Via the Edmonton Symphony Blog.
Via the Edmonton Symphony Blog.
A meteor hit the ground near my parents' house last night and was visible over two provinces. This cam is in Edmonton, a couple of hours away from the suspected landing site (they haven't found it yet). I didn't see a thing :(
I've moved over to Typepad folks. Please continue the fascinating adventure at the below address:
I felt the store was rather busy but I was told at the cash register that it was a really slow day. Consider myself warned not to go again on a Saturday; I will not push my luck. They were out of a lot of the things I wanted, like a great royal blue nail polish, but I managed to spend a significant amount of money without really trying. I finally got that glass nail file I'd been coveting, and a bottle of Bliss Lemon Sage Conditioning Rinse among other things. I never, ever splash out on hair products because I have virgin hair that's pretty well-behaved. I use $5 hair putty, $5 hairspray, $5 shampoo and $7 conditioner. This stuff together costs only a little bit more than just the one bottle of Bliss conditioner, so it better work but good.
So in sum, I spent some money and didn't kill anyone in the Mall - though I felt the rage rising the more I stayed in there so I got out. Here are my impressions:
1. I'm always shocked by how much money you can spend if you really want to. I saw tiny bottles of skin cream running up to $200, and you'd probably get through 30 days with it. As much as I want to solve my various skin problems, I couldn't bring myself to spend that much - even if I could afford it.
2. There were a lot of beautiful women in there. If you ever want to feel ugly, go in. Especially when no one wants to help you after you've been in there for half an hour. Mind you, I suffer from similar invisibility problems elsewhere. But I saw a girl who obviously worked there rocking some major drag-queen level drama makeup, and she carried it off nicely.
3. I wasn't sure if Female Vibe "A" or Female Vibe "B" was going to dominate. You know what I'm talking about, right?
Vibe "A" = Here's my sistas, we're all in this together ladies. You look great honey, you are *wearing* those shoes, I tried that eyeliner and loved it etc.
Vibe "B" = Get your fucking hands off the last jar of brown sugar scrub, you bitch. Your clothes aren't as nice as mine, too bad for you. I'll stand on your foot to reach the top shelf if I have to.
I'm always on the lookout for Vibe "B", because that's my cue to exit fast. There wasn't much of it, but I can see how Vibe "B" can take over on a busy day. I didn't feel Vibe "A" either.
4. Something clicked in me as to how silly the concept of the whole store is, or for that matter, the whole beauty business. I can't take it seriously at all anymore. I like to play with makeup but I never felt it would catch me a man or make me a better person, and I think that young, impressionable women do think these things. This is one more reason to be glad I'm not young anymore.
Anyway. I saw Schokinag drinking chocolate on the Internets a few years ago, and it appeared at Costco this week (if you're looking for it, the tin's a little different than pictured). Great Googly Moogly I may never be able to drink powdered hot choc again. This stuff is like drinking a melted chocolate bar, and at 78% cocoa solids it is intense. I sweeten mine, because drinking it with no sugar is like licking the coffee pot burner at Tim Hortons. If you are a serious chocolate nut, I hope you get to try drinking chocolate made with melted artisanal chips/beans/beads.
(Please note that my car photo below is no longer buggered up.)
If you are one of the five people left that feel world events don't affect your daily life, well, think again. And I'm not just talking about the price of oil.
Apparel has really fallen off in quality. I know you've noticed it in the retail sector, but buyers notice the subtle details falling off steadily. I have had more snaps & zipper repairs in the last six months than there were in this business in the last six years. Today I got a shipment of shirts with mismatched dye lots, and a batch of polos with ridiculously crooked pockets.
Companies are unsatisfied with China's quality. Of course there's the language barrier; don't let anyone fool you into thinking all the Chinese speak passable English, and well, our Chinese is a little rusty. Then there's the fact that Chinese manufacturing shuts down for almost a month for New Year's celebrations, creating a spring backlog of work. Now our suppliers are telling us there's a shortage of labour in China, now that the One Child Law kids are in the workforce. Many Chinese parents are educating their children into professions, which leaves the bottom rungs empty. These are a few reasons why your clothes must be chucked out after six months instead of being passed on to your children.
The CBC news featured a piece on how large-scale garment manufacturing may be coming back to Canada after becoming nearly extinct a decade ago. Apparently Quebec is looking like a good place to set up a clothing company these days, since they still have a lot of seamstresses there. I guess the European market loves Made in Canada goods because we're socially conscious or something, plus our strong dollar makes buying equipment & raw goods much easier. So hooray! Buying Canadian-made apparel may actually become feasible in the near future.
On another, similar note, an order of towels I placed on Monday may be delayed because the factory is in Pakistan. Yes, that Pakistan. We have to wait and see if the towel factory was bombed flat.
1. Laughing inappropriately loudly.
2. Speaking to my cats in paragraphs.
3. Playing City of Villains, in spite of the end of my friends' attention spans.
4. Continuing the quest for the Great Rosacea Cure.
5. Taking off my pants the minute I get home from work.
6. Typing really hard. Not fast - just hard.
7. Slavishly painting my nails.
8. Looking into other cars to see if anyone is looking at my sexy car.
9. Saying "congratulations" to newly engaged couples and keeping my mouth shut about how I feel about the whole wedding business.
10. Wearing "bedhead" even though it's out.
Here is someone else's lovely photo of a car identical to mine. Shiny, no?
1. What did you do in 2007 that you’d never done before?
Visited the Vancouver Museum of art, and stood in front of my very first live Van Gogh (Two Poplars). You can't underestimate the importance of this event to a woman who lives near the North Pole - no important art ever gets here. I felt Van Gogh's vibrations pouring into me, and it was spectacular.
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't do that resolution stuff - it's a setup for failure. So no, and no.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
It's a bit baby-dry around here. My cousin had a boy and my husband's assistant had twin girls. I have about 50 cousins, so "my cousin had a baby" is going to work until 2050.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
No, and this is part of the reason I am grateful for 2007.
5. What countries did you visit?
Canada's a big place, and I plan to visit more of it before going out of the country again.
6. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007?
Can't complain about 2007. I won't lie, it was really good, and if that makes me a boring blogger, then oh well.
7. What dates from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Our trip to Vancouver had so much fun stuff happenin', and it went so smoothly, that that's the big one. Also I will now remember standing in a Pakistani restaurant and hearing about Benazir Bhutto's assassination.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I'm not much of an achiever. Um, I stayed alive and sane.
9. What was your biggest failure?
I didn't get on my boss's menopausal ass about a raise. I'm a great employee and I deserve one.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
An intense fitness-walking schedule caused plantar fasciitis and shin splint flare-ups. I'm trying to balance exercise with not injuring myself, and it's hard.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
People, we bought *so* many things this year. The top 2 are the Holy Altar of Television and the new Mitsubishi Lancer GTS (still don't have a name for it incidentally)
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
jenandtonic had the guts to get her guts stapled shut.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Untalented socialites - pick your favourite.
14. Where did most of your money go?
It was a material world this year. We replaced nearly all our main floor furniture, I got a new computer and a new car and a new TV etc. This is due to Mr. W getting a huge raise and the successful juggling of our finances.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Besides Van Gogh? I eagerly awaited the return of the red-tailed hawks in April. They come back from Argentina or wherever in the spring, and I can't wait to see them. I know the ones in my area by sight and have given them all names. I know it's kinda lame.
16. What song will always remind you of 2007?
Anything by Muse - my Band of the Year.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
Happier. b) thinner or fatter? Uhm, a little fatter. TV is the bane of my ass.
c) richer or poorer?
Richer! After many years of poorer.
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Exercise, and gardening. I didn't have time for these two activities this year, and I want to make time.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Being sick. I spent the fall with a variety of colds - often more than one at the same time.
20. How did you spend Christmas?
1st here with my fam and my mother's sister's fam, then 2nd with Mr. W's parents in exotic Pierceland, SK.
21. Did you fall in love in 2007?
I just saw a Wii a couple of days ago.
22. What was your favorite TV program?
Do I have to pick one? OK, Dexter!
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
There's someone who's getting on my nerves. I like them but they are a giant PITA and my like is hanging on by a thread.
24. What was the best book you read?
Yep, that there Harry Potter book sure was good. Also Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson blew me away.
25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
My brain has finally reached the age where it can tolerate some jazz.
26. What did you want and get?
Car, TV, camera, new floor, computer, blah blah blah. Our fortune was good this year. I hope Mr. W looks back with happiness.
27. What did you want and not get?
I have the love and support of a good man, and a loving family, so I can't really complain much. Although...the fence on the west side of our property is shamefully awful.
28. What was your favorite film of this year?
New movies suck.
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Not much - turning 34 should be a quiet affair, and it was.
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I would love to have socialized more. It's hard to push Mr. W out of the house sometimes.
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007?
Trying to balance a business-related look with box-lifting duties. Tried high heels and failed miserably.
32. What kept you sane?
My fur children.
33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Chow Yun-Fat is super hot.
34. What political issue stirred you the most?
The municipal election was this year, and shortly after we voted in the same bunch, they announced a 10% property tax hike. That pisses me off.
35. Who did you miss?
Friends who moved far across the city (I live in a really large city, geographically speaking).
36. Who was the best new person you met?
The new girl in inside sales is hilarious. She's great at spastic physical humour, which is the exact opposite of how I'm funny.
37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007.
Make note of the good times as they happen, not just later on.
38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Throw it all away
Lets lose ourselves
Cause theres no one left for us to blame
Its a shame we're all dying
And do you think you deserve your freedom
How could you send us all far away from home
When you know damn well that this is wrong
I would still lay down my life for you
And do you think you deserve your freedom
No I dont think you do
Theres no justice in the world
Theres no justice in the world
And there never was
-Muse, "Soldier's Poem". I know it's a downer but it reminds me of something that I need to think about.