Monday, November 30, 2009

Hurray for Monday!

So, I entered this picture into a contest at work to depict what is amazing in my life:
This is Molly and Oryx when Oryx was just little. I love this picture and both of those fur brats very much.

AND I won two tickets to see A Christmas Carol at Theatre Calgary! Woot, Woot!

In my excitement, I slit open my finger on a pile of paper, but even that didn't bring me down (just caused me to utter some four letter words under my breath which brings to question why most favored words in times like these are four letters?).

I wanted to put this show on my list as I thought everyone should see it once live. And now I will and for free!

Best Monday ever (well except for holiday Mondays...those are pretty sweet!)!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Makes you Wonder

Today I was waiting for the bus in front of Holt Renfrew. They always have some captivating window displays that usually catch my attention and today was no different. I am not sure how I feel about this display:

I am not sure how well you can see this picture. The man-equin is sitting in a chair made out of antlers (which bothers me because I feel a dominance metaphor) and looking through a telescope thing. The women-equins are all sitting in front of him in the snow. They are wearing hats with antlers thus the idea they are reindeer can be assumed. They have belts linking them all together that are adorned with bells which I took to be reins. The overall composition of this window display makes me think that women are pulling the man's sleigh. I'm not a woman's rights activist, but I am a woman and this window display kind of made me feel uncomfortable. So does that mean Holt Renfrew won, made their point and piqued my interest? Or does it mean they lost and now I may never shop there? Hard to say...I kind of like art that makes me uncomfortable and makes me think.

What do you think of this?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

In my bag

I told you I am a proud bandwagon hopper! It seems like many are participating in the bag meme and now I am too.

My bag is from House of Dereon's line circa 2007. It cost $150 and I bought it at Winners. I love it.
In my bag I have:
A bottle of kahlua from last night's outing. It will be going into my liquor cabinet now. ($15ish)
A FFWD newspaper to let me know what's happening around town this week (free)
My Kenneth Cole Reaction wallet. I love the deep purple and contrasting lime green stitching together. Adam bought it for me for Christmas in 2007 (free)
A pen I picked up at a tradeshow (the realtor tradeshow maybe??) (free)
My AU student planner which is also my life planner (free...for being a student which is not free)
The 100 Mile Diet Book and questions for discussion. This is for tomorrow morning's book and brunch book club meeting. I am so excited for the brunch. There are apparently 7 different type of eggs benny to choose from :) (book was about $20, questions were created by me, but essentially free)
Theatre Calgary's 2009-2010 season brochure. (free)
60 cents and a pink bobby pin. (no idea where the change came from, found it in the pocket. bobby pin was bought as part of a pack of 50 at Liquidation World and I have no idea how much. It is from the Seventeen line of hair products. I miss reading Seventeen Magazine)

Painting the town green with Christmas lights

The Grey Cup is on Sunday and it's being hosted by my hometown. The company I work for is a huge sponsor of the festival so yesterday I had the opportunity to work in the booth we had at the street festival. And it was a blast! When big parties like this happen in town, everyone is in such a good mood and super friendly. Even fans of opposing teams can happily jest each other without getting too worked up. The ambiance is contagious and I really got into the spirit of Rider nation even though I could care less about football (or sports in general -- I am a proud bandwagon hopper!). Here is a fun fact: Historians date the carnival-like activities associated with the Grey cup game back to 1948, when fans of the western champion Calgary Stampeders dressed in western gear, square danced, flipped flapjacks, partied in the streets of Toronto and rode a horse through the lobby of the posh Royal York Hotel. So it was my hometown that showed this nation how to party it up! Yahoooo! (source is wikipedia)

Last night I was also able to score free tickets to the Calgary ZooLights IceBreaker event. They are so beautifully done and filled me with Christmas spirit. I love sipping hot chocolate (and baileys albeit I had Kahlua) while walking through and admiring the millions of lights used to light up the night. We had a quick snowstorm around 4 yesterday afternoon that enhanced the Christmas-y feel of last night.

And then I went to my friend January's birthday where we danced like we were 18. I loved it. And again there were football fans left, right, and centre rocking out and buying rounds.

Today I have nothing on the agenda except reading for school. I may go down to the street festival tonight so I can see the light display they will be having there.

I had a pretty good Friday. :)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

☼ inspired ☼

One day I will have a room like this to read, dream and think in...

Photo Credit: someone somewhere on the Internet...I have no idea where I saved this from. Sorry!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Once upon a time...

...I wrote this post. My blog redirected me to it today. Sometimes I forget my focus. This post watered that seed in me again.

I finally finished Barchester Towers at lunch time today. I had to read it for school and found it to be dry at parts, but in the end I was kind of sad to leave all of the characters. Of course, everyone ended up happily ever after -- even despicable Mr. Slope. Tonight I start reading Middlemarch.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

operation: school's out

I am a lazy student. And because I study online, I let my courses slip taking extended time to finish and letting everything else come into play first. In 2010 I vow that I will change my slacker ways and complete the last 13 courses (averaging a course a month). This means that I have to spend weeknights reading, writing and studying, not playing. And this means that I will have to get up a little bit earlier to utilize morning time too. And this means that my Saturdays will be spent on assignments. And this means that I will have to manage my time better and will have to pass on some activities. But in a year, I will have my degree and more doors will open for me. To me it will be worth giving up Friday night drunk nights and cutting back on wasted time on Facebook. This is the only life I have. Getting a degree is important to me and 2010 is going to be the year that I do it.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Sunday Stealing on Friday

Part One - Describe:

Your hair? Long and in dire need of a haircut, but I can’t decide what to do with it. Can I commit to bangs? Do I want colour? Layers? Length? Curls?

Your favorite food? Hotdogs-- gourmet ones, plain ones, cut up in Kraft Dinner. I can eat them for lunch, dinner or after the bar.

Your dream last night? Not sure. Don’t really remember.

Your favorite drink? Coke. Followed by chocolate milk. Followed by Orange juice

Your dream/goal? To have a family that is loving. My children are best friends. My husband and I respect each other and bring out each others best instead of pointing out each other’s flaws. We have a home that we love being in together.

The room are you in? My cubicle at work. It’s kind of claustrophobic and I feel caged in.

Your hobby? Reading. I love to read and escape in many ways through reading. With books I can time travel or visit places I can’t afford. I can feel inspired or disgusted. I can exercise my brain and conceive new ideas.

Your fear? That I am going to be in this same spot the rest of my life because it’s easier than trying something new.

Your TV? Has one channel and is barely turned on.

Your Pets? Molly is my shih tzu who is very sick. I am afraid every day may be my last day with her and try to remember that when I feel irritated with 2am bathroom needs. Oryx is my tabby and has so many stories to tell me. He is very vocal and walks around meowing to converse with me.

Friends? I am blessed to have many friends who care about me. I thought I didn’t have any, but when I turned around and started making efforts to connect, there they all were.

Your life? Is busy right now and I like it. I have many social activities taking place that do not revolve around the bottle anymore. I still enjoy imbibing, but find myself creating the life I have always wanted and remembering it.

Your mood? Right now, I feel bored. It’s Friday and I want to get out of here and start my weekend.

If you're missing someone? I don’t feel like I am missing anybody right now.

Your best friend? I have a few best friends. Or what I would say to someone is my best friend. But sometimes I look and think “does that person even really know me?” Adam would know me best because he has seen the love and the hate side of me, but even then I am not sure he is my best friend.

Part Two - The Where's?

Where do you want to be in 6 years? I want to be in my own house, degree under my belt. I want to be in a committed relationship. I want marriage but don’t have to have it by a certain date anymore. I want it to happen when it’s supposed to happen.

Where were you last night? I was at a Greek restaurant discussing My Sister’s Keeper with the Food and Fiction book club. I hated the ending of the book, but enjoyed the restaurant and the company immensely.

Where did you grow up? In Calgary which is where I still am now. My hometown is a big city to many. I still feel it’s small.

One place that I go to over and over? The bookstore and the shoe store

Your favorite place to eat out? I don’t really have a favorite. I kind of enjoy eating at home, putting together a meal that I didn’t know if I could make it before.

Wish list items? A pub style kitchen table, a coffee table with shelving for storage, over the knee boots, perfect skinny jeans, to be a size 5 or smaller again, to be finished school and to have a story about a left hand ring to share with the world.

Last time you laughed? Today, at lunch listening to a co-worker’s university stories

Last time you cried? Yesterday while reading the last bit of My Sister’s Keeper

Part Three - The What's?

Something that you aren't? a man

Last thing you did? Found this meme to help pass the afternoon, called a customer, sent out an email

What are you wearing? Suede black boots over skinny dark denim jeans, black sweater. My hair is pulled over a Bump-it to give it a 1960s feel. Typical casual Friday wear

Something you're not wearing? Jewelry… I never remember to accessorize for some reason even though I do have some beautiful pieces.

Your favorite store? The shoe store…any one of them.

Dear Internets

You know when you have an idea for something and although said idea was inspired by others, you were (wo)man enough to give credit to the inspiration, but are in a situation and someone pretends your inspired idea was her own while sitting next to you and she knew it was your idea because you asked her to join? That's how I feel right now. And although my idea wasn't mind boggling or the next big thing, I still feel cheated. And I know I should let it go because it really doesn't matter that this other person did this in the long run.

I hate feeling cheated. And I do my best to credit my sources in everything I do. I know we live in an interdependent society and that we inspire and influence each other every day. I need to let this go.

In other news, I met this girl on Tuesday at a volunteer event with AIDS Calgary who told me about 12 days of cookies at Christmas time. Each night she makes a different kind of cookie (12 days before Christmas). I love this idea! Sounds like a great way to share time with people I adore as well as creating the ultimate snack pack Christmas treat gift.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Leonid Meteor Shower

Was any one able to see this the last two nights? Monday was too cloudy here and last night was clear, but we didn't see any meteor shower. booo! Just another reason I need a home outside of the city lights.


Good evening Internets,

Its late or early depending on when you go to sleep or wake up. I am caught up in the dramatics of My Sister's Keeper only to be stopped in my tracks due to the problems with pulp fiction and mass producing novels in paperback form. I am missing pages 205 to 227. And something incredible happened in those pages because the dynamics of the family have been extremely altered. WTF! I mean, it's an easy read and in a lot of ways I have already filled in blanks because the book has mostly been predictable (for example, I was not at all surprised that Jesse was the arsonist causing his dad more fires to put out). And they sure mention the gold fish and fishbowls a lot....the symbolism is somewhat cliche, but I digress. The issue is when you are in a rhythm, getting caught up in plot lines and suddenly there is a breakage....well, it is a lot like white noise while listening to your favorite guilty pleasure song or watching a white bronco cruise down the highway as news anchors insist there is breaking news right in the middle of the cheesy movie of the week. You are not really confused, but kind of disappointed.

And I am disappointed. I bought this mass produce edition because it was less expensive. Is it less expensive because it's missing pages and entire plot twists? Is it wrong that I want to not only email the publishing division (a certain pocket books fiction), but their boss (hello Simon & Schuster) as well as Ms. Jodi Picoult. Shouldn't she be embarrassed that her work has been mutilated and mutated in such a way? Does she really want her name attached to incomplete work? Are these missing pages actually a metaphor?

And by the way Ms Picoult, how come you not only have the opportunity to write best sellers, but you were also blessed with long red ringlets? Rule number one as an adult I guess. Life is not fair and I should get used to it. Send me the missing pages and I will forgive all.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

This is Halloween

Remember how all year and then some I have been talking about the Halloween wedding I was a bridesmaid in? Here is a sample of what that day was like:

Friday, November 13, 2009

My perfect Friday

Frugal Dreamer wrote a piece about her perfect Friday which prompted me to think about my own.

My perfect Friday begins by waking up around 8 for a light breakfast of coffee, toast, and scrambled eggs while perusing the newspaper and watching the local morning show. I shower and dress by 9, then sit in my home office (with south facing windows for maximum vitamin D exposure) where I blog, research and write for a couple of hours. I’m a free lance writer for various local magazines/e-zines and write commentary pieces on life using gardening, cooking and other domestic duties as metaphors.
For lunch I meet up with a girlfriend or a colleague at a café (not sure if it would be trendy or hole-in-the-wall as I love both kinds of cafes). We gossip and share tidbits of life with each other -- this is my weekly tradition to stay connected. After quite a few cups of coffee, I make my way over to the market to pick up any fresh ingredients for dinner that night as well as for the weekend. In a way, this is all part of my job as it is simply researching life.

I spend the afternoon tidying (although I do this regularly so that my house is always presentable), preening in my garden (I have both an indoor garden as well as an outdoor garden), noting in list form what I want to accomplish over the weekend and putting together my husband and my evening dinner. Friday evening is date night for us. I try to make Friday dinners more special and adventurous because of that.
My husband may work outside of the home or he may have his own office (whatever his perfect Friday entails). We live on a small piece of land because I wanted garden space and chickens; he wanted quiet country air and the ability to own a horse someday. We are neither farmers nor ranchers by trade though. We just felt that a home should be a permanent vacation spot. My garden is a mixture of vegetables and flowers because it is mostly a place where I allow myself to experiment.

Date night begins with cocktails or a glass of wine (we make our own in the cellar). We sit in our sunroom and discuss our day, current events and our goals that we are working towards. We enjoy our dinner always followed by dessert and then play a game of scrabble or monopoly or even snakes and ladders. Once I win (it is my perfect Friday after all), we celebrate my victory soaking in our hot tub under the stars. My perfect Friday is reaching an end and I prepare for my perfect Saturday. Because the way I look at it, this is my life and why can’t I have a perfect everyday?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The 100-Mile Diet

Has anyone else read this? A book by Alisa Smith and J.B. (James) MacKinnon that chronicles their one year pledge to only eat food grown or raised within a 100 mile radius. At first their diet is kind of boring and mostly potatoes, but as they learn more about what grows in their 100 miles, their meals become way more interesting than anything I eat that comes from over 2500 miles.

I read this for the GirlTalk Books and Brunch event this month, and it is not something I would normally have picked up at all. But as I was reading it, I found myself wondering more and more if I could eat within 100 miles. It made me want to begin my garden and put even more effort into my garden once it is cultivated. The book stirred dreams of owning a small piece of land that I could have a huge garden on and a chicken coop for fresh eggs.

As I was researching this book for the book club discussion, I came across a similar sounding book called Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. It has the same basic concept of knowing where your food came from --seed to table. This book is now on my to be read list. Has anyone read that book?

The website for 100 Mile Diet has a handy link to google maps that will show you your 100 mile radius. I am in Calgary and would be fortunate to have beef and wheat readily available...unfortunately Taber is not in my radius which would mean no Taber corn for me in the summer... *sigh*

Could you become a locavore? What is the one thing you would have the hardest time giving up? Mine would be coffee.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I'm five days late...

...but decided to join NaNoWriMo this year. The worst that can happen is I don't meet the targeted word count. But I may be able to catch up -- I have a cold and due to H1N1-steria, I am not allowed at work till I am 100%. Luckily I work for a company that gives paid sick time. Unfortunately, I am getting restless. Although I did take the dog for a walk today just around the block and the entire process was exhausting. Halfway I just wanted to lie down and when I got home I crawled into bed I was so exhausted. I may be sicker than I will admit. The coughing is subsiding though.

I also started a group on facebook if you want to join. I was inspired by Make under my life's weekly exfoliation series as well as Over the Cubicle Wall's past monthly de-cluttering goals. I am having a 30 days to Less Clutter challenge. Check out the group and if you want to join or know a friend who would like to join, feel free! The more people who play, the more interesting the stories of stuff accumulated get. Why do we have so much stuff?!?!?! :)

Well, off to start my Novel for the month... may take some cough syrup to allow the imagination to really get carried away ;-)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

My dream home...

...consists of a solarium on the South side of the house with a year round garden that I nurture and learn from finding the best place for certain plants and what grows best together.

...will have enough yard space that I can keep a couple chickens for fresh eggs

...has so much natural light in the house that it feels airy