Hubby’s blog

Check it out. Makes mine look like it was scrapbooked by a second grader.

https://theneedlefish.com/

Possibly my favourite post so far (I even tweeted about it):

https://theneedlefish.com/2017/05/27/my-bro-said-the-best-line-ever/

Please read if you need a laugh.

And his views on politics are always a good read:

https://theneedlefish.com/2017/05/17/sally-yates-is-my-hero/

https://theneedlefish.com/2017/05/27/an-idiot-abroad/

 

Super Burger vs. Champ Burger: my great novel-to-be

I drove up to Owen Sound this week for work. When it’s good weather, and it was for January, it’s not a bad drive. Highway 10 passes through lots of small southwestern Ontario towns, including one called Primrose just outside of Shelburne. Lots of churches, gas stations, and diners along the route. Fruit and vegetable stands at the side of the road in the summer, I imagine.

At the corner of Hwys. 10 and 89 (a “major” intersection on the route), an odd juxtaposition caught my eye. On the northwest corner, there’s a burger joint called “Super Burger”. And then right across the highway, on the northeast corner, there’s another burger joint called “Champ Burger”. They both look a bit neglected, at least from my vantage point. But they are clearly rivals. One’s ‘super’ (like Superman), one’s a ‘champ’ (like Rocky). (I’ll let the comic book nerds tell me who wins in a Superman vs. Rocky fight. I pick Superman.)

superburger

I just knew there had to be a story there. My imagination got working, and I envisioned a whole saga of friendship/love, ambition, and partnership. Building a business together, and then a misunderstanding, a fallout, a sordid break-up. Culminating in … a betrayal. A knife in the back; calculated revenge; cut-throat competition; and finally a burger joint rivalry right across the highway! Possibly theft of an old family BBQ sauce recipe in the mix.

Is this the foundation for the great Ontario novel? Local eccentrics, small town politics, big egos and bigger insecurities. It was writing itself in my head. Although the names of the burger joints would have to be changed, because, let’s face it, they are kinda lame.

I lazily googled this morning, and as it turns out, there is a feud. The small town of Primrose is divided! Families are torn apart! Dad’s loyal to Super Burger (the original, called “venerable”), the kids to Champ Burger (the “upstart”). It’s like the civil war, brother vs. brother. Although really not so much.

Burger war divides families and Ontario town

One review on Tripadvisor is pro-Champ, dismissively concluding: “Tourists go to Super Burger. Locals eat at Champs.”

Anyways, I think my version of the story is way more dramatic, and I may just write it. Think Waitress meets Dallas meets What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. Although I like the tourist vs. locals angle. I think I’ll use it.

Feel free to option the film rights now, while they are still available!

Recurring dreams

I’ve always had recurring dreams. But they keep changing as I get older.

When I was a baby lawyer, I had four constantly recurring dreams (which were shared by hubby – I don’t know if that means we are soulmates or if all baby lawyers have the same stress dreams):

  • The exam dream. Pretty obvious. The exam is tomorrow, and I haven’t been to class all term. (I actually pretty much lived this in a couple of my undergrad classes.) But in my dreams, the class was always Grade 12 French.
  • The tooth dream. My tooth is loose, and then my tongue is playing with it, and then it falls out. Repeat.
  • The extra rooms dream. This was always a good dream, so of course I had it less often. You find a room in your apartment/house that you forgot was there. (The apartment house was never my actual apartment/house — it was always super modern or Victorian — usually many many levels.) The newly-discovered extra room is usually full of old furniture and crap, but it has great light and space, and with a ton of work, it will be a great new space. Such an optimistic dream – what an opportunity! Hubby discovered a lighthouse once (OH, he forgot his home had a lighthouse attached to it!).
  • The phone dream. I’m dialing the phone, and I make a mistake, and have to start again. Repeat 8000 times. (I blame my first law firm for this – for long distance client calls, you had to enter the billing code before the phone number in order to bill the client for the long distance charges. And I did a lot of work with Australian clients. Between billing codes and country codes, there were about 30 numbers to enter, and a mistake was not uncommon.)

I almost never have the exam dream anymore. I figure this is because I live the exam dream every day at the office. Here’s a new client, new problem – ready, set, go – solve their issue immediately. Every day is like writing an exam, and it doesn’t stress me as much as it used to.

Ditto the tooth dream, happily, and the extra rooms dream, which is a loss.

Recently I’m having dreams of living in a dormitory – communal living, multiple rumpled beds. And the communal space is full of my hoarded, piled up crap – for example, 200 empty dirty margarine containers in a drawer. There’s often clothing everywhere, and it’s old and ratty and needs to be thrown out. There are old notebooks and text books, and my stuff spills out of my space and into the space of my roommates (who are NEVER there).

Last night I had the dorm dream again, and this time I kept getting new deliveries at my dorm desk every few minutes – greeting cards, cheap jewelry, chocolate bars. I’d open them and throw them away (I don’t want this!), and a new delivery of new crap would arrive.

My googling tells me this means I need space in my life – probably personal space. My work may be taking up too much of my time.

That’s probably right.

What are your recurring dreams and what do you think they mean?

2017 happiness challenge

I saw this on Pinterest and thought I’d give it a try (it says it’s a “no-fail” happiness challenge, right?). Although, should happiness be challenging?

Day 1:  Name three new things you are grateful for when you wake up. Continue for 29 more days.

happinesschallenge

  1. I’ve woken up (will not always be the case)
  2. It’s a holiday today
  3. About 100 books are waiting for me on my Kindle

2016 continues to suck

2016 basically sucked, is the consensus. Professionally, politically, artistically.  A bit of a turd all around.

I’m in particular this week thinking about my former colleague at Bell and Osler, Geoff Taber, who died on Christmas Eve with his family in a horrible fire. It’s unthinkable. All of his hard work, his energy, his dreams for himself, for his future, for his boys. Gone.

RIP Taber.

Xmas Eve dinner: change of plans

Roast beast is still in the fridge.  Since hubby is sick (we think it’s the flu – should have gotten the flu shot!), I thought French onion soup would be comforting and restorative.

frenchonionsoup

The bowls and the recipe were a gift from my dear late friend Susan. I made my own croutons from a baguette, cubed, and tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper, then baked on a cookie pan for 10 minutes @ 350F.

The recipe is remarkably imprecise, yet works every time. No fail, I guess.

Ingredients

4-6 small onions, thinly sliced
2-3 T butter
2 T flour
4-6 cups beef broth (about 4)
1 cup scalded milk
1/4 cup sherry (Susan said it’s optional – it’s not!)
1-2 blocks gruyere, shredded
croutons to fill the bowls
Freshly ground pepper

Instructions

Saute onions in butter, stirring frequently.  Do not brown!

Add flour and stir into onions.

Add beef broth and bring to boil. Reduce and let simmer for 10 minutes.

Prepare bowls – croutons on bottom, followed by 1/2 grated cheese & pepper.

Scald milk – add to onion mix after 10 minutes. Add sherry.

Pour mixture into bowls, top with remaining cheese.

Bake in 450F oven for 10-15 minutes.

Enjoy.