Monday, March 31, 2014

Prissy Kitty

Minette, our oldest child pet is a finicky girl. Very uptight, as cats go. Prissy (she'd prefer the word dainty).

Very rarely do I find her truly relaxing... she used to be appalled at the boorish behaviour of our big monster of a tom, Shakespeare, what with his sprawling limbs and lack of circling before flopping on the floor... utterly uncivilized.

She prefers to sit straight, tail curled neatly about her feet, to stare daggers in your direction.

She's charming, I swear.

For napping positions, Minette's usually good for the generic cat loaf, or the balled up squirrel-curl when she's certain no kidlets are in the immediate vicinity, but rarely do I see hear this:

This, my friends, is a snoring cat.

I really should have taken video. It's adorably whistly and unbecoming. Heh.

She'd hate it.

Friday, March 28, 2014

How do you lose digital photos?

So. While reorganizing digital photos, I found this:

Yeah... no real explanation, other than that the time date stamp is January 28th around 2pm.

I vaguely recall photographing this beastie for a blog post and I can't for the life of me conjure up the reasoning behind it other than that he was new at the time.

Long story very short: I was at the grocery store with four kids and the front end manager handed us a boxed set of Ray Harryhausen flicks with this guy in the box—for free. Apparently they were resorting to literally giving away the set. The kidlets immediately latched on to this friendly guy and were thrilled.

His name? Dogfaced George.


(He's currently keeping the corn plant company.)

Now I'm left bereft, having found this in the stash of iPhoto files, forgotten... never will we know what I was going to say...

I mean, clearly I had an epic story about him—LOOK at him!—crouched in the snow, snarling away for all his might.

Hell, I took multiple photos!


::sigh:: Curse my faulty memory...

Poor Dogfaced George...

Monday, March 24, 2014


A sneak peek of what's to come for JordanCon 6--one of my favourite details from this year's costume.

And now we're at the point of the year when I have a flutter in my belly every time I think of it... it's coming... costuming season is almost over... (for now.)

Friday, March 21, 2014

Spring. Maybe.

It's March (thankfully).

Despite the back and forth swings on the thermometer, I believe Mother Nature has actually remembered it's March, too.

Why do I believe this?

Because just like every other March, this March is the magical time of year when we get to play Canadian archeologist in our yard.

Yes, Canadian archeologist. Or at least that's how I think of it.

Our yard. It's thawing. And relics of the past are (slowly) being uncovered.

The boys are thrilled at each surprise revealed.

Buried in the banks are untold treasures yet to be unveiled.

The steamroller? Aw, man, I've been missing that badass of the construction site!

Sadly though, as you can see, we're clearly traversing the nasty garbage snow stage that is also March.

Folks who live in areas where they never experience snow accumulation over months don't quite understand the... lack of enthusiasm that the snowbound harbour for the first vestiges of spring.

Sure, the higher temps are great, but this dreadful, half-melted, dirty mess is the least desirable part of the cycle of snow.


And it all gives way to the spring mud season. Whee... ::headdesk::

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Back to the Drawing Board

Or sewing machine, as the case may be.

So. Less than 25 days to go before JordanCon, and I'm stupidly, inconceivably, stubbornly about to restructure an important element of my costume.

Important as in: instant signifier of character depicted. A good costume tells people who you are before they ask--there's no need for a polite inquiry, it's obvious based on the components therein (props, style of dress, colours used, etc).

And since none of these Wheel of Time characters have been depicted on screen yet (which is great--there is no canon standard to hold, we get to use our imaginations to brainstorm whatever we want and no one whines and contradicts based on what they've seen on TV), it means that as a cosplayer/costumer you need to latch on the classic elements of the character for that instant visual recognition that sparks success.

This photo doesn't represent the part that needs revamping, but it does, however, illustrate how time consuming this bad boy can sometimes be. That pic? That's part of twenty meters of ribbon pleated by hand.


The process itself is tedious and lengthy in terms of time, and if you count that the end product is only one third of the original length of ribbon used, well, it's handy if you know exactly how much pleated trim you need before you start ironing all the gold ribbon you have in the house.


So yeah, now I have a good two meters of hand-pleated ribbon in my costuming supplies ready for next year. I am not thrilled, as I spent the better part of three days pricking my fingers with those goddamn pins, and in the end didn't require all of it.

Again: oops.

Okay, maybe I was a little distracted by Olympic hockey at the time...

This anecdote highlights my current problem though; I spend X number of hours on something, then decide to redesign.

No, not decide. That sounds conscious...

I can't stop revisualizing my costume. My brain won't shut off at night. It worries at the issue until the figurative seams of my project begin to fray, and I want to tear it all apart and start again.

And then I can't focus on anything but getting it done get it done look at the countdown you fly out in three weeks get it dooooonnnnnne!

It's costuming season, folks. And I'm going into that contest guns blazing.

Monday, March 17, 2014


Lately I've noticed a trend of lists of Canadianisms floating around the interwebs. This is fine, because if nothing else we Canadians have a pretty good ability to laugh at ourselves.

Hell, even that is a Canadian stereotype.

Point being: I have a story in the realm of Canadian stereotypes.

I was running errands the other day and discovered I was automatically planning travel based on the establishments needed for the errands, but also plotting my route based on where Tim Hortons are located--choosing roads with Timmies over those without.


Uh huh. Yep. It's Roll Up season, and Imma win me a new car.

I am a walking stereotype. Not that there was much doubt...

Friday, March 14, 2014

Spastic Strikes Again

Every once in a while an encounter with people outside my home (gasp!) reminds me that I am, in fact, a walking social train wreck—in the best sense, natch (or at least I'm hoping so).

I have a remarkable ability to say what no one—not even me—expects to hear.

And of course this talent manifests in the most awkward way possible. Every. Time.

It's a combination of my gallows humour, self-deprecation, and broken filter. Inappropriateness or just plain weird? Yep, I'll say it. Likely in front of an audience.

So last week I'm out and about doing errands. I received my Health Card renewal notice, so I decided to kill two birds with one stone and hit the ServiceOntario office near me to renew that and my vehicle's plate sticker so I might avoid the rush forgetting before it expires.

And thanks to having been subject to so called "database errors" of past clerks working at this particular office—"database errors" that resulted in my having to go to court to fight an automatically generated ticket because my invalid plate sticker was in fact valid and baffled the ticketing police officer (true story)—I'm all for not leaving things to the last minute because heaven knows that's a recipe for disaster.

Headache much?

So. In I go, first thing after dropping the kids off at school. I have all my identifying documents—proof of residency, proof of citizenship, proof of whatever else they needed for the OHIP card (there were three document lists); and I also have my license, ownership, vehicle insurance, and odometer reading from the van.

I might as well have brought a briefcase in, I was carrying that much paperwork.

A brilliantly sunny yet bitingly cold day (-29c/-20F with windchill), and no lines at ServiceOntario!

I spread my papers before the clerk to serve me—a delightful lady. Aaaaaaand she informs me I need my driver's license renewed, too.

Good thing I brought everything.

So. I stand, get my photos done for both the driver's license and health card. I get my plate sticker. I pay (ouch). Then she gets to the Organ Donor Registry part of the exchange...

Cue my spastic mouth.

Clerk: Are you interested in donating your organs?

Me: Sure. I believe in recycling.

Clerk [gives me sidelong glance while clicking away on the screen]: First time I've heard that one.

Me: I mean, as long as I'm not using them anymore... This is for after I'm dead, right?

Clerk: Yes.

Me: Whew! Okay. Well, like I said: as long as I'm finished with them, I'm cool with it. Less for my husband to deal with.

Clerk: ...

Me: Right?

Clerk [politely ignoring my awkwardness]: Well, we already have you in our database. Everything but your pancreas.

Me: Pardon?

Clerk: Last time you registered, you indicated you didn't want to donate your pancreas. Perhaps you have a reason to retain it?

Me: Yes. Yes, I'm terribly attached to my pancreas. Could never bear to give it up.

Clerk: ...

Me: Kidding. Clearly I was drunk when I filled out the paperwork.

Clerk: ...

Me: I mean, if I was going to indicate a body part they wouldn't want donated, it'd be the boobs, hands down.

Clerk [beginning to give me that wide-eyed stare one saves for the mentally ill.]

Me: Kidding again! I was testing the system. Guess what? It works. Put me down for everything this time... Unless boobs are on the list of exemptions. No one wants those, trust me. [awkward half-laugh] They're not even real anymore.


Me: No worries—they were broken but replaced under warranty. For free by the province. Technically you own them—or at least your tax dollars helped pay for them.

Clerk: ...

Me [to myself]: I wonder what happens to them when I die... hm...

Clerk [shakes head, clicks away on computer]: Ooookay...

Seriously. I shouldn't be allowed out of the house. Especially when caffeinated.

I blame Roll Up season.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Hidden Messages

The captchas are speaking to me again. And (not to be political, but) I think they speak the truth...

This Captcha is mumbling. It meant to say evil. Clearly.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Google Salad

Okay guys, it's that time again: time to go through the accumulating list of keyword searches that have drawn people to this here blog, for no other reason than to let it accumulate again so we can, um, do so again in a few months' time.

Yeah. So... that was awkward.

Aw, c'mon, I'm not the only one fascinated by the way people discover this here corner of the Interwebs and I know it. So there.

Onward. Today's edition of Google Salad is brought to you by—yes, yet again—Kijiji trolls. Because apparently they love my blog (and will continue to do so the more I throw those terms around because that's the way the interwebs and Google work. Shh).

kijiji ad troll
trolling on kijiji
trolls for sale kijiji

kijiji trolling
troll kijiji emails
kijiji trolling bots
best text trolls kijiji 

All of the above, see here, here, and here. You're welcome.

Up next for frequency is corseting in various forms. Exciting, right?

corset tutorial

Hey! I've got one of those.

corset boning diagram
using cable ties for corset boning
sarah sanderson corset

Kay. You lost me on the last one, but that's all right—the wisest person understands they don't know everything, right? Right. Sure, we'll stick with that.

deer meat tourtiere
tourtiere made with venison

Aaaand those are totally the same thing. You're also welcome.

a sprouting mango seed

Been there done that.

forcing a corn plant to flower

You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make the cat pee on it. Or something.

monster jeans

Ah, the kids used to love these. Now they're too sophisticated (say the boys who make fart noises with the backs of their bare knees).


Oh, she's around here somewhere.

mcguire is jordancon

She was there last year (damn that girl can sing!), but I'd hesitate to say she is JordanCon. (Though I'll pass along the compliment if I get the chance.)

5 kilo bucket nutella


nutella gallon costco


pictures of window wells for basement, and stair wells

Um. Nope, none of those. Sorry.

concrete in snowing

Ah, posted pics of something like that once. And half naked construction guys. Because I could.

brother 2340cv canada

Er. Canada. Yes. The rest? Uh... I have stepbrothers, does that count? Brothers are brothers, am I right?

"dragging them down" "can't be good"

Boobs. Why does this make me think boobs? Guessing what you're looking for is over here.

romance lannis dragon age

Not a combo I've seen before, but I'll pass that suggestion on to Mr Lannis.

mask chicken


mofos childrend

What the...?

mr chow memes

Okay, now you're just screwing with me, Google. That garnered traffic?! Pfft...

googlesalad tutorials

Well you see, you check your blog stats under traffic sources, and well, I keep a separate sticky on the desktop and just cut and paste... um... never mind... something tells me you'll have more success on Pinterest.

Monday, March 3, 2014

I win at napping.

If there's one thing I learned through all the stress, recovery, insanity of the last couple of years, it's how to power nap.


Firstly, there's an ideal time for it—not one indicated by a clock, but there's a subtle cue you need to notice, and it starts in your brain.

No, I'm not full of shit (at this moment at least, heh). I know with myself there's a fine line between needing to close my eyes and being successful at a power nap, and wanting to close my eyes and not actually requiring the nap, and thus left staring at the ceiling willing myself to relax.

In the worst case scenarios, the ones where I desperately needed a nap (think recovery from surgery), I'd feel my entire brain wanting to shut down.

Zero function. Inability to put a sentence together. Black out zone.

And the nap itself—though only 20-30 minutes in length—would be as deep and restful as if I'd passed out for hours.

There's an art to shutting your brain. When I know I'm in that will-sleep napping zone, I find my mind might wander for a minute or two (five, max), then poof—I'm gone. A half hour later and I'm waking, sometimes surprised to see I'm in the recliner and not my bed.

Nowadays I'm doing pretty well, I don't need to nap everyday, and definitely not multiple times a day (like post-surgery). There's the odd day where I'll get up really early, witness my own moment of fatigue and recognize that I should try to close my eyes later that day, but I don't require the nap itself to continue until bedtime.

I'll be far more functional, patient, and productive if I get said nap in, but it's not a deal breaker (unlike when I was recovering from surgery, when I'd nap anywhere—including the van, in a parking lot or on the side of the highway, yes, even in cold February and March temps. There was no escaping the post-surgical nap. It needed to happen and took over my brain).

Now that surgery has trained me, though, I'm a star napper. I can close my eyes and be asleep within five minutes, and wake anywhere between 15 and 30 minutes later.

It's a talent, what can I say? My mom was a napper, too.

Mr Lannis is jealous. He'll lay on the living room carpet with an arm slung over his eyes "resting", and he never actually passes out. He's tired a lot, and isn't a good sleeper on his best day night.

So I can see why it'd be jealousy-inducing.

But there's a few setups that make my brief drift off to dreamland easier.

1. Comfortable spot. I'm used to the living room recliner. If I go to my bed, I'll probably sleep longer than my 30 minutes, and I'm not down with that.

2. Warmth. I have a rice bag I nuke in the microwave and lay it over my middle. That plus a quilt. I get all warm, cosy, and subsequently sleepy pretty quick.

3. Time. I need to know I have the time for a nap, without worrying I'll oversleep. If this means closing my eyes at 2:30pm when I know I need to get ready to leave to get kids from school at 3pm, I'll set the oven timer to ensure I wake in time. My brain then knows it needn't stress about waking up on time, and I'm more able to quiet the babble of anxiety in my brain and relax.

4. Background noise. Complete lack of, or a regular, even sound. I sleep with white noise at night because I startle easy when there's sound out of nowhere. (Frost quakes this winter really got our hearts pumping in the middle of the night, lemme tell you.) When construction was ever-present, I'd turn the radio on low so it blended in while I closed my eyes in the living room. Now if I'm the only one home I use nothing, but if the kids are running around, I'll let them put on the TV—yes, in the same room I'm in—and that'll be enough to cover any noise they make while I get my 20 minutes of shuteye.

5. Practice. Like anything, napping successfully is a skill. Sounds like bullshit, but sleeping routines are not just for babies.

If all else fails, just laying there for 10-15 minutes is very restful, and can help me switch from unproductive to productive. Sometimes that's what it takes... recognizing that my low-energy day will be hyper-charged if I take a few minutes to shut down, and give myself permission to do it.

It sounds indulgent, but I know myself well enough to know that I'll maximize my day if I take care of my brain. If I've managed to sidetrack a migraine aura, a nap will reset any leftover fuzz clouding my mind.

Granted, even without that, being winter with Seasonal Affective Disorder in full swing, a teeny nap is necessary for mental function on almost a daily basis. It's just the way it is.

And I am all for kicking SAD's ass this year.