Tuesday, April 01, 2014

An abridged list of things I have quit


  • Swim lessons (Grade 3)
  • Clarinet (Grade 7, band class)
  • Working at Mr. Sub (Grade 11)
  • Biochem I (2002, second year university)
  • Toastmasters (2009)
  • Twitter (twice, 2012 or 13 and 2014)
For everything else (yoga, drum lessons, voice lessons, journalling, etc), I consider myself to be taking an extended hiatus.


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

GPOY

This is basically what my childhood looked like, except with 3 kids instead of 2. 


Dr. Seuss, Hop on Pop, 1963. 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Disneyland - DLR

The one, the only, the original: Disneyland.



Round-up:
  • Monorail and railroad - decent ways to get around the park, though if you're stroller-less and very mobile, hoofing it by foot is usually faster unless there's no wait. Re: the dinosaur thing you go through on the railroad: I don't even.
  • Saw edible plants and fruit trees in Tomorrowland! Amazing! Still haven't seen an orange tree in person despite staying in the O.C. (don't call it that). Next time.
  • Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage - fun little jaunt in a (not-completely-submerged) submarine. Plus it put my kid to sleep!
  • Captain EO Tribute - WEIRD. One word: "Hooter!!" Happy I got to see it before it takes its final bow.
  • It's A Small World - did not fail to make me smile my face off. My son loved it and got shouty. 
  • Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln - neat little patriotic show and very cool animatronic Abe, though his history as a zombie killer was mysteriously absent
  • Storybook Land Canal Boats - I saw this at night and it had twinkly lights and the miniatures are SUPER adorable. Having said that, I was scared that I was going to fall out of the boat, and the host was speaking at auctioneer speed
  • Mr. Toad's Wild Ride - decent but not as wild as I expected, did half-expect the ride would turn on me, Itchy and Scratchy-style
  • Alice in Wonderland - not bad, a little rough around the edges. Could use a tune-up
  • Enchanted Tiki Room - finally had a Dole whip and it was okay. I didn't think it was as life-affirming as all the Disney crazies on the internet say it is. The show itself was cute and I find myself singing the tiki song every so often. 
  • Many Adventuers of Winnie the Pooh - decent
  • Indiana Jones Adventure - "You're basically in a jeep driving through tunnels. Pirates was better, had more to look at, and lasted longer." - my husband. I didn't partake based on his review
  • Innoventions - my husband enjoyed the Asimo show and my kid enjoyed running his face off in the exhibits. I enjoyed being out of the sun for half an hour. Shout out to the cast member that may or may not have let me change a diaper in the employee bathroom
  • Toontown - Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin was decent and my kid probably could have played forever in Goofy's house.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean - AMAZING, one of the best. ILU POTC
  • Jungle Cruise - fun, not as good as I remembered it (I think I mixed it up a little bit with the Jaws ride at Universal)
  • Snow White's Scary Adventures - this should have been called "witch! witch! hey once more it's the witch! end of ride no story resolution"
  • Splash Mountain - fun, though I felt weird intruding on an Australian family as a single rider at the back of their log. worst photo pass ever
  • Peter Pan's Flight - AMAZING, loved riding in the flying ship. Worth the 40 minute wait by myself among a billion cranky preschoolers, though I wish my family had been with me. 
  • Pinocchio's Daring Journey - okay
  • Sleeping Beauty's Castle - enjoyed this as SB is one of my favourite Disney movies
  • Space Mountain - a ton of fun but not as thrilling as I expected it to be. Re-jigged as "Ghost Galaxy" for the Halloween season
  • Dapper Dans - I finally saw them!!! They were jaunty.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Disneyland - DCA

Best 30th birthday present ever!


This is a photo of DCA at about 5 a.m. My son stuck to his Central time zone schedule in the Pacific time zone which made for some early mornings. 

Round-up:

  • Ariel's Undersea Adventure - neat but went by too quickly to catch Don Knotts
  • Soarin' Over California - groovy, like being in an IMAX movie, with smell-o-vision
  • Toy Story Midway Mania! - ehh
  • Monsters Inc - very detailed load-in area, ride was decent though ridiculously loud
  • Muppet*Vision 3D - seemed to be the same as the Florida version; seems a little dated considering a movie has come out since then
  • Silly Symphony Swings - nice way to view that area of the park
  • Twilight Zone Tower of Terror - I've been on the Florida version and it's still scary as fudge.
  • Heimlich's Chew Chew Train - amusing 30 seconds
  • Dot's Puddle Park - AMAZING (it was a really hot day)
  • Boudin Bakery Tour - literally an 8 second walk through, I don't know why they consider this an attraction
  • Radiator Springs Racers - wouldn't know because it was broken for most of the day, but Cars Land in general is really effing cool, even as someone that can't stand the movies
  • World of Color - beautiful even when viewed from the wrong side

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The most disappointing concert I’ve ever been to

Take note that I did not say “worst”, as I have seen some pretty terrible bands. I've also seen some very popular bands that were terrible live, and even some popular bands that had great songs but were terrible live, but this is not their story.

A few years ago, for a chunk of time, I was a huge fan of Paramore.

I idolized Hayley Williams (despite being almost a decade older than her). I took a few voice lessons for fun and tried to sing like her. My voice teacher (wisely) gently guided me towards Sesame Street songs rather than trying to imitate the pitch perfect, produced, over-dubbed vocals I was used to hearing.



I vaguely considered a lyrical tattoo option (but have since decided to never take that path, for good reason). I played along crappily on my crappy keyboard. I bounced and screeched along in between washing dishes. I test-drove a few songs at karaoke with moderate success (about 2 for 4). I bought t-shirts off their website and paid insane shipping rates to Canada.

Then, I travelled 8 hours south to Minneapolis to see them in concert. They weren’t coming to Winnipeg any time soon, and I REALLY wanted to see them. The ticket was around $50 and after 2 opening bands, they took the stage… and played for FORTY-FIVE MINUTES. The encore was ONE song.

I’ve spoken a little bit about my favourite band. Average show length: 2-3+ HOURS. I know that might be on the high side, and I’m spoiled in that way, but seriously, 45 minutes? Paramore had 3 full-length albums and soundtrack songs and unreleased songs and could have thrown in a cover for good measure. Perhaps they didn’t have the stamina to play longer, but I don’t see how – they do flips on stage. They are in their early twenties, they should be in their physical prime. My husband informs me that the Rolling Stones play for 90 minutes, and they're in their 70s. Hayley had a bout with laryngitis that postponed some dates earlier that tour, so perhaps that was a factor. I enjoyed myself and they played well, but still a huge disappointment.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Baby's room





  • Door decor (there's also a green caribou with hooks) by Schmooperstore
  • Books: the gift that keeps on giving
  • '90s Tickle Me Elmo from family, batteries are wearing out so Elmo's slow shakes are a little eerie
  • Wall decor by Shmome Depot
  • '80s wooden Winnie-the-Pooh mobile from family

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Thoughts on parenting

The great (and also, horrifying) thing about parenting is that there are millions of choices to make, all the time. If and when to have kids, with whom. Who to tell you're pregnant, and when, and how. Whether to find out the gender in advance. Labour with or without drugs, doula or midwife present or not. Circumcision. Breast-feeding or formula or both. Cloth diapers or disposable. Surname if parents don't share one. Common or uncommon first name or common name with unusual spelling. Separate room, co-sleeping, co-bedding. Attachment, cry-it-out, and everything in between. How many kids to have and how to space them apart. Whether to sell your gourmet applesauce business to the company that shafted you when you became a mom through a highly unlikely circumstance, or to continue sustainably growing it on your own while remaining in the countryside with a handsome veterinarian.

"Now look. There is nothing in the world to get uptight about. 
We are two summa cum laudes. We can handle one little baby for eight hours."

The important thing to remember is that you can do whatever you want, and you can change your decisions if they aren't working for you, and you can tell anyone questioning your choices (other than your partner or doctor) to shove it. Personally, I don't care what you do, as long as it's not illegal. You should rethink anything against the law because it's probably difficult to raise a baby from jail.

I am aware that when people tell me about their various decisions, I am probably pulling a face, because I am the worst actor ever. It is NOT a judgemental face. I am rethinking every decision I've ever made and wondering if I made the best one, for my family. It is taking me awhile to get even somewhat used to using my gut instinct. Big life decisions, typically no problem. Day-to-day stuff... not so much. As someone that typically sweats her own small stuff in addition to everyone else's, it's been challenging to relax and accept that I can't solve every baby decision or challenge with a dichotomous key. As a teenage babysitter, I was relatively relaxed and went with the flow. Now that I'm in my late twenties, I worry about gender norms, the temperature, unlikely, random events, you name it. It's a constant battle, but please understand that I'm aware of it and I'm trying to chill out.

Ice to see you!

Luckily, some moms at the office gave me their baby books before I went on leave. The big purple Dr. Sears/Martha Sears one has been very helpful in particular, for medical and "what is normal" info. It's great for looking up things in the huge index like "hiccups" and "spitting up" and find out that babies do these things because they are babies, but as long as _______ doesn't happen, not to worry. So much better than Googling in the middle of the night and finding out that anonymous commenter said "My baby had bad hiccups and it turned out she had (ridiculously unlikely disease), YOU NEED TO GO TO THE DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY". That's not alarming at all!

We're receiving extremely high quality health care from the province. However, in retrospect, it would have been nice if the (albeit free) provincial pre-natal classes had a class on normal baby behaviour rather than showing a VHS tape that emphasized that we shouldn't take quaaludes. It was a little late for the drug talk for everyone in the class, and I only have a vague idea about what quaaludes are, and only because of Almost Famous.

William Miller, about to go where many men have gone before

Anyway, more baby info might have saved me from phoning friends and the public health nurse in tears the day after I got home from the hospital because the baby was breathing loudly and weirdly but otherwise fine (turns out that's normal). Or, you know, actually hanging out with babies before I gave birth might have worked too (whoops). Pretty sure that my husband and I looked like we were diffusing a bomb as we changed The First Diaper...

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Terrible parenting advice

People really like to give advice, often even if you haven't asked for it! On that note, a few months ago, I requested purposefully terrible parenting advice from friends and family in hopes of cobbling together something to post after I started my maternity leave. Here are the results (with at least 95% less spelling errors than Yahoo Answers and babycenter.com). Post your own in the comments!

On pregnancy and labour:
"Use birth control to avoid giving birth to aliens" - L 
"Imagine that your cervix is blooming like a delicate rose” - J
On parenting:
"When your baby is crying, and you’re so tired that your hair is falling out and you can’t remember your name, and all you can think about is how much you wish that brat would shut the hell up (never say never, you may actually think this at some point): get a soother, dip it in honey, and the kid will be so pleased with the sweet soother, he/she will actually shut the hell up.  Downside: Their teeth will rot.  BUT! They’re only baby teeth, they get a new set in a few years, just like little sharks!!! " - J
"Let the mom do everything" - R
"I understand that a gas soaked rag can make an excellent pacifier.  (For inhalation only, and not to be taken internally.  Apparently this is critically important.)  Formerly using gas as a pacifier was more dangerous due to the lead content of the gas, but unleaded gas is much safer." - B 
"When a child is really dirty, joke with them that you will have to take them outside and hose them down in midwinter." - K
"Dangling your baby over the balcony is a great way let your fans meet him/her" and "Throw a bit of whiskey or rum in your baby's milk bottle to make it stop crying" - C
"Save money and the environment, toss your disposable diapers in the washing machine." - J

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Movies That Everyone Else Loves, But I Hate


1. Grease. I hate almost everything about this movie. I hate all the songs. I hate the message that you have to change yourself to get your man, and even more so that you have to change from a sweet, sassy, nice girl to a mouthy leather-wearing smoker. (I'll let you take half a second and guess which one I was in high school.) For shame. The only redeeming qualities are the neat outfits and some of the dancing.










2. The Princess Bride. Cue the operatics. ~How could you hate Princess Bride? It's so clever/quirky/funny/wonderful/etc/etc~ NO. It is none of those things. It is boring, and weird but not in a good way, and there are NO, repeat, NO Muppets. 







3. Shrek (all 15 of them). I couldn't even bring myself to find a photo, that's how much I dislike it. The combined sounds of all those famous actors, over-acting in various accents, makes my skin crawl. Mike Myers saying "Duuuunkay" for donkey, for example. The humour is not clever at all. The only redeeming factor is the character of Gingy, because I have an affinity for gingerbread people and things.

4. Lord of the Rings. More like Bored of the Rings, am I right? (*Crickets*) But seriously though, these movies are fantastic, I just don't like them. I'm not a huge fan of fantasy, and they are really, really, really long. These days, I have trouble focusing for longer than 75 minutes on a movie unless it's the Best Movie Ever.

Also: no Muppets.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Privilege

"Owning a home is no longer the dream; it is simply the stepping-stone to owning a bigger home." - Gail Vaz-Oxlade
When we first bought our house 5 years ago, one of the things that upset me was the assumption from a lot of people that we would definitely move up to a bigger, better home as soon as we could. I'm not saying we'll never move, ever. Housing needs depend on a lot of factors - work location, family size, the real estate market, etc. I just don't aspire to buy a huge new house just for the "privilege" of having a bunch of empty space to keep clean, or to fill with useless stuff I don't need. If you can afford a big house, and the space, and the stuff, and that's what you want out of life, GO FOR IT. I support your decision, and I will gladly visit and admire your matching home decor (we still have a framed print of Mr. T in our kitchen) and participate in your wacky hide-and-seek parties (still waiting for someone to do this, it would be so cool). To me, privilege means paying off the mortgage years before I turn 40 without personal hardship, which is the plan at the moment.


Friday, February 03, 2012

Black Bottom Cupcakes

This recipe was bestowed upon us by a friend. It is road-trip manna. Just the smell of the ingredients brought me back to the time we (me, N, B, H, C, and R) ate them in van, waiting for Streetheart to finish so we could see Wide Mouth Mason (Preeceville, SK... 2006?)



Ingredients:
Cake mix (e.g. white)
1 cup cream cheese (250 g)
1 unbeaten egg
1/3 cup sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
1 cup chocolate chips

  1. Mix the cream cheese filling (everything other than the cake mix).
  2. Prepare the cake mix.
  3. Fill cups 1/3 full with cake mix.
  4. Top with 1 tsp. or more cream cheese mix.
  5. Bake at 375 deg F for 15-20 minutes.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Travelling through time: Little houses on various homesteads

This past month, I read two amazing books, and I would like to share that experience.



I have been a fan of the Little House on the Prairie book series ever since I started reading "chapter books" in elementary school. I loved Laura Ingalls. I craved vanity cakes. I wanted to play with a pig-bladder balloon. I was thoroughly enchanted by it all, though I did occasionally wonder where the Ingalls family went to the bathroom.


Sure, I read the Anne of Green Gables series, and I enjoyed it, but I didn't like it nearly as much as LHoTP. One of the main reasons was that Laura's story, unlike Anne's, ACTUALLY HAPPENED. (It continues to astound me today when I find out just how many people are unaware of the "reality" of one and the fiction of the other.) Another reason was the survivalist mentality of LHoTP. The family still had to buy white sugar and fancy fabric in town, but they often made do with what they had. Pa built their houses, Ma baked their bread, and the whole family lived "out there", without bug spray or electricity (or bathrooms apparently). I've always loved books like that - children and YA books, anyway, the kind with happy endings. (I've never read Into the Wild, that's a little too real for me.)

As much as I loved the LHotP book series, I have never been a fan of the TV series. To me, the books were real, whereas the the TV series was a seriously fictionalized account of the reality of the books. Pa without a beard? Random orphans? TRAVESTY.

As I got older and read beyond the main series, I came to understand that though the LHoTP book series was based on reality, and real people, the book series itself was very fictionalized as well, though not as much as the TV series. Scholars continue to argue about exactly how much Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote and how much her daughter Rose contributed, heavily edited, or even wrote for her. Laura was in her mid-60s when she first started writing the series. Her third book, the one actually called "Little House on the Prairie", was written about a time in her life when she was 3 years old - how much do you remember from the time you were 3?

Still, Laura WAS a real person, a lot of the things described in the series really did happen. You can physically visit many of the sites where they happened, and see objects mentioned in the series. And that's pretty awesome.

***

This brings me (I know, FINALLY right?) to the first book I read - The Wilder Life by Wendy McClure. This book is packed full of references to the book series, from the types of dresses to food to obscure characters, that jolted me each time because I recognized all of them. I, too fantasized about leading Laura around in the modern world, showing her modern conveniences. I too would love to visit all the Ingalls historic sites, as approximate and estimated that some of them may be, just as she did. So far, I've only been to the Ingalls Homestead in De Smet, SD (and took the photos in this post), but even then I only saw the town site. And unlike Wendy's husband, who followed along and expressed interest in some of the journeys, mine slept in the car almost the entire time I was in De Smet. (Making him drive most of the trip through South Dakota was probably a bad idea...)




Wendy's sense of humour reigns supreme. There is nothing I love more than some solid cursing and straight talk in relation to one of my favourite childhood things.

I shouldn't have been, but I was surprised by how many people Wendy encountered at the sites that didn't read the books and were only familiar with the show canon. It reminded me of when I visited Forks to see the Twilight sites, both the first and second time. After a half hour of online reading, it was immediately clear to me that none of the movies were filmed on location, so I never expected that when I arrived. Other visitors kept asking.

This book is not intended to be an inclusive biography of Laura's life whatsoever, but I did learn a ton of information about the established facts and controversies about what really happened. I'm anxious to delve into the bibliography, and that is NOT something that happens frequently with me. Also, after all these years I still want to see all the sites, possibly more than before, so if anyone wants to tool around the American Midwest with me sometime, I'm game.

***

The second book I read was Alison Arngrim's Confessions of a Prairie Bitch. Alison played Nellie Oleson, Laura's rival, on the LHoTP TV show. Even though the series kind of bummed me out, in reading I discovered I had actually seen a lot more episodes than I thought. I couldn't put this book down - each chapter was like its own poignant, and often hilarious short story, no doubt influenced by her stand-up comedy career.

Alison overcame abuse, kooky Canadian showbiz parents, and members of the public treating her like crap when they saw her in public because she was so mean to Laura (ON THE SHOW). She overcame it all to participate in some pretty intense AIDS and other activism that actually made a difference - it was really quite inspiring. The chapter about her appearance on a talk show in France was the icing on the vanity cake.

I'll leave with you a quote from the book, which blew me away when I reached it on page xiii:
It's like I tell people at my stand-up shows: by making me a bitch, you have given me my freedom, the freedom to say and do things I couldn't do if I was "a nice girl" with some sort of stupid, goody-two-shoes image to keep up. Things that require courage. Things that require balls. Things that need to be done. By making me a bitch, you have freed me from the trite, sexist, bourgeois prison of "likeability." Any idiot can be liked. It takes talent to scare the crap out of people.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Perfect match

Incredible. It's not every day that you find something on Etsy that totally matches your tattoo.

Unfortunately, it's a little rich for my tastes. I also haven't gotten the hang of wearing brooches, or bracelets. I do love me some rhinestones though...


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Mom's chocolate chip banana muffins

Copyright law regarding recipes is really interesting - see?

My mom made these often when my sisters and I were young. She submitted the recipe to my elementary school anniversary cookbook back in the mid-90s, and it's in there with her name, so I'm attributing it to her.

Chocolaty Banana Muffins

1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup mashed bananas
300 g pkg chocolate chips 
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Heat oven to 350 F. In a mixing bowl whisk together oil, sugar and egg. Stir in mashed bananas and 1/2 of the chocolate chips. Combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Stir into the banana mixture just to moisten. Spoon into 12 greased muffin cups. Sprinkle remaining chocolate chips evenly over top. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.



This recipe seems pretty flexible. I've been replacing some of the flour with whole wheat and cutting way down on the chocolate to make it a little more "healthy snack" and a little less "dessert". Today I threw in a teeny package of walnuts. I'm sure you could throw in all kinds of stuff. The dough doubles easily, and the baked muffins freeze well. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Yet he still retains his chapeau...

Del Shannon is awesome.

You probably know him from this song, complete with Musitron solo at 1:05:



But he had some other great songs, too.



Or did you want to hear Del and Burton Cummings play Hats Off together? Or the super mellow Little Town Flirt? I won't judge.

Yeah,  this guy was either a good actor, or some woman just tore his heart right to shit.



Decent covers, too:



This one's also apparently the very first cover of a Beatles song.







Sadly, Del committed suicide in 1990 at the age of 55, but I hope some of you check out his music.


For those of you wondering about the title, in the 2009 movie Adventureland, there is a fixed carnival game called "Hats Off to Larry". At one point, a patron throws a ball directly at a hat and gets angry when it won't come off the dummy, and the inebriated staff person muses "..."

Thursday, January 12, 2012

What it's like to be in my work cubicle every day


YES.

But you have to wear them with socks, otherwise they are uncomfortable.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Horse_ebooks: the new frontier

@Horse_ebooks is a spam twitter account. It should be just useless internet noise, but magically, it’s not. Somehow, the grammatically-challenged, seemingly nonsensical chatter and incomplete sentences, becomes something greater than the sum its parts, something beautiful. 

@Horse_ebooks was one of the internet highlights I experienced in 2011.
This article, The Ballad of @Horse_ebooks, explains it best. 


Here are just a few poetic classics, tweeted over the last few days:

This one is basically about me and my sister N.


It starts out simple enough, then, BAM, hovercraft.


I find this one very sweet, almost an "Oh The Places You'll Go" for the mind.


Give me two, please.


Jewellery ideas? Possible alternates for the gifts in Chronicles of Narnia?


Amen, brother.


DON'T MESS WITH THE CHAMP


When the dance floor is calling, you ACCEPT those charges.


Amiright ladies? Stop confounding men with your mysterious.



In conclusion, they

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Life List

It has taken me an embarrassingly long time to post this, because once I do, I'm basically making the commitment in a public forum. Also, there is nothing athletic or philanthropic or remotely epic on this list, so in that way, it's kind of embarrassing to post it anyway, it's just a list of my own selfishness. Well, here goes nothing. I'll delete it in the morning if I have dreams of shame.
  1. Meet Robert Pattinson (as long as he's not a total jerk)
  2. Publish a book (I count self-publication/distribution among friends)
  3. Have an adventure with my newish friend H
  4. Attend WMM shows with P and S and K
  5. Visit all Laura Ingalls Wilder historical sites (so far I've only seen De Smet, SD)
  6. Visit the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam
  7. EuroDisney
  8. Eat my weight in pastry across France
  9. Have a travel adventure with sisters, with a wider and wackier scope than our road trip this fall to Regina to see Hanson
  10. Beta for a ff author
  11. Grow little tomatoes and basil to recreate my sister's boyfriend's parents' basil-tomato-cheese-salad thing
  12. Learn drums well enough to play in a band
  13. Record an album
  14. See Bjork in concert
  15. Dance on stage at a rock show with N (note: my husband has pointed out I already did this, at a By Divine Right show at Ozzy's in May 2002, but it was so great that I want to do it again)
  16. Pay off the mortgage in full, then do something awesome to celebrate the fact, possibly involving fire
  17. Make all the cookies in the Martha Stewart cookie book (except the gross ones)
  18. Wear a totally awesome She-Ra costume
  19. Get another tattoo
  20. See Crystal Falls toy playset in person (http://www.reocities.com/TelevisionCity/broadcast/4645/fallsbox.jpg)
  21. Go to Finland and visit A and M
  22. Attend a Lebowski Fest (bigger than the one I attended at the Park Theatre in Winnipeg last August)
  23. Write some ff
  24. Play in a cover band that plays a really interesting mix of covers of all the songs I love, pretty heavy on stuff from this list
  25. Start an internet meme
  26. Send Masquerade Boy to all continents - FYI, he's already been to North America, Europe, and Australia. 
  27. Attend a huge outdoor music festival (like Lolla or Glastonbury or Coachella)
  28. See a Canadian band play in a foreign country

Saturday, October 01, 2011

emergency: when everything seems either funny or lousy...


Haven't blogged about money for awhile. I'm feeling the urge to purge, so here it goes.

I want to talk about the emergency fund. Gail recommends 6 months expenses or about 3 months salary - yes, thousands of dollars - in cold, hard cash, sitting in a bank account (or under a mattresss... no, don't do that in case the emergency is that your house burns down). A line of credit is not an emergency fund. I'm guessing if the amount of work you're doing is highly variable, or seasonal, or your industry is in a downturn, or whatever, you should be saving even more months' worth. It's also only part of a complete financial plan, including varying types of insurances depending on your situation. Pretty scary thought, and Halloween is still another month away.

How lucky am I? Ridiculously lucky. I've never experienced an actual emergency. I've never had to choose between bills and groceries. I've never been unable to pay to fix my car so that I can drive to work. I've never been too sick to work. All of these things have happened to people I know. Also, I don't even have any dependents, except for that one plant above the sink - oh no wait, my partner waters that one. 

For the past few years, I have been steadily filing money away into my emergency fund, every single paycheque. Is it hard to see that money sitting there, when I could be using it to take me to magical, exotic locations? Barcelona, or Boston, or British Columbia? Or at the very least, Brandon? Or at the very very least, Bulk Barn? Or how about using it to pay off the mortgage faster, or finally get a damn dishwasher (trust me, there's a separate fund going for kitchen renos)? Of course it's hard. But it's definitely worth it for the peace of mind.

don't know what half the stuff is, 
occasionally question the sanitation (trust the store, just not the public), 
still love it

In light of it being Thanksgiving next week, I'm also ridiculously grateful for the careers that my husband and I have had thus far. Don't think for a second that I take it for granted, because I don't.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, EK-style

I participated in the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup last weekend, as a site coordinator.

Things a site coordinator can do to solicit volunteer participation:
  • distribute posters;
  • encourage friends;
  • talk to local community groups;
  • engage the media;
  • etc.

Things I did to get volunteers:
  • Advertised to friends minimally through email/facebook/twitter;
  • ... that's it

One sister and I went out to Fraser's Grove Park in EK and picked up a couple bags of garbage. It was a fun bonding experience.

As far as volunteer opportunities go, it's the volunteer equivalent of "bed-in-a-bag" - you sign up on the website, the organization sends you basic instructions and some paperwork to fill out (tally sheets and waiver forms), along with coordinator tees if you request them. There are posters for download on the website, along with some social media tools. You supply the people and the garbage bags, and it's done. A shoreline in your neighbourhood is a little cleaner, and some environmental organizations receive some really important data (that's the tally sheets) for their reports to their sponsors, which prove the event is a worthwhile one for funding in the future. Win-win-win.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Morning Glory Muffins, pt. 2

[Part 1, in case you missed it]

This time, I used some of K's modifications, except I didn't go quite as healthy. I only subbed a half-cup of whole wheat flour, and only reduced the sugar down to a cup. Last week, my husband asked me in a huff "DID YOU BUY WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR BY ACCIDENT??" (it wasn't an accident), so I erred on the side of caution, not that he'll eat these anyway. Unless I frost them or something.

I didn't put any raisins because they are still really gross. I'm pretty sure I put less carrots than the recipe suggested because we only had those mini carrots and I shredded a few before I thought to myself, eff this noise.

HOWEVER. My muffins did have a fancy new topper:




A MARACHINO CHERRY. Yum yum.

YOUR MOVE, K.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I have forseen...

I don't make a lot of psychic predictions (well, I don't make ANY), but earlier this year, I felt something. I felt that everyone I knew was going to get what they wanted this year. Therefore, I am marking it down here for posterity - everyone will get what they want in 2011. They might not know what it is they truly want - it's probably not all going to be lottery wins (because that's statistically improbable) - but it'll be good, trust me. Some of you may have already received what you wanted and are just realizing it now. I've never made any false predictions before, so it has to be true.

More please...

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