Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Who wants pictures?

I've finally uploaded a few to Flickr so here's a set of the latest Doodle bug pics & some from the lovely city of Seattle. Slideshow style. Enjoy it 'cause I'm too tired to think about writing anything.

Arg mateys! Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 28, 2006

Bad Blogger Me

Man I suck.

Good thing I don't get tons of traffic here. I'm just feeling bad for anyone looking for updates on our situation here. Because obviously there hasn't been much. We are having a good time. Adjusting hasn't been too bad. We are loving living in an apartment despite the noise levels. And the ants. I hate hate hate ants with a blazing passion. I've killed about 15 so far. They are teeny tiny so I'm not super freaked out, but they are pissing me off. How do they get up to the 6th floor?

Seattle is really cool. I've been exploring. Which doesn't leave much time for blogging. I've been taking pictures but I haven't sized them down yet so you'll have to wait yet another day. So far Doodles & I have done the Pacific Science Center, Experience Music Project & the Science Fiction Museum with Calvin, shopping day at Macy's, Nordstrom & the downtown shopping malls, Pike Place Market, the Capitol Hill area & more. Today I'm going to check out some cool apartments. Cross your fingers it's good & decently priced.

More later dudes. Plus pics.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Open letters

Dear Stompy McDrops-alot,
You are living above me & you are keeping me up & irritated. I don't want to hate you because I don't know you but you are starting to drive me mental. I do not want to be a bitchy neighbour or like that crazy guy from Friends who would poke the ceiling with a broom, but the loud walking has got to stop. Do you weigh 500 lbs? Because it sounds like it. I know that is not nice to say but I can't think of too many reasons for someone who lives in an apartment to not be aware that there are people living below them. Especially since you live on the top floor of this building. Also why do you like to run from one end of your apartment to the other at top speed between the hours of 11 pm & 1 am while moving what sounds like dead bodies & furniture? Because people are trying to sleep. People with a baby. Those kind of people are already so sleep deprived that any more interruptions will soon put them over the edge, probably prompting some broom ceiling banging.
Thanks in advance for buying some slippers,
The one below

Dear Baggage Handler Bitch at Toronto Pearson Airport
Thank you so much for storming into the U.S. Customs office to yell at us about our dog. Because we weren't stressed out enough. No really, we appreciate you not looking us in the eyes while you stomped around our luggage & yelled at us about the size of our dog crate while we were trying to make a good impression to the nice immigration officer who pretty much held our future in her hands. Also, thanks for having the patience to listen to us. Beyotch. For your information the size of the kennel we purchased was the size listed for our breed & size of dog. And he is shorter than your average Dalmatian. Despite your concern, we know that he could turn around in the crate. He could also stand up. Please see picture a couple of posts below. He's just lazy. We know he was stressed but so were we & for you to come into an area where you should know people are already on edge was way over the top. To yell at someone you don't know, not knowing their situation & not knowing what sort of pet owners they are is frankly, none of your freaking business. It's wonderful that you obviously care so much about animals but frankly, screw you.
Yours truly,
Someone whose dog drives them crazy but would never hurt a freaking fly (well, maybe flies... & ants. And creepy crawly basement dwelling bugs.)

Dear American cable provider
Why are 80% of your channels devoted to sports?
Just curious,
Not a sports fan

Dear makers of Crocs
I don't get the hype.
Miss Narrow Feet

Dear Air Canada
Please stop serving PC General Tao's Chicken. It really, really sucks. Also, if you know that summer is the time for backpackers, maybe you should stock up on those plastic bags before the season begins. Because it's really nice to have the seat that cradles our precious baby go naked through the filthy caverns of your baggage carousels.
Yet another traveller who is tired of your crap

Thursday, August 17, 2006


So obviously I'm not posting as much lately. To improperly quote HBM this baby is kicking my ass. That & the whole move & time difference adjustment. I've been napping when Doodles naps just so I can catch up on my sleep & by the time she goes to bed at night I'm too exhausted to devote any time to writing. The little monkey won't stop moving & it seems she must be touching me at all times. If she gets brave & crawls away from me to get a toy she turns to make sure I'm still watching her & have not gone more than 5 feet. If I get up to get a glass of water & she notices that I'm gone she starts crying & crawling after me. If I'm standing up she must stand beside me & will pull herself up on my pant legs & sway there until I pick her up. My (sweat)pants are only held up by a flimsy drawstring so they are spending an innapropriate amount of time way below waist level. I'm looking like the dude I saw at the airport the other day whose basketball skater shorts had their elastic waistband halfway down his thighs. Of course I'm not wearing cool boxers under mine so I'm not really getting away with this new look. Thank goodness it's too much of an effort most days to actually get dressed & go out of the apartment so I don't have to worry about the state of my drawers.

We've been hanging around the apartment quite a bit. It seems to take so much effort & time just to get organized to go out now. Plus the baby hates putting on clothes. And diapers. Actually, the diapers have been easier to put on in the past few days for some reason. A Wonder Week perhaps? I've lost track of the developmental stages. I know she had a growth spurt a while ago & she's a total crawling, standing, walking with assistance machine. She stands up by herself now & balances for up to a minute or two. She got her fangs still coming through & now one of the middle ones is making it's way out of her tender gums. I thought the drool was bad before but all of a sudden we've got puddles of saliva all over the place & I can see a little rash under her chin where the spittle likes to pool in the cute folds of her neck. Yuck. The little monkey has also developed quite the temper & will scream at the top of her lungs & then make this weird yelling sound. There's different levels of both the scream & the yell. We were at DEFCON 2 on our ride from the airport to our apartment the night we arrived in Seattle. First the dog started whining & then barking because he was stuck in the crate in the back of the massive vehicle we rented. Then as soon as we put baby in the crappy rental car seat she started to lose it. She was super tired & I couldn't sit beside her to comfort her because of the crazy amount of luggage back there so Calvin & I were stuck in the front listening to the most horrible screaming & crying that would be interrupted by high pitched dog whines. Then the barks. Which would set off the screaming. It was fun.

Anyway, we made it minus our eardrums & our sanity to the furnished apartment that Microsoft puts us up in for a couple of months while we look for our own pad. It is situated in between the Belltown & Queen Anne neighbourhoods of downtown Seattle, really close to the Space Needle. We're not sure if we're going to look for another apartment or go back into a house. We've got enough crap for a house but we're all liking the compactness & simplicity of apartment living. The dog is more manageable, the mess is definitely more manageable & I & the baby are liking the carpeting. The furnishings are nice & comfortable, you can watch the security cameras on tv, the view from the communal rooftop terrace is great & there's a workout room downstairs. On the negative side the towels are linty, the noise from the traffic & the gulls are taking some getting used to & I really need some more hangers but all in all, it's a cool place. Lucky us.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Sleeping in Seattle

(C'mon you knew a title like that had to be coming some time or other.)

We made it. I think we're all in one piece. Perhaps a little worse for wear but safe & sound. It was quite the adventure getting here but I'll leave that tale for when I've had a few more hours of much needed sleep. Right now we're getting settled & unpacked & getting to know what's in our immediate vicinity. That & watching Big Brother. Woo hoo!

Anyway, that's it for now. I'll try & update tomorrow but it depends on the Doodles mood & if she wants to let me use the laptop or just be her slave all day as usual. I'm betting on slave.

Friday, August 11, 2006

No we're not (+ my tv unmentionables)

Dog + United Airlines at Ottawa Airport = SNAFU

We're still here & back at the Westin. We tried to get on our flight. We were early. We checked all appropriate websites regarding travel with pets. We were told just bring the dog in to the check-in counter & away we would go. Then the supervisor guy told us nope. Since the new terminal was built United Airlines has no access to the animal cargo or something like that. So.... they changed us to an Air Canada flight going to Vancouver & then on to Seattle. No problem. We checked all our million pieces of luggage, including our oversize crap & thought we were all ready to go. Calvin calls the lawyer (visa specialist dude) & gets told no way. Don't go through customs at Vancouver because it's likely we'll get majorly delayed & have to spend a few nights with friends or at another hotel. Don't even think about it. Oops. Back to the ticket counter & supervisor Denis (we love you!) cancels our A.C. flight, calls back our luggage & books us on United for the next day. Of course there is still the dog issue. Our options are to send him Air Canada cargo or Fed Ex him. O.K.

So we've been at the airport since 8:30 am. By now it's lunch time & I've only eaten one third of a croissant plus some of the Doodle's cheerios. Calvin goes to transfer our luggage to the 24 hour holding tank & I feed the crazy monkey until she falls asleep in my arms while sitting at the U.S. Departures area. Then the tv crew comes along. Well, a camera guy & Trish the reporter from A Channel doing some shots & interviews about whether or not travellers know about all the recent restrictions to carry-on luggage. I agree to an interview, cover up the boob, try & smooth down my hair & start babbling about lip balm. Ya I start talking about my addiction to lip balm. Great. I blame the lack of food. This is probably the 6th time since I've moved to Ottawa that I've been interviewed or been on tv in some capacity. Am I that approachable? Anyway I was one the news at 6:00 today making stupid faces & comments about packing bare necessicities for the baby. And my hair was really frizzy. And then they showed a shot of my toiletries bag that we had taken out of our checked luggage so I could brush my teeth tomorrow. Lots of Ziploc bags. I love me some Ziploc. So ya, I was on tv. Again. Still doesn't beat my shining Tom Green moment.

So back to the SNAFU. Calvin talks to the lawyer again & things are ok so we find an internet terminal thingy & make some calls to try to get re-booked at the hotel & the car rental place. Finally we get the go ahead from Mission Microsoft Control & we rent a car, shove the dog in, & drive back downtown to re-check-in to the Westin. Calvin calls FedEx first because that's what Denis told us to do. We are told that they don't ship live animals or dead animals & so Calvin asks what about live animals that end up dead? Nope, none of those either, neither? Air Canada Cargo says they can do it but not on the weekend because Seattle won't accept doggie cargo then. WTF? Because dogs go bad come Friday? Whatever. Call the kennel we use. They would normally take him to the airport come Monday but they are totally full. Damn you vacationers! OK So we're thinking who can take him for us? Who wants a dog? We almost gave him to the check-in woman at United but thought the spur of the moment decision would probably come back to haunt us eventually. Start checking out other flight possibilities. Figure out & then finally confirm that we can fly tomorrow to Toronto, clear customs there & then get a direct flight to Seattle that gets us there around 8 pm. Excellent!

Of course our moving van can't go anywhere until we get our visas faxed to the company so it's sitting there, waiting, costing a wad of moolah outside of our former house. Since the house is still full of packed boxes it's impossible to go in & clean up for the next owners. Since I am so burnt out I barely even care. Even though we are here for another night I can't call anyone up do more goodbyes. Even though I should. Even though I missed a few or didn't do some very well. I am done. We walked around the Market tonight & had a Beaver Tail (Killaloe Sunrise of course) so I am satisfied. I am done & satisfied (don't let your dirty minds go anywhere they are not supposed to perverts). I can do no more & the baby cries again. Goodnight & goodbye once more my friends.

And we're off

It's been a slice. We're off to the airport now so blogging probably won't happen again until we get to the apartment in Seattle tonight. Will try to update tomorrow.

Bye Ottawa. We love you.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

> 30 Hours + Terror Plot = Panic Mode

We'll be going to the airport about this time tomorrow. I am expecting major delays & severe security checks. As far as it stands this moment we can't bring any liquids on board & we'll have our shoes scanned since we are bound for O'Hare & then Seattle. If security gets stepped up to UK levels we might not get to bring on any carry-on luggage. I completely understand the precaution & I don't want to complain but over the past two days I have undertaken the most intense packing job of my life. It's been a mathematical conundrum & balancing act of major proportions, trying to assess the right amount clothing, toiletries & shoes needed for 8 weeks of living.

Since we are moving to the U.S. we are not allowed to move food, liquor, medicine or plant items so we've also had to pack up vitamins, cold medicine, Tempra, a bottle of champagne & baby food into our luggage. Sure, we could leave this crap here, but we've already given away hundreds of dollars worth of food, booze, clothing, baby equipment & the like, that I figured if I could fit it in, take it. We bought two huge suitcases to fit all this stuff & it was hard work getting everything we need in them, plus the regular sized suitcase, the Rubbermaid tub full of bike crap & the stoller to be our checked luggage. Then we each get a regulation sized suitcase as carry-on & as well as a big as we can personal item. Oh and there's also the dog crate. At least we got a seat for the baby so we are allowed this much. If we didn't we'd be screwed.

Now I am wondering, if we have to check our carry-on, will they be charging us for extra baggage? The possible logistics of this new development are stressing me out, not to mention the entire thought of international air travel at this point. Combine this with the move & you got one big freak out. Oh ya, Calvin also let the baby roll off the Heavenly Bed last night while I was in the Heavenly Shower. Things are grrrrrreat!

edited to add: Happy Birthday Susanne & belated wishes to my sis Andrea & anyone else I might have missed in internet land.

Friday, August 04, 2006

> 7 Days

We're back from our trip out West. It was fun & hard (& not in a party hard dude kind of way). The Doodles' mobility has increased exponentionally since my last post & she won't stop moving. Plus she's more than a little attached to me & screams almost everytime someone else tries to hold her. If they manage to hold on to her for more than 20 seconds she spends the time in their arms scanning the room for me & when spotted will strain & stretch & twist with hands stretched out towards me. Also, two more teeth have sprouted & not the top two middle ones but the ones beside them. I like to call her Fang. To top it off she's decided she needs to grind the top left one against her bottom two & I am now cringing at the sounds coming from her little mouth.

So anyway, I've been trying to write this post since we got back on Tuesday & obviously haven't had much luck. First I was totally bagged with the jet lag & so that combined with the stress of upheaving my life across the continent, selling our house, conversing with lawyers, accountants, movers & relocation specialists, the baby craziness & the fact that our luggage took two days to get home making all of us not still in diapers a little less than fresh, well, made for some delays in getting anything written for all you folks out there still reading this blog. Are you there still? I understand your reasons for leaving but I promise I'll write more some day soon. There's also this little problem I seem to be having with my laptop. Someone else in this household really likes using it more than I like letting them. I'm not naming any names or anything since they pay most of the bills, but everytime I go to check my email & whatnot, this jackass has signed me out, logged themselves on & started downloading stupid mountain biking videos. To top it all off, the other little person in our household is also in love with the computer & would like nothing better than to bang on the keyboard all day long playing this game or watching some cute videos. So what's mine is no longer & all my time is spent stressing about the amount of time I don't have to fit all that I want into it. That & trying not to herniate any discs as I walk the Doodles around the house going back & forth between the dog & the mirror.

Anyway, here's the facts. We are moving to Seattle. Next freaking Friday! Calvin starts work at Microsoft on the 14th. Visas are acquired at the airport when we go through customs. The movers cannot load up the van until we fax them a copy of those visas from the airport. The movers start packing our stuff next Tuesday so we get to spend a few nights in a hotel. (Which hopefully won't be anything like the Holiday Inn we stayed at for 2 hours on Monday night in Calgary & had to leave because we weren't getting any sleep since the loudmouths next door couldn't speak to each other unless it was at the decibel range of a heavy metal concert. The offered upgrade was not taken because we figured since we were awake we might as well try to get on standby for the redeye.) The house is sold. 5 grand under our asking price so we're pretty happy. We are not allowed to move any plants, liquor or foodstuffs so if anyone needs any spices or scotch just ask. We are throwing ourselves a going away party tomorrow. If you live in Ottawa & want to join us we'll be at the Royal Oak at Pretoria Bridge from about 3:00 onwards. This is not an invitation to steal stuff from my house. Unless it's spices or booze. I have a headache. Maybe I need some booze. Or spices. Ya, spices.....

Gotta run, baby awakens yet again.....