Tuesday, January 29, 2008

***SNOW DAY***

There are probably 7 inches of snow outside the bunkle right now. The photo was from first thing thing this morning, and it just kept coming. Luckily I have the ability to work from home if necessary, so that's what I did. And *bonus* some slightly down & out guy offered to shovel my walk for me - double win of meaning I didn't have to pooch my back any further by doing it, and a chance to give a few bucks to someone who obviously needs it. The other bonus was having a chance to watch the terrible twosome's snowday - I was working in the den so they took up space on the couch, pointedly NOT facing each other so the inevitable battle for couch-territory could be avoided in a dignified way. After a few hours on the couch, they moved to the red chair for a Sesame Street demo of some sort (...ON....UNDER....ON....)

Anyway, got a good amount of work done (phew), and had the added bonus of this arriving in the mail. Look forward to giving it a listen.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

D'ya want a piece of me?

Taking a break from a busy weekend for a cup of tea. I'm posting more out of duty than inspiration, so if it is a bit tired sounding, it's because I'm a bit tired sounding.

Week started out with me getting some moles removed from my back, on the advise of a dermatologist. I went to Dr. #2, a cosmetic surgeon and he could only figure out 3 of the 4 that were supposed to be removed (as could I), which makes me wonder exactly what was wrong with mole #4 - heck, it makes me wonder if anything was really wrong with any of them. As Dr. #2 said, all my moles are odd, so he'd just be guessing. Comforting. Anyway, I went through a weird mourning period for one mole in particular - a very dark, penny-sized one in the centre of my back that I've always kind of liked. An old boyfriend called my back the night sky in negative, and I fear I've lost Saturn. Sounds really stupid to be bothered by any of this, but I have been. And not only because the stitches are pretty uncomfortable. I'll get over it, but after my recent biopsy and this I'm not volunteering any other pieces of my body for removal any time soon.

Also went to see The Black Rider this week - a musical developed by Tom Waits, William S Burroughs and Robert Wilson. Anyone who knows me well will know I am NOT a musical lover, but the combination of those three brains drew me to this. It took me a few minutes to relax into it all (I see white face paint, think MIME and I immediately look for the exit...) but it was worth the risk. Robert Wilson is a fascinating guy - there is a great documentary on his work called Absolute Wilson - watch the trailer here.

And as you'll see it is marmalade season at the bunkle. This is the first batch of Seville I've made in years because I have such a passion for my fave Lime - it's actually Seville Lemon, or "Chunky Breakfast Marmalade" according to the cookbook. I do love the colour of it.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

And more Radiohead...

Well, Thom Yorke.
And you wonder why you never hear him laughing...

This by the way is from The Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2007 - which you can watch in 10 minute chunks on YouTube...handy if you have insomnia or just want to watch Russell Brand's hair.

House Of Cards (Scotch Mist Version)

So, finally bought "In Rainbows", Radiohead's latest. Love it. Love it. They are supposed to come to Vancouver this year. Hope so.

Discovered that they released a 52 minute film of all the songs from the album. You can view it in its entirety (Scotch Mist) on YouTube, but there are also individual songs posted - like this one.


Sunday, January 13, 2008

There Will Be Shingles...

So, here are the first photos of the new roof. NOTE that the new gutters are still on their way - the photo of the little roof above the back porch has an old gutter that is falling off on the right hand side. Next photo I take should show a marked gutter improvement.

What the photos DO show is how hard it is to actually see my roof. The little grey house that is right beside mine is RIGHT BESIDE MINE - so "right beside" that her roof actually drains into my gutter. The other side of the roof is more visible as the other neighbour is farther away, but alas it is the 'uglier' side of the roof as all the venting pokes through there. Anyway, it is much better than the old mushroom roof, which I am now realizing I didn't really have any good photos of. Oh well, some things are best forgotten.

What these shots also show is the weird some paint, some not situation - the body of my house is painted a rather hideous beige, but there are large areas of lovely new shingles too. Ohhh, would that my house were ALL new shingles! As it is, I have plans to paint sometime soon (soon meaning in the next couple of years ;-). I'm thinking a heritage red, but we will see.

In other news, just saw There Will Be Blood, P.T. Anderson's new film. As you've read before on this site, Anderson's Magnolia tops my fave film list - an imperfect film perhaps, but one that I can watch over and over and over. There Will Be Blood is unusual for a PTA film - the narrative is quite simple and linear for one thing - but there are other things that are clearly PTA - the trademark use of soundtrack as major character for one, and epic length as another. Daniel Day Lewis is fantastic as the dark and deeply driven "oil man." After the film, my pals and I joked about his character being a fair match for Javier Bardem's serial killer in No Country for Old Men. Could just be. But Daniel Day Lewis' Daniel Plainview is a much more developed, more human character. Certainly he manipulates those around him to his own end, but the levels of his anger and revenge point to the fact that he is a character that actually does feel - and arguably has genuine emotional connection and fondness his young son, as turned around and twisted as their relationship becomes later on. Bardem's ice cold, impassive Anton Chigurth is waaaay more frightening. Both are films you should see. And if you are looking for something less nasty in tone, see the really delightful Juno. Bonus: it's filmed in Vancouver ;-)

Things that go through my head when I look at my cats #1

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

She may be big...

It's only fair.
60 really boring seconds of Maggie, acting silly in the mess of the basement room.
OK, 75.
There is a rare Maggie belly sighting towards the end. Well, actually it isn't rare, it is something she exposes with some regularity as a ploy to get an unsuspecting human to try and touch it ("ooooh ... fluffy...OW!!). Kind of like an angler fish, but in cat form.
And I promise an update on the Bunkle's new lid soon! Just have to wait for the rain to stop so I can take some photos...

Sunday, January 06, 2008

New Year, New Roof...

AUGH! It is finally happening - the bunkle is getting it's roof. I got the call that they would be starting next week - and really, who wouldn't start a reroofing project in the middle of January... (??!). The roofers assure me that they will only expose what they can reroof each day. Then again, rumour has it that most roofers are freshly out of The Big House, so whether or not I should believe it is another question.

As part one of the process, the little roof above the back door had to come down, and I didn't want to leave it to the roofers to do. My pals A & J once again swooped in and helped out (not sure what the bunkle would look like without their help). As it turns out, the roof was really more of an oreo cookie with wasp larvae as the soft chewy filling and rotting wood as the tasty outer coating, so I am glad it's gone. No idea really what will replace it, but will figure that out after the roof goes up. As you can sort of see from the photo, the wall above the door had to have some shingles quickly slapped on to keep the rain out (the roof had jutted slightly into the structure of the wall) - it will get properly reshingled after the roofers leave. And in a true masterwork of gubbins technology the top of a pop bottle and some caulking was used to plug a hole in the old gutters (which will be replaced along with the roof). As you can see by the drip, it ain't perfect but at least it stops a huge torrent of water spewing down.

In other news, the bunkle was de-Christmased today. Bit sad to get rid of the tree, and felt kind of ...mean...as I sawed it into three so the recycling guys will pick it up. Mags immediately sat where the tree was and looked a bit despondent. Thom is still asleep, so the trauma of losing the reindeer ornament he removed daily hasn't hit yet.

Speaking of Thomas, as you can see from the photo his vote on the couch fabric front is a darkish brown slightly velvety thing. I don't think he's backing the ultimate winner, but you never know.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

In with the new, out with the plaid

Happy 2008.

So, the first new project for this year is picking out fabric for this - or actually, not exactly that but another couch made by the same company that is very very similar (think the only difference is the legs really). Which means the plaid livingroom couch, which has featured so prominently in the photos on this blog, is soon to find itself out of the bunkle and hopefully in the arms (or under the butt of) someone else.

The plaid couch was my first major furniture purchase. I was 18, and still at home, but they had a sale on couches at Ikea and I picked this one up for $250. $250.
Jeans cost that these days. And it has lasted me over 20 years.

When I got the couch it was gray, and fit in neatly with my slick grey/red/black/white bedroom. Life got less slick, the gray got dirty, so I recovered the couch, with the help of my long-suffering boyfriend at the time. We went to so many fabric stores. So, so, very many (did I mention long-suffering?). And finally found the green plaid, which somehow felt right. So, I made patterns. I sewed. And re-sewed when the cushion covers were too big. I covered all the cushions, front and back. I covered the sides of the couch. Then I lost energy. So the "skirt" area at the front remained gray. As did the back, hidden behind the cushions. Then the long-suffering boyfriend and I split up (which I don't think had anything to do with the couch), my Mum came to visit me, and we finished the last bit.

And I've really liked the couch. And the fabric, despite its ... plaidiness. It is so loud that it is somehow neutral, at least to me. But the time has come to say goodbye. And in my maturity I am stuck with deciding which fabric will work best. Be neutral enough without being boring, or showing the various nastiness that appears on the couch due to my two furry roommates. Which is hard for me because I am not by nature a neutral lover. Give me red. Or patterns. But as you can see from the swatches above, I'm trying to make a more flexible choice.

Even though the cats look so great on patterns.