Monday, July 31, 2006

...and she's back

Blogger's being cranky this morning, so this may take a while to post.

It looks like I'm going to be able to create a new post, but I can't upload imagery. I'll try to get around to that tonight.

Update: imagery! Sorry for the blurriness -- I hate using my flash, but setting the ISO to 400 still wasn't providing enough light...

Matt and I arrived at the airport at 4pm yesterday, as Caty's flight was expected in around 4:30-5:00, so we ended up having a bite to eat at the Yorkville Grill (a pitiful fast food establishment in Terminal 1). Matt paid way too much for a burger, poutine and a Coke, whereas I paid a little more than was necessary for a fries and gravy. After eating, it was 4:30, so we wandered downstairs to the Arrivals gate to see what the flight's status was. The expected 5:15 arrival was listed as Delayed, so we opted to park our butts on some of the lovely (ick) Terminal 1 seating. We met up with mom and dad as we made our way to our seats.

Within a matter of minutes, mom got up to wait (with bated breath, no doubt) by the gate. Another 15 minutes or so later, dad got up too. Another 15 minutes had elapsed, and seeing that a lot of young people were pouring through the gate, I also got up to wait, as I expected that these were all UofT French immersion students like Caty. Her flight arrived at 17:19 EST, and she came through the gate within minutes of the first of the France batch of students. She caught my eye first, and seemed relieved to be back (or perhaps relieved that someone had arrived to pick her up!).

The rest of the evening was spent having dinner, hearing about various things she had done, where she had gone and seeing some of the photos she'd taken. Dad and Matt were sitting on the edge of their seats with excitement. ;)

No doubt, once she's rested, she'll be posting a blog update of her own, and sorting out how to share pictures. In the meantime, I've got a giant (birthday present!) bottle of Hoegaarden to keep me occupied...

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Saturday, July 29, 2006

Must be the heat

I've been spending a lot of time during the week listening to dance/pop music on YouTube. Here's the round-up:

Here's the requisite cute, fluffy alternative for people who don't care about the music I'm checking out. :)

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Friday, July 28, 2006


All 6 jars of jam were sealed successfully!

I'm going to be able to leave work at my regular time!

I brought an umbrella in to work today!

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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Stomach better, thought I'd make some jam

When I stopped in at the local Food Basics on Sunday morning, I saw that they were stocking Ontario yellow plums. Being a huge advocate for locally-grown produce, I picked up a 2-lb. container of near-ripe ones as my produce selection for the week. My plans to actually get to eat any of them, howeever, were sidetracked when I was fighting back whatever stomach affliction I had, so the three small plums I brought in to work on Monday were still sitting in my desk when I felt my appetite returning today. I ended up eating those with my lunch and can gladly say I was not disappointed. Realizing immediately that I had most of a 2-lb. container of amazingly sweet plums quickly ripening on my kitchen counter, I looked up recipes for plum jam.

The daunting part was that I had never "canned" anything before in my life, and I was simply going to have too much jam to use up (and probably even give away) to not can what I made. Following a quick run out to Canadian Tire for small jam jars, I leaped blindly into the canning experience!

I didn't realize that I would have to handle the jars with non-metal utensils, so I ended up pincering the sterilized jars between two silicone spatulas, which was awkward, but do-able. I also used a 1/2"-high, oval cheese-grater lid as a makeshift canning rack (who knew that you weren't supposed to rest the jars directly inside the pot?). Mental note: if I'm going to do this again, buy a small canning rack and a jar picker-upper (there she goes, making up words again). A funnel might be handy too. :)

I'll know by 9pm tomorrow (stoopid 24-hour resting period) whether or not I was successful in my first canning venture, but I'll take the "popping" noises during processing as a good sign.


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

More stomach troubles

I ended up leaving work early yesterday because I was feeling "off". I couldn't really be more descriptive about it, but I knew that it was taking an effort to concentrate, that I'd occassionally get twingy pains in my midsection, that my head felt "cloudy" and that I could almost feel a migraine coming on. As I'm the lucky type of person who is sensitive to weather changes, as well as having a finicky digestive system, I couldn't pinpoint what was bothering me. I'm not going to deny that whatever it was that was upsetting me made me unusually irritable with Matt, especially since our place was in need of a thorough cleaning.

Realizing that I'd probably wake up ridiculously early, I packed it in around 9:00 last night any way, only to discover that I was still groggy and "not quite right" after a 10-hour sleep. After coming in to work, I started experiencing stomach pains. I'd be surprised if I have much left in my digestive tract now, and hope to go home early again today.

It's almost enough to make a girl want to give up eating entirely. I hear they can give you enough nutrients intravenously these days, but I hate needles, so that's probably not an option for me.


Sunday, July 23, 2006

I think I've found it

My Pinky:St obsession has been back-burnered for the summer, in part because the fumes associated with casting, priming and painting are harsh; opening the windows means turning off the air conditioning. I've been whiling away time sketching studies in my sketchbook and researching modelling techniques.

For the past year, I've had an airbrush at the top of my wish list for completely professional-quality paint jobs on my customs, but knew that investing in an airbrush also meant an investment into an air-supply (probably an air compressor), moisture trap and regulator, possibly an air-hose and spare, high-wear parts (like needles). My initial decision was to go with the Paasche VLSTPRO, an airbrush which is generally acknowledged as being an excellent all-purpose airbrush.

I spent a good portion of my time today further researching airbrushes and air compressors, and have changed my mind. Cody's Coop has been an inspirational resource for me during my custom-Pinky-making process, so when he advised that the Iwata Custom Micron was outstanding at doing detail work, I listened. It's a prohibitely prohibitively pricey airbrush, but is reknowned for it's ability to provide fine detail. Airbrush Depot has it for the best price I've seen, but Curry's has it in Canadian dollars, and I could -- in theory -- get it locally. They also have the Iwata SmartJet air compressor for relatively cheap.

Yeah, this post is a total artist-geek out, but bear with me, I haven't even played with an airbrush before, never mind owned one.


Saturday, July 22, 2006

The rest of the week

Bruce and I decided to sample Spoon's Summerlicious lunch menu, since a browse of the participating restaurants in our work neighbourhood resulted in the decision that Spoon would be especially satisfying. I had the mixed organic green salad to start (first time I've ever enjoyed raw tomato -- usually, they're too acidic for me), and Bruce tried the shrimp bisque. Next up was the corn-fed chicken breast with more of the salad in a different (spicier!) dressing and avocado. I can't remember ever having chicken that juicy, it was really good. Bruce had the penne bolognese and said the mushrooms were especially memorable. For dessert, I had the (dairy-free) raspberry sorbet and Bruce had the mango. Surprisingly, the raspberry sorbet had more of an acidic bite to it, with a strangely mango-like finish, whereas the mango -- that Bruce kindly allowed me to sample -- was very mellow, obviously made with properly-ripe mango. Overall, the food was excellent. I suspect a trip here will be the wedding-anniversary gift for mom and dad this year.

On a slight tangent, Bruce noticed that the business cards which were handed out at the end of the meal were on an unusual paper, so for those who pay attention to these sorts of things: it was a two-colour job (black and a Pantone brown), on heavy vellum, off-size (trimmed to be narrower). For the laymen, this is a relatively inexpensive way to make your business cards stand out, using few ink colours (more colours means higher cost) on a specialty paper and having them trimmed down from the usual business card size. If more people made business cards this way, there wouldn't be as many gaudy (and ridiculously expensive) business cards out there. Don't get me wrong, I hate the Spoon logo. :)

After work, Bruce and I went to Gorilla Monsoon for drinks: beer for him, shots for me. After a week like I had, some times the best solution is to get mildly blitzed with a good friend. This here is my second-last or last shot (I can't remember which, because they were both the same), a little concoction I've developed which is made with 1/2 Goldschlagger (cinnamon) and 1/2 Peach Schnapps. The cinnamon hits first and as that dissipates, the peach follows and finishes really cleanly and complimentarily. I adore Gorrila Monsoon for the fact that they'll let you mix up to three of their liquers into a single shot. Also, the paintings on the wall are for sale! I spent a good part of the evening admiring one on the west wall of the bar.

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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Yay! I got to leave at 4:30 today!

The "hell or high water" project still wasn't approved by 1:30 pm today, and I'd been busting my ass working on it for two days solid, so I thought I'd treat myself to a sushi lunch.

I decided to try Sushi & Bento, across the street from work, and as sad as I am to report it, I prefer the food there to the Toshi Sushi just east of it. The good news is, of course, that there is a good sushi place near work! I got the beef gyoza appetizer (very tasty); Lunch Combo #6, california roll and soft-shell crab roll (the sauce on the crab roll was a bit overpowering, but it was otherwise a very nice combination of flavours); and two pieces of White Tuna sushi (big enough to smother the rice it was topping and very fresh). The meal came with a free appetizer salad (with a little too much dressing) and a small miso soup.

My project wasn't fully approved until 4pm today, but I managed to get everything collected and ready to go within the following half-hour, which means I spent only a full work-day at work today. I was veritably bursting with fruit flavour at the prospect of actually getting a chance to unwind when I got home.

I spent most of it wallowing in a vegetative-state, thank God.

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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

A bit of breathing room

It looks like the big project is going to be signed off tonight, "Hell or high water", so I'll be here until then. I'm taking this temporary break to vent a little, rationalize things, then calm down:

I think my editor is one of the type of clients who doesn't know what she wants, so she keeps art directing me (bad idea, when you're an editor) into progressively shittier layouts, de-emphasizing elements when she's trying to make them stand out. I'm not very sympathetic to that type: if you don't have the attention to detail required to notice that making everything on the page larger actually dectracts from a sense of hierarchy, then you sure as hell shouldn't be telling me how to make effective design. I guess the lesson here is to nudge her subtly into layouts which accomplish what she wants, even if that occassionally means going completely against her directions. Still, there are so many "fingers in the pie" with these projects that odds are good I'll be doing exactly what at least one of the reviewers wants.

That's another thing: design by committee never works out. You get watered down designs and terrible direction. I can't believe any companies survive with this as their work model.

I keep being assured, however, that this is the roughest things are going to get out here. It sounds like, once their "look" for September is complete, they carry that forward with it until June. This ought to mean that I'm basically creating layouts from a template after tonight. This is good, 'cause I'm going to need a bit of brainlessness to make up for the burn-out I'm experiencing from the 2 work days I've put in so far this week.

I hope I'll be able to sleep in tomorrow, but I'm not going to place any bets just yet. I'm definitely going to have to buy lunch again, 'though. Today I went to (yum!, 'cept not) Taco Bell for a Beef and Bean Burrito and grabbed a Soy Delicious vanilla ice cream sandwich (which I liked a lot) from the local organic eatery. I'll probably be returning there for a proper meal some day within the next 8-1/2 months, so I'll post about it then.

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Monday, July 17, 2006

Some day, I'll get to go home and it will be the most fantabulous thing ever


Sunday, July 16, 2006

New avatar!

Isn't she great? :)

Also, many kudos to Tim for recommending HTML Utopia: Designing Without Tables Using CSS to me way back when we used to work together, because I never would have sorted out the size issue or cleared the relevant hyperlink without using that book as a reference manual. I knew the DIV tags and whatnot made more sense to me than they ought to have!

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Saturday, July 15, 2006

And then I had a meal here

Since yesterday was swelteringly hot, I opted to eat lunch near work. A co-worker recommended Wok 2 Wok for their soups and noodle dishes. The menu posted near the door indicated some very tasty choices; I was very much looking forward to trying their house special Sesame Chicken. Unfortunately, the meal choices at this establishment are less than stellar. Upon entering, I saw food sitting on buffet-style warming plates al a Manchu Wok, and was told that my selection was limited to what I saw. I chose a meatballs and sausage dish with fried rice. The rice was only tolerable due to the meatball sauce, the vegetables were overdone to the point of being soggy and the meatballs were dry. The sausage was decent, but there was little of it and I swear there was a hot dog chunk in amongst this dish.

Perhaps their soups and noodles are good, but I won't be giving them the chance.

Realized I've also eaten at the local Pizza Pizza

While I was wandering around downtown after my dismal lunch, slurping back a Timothy's Italian Soda (non-dairy!) and keeping an eye out for photo ops, I realized I'd also eaten at -- and forgotten to post about -- the Pizza Pizza lunch I had. Often, when you walk into a pizza place and ask for pizza without cheese, you have to clarify your request about 5 times, just so that the server can fully comprehend that you're in a pizza place, asking for a pizza with no cheese. At the local Pizza Pizza, this situation did not occur, and the "stuffed sandwich" with bacon and mushrooms that I ordered was brought to me (after a short wait), piping hot with fresh dough and the right ratios between all the toppings. Since it's as close to work as it is, I can see myself returning there often during the colder months.


Friday, July 14, 2006

You're the editor, why am I doing your job?!

Yesterday, I was asked to assist a co-worker of mine with an aspect of the project he's working on. I was given this task to do because I handled a similar task in my project efficiently and time is a major issue with these projects right now.

So you'd think that the project editor would know what the hell she's doing. You'd be wrong.

She made a point of saying she'd stayed until late the previous night writing out pertinent information by hand. Which meant, of course, that I'd be responsible for re-keying all of the text she'd so painstakingly written out previously -- I lose 15-30 minutes on this time-sensitive project fulfilling a task she ought to have been doing to begin with.

Okay, sure, some times people don't understand that the graphic designers who work beside them on a daily basis work with software. So you chide them once and hope they understand that no, we're not working with Letraset, scissors and construction paper.

So, during our discussions yesterday, I noticed that she had laid out information on the bottom of the page in a two-column format, whereas I and others working on similar projects have this information laid out in 3-column format. I brought to her attention that I and the others have ours in 3-column format, and was informed by her that the Head Cheese made the call that all layouts would be changed to 2-column. Alright, I can adapt this layout to 2-column based on my 3-column, but I'm not looking forward to the headache that will result from changing my project at this late a date in the project.

A full 2 hours into today's workday, after 2 hours since our meeting yesterday, I get an email from this editor informing me that they are, in fact, planning on making this project consistent with everyone else's project. Oops!

So, here's my rant for the day: When your graphic designer tells you, the editor, that there's a continuity error in what you're proposing, DO NOT talk out your ass about what ought to be done based on absolutely no facts whatsoever, LOOK INTO IT and get back to me. It'll save me an extra half-hour of work and you, the curse I've placed upon you. So help me, I never want to SEE her again, never mind work with her.


Thursday, July 13, 2006

More YouTube goodness

Here's a smoking-hot live rendition of Radiohead's Sit Down, Stand Up and a mash-up of Eminem's Superman vs. Justin Timberlake's Cry Me a River that surpasses either (caution: this is so NSFW, plus chock-full of obscene language). This is a considerably more family-friendly and well-done mash-up of Cry Me a River vs. Let it Whip.

I also found two fan-vids for songs from Thom Yorke's The Eraser (going to pick this album up, just like half of the 30-somethings in the Western world):

  • Analyse (using footage from Requiem from a Dream)
  • and
  • Black Swan
  • (which is being doodled to, in accompaniment)

And this is for those who don't care what music I'm listening to, and would rather watch adorable puppies.

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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Another rainy day...

...another day staying late at work. I'm still trying to figure out how I'll unwind tonight. I feel like I've been here for 3 days straight now.

Caty and I were on our respective internet connections earlier today, so we got as close to a chat (via our email accounts) as we're probably going to get for the next two weeks. It was good to get some interactivity happening in our discussion. Caty's usually the person I call up to tell all the meaningless shit that nobody else would sit around and listen to. I serve the same purpose for her, so it's a mutual abuse of our talk-time, at least. :)

Any way, what I'm saying is that I've had a lot of free time without saying all the meaningless stuff that pops into my head, but that I also feel like part of the process of living my experiences isn't happening. I guess that's as close as I'm going to come to saying I miss her, so take it for what it's worth. ;)

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Monday, July 10, 2006

Just another manic Monday

At work, everyone's projects are due this week, so the mood around the office is stressful. As is often the case when you throw Graphic Designers into the same studio, dealing with the same or similar projects, under the same or similar deadlines, a feeling of camaraderie develops. It's cool to be a part of; shame it's brought about by mild freak-outs.

I really don't see my affections towards that guy beside me growing any time soon, 'though.

It rained some more today. A lot. Since the skies were bluffing rain all yesterday, I refused to bring my umbrella to work today, only to find by the time I got to the subway station (5 minutes before the 10-minute walk ahead of me) that it was pouring out. I ended up having to duck into the local handbag store to buy a brand new umbrella. This brings the total number of umbrellas Matt and I have between us to 6. If anyone needs a free umbrella, let me know. I'm willing to part with at least one of them.

The dairy-free pizza casserole from yesterday was a resounding success, and I used up most of the remainder making pizza bread today. Yum!

Pizza casserole ingredients:
Classico Bruschetta topping
crumbled bacon
diced chicken
roasted garlic (a whole head!)
sauteed, diced yellow onion
wilted spinach
cooked zucchini
sliced mushrooms, lightly fried in olive oil
Sardo pitted black olives, rinsed and drained
"pickled" roasted red peppers (in wine vinegar), rinsed and drained
marinated artichoke hearts, rinsed and drained

Pizza bread was first invented by Matt, and features pizza toppings on a bread crust (I use an Italian loaf), given the garlic-bread treatment, and doused with his patented, tell-no-strangers ingredient. It makes all the difference in the world.

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Sunday, July 09, 2006

Sunday means food

A big grocery excursion today made for a helluva lot of cooking so far. I'm planning on making a peach pie later this week with the absolutely fabulous "doughnut" peaches I picked up this morning. I'm also going to be making a pizza-inspired casserole later today. I'm still undecided about how to serve a starch with it, 'though. Maybe I won't bother. I'm basically looking to get a tomato-garlic concoction with a lot of variety in the vegetable department.

I've cooked up the breakfast sausages which were 1/2-off, for freezing and reheating whenever I feel like having a few with whatever I'm eating. They're great for the insanely high-fat weekend breakfast binges. :)

I've also grilled two pieces of halibut steak, one of which I had for breakfast (the other of which is going into tomorrow's baon). I served these with some store-bought dolmadakia. As expected, the lemon in the dolmakia balanced the fish nicely, and I didn't have to make a pot of rice. I also used up the last of the frozen peas by making a non-dairy mushy peas dish, which used coconut milk in the place of the heavy cream. As awesome as the fish and dolmadakia were, the peas were the highlight of the meal. I must remember to make these again. All I had to do was boil the peas, mostly drain them, add a little coconut milk (which was lightly sweetened yesterday), some non-dairy margarine and sea salt, then mash them lightly with a fork.

This is why I had sweetened coconut milk lying around. I made pinindot yesterday, and was pleased that it was every bit as easy as mom and my titas said it would be. After Obachan made some up, partly based on my suggestion, I just had to make some for myself!

This is the glutinous rice flour paste. I let it sit for a minute or two after this, and was surprised at how the water the seeped in during that time. While the mixture had been somewhat lumpy when I first made it, it was considerably more liquid-y when I started rolling the rice balls. I'm going to have to remember to use a little less water next time, so they're easier to handle.

Here, the pinindot is boiling in the sweetened coconut milk. I added 3 tbsp. of sugar to a can of coconut milk and found it wasn't quite sweet enough (which worked out well when I was making the mushy peas with the leftover coconut milk). Again, I'll have to remember to add a little more sugar next time. All in all, I think the pinindot experiment was a success. I cooked the balls long enough for them to be the right consistency, despite the fact that I made them a bit too big. Again, I'll have to change that next time, just because I like them smaller (they're easier to eat if they're bite-sized).

In Memoriam (or: Ghanima's Blog Gets Sombre)

Today is the anniversary of my beloved Lola's (grandmother's) death. I think it happened 3 years ago now, but I can't remember too clearly, off the top of my head. In a lot of ways, it was a lifetime away. I was living with Emma at the time, I was still at AKA, Matt and I had been dating for a while, but weren't anywhere near sorting out the permanence of our relationship. I made a lot of changes in my life, dealing with her demise. It was a really hard time for me, I can only imagine how terrifying and sad it would have been for her children.

What I'm really trying to say is that it probably had such a big impact on us all because she was so important to each of us. As much as it hurt to have her leave us, I think we all ultimately had to accept that it hurt because we loved her so much, because she was always caring about us and proud of each of us. I don't think any of her family and friends would exchange the love she had for us for an easier time dealing with her death.

If this were a family party, this would be where I raise my glass in honour of my Lola and the legacy she left in those she loved. Cheers.

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Saturday, July 08, 2006

I guess I'll accept that

So Steve thinks that just 'cause he has some kind of "potentially fatal condition" that he had to go the hospital for, that this gives him reason enough to call us at 9am on a Saturday to cancel our plans for the day. Whatever, Steve, suck it up. ;)

In other news, I went to Sapporo today and ordered the Chirashi sushi (my usual). I was disappointed that they're not providing Tamago (the rolled omelet) with this dish any more, until I remembered that they haven't got it right for the past few months. The tuna was more fibrous than usual this time out too. It was still very fresh, but I think it was probably cut from a different part than I'm used to. Despite the drawbacks, this is still the best sushi in Toronto.

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Stupid phone

I've lived with over half of the people who check this blog regularly, so it comes as no surprise to them that I'm not a morning person. I'm certainly not a 9am on a Saturday morning person. If I should happen to get a phone call at that time, and my answering machine should happen to temporarily be on the fritz, I'd have a natural tendency to sleep through it. If, however, my sister should happen to be in France, it might be hard for me to get back to sleep, wondering if I've missed a call from her, and hoping to be awake if she should call again. So, sleeping would be right out, at that point. So, to whoever called at 9am, it better have been good, 'cause I'm going to be completely wiped by 2pm today, and we didn't even get to talk.

Probably a f***ing telemarketer any way.

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Friday, July 07, 2006


Why -- out of all the people I could have been seated next to at this job placement -- did I get the misfortune of having the seat next to the Studio asskiss? For absolutely no discernable reason, he keeps tabs on what the other freelancers are doing, is helpful enough to offer -- often redundant -- tasks for others to do when they have 5 minutes to take a breather, and is constantly providing refresher courses about what constitutes Good Design?

Today, I got to witness him kissing my supervisor's ass whenever she walked into the room (I swear he doesn't let an occassion she's in the Studio pass without speaking to her directly about the useful things he's doing). I received multiple emails from him asking me to place FPO (that's For Positioning Only -- will later be replaced with approved) imagery in my document, rather than proceeding with the proofing process on a project that's already behind schedule. This sort of thing happens in a typical day with him beside me. I've come to expect it. However, the incident that I just about throttled him for today was when he was informing me and a co-worker -- when both of us had received an email yesterday requesting the exact same thing, in writing -- that we were to print hard copy proofs of the cover pages of the pieces we're working on and post them on a board in the Studio. When I said I'd done so last night, he continued outlining the steps I needed to take to complete this (already completed, I'd just finished telling him so) task.

I very much needed to "get a snack". I'm really not sure how I'm going to hold my temper, with this guy beside me.

I seem to be getting along well with the majority of the rest of my co-workers, so that's good. Two of them seemed to be making an effort to be sociable, even.

The Evening was Much Better

Matt and I met up with Laura, Darryl and Colleen(?) tonight. We were at the Pauper (and Something, presumably, but I didn't check) and I had a lovely Hoegaarden (thanks, Bruce, for checking the spelling on that one) and a free(!) Brahma. I think the combination of the two beers and the hyperventilation (that was a side-effect of the constant laughter) caused the extreme giddiness. Mental note, 'though, try not to hold off on peeing so that your bladder is still upset with you after having emptied it.

Still, it was good to see Laura again, and always a riot to have her and Darryl anywhere together.

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Thursday, July 06, 2006

It only hurts when I breathe

I imagine that my intermittent attempts, during my hour-long walk to Bloor and Spadina yesterday, to contract my abs are primarily responsible for the general soreness I've been experiencing today. I really only notice it when my muscles are cold, but (as luck would have it) the office is freezing most of the time, so that happened a little more frequently today than I would have liked.

I'm at work doing a late shift so that I stand a chance of going home at a normal hour tomorrow. I guess I'll end up going out for lunch again tomorrow then. Today, Bruce and I went to the Shoeless Joe's at King and Spadina. We split some calamari (good), and I had the Classic Burger (very good), while Bruce had the Steak Sandwich. Pub chains. I don't know whether or not to root for them...

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Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Another day, another dollar

I have a 6pm appointment today with some nice people from McMaster University who are apparently conducting a study about various employment situations. A few months ago, I responded to a postcard they placed in our mailbox which pointed to an online survey asking things like, "Have you had full-time employment in the past year?" The participants were promised $10 for responding. At the end of the survey, I was asked if I would be available to answer further questions. As I often found myself doing short-term contract work (with breaks of indeterminate length in between), I figured I might as well help out. I don't mind time-suckage while I'm effectively unemployed. Last week, a representative from the study contacted me and said they'd pay me another $25 if I agreed to come in for an hour-long interview session. Knowing my main means of distraction was going to be out of town, I consented. With any luck whatsoever, it'll be interesting enough that I won't even notice the hour going by.

Incidentally, Caty finally got around to posting a new entry. I was beginning to wonder if she had severely inconvenient internet access, or something. I'm really curious about the thought processes she's experiencing while she's in France, but maybe that's the sort of thing she'll only notice years after her return...

I tried the other $3.50/5 item Chinese food place in the Chinatown Centre for lunch today (update: it's called Cantonese Seafood Stir Fry, and it's the place on the right-hand side of the picture I've just posted) and can safely say you get what you pay for. I won't be returning there. Blech. Seriously, blech. I went to Furama afterwards to get the ick out of my face.

I've been feeling listless and unfocused at work and exhausted when I get home in the evenings. Methinks I really ought to start getting more variety in my workout "schedule" (or lack thereof). I've been losing weight lately, but I think that's because my walk to and from work gives me the daily minimum of cardio, plus the fact that I'm usually taking an hour-long stroll over lunch. Still, I'm not building on my strength or flexibility. Maybe I should make a plan of hitting the pool twice a week. Of course, it's been so unpredictably rainy that I've been able to justify my non-attendance at the pool. Bad me.

I just realized today that the (I think) editor I'm paired up with at work reminds me an awful lot of Miriam. As is usually the case when I meet someone who reminds me of a good friend, 'though, she's just not as awesome as the real Mir. I really am very lucky to have found such a great bunch of people to be friends with.

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Monday, July 03, 2006

Mmmmm...bread pudding

As fabled, here's a picture of the bread pudding I made yesterday. I made this one with non-dairy croissants (not easy to find), whey-free margarine, the soy milk I needed to use up, eggs, a little canola oil I didn't have storage space for any more (durn big oil bottles) and PC chocolate chips (also non-dairy). The top layer is especially yummy. I don't really bother getting desserts while I'm out any more, because of the likelihood that they contain dairy, so I try to make something like this often to keep me in sweets for the week.

In the musical interests category, I found and downloaded the Bust a Move (Japan)/Bust a Groove (North America) soundtrack MP3s. I've been looking for those for years, so it was good to finally find them. I also found an MP3 of the Alicia Keyes/Stevie Wonder Karmastition mix that's far better than Alicia Keye's original.

I've also been frequenting YouTube to fill in on my Daily Show quotient, as well as checking out clips of various bands playing live. This was all spurred by a post on BoingBoing about Stevie Wonder performing Superstition on Sesame Street in '76. I've been very much enjoying Radiohead's performances, and was surprised that Keane sounds just like their studio work when they're live -- normally, a band is either better live, or far worse. I've also discovered that I like N*E*R*D's She Wants to Move, but am not really feeling the others.

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Sunday, July 02, 2006

Ontario Asparagus is in!

Okay, so the saffron/basmati rice is in keeping with the quality of the asparagus, but the Pinty's Buffalo Chicken Flings don't quite belong in this picure, do they? So I like my bar-food, so sue me. :)

Still, the asparagus is great. I'm so glad the Ontario produce is starting to roll into stores, the imported produce just can't compare.

I also made a chocolate-chip bread pudding to use up the soy milk I had in the fridge. I totally forgot to take a picture before I took a big serving, 'though.

So today's been really low-key, I went grocery shopping this morning and started the laundry. I'm planning of vaccuuming the apartment tomorrow. I've been alternately pleased with the fact that I'll be getting chores done and pissy.

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More than just refreshing

Hawkestone was brisk! Every year, I have to psyche myself up to get into the water and this year was no exception. Out of everyone who attended, I was the last to go in -- shame on me. Once in, it was cold enough that I started losing feeling in my feet after all of a minute! You know, when you're swimming somewhere and it's cold enough to begin losing sensation in your extremities, thoughts run through your head like, "Why is my body not freaking right out about this?" I was very surprised that my breath was literally not taken away when I surfaced, given how cold the water was.

As usual, there was a trip out to Brewery Bay afterwards. I got the Buffalo Chicken Fingers this time (yummy!) and the Fried Pickles (don't knock 'em 'til you've tried 'em). Rick and Shari joined us for a drink, then had to go back home to feed Jordana and Matt. I hadn't seen them since before the engagement and they've yet to see the ring. Now that summer's on, I'm going to have to make a point of visiting them soon.

I spent most of the rest of the evening at home, watching the meager fireworks display from our apartment and loving every second of the lightning storm's display. I hope everyone enjoyed their Canada Day.

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Saturday, July 01, 2006

A very unusual day...

Scholastic's official holiday for the Canada Day weekend is Monday, but since so many of their employees come in from Richmond Hill and thereabouts and the GO trains are on holiday schedule on Monday, they gave us each the choice of coming in on Friday or Monday. I chose Monday as my holiday, since my big beef with Mondays is that you have to end your weekend on them. :)

There was a bit of a glitch for those of us who went in on Friday, as the building management was informed who'd be going in, but the security company (which controls all of the internal locks within Scholastic) didn't know anybody would be in the office. This meant that we waited until a little after 9am to get entry into Scholastic -- unbeknownst to the security company -- via building management's entry card. By about mid-day, the situation had been sorted out, but by then I'd already decided to forgo lunch altogether, get my work done and leave for home without having to leave the studio for the whole of the workday.

It was weird not being able to just pick up the phone and call Caty, but certainly freed up some time for me. Mom had (of course) worried herself sick over the fact that Caty hadn't called yet and needed me to firmly assure her that Caty was probably far too busy getting her bearings to phone home yet. After calling them around midnight, she called me to give a brief update. It's good to hear that she's already making friends and seems to be adjusting well. I can't say I was actually worried for her, but it was reassuring to hear her perspective on things.

So tomorrow is the first Hawkestone outing of the summer, as part of our traditional, annual Canada Day celebration, and I'm looking forward to it. I'll definitely be feeling Caty's, Bruce's, Jess' and the Mikes' absence, 'though.

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