Tuesday, October 20, 2009

drowning not waving

The first big markathon of the year has been underway for about two weeks now, and I am so close to being done I can taste it: I only have about 23 papers left to grade out of 173. I am also so close to being done that I am almost totally braindead. I have literally marked my way through three pencils. It's a wonder I can stand up right.

I've had almost no time for non-marking related activities, but I did manage to sneak down to Toronto to attend a baby shower for my cousin (who is first in our family to procreate) and to visit The Brides Project to try on wedding dresses. I had high hopes for The Brides Project (they sell donated dresses and then donate the proceeds to camps for children with cancer) but there really wasn't anything that tickled my fancy. Most of the dresses were too elaborate for my tastes. I tried on an Alfred Sung dress that was totally ridiculous: heavy, heavy satin, huge skirts, huge train, a sheer, beaded halter neck over a satin sweetheart neckline. It looked dreadful on me, but would have been fabulous on someone with the personality to carry it off.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Far from the shores of England

Yesterday was one of the best days I've had in a very, very long time. It's Fall Fair weekend here in the village, which means it's a time of parades and tractors and cows and oddly shaped vegetables. My father's Masonic Lodge was sponsoring a child identification program, and he had asked all of the sisters to volunteer for a few hours. It wound up being a lot more interesting and fun than I had thought.

When I was a child, child identification programs usually consisted of inky fingerprints on an index card. (Since our father was a police officer, all of the sisters have amazing fingerprinting technique--we were taught how to roll them out from a young age.) Child identification has changed pretty substantially in the 20 years since I was a child. The packages we put together yesterday consisted of digitally scanned fingerprints, digital photos, a short video clip of the child answering questions, a dental impression, and a DNA swab (along with their parents' information). The Masons were all quite impressed with our computer skills. It's good to know that when they aren't keeping the electric car down, they're actually doing good in their communities.

My dad took us (sisters + cousin) out for dinner to thank us for volunteering, and we went to the Wild Wing the next town over. I had never been to a Wild Wing before, and it was fantastic. I'm a fairly unadventurous sort, so I tried the medium wings and the Desperado wings (medium + maple). Youngest sister had something a dill sauce on top, which I was quite happy to skip. The wings were so good--just at the upper edge of what I can stand to eat, heatwise, and sharp and vinegary in taste. There was also ample celery, carrots, and blue cheese dip.

Youngest sister also managed to throw a bone right into my beer glass, because she is a jerk.

We had two pitchers of beer between the five of us (except me, who was driving and had her single glass of beer destroyed by an errant chicken wing), and my dad attempted to pass on the manly skill of how to pour a beer properly. This was less successful the more everyone drank, and we wound up telling stories of SOME of the stupid things that we had done as teenagers while drinking underage. Apparently, according to my dad, we were never quite as subtle about it as we wanted to think we were.

Mum comes home from Scotland today!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Alpacas Part II

Sadly there are no alpacas in this post, so if you only like things that are actually about alpacas, feel free to skip this one.

Remember that time I told you the story about the alpacas? Remember how, in the epilogue, I talked about my parents and their trip through Alberta's Badlands?

Well, I have something to show you.

These horses are just hanging out, doing horsey things.

These horses have just been yelled at: "Alpaca alpaca alpaca!"

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

What do you mean, it's only Wednesday?

It's been a busy week here in North Bay Rock City. The T-1 year countdown to the wedding is on as of last Friday, my special snowflakes handed in their first essay assignments to me, and it may (or may not) have snowed at some point in the last seven days. I did not personally witness any of this alleged snowing, so I am opting to believe that it didn't actually happen.

I did, however, break down and turn on the furnace a few days ago when I got home and the thermostat told me it was 14 degrees in the house. Brrr!

I also had an appointment with a dermatologist on Monday. My body is covered in moles--I easily have between 200-300 of them. (According to the US Cancer Institute, most people have between 10-40 moles.) I also fall into just about every category of risk for melanoma: fair skin and light hair, freckles, UV exposure and sunburns, having more than 50 moles, and having many dysplastic moles.

There's one mole on my arm that the doctor described as being "just wrong", so it's going to be biopsied in December, and in the meantime I am not to ever sunbathe again, ever, and to wear long sleeves and a hat when in the sun. I also get to check myself over every month to make sure that nothing's changed mole-wise.

Then today Mat was playing with the cat and asked, "Is it the cat's ear bleeding?" It wasn't, but there was a large red bump inside his ear, and another one where his eyebrow would be (if he was human. Do cats have eyebrows?) Thankfully, the vet was able to see us today, and my poor kitty has neurogenic dermatitis--basically, he's stressed out and it's manifesting itself in these sores on his skin. He was given a cortisone injection and is now on the road to recovery, so hopefully he'll be all better soon.

We also got him on a scale while we were there, and my wee beastie weighs a not-so-wee 16 lbs., 8 oz.

A sweater for Caitlin is on my needles currently. It's another February Lady, but I've done the yoke in Noro Yuzen (a wool/silk/mohair variegated) and the lace part in Berroco Inca Gold (a silk-merino cable spun). The Inca Gold is heavenly to knit with. The finished sweater will be unique, but hopefully in a way that suits Cait. (And hopefully it will be finished in time for her birthday next month.)