The Tweedles

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

There's a whole lotta shakin' goin' on.

That might be the lamest title EVER!
So on the heels of NaBloPoMo, I'm going to keep this short. Like bulleted short.
1. There was a moderate earthquake last night. It was measured at 5.6, which is big enough for me, thankyouverymuch. We live pretty close to where it hit and I was home alone, pretty sure might pee my pants. The shaking lasted for close to a minute, but when you're completely freaked out, I'm sure time slows. Also when you're freaked out, you get stupid. I sat there unsure what to do. So finally I ran to an internal door way and tried to entice Chachi to come to me, but he didn't. Too busy barking at the earthquake. I took some pictures of how stuff fell over and came close to breaking. It'll be good fodder for tomorrow.
2. Halloween. I plan on dressing both pets. Hee hee... pictures to come. Think Internet superstars.
3. The baby, Murp or Betty. Call her as you will. She's still dancing on my bladder. She's healthy, growing at the rate she should be, and apparently she doesn't like earthquakes either.

Okay that's all I'm going to give up today. Starting tomorrow you will have at least 30 posts for your amusement. Adam even said he would do some posting. whoot whoot

Edited to add: Chachi didn't win the contest, although he was the cutest dog there. Some other dog dressed as a cowboy won. And he wasn't even wearing a home made costume! The injustice. But Chachi was a little doll. Everyone wanted his picture. He pranced around wearing his costume like it was nothing, whereas at home he would cower and hate it. Such a strange little beastie.

Also edited to add. Betty isn't the baby's name, just what I've taken to calling her.

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

On Being Canadian while not in Canada

Last night Adam and I had our weekly date night and we encountered a whole group of Canadians. They were identifiable by their ostentatious wearing of red clothing adorned with a Canadian flag and a big bag of poppies on the table that made me want to weep for joy.
As we were about to leave Adam approached them, explaining that we were Canadians also and we were invited to join them. As it turns out they are a group called the Digital Moose. They were mostly men, with a couple women in the mix also. And with the exception of me and one other woman they were all engineers, all having graduated from Canadian universities. (made obvious by their iron pinky rings)
Anyhow it was an interesting evening. Much talk about where we all came from and what we miss and the differences here. Eventually talk did turn to housing costs. Everyone that owned a house bought it before 1999, with the exception of us. Many eyes widened and mouths made Os when we mentioned that we just bought a house. Clearly they felt sorry for us, since they have all made loads of money off of their houses.
It was also interesting to realize that many of them have lived here, moved home and came back, because you just can't make the same money anywhere else. One guy was a particularly downtrodden Canadian, singing all of the praises of the US and hating on Canada. I deemed that he should have been stripped of his poppy*. However as it turns out he moved home to Newfoundland and was screwed by the government and the economy in general, so I understand some of his bitterness a little.
All in all it was an interesting night. Some good hockey talk, football talk and reminiscing about home.

(*much like Jason of his man card when he got his pink girly drink)

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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Mr. Bonsai Kitty

Lately Bonsai has been a total ass. He's taken to yowling at all hours of the night, and day. He walks around the house yelling at unforeseen objects, and at times being really aggressive. I wonder if he is just really stir crazy and wants to go outside, or if he's starting to get old and losing his mind. No amounts of threats or dousing with the water gun seems to shut him up. We're leery to take him outside (supervised) because it will just promote more of the yelling. He's also taken to running laps around the house, like he did when he was a kitten. He does this in the middle of the night, which would be fine with a normal cat, except this one is a small elephant and you can hear him across the house thudding along. (And this house is not at all sound proofed, you can hear Chachi running too.) When he decides to rest at night he must be within inches of your face, which is not at all convenient for me, who has to get up a dozen times a night to pee. I understand that me not wanting him in my face is selfish, but once settled if he is disturbed he starts his running/thudding and yelling routine all over again.
Seriously I am at my wits end. As it is already I am having a tough time sleeping, so being woken from blissful sleep by my yowling cat is driving me nuts! Adam has the ability to either ignore him, or sleep through it, which is so unfair.
I've thought about getting him a no bark collar that you would for a dog, but I'm worried that his purring would set it off. (He purrs loud enough to wake me, but I won't begrudge him his purring.) In the middle of the night groggy with desperation I've wondered if getting his voice box removed would be an option, but I know I couldn't do that to him. I wouldn't get him declawed, so how could I put him through that? In any case I might lose my mind.
In our other apartment we would lock him in the far bathroom when he decided to have a yelly night, but we don't have a room here which works like that. In the new house he'll have his own room which should work though. However we don't move for months....
As for his aggressive behaviour, he's just been quicker with his claws with me. Mostly if he's laying on the ground and I step over him, he grabs my legs. I don't think he's trying to be mean, but his claws are close to three quarters of an inch long, and sharp. Then today he was sitting on the chair in the living room and he just freaked out and gave chase to something imaginary, leaving a huge gouge in the chair. (new. leather....) He's still patient with Chachi, and I'm not worried for the baby, and hopefully by the time she's a toddler he will have mellowed out again.
So does anyone have any ideas? I don't want to get rid of him. He's old and I don't think that anyone would love him as much as we do, and Chachi would be so lost without his big ol' buddy. Or am I destined to sleep with a water gun for another 10 years?
Hmm I wonder if this is just a kitty midlife crisis?

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Friday, October 19, 2007


Congratulations on little Katerina Madeleine! I'm so happy for you! YAY. And also YAY!


Holy Fraud Baman!

During the last couple of days I worked at the bank before committing to being a kept woman I had this young man come in telling me that his aunt died and he was going to get a large inheritance. This young man (lets call him Larry) wanted to talk to me particularly because the other lender there was a cow and wouldn't give him the time of day before when he was having issues with his $500 limit credit card, whereas I was able to fix his problem and he trusted me. So he comes to me telling me that he was about to inherit six million dollars. My first reaction was shock, and then the sales person in me sprung into action. We needed to make sure Larry invested his money wisely, and with us. I didn't question the amount initially because it was in Alberta and large fortunes are amassed in the oil industry. So as I am telling him some options for him to invest his money, and the importance of investing, he tells me that he will need ten thousand dollars to pay the lawyer to execute the will. At this time I become hesitant. I asked him why he has to pay the lawyer up front, and shouldn't the lawyer take any fees from his inheritance? Larry tells me that the only way that he will get the money is if the lawyer gets the money upfront. Sadly I realize that this whole situation is really suspicious and I ask to see some documents, because there would be no way to lend him anything unless I am sure without a doubt that this is legit. So Larry produced a letter explaining that his aunt died a couple of years ago and the lawyer was happy to have finally located a living relative. Also enclosed was a copy of the bank draft in the amount of six million American dollars, made out to Larry, with instructions to send the lawyer the 10K to finish the proceedings. At this time I don't want to upset Larry and his lunch time is nearing to an end so I asked to keep the documents. I wanted to fax them to the fraud department and show them to my manager, so she could back me in declining him.
Larry leaves my office and I fax the documents to the fraud department and send them an email about what is happening. I leave the documents on my manager's desk with a letter what they were and I go to lunch. When I come back she tells me that she's okayed me to allow his account to be overdrawn 10K. I was shocked because this boy would not be able to pay that back, and I am most certain that it is fraud. I tell her that I think it's fraud and tell her that I've already emailed the fraud department and am awaiting their response. Luckily when I checked my email they tell me that it is fraud and to not release any money to Larry. I tell my manager this who tells me to shred the letter she'd written me instructing me to release the 10K to him. (I will give her credit, she was busy and I don't think she read my whole note to her, just saw that he needed 10K and there was a potential for 6 million coming into the branch, which would be a huge coup for her.)
Later that afternoon Larry comes in to see what the manager said. I take the time to ask him some questions. I find out that he received an email and responded to it. The fraudster instructed him what to say and what he needed to do to get the money. Larry was also told that the fraudster worked at a foreign bank and stumbled across this money and just wanted to help someone out. I tried to explain to Larry that he would send the 10K and either never get the bank draft, or get it and deposit it, with a hold, and then find out that is wasn't a real draft and now he would owe the bank 10K. Larry was upset, and just did not believe me that this lawyer guy was lying to him. I tried logic, I asked him why this guy would just give him 6 million, but Larry still didn't see it my way. Finally I just told him straight out that I was not going to lend him the money, and that I was going to keep the documents he gave me.
I think that he understood and knew that it was too good to be true, but he was mad. At this point I directed him out of my office and said my goodbyes to him in the middle of the branch. He was balling his fists, speaking to me through gritted teeth, and acting quite aggressive towards me. The branch manager noticed this and also came to wish him a Merry Christmas and say good bye. Once he left she asked me what happened and why he was so upset. I told her that I declined him and he didn't take it so well, and no amount of explaining would settle into him that I was protecting him.
Anyhow it was only a couple of days later that I was finally done at the bank and I wouldn't have to deal with fraud like this again.
Except I get these emails all of the time. Enticing me to take drafts, or cheques for a company from overseas and deposit them into my account and send them a draft in American funds and I will get to keep a portion for my troubles. I am really shocked at how many of these emails I have received in the past year. I have saved them all to post here, because they are so obvious to me. However I am not their typical target, guys like Larry are. Young, not educated and anxious to make a quick buck. The really sad part was that Larry was a good guy, a truly good guy. He had all of these plans to buy his family a house, and go to school. I really hated to dash his hopes, but I hated more that there is scum out there that will prey on people.
So all in all. Fraud sucks, but there's a lot of it. Be careful!

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

We will take a break...

...from our regularly scheduled mumblings to talk about shoes.
When I was working in a bank I put a lot of thought into my outfits everyday and made an effort to wear a different pair of shoes everyday. (in order to prevent any of them getting jealous....) Now that I'm not working I don't often find a reason to wear my mary jane heels, or my cute little heeled ankle boots, or my lovely purple faux snakeskin heels (which made all of the older ladies at the branches look at me and wonder if I was weird). Now I live in flip flops or my Sketchers which are getting old and should be retired. I look at my "work shoes" getting dusty in the closet wondering what their fate will be, since I don't see myself pushing a stroller while wearing my cute strappy green and blue sandals with a little kitten heel. I feel it's time for me to move onto some more practical shoes. While I love my fuchsia flats they haven't seen pavement in nearly 2 years, since they are meant to be worn with nylons and not socks, and in my life now, nylons aren't even considered.
So here I am, a former shoe-a-holic wondering what to do. While I have slowly and carefully weaned myself off of buying new shoes on a weekly basis, I still love them, and right now actually need some practical, yet cute shoes, I'm at a loss.
What is this practical I mention? I think I have bought myself 2 pairs of practical shoes in my whole life. Just before I went to Korea, and just before I went to England. Yet here I am desiring practical shoes. So I went looking. I went online to Zappos and looked around. Oddly enough everything that appealed to me were mary janes. Here I am 30 years old and coveting mary janes, but they're so damned cute!
I will forge on to find the perfect shoes. In the process I may have to buy several pairs. All in the name of research.
That's right, I'll take one for the team!
I'll let you know how it goes....


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Oh MAN I wish I could vote here.

I heart Stephen Colbert.
I think it will be intresting to see what really happens. Adam says if he does run he can't have his show, which would be horrible....


HEY Mr. Telemarketer!

There is no reason for you to be rude to me when I tell you "no". NO REASON! In fact it is in your best interest to shut the eff up and say your goodbyes and move on to your next customer, because the time you waste being rude to me is taking money out of your pocket. Why? Because time is money my pissy friend and if you're on a commission you need to move on. Also because of the Rudey McRudersons I will never even consider AIG insurance or the San Jose Mercury News. EVER! And now I've told the world to avoid you too.
Finally I feel I can lecture you with authority because I have been a telemarketer and I was good at it. Why? Because I was efficient. I would give my customers a chance to decline so I wasn't wasting my time, and it allowed me to breathe. And I was never rude. Never.
Now Mr. Telemarketer I understand your job licks ass and you hate it, but you chose to be there, and I chose to say no, politely. I didn't get all huffy and rude with you, I expect reciprocation.
Have a nice day.


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Deadra for President!

And I'll wear a bright and shiny pin! Just to distract everyone so that they don't have to listen to what I say. They'll all be mesmerized by my shiney that I will be able to go ahead and make the United States America the 11th province. (or really, it should be a territory....)
Okay all kidding aside, I can't believe that there is still a debate over Barack Obama's choice to not wear an American Flag lapel pin.
I'm sure you've all heard the story, he stopped wearing the pin after 9/11 claiming that he'd show is patriotism through acts not jewelry. He said this over a week ago. And yet there is still an uproar about it. I saw something with Ann Coulter blabbing about how he's wrong, but I can't find that link right now. But in any case, I don't like that woman, and disagree with her vehemently on so many issues.
I really don't understand why it's an issue. I wonder if it is because I am so liberal, or because I am Canadian and this wouldn't be an issue at home. (perhaps it's because I'm a liberal Canadian) Anyhow there are much more important things to be debated rather than the jewelry choices of a candidate.


Friday, October 12, 2007


I'm doing it again this year. Just to remind you what it is.... During the month of November you write a 50000 word novel. Really it's that simple. It has to be one that you start in November, as in you can't work on something you've already started. You are allowed to have notes and an outline though.
Last year I did it, and nearly won*. I wasn't that short of 50K words, but I lost steam. I wrote about my time in Korea, but I did it all in the present tense, which was a lot more difficult that I anticipated, I was also taking 2 writing classes and doing NaBloPoMo**. This year I won't be taking the classes and I will have an outline. I plan to write a distopia, and I don't want to elbaorate further, I fear people stealing my ideas.
Anyhow so don't abandon me yet, I'll be here for all of November for NaBloPoMo, and I'll give you updates on NaNoWriMo, perhaps that will keep me more accountable.
Or I'll do like last year and post lots of You Tube videos.

*to win you need to write 50K words
**National Blog Posting Month


She's sucking me dry.

I have been delinquent in my posting. You'll survive, with time and counselling.
Seriously though, I don't have many of the creative juices flowing right now. I think she's using them all up to grow or something. I haven't been to my ceramics class in 3 weeks because I have no clue what I want to make.
Anyhow some housekeeping, baby style.
I wanted to talk about how I've felt her move, since I don't have a paper journal and I should record this in some manner.
In all of the research I'd read that I wouldn't feel her move until well into my 2nd trimester because, basically I wouldn't recognize the feeling. Also the additional "padding" would also prevent me from feeling much, which I don't understand because you feel it from the inside.
Anyhow I felt her in my 12th week. Adam and I were waiting for a table at IHOP and I felt this solid THUNK low in my pelvis. I knew it wasn't a gas bubble because it was in the wrong spot, and it couldn't have been anything else. I was shocked because I didn't feel any flutters, just a solid whack, courtesy of my gentle baby. It was like she took a running start and headbutted me, which is all I can deduce that she did since she was still only a couple ounces at that point.
After that initial "meeting" she let herself be known frequently, and always with a solid THWACK, I never felt the gentle flutters that I see people talking about. (on message boards) Finally I did feel a flutter, I think it was her rolling around, which I had seen her do a lot on my ultrasounds. It felt like she was doing barrel rolls, and really none too gently if I was feeling them when she was so small, they were always accompanied by a whack. At this time Adam and I joke that she floats like a butterfly and kicks like a donkey. (ahh my baby, a delicate flower)
Recently, at the end of my 19th week I felt her heartbeat. I am positive it was hers because it was twice as fast as mine, and localized, so it wasn't the hiccups. I felt it around the middle of my uterus on the side. It was a faint sensation, and I was able to compare it to mine and they weren't the same. I have never read about anyone feeling their baby's heartbeat, but I am sure that was it. I've heard it and seen it so I know the rhythm of it, which was this. I attribute it to my ability to be really aware of my body, which comes from years of beating the crap out of myself, I mean rugby.
And now yesterday (end of 21st week), I felt strange kicks, like she was kicking everywhere all at once. Then I realized that they were hiccups, and they felt like little explosions in my uterus.
She does have a personality, and I fear that she is going to be a handful. She does not like it when I spend anytime even close to lying on my stomach. I tend to sleep on my side now, but leaning forwards, with my knee way up to stop myself from fully laying on her. She still kicks the spot that is on the bed, mercilessly. So I am unable to really sleep well, which is slowing killing me I'm sure. (only 19 more weeks of no sleep, oh wait....)
In any case it's not like I can return her for a quieter model, so she better be cute!


Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Baby battles, brought to you by our anal society.

Did you know that Facebook has been removing pictures of women breastfeeding lately? They allow pictures of half naked women in really seductive poses, but they don't like seeing a little boob mostly obscured with a baby's head. A while ago in blog world there was a huge uproar about it and I thought about posting something about it. Then I realized I didn't have the energy to fight it. And even now as I go to my favourite blogs everyday I've noticed that some have little buttons declaring their unhappiness with Facebook. So I can't sweep it under any rugs, I feel like I need to mention it and how it's unfair, that breastfeeding is natural and a really really good thing. But again I don't have the energy.
I do find it funny that people get their panties in such a bunch about breastfeeding and how it should always be hidden. My brother wouldn't allow Tessa's mom to breastfeed anywhere but the bathroom and in the bedroom, which mortified me. But if you knew my brother, you would know not to argue as he's a volitile mofo and it's sometimes better to let it alone. So fastforward to now and I'm getting geared up to breastfeed, quite literally, and I know I will be facing these battles, and I dread it.
Right now I face a similar battle when people ask us if we've chosen a crib or if we know what colour we're going to paint the nursery. Honestly I would love to play along, "we've found the nicest crib and green all green", but in truth, there will be no crib, and no nursery. We're going to co-sleep and the baby will be in our room, in our bed. However I need to be cautious whenever I mention this since I have had the whole range of disapproval from family members, from "it's not reccommended", "you know your older cousin XXX refused to leave her parents room until she was over 5 years old!" and my all time favourite "that's disgusting!" I have come up with replies for all of these responses, "Adam and I have discussed it and it's right for us", "I don't know of any students going to college who still need to sleep with their parents", and "what are you talking about disgusting? Whatever, it's my kid." (The disgusting comment I'm sure was from a parent assuming we'd have sex next to the baby, so to be clear, sex doesn't always have to happen in the bed and at night.)
And here I am now only half way into this pregnancy and I'm tired of this argument. I'm tired of the disapproval, tired of people having no clue what they are talking about, and mostly tired that people are so close minded that they won't even consider that there's another way. I've become good at avoiding the nursery question, or I just answer "green".
So to my friends and family who will be agast at how Adam and I choose to raise our child, go and Google "attachment parenting" and then when you've read and understand we can talk.
To the rest of my friends and family who will just drool over my baby and understand that all parents are different, thank you, and did I mention thank you?

Lisa, I know you're an APer. How did your family react? What did you say when parent XYZ told you that it was wrong?

Oh yeah it's National delurk day. Leave me a comment to say hi!

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Monday, October 01, 2007

Oh this is a doozy.

We had an ultrasound today to check up on the Murp and make sure that her heart is okay, as there was a small chance that she would have inherited Adam's funky heart issue that nearly killed him as a baby. But as luck would have it she has my nose and a healthy heart, both of which we're very happy about.
So the pink elephant in the room is that I'm calling the Murp a she. Oh yes, apparently our little boy is a girl. There was a distinct lack of a penis today, and both the ultrasound tech and the doctor checked, multiple times, and no penis. I don't know what happened to it. I'm pretty sure security is tight so no scissors were admitted without my approval, which only leaves us thinking that perhaps a loop of umbilical cord posed as a penis. (very convincingly, I might add)
I was a little shocked to say the least. I've spent the last month bonding with my baby boy, and the switch to a girl is strange. However before the 16 week ultrasound I was convinced that we were having a girl and was shocked then when I was told she was a he. So I was right, technology be damned. (don't tell Adam I said that, he loves his technology)
So to be official Murp is a girl! Her heart is healthy, she won't have cystic fibrosis and the other genetic screens were clear, and most importantly she has my nose!