Saturday, January 26, 2008

Left, Ouch. Right, Ouch.

‘Try something new everyday’ so the saying goes, so I did. I only wish it wasn’t quite so painful. Today, Fauntleroy, his man and I all piled into the car and headed north to try skate skiing. Assured that it was still cross country and not on a hill of any size, I agreed to give her a go! Into my head popped images of someone handing me a riffle as I skied my way to victory in a biathlon. No guns though and no victory in the podium sense.

Thankfully we took Clare’s offer of arranging a lesson as we would have been lost without it. First, you get the basics, just the legs. “It’s just like skating” said Ted. “Ummmm, Ted, no it isn’t”. Legs straight, you push off with one foot and pivot (very slightly) your torso in that direction. Apparently that is supposed to make you move. And eventually it did. Not far, but there was movement.

Next you add the poles, but only as you glide on one ski. Don’t forget to pivot, shoulders down, not too high with the arms, you’re not pushing yourself along, just helping the glide. “Ski. Bang. Ski. Bang. Ski. Bang.” With that instruction, all Ted reminded me of was my desire to have a gun. Pushing, sorry, assisting, with the poles on both sides is saved for larger hills.

By the end of our second trail, Fauntleroy and I had managed to achieve a bit of rhythm. I could go for about 100 meters, then of course I would daydream a bit, and be out of sync. Or just when I thought I was getting it, someone would whiz by. ‘Show off’ I thought to myself. “Wish I had that gun now.’ But, comparison is the thief of joy I once heard, so I got back at it and in the end I think we did about 10 km in all. Not bad for the first time out, and I didn’t fall once!

The day was beautiful and the silence among the trees fantastic. There was a fresh dusting of snow clinging to the branches and there was no wind to disturb it.

We finished the day in our usual fabulous fashion. Past experience told us that all we could expect from the concession stand was chili, chips and soda. So this time we came prepared and for lunch unloaded our picnic and pie baskets, 2 small coolers and a tote bag with a thermos of soup, a thermos of hot cider with butter and rum, sparkling water and sparkling lemonade. Real dishes, tea cups, cutlery, a cutting board and of course, cloth napkins accompanied our feast.

We started with an assortment of cheeses, melon and prosciutto, artichoke hearts and humus. This was followed by curried pumpkin and ginger soup and sandwiches on organic whole grain bread with BBQ chicken breast. For dessert, cranberry cheese pie from my new pie cookbook that I got from Mr. Underpants for Christmas. Delicious!

We may not know how to skate ski well (but at least we can do it!) but we know how to eat!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Higher Learning Circa 1973

You never stop learning. Or so they say. Not one to go against what “they” say I often find myself enrolled in one course or the other. Having finished my CIP (that makes me a Certified geek) I thought, well I might as well finish my FCIP – at least then I can be called a “Fellow”. Not quite Duchess, Princess or Your Majesty, but baby steps.

Anyway, wanting to go to a reputable school (since work was footing the bill) my mind turned to U of T. What I feel is one of Canada’s ‘better’ schools. I am currently finishing my last two courses and one of them is Communications. When I went to purchase the course book, I thought surely the listing must be wrong.

I looked at the Flock of Seagulls hairdo on the person on the cover and thought it seemed a bit dated. Maybe that was part of the course. You know, don’t judge a book by its cover and don’t judge a sentence by the words. Of course, that must be it. But as I flipped (and have subsequently read) through the book I found ALL the pictures like something out of a time capsule.

Big box computers, leggings, crimped hair, leather ties and those rubber Madonna bracelets adorned each page. Even the graphics were very Atari.

But what struck me the most was the actual content. Keep in mind that my work page $720 for the course and $100 for the book. When they talked about internal conflict, it stated that one source is ‘the want or need to fill two desires’. For example (and this is the funny part) ‘when you can’t decide if you should buy that new Hi-Fi now OR save for a VCR’. SAVE for a VCR? Do they even make them anymore? Are they so expensive now because they are antiques? Man, and I just threw mine out.

Oh no. Wait, the book was published in 1973! Note to U of T… is 2008. You may want to update that book. Just maybe…… I hope my professor doesn't read this before he marks my exam.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Just Like Kylie, I Can't Get It.......

Do you ever have those moments where a random song pops in your head and you can’t make it go away? Sometimes you hear the end of a song and then it happens. Or you’ll be talking with a friend about a song that commemorates some event. Wherever they come from, however they get there, it happens.

It may inspire you to visit iTunes and purchase it for the sake of nostalgia. Or even, God forbid, dig through those boxed up CDs (or dare I say vinyl albums) for a stroll down memory lane. It doesn’t even have to be a long lost song; it might be something you just heard yesterday.

Either way, it is often something funny to talk about “You know what song I keep thinking about?” or share a laugh over. I however, am currently plagued by this phenomenon. Before Christmas I mentioned to Captain Underpants that there was a song that jumped in my brain out of nowhere. It even inspired him to listen to the soundtrack.

I however, despite having listened to both the Patty Lupone and Madonna versions of Evita have the entire soundtrack trapped in my thoughts and my tongue! Every morning, before my feet hit the floor “so what happens now?” is there, or “what’s new, Buenos Aries? I’m new – I want to say I’m a little stuck on you” is out of my mouth as I prepare to shave.

I like Madonna and Patti as much as the next person (although not as much as Just Jack) but come on! What gives?

I am kind of hoping writing this will prove to be musically cathartic. Or perhaps if I pass on this affliction to a reader, it will leave me alone. You know, I give the devil another soul so I can keep my own type deal. Maybe it's both. Either way, hop on your train Eva and go back to where you came from!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year

As I lifted my head from its feather nest, on this the first day of the New Year, it was surprisingly clear. Despite a lengthy evening out with the Dollhouse Girls, CJ, Mr. Underpants and Fauntleroy I was up at 8:15. I owe it to my unwavering dedication to the G&Ts. Aside from one glass of bubbly to get the evening started I stayed true to one libation.

Being the first day of 2008, I wanted to kick things off with an entry on Light & Flaky as 2007 was more of a hit-or-miss sort of year. Looking for inspiration, I went back through several entries and came across “I do/I don’t” from January of 2006. Given that it has been two years, I thought it was time to revisit this concept and see how I feel.

I do/I don’t #1.
Do - as I mentioned in my Christmas entry, the Mitchell clan had a snowball fight while at my parents. My 14 year old niece had me pinned on the ground in less than 10 seconds. In my defense, she has joined the wrestling team at school and is very good. Also, she is a girl and I didn’t want to fight back too much in case I hurt her. Still, she is 14 and whipped my butt – so yes. I feel old.

Don’t – the fact that I wanted to have a snowball fight and managed to finally pin my brother.

I do/I don’t #2.
Do – a few weeks back, I went to Grapefruit with CJ and CPB. After we checked our coats and headed for the dance floor and had to go down a set of stairs. On the way I leaned on the railing for support. I used to need the railing to keep from falling down after a few too many ‘drinks’. Now, I held on for fear of falling and cracking my hip. Also, whenever I go out now, I need ear plugs. I hate the ringing in the ears the next day.

Don’t – I can still keep pace with CPB! And that is saying something. Mind you I can only do it about twice a year whereas he is more of an every weekend kind of guy. Maybe I should move this to the “Do” list.

I do/I don’t #3
Do – I went to Abercrombie & Gay (that’s right, I said it) to pick up a Christmas gift and overheard one of the sales clerks/models explain to a woman who had asked “who shops in here?” that their target audience is “18- 28 years” old. Her son or daughter had obviously gone in but she was driven back by the music and cologne. Hmmm…18 – 28 you say? That, plus the fact I was mortified to pay $53 for a t-shirt! I wanted to join to woman waiting in the mall. And another thing, at the cash, rather than the girl ask “how are you?” or “did you find everything you were looking for?” she asked me if I had tired their cologne. I told her no and that “I was all good”. “I’ll just spray some on the shirt for you then”. Ummmmm, what? It was nice and all, but really.

Don’t – even though I am clearly NOT in the A&F target market any longer, I can finally afford to shop there (not that I would pay those sorts of prices, I am too Scottish for that) AND I still look great in their snug little t-shirts. SNAPS for me!

Happy New Year everyone! Peaceful Journey and please try to live in the DON’T column, I know I will!