Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Prezzie wish list

Yes I did just get a pile of gifts for Christmas- and yes I'm thankful for them... but Christmas is so last year. And now it's time for my birthday. I can always think of things now- but when people ask me closer to the date I'll say "I dunno-a Banana GC?" and then after slap my head and say "oh- right I really wanted x".
So here is X:
- speakers for my computer (macbook)
- GC to the Apple store
- Burton luggage- the cream plaidy flowery kind.
- a good set of Henckel knives
- MEGA PEANUT M&Ms. Not regular peanut M&Ms, not mega plain M&MS. MEGA PEANUT. (honestly I will marry the person who gives me these)
- fun or useful cooking stuff
- lulu lemon pants
- will add more to the list as things come up...

Monday, January 28, 2008

best. movie. ever.

Batman Begins. i forgot how much i liked it until I saw it again on TV tonight. I can't wait for "The Dark Knight".

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Night of the Living Sarah.

I has a conversation with my Mom the other day which gave me pause. I told her I'd bought new pillows (yes yes I can't seem to shut up about them) and she said "(pause) yes. I know" "But Mom," I'm puzzled "how do you know?" mom: "Because Sarah. I read about it on your blog. (sigh) I even saw pictures of them. what are people going to think about this girl who has nothing better to do than take pictures of pillows and put them up on the internet?!" (Fair enough- though Mom was mostly teasing me)
So... in an effort to redeem my reputation (IT WAS A TUESDAY- A SLOW NIGHT! NOT A LOT GOING ON!!!), and because I'd been wanting to write about my weekend adventure anyhow- I thought I'd share the 'wild and crazy' mishaps of the past couple of weekends...

Three weekends ago... SP birthday- but also Kerri's coming home drinks- I hit both, going to see Ker first and then arriving at SP's bash at midnight- to hang out for a couple of hours before heading to an after party where I ran into a guy I'd blown off a year earlier. I was fine with seeing him- he apparently was not. I said hi- he looked at me- or rather through me- and stalked off. He avoided me the rest of the night- which in a downtown Toronto one bedroom 600sq ft condo is quite a feat. (Who knew I was such a heart breaker?) That night saw me arriving home around 4am.

Last weekend: PM's birthday. Me and Kerri meet around the, we feel, ridiculously early hour of 9 at the downtown loft- and start to mingle. It's fun, the food has already been eaten, so we just drink. Not such a good idea on an empty stomach but it makes for some good mingling.
We meet some new friends, catch up with old, and then head off at 1:30 with said new friends to a new bar- Tattoo. (Queen and... somewhere- super fun). There's a crowd around front so go round back and sneak in- Ker & I ditched our new friends for the dance floor where we danced til last call- and then ran out to grab cabs while we could. Home: 3am.

This weekend- Jeff R's decabration weekend (see link on right column) and we kick things off with a sushi dinner with 12 close friends at Sushi Inn. (Yorkville- super good) Then some of us head over to Hemingway's for a drink (I ordered a "greyhound" and felt about 47). Then hopped onto the subway southbound for "Joe Mama's" where I met up again with Kerri and Christie to see a really good live band.

Jen and Mike met up with me there (Jen my old maritime friend from an earlier post) and we headed over around midnight to the opening of a new restaurant/bar the Harbord Room. (89 Harbord)
It's being run by my cousin Dave Mitton- of Czehoski fame- who I'd never actually met.
We get there - sit down, Mike gets us drinks- and Dave comes over to say hi. Mike introduces me to him- saying "I think you two used to know each other or something?" And I responded with (while shaking Dave's hand) "Hi Dave, I'm Sarah. Im your cousin."
He replied with "Oh - it's you!"
net net- we had a great time- he's an amazing guy and his restaurant is an amazing place. My good friends in Toronto will have a chance to check it out- because we're going there for my birthday.
Got home last night at 3:30am- carefully opening the door so as to not be loud and wake my roommate- who was up and in the kitchen- getting ready for our cleaning bonanza today.
So there you go. Life in the aquatic. It's pretty fun.
oh and incidentally I have to say- my mad hugging skills? I'd always thought that they were unique to Sarah- until I hugged Dave last night... and honestly-it was a glimpse of what it must be like for everyone out there who hugs me- and it was AWESOME. He was an amazing hugger. So maybe it's actually a Mitton trait... interesting... : )

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I heart Brokeback

When I lived with my good friend Lola she was in looove with an Australian actor who starred in "A Knight's Tale". I couldn't understand it- I guess the accent was okay and he could sort of act... but what did Heath Ledger have that say- Leonardo DiCaprio didn't?!
Then- in 2005 he came out in a little indie film that took the world by storm... I loved it. I saw it in the theaters four times (I kept telling various friends I hadn't seen it and did they want to go??) and then bought the DVD and even purchased the screenplay. I don't know why but this movie really touched something in me. And I was particularly taken by the performance of Heath. It was so subtle, but so powerful. He was nominated for an academy award and I was so angry when he lost to Philip Seymour Hoffman (who probably did a good job too).
As far as talented actors go, he flew under the radar of publicity, probably partying it up- but also choosing to live in the more subdued borough of Brooklyn to raise his young daughter with an equally cool and "down to earth" partner. I finally understood the allure for my friend.
I also hearted Heath Ledger and I'm sad that he died.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Pillows pillows pillows!!

did you know that you're supposed to change your pillows every 1-2 years? Some say every 5-6 months but I think that's a bit excessive...
Turns out that there are loads of dust mites that live and grow and multiply in your pillow- and (so I've read) if your pillow is 2 years old then roughly 10% of your pillow is made up of dust mites and their droppings. ew

I read this recently- and today I spent my Christmas Bay GC (thanks Mom and Cliff!) on some new pillows (I don't want to tell you how old my pillows were!)

yay for new pillows!!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Urban legend or awesome tip?

On the flight from Calgary to Winnipeg I was seated next to someone who wanted to chat. I tried to head this off by putting on my headphones and wearing my hoodie low over my head. I tried to discourage this by giving one word answers and half smiles. I tried to stop it by pretending to sleep. I then gave myself a little shake and thought 'what is the harm in chatting with someone for an hour- on a flight that is otherwise miserable and boring?' He seemed nice enough. Plus I was fresh from Calgary and the mean ugly Toronto side of me had yet to kick in.
Our conversation was quite interesting though I remember nearly none of it. But one thing he did share that I'd like to pass on to you today- is a tip about purchasing Air Canada plane tickets online. Apparently guy had a friend who worked in the online department of the airline- who passed along this hot little tip.
The site is set up so that as more people purchase tickets for a certain flight, or even look at tickets, the prices automatically adjust- and it does this on a daily basis.
I knew that as seats were sold the ticket prices went up- but this price adjustment apparently happens on a daily basis- with the prices re-setting during the night.
His example? He purchased his planed ticket to PEI (from Calgary) for $300. (He set his alarm clock to go off at 2am.)
The next afternoon he was looking for the same ticket- and at 5pm it was nearing $600!!!
I have yet the occasion to look for a ticket and have had no reason to set my alarm to experiment (I was up at 3am this Saturday- but not thinking about airline prices...) BUT if it's true- then it's definitely worth staying up and doing some plane ticket purchasing in the wee hours.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

i hate muay thai

It hurts to laugh, it hurts to sneeze, it hurts to breath. Can eyelids feel pain?

I had to call Paul into my room tonight to grab a magazine off of the floor for me because the mere thought of the pain it would cause me to do that made me faint.
WHY did I think I would like this horrible heinous torturous awful sport?! What was I THINKING?!
ow. i pushed down too hard on the keys- that hurt.

Monday, January 07, 2008

I LOVE kicking ass

I joined a Toronto Muay Thai class today- it was soooo rad. I used to do it for a number of years in Calgary (Mike Miles kick-boxing) and loved it then. But then I moved to Toronto and well.. there wasn't the time, the place or the opportunity. I did try a few muay thai type classes trhough the gym I belonged to- with similar exercises- but it just wasn't the same. You weren't training to fight- you were just training as a form of cardio: there's a difference.

Today's class was very similar to what I experienced before. I felt just as inept and out of shape as before. And despite hopes to the contrary- I haven't suddenly become graceful or coordinated.
It's been 5 years since I "trained" and the body staring back at me from the mirrored wall was fairly different from the one in similar surroundings so many years ago. But I still pushed myself to beyond where I thought capable- my muscles are already starting to stiffen... and I can't wait to go back on Wednesday! : )

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Rummikub (aka tile rummy)

My friend DR has this game- Rummikub- that he brings when we go camping in Algonquin Park every summer. It's really fun (I love games) and this year I asked and got it for Christmas.

I played it Christmas Day with my Mom and brother Stefan for hours. Then I played it with my friends this past weekend and we got lost in the game. No laughing, no joking around- just intense scrutiny around the table as we all calculated our next moves.
It's a good game.

Friday, January 04, 2008

The coldest place in Canada

is not actually Winnipeg. Cliff went up to Tuktoyaktuk this year- which I thought was the coolest (no pun intended- yikes). I think we should ALL try to make a trek to the great white north at some point in our lives. But for various reasons that trip will not happen for at least another year. However until I do make it up to the snowy wasteland of whale blubber snacking I will be content with my almost annual pilgrimage to Winnipeg.
If you'd asked me before David moved there how often I saw myself going there- I would have said "never". But now... well BOTH of my brothers and sister in law and the dog live there- and so to Winnipeg I must go.

It's actually quite a relaxing part of my journey (as you can imagine not a lot goes on). We went to a great little bakery for some dessert the first night. Did some shopping at uber trendy shops on a day that felt like Saturday (did you know 1921 jeans started in Winnipeg?!) and hung out with the dog Wilbur.

One night we went to Leo's for dinner and games (rummykub- I'm such a nerd)(Leo is Tanya's Dad). He lives in an amazing log cabin he built himself. Mom made him a log cabin quilt that fits in perfectly.

I missed Stefan's arrival into Winnipeg by a couple of days- but I will probably see him there next Christmas and I will bring my favourite winter boots and take Wilbur for a walk.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Friendly traditions

I have a LOT of family traditions... I'm a huge fan of them. (Though 30 years on they can get a little played out.) We're starting new traditions in my family and I know I'll have them again with my own little family (years from now).
However I also have traditions with my friends. Two specifically: one is a potluck dinner that I have been having with my girlfriends since our second to last or last year in high school- which would have started about 6 years ago- ahem. Okay- I think we're on year 15 or maybe 16?
Not all of us can make it every year (Char, Josephine, Sandy and me are the diehards who make it every year)- though we all try. It's fun to see the evolution of our friendships- and see how we've grown and changed each year (or specifically how our families have grown!).
I love the fact that we are all still friends, who can spend hours and hours laughing about something that might have happened in high school, or happened just the previous week. Yes I still have the friends I had in high school and I couldn't be happier.
Here we are in Heather's new house at our annual potluck.

(This year I actually made something- a casserole- last year I was so hung over I'm lucky I even made it- just so that I could lay on Char's couch and whimper and cry from the pain). Why was I hung over last year? Because of a rather newer friend tradition with another set of friends.
My good friend Lori has us over for an annual get together on boxing day- people she went to high school with and other people (me included) who have somehow been absorbed into the group along the way. It's also an amazing group of people that I don't get to see that often...

This year I was good though- I couldn't afford to be out of sorts as I was visiting my other friend Lori (Lola) the next day- and my goddaughter and her brother.
We had brunch and I got to see the joy and excitement that is Christmas through a child's eyes...Kaleb and Theo are the PERFECT age where they know what Christmas is all about and celebrate it in excessive splendor. They also happen to be two of the sweetest children who are able to express gratitude through their exuberance. Theo jumped up and down in excitement at the doll I gave her- but made sure to let me know she was thankful. Kaleb exclaimed "I can't believe you got this for me!!!" (I suspect I could have picked up a twig from outside and wrapped it and he would've said the same thing). That was a morning I definitely wanted to be present for.

And tomorrow- I will write about the rest of my trip: Snowy wintry Winnipeg, and New Years...

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Christmas 2007: I don't know where to start

so I'll start at the beginning. This goes way back...20 years back... I think I'm 12 in this picture? It's Christmas with my cousins Shaun and Chris, and my two brothers Stefan and David.

I used to have a whole other family. I was quite lucky because even though I had four families (a common by-product of divorced and remarried parents) and half of them lived on the other side of the country- the other half (Mom's family and Stepmom's family) were in Alberta. And I had close relationships with both groups. Me and my brothers were older than all of the other cousins (read: bossy) but we still had a lot of fun and a lot of good times together.
Unfortunately when my Dad died me and my brothers pulled away from one part of the family. There is no easy response as to why and certainly not one I would get into on a blog- but suffice to say it was a decision with heavy consequences that I would come to regret many times over the next 15 years.
But we're now in 2008 and things have begun again. I spent Christmas Eve with my Stepmom and the family for the first time in 15 years. And it was awesome. Here's a picture of me & Stefan with Paula and Florence. (yes I've changed a little) (I posted a pic of the boys Chris & Shaun in an earlier post to see how they've changed).

Christmas Day was spent in the usual fashion of opening gifts in the morning and eating the best breakfast ever (Canadian bacon on English muffins). In the evening we had a simpler dinner with just Stefan, Mom, Cliff and I. I wasn't sure how that was going to go down but it was really great. We don't sit down as a family often enough and it gave us a chance to really chat.
Then Mom, Stefan and I played over 3 hours of Rummykub- the BEST GAME EVER! (if you like rummy).
Boxing Day is my Grandma's birthday (she's 83 this year) and we always gather at an aunt's house to have b-day cake and share our stories of boxing day shopping (how long it took to park, where were the best deals etc).

Well we had that this year, but we also did something else. My Aunt Claire got a game with conversation prompters like "If you could travel anywhere, where would it be?" or "Tell us about a difficult situation in your life and how it made you stronger." Some difficult questions at the best of times. And we 'played' for two hours. I can't remember ever having such a meaningful conversation with my extended family. (And then we had ice cream cake- best.)

(And just so you know- I was going to put up a picture of my secondDad here- but Cliff specifically threatened bodily harm if I did so!!!) But here is my Mom- I think she's shining.

More to follow tomorrow- the trip to Winnipeg, the boxing day booze fest at Lori's, the visit with Lola's offspring in Cochrane, the potluck... oh it goes on my friends. It goes on.