Thursday, May 3, 2012

Short thoughts.

HELLO FRIENDS!!!!! I should really make this into a "vlog" so that you could see, via video, how excited I am when I greet you. Sorry it's been so long!

My life right now is basically stay-at-home-mom, but without kids. That's not really true. I'm still in school, but it's only two classes and they're in the evenings. During the day, I try not to mope and feel depressed about not having a job. Searching for a job is my full-time job right now. I also go to the gym SOMEtimes, try to clean up and do laundry, and make food. Plus I do crafty projects!

On Sunday is my dad's birthday, so my folks are coming to Toronto and we have to figure out where to take them for dinner. We want something within walking distance of our house, so we're currently debating between The Grand Hive and Bannock. Opinions?

I know I've talked about Loblaws at Maple Leaf Gardens before, but I have to mention it again because it's a place that I visit several times a week. Not only do they have every grocery item imaginable, but the potential for people-watching is almost as great as at the mall. I've started noticing the "regulars" though, and it's pretty hilarious. The best regular is this SUPER ANCIENT old man, who sits in one of the eating areas in the evenings with a full baguette (like one that's two feet long) and just chews away at it. He's very content just sitting and eating his bread and watching everyone pass by. My first thought is always - where did you hang out prior to November when this place opened? Did you have another spot where you sat and ate bread? Or was this the first time you really appreciated bread and now you just have to have a full baguette every day?

Monday, April 2, 2012


Hey crew, hope your weekend was one of the best ever. Here's a little rundown for you: on Friday night, the gang and I went to Highway 61 Southern BBQ on Bayview for a whole lotta meat. We had to wait a pretty long time to get a table, but it ended up being worth it because this was one of the best meals I've had in an extremely long time. I ordered the baby back ribs with bourbon sauce, and shared with my sis Joy who had the beef brisket. Both were AMAZING. To the point where my sleeves were pretty much covered in sauce because I was yamming it in like a crazy person. Here's my friendo Will enjoying some meat (photo cred: TJ Goertz).

I think the enjoyment of all the meat was majorly enhanced by the music and the environment. It was this really hot upper room with low ceilings and wooden walls. The staff were all incredibly friendly and upbeat and awesome. When Mel ordered another pint of whatever beer she was drinking, they brought her a glass three-quarters full and said it was on the house because it was the end of the keg. Stuff like that is just nice, you know? Oh, and so there was this incredible folky band playing.... I can't remember what they were called and I really don't like that type of music generally. But it just fit the atmosphere and the food so well! The singer's voice was so amazing and we couldn't get over how good they were. I yelled out "We like you guys" between songs at one point, and that went over pretty well.

So Friday night was solid all-around. Saturday was really busy and ended with a great birthday party in the previously unexplored Long Branch neighborhood. I met this 4 year old named Maya there (the one kid at the party), and she was pretty hilarious. I told her I knew a baby named Maya, and she said, "So when that baby grows up, she'll have the same name as me." I told her she was right, but that the baby already does have the same name as her. I don't know if that really made sense to her though. Maybe in her mind babies are nameless until they get a little older.

And NOW I am dealing with a whole bunch of school idiocracy and trying to figure out what to do when you realize your group member is plagiarizing. Good times. Have a great Monday!

Thursday, March 29, 2012


Seriously, FOR REAL this time, I am back. I have so many opinions in my mind and so many experiences to write about on this WEB LOG, that I'm really cheating the general public if I don't blog on a regular basis.

Lately I've been attending the lovely University of Toronto, working towards my Certified Human Resources Professional degree. I haven't had any luck trying to break into the elusive world of HR yet. It's odd, because a lot of people in my classes are already working in HR, without having a solid knowledge base or any experience at all. I know that I'm a pretty quick learner and a really hard worker, so what do they have that I don't? Probably just luck.


Today I went to the new Loblaw's at Maple Leaf Gardens. I probably stop in there about 3-4 times a week, since it's right across the street, and it's the best grocery store I've ever experienced. I had to get some of the usuals, like eggs and other boring things, but I also had a hankering for some earl grey tea WITH ROSES. After going with my lovely friend Erin to the Windsor Arms Hotel last week for high tea, I can't stop thinking about how incredibly tasty that tea was.

The great thing about the new Loblaw's is they have all these specialized little sections for anything you could possibly want, and one of them is a tea section. Aside from the disgusting-looking clump of what looks like manure that is always prominently displayed on the counter, the tea section is pretty delightful. They always have free samples and when you start asking about a certain type of tea, they'll take down a bunch for you to sniff. I love smelling things and usually my love of smelling things makes people look at me a little oddly. BUT, at the tea section you are ENCOURAGED to take a huge whiff, which is so fun. I discovered a little gem called "Blend 103", which smelled incredible, and promises to be a "delicate blend" of teas (including earl grey) along with rose petals. I haven't tried it yet but I'm really excited to see if it tastes as good as it smells!!!!

Now I have to finish my accounting homework and bake some banana bread. Sayonara.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Anyone who knows me knows that I live for reading. Books excite me. I am a book hoarder. Etc. Etc. Etc.

I've decided I should start to review some of what I read, so you will all be privy to my strongly worded opinions. This idea immediately makes me think of the hundreds (actually thousands) of books I've read in my life that I haven't reviewed, but have wanted to talk to someone about after reading. Despite that daunting feeling and the slight urge to track down the majority of all books I've read, in order to read them again and properly review them, I will simply start now, from here on.

Last night I finished "Recipes for a Perfect Marriage" by Morag Prunty. Did I buy this because I'm getting married in 46 days and want to read marriage-themed books? No. I bought it because it was on the "3 for $10" table at the World's Biggest Bookstore. I actually pick up a lot of those clearance books, and it's a total lottery. I've found amazing books that I absolutely LOVE, and others that are so horrible that they go directly into the recycling bin. (That's my hugest 'YOU SUCK' statement to a book: refusing to pass it on to someone or put it in the giveaway pile, bypassing these options for a direct CHUCK, because no one else should be subjected to its awfulness.)

(Side note: Morag Prunty is an Irish author - I seem to find a lot of Irish authoress' works on clearance racks at bookstores, and so far, I've thoroughly enjoyed every one of them.)

Anyways, "Recipes for a Perfect Marriage" was a novel containing two interspersed stories, one from the perspective of a woman in her late thirties who had just gotten married, and the other, her grandmother. The book started with the younger woman, Tressa, wondering if she'd married the right guy, and knowing that she didn't really love her husband as much as she should - guiltily feeling like she married him just to be married. She had always looked up to her grandmother, Bernadine, and felt like she'd had such a perfect marriage to her (now dead) grandfather. But as Tressa reads Bernadine's stories, she realizes her grandmother had a past love and was somewhat forced into marrying James, her grandfather. Over the years she learned to love him, so that finally theirs was a marriage of love and partnership and respect, even though it didn't start out that way. Her grandmother's journals help Tressa realize that marriage isn't necessarily all about feeling 'in love' every single moment, but that it's a choice, and she makes some bad decisions before realizing that she does want to stay married to her husband.

Reading that summary, the book sounds boring and trite. It wasn't. However, I think the one overused feature in it was the fact that there was a recipe at the beginning of each book. I have read SO many novels that incorporate the food theme, how food and love go together, and especially where the grandmother is passing down recipes to the grandmother. I'm more than a little sick of it. Yes, we all know food is important, we all know we'll never bake and cook as well as our grandmothers did. Stop trying to bait my emotions with this tactic.

That being said, I really, really liked this book. Typically, books written for females involve a lot of crap about following one's heart and being in love, as well as decisions based on feelings, emotion, and not a whole lot of grey matter. I think marriage is much more about a choice to love someone despite your sometimes varying feelings for them, knowing full well that your commitment to that person won't equal goopy lovesick emotion all the time. So generally, my reaction to "chick lit" books where women run off and have affairs and do whatever they feel like at that moment isn't favourable. Which is why I really liked this book. Granted, (SPOILER ALERT) the main character did have an affair, which was ridiculous and not totally fitting with her behaviour previously in the book. BUT, I liked the author's emphasis on a real-ish marriage relationship, and the fact that life sucks a lot of the time. The recipes at the beginnings of the chapters were accompanied by quotes, such as "You don't have to feel love to give it" or "When it feels difficult to give, give more." I liked these quotes. They were refreshing and wise and real, and gave the book a tone of depth.

That's all. I would recommend this book - but probably not if you are being asked to pay full price for it. Then again, I don't pay full price for any book.

Friday, May 27, 2011

My take on NKOTBSB's Mash Up track.

Okay. When I first heard about NKOTBSB, obviously I realized it was this huge ploy to get females my age to relive their childhood and buy the new albums and go to the concerts. That's fine. I don't mind at all. I have very fond memories of both NKOTB and BSB.


If you're going to do this whole thing, bring back all these guys, actually legitimately try to market this thing and make a few dollars off these washed-up dudes, then DO IT RIGHT. Meaning, get a talented producer, good sound effects, good studio mixers, etc.

This was the product that was produced: (I recommend you listen to the whole song to get the full effect of my upcoming critiques).

I think we can agree: the song is HORRIBLE. I was honestly expecting something sort of good. Here are my top 3 beefs with this song:

1. Sloppy transitions. Whoever decided to do this mash-up had a good idea in theory, but didn't put more than half an hour of thought into how all the songs would fit together. Technically, I believe the definition of "mash-up" is that the songs are mashed together, maybe even somewhat seamlessly? This is more like various song clips sloppily stuck together with awkward pauses in between.

2. Brutal singing. I mean, come on guys. And, come on marketing guys! Yes, you need to have all the former members of the two bands in this new group - but do they really all have to sing? You couldn't have invested in some voice lessons, or just let the few talented singers step up to the plate?

3. PRODUCTION QUALITY: my largest beef. So the guys can't sing: FIX THEIR VOICES. And why not use the authentic sound effects from the original songs, instead of trying to 2011-ize them by making the whole song sound more modern and therefore less fun? I feel like I'm not explaining this accurately. But the whole thing just sounds like one of those "Starlight Productions" albums where it's like, "In the style of ABBA!" and not ACTUALLY them, you know? They sort of made an effort to sound like the original but don't even come close.
I WANTED original sound effects.

I am constantly puzzled by this mash-up, which really had potential to be a great nostalgic dance track and ballad all in one. Instead it's just an embarrassing talentless mess. Sorry guys.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Spring? Have you sprung?

I hate to be one of those people who talks about the weather, but seriously. This winter has dragged on forever and a day, and finally the other night it felt like spring. I sat in my favourite corner of the couch and opened the sliding door to the porch to let a fresh breeze in, and I felt ridiculously happy. But now, it's BACK TO BEING COLD!!!! At least we have been given a tiny foretaste of spring. I heard on a podcast the other day that the human body was designed for hotter temperatures, and it's much better at self-regulating in hotter weather - in other words, the body can cool itself down much better than it can heat itself up. I so agree. Hot weather just makes me happy.

Whenever I feel stressed, in my brain, I use the word "stressio" to describe it.

The other night I tried to make a pad thai dish. It turned out OKAAAAYYY, not super great, but not bad for my first attempt. I started by sauteeing some onions and garlic, and then adding some random frozen veggies that I happened to have: namely, peas and green beans. Pretty sure those aren't standard fare for pad thai, but I wasn't about to run out for more ingredients. Then I added the shrimp.... all instructions (the shrimp package, plus extensive online research) led me to believe that the shrimp would only take 2 minutes to become pink and translucent and done. But it took more like ten minutes. At that point I worried that I'd ruined it by cooking it beyond belief, but it was actually perfectly cooked. I added the shrimp/veg mixture to the cooked noodles, and added this package of pad thai sauce I bought. (Come on guys, it's my first time making this. I can't be expected to make the sauce from scratch.) I should've taken a picture but I didn't. It looked lovely and colourful. There are still leftovers in the fridge.

Today I am: cleaning, doing laundry, hanging up clothes in my room, going shopping with Steph, and that's it. You?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

There is no better way to start your day than by listening to 80's Christian rock at a loud volume.

I don't know how to put a video into my blog post, so I'll just give you the link.
TURN IT UP. This is true 80's christian rock.