Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Coming home

I've been unusually excited to come home for Christmas this year... and not sure why. I mean I've been away from Calgary for 6 years now...so this not being home thing isn't unusual...but I realized today that it's been a YEAR since I was home for any length of time (my one day trip in July doesn't really count)- which is the longest I've gone without being in Calgary before.
AND I'm also looking forward to not just being in Calgary- but being in Canada... there is much I miss about my home and native land.
I just hope my flights aren't delayed tomorrow...

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Finally some pictures of NYC

It's been a pretty dry blog the last couple of months as I haven't been posting any pictures... it's just been my ramblings. I used to be quite disciplined about always having visual aids to supplement my rantings but it's hard to put a picture to "I hate Citibank".
I went wandering around the city today and took some photos...

...of my street and my first apartment in New York...

...of central park and the Plaza hotel...

...and the tree at Rockefeller Center. The one with the two people in the middle of th e skating rink was taken JUST after he proposed (on one knee). Kind of sappy but also a tad romantic.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Toronto 1 / NY 0

I went to the New York philharmonic yesterday to see "Handel's Messiah" (I think I've seriously mentioned it about 16 times in the past couple of weeks or so). My expectations were high- this is something I go to see every year and it's usually a beautiful performance. And my assessment of NY? Not as good.

The principal performers were amazing and obviously at the top of their game. The musicians were wonderful... though my ear is not disciplined enough to tell one top class philharmonic orchestra from another.

What was disappointing was the chorus. The best part about Handel's Messiah is the large chorus singing throughout- especially when they sing "Hallelujah" near the end of part 2. It's incredibly majestic and inspiring.

The choir in Toronto was 200 strong. The one in NY?
Of college students.

I thought that perhaps they would be stronger singers and what they lacked in numbers they would make up for in skill. But that was not to be the case.
You need the numbers to be overwhelmed by the sound.
I was not overwhelmed or inspired.

But it was not all bad. Like I said the music was still beautiful. It just wasn't as awesome as performances I've seen in Toronto.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Tradition

Tonight I am going to see Handel's Messiah at the Lincoln Centre. It's an annual tradition and as part of the tradition I usually take a friend as a thank you for something. I'm taking my good friend Rose this year- as a thank you for ALL she's done for me during my move. My aunt once said to me that two of the most stressful things in life are death and moving. I've had a big move before (Calgary to Toronto) and it was pretty easy- but moving to New York was a bit more stressful. I don't know why- but maybe because it's a new country, it was last minute etc... and it's been made so much easier by having Rose here. She's been absolutely amazing and thoughtful and above and beyond in making my transition as seamless as possible.
She went to meet my roommate and check out my apartment before I moved here -to make sure I wasn't moving into a ghetto place with a crazy person. And she's continued to include me in her activities, introduce me to her friends and make me feel welcome, loved and at home.
Thank you Rose!!!
I'm looking forward to tonight- we'll see how the NY Philharmonic measures up to Calgary and Toronto. : )
ps. It's finally SNOWING!!! It looks like there WILL be snow for Christmas here in NYC afterall.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

New Look

Oh and yes- you might have noticed my blog has been 'updated' with a fresh new look. A country look yes- harkening back to my country roots. A little bit of nostalgia in the crazy busy city... in a few months I'm sure it will be all black- but for now enjoy the flower power.

I downloaded the background courtesy of a blog called "LeeLou Blogs" - a new friend of mine from Texas (Laine- her blog is called "Sugar and Spice and can be linked on the right side) told me about it.

http://www.leeloublogs.blogspot.com/ Is her blog- and you can download many different colours/backgrounds. It's pretty cool. Thanks Laine and thanks LeeLou. (yes LeeLou).

Making the effort

Now that I've figured out the subway system, am not feeling completely overwhelmed at work, and have settled (mostly) into my home I'm ready to start exploring New York and taking advantage of all it has to offer.
I'm starting at the bottom of the pyramid and working my way up. (The generic easy to access standard activities are at the bottom with the more esoteric stuff at the top)
Yes there is the shopping. Yes there are the restaurants. Yes there is Broadway. And I've done those.
But there is also world class music, art, (indie)theatre and comedy in which to partake. There is the more mainstream fare that I'm beginning to see:
The New York Philharmonic is performing Handel's Messiah and as part of my Christmas tradition I'm taking my friend Rose. On Sunday I went with a friend to see one of the world's top pianist- Daniel Barenboim at the Metropolitan Opera House. He gave three encores-such love from the crowd and he was AMAZING. I've never seen anyone play the piano like that. I was literally spellbound.
And in the new year I want to start exploring the 'underground' or 'indie' spots for art and music- bands, up and comers etc... That's what New York is all about. That's what New York has to offer more than any other city- and while I'm here I want to be a part of it.
On a personal note (what is this blog if not personal?) I was even thinking of taking an improv class. Can you imagine?!??!! A friend's friend just took a class and as part of the exercise they had to put on a show in front of family and friends. I went last night... and while it wasn't exactly SNL there were still some comedic moments and I admired their bravery. Something to think about...

Um that's it. Just wanted to share.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

I heart new york cuz it's easy

I went to a tasty delicious Indiana restaurant tonight called "Mantra". A good friend of mine had her birthday party there. It was an intimate dinner party of 8. I was oh- about 2 hours late.


Because this restaurant- lovely as it was- was in New Jersey.


I drove out there with crap directions from crap google maps, to a made up fake address from the crap restaurant web page. I swear to Jesus (as He was probably watching me and laughing as I drove around for 2 hours) that I drove nearly to the border of Canada and back. Eventually I just gave up following my "directions" and drove around aimlessly- thinking "oh this road looks like it might lead to a restaurant called "Mantra"- I'll just turn here."

And of course it didn't. And I'd eventually turn again at a junction that looked "familiar" (keeping in mind of course that I've never actually been to Jersey- so nothing could possibly under any circumstances look familiar unless perhaps I retained some memories of my previous life as a sewer raw who lived in new jersey and entertained young children by fulfilling a dream of working in a kitchen as a sous chef).

Finding nothing I recognized, I called my friend for help. She asked if I'd crossed the Washington bridge because they were 10 minutes away from it. I'd crossed it. About 1.5 hours earlier. Crossed it and almost looped back to it again. (The bridge was like a beacon beckoning me home with whispers of love "Sarah you don't want to be in New Jersey... lookit me- the bridge- I'm here. It's so easy for you to cross and come back home to the safe easy streets of New York City...") Since I was so close to said bridge it was easy to find her with the right directions.

I'm glad I persevered... I didn't let Jersey win. I found the restaurant, joined my friends for dinner. Had a good time before hauling ass back to the city. And at least the traffic was on my side (funny enough- not a lot of people heading INTO Jersey for a Saturday night).
And lest my friends think I didn't have a good time- I really did. It was good food and great company... well worth the journey.

I think next time I'll recommend a place in the city. : )

Friday, December 12, 2008

Not for the sensitive ...

I am in love with SNL again. It had a few (dozen) rough years where it was mostly unfunny sketch comedy appealing to ... I don't know what. But in the last couple of years I feel it's regained some of it's more intelligent and sophisticated humour- especially as of late as they've parodied the US elections (too bad they didn't cover the Canadian elections as well... I'd love to have seen their take on Harper though he's mabye too bland to be entertaining).

There is one not ready for prime time player who I am in particular like with- Andy Samberg- and if there is ANYONE in New York that I would love to see/meet- it would be him. This guy is brilliant. Goofy, smart and uber funny.

He just did another digital short (similar to his "Lazy Sunday" rap and "D*** in a Box" efforts) and it's fantastic. It's crude(ish) (just after I said this crew of talent has gone away from that I am appearing to contradict myself) but very smart and polished in it's execution. Mostly it had a good beat and made me laugh. It's gotten about 5 million views in the last week on youtube so clearly I'm not alone in my appreciation.

Watch as long as you're not offended by the mention of certain body functions...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

One of the lucky ones

I just to say... I love my job. I've been fairly lucky throughout my life (knock on wood) that I've never really had a job that I hate. I've never dreaded going into work on a continual basis (obviously there are moments or times when I have- who hasn't?!) but for the most part I've really liked what I've done and who I've worked with.
(noted exception is J from my old agency... he knows who he is!!)

But here... well I was a bit nervous- big new york agency and all that... but it was really like coming home. The people are smart and kind and supportive and AMAZING. And the clients are smart and like to challenge but also respect our agencies' opinion and want to work with us not against us. And the work we're doing is good and strong and intelligent. I'm just really happy to be here, be part of this team and doing the work that I'm doing.

yay life.

Friday, December 05, 2008


I joined Citibank because they are the bank partnered with my employer. I have had NOTHING but trouble with them from the first day I signed up for an account. I think they are horrible and their customer service, while friendly, is completely useless. They constantly debit money from my account- don't know why it's done and then reverse it. Then they do it again. And the phone service doesn't help so I go in. And when I go in they say they will fix it and they don't. I HATE them. I have been in to see them about 6 times because they have screwed up pretty much everything it's possible to screw up in opening and maintaining an account.

I have received nothing but great service from Bank of America.

But Citibank??? They suck.
Don't use them.
Avoid them.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

It's Thanksgiving Day in the US today. And it's a bigger holiday (for people traveling to see family etc) than Christmas. A colleague of mine told me he thought it was because it was a non religious holiday that everyone could get behind. Makes sense.
The holiday doesn't really mean a lot to me - I celebrated Thanksgiving in Canada a few weeks ago so today was just a day off. However I did decide to partake in the festivities and go check out the parade. I naively thought- oh it's similar to the Calgary Stampede parade... (which I haven't been to in 10 years) there will be crowds and it will be busy... but the 2.5 million people will be spread out over 40 blocks- so I'll be able to see what's going on if I show up halfway through. HAH!!!! I did end up getting a good view, (actually close to what I expected) but the people... oh my gosh the people... it was insane.

I took the subway down and came up to the surface at Times Square- with masses of people. I walked over to Broadway where I caught the last 45 minutes of the parade. I saw the Shrek balloon and some others- and got to see the grand finale of Santa's sleigh and his reindeer. It was actually pretty cool to be there among the millions (literally) of other people...
My brother suggested I take my camera- which was a great idea- but I forgot it. It's too bad because I would've like to take a picture of all of the people in Time's Square.
Also I thought I'd share a new picture of baby O baking. She's only 7 weeks old but already baking cookies. She's ALREADY outshining her aunt who makes cookies using Pillsbury. yikes.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

It's the most wonderful day of the year ?

It's that time of year again... Black Friday (my first) is this week and the Christmas shopping season officially begins.

I thought I'd share some ideas of what I would like. My ideas are a bit different this year as I'm living in a tiny apartment and have no need for anything... but I have thought of a few things I'd like:

- Kerastase shampoo and conditioner (the one with the white packaging and ORANGE lid)
- Lulu Lemon gift certificate
- teapot (not a kettle but the pot)
- President's Choice Moroccan Mint Green Tea (it's my fave tea and they don't sell it here)
- A thin knit black turtleneck sweater (medium)
- Books
- the Killers new CD
- magazine subscription - Nylon

And there's another site that has really good gift ideas- for me or for anyone on your list:

It's a site for Plan Canada- where you can purchase gift donations for various developing nations around the world.


If the link above doesn't work visit - www.plancanada.ca

You have to order the gifts by Dec 11 in order to receive your gift card by Dec 24 (though you could always order the gift online and then download/print off the gift card).

Happy shopping -and wish me luck this Friday!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Nice things do happen in new york

To date my overall impression of people in new york has been quite grim. The people I deal with directly (at work and friends of friends etc) have been wonderful and friendly and kind etc... But the people I deal with on a casual basis (waiters, hostesses, people on the subway) have been rude and horrible and mean. Saturday I met two exceptions.
The first one was a girl in the TD Bank. I went in to inquire about getting an account in order to transfer my credit history. The line up was long with no end in sight. The woman coordinating those waiting offered to help me herself since the people meant to be helping all seemed to be taking a break at the exact same time. When she didn't have an answer about the credit history- she actually called the credit office herself to make the inquiry on my behalf. This might seem like normal customer service, but rest assured that in nyc, this was way above and beyond the call of duty. In my experience the person would either not help or b) say "oh we don't do that" (no matter what the request is- generally the response is- oh we can't/won't/don't care to help you).
The second incident of kindness was at Schiller's restaurant in the West Village. I was meeting a good friend of mine there- who was in from out of town (TO) and some of her friends.
The place was loud, crazy and super busy (but fun) - and as a result our waitress was 'abrupt'. I ordered a wine for me and another friend who was on her way (in order to make it look like she was already there- another thing in ny is they won't sit you until your entire party is present) and she brought out a half carafe. As we neared the end of dinner she brought out another half carafe, filled my glass and threw it on the table -leaving the bill and not saying anything.
I though this odd, as I had not ordered anymore wine and in fact my friend wasn't even drinking the wine- and I didn't know if I NEEDED another 3 glasses to myself (it turns out I really did).
I thought this was just another example of new york presumption and a waitress's efforts to get a bigger bill... and therefore a bigger tip. So I called her back and said "I don't think I ordered this wine and I don't know if it's the same as before and I'm not sure I want it" (I'd already drank half of it btw). She said "It's the same and you're drinking it... but I didn't charge you for it."
Sure enough, upon inspection of the bill, there was clearly no charge for this extra half bottle.
I felt like a jerk. But I wasn't expecting something so nice, generous and thoughtful. And yes she did get a good tip. And I got a good lesson. (just kidding- I really only got a good hangover)
Net net- Maybe I've given ny a harsh judgement. Maybe I need to relax and give ny another chance. Maybe ny is not so mean, rude and horrible afterall.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

All together now- take a deep breath

Two days before I started working at Ogilvy in NY the DOW dropped 700 points. This, I was told by my accountant friend, was significant. And ever since then it's been constant non stop stories of companies shutting down, laying people off and declaring bankruptcy. Stores are closing, offices are downsizing, and the unemployment rate is rising.
And where does that leave me?
I don't know.
I know I'm not safe. No one is. I know it's not me personally- I haven't been here long enough to make either a bad impression or a good one. Sigh -it's just life. And giving away mortgages.
If I do lose my job I'm going to pack up my stuff and head to India for 6 months. This could be a dream come true!! (Not entirely-as I do love my job here...)

How else are things going? Here is a mini update (fully recognizing that I haven't done a full "I've moved to nyc" update...maybe not such a bad thing):

My roommate did a massive clean up of the apartment yesterday- which was wonderful. It's starting to feel like a home and I might even post some pictures of it soon. There is still a bit of work to do but it's coming along.

I discovered something lovely in my neighbourhood the other day- something that frees me from doing laundry EVER AGAIN. I hadn't done laundry for a month and was running out of clean clothes. I went to the laundromat on Sunday (the first time I had graced the doors of a landromat in 9 years) and after 4 minutes left. There were no available washing machines and I couldn't wait. My roommate told me that I could drop my laundry off at the dry cleaners and they would do it for me (so I just had to pick it up all nice and clean and folded) for $1/lb. Using the machines in the laundromat was going to cost me $5/load. This service worked out to be $6/load. SOLD! Done in one day. LOVES IT!!

And in other news- I do really love my job. I'm still struggling with the process side of things- because it's new and it's fairly convoluted. But I know that's just something that has to be learned- and I'm getting there. The people I work with are crazy supportive and smart and I'm just glad to be here.

And my last bit of great news is that I got my plane ticket home for Christmas on POINTS. I booked it a week ago. For people who use airmiles they know that it's unheard of to get a ticket on points this close to Christmas!! I'm going to Calgary Dec 24, Toronto Dec 31 and then back to NY Jan 3. I can't wait- I haven't been to Calgary since last Christmas (except for one day in July). Thats the longest I've ever gone not seeing my friends in Calgary (I've seen most of my family in other events throughout the year). I'm looking forward to going home (and to my other 'home' - Toronto).

But until then we're still busy and there is (still) work to be done.


Wednesday, November 05, 2008

All Olivia, all the time

Now I don't want my blog to become all about my neice- and nothing else... but it's pretty hard to avoid when she's so freaking cute!!!!!!!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Dad & Baby

Here's a good picture of David and Olivia on a recent visit to Paula's house in Calgary.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

And so it begins ...

I am back at work and it's busy and crazy and lots going on and I'm loving it. I missed being busy.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

All we need is love

Alright...so I've been dealing with something lately... the details of which I won't get into. Though many of you know, it's not worth ranting and raving about on-line.
Net net- there was a person in my life that I was quite fond of. He decided he didn't like me so much and treated me not so nicely. I retaliated in a way very unlike my normal behaviour and he responded in kind.
Throughout all of this I became quite angry at him. (And probably also angry at myself). Angry and full of hate.

What did that get me?

It got me a couple of months of being angry, and ranting and raving at anyone who would listen (and who eventually stopped listening- who can blame them?!). It got me bad, negative moods and errant behaviour.
The anger spread and started taking over other aspects of my life. Like the disease that it is... it started infecting friendships, relationships and my personal sense of peace.
I've always been a fairly optimistic and positive person. And have coached others to be the same. Filled with anger and hate I became the person who said "I don't care. I'm tired of being the bigger person- let them admit they are wrong. I'm a victim! I don't care what they want- what about what I want?! Poor me, poor me, poor me!"
Very ugly.
And exhausting.

Which brings us to today. Or rather- last night.
I was sitting on my couch, plotting revenge and being miserable and suddenly this thought just came to me. You have to forgive him. You have to love him.

Now this person doesn't want my forgiveness. This person definitely doesn't want my love. He hates me and never wants to see me again (I KNOW- ME!!! Can you imagine?!?!) but nevertheless that's not the point. The anger and hate exists in me because I'm holding onto it. And I can't let go of it until I choose love over this.

And so I did.
And immediately I felt that weight come off of me. I literally felt light again. And thought to myself "oh... there you are" (meaning me). The happy, optimistic and good person was back.

And I don't need to have contact with this person or make a grandiose gesture of forgiveness, because that's for me, and he's seeking neither of those things. I apologized to this person weeks ago. And whether not he accepts and forgives as well... well that's for him.

I have to say though- it's SO MUCH BETTER!!!! Love and forgiveness rock over anger and hate.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Check me out!

One of my last jobs at Leo Burnett was to work on a campaign for our pro-bono client "Greensaver". They are a company that does energy efficiency audits on homes to ensure that they are as environmentally efficient as possible. Not just to be socially conscious but to save you money (that's my sales pitch!).

Anys... we did this transit/subway poster campaign for them- which is in market right now. It's definitely different for the category as it's light and tongue in cheek- versus all the usual heavy handed "we're all going to die unless you change to energy efficient lightbulbs!!!" rhetoric.

Here is the online banner ad featuring yours truly...It's kind of small and when I get a copy of the final image I'll post it as well. The thought bubble says "Now my carbon footprint is as stylish as my shoe collection."

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Olivia Kostecki

Can't write right now but wanted to post more pics of the baby... She's so cute.

Friday, October 10, 2008

And her name is...

Olivia!!! She's a little bit scrunchy right now but in a beautiful way! And yes she looks like a baby... but she's MY baby... or my baby neice... : )

I'm going to Winnipeg to see her tomorrow and will post more pictures afterwards!



Born at 7:17am and weighing 8.5ish lbs...

Her name is "Baby"... okay it's not- but that's what they are calling her for now!!!

: )

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Rogers is the devil

I signed on to Rogers phone services 10 years ago. At that time I didn't have a credit rating so I had to provide a deposit of $200. When my contract ended and I left, they kept $70 for outstanding costs. But never mailed me the cheque for $130. Despite a year of repeated calls and assurances they would. So I blacklisted Rogers for eternity... until this year.

They got the iphone. I wanted the iphone. So I RELUCTANTLY signed up again.

Now I've moved- and I'm in a country that Rogers does not service. And I am having to pay $500 for the cancellation of this policy. Awesome.

I told them about the previous money that Rogers still owes Sarah Kostecki... but of course they didn't care.

I hate them. Don't use them. Don't sign up with them. Don't support them. There are a million other providers out there (well in Canada only 2) but STILL... the phone is not worth the aggravation of dealing with this NIGHTMARE.

Thursday, October 02, 2008


The one thing that I will say is that I am incredibly disconnected from the world. My cell phone is still my Canadian phone and picks up what service it feels like. When it picks up AT&T it's great and functions (mostly) but when it picks up T-Mobile there is NO SERVICE. I do have Internet at night but it's also pretty slow and unreliable. (tonight it seems to be working okay- knock on wood).
I don't have a phone at work. And the phone at my corporate housing only let's me make local calls. Normally this wouldn't be a problem but my brother and his GF are having a baby- IMMINENTLY - and I need to be accessible!!!

It's just frustrating is all.

My first few days.

One thing that people think of when they think of New York City is the pollution. You know... it's a concrete jungle and full of smog and dirt. Everything is processed, dirty and loud (all true)... but none of that bothers me. In fact those are all things I love about this place. What bothers me is the CIGARETTES! Everyone freakin' smokes and they all smoke on the street and as I am walking down the street to get to work I have to breath it in. It's gross.

What else can I say about nyc?? Well I love the fact that I live here because I don't have to stress out running around like a fool to see and do everything.. because I know I have time. I LIVE here. I'm not just visiting. I am here permanently. It's so weird. I had dinner with a friend the other night who moved here 7 months ago. She said that she's just started to feel as though she lives here.

I met my roommate on Tuesday and I loved her- she's awesome. I saw my apartment... and it has a lot of potential. It just needs a few coats of paint and some light. I live in the Upper East Side- 3 blocks away from the park. There are tons of shops and dry cleaners around my house (seriously- I don't understand why there are so many dry cleaners...). And despite all the cleaners- I love the neigbourhood. It's just like you would imagine when you think of New York. And I actually love the idea of living uptown and coming downtown to go out.

I met one of my neighbours today. His name was Mark- and he was super friendly. He's lived in the building for 16 years. Apparently the Marx brothers used to live in my building (on the fourth floor- I'm on the 2nd).

Ok- it's time for the VP debate. It's on about 7 of the 9 main channels so I think I'll tune in. I do live here and should pay a bit more attention to what's going on.

Monday, September 29, 2008


I'm here.
Already getting a great introduction to the service here in nyc... basically the people who work in the service industry here are bitches. And they are all struggling actors/singers/models/comedians.

I'll write the stories later about what happened. For now I must find food.

Welcome to New York.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Freaking out...

I only have six days til I'm supposed to move. There is still SO MUCH TO DO!!! ARGH!!!!! aepoiha;ira;cljvawjerkanesfaksnd.... that's my brain freaking out right now....

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Uber relaxed

I want to thank my dear friends Patricia and Lisa for treating me to the most amazing experience today! We went to the Elmwood Spa for an afternoon of rest and relaxation. Between the three of us with new jobs, engagements, and moving, we've all been stressed out and not able to hang out as a trio of girls. This was our chance to spa and get caught up.

We started with some water therapy, which included steaming, steaming and more steaming. Then we had our treatments.

I went for a seaweed wrap...which involved an infared light sauna, full body exfoliation, scalp massage and then getting covered is a seaweed gel (Honestly- it smelled like a california sushi roll!) and then wrapped in bandages, plastic and a heated thermal blanket. It might sound a bit weird but it was AWESOME!!!!! I didn't want to leave. I wish I was there right now.

Thank you girls- I love you!!!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

I need your help!- actually I don't.

UPDATE: Ok- nevermind. My friends have all told me that these couches are marking me as the country bumpkin I am. I need to find someone more sleek and from this century. So I will continue looking when I get to the city.


I'm thinking of buying a new sofa in new york. It's my first sofa purchase and I'm finding it a bit daunting. I know what I want style-wise but am stuck on fabric choice. It's a big purchase and a big commitment. I mean- I'm going to be staring at this sofa everyday for the next couple of years!!! The other question I have is... do I buy the matching chair and ottoman? Or should it be a different colour? It doesn't come in an accent colour- just solids... so I think it should be the same no? I REALLY like the matching chair because it's a chair 1/2 which is what I've been wanting.

And the sofa is a sleeper... perfect for all those wanting a place to stay in nyc!!!

Anyhow- I'm attaching the two choices ... one is a honey coloured (neutral) velvet and the other is a basil chenille...which I find to be warm and inviting fabric. If not the velvet (which I actually think might be a bit cheese, I could go with a micro-fibre...)


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Guys are retarded.

Except for brothers. and Dads (incl. second Dads). and maybe gay boyfriends. or married friends. or colleagues. but the single & straight ones? Mentally retarded.

and uncles. Uncles have their shit together. Just not single straight guys. like seriously- WTF?!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Hello good-bye.

I said my first Toronto good-bye today... to my dear friend RV. She has been (and will continue to be- just a few hours away by boat as she mentioned to me today) a steadfast and true friend- completely solid and uncomplicated, fun and funny and wonderful. Sharing my love for nutella (what our friendship was founded on), teaching me about art (I didn't think Winnipeg had any attractive qualities until she drew my attention to the beauty in it's starkness), providing an ear for all my crazy uber over- thinking rants, and always having the right mix of mulled wine, baileys & hot chocolate, or various ports in her home (hmm... I sense a pattern here).

She's heading out on a cross country journey tomorrow- driving to Tofino and back capturing the countryside on film. It's just her and her puppy/bear. She's going to be staying with various friends/family of friends across Canada. (It's amazing how many cities we can cover through 2 degrees of separation.) Many people have been incredibly kind and gracious to welcome this perfect stranger (and her dog) into their homes. This just reinforces that the people I'm lucky enough to have in my life are equally awesome for opening their doors to her.
I will miss my friend- but having been through this before- and having been able to retain my friendships through visits, phone calls, emails (and yes facebook)- I know that this is not good-bye... but see you soon. xo

Friday, September 12, 2008

It's out

I gave notice at work today so I feel as though I can freely talk about the worst kept secret. Everyone knew that I was quitting and moving to NYC but no one could talk about it in front of me as I swore everyone to secrecy. Earlier this week people I hadn't told were mentioning it to me- so I knew I was in trouble.

Well not trouble exactly... but I was in a bit of an awkward position. But the good news is I got my VISA yesterday and I was able to give my two weeks today. I'm leaving Sept 27 for the darker doorways of New York and am starting at the hallowed halls of Ogilvy NY Oct 1.

Two weeks. Man I feel as though I've been waiting endlessly and now it's here and it's only two weeks away. Everyone said when it happened it would happen fast. And everyone was right.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

so close

I'm almost ready to share my news. Almost but not quite.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I had no idea what to buy. None

So my brother and girlfriend are having a baby. (as everyone in my life knows) Tanya has been pregnant FOREVER and I know the baby is going to be here any day now.
We don't now if the baby is a girl or boy- and I admit it's kind of exciting to not know... there are so few real surprises left in the world that it's nice to have something like this to look forward to.
I was talking to David the other day, asking how it was going, were they ready etc... and he said they had everything to go (mentally and materially, as much as they could) except not a lot of clothes. I think people are waiting to hear if it's a girl or a boy before they purchase clothing items. (I know when my Mom and I went to the baby GAP to find some 'gender neutral' clothing, we might as well have gone in looking to buy a unicorn. It doesn't exist.)

Anyhow, a very dear friend of mine gave me some advice and said that when her daughter was born she went through onesies like I go through peanut M&Ms. And that a good place to pick them up was Sears. There's no need to spend piles of money on an 'outfit' that the baby will wear two times, and the stuff at Sears is the same quality etc... just costs waaay less than Baby GAP or Baby "insert brand name here". And who needs to pander to "marketing" ?!

So having had that conversation with David about needing clothes, and having had that conversation with JD, on my way home from work I stopped by the Sears. And spent 25 minutes wandering around the baby section a) looking for gender neutral stuff/unicorns and b) not having ANY idea what to get.
I had thought "onesies. done"
But no.
It's not that easy.
Do I get onesies (I like that word) with feet? Without? long sleeves or short? With hand mittons? Or buy the hand mittons separately? What about short legs but long sleeves? Or no legs (they look like a baby gymnastic leotard) and long sleeves? (I'm assuming so you can put pants on over top?!). I don't know!!!

And everything was in a million different racks with no rhyme or reason or order. There were a million different colours and fabrics and designs that all kind of looked the same but shades of difference (maybe?). Half the stuff says clearance but isn't and has by the pound sizing instead of size sizing. It was very overwhelming and impossible to navigate. I ended up walking out of there with nothing. And walking into a Zara - where I went to the "Baby" section and bought some really cute, probably overpriced, days of the week onesies. They were easy to find and smartly packaged up all nice and market-y for people like me. Me- Me who needs to pander to marketing. I admit it.

And you know what? I'm the aunt- so it's okay.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Slumdog Millionaire

This is the title of Danny Boyle's newest film. I saw it last night at the Toronto Film Fest. It was AWESOME! It comes out Nov 28, 2008 and I recommend everyone to go and see it.

It's about a kid (Jamal) from the slums of Mumbai going on the game show "Who wants to be a millionaire?" The game show becomes the device through which we learn Jamal's life story. It's a love story set in the most heartbreak of backdrops- yet there is still hope. If you've ever been to India you will be aware of the poverty and utter despair that exists there, and yet this shows a second side to that story- one of the happiness and a triumph of spirit. Ok- it sounds cheesy as I write - but trust me when I say it's not.

I mean it's Danny Boyle. The movie is worth it for the soundtrack alone.

Friday, September 05, 2008

On set

Some of the fun parts of my job include shooting commercials. I'm on set today for a spot for VH cooking sauces. It's new Indian sauces- I tried o get them to do the ad in India... but no luck. Of course it's a bazillion degrees in the house (can't run fans or AC because the camera will pick up the sound) so we might as well be in India.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

learning from lyrics?

*Look at the earth from outer space
Everyone must find a place
Give me time and give me space
Give me real, don't give me fake
Give me strength, reserve control
Give me heart and give me soul
Give me time, give us a kiss
Tell me your own politik
And open up your eyes

And give me love over, love over, love over this, ahhh
And give me love over, love over, love over this, ahhh*

Yes this is part of the Coldplay song "Politik". And it is my favourite song. The lyrics (specifically the last stanza) mean something to me.
I find myself sometimes making choices (usually regarding guys- okay mostly regarding guys) that lead me down the path of unhappiness and/or frustration. I know there are choices i can make that will net me joy and love, by choosing to be with people who value me & want to be with me. But instead of choosing to be with those people- I choose the one person who doesn't give me that.

(I'm not the only one.. so many of my friends do the same thing. In fact I will start to use the pronoun "we" so as to not feel as though this is only my weakness) It's the prodigal son syndrome, the wanting what we can't have, the search for the elusive Talented Mr. Ripley... the ultimate high of getting the thing we wanted - even for a few minutes- when it doesn't last and it doesn't really mean anything anyways. Someone who chases after me? No thanks. Someone who can't give me the time of day? Hello!!!

Why why why choose to chase after that person? Why are we so blind to the cause of our own unhappiness and our control over it?!?! We do actually have control over it!!

Instead of choosing that which you can't really have, choose love. Choose that over the frustration and unhappiness. Choose to surround yourself with people who love you instead of the one who doesn't.

Monday, September 01, 2008

The greatest thing in my life

Have I posted about my iphone yet???

Ok the greatest thing in my life are my friends and family.... obvio... BUT I do LOVE my iphone!!! I use it everyday for a thousand different functions beyond the phone. Saturday I was in the chair at the hairdressers and loving a song that was playing (loudly) in the salon. What song was it? I didn't know. Well... let me just get my iphone and it will tell me. One little button, it listens for 20 seconds- boom - tells me the song, the artist and provides me a link to youtube or itunes to see or buy (hah!) the song.
Friday I was biking in a newer part of town (Leslieville). I wanted to stop by a Starbucks but given this isn't Vancouver and there isn't one on every single solitary corner (yet) I didn't know where one was. What's that? I can just use my iphone's GPS technology to find a bucks?! and it's just down the street?! how fab!
Last night I went for dinner with two good friends of mine- the bill came- how much should we tip? What do I owe? type of conversations ensued - until I pulled out the iphone and used the function to figure all that out of us.
Ok- so you get it. It's actually a bit brutal because I am now letting my iphone do all of my thinking for me... In 5 short weeks I have become utterly dependent on it and a slave to it's gentle "ding" when I have a message or email or update or ... maybe I need to put it away for a little bit.
Maybe I need to find something else to love...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

It's a nice day for a white wedding

My cousin Ross got married a few weeks ago in Alabama. They had a second reception in Windsor for the folks that couldn't fly down.

It was also great because it was a chance for the family to get together for a reunion.- we haven't all been together like that for a few years. (Although not everyone was able to make it).

It was also awesome to be able to hang out for a few days- not just one afternoon or evening. We went shopping in Detroit to an outlet mall (LOVED IT!!), made omelets (that's a story on it's own), hung out in the sun, played some rumoli and went swimming in a few pools. It was a great, great weekend.
This is us making omelettes...that we boiled in plastic bags...

The whole Mitton clan!

The Mitton cousins.

This is us on the last day hanging out in Uncle Ross's backyard.

This is me and my Mom playing my favourite game - Rumikube.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Susan and Tobin and Vancouver and Starbucks Together at Last

I know I know I know!! I haven't written!!!! I'm remiss in my writing!!!! I've just been busy. Things are happening. Things are going on. There's things going on and happening. I can't talk about them right now... but soon.

In the meantime I will post a few pictures from the wedding I just attended. It was last weekend in Starbucks...er I mean Vancouver. I'm just waiting for them to officially change the name. Welcome to Starbucks. With a subhead that reads: the most boring city in all of Canada where we must ply you with caffeine on every corner so that you can actually stay awake. Seriously.

I actually bought a 750page book and READ THE WHOLE THING while I was there- in 4 days. And I hated the book. My boyfriends would be saying to me, "Sarah you haven't stopped complaining about that book- you hate it. Yet you're plowing through it... what gives?" To which I would respond "Well guys I hate this city more. It's a hierarchy of hate. And I'm reading the book to get through my time in this city. It enables me to forget where I am." (ps. the book was "Breaking Dawn" - tres horrible)

However I'm glad I went- because although Van doesn't have a lot to offer- I had a great great time with many dear friends (some of whom I haven't seen in a really long time)- and attended a freakin' beautiful wedding. And got to take an impromptu visit up to Pemberton to meet my friend's daughter (who was beautiful). And yes BC is quite stunning with the mountains and the lakes and the blue sky etc...

All in all a great way to spend the long weekend. Stay tuned for more news coming soon...

This is me and the boys the night of the rehearsal dinner. We were all quite proud of how good we looked and did a lot of posing. More posing in fact than the bride and groom.

This is at the reception with the bride (Susan) and groom (Tobin). As well- in the blue (a bridesmaid) is my good friend Laura. She flew out from Sydney for the wedding- amazing. (you can click on the pics to get a closer look).

Um...here we are posing again- this time at the reception with all of the other guests wearing pink.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Lucky single girls.

Ok- here is the FUNNIEST thing I've heard in a looooong time.

The back story on this is that a girl named Olga was out with her friends in Toronto, and she talked to this guy named Dmitri for all of two minutes. Then she gave him her card and said 'give me a call.'

I stole this story off of someone else's blog... but it's too funny not to share. This is what we, as single women, have waiting for us. Kill me now.


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Models, Movies and Magic

This has been a great week:
I went to the movie "Dark Knight" last Thursday. We went to the midnight showing- which was packed. The movie got out at 3am and there were piles of people waiting for a 3am showing (followed by a 6 am showing). The movie was incredible- though I think I need to go see it again. It was really late when I saw it and I was in the second row. (Also Spy in July was just before the and I might have had a couple of beverages that further caused sleepiness). The movie broke all sorts of records- I think it made $153 million in one weekend- I know I've been waiting to see it since "Batman Begins" finished- 3 years ago.
Saturday was a long day as we were at a photo shoot for a pro-bono client of mine. It's a company called "Greensaver", which is a company that does energy efficiency audits on homes. We are doing an OOH campaign for them in the Fall (or Winter) and needed to shoot 6 people in various scenarios. One of those people was me. IF the campaign launches- I'll be on Toronto transit shelter posters throughout the GTA. And I have to say - modeling is actually kind of hard. "Smile. no, not like that, smile as though you are really excited... now smile as though you have won the lottery. No, not quite that happy." OK FINE I'M TIRED- I DON'T KNOW HOW TO SMILE - LEAVE ME ALONE!!!
And finally- the magic. My IPHONE. I LOVE IT. It's the coolest thing ever and easily the most awesome thing I've ever owned.

Friday, July 11, 2008


I'M SO SICK OF PAINTING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


This is me. At work. After a particularly long week.
Yes that is wine. What you can't see is the decadent piece of chocolate cake I'd just eaten.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Hey... remember all that God D#@n painting I've been SLAVING OVER?!

Well today there was a leak in a pipe in my bathroom... which flooded the carpet in my closet. My lovely new roommate had to rescue all my stuff... (thanks Wendy). And my room, which was already tres disastrous (due to moving and painting), just got WORSE.

Here is a bathroom wall I JUST PAINTED! (isn't the colour calming and lovely?)

Here is my closet with a GIANT fan that we need to leave in there for the next THREE days as the plumber can't come until MONDAY!!!!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Rougher life

I'm STILL painting. I'm NEVER going to be done. It doesn't help that the previous colour was a dark dark gray and I want it to be light dreamy cream. Which requires a primer. Which is THICK and HORRIBLE.


I think that I'll just leave it as primer... that's a colour right?

(and it's not that I'm ridiculously slow... though I am... it's just because I didn't get home til 9 tonight... and had to leave early last night for Jen L's b-day... and didn't want to paint Monday night... hmm... I sense a pattern here).

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Rough Life

My friends and I have a new Sunday tradition where we hang out by my pool. We need to make sure we get there early enough to get lounge chairs but once we get them we're solid. Today proved a bit tricky as I tried to steal... I mean borrow one ...from the other side of the pool and while doing so accidentally dropped half of it on an innocent fellow lounger. ouch.

It was 30C out (finally summer!) and we spent 6 hours lounging, jumping into the pool, eating pizza, drinking cold beverages, lounging, pool... repeat. I LOVE my apartment!

This is the view from the pool looking up... the sky was blue and cloud free the ENTIRE day!

This is my friend Kerri- she is my collaborator for our fun Sundays.

Why am I doing this again and not just hiring some college student?

I'm painting my apartment. Yesterday my roommate and I did two bathrooms, the kitchen and half the living room. Today I have to paint the cave that is my room. For some reason every square inch of this room is covered in dark gray. And I don't like it. And while the picture shows me using a traditional paintbrush... I was using the roll-y thing for most of the wall. HOWEVER we only had ONE roll-y thing- as a 'friend' had given me crap advice to only get one. It really held us up...I don't want to get into it.

Here is my roommate Wendy yesterday, covering up the uber green colour.

Anyhow, my hand hurts, my shoulders hurt, it's 30C outside and I SHOULD be sitting by my pool drinking cold drinks... but instead - I will paint (at least until 11 when my friends come over and we go sit by said pool and drink cold drinks).

Best brunch

My favourite brunch in the city used to be at this place on College called Xacutti. It had delicious dinner's as well (not the trout!) but the brunch was OUT OF THIS WORLD!!!
Of course brunch would set you back about $50 so I only went there a couple of times. They had this one dish... a giant waffle covered in fresh fruit- and not just strawberry and cantelope, but mango and passion fruit and wild berries, covered in... wait for it... melted toblerone chocolate. AMAZING.
My friend asked me the other day where she should go for brunch for her birthday and I immediately said "Xacutti"... forgetting that it has shut down. I guess no one else wanted to pay $50 for brunch either.

Does anyone else have any good brunch suggestions for Toronto? (and not Bonjour - I know Bonjour and I love Bonjour... but I'm over it a little bit... just a bit- I can see Rob gasping now).

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Moving (but just down the hall)

I moved into this condo just over a year ago, with my friend Paul (who I had worked with at the GAP in Calgary years earlier). Though I have always objected to condo living based on the charmless and presonality-free nature of the mass produced buildings... on principal (I LOVED living on Aberdeen with my yard and neighbours and little juliette balconey) - I have loved living here. Yes there is nothing in the neighbourhood... but we are close to the water, close to the island, close to running/biking paths and there is a roof top patio with a swimming pool. Now I've down a 180 and am talking about buying this place...
But for now I am just moving down the hall. My roomie Paul is moving out and I've got a new roommate- Wendy. Coincidentally we ALSO worked at the GAP in Calgary all those years ago. She's been patiently living in our living room the last 6 weeks, while we've been patiently living around her for those same 6 weeks. It's been a bit trying- but we're now on day zero: with Paul officially moving out today.
We are going to paint the place in neutral/girl colours, and I will have an official closet, and we can finally put up a clock in the kitchen!
It's a big change, and I will MISS Paul (xo) but ... I have had 26 roommates in my life... I've done this before... and I look forward to the new adventures to come (and to getting RID of the green colours currently covering the walls!)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

the legend of Sarah

I'm still not inspired to write... and I don't know why. I love to write. I write all the time. I have been writing in my journal. And I've had lots going on... and fun times and good times. There's no reason for me to not write. It's not like I'm worried about spreading the toxic poison that was occupying me for awhile there. I mean...
It's sunny out again. Lovely.
Me and my roommate are going to paint our apartment. fun.
Soon I get the room with the walk-in closet. can't wait.
It's pride this weekend. good times.
It's a long four day weekend coming up. more fun.
I made out with a hot guy the other day. yet more fun.
Work is going well (I'm pretending anything in the first year of my job didn't actually happen). so that's good.
I got a fantastic dress from 'free people' on sale the other day- 70% off. big score.
I just don't know what it is.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

2 weddings & a reunion

I haven't posted for awhile. And the reason I haven't posted is because I've been in a persistent horrible mood and haven't wanted to spread my poison to the masses (and by masses I mean the three people that read my blog). But the 'fog' (there wasn't really a fog) has lifted and I'm now wanting to share the good stuff that's been going on.

Two weeks ago (pictures to come) I went to a good friend's wedding. Tania got married in a beautiful, simple ceremony on Toronto island. I loved the pastor/minister because he didn't preach to us- he talked to us. He engaged us as part of the ceremony and really highlighted our role as friend and family to the newly married couple. He touched on religion (obv) but didn't belabour it, finding a balance in the divine with the practical advice with which this couple will hopefully live their lives. The ceremony was held at the Distillery District- a very cool place in Toronto, at the Balzac coffee house. Honestly I would never have thought of that as a location for a wedding - and it was perfect. The whole day was such a celebration.

Last weekend I went to New York to see an new(er) friends wedding and catch up with some old(er) friends. It happened to be a bazillion degrees (give or take) and in the city- that's freakin' hot. This wedding was ALSO beautiful- held at the Riverview church. This was an old, old, stone church- with the arches, stained glass windows, carvings... it just had this hushed charm. It was a friend that I had made while on my India trip- Sherry was my roommate- and when she mentioned the wedding back in the day I wasn't sure if I was going to attend, but ultimately really glad I made the effort.
The rest of the trip was shopping and eating and hanging out- what one does in NYC. We went to this one diner called "Florent" - long considered a NY institution in the meat packing district , for brunch. It's shutting down at the end of this month because the owner can't afford the increase in the lease. What's the increase? It's going from $6000/month up to $35,000/month. How completely ridiculous is that?!
Then this week at work kicked my ass. Moving on to the weekend...
...Which was also a bit of a reunion as I came up to Waterloo to visit the rellies. My cousin from Ottawa is down, who I haven't seen for months and months. And last night we caught up with some girlfriends I hadn't seen in over a year. We drank way too much red wine, but sometimes you just gotta make the sacrifice right? I can't be all running and drinking water and eating vegetables all the time!

Ok - granted this isn't the most funny or informative or entertaining post... but at least I'm in a much better headspace now than I was two weeks ago. It's the summer, parties are planned, patios are begging to be sit on, trips are happening... I'm looking forward to it.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

June 4

I hate today. today is a horribly sucky day.
Just thought you should know.

Monday, May 26, 2008

And I ran.

I got some kind of disappointing news today- of which I won't bore my readers with the details. Suffice to say that it's not about my health, or finances, or job... but a matter of a boy.
I came home from an uncomfortable, awkward confrontation... ate half a pint of ice cream and felt terribly sorry for myself. (ok - to be honest I dont' even know what a "pint" is- but it's the size the women in all of those chick lit books seem to devour after a bad experience... and so I ate ice cream and if it wasn't a full pint- that was the sentiment).
I then laid in bed staring at my ceiling for an hour trying to figure out how I was so stupid as to read a situation so wrong? I tried to meditate and find calm in nothingness.

After which I decided to stop feeling sorry for myself and go for a run.
The reason I'd tried the whole "meditation" thing is that I just read that stupid (sorry Gary) book "eat pray love" and have begun thinking about the merits of meditation. I've been thinking perhaps I should try it in order to find some sort of enlightenment. Achieve some type of balance. Maybe it's something I needed to explore, to give my life more meaning beyond a great pair of shoes (even though I bought a KILLER pair this weekend). If I did something like meditate maybe I could be better prepared to deal with life's crush(ing) rejections. After all, in the "cosmos" of life- surely one little crush doesn't mean anything does it?? Everyone who meditates seems so peaceful...
But instead of sitting down and zoning out, I ran.
I put on my seen better days running shoes, my old old shorts (I wasn't sure if they would still fit) and set my nano to the song "Bleeding Love" by Leona Lewis. And I ran.

As I pounded the pavement I could feel my muscles bunching, hear my laboured breathing and slowly feel the anxiety & tension leave my body. And I kept running.
It was dark, but that spurned me on to go faster, and the cooler temperatures made me feel more alive. I realized that my running was my meditation.
From what I've read, meditation is paying attention to your breathing and focusing your thoughts (usually on a mantra).
When I run I practice rhythm breathing (tip from CHS) so I don't stitch up. My mind doesn't wander, as I focus on positive visual thinking- and I usually have my own mantras, depending on what I'm focusing on.
I felt so powerful as I ran, strong and fast. It was a great feeling to experience on the heels of a let down. A feeling that I was in control of, and one that I was the genesis of.
I listened, unapologetically, to that song about unrequited love, and remembered that my situation really is one of a million in which there have been countless songs and stories. And I will likely go on to create more stories in a similar vein. And I will continue to run.
I must remember that the next time I want to meditate.

(this picture has nothing to do with running... but it's a fun memory from Peru- when we went on an "Indiana Jones hike" - to a waterfall that was cold, refreshing and wonderful. And the flowers are from a botanical garden we visited that same day)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Machu Piccu *yawn* Peru parte finalemente

I know I know- a 7th wonder of the world. Amazing lost civilization. Stunningly preserved remains of a lost city we know nothing about. Was it a city for just women? A lost Inca royal palace? A small village where they cultivated coca leaves and crops? I don't know!!! why are you asking me these things?!!

My dear friend EC said "What?! You didn't like Machu Picchu?! That's like not liking Jennifer Aniston!!! Oh wait. You don't like Jennifer Aniston either. ok" And that about sums it up. Machu Piccu was like Jennifer Aniston- it was nice. Good shape and form, pleasant enough to behold- but nothing that inspired me or lifted me up. It's no Cate Blanchett. : )

I will say that the Andes surrounding Machu Picchu are stunning as my pictures will hopefully show.

And to be fair, I was actually quite sick when I did this part of the trip, so my fever and delirium could have been contributing to my lack of excitement. (truth be told, after the obligatory 2 hour tour at the beginning and my two bites of lunch, I actually found a grassy knoll in the middle of a 'garden' or 'front yard' or 'we-don't-know-what-this-is-and-isn't-it-still-oh-so-amazing-patch-of-land" and ... fell asleep. Yes I did. People all about me were swarming taking pictures of this historic site, touching the rocks irrelevantly, and hiking their little hearts out... and I took a nap.)

By way of explanation, MP was a trip on the heels of an overnight bus ride where I first took sick and nearly threw up for 7 hours as we careened down this mountain at 220km/hour, then landed in Cusco where I stumbled about taking more photos and drinking fresh orange juice, and getting up at 5am to catch an ice cold temperatures below freezing train ride to get to Machu Picchu in the first place. I just wasn't in the mood.

Heading back to Cusco, I got on the train thinking I had four hours to go until our arrival... when 2 hours in, the train stops and everyone gets off. I get off as well and wander into the darkness of the parking lots, dimly lit, while scrutinizing my ticket- look at the train ticket saying it would return me to Cusco. I put my poor Spanish to use with a security guard who doesn't know anymore than I why the train has chosen to stop halfway... when a guy comes up to our group (there was 4 of us) with a sign saying "Sara Kostek"

Well close enough- let's go. (I wasn't entirely stupid- there were six other people/tourists already waiting in his traveling bus type van). I made it home and the next day asked my tour operator about it and he said "oh yes that's what they do. They get off half way and take buses, it's faster." I asked why this is something that they wouldn't have communicated to me so I wasn't taken by surprise. He shrugged like 'what's the big deal? you made it home" And indeed I was almost there... home that is. Only one more night of sleeping on a moving vehicle (this time courtesy of Air Canada) before I made it home- and I swear to you- I was the FIRST person I know of- that was actually LOOKING FORWARD to going back to work.
(Although I did enjoy my last day in Cusco as my buddies Stephanie and Elaine from Huancayo met up with me and we had lunch- which was awesome). Here is a picture taken wandering around the town.

Overall it was an interesting trip. I enjoyed many parts of it, and met some really great people that I hope to stay in touch with.

I feel blessed to have had the experience of working with the kids in the orphanage and Ladirella, and know that they gave me so much more than I was able to give them.

I brushed up on my Spanish, so I can whisper sweet Spanish nothings to my boyfriend (such as "pass me the potatoes" and "is there hot water?"). It was not relaxing, but nor was it an experience I would trade. Who knows- I might darken the doors of Huancayo yet again.
: )

Adios Peru.