embarassing moments and mustaches (oh and cherri)

check out my movember stache! kylie hates it, which is fun, but i love it. although with my new haircut i look like a cop.

up until a few days ago i had a soul patch as well. for a more refined look.

we had a bunch of plumbing issues pop up at our place all at the same time, so i have been busy working in tight spaces. everything is back to working order, except the tub faucet still bleeds a lot of pressure from the shower. i never did figure out what happened with our dishwasher, but just a thorough inspection seems to have taught it a lesson.
kylie's mom cherri came out to visit last week. we warned her she wasnt going to see the sun for a week, but it actually came out a few times. it was fun having her around. together kylie and cherri prepped our office to be transformed into a jungle themed bedroom.

finally a quick and disgusting true story that happened to me today. if you are squeamish stop reading now... i deliberately left this until the end.

last night all the infectious people i have been seeing at work finally caught up with me and i went to bed with stomach cramps. i assumed the cramps were related to me eating half a pan of smore brownies that kylie made, but the sudden need to run for the bathroom to empty my intestines in both directions made me realize that there was something more going on.

i slept intermittently until things calmed at 4:00 and woke up at 7:00am feeling a bit better. i was scheduled to assist in the OR and if i phoned in sick they would have to cancel the operations. i talked to the surgeon and he encouraged me to come on out and give it a try. eating a banana and an orange and feeling ok i decided i could cruise by the er and pick up some strong antinauseants and the surgeries could go on!

what i did not recon with was the masks. thick surgical masks with full eye shields off the top, and b/c these were total joint cases, the addition of a bizarre hood that looks like a diaphonous version of a snowmobiling suit.
put all that together and add on a double wraparound surgical smock that extends to mid shin and you have a pretty stuffy nausea inducing environment. i should have bailed right there.

instead i managed to hold it together for the first 30 min of the surgery and it was not until the bone saw began splattering little clots of pulped femur across the surgical field that my mouth suddenly flooded with saliva. the OR staff where all aware of my precarious position and thus it was no surprise when i gave my apologies and bolted from the room. unfortunately the garbage can i had counted on just outside room 4 had inexplicably been removed. i ran down the hall and around the corner to the change room but didnt make it. i vomited a nice thick mixture of banana, cliff bar and coffee but it didnt hit the ground. i kept running, realizing that it was being held in check by my layers of personal surgical draping. having that pleasant mixture in my mask did nothing to alleviate my nausea and, as often happens, the balance of my morning intake came up in my stomach's second attempt.

this time the volume of vomitus exceeded that available in my mask hood combo and, as my mask swelled to contain it against my mouth and nose it shot out to fill the space between the plastic shield and my eyes. still being several steps from the bathroom i had fleeting visions of drowning in my own vomit as i reached the garbage can and tore my mask off just as my vision was completely obscured. i took a big breath and glanced sideways to see a lucky recovery nurse who was just getting changed and thus was able to bear witness to this disturbing spectacle.

the OR was able to find someone else to rush in from home and take my place, so the nice lady got to have her new knee and in a noncontaminated fashion. i should have been firm and said i couldnt work and they would have found an assist and delayed the case a bit, but i guess i had to learn that lesson the hard way. i am feeling a bit better now, and have spent the whole day lying around reading and sleeping (thanks for "the lives of animals" steve, another book that makes my mind dance).

anyways, now i am left with a bit of embarassment, which should wear off as i dont work in the OR again for a few weeks, as well as the memory of what it feels like to drown in your own puke. lovely.


Ottawa Part Deux

After our lovely jaunt to Montreal we headed back to Ottawa to visit with Carlynne for a few days whilst Dan was off chasing (and eventually hunting) deer. We went to Parliament two days in a row, on the first day we went to Question Period and listened to a very lively discussion about h1n1. I remarked to Marc that I would never take a class there because afterwards when I asked them to be respectful they could come back with, "But in question period all the MP's texted on their cell phone . . . In question period all the MP's talked to eachother and didn't listen . . . But in question period the MP's all insulted each other. . . " Yes the list goes on and on but it was definitely interesting nonetheless.

Enjoying tea at the statues celebrating women's suffrage
Marc showing a deep respect for all the women who fought so hard to get the vote
On day two of our parliament adventure, we biked to Parliament from Carlynne's. Marc took this photo to trace our route. I am not really sure where we went but we covered a lot of these streets.
We took a tour of Parliament and went into the library. It was surprisingly bright with warm colours and beautifully carved wood. (Sorry no pictures allowed in the library! I had to find one on the net.)

Afterwards we went and watched the Senate, it was a refreshing change after the chaos that was question period. Thoughtful questions and reasoned answers!

When we were leaving there was a beautiful light hitting the hallowed halls (actually walls) of our governmental centre.

The library from the outside
On our way home we stopped for the quintessential Canadian snack - a beaver tail!

A paparazzi view of Stephen Harper's house

We also celebrated Halloween with Carlynne and went for a walk on a beautiful day.

Some of the many very small and cute trick or treaters that came to the door:
Afterwards some very big and cute chefs came to the door demanding candy. We gave them none, but they graciously gave us a ride to their friends house to play Beatles Rock Band.
All in all a lovely trip and a great restful time away! We picked up Niko in Revelstoke as soon as we got back and here he is with three of his walking buddies. Getting this picture of them all sitting and smiling was no small feat, so enjoy!! :)



on a crisp clear morning in ottawa, kylie and i were dropped off at the train station by dan, ushered into a neat canadian line to board the train (we have not lined up to board a train in any other country we've visited) and whisked by viarail to station centrale in the heart of downtown montreal. all of the montreal metro stations are designed in unique ways and many feature beautiful art.
upon exiting the train and making our way to the conveniently located metro station, it was immediately and clearly apparent to both kylie and i that we had entered another country, except that we hadnt. the buildings were older and more ornate, the locals dressed much more elegantly (especially the ladies... i dont think we saw a single hoodie or pair of lulu lemon pants) and all the signs were in a funny language that i could speak only with a deliberately appalling franglais accent.
this was our second time in montreal and we gravitated quickly to that which we loved most about the city: food and friends. our lovely B&B was located a block off of st. denis at its foodiest, and equally close to the restaurant/club district on prince arthur.

we had a quick walk to the sherbrooke metro station, through this lovely park. from there our pass touristique allowed us to thunder underground to any part of central montreal we wished to visit. on our first day we walked through mount royal park and downtown montreal, stopping at 2 different restaurants on st. denis to enjoy its culinary wonders.
the next day our friend kate picked us up at a chocolatier on st. denis (where one is encouraged to drink melted chocolate straight rather than dip things in in or apply it in small quantities to a crepe) and took us to her house in lesalle where we met her husband paul and their 2 year old daughter natalie. kate was a classmate of mine from medschool and we have availed ourselves of her hospitality on previous trips to both san francisco and montreal. with her parents' dedicated tutelate, natalie proved to be a budding bilingual prodigy, with a solid grip of 1-40 in english and french, as well as the alphabet and the days of the week.
paul, relishing his opportunity to be a stay at home dad, served up a fantastic chicken and chayote with cornbread. afterwards a walk was necessary to digest the cornbread, as well as the significance of giant chubby rock legs on the st. lawrence.
unfortunately, this is the only picture we have of kate and paul. the dark night was more conducive to the taking of silly pictures.

the next day was marked by a bike ride up mount royal to view the squirrels, the children and downtown montreal. we are proud to have participated in a mass transit revolution by renting 2 of the cities fleet of drop anywhere commuter bikes.

every park we went to in ottawa and montreal was overrun by cheeky squirrels.

these sturdy beasts of burden bore us up and down the mountain and all the way to fairmont bagels for some fresh sesame bagels. from there we took the back streets and back alleys, past some (dys)legitimate tagging:
and eventually back to the metro, where we returned our bikes and boarded a subway to meet our friend christine at the upstairs jazz club.
3 youngsters from gay paris were playing and they were fantastic. some old standards, some original material and a few unrepentantly deviant takes on current pop made up the bulk of the 2 sets we saw.
the food and the company were also excellent.

on our final day in montreal we wandered around downtown once more and met dan's brother jonathan, who gave us a tour of his adopted home neighbourhood around concordia university. we had some tasty lattes and then boarded the metro on a quest for the famous montreal smoked meat sandwich.
we found it. this place was crazy busy, and the people certainly did NOT come for the decor.

after a packed but restful time in montreal, we proceeded back to station centrale, encumbered with stained glass for carlynne and pipe tobacco for dan (and me) and were ceremoniously whisked back to ottawa where we were picked up by a smiling carlynne. spreading our family across the continent has made travelling so much easier!