Board Games Sunday

Someone had an idea to have another board games Sunday, after a successful one in December that I missed (because I was short filmmaking? I can’t remember). It’s easy in the winter to stay at home most of the time, and yesterday I wanted to have a boring Saturday after last week’s shenanigans of getting locked out for the evening. But after a day of laundry and cleaning, I was ready to emerge again.

Uno mania

Uno mania

A bunch of us met up at The Rhino for a round of games (the cardboard kind versus the electronic kind) over food and bevs. I brought my turntable Scrabble, regular Scrabble, and Taboo, and when I arrived there was already a heated game of Uno at one end of the table. The game pile also included backgammon, Chinese checkers, and Mikado.

Taboo is always interesting when players are from different countries and have varying commands of the English language :) Actually, it’s more fun when there’s a cultural mix, because the “cuers” have to be very creative in getting their team to guess the word. I used to play Taboo a lot in Edinburgh when I was the assistant manager of the Bruntsfield Youth Hostel. I’d gather a group of hostellers together to participate and we’d play late into the night — the larger the teams, the louder it became!

the big squeeze

the big squeeze

Yesterday was “Free Hug Day” and a bunch of our group had hugged random people in front of Eaton Centre for THREE HOURS which made for some hilarious stories this afternoon.

More pics from today:

The Test Of Time

Volubilis, Morocco

Volubilis, Morocco

More on Volubilis, Morocco.

I’m adding it to the Morocco set, which is best viewed as a full-screen slideshow, or watch a smaller version autoplay in the slideshow below:

Continue reading

All Better Now

all better

Whatever Beano did to his leg, it’s all better now. He’s running around the house without a limp, leaping and bounding without stiffness or creakiness.

He looks bigger than Xena in this picture, but it’s an illusion — he’s actually smaller. They don’t usually lie this close together, Xena hisses him away. She doesn’t seem to mind today, maybe because she’s been racing around all morning and more than ready for a catnap.



I happened to come by a box of Smarties yesterday. An HR firm sent a box to my manager, and it went through a screening process that involved explosives detection and probably high-tech x-ray because I work in a security-sensitive area of the government. It eventually landed on my desk — stamped, screened envelope and all. As you can tell by the marzipan post further down, I will not turn away a box of chocolate.

For the Smarty-pants out there, note the message on the box telling you what is NOT contained inside… nutrition, THAT’S WHAT. I feel a whole lot Smarter now that I read this important message.

And yes, I did eat a red one last.

Unhappy Vet-Bound Beano

unhappy vet-bound Beano

A very bad cameraphone pic of a very unhappy vet-bound Beano. He has such plaintive crying that it sounds like I’ve got him in a torture device all the way to the vet, which is about half an hour away. I know I could find a vet nearby, but everyone at the office knows Beano and his history with Arliin. I’m not about to introduce him to new handlers (he already has me!).

Morning came all too soon, and I woke up to a persistent Xena poking at me with her claws as if to say, “Hey, we’re up — feed us!”

I got ready, fed the beasts and cleaned out the litter tray before putting Beano — under protest — in the carrier to head off north to The Hall of Beastly Hell otherwise known as the vet’s office. Beano wailed like a banshee through morning rush hour.


Beano’s hind left leg had no specific areas of bone pain, so the vet thinks it is likely soft tissue damage, perhaps some bruising from a bad landing. Or maybe arthritis. Beano was putting weight on it, so it wasn’t fractured. I foregoed the x-rays, as I didn’t want to put him through anything unnecessary.

Beano’s kidney levels are good (WHEW), actually better than in November. His blood pressure was checked, and it’s good. He now has a heart murmur, though, which he didn’t have on his last visit. Could be an indicator of hyperthyroid. He’s also lost half a pound, which doesn’t sound like much, but he’s a small cat.

By the time I picked Beano up after work, whatever displeasure he’d had on reserve was unleashed on the way back, like he’d just HAD ENOUGH. By the time we were halfway home he was pounding and rattling the carrier with his paws.

All in all, it was an expensive day of tests but it could’ve been much worse. I’m going to keep an eye on Beano’s leg, and if it doesn’t improve completely I’ll take him in for x-rays. For now, he still has a limp but at least his kidneys are holding up!

Mmmmm…. Marzipan!

marzipan is my weakness!

I just got these tonight and look how many I scoffed already! Someone who’s staying with me flew in from Germany tonight, and my request was for marzipan. You’d think it’s been ages since I’ve had any, but it’s been only a couple of months since Iris sent me a batch of marzipan through the mail.

I have to hide the rest of this box in the freezer before I eat it all in one sitting. Out of sight, out of mind and all that. At least, I hope so! (I’ll call it my fortitude indulgence since I have to wake up early to get The Old Bean to the vet.)

Oh No! Not the Vet Again!

Beano finds another hiding place

Just before I left for work this morning, I found Beano limping and not putting weight on his left hind leg. I wondered if he tried jumping on the table and slipped off and sprained his leg, or if he’d actually broken it. I gave him the day to recover and checked on him again when I got home. Beano wasn’t putting full weight on it, but he still managed to leap up into this cupboard and on the bed. His leg can’t be broken if he’s jumping around, can it?? Is it some kind of muscle problem and not his leg?? I really couldn’t tell. I phoned the vet’s office this evening and described how he was walking, but the only way to know is to take him in.

I’m dropping Beano off tomorrow morning before work, so we’ll see what the doctor says. I hope it’s something simple and treatable and doesn’t require selling my car or a kidney… I don’t even know how much an x-ray costs. I was supposed to inject Beano this evening, but I’m going to leave it to the vet techs since they have him all day. Oh boy, is he ever going to have fun tomorrow…

It’s times like this I wish our pets could talk!

hiding in the closet