Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Mexicali Rosa's

Apparently, its restaurant week around here.

Last night, Darryl and I had dinner with

My sister and my mommy.

It was the first time Mom and Darryl met [we had coffee with Alison a month ago]. We went to the Mexicali Rosa's in the market. It is the second best Mexi's in Ottawa. The massive new one at Kanata Centrum is the best, and the one at Dow's Lake is lame and the tiny little original one in the Glebe is tiny and little. And its in the Glebe. Pretentious, much?

Of course, the best Mexi's ever WAS on the right end of this building:

Sadly, this picture is from February 2006. On the left end here, is the old Capital Music Hall, which was awesome. There were so many good things in that building. But days after I took this picture, it was demolished, making room for:


This building, which is in the location of the old Mexi's, as well as the mirror image building that is currently [finally] beginning its construction on the other side, where CMH was. Oh Ottawa, you've changed.

But that destruction lead to the new market Mexicali Rosa's, which set the scene for last night's dinner. The service was quite slow, but still very friendly, and we all had a great time. Much laughter for all! I had gorditas after a lengthy debate on what to get, and they were delicious. Sadly, Darryl's nachos weren't his favourite thing ever,which is odd because I've never heard of a bad meal there before!

We even made sure to appease the food gods. While taking this picture, the waitress decided to drop by the table. Awkward! lol



P.S. The verdict is in... the family likes Darryl and Darryl likes the family. Woohoo!

Also, just like Elephant & Castle, I thought Mexicali Rosa's was just an Ottawa thing, but apparently it is the "largest Mexican-themed, family-style chain restaurant" in Canada. But still based out of Ottawa. LOL

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Elephant And Castle

Tonight, I went to dinner at Elephant & Castle at the Rideau Center. I went with Kathryn, who had just finished her last exam ever after THIRTEEN semester of university. Good lord! Its about time she's finally done! hehe

While I've known Kathryn for three years, the first two and a half years were based around friendly hellos in class, and that's about it. I knew her name was Kathryn. This semester, people like Kerri and Phil were no longer in my classes, so I had to find some new people to sit with in Northern Hydrology. Kathryn happened to be one of the first people in the class one day, so I sat with her, and continued each week. Then we started chatting on MSN. Ahh, new friendships! lol

So tonight, she invited me to her school-is-over dinner, along with her boyfriend Dave and two of their friends. Those three guys are all computer geeks, so it was a fun battle between them talking about computers, and us talking about not computers. But it was fun.

We met at 5:30, and I totally planned to have lots of time to go to the library after and try out my sweet sweet new library card. I was wrong. We had such a lovely time that we ate and drank and chatting until 8:50! It was good times. I will go to the library another day.

Fun fact? Apparently Elephant & Castle is a North American chain founded in Vancouver. I always assumed it was just a single Ottawa location. I'm not quite sure if I like this new fact or not. Still, its a great restaurant.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The IKEA

Saturday afternoon was hot. Darryl and I walked to the library, where I got my first-ever Ottawa Library card. Fun! Naturally, it was a hassle. The stupid old lady didn't feel that my signature or photo on my drivers license resembled my present signature and appearance didn't quite match. Apparently I'm supposed to appear exactly as I did on my 16th birthday when I got my license. These issues wouldn't come up if the government wasn't retarded, and made me renew my license an additional 2 years without a new picture, rather than the 5 year renewal that they are SUPPOSED to have made me do. You know, under the law. Thanks. Now I get to pay for more license renewals than most people.

Darryl and I then hopped on the bus to the west end.

The Queensway seemed pretty quiet for a Saturday afternoon.

As we approached IKEA, I found this sign, which is truly amazing. The Ottawa IKEA is so tiny and always super packed. This means amazing things HAHA. HERE'S A LINK.

That night, after we had already sweat buckets, and a massive windstorm ended, we went to the Whiskey Bar in the Byward Market, to celebrate Kerri's birthday and her moving to Winnipeg next weekend [sad!]. It was a good time, and I danced, which is virtually unheard of.

Kerri looked lovely.

Darryl was singing like a pro. Pictures of me were kinda blurry.

Finally, I think I'm gonna bail on that other blog of mine, the one with the letters. I don't even post here enough, so I really don't think I should be killing myself trying to provide fodder for something else 5 days per week. I'll just be sassier on this blog instead!

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Book Club IV

Wednesday was World Book and Copyright Day. I'm sure you knew that. The day celebrates books [whoa!] and is the anniversary of the death of Shakespeare, and the births and deaths of some other "famous" authors I never heard of, and is also St. George Day in Britain, which had something to do with giving a rose with each book sold on that day. I decided to finish up the last few pages of the book I was reading to correspond nicely with the day. It should be noted that I would have finished the book anyway, and the connection with Book Day is a rockin' coincidence that makes me seem more aware than I really am.


Canadians by Roy MacGregor
You may know that I'm a die hard fan of all things Canadian. Therefore, when I saw this book, I had to buy it. Sadly, I saw a fancy version with an old school cover that was expensive, so I didn't buy it. But then the cover pictured above came out on a later printing. It is also an awesome cover, and it was much cheaper, so I snagged it immediately.

The book definitely succeeds in its goal of being 'A portrait of a country and its people.' Roy MacGregor puts his many years of work as a national journalist and author to good use, recounting tales from all the big events featuring famous Canadians, and all the things that mattered to random Canadians. He got to be there for all the cool events, like riding the Pierre Trudeau funeral train to Montreal. He was the last person at The Rocket's funeral. He visited the town of Tate, Saskatchewan (1903-1968) which can no longer be found on the map.

He also did things in places and with people that are still alive. Things that were fun. And he writes about it oh so well. The book is fantastic, and I'm probably just a freak, but I had to keep myself from crying on the bus three times while reading. Its just so freaking good and patriotic in certain parts!

Have I convinced you yet? I hope so. Go read this book. Its a Penguin Book! You know you love Penguin Books. And its only two years old, so it is quite current. And it covers so very much. Like how a guy in Northern Ontario in the 1930s decided to draw a yellow line down the middle of the road. That man may have saved YOUR life!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Doll Family


Just when you thought The Precious Dolly was crazy enough, the fine people of Hong Kong have decided to up the ante with a full on family of dolls.

I'll be looking forward to your comments.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The War Museum

On Saturday, Darryl and I went to the Canadian War Museum. It opened four years ago, but I still had never made it out there [Its a couple bus stops away from downtown. So far away! LOL]. Right off the bat, I must say that the building is beautiful. Well done, architect! We gave ourselves three hours to go through, but that was not enough time, and we had to rush through the Cold War and we didn't get to go down to the floor with all the tanks. The place is friggin' huge! I found that there was a lot more reading and a lot less interaction than some museums, but I guess that kind of makes sense. I did, however, get to try on the following selection of hats throughout the tour:







We also got to try on these fun little outfits after all the annoying little children were done with them. I am entirely outraged that it fit Darryl so well, but not so much me. Damn skinny boy!

The most awesome thing in the museum, other than us, was one of Hitler's cars, complete with bullet holes.

We didn't have time to go down to the vehicle floor, although we did see a bunch throughout the regular part of the museum so it was OK.

Apparently they were preparing for a dinner down there. How very peculiar!

After the museum, we went to the market, to eat supper at Lapointe's which is the awesome fish restaurant. [I don't know if they have it other places or just the ones in Ottawa]. It was my first experience... I actually have fairly limited fish experience in general, but it was very delicious. We also got to play the game of 'what is the deal with the group with the large reserved table?' ... Darryl said 'engagement party', I said 'Melaine's birthday'. I won!

Finally, here's a closeup of Darryl's cat, Andrèa. Just because.

Oh, on Friday night, we went to see Adventureland. It was pretty decent. Nothing overly amazing, but good.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Easter Weekend

After the horrible sickness, I did have two Easter dinners to attend. I didn't eat much, but the food was good and I had a lovely time with the family.

All of mom's brothers and sisters and their mother made it to my aunt's house near Chapeau, Quebec.

And all the cool cousins. Except for several of them. And also, Alex was there in the middle. He was unusually quiet. Yay!

The next day, dinner was at dad's. Aunt Sharon and I were a comedic dream team as usual. I get part of my funny from her.

And Alison was there. She ate three baby carrots and a little bit of potatoes. Fuck off with your being skinny, and pretending you ate already.

Wee little Jadyn is apparently 7 now. Good lord.

And I managed to sort of capture a picture of Dad and all the kids he's birthed recently. Most of them have names I think. Too many to remember.

On a completely different topic, I'm done 2 of 5 exams now, with the rest next week. During tonight's exam, my prof brought some slander and lies to my attention. There was a freakout and subsequent email bitchfest. If the results are negative, I'll go into detail in the future.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Home Sickness

No, I'm not homesick. I'm at home, in Renfrew, and I've been sick. Deadly sick. 36 hours living on the couch and in the bathroom while every ounce [not a lie] of anything inside me empties itself sick.

And the pain. The pain of being on a couch for that long, added to the general flu pain. This all started in the middle of the Thurs-Fri night. Then I vomited for 12 hours. Then I slept on and off. I missed church, I forced mom's dinner plans to be moved from our house to grandma's, and I didn't go out with my friends that night. Then I started to feel a bit better, so Fri-Sat night, I miraculously got 8 hours of sleep. Then I stayed on the couch 4 more hours watching TV as I had for the previous 32 hours. Then I finally got up and had a shower.

The shower exhausted me, and I had to have some water and sit down for a little bit. Then I brushed my teeth, which make me work up a bit of a sweat. Isn't being sick fun?

After that, Alison and I visited our cousin Cheryl [a quick visit]. Then we went with Momma to the grocery store so I could buy more food to take back to Ottawa, since I let my stockpile run out since I was going to be coming home.

Then, we were off to the Quebec side, near Pembroke [which is on the Ontario side] to my aunt's sweetass house on the Ottawa River [NOTE: spellcheck totally allowed the word 'sweetass'] for mom's family dinner. There were only like 20 of us, which is a small gathering for that family, but it was super fun. Great time had by all. I even ate some food. Smallest holiday meal of my life. And it totally filled me. I'm still full and we ate almost 7 hours ago. Good lord.

I may have some pictures from this to post when I get back to Ottawa on Sunday or Monday. We'll see. I hope everyone else has had a good weekend!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Second Blog

The Day I Had

Today was a long one. I woke up and did a lot of running around to get ready and head off to school for my last Geography class ever. How sad!

With orange and black poster in tow [see previous post], I climbed the stairs of Tabaret for the last time. While we all kept our posters hidden from each other since posters are embarrassing, I chatted with my friends in the class for like 20 minutes, since we were all early. It was warm in the room. Eventually, we all put up our posters and waited for the prof to come quiz us. She started on our side of the room, meaning we'd get it out of the way quickly, but then would have to sit around and do nothing forever since it was impolite to leave and we should have been looking at other peoples' posters. We thought we'd be asked one or two questions, but the prof was taking about 8 minutes per person. It was crazy. Eventually, my friends and I all did our presentations, and then we were free to roam the class and look at the other posters, AKA chat with each other. It was a great 3 hour opportunity to have a bit of a goodbye session, as Curtis, Christina and Kathryn, Norah and Basil are all graduating... John and I will graduate in October [knock on wood].

Everyone loved my poster. It was clear that I was one of the few people who truly put in the effort to make it look really good. People would actually touch the lettering to find out how I'd done it ... most thought it was stencilled - it was just printed onto construction paper. A simple concept that amazed people HAHA. Eventually, we all got to leave the hot, smelly, sweaty class [no open windows or doors + 50 people talking and moving for 3 hours = bad]. "See you at the exams" delayed the inevitable "goodbyes".

I went to Simard to grab some files from a computer so I can study for the exam, and then I went over to Desmarais to see about taking the last Psychology course I need for my minor, in the summer, possibly by correspondence. The girl at the Info desk sent me to Room 1100: the Management secretariat. I knew this was wrong, but I also knew I was in the right building, so I asked them where I needed to go. They said Lamoureux, so I walked halfway across campus. On the way, I took a picture of the crane that is getting ready to tear down 120 University, but the picture was just white when I put it on my computer! Anyway, I went to the Psychology secretariat, and they told me to go down the hall to Room 346. Room 346 told me that I had to go to the 3rd floor of Desmarais to the Social Sciences secretariat. By the time I got back across campus to my final destination, it had been closed for 5 minutes. Thanks to the 4 people who lead me astray. This is uOttawa runaround at its finest. Not shocking.

I went outside to wait at the bus stop, where traffic was heavy on the Transitway. I had previously seen neon-vested traffic cops and noted the heavy bus traffic, but didn't really think about it. I had 15 minutes to wait for my bus, which I thought was fine since it was cold and snowy out. 20 minutes later, I was totally annoyed with the minimal bus movement. Some girls came by and asked what was going on, but I didn't know. They left, and returned a few minutes later, saying there was a protest going on. An army man noted that we should all start walking, so we did.

This picture doesn't really do the situation justice, but both lanes here are lined with buses on the entire Mackenzie King bridge, and they extend all the way to Campus station, which is two away. Also, the lane in the left of the picture is two buses deep, which you also can't see.

The protesters turned out to be right at Mackenzie King and Elgin, which basically shuts down the Transitway downtown, during rushhour. Assholes.

Apparently, the Tamil Tigers want a ceasefire in Sri Lanka. You can read about it HERE.

Eventually, I made it to Darryl's place, where we ate pizza and wings and watched two more episodes of season 1 of Lost. I fell asleep during the second one, since I have been so damn busy and not getting enough sleep [see: I'm currently blogging at 3:19am].

He even gave my a bag of candy that he got at Sugar Mountain. There are some pretty awesome things there, such as Junior Mints, Fun Dip, Pixy Stix and Popeye 'Candy Sticks'. Yay, smoking! ... Naturally, I'm sharing with Quatchi.

Finally, after I got home, Darryl informed me that since finding a 4th year summer Psych course is proving to be difficult, I could forgo my minor in Psych [I've still got enough of those courses to use as a teachable should I decide to go to teacher's college in the future] so I can just take a different course and not worry about Psych. I decided on the geography course offered, which means I'll get one more geography class, and its with Dave which is great! And May 4 - June 16 is a quick class, although the topic sounds horrifying: Contemporary Debates on Urban Geography.

I'll end my Geography degree with 21 geography courses, even though I only need 14. Go me! I almost did a major AND minor in the subject! HAH

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Bye Bye B-Ray

Tonight was my last-ever B-Ray class, as well as my last-ever class with Dave. The class was boring as hell, but B-Ray is the best prof ever, so he at least keeps me awake for the most part [although less so in the past few weeks when attending class was essentially useless, since there's no final exam]. Stupid old man douchebag Peter stole my seat. Like, I've sat beside Dave every week except for the one week early on in the semester that I was late. And I know that Peter knows I sit there, because its a class of maybe 30 people, so everyone knows where everyone sits. Its not hard. So fuck you, Peter.

While I waited for the bus home, which took much longer than planned, I took this lovely picture of the new[ish, now] Desmarais building.

As well as the rainy South side of Tabaret.

When I came home, Quatchi helped me finish my iceberg poster. I'm now officially one chapter of reading away from being done my homework this semester. Awesome!

The Peace, Not War

On Friday afternoon, I finished my 23 page assignment on icebergs. It took me all week, and boy was I glad to finally hit print. Thicker than a stapler would allow, I had to use a little bulldog clip to hold it together. That's too much assignment! It will feel good to hand it in on Tuesday. Happily, I'm almost done this semester, which ends Wednesday, other than a poster I have to make tomorrow, which is related to the long assignment. That will be easy. And entirely unnecessary. Stupid prof wasting my time.

Friday night, Darryl took me out for a delicious steak dinner at Vineyards Wine Bar. The food was amazing, but the restaurant was bizarre [everything was small... like eating in a hobbit's house]. Then, we walked in the rain to Oh So Good for some super delicious cake. There was some total confusion there... normally, you go to the counter, order your cake, and then take it to your seat, anywhere you want. But when we were ordering, we were asked if we were eating in the front [small] or the back [large]. We said back, and we were then told to go to the podium and we would be seated in the back. Weird. It was totally like a normal restaurant. It was a waste of time, really. But the waitress was lovely, and we enjoyed our cake and drinks. We decided that Saturday would be a lovely day to go to the Canadian War Museum, since I've never been to the new one [shame!] and Darryl likes it.

On Saturday, we woke up and got out of bed around 3pm. Good lord, eh? After eating, showering, and travelling, we MAY HAVE been able to get to the museum in time for closing, at 5. Plans to go to the museum in the future sound great. I can't wait!

Instead, we played Wii [he has original Super Mario Bros. Sweet!] and watched most of the first season of Lost over the weekend, and ate wonderful lasagna, and just had an overall good time.

We also went for a good walk, as we enjoy doing. Along the way, we ran into my friend Roy at Rogers Video, and my friend Guy who was walking someone's dog. Woo, people!

Tonight, I came home, and Adam helped me get my less than legal copy of Photoshop activated [yay!] and also had my favourite font, which I've been having trouble finding online, and also got deleted when I reformatted my computer. It totally pays to know computer geniuses. Just don't abuse their knowledge!

How was YOUR weekend?

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Washer

I walk into the kitchen, and what do I see?
Darkness, and a washer colliding with me.

Our washing machine died on Sunday night while washing Andrew's clothes. Thankfully, I had just previously finished my four loads of laundry. Andrew had to remove all his soaking clothes from the cold water and wring them out in the sink. The poor boy. Glad it wasn't me.

Tomorrow, a guy will be coming to look at the washer. He may repair it, but it would rock if they bought as a new one instead. Although then the old dryer and the new washer would no longer match, and I'd be sad. Anyway, I'll be the one here to receive the handyman [ugh] but Andrew apparently bailed all the water out tonight [after a week]. I didn't know this, or the fact that he left it pulled out of its little cubbyhole where it lives. Pitch black apartments can be a bitch.

Please don't comment on Andrew's awful paint job, or the fact that we never fixed it, or that there is still tape everywhere. Just shush.

Eventually, I used the kicthen for its intended purpose of good, rather than evil, and I made myself some delicious whole wheat English muffins with strawberry jam. Yum!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Consumer Reviews

I have stumbled upon something that I find fascinating.

I'm not usually one for much YouTubing, but I am indeed one for infomercials. They are addictive, and I often wonder if the products actually work.

Thanks to young girls, I have learned that the answer can indeed be yes. So I was sitting here at 4am watching an infomercial for the InStyler, which is some hair straightening contraption that looks like a joke. I decided to search for the video to make fun of the product in blog form, but then I found that there are user review videos. Positive ones.

There is something hypnotic about sitting here watching some random girl do her hair and describe a product. This video is of a girl with already straight hair, but she was enjoyable to listen to. There are videos where girls have crazy poofy hair and by the end it is totally smooth. Crazy!



I must also mention that sometimes I watch Natasha's videos of her putting on makeup, which is apparently another niche video market. Such a relaxing and bizarre way to waste some time.

Finally, I am officially now watching the infomercial for the Cricut Expression... craft lovers, eat your heart out.

The New Champion

I would just like to say, in less than 140 characters, that Twitter is officially way better than Facebook. Especially new Facebook.