Category Archives: Random

CITY OF ROSES

I’ve been so lazy lately, haven’t accomplished anything with my condo.  I haven’t put up any photo’s, decorated (in any way), taken any bins down to my locker, nothing.  I just kinda stare at the mess that is my den right now.  I’m not sure why I’m in this state of…….um…….non-activity, but I am.  Actually, maybe I’m just still burnt out from all the purging, packing, purging, packing and more purging I went through to move……I’m not sure.  But, I am sure that I need to get out of this funk.

I came back recently from a trip to Portland, Oregon.  It’s probably one of my favourite cities in the U.S.  And, the tax-free shopping helps too.  I’ve been to Portland many times, but usually either went with someone or visiting someone who would take me around.  This time I was on my own, so I decided to do a walking tour, I wanted to do something different and I read some great reviews about these walking tours.  I went on an Epicurean walking tour, so basically I walked around downtown and the Pearl district and sampled food along the way.  It was a terrific tour and definitely worth the money spent.  I learned a lot more about the city then I already knew so that was good.

I didn’t do as much shopping as I had anticipated that I would, but since I’m not a big shopper to begin with, I wasn’t surprised.  I did get to see the Rose Garden, which was so pretty.  Everything was in bloom and I took a few photo’s (as you see above) and smelled a few roses.  I had not anticipated going up there, but glad to have gone because Portland is the “City of Roses” so how can I visit without even stepping foot into the Rose Garden?

It was good to get away it renewed my itch to travel.  Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of vacation days leftover for the year (thanks to my move) so I need to spread them out.  I really enjoyed my time in Portland, so much so that I want to go back again!  Anyways, I’ll see how things go….I don’t like to plan too far ahead, I’d rather just be spontaneous.

DIRECTIONALLY CHALLENGED

Late nights render me directionally challenged.

So, on Friday night I went out with my sister-in-law’s youngest and oldest sister (visiting from out of town).  We hit the Drake hotel, which has a lounge/restaurant on the ground level, a patio outside/upstairs and a little club down in the basement.  We tried to get into the patio, but that didn’t work after waiting for 45 minutes.  So, we went to the “Underground” in the basement where our names were on a list…I know, I felt really special.

The music was pumping.  I didn’t quite realize how pumping until I sat down about 8 feet from the speakers and my whole body started to shake from the bass.  I couldn’t hear myself think, and I had to shout when I talked. 

The music was great, we danced up a storm.  The DJ is a friend of the youngest sister, but it was just too loud and so we stayed for an hour and a half – we couldn’t take much more.  Once we left, we went down the street and stopped at a bar.  After the bar, we ended up at “Poutini’s House of Poutine” where we indulged in some, what else, poutine (for me, just fries and gravy hold the cheese) as our after 1am snack.

After eating we walked a bit and then we finally left for good.  I was pretty tired by then – haven’t had this much activity nor have I stayed up this late in a long time.  I’m used to quiet, chilled evenings with friends, this was not one of those nights.  Maybe this explains what happened next.

After dropping off one of the girls, I ended up..and I swear I drank only water….going the wrong direction on the Lakeshore trying to get onto the expressway.   That’s right – I went east on the westbound lanes.  A bit dangerous, but thankfully it was about 2am so there was no traffic (there was one car who graciously did not honk at me for being a dumbass)…otherwise I’m sure I’d be telling a different story.  I can only say in my defense that it was dark, it was late, I was tired, I only went a few meters east before realizing I was going the wrong way (I wasn’t that out of it) and I….was damn lucky there were no cops.

There is a reason why I don’t let myself out late at night. 😐

HOT WALKS

Courtesy of Globe and Mail

Courtesy of Globe and Mail

There’s a heat wave going on right now in Toronto.  After months of mediocre weather, we are now finally experiencing summer weather.  Oh, and of course we’re also in the middle of a garbage strike, so we have a hot, smelly city right now.  The last time there was a garbage strike, I believe it lasted for over a month and it was while the Pope was visiting.  Toronto city workers have great timing I tell ya.

Despite this hot weather, I’ve been taking a walk during lunch everyday this week.  I was a bit hesitant since I am not a fan of hot weather and don’t want to go back to work covered in sweat.  Not that I sweat like a pig, as the saying goes, but feeling hot and sticky is not at the top of my list.

Yesterday was super hot, reaching about 30c, but feeling like 40c instead.  I still went for my walk, but I walked slowly with my co-worker.  There are some people who can totally function in humid weather, I’m not one of them and I’m not ashamed to admit it, I know my limitations, but I still went out.  I put on my fishing hat, that I love, and slathered on lots of sunscreen.

The nice thing about these walks is that it gets me out of the office.  And, I’m guaranteed that I get my exercise for the day and some fresh air as well.  I hate being cooped up in the office all day with my ass stuck on a chair, so this is a good way to get myself out and use my lunch hour productively.

Walking with my co-worker is hilarious.  She cannot walk a straight line.  So, we’ll be walking on the sidewalk and as she keeps yapping she starts migrating towards my side of the sidewalk until I’m practically walking on the grass cause I don’t want her leaning all over me.  I’ve had to gently push her to her side many times telling her she’s crowding me.  But, I’ll take a crooked walking companion anyday if it gets me out of the office for an hour.

MUSINGS

Steveston Dyke Trail

Steveston Dyke Trail

Scattered musings of a tired mind:
So, I’ve been at the new job for 2 weeks now.  I can’t believe I’ve been back from Vancouver for almost two weeks.  Anyways, the job is good, the company is actually really great, which was a pleasant surprise.  But, its still just a job, not a career.  I got to say its been an adjustment losing all that free time.  And then the stupid clocks went forward an hour this week, totally whacking me out.  They say women have the worse time adjusting to the time change.  I hate that they say that, but its been true for me.

Then to top it off, I’m fighting a cold which has left me with an annoying cough.  Oh, woe is me….just kidding.  There are worse things in life, I know.  And, so, I’m totally looking forward to the weekend.  My friend and I are taking our friend, the one with post-partum depression, to a spa for the day.  Our early, early birthday present to her.  We’re going to a spa about an hour northeast of Toronto.  I’m looking forward to it, feel like some pampering is in order.  I’m only getting a manicure, cause everything else at this spa is incredibly pricey, but it’ll be good, I’ve always like getting my hands massaged.  I don’t care about the actual manicure, just the massage!

Recently, I’ve been trying to get focused on my goals.  When I was off work I started compiling these lists of things I liked doing (to figure out what I was good at), and then lately I started to put together a list of things I want to do in the next 2 years.  And, being the crazyass, unpredictable person I can be, I realized that I needed to organize all my thoughts of all the things I wanted to do to get me focused.  I have a tendency to be a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants person, which works for me, but I’m also realizing that I’m giving myself not a lot of time to accomplish what I want to – so I must focus.  Anyways, I’m trying to tick off a few of them for this year – learn Mandarin, try Hot Yoga, keep up with my Spanish, Treetop Trek are some things on the list.  Of course I have a travel list of places I want to see and I definitely plan on ticking off one this year.

First though….need to get rid of this damn, freakin cold.  I’m going to bed now.

IT’S COLD

Outside my place...lovely white snow

Outside my place...lovely white snow

Holy crap its cold.  Its the wear a wool sweater over a few shirts, a pair of long johns underneath your pants, a scarf, gloves, a hat, thick socks, boots with lining and a big bomber jacket kinda of cold.  Brrrrrr!!!!

Yesterday, I was out grabbing lunch, and made a detour to the bookstore.  I’ve been reading books like a madwomen and was running out so I needed to replenish..no, really!  So, anyways, it didn’t seem so cold, probably cause I was only in and out, but also because there wasn’t a breeze, so I couldn’t feel the nip as much.

When I got home and finished my lunch, I was restless, I needed some fresh air.  Now, a normal person wouldn’t venture out on such a cold day for a walk, but apparently I am not a normal person and bundled myself up, plugged in the iPod and off I went.  Well, 15 minutes into my walk, I couldn’t feel my cheeks, they had frozen.  My feet were following close behind because again, not a normal person, my boots didn’t have a lining in them.  So, I detoured into the mall to get some warmth, and buy some chapstick cause the lips were feeling a bit dry, and ventured back out to finish my walk.  My usual 45 minute walk was reduced to just 30 minutes yesterday.  I think I would have frozen if I hadn’t cut it short.

The forecast is saying it’ll be cold for a few more days.  I won’t be going for a walk today or tomorrow cause I’ll be busy, but it won’t deter me from taking my walks in the future.  Yeah, I froze my ass off, but it just means I’ll have to bundle up better.  You can’t let a little cold weather stop you from doing stuff.  Its like the obstacles you face in life, either you let them get you down, or you keep on trudging along.  I’d rather keep on going, its the challenges you face in life that make you stronger.  (how has a blog about the cold become so philosophical?  LOL)

OVER MY HEAD?

My sister-in-law’s youngest sister is turning 30 this weekend.  I told her sister, impulsively, that I wanted to go to her party.  After I did that, my sister-in-law said to me “do you know what you’re getting into?”.  Hm…um…no.

So, that’s what I do, I often just plunge into things quite impulsively.  Not all the time, but a majority of the time.  Now, having said that, after I decided to party with her, my sister-in-law told me how she parties.  It involves sex, drugs and rock n’roll.  I laughed, she told me she wasn’t kidding – it was going to be hard core partying.  So, I told her I could do the rock n’roll, but no sex and drugs and I’d be fine.  She laughed and just looked at me sadly with that “oh, you’re so in for it”.

And now, with the party approaching, I’m getting a bit nervous.  Why?  Not because I’m afraid of what’s going to happen during the party, nah, that doesn’t bother me.  I’m nervous that I won’t be able to stay awake during the whole party!  The reason I stopped clubbing was because I fell asleep at a club once back in my mid-twenties and that was the day I stopped.  But, I plan on taking a nap, cause the party doesn’t start until 10:30pm.  It’s a late party, but with a nap I should be ready for anything…right.

It’s going to be an interesting, and I’m sure, fun night.  I haven’t been in a club in a long time.  I prefer quieter nights than the pounding sound of a club, and the deafness that follows afterwards, but in the spirit of her 30th birthday I will endear it.  Funny thing is the last time I was at a club was when I was with her in Vancouver.  I went with her and her older sister to this place at the Plaza of Nations and I remember thinking to myself “shit, I’m way too old for this”.

I may be too old for clubbing, but I refuse to fall asleep and embarrass myself again.  😀

CUPCAKES

I was thinking about what to bring to my best guy’s Christmas party.  Wine came to mind, but I wanted to do something different and bringing wine would be boring and knowing me I’d get bad wine since I know almost nothing about alcohol. 

At his last party I made grilled prawn skewers, which was a great hit.  But, I decided not to do that this time.  Then, on Friday I was at Walmart, and there was this mega sale on Betty Crocker cake mix.  As I was reading the instructions on the back, it came to me, cupcakes…cupcakes with frosting and sprinkles.  Cupcakes it was.

bettycrocker1

It all starts with Betty

cupcakes11

Fresh out of the oven

cupcakes2

Lined up like little soldiers ready for frosting

decorated

Finished product

My decorating abilities were not professional, but I tried my best (I screwed up only one cupcake out of 36).  When I brought them to the party my best guy was impressed.  I kinda felt like my cupcakes weren’t posh enough, only because he does such a fabulous job of decorating his condo.  Just his Christmas tree alone is incredible.

I call this the "Martha Stewart" tree

I call this the "Martha Stewart" tree

The party went really well and it was a lot of fun, it was nice to mingle and talk with so many different people.  On my way home I was stopped by the R.I.D.E. program.  This was the conversation:

Officer:  Hi, have you been drinking any alcohol tonight?
Me: Um, no
Officer: So, you don’t have any opened bottles of alcohol in your vehicle (scans my car)?
Me: Um..no (looks innocently into the eyes of the officer)
Officer: Opened bottles of anything?
Me: Well, no..oh, just an empty water bottle
Officer: How about any dead bodies in the trunk? (I see a half smile)
Me: Hm…(pausing for effect)…no, no dead bodies
Officer: Ex-husbands in the trunk? (smiling now, obviously joking with me)
Me: Nope, none of those (laughing)
Officer: Are you sure now? (laughing as well)
Me: Definitely not!  Just this empty bottle of water (waving said bottle at him)
Officer: (gives me a few pats on the back) Ok, then, have a great evening (smiles)
Me: (smiles back) ok, thanks!

I drove off, passing another police officer who smiled at me, and then thought to myself  “did that officer dude just touch me on the back”?!  I’m sure he was just being friendly, but it was strange.  I’ve been stopped by R.I.D.E. a few times and don’t ever remember them being that touchy feely nor that jokey and friendly.  But, thinking about it, dude can pat my back, crack jokes anytime as long as I don’t get into trouble.