The Best Birthday

Taylor and Symphony are THE BEST, they made my little party last night so perfect.

I was really tired after work and decided to make it a pajama party, so please excuse my outfit and sleepy face.

Symphony gave me a shoebox filled with little toys and pictures she had drawn of the two of us. Some of the toys were things of hers, like little stuffies, and some stuff she’d made, like a Perler bead ipod and a little green felt shape she’d sewn herself and drawn eyes on.

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Taylor’s moms always give me tools and handywoman stuff, and this birthday was no exception. I got a bunch of picture hooks, a book on refinishing furniture, and a laser level and new digital stud finder. The laser level is shaped like a ball and I was really confused about what I was looking at for a second.

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I was so excited about my “big” presents from Taylor. I had a pretty good idea about what I was getting and as it turned out I was complete right. He got me a collapsable workbench, which is awesome because now I won’t have to clamp wood the the dining room table to saw it anymore!

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And he got me a Kindle! I was kind of against ebook readers for the longest time because I really really love books, but I read SO MUCH. I just don’t have enough room for a hundred new books a year anymore! I’ve already downloaded my first book, but I can’t start reading it yet- I have one real book left to finish first.

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After presents it was time for cake, and it was such a nice one! Taylor got it from Cupcakes, and I don’t even care what people in other cities might say, this is LITERALLY the best cupcake shop in the world. Like if you don’t agree, I will fight you. It’s that good. The cake was wonderful but omg SO SWEET. None of us were able to finish even small slices!

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There are lots more photos on Taylor’s flickr, mostly of me making weird faces because I’m always talking or eating when people take my picture. it’s like when my sister had her bachelorette party- every other woman there posed all ~sexy~ for pictures, even the supposed “candids,” but I had my mouth wide open in everyone because I was laughing or telling some hilarious story or something. I guess for me, having fun is more important than looking good.

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Later we had pizza and played one of our epic family Apples to Apples matches. The best round had to be when the contenders for “Handsome” were “Cleaning the Bathroom” and “Angry Hornets.” Taylor was the judge and he was nonplussed, the say the least. I still can’t believe my angry hornets didn’t win!

After game (which I won) it was Symphony’s bedtime, but first we finished reading the last two chapters of Charlotte’s Web. We both ended up bawling our eyes out and had to go read Olivia Forms a Band just to make ourselves feel better.

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Taylor and I finished the evening watching Fringe (a show I love) and Caprica (a show I’m still iffy about). As soon as Caprica ended Taylor fell asleep, and I putzed around on the internet for a little while (I’m making this tiny pink farm-within-a-farm on Farmville, go ahead and laugh because I know how uncool that is) before going to bed myself. I think this was actually the first time we’ve shared the bed on my actual birthday. Amazing!

Today I have a hair appointment at noon (I just had it done last weekend but I decided I want to go shorter) and then later dinner with Rich and Jenn. Other than that I think I’ll be lazy all day and try to finish up my book so I can start using my Kindle. Orrrr I might take out that workbench and start sawing things.

A Happy Birthday

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Thank you to everyone for all the birthday wishes! Everyone on facebook and twitter, all my girls in SS, Rich and Jenn who called me to scream Happy Birthday! at 7:30 in the morning and of course my darling daughter and sweet husband who texted me right at midnight. I ♥ all of you!

Tonight I’m having a family party with Taylor and Symphony, and I’ve heard a rumour that presents and cake are involved.

Tomorrow night Taylor and I are going for dinner at The Corner Suite Bistro Deluxe with Rich and Jenn and then to the bar at Market for drinks afterwards. For some reason it’s always hard to get a reservation at a reasonable time on my birthday weekend, plus Jenn’s a vegetarian and I’m really picky about food. The Corner Suite just opened this week so there were still had tables available, and the menu says in big letters vegetarian and vegan options available upon request. Perfecto!

Fine Arts

Symphony’s teacher, who she also had last year, likes to have the kids create their own versions of great works of art. Last year they did Picasso paintings of animals, Van Gogh Starry Nights made from construction paper scrolls and Monet Waterlilies. This year they’ve made Mondrian pictures using squares of white, red, blue and yellow paper and strips of black paper.

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In a classic modern art moment, it’s actually hung upside down.

Happy Spring!

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I know it’s still the first week of February (and almost time for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics) but I’m pretty sure it’s springtime. I took this picture in the alley behind my house but there are also daffodils, irises and tulips busting out green shoots all over the backyard. Take that, winter!

Monday’s Post, Now On Tuesday

The past couple of days have gone by so quickly! I completely spaced on making a post yesterday and last night I didn’t even make dinner (scrambled eggs & toast, I really need to buy some groceries) until eight o’clock. I have a packed evening tonight so I better get this out of the way before it’s tomorrow already.

A White Black Bear
Spirit Bear: just a black bear that’s been hitting the bleach?

Sunday afternoon I went to the Museum of Vancouver again, this time with my internet friend Leanna. It was actually supposed to be a meet up for this general discussion community I’m in but no one else came. We checked out all the taxidermied animals in “Ravishing Beasts” and then the new “Art of Craft” exhibit.

Depressed Tiger
Albino Skunk
Horrible Specimens
Leanna saw these horrible jarred specimens preserved in alcohol and was like “Mmm, this makes me hungry!”

Creepy ShoeCreepier Shoe
These shoes grossed me out so much! The grey fur one with the antlers is bad enough, but the black and red one is lined with dense black fur and those white things on it are teeth. TEETH. So wrong.
Creepy Boots
The boots on the left have a seashore motif and are decorated with mussel shells. It totally reminded me of the barnacle man, so yes, also creepy.

Afterwards we headed back downtown and met another girl, Kristen, for coffee. She’d wanted to come to the museum but was late getting to the designated meeting Starbucks, and I’d stupidly given her the wrong phone number so she couldn’t get a hold of us. Durr.

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Kristen and Leanna.

Monday was a professional development day at Symphony’s school, which made my workday a little easier since it meant I didn’t have to go out at nine and three with all the kids. Two of the daycare kids, K and B, are still getting over being sick, and I actually had the stupidest conversation/argument with both of K’s parents- his dad in the morning and his mom in the afternoon. They are convinced that B is the one who got K (and me) sick, when if you look at my timeline, it’s obviously the other way around:
January 18th-19th: B has a mild cold with a runny nose
January 20th: B develops a cough and after naptime is running a slight fever
January 21st-22nd: B is fine and just has the runny nose, no cough or fever
January 22nd: K gets sick with gastroenteritis that evening, as well as his parents and some friends from work.
January 29th: B gets sick in the morning, I get sick in the early afternoon
January 30th: B’s mom gets sick
CLEARLY it was K and his family who got the rest of us sick, especially since no one else here (none of the other kids and no one in my family) has been sick at all, and another person K’s parents work with also got sick. They just think that because B had a fever that one day, she’s the one who infected their kid. However, a cold =/= gastroenteritis, and if she did have the stomach bug then, why would she be fine for the next week and a half? This was all especially frustrating for me because IT DOESN’T MATTER. It’s not like I’m going to penalize them or assume they’re unclean or provide substandard childcare just because their kid was sick! It happens, and I was actually really happy with them because he was still sick on the 25th and they kept him home. To tell you the truth, they kind of drive me buggy at times- I’ve really bent over backwards to accommodate their weird fluctuating part-time scheduling requirements but they always want more special treatment. ANYWAY. I’m over it now. No more complaining.

Tongued Claire
Last night I walked into my room and my cat Claire was just sitting there, staring into space with her big googly eyes and her tongue sticking out. She stayed like that for about five minutes, I thought she’d had a stroke or something!

Ferocious Dougal
Passive Dougal
Dougal has been handsome, as usual. He really is the best dog.

Soooooo now I have two more hours left of work, Symphony’s 45 minute student-led conference at school from five-fifteen to six, her piano lesson from six-fifteen to six-forty-five (which I need to take out money to pay for) and somewhere in there I have to give her something for dinner since I probably won’t get her to her dad’s house until well after seven. After that Taylor seems to be under the impression that I’ll want to go to the gym but I really don’t think that’s going to happen.

Sickness & Saturday

Well as it turns out, it’s a good thing I didn’t go to the gym yesterday morning, since I was about five seconds away from getting really sick from whatever horrible virus all the daycare kids have been getting. I ended up sending the one little boy I was looking after home early and putting Taylor in charge of picking Sym up from school and feeding, parenting her, etc, while I took to my bed with a glass of ginger ale and some orange-flavoured Gravol tablets and tried not to puke my guts out until my fever broke at 11pm.

Luckily it was just a one-day disease, because I had an epic four-hour hair appointment today that I didn’t want to have to reschedule. It actually only ended up taking three hours though, since my stylist, the beautiful and talented Aleks at Stratosphere Salon, determined that with the last six months of crazy highlighting we’d lightened my hair enough from the almost-black, super-dark brown I’ve had for seven years we could just throw an all over colour on the roots and pull it through the midlengths to blend it. She also cut off like, five inches of fried, dead ends and my hair is SO much lighter and healthier looking now!

New Hair

Even though I’m over my one-day sickness, I’m still weak and floppy like a kitten. Walking the six blocks to the hair salon made me exhausted and dizzy, and running errands (buying Symphony some new piano books, returning a cute-but-ripped dress to UO) afterwards totally destroyed me. I made Taylor come meet me on my way home for moral support and once I got back here it was pajama time. We cozied up on the couch and watched some shows I’d been too sick to watch last night.

First was the second episode of Caprica, the premiere of which we watched a jillion years ago. I think the series has the potential to be good, but it also has the potential to be super cheesy, if the opening credits and silly editing are anything to go by. However, I loved Battlestar Galactica, and once last summer I was in the school playground with Sym, and Eric Stolz (who stars in Caprica) asked me where the gate was. True story.

Next we watched the season three premiere of Damages, and OH MY GOD I do not know why more people don’t watch this show because it is AMAZING. The twists! The turns! The backstabs! The Glenn Close! During season two I actually had to stop watching the episodes every week and save them all up for a marathon because it was SO INTENSE that I went crazy waiting to see what would happen next. I actually put off watching this episode all week since I knew it would just grab me and suck me in and it did not disappoint. I’m already bugging out over who did what and why!

We still have the last episode of Dollhouse to watch, a show that I thought was pretty ok during season one, totally directionless at the start of season two and then, as soon as it was cancelled, became totally awesome and mindblowing. It’ll have to wait though, as this picture will show:

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Yes, it is the classic Tanie with Sleeping Husband in the Background of all her Pictures.

Disappointment!

Today I only had two daycare kids coming- a baby from 8-5 and a preschooler from 11:45-5 after his session at the Montessori. However, the baby got sick and stayed home, so after I dropped Sym at school at nine I realized I had a free morning! I texted Taylor to arrange a trip to the gym (I haven’t been at all this week- on Tuesday I had a migraine and yesterday I was just too lazy and tired). I was all excited and then DISASTER! The mom of the preschooler called and told me his school was closed and she needed to drop him off.

So disappointing! I couldn’t really say no, so there goes my trip to the gym, but I am going to have words with her about this last minute changes nonsense. She told me the Montessori teachers were all at a conference so there’s no way they wouldn’t have given the families more than a day’s notice of the closure! I’ve had issues with this family with this sort of thing before- there were a couple times before Christmas when I showed up at the Montessori to pick the kid up, only to find that it was closed, or they were on a field trip, and no one had bothered to tell me. This is unacceptable, especially on days when it’s raining! The plans I made today were spontaneous and easily cancelled, but if I’d known in advance that the baby wouldn’t be coming and I had a free morning I might have scheduled an important appointment that I didn’t want to break.

What I’ve Been Reading/Dougal Turns Six

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Leviathan, 5/104, Girlfriend in a Coma 6/104, Gone 7/104

I picked up Leviathan because I really enjoyed Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies series, and I thought the cover of this one looked interesting. Turns out it’s a steampunk alternate history of World War One. The mind boggles. It was pretty interesting but it kind of felt like more of an introduction than an actual book, so I guess I’ll have to wait and see how the series progresses.

Girlfriend in a Coma I grabbed off the old-books-with-no-home-since-I-dismantled-the-bookcases pile in the hallway. I’ve read it before, but not for probably ten years. I recall not really liking it when I originally read it but I enjoyed it more the second time around. In my mind old Douglas Coupland > new Douglas Coupland.

A cover blurb on the back cover of Gone reads “If Stephen Kind had written Lord of the Flies, it might have been a little like this.” No, it would have been exactly like this! That’s not a bad thing though, I actually really liked this book.

In other news, a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to one Mr Doogie Bowser, MD, who is six today.

Such a handsome fellow!

A Boy and his Dog

The other day I used one of the throws from the couch to make a sling so Taylor can practice doggywearing with Kichou.

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Kichou is basically IN LOVE with Taylor, as shown in this video. Please excuse the weird hissing noise I make; I was trying to hold in my GUT-BUSTING laughter.

hahahaha SO GROSS.

The (Inter)National Pastime

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Tracking packages via the courier’s website.

Because our apartment is at the back of the house in the basement it’s basically impossible for delivery people to find, except for UPS and one in five mail carriers. Taylor and I usually leave hand-drawn maps or notes at the front door and by the mailboxes but that doesn’t always help. This time I’m printing out a satellite image from Google Maps.

UPDATE: Jan 25, 2010 8:52 AM On FedEx vehicle for delivery
UPDATE: Jan 25, 2010 11:10 AM In my hot little hands

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WOW I really need to get better lighting in here. Trust me, this bag is gorgeous. Here’s a better picture:

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Can I just say, Neiman Marcus is like, THE BEST. I ordered this on Thursday, shipped Friday, arrived Monday. This was with the standard shipping to Canada. Amazing!