Sunday, January 27, 2013

Easy Like Sunday Morning

And it's Sunday again.  It's been a really great week.

On Monday, I attended the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce Hamilton Community Awards on behalf of HIVE - the young professional group hub in Hamilton.  I was at a great table of YPs who I enjoyed getting to know in a more social setting.  Until we went around the table and it was determined that I was the oldest in the group.  By four months, but still.

Afterwards, I joined our Oscar Movie Mondays with Dru and Jen.   We're watching as many of the nominated films as we can before Oscar night.  We watched Silver Linings Playbook, which I had already seen and loathed.  Turns out, I am the only person who feels this way.  Everyone I poll really likes it.  Meh.

We've been doing thematic food and drink for the movies we watched.  Well, to be honest, Dru and Jen have been - I've totally dropped the ball.  There were cajun bayou shrimp, swamp water cocktails and BBQ chips for Beasts of the Southern Wild...

and Polar Ice vodka (a nod to the main character's bi-polar issues) and almond blondies on a literal silver lined playbook for Silver Linings Playbook...

and tomorrow night we're watching Lincoln.  If you have any suggestions, please throw me a bone.  So far, all I have is AbraHAM sandwiches, but Jen is a vegetarian.  Errrgh.


This week also brought the first dodgeball victory for my team, the Daj Mahballs!  And not just a small margin victory, but a full blow-out.  We were amazing.  It was like we all hit our stride as a team and each individual member was the best they'd been.  I always have a blast playing, but I'll admit that I coasted off this winning high for several days.


Online dating.  Again. Those two words summon so many thoughts.  While I wish I could post the images and messages for your entertainment, trust me when I tell you that they provide me a daily mix of laughter, exasperation and "Are you freaking kidding me?" faces.  I've already been messaged by a cross-dressing man hoping that we share a love of short skirts.  I can't make this stuff up.


Have you been seeing all the advertisements lately for these cigarette alternativess?

First of all, what does SNUS mean?  Sinus?  An acronym?  It's been promoted as a drama free alternative to cigarettes.  What does that mean?  Do smokers experience drama?  Perhaps there are turf wars outside on smoke breaks.

I went to the website and it's basically a small pouch filled with nicotine that you slide "under your upper lip and enjoy".  A massive immobile banner on the website yells at you that it causes mouth cancer.  Awesome.

There is also a ridiculous ad campaign for the Blu electronic cigarette starring Stephen Dorff.  Fine, I'm not a smoker.  I never have been, but this all seems silly.  Is good old fashioned will power not an option? I've seen people do it. It's possible.


Keeping these messages on my kitchen white board always make me smile.  The first one was from my Dad when he installed the board and the others have appeared there after dinner parties or random nights when friends come over.  Except for the mean one from my high school nemesis about my penchant for wearing vests, they're lovely.


Have you ever bought an apple from the grocery store that actually had the stem on it?  Like a picture.  I felt like I was in a fairytale.  Ok, that might be a bit of a stretch.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Sunday Stories

Happy Sunday everyone and Happy 2013!

An incredible amount of time has passed since I last posted.  I have decided to commit to posting once a week, every Sunday. If I manage to post more often, great, but giving myself the goal of one post per week seems to be a less daunting task in my busy life. So, each Sunday post will be an overview of my past week, including random thoughts and general musings from the previous seven days.

- Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. This book was the best book that I read during the entire past year. It is hard to describe, but once I started it I vacillated between wanting to read it in one sitting and wanting to read it slowly to savour each page. It's thrilling and intriguing in a way few books are. There was one passage in particular that really spoke to me - pages 28-30. It describes this single 30-something woman, the protagonist (or is she?) Amy as she manoeuvres her life before meeting her husband.

(I actually have the pages scanned but wasn't sure if I am allowed to post them, so if you're really that curious, let me know and I can send them to you.)

So many of my friends are married and/or seriously coupled and I sometimes feel like the anomaly in the group. This part of the book explains almost exactly my thoughts about being in the position I am - and I optimistically think that my ending will be the same as the last sentence. Of course, there are some elements of the passage that aren't spot on, but for the most part, it is exactly what is going on in my mind most of the time.


Last week, a friend and I went to a young professional party in Toronto with our party dresses on and our limbs ready to flail akimbo on the dance floor.  Here's the thing about Toronto YP events - they don't turn into a fun dance party.  How is this possible?  We were expecting an Art Gallery of Hamilton CLiC-style  event where at the end of the night, the dance party busts out and then everyone migrates to the Embassy once the event closes down.  Not the case this night.  Instead, there were $15 glasses of wine and lots of looking people up and down while schmoozing.  Some people were actually quite friendly and we had some fun looking ridiculous on the red carpet, but we came prepared to dance!

This is why we stopped by the Embassy on the way home and I danced my heart out.  I was also the most dressed up there and was hit on by a lesbian.  Plus the wine was in plastic cups and cost $3.00.  Awesome, Hamilton.


As readers of this blog will already know, I love grilled cheese.  No, I mean, really love it.  I go through phases where I try to limit my consumption, but it never lasts.  Especially once I discovered the latest trend sweeping the cookbooks and grilled cheese forums on the Internet (do these actually exist!?) - grilled cheese croutons.  Really nothing more than a sandwich cut up into cubes, but it seems genius.  

I've also started putting Dijon mustard on the bread - this has revolutionized my sandwich.  As with any love affair, you've got to shake things up to keep it fresh.


I went to my work storage locker the other day and I hope I am not paying extra for the overwhelming pot stench - I'm pretty convinced that some burnouts are living in one of these units and perhaps operating a small scale grow-op.  Also, I passed a few units that were secured with, not one, but two locks.  I am extremely curious about what contents in an east Hamilton storage locker require the expressed "sign off" of two owners.  Diamonds?  Drugs?  Limited edition Beanie Babies?  You've got to be pretty serious about whatever is in there to require both people turn their keys in order to access it.  It's like detonating a missile.


My youngest brother Greg recently got engaged to the ever lovely Carrie.  I'm so happy for them and it's exciting to help them start to plan their wedding.  

What's not great is perusing the Hamilton Wedding Show last week with only my brother.  Carrie was unable to attend, and Greg wanted to suss out some items, so I agreed to accompany him, as his sister and wedding planner.  It was pretty awkward.  I should have worn a sticker that said, "I am his SISTER."  The only answer I have to "Have you two love birds set a date?" is: "You mean to get the heck out of here?  Yes.  TODAY, right now."


It is officially awards season for those who follow Hollywood.  The Golden Globes were last week and I watched them with some friends and a lot of cheese.  I may be alone in thinking this, but I found this dress to be the best.  I'm a sucker for a geometric peplum.


The latest hot button issue around the city lately is the Hamilton downtown casino.  I have recently become interested in this topic and have filled my brain with as much information as I can on it and have attended one of the public forums on the matter.  I know where I stand, but I find myself keeping fairly mum when in groups of people where there are a lot of strong opinions.  People are very fired up about this.  The spokespeople that have emerged for each side are very vocal and watching them debate is entertaining.  The same arguments are thrown around time after time and each side doesn't really address the questions posed to them, instead they always default to their favourite statistics and speaking points.

It would be wonderfully refreshing if those in favour just came right out and said that the reason behind their opinion is that they have the opportunity to make a lot of money.  And it would be equally refreshing if those against came right out and said that the reason behind their opinion is that the current Hamilton downtown core revitalization would suffer and/or come to a standstill - that the city would reverse its trajectory and turn into another depressing city like Brantford or Windsor.  Gambling addiction is the main focus of the opposition and while concerning and certainly detrimental, what the downtown core will turn into is where my head is at.

Either way, it will be interesting to see how the next month unfolds.  The main problem I've recognized is that while most people have an opinion, there isn't a clear channel and method for how to express that opinion to the councillors as the decision makers.  Contacting your local councillor is the most effective way, but I fear that no one is doing that.  Sure, they have a sense of where the community is at based on the two well-attended forums last week, but short of a referendum, the councillors are making this decision for us - that's a lot of pressure.  I encourage you to email your representative with your opinion, whatever it may be.


This is my new favourite acquisition:

It's pretty self-explanatory.  You open up a page and draw whatever it says to draw.  I'm a constant doodler, so it's nice to have an outlet, as well as some direction.  Otherwise, I just end up drawing eyes for some reason.   And usually only the left one.  Hmmm.


A couple of my favourite "new" songs to start your week off:

Eliza Doolittle - Skinny Genes

The adorable Olly Murs - Dance With Me Tonight


This picture always makes me smile.  You should have seen how many people stopped and remarked how they'd never seen a man knitting.  So cute.

Have a great week!