Sunday, October 30, 2005

Jenn's Birthday Party

Yesterday, we had Jenn's birthday party. It was pretty cool, as far as it went. Even my brother came up from Calgary for the event and shaved his head as part of a Lex Luthor costume. I, of course, was Superman, until everyone had had enough of seeing my bits hanging out of a spandex costume made for someone six inches shorter than me. I then switched to Superman's Friday-casual look for more comfort and less visibility for the bits.

We had quite the potluck of food and whatnot, and the cake and brownies seem to have been a hit, although we were short a couple of people (you know who you are). Most unfortunately, Jenn had to go to bed around 10:00 with a monstrous headache, since she is now advised to not take any anti-inflammatories for a while until her stomach heals after the episode of gastritis which hospitalized her on Friday. This means, of course, no pain killers for her massive back, neck, and head pain, just pepto-bismo for her crippling stomach pain. Have we mentioned how in Alberta, her injuries from the accident are considered "minor" under the statute because no bones were broken? Have we mentioned how we are anxiously looking forward to the court of appeal striking down that legislation because it discriminates based on physical disability contrary to the good old Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms? Well, it will take years for a settlement anyway.

Hopefully Jenn is feeling more closely human for her family joint birthday with her cousin. It would be a shame if that accident ruined her wedding, honeymoon, and two birthday parties. In the meantime, the other major stress in Jenn's life regarding school isn't likely to be any closer to a resolution until next Wednesday, so that will be hanging over our heads too, along with Mandy's FeLv test on Tuesday. Apparently Banjo's bio-mom tested negative, so the Vegas line is now putting Mandy's chances of not having the virus and therefore expecting to live past 3 years at about 100:1 against.

Anyway, sorry our update wasn't more uplifting, but we aren't very uplifting people
right now.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Some Pictures

Well, we have now gotten a new camera. It is suspected our wonderful cat Mandy threw away our last one by accident. The importance of this being that we are now able to share some of our pictures from our last couple months, starting with our Honeymoon...

Some More Pictures...

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Sorry, I should have made that more clear.

In the previous post, I should have made more clear that the Jen who is expecting her first little one is Jen B, not Jenn K. We aren't expecting anything but a big lotto 6/49 win, and won't be for a long long time.

What an exciting Saturday

Yesterday, I got to get up early so I could be at the university at 9:00 for a federal government employment test (actually 2 of them) just in case I decide that I may want to end up in the public service. By taking the tests ahead of time, I could cut a big chunk of time out of the whole process. The first test was the "Situational judgment Test" or something like that. The idea of this test is to give you a situation that may come up in an office, and you have to pick from a choice of 5 answers, the most and least effective responses to the situation. Well, in most employment situations I have been in, the answer would have been, "Suck it up and do you damn job!" This, however, is a public service exam, so I kept that in mind.

The second test was the Written Communication Proficiency Test, where I had to read passages and pick out problems and suggest alternatives. For anyone who has written the language proficiency sections of the LSAT and gotten 100%, this test should not be difficult. It was about on par with a high-school English multiple choice test.

Then after I got home, I finished making supper, as we were having company. The B's came over and we had meatloaf and cheesy Potatoes, and for dessert sparkle cake with ice cream and raspberries. Mmmmmmmm. We also looked at wedding pictures and commiserated about the joys and afflictions of the immediate post-wedding period in a newlywed life. That and discussed Jen's food cravings, as she is expecting their first little one. A fun time was had by all, I expect. Anyway, off to church, and then maybe shopping, as Jenn has gift certificates to spend.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Psychic Cheezy-Poof Redux

Okay, here I am taking a break from my thesis, and I have a couple of points. First, the psychic cheezy-poof connection that Jenn and I share seems to have grown to extend to other areas such as cupcakes and popcorn. I just happened to mention to Jenn the other day, "You know what I really really crave right now?" and she said, "Those cupcakes we got that one time from Safeway with the peanut butter cups on top?" And she was right. No hesitation, nothing. She had The SAME CRAVING at the SAME TIME! I'm getting nervous that this is just the start of some kind of bigger thing. Maybe the government has been putting something in the water supply of our apartment building that causes brain mutations and it's only a matter of time before men with blue gloves come to take us to a government facility where they will dissect our brains for science.

The second point is that I want to know who taught my cat Mandy to fetch. This is a new thing that she has just started. I will throw her little Black mouse, and she will chase it, but then instead of batting it around as she has always done before, she brings it back, jumps on my lap, and puts the mouse in my lap and and cries until I throw it again. When on Earth did this happen, and why wasn't I informed that someone was training my cat!?!

Friday, October 14, 2005

Thai Me Up

Jenn and I just got back from supper at the Bua Thai with a couple of friends of mine. The resturant was reccomened by my friend, and she picked the majority of the dishes, and boy she picked well. It was a really good meal, starting with curry puffs and green pappya salad, moving on to Vegetarian Pad Thai and Cashew Chicken (Which I did not have) and Penang Curried Chicken and Beef and mushrooms on a hot skillet, all washed down with a lovely Alsatian Gewurtztraminer. We debated coffee and dessert, but decided to just go home and sleep instead, as Jenn has to be at work first thing in the morning, and we are not really used to getting up in the morning, since she never starts school until 11:00.

Mandy is still very active and happy, although she seems to be kind of bored without Banjo, and even as we speak, she is practically bouncing off the walls. We will be taking her in for testing in about two weeks, so keep watching for the health updates. Also, in her brother's absence, she has learned to open the closets just like he used to, but she is actually much better at it. We are growing concerned about the possible haunted mirror though. A few weeks back when Banjo was still with us, both he and Mandy would sit by our bedroom mirror and chatter away at in in an adgitated manor, batting crazily at something once in a while, their tails flicking vigorously. As far as we could tell there is nothing there. They were making it up to scare us. Both Banjo and Mandy would religiously do this all day for about a week and then they just stopped. Well, this week Mandy has taken to this behaviour again. We are not sure what she sees or is trying to tell us. Maybe there is a ghost in the mirror, who knows.....We did find mail the other day addressed to the estate of so and so in #4. Maybe that person died and is haunting our mirror, why-I don't know. We don't live in #4, the ghost is confused. Anyways, if any one had any idea why our cat is doing this, let us know what you think.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Ok, if There are any more hoops, could you please tell me NOW!

Well I just had hopefully my last frustrating event in the process of finally getting my student loan. Since the government screwed up on my file and put the wrong ID number for my documents they couldn't verify my status as a student here at the U of A. This meant I had to take my loan documents to the registrars office and have them verified there. Fine no problem right? I mean that's how I have done them for the last 4 years I have been here, no biggie. Well that's what I thought. Not so though. I get to the registrars office and the woman at the desk refuses to sign my loan since my ID card and documents still have my maiden name and the university has my married name. So the stupid woman refuses to sign my papers and sends me away. Agggh! I can't say I have been so pissed off in a long time. So, back down to the first floor I go so that I can request that my name change form and marriage certificate be retrieved from their files and photocopied so I can stick it under the nose of the woman upstairs. So from floor one the phone call is made to floor two where I am sent to wait for my documents. So I go upstairs and wait for my documents. A few minutes later a fairly sympathetic man calls me over and hands me my documents. He thinks the process is pretty retarded too. I walk back upstairs with my documents from floor two and stick them along with every card in my wallet with my name on it in front of the stupid woman on floor three, she stares at them in disbelief for several minutes. I am about to ask her if she wants a urine sample or blood or hair or something as well. Finally she decides I must be who I claim I am and signs my stupid papers. The moral or the story, when getting the government or the university bureaucracy to do anything make sure you have your entire life history with you and documented including the last time you went to the bathroom and what you have eaten today, because even if that information is in the same building, they won't get off their butts and help you out.

Has anybody else had as much fun as I have had getting their student loans this year?

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Why Does It Taste So Good?

We just got back from our favorite restaurant in Edmonton, the Punjabi Sweets on 34th avenue at about 97th(ish) avenue. It is among the best East Indian food we have had and while the decor and building are nothing to rave about the food is divine. We usually have the buffet when we go and we always manage to eat way too much. They bring you fresh naan to your table and pitchers of water to keep you going. There is usually about 15 hot dishes to choose from and about a dozen different sauces and yogurt dishes to cool down the spicy. Tonight our excuse was that we had a coupon that expired November 1st so we needed to use it. For $15.00 we both ate ourselves stupid and will be bloated the rest of the night. Mmmm mmmm mmmm. Oh and their sweet counter is gorgeous too, although I only usually look at them because they are very very sweet and a lot of them contain nuts so Owen can't have any. But we highly recommend try this place out.

It gets 5/5 Cups of Chai.

Other than that we haven't really got much other news. My student loan certificates have FINALLY arrived. I only applied for my loan in April and danced around in all sorts of stupid hoops just so they could be amused. Stupid government.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Our First Thanksgiving Together

Well, this was our first Thanksgiving together, last year we were apart as Owen went to Calgary and I stayed in Edmonton. This year we decided to stay home in Edmonton and celebrate with my half of the family. On Sunday we had dinner at my Grandma and Grandpa Toews place with my Mom's side of the family. It was very nice and dinner was very good. On Monday we went over to my Aunt and Uncles half for a second turkey dinner with my Dad's side of the family. It was a much noisier affair with two young children and many more people than Sunday. All in all, we have stuffed ourselves silly with turkey, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie. Needless to say we are back on the diet tomorrow!

It's been a busy weekend and I am now on the turkey crash, I feel very sleepy. It has been nice to have a long weekend though, I really needed the break from school and work even though we basically did homework and housework the whole time we weren't eating turkey. Weekends need to be four days long. Maybe we can petition the government to make weekends four days long, I mean all of their employees already have/take "four day weekends" so why not the rest of us too?...

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Where do piccolos go when they die?

Well today was a tough day for me (Jenn) at work. I started in on a piccolo overhaul and several hours in realized I was fighting a loosing battle. The poor little piccolo had been a disaster from birth from the looks of it. I tried so hard, and normal I refuse to give up when it comes to repairs. I worked the whole day on the poor little guy. My question though is, where do piccolos go when they die?...

Needless to say I had a couple blender drinks when I got home after work. Owen has been really into making blender drinks lately and I can't say I mind, they are quite good.

All in all it's been a pretty long week. I had mid-terms and naturally a lot of studying. I miss my cat a lot too. I added a few more pictures of him (at the bottom of the page) because he was so cute. I really miss him. There will just never be another Banjo.

Oh, and just a heads up, I sound funny when I talk now. No, I am not drunk all the time but I did just get my new TMJ splint which I wear 24/7 and it makes me sound funny when I talk. Please don't make fun of me....

Psychic Cheezy-Poof connection

Today at work Jenn was tempted (and, just as an aside, gave in to that temptation) by cheezy poofs, that tasty orange snack of fried puffy goodness. At the SAME TIME I was shopping at Superstore, and I had an monsterous craving for cheezy poofs. (I didn't give in to temptation, fearing what Jenn would think if I ate such terrible junk)

The bottom line is that Jenn and I have a Psychic Cheezy-Poof Connection. Where one of us is eating cheezy poofs, the other can tell. This does not bode well for secret stashes of junk food on my part, so I guess I should clean out my closet.

Also by Request, Hot and Sour Soup

I was promised a moroccan chicken in exchange for this one, but if you use it and enjoy it, I encourage you to send me a good recipe of your own. I may post the winners if I get around to it, and get good ones.

Thai Hot & Sour Soup:

12 ounces Prawns (Raw)
3 stalks Lemongrass
3 slices White Ginger (Galangal)
2 L stock
5-7 Thai chillies
5 kaffir lime leaves
2 TB fish sauce
1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
2 sliced green onions
3 TB lime juice
cilantro for garnish

Peel and devein the shrimp, heat the oil in the wok and cook the heads and shells of the shrimp until bright orange. Add one stalk of lemongrass to the pan with the galangal and stock. Bring to a boil and simmer 20 minutes. Strain and discard bits. Finely slice remaining lemongrass and ass to the soup with chillies, lime leaves, fish sauce, mushrooms, and onions. Cook for 2 minutes.
Add the prawns and cook for 3 minutes until done. Remove from heat and add lime juice, garnish and serve.

Update on Geekery

For those geeks who inexplicably want to know more about my geekage, you can check out the discussion in the comments section of the relevant post. Feel free to post geeking-related questions there.


It was like a trip back in time!

So, last night, Jenn and I decided to break out our new student's union coupon pack and try going out for supper. We had a coupon for the Red Diamond House on 82nd Ave and 75th Street in an unfashionable strip mall about 2 blocks from our place. The plan was to then go out to cinema 12 for a $1.50 movie, but by the time we sat down to supper we were both so tired that we decided that we should just go home after and hang out.

The Red Diamond House was busy on a Friday night, packed with 40+ aged white people in large groups packed around large round tables. The menu has pictures on it so that you know what you are getting without having to interpret complex Chinese words like Chow mien and Chop Suey and the always mysterious "Sweet & Sour Chicken". This place reminded me of a larger and more prosperous Bon-Kee. Anyone remember the Bon-Kee on 16th Avenue in Calgary? I think there's a stripmall there now. Needless to say, this place serves Chinese food the way it was in a hole-in-the-wall joint twenty years ago. As good as it was (and it was an excellent example of the style) I was so overwhelmed by the nostalgia that I could barely manage a second trip to the buffet table.

The Friday buffet was more expensive than I would have expected, but we had a coupon, and the a-la-carte menu is not badly priced. I'm not sure I would go back, if I didn't have another coupon, but mainly because there are so many other places in Edmonton I haven't tried yet. If you are jonesing for that style of Cantonese and western cuisine that you just don't find anymore (and Peace River had more stylish Chinese food than the Red Diamond House, at all three restaurants, so you know that this place is seriously retro) this is the place for you.

This restaurant gets three and a half pots of Chinese tea out of five. It would have gotten more, but you actually can't get chopsticks there.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Geeking Out

I (Owen) just got back from my first really serious geek-out session in a really really long time. What fun. I won't bore you with details, but it was a lot of fun.

And Jenn told me she ate all the cheese. I was upset. But she was just making fun of me, which is good, because it was really really good cheese.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Attacked By Zombies

Here's a little treat for those of you who just can't get enough zombies or bad graphics.

Our wedding Pictures

We finally got all the pictures developed from the disposable cameras that were on the tables. Some people were really enthusiastic about taking self-portraits. You know who you are, and what city in Saskatchewan you live in. We will be thinking really hard about putting some online, and keep checking this space for the online version of our professional photos, which we will post as soon as we know what is going on with that ourselves.

Our first blog.

Well, Jenn and I have taken the plunge. We will be keeping a blog because, I don't know about you, but in my line of business, it's important to be hep. This blog will be a combination of family news, links, rants, reviews, and general harassment of the blog-reading public. We will try to keep it entertaining, and regularly updated.

As part of the family news aspect, we seem to be slowly recovering from the untimely departure of our baby Banjo, who succumed to feline leukemia after a brief illness. We continue to worry about Mandolin, however, as she may also be infected with the FL Virus.

As for our own health, we are still hurting from the Pre-Wedding car accident, in which we were rear-ended 26 hours before our wedding ceremony. Hopefully we will start feeling better eventually, but I expect it to be a while.

On the lighter side, I made really good soup. Thai hot & sour with prawns. It was really nice. Not at all like Chinese hot & sour, which I also like.