Thursday, 31 July 2008

I'd Trade My Family And My Friends For An Endless Happy Hour

Things that are making my head UNmelt: Thursday Edition

It's not raining this morning. Not only is is not raining, the clouds are starting to disperse and it looks like the sun might push through. The forecast is for sun this weekend - cross your fingers.

I managed to grocery shop last night which means that we can eat real meals now, instead of subsisting on leftover pizza and cereal. My fridge is now full of fresh fruits and vegetables. Considering my fruit and vegetable intake for the last few days has consisted of drinking cranberry juice, I'd say this is a very good thing.

The Stella situation is sorted. Yesterday I got an email from one of the puppy boarders that rejected us. They've got an opening this weekend so Stella is in. We had to go for an interview yesterday (I'm not even kidding. Doggie Daycare is Serious Business in Vancouver.) Stella passed with flying colours (and by that I mean that fine, she pooped in the middle of the floor but she'd didn't bite any heads off and that is what's important, yes?) This particular doggie day care usually only boards 3 puppies at a time (because they board the puppies in their home) but because of the demand (long weekend) they're camping out in the daycare facility all weekend with 12 puppies. Stella will be one of the largest (they only accept small dogs, up to 20lbs - Stella squeaked through at 19lbs) so hopefully she behaves herself. She's staying for 2 nights and I think she'll have a blast.

Stella's stomach issue is fine now. She was a bit off yesterday morning but by the afternoon she was back to normal. She will likely have the same reaction when we give the next dose in 10 days but this time we'll be prepared. We'll give her the dose in the morning so hopefully it's run its course by bedtime. And we'll know to line everything with plastic. And not let her snuggle in our bed.

We are not paying the $500 bullshit fee for the Onsite Music Technician. The event coordinator emailed me back saying that it's a "standard charge" that they charge all customers. I wrote a pretty horrific email (the terms "unprofessional nitwit" and "big fat liar" were used liberally) but didn't send it. Turtle wrote something a little more mature - think controlled fury as opposed to crazy bridezilla - and I sent that instead. Oh and I copied the email to her manager. Long story short, we're not paying the fee. She's being pretty patronizing about it but I don't care. She can be as patronizing as she wants - we got what we wanted, which was to not pay the $500, and if she wants to say that they're "covering the charge" for us instead of admitting that it was a bullshit charge in the first place, that's fine by me.

I didn't manage ten hours of sleep last night but I did get almost seven. I feel almost human today. Of course it's only 9am so that could change.

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

The Wriggling, Squiggling Worm Inside Devours From The Inside Out

Warning: This post is nasty. It's gross and horrible and if you're eating (or planning to eat soon) I recommend that you not read it. Seriously.

Raise your hand if you're a worm-free puppy!

I took Stella to the vet last night. I walked her there so that when we arrived she'd be tired and sweet. It didn't work. That was the first lesson of the night: Stella does not tire. Ever. The second lesson? When your vet mumbles something, instead of saying "uh, okay!", ASK HIM TO REPEAT HIMSELF. Otherwise, he might tell you to hold on to her and when you pull her close to you, he might give you a funny look (warning sign!) Then, he might put TWO FINGERS in her bum and EXPRESS HER ANAL GLANDS. Expressing anal glands is messy. You might be wearing a fleece hoodie and you might get anal gland juice all over it, making you want to throw said fleece hoodie out because, really - will it ever feel clean enough to wear again?

So he took a look at her poop and decided that she's not wormy right now but she does need to take de-worming medication. His reasoning is that because we take her to the dog park a lot, she's exposed to worms and needs the medication yearly to keep her healthy. I'm pretty sure the real reason is that he wants me to spend NINETY FREAKING DOLLARS every year on FIVE MEASLY PILLS.

Stella and I walked home in the rain, both feeling very sorry for ourselves. Stella was so upset that she ninja-death-rolled a mud puddle. And then I cried.

After her bath, Stella's cone went back on. She's not wormy but she does really like to lick her bum. She's got to wear the cone for a few days so her ass-wound has time to dry up and heal. She is not impressed by the situation.

I gave her the dewormy pills in some peanut butter and thought that was the end of it.

I went to bed early last night. Stella came with me because she was still upset about the cone situation. Normally she sleeps in her crate beside our bed but when she's upset I let her sleep with us. I am a sucker like that. When she's really upset, she likes to burrow down under the covers and sleep on my feet. So she's curled up on my feet (cone and all) and I'm drifting off to sleep when all of a sudden I feel something wet and nasty on my legs. Stella threw up in my bed. She threw up a lot. In my bed. On my legs. I put her in her crate, strip the bed, put the sheets in the washing machine with pretty much half a bottle of Nature's Miracle, make the bed, and crawl back in. At this point I will still manage 7 hours of sleep before I have to get up for work. But Stella's having none of it. She starts to puke in her crate. Shawn takes her outside and she has some disastrous results from her other end. We put her back in her (now clean) crate but by the time she was finished being ill it was 1:30 in the morning. Which means that I managed a whole 5 hours of sleep last night and my melty head? SO MUCH MORE MELTY THAN YESTERDAY.

I called the vet this morning and he said that as long as the puking started more than 3 hours after she took the pills (it did), the medication did get into her bloodstream and will be effective and yes, we do have to repeat this in 10 days. He also said that this reaction isn't uncommon in puppies, which would have been helpful to know yesterday when I freaking asked if there was any side effects. If I had known that there was a possibility of vomit, I wouldn't have effing slept with her IN MY BED.

Um, please can you take this cone off me? Please?

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Well See I'm On To Your Scam And I'll Tell You How

Things that are making my head melt - Tuesday Edition:

The rain. It has been one of the driest Julys on record in Vancouver. We assumed that it would be sunny on our wedding day. We don't have a backup plan for the wedding photos. The wedding photos will be taken outside. Rain or shine, apparently. This just seems like a bad idea though, so perhaps instead of cursing the rain my energy would be better spent figuring out a freaking backup plan.

Stella. I think she has worms. I haven't seen any worms but she seems to have an itchy bum. She has licked a raw patch on her bum. Is this something that requires a trip to the vet or do I just go buy deworming stuff? I have no idea - help me out!

The event coordinator for our wedding. I haven't had any complaints so far. She hasn't been overbearing but she hasn't pulled a disappearing act either. The one thing that bothered me about her was her preference for talking vs writing stuff the eff down. I am very much an email person. I like having a solid record that I can reference if things go pear-shaped. A few months ago we signed a contract with the pub but because we didn't have the final numbers, it wasn't the final contract. On Monday we submitted out final number so it made sense that she wanted me to sign a new contract yesterday. Things seemed a bit off though, so I read through the whole thing and realized that she had added a new line item. Or rather she had changed a previous line item from Tech Rental - $0 to Onsite Music Technician - $500. The "onsite music technician" is the dj that she had told us was included at no extra cost to us. Of course I don't have that in a freaking email, she just told us verbally. I feel so manipulated by her - did she think I wouldn't read the contract? She made no mention of the change at all, she just sent the new contract and asked me to sign it because she'd inputted our final guest count and had a total dollar amount for the food and alcohol. So yesterday I emailed her (no more phone calls!) to ask her to clarify the situation. I wasn't hostile or angry (even though I am angry) I just told her that we understood we weren't going to be charged for the dj and she needs to sort it out. I haven't heard back from her yet and it's kind of eating away at me. Did I mention that she just told us that July 31st is her last day? She's moving to Calgary so someone new is taking over the coordination of our wedding. We've met the other woman once and she seems competent but the whole situation is MAKING MY HEAD MELT.

Work. I really should have taken time off before the wedding. Not to do wedding-related things (I'm almost finished!) but to take the time to do things for myself. Like spend the day at the dog park. Sleep in until noon. Get a freaking massage so maybe I'd stop being such a nutter. Shawn and I were working on the programs a few days ago and the words "I DON'T NEED TO RELAX! I NEED RESULTS!" were uttered by me. And by "uttered" I might mean "shouted."

I think that's everything that's driving me batty right now. I'm sure this list will grow as the wedding gets closer. Should make for an interesting week of posting, right?

Monday, 28 July 2008

You Should Know By Now You Were On My List

Ben asked (told?) me to list everything I have left to do in my final 10 days as an unmarried woman. I am nothing if not accommodating (oh, and lazy - because now I only have six days left before the wedding) so here I go:

Hillary's List of Doom

Assemble programs.

Attend Hillary's Bachelorette Party Take 2: GHB-free Edition.

Figure out if we're doing a rehearsal dinner (I KNOW, ok? It's too late to be dealing with this. There is just a lot of family drama to contend with and we're not sure if we can have a rehearsal dinner without somebody's parents killing each other.)

Figure out ninja flower plan for when Auntie Batshitcrazy shows up with mums.

Get rid of nasty zit that has shown up in my eyebrow (seriously, wtf?)

Find someone to take care of Stella (everyone we trust to take care of her will be at the wedding. All the kennels near us have been booked for months (I am shaking my fist at the stupid long weekend) so we're pretty much screwed.)

Figure out the seating arrangement.

Put labels on jam.

Make a list of must-take photos for photographer.

Get nails painted. Possibly get a massage if time permits.

CLEAN MY HOUSE ( I swept yesterday for the first time in about a month. I picked up enough dog hair to MAKE ANOTHER STELLA. I was tempted to post a picture.)

Write a speech about how much my friends and family rock for putting up with me throughout the whole wedding-planning process.

Hmm, it's just occurred to me that maybe Ben didn't want a to-do list. Maybe he meant I should list the things I want to accomplish before getting married. In which case, my list looks a little something like this:

1. Have sex with David Usher.
2. Have sex with Ian Thornley.
(though both are on my laminated list, so should the opportunity present itself, it doesn't matter if I'm married or not. In theory.)
3. Live with a roommate. (I've lived with my family, on my own and with Shawn, but never with a roommate. I feel like I've missed out on pillowfights and pyjama parties aplenty.)

That's honestly all I can come up with for now. I think that's a good sign.

And Do Me Just This Little Favour

When we chose jam for our wedding favours, we decided that we needed a truly cheesy label. My favourite wedding favour I've received was a jar of honey with a label saying "Meant to Bee!" Don't even try to tell me that you didn't giggle when you read that. We wanted a label that said "Thanks for jamming with us!" not only because of the jam (duh) but because Shawn and his friends are all musicians and there will be some jamming. One of the reasons (ok - besides pissing off my mother - the main reason) we chose to have the wedding in the pub is because of its live music capabilities. So I went online and found a label company that specializes in small print run labels (we wanted cheesy labels; we didn't want 2,000 cheesy labels.) Everything was going great, I entered all my info, the price wasn't too steep, I'm headed to check-out and BAM! Out of nowhere I'm hit with the Stupid International Shipping Charge. By this point I was really invested in the labels. I worked so freaking hard to make the jam (I burned myself! Repeatedly! There were blisters!) and the labels were the perfect way to present them. I neeeeeded those labels. I couldn't justify over $20 in shipping, duty and tax though. I was devastated for about 20 seconds until the fabulous Over-Thinker swooped in and saved the day.

Dear Over-Thinker,

Thank you for saving my ass and rocking my world.

Love Hillary

I Put Some New Shoes On And Suddenly Everything Is Right

I am not a very good shopper. I do not enjoy shopping. I am an efficient shopper - I'm in, I'm out. No faffing. Shopping is not a hobby of mine.

I have been looking for wedding shoes for months. I had something very particular in mind. I wanted red shoes (but not hooker red) high heels (but not too high) with a strap. I wanted these but in red (though I would have taken these as my second choice.) I own them in black and they are the most comfortable heels I own. When I bought mine (about a year ago) they came in red also and I am kicking myself for not buying them. Anyway, I could not find red shoes that I liked anywhere. Yesterday Turtle and I spent 5 hours looking for shoes at the busiest (and largest) mall in BC. It was my own little version of Hell. However, eleventy million hours and (no exaggeration) at least 12 shoe stores later - we were victorious.

I gave up the idea of red shoes about halfway through the day. My only criteria was that they fit and not be boring. Two things I think I accomplished. I'm going to give them a test run this week and hopefully my feet don't end up too mangled.

I'm thinking the granite countertop was not the best background for the photos - sorry!

I was so happy that we were finally done shoe shopping that I splurged and bought myself these:

My excuse is that they're my "reception" shoes (in case the heels get too uncomfortable.) Love them. I have them on right now and they are so comfortable.

Thursday, 24 July 2008

You're A Topshop Princess, A Rockstar Too

July Bug awarded me with this:

because she is awesome (and clearly has good taste.) Today is her birthday - go tell her I say hi.
I am going to pass this along to Alice because she makes me laugh and knows good drinking games. Also? She is a very responsible pet owner and organises blood drives in her spare time.
Dear Alice,
Thanks for being fabulous.
Love Hillary

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

But I Will Find Him Sittin' On My Doorstep Waiting For The Surprise

How Shawn melts my brain and makes me love him simultaneously:

Example A

Hillary: We need to apply for a marriage licence this week.

Shawn: We don't have a marriage licence yet?

Hillary: Well have you applied for it?

Shawn: No.

Hillary: ...

Shawn: I thought you would have done it by now.

Hillary: *shooting evil death glare*

Shawn: Want to go for ice cream?

Example B

Last night Shawn informed me that he is planning a surprise for me. A wedding surprise. A surprise at the wedding. Does this seem like a bad idea to anyone else? Because I was all "you can't doooo this to me!" which I know seems really ungrateful but let me explain:

A: I do not love surprises under normal circumstances; under extremely emotional, potentially stressful circumstances, a surprise just seems like a bad idea.

B: I obsess over everything. By telling me 3 weeks in advance that he's planning a surprise, it's pretty much guaranteed that I will not stop thinking (or talking) about potential surprises for the next 3 weeks. This is bad for everyone involved.

C: I dream big. Since finding out about the surprise, I've already come up with the following:

-Shawn and my friends in England have coordinated a "we flew 9 hours to come to your wedding!" surprise
-Shawn has finally given in to my plea that Stella needs a baby brother and will present me with a brand! new! puppy!
-Shawn has finally convinced the rest of the band that they need to cover "Summer of '69" (because seriously - WHO REFUSES THE BRIDE'S SONG REQUEST??)

when really, the surprise is probably more along the lines of "hey! look! we got solid-coloured ties!"

That being said, is it not the sweetest thing that he's planning a surprise? Gah - he frustrates me beyond belief but he also manages to make me feel warm and fuzzy at the same time.

Three Or Four Hourglass

Three years ago, Angella started blogging - go say Congratulations! Leave a comment and you'll be in the running for some swag.

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

A Breath Of Zen That's Nice

Last week, Emily at Pantalones Del Feugo left me a comment on my 'dahlias are better than mums BECAUSE I SAID SO' rant:

"From having been a bride so recently, I can guarantee you that on the day of the wedding you will be having so much fun and be so overwhelmed by love and joy that the flower arrangements will be the furthest thing from your mind."

Emily = smart.

Before we started planning the wedding, if you asked me if I preferred dahlias or mums, I would have looked at you like you were a crazy person. Now I can't stop extolling the virtues of dahlias (they're so pretty and colourful and I LOVE THEM) when really, everything I say about them pertains to mums as well (pretty, colourful, ok maybe not the love part.) Who cares what kind of flowers I have? Do I actually care? Is this what's important? I'm driving myself crazy, stressing myself out, losing sleep over FLOWERS. I hate myself a little right now.

So I went to Emily's site and stalked her wedding posts. She looks so happy and so peaceful. Hers is the type of wedding I want. I want it to be relaxed and beautiful and I want everyone to have a good time. So I have 3 weeks to stop freaking out over the little stuff. If I want the wedding to be relaxed, I need to be relaxed.

Monday, 14 July 2008

Still You Rack 'em Up, Knock 'em Back, Line 'em Up, Put 'em Down

My brain is on strike right now. It is fed up with too many late nights and too many cocktails and too much heat (Kelowna? Is f-ing hot. Dear Kelowna, I hate you. Love Hillary.) Due to lack of brain power, this post will consist of many pictures and few words.

We stayed at a lovely resort on Lake Okanagan. There were 11 of us sharing a 3 bedroom suite (the only way we could afford to stay there.) It was a bit cozy but the massive patio more than made up for it.

Shawn enjoying the patio

The view from our room

K's wedding was beautiful. She looked gorgeous. There were a few snafus along the way (the marriage commissioner got 2 flat tires on the way to the ceremony - 2! - so it started an hour late) but at the end of the day K and L were married.

K & L sealing the deal

Here I am, expending far too much energy trying not to cry and willing my dress to stay up:

Which brings me to:

my boobies (or lack thereof.) Thanks for all your tips - the comments you guys left were hilarious. As a teenager I spent a lot of time being angsty about my lack of boobage; I'm so glad that I can laugh about it now. And laugh I did - you guys crack me up.

So last week I went out and bought some chicken fillets or "realistic silicone mini inserts" as they're called on the box. Unfortunately the realistic silicone mini inserts weren't quite enough so I had to buy a massively padded bra as well. Buying the realistic silicone mini inserts was funny. I was awkward, the saleslady who I had to ask for help was embarrassed, all in all it was pretty humorous. Buying the massively padded bra made me die a little inside. I don't know why, it just depressed me. It all turned out okay though - the chicken fillets, the padded bra AND double-sided tape kept my dress on all night. Though the double-sided tape + STUPID KELOWNA HEAT = rash. It's lovely. I have 4 rectangular rashes on my chest and back (which I will spare you photos of.)

The result:

I'm not exaggerating when I say that maybe 25% of that rack is actually mine. Perhaps a tad mortifying but good blog fodder, right?

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

One Backless Strapless Copper Thread Gown

I'm going to Kelowna for K's wedding this weekend. My dress? My bridesmaid dress? DOES NOT FIT. We ordered the dresses back in January. Since then, Stella has come into my life and my daily level of activity has shot way up and my ability to snack has decreased. This has resulted in some very satisfying weight loss. Unfortunately, when I lose weight I lose it in my upper body (read: boobs and belly.) The dress is strapless. I tried it on last night to see if a new strapless bra is required or if the one I've got will work with the dress. Turns out that what I require is some new boobies. New, bigger boobies. By Saturday. How else do you hold up a strapless dress? I've never worn a strapless dress before. Right now the dress sits halfway down my chest. It is unwearable. There is no stretch to the material (I have no idea what the fabric is - some sort of shiny bridesmaid dress fabric. In ice blue. I don't want to talk about it.) There's not enough time to get it altered by a real tailor, so my plan is to get my Mom to safety pin it (I cannot be trusted with pointy objects, especially if I'm trying to pin something I'm wearing at the time) and hope it doesn't look too silly. Another thought I had is to try the double-sided tape that fancy ladies use to tape their low-cut tops to their chests to preserve their modesty. Has anyone used this before? I don't even know where I would buy it. I leave in 3 days and this needs to be resolved before then or K will kick my ass.

Oooh, also? I am driving up without Shawn (he's flying up on Saturday to avoid all the rehearsal / last day craziness) which means that I get to listen to my music for 5 straight hours. I need some roadtrip music suggestions. It's got to be upbeat enough that I don't fall asleep (I'm leaving really early Friday morning) but not too upbeat (because I can't afford any speeding tickets.)

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Lay All Your Love On Me

Stella doing what she does best (which is look adorable, if you haven't already guessed:)

Thursday, 3 July 2008

I'll Wake Up In Strawberry Fields Every Day

Happy 4th of July! What better way to celebrate the birthday of the United States than to tell you about my Canada Day. Canada Day was on a Tuesday this year, which would have been great had my boss decided to be generous and close the office on Monday. He did not decide to be generous, however, so I had to work on Monday and then had Tuesday off.

It doesn't feel like summer until the strawberries are out. The local berries were late this year because of our rainy spring but this week I managed to score myself some.

Local strawberries = strawberry jam!

First I smashed them up:
Then I added a ridiculous amount of sugar:
Then I cooked it until it got nice and bubbly:
Then I poured it into these cute little jars:
Then I boiled them so no-one at the wedding gets botulism:
(everyone knows that a wedding that includes botulism = Worst Wedding Ever!)

The end result:
I think (knock on wood) that I am finished making jam. At this point we have 121 little jars of jam for the wedding favours. We have less than 121 guests so I think we're in good shape. Unless something catastrophic happens to the jam and the seals break, I won't have to make any more jam this year (unless I want to.)

It turns out that I am not the only fan of local strawberries.

I love the staring contest she is having with the strawberry. She's totally winning.

It's mandatory to make strawberry shortcake with the first batch of local strawberries. I don't make the rules, I just follow them.

After all our strawberry fun, I took Stella to my parents' house. She loves running around in the yard with Toby. Toby is afraid of cameras but I managed to snap one picture while he was preoccupied (my Dad was on the other side of the gate, about to come into the yard.)

Toby is a black lab German Shepard cross. He is a big dog. Stella doesn't care (actually, she probably doesn't realize) that she is so much smaller than he is. She jumps all over him and tries to get him to chase her around the yard. Toby is turning 11 years old this year so there isn't much chasing going on. That doesn't prevent Stella from trying to provoke him every 30 seconds though. Poor old Toby is very patient with her and just tries to ignore her.

Stella has a giant tongue. And yes, that is dirt on it.

I couldn't stop laughing as I snapped this photo.

Stella does not appreciate being laughed at.

Right, so just to round out this completely random, photo-filled post, here is a picture of some flowers I bought yesterday. I bought them from a street-vendor for $10. Beautiful, right? This will be my back-up for when my aunt shows up with mums. Not these specific flowers, but the street-vendor. I will out-manipulate the manipulator. Hopefully.