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After five years of not having a microwave at work and having cold leftovers for lunch, I came home last week and told Stephen I was done. I could not eat one more bite of room-temperature coconut curry, congealed pasta or frosty stir-fry, still with unmelted ice chips around the sides because I don't understand the settings on our refrigerator. I said I was going to buy a Thermos, and that would be that.

I haven't found one yet, so my lunches for the past week have all been sandwiches and salads, which are basically the two kinds of foods that I hate the most in life. However, I'm discovering that I like salad if it has the right spicy chickpea topping, and I notice that any boring sandwich filling can usually be rescued by tomato, cucumber and a little black pepper. Is there anything else I can eat that doesn't require a heating implement? IDEAS ARE VERY WELCOME.

Also, where in blazes do you buy a Thermos? A wide one for food, I mean. I can find the tall skinny ones, but I am having the worst time finding the short fat ones. I want one in red plaid.

We saw X-Men: First Class yesterday and enjoyed it thoroughly. My, January Jones is very pretty, isn't she? I couldn't stop exclaiming over her outfits. I didn't like how she went all diamond, though - it looked better the way they did it in the Wolverine movie. I really liked Michael Fassbender's performance, I thought he was just great.

Secret of the DayCollapse )


Tell me if you think this is creepy, or just plain weird.

A few days ago, I was at work and this guy walked up to pay for some stuff. We had this conversation:

Me: Hi, how are you?

Guy: Fine.... I think I've seen you before.

Me: Oh, yeah?

Guy: Yeah.... like around Niagara Falls area? In a coffee shop, I think.

Me: Niagara Falls? When was this?

Guy: Maybe about a week ago?

Me: That's kinda funny... I went to the States with my family last week, and we did stop for a coffee right around the border. I don't remember which coffee shop, though.

Guy: Yeah, you did have some people with you, I think. A Tim Horton's?

Me: Oh! Yes, it was a Tim's! Hey, isn't that something? Why were you there?

Guy: Oh,we were heading to Niagara-on-the-Lake.

So there was some light chit-chat about Niagara-on-the-Lake and why I was going to the States, and then he paid for his stuff and that was that. It wasn't until later that I really thought about it and started to wonder just how weird that whole thing was.

I told Stephen this story, and we both agreed that it wasn't THAT weird that someone would notice me when I'm just out and about, because I look kind of distinct and people are ALWAYS staring at me for one reason or another (I haven't quite figured out why yet, but I know it's not my shaved head or my socks because it happens even when I'm wearing a hat and long pants). No, the weird thing is that this dude remembered me well enough to recognize me again a week later out of nowhere, when we weren't even in the same city, and that he felt the need to bring this to my attention. Like really, why would you want to creep someone out like that?

I'm probably over-thinking it, but just in case, I've got Street Jaime on Yellow Alert.

Shopping Fever

Hello, hello... I am sick. Do you ever get a thing where you are all sniffly and congested with a tiny sore throat, and you think it's just allergies, so you take some completely ineffective Claritin and then like 8 hours later you realize what's really going on? That's where I am.

I went to the States this weekend! Every year, my family likes to spend Victoria Day weekend in Grove City, PA, at the Premium Outlets. This weekend, I decided to take a couple of days before and after the trip as part of my vacation (last year, I scheduled myself to go back to work the day after our return, which meant that I had no time to decompress after being locked up in a car with my family for three days. NEVER AGAIN), so thank goodness I don't have to go back to work until Thursday. I can spend the next two days lying on the couch.

The ride back was honestly the worst I can remember. Oh, the weather was fine and we made pretty good time and all that, but it was like, SEVEN HOURS of just feeling worse and worse. And my throat was KILLING ME. Like, I seriously expected to taste blood every time I swallowed. We would stop and my family kept trying to get me to eat, but I didn't want to do anything that involved swallowing or talking. At one point, they stopped to get dinner and I waited in the car for an hour an a half because I just could not deal with eating.

This is a secret: that ninety minutes was actually the best part of the ride. I just sat there with my book, it was nice and quiet because we had parked so far away from everything and it was really the only time I had to myself all weekend. I just rolled down the windows and dozed off.

Up until the ride back, I had a great time, though. I bought clothes! I never buy clothes. I also went to the Cosmetic Outlet and bought a whole pile of discontinued MAC for super-cheap.

Can I just say? People who work in retail in the States are very good at their jobs. I don't know what it is, they're just highly professional and the level of service is a lot better. We were in Sephora, and I was struck by how much more pleasant the staff is there than here. It's not that people in Canada are outright rude or anything, it's that we seem to be more reserved than Americans in practically everything, including customer service. Maybe they're friendlier?

Glad to be home. I really missed Stephen and the cats.

Secret of the DayCollapse )

Two boneheaded things I've done lately

1. Yesterday, I was in the mood for Pad Thai for lunch (this is probably due to Vegan Black Metal Chef), and there's a Spring Rolls just beside the mall. Usually, I just order and pay at their takeout window, spend ten minutes downstairs looking at NYX produts in the Rexall, and then go bak up to pick up my food.

This time, I wanted to be Efficient!Jaime, so I used the main Spring Rolls phone number to call in my order for pickup. When I got there to pick it up, they handed it over and I just said thanks and walked off. When I sat down to eat, I realized, with horror, that I had forgotten to pay! I was a Pad Thai thief! I packed everything up and ran back, arriving at the window out-of-breath and sweaty.

"I forgot to pay for my Pad Thai! I'm so sorry!" I gasped, my heart pounding. The woman at the window, who wasn't the same woman who handed over my food was all, "Huh?" so I had to explain the whole thing and apologize profusely while insisting that I wasn't some sort of Pad Thai scam artist. The woman was like, "Well, clearly we didn't even notice, so it's no big deal." SO EMBARASSING. By the time we sorted it out and I paid, my break was over and I only got two bites of my delicious Pad Thai.

When I told this story to Jeremy at work, the first thing he said was, "My favourite part of this is that the whole point of you calling first was to save time."

2. We had garlicky broccoli with garlic vegan hoisin sauce and garlic bread for dinner last night. We underestimated the garlic in the (fake) butter and wound up having SUPER ULTRA GARLIC BREAD too, so that when we woke up this morning, both of us had Garlic Stink coming through our pores. Despite a shower and brushing my teeth twice, I was Garlic Woman all day in my store. It was the GARLIC STINK THAT WOULD NOT DIE.

Whatever. The food was delicious and totally worth it. I regret nothing.

If you haven't seen it yet, you're missing out. (Facebookers, click here!)

In related news, I just bought these socks. They have the cushy foot! I love the cushy foot, I don't understand why all socks don't just have that as standard. SO COMFORTABLE. It's like you're walking on little pillows.

Here's an annoying story. Back in January, I placed an order with an Etsy shop for a round Ramona Flowers bag. The girl who owns the Etsy shop is from Toronto and the bag itself was a decent price in comparison to the other Ramona Flowers bags on there, so I had no qualms about forking over $75.

About a week after I placed the order, the girl emailed me to say that something happened to her sewing machine and that she had to take it in for repairs and that there would be a delay on the bag. She asked if I wanted a refund, and I said no, and then made the classic mistake of telling her that I wasn't in a hurry to get it.

FIVE MONTHS LATER. After some emails back and forth and one crisis after another with this girl, she wound up giving me back my money for a bag that she likely never sent. Even when she gave me back the money, it was a whole big thing ("I can only afford $70 right now, and I'll give you the $5 in a couple of days." Really? You have $70 but not $75? And what do I care if you an afford it or not?). Right around the time the money showed up in my paypal account, Sock Dreams had a 20% off sale going, so I just used the refund for my Spring socks order.

I guess the moral of this story is that when you have the tiniest inkling of "Danger! Drama ahead!" with an Etsy seller, you are most likely right, and you should just take the refund initially and be done with it. I'm actually amazed that I got my money back.

Haha! While I'm writing this, Stephen is in the kitchen trying to cook dinner and the cats are bugging him. All I can hear is, "See? That's what happens when you're in the way!" and "GET OUT. Of the kitchen! Get out! Out!"

Selling 4 slightly used cats, cheap.

Easter Sunday morning, and I woke up 6:30 because a cat was peeing in my hair.


(If you're not familiar with cats, they are vindictive little shits. If they are unhappy with the state of their litterboxes, for example, they will let you know. If the pre-specified litterbox-cleaning schedule outlined in the contract is not strictly adhered to, expect a reminder. The schedule, by the way, which was previously agreeable to all parties involved, is subject to change without notice.)

Man, it is not even my job to do the litterboxes! The litterboxes are Stephen's thing - mine is laundry. I tried to explain to Sully that she can pee in my hair when her shirts and pants are not washed on time, and that all complaints regarding the litterbox are to be taken up with the other custodian, but she did not budge. She pointedly ignored me all morning and refused to look my way until the litterboxes had been washed out to her satisfaction.

We are now in the midst of new contract negotiations.

So fresh so clean

Man! I just got my order from Product Body, and there are so many delicious things that I DO NOT KNOW WHAT TO TRY FIRST. I am paralyzed with fear! I'm sitting here unshowered because I can't decide which soap to use.

These are my options:

- Crush on You in Sexy Laundry Day
- Sexy Laundry Day soap
- Poison Apple soap
- Spiced Mahogany soap
- Ginger Milk Tea soap (which I don't see on the website anymore)
- Tea Party soap
- perfume rollerballs in Mazu, Ruby Rock Star and Sexy Laundry Day

I also got a free bar of the Eucalyptus Tea Tree facial soap, which I'm going to give to my sister because I don't have oily skin.

I wouldn't have ordered so much in the first place if they weren't having such an awesome sale. The soaps were 20% off a couple of weeks ago, the perfumes were Buy-One-Get-One-Free and the Eucalyptus soap was free with orders over $50, or something like that. You were allowed to combine all three promos, which was really nice of them.

The perfume rollerballs are really long-lasting, which I guess is why they're a bit pricey ($10 for 4mL. You can get 9mL for around $7-$10 with other shops like Latherati and Solstice Scents). I know essential oils don't come cheap, and if you want handmade and ethically-sourced, it's going to cost more, so I don't really mind. The little bottles fit better in my makeup bag anyway.

I'm thinking Sexy Laundry Day, since it really is laundry day for me anyway. But then I think - Poison Apple! Ginger Milk Tea! Gah!

Zona Caliente!

Sigh! Spot, our grumpy senior cat is having trouble drinking water. The poor guy just sticks his face in there and somehow can't start licking. Instead, he sort of winds up snuffling it through his nose, and it makes him sneeze. I think he's having trouble sticking out his tongue and lapping it up, so he just opens his mouth and tries to get it that way.

We are using an oral syringe to get him to drink. It's all sad! Also, he keeps just sticking his whole face in his food dish, so he winds up with food-face all the time, and he hates having his face washed and so on and so forth.

Tonight, we went to Amazing Party and Costume (seriously, that's what it's called) to get sombreros for our pinata party at work on Saturday - stop by any LUSH on Saturday at 4pm and partake in the Easter Donkey Pinata smash! I'm so not kidding - and it was SO WEIRD. I guess that they don't do much business when it's not Halloween, so it was basically a ghost town. The store is in this giant, endless warehouse type thing, and there are masks and capes and accessories and costumes all over the place, and they always have some kind of seasonal set up with mannequins at the front.

Right now? They've got a bloody, thorny-crowned Jesus carrying a giant cross through the makeshift streets, with some whip-bearing soldiers standing around him and a sad Mary Magdalene bringing up the rear. TOTALLY UNSETTLING. And hilarious, in a way. I mean, think of the guy who had to set all that up. You think he was like, "Something tells me I'm going to regret this later."?

Anyway, while we were there, we found the most hilarious stuff! I'm supposed to stick with just sombreros and not go nuts with decorations because that can get really tacky really quickly - and yes, I know that sombreros are not the pinnacle of taste themselves, just go with it - but I COULD NOT HELP IT. I bought a package of fake caution tape that says "ZONA CALIENTE!" which I absolutely cannot wait to put around our cash desk, and some jalapeno-shaped confetti to throw.

Also, I may have bought fiesta mustaches.

There are no pastries here.

Did I tell you I've been going to church lately?

My parents go to church every Sunday. My mom has always been a devout Catholic, and my stepdad's whole family has always been involved in the church in some way, so every Sunday, without fail, they head to St. Thomas Aquinas, which is just down the street from our place. My sister goes with them sometimes, and they all go out for brunch and after-church gossip when it's over.

I like the idea of spending time with my parents and doing something they're so into. I really only see them once a month or so, and like - they're old! I should spend more time with them. I want to meet their church friends. I want to go for breakfast and gossip after. I still have my own issues with religion and church, but family time is family time, you know? Anyway, so Stephen and I have been going along with them.

Okay, so - I haven't been to church in QUITE SOME TIME. When I decided that religion was Not My Thing Anymore, I think I was maybe 16. I guess I thought that maybe mass had gotten a little funkier? Times had changed? That it would be like Sister Act?

SO NOT LIKE SISTER ACT. Dudes, church is just as boring as I remember. Also, the priest was so not fun! I wanted someone like Father Norm, from when I was in high school (FYI, Father Norm was the shit). Instead, this guy was ALL BUSINESS. When it came time for communion, he had to make a special announcement about how this week they're going to try four different lines going this and that way to eliminate the "pushing and shoving". Since when is there pushing and shoving? I mean, how wild can it possibly get?

Maybe the problem is that it is Catholic church? I don't know. I remember going with my granddad to his church (he was Presbyterian) and the people seemed more joyful. Everyone was really nice, and there was always this coffee hour thing after, where everyone just hung out and ate a bunch of pastries. There are no pastries here.

Stephen suggested that we try a different church and see if that's more what I was hoping for. But then I wouldn't be spending time with my parents! You see the problem.

After the service today, we went for an extremely delicious breakfast that involved far more coffee than is necessary, and then Stephen and I went for a drive. We wound up going all the way to Bolton, where I grew up.

It was just the same. Oh, they had put a TD Bank where the La Standa used to be, and instead of Penny gas, it was an Esso station, but everything was pretty much the way I left it. It was weird to see a sushi place in the middle of town, though (this was Bolton, where weird things like sushi didn't exist. If you brought Chef Boyardee for lunch, everyone looked at you funny). I remembered exactly how to get to my old house, which looked the same from the outside, except for the Christmas lights along the roof.

I showed Stephen the center of town, where my sister got hit by a car, and the field behind my school where many a bully pushed me into a snowbank. After that, I kind of wanted to get out of there.

We got coffee on the way back home and stopped to buy some DVDs. Now we are making a delicious dinner involving a mushroom casserole thing and we're going to watch Catfish!

An excellent Sunday.
I think I'm the Beauty Blog Killer. Once I start following, they stop updating. WHY??? I cannot even tell you the number of beauty blogs that I've found and get all excited about because they update daily, and then? I don't know. They always seem to get personal issues and just stop blogging. Is it me?

I went to the dentist to get my last set of fillings today! Yes, I said "set". Since last October, we've been working on all this. When I got there at the crack of dawn, I immediately told Dr. Amy that the next time I decide to make a 7AM appointment, I wanted her to stop me. What the hell was I thinking? I had to get up in the dark. At least I managed to get all of our laundry done when I got back.

Then I took an amazing 3-hour nap! I know they say you're supposed to limit naps to twenty minutes or something like that, but those people are nuts. You're telling me you're going to get all snuggly and warm on the couch with the pillows arranged in just the right way and then get up after twenty minutes? It takes me almost twenty fucking minutes to fall asleep in the first place. Also, I was covered in napping cats - you can't just disturb them by getting up.

Stephen has a meeting for his charity thing tonight, so I am on my own for food until he comes home. When he's not here, I eat the way I did when I was a kid home alone - I go straight for the chips and the frozen food. Also, I watch all the TV shows that he's never in the mood for. Bring on the Murder, She Wrote!


Jaime California

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January 2013


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