Friday, July 24, 2009

Mentally checked out...

I don't exactly know where I've been lately. Feels like I've been sucked into a life-encompassing void of...nothingness. To put the last few weeks in review would be impossible. It's strange how I feel as if weeks have gone by with nothing memorable or poignant punctuating its passing.

Oh well, I'm back from outer-space.

Brief update on some exceptions to the nothingness that has vastly consumed my life lately (which, by the way, shouldn't be the case any longer - I shall be muchos busy from here-on-in):

1. I realized that, while rock climbing might seem like a cool thing to do, it scares the crap out of me. I'm eager to get over this completely irrational fear and give it another shot. In my defense, my hands are always unusually sweaty (I's gross) which makes it incredibly hard to grab onto tiny weeny holds. Go figure, huh?

2. I totally engaged in some ridiculous retail therapy. I am now I proud (?!) owner of a new Canon Powershot SD9901S, a puma jacket and some new yoga pants. Although I got all of the above items on sale, I still feel as if I just got manipulated by corporate America. On the bright side, I can now take better pictures since my camera is no longer in Japanese. That's the trouble with buying things off eBay sometimes...your products come in surprising languages. * Sigh * One day, I will have the pennies to buy one of those super duper photographic master cameras and I will be photo-taking extraordinaire. You just wait. You'll see.

3. As a result of the happenings of the above mentioned shopping spree, I have just ran up my 2 day old credit card with more than $360 worth of merchandise. Great! I'm off to a wonderful start! But, as the Hitchiker's guide says, "don't panic" - I have money to cover it and more. The joys of working full time before going back to my peasant ways of full-time student are endless.

4. I've recently been reminded that no matter how many times you repeat something, and no matter how many seemingly reassuring and comprehending looks I recieve from him, my cat does not have a clue about what I'm saying.

5. I'm a heck of a lot stronger than I used to be. I can now lift more weights than the group of 20 something year old international students that are always on the weight machines before me everyday. They need to seriously learn to strip their weights so I dont giggle my ass off when I get to the machines and see that I'm doing more then their burly selves.

6. One of the guys in the tech department in my office sneezes with a force comparable to a mighty tsunami. It's awesome.

Okay, that's all that comes to mind. Until next time - live long and prosper.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Hot Bed for Culture

It's Friday and it is also a beautiful night in the city. Any energetic, outgoing twenty-something would be out enjoying the weather, having a good time and basking in the beauty of a hot summer night. I am, however, not doing any of the above. As you'll get to know me, you'll notice that I'm not too much of a party-sharty kinda gal. I love taking it easy at home, reading, writing and catching up on the world and all its goings-on that I didn't get the chance to see during the week. I think this partially has to do with being locomotive-ly challenged (a.k.a without wheels - my bike doesn't count guys...) as well. Somehow, going out to enjoy nightlife, isn't as hot when you're forced to be back on Hamilton Public Transit before 12:35 a.m so that you aren't stranded in shanty town.

What saves my weekend from complete domestic boredom has to be my Saturdays. I usually go to Toronto and spend some time enjoying the city, hanging out with my oh-so-classy mother or some friends and just having a great time.

Tomorrow, I am squeezing in a little appointment with mr. foot doctor podiatrist extraordinaire. It turns out that I have some serious foot related lower back issues and I'm excited to start getting it all sorted out. Best of all, it's covered by my mother's insurance (thank goodness) and I won't have to pay very much at all.

I should be done my appointment in the early afternoon and so, that leaves a bit of time to catch up with some friends, hang out with mummy dearest, and roam the streets in search of one of the many festivals that go on in Toronto every weekend. That sounds like a good enough day except...there's going to be more!

Sir Plant-a-lot had a stroke of genius and a few weeks ago;he made reservations for din din at the Drake Hotel. Now normally, we wouldn't be able to afford such extravagances but summerlicious made it possible.

Essentially, Summerlicious is a prix fixe menu of some of Toronto's best restaurant and food venues. This of course, makes the inaccessible, accessible to those who need to justify the need to purchase another bag of milk (haha, it's not that bad, but sometimes it could be!).

In any case, Sir Plant-a-lot and I are on a mission to not be 102 years old and actually indulge, enjoy and act like we're less than 30. This is a start.

The Drake Hotel, I've been told is a really artistic, swanky and vintage inspired place. All-in-all it's been described as a hot bed for culture in Toronto.

I'm looking forward to the experience and will be sure to let you guys all know how the night went down =).

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Lately I've really begun to enjoy the natural taste of vegetables and grains. Growing up eating a very rich, saucy and spicy cuisine was wonderful, however, I rarely tasted what flavour each element of a dish would have on its own. This also continued to be the case in first and second year of university when I was still learning about how I can balance my studies and my personal life effectively - essentially, cooking never really happened and if it did, it consisted of something saucy (because it is quick way to add flavour) and some sort of grain or vegetable (which was also drowning in sauce).

Now that I use cooking as a sort of break from schoolwork, work-work, and all the other stuff in between, I'm beginning to truly notice the taste of all those fruits, vegetables and grains. I no longer cook with sauces unless I make them from scratch and all the flavours in my food tend to be from a natural source (less spices!). I love the nutty taste that some of the grains have and how simple salad dressings (example: mixing balsamic vinegar, honey, olive oil, garlic, salt & pepper) can just bring out the flavour of bronchoccini cheeses and hot house tomatoes.

We have so many unique and interesting tastes at our disposal that it's shame that our society focuses around processed foods. I understand this is a function of our busy lives and perhaps our financial situation however, if one wanted to eat well, one could. Healthy doesn't mean tasteless either as I am discovering. So put away those bottled sauces! Your taste buds & heart will thank you!

Adding on to the heathy-does-not-equal-gross-tasting point, I would like to point out the yummyness of Kashi's cherry dark chocolate chewy granola bars . I recently tried them because they were on sale (usually, I can't afford them - starving student, remember?) but holy teapot, they are SO good. Soft, chewy, with chunks of cherry (like serious chunks, not just little bits) and dark chocolate chips. So amazingly good in taste and for you, they contain 7 whole grains and sesame. Fantastic!

So next time you're in the grocery store, go back to the basics and find out what asparagus really tastes like when it's not covered in butter...

(photo credit: Trish Mayo )

Tuesday, July 7, 2009



I hope to have a simply lovely day regardless of the dark rain clouds that loom in the distance. Maybe a nice cup of tea would do the trick.

What are your simple pleasures?

(photo credit: {manda})

Monday, July 6, 2009


Alright, this is it. The list.

In it, I find the things that I fear most, desire most, want most and need most. All those things I feel I need to accomplish in this lifetime. Please don't take this as a list that is all inclusive. I acknowledge that this list will change, shorten or even grow during my life time. The evolution of this list is proof of my existence and my will to live.
Most importantly, it is proof to myself that I'm alive...

1.To be self-sufficient and independant - I feel like life can throw lemons at any time. I would to be able to know that if I happen to end up being a cat lady without friends or family, that I would be okay. On my own. By myself.

2. To continue learning - I never want to feel stagnant and mentally "dead". Even if my life becomes so routine that my days feel like duplicates of an old boring photograph , I want to discover other things that feed my mind and challenge my skills and capabilities.

3. To be in the company of those I admire - Now this can sound a bit harsh but I won't revoke it. I don't like being around people whom I do not admire. I believe that friendships are an amazing way to learn and grow. I like to look at my friends and say, "yes, you are truly unique and I know exactly what it is about you that I would like to see in myself". I want to surround myself with people that I can learn from and always be in constant company with those who are more successful, stronger and more creative than I am.

4. To never forget where I came from - As far as family drama goes, mine could contest the best and take the prize. Although I can't say that I want to necessarily be exactly like my family, I don't ever want to forget where I came from. I came from humble beginnings and I grew up to understand and appreciate the simple things in life since that sometimes was all that we had. I learned to be so content with this that hardly anyone knew that we were struggling financially and emotionally and so, because of this, I feel prepared to take on the world. I want to hone what I love about my family and improve on their weaknesses. Overall, I consider myself a better person for it.

5. A place to call my own - I can't say that growing up in two households was easy. Although my parents did everything possible to make my weekly transitions from one house to the next pleasant, I always felt disorganized, anxious and uprooted. As a result, I'm always seeking consistency even though I know that settling into a routine makes me one boring gal. I want to have the walls of my house painted with me and the voices of those I love echoed through its hallways. I feel well on my way towards this and so, this is one goal I'm not worried about achieving.

6. Seeing things for what they are and not what I've been told they should be - Little is attractive to me than the ability to relate to people genuinely. I want to challenge my preconceptions (I'm not going to lie, I have some...) and step out of my comfort zone. When I look around me, I want to see my shelves come alive with memories of old friends, travels, and tests of faith and inner - strength. I want to come to my own, well contested, conclusions. World, here I come.

Thanks for hearing me out - there's a lot more where this comes from but these are the first things that come to mind. I'm neglecting a lot here, and I'm well aware of it. I think I'm still trying to figure out how to word the hardest, most intimate thoughts. Ha! We'll see how it goes the next time Inspiration takes hold. Stay tuned for more about me =)

- interlude -

p.s = get used to seeing "interludes" - I would consider it a tragedy if I ever actually finished this list. To consider the thought of never dreaming and striving for something would be to consider me dead. Yikes.


Sunday, July 5, 2009

Can't wait...

Every book has a soul,
The soul of the person who wrote it
and those who have read it, and lived and dreamed with it.
Every time a book changes hands, every time someone runs their eyes down its pages, its spirit grows and strengthens.
- Carlos Ruiz Zafrón

The trouble with waiting for a foreign written novel to come out is that you have to wait for someone to translate it. It was nearly close to torture for me just to know that people in Europe were able to read this book a year and some prior to it even coming out in North America! With this in mind, I even contemplated learning more Spanish so that I could read his texts in their original language...Crazy, I know.

Although I'm dying to dive into this book, I have a few reservations. His previous book, Shadow of the Wind was so remarkable that I find myself a bit cautious in approaching this book in the same way, and with the same expectations. It was the type of book that I found myself buying multiple copies of in the last five years just because I kept on giving my copy to friends (if you haven't read it, read it now!!) Needless to say, the expectations were high for this book. It's almost like watching the first part of a trilogy, loving it, and then being scared to watch the second because you doubt that it could be exceed the impression the first one has left on you. Zafrón's writing gives words to my dreams; that being said, I'm so immensely worried that he will be changed with this new book.

Also, since I am still reading Shantaram, I've decidedly promised to not pick up the Zafrón until I'm done it. I wouldn't want to become enamored with Angel's and forget about all that Shantaram has brought to the table. Even though Shantaram is wonderful, it is taking me a while to get through due to all the things I find myself doing after work. It's hard to get through anything when you only get the chance to read for about half an hour a day.

Has anyone awaited the release of a book recently? Are you ready to plunge in or are you just as reserved as I am?

p.s I will begin making my book reviews available on this blog. Hopefully they'll inspire you to put one of my reads on your list. I always welcome conversation on literature; very little makes me happier =)

Friday, July 3, 2009

A summertime gift to myself!

Those would be my feet. Please note that they are all pedicured up. A reddy-orange nailpolish seemed to be the perfect addition to my summertime look. The choice of colour had nothing to do with the colour of the t-shirt I was wearing today when I got the pedicure done - it was merely a coincidence

Somehow, no one believes me!