Monday, September 12, 2016

12 on 12

Let's start this post with some Georgie porn. He has been a great dog as we have started dog sitting for other people through Dogvacay and Pawshake. It's like airbnb but for pet sitting. I adore dogs and Georgie tolerates the dogs and Serge, well I'll be kind and say he tolerates them too. This week we have a big black lab that George actually plays with. George rarely plays anymore so I feel so happy when he does.

For my birthday we took a little getaway to Vermont. Such a beautiful state. We stayed at our friend Nancy's house in her airbnb unit. She lives in a 200 year old farmhouse with a slate roof. I asked her how long a slate roof lasts and she said, "200 years, I guess." Anyway, we explored a bit and want to come back to this river to do some tubing. There is a company that takes you and the tubes up river and then you mosey on down to where you left your car.

It is so neat exploring the Northeast where there is so much more history than in the rest of the states. We walked around and explored little towns and even took a tour of a granite quarry - I just liked this shot of the local church at dusk.

I worked a couple nights a week this summer. One day I headed out to work and felt some weird tingling on my lips. By the time I got to school an hour later, my face had really changed. So I got hives. I had taken a couple tums right before this reaction started. I haven't taken any tums since then but I am not sure that is why I got hives.

We had pride week in August here in Montreal. It was fun this year as we had a friend visiting from California. We had a great time making sure they ate everything one must eat when visiting Montreal. Smoked meat, poutine, beaver tails and of course the best bagels on the planet. Sorry New Yorkers. It's true.

Then we all went to Camp camp together. One of the funnest events at Camp is the barn dance where you square dance with everyone. We brought a little western wear with us this year, our third at camp in southwest Maine.

I wasn't planning to but I ended up wearing a dress for the T dance. Here's my take on the dressing in drag thing. I got no extra pleasure dressing like a girl but I wasn't embarrassed about it either. The great thing about camp is that there is no judgement. Anyway, the thing I did notice is how freaking uncomfortable wearing a clingy dress and trying to suck in my gut was. Not to mention the shoes. Torture devices, I don't know how women do it. People kept saying beauty is pain. Well that is a shitty dynamic society has put on women.

We had a great cabin again this year and we all got along great. The first night though I had a terrible nightmare. It was a dream within a dream. So I "woke up" in a hotel room with Serge and someone was trying to get into the room. They finally succeeded and three guys with pistols came in and said I was a dead man. Then I screamed bloody murder and really woke up. I woke everyone in our cabin and the two cabins next to us with my scream. I was so relieved when I woke up and realised that I wasn't going to die.

Serge made a rocket at camp and I made a bowl in pottery. I really lucked out at the pottery wheel. I got my bowl perfectly round and then the instructor told me to make the sides higher and I said NO, DON'T TOUCH IT. She said, "are you satisfied with how it is?" I told her I was ELATED, so we didn't mess with it anymore.

The camp photographer did a photo shoot with us and so we got some really good shots of us. One of the funniest things at camp was when I asked our emergency room nurse friend what the funniest story from the ER was. He told us of a gentleman who came in and said he had "fallen" onto two mayonnaise jars. While waiting for the appropriate people to arrive to solve this matter, our friend said to the patient, "If you think you might fall on a mayonnaise jar in the future, I would recommend tying a string around it under the lid. That way you would be able to pull it out." I asked, "You really said that to him?" And he replied, "Well I have to teach them." I giggled about it all week. Oh and the jars were full. One other nice thing about camp this year was finding out our ex friends (who were not there again) are not at all liked by the peeps in their cabin. We learned the other cabin members even had mean nicknames for them all. A small thing but gratifying to know. 

Yesterday we went to the second largest rodeo in Canada. It's in a small town of 3800 inhabitants but during the Western festival it swells to 200,000. I actually really enjoyed the rodeo, except for the mean calf roping event. I decided to be vegan for the month of September just to see if I could and it is difficult! Anyway, there was nothing for me to eat at the festival except fries and onion rings. I also learned that even honey is off limits. I am counting the days to October first when I go back to being a carnivore again. I don't really even miss the meat, it's the cheese and eggs that I miss the most. I actually like Vegenaise better thank mayonnaise, so there is that. 

Finally here is Stella, the black lab we are watching this week. I love the temperament of labs, all cuddly and playful. George is 9 years old but Stella gets him playing every day. Thanks to all who stopped by. Summer is almost over and work begins next week for me. Serge is still looking for work so we are hoping that happens soon too. Mwah!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Summer Snippets

* We can start with the George meister. He doesn`t really care for summer. Just blobs all day on the sofas. I had an appt. yesterday to get his nails clipped for free and completely forgot. Doh!

* Every summer seems to have a theme with me. This year it`s reading. I`ve gone through spells like this before where I can`t get enough. I`m averaging a book a week but one book, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, I read in one day. That was a lovely day.

* Although I didn`t think Outlander was all that great a novel, the story kept my interest as I am a sucker for anything to do with Time Travel (probably why I read that other book in a day) and I forced Serge to watch the series with me. It was pretty true to the novel, but I kept telling him what was going to happen (couldn`t help myself) or would say, "Hey, that`s not in the book."

* We`ve been spending lots of time with our besties, wine tasting, dining out, partying. Funny, she said to herself when she first met me, "He is going to be my gay friend!" She was my student at the time but totally turned out to be right!

* I got frustrated with the selection on Netflix and constantly getting thwarted when I accessed Netflix in other countries so although I am not cancelling, I got  a membership at the video club (I couldn`t believe one still existed) for $10 a month I can get three dvd's at a time for up to a week at a time. They have ALL the tv series so I won`t have to wait for Netflix to put one I want to see on rotation. The latest we are watching is Helix.

* The funniest thing happened the other day. I was sitting reading on the sofa and Serge was over by the door smoking. Suddenly I hear, "WHAT???" and turn to see him walking funny toward the bathroom. He shut the door and then I heard, "GROSS! SERGE! YOU DON'T DO THIS. GROSS!" over and over. Then,"BOTH LEGS! DISGUSTING!" Naturally, I was asphyxiating myself with laughter. Apparently he has never sharted before. It was so funny to hear him scolding himself.

* This is how I felt when I finished work for the summer. But then I got asked to do a Mon-Wed evening class. I never say no to work (my longtime rule) but I really don`t want to go tonight.

* I don`t suppose I've mentioned that I quit smoking. Well, I did and this better be the last freaking time. I had a few cigs in Cuba in February thinking, it`s just on vacation. Idiot. Serendipitically, I quit on July 1st, the same quit day as my over five year quit. Here`s to a smoke free life. Now if we can get Serge on board.

* The favorite books I have read this summer are The Book of Lost Things by Connelly and The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Gaiman. It turns out I like fantastical reads.


* Yours truly, failing. I tried a total of five times to get up and failed. I think the jet ski was just shy of a horsepower. I was completely crippled for a week afterwards. Crip Pulled.

* Serge has been trying to get a job for nearly a year now. This has put a lot of stress on our household financially. He has almost been hired a couple of times but something always happens to prevent it. I have to decide if we can do Serge`s 50th birthday cruise in South America by Aug 1st when final payment is due. I think we will go. You only live once, and it`s only money.

* Do you realise that you don`t pronounce the "t" in can't? It's true. The difference between can and can't is not the pronunciation of the tee. Can is unstressed and can't is stressed in sentences. Say them in a sentence and observe for yourself.

* Serge`s cousin bought a house on a lake. We are welcome any time. We will be taking them up on that frequently.

* The French from France are always the ones who leave bad comments about the unit downstairs. It's like they expect to have everything in brand new condition. My favorite lately is the comment, "there was dust under the bed". Really? Is that where you spend your time? Ridiculous.

* I have not announced the last three blog posts on Facebook, hehe. Feel free to scroll down and catch up. Thanks everyone for stopping in. I hope all your summers are as fun as ours! Mwah!

Thursday, July 07, 2016

My bad

I recently became aware that I wish death upon a person. When the thought would come to my mind, my good self shamed me, what a terrible thing to think. It would be one thing if it were Donald Trump I were wishing gone, as I am sure no small number of people desire. No, and I am no Trump fan, but he has stolen nothing from me. Is that it? Is that why I want this person to die? And just what is it that he or she stole from me? A lot, I can tell you that. But it is a wrong thing to be thinking and yet I catch myself daydreaming about it like I did in my teenage bedroom trying to will myself to time travel after seeing Somewhere In Time. I don`t imagine killing however, no I have no taste for that and prison, I am certain, would not suit me well. (Do they have martinis in prison? This just came to mind.) No, I imagine the person dead in the coffin at the funeral home, all gussied up with tearful family members viewing the final view. And it makes me smile, and then I am ashamed again for having thought it and smiled at it.

Sometimes I say it out loud. Die _________. And then I realize that this is the trait of a crazy person. Is that what drove people to be crazy, the theft of something deep and unforgivable within them? I wonder. So there is a dark side to me after all. I wish death upon someone. I know if I am patient enough, it will come to pass.

I had a friend in high school. She was extremely talented and when I was in her presence, it was like I was validated, this god talks to me. My father was going through a photography phase at the time and I have some eight by ten glossies of her and I. Sometimes she talked about death. What did I think happened after we die. I was an adolescent without a firm belief yet. She would daydream about it and even talk about killing herself. Once she faked a rape attack to get out of her shift at Del Taco. We went to Laguna Beach instead and danced and did poppers. I would have gone anywhere with her. She had a toga party and to impress her, I painted myself gold with spray paint. The kind that you use to paint a car. Later I learned I could have died. Hours later, after having won for best costume, I was being scrubbed with gasoline to get the paint off (highly unpleasant) and I thought that it had still been worth it, to paint myself with spray paint. One day she told me she was going to do it, to kill herself, I can`t remember how, but I think pills were involved. She had talked about it so many times, it didn`t alarm me at all, she was just fascinated with it, that`s all. Well, she did it. She didn`t die but she had attempted. Several days later when it became known that she had told me beforehand, the grown-ups were very cross and made me feel bad. How could I have said nothing? Her parents banned her from speaking to me again.

A few years ago, she finally succeeded in doing it by jumping in front of a commuter train. In comments on the newspaper article, people scolded her (a dead person) for her selfishness (I was 3 hours late for work!) but they hadn`t known her like I had. I guess I can understand the scolding since she stole from those commuters. Stole hours of their lives while authorities cleaned up her guts from the tracks.

I think about the fact that I daydream about wanting someone dead and it reminds me of her, who always wished to know death herself. In my case, it is just selfishness, as it is impossible to recover the stolen goods, so I want revenge. I don`t want to do it mind you, that smacks of effort, but I will be happy when it comes to pass. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016


Today we busied ourselves, preparing for tomorrow’s BBQ where we expect 30 or so guests. Serge has turned into his angsty, pre-visitor persona, and rushes about to make sure that we don’t appear to be the dirty slobs we are. Well, I more than him to be truthful. Anyway, we were able to squeeze in Finding Dory in the afternoon but the nerves of receiving made it less than wonderful and it wasn’t as funny as Finding Nemo. An hour or so ago, we were sitting out on our new patio, BBQ layout of all the chairs already rearranged a dozen or so times by you-know-who, and I asked him, “When did we get these chairs, where did we live, at the loft?” He said, “No, it was Moreau street.” “Wow, sixteen years,” I observed. Serge looked like he was thinking about something and I wondered if it was the same as my thinking, which was both, sixteen years and still good as new, those chairs, and naturally, dang I’m old. My mind started to wander and I looked at the conifer across the street. It seemed to have what looked like brown moss growing under the branches.

“Serge, are those pine cones on that tree over there, or just dead needles?” I asked and added, “I wish we had some binoculars.” Serge leapt up and went in the house. I wondered if we did, indeed, have binoculars. If we did, I had never seen them. Then Serge waltzed out, “Ta-Da! These are my grandfather’s. I remembered we had them.” “Where were they?” I wondered aloud. “In the bathroom.” “Where?” wanting to be sure I heard right. “In the bathroom.” I finished it with, “Okay then,” and wondered where in the bathroom they had been. One of two places really, not worth pursuing a clarification. With the aid of the binoculars, Serge confirmed, “They’re pinecones!” It seemed as though they had appeared overnight, but that can’t be. And I was reminded that change is happening all around us, if only we take the time to notice.


The BBQ day was splendidly warm and unhumid. By the time our guests started arriving, the sun had started dipping past our building bathing the deck in shade. As people arrived, everyone agreed it was the perfect day for it. A handful of guests bowed out that day, and I was a bit relieved as I thought I might not have prepared enough food. It is to laugh. There is so much potato salad left, I’m going to have to toss it which if you know me, I hate doing. I wonder if it would keep in the freezer? We made a mean punch which you could absolutely taste no alcohol in, but after just one, many claimed to be buzzed. I haven’t felt at ease at my own party since, well, ever. I marveled how at peace I was. Maybe it was because all our good friends up here came, people that I am grateful to have in my life and who are grateful that we are in theirs. Friends who know what it means to be friends. Our besties spent the night and we had our ritual mimosas in the morning and went out to breakfast.

The next day was wickedly hot and decidedly more humid. I spent the afternoon outside finishing up my book, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, which got so good, I frequently had frissons tingling throughout my body at the lovely story, beautifully written. It was like a fine wine or grilled filet mignon, delicious. Now I am reading the second in the Outlander series, and while it holds my attention, it is more like drinking supermarket wine or eating a Big Mac. Honestly, she goes on way too long with the sex scenes, I mean really, a whole page that could be three words. They made love. But I am a sucker for the time travel angle, so it is a guilty pleasure nonetheless. Yesterday, as I was reading, I saw the lady who lives down the hill (I am not sure how far down, I’m guessing four or five buildings) a spinster I am sure who every time I’ve seen her has had a look on her face like she’s just been told she lost her job. Not so yesterday, she had gone to the drug store across the street and was returning home with something that looked like triumph on her face, and what was it she was carrying? I waited for her to get closer as she needs to pass our home to arrive at hers so I could see what she had in her hands. Then I smiled big, in one hand she had a six pack of Mountain Dew and in the other above her shoulder a box of Klondike bars. Poor dear, she must not have air conditioning. One of the nice things about living in a big city on a busy street is the never-ending people watching opportunities. My writer’s mind makes up stories about their lives simply on the evidence of their gait, speed, and how they carry on with others. I can see it as being a serious activity in retirement.

Oh and by the way, Georgie simply loves barbecues. You can imagine why.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Weekly journaling

I have been reading A LOT and this always puts me into the mood to write. So I think I will start a weekly journal here without announcing it on FB. In a wonderful mood today.

My days unfold thusly: There is the first wake, nearly always nine or more hours since going to bed. It is usually my bladder that forces me up into the day. If I am tired, I sleep an hour or two more before really rising. I don't make coffee, instead sipping water and joining the birds outside. The sleep which cloaks me like a soft blanket befogs my mind and body. This is my favorite time of day especially if I get to see the sun rise. After an hour or two I may have a cup of coffee though I have finally decided that I don't like caffeine, the food of the butterflies. The butterflies, coccooned by the sleep will be up and about soon anyway as surely as the wind. For that is what the shattered heart (how else to call it?) has slowly transformed into, the fluttering wings of anxiety. The butterflies rouse slowly, usually sometime in the afternoon and when they do I am grateful that they slept in as long as they did. 

I am getting good at not thinking about the things that energize the butterflies and redirect my thoughts with ease. Such ease as I am constantly surrounded by beauty that only now am I able to appreciate. The shifting shape of a cloud, the cardinal's song as distinctive as its color, the dragonfly wing propellering down from the maple tree staving off the thundering silence of suffering. I turn over lessons in my mind, so many confirmed banalities of life. I should have died. Surely a physical wound as severe would have killed, and I ask myself, "Am I stronger?" It seems impossible that I am still here blessed with the earth to walk upon. 

If it is a work day, I go, grateful for the distraction and practicality of income. If not, I pore through books living other lives where characters are broken and healed in a page or two. (Is that what these last years have been? A couple of pages?) Food. What a glorious gift to feel hungry and satisfy it. I daydream about upcoming meals, enjoying them several times before actually eating them. George stays by my side reading my mind and reminding me of purpose. My husband, an equal wreck to mine, makes his way through the day with me and we have found that cooking together pleases us both. 

I still drink too much. Probably half what I drunk before but I still need help to bed in the evening. Serge didn't drink alcohol for two consecutive days last week. A goal I aspire to when sleep or the lack of it will not severely impact the day after. We spend the evenings together engrossed in this series or that until my eyes start drooping and then my second favorite part of the day arrives, bedtime. And the cloak of sleep that heals and prepares my mind and body for the coming day. I dream but I don't have nightmares. And for the first time in years, life is actually good.


Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Spring travelogue

I've been lax on updating the blog. So sorry, but we have been awfully busy as you will see. Here is my honey and I at our annual Sugar Shack outing. After Cuba, I went on a diet to lose all the holiday weight I gained but made an exception for this. Boy did I have a stomachache after. It felt like my stomach had shrunk, but more likely the quart of maple syrup I ingested.

We went with our besties Annick and Jesus. They live about an hour away so we don't get to see them as often as we'd like. This coming weekend we are going out to spend a couple of nights and do the wine route.

We flipped another unit over to airbnb and they are both doing very well. Our occupancy rates are extremely high - May and June are sold out so I think next year we need to hike the prices a bit. Boy do people shed a lot of hair though.

We finally tackled replacing the deck. It was at least 10 years old and there was a leak in the garage so it was time to address it. A little over 3 grand that we did not have.

I was not allowed to help but I was allowed to pay. It turned out great and we are planning a summer barbecue to inaugurate it. We also were able to identify the leak problem and repair if for pennies. Yay!

Serge even made those shelves for people's drinks around the planters. Just before this project, we lost a couple friends again. Remember our ex-best friends (whom I think of as the sociopath and frankenstein dick) who have systematically convinced all our mutual friends to shun us over the last two years? Well the very last mutuals Facetimed me to tell me we can't be friends for a while. Said he wanted to do it face to face and not in a text (why? So I can have this freaking memory?) said it wasn't coerced (which I figure meant just the opposite). I said I had no words to respond to that and we hung up. I didn't ask why since I knew it had nothing to do with us as we have been nothing but kind to them. People we've known for 20 years. When Serge got up and I told him he said, "I knew it!," and promptly walked over to the computer and blocked them. I went ahead and unfriended all the friends we had met through them to save them the trouble. I do have a blackmail picture that would give them a reason to not be friends but I think I will just take the high road on this one. Just done with the whole lot of them.

Camper friend Nancy came up for a visit. It was great getting to know her better. She also has an airbnb unit so we did a trade. Hopefully we can cash in this summer and explore Southern Vermont from her place.

We had to cut our annual road trip to 4 days from 10 due to money, work and airbnb responsibilities. We made the most of it though. Got to stop in and see Sean and Jeffrey and the pups.

Next stop NYC where our Montreal friends recently bought a condo. They offered it to us for the weekend since they were not using it. We rented a car to go to New York and I chose the wild card category. This meant we would get a compact or better car. When I arrived they told me the wild card is a 7 passenger van. Doh! So that raised the gas cost and I had to park it in Manhattan. It was easy though, the method Tony and Chris showed me (criss cross the numbered streets between Central Park West and Broadway starting at 68th) worked like a charm again. Parked and took the subway to our borrowed condo.

They had a roof top patio on the 16th floor of the building and this was the view. Wonderful. The first night we attended a talk on the "history of gay porn". The room quickly achieved capacity but it was one of the dullest and oddest presentations I've seen. The presenter simply read the papers in his hand and then would stop and play a 15 minute gay porn clip to the end. We were 65 men watching and it was awkward. Nobody spoke during the clips. When they got to Lukas Ridgeston, I had had enough and left. It could have been so much more interesting. Fail.

Afterward we looked for a bite to eat and ended up in a tapas place where oddly enough I had a margherita pizza. The next day was the big camp camp goes to Fun Home event.

Before the show we met up with a few campers for brunch and I had huevos rancheros. Yum! We also sleuthed out an Izakaya (Japanese gastro pub) and had okinomiaki and sushi. Heaven.

We were 33 campers from all over the country who came together to see the show. What a great show it was too. Serge isn't in the pic because he went out to smoke. After this the cast of the show came out and talked with us. So very cool. When I got home I went to the library to get the book but I am #7 on the reservation waiting list.

After the show some of us went out for drinks and dinner. It was great to see everyone.

We especially enjoyed hanging out with our Alaskan friend Jim. It's amazing the tight bonds you can make with people all through the miracle of camp. I think there are a couple spots left this year if you would like to join us.

Then we had to hustle home to turn over the airbnb units. A couple days after I got an offer for tix to Cirque du Soleil for 30 percent off so jumped on it. It was one of the best shows I have seen from them. It had EVERYTHING and the music and costumes were inspired by Mexico and it worked really well.

Afterward we went to this Portuguese joint we like and had the chicken and chorizo poutine. It is huge, and even though we shared, we couldn't finish it. So delicious and only $13 tax included. You couldn't eat dinner at McDonald's for that price and it is infinitely better.

Finally, a little picture of Georgie. He has been extra clingly lately to me. Lucky for him, that is fine by me! Thanks for stopping by peeps - until next time......MWAH!

Saturday, April 02, 2016

This is probably an overshare

So I recently had a colonoscopy. (My first!) The video is me taking the first of several glasses of what I thought tasted like lemonheads. By the end it was kinda sickening though. You'll be happy to know everything checked out and I don't even have any polyps. The "anasthesia" they gave me didn't work. Seriously, but I didn't care because it doesn't even hurt. Well it sorta does when they blow all kinds of air up there to "puff things up". I watched everything on the monitor. When it was over, they wheeled me into a room where 6 other people were who had just had the same procedure. Some people were pretty out of it, don't know why the stuff didn't do anything to me. Anyway, the nurse instructed me to get all the air out now that they had shot up there. Wut!? You mean, you mean, we are in the farting room? (I did not say out loud.) This delight danced through my head as I let them slip out as noiselessly as possible. I felt bad for the ladies (and stifled giggles) who were surely more uncomfortable about the farting room than I was. Anyway, no cancer and that's all that counts.

Shorts? What are you talking about? Oh right, we took an impulse trip to Cuba. The dogs just love me. Though I was in shorts, it wasn't very tropical and in the sixties until the last two days. Funny story and I can write about it cuz it's my blog. So Serge and I got pretty tipsy on the plane on the way down and once we all got checked in, Serge went to go get us a nightcap before bed and when he got back, the security guard was in our room with me with his pants down. Serge joined in until his walkie talkie came to life and he ran out. Neither of us remember exactly how he ended up being there. He just kept repeating the whole time. "Me gusto hombres, me gusto hombres."

A couple of times during the week I had a hankering for something. First thing was french fries which cost more than hamburgers, make that five times more than hamburgers. Fine, I paid the equivalent of $7 for a plate of them with ketchup drizzled over the top. The last day I wanted pizza. Could it be had here? I asked the representative for our tour company and he asked thick or thin crust, and told us to go to Nonna Tina at calle 34. We walked down there and waited about half an hour for a table at two in the afternoon. OMG it was so good. The pizza was just like it is in Italy. It was huge, look at it! We couldn't finish it. Pizza was $13CUC or $13 USD. I thanked the representative after and asked how it was so good. He said the owner is Italian. I said, "How is that possible?" And he replied simply, "Things are changing here." When I tell people here that I had amazing Italian food in Cuba, they don't believe me.

The last couple days were nicer and we got some rays. The best thing about the trip was all the friends we made. Last year we were with the in-laws so it was different. The open bar helps. We should probably spend less than a week in an open bar situation. I have blackmail video of Serge one afternoon, he really was lit and surrounded by a bunch of people carrying on and on. I had just woken from a nap. When I got home and prepared my taxes and realized I owe five grand this year, ugh, we probably shouldn't have gone. It was a nice break from the winter though.

A couple weeks ago we went out to visit our friends and went to a sugar shack. I stuffed myself silly and man did it ache for several hours after. I have been following a reduced calorie diet to take off the holiday pounds, so my stomach had probably shrunk. I reached my goal weight but am still not overeating as summer is coming. Swimming may happen.

This is the only duplicate photo to ones I have posted to facebook. Our big gay game night was the night before easter (I am calendar challenged) so only six of us but wow, what fun until 2:30am. It has been a long time since I have done that. We played Never Have I Ever which you can buy now and you really can be surprised by people. Buck "won" which kinda translated to had the most dirty laundry. I never would have guessed he would win.

Okay then, I am really joyous about the impending springtime warmth and growth. Sure, we still have another cold snap to get through but surely it will be the last with snow. And now to bring things full circle here go read this list of horrible poop happenings. I cried laughing naturally. Here and here.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Sliding into 2016

Happy 2016 everyone, I hope you had as delightful a holiday season as we had. We have gone back to Regine Cafe a couple of times and everything is so delicious and creative and beautiful. Food has become such a source of pleasure for me since I have been a non smoker for over three months now. (Yay me!)

I so enjoyed the holidays this year. Not only did I get two solid months of Christmas decorations and music, but we splurged on new tuxedos. Splurging isn't all that accurate since they were such a bargain. We got them through which is an outfit (get it?) in India. You send them your measurements, they send you your custom made suit. We only paid $100 each for them and they fit just great. We only wore them for a half hour on Christmas though as I was cooking the full turkey dinner and we didn't want to stain them.

It was nice to be home on Christmas even though it was a brown Christmas. The 28th we headed to an airport hotel as a storm was announced for our departure date, the 29th. When we got to this guy to head into security, he asked Serge to put the luggage in the sizer and then told us it didn't fit so we would have to check it. Needless to say we asked for a supervisor who stood by the decision of this idiot. Logic and reason were useless on them. We have used this suitcase for years and it has always fit in the overhead bins with no trouble. It's very irritating to have to deal with morons. It was a total blizzard and whiteout and I thought that there would be no way that we could take off, but I was wrong. Nothing shuts this city down.

First stop this year was Donna's house. She recently got Stella, a puppy that was sold as a labradoodle but turned out to be a terrier. Cutest little thing. We ended up hanging out all day and playing games and watching movies. This is pretty much the perfect evening for folks our age. We played "Never have I ever" which is good raunchy fun. I ended up buying the game later.

The next day we met my dad at the racetrack. I had read up on all the different betting options and played the trifecta. In one race I boxed a superfecta for every combination but that only paid a tenth of my total bet. I probably didn't think that through, lol. There were some very big trifecta jackpots but I didn't win any. Fun afternoon though.

The next day we met our friends and hopped on the Catalina Express. We did something I have wanted to do for 30 years and that is to go the New Year's Eve gala in the Casino ballroom. The casino is that building in the background between Allan and Angela's heads. When I was young, I could never afford to go. We got the package deal which included the party, dinner, champagne, lodging and round trip on the boat. I thought it was pretty reasonable for a little over $300 each, especially since tickets just to the party were $180.

The food was excellent as was the orchestra. The wraparound ballustrade was nice for Serge to smoke and we took some artsy black and white pictures. At least I thought they were black and white on my iphone but when I uploaded them to the computer, the color was there.

We drank the night away and then Serge went around to people's tables asking for their balloons so Angela could take them to her friend. It was funny watching from afar to see first, the proposition, second, either nods or head shaking, and finally, the take. He got a good dozen of them. This is the first time we've travelled with these friends before but we all got along great and had lots of laughs. We are toying with the idea of New Year's in Hawaii next year with them.

We didn't get any pictures at the 3 Kings party at mom's house. We hardly got to see mom at all this year as there was a lot of other stuff she needed to attend to. This year was chilly for Southern California standards but the weather stayed dry until the day we left.

We hung out again with dad and grandma the last day. We went down to the Orange Circle and walked around. When I saw this I thought, "There's got to be a good one-liner here somewhere." I still haven't figured it out yet. Any thoughts peeps?

The last night we took a room at the airport (4*, $75 on Priceline.) When I checked in, I asked how much self-parking was and the guy responded $45 a day. I replied, "you actually said that with a straight face." The car rental place was across the street so I said no thanks and returned the car. In order to go have cocktails and happy hour with my friend of 30 years, Jose, we took our first Uber. What a delight to meet interesting people and pay a third the price of a taxi. If you want to try Uber let me know and I'll send you a $15 coupon for your first ride.

I highly recommend happy hour at the Culver hotel. Little jazz duo and very reasonably priced snacks and cocktails. We were pretty sloshed afterward but all we had to do was order another Uber to go back to the hotel. It was a fast visit this year but we sure did cram a lot of things in.

You are all caught up now. We couldn't forget sir George now could we? He has been very clingy to me this year and that's usually just fine by me. I finish up the semester today at one of my main contracts and don't go back for three weeks. I still have some work with other contracts though. And, yesterday I booked another week in Cuba with my honey at the same place we went last year. (Remember how we became the tipping police?) How could we not go when it is only $668 each Canadian ($467US) for everything, plane, transfers, hotel, and all the food and drink you want. I will tell you all about it at the next blog post. Thanks for stopping by and here's to the best year ever! Mwah!