Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Friday, August 22, 2008

Coke Zero

Dear Coke Zero,

I can taste the difference. And unfortunately, in a taste-off battle between you and regular Coke, you lose every time.

A concerned consumer

Thursday, August 14, 2008

whats on my mind this week

1) A caper is a vegetable. The other day Devin and I were watching Top Chef and someone referred to a caper as a vegetable. And I turned to Devin and said "a caper is a vegetable?" and he said "yes, what did you think it was?" And I guess I had never really thought about it before. Because really - what else could a caper be?

2) The other day I was in the campus photocopy place and a young man (20 or so) asked for thirty colour copies of his resume. And I wanted to tell him that there was no earthly reason to have a resume that was in colour. And that, in fact, it made him look unprofessional. However, as it was clearly none of my business I said nothing.

3) I know that a lot of people are disappointed with how Canada is doing in the Olympics. And I know that I am sad that Canada has so far won no medals. And I read that countries like the US and Russia manage to convert international success into medals 60% of the time, and Canada is only able to do so 30% of the time. But at least as far as the pool is concerned, I am super proud of all the Canadian athletes. What more can you ask from your athletes than personal bests and national records.

4) However, the Olympics have preempted Coronation Street which does not make me happy :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

beauty is more than skin deep, but sometimes you just need to make your skin look beautiful

On Monday I had my first ever facial.

And one of the best parts was that it was free. It was my going-away gift from my boss at my old job and I finally got around to having it. And it was wonderful.

The spa where I had my facial was lovely - and I would definitely go back if I wasn't leaving Victoria forever in less than a month.

The esthetician was very sweet and very calm, and the spa was super "atmospheric". Dim lights, aromatherapy scents wafting through the rooms, very relaxing music playing. And one hour spent making my face looking beautiful! Okay - technically my face didn't look any different afterwards, but I imagine that it is more beautiful on the inside.

Now, if anyone wanted to give me a free facial in the future I certainly wouldn't turn it down. However, I think that if I was going to spend my own money on a spa service, I would spend it on a massage or body treatment, or mani/pedi rather than a facial.

Although - must admit to achieving a bit of a state of zen and feeling an overwhelming sense of calm, and a belief that life is too short to harbour hard feelings.

I think I was meant for a life of reflection and none of this work business. Oh well - I guess I'll find out soon enough.

Monday, August 11, 2008

from the desk (blog) of Simon Beck

this blog post is dedicated to Devin:

"Phelps might reckon he can out-gold Mark Spitz, but without Spitz's matinee-idol looks and trademark '70s porn star moustache, all he'll ever be is a strange humanoid who practises a lot."

p.s. C'mon Canada!! Lucky Day 4!!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

40 things about me right now.

1. My uncle once: made mead.

2. Never in my life: have I smoked a cigerette

3. When I was five: my best friend was named Thersea and my current friend Amanda was mean to me - we did not become friends for 11 more years.

4. High school was: interesting and fun and filled with trips to starbucks; although I must admit that I wore very very unflattering clothing.

5. I will never forget: cheating off Alex in a grade 2 spelling test and how badly I felt afterwards. She didn't know how to spell the word either. The word was Chunakh and I still cannot spell it.

6. Once I met: the girl who played Sally Potts on Road to Avonlea

7. There’s this boy I know: and he is wonderful.

8. Once, at a bar: a guy told me I looked like Lisa Loeb. And two months later, another guy, at the same bar, also told me I looked like Lisa Loeb. For what it's worth - I don't look like Lisa Loeb.

9. By noon, I’m usually: ready for a nap.

10. Last night: I watched Planet Earth with Devin

11. If only I had: $1000 a week for life.

12. Next time I go to church: will later this month with Devin's family.

13. What worries me most: is uncertainty.

14. When I turn my head left I see: My room.

15. When I turn my head right I see: A wall.

16. You know I’m lying when: I laugh and say "no, I'm lying"

17. What I miss most about the Eighties is: I don't know... I was six.

18. If I were a character in Shakespeare I’d be: someone kind and sweet who offered advice

19. By this time next year: I hope to be happily settled, enjoying the present and planning for the future.

20. A better name for me would be: Laura

21. I have a hard time understanding: French

22. If I ever go back to school, I’ll: realistically - get an MPA or a PhD. - but I'd like to get an undergrad degree in psychology

23. You know I like you if: I tell you things about myself.

24. If I ever won an award, the first person I would thank would be: my parents

25. Take my advice, never: place limits on yourself

26. My ideal breakfast is: at the Shine Cafe.

27. A song I love but do not have is: the classical music which the song "midnight blue" is sung to.

28. If you visit my hometown, I suggest you: visit my parents house - they are very nice.

29. Why won’t people: look out for other people and think about how their actions affect others.

30. If you spend a night at my house: I will do my best to take care of you

31. I’d stop my wedding for: I don't know - but I know I would not stop it if I found out that my brother drove his car into the river on purpose just to ruin my big day!

32. The world could do without: violent radicals

33. I’d rather lick the belly of a cockroach than: be surrounded by flying bats

34. My favourite blonde(s) is/are: Devin!

35. Paper clips are more useful than: tacks

36. If I do anything well it’s: be supportive

37. I can’t help but: trust people

38. I usually cry: when I am jet-lagged or sad

39. My advice to my child/nephew/niece: love yourself. love yourself. love yourself.

40. And by the way: "hi mom!"

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

mail is fun!

I love getting mail. I love sending mail. I really just love mail.

So yesterday I received an envelope full of mail from my former roommate. For the record, it was not very interesting mail - 2 visa bills and some junk mail but still... it was fun to receive an envelope full of mail!

And then today... I am still recovering from the excitment! I received a postcard from my friend Jo from Nice! And I received a beautiful necklace I ordered from etsy! A European postcard and a necklace in the same day! Thank you Mr. Mailman!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

the problems of a 20something: Problem #84

When you are 25 and are still ID'ed when you try to buy a scratch-and-win lottery ticket.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

the problems of a 20something: Problem #137

It is easy and sometimes fun to be judgmental. However, the older I get the more I realize how destructive it can be.

So the other day I was talking to someone who said something quite judgmental.

Later I relayed the judgmental comment to Devin in a highly judgmental way. So it then occurred to me that not only was I being judgmental, but in being judgmental about someone else being judgmental I was also being a hypocrite. And isn't it worse to be judgmental AND a hypocrite than just to be judgmental?

Is the solution that I should embrace being judgmental in order to avoid being a hypocrite?

Quote of the Day: If you don't have anything nice to say, come sit by me -Dorothy Parker

Sunday, July 27, 2008

why I don't like pants

So in general, I am actually a big fan of pants. However, there is one thing about pants that I find quite annoying. The pant hem. So you buy a pair of pants and they are too long. So you get them hemmed. Problem solved, right? Wrong! Because pants are hemmed to a certain length. Which means that the pants look great when you wear the shoes that the pants were hemmed in. Or any other shoes that are the same height as the shoes that the pants were hemmed it. So if every day you wear one inch heels your pants will always fit. But wear a pair of flats and the pants are too long. The pants drag on the ground. They no longer fit perfectly. Wear a pair of two inch heels and the pair are too short. They show too much of your socks or nylons. They look funny. This creates quite a problem when transitioning from summer shoes to winter shoes, from flats, to heels, to boots.

Pants. Can't live with them, can't live without 'em.

That's what's great about being young and wearing jeans. You buy them too long, walk all over them, destroy the bottoms, and tell your mom it's okay because that's the "style".

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

you know you're distracted when...

you wash your hair with conditioner. And don't notice until you pick up your shampoo to condition your hair.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

why you need your morning coffee to order your morning coffee

Me: Good Morning!
Barista: Good Morning. What can I get for you?
Me: I would like a 16oz, non-fat vanilla... no vanilla... no vanilla.... no London Fog! I would like a 16oz, non-fat London Fog!

Talk about triumphing over adversity!

Friday, July 11, 2008

when a relationship is like an ill-fated moon landing starring Tom Hanks

I think this is a super interesting description of how to make a relationship work.

"It's about taking what you have, and, instead of trying to change it, finding a happy way to live with it. The movie image that just flashed into my head is in "Apollo 13," when the earthbound scientists stand at a table full of stuff representing everything the astronauts have available to them in the capsule. Their job is to rig something from those materials alone.

Being part of a couple is the same way--you both bring certain things to the relationship, and that's what you have to work with. Either you can rig something with it or you can't."

-Carolyn Hax

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

An Irish Triad

The three most short-lived traces: the trace of a bird on a branch, the trace of a fish on a pool, and the trace of a man on a woman.

- Away, Jane Urquhart

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Fun Facts about Wyoming

Dear Governor Freudenthal,

You have my apologies. I was, perhaps, too quick to judge Wyoming. So I will share some fun facts about Wyoming in attempt to educate both myself, and my audience, about the lower 48's least populous state.

1) Wyoming's Nicknames are "Equality State" and "The Cowboy State"
2) Wyoming's Population is 505,907
3) Wyoming's Area is 97,914 square miles. (I am not going to do that math, but if you really wanted to, you could figure out the number of people per square mile)
4) Wyoming's Capital City is Cheyenne (and the population of Cheyenne is 51,507)
5) Wyoming's state mammal is the Bison
6) Wyoming is the birthplace of abstract expressionist artist Jackson Pollock
7) Wyoming is famous for Yellowstone National Park, being the home where the buffalo roam, agriculture and dude ranches.

These fun facts courtesy of the Lonely Planet USA Guide Book, 2006

Jeopardy - part II

So last week we heard about Devin getting final Jeopardy right based only on the category. Well on Friday I did something equally impressive, and yet completely pitiful.

Friday's final jeopardy category was "US Population Geography". I said "North Dakota" on the assumption that the question would be "Which state has the smallest per capita population."

Well apparently I am too smart by half. I correctly guessed question (or in Jeopardy terms, the answer), but my question (or answer) was incorrect. Final Jeopardy was in fact "Which of the lower 48 states has the smallest population per square mile" or something like that. To which Devin immediately got the right answer. The right answer which was not North Dakota.

In fact, on our recent road trip, Devin and I had discussed this very question, and he had told me the right answer. If only I had listened more closely I would have remembered. And then my story would be that I got final jeopardy right based only on the category, and not that I guessed the clue, only to come up with the wrong answer.

And for you trivia buffs out there, I have revealed the correct answer in the comments section.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

a small little ranting thought

from Today's Globe and Mail

by Preston Manning

"How do Canadian cities measure up in terms of quality of life, economic performance, civic governance and leadership capacity?... In seeking answers, former Ontario premier Mike Harris and I have been examining some recent data [which] suggests that all is not well with Canada's largest city."

Hmmm.... Really? Mike Harris is examining data to try to figure out what is wrong with Toronto? Well, I imagine that this is subject he is intimately familiar with considering how much of what is wrong with Toronto today is the direct results of the Harris government policies of the 1990s. Thanks anyway Mike.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

when invasive species attack

Yesterday I was hit in the leg by a rabbit.

"You hit a rabbit?"
"No, I was hit by a rabbit"

I was walking along a path, and on my left there was a garbage can. Now I guess that the garbage can blocked the rabbit's view of the path, as it ran, full speed, into the side of my leg. I must say I was quite startled. Although probably not nearly as startled as the rabbit, who after a few seconds of disorientation, continued it's full speed run across the pathway to the grass and bushes on the other side.

I thought I might end up with a giant rabbit shaped bruise on the side of my leg, but I seem to emerged from the incident unscathed. I can only hope the rabbit was as lucky.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

rise and shine!

Last night I found out my friend Carly wakes up everyday at 5:00am. Just because. I get up every morning at 7:30am. She said she can't sleep in that late.

Last night I also found out my friend Carly is CRAZY!!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Reason #241 why I love my dad.

Because no one else I know would read the introduction of my thesis, which is on culture, and say:

"Gee now doesn'’t that sound like a sophisticated psychotherapeutic approach to the integration of self-states, ego states, differing cognitive-affective self-schemas, good and bad objects etc. It is the same process and prevents one state, schema or object relation from dominating the many and an awareness and appreciation of the many paradoxically leads to a stronger sense of self."

The older I get, and I more I learn, the more I realize how incredible my dad is.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

I can do it!

This morning, at 7:30, when my alarm went off, I laid in bed for about a minute not wanting to get up. And then, I said to myself, outloud, "C'mon, get up - you can do it". Apparently I now need to give myself inspirational pep talks before I can get out of bed in the morning.

On the plus side. I did get up.

Monday, June 16, 2008

word of the day

I was recently reading something that I wrote when I came across the word "colliery".

I realized that I wasn't too sure what colliery meant and that I was probably misusing the word. So I looked it up.

Colliery: A coal mine together with its physical plant and outbuildings.

So I'm not really sure what word I was going for, but yeah, definitely not colliery.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Canada Post

On Tuesday at 3pm I mailed my dad a father's day card.

And it arrived in Thursday's mail.

It took less than 48hours to get from my mailbox in Victoria to my parent's house in Toronto. Go Canada Post Go!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

sparkley! and bunnies!

I saw this (obviously old) picture this morning and I was really drawn to the sparkles and the cut - although not Ms. Heigel so much, who looks a little weird.

Also - right now I am in the library - and right outside the window there are five baby bunnies, three black and two a tawny tan colour playing with each other. And my goodness don't I just want to go outside and pick them up and hug them. And feed them. And do my part to support an invasive species.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Dog Swimming with a Dolphin

Can you think of anything cuter?

Monday, June 09, 2008

Thursday, June 05, 2008


Tonight Devin got final jeopardy right.

That is not what is impressive. What is impressive is that he got the right answer from the Category. Not the clue. The category.

The Category was "Great Chefs of Europe" or something like that.

And from the category alone, Devin knew the answer was "Escoffier".

I mean seriously. 1) I never would have known the answer in 100 years. 2) I have never got a right answer from the category alone. I am beyond impressed.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

more from Mr. Copeland

Heather: "Here's what I think: the five most unattractive traits in people are cheapness, clinginess, neediness, unwillingness to change and jealousy".

Douglas Copeland, Hey Nostradamus!

I don't know if I agree completely - but it is interesting to think about.

Sunday, June 01, 2008


Over the past few days there has been a story in the news about a young boy named Alex Barton. Alex is five. He was recently diganosed with aspergerus (sometimes described as a milder form of autism).

One day, when he was in the vice-principle's office promising to stop disrupting the class (by crawling under tables, kicking tables, throwing crayons etc.) his teacher gathered the students to talk with them about Alex's (mis)behavior.

When Alex returned, his teacher, who had 12 years experience, made Alex walk to the front of the class, and asked him to listen to what the children didn't like about him. According to Alex, the children complained that he "eats paper, picks boogers … and bites his shoelaces," and the teacher herself said, "I hate you right now. I don't like you today." She then polled the class about whether to let Alex back in. Alex lost the class vote, 14-2, and spent the rest of the school day in the nurse's office. That night, Alex did not eat dinner and would not sleep in his own bed.

This story really struck me. In part for the obvious reason, the public shaming of a five year old. But also I can somewhat understand what it must have been like.

When I was eight, in grade three, there was a disruptive boy in our class, Mehran. Mehran was from an immigrant family which was less affluent then most of the upper-middle class white families whose children went to my elementary school.

One day, we all sat in a circle, while the student teacher, under the watchful eye of the regular teacher, had us all say what we didn't like about Mehran's behaviour. After a while he turned so he was still in the circle, but with his back to the group.

I remember coming home and telling my mother - and how outraged she was. I was eight. I didn't really understand why it wrong. I knew Mehran was disruptive, although his disruptions never bothered me. And I knew it made him sad that the group was saying bad things about him. But at eight, I didn't fully understand the abuse of power and violation of trust on the part of the teachers. I only wish that someone had understood. That someone had been able to speak out. To protect him. But we couldn't. We didn't understand. And neither did he. He couldn't protect himself. And the teachers, the ones in the room who were charged with the duty of care to protect him, were the one's responsible for this abuse.

After that day we had a jar on the teacher's desk. Everytime Mehran did something good the teacher would put a marble in the jar. When he did something bad a marble would come out. When the jar was full the class would get popcorn. So basically, the class of third graders was charged with monitoring the behaviour of one of it's members. Surveiling him to make sure he contributed to the greater good. Giving the rest of us a positive incentive, while further marginalizing one member of the group.

I left that school the next year, and from what I understand, Mehran didn't come back either. I have no idea what happened to him. I hope he is somewhere happy and thriving. And I don't know about the rest of my classmates, but I hope I remember the lesson of that day. The duty of the strong to protect the weak. And the strength to stand up for what is right - now that I have the critical skills to understand and a voice with which to speak.

Sex and the City

"Here at last were women who talked to each other the way women talk (fast, furious, filthy) and - this was important to me - fought with each other the way women fight. Not like the pseudo-friends, the frenemies, you see in countless films and TV shows, where the subtext is that women only relate until some guy comes along, or that we secretly hate each other. The Sex and the City women fought for good reasons: They called out Samantha about using sex as a distraction; Carrie about her masochism over Mr. Big (Chris Noth); Charlotte about abandoning her career. But they didn't fight to crap on each other, they fought to protect each other. And they were pained by it, and palpably relieved to make up."

Johanna Schneller's Kick-Ass Commentary on the new Sex and the City Movie for the Globe and Mail

Saturday, May 31, 2008

A parenting strategy I can get behind.

"Sometimes I think the only way to deal with turbocharged kids is to give them even more sugar and lock them in a room with a TV set. As I know zilch about kids, this is my first (and last) means of coping, and it seem to work just fine."

-Hey Nostradamus!, Douglas Coupland

Monday, May 26, 2008

Reflections from the Highway

There were three things that I noticed time and time again while driving up the Oregon Coast Highway.

1) Espresso. Everywhere served espresso. Gas stations had giant "espresso" signs. And there were all these little shacks serving espresso. We're talking the size of a small bedroom or large bathroom. Just randomly up and down the highway. Serving espresso.

2) Signs selling things and liquor. We saw:
a) Gifts and Liquor
b) Pharamacy and Liquor
c) Herbal Apothocary and Liquor

3) Tsunami Zone! We must have entered and exited more than a dozen Tsunami warning zones. You are driving along and all of a sudden you at risk of death from a giant tidal wave! And then, 10 miles down the road, the risk passes. Only to re-emerge 15 miles later. Although the further North we go the more prepared they were. On top of the Tsunami Zone signs they had arrows pointing in the direction of Tsunami escape routes. Maybe you had to be there.

Run Little Man, Run!

Day 11 - Seaside

1) Cannon Beach
2) Oregon's Oldest Kite Store
3) The espresso cafe that had a memory book - that I wrote in and drew in - and which served me a cinnamon bun with "the works" (which was a combination of icing and rasperberries - and yes - it was delicious)
4) Mo's famous chowder! (which seriously, wasn't all the good)
5) A woman in Mo's chowder with the world's worst behaved "helper dog" ever! Not to be completely uncharitable, but either she bought a helper dog vest for her regular dog, or the helper dog training school has a lot to answer for.
6) Wine Tasting at the Yummy Wine Bar (whose name was seriously "Yummy Wine Bar")

Day 10 - Seaside

1) Blue Heron Smoked Cheese and Petting Zoo
2) Tillamook Cheese
3) "There's a van parked in front of your room. It belongs to Tim. It's broken and it's been there for a while"
4) On the boardwalk
5) Kites and Kites and more Kites
6) Playing checkers in the Seasdide Coffeehouse
7) Dinner in Astoria at T. Paul's Cafe - serving dinner for the past 9 years on a two burner gas stove.
8) Ordering White Zinfedel and being told it was a "wussy wine"
9) "Eat well, laugh often, love much"

Sunday, May 25, 2008

This week in Books

Roots - Alex Haley
This book was really good. As I was reading it I really enjoyed it. But for whatever reason, after I finished it, it didn't seem as good in retrospect. My favourite part was definetely the first 200 hundred pages when the main character is still in Africa. It made me want to read fiction/non-fiction about Africa and learn about a wide variety of communities exist - both today and historically.

The autobiography of Malcolm X
- Alex Haley, as told to by Malcolm X
This book was phenomenal. Seriously. I really really enjoyed it. It opened my eyes to a whole new dimension of African American thought, filled in many historical gaps in my knowledge, and more than that, was just a really compelling read of an exceptional individual. I am not usually one for biographies, so I really enjoyed getting an insight into the development of the thought of a truly influential man.

Blood Letting and Miracle Cures - Vincent Lam
This book won the Giller Prize in 2006 (I think) and it was widely thought to be deserving of a place on the short list, but as I recall, was a surprise winner. This book was great. I love fiction about doctors and hospitals, something that is so fascinating, but an occupation that I have neither the desire nor the aptitude to be a part of. Yet so crucial to modern human life. This book did a fabulous job of really getting into the minds of medical professionals throughout their careers and examined so many aspects of the human condition. The other thing I like about medicine is that it is so seemlessly multicultural, which is also reflected in the book. Four Stars!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Tips for Healthy Living

This morning at Starbucks I could not help but overhear a seventy-something woman talking to a man who I deduced to be her seventy-something boyfriend about tips for healthy eating. Let me share them with you.

1) When at a buffet do not overeat.
2) Eat vegetables, but avoid potatoes.
3) Replace mayonnaise with salad dressing
4) If you are going to eat peanut butter you might as well eat rat poison.
5) Salt is spelled D-E-A-T-H, DEATH!

At this point I was pretty much eavesdropping, but then the subject turned from healthy eating, at which point I decided that enough was enough, to stop judging, and return to my work.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Day Nine - Lincoln City

1) Newport Rogue Brewery
2) Newport Aquarium
3) Big Purple Octopus
4) Otters!
5) A Viking pointing the way to our hotel (the Nordic Inn)
6) Beach as far as the eye can see
7) Having our feet in the Ocean off the coast of Oregon
8) The BlackFish Cafe - Oregon's best Chowder

Day Eight - Redwoods!

1) Lunch at applebees (do not recommend)
2) Banana Slug
3) Puppy Dog!
4) The hostel had a food dehydrator
5) Our first Seastacks and Monoliths!
6) "When you ride alone you ride with Bin Laden"
7) Tall Trees! Tall Trees! Tall Trees!
8) A very tall tree, which was once destined to become a dance floor (although clearly it was saved because we saw it)
9) Driving through a drive through tree!
10) Standing in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California
11) Running away from the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California (it was very cold)

Day Seven - San Francisco

1) Vignette: On the ferry to Alcatraz there was a little girl (about 2 or 3) who was crying on the second level of the ferry. As we made our way down to the first level while disembarking there was a little boy crying (who was about 3). When the little boy's parents saw the little girl crying, a big smile broke out over the mom's face who said to her son about the little girl "she could be your girlfriend" followed by "I'm glad you are not the only one". Yeah. Super cute.
2)"Machine Gun" Kelly
3) The officer's families lived on the island of Alcatraz, with the prisoners, and even had bowling alleys (plural) on the island where the kids of the prison guards would play.
4) Walking up and down Chinatown streets looking for the fortune cookie factory (which we finally found and took pictures of the ladies making fortune cookies!)
5) Union Square Overload
6) Cable Car!
7) The charming cable car operator's colourful language (many many "shits" and one "mother fucker")
8) Yummy Ice Cream Cookie Sundae
9) Buying chocolates for the women at work even though (as Devin pointed out) "you don't work there anymore)
10) Exploritorium!
12) Super cute and trendy Marina District
13) Dinner with small girls, old ladies and duck confit on the world's most heated patio
14) Watching the Sharks versus Dallas at the Irish Pub and when the Sharks won the bartender said to Devin "you wanted them to win right?" to which Devin replied "not really, I'm from Calgary"

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Day Six - San Francisco

1) Mission District and Murals and Real Life
2) Tartine bakery and croque monsieur and lemon tarts and bread pudding and hipsters
3) Golden Gate Park
4) Bison
5) AIDS memorial garden
6) Butterflies and Orchids
7) Sausilito
8) A disappointing ice cream sundae (to be rectified on day seven by an ice cream sundae at Ghirardelli)
9) 5 cases of coke - buy 2 get 3 free!

Day Five - San Francisco

1) Ghirardelli Square
2) Phantom of the Opera Music Boxes
3) A very busy cruise ship terminal
4) Chowder in a San Francisco Sour Dough bread bowl
5) Sealions - so many many sealions
6) Telegraph Hill - super pretty flowers - walking up and up and up
7) Lombard Street - walking (still up)
8) "Don't take pictures of children"
9) Bridge may fall in earthquakes - do not congregate in groups
10) Kama cupcakes
11) Fresh halibut - cooked in three packs of butter
12) Sunburn. Oh so sunburned.
13) Saltwater Taffy

Day Four - Driving

1) 10 hours of driving
2) Mount Shasta - greatest mountain ever!!
3) Rolling hills and wildflowers
4) While driving on the highway seeing a truck with a giant trailor with giant words painted on the side reading "Jesus Christ is Lord, Not a Swear Word" and not that this isn't true, but seeing it driving down the highway on the side of a truck in giant letters is another thing entirely.
5) Pho for dinner

Day Three - Portland

1) Cubano Coffee
2) Saturday Market (also on Sunday's)
3) Seeing the fork ring lost by Jenny from All Eyes on Jenny (I would link to the photo if my internet wasn't being slow)
4) Jewerelly made out of bottlecaps
5) Eating Lebanese food on the grass (and getting Lebanese food all over my jeans and the grass)
6) Me joking about Devin having a beer and elephant ear for lunch - and then a random lady saying "I am having a beer and elephant ear for lunch"
7) Dogs being wheeled around in a wagon
8) The Hawthorne District
9) Crazy Uphill drive to the Portland Zoo
10) Amazing Black Bears and Elephants
11) Single Moms and pregnant teens
12) Liz is scared of bats and Devin is not too fond of bugs
13) Buying cupcakes for later - and then eating cupcakes later
14) Trying to go to a pub for dinner - being thwarted and then having the best thai food ever!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Day Two - Portland

1) Walk to Pioneer Square to take touristy pictures
2) Walk to Chinatown - featuring many homeless people and a very large Adult Bookstore next to the Chinatown welcome gate.
3) Powell's book - One entire square city block of book store
4) Hot Dogs in Pioneer Square for lunch
5) Nordstroms - where I wanted to buy Devin a $130 Burberry tie. Sadly, that was not in the budget. And Devin isn't into being pretentious just for the heck of it like me :)
6) Ben & Jerry's
7) Saint Cupcake
8) Hanging out on 21st and 23rd - so many little shops with so many random things
9) Moonstruck Chocolate
10) Jake's Crawfish est. 1892
11) Devin eating a Crawfish boil (I will never order a crawfish boil - I most definetly do not have the patience)
12) Annex Bar in the Triangle Building's Underground Crypt with cool mosiac tiles, ruby beer and waitresses with style

Day One - Portland

As some of you may know, last week Devin and I returned from a fabulous holiday on the West Coast of the United States of America. I am going to blog about some of the highlights. I am doing this mainly for myself - as a written record of the trip - and the fact that you wonderful people will get to read it is only a secondary benefit.

1) The American border guard to Devin "how well do you know her?" "What does she do?"
2) Lunch at Jack in the Box (only in America)
3) Attending the launch of the Bridgeport Brewery launch of the new Strumptown Tart beer (including a signing by the model of the Bridgetown Brewery new Strumptown Tart Beer Model herself).
4) Making a run to Rite-Aid for contact solution while waiting to be sat for dinner at the Bridgetown Brewery which was unusually busy due to the launch of the new Strumptown Tart Beer Launch.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Road Triping and Gender Differences

May 2007
Liz: Oh my goodness this is so beautiful - look at the tree!
Alex: Oh my god, I know, it's amazing!
Liz: This is one of the coolest things ever!
Alex: Can you believe how amazing this is?
Liz: It is so amazing!!

May 2008
Liz: Oh my goodness this is so beautiful - look at this tree!!
Liz: Isn't this one of the most amazing things ever?
Devin: It's a tree.
Liz: But look how big and beautiful it is.
Devin: It's a tree.
Liz: I love you.
Devin: I know.
Liz: I was talking to the tree.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Since I haven't posted in a while I am going to give a rundown of all the films I have seen lately (to be followed later this week by all the books I have read lately).

August Rush
Starring Keri Russell and Jonathan Ryhs Meyers and some random cute kid.
Verdict: I love Keri Russell. I think she is beautiful. However. I talked through this whole movie and I NEVER talk through movies. I would not recommend. I would also not warn against.

Starring Keri Russell and Billy from Six Feet Under, now seen on Law and Order
For my thoughts on Keri Russell see above. This movie was great. The plot developments were somewhat predicable. But I will excuse this because the message was all lovely and heartwarming. The movie was also written and directed by Adrienne Shelly and I always like to see strong female filmmakers in Hollywood. In conclusion, it was fun to watch and I would recommend it on a night where you would enjoy a lovely movie about women, life, love and hope.

Lars and the Real Girl
Starring Ryan Gosling and Emily Mortimer
This movie was really great. If you like quirky, somewhat unexpected movies totally see it. That being said, it is totally the kind of movie that some people will hate, think is weird and totally not get. It is all awkward and makes you feel all awkward and turn to your viewing companion and say "what? oh my god? seriously?" Maybe not a great first date movie. Unless you want to test your date - in which case a great first date movie.

The Laramie Project
Starring: many many famous and nonfamous people
This film, which is also a play, is a compilation of actors playing the roles of real people using the real people's words, at the time of the brutal murder of Matthew Sheppard in Laramie, Wyoming who was killed because he was gay. It is the story of individuals, but more the story of a town. The message is that Laramie is not a place where something like this happens, but something like this did happen, so clearly Laramie is a place where this does happen. This movie was excellent. It was powerful. It was thought-provoking. It was moving. It was a movie that everyone, young and old, hip and sqare, male and female should rent. Seriously. Four stars.

Monday, April 21, 2008

american presdiential politics

Several months ago I wrote that if given the opportunity, I would support Hillary Clinton over Barak Obama for the White House. I still agree with that statement. However - I think that Obama has shown himself to be the candidate with the most momentum and I think that he will win the nomination - and more than that - I think he deserves to win the nomination.

Michael Moore wrote (in his endorsement of Obama today) "My endorsement is more for Obama The Movement than it is for Obama the candidate." Now I am not a huge Michael Moore fan (and he is not a huge Hillary Clinton fan), but I think this statement really crystalizes how I feel at this point. I think that though I don't love Barak Obama, the Obama movement is really really special. And it really does give or bring or provide hope - for everyone - and especially for those who need it most. And though I am disappointed that it seems likely that Hillary Clinton will not be the* next president, I think it would be a wonderful thing if Barak Obama was the next president.

*I wrote "our" next president, and then when I realized I changed it to "the". Interesting...

Saturday, April 19, 2008

and while we're on the subject...

Tonight - I did something I didn't know I could do...

Something that other people do all the time, but I didn't know it was something I could do.

Tonight. At 24. For the first time in my entire life I successfully made an omelet. Yes - this might not seem like a big deal to some. In fact, it may seem like a really little deal, but I have never successfully made an omelet before. The last time I tried I was in second in year university and it did not go well. Since then everytime I have thought "should I make an omelet?" I get scared and go for scrabbled eggs.

But not tonight. No tonight I went for it! I conquered my fear of omelets! And it was a beauty - red pepper, feta, meat - and it was excellent, if I do say so myself. So now I can go on with my life, without this horrible secret hanging over me. I am now one step closer to grown-up independence.

yay pandas!

(photo used without permission from the globeandmail.com)

I never used to be one of those people who was like "oh... look at the cute animals" like a lot of people are. But apparently in my old age I have totally become on of those "oh look at the cute animals" people. I am undecided if this is a good thing or a bad thing - but then I thought to myself "I am probably overthinking this". In conclusion - yay pandas!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

theory and practice

Today while walking home from the bus I had a lovely thought. Now I am sure that I did not come up with this independently, but it just sort of came to me and clicked tonight. So I have a new life motto to add to my collection of life mottoes.

Take care of today and tomorrow will take care of itself.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


38 — Consecutive saves by goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff after allowing a goal on the first shot he faced.

Can you imagine? Allowing a goal on the first shot of the game - shaking it off - and then playing amazingly? As far as I am concerned what is admirable about certain athletes is less there super impressive physical abilities and more their unbelievable mental abilities.

Go Flames Go!

(And also Go Pens Go!)

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

judge not....

In the past I have been flippant about my tendency to judge people. Largely because you can say something mean about someone that is true and factual without being judgmental just for the sake of being judgmental.

For example "I can't believe how superficial Carrie is, if I have to hear her talk about her Gucci purse one more time...." Now this is not a NICE thing to say about someone - and you probably shouldn't say it - but I would never feel like a bad person for saying that and it's more bitchy than judgmental.

But lately - lately I have been becoming really judgmental. And for no reason. NONE! Even Devin, who is prone to judgments himself from time to time, has noticed. So today I decided that it must be as simple as the age old self-help-advice-guru knowledge - when you judge someone else you are really just judging yourself.

So that means that for the past several weeks I have been judging myself more than usual. But I can't figure out why. Aside from the fact that I keep judging myself for being so judgmental! And then I get mad at myself for being so judgmental, and then I get upset for judging myself about being judgmental...!!

Although I have a theory. I live with a roommate who is a very nice person but is a) not a great roommate as far as cleanliness and her cats are concerned and b) After living alone for two years going back to a roommate was not fun for me. So mainly I am judgmental towards her (silently in my head to myself) which is really just a manifestation of my frustration with my living situation. However - that situation is ending in two weeks (!!!) so my hope is I will relax and stop being so judgemenal.

And then I guess I can start working on my occasional tendencies to exercise factual, if completely unnecessary, bitchiness.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

love is a many splendored thing


But you must not bring me any more pineapples.
Do you hear? It is not proper.
It is a gift a young man would bring to his lady-love.
it makes me blush.


But there is no-one... no-one in all of Berlin who is
more deserving.
If I could, I would fill your entire room with pineapples!

"It Couldn't Please me More", Cabaret

Friday, April 04, 2008

my newest celebrity crush

Mary Louise Parker

I think she is beautiful, talented and fabulous. I love her hair, her face, her voice, and her role choices. I loved her on the West Wing and I now love her on Weeds. I love her name. Everything about her is just great.

I am so over Maggie Gyllenhaal (who I like for many of the same reasons) and I am now switching my celebrity girl crush to Mary Louise Parker.

And for those of you who think I am crazy you are in good company: my mom can't stand her!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Sage Advice

Today Miss Manners offers advice on a problem that I think we've all had.

How do you handle those awkward moments when you are sitting in a hot tub with your naked neighbour? Now you can find out!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I want one!

Taken from the Globe and Mail Daily Photos Slideshow

Seriously.... I just need a house and a yard and someone to walk in the rain and the snow and I am totally getting a dog!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Quote of the Week

"Some problems we share as women, some we do not. You fear your children will grow up to join the patriarchy and testify against you, we fear our children will be dragged from a car and shot down in the street, and you will turn your backs upon the reasons they are dying."

Audre Lorde, Black Feminist Scholar

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Thing of the Week....

Vanilla Caramel Latte Ice Cream

"A sensual blend of our rich coffee ice cream and a fine caramel ripple swirled with vanilla ice cream to create a sophisticated flavour sure to please the discerning palate of coffee connoisseurs."

This is how ice cream is meant to be.

Friday, March 07, 2008

book of the week

Bee Season

This is one of two books I will be profiling this week purchased at my local St. Vincent de Paul thrift store. The best way to buy books!

This was an entertaining story about a messed up family (aren't we all). It dealt with the differences between how a person is seen from the outside and how they are on the inside. It's main theme was about finding your place - identifying your role - in the universe. It was entertaining and made me think. But it was also a little pedestrian. And it was turned into a movie starring Richard Gere which I am totally going to rent.

The Stone Diaries - Carol Sheilds

This books won the pulitizer and was shortlisted for the Booker so it definetely has the pedigree. Overall it was very good. I enjoyed reading it. It was really well-written. But it just didn't do it for me. It didn't grab me. I didn't make me want to tell everyone I know about how great it was. I think part of the reason may be because it covers the entire life of a woman and the older she got the less I felt I connected with character and the less I cared about what I was reading. This could easily be because I am still so young that I could not appreciate the book in its entertity. That being said - I totally get why someone would fall in love with it.

As an aside...

I absolutely loved the Time Travellers Wife. I thought it was great. Really good story telling. And soon to be in a theatre near you starring Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana.

And without reading it I could tell you that I would not like Eat, Pray, Love. And after talking with a friend who read it - whose review was extremely similar to that over at "counting the things I know" my initial pre-judgment was confirmed.

Monday, March 03, 2008


Dear Starbucks,

I know you and I (and you a millions of others) have a special relationship. I trust you. I trust your eggnog lattes and your pumpkin spice lattes and, after some initial hesitation, your cinnamon dolce lattes. And though I agree with this week's Globe column regarding your problem not being your coffee, but rather you horrible horrible food, I have always supported your coffee.

until now.

In theory a honey latte sounds lovely. I like honey. I like lattes. Honey is sweet. I like sweet lattes. But oh starbucks. The other morning I ordered a honey latte (minus the whip cream) and I took a sip. It was disgusting. Wanting to make sure I took a second sip. No. Still gross. So I returned it to the counter and had them make me a complimentary vanilla latte. I don't understand? You have teams of experts who consult on this kind of stuff. Taste specialists! Is it just me? Is that it? I still love you starbucks - but my trust in your judgment has just taken a hit.

Quote of the day:

"Well," said Pooh, "what I like best----" and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Good morning

I surreptitiously brought my Starbucks beverage into the campus library this morning! I think I am a little too impressed with myself....

Thursday, February 14, 2008

book of the week

A month or so ago I was browsing through the used book store on campus (that sells consigned textbooks) looking to see if there were any books from an English class that I might like to read. I picked up two.

1) The Wild Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys.

This book (for those of you who do not know) is the story of Mr. Rodchester's first wife (the mad woman upstairs in Jane Eyre). I have heard of it many times, as it is often read in English classes as it written back to Jane Eyre by an author from the Caribbean, and it is interesting to read from back and forth from the colonial power to colonies... anyways... it was good and I enjoyed it and I am glad I read it.... however it was no where near as fabulous as...

2) The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

This book, winner of the 1989 Booker Prize and turned into a move starring Emma Thompson and Anthony Hopkins is about a British butler and his relationship to the house and to the housekeeper. The book is from the point of view of the butler and it is amazing. Nothing happens in the sense of action-adventure - but it is such a moving, stirring, extraordinary exploration of the human condition. Not to mention the writing is outstanding (hence the booker prize). Now part of the reason I liked it so much might have been that going in I had no expectations. So if anyone out there decides to read, please don't have very high expectations because this book is definetely not for everyone. It was, however, totally for me.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Quote of the Day

"For many [parents], real estate is the preferred way to say "I love you."

-Pearce, Tralee "Financed by the Bank of Ma and Pa", Globe and Mail, February 12, 2008

I of course immediately called both my parents to inform this of this latest development in parent-child relations and to confirm whether or not their love for me extends to these new modern methods of showing love. Apparently it does not.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

my new favourite dress

America Ferrera at the 2008 SAG Awards
(click to make it big to fully appreciate its spectacularness)

Monday, February 04, 2008

how did I miss this...?

Quote of the Day...

"I met the Dalai Lama in my office but I meet everyone in my office. I don't know why I would sneak off to a hotel room just to meet the Dalai Lama. You know, he's not a call girl. As I say, he's a respected international spiritual leader."

-Stephen "Steve" Harper

Friday, February 01, 2008

law & order

Today I don't have to go to work because I worked so much this week (right...) that today I have "compensatory time off".

So it's 10am and I am watching Law and Order.

Season One.

And guest starring....

Phillip Seymour Hoffman!

In, according to imdb.com, his first credited role.

How cool is that??

I realize that this is not at all cool in some abstract definition of the word cool.

But it is super cool to me.

Law and Order Season One PLUS Phillip Seymour Hoffman = Cool!!

Me = Cool, not so much

Friday, January 25, 2008

quote of the day

"The bitter will be punished because their lives are already punishment."

-Carolyn Hax

I think this is a super interesting observation. I cannot think of anyone I know who I would describe as bitter - and I do not think I have ever had a moment of bitterness (other negative emotions: envy, judgmentalness, self-pity, but never bitterness). And I hope that if I live to be 100 I never find myself with this emotion. For that matter, I hope I never find myself around anyone else with that emotion either.

Monday, January 21, 2008

America votes: 2008

I have been giving this a lot of thought lately - by which I mean some - and I am ready to come out and publicly declare that I am on "Team Hillary".

All things being equal, if I could vote, I would vote for Hillary Clinton. And all things are not equal and I think she is the best candidate. I appreciate that she is the "establishment candidate" and I do think, for America, it might be more radical to have a Black man in the white house than a white woman, and I also think that either a woman or a black man would be more electable as a Republican candidate (Colin Powell anyone?), but I would like to see Hillary Clinton win. If she is nominated I am not sure if she can win the election. But I am equally unsure if Obama or Edwards (not that he is even in it anymore) can win.

And I would vote for Hillary because I think she has experience, sound policy ideas, and yes, because she is a woman. If this makes me "sexist" (which it does not) than so be it. People forget how far we have come in just a few generations in terms of women's rights - and I think the idea of a female president is beyond exciting. And yes - it has been done before - successfully and unsuccessfully - by many women in many countries. However - that does not make it any less exciting for me, now, to imagine the US with a female president. I absolutely think we need more women in politics, I fully support switching to another electoral system to bring more women into politics. I support quotas for political parties in terms of fielding female candidates. I absolutely think having more women in politics makes an important difference - not to mention encourage more women to enter politics.

These are just some general points and not a fully thought out nuanced argument - but I think the underlying views are fairly clear. So in conclusion: Team Hillary!!

As a side note: Thank goodness it seems unlikely that Huckabee will take the nomination. Mitt Romney might be okay - but as far as I am concerned John McCain is by far the strongest, most crediable candidate and would make the best Republican president. It is only too bad that he wasn't elected in 2000 - because a) maybe the world would not be as messed up as it is today and b) he will be turning 72 later this year - which definitely makes him an older candidate - which I have to imagine will largely work again him.

P.S. Feel free to tell me why I am wrong :)

Wednesday, January 09, 2008


"Charming" "Uplifting" "Smart" "Fun"

These are just a few of the adjectives that come to mind after seeing Jason Reitman's new film Juno.

Even though I had already heard many good things about, which can sometimes cause one to have overly high expectations, the movie really was very good.

Although as we were leaving the theatre I felt very old when I asked Devin "do young people today really talk like that?"

Of course, being older than myself he did not know either.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008


All day
Staring at the ceiling
Making friends with shadows on my wall
All night
Hearing voices telling me
That I should get some sleep
Because tomorrow might be good for something
Hold on
I'm feeling like I'm headed for a
I don't know why
I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell
I know, right now you can't tell
But stay awhile and maybe then you'll see
A different side of me
I'm not crazy, I'm just a little impaired
I know, right now you don't care
But soon enough you're gonna think of me
And how I used to be
Talking to myself in public
Dodging glances on the train
I know
I know they've all been talking 'bout me
I can hear them whisper
And it makes me think there must be something wrong
With me
Out of all the hours thinking
I've lost my mind
I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell
I know, right now you can't tell
But stay awhile and maybe then you'll see
A different side of me
I'm not crazy, I'm just a little impaired
I know right now you don't care
But soon enough you're gonna think of me
And how I used to be
I been talking in my sleep
Pretty soon they'll come to get me
Yeah, they're taking me away
I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell
I know, right now you can't tell
But stay awhile and maybe then you'll see
A different side of me
I'm not crazy I'm just a little impaired
I know, right now you don't care
But soon enough you're gonna think of me
And how I used to be
Hey, how I used to be
How I used to be, yeah
Well I'm just a little unwell
How I used to be
How I used to be