Archives for the month of: October, 2011

This week was the week to get back to it – with the security of a job that I love and a pay-cheque I can rely on, it is time to not only make the gym a regular place to visit but also get back to regular posting and commenting.

Such naïve thoughts.

I was ambushed last Thursday by dad’s decision to pitch in and help our neighbour by babysitting her kids (who, for the record are not babies) between their after-school ‘sitter and their mum getting home from work.

I note a lack of consultation with bex in this and I will give you three guesses about who in this place is doing the majoring of the babysitting of the kids.

Yep. You got it – me.

Yikes!

So, no time for the gym, either rushing home to make a dinner that we can all, if not agree on but enjoy, or rushing to do the pick-up from the ‘sitter’s place.

I’m still trying to figure out how I got roped into this…

Last Friday, I declared Friday as “Treat Night”, so we had pizza for dinner and rented a movie and even got a bowl of caramel corn each! Lucky for me, just as the movie was starting my friend phoned and we stayed on the phone for exactly the length of the movie! It was awesome, the kiddos were quiet, well-behaved and I didn’t have to sit through a horrible movie. Go me. (And thanks again to my friend who called, you know who you are!)

So last week-end I did some thinking.

First, I have to tell you that out of houses that suck for kids, our house ranks in the top ten. Our furniture is old and easily scratched, three adults live here so it isn’t like we have toys around or other kids to play with. Some of the furniture is antique and not for playing around and the house is such that any room that is even remotely good for playing in is also remote from the main action in the house.

So, how to keep the kids out of trouble and avoid nights and nights and nights of watching TV?

Time to set down some rules.

So, brief discussion about rules with dad – washing hands, going into other rooms, watching TV and how to behave in general. Then, meal planning, ‘cuz believe it or not, kids don’t have the same sort of adventurous spirit as these adult. Which is fine, I was a pickier eater when I was kid too…just not super picky. So, some kid-friendly fare is on the menu.

Then, a couple of things to keep TV to a minimum. Thursday night I planned for the library and Friday night…well, a Halloween-themed event. First idea was to do costumes, but you know what? I can barely think of a good costume for myself, never mind other people!

Soooo.

Monday came and I was prepared. Except for missing a post reviewing “Real Steel” that I saw on Sunday – I loved it, robots boxing! And dancing! And Hugh Jackman!

Spaghetti for dinner and we manage to convince the little boy to “just try” the crust of the garlic bread – surprise! He likes it with some spaghetti and sauce and on it! No one was more surprised than him.

My plans for Friday begin.

We have left-overs for dinner on Tuesday and there is barely enough for everyone, not sure why dad thought I wasn’t having dinner, but there you go.

Wednesday night after dinner has me making cookie dough in prep for Friday.

Finished baking them on Thursday and made another huge batch of a different kind of cookie.

Also got the library earlier as well – they had never been before! Can you imagine. Ok, they each got a couple of books that they can leave here to read when they are done homework and instead of watching TV. It also keeps them kind of quiet.

Tonight we decorated the cookies, you can check out the destruction  on the Flickr account, we did a pretty good job of making a mess and they were pretty thrilled about it – especially the little girl. Her bro was super grumpy today and you know, I get it, missing your mum and being tired and all that…I get it. And you know what, I’m old school, when a kid is crying about something like that, that you can’t change and no one can change, I figure, cry it out and be done with it. I’m not unsympathetic, I just…listen there is so much that is frustrating at that age. At any age, that sometimes you have to get it out and be done with it, move on and find something else. Everyone saying “there, there” isn’t a huge help and pointing out behaviours or problems that are undesirable is just useless.

Sorry, but that is how I think.

I thought today was the last day of babysitting.

Surprise again. We get to keep going until November 19 – Monday to Friday. But you know, something needs to change again. And I need to get back to the gym.

At least I’m here, now.

 

What does this increase in spam in my email inbox mean? What does this increase in spam in my blog comments mean?

I’ve been offered discount watches, deals on trips, links to increase my SEO, comments so far off topic that I’m not even sure how they found me and what they want.

So far, my fav spam comment is the story of someone who took their kids to the beach, gave them a shell and suggested that by holding it to their ear they would able to hear the sea. One of the children held the shell to their ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside that pinched her ear! This is a hilarious story. And I can’t figure out how such a cool story ended up as spam. But there you go.

Excellent week so far, job is going swimmingly well and made it to the gym a couple of times, so all is good.

 

 

“50/50” is directed by Jonathan Levine and written by Will Reiser.

“50/50” is the story of young man who is diagnosed with a rare form of spinal cancer.

I really liked this movie. I’m a huge fan of Joseph Gordon-Levitt and here, he turns out yet another nuanced and textured performance.

The story is by turns touching, heartbreaking, offense, funny, sad, funny and hopeful.

It is an introspective perspective not only on how a diagnosis of cancer touches different people in ones’ life and how they cope with the prospect of losing a friend and balance supporting a friend and trying not to be overbearing.

I’m not exactly sure how to tell you how much I enjoyed this film, when I first heard about it, I was intrigued, both because of the cast but also because it is based the true story of the writer. One of the things that I most liked about this film is that no one is exactly a stellar friend or family member, all the characters are flawed, including the main character. To see characters that are flawed is refreshing, as they are simply just quirky and not fatally flawed or anything.

I liked that this film have plenty of moments for laughter and had some touching moments that invoke tears.

This is movie making at it’s best, good, solid story telling.

“The Ides of March” is directed by George Clooney, screenplay by George Clooney, Grant Helsov and Beau Willimon, based on a play by Beau Willimon.

Ok, this is a movie about a fledgling campaign manager who slowly has his naïve hope destroyed by questionable goings-on during the Ohio presidential primary.

I liked this film, I liked the quiet tone and the feeling that there was truly hope to lose, I enjoy the look into the American political system as this is something that I barely understand, but always enjoy a look into this world.

All the actors gave subtle, nuanced performances, strong cast, good writing.

There were a couple of things that knocked me out of this movie, though, moments of incredible unreality.

Clooney’s character was very far left for American politics, so far left that is was truly unbelievable that any candidate embracing these views never would have made it to a primary race. Clooney is always charming, always pleasure to watch on-screen, but here, he espouses a character that we don’t believe can exist in the circumstances that he does.My companion for the movie noted that he was more interested in seeing the debates surrounding the issues rather than the story of what happens behind the scenes. I agree, I would have loved to see the debate about how green and alternative energy was going to change the American economy.

And I don’t think that should happen. If we had been given a character whose truly represented mainstream American politics then we would have been forced to concentrate on the story at hand, rather than bemoan missing fictional debates about interesting issues.

The other thing that knocks you out of the movie is the fact that anyone working in American politics as a campaign manager or assistant campaign manager would be so naïve as to have the kind of hope that Ryan Goisling’s character is supposed to embody.

As much as I liked the film, these were things that seriously cramped my enjoyment.

Yes, liked it, but could have liked it more, given more realistic characters and political positions.

I think I’m alone in this critique…sorry.

Friends, if you have ever wondered if “The Perfect Week-end” exists, I am tell you that is does. I just had a perfect week-end! It was…perfect. Totally perfect.

Friday night, spontaneous drinks after work! The getting “The News”!

Bounced out of bed Saturday am, still buzzing, smiley and ready to take on the day.

Climbing partner hurt her shoulder golfing, so we took it easy. 6 climbs = 4×5.8 + 2×5.9. Fun part was we swung like monkeys up the walls and finished our morning superfast. They weren’t hard climbs, but funfunfun.

Then apres climb brunch at the sushi place that we haven’t visited in a while. Green tea, miso soup and sushi – perfect meal.

My climbing partner dropped me off close to my next destination, with my dear friend who is also my best friend’s GF.

She let me use the shower, the hot water was soooo wonderful, I could have stayed there forever. The muscles released, the breath and heart rate calmed.

The some tea and snacks and then we were out in the world to prepare for our next event – a b-day tea at the neighbours’!

Headed over to Chapters and you know what? They finally, finally have a free loyalty card. I got one. And I got some points to go on it too.

I’m a little unclear about what you can do with the points…but there you go.

Then over to the neighbours’ place for more tea and more to eat. As a “Thanks for inviting me!” snack, I brought some chocolate covered potato chips. Which were…actually pretty good. I don’t think that those two flavours should work, but they do.

Pass the chocolate covered potato chips, please!

Then, the true event for this “Girls’ Night”.

Can you guess what was next on the agenda?

A totally and completely girly activity.

That’s right!

Ghost Walking Tour!

Perfect night – chilly, but not cold, windy but no tornado, cloudy with moonlight breaking through now and then. Good stories too. Creepy. And sad. And some a bit funny.

2 hour walk through the dark streets of TO, learning about a few things that I didn’t know before and getting a bit of a scare…yes, excellent Girls’ Night.

Call it a night soon after and home in my toasty bed at a reasonable time.

Sunday morning is the perfect day for a mini-road trip and I’m off!

Meet an excellent friend for brunch and we linger over tea and coffee. I’m tea, he is coffee.

After far too long taking up a table we adjourn to spend some time outside playing…mini-golf!

We kill ourselves laughing.

After, the day should be over, but it isn’t. We are good to go…to the movies!

We watch a movie, briefly discuss and then it is time for the day to be over.

Brilliant drive home, a bit rainy, but little traffic and once home I’m all about laundry.

And making phone calls.

Everyone is at home and they numbers all work!

Hello to a friend who is home! Congrats to my friends having a baby! And hey I miss you for my final phone call of the night.

Then.

Ironing.

After, it is a sleepy bex who climbs into bed, totally content with the perfect week-end.

For the record, today was a rather awesome Monday, and yep, even went back to hot yoga and had a better time. I’m still trying to figure out if I’m going to keep at it…hmmm.

Wow, that was some perfect week-end.

I am going to be an Auntie again!

Got the news in an email today, read it after coming home from a spontaneous “drinks night” after work.

I know a ton of other awesome things happened to me today, but you know, the news of my friends having a baby just overshadows everything else.

A baby!!

 

Final day of new computer program training and another great day. Fabulous to spend another day learning and getting to know the business. And my colleagues.

Heard a radio show on the way home talking about Roald Dahl Day and about how here there is a contest on about doing a rewrite placing Dahl’s “James and the Giant Peach” in TO.

I love “James and the Giant Peach”.

So, of course, I looked up “Roald Dahl Day” and you know what?

It isn’t today.

It was on September 13!

So, somehow, between work and home, driving on the highway, my car radio managed to pick up radio waves from the past.

I didn’t know radio waves could travel through time like that.

But, it was an interesting feature, I love Roald Dahl. Even though I’m not totally convinced that he wrote stories for kids, I mean, sure, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “James and the Giant Peach”, but then I think of…”The Swan” and that story about the guy who learned to see through walls and stuff…and I think, nope, not a kid’s story.

I enjoyed blowing off the gym this evening and just being home earlier, it was…relaxing.

And you know what? I still didn’t get all the things done that I wanted! But I enjoyed the kind of not doing anything-ness.

Friday and I have another half day of job shadowing someone. The rest of the day, well, I have a computer now at my desk, so I can get caught up on some of the required reading I am supposed to do.

Another day of training today!

This time we are all about a software program that everyone in the class has to know to do their jobs…except me. Everyone was trying to guess why I was in training. Me, I think I’m there to learn the program and see if there is any way to use it for our project and then put it to use. Well, that and I don’t have a computer at my desk yet.

But, I do have a desk. A temporary desk.

Hey! I met the rest of my team mates today! During a morning break I went down to a meeting room and there they were! Having a meeting. It was excellent, everyone seems great and it was awesome to see my new manager.

I can’t wait to get going!

After work, it was off to the gym. Tonight, it was back to weight machines. 20min on the treadmill and then weight machines. I didn’t push too hard, not in the mood to totally sore, but happy that I went.

Now, I’m completely wiped out. Laundry is done, so I have clean gym clothes. Still struggling about the gym schedule, but slowly working things out. Do you think it is too much to do weight machines two days in a row and book-end them with yoga classes?

I don’t know!

But, it feels like it is time for sleep…

I like beer!

Not sure exactly what happened, I humoured my bro, who is like this really big beer drinker, and tried some of the “seasonal” beer he brought along with him to tonight’s family din-din. And I liked it!

The first kind that I liked is this pumpkin beer, St. Ambroise Pumpkin Ale. It was…nice. Not malty at all, it is the malt in beer that I don’t like, and as I drank it from the glass, all I could smell was spice. Lovely along, it was a wonderful compliment to the seasonal food we were having as well.

The next beer I tried was Muskoka Harvest Ale. What I can I say about this beer? It was like drinking spring water. Crisp, clean and super tasty.

My bro was incredibly excited about this new development. He has tried for years to get me to drink beer and I’ve always hated or refused to even try. He tried me on one last beer – Mill Street Organic. I hated it! So, with all this new information, he was able to put together a “beer profile” for me – apparently I don’t like standard, run of the mill beers. But, I do like beer that has a pronounced taste of hops and is clean tasting and even with some extra flavouring added.

So.

Who knew?

Tonight was the first time in my life that I enjoyed a beer.

That second beer was almost as enjoyable as drinking some whiskeys that I’ve had.

Very nice.

Very surprising.

Great to have everyone over for dinner, dad did a bang-up job of making dinner tonight and everyone was feeling relaxed and chilled out.Lots to eat, lots to drink and a walk after dinner meant that I had time to put the dish washer on and put the table and chairs back in order, very little clean up for when it is time to wake in the am.

Even though yoga was cancelled this morning, ended up being a rather awesome day.

I still can’t believe I like beer…

 

Whew!

5 climbs today = 1×5.8 + 2×5.9 + 2×5.10-.

Truth – the climbs were not good, I didn’t have even one good climb. They were messy and ugly and painful, my fingers are still sore, they were shaking after the first climb, which felt like it was all about finger strength, hilarious though, I asked my climbing partner if I could come down – three people, my climbing partner and 2 regulars, answered all together and said “No!”

Meanies.

My climbing partner got one more climb in, but I didn’t have anything left in me, but happy I got out and gave it a try.

I am so very out of shape…

And tired.

This may have something to do with staying out late last night…hmmm.

Yep, you read that right! Another night out for me.

Last night, it was meeting one of my dear friends for dinner and drinks.

We met at this very cool little neighbourhood gastro-pub type place and, oddly, I decided to drink rosé wine. I never drink rosé wine, but last night I felt kind of…pink.

I opted for butternut squash pear soup and for my main, one of the specials, seared scallops on a potato pancake with a pernod cream sauce. Oh. Joy. Bliss.

And you know I properly should have changed my wine to something a little more “matchy”, but whatever.

You know, one of my fav things is to drink, eat and talk brains out with a friend, this friend is someone who I should have been friends with years and years ago, but, due to me being a chicken at that time of my life…umm, I wasn’t actually a bird, I mean I was lacking in courage. I lacked in courage for a while there in my life and it was good to finally find it again…anyway, due to the lack of courage, we were not friends then and all the way through…

But, my friend believes that everything happening for a reason and thinks that us reconnecting is the universe’s way of giving us a second chance to be friends the way we are supposed, the way we should have been years ago.

You know I’m not much for the ole’ “everything happens for a reason” thing, but…sometimes there are some pretty compelling arguments out there. Like this…

So, yes, amazing company and conversation, too much to drink, wonderful food and atmosphere and too late of a night and home in bed too early in the am. Especially when climbing is on the agenda.

Ummm, I don’t actually keep an agenda with climbing marked on it.

Ok. Ok. I do.

It is noted in pen.

All my plans are in pen.

So there.

No after-climbing brunch this week, my climbing partner has plans, so we part ways and I indulge in a snack at the train station ‘cuz I’m going to freak out from hunger if I don’t.

Home and then it is time to clean house and clean laundry.

Vacuum, dust, clean both loos, expand the table, find extra chairs, iron 2 tablecloths ‘cuz the first one was a little too serious, you know what I mean.

Dad cooks up fresh corn and salmon for dinner and wow, just what I needed.

After dinner, listening to some tunes on one of my fav radio stations. Tunes, not much talking tonight. And a bit of jumping around the living room. Hey! It isn’t like I’m stirring dust  – I dusted! Best time to jump is right after you dust…

Not it is an hour before bedtime and you know, I am completely wiped out.

Excellent times, my friends, excellent times…

The only thing that could have made this day better would be if I had the energy to iron my clothes…but my fingers are soooo tired.