Welcome to The Century Club!

Hey guys, guess what? This is my 100th Blog Post. No biggie. Just a life goal and landmark but you know, whatevs!!! (That’s what the title was about…not drinking 100 beer shots in 100 minutes…)

Being that this is my 100th Blog Post celebration day, I get to do whatever I want. Which means posting MORE CHRISTMAS PICTURES! Even though no one wants to see them anymore!

I promise, these are the last ones. It seems that everyone is now over it (Jamie wants to take down the tree tonight!) But I need to hang on for one more week. One more sparkly, happy, festive week and then it’s back to normal home decor colours and scents that are not “peppermint” or “gingerbread”. In all honesty, it won’t be so bad – I got lots of new non-Christmas Home decorations with my gift cards, so I get to play after the Christmas stuff comes down!

The first bunch of photos is from my annual “ladies only-ish” Christmas party where some lady troopers braved their way through the snow storm to come over and eat massive amounts of food, watch movies and exchange gifts. I look forward to this party every single year and this year it snuck it’s way in right before I got sick – very lucky.

The second bunch is from my Christmas in Kingston with my family! My parents got a new kitty named Inky, who is the best. She’s very cuddly and added even more excitement to the holiday. Even though I was a bit wobbly, I had a great time and it was nice to be home where my mommy could take care of me 🙂 So spoiled.

We had a fantastic Christmas dinner with my Grandparents and Uncle, his lady friend, Nancy and our family friend (and my old doctor), Roz! We also celebrated my Mom’s birthday and I spent New Year’s Eve with my parents. All in all, a TON of awesome family time which is a rare treat.

UGLY: Christmas is over, and I’m the only one hanging on to the holly for dear life. Also, I have to get up early tomorrow!

AWESOME: It’s been a really long time since I’ve spent so much time with the folks. It felt like University when you went home for a month! Also, new Inky and old Penny – I love visiting Kitties without having to actually take care of them 🙂

And here’s a special Christmas gift from me to you on this grand occasion!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!
MERRY CHRISTMAS!

It’s Not Delivery, It’s Delissio!

Since my last post was a literary extended journey through my hopes and dreams, I thought I’d give your eyeballs a break with this post. On the weekend, we celebrated Danica’s birthday as well as Halloween and fast food. (There were a strange number of greasy themed costumes this year).

We had a grand ole time hanging out at Danica and Chris’ place and then ventured to Queen for their friend’s Halloween party. We’ve been to this party before and it is so epic. I’ve proven my lack of photography skills with this post because the pictures below don’t do this place any justice at all, whatsoever. They plaster their walls with Halloween decorations, their bathroom is spattered with fake blood (and a torn up shower curtain complete with victim in the bathtub), and the place is always completely packed with the best costumes you’ll see all year. Unfortunately I captured 4% of this mania with my camera. I guess I was having too much fun Pizza dancing on the dance floor.

I hope that this will motivate me to take a million pictures in Vegas (where I’m going on Thursday!!!). I swear to capture as much generic and non-personally identifiable shenanigans as is allowed by “What Happens in Vegas” law.

UGLY: My photo journalism skills.

AWESOME: I get to wear my Sexy Pizza dress again in Vegas!!!

I Dreamed a Dream of Apples and Horses.

In the last two weeks, I’ve seen 2 concerts and 1 musical. To active members of society, this may seem like nothing, but to me, it was a big deal! I felt like a cultural participant. I enjoy reminding myself that I am inspired by performance and theatrics. Spend too many nights at home, excitedly watching back to back episodes of Pretty Little Liars and you can forget that you get just as excited (OK, MORE excited) by actually leaving your house and watching people put themselves out there, sharing their talents for your entertainment.

On Thursday of last week, I went to see Fiona Apple with my lady friends, Danica and Kari. We had a delicious dinner at Mildred’s Temple Kitchen in Liberty Village and head over to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre to watch a short-haired Fiona play herself like a drum and belt out emotionally distressing ballads with a young cowboy called Blake Mills. I loved it all. Here’s a video, so you can pretend you were there with us. (Just think of us as the unidentified elderly woman sitting on the couch).

The next night, my parents rolled into town to see the Ian Anderson concert at Massey Hall. Ian Anderson is the lead singer, flautist and merry man of Jethro Tull, everyone’s favourite 1960’s British progressive rock group. Jethro Tull has been a constant staple in my musical upbringing- My Dad has been playing Jethro Tull in our house since I was a wee lass and my love for them has gone from childhood ignorance to teenaged, eye-rolling, reluctant head bobbing to a completely shame-free love for not only the band but also the warm and fuzzy nostalgia they come with. Listening to them is like watching a personal performance in my head of my dad galloping across the living room on an invisible steed bellowing “Heavy Horses” at the top of his lungs. So, it reminds me of home and our own personal Cameron brand of theatrics that runs in my blood.

Then, this past Friday, Jamie and I went to see Les Misérables at The Princess of Wales Theatre. As a theatre kid, I have been listening to the Les Mis soundtrack practically my whole life, but had never ever seen it live. I recently, saw the movie, enjoyed it, but knew the live performance had to be better. I was right. I cried in the first 5 minutes from the sheer intensity of the performance coming out of the gate. Then I got a hold of myself and only cried when it was absolutely necessary and unavoidable – so 4 more times during the show. And if you know me, you know that normally, I’m a stone of emotionless objectivity…just kidding, that’s a complete and total lie. But in this case, it really was totally warranted. Jean Valjean and Éponine were my favourites. Everyone was great, but those two punched me in the face with theatrical intensity.

Every time I see someone on stage, baring their souls, I get inspired to put a little more effort into my own life. I ride on the wave of those shows for weeks afterwards, always a little bit jealous that they’re the ones on stage…

UGLY: The legroom in the wings of the Massey Hall balconies. SERIOUSLY.

AWESOME: Getting pumped to maybe jump back on the stage myself…scaaaary. Also getting pumped for my Halloween Vegas trip!! So soon!

Holiday Hiatus?

Weird post, weird week!

So, I arrived in Toronto to spend some excellent quality time with Jamie’s family and had a great few days. We went to the gym (once…), ate leftovers and terrible treats and most importantly, spent time laughing and being silly together. Jamie and I were planning on driving back to Kingston on Saturday to continue Christmasing, after Jamie’s uncle Phil had left. Come Saturday, my poor Mom and Dad called to say they were both very sick with a gross flu that EVERYONE IN THE UNIVERSE HAS. Jamie was also sick with the cursed disease, so we hunkered down to spend some intense lazy, restful flu-cure time inside. I made it my mission to cure him of his ailments (and I was pretty happy to be doing nothing I have to say) and we had a great day of Upstairs, Downstairs (the new one), movies, ham and eggs, leftover turkey, and chocolate chip pancakes and bacon for dinner. It was actually the best. Unfortunately, I woke up today with the exact same symptoms everyone else had before they were launched into flu time city, so although I feel OK now, I worry it’s only a matter of time before the thing takes me down. So this pause in Holiday momentum has caused my brain to think that Christmasing is over, when in fact, it will start again once we get to Kingston on Monday. So I’m considering this weird limbo my Christmas hiatus.

During this hiatus of nesting and snuggling in blankets and tea, I also spent some time thinking about the current state of my apartment decor and how pretty it is now with all the Christmas decorations. Come January, I’ll have to put all the Christmas away and go back to real life, which makes me sad and in the market for ways to spruce. I started putting together a design board for my Living room, beginning with the elements I already have and know I won’t be losing any time soon: Brown couch (although less fancy than the one on my board), brown and beige walls, exact rug, exact bookshelves, brown dresser thing and ottoman. After I stuck in the basics, I started adding little accents that I know I either already have or can get for cheap. All of a sudden, I had this cool little design board which I’ve shared with you today, because for unknown reasons, I took absolutely no pictures in the last 4 days. I can’t believe I didn’t even document the chocolate chip pancake dinner. I am ashamed.

Ugly:
Forgetting to take bloggy photos! Throat burn, sniffle nose.

Awesome:
The recent days of extreme laziness have been amazing, despite my getting ill.
Even if I don’t end up realizing my little design board dreams, I had so much fun making it, I’m going to do the same thing for my other rooms!
Going to Kingston tomorrow for continued family time and New Year’s Eve shenanigans (hopefully neither of us will be too ill for shenanigans)!

Brown Living Room
Brown Living Room

Every train at Christmas is The Polar Express.

It’s almost over! Official Christmas has finished, but the honorary Christmasing continues…

I’m currently riding back to Toronto on the train with my good friend, Kate (a lucky coincidence!). I’m returning from an amazing Christmas with my family, only to come back to Kingston in a few days with Jamie in tow. I get to spend some quality Toronto Family time in Toronto and then I’ll be going back to Kingston for New Years (and my Mom’s birthday).

Christmas was awesome. It always is.

Christmas eve was our annual dinner at Grecos, a Greek restaurant in downtown Kingston where we always get a festive Saganaki (flaming cheese). Then we drive around looking for fancy Christmas lights (this year was disappointingly sparse) and return home for hot chocolate and stocking hanging!

Christmas Day was more goodness as usual. Cinnamon Buns and bacon for breakfast, opening stockings and presents and helping my mom with The Feast. The only difference this year was that my dad had the flu and after presents were done, he spent the rest of the day in the basement sleeping and coughing. Poor dad 😦 My grandma, grandpa, my uncle and his lady friend came over for The Feast and then it was over and it was time to play with my new toys! I mean…adult presents…

So today, I’m leaving the Kingston world of lazy Christmasing for the Toronto World of active Christmasing: Going to movies, going to the gym, going places in general. And I love my Toronto family, so I can’t wait! But I feel the need to stretch out my limbs first – I’ve been slothing for so long, my muscles may not remember their purpose…

Ugly:
Not much. The cold. Kingston is a cold, cold place.

Awesome:
Everything except the cold. My Forever Lazy came in super handy in Kingston, as the Forever Lazy philosophy lives strong there. Spending time with family, watching Christmas movies, eating chocolate, all the things. All of them.

The Annual Ladies Christmas Party: Eggnog Snog Blog

The title would imply that this blog is about kissing Eggnog in British speak. It is not. I lied.

This week has been pretty crazy work-wise, so I was very excited to let my hair down and host the annual Ladies Christmas Party this weekend. This party has been been an annual occurrence for the last 6 years at least, and it’s always the most festive, fun time with all the girls. Over the years, this party has featured Gingerbread Playboy Mansions complete with “The Girls Next Door” cast printed out and stuck on the plastic lawn, Christmas Tacos, viewings of straight-to-video Holiday Movies starring the Olsen Twins, gifted fart machines and infamous photos of all the attendees pretending to sleep or pass festive gas. Needless to say, it’s always my favourite Christmas event.

This year’s potluck festivities included delicious contributions of KFC, 4 layer dip, yummy strawberry salad, a cheese plate and puff pastries as far as the eye can see! And for the finale, Sara brought homemade cheesecake pops which were decorated all festive-like. We watched Love Actually and spoke in British accents and then watched Little Women and laughed at Claire Danes (sorry Kari!). There was an awesome gift exchange where we all stole and received gifts (which I did a terrible job of documenting…) and all left with fun presents!

This week is my last at work before the Holidays, and I’m hoping it will be less frantic and provide a nice, gradual transition into the break (It won’t, but a girl can dream). After that, it’s a trip home to Kingston to celebrate with Family and some Holiday time with Toronto family too. Maybe I’ll have so much free time, I’ll blog a little more frequently! WON’T THAT BE A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE?!

Ugly:

The “Forever Lazy” I received in the gift exchange. It might be ugly, but it’s philosophy is beautiful.

Awesome:
The cheesecake pops. And seeing all my ladies – Merry Christmas beautiful ladies!

Happy Hallo-Boo Boo.

Halloween just happened!

It was on a Wednesday and since I was in Ohio during the regular “Adult Halloween” weekend activities, I had a couple of gals over for a mellow gathering to watch “scary” movies, eat candy and dress up for fun. It was also the first Halloween since I moved to Toronto where I actually had more than 3 children come to my door trick or treating! It’s because my new neighbourhood is full of families and also because I have a real porch now which I decorated extensively. Handing out candy never worked in my old locations – I either lived in an apartment building, my “porch” looked like a business, it was on a busy road where children weren’t allowed to go, or I lived in the Potugese ghetto where children would rather smoke than go trick or treating. Now that I live in a respectable house-looking type thing, on an actual residential street sort of deal, children run rampant and I just barely had enough candy for all of them (I had bought extra for the girls I invited over- in the end, they didn’t get any…).

I had so much fun putting up more decorations (I know…) and making green slimy Halloween punch and dressing up and hanging out with fun time ladies. It almost makes me sad it was over so quickly and now it’s time to gear up for Christmas……..JUST KIDDING I LOVE CHRISTMAS WAY MORE THAN ANYTHING.

Ugly:
My “Glitzy the Gay Pageant Pig” costume from Here Comes Honey Boo Boo

Awesome:
Everyone else’s costumes! Especially Celeste’s “Paula Poundstone” and Alex’s “Man”. Jasmine’s “Gonzo made from gourd” costume was ground breaking.

Turkey Time!

So this post is pretty late considering I took all these photos at Thanksgiving, but better late than never! AMIRITE?

I don’t get to go home to Kingston very often, so when I do, I get very excited. My family and I have traditions that we do every year for every holiday, and Thanksgiving is no different. Some traditions have been going on for years, other have just recently been implemented. Regardless of what it is, if I decide I enjoy it and it happens on a holiday where I’m home every year, I immediately enforce it’s replication the following year.

Take our fall leaf tour for example! My dad has been going on fall leaf tours (driving around in a car looking at the pretty fall colours) since he was a kid, and he kept the tradition going by taking my mom and me on leaf tours too. The past few years, my dad and I have been going on our tours alone (partly because my mom wants to make the turkey soup instead and partly because she’s secretly bored of driving around for hours looking at trees. haha) So now it’s become a nice thing for my Dad and I to do together when I’m home and I look forward to it every year.

We also go to spooky Fort Fright at Fort Henry every year now and watching my mom get scared by the actors has been a tradition I very much anticipate.

We also have our favourite Thanksgiving foods that have become tradition over the years. Our family has a variety of food preferences so you will see three different style of cranberry sauce on our table (smooth and sugary, chunky and sugary and chunky no sugar), 3 different kinds of stuffing (regular, vegetarian and no bread) and a couple versions of gravy (one has no flour). Last year, our butcher gave me a free butter tart and now I’ve decreed it be tradition, so we went to get more this year.

And last but not least – movies. My Dad got A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving DVD for Christmas, so now we will watch that every year. And I always make it a point to watch my favourite Thanksgiving movies (see my blog post about them if you feel like it…) and favourite Thanksgiving TV episodes (like Friends and Gilmore Girls). There’s nothing nicer than snuggling with a warm apple cider, watching your favourite movies with the fall chill outside. I get all sappy just thinking about it.

Ugly:

How short my visits are! I love spending time with my fan and I wish I could do it more often.

Awesome:

Perfect weekend at home – everyone was in good spirits, got to see my grandma, grandpa, uncle and my uncle’s new lady friend and checked off all my annual traditions. Definite Turkey success.

Read My Whips.

This weekend was full of interesting events which is a nice change from my usual full schedule of eating chips, watching football and staring at the clutter piles hoping they will move on their own.

Friday night was super exciting! I ate leftover pasta and watched an entire night’s worth of TLC programming including the exact SAME episode of “Say Yes to the Dress Atlanta” twice! It was THE BEST. And not sad and pathetic in the least. Tell your friends.

Saturday, I took myself out for a coffee and a scone at Crema on the Danforth then scooted over to Bizzy B Stamps to buy some fancy paper for my wall project. (I’ll show you the paper once the wall project starts playing a bigger role in my consciousness). That night, I met up with some beautiful folks from work to witness the championship Toronto Roller Derby match between Chicks Ahoy and The Gore Gore Rollergirls. Chicks Ahoy came up on top to win the whole shebang and I drank a rum and coke – in a can! If I wasn’t such a fetus, I would totally try out for Roller Derby. I would aspire to be like Juliette’s Lewis’s character, Iron Maven from Whip It. (But it would never work because everyone would see through my icy, angry layer and would know that deep inside, I’m just a sensitive lady).

Sunday began with a brisk jaunt to the old Mad Dog Cafe where Jamie and I ate delicious brunch while trying to ignore the least annoying duo beside us: A father and daughter team, who would otherwise be adorable if their main act didn’t consist of the father asking the 3 year old to do something and then the 3 year old doing the exact opposite thing, only to be encouraged to continue this behaviour by her daddy laughing at how cute it was whenever she disobeyed him. I still have boot marks on my jeans. Bah Humbug.

After yummy smoked salmon, I went to my lovely friend Kari’s book reading at the “Word on the Street” festival at Queen’s Park. She was reading a few chapters from her first novel, “Margaret and The Moth Tree” to some very attentive children. As some of you know, my parents own the longest running Montessori school in Kingston. Over the years, the school has inherited a VAST number of children’s books, many of which I read (and/or owned) as a child. So I consider myself somewhat versed and currently interested in the quality of children’s books on the market today and I can tell you this – I actually read “Margaret and the Moth Tree” and thought it was amazing. Obviously, I was prepared to tell my friend that the book was amazing, regardless of its quality, because that’s what girls do, but I’m soooo proud of her because it actually IS a wonderful book. One little girl came up to Kari during the book signing and told her that her mom had purchased the book for her that morning, and by 3pm when Kari signed the 176 paged novel for her, she had finished reading it – she apparently couldn’t put it down all day. Very cool. I totally know a famous author, guys. Boom.

Ugly:
I had planned to decorate the whole porch situation today, but life ran a little longer than expected, so instead I just bought two planters and stuck them beside the door.

Awesome:
Those planters look boss.

Justin Bieber Vs. Swan Lake

Spoiler: Justin Bieber wins. And I am not proud of that. But I also don’t think I made the wrong choice. Allow me to explain.

It is a constant personal struggle I have, trying to balance the part of me that loves classical music, ballet and fine art with the part that loves Justin Bieber, The Superficial and The Girls Next Door.

I was raised in a family that has a very high regard for theatre, music and art. I grew up loving classic films, plays, books and general nerdy things. I was also raised in a family that has a very high regard for comedy. I learned to appreciate the finer things in life whilst never missing an opportunity to laugh at whatever I wanted, regardless of how stupid or immature. There’s something to be said about the joy you feel when hearing the crescendo of your favourite piece of classical music, but there is an equal happiness in a perfectly executed “that’s what she said”.

Which brings me to my story. Last week, my lady friends (most of whom are die-hard Beliebers) organized a movie-going date to the 3D Justin Bieber movie. I have never loved Justin. Nor have I ever hated him. I like to think I am fond of him by association because I’m around so many Justin lovers all the time. I was excited about the movie, but mostly I was looking forward to spending time with my ladies.

The day before the movie, I was notified that the Swan Lake tickets I had asked the Sony Centre about earlier in the year had finally gone rush-price and I could see it the next day for a price I could actually afford. But I weighed my love for fancy Tchaikovsky ballet with a night of laughing like a fool with my friends and that’s how Justin Bieber beat the pants off Swan Lake.

And as luck would have it, two days later my friend, Alex invited me to The Artist Project at the Ex. It totally satisfied my nerdy need for beautiful things, plus there was beer! What I liked about The Artist Project was that there was a lot of contemporary, mixed media stuff that I really love and not so many boring landscapes which I don’t love. Alex and I mused about art, had lady girl talk and brushed past George Stroumboulopoulos. It was a super fun day and I even dressed like a girl (which most of you know is a rarity).

So when it comes down to it, I try not to judge anyone for their taste in entertainment. Someone else’s Golden Girls is my Gilmore Girls. Someone else’s Yoko Ono is my Erik Satie. People like what they like and in my opinion, you’re lucky if your interests are widespread. The more widespread the better. That’s what she said.

Ugly:

That snappy lady at the Art Show who yelled at me for almost taking a picture when everyone else had been fine with it. She demanded I delete the photo, which I hadn’t actually taken. After that I asked everyone for permission and they all said yes and were all very nice about it! She needed a beer.

Awesome:

The 10 year old kid who is certain she and Justin will one day be betrothed.
The kid at the movie theatre who ran around shoving grapes in his cheeks causing squirrel-face and would then spit them on the ground instead of eating them. CUTE! He also stared at me on the streetcar.
The fact that Alex and I make the world happen around us with our minds. True story.
Wolf Pack Shirts.