Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Oy! I'm failing at this blog-a-day goal.

I'm going to keep them much shorter - maybe that'll help me stay motivated to write them.

So today's post is inspired by my oldest friend, Simona. We met in grade 5 and it was friendship-at-first-sight. Seriously. She came to my school in October and was therefore the oh-so-intriguing 'new girl'. She was a foot taller than all the pre-pubescent guys in the class and looked about fourteen instead of the ten, almost eleven years of age that she was.

Anyway, her seat was near mine and I was always eager to help out the new kids - especially when they were gorgeous girls who looked like they could rule the school by the end of the week (what can I say, I was pretty shallow back then) - so we started getting to know one another. She lived in my neighbourhood, about thirty seconds away from my house, so that was a bonus.

Things got a little strained when my best friend at the time decided she didn't like the new girl and I was forced to choose sides. For about a week, I sided with the current bestie (even though - and Simona will be the first to tell you this, to my everlasting shame - I told Simona we could still be friends outside of school), but when current bestie started really hating on the new girl, I'd had it. So I told her off, chose my new side and never looked back.

Fourteen years later, we're still really close. We only went to school together for a total of nine months out of our entire educational careers, so there've been times when we didn't have a lot of opportunities to hang out, but recently we've been trying to see each other more and it's been awesome. Really awesome.

So, the moral of this post? Well, A: Always stand up for what you think is right because it'll always be the best thing. But also, B: Try to reconnect with someone you've lost touch with. See where their life has taken them, what they've learned and experienced, how they've grown, etc. You probably won't regret it.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

soggy afternoons

What is it about rainy days that makes me want to just sit around, watch movies and drink hot chocolate? I did none of those things today, but I most definitely wanted to. It's weird how much of an effect the weather can have on my emotions or motivation.

My window wasn't even open. I couldn't see the overcast sky or growing puddles. I could only hear the rhythmic rainfall that quickly turned into a downpour. It made me want to stop what I was doing and just have a nap, totally out of the blue.

So weird.

Alls I can say is, this rainy weather better go on a little hiatus for a while or I will give in to my lazy desires and never leave the house til next spring.

Speaking of lazy tendencies though -- yesterday when I was searching for the newest episode of New Girl, I stumbled upon a new tv show that I fell in love with almost instantly. I don't know if you've heard anything about it, it's called Arrow. It's like Batman Begins meets Smallville - except it's about Oliver Queen, ie. the Green Arrow :)

I gotta say, even though I'm an archer, I never really thought much of the Green Arrow. My faves are Iron Man, Batman, Wolverine - you know, the obviously awesome superheros. But Stephen Amell's Oliver Queen is definitely bringing something to the table (dare I say, something delicious? haha).

Seriously though. It's a really good show. I mean, I'm only two episodes in, but I'm hooked. Not all the actors are phenomenal, but a good number of them are pretty decent. And there's action and archery - things that I think should be in every tv show, movie and stage play, really.

Just check it out, will ya? Or don't. We can still be friends either way. Probably.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

on this day

On this day last year I ran in the Scotiabank half marathon. Half marathons work out to be about twenty-one kilometers. Before this time last year, the longest run I'd ever managed was ten kilometers. Talk to any seasoned marathon runner and they'll tell you my training routine wasn't the best one.. In fact, I didn't really have much of a routine at all.

I ran almost every day, but never more than six miles (my iPhone tells me that's 9.7 kilometers). At the time, I much preferred doing hot yoga or Muay Thai rather than run nowhere for a few hours. And it's the fact that I enjoyed those things that ultimately gave me the ability to write that first sentence of this post.

Sure, I would've benefited from training in the form of long-distance running, but in the end, all that really mattered was the fact that I was training at all. Keeping my body active and healthy was what gave me the ability to jog for two hours straight when it came time to run the marathon. And the only reason I could keep at my training was that I had something to work towards - I had a goal.

After the marathon, I ran less. I had achieved my goal. There was no more reason to run. I was still going to Muay Thai just as much as before. Muay Thai was different. I had a group of people keeping me accountable. I had a reason to go (learn how to beat the shi-- I mean, defend myself if the occasion ever called for it). But it wasn't long before my attendance started dwindling and then ceased altogether. Granted, it was only a three month hiatus because school has a way of sucking the fun out of everything, but I stopped going nonetheless.

Amazingly, I was still motivated enough to go to the gym. I had discovered the elliptical: the magical machine that zaps love handles and stomach fat with (what feels like) little to no effort. And, when summer finally arrived, I got back into the swing of things with my old Muay Thai buds. But the motivation was weaker, easier to ignore. In hindsight, the reason for that is as clear as day.

I didn't have a goal. There wasn't something on the near horizon, something coming whether I liked it or not.

With the marathon, I was practically scared into working out, staying healthy. And that worked. I didn't want  to fail. And I knew success was entirely in my reach if I just prepared for it.

These days I've finally gotten back on track (it was a little dicey there for a while) and it's because I've found a new goal. It's a silly one, but so far it's working for me so hush. At first I was thinking my goal should be to work towards being the next Angelina Jolie. You know, like her character in Salt? Practically an assassin. And I'd be lying if I said that doesn't still play a little bit of a part in my new goal. But the Angelina Jolie thing was a little too far fetched to be a real goal. I mean, there's like a 1% chance that'll ever happen, so that's a weak source of motivation if I ever saw it.

Instead, my new goal is this: to be able to kick someone's ass and then have the stamina to run as fast and efficiently as possible from all the repercussions of that.

I told you, it's silly. But also, have you seen the sorts of situations I get myself in on a daily basis? This will definitely come in handy someday - it's really just a matter of time.

Anyway, the reason why I'm blogging about this and not just writing it in some journal that will never see the light of day is because I know that a lot of people (whether they're willing to admit it or not) want to get aboard the healthy train these days. But it's a hard train to hop on and an even harder one to stay on. So I thought I'd share a few of my tricks with you.

Obviously, trick number one is: set a goal. I don't recommend the "I want to lose ten pounds" goal, because that one depends too much on you. Pick something like a half-marathon (or just a 5k) - something that you need to be ready for when it arrives.

Trick number two: don't settle. Find an activity that you really enjoy doing. There are so many things out there to do. Do an online search to find things near you - clubs, community centers, running groups. Seriously, community centers alone have a ton of stuff available so there's bound to be something that appeals to you.

Trick number three: go all out. I'm sure there are a few people out there who think I'm crazy for having my own bow and arrow. It's a pretty weird thing to own. But it's the equipment I need in order to do something I love. Maybe going all out for you only means buying the comfiest yoga pants in the world so you want to put them on and go exercise. Whatever it is, doing it will only help your cause.

Trick number four: find a buddy. Personally, I didn't really do this one, but that's because I'm okay with venturing out into the unknown alone. Still, that doesn't mean I don't have a little more fun when my sister decides to go for a run with me. And I started Muay Thai with my little brother, so that made things a little less daunting. The best part about the buddy system is the accountability aspect. You may be able to live with yourself if you skip a work out, but could you really live with a second person nagging at you for letting yourself off so easily?

Trick number five: don't forget the music. This one's most important if you decide to pick up running. I wouldn't recommend wearing headphones while swimming, for example, but that's just me. I know a few people who enjoy running without music, so if you're one of those people, more power to you! I, however, can barely even put one foot in front of the other until I have a beat to help me out. If you're the same way, here are a few of my favorite tunes that keep me going:

Girlfriend by Avril Lavigne
Good Feeling by Flo Rida
Chelsea Dagger by the Fratellis
Lose Yourself by Eminem
A-Punk by Vampire Weekend
Walkie Talkie Man by Steriogram
Crying Blood by V.V. Brown
Na Na Na Na Naah by the Kaiser Chiefs
Gimme Sympathy by Metric
Love You like a Love Song by Selena Gomez

Don't mock until you try them out. They're seriously gold.

Anyway, this post is already far too long, so I shall leave you with only two more tidbits of advice:

1) Don't go running in flared, too-long yoga pants in the rain - it will slow you down. Fast.
2) Invest in some toe-shoes. Seriously. They're the best.

Happy Hunting!

Saturday, October 13, 2012


You know that moment when you're on a train, or walking down the street, or in the grocery store and you remember something funny? If you're anything like me, in that moment you can't help but smile, or sometimes even laugh to yourself. And yeah, you feel a little weird doing it, but at the same time, it kind of feels awesome.

I've been having a lot of those moments lately. Maybe it's because I'm making a lot of good memories these days and they follow me into every new situation. 

...Or maybe it's because I've been watching some hilarious YouTube videos that have punch lines that should never be forgotten. 

Either way, I've been discovering the joys of the reminiscing 'sidewalk smile'. It's the best when you aren't wearing headphones or looking at your ipod, or a movie poster or anything.. You're just minding your own business and suddenly, a memory flickers through your mind and your lips curl into a grin. If there are people around you and they notice, they might think you're just a touch of crazy, but that makes it more fun. 

It kind of reminds me of that smile 'One Direction' sings about in their one and only hit song - "when you smile at the ground it ain't hard to tell..." etc. Except the 'sidewalk smile' is still a little different... and a lot better. After all:

If you haven't been able to enjoy a little 'sidewalk smile' recently, maybe I can help you out with that. All it takes is a little injection of funny and your brain will take care of the rest. Believe me, these funny moments will come to mind at the random-est times. 

I'm totally down for helping you make fun memories - just give me a call and we can adventure. But right now the best way I can help is by sharing some of my favorite YouTube videos. Take a gander...

Enjoy! :)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

open up

I've been going to the same dentist since I had baby teeth.

She was a horror.

I'm serious. I'm pretty sure some the things that were done to me while I sat in her chair could be qualified as torture...

Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating a little, but I will say that I think I have irreparable emotional scarring.

Anyway, as I was saying, I've only ever had one dentist and she and I go way back -- not by my choice, as you may have guessed.

A few years ago I started hearing other people's dentist stories and I made the unfathomable discovery that not all dentists were insane-o, heartless child-haters (again, I'm only being slightly dramatic). So I decided to stop enduring the frightening misery that was my semi-annual dentist appointment and shop around for a new one.

And then life happened and apparently a few years passed and finally I knew it was time to stop putting things off and actually get my butt back into a dentist's chair. My mom told me about her dentist whose office happens to be a four minute drive away from my house and that was enough for me to give him a shot. I scheduled an appointment for a consultation and this morning, I stepped out my front door and headed over.

It may be a four minute drive, but it's about a twenty minute walk and seeing as I'm car-less, walking was my mode of transportation. So while I was walking over, I had plenty of time to think about where I was going. And I found myself coming to an interesting conclusion rather quickly.

Going to a new dentist is a lot like going on a first date. Except so much worse. Because this person that you're about to meet is going to maybe say hi and then immediately jump down your throat. Talk about rounding first base! Okay, granted, it's a lot less intimate than I'm making it out to be, but still. I was legitimately nervous as I walked along my neighbourhood streets towards this stranger's office. This stranger that would soon be acutely acquainted with all things my mouth.

Of course, by the time I got there, I'd mostly calmed down and turned back into a normal human being with normal thoughts and reactions and everything was totally fine. As would be expected, three different strangers poked my teeth with weird pointy things and mirrors and some fancy x-rays were taken, all just to inform me that I still don't have any cavities. And bonus: I got to watch cable TV for almost an hour. So overall, pretty awesome.

But I still stand by my theory that it was a little like a first date. Am I alone in this?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

le français

I took 'extended French' in grades seven and eight - it wasn't exactly 'full immersion'  because only half of my courses were in French, but by the end of grade eight, I was totally fluent.

In grade nine I had a French teacher who barely knew the language herself, so it's no surprise that I began to lose my previous skills.

My mom forced me (yes, forced) to take French all through high school. My grade twelve French class consisted of about eleven girls... it was ridiculous, but in the end, helpful. Because I got to the point where I could converse in the language again - albeit, more of a stumbling through than an actual smooth conversation, but I could speak it nonetheless.

In university I took French 101 for two semesters. Technically, I was too qualified for the course, but I'm nothing if not lazy and I wanted some easy credits.

And now here I stand, educated time and again, yet it was all for naught. Because I seem to have lost most of my knowledge of the language.

The worst part is -- my mom's a French teacher.

What is the point of all this, you ask? Well, first of all, let me stop you right there and say that if you're looking for reason, you're reading the wrong blog ;) ...But in today's case, I actually have somewhat of a point... So here goes:

Today I was standing in line at Tim Hortons and there were three little girls with their mom in front of me in line. The girls were horsing around a little and their mom turned to them and said, "Arrêtez!" And suddenly my ears perked up.

The girls, being little girls, of course didn't listen to their mother and continued horsing around, so their mom turned to them a second time and said, "Qu-est-ce que j'ai dit?! J'ai dit «Arrêtez!» Non?"

I, being my average Canadian uncultured self, found it so cool that three such little girls were being addressed in a different language than my own and were understanding it. Disregarding it, granted, but understanding it all the same.

And I decided it was time I learned French again. Maybe by doing that cool program I've heard about where the Quebec government pays for your room and board while you live in Quebec for a few months just to learn the language.. or maybe by listening to tapes.. or maybe by attending my mom's grades 4-6 core French classes.

I don't know how I'll go about it exactly, but I do know that it's something I want to learn again. And then retain this time around. Because different languages are so cool. And knowing more than one is just a good idea, if you ask me. Not only is it a great experience, but once it's been learned, it'll open the door for so many more new experiences.

Maybe today I made more of a rediscovery than a discovery, but it's something to think about nonetheless.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

call me tesla

Even though I was a coffee barista for two years and a university student for.. six years (let's keep that on the DL), I've never developed the taste for coffee. Or tea. So my go-to hot drink has always been hot chocolate, or sometimes milk steamers, but those usually aren't that great.

But today I invented something glorious.

I call it: hot juice.

It's kind of like tea... except that instead of a tea bag and water, I put an inch of juice in the bottom of a mug and added boiling H20. Low calories, same great juicey taste, AND it's hot - so I have something to drink on those cold winter nights!

I took a sip of it and immediately announced my genius to my family members around the dinner table but none of them paid me any mind, as usual :P haha .. therefore I'm telling the rest of the world instead.

Hot Juice: discovery/invention of the day. Get into it.

I'm sure today is not its real day of creation and there has been many an inventor before me to have made the discovery, but it's new in my books. It was only after I made it that I remembered Julian Smith's "Hot Kool Aid" skit:

So maybe I'm less like Tesla and more like Edison... 

For more of their story, see this video: [warning: language and barfing]

But.. back to my hot juice...

The moral of the story is, it was yummy. And I finally have another option other than hot chocolate.

Today is a good day.