Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Things that make me happy

  1. Boy's head on my lap as he reads non-fiction and ignores the fact that I'm watching One Tree Hill
  2. Wine class, even when I'm stuffed up and want sleep
  3. Cheesies
  4. The fact that I enjoy my job so much that I apparently can't take a full sick day off... instead I slept until I couldn't sleep anymore and came in for a half day
  5. A boss (but not my boss) coming to me to ask me to keep an eye on certain news developments on Twitter, since I'm "in the loop with these things"

I get homesick and whiny when I'm suffering the plague

"You can kiss your family and friends goodbye and put miles between you, but at the same time you carry them with you in your heart, your mind, your stomach, because you do not just live in a world but a world lives in you." Frederick Beuchner

Monday, April 27, 2009

RIP Bea Arthur

Saturday, April 25, 2009

When to give in. When to give up.

I used to be an idealist. I believed that in the end everything works out for the best. I believed that good things come to those who wait. I believed that everyone could be good, you just had to give them the chance. I believed that good ideas achieve good results.

Now? I'm much more cynical. 

I like to think that I'm a realist. I trained myself to be. I was aware of my airy-fairy unicorns-and-rainbows type of thinking (blame the small town if you want). I looked for dissenting opinion on issues I cared about (from my cynical friend, the rich Alberta boy down the street in university with a life totally opposite from my own, and the Globe and Mail). And in the end, it grounded me. I learned to fully investigate my ideas and beliefs. Though really, it could also be the philosophy minor speaking.

Sometimes I feel like I'm surrounded by those idealists still. The ones with big goals, but who care more about the fluffy, feel-good stuff and gloss over the details. When I ask questions I get "so and so is working on it" or "don't worry, this event will be awesome" instead of real answers. I know that my opinions are unpopular, and as a result they make me unpopular. It doesn't go unnoticed that I was the last person to be invited for drinks. More as a courtesy than legitimate invitation.

I feel like people think they're doing more than they really are. I feel like by merely talking about things here and there, they can justify not actually doing that which is discussed. I feel myself getting more and more frustrated and angry with every new task that's thrown upon my shoulders. I feel more irate after every meeting. I reign in the need to strangle those who claim that they don't have enough to do. I nearly punch them in the neck when I ask them to do something for me and they come back with "oh, you would ask me to do that, wouldn't you?" before they decline. "Anything but that."

But how much is too much?

How do you know when to give up on the good intentions that brought you here in the first place? When do you disassociate yourself with something you believe in, merely because you find it makes you a bad person in every aspect of your life?

As life gets busier, I find myself looking forward to the excuses. Maybe that's enough.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Easy baking with Alana

Hi! My name is Alana and I blog over at The Good Girl Gone Blog. I'm so delighted to be here. Thanks for having me!

The fab-tastic Elle and I were going back and forth trying to figure out a theme to write about for the 20SB blog swap. We discussed writing about our respective homelands, I'm American and she's Canadian, but then decided against it. (Note: I found this awesome Canadian site when researching non-Canadian material for this post!) We eventually agreed to write random blog posts.

To be honest, I had no clue what to write about until I started talking with my awesome roommate about our favorite childhood toys. We discussed crayons, creepy crawlers and eventually, the Easy Bake Oven! Whoever figured out that you can cook an entire (miniature) cake with a light bulb was pretty darn smart! (Do they give out Nobel prizes to toy designers? If so, this guy/girl or the person who invented Bop It should totally win!)

Easy bake 2005a
I think I had this one back in the '90s! (Wow, I'm trying to make myself sound old. I'm not actually old.)

I don't remember when I got my EBO, but I'm pretty sure it was either a Hanukkah or birthday gift. It was kept in the basement near the computers and a bunch of other toys. I remember making a mess all over the countertop everytime I ripped open the little cake mixes. They smelled so delicious! I used to wash the tiny dishes and utensils in the utility sink in my dad's work room. Classy, I know.

I loved making the adorable little yellow and chocolate cakes, but hated waiting for them to cook. Why couldn't the light bulb work faster? I used to sit in front of my EBO in pure anticipation, waiting for that tiny little cake to come out the other side of the oven. Even when the cake was ready, I had to wait for it to cool before icing it and then eating it. Patience is not one of my stronger qualities...you can ask my parents. As a result, I'm pretty sure I used to burn my fingers. A lot.

The cakes of course tasted delicious...but were soooo small! It took forever to make them...and then they were gone in approximately 8.5 seconds!

I can't wait to have a real kitchen this summer where I can make cakes in a non-light bulb operated oven that serve more than one person. Plus, my best friend, Becca, got me this adorable apron for my birthday. I can't wait to wear it in my very own (ish...) kitchen!

Picture 3
Anyone want to come over for cupcakes and tea?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Technically, today is 20-Something Bloggers' Blog Swap Day. Since I fail to live by the rules, the lovely Alana at The Good Girl Gone Blog and I will be trading spaces on Friday. Be excited.

Also, you should check out Alana's blog today for some neat enviro-conscious items to help you celebrate Earth Day everyday.

Me, I promise to keep on the Boy about the importance of recycling. It's something I plan to implement with the Beginning of Cohabitation, coming soon.

Monday, April 20, 2009

"A part of you has grown in me, together forever shall we be, never apart, maybe in distance, but not in heart."

Dear Kiki,

You're pretty precious here, with your chubbalicious little cheeks and the coveralls with the crotch at your knees. Part of me will always remember you this way.

We haven't always been the best of friends, or even the best of sisters, but I want you to know that today, your twenty-second birthday, I'm thinking of you.

It's hard to believe how much you've grown up. It seems like when I went away to university almost seven years ago, you were going to stay my very young, very innocent, sister forever. Oh how the times have changed.

Though we're not always the best of friends, I want you to know that I try to protect you because you remind me of me. It hurts to see you make the same mistakes that I did, even though I understand why you have made them. I want you to see what a beautiful, smart (yes, you are), special girl you are. I want you to be able to see that no matter what boys tell you.

I'm glad that you're working hard, and that you've found a boy you like to be with and who thinks the world of you. I'm happy for you. And I hope that you crazy kids have a fantastic time at the concert I'm sending you tickets for. Promise to have a drink and think of me... the old times sneaking out the window of your room and taking long walks down the back country roads in our pajamas (and hiding in the ditches whenever we saw headlights).

I understand you, and you, me. My life is better with you in it.

Happy birthday, dear Kiki.

"Sisterhood is a messy, fragmentary, ambiguous thing, an indiscriminate jumble of love, hate, amity, enmity, to be teased out bit by bit." Penelope Farmer

Friday, April 17, 2009

Notte Sento

I can't remember where I first saw this, so if you're the lovely person who shared it with me... I apologize. I saw it in my favourites today and took another look at it and couldn't not share it here. This short film is made from 4500+ photographs, and all of them are gorgeous.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

You'll never judge people by appearance again

This video from Britain's Got Talent is just incredible. INCREDIBLE.

YouTube won't let me embed it, but go watch it.

Everyone is laughing at her, expecting her performance to be so bad, but Susan is cheeky for a reason... she's insanely talented.

Doesn't hurt that this is one of my favourite songs from Les Mis.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Show me the money

"Of two things you can be certain; death and taxes." Benjamin Franklin

Being a grown-up has been making me all about the angry and the rage lately. It's been turning me into a less-than-positive person and it's been making me evaluate the influences in my life. Sounds like fun, I know.

Positive: I did my taxes by myself for the first time ever. Well, the Boy may have helped when I was mumbling curse words under my breath at the computer. But the important thing is, I didn't send them home to my mommy! Even though she tried to convince me to! Grown. Up.

So, after dealing with the Tax Man, I've come up with some financial goals for this year. This year, I will pay off my student loan. Hurray! I will keep medical receipts. I will opt for a bus pass over tickets, so I can get the tax break, instead of buying tickets and ending up paying the same amount. Finally, I will contribute more to RRSPs (I sorted this out when I was home in February. Automatic withdrawl, oh how I love thee).

Money is a giant stress, so it's good to at least be able to pretend that I have things under control.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

I'm no fashionista. Big name designers don't design for me. I do more classic styles, with some trends that I can pull off, mainly trendy colours. Don't get me wrong, I can appreciate the beauty of well-made clothes, I just can't pull a lot of it off. For this reason, I was a bit nervous when the lovely Andrea invited me to be her right-hand girl at Edmonton's Fashion Week last night.

I shouldn't have worried. For starters, a glass of red while making fun of the "model" talking herself up to a group of young 4H girls does a lot to ease the mind. Secondly, Andrea is fabulous. Finally, it wasn't really all that impressive (though I had been warned).

Some of the stuff that went down the runway was just sad. The music was strange, the girls looked uncomfortable and awkward, the clothes didn't fit, the seams buckled even though the garment wasn't too small and there were loose strings everywhere. Heidi Klum would not have approved. Since I don't subscribe to the same journalistic principles as A., I can let you tell you the good, the bad and the ugly. And oh, was it ugly.

And then there was Tressa Heckbert.

Her show was cohesive, a dash of futuristic, the clothes were well-tailored, the girls looked cool and we couldn't help but comment on the shininess of their hair. Little details made us squeal in delight. The show had been thoroughly thought through and it showed. Not a rogue thread in sight. No "dog fur" poufs chasing the girls down the runway. Everything about Tressa's show was fabulous. It was enough to make us actually want to go to St. Albert.

For more, check out Andrea's take on the show here.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Easter Bunny delivered early

Unfortunately, I couldn't find a video of "Step by Step" that would let me embed it. Since it's the only song I can remember, it's the only one that matters.

Goodness gracious, they've gotten old.

Monday, April 6, 2009

I bring this on myself

I've been listening to country music all day; one pink earbud dangling from my left ear and my right foot tappin' under my desk. It's my own fault. Summer is on the horizon, and by summer, I mean those things that makes it feel like summer. Warm weather, drinks on the patio, my BFF and the littlest sister (at the same time). The baby, baby sister will be here for the entire summer... she just happens to move here at the end of the month when my favourite lady breezes into town.

And we're going to a country music concert. Montgomery Gentry. Row 20. Because we're small town country girls.

We like corn fields and the smell of fresh-cut hay. We went to Buck and Does before we went to the bar and we were raised on blue jeans and flip flops. As far back as I can remember, I remember doing chores in the barn to the tune of country radio. Taking breaks to dance beneath the radio and belt out our favourite songs. Staying out of licking range of the cows. Belting out those tunes in the mows even when we couldn't hear them from the radio.

I remember road trips with country on the radio. No matter whether a song is new or old, it all sounds familiar. It feels familiar. It's legs dangling as you lean back on a swing, letting the world wash over you. It's a big hug from those who've known you longer than you've known yourself. It's Mom and Dad's patio with a cold beer after a long day of doing hay. It's long walks in the middle of the night down the backroads. It's home. It's summer.

And I couldn't be more excited.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

I think Facebook just called me a fierce bitch

Elle completed the quiz "Which crazy bitch are you?" with the result Sinead O'Connor.
You are one fierce bitch. You are very independent and will take no bullshit from anyone but your personality is actually sort of quiet and shy. You are a natural beauty and you are very comfortable with your feminity. You don't feel the need to overdo it or go out of your way to fuss over your looks. You don't want to distract people from what you stand for and the talents you possess. You are very idealistic and will go to any extremes to stand up for what you believe in even if it creates controversy and people don't understand. Relationships can be hard for you sometimes because men feel threatened by you but time again they come running to you and realize that you are actually very sweet and motherly....until they cross you.

The sad thing is, it's pretty accurate.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Why I'm glad to be Canadian #832019

It's hard to believe stuff like this still happens in the world.

The federal government, along with other foreign affairs departments, is expressing concern over proposed laws in Afghanistan. One law would make it illegal for Shi’ite women to deny their husbands sex. Women would also need permission to leave the house. Children would be in the custody of fathers and grandfathers only. Critics are now questioning Canada’s commitment to its military program in that country. CBC Radio Clg. CTV Clg.

Read more at CTV online.

Good job, celebrities.

There have been a lot of celebrity public service announcements lately. They've ranged from support for democracy and voting, gay rights, and now, ending violence against women.

I personally find it encouraging when celebrities use their place in society to do something worthwhile. To use their fame to promote an important cause or message that they believe in. Something that many of us would love to do, but that has a much bigger reach when they do it. Bravo.