Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The 418 Pages

I had a fantastic day today.

I slept late, which is both good and bad. For breakfast, I decided to find out what an actual serving of Raisin Bran is supposed to look like. Naturally, one cup of cereal does not seem appealing to me, so I topped it off to the halfway point between the Kellogg's recommended serving and the Michael recommended serving. Its all about smaller portions, right?

While deciding what to do for the afternoon, Nathan texted me and said I had to meet him at Subway at 3. I don't put up a fight in these situations, because Nathan rocks. So I met him at Subway at 3... the one by campus that is always packed, no matter what time it is. Awkwardly, the lineup was Nathan, me, a guy Nathan knew, and another guy Nathan knew. We all knew him, but none of the rest of us knew each other. This made for a terrible 3 conversations at once scenario. And the line moved slowly. Thankfully, we didn't eat there, near the others.

So Nathan got his sub [I did not] and we headed across the street for some Starbucks [I got the TAZO Giant Peach juice tea drink thing, which I freaking love]. We took our fine products to the school cafeteria, which I haven't been to in at least a year. The only table we could find was a round 8-seater, which lead to awkward seating. Its too difficult to sit across from each other at a massive table, and no one wants to sit right beside each other at an 8 person table. We had a great chat about our lives since Thursday [when we last saw each other] and I weighed in on the saga that is his burgeoning relationship [I'm basically his advisor, and he knows that I have an uncanny ability to asses each situation perfectly. Its a gift.] Today, I gave him the news that he is without a doubt in a full-fledged relationship. I believe his exact response was "OH NO!"

Next, we took social time to the back of the classroom, where we listened to Captain Treehugger drone on about crap we've been learning in every class we've taken for 4 years. This class serves as the perfect location for our comedy routine. If only we could share the laughter with the others. But we let them spend the class talking to their own friends. I promise you, no one pays attention in this class. Until of course, one of our dumber fellow classmates becomes sceptical of the existence of climate [cli-mate n. 1. The meteorological conditions, including temperature, precipitation, and wind, that characteristically prevail in a particular region.] Better yet, was the girl who asked why the prof had assigned a 418 page reading to us. She was concerned that she wouldn't have time to read the whole thing and actually take away all the knowledge it contained. Naturally, being a moron, she didn't understand that one chapter in a 418 page book has been assigned. I guess the term "Chapter 1" means "entire book" now. Good to know.

So, after the fit of laughter died from that question, it was time to leave. I went to the Rideau Centre where I met Kathryn. We instantly realized that it had been about 6 months since our last encounter... this was discovered when I remembered she bought a flat of raspberries in the Byward Market, which definitely put that get-together in the summer. We went to Subway [hey!] where the lineup was Kathryn, me, guy Kathryn knows [hey!]. I had actually met this guy once before when we had dinner and drinks at the former [and still under renovation] Elephant & Castle. I didn't speak to him this time.

I got my 'sub' on the new flatbread, which I guess makes it not a sub anymore. It was freaking delicious. We had a nice long catchup chat, then headed to school and found a nice quiet [but not TOO quiet] spot in the law building where she could give me some camera lessons. She taught me some wonderful things that helped me make sense of the new DSLR that Darryl bought for me [because he's amazing]. I've never used one before, but wanted it for the best-possible quality pictures at the Olympics. Even though she has a Nikon and I have a Canon, we were able to figure out how all her functions related to mine, and she was really helpful! Which means you should totally check out her website HERE because she's awesome! Eventually, her boyfriend Dave came and hung out for a bit, then they brought me home. It was a great day!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Cheesefake

On Tuesday, [Yes, almost a freaking week ago! I'm so slow] my family came to Ottawa for dinner. They've come before, but this was the first time in 4.5 years of living in Ottawa that they actually came for dinner at my apartment. It was kind of a big deal. And its totally lame that it took so long.

That afternoon, I'd been at the mall and I just happened to go to The Bay to see if there was any possible chance that they had the impossible to find Olympic Red Mittens [which, by the way, have sold more than 1.8 million pairs in Canada since October].

Somehow, after months of searching, I found the mittens. Of course, I already had my pair, which Darryl bought on the second day they existed, but Momma and Alison wanted them too. So I got them for them.

And they were extremely happy!

So we were all nerds.

And did a Red Mitten photo shoot.

Because we're awesome.

NOTE: this apartment has two successful picture backdrops... the bookcase and the map.

So, after all that fun was over, we had dinner. Darryl and I made fettuccine Alfredo with chicken, and it was super delicious. My mom brought dessert... our family's absolute favourite dessert: no bake cherry cheesecake. It is simple and delicious, but it has to be made with the exact right ingredients. Our mouths know.

Over the past year, Darryl has been honing his own cheesecake recipe to suit my needs. The last time he made it, it was PERFECT. There was much rejoicing. So much so, that Momma was all like "mine will still be better."

But when I went to serve it, it was falling off the spatula before I could even get it onto the plates. It was a mess. Then the truths started coming out: She had used Cool Whip instead of Dream Whip. FAIL.

Light Cool Whip. FAIL 2.

And light cream cheese. FAIL 3.

And some random brand of graham crumbs, instead of the HoneyMaid ones. FAIL 4.

And margarine, instead of real butter. Which she had previously claimed to have used. FAIL 5.

I know you may think we were being ridiculous, but we deviated 5 times from the tried and true recipe of champions, and Momma had already been on record claiming superiority. She said she didn't think we'd notice. I guess she forgot who her kids are. The thing is, it could have been fine, but it actually tasted awful. 5 wrongs just don't make a right.

Cheesecake debacle and much ribbing aside, we had a fantastic night. It was awesome. And I hope we do it again soon. However, Alison's really long hug broke my heart when they were leaving... if she'd had the money to come to the Olympics with me, she would have been my #1 choice for travel companion.

And I promise that we will go to the next Canadian Olympics together, no matter what.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Faulty Wiring Saga

We live in a good apartment. It is spacious and has just enough storage [we better not get anything else though!] It is in a good spot, close to all the buses, and there are honestly 6 commercial centres within 20 minutes of us, so we're never at a loss for places to go nearby.

But our electrical wiring sucks.

A few months ago, I discovered that the outlet where the microwave had been plugged in had melted. The building replaced the outlet promptly, and it has been fine ever since.

In the past few weeks, the dining room light has been doing a whole lot of flickering. There are multiple bulbs, so its not like the light was dying or something. [This has since stopped, randomly].

But on Saturday, I came home to find this:

Our thermostat had clearly caught fire, while we were out. You can tell on top that the plastic melted a bit.

Maintenance Guy came to check it out, and deemed it to require an electrician to fix it. He left it hanging open, all charred and exposed.

Later that day, we came home and someone had apparently come in and removed the old thermostat, and capped off the wires, leaving behind a mess on our floor.

Yesterday, I was laying in bed when I heard the knocking on the door. Being lazy and not wanting to get out of bed, I just let them knock until they decided that no one was home. The maintenance guy and electrician came in for an undetermined amount of time, and fixed the issue. I chose not to look at the clock, so I didn't lay there counting the seconds they were in the apartment. [I should note that I had nothing better to do]. By the time I heard sawing [which I was not a fan of, because I knew what it meant], I apparently fell back asleep. The cat woke me up when they left [nice of her].

Now, we have a stupid access panel thing below the new thermostat. Random things like this are the bane of my existence. I hate them. I'm such a crazy person that I already disliked the fact that there was a thermostat on the wall, and now it has a friend! Our apartment also has a defunct cable outlet as well as some random covered box low on the wall near my desk, and an intercom near the door from days gone by.

Of course, the stubborn burn marks are still on the wall, and they left an even bigger mess for me to vacuum up. Thanks.

Hopefully, the wiring problems are over, and we'll never die in this building. And hopefully the randomness fairy will come and remove all our weird wall items that I'd like to see disappear!

Monday, January 4, 2010

The 2009 Awesomeness Rankings

Often, when people do something awesome, I say things like "you get 10 points for your awesomeness". So, in 2009 I tracked every time people did awesome things. I seriously recorded EVERY point awarding, without fail. Of course, the point system is completely arbitrary, as it is based on the number spewed from my mouth. If someone donated a million dollars to chartiy, I could have given then 10 points, while 50 points could be awarded to someone for giving me a really good high five. See how random this all is? Also, some points were awarded in secrecy, while other people found out about their points. Of course, the people closest to me had the chance for more points. I will keep giving points, but wont be tracking them in the future. One year was good enough. So here is the list of awesome people... If their name is clickable, click it to see them in their awesomeness.

415 - Darryl (living with him and dating him may have given him the advantage)

160 - Dave (classmate)

125 - Colin (friend)

100 - Ryan (Twitter friend)

75 - JennyMac (blogger), Davin (friend)

70
- Alison (sister)

60 - Justin (blogger, Twitter friend, photographer extraordinaire), Rob (friend from afar)

50 - Morgan (coworker)

40 - Michel (frenchie), Kathryn (classmate), James (blogger, american)

25 - Me (sometimes people gave me points!), Lindsay (home friend), Roy (friend), Erinn (twitter friend, awesome photographer, male)

20 - Theo (coworker's ex-boyfriend), Adam (montreal-american), Todd (ottawa-renfrew connection), Elyse (friend since kindergarten), Erin (occasional friend)

15 - Veronica (winner of the lil miss twitter 2009 contest)

10 - Michelle (home friend), Kyle (home person that i know)

5 - Ryan (guy from school), Louisa (prof who redeemed herself), Lesley (Lindsay's sister)

Of course, there are people who probably should have been awarded points but didn't. If you're reading this, give yourself 10 or 20 points for 2010, and think about what you could have done to be more awesome. Just kidding! Just think of ways you can be awesome this year. Like by sending me money.

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Spontaneous New Year

Darryl and I had no plans for New Year's Eve, other than potentially going to find some fireworks [which I don't believe happened, so its good that we didn't try]. I spent the afternoon doing some errands, and getting my hair absolutely butchered by some chick who charged me way too much for a good haircut, let alone a hack job. Darryl later fixed my hair to an acceptable state.

My friends Phil and Seb invited us to dinner at The Keg. I had only ever eaten there once before, when I was like 6 years old in Calgary. We went and had drinks and very delicious food [I had sirloin steak and tiger shrimp with a baked potato], and lots of laughter [especially at the expense of the flaming waiter at the next table].

We had planned to go home after dinner, but they persuaded us to go to their house to drink insted. *cue large amounts of free booze, while watching documentary-type shows about earth's coastlines*

After that, Darryl and I were still planning to go to see the fireworks, but the guys persuaded us [not that it was hard, since we were having fun] to go to their friend's party instead. Which we did. And it was decent. There were some people I sort of knew, and some people who recognized me from Old Navy, and a really old lady. There was also champagne, which we all know is disgusting. I drank as much as I could as fast as I could, and Seb poured the rest down the sink for me LOL

Unfortunately, they turned it to the Toronto countdown. I'm a strong supporter of the ball drop in Times Square, so I was disappointed. I'll YouTube it to relive that missed magic. Phil planned on staying until the wee hours of the morning, but the rest of us wanted to leave, and we did. It was a great New Year's Eve! I hope you all had equally great ones.

And now, the last pictures of 2009. Thanks for reading!

Seb [aka Jean-S├ębastien]

Phil [aka Philip]

And Darryl and I!