Thursday, May 27, 2010

Text to self: Things to do on the moon

I generally have a lot of trouble falling asleep at night but then sleep like a drugged baby until my alarm sings in my ears. Sometimes I think of things that I think would be wonderful to write about, but refrain from powering up Laptop and just hope I remember them in the morning. About a week ago I came up with what seemed like WONDERFUL ideas and text them to myself. The text reads, "Blog: things to do on the moon, bf list half-duck, things my kids can do."

Things to do on the moon is self explanatory and I recall thinking of a few great things (hop!). Boyfriend list half-duck somewhat makes sense as I remember my train of thought about the list (pertains to an email sent long ago), but I'm questioning the half-duck thing. Perhaps I had some sort of boyfriend requirement that the male should not be a half mutated animal, specifically a duck? I even remember laughing as I typed it into my phone.

In a timid attempt to do this week-old brain wave justice, I present to you, Things to do on the Mooon:

- Hop around. Be sure to attach yourself to something sturdy via a strong rope.
- Weight yourself. Moon gravity = stunning weight loss!
- Do the moonwalk. It's only appropriate.
- Search for signs of life. There has to be something there, even if it's only the dead carcass of a june bug.
- Nap.

Like I will do now.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Public Service Announcement


I am here today to offer constructive criticism on your choice as consumers.

You may recognize the product featured in this photo. If you have ever consumed this product (and obviously you have otherwise our relationship is quickly spiraling downwards) your brain should have instantly flooded with memories of a delicious, tender chocolate ball sitting on your tongue, the chocolate slowly sweating onto your taste buds with "So Happy Together" playing in the background. The interior holds a careful secret: love. The inside of these chocolate balls were invented when God, Buddha, Allah, and Zeus were having a tea party.

Although my relationship with the Lindt brand has generally always been strong and solid, it did waver when I descending the train in Zurich, Switzerland. I was full of optimism; an innocent lassie with a hop in her step. As much as one can hop when weighed down with a 30-lb backpack... so, heavily stepped, really. Into the train station's visitor centre I go. In my best German I say, "I vould like a map, please," borrowing a friend's method of quickly becoming a linguistic master of any language (say the words in English, but with a stereotyped accent of the local language). I am provided with a map, and an awkward smile. I inquired about the location of the Lindt chocolate factory that had me drooling in my Rough Guide. The kind Svisse-Germhan informed me that the factory and its tours were temporarily closed for renovation, refurb, donkey control, something. I felt overwhelmed with grief; the same grief one feels when she thinks she has one cookie left, but actually has none.

Instead, I had to settle for a large advertisement of Lindt chocolate.

Needless to say, the sign didn't compare to the goodness I expected to come from the actual tour/unlimited tasting session (belly ache factory?), but instead I drank beer with hostel people, explored, enjoyed the sun, and, surprise, went on a long bike ride.

So, based on these preceding ramblings, you should derived that I take my Lindt chocolate quite seriously. Thus, when I came across a knock-off version of Lindt Lindor chocolate balls I as a bit skeptical, almost nervous. Usually I would just snark and buy the brandless substitute... But this is clearly different. The package stated the product was made in Switzerland (+1 point), but the truffles (so said the packaging) were wrapped in blue wrapper instead of red. Not being a fan of blue, particularly light blue, I felt a twitch in my shoulder. A panicked discussion with my co-shopper wasn't comforting. We both felt concern with faulty fakes. Eventually, I decided to take a risk. I bought the fakes, in the name of science, of course. The "buying slightly overpriced but oh-so delicious chocolate with groceries" habit is/was supposed to disappear after leaving France. Success = questionable.

Fake truffles in light blue wrappers were placed in basket, taken to the register, paid for, and ripped open about 100 paces out of the grocery store. Co-muncher had the first truffle. Verdict that we shared: not the same, not bad, an okay substitute in the event you are lacking the extra $.70 for the true taste bud delights.

Lindt Lindor Truffles: +9,000
President's Choice Milk Chocolate Truffles: +2 (photo to perhaps be added later)

This has been a public service announcement in the stylings of Maki.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Numbers Game

Once, a long, long time ago, (1995-2004), I was a 'numbers person'. This is mostly evident in school marks, and high school awards that were given nice names but really should have been called, "Science Geek Prize" or "Way to rock finance, Maki!" I'm still a bit of a numbers person, and write many reports involving a plethora of numbers. However, I don't really do anything with numbers anymore. My life is lacking algebraic equations, graphing calculators (kidding! I always hated those), elaborate equations used to determine simple things ("According to this complicated equation, you will die if you chop off your head!"), etc.

It's been so long since I've be able to us pi, dramatic siiiiiigh. Math and physics got even better as teachers/professors insisted that inserting greek characters into equations and results was the right thing to do.

But no one wants to read how I miss math class and wish I could use a geometry set at least once a week. Here are numbers you may enjoy.

The number of...
Times I bought a specific kind of beer because there was an elephant on the can/label/bottle: 2

  elephant-labelled beer that did not taste so good: 1.5

Reports I have written since starting my job in June 2007: approximately 18,742

  Reports I have written that nobody external has read: 17,894

Animals I have contemplated stealing from a zoo: most of them

  Animals I have actually stolen from a zoo: zero

Pennies required to buy a chocolate bar from the University's vending machines last week: 130 (note: machine does not actually accept pennies

  Pennies required to buy a chocolate bar from the uni's vending machines this week: 160.. no more purchases from the vending machine. I'm taking a stance!

Times a week I go to work with wet or still-damp hair: 2 or 3

  Other people who show up with wet hair: zero (this confuses me - hair dryer = ball of frizz, and no one else has frizzy OR wet hair)

Times I've checked the weather today: two

  Times I would check the weather on an average winter workday: 30 million

Seasons of Family Ties owned: two

  Seasons I should own: all of them, but with Baby Andrew scenes magically erased

Blogs written this week: two!

  Blogs that were picked up by my Facebook feed: 0 ... thanks, failing technology

Times today that I thought of ways to make money by blogging: very many!

  Dollars ever made from blogging: $0

Cheers to the Internet for allowing me to share this important information with you.

Fact you may have not known: in French there is no masculine version of the word "esthetician". That means France is sexist. Which is fine, even applaudable, because I would not want a man waxing the lady parts. He just wouldn't know...

Monday, May 17, 2010

Summer's a brewin'...

Signs summer is coming:

  • Jewell's Country Market is open, which was my savior at kilometre 55 of what was planned to be a simple 40-km bike ride.

  • Boomer, the local weatherman, said winter was ending tonight once the wind died down - and it did die down!

  • Sun still gleams on the horizon at 20h45.

  • Beer Club is being held outside tomorrow!

  • The university feels vacant as profs sneak off for holidays.

  • Season finales galore! Highlight being Survivor last night, which I lapped up like a thirsty puppy. Then read all about it online *cough* geek *cough* and then got paranoid the next day that my tribe ("work mates") was strategising against me.

  • I'm getting emails about bicycling rides, which I'm too slow to participate in :P

  • Not wearing boots, unless it's raining.

  • Darling Sparks kids came to my door selling Girl Guide cookies. Having a cold and not feeling well, obviously cookies were a required purchase. Despite the fact I hated Brownies (the pre-Girl Guides) and thought there were too many mean girls enrolled.

  • Big movies coming out soon!

  • People watering their yards. STOP IT.

  • People watering their driveways. STOP IT.

Yes, it turns out I'm quite intolerant of people watering their lawns and cleaning their driveways. It's spring in the Maritimes. If it's not raining today, it probably will tomorrow. Or the day after.

(To be fair it doesn't seem to be raining that much, but often low, moody clouds are taking over the skyline.)

In a lighter note:

I crack up whenever this commercial comes on TV. There is no real explanation for my cackly laughter, but it happens. It also helped last time when one of my roommates squinted at the TV and said, "I still can never see the hippo the first time around..."

The magical world of YouTube lead me to Star Wars Ep I "Duel of the Fates" which made me feel geeky for listening to it. It reminds me of studying for final exams in grade 11, as I used to listen to the Star Wars soundtrack when studying. I had read somewhere that classical music helps studying, and apparently I assumed Star Wars was classical music. In a good note, I aced grade 11 and 12. Thank you, John Williams! Could have used your help in grade 10 "Etudes canadiens", however.

Yesterday evening I sneezed while eating popcorn, all over my arm. Must had been a cursed sneeze as shortly after I felt my head getting a bit stuffy and by evening's end I had developed a cold. Woke up today feeling a smidge less than mediocre and have sneezed approximately 18,752 times today. Sometimes eating, sometimes not, sometimes drinking, sometimes not. I told my cold this afternoon, "Fine, you can stay today, but I am dousing you out with some wicked vitamin C this evening." Then, you know, the cute kids showed up with the cookies.

Cookies are rich in vitamin c, yes?


See you again tomorrow, cold.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Important lists

I haven't written in a wee while because I've been off playing on holiday. On a scale of 1-10 of wonderfulness, after careful consideration and using a coefficient multiplier of the cosecent of pi (3.14159), I have determined this vacation deserves an 11.298. I don't know about you, but I find that to be a pleasing rating.

Now, just because I did not blog while traversing our great neighbour to the south, does not mean I was not thinking about blogging. I think writers tend to always write in their heads. I didn't bring my laptop with me and often found myself narrating my mini adventures in my head in blog style. It's difficult to determine if this is an admirable devotion to my blog and its six readers, or if it is a sad reflection of someone craving attention.

Right now I do not feel like writing a post with proper punctuation and picky grammar rules. I would like to make lists. Although they may be formatted a bit bizarrely as I find blogger defaults lists to be more much spacey than I desire.

Best animals at a zoo

- Sea lions
- Penguins
- Goats
- Elephants
- Any hyper animal under 6mos of age.

Worst animals at a zoo
- The ones that are sleeping waaaaaay in the back of their special animal area. Typically this will be a bear, filling all the bear stereotypes of lazy hibernation. QUESTION: Do zoo bears hibernate in the winter? Probably not. Sorry, bear.

Things that live up to their hype
- Danny Bhoy
- Niagara Falls, Canada portion.
- Golden Gate Bridge
- Earl of Sandwich
- Bahama Breeze
- These two kinds of Milka bars: Caramel and à la mousse praliné. Miam!
- Road-side fruit stands - particularly strawberries
- Goat cheese
- Me. Yes, I live up to the hype.
- *knock on wood* Toy Story 3

Things that aren't as impressive as they are supposed to be
- Chili's margarita chicken, pictured to the right. The only thing you can do is laugh. And build a time machine for a lunch re-do.
- Hershey milk chocolate. Best left for smores.
- Chocolate covered fruit. Don't mess with my strawberries, yo.

Best way to travel to a destination
- Flying carpet; llama

Worst way to travel to a destination
- Ryan Air; sewage pipe

Disappointing ways to start your day
- Waking up on Monday and thinking it's Saturday
- Empty milk jug in fridge after you poured your delicious cereal into its bowl
- Flat bike tire
- Horse poop

Wonderful ways to start your day
- Vodka & tonic with a slice of lime (just kidding... hold the tonic.)
- Sunshine
- Smiling faces
- Free hotel continental breakfast

Things that are awkward
- Eating pasta with tomato-based sauce while wearing a white shirt
- Trying to shimmy into clothes that are too small (thanks FRANCE -- "De rien, Jenny-fair")
- Trying to watch Avatar of the four-inch seat-back tv on an airplane
- Choking
- Promos for Sex and the City 2