Monday, March 15, 2010

New address

You can now find me at:

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wine Wednesday: Grey Monk 2007 Pinot Noir

This bottle was another "Hey, it's the Olympics, we need to drink Canadian wine!" pick. Though we didn't hit up Grey Monk while in the Okanagan, we've been on the lookout for good Canadian wines. Mostly, we've been disappointed that wine and liquor stores, though there are many in Edmonton, don't even begin to touch on how many amazing Canadian wines there are.

After we drank the Amicitia from Dunham & Froese, we craved another red but wanted something light enough to go with dessert. We picked this bottle to drink while stuffing our faces with apple crisp.

This earthy wine has light-moderate tannins, and smells like berries (strawberries, cranberries and raspberries in particular) with a bit of vanilla and honey. It's smooth and complemented our dessert, and our Canadian spirit, perfectly.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Everything that was here, is now here.

It's not everything I imagined, but it is enough for now. xo

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wine Wednesday: Dunham and Froese 2007 Amicitia Red

We drank this bottle on Valentine's Day, it was an appropriate pairing with steak and the Olympics (go Canada, go!) B and I traveled to the Okanagan in September 2009 and tasted a lot of wine; we fell in love with both varietals left at Dunham & Froese. Most of what they made was sold out, and it's not hard to imagine why.

Amicitia – pronounced ah-mee-CHEE-tee-ah – is a big, bold red built around 64% Cabernet Franc and 17% Syrah, with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot adding complexity to the blend.

B and I picked out plum, spicy black currant, chocolate flavours, with just a hint of mint and tobacco (in a good way). It's a relatively affordable Canadian wine (under $30, and well worth it) that smells, and tastes, delicious.

Maybe one of the best things about Dunham & Froese is its location at the Covert Farm, just north of Oliver, British Columbia. The winery is a partnership of two couples, Eugene and Shelly Covert and Crystal and Kirby Froese. The Amicitia label (Latin for friendship) honours the friendship behind this partnership. If you are ever in the area, check out Covert Farms; their fresh, 0rganic food is incredible. We sat on the patio to enjoy the view and experience the most delicious vegetables I've ever popped in my mouth. You can also pick your own fruit and veggies if you want.

As we were drinking this, we were discussing how this is a "must stop" on our next trip to the region. Though, now that I've found you can order wine online, we may not need to wait that long.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


After my essay was completed, it was just the two of us.

In our home. With a make-shift antenna made from bunny ears, our broom, and duct tape. I swear my wine glass lacked fingerprints until the men's moguls. Maybe it was because we were on bottle number two and I have a fear of breaking the Riedel.

I'm thankful to live with my best friend. Someone who makes killer breakfast and pretends to watch Grey's Anatomy with me and the old roomie while we eat. Someone who tries to teach me guitar chords after he serenades me. Someone who keeps playing games with me, no matter how cranky I get when he [cheats] wins. Someone who suggests words games, even though he knows his chances of victory are slim (maybe that's why he suggests them, now that think about it). Someone who supports crack-pot ideas like getting my Masters. I'm glad we travel well together and get to explore new places. That we have the most wonderful friends that anyone could hope for. I'm glad for the soccer team that brought us together. That we both have such wonderful families and that we're taking time this year to travel to destinations other than their homes.

I'm glad that at the end of the day, everything else melts away and it's just the two of us.

Monday, February 8, 2010


"My therapist has put you in my web," she explained with a glass of wine in her hand. We were alternating handfuls from the giant bowl of popcorn in front of us, post-Grey's Anatomy. "She told me that I need some normal friends, and I said I have one -- you!" Her big smile always lifts my spirits.

We've been stuck together for almost four years; hard to believe. I rented a room from a boy I occassionally made out with, and she sublet from his sister. I had job applications out across the country, but somehow I ended up here and she followed. We've had our moments, as most roomates have, but she's one of those people that you just can't shake (and don't want to). She's fiercely loyal, gives her entire being to everyone she loves and everything she does, and she's got a great rack.

We went out dancing, pre-PJs, popcorn, and Grey's Anatomy. It felt like the old days in our new city, but the crowd was a bit creepier. I had to fight the urge to yell "Leggings are not pants!" and we contemplated whether the girl in the crochet dress was wearing lace panties, or if there was a word pasted across her behind. We tried out the latin beats and happily danced to some 90's hits before heading back to my place for a girly sleepover.

Weekends like this cement the importance of old friends. There was also a phone call from four of my highschool ladies that left my brain buzzing with memories and an exercise letting new friends move away -- but Calgary is only a short roadtrip away.

Friday, February 5, 2010

currently coveting

This camera bag from Ketti Handbags is incredible. I already have one cute camera bag, but this one is way cuter. Oh, to be able to stuff my camera in a protected bag like this instead of lugging it around shoved in my regular purse (terrible, I know). I just hate how I have to take a bag for gear and a bag for my wallet and miscellany; I could throw all of my things in here no problem!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


[via lizzybethness on Flickr]

I feel six years old with loose leaf papers held tight in my hand, and knobby knees banging into one another as I sprint from the bus up the lane to the house. Out of breath from all that hard work, I merely raise my paper-filled fist in victory.

One small victory mind you, but it is my first A+ in graduate school. Days like this one remind me that the hundreds of pages I read each week and the thousands of words I type in response will all be worth it. I only have to soldier through until that stack of papers in my tiny fist is replaced with that one big sheet of paper in November 2011.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Oh, I love technology...

This weekend, the dishes were done in a timely manner, loads of laundry were completed, sheets changed, clothes put away. Obviously there's something wrong here. Oh right, procrastination is my best friend.

I spent much time huddled over articles and texts reading about computer-mediated communication and the command line, thanking my lucky stars I was born into a world where I don't have to write out notebooks full of code. This class is intense, but its intensity actually ensures that students read all of the materials that are piled high into our outreached, trembling arms. If you don't read and understand the material enough to write thousands of words about it, you'll probably cry yourself to sleep. Then, you'll fail.

In "In the beginning was the command line," Neal Stephensen, pompous fellow that he is, mentions that in the past writers have kept a skull on their desk as they write to remind them of their own mortality. He suggests that something should also serve as a reminder that technology, and how we interact with it now, may also be fleeting. I was reminded of this as the sad orange light blinked on our wireless router to show us that the modem wasn't allowing us to access the Internet. "HOW CAN THEY DO THIS TO US!" I cried out, on the verge of tears. "If I can't access the program for our very web-reliant course, I can't submit my essay and I will FAIL!" Drama.

Thankfully, B is more patient than I. After unplugging the modem for hours at a time (to punish it for what it has done?), we were finally given the green light. Literally. I'm thankful that I grew up with graphic user interfaces and operating systems. I remember trying to run things through DOS on our first home computer, and that was frustrating enough -- no way would I ever have the patience for the command line.

It's interesting to read about the humble beginnings of Netville. To think that once, this genius group of individuals was sheltered by the US military and academic institutions to share knowledge on the cutting-edge of technology as homeland security. When interest in the Internet grew, the values of technological advancement and sharing were overtaken by society's desire for entertainment and fluff. Oh, and marketing.

On another note: I started subscribing to This American Life's podcasts this weekend, and the National with Peter Mansbridge. I am now one happy little transit rider.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I've taken off more time than I should. I've taken time to reconnect in the offline world. I've knit B a hat and crocheted many granny squares. I've been visiting with old friends and rocking out. I've been on the phone and communicating via email with people I've missed; hopefully, I'll keep this up.

There are too many lovely people in my life that I don't want these friendships to slide. School is important, but so is my support network.

I need to make time to connect with people, crochet, bake cookies and beat B at Scrabble. Otherwise, it's not worth it.

Friday, January 22, 2010

I left the building shortly after I got off the phone. I flung my head back and took deep breaths; the tiny flakes stung my face. Happily ever after is crumbling all around me. The people I love are starting over after collecting the dog(s), the soulmate, and the dream house.

A coworker commented recently that they read an article that cited most people break up between Christmas and Valentine's Day. As I trudged through the fresh snow to the train station, I thought of all the recent phone calls I've had like this one. The phone calls to tell me that their fairy tale has ended.

My heart was heavy in my chest as I got off the train at my stop. Then I saw the kissy lips and the smile through the car window before I opened the door. I've kissed a lot of frogs, and I am certain that I've found my bliss.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

on writing

I've been thinking a lot lately about writing. Mainly because I had to read this George Orwell article for class last semester. I've found that my writing has been influenced (for the worse) by the approved messaging we work off of for work. I've merely let the words come to me for so long because they're there and they're accepted rather than reaching out and grabbing new ones.

I encourage everyone to read the article (it is hilarious); however, if you don't have time at least read this excerpt.

What is above all needed is to let the meaning choose the word, and not the other way around. In prose, the worst thing one can do with words is surrender to them. When you think of a concrete object, you think wordlessly, and then, if you want to describe the thing you have been visualizing you probably hunt about until you find the exact words that seem to fit it. When you think of something abstract you are more inclined to use words from the start, and unless you make a conscious effort to prevent it, the existing dialect will come rushing in and do the job for you, at the expense of blurring or even changing your meaning. Probably it is better to put off using words as long as possible and get one's meaning as clear as one can through pictures and sensations. Afterward one can choose -- not simply accept -- the phrases that will best cover the meaning, and then switch round and decide what impressions one's words are likely to make on another person. This last effort of the mind cuts out all stale or mixed images, all prefabricated phrases, needless repetitions, and humbug and vagueness generally.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I should just give you all my password

Apparently I'm into showing off my email. Here's one I received today; it was sent to me and my siblings.

Well gang,
I have submitted my papers for the 2010 Election for the position of Mayor.
Should be interesting,
xoxo Mom

I couldn't be more proud.

Being Canadian, it didn't cross my mind that yesterday was a holiday for our American neighbours. Not until this email from my favourite professor hit my inbox. As I shared his story with you, I thought I'd also send these quotes your way.

Since I heard kind words from many of you upon our discussion of the contribution of the Rev. Martin Luther Kind, Jr., to communication and the world, I thought it might be acceptable to send you a greeting on this day that in the United States officially honors him.

I hope this day finds you well and dedicated. Here are a few thoughts from Dr. King.

"I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality.... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant."
--Martin Luther King Jr., Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech, Dec. 10, 1964

"We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools."
--Martin Luther King Jr.

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."
--Martin Luther King Jr.

"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends."
--Martin Luther King Jr.

"Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance andconscientious stupidity."
--Martin Luther King Jr.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Not that long ago, when someone hosted a party there would be jello shots and keg stands. Taxi numbers would be programmed into cell phones in advance or alternate sleeping arrangements would be made.

Now, we're getting to a point where parties consist of gathering around a newborn and oooh-ing and aaah-ing over a tiny dimpled cheek or miniature fingernails. "I hope I was allowed to bring beer to this party," says a friend as he sets down four cans of brew.

Talk turns to law school, masters programs, wedding plans and babies. New moms hover over the baby monitor, pushing buttons. "We're so exciting," one giggles.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Combating the winter blahs

As I mentioned in my last post, I was a disaster last week. I was stressed out and cried a lot and surprisingly, but coming to work on Friday actually made me feel better. I share an office with a girl who I absolutely love. She may have started out as a coworker, but she's become a real outside-of-work friend.

We've recently made our office a bit more homey and colourful. Our whole office, from the walls to the cabinets, is this terrible boring beige.
We hung silver and red balls of various shapes from the ceiling with various lenths of ribbon. Then we realized that from this one ball in the centre, we can see our whole office! People comment how it finally looks like Christmas in here, but we needed colour. And we'll add more colours as we come across them.

On Thursday, we were having a crap day at work. We went to the grocery store at lunch and purchased fancy cheese and crackers (best work pick-me-up ever) and this $2 pot of tulips. They're now three times the size they were on Thursday and they've bloomed -- it's crazy. We have many plants in our office but they're all just green; it's fun to have some flowers.

Our boss was off on stress leave for a little bit, and my darling office mate asked her if she was happy to be back the other day. Boss thought for a second, closed our door behind her, and said, "Truthfully, I didn't want to come back, but I've missed you guys so much! I almost emailed you on Christmas..." It's how I feel somedays. I love my job, but even on days I don't, I work with such incredible, happy, inspiring people that I still enjoy coming here.

Monday, January 11, 2010


[Peggy's Cove via The.Rohit on Twitter]

Last week I was in a real funk. I don't like to whine and complain, but it seems like all I did was cry last week. I was stressed over school, the hormones were raging, and it seemed like stupid people were popping up in every aspect of my life. On top of all of that, messages of breakups kept rolling in about friends who were previously engaged and/or living with their men. One of these in particular managed to completely break my heart. I was so sure that [the now ex]Roomie had managed to find something spectacular; I even wrote him a love letter!

Roomie is someone who deserves so much good, and I thought she finally had found a piece of that. She's so sweet, always puts everyone else first, is smokin' hot, and she's a domestic goddess; she's been through a lot of crap in her life, brushes it off, picks herself back up and moves on with a smile. Tonight I'm pouring the wine and hearing the full tale. I only hope I can provide a fraction of the support that she gives to everyone else in her life.

When the sadness rolls in, I've got to try to see the bright side of things. I also need to remember that I signed up for school; essays aren't something horrible being done to me.

Every year becomes the best one yet and this one is no exception. Twenty-ten will be full of fun things like concerts (Muse and U2), shows (Chicago and Sweeny Todd), and cross-Canada journeys (so far: Fernie, B.C. for a week of snowboarding and mountains in February; Halifax, N.S. for a week in June -- I'll get to see the lovely Andrea!; home to Ontario for my cousin's wedding in August; and Victoria, B.C. for three more weeks of intensive learning in October). This year is literally a Canadian coast-to-coast adventure! This year I'll complete more than half of my Masters and I'll have logged over 3 years with my Love.

I just hope that all my friends get to be this blissful.

What are you looking forward to in 2010?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

a) take pictures of myself in front of the kitchen,
b) apparently look a little cross-eyed at 6 a.m., and
c) crochet things.

Monday, January 4, 2010


I don't do new year's resolutions. I've found there are so many little things that pop up that I want to do, or changes I want to make, that it's best if I just adopt new things when the mood hits.

Weird things, too. For example, so far, I've curled my hair 3 out of 4 days in 2010.

I've made a kick-ass scarf that I absolutely love (really that was back in 2009, when we were at home in Ontario with no Internet) and I'm making B a hat. With cables. And I taught myself how to make mittens with cables. The way I make mittens is so easy, but they're also made the same way for the right and the left hand... so unless someone wanted a cable on the back of one hand and the palm of the other, I really had to think about this one. I love yarn crafts and I want to do more of them. This year I may or may not go through my yarn stash and a) figure out what I shall use each skein for (I see more socks in my knitting future) or b) get rid of it.

I want to not procrastinate so much, but this is an ongoing thing for me. I have to work harder at it. It was so easy to get assignments done days in advance when I was in Victoria; now, not so much. I'm facing three 2,000 word essays due in four days and I'm freaking out a little bit (but probably not as much as I should be... there's still time!).

I want to wake up early. I make this goal every night before bed. And usually I fail. I've learned that breakfast helps. And coffee. Lots of coffee. I've adapted my work schedule, effective today, that I get to work a half-hour early and bank that time to take days off every now and then for school. Motivation!

I also always want to be a better blogger, write more letters to my far away friends (email me your address!), and remember to wear lip gloss/lipstick.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

It's worth having cross-country friends if only for the hilarious drunken messages

Calling to wish you Merry Christmas?... No, HAPPY NEW YEAR! I think it's a Happy New Year! *giggles*