Monday, May 02, 2016

Rex

Hey! Remember that time I made up an app and called it Recs and entered it into a contest and it got second place (that is to say, it lost and was never heard of again)? You can read all about it here if you've forgotten.

Anyway, this morning I saw on Twitter that Jimmy Fallon was raving about this new app called Rex, which is exactly the same as my app in every possible way. Like, I had drawn up prospective screen shots for that app for the contest, and this app has all of the same features in all of the same places and the exact same overall concept and design. I'm not exaggerating; it was eerie. It was like that moment in It Takes Two (you know? The one with the Olsen twins?) when they see each other for the first time and they're so shocked to find out they have a look-alike. It was exactly like that, except I think somebody faints in that scene, and I didn't. I just gasped and yelled, "Jimmy Fallon! No! Mine!" I even pointed at myself as though he could see me. That was kind of silly. I should've just fainted.

Anyway.

It's so close that a couple of my friends have already texted this morning to say that they think I was unlawfully relieved of my intellectual property. I, however, am of the belief that everyone on the internet is good and trustworthy, and that no one steals anything from anybody. Hahaha.

But seriously, I do believe that there are a lot of people on the internet and sometimes two of them might have the exact same idea with the exact same name, layout, and design. It does happen. Somewhere out there is a guy with the same exact brain as me - isn't that terrifying?

In any case, I'm just glad this app exists now - that was the point in the beginning anyway. I wanted an app like this to exist and I couldn't find one like it, and I couldn't get anyone to build it for me, and now, here it is. And it's exactly what I wanted it to be, down to the name and design (though, I do like Recs better than Rex, if I'm being honest). This is a stroke of luck, I think.

ANYWAY. You should download Rex and find me on there (suzykrause). It's free. We can recommend stuff to each other. It's everything I ever wanted. Plus I didn't have to fund it. 

Monday, April 25, 2016

Monday and Chocolate Cake

It doesn't really feel like Monday. Barclay recently started this new job and now he works on strange days, and has strange days off, too. Yesterday felt like Saturday, because he worked on the actual Saturday so that felt like Friday, and today feels like it should be Sunday, but he has next Friday off so today is kind of like Tuesday.

I've always put a lot of stock into what day of the week it is. For example, when I wake up on a Friday, I'm instantly filled with a little rush, like I've just had a bite of chocolate cake. Yes! my brain says, It's FRIDAY. Good. Even if something sad happens or it's raining, the fact that it's Friday is enough.

On Saturday, conversely, I might wake up and think, Oh. Only two more days of weekend left. 

(A thing I need to work on is living in the moment - not too much, just enough to enjoy Saturdays instead of being sad that they end.) 

Anyway, it is Monday. I know it for sure, because I have plans. Exciting ones. 

Tonight, I'm going to this thing called Grownups Read Things They Wrote as Kids. It is exactly, exactly what it sounds like. If you live here, you should go. It's at the Artesian at 8. Bring chocolate cake, two forks, and sit right behind me.

And then tomorrow, Tuesday, which will feel kind of like Monday but also a little like Wednesday, I'm going to Talkies, which is a thing at the theatre in the public library where they show a terrible movie and two comedians sit in the front row with mics and make fun of what's happening on the screen the whole time - so, real-life Mystery Science Theatre 3000, if you know what that is. Admission is a donation (food or money) to the Regina Food Bank, so the evening ends up being a very nice hybrid of good deed and lazy selfish fun. You should come. Your face will hurt, and that's a promise. 

I have other plans too, on other nights, but you're not invited to those. Unless you bring chocolate cake.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Come In, Come In

(If you find yourself confused by this post, part I is here; maybe read that first)

My parents have been keeping me updated on the house progress via text and picture messages (for example, one day I got a text from Dad that said, "I think I got the flue!" accompanied by a selfie of him working on the chimney - he's never been one to shy away from a good dad joke. Or any other kind of dad joke.)

It's no small thing to move an old three-storey farmhouse 228 km, so there's lots to share, but I feel like most of you are just kind of itching to see the inside of this place. Let's call these the 'before' pictures, even though there'd already been a fair amount of work done before I took them.

Welcome:

Here's the front porch.




Step inside and to your left, and you're in the main floor's only bedroom. The next pictures are the dining room, living room, kitchen, butler's pantry, and staircase to the second floor.

(Hint: Look down if you're confused about which room you're in - no two floors are alike in this place.)



The second floor has four bedrooms and a bathroom - again, keep an eye on the floors. (The skateboard in the one bedroom did not come with the house. Mom and Dad have been using it to haul the cast-iron radiators out of the rooms they're working on. Those things are heavy.)



Last but not least: the attic, which is going to be one big bedroom.



And that's it. Or, a very condensed snapshot of it, anyway. More to come!

Monday, April 18, 2016

The House My Grandma Bought

Once upon a time, just a few months ago, my grandmother went to an estate auction sale to buy a buggy. Come to think of it, I'm not altogether sure what an 80-year-old woman in 2016 needs a buggy for, but I didn't think to ask because that's not even the most interesting part of this story.

The most interesting part is that she accidentally bought a house, as well.


This is the kind of thing that happens on TV, to Seinfeld or someone like that - a misunderstanding with disastrous but funny consequences, the kind that makes you laugh even while you shake your head and say, "That would never happen in real life, though." But the thing about my grandma is that I have a whole bunch of stories about her that sound like they've been pulled from the pages of a sitcom writer's notebook. I like to think, sometimes, that I've inherited a little bit of her luck in that area.

Anyway: the house.


It was a beautiful wood-frame Foursquare farmhouse, with a footprint of about 1000 square feet, three storeys high, all full of old books and vintage chairs and peeling wallpaper in every imaginable pattern and colour. The auctioneer noted its beauty and started the bidding at $30,000.

And no one bid on it.

The auctioneer was puzzled at this; there had been a lot of interest expressed in the house prior to the auction. He lowered the starting price to $20,000 - and still, no one bid.

"Alright," he said, "Let's start the bidding at $500 and work our way up there."

And still, no one bid.

My grandma decided to get the ball rolling. She had no intention of buying a house, of course, but she thought, If I just start the bidding, this thing'll take off. 

So she bid $500. Instead of taking off, however, 'this thing' laid down and died right in front of her.

Sold!

My mom says she received a text message that day from Grandma that read, simply, "Oh! I just bought a house!"


So, anyway, my grandma also bought a buggy that day, and my mom headed up to Gravelbourg, where all of this was taking place, to help her get the thing home. That's when she saw the house and, in the second great unplanned and unexpected incident of the day, fell completely in love with it.


To make a long story a little shorter: my grandma gave the house to my mom ("What's an 80-year-old woman going to do with a fixer-upper like that?"). My parents, in turn, sold the farm, and are currently in the process of restoring that old house into their dream retirement prairie mansion in the quaint little village of Frontier, Saskatchewan. If you know them at all, you know that this whole thing is pretty much a dream-come-true for them.

Here's a blurry picture of the house on the back of a truck, slowly making its way, uh, home.


I went and checked the place out this weekend, and left feeling so excited to see what they do with it, but also so excited that I don't have to help (I live 4.5 hours away, so phew). It's a needy little house. My mom's favourite kind.

Some of their friends have asked if they wouldn't mind keeping them updated on the reno process, and my mom, in turn, asked me if I wouldn't mind posting pictures here every once in a while so she can just direct that traffic this way. So, every once in a while, I'll post updates on the #fivehundreddollarfoursquare. You're more than welcome to follow along.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Tack Attack

Yesterday, as I walked across the floor, I felt a sensation in my foot, in the bridge part of my foot, in the very most sensitive, ticklish bit of it. It was not a tickle, but what it was, I could not tell you at the time. It was indiscernible. Like a shock, or a buzz, or a flash of heat. Had it made a sound? I couldn't tell you that either. Puzzled, I lifted my foot and assessed the situation.

A little round silver sticker. Oh. Whatever.

But then I tried to peel the silver sticker off of the bottom of my foot and realized that it was not a sticker, but a thumb tack. And the tack part was all the way in my foot. In the bridge part of my foot, in the very most sensitive, ticklish bit of it. And it was stuck.

Only then did I understand what the sensation was: pain. Absolutely, unmistakably. How had I missed that?

I pulled at it, but it stayed firmly imbedded in my foot skin. I contemplated leaving it there - what if I got it out and all of my blood drained out of my body via the bottom of my foot?

I took a deep breath and plucked it out. I felt like a hero in a movie who has to pull an arrow out of her own leg. I gritted my teeth and tried to do it without wincing. I'm only telling you this so you'll be really impressed and maybe cower a little in my presence next time you see me.

So, then, I looked in front of me and saw three more little silver thumb tacks. And a fourth! And a fifth! Thumb tacks everywhere!

And I have no idea why. Just none. All signs point to Kevin Mcallister.

So I spent a solid chunk of my afternooon scouring the living room for more thumb tacks (didn’t find any, only the five) and then vacuuming, because I didn’t want Sullivan and I to have matching mother/son foot piercings.

Is that a thing, do you think? In some other country, maybe? The USA, perhaps? Americans are weird, man.