Where you can read the relatively rational ramblings of a silly half-monkey, half-boy. This freak of nature is named Joel. He also responds to the name 'Bart Wang'.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Billie Joe, wake up! September is over!

It's been a busy month for the Martins. Between weeks loaded with work and weekends stacked with concerts and a wedding, we've had enough activity to keep me from updating you on what was going on. Fortunately for you (and by 'you' I mean 'Dave Breukelaar'), I have some time at work to fill in those gaps. Sure, there's work to be done but I've done quite a bit in the past couple days and nothing is pressing. So, sit back, relax, get some 'corn and it's update time.

Saturday, September 10th. The day Mike does not want me to recount to him. Why? A letter and a number - U2. Melanie and I trucked into the treacherous city of Toronto, found some free parking and walked down to the Air Canada Centre. We were late and opening act, Dashboard Confessional, were a song or two into their set. Now, as veteran Dashboard fans, we knew the routine - sing-along. I was doing my best but it just didn't have the same excitement in the arena. It is a huge place and probably no one other than me was actually singing along. They did a good job but the beauty of DBC is the experience amongst the crowd loving Chris and receiving love in return. Plus, they are very different from U2 and didn't seem to fit in that well.

I managed to call Mike in between sets just to tease him, uh, I mean, let him know we were safe and having an okay time. We didn't get to see Jenn & Chris though because we were late and so were they. That means I haven't seen Jenn since the middle of August. I'm a terrible friend.

U2 are sooooo good. Seriously, they are an amazing band who perform incredibly on a consistent basis. This was my third U2 show and it would rank third. That's not to suggest I didn't have a wonderful time because I did. They were great. I really like the new album and they played five cuts from it. What keeps the other shows ranked higher in my memory is that there were a couple songs at the other shows that I would have liked to hear again (mostly 'Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For').
They played two songs that were questionable inclusions (only one I didn't know except that it was really old and then the b-side 'Fast Cars' that I didn't care for). Everyone seemed overly impressed that Eddie Vedder joined the band on stage to sing through 'Old Man River', a old Broadway tune (they sang the same three lines three-to-four times). That wasn't interesting to me. What did kick ass was the presence of Daniel Lanois on guitar (including solo!) for 'One'. Awesome! It was Melanie's first U2 show and she loved it. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and would pay to see them every time they came to town. [Images courtesy of Jason Johnston - from the Chicago show.]

We walked a long way back to the car, content and able to hear clearly (praise God for earplugs). My mouth and stomach were even more content because I ate plenty of street meat on the way - one hot dog and then a Oktoberfest sausage. Mmmmm mmmmm!

Saturday, September 17th. Again, the evening finds me driving into the urine-soaked hell-hole known as Toronto. I hate that place but the only time good musicians come around, they only stop in T.O. I joined my good friend and purchaser of tickets, Todd Brown, with his companions, Mary Simon & another of Todd's many friends (I forget his name), for Sufjan Stevens. I've missed Sufjan the last two times he played up here because I was in Mexico. Both times. I've only been to Mexico twice. He visited when I was unavailable. Dude is just selfish.

Unusual stuff happened before the show. First off, there were scalpers out front of the church where the show happened. Anyone else find that odd? Second, said scalpers wanted up to $80 for a ticket. No, I didn't not type that incorrectly. Third, I met some random people there. I'm not usually that guy who meets strangers. Yes, I can carry a conversation with almost anyone but I don't often spark up such a dialogue with someone on the street. I met two dudes there though, one named Nicko (pronounced NEE-KOH) and another whose name I forget. I thought they were friends but it turned out they were just Sufjan fans hopeful for a spare ticket. The dude whose name I forget went to Camp Mini-Yo-We (he had on a shirt with that printed on it) so I struck up a conversation with him. Turns out, like half the population of Canada, he knew who Laurie Castellani was. Shocking, eh? Anyhow, I don't think he got in but Nicko did. Chatted with him quite a bit. He was a really good guy who was on a cross-country trip up from Northern California (stopping first in Portland, Seattle, Vancouver and taking the train across to Toronto). He was off to the CMJ conference in New York. I gave him my e-mail address and he wrote me once. Get back to me, Nicko!

Oh, yeah, so enough about dudes I met on the street and on to Sufjan. One sound describes this show. That sound (I guess it could be a word too) is, 'Wow'. I saw Sufjan live once before he was the critical darling he now is and the show was significantly different. His backing band, known as the Illinoisemakers, were amazing. Everyone but the drummer sang and most of the players rotated on instruments. Since Sufjan is somewhat of an acquaintance (Todd is actually good friends with him - I used to e-mail him and we chatted once when he came up with the Danielson Famile a couple years back), it was neat to see the transformation that he has undergone. The guy hates live performances. I do not use the word 'hate' lightly. But he kicked ass. It was like he was a different person. He was animated, talking between songs, leading the band in cheers (it was like an American high school squad) and lighting the place up. His latest album, 'Illinois', is simply phenomenal. The more I listen to it, the more I appreciate it. Turns out Stefan actually liked what he has heard too. You're a wise man, Murrinator. Go buy everything Sufjan has out. Ok, I gave away my copy of 'Year Of The Rabbit' to Michelle G. because it wasn't my thing. I can't believe my completist brain let me do that.

I'll jump ahead to the final musical event of the month and then head back to the wedding piece.

Wednesday, September 28th. Once again, I had the distinct pleasure to spend some time (sadly, very little) with Todd and Mary at the Rivoli for the marvelous Rosie Thomas. This woman needs a major label deal so that that masses will hear her indescribably beautiful voice. Yes, I realize I said her 'beautiful voice' could not be described. Shut up. Rosie is one of the nicest people you'll ever meet. She remembered Todd & I from previous meetings - that's pretty good in itself since she meets lots of different people. She spent quite a bit of time talking with us and even put us on the guestlist. Mary had just finished paying for Todd's dinner with the condition that Todd bought her ticket. Since Rosie got us in for free, Todd was going to get us drinks. Well, Rosie got those for us too! I told you she was nice! Her set was excellent, accompanied by her brother.

For those of you that don't know her, Rosie is also a stand-up comedian. No, I'm not joking. She actually is. Anyhow, she's really funny and kept talking about how 'disgusting' it was that she and her brother were singing love songs together. She's brilliant and I love her and her music and if I had a spare million dollars I'd probably make sure she got a nice chunk of it. Especially if it assisted in getting her idea of a tour featuring herself, Sufjan and Denison Witmer together. I think I would quit my job in order to go on that tour with them. Melanie could hold down the fort for me. Hahahaha. It was funny because Rosie just talked to Sufjan the day before and then was seeing Denison three days later. I so wish I were in that inner sanctum of friends. Anyhow, buy Rosie's new album, 'If Songs Could Be Held'. Now.

Enough about music... Saturday, September 24th. Love! Weddings! Marriage! Heartache! Wha...?!? Yes, in one weekend, I experienced all of that. It was the wedding day of my little sister, Holly. Yippee, right? Yes, you are correct. Yippee! Boo-hoo too? Yep, sadly, that was in there too. To begin, let me state that I love my sister, even if I don't show it. I care about her and want the best for her. As a follow-up, let me advise you that her husband, Al, is a great guy. I'll admit, I had my doubts and was resistant to the whole idea initially because: A) it's my sister, and B) there's a large age difference between them. However, the longer they have been together, the more I see that Al loves Holly and vice versa, and the more I see that Al is a wonderful person, the more happy I am for them both. So a hearty congratulations to Holly & Al!

I had a blast go-karting with Al and a bunch of guys on the morning of the wedding, though I seriously injured my left ribs and continue to be in pain a week later. The wedding was really nice - short and sweet. No long-winded sermons or annoying solos while everyone watches. Al bawled. Everyone smiled and cheered.

Where's the sadness then? It comes in the form of the woman who gave me birth. I haven't had a positive conversation with my mother since she left our family ten years ago. I've only seen her once in probably five-to-six years and that was an unexpected and unwelcome run-in at the local Wal-mart a few months ago(I knew shopping at a heartless American corporation was wrong). Some of you may not know the back-story so let me summarize it for you. She left my family (there's no drawing lines for me - you leave your partner, you leave the kids), she lied to me on multiple occasions, took almost all of our family's assets, caused a lot of shit for us (intentional and unintentional) and facilitated all of the relationships within our family to be broken in varying degrees. Oh, and years after destroying us, she continued her immature behaviour for unknown reasons (e.g. calling my dad on Christmas Eve, yelling and swearing at him without purpose or provocation seven years after he last saw her). My decision was to sever the relationship because it was unhealthy and she has never accepted responsiblity for her actions or apologized to me or my dad or sister. Granted, my sister still has a relationship with her and has all along so probably wouldn't ask for an apology. It's still due, if you ask me.

It was my sister's wedding and the focus should be on her. That is not the time to suddenly try and hash out or, more accurately, gloss over the unresolved issues. My sister and I have had some good talks about this stuff in the past year (we were on very different pages for the past decade until recently). She's no longer the go-between. My relationship (or lack thereof) with my mother is mine. Her relationship with my mother is her's. Done and done.

Well, during the rehearsal, my mom attempted to talk to me on two occasions (including hugging me). I wasn't mean or anything, I just gave short responses and made it clear from my tone that it was better to just leave me be. Even better was when she came up to Melanie and I when we were talking to our friend Cheryl. She jumped in, hugged both of us and made some comments about being so glad to meet Melanie. Yes, that was the first meet-and-greet. Awkward? Damn straight. Weird? You bet. Who invades a stranger's personal space like that? She does, apparently. Oh, it gets better. We went to the rehearsal dinner after that. I avoided all contact with her. Until, of course, it was time to leave. We went to say 'goodbye' to my sister and she came up to us and started talking. My sister, seeing the uncomfortable situation, motions to my mom to stop. I asked my mom what she was doing and what she thought was going to happen. She said she actually thought we would have some conversation. I was dumbfounded. Ten years of unresolved issues and accompanying silence and suddenly she thought this was the day I would act as if everything was fine. Wrongo.

Ok, so, I don't want to go on with this. If you're interested, we can discuss it another time. Needless to say, it was really hard to see her and think of all the things I and my family lost over the years because of her decisions. Tears were shed (like Lust Control said, 'Real men cry') and I felt sad and crappy for a few days but am now almost back to normal. Or, at least, as close to normal as a guy like me could ever hope.

It's now 11PM on Friday night. I went out to Chap's with Taxman to catch up. I don't see that guy enough. I stopped by Josh's after work to pick up a card for Head. I don't see that guy enough either. Blondel is coming down next weekend for Thanksgiving. I hope to get some time in with him and Melody.

Tomorrow morning, we're waking up bright and early to head out to Sarnia for the final wedding of the year. My long-time friend, Head, is getting married to his computer. No, wait, that's what we THOUGHT would happen but he's actually marrying a real woman! Cheryl!! Oh, his real name is Steve. I first knew him at Toast. Most people know him as that (many actually forget his real name). The name 'Head' was added in high school because of his giant noggin. Anyhow, we've been friends since grade 7 or 8, walked to every day of high school together, and I'm honoured to be able to see him walk down the aisle. Head's one of the most genuine and friendly people you could meet. If you think I've got the gift of gab with people I barely know, Head puts me to shame in that category. He could talk to ANYONE about ANYTHING. Thanks for being my friend these many years, Steve. You've got yourself one fine man, Cheryl.

Hopefully, some of these hooligans will be there too.

I'll leave you with these pictures and many words. I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Blonsi, you sleep tight, ok? Chantal, have a good day with your friends. Breuks, take it easy on the homebrew. Bill, call me back, hoser! Mike, up yours. Jon, shut up, fatso. Jonathan A., on and on 'til the break of dawn. Michelle G., maybe we'll get a chance to talk in heaven 'cause Jesus is likely to return before that phone call happens at this pace. Hahaha. To those of you I missed, sorry, but I didn't even know you read this drivel. Tell me and I'll send a shout out to you as well. PEACE!

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Oh, so this is what I was missing out on!

I never played Dungeons & Dragons. As all young people raised in a North American church know, it was evil, sinful and would result in your own demonic possession. I thought that was bad at the time and I wanted nothing to do with such things. There were WAY COOLER sins that I had in mind.

Well, I now do not believe it to be sinful but I am thankful I never played. Why? Watch this re-enactment and give thanks to the Lord that you're not a social moron. That is, unless you did play, in which case you probably won't give thanks because you are either: A) possessed, or B) a dork. Yes, Nagy, I'm talking about you. Hahahaha. If you don't laugh your ass off, you can kick me in the nuts. It's THAT funny. Thanks to Opus for the link!

Time for the season premiere of The Simpsons!

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Look beneath the floorboards for the secrets I have hid

It's the weekend! I've done little today (Saturday). I did less last evening. Got to finally hook-up with Taxman at the gym (it's pronounced 'gime', like 'dime') for a good chest workout. I haven't seen him in about three weeks so it was great to catch up some and pump iron. I had some excellent scrambled eggs afterwards (Taxman's not-so-secret post-workout meal) - delicious!
Melanie's working another night shift today and I'm heading into Toronto in less than an hour to meet up with Todd. We're seeing the wonderful Sufjan Stevens and the Illinoisemakers. I can't wait. I've only met Sufjan once when he played in Kitchener with Danielson. He came to Toronto twice in the past two years but I was in Mexico both times (once with Melanie's family at Christmas and then our honeymoon). I'm really looking forward to it. Read the lyrics to his song about John Wayne Gacy, the serial killer. It's a brilliant song. The whole album is genius.
Time for a shower. I smell. Peace!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Things and stuff

On our answering machine
"Listen, your message still sucks. I'm at Kenny - it rocks! You're missing out. Last time ever, he's so old he's going to die soon. And your missing out! It's so good! See ya!" (Jon Belanger, July 10, 2005 around midnight while at a Kenny Rogers show)

The subsequent message features Jon singing at full volume to 'The Gambler' while at said Kenny Rogers show. Most of you won't know what that would sound like. Some of you will know (Jon would say you are blessed while others may have a different word to describe it) and, if you're Mike, you'll laugh really hard just thinking about it. The great thing about Jon's singing is that it works really well in a group (if the group is hundreds large) because he is having a good time and belts it out. In the case of 'The Gambler', one of his favourite songs, Jon sings the echo (which is actually sung only once in the song) during EVERY CHORUS. It rules.

It's a sad day in the blogging world. Dave Blondel, the man who had sideburns that once rivalled the greatest gunslingers in the Old West, has packed it in. No more blondel life for us to devour and dissect. And that means I'll have to actually talk to him on the phone to find out about his life. Like tonight, for instance. We chatted, caught up a bit, until his dog started farting and Dave had to go. I understand... No one likes farting dogs.

Oh, and about that picture of Old Man Blonsi... That is him beside his lovely wife, Melody, though it was before they were married. And who is that crazy man in a suit and microphone in behind them? Yes, that is Tony Campolo. Holding a microphone. In a parking lot.

Speaking of phone calls, I was the lucky recipient of another one yesterday from one Bill Power. He's a killer dude. I wish I talked to him more, I wish I could hang out with him more. His girlfriend? She's the shizzle, ma nizzle. Both awesome people. Good luck to Bill on his foray into new employment opportunities. Wildwood will miss you, I'm sure. And I know you'll miss it. WATCH THE TRAM CAR, PLEASE!

Today was schedule day, which means my team gets new cases, which means we worry and fret all day about what crap we might encounter. I had a good one involving two eighteen-year-old parents who didn't bother to learn a lick about parenting before the child was born yesterday. Not good planning. I don't care if you're 18 or 34, read a book or two. Fortunately, they have some family support so it should go well. Got two other families to visit Friday and Monday. Whoopee!

We were also blessed at work with contact from the outside world, being Chantal and Jenn. Chantal e-mailed us from school and Jenn e-mailed us from her new job. They are missed immensely. Oh, and so they don't feel left out, I will make special mention that we miss Lucci and Schulenberg a lot too. Rick? Naww, he can spend a few more weeks in Halifax before we think of that guy.

Did I mention that my softball team won the championship? I don't think I did. We, the Juggernauts, put on a clinic this year. I missed quite a few games, though the team did not miss me at all. They're some awesome people and great players. It's fun to be with people who have a good time and have some skill but don't let their drive to win overrun their desire to enjoy the game. Oh, well, sometimes Johnny P. can get a little wound up. And Mark's been known to let some expletives spill. Other than that, we had a great time. Congratulations to my friends on their good showing! And congrats to the new married folk too.

All you suckers (i.e., Mike) who don't live in Stoney Creek are going to miss out again. September 28th AND 29th have the lovely and talented Rosie Thomas performing in Toronto. Yeah, good luck on that kind of talent showing up in Halifax, Asshat! You can download a new track from her album, If Songs Could Be Held, called Pretty Dress. Todd and Melanie and I will have a lovely time, thank you.

It's off to bed again, my friends. Gotta wake up early and ride the exercise bike so I lose some of these love handles. Sorry, Dave, but I have to get rid of them. Peace out.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

I so hate consequences...

Welcome back! To me, that is. I've been away while you've been here, wondering when you'd get something new. Here it is, my friends. Drivel, just like you wanted. Luckily for you, I've got to stay up and write for a while because I drank two cans of pop (Diet Dr. Pepper and Diet 7-Up) in the past hour or so and I don't want to wet the bed again. I mean, uhh, never mind...

It's been a great two week vacation. Melanie and I went up to Bruce Peninsula National Park where her dad was camping. It's on Cypress Lake, right next to Georgian Bay, down the road from Tobermory. Melanie's family has gone up there for many years and we finally had the opportunity to head up. I've never been to that part of the world so it was neat to experience it. We went swimming (those bodies of water are FREEZING), snorkeling, hiking and on a really long bike ride to Cabot Head Lighthouse.
It was really nice and, honestly, spiritually uplifting. I had been reading the book, Heaven, by Randy Alcorn that Mike lent me. It was up there that I really got a glimpse of what Heaven will be like. Fun, relaxing, enjoyable and beautiful. I haven't had one of those moments in quite a while so it felt good to have my spirit moved.

After we got home, we had a day to pack for our trip north to Barry's Bay. It was a quick turnaround, which I didn't care for. Making it worse, I got the dreaded phone call from Mike. He was moving. In five days. To Halifax, Nova Scotia. Very far away. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm actually happy for him (and Sandi) on many levels. Of course, those levels are very, very deep so they cannot necessarily be observed from the surface. I'm used to Mike leaving me - that creates a special bond between Sandi and I because he says he loves us but he never stays with us. Right, Sandi? Hahahaha. He's like the Littlest Hobo. "Can't stay for long, just turn around and I'm gone again..." If Jon listens to that song, he gets sad. I can't blame him. Here's the updated version of the song by some English band called Scooch. Anyhow, I'm going to miss the boy a ton but hope he returns soon. It's crazy that Mike and Sandi will now live together after three years of marriage. Hahahaha. You win this round, Sandi. But you know the saying about the battle and the war? It's not over. Can you believe Mike chose this over me? Yeah, I can believe that too. She's smart, funny, beautiful, witty, and vibrant (even if her manners are questionable, judging by the picture). All I've got is the beauty part. I can't compete with her.

It sucks when your friends live far away because it costs a lot of money to visit them. And the ones that live far away don't even live near each other so I can't can't see them at the same time. Seriously, you guys have got to plan better. Mike on the east coast, Jon toward the middle and Whitney, Laurie, Jonathan A. and Michelle on the west coast. Of course, Blondel is only two and a half hours north and I haven't seen that guy in a long time in spite of the fact that I drove past his house (literally) on Highway 7 on our way home from the cottage. Dude, I couldn't stop because Melanie was supposed to meet her friends last night. I'm sorry. I thought of you all the way through Peterborough, if that makes you feel any better.

Jon just called me. Well, twice actually. He called around 12:40AM. He didn't say anything, I just heard noise. Then he called at 1:15AM and I could hear music and him singing something incoherent. He finally talked and said he was at the Pearl Jam concert before stating that he would call tomorrow at a more reasonable hour.

Ok, so back to me. We were at the cottage all last week and had a wonderfully relaxing time. From Friday evening to yesterday (Saturday morning). We read a lot, snoozed (I never nap usually), ran (did 10km one day and at 5km at least two-to-three times), swam a lot and played plenty of board/card games. Melanie made delicious food as usual, including a great Shittake mushroom soup and her famous apple cake. Josh and Amanda came up on Thursday for a couple days. We laughed - a lot.

TV? None. Well, almost none. I watched about 15 minutes of news coverage after hearing about the insane devastation down in New Orleans. That is terrible. The personal stories I've heard about (mostly through blogs such as Bill's) are incredibly sad and upsetting. I am blessed. Music? Again, none. We brought up our portable CD player but didn't play anything on it except for the Frank Spadone CD Amanda and Josh had. We had nature all around us so that was enough music. Books? Whoa. I impressed even myself with my reading prowess. I rocked through Anne Lamott's Travelling Mercies, Donald Miller's Through Painted Deserts and Richard Taylor's House Inside The Waves. I started Noam Chomsky's 9-11 (that I bought in town for $2.99) as well as enjoyed reading about Molvania (thanks, Lucci!). You can check out more of Anne Lamott's writings on the Salon site. She's great.

We made great time on the way home - just over four hours. Gas prices were the same up north ($1.29/litre - about $4.10 US/gallon) as they were in the city - ridiculous. It's a good thing we, as a country, export all our oil instead of just use it ourselves. Idiots. I wish I had a hybrid or any likelihood of owning one in the near future.

When we got home, I was happy to have received two DVDs from one Phil Donlon. He told me that he just sold the rights of his first short film, Wrestled, to IFC, which is rad. Finally have my own copy of A Series Of Small Things, which is great. I know it's small but I like to brag that it is because of me that the closing credits feature 'Lakes Of Canada' by Jonathan Inc., one of my favourite songs. I facilitated that connection. Sort of like getting your name in the liner notes - it's a cool experience. The other bit of mail? The new Cottage Life magazine. Sweeeeet. I get home from the cottage and get to re-live life up north.

I learned from Bill that Dashboard Confessional is opening for U2. Yes, it is an odd mix, Bill, but it works really well for Melanie and I because we love both of them. Two shows that I would otherwise attend separately. Saturday, September 17th will find us there. The week before? Sufjan Stevens with Todd Brown. Week after that? My sister's wedding. Week after that? Head's wedding. [Edit: Ok, Head pointed out to me that his wedding is actually October 1st. Sorry, Toast.] September weekends are packed!

Melanie took off to Toronto on Sunday morning (oh yeah, we're now in Monday - I had to go to sleep but had lots more to write) to visit some friends. I went to church and got to catch up with Chantal as well as Sean & Michelle Smith (who remains very pregnant in spite of passing her due date last Friday). They're moving to Hinton, Alberta at the end of the month as Sean got a job as a youth pastor out there. It's been good to see them at church since they left the area a couple years ago just after I got to know them a bit. The sermon was really good, drawing the series on Romans to a conclusion and reminding me how important it is to live what I believe, not just believe things.

I promptly followed that up by sitting my pie-ass in front of the computer for about five hours, reading junk and downloading music. I'm so glad we have today (Labour Daber, the words of Strongbad) off.

While killing way too much time on the Internet, I listened to The Everglow by Mae, Mayday by King Cobb Steelie (Below The Stars is an amazing tune) and Emotion Is Dead by The Juliana Theory. That last one is still a kick-asser album. I love every track on it. I'd put that as an essential one on my list.

I finally got to call Heather Schofield, uhh, I mean, Heather Johnson back. I always forget that her last name is changed (sorry Ryan). It's only been a few years now so you can understand the challenge. Hahaha. Heather is so awesome. We met back in university and had several mutual friends. You'd probably meet very few people as kind and gentle and positive as Heather. She's a breath of fresh air to my stank, smoky soul. We had a good discussion about work and people we know. She really challenged me to remember that we're all hurting, broken people. I kept thinking about it afterwards and it was good to feel convicted that I don't extend grace and mercy to people enough. I get too wound up in personal responsibility (though that certainly has its place) and forget that we're all just "fucking human," as Heather put it (and I totally agree). Hahahaha. Thanks, Heather! Oh yeah, and though it sounds wussy, this is one of the best wedding pictures I've ever seen. I hope they don't mind me sharing it with you (just tell me if you do).

After that, I finally got around to watching Dirty Pretty Things, which was excellent. I was disappointed after watching the movie to see that Audrey Tatou was the headlining actor in spite of the fact that she was only a supporting actor. Chiwetel Ejiofor was actually the main actor and he was marvelous. The first thing in my mind was that he is black and less well-known so the cover went to Audrey. I give him the props he deserved here then!

Well, Melanie's back after getting towed from Toronto after getting a flat tire. CAA still screwed up our membership (I signed us both up in February but they only have me down as a member in spite of my call to them to fix it) but she managed to get home safely. She's watching CSI while I'm giving you lots of stuff to read.

I cut the lawn this morning, went to Shopper's to pick up some milk and bread and then dropped by my dad's house. Only a few hours left until I am forced to resume working life. Blech. Like I said, I'm blessed. Even if I act like an ungrateful, spoiled brat (because I am that). I hope you have a great long weekend. Good luck to Jenn, who starts her new job tomorrow. Another big shout out to Whitney - thanks for the e-mail (I'll reply soon - I miss you lots too). Enjoy another week in slave labour.