Thursday, February 26, 2009


Pricey? Yes.

Satisfyingly rustic, with a complexity of flavours and texture? Also, yes.

Highly recommended. Seriously. I don't know how I'm going to go back to eating "regular" dark chocolate again.


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Documentaries to get to

In case work is as slow this week as it was for the past two days:

i.o.u.s.a. 30-minute version

Money as Debt

Politics The Power of Nightmares

America Freedom to Fascism

The Money Masters


Thursday, February 19, 2009

The work situation

Whenever a contract keeps me occupied for a month or more, I tend to ease up considerably in my Quest for the Next Job. Often, I'll keep a mental list of things that I need to accomplish before my next hiatus, so that I can "hit the ground running" during my impending job search.

The project that I've been working on for a little over a month now has been drawing to a (much-anticipated) close. I've discovered a lot about myself in terms of what sort of work environment works best for me — specifically, that I can handle ridiculous requests, long hours and weekend work as long as I've got a hands-off style of management over me. As time-consuming as this gig has been, it's been remarkably easy to deal with for the simple fact that the contractors are given control over the quality of their own work and are trusted to accomplish what they've been hired to do. As it turns out, the one thing that I really can't stand in a workplace is how micro-managed I often am.

So the fact that management is competent here means that I found myself pleasantly surprised at my disappointment, knowing that my contract was soon to end. An email to Big Pimp on Tuesday, asking about the likelihood of finding another role in the current job market yielded an unexpected and welcome result: I'm being asked to stay on until July 10th.

It looks like the existing team of contractors has been so successful at accomplishing our task that we're welcome to stick around, handling smaller projects, until the next iteration of the big project comes in, in another couple of months.

The schedule ought to ease up considerably until then, with far less overtime. Hopefully, this means I'll be able to find more time to make and bring in my lunch, as eating out regularly has been my one vice since beginning here.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

65daysofstatic - Radio Protector


Thursday, February 12, 2009

A fly in amber

Being downtown again means that I'm smack dab in the heart of Toronto's consumerist culture. Mostly, I've been avoiding the temptation to SPEND SPEND SPEND, but one thing I have difficulty with not purchasing are albums. Certainly, I could go the cost-*cough*questionably-legal*cough*free option for getting my music, but I'm rather firmly of the belief that supporting the arts is a worthy cause. So, if I know that an artist I "follow" has released a new album, or that I'm otherwise virtually-guaranteed to love a particular artistic effort, I'll "splurge" during a two-fer deal at whichever media store I choose to browse in.

All of this rigamarole is to explain that on a recent excursion to the HMV near work, I picked up Jem's Down to Earth, MGMT's Oracular Spectacular and Green Day's American Idiot.

I had highest hopes for MGMT's effort, as I'm a huge fan of Kids. I was also really looking forward to giving Jem's effort a listen, as I found the entire Finally Woken album was one of the most resonant albums for me in the past five years.

I'd heard many good things about American Idiot, of course, as it was reputed to be Green Day's coming-of-age album, a conceptual effort that commented on much of the emotional-fallout in the post-9/11 world. So, I guess it should come as no surprise that it's hands-down my favourite of the lot. I've been listening to it at least weekly since getting it and am still processing it all. It's definitely worth the repeated listenings. I'm sorry to be coming at it this late in the game, but I'm glad that I have gotten to it.

A lot of the themes in the album are still relevant, but the pervasive anxiety, I'm pleased to say, is far more a reflection of the time in which the album was recorded than it is now. American Idiot is a damn fine, stong narrative, of a more fearful and claustrophobic era. I highly recommend it as a window into the world as we were worried it would become.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

My first all-produce week of the new year

Finding that the morning squeeze into my business-casual pants was a little snugger than earlier in the year, I decided to make this week another of my produce-only weeks.

I realize that this sounds suspiciously like a crash diet, but I'm finding that the benefits of doing this on occasion far outweighs any negatives which arise. Of course, the main factor for going this route is that being at risk for Diabetes means that my blood sugar/insulin levels are crucial in maintaining good health. So, yes, while a lot of the food I eat during this week contains carbohydrates in the form of simple sugars, the fact is that they also contain the fibre which slows sugar-absorption. I also severely restrict my refined sugar intake during these ventures, which seems to help greatly.

I've brought in to work a (huge!) organic navel orange, organic baby carrots, hummus, unsulfured prunes, organic banana chips and a mostly-organic root-veggie mix (comprised of diced sweet potato, carrot, turnip, parnsnip, sunchoke, and rutabaga in a olive oil and herb-mix blend). At home, I have a bean-dip-esque concotion of refried black beans with roasted garlic and avocado oil, non-dairy "sour cream", diced avocado, diced tomatoes and garlic chives. I allow myself a serving of dark chocolate a day, if I want it (which I seem to, always). I also indulged in about 2 servings of potato chips yesterday.

For later in the week, I intend to have polenta (technically, made from a grain — I'm still ruminating over that) and a Greek-inspired mix of spinach, dill, green onion, lemon juice, salt and olive oil.

I find that these dietary restrictions improves my mood, gives me more energy, clears up my skin, eliminates any bloating or water retention, straightens out any digestive issues I've been having and — in all honesty — improves the way I smell (not that I think I'm stinky normally). I find myself wondering how much of my body's positive response is due to the fact that I go out of my way to use organic produce.

The downsides are that, for a few days, I'm pretty durn gassy, and by the end of the week, I'm a little stupid from lack of iron (which I'm trying to avoid this time by taking iron supplements daily).

So, obviously, this is not something I advocate that everyone do (although just about everyone can use more fresh fruits and veggies in their diets), and it's not something which can be sustained for long periods of time, but I do find that it drastically helps me control my medical condition, and gets me back into the habit of eating fewer refined carbs.

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Monday, February 09, 2009

What he said

radiohead kicked ass


Friday, February 06, 2009

Why should I blog about it...
...when somebody else has already said everything I would have?

Incidentally, this is in no way a reflection of my feelings regarding my current placement.