Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Super Power of the Day

I woke up this morning to the sound of the rain loudly drumming on the windows. Flashback to last night when the front tire of my bike seemed weak and was likely very slowly deflating. I contemplate how I will get from Point A (my bed) to Point B (my office) without spending the first hour of work looking like I just pulled myself out of a pool.

My first thought was, "Don't go to work!" which was stupid. My second thought was, "Call someone to drive you!" which was almost equally as stupid. (I never claimed to be wise in the morning.) Another thought was, "Take the bus!" which had potential but seemed to admit defeat against the rain, and involved figuring out the awkwardness of the local bus system. The thought was followed with, "Call a taxi!" which was ridiculous. I'd rather straddle a broomstick and wait for it to take flight than to wait for a cab to pick me up -- and pay. That cab fare would be a nice glass of wine, dear reader!

Clearly at 8:15am I am in no good condition to brain storm. I showered and went downstairs to check bicyclette's condition. Initial viewing lead me to believe a miracle had happened and the tire did not deflate much more from the night before, but touching the tire bled the truth into my eyes. Flatter than a bottle of pop left open for two weeks.

I eat breakfast, catching a bit of the news. Flooding in Rhode Island, apparently. After real breakfast, I eat dessert, a cookie. All my best ideas come to me when thoughtfully nibbling a cookie and letting the 8-kg of sucre and 9-lbs of shortening and butter awaken my corpse. I decide the rain will STOP NOW and I will walk to work.

Magically, the rain stopped.

Now, this could have been a coincidence, but I prefer to think my brain is mysteriously connected to precipitating clouds. It certainly makes for better blog ramblings.

Monday, March 29, 2010

No-Go Earth Hour

Despite being a quasi-environmentalist (quasi: having some, but not all of the features of) I did not participate in Earth Hour. The primary reason was 1) I forgot, and 2) I'm scared of flames and candles.

I was watching the Weather Network a couple of days before the event (such quality tv) and a man was discussing what he hopes people get out of Earth Hour: realising that they do not need to rely so much on electricity. He was hoping people would hang out their laundry that day, and not use the dryer. He hoped people would wash their clothes in cold water. They would turn off the lights when they leave a room.

I am the meteorologist's hero, for I already do those things. Therefore, according to him, I did not need to participate in Earth Hour.

But maybe I'm not the norm, and I hope someone who did participate in Earth Hour on Saturday night realised where they were using electricity when it was not necessary.

I'm actually having feelings of catholic guilt for having two lights on in my office a la moment. My usual light is a mini one attached to my desk, above my laptop. It's all I really need until late afternoon unless it's particularly dark and gloomy outside. However, I have the actual lights to my office on because my office is cold, and the lights heat it up. Maybe I'll dash around the building to warm up.

Upon re-reading what I wrote, I sound like a tool. I blame the dark clouds in the sky, they increase my tool factor.

Oh Monday morning. So tired.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Leaky Clouds

And now, a haiku about the rain.

It is raining out
Splashes on my windowsill
Liking my raincoat

What I enjoy about haikus is that they don't really have to make sense, but follow the 5-7-5 rule.

When I went to the market last Saturday I was wearing a short-sleeved sweater and flip-flops. It was a bit chilly on my feet, but doable since I was going to be inside anyway. But even chillier was the dirty, rude look someone gave me feet as she was exiting the building and I was entering. She didn't look at me, only my feet. Unfortunate that my selection in footwear offended her. She will be relieved to know that I will not be wearing the offensive sandals this week for the forecast temperature is a high of -4C.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Please take with food.

I sucked it up and went to the Doctor to whine about my broken ears. Indeed, my whining turned out to be justified and now I have two fancy pill bottles to make my life less awkward. This brings the prescription grand total of the last two years to.. *drumroll* TWO!

Hopefully I'll be able to hear again by Tuesday because that's when I run out of pills. One of them is actually steroids. So now if I'm suddenly drafted for a sports team I will fail the drug test. Tellement tragique.

A big fancy yellow sticker on one bottle tells me to 'take with food'.

Are mini-eggs food? I certainly hope so, because that was the accompaniment of choice. In a related note, I am done with Mini-Eggs. A bientot, mon ami, je ne te mangerai jamais encore (until Easter 2011). Also taking temporary hiatus from red peppers. Apparently I felt the need to eat them excessively recently.

In other food news, I'm also 'over' chicken. I haven't purchased any in ages. A French friend helped me realise why in a random explanation as we strolled the streets of Aix: French restaurants don't serve a lot of chicken, and the French don't eat a lot of chicken, it's considered a cheap meat.

So then I thought about it. I recall reading a stat somewhere about chicken consumption in North America and how much it has increased in the past x years. Basically, North America likes to jump on random healthy wagons (apparently acai berries from the rain forests are the new make-love-to food?) and chicken was cleverly promoted as a great, lean meat and source of protein. There's a bit of a catch though: chicken is boring. To quote a friend, chicken is "unoffensive", which is why you get it at every wedding and every luncheon and ever catered business-y thing you will ever go to. It's true, no one *dislikes* chicken. It's bland on its own. The only way to really enjoy it is too add bunches of other flavours. If you have a chicken veggie stir-fry, it's the sauce and veggies that give it the flavour. When is the last time you bit into a plain chicken breast and said, "Mmmm! So delicious!" Chicken can be good, but I sort of think of it the same as toast: toast on its own is boring, toast with peanut butter is a culinary delight.

My new roommate is a student at the culinary centre and agrees with me, so I must be right, yes? You can eat a relatively plain piece of salmon and it is good. Ground beef ("hamburg", in PEI) is good.

Of course, I may be biased as the last point in my life during which I cooked a lot of chicken was in third year uni when I was living in Ottawa. I guess I was convinced I was going to die from salmonella or something because I would put a chicken breast (because it was healthy and wonderful?!) in a George Foreman grill and basically cook the crap out of it. Ugh. My mind sometimes travels back to cooking class in junior high: why didn't they teach us to make real food? We made muffins, baked potatoes, and in our final exam class: chocolate chip cookies. That famous delicacy that most children assist in the making of when they are four years old.

Why didn't we learn about spices? How to properly cook steak? (Or at least explain that all steak doesn't have to be cooked extra well done a la PEI.) Maybe show us what a sweet potato was. Other bizarre fruits and veggies. To be fair, I don't think the fruit and veggie sections of the local groceries stores were nearly as diverse as they are now, but still.

Unrelated, but I received my first flat of the year yesterday. I noticed it this evening when I suited up for a bike. Ugh. If I have as many flats this year as last year I'm going to have to get a lot more efficient at changing them. Also, I don't have a bike pump. My bike here has schrader valves, and my bike in France had presta valves. My wee pump is apparently good for both, but seemed to commit suicide after trying to use it on my schrader valves at home after using it in France for a few months. So I, naturally, lost my temper and threw the wee pump at a tree when it wouldn't pump my tire post-basement storage retrieval. Eventually I composed myself after fishing out another other pump (first other also was faulty) and did retrieve it, but I don't remember where I put it. I'll probably find it after my unborn (unconceived) child graduates from university and leaves the nest. The entire point of this paragraph is that I had a flat tire and no pump. But my bike desperately needs a tune-up, new cables, and new brake pads, so I'll take it somewhere tomorrow morning and get my darling all shiny and sparkly new-like again. Except the scratches. And the pedals (I broke the originals somehow?!). And the Hawai'i stickers I put on the frame.

Ah, 1:00am. You always come so quick. Happy daylight savings, children.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

The other sponsors

As I rambled to anyone who would listen, I was in Vancouver for most of the last week of the Olympics. I don't even really consider it a trip to Vancouver, more so a trip to Magical Olympic Land of Medals and Line Ups. During this time spent immersed in seas of red and white clothing and capes fashioned from flags, I made careful not of who (what) the real sponsors of the Olympics were. I now give you this thoroughly researched list, accompanied by some appropriate photos.

  • Beer - specifically, Kokanee Beer.

  • Televisions.

  • Giant flames, matches, general manufacturing of flames. (Fireworks fall into the sub category of giant flames.)

  • Pizza. (Tied in with no. 1 - beer.)

  • Believing. Yes, just general, overall believing. Thank you, CTV!

  • High fives. To strangers.

  • Security. Subcategory, boat police.

  • Walt Disney World -- Epcot, as pretty much everyone I hung out with had worked at Epcot, or was with someone who worked at Epcot.

  • Me. That's right, me.

(The image didn't turn out quite how I wanted, but it's getting late.)

In an unrelated note, the flight home pretty much destroyed my ears. My ears have been plugged since the impending landing of the first of my three flights. Actually, slight lie, they would properly pop when the next flight took off, but they never popped after the last flight landed. It feels like I am in a dream sequence voices are weird and muffled and I cannot understand things. For example, I watched the movie Munich with a housemate. I doubt the movie is truly that confusing, but when one cannot hear so well it is like trying to assemble a puzzle with pieces from four different puzzles. It didn't help that I didn't really like the movie thus was not so much paying deep attention, and was instead hanging my head upside because it seems to temporarily allow sound to enter yee olde eardrums. Too bad after I sit back up I'm deafened again.

ALSO! For some reason, it sounds like there are crickets living in my ears. Everytime I take a step I hear a cricket cricketing in my head, like the sound of tiny bells. I actually can't hear my alarm in the morning due to my plugged ears. So if anyone feels the need to ring me early in the am (early = 8ish) please do so.

I have started late-winter bike riding and so very much look forward to getting my bike tuned up. I need new brake pads, cables, general guck removal, and about 18-L of lube on my chain. I could clean and lube it myself right now, but that involves using water outdoors which will result in my wee hands going numb. When hands are numb, I cannot use them properly which could result in a comedic cleaning DISASTER!

At work we were doing a walking challenge. There are teams of eight in the various departments across campus. We wear pedometres and record how many steps we take weekly. I was doing well until, of course, I lost my pedometre. And by "my" pedometre I mean Hannah's pedometre. So I bought another one with the intentions of giving it to Hannah upon completion of our wee challenge.

Until I lost the second pedometre. I think it is somewhere in the Ottawa Airport, or possibly sitting on a plane. So I lost two pedometres. For those that are unfamiliar, a pedometre would be the size of a small, thick calculator. It attaches to your pants, skirt, etc. ATTACHES. CLIPS ON.

Yet I managed to lose TWO?! No longer am I allowed to participate in events that rely on not losing something that is small.

Time to sleep! I don't think I woke up today until 2:00pm. I made myself some hot chocolate, waited ten minutes, and attempted to drink it. I semi-burnt my tongue and fussed to myself, but it woke me up. Silly kettle being all hot-water-production like.