-wheeler had to park sideways in front of and it all adds up to extra time needed to safely move items. We will be going back to them concerning some damages to both our items and the new house as well as a calculation error on the final bill. Regardless, it all adds up to a much leaner Christmas. Sorry family. :(

Emotionally, this is not easy for me. I grew up, partied, laughed, cried, and prospered in Scarborough. It is not an easy transition for me to leave the only area I have ever lived (Toronto GTA) since coming to Canada. Add to that the fact that we had decent neighbours on our side of the street, a huge yard and massive porch to hold summer gatherings on and it was close enough for people to pop by when they felt like. I know it was necessary, it just was not easy.

Physically, I feel whipped and I know both TC and DW feel the same. We had great help from friends and family, and we thank them very much for all of it, but they are gone now. We are still cleaning up the whirlwind mess that was created in the move at the old house. We are still trying to mark out our terriorties in the new house and get settled in. However, life (i.e. school, work, etc.) does not stop simply because we are busy with other things. So, as we try to settle in and relax, there is always something nagging at us to be dealth with. I cannot find certain wiring and the Belkin wireless router. Nor can I find a friends external hard drive that was accidentally packed away with our things. So, no rest for the weary and a difficult task made more so by boxes being clearly labelled for anywhere but the garage being dumped into the garage. We have already unpacked over three dozen boxes by my count and the place still looks like a cardboard recycling factory.

Financially, this gets two entries because I forgot the "after the move" or "gee, we really need/want a..." expenses. Since it is a bigger house, and a different design, we gained a lot of space and style and substance but actually lost on some built-in storage space. As such, we need to find and/or buy new places to put things. Something as simple as a towel rack to hold both of our towels or a space saver for around the toilet bowl or an outside garbage bin (since the racoons mangled our last one b chewing through the top) really start to add up. Next year should be better but this month is going to be a riiiiight beeyatch!!

Anyhow, enough bitching and moaning. We love the new place and we love the area. We love being near friends and family, while hating being further away from other friends and family (mainly our parents and the BFE crew). Even if the dining room stupidly has carpet that tips our damn buffet/hutch when you try to open the door, we will take this cozy, warm, dry house over the last place any day. The real test of wills will be when we host our open house on the 17th. The place had better be up to snuff then. People whose opinions have weight will be there and we want to make a good impression. :) If you're local, we hope to see on Sunday.


Friday, December 01, 2006


The title pretty much sums up this latest moving experience for the A******* family. It was too little time. It was much crap to move. It was too little sleep. it was too much stress. It was too little planning. It was too much planning. It was too little relying on friends and family. It was way too much money on movers. it was simply one of the most gawd-awful, draining, stressful, PITA, necessary but oh so loathful experiences in my life.

When next we move (two years from now unless we somehow buy this place from the owner), we will simply save enough money to hand the company the keys, have them pack, move and unpack us while we enjoy ourselves somewhere else on this planet. We moved from one awkwardly shaped home to a better, different awkwardly shaped home. It took the movers forever to remove our shite from the old place and forever to get it in and placed in the new one. AND this is with having assorted friends and family having help us move a shitload of stuff last weekend already. I new we had a lot of shit but DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMN!!!

As my newphew, Hammy, puts it: Ajax will never have seen a garage sale of this kind ever! We have electronics, clothes, crafts. the usual and the unusual that will be put up. I have about a week of shredding documents I simply could not just throw out. We also have at least a days work of clearing the last remnants out of the old place before saying goodbye forever.

We will definitely miss the old place. how could one not miss a prime lot, lower Scarborough, 77x210ft with a deck the width of the house? oh yeah, easily when the roof leafs, the basement leaks, the garage leaks, we need more space, it was always cold because the heat leaks, the plumbing and electrical is crap and it has enough creatures roaming through it to start a sideshow. Sigh. It was our home and we are going to miss it.

Our new adventure begins today in Ajax though and we are really looking forward to it. Already i am making new acquaintances at the local Crappy Tire which I am sure will come in handy someday. I will be doing so at the Home Depot, Walmart, Future Shop, Best Buy, Costco, and Chapters. Just browsing honey... honest.

I will try to post some after Dtrini shots at the old place; pre and post cleanup. Right now, I am uber tired but I promise dmy boss to finish some work and it is eight hours past due. Not good so I want to make sure he at least wakes up to work done. :)

Buenos Nochas