Sunday, July 29, 2012


Since my blogging mojo/inspiration seems to be on vacation lately, I am turning to this fun set of questions, which I stole, er, copied, from By the Brooke.  ; )

Current Book(s) -- I find it hard to believe, let alone write this, but I am currently on just my SECOND book so far this year. Ugh. :p  I am  hoping to boost that number once I head out on vacation.

My first, which I started between Christmas & New Year's & finished shortly after my birthday, was the ubiquitous Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson -- I vowed not to see the movie (either Swedish or American versions -- American version came out at Christmastime) until I had read the book. (I still haven't seen the movie, but that's another story.)

Dh read it before I did, and thought it was "sick" (in the old-fashioned, negative, non-hipster sense).  I wasn't quite as disturbed by it as he was, although there was a tad more violence than I had bargained for. Also sex. While Lisbeth Salander is indeed a strong and unique female character, I found it kind of funny how she & just about every other female character of any note in the book hopped into bed with Blomqvist with little or no prompting. Of course, this is a MAN writing the book, right?? ; ) Being part Swedish, I also enjoyed the Scandinavian setting.

I began my current read shortly after our recent trip to Kingston, and mentioned it in my subsequent post:  John A.:  The Man Who Made Us by Richard Gwyn -- volume one of his two-volume biography of Canada's first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald. The book won the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction and, although I am only about a third of the way through the book, I would say deservedly so. I've long been a big fan of Gwyn's (30 years ago, I asked for, and got, his book about Pierre Trudeau, The Northern Magus, for Christmas) -- he is a well-known political observer and a wonderful storyteller who has a knack for bringing history to life.

Current Playlist -- I don't have an iPod, but I do sometimes listen to CDs on the stereo while I'm cleaning house (particularly if dh is outside mowing the lawn). After posting about the music of my youth awhile back, I ordered Raspberries Live on Sunset Strip & have enjoyed listening to that. My most recent purchases this week at HMV were a greatest hits package by Colin James, a well-known Canadian rock/blues singer & guitarist (and Stevie Ray Vaughn protege), who recently played a lunchtime concert in a neighbouring office tower, and an early CD by Great Big Sea, a Celtic-influenced band from Newfoundland, whose song "Ordinary Day" has been played several times on the radio lately.  (More on Newfoundland in a moment...)  

I listen to the radio in the morning while having my breakfast & in the car, & have not been able to get this earworm out of my head. I didn't even know the name of the band until I looked it up one day. Figures that it's a boy band. ; )  Guess my tastes haven't changed that much over the year.

Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure -- Brown Sugar Sea Salt Caramel Fudge (available at Chapters/Indigo stores in Canada).  I blogged about this before here. And I'm still addicted. ; ) 

Current Color -- aqua/turquoise, paired with black or white. So summery. : )

Current Drink -- Starbucks black iced tea lemonade. : )

Current Food -- No particular favourite at the moment. Looking forward to my dad's yummy barbecued steak & fresh veggies from his garden soon. : )

Current Favorite Show -- Dallas. : )  Also -- Republic of Doyle, a CBC comedy/drama/detective show. Not sure if it's available in the States or elsewhere (unless you happen to live near the border & get CBC).  It's about an ex-cop dad & his hothead rogue of a son (who drives a gorgeous blue classic Pontiac GTO), who run a detective agency together, conveniently located above a bar in St. John's, Newfoundland, of all places. (Who knew there was so much crime to solve in Newfoundland??) Allan Hawco, who plays the son, Jake (and writes and produces each episode too), is a scruffy charmer (if a bit of a smart-you-know-what), who rarely fails to (a) get punched & (b) take off his shirt in every episode. (Note:  (b) is why dh thinks I watch the show, lol.) 

But the real star of the show is Newfoundland -- every episode is like an hour-long tourism ad for the place, & I never fail to go to bed thinking, "I've got to get there one of these days..."   I got watching an episode one night earlier this spring and now I'm hooked -- am catching up on the episodes I missed earlier this season in reruns, and hoping to get the first two seasons on DVD (this is season #3) to get the whole story from the beginning. The show has happily survived the most recent round of cuts at the CBC and recently started filming season #4.  Unfortunately, I don't think the new season doesn't begin until January. :p

Current Wishlist -- More hours in the day.  My Google Reader is choking with unread posts at the moment. Also, a beautiful, weedfree backyard & patio that somehow maintains itself until this time next year, when we're slated to host the annual get-together/reunion for dh's mom's side of the family. :p 

Current Needs -- a vacation. :p  And a Princess fix. ; ) Both to be remedied shortly. ; )

Current Triumphs -- Some good genealogical finds lately. : )

Current Bane of my Existence -- The Bridge. :p  For the past 21 years, dh & I have had more or less the same morning routine, whcih included driving our car & parked at the local commuter train station, then taking the train into the city. Over the years, the lot has become more and more congested. Parking is free, but they began introducing a limited number of paid ($60 a month) spots that have gradually been expanded. 

In April, around Eastertime, half the lot was CLOSED to make way for construction of a new multilevel parking garage, which won't be finished until late 2013 (or so they say...).  Almost the entire remainder of the lot where we had been parking is now devoted to reserved (paid) & disabled parking spots, & the few free spots that are left get snapped up very quickly. The rest of us must now park in either (a) an overflow lot, a 5-10 minute walk down the track (OK now, but dark & cold in the winter), or (b) in a recently built parking garage that was built at the local mall -- directly across about 8 lanes of traffic on one of the busiest stretches of highway in Canada. The parking garage at the mall is connected -- well, sort of -- to the train station by an overhead (enclosed) pedestrian bridge that runs across the highway.  Eventually, the walkway will be connected directly to the parking garage, so we'll just get out of our car in the morning & walk across.

However -- that section of the walkway hasn't been finished yet. (Hopefully, it will be before the snow hits.) So, every morning, once we leave the car, we have to go down two flights of stairs to the ground level. Walk across the parking lot for the adjacent office tower (we're not allowed to park there) -- and then up a steep flight of xx stairs to get to the bridge.  (There is an elevator now, but it wasn't working the first month or two (!).)  The bridge actually angles UP, so you are walking UPHILL after navigating the stairs. Even after four months, I still find I get winded (more or less, depending on the heat & humidity levels, whether Aunt Flo is tagging along, etc.).  And then down the stairs to the train platform at the other end.

When we get off the train in the afternoon, we make the trip in reverse -- up the stairs (54 of them, in three stages of 18 each with a platform in between), across the bridge (downhill this time, thankfully -- although the bridge is NOT air-conditioned OR ventilated, so it can be like an oven in the heat & humidity...!), down the stairs and across the parking lot, up two steep flights of stairs to the parking garage & to the car (hopefully before all the other cars start leaving & block a quick exit). I keep muttering, "This has got to be worth a few pounds..." but so far, it is not showing up on the scale. :p  To accommodate this change in our daily routine, we've had to set the clock and leave the house at least 10 minutes earlier than before (which was already way early). Ugh.

It's not just this change we're dealing with -- it seems like there is construction everywhere we turn these days. Union Station -- both the actual train station & the subway station in downtown Toronto -- is under renovation right now -- badly needed, & I'm sure it will be great once it's all done (assuming it's all done before we retire...!), but there are parts of the station that are closed off to traffic, and dirt & noise and workers & drywall & equipment everywhere. The crowds can be awful sometimes. Also, several of the office towers we walk through via the underground PATH concourse every morning en route to our own office are also undergoing renovations -- drywall up everywhere, new flooring being installed, usual paths blocked off without warning, stores moving. It may seem like a little thing, but the cumulative impact of a lot of little stresses can add up after awhile. One more reason to look forward to retirement...!

Current Celebrity Crush -- At the moment?  The Olympic men's rowers. Their athleticism is truly incredible -- and their physiques are something to behold.  I started watching the rowing events at the 1992 Olympics, and have been hooked since then. I had a major crush on Derek Porter, who won gold with the Canadian men's eights in 1992, and narrowly missed gold in the singles in 2006. I understand he is a chiropractor now. I am generally a bit leery of chiropractors, but this guy is welcome to crack my spine anytime. ; )

Current Indulgence -- Besides Brown Sugar fudge... 'tis the season for Starbucks black iced tea lemonades & Dairy Queen Skor Bar Blizzards. ; )

Current #1 Blessing -- air conditioning!!  : )  Although it hasn't been quite as hot & humid in the last few days as it has been lately.

Current Slang or Saying --  Hmmm, not sure I have one.

Current Outfit -- Around the house: denim "boyfriend" shorts from the Gap with a tank top from Old Navy. At the office:  capris & sandals with a sleeveless tunic in a bright summer colour or pattern under a coordinating cardigan (all items probably from Reitmans).

Current Excitement -- The Olympics. Lots of family birthdays right now to celebrate. Counting down the days until our extra-long weekend coming up (albeit one that includes -- by plan -- Katie's "anniversary" dates) and then our trip home to see my parents -- and The Princess. : ) (See "Current Needs,"  above.) 

Current Mood -- Tired, happy it's the weekend, sad that it's almost over. :p


  1. couldn't agree more with your dh on the dragon tattoo book, those sick bits were sick. Quickly learned to skip those! Wouldn't be so easy with a movie, so will avoid that altogether. Found the first half of the book really slow. Half of me wants to read more to see how Lisbeth develops, but the sick scares me...
    did your dh read the other books too?

  2. @Valery: No, he hasn't, I think the one was enough for him. ; ) I may read the others, but I have other books I'd rather get to first. I'll probably pick them up when the next movie(s) come out.