Friday, December 15, 2006

Crust Test

My good friend KTS found the Crust Test booklet in his girlfriend's sister's car, and after he gave me the Crust Test I knew for sure it needed to be shared with the world.

Crust Test:

1. Which of the following has a crust?
a) feet
b) bathtub
c) hippy
d) toast

2. Which of the following does not have a crust?
a) toast
b) pizza
c) pie
d) angry

3. What is crust best used for?
a) soaking up spills
b) making art projects
c) holding doors open
d) recreational use only

4. Do crusts float?
a) yes, life-preservers are crust inside
b) no, cement is mostly crust
c) no, don't be silly
d) it's never been tried (that would be a waste of crust)

5. What is the national crust capitol?
a) Crustville
b) Cape Crust
c) Crustfornia
d) Winnipeg

6. What if all toast was made only of crust?
a) no one would eat it
b) the crust shortage would come to an end
c) toast would be called crust and crust would be called toast
d) angry

7. Could crust take over the world?
a) yes, if we let it
b) no, crust has no legs
c) people would be better off
d) no one would notice

8. If you hate crust people might refer to you as . . .
a) crust hostile
b) crust jerk
c) crustist
d) the anticrust

Friday, December 08, 2006


At work we've decided to get into the holiday spirit with some meaningful charity. We're involved with the Salvation Army's "Adopt-A-Family" program, which matches people/families/businesses with a family in need to put together a holiday hamper for. Once you are matched with your family you are sent a very brief description to help you figure out what sort of things should go in the hampers. We are sponsoring two families, both single mothers with young children. The hampers are going to be filled with things like clothes and toys for the children, small gifts for the mom's, non-perishable food items, some perishable food for holiday dinners OR grocery store cards, books, useful household items, etc.

If you would like to get involved you can a) get in touch with me and contribute a cash or item donation to our families, or b) check out the Adopt-A-Family program and get involved with a group of your co-workers, friends, or family to put together a hamper of your own.

Apparantly sponsorship of this program is down 25% this year, and that means that up to 75 needy families may not get the extra help over the holidays they need. Deadline for getting involved with a new family is Dec 11th. You can contribute to the two families we are sponsoring up until Dec 21st.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

perfect attendance

Yesterday was my last day of classes for the semester. I didn't miss a single class all semester. They give out some sort of a prize for that, right?

I don't know what it was that made this semester so tough for me. I had really great professors, and (in my books) a pretty manageable schedule - though I won't miss finishing work at 1pm and having to rush across town for a 1:30 class. Whatever it was, I survived it, and I'm really looking forward to my finals being over by 1pm on December 15th. Then I get to relax.

Work has been an enormous source of stress over the past few months. Really, work has been insane for nearly 14 months, when my beloved partner Christa went on stress leave and I tried my best to juggle both of our jobs as best I could, followed by Christa coming back to work 3 months later, but quickly making the (right) decision that this is not a good place for her to be, and so resigning. A month or so later Meghan arrived and I spent some months adjusting to having a new partner who just wasn't Christa! By the end of the summer I felt like Meghan and I had developed a good understanding about how we wanted to work together, and things were settling down nicely when BOOM! Our general manager was fired. I do believe he deserved it, but initially it was one of those "be careful what you wish for" type situations, since he had been the only person who knew how to troubleshoot a variety of mechanical problems. There were some high stress moments over the last 3 months as a result, but in the past few weeks things have started to feel like they are under control, if not a bit better than they were before. A new manager has been hired and is scheduled to start work on Dec 18th, so things will go topsy turvy once more adjusting to new leadership. I look forward to the new manager with some trepidation.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

much ado about nothing

I spent a large chunk of time this morning writing a loooooong post I've been meaning to write for quite some time. Somehow while trying to spell check, it got lost. I guess it wasn't meant to be.

Now this is all you get.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

I'm not going to lie,

drinking all of this bottled water is making me feel a little bit like a movie star.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

how much do my new boots rule?

So much!!!! My feet are dry, dry, dry, and warm to boot! Ha ha, to boot!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

best tuesday night dinner ever

If any of you know me at all, you are already familiar with the "routine". For those of you who don't, in brief, dinner at our place goes like this:

Monday: spinach salad w/ cottage cheese*
Tuesday: carb night**
Wednesday: spinach w/ cottage cheese
Thursday: omelet night***
Friday: varies, but often salad****
Saturday: varies****
Sunday: varies, but seems to be evolving to pizza night****

*This is mainly a Paul thing. I'll have a scoop of cottage cheese every few weeks, but his salad is always doused with dressing and cottage cheese. I don't do dressing.

**The carb changes. Can be a pasta, a stir fry, a pilaf, a risotto. Must be carb heavy.

***I'm pretty touch and go with eggs, so for me Thurday is often left-overs from Tuesday, but for Paul it is always a massive omelet.

****Weekends vary depending on whether Paul is racing. If he is, normally a huge pot of spaghetti is his pre-race dinner, with a meat sauce for him and a veggie sauce for me. We try to really treat ourselves one weekend night and get some great cheese and good wine and whip up something gourmet. This weekend past saw fresh sheets of homemade pasta turned into tortellini with spinach, pumpkin, pumpkin seeds and asiago inside. Yum.

Anyhoo. When Paul and I first moved in with each other I found the routine to be a little much. I didn't want to eat salad just because it was Wednesday! I wanted food to be exciting with new stuff happening all the time. Time went by, and little by little, I adopted the routine. Now if you were to call me on a Wednesday and invite me out for sushi you'd get a reply that sounded something like, "For god's sake, don't you know it's salad night? I can't eat sushi tonight! Try me on a Tuesday, or a Friday!"

I admit that the routine is neurotic and crazy, but I love it. Why? Limited thinking, and thus limited tendency to stray from the plan. It has made it easy for me to maintain my 30lb weight loss for over 2 years with no journalling!

The salads are most often the same, with the odd twist thrown in. Paul's omelet is ALWAYS the same. Weekends are fun and exciting and we often try new things. Tuesdays are fun because there are so many different carbs to play with.

Tonight I had a recipe in mind for Curried Coconut Pumpkin Stew. I think I got it from Martha Stewart. I have this 22lb pumpkin I've been trying to use up (most of it is in the freezer in puree form) so the recipe fit the bill. Unfortunately, when I set out to start cooking I realized I was missing some essential ingredients. I went for a bit of a dig around my cupboards, and then across the street to Sambal and Ginger where I grabbed a bag of split mung beans, and then the magic began!

Katie's Curried Coconut Pumpkin Mung Stew:

2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ginger powder
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp curry powder
2 cups pumpkin, cubed
1/2 cup split mung beans
1 can coconut milk
1 can water
1 large head broccoli, chopped
salt to taste

To make: In a large heavy bottomed pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and saute 1 min. Add ginger, cumin, curry and pumpkin and split mung beans, and saute for 1 min more. Add coconut milk and water, and bring to a simmer. Cover and let simmer for 15 min, stirring occasionally. Add broccoli florets and cook uncovered until just tender. Salt to taste. Serve over brown rice.

This was freaking delicious. Paul said, and I quote, BEST TUESDAY NIGHT DINNER EVER!!!

While at Sambal and Ginger I discovered a new (to me) ingredient I want to play with. Stay tuned for next Tuesday's dinner!

Saturday, November 04, 2006


For those of you who are a part of a couple, or have ever been a part of a couple:

How often do you fight?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Reunion

To begin with, a little background:

My highschool, like all highschool's, I'm sure, had it's drama and it's cliques. There was one clique, the "popular people" who were called the Beverlys. It was a nickname given to them due to their likeness (or wannabe likeness) to the affluent folks on the then popular Beverly Hills 90210. They adopted this nickname and made it their own, and even wrote things like, "Beverlys 4 ever" in their yearbook grad writeups.

While I have remained in contact with really only a smattering of people from highschool, and of those only two who I consider to be good friends, the Beverlys have stayed together. The reunion was originally scheduled to be a few weeks earlier, and I was totally on the fence about going. Harmony was unable to come, and our long planned Romy and Michelle style entrance was not going to be possible, so what, really, was the point? It turned out the event organizers had made a HUGE mistake . . . they had set the date of the reunion on the same day as one of the Beverlys was getting married! Oh, the humanity! An email was sent out saying that the date would have to be changed due to the "large number of people" who would be attending the wedding. This made me so fucking angry. I felt like in 10 years NOTHING had changed, so what was the point of going at all? What percentage of our grad class would be attending the wedding to justify changing the entire thing around? Such bullshit.

A friend bought me a ticket, so I was committed.

A couple of weeks out of the reunion I bumped into a couple of people who I hadn't really been friends with in highschool, but they seemed like alright folks, and we agreed that we'd go, and if it sucked we'd ditch out early and go get a drink somewhere. Before the reunion I met up with a good friend, and another guy who I'd actually gone to school with all the way from grade 1 or 2, and we had some dinner and (I felt) much needed drinks. Fueled by liquid courage, we went to the reunion.

Upon arriving my first thoughts were mainly, "who the heck is that?" and a table of "hello, my name is _______________" stickers quickly solved that problem. I felt pretty awkward for the first 15min or so, and the hairs on my neck were on end. A couple of gin and tonic's later, I was much more relaxed. I did the small talk thing with some people, didn't bother with some others, and made some surprisingly real connections with a select few. What surprised me the most was the lack of Beverly presence in the room. There were maybe five or six Beverly girls, and only a couple of Beverly boys who bothered to show up, and the kicker is, they all left early to go to a Beverly Halloween party! Thank god the entire reunion was rescheduled for that!

A guy I had always thought was pretty cool told me he had a crush on me in highschool! A number of people told me they had really hoped I was going to show up, and were glad to see me. One girl who I had always respected quite a bit told me that I stood out in her mind as the person who had changed the most over the 5 years of highschool, from wearing all black in grade 10 to becoming (in her words), a rainbow in grade 11, to seemingly figuring out who I was in grade 12. She told me she had always admired how blatant and obvious I was about trying to figure it all out, and she had felt intimidated and not known how to talk to me back then. It felt really good to hear that, and to know that someone had noticed when I really thought no one had. With the Beverly coningent gone, it seemed to become a room full of really interesting people who were fun to talk to. I talked to people who I had absolutely no recollection of whatsoever, but who were great, fun, people. I even left and went to some house parties with people who I would have never considered spending time with before.

I'm very glad I went. Going to the reunion has actually put an entirely new spin on my highschool experience, and made me feel remarkably better about it. I've made some new connections I'm very excited about following up on. Yesterday I made a phone call to a girl who I had exchanged phone numbers with, and it made me laugh when she said, "Didn't it make you so mad that the whole thing had to be rearranged for the Beverlys, and then hardly any of them showed up and those who did left early?"


Saturday, October 28, 2006


It's official. The terrible horrible no good very bad mood I've been in for the last month or so has finally lifted. It feels fan-fucking-tastic to be gone. To be correct, it lifted last Wednesday, but I a)haven't made time to blog, and b)wanted to be sure before I started bragging about it and all.

What made it lift? Not really sure. Maybe I've adjusted to the cooler greyer weather. Maybe it's having survived round 1 of midterms this semester, and having done smashingly well in calculus and on my biology lab exam, and realizing where I went wrong in the bio lecture exam and looking forward to kicking ass on the next one. Maybe deciding not to do certain things at work that just aren't my job has helped. Who knows. It's gone, and that's good.

Tonight I am going to my 10 yr highschool reunion. It's been more than 10 years, but they didn't get their act together to organize something for when we actually graduated. So I'm going to go because I'm worried I'll regret it if I don't. I'm sure they're still assholes. I'm going to tell them I invented Post-It notes. Don't worry Tro, I'll tell them it was your idea to make them yellow.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Okay, one little thing.

One of the things that's been going on with me lately which I haven't felt like talking about (not to actual human beings anyway, that's why I'm blogging it) is panic attacks.

Anyone who knows me a little knows about my long standing head phobia. I don't want anyone to touch my head, and I ESPECIALLY don't want anyone to touch my head with their head. I don't lend out my hairbrush, or borrow one, and I don't try on hats. In fact, I can recall having a complete flip out when I was in the brownies (before they kicked me out) and we were going for a walk in the woods where there was a mandatory hat-wearing rule due to the risk of a tick falling on your head and giving you lime disease. One of the girls didn't have a hat, so my mom lent her one of mine. That was not cool. I'm pretty sure I never wore that hat again. Why the head thing? A big part of it is an irrational fear of headlice, which I have never had, and check myself for each and every night before I go to bed. Yeah, yeah, I know, lice like clean homes too, it doesn't mean your head is dirty if you have them. Whatever. Speaking of dirty heads, don't get me started on dreadlocks. Xta, I am glad yours are gone. No matter how non-stinky you claimed them to be (I never got close enough to smell them).

I also don't like it when people sit too close to me. Why? I am afraid that something from their head might somehow get into my mouth, or in my nose. Seriously, that's why.

Okay, to the panic attacks. I had one sitting on the runway in this dinky little airplane waiting to leave Saskatoon. Then I had one on the ferry coming back from Gibsons one time. Then school started, and I started having them every day while walking up the crowded staircase between my calculus (did I mention the A on the midterm?) and biology (we're not discussing that midterm) classes. Now I've started to also have them while sitting IN biology class. What's it all about? It's freaking me out that I'm breathing in other people's breath. It's seriously crippling me. When I'm walking up the staircase which is freaking CRAMMED with people, I can make it up if I either hold my breath (not a good option because I get to class super dizzy) or hold my sweater hand over my nose and mouth as a "filter" of sorts. I used to feel safe as soon as I made it out of the staircase and into the classroom, but most days now there comes a point when it starts freaking me out in the middle of class, and I have to resort to breath holding and filtering behaviour. All I want to do is run at top speed outside for some fresh air, but I have to force myself to sit in class and try to look normal while also trying not to hyperventillate and trying not to cry (I think tears may have brimmed over at one point last week). The staircase is a lost cause, but in the classroom I seem to be able to talk myself down from it, telling myself, okay, everyone has to breathe, this is normal, people breathe in other people's breath all the time. BUT IT'S SO GROSS!!! I feel like I can kinda relate to those people who walk around with those dust masks on, and trust me, I've thought about carrying one of those around, but I don't think they will provide any sort of effective barrier (like my sweater/hand filter does). If someone sneezes or coughs around me, it's even worse. I've also started washing my hands with an alarming frequency, and carrying around that hand sanitizer gel, but that's all in the name of staving off the fall semester cold. This is getting worse and worse, so I'm hoping to find a solution to it. One that doesn't involve people getting too close to me. Physically.

Am I crazy?

Monday, October 16, 2006

who needs real life after all

when you can do THIS for stress relief

blah blah blog

I keep starting new posts, but deleting them soon after I begin writing. I guess I don't have all that much to say. It's not that nothing is going on. Au contrare, lots has gone on that I could be blogging about. The trouble is most of it is negative stuff so, a)I don't want to bitch when really I do have a lot to be thankful for, and b)I don't want to be bombarded with the, "hey, are things okay?" type emails, phone calls, and blog comments, so lets get that out of the way;

things are okay.

I'm just very stressed out, very tired, and very very cranky. There is something I'd like to brag about though . . . the A on my calculus midterm! An A, an A! Horray!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Did she?

Big thanks to Nicole and her fella for getting my home computer up and running again! Most affordable computer repair ever ! (I hope the wine was okay)

Here is the list I posted back in March, anticipating oodles of free time over the summer months, where I would get tons and tons of things accomplished. Lets see what I managed to get to . . .

-A thorough spring clean of each and every room in my apartment, which will include going through EVERYTHING and tossing stuff out.

Nope. Not even one room.

-Steam clean my carpets, which will hopefully remove the splotches from cleaning up bike grease

Nope. Though I talked about it alot, and sure would like to. I've pretty much accepted that although renting one of those do-it-yourself steam cleaners would be cheaper, I'm willing to shell out the bucks to have someone come and do it quickly.

-Go and purchase some additional shelving and reorganize the storage system in my living room/kitchen/dining room areas.

Nope. But I sure wish I had. Still high on the priority list of things to do around the apartment, and really needs to be done quite badly.

-Finish knitting the cabled hoodie (started a year ago)

YES!!!! And I love it. Second sweater I've finished, first one I've actually loved when finished. I even wear it! To school and everything! (Will post pictures at some point)

-Finish knitting the alpaca scarf (started 18 months ago)

Yes, but that's not nearly as impressive as the sweater. And it's sitting crumpled in a ball somewhere. Although with scarf season just around the corner, it'll make a good transition scarf to the colder weather, and bulkier scarves.

-Finish knitting Muchi's hat (started in Dec. His b-day was in Sept!)

Nope. And he's about to have another birthday. (hanging head in shame)

-Start and finish knitting Chris Lee's hat (b-day was in Jan!)

Nope. But he never knew I was going to knit him one, so I feel less bad about it. I think I may have bookmarked the yarn for another project by now.

-Knit Tatjana's hat OR go to Nanaimo for a weekend and re-teach her how to knit it.

Ha ha. Nope. But I did discover that that's where my 5mm circulars were hiding.

-Finish the quilt I started BEFORE Paul and I moved in together (should be more inclined to do it now that I have an actual sewing area set up in my apartment).

Nope. But I did meet up with Alice-Ruth, this granny who was in my quilting class, and she gave me lots of ideas for how to finish it up using the amount of blocks I currently have done (12) and spacing them out with blank blocks which I can free form emroider. Should look super cool. Eventually.

-Make Dolmades, which I bought a jar of grape leaves for over a year ago.

Nope. The jar is still in the cupboard. But that stuff never goes bad, right?

-Make creme brulee, or SOMETHING I can use the blowtorch I got for Christmas on.

Yes!!! And it was bruleecious!

-Do something with my VSB credits. Another sewing class, or maybe cake decorating?

Nope. Nada. But Paul and I have been talking about taking dancing lessons, so perhaps that's what I'll do with them.

-Go visit Jacquie and meet her new baby (Brenna, born in Nov!)

Yes! A whirlwind to Victoria and back in one afternoon kind of visit with Jacq and the cutest baby ever!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

good news and bad news

The good news:

It's just the power source that's fried on my computer, which is a relatively inexpensive repair, and I won't lose any data.

The bad news:

the shop is out of the parts, their warehouse is out of the parts, and the supplier Is out of the parts. I'm not sure how long it'll be before I can create a post that will satisfy my number one reader.

Friday, September 08, 2006

coming soon . . .

A new post! I swear! I was on holidays with no computer access, and then the day I got back (also the day before school started) my home computer bit it. It's in the trunk of my car, and headed to the repair shop. Soon, soon.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

delayed answers to edited questions

I've been slack at blogging, it's been too hot in my computer room, and I've been tired and lazy and watching 90210 and gallivanting around Alberta and BC on a stagette weekend and so on.

Furthermore, I have an announcement to make. This is my blog, and thus I will be editing questions to suit myself. Original questions can be found in the comments section a couple of posts down. New improved questions will be answered immediately below this sentence.

From Rebecca:
Q: How fabulous are you?

A: Pretty freaking fabulous, actually.

From Emily:
Q: What sorts of things do you like to smell?

A: Well, in truth, I'm a bit of a smeller. I like to smell all sorts of things. One of my favourite things to smell is my arm. I particularly like to smell my arm on very hot days after I've been swimming, when it kinda smells like that smell of hot sidewalk which has had water dumped on it. I love that smell. But I smell my arm on other days too, often several times a day. I also really like to smell Paul's armpit. Not when he's just walked in the door from a long workout and he's all wet and sweaty, but when he's relaxing on the couch or in the bed and the deodorant has worn off just slightly so there's that delicious man smell mixed with Old Spice and armpit hair. Love it. Unfortunately, Paul does not like having my nose in his pit so much, so I have to smell it in stealth.

More questions are welcome, but be forewarned they may be edited at the authors discretion.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

this one from Karyn . . .

Q: What childhood liberty do you miss the most?

A: I think the liberty I miss the most is not being worried. Does that count? Not worried about watching what I eat so I can lose 7lbs so I can fit into that fabulous dress for one of the weddings I have to go to this summer. Not worrying about whether or not I look fat in my bathing suit. Not worrying about whether or not the next paycheque is going to cover rent, car payment, car insurance, cell phone bill, phone home/internet bill, hydro, groceries, and so on. Not worrying about whose turn it is to cook dinner or do the dishes. Not worried about whether I will get good enough grades to move on to the next step in my educational fiasco. Not worrying about how old I am and when I should be starting to have babies, or whether or not my period has come on time when I am trying to PREVENT babies. Not worrying about how much I have in my savings account, checking account, RSP, line of credit, visa, mastercard, mutual fund.

And I miss having the months of July and August completely off of school and work, and just hanging out up at Gibsons being salty and sun tanned and lying on the beach until the tide touched my toes, and being shaked upon by Chelsea the stinkiest dog in the whole world, and having the biggest fires on the beach built by a real fireman.

I also really really miss rootbeer popsicles, and I haven't been able to find them anywhere for at least 10 years, so if anyone finds them please a) buy the entire case and I'll find a way to get them from you, and b) call me asap so I can find out who the distributor is and buy many many more cases.

And I miss not thinking that most men are total dirt bags.

Friday, July 14, 2006

continued . . .

From Xta: What one thing/person/activity would bring you the most non-temporary joy, if you could add it to your life right now?

A: A three fold question deserves a three fold answer. . .

Thing: A new mattress! My god how I hate our mattress. When Paul and I moved in together my Dad built us (me) a beautiful oak bed as a housewarming present. We had this shitty old mattress which belonged to Paul, and it was killing my back, so we decided it was time for a new one. The mattress was to be our first joint purchase as a couple. Sleep Country was having a sale, so we went there and perused their mattress selection. Truth be told, we probably spent less than 45 min in the store lying on beds, rolling around, bouncing up and down. We settled on this one in particular, and they happened to be selling the demo model for a significant discount. Thing with the demo model was it didn't come with the 60 night guarantee all of their other mattresses come with, so once we bought it, we were stuck with it. I voiced my concerns, but Paul PERSONALLY GUARANTEED that the mattress would be fine, and threw jabs at me like, "Why don't you take a risk for once in your life?" and, "Sorry I was ever born." and it turned into the most ridiculous fight ever, in the middle of sleep country, in front of the mattress salesman. So we bought the friggen thing, and low and behold, I hate it. It's too soft, I feel like I'm sinking, my intercostal muscles hurt when I get up in the morning. Paul loves it, and not having to listen to him bitch about not being able to sleep is almost worth it. A new mattress is number one on my list of things to buy when budget allows.

Person: Jenn P. She's been gone for too long, and I want her back. Having her back in town would really round out my circle of girlfriends, plus I'll have to start taking biology classes soon, so I could really use her as a tutor.

Activity: SLEEP! I can't get enough of it. Mostly due to the crazy early hours I work, and the fact that the rest of the world keeps a different schedule, and I'm always up WAAAAAAY past my bedtime. The first thing I think about every morning at 4:30 am when my alarm goes off is canceling my afternoon plans so I can come home and nap. I can't remember my last nap.

Sleeeeeeeep on a good mattress with a big fluffy duvet with Jenn P. I've heard she's a bed wetter.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


So far I've had two questions. The first one comes from Tara:

Q: If you could have one domestic chore also be an erotic act, which would you choose?

A: I've been thinking about this all day, and I'm gonna have to go with vacuuming. Why? Well, I think I hate vacuuming the most of all of the household chores I do. I have to move heavy stuff around, I frequently throw my back out in the process, and I have a terrible, horrible vacuum. I shouldn't complain, really, since my mother gave me this vacuum, and I have a place to vacuum, and the ability to stand up and move around and vacuum, but the vacuum freaking sucks. Or rather, it doesn't suck enough. It's old, and worn out, and the part on the handle that you squeeze when you want to activate the vacuum head is broken off so you have to stick your finger in this little space and push this teeny sharp little button and hold it down the entire time, but the stupid thing will still shut its self off at will, and then you have to take the head apart and reset it before you can carry on with the job. It doesn't pick up a lot of stuff, and trust me, there's a lot of stuff to be picked up on the light grey carpet of our apartment. Every time I use the bloody thing I think about how much I'd like a brand spanking new vacuum, and I curse how expensive the good ones are, and how bo-daget bad the cheap ones are. If there was a way that vacuuming my apartment could also be an erotic art, that'd be sweet. Maybe I could fashion some sort of dildo harness on top of it so I could ride it around and get my rocks off while I cleaned. I'm sure the warmness and vibrations of the vacuum cleaner would be quite a treat. Imagine how nice my carpets would be . . .

As a side note, I know it's a long ways a way before Christmas or my birthday roll around, but I was thinking since I have so much stuff, and no real space for a lot more new stuff, perhaps all potential gift givers could chip in towards the future purchase of a new vacuum/dildo riding apparatus, rather than giving me stuff I don't have space for.

Question number two comes from Rebecca:

Q: Why are you disgruntled by the Blog thing?

A: I am disgruntled by the blog thing for a number of reasons. First, I have become increasingly aware of the fact that I don't really know who is reading my blog, and thus I've been reserved in picking topics to write about. I have considered starting a secret blog I won't tell a single soul about where I would write such things, but what would be fun about that? I am further disgruntled because people who know me have read the blog and been concerned about my emotional heath, so have phoned me to offer advice on what they thought was wrong with me, and I have patiently listened to such advice going on and on, only to realize that the things these people think are upsetting me and the things that are actually upsetting me are two completely different things. This leads me to believe either my writing is not that good, or my friends just don't know me that well. Who is to blame for that? Me? My friends? The blog? I then think desperately for witty things to blog about, and they come flying at me from all angles, but when I sit down to blog they just don't seem that witty or interesting anymore. For example, I've thought a number of times of blogging about Beverly Hills 90210, which is being played on channel TVtropolis FROM THE BEGINNING. It's insane! It's so bad it's hilarious. Things strike me about it, like how when I watched the first few episodes I noticed how chubby Brenda and Kelly and Donna all looked, and then I realized that they weren't chubby at all, but fast forward 15 years and the stars of the OC (what I think is today's 90210) are so unhealthy and skinny that it makes the TV stars of yesteryear look like fatso's. And they dress like adults, not teenagers. Did I notice that when I was 14, or did I dress like that too? The dialogue is SO BAD it makes me want to pee my pants on purpose a little. Lines like, "Dad, I know you're not ready for me to be having a sexual relationship yet, and neither am I. But what if I'm ready before you are? What then?" or, "Dammit Dylan, she's a virgin!" Season 2 is just starting, enter Emily Valentine, the rough and tough motorcycle riding babe who all the boys are after. Dylan is rebounding from Brenda, and takes a fancy to Emily, but so does Brandon. Will this jeopardize their friendship? In future episodes Emily Valentine takes the gang to a rave. They have to go to some convenience store and ask to exchange an egg, and then they'll get directions to the mystery party, where Emily will dose Brandon on E. Lucky Brandon. But none of this seems relevant, and so my blogging ceased. I'll try to be a better blogger from now on. It means a lot to Rebecca.

Keep those questions coming, folks. More questions means more posting.

Okay, okay.

Yes, loyal blog readers, it has been a while. I still don't feel like there's much that I want to say, and I'm feeling a little disgruntled towards the world of blog for a variety of reasons. I do see your point though, the blog is badly in need of an update.

So I'm gonna hop on the bandwagon and play a game that Anne is doing on her blog, which started with some other bloggers, maybe it even started in the land before blog. Who knows. Here's how it goes: you get to ask me a question, any question, and I will answer it on this blog with as much honesty and detail as I can (or choose to) muster. Post questions in the comments section, and I'll get started.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

I'll just tell them I have nothing to say

I look at my blog every morning as I do my morning blog browse, and I think to my self, self, you should update your blog. I don't think I have anything of interest to say, but I feel some sort of blogligation to keep it fresh and current and interesting and if I can't do any of those things to just put SOMETHING down on the page.

So what's been going on? Well, I've been working overtime teaching some courses at the pool. I decided to not do my usual mad fit of overtime teaching in July and August, so instead I have done some moderate overtime in May/June, and squirreled away enough dough to pay my tuition and buy textbooks in the fall without going into the hole. Now that I've accomplished that, I shall spend the rest of the summer relaxing. I'm planning on teaching one course in the fall which should cover me for January tuition, and so long as I can keep going like that and not accumulate any new debt, I'm cool with that.

I'm off to Halifax on Saturday for a visit with the Grandma and meeting my sister, Emily, to hang out and bond and shit like that. After nearly a week in Halifax I go to Toronto, meet up with my long lost Peter Pie (it's been 7 years!), hang out with Harmony, and then go to Brampton to see Paul at Nationals.

So that's all. That's what's up.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Team Krochak back in action

Rocky Mountain Trialthon 2006 003
Originally uploaded by katieet.

Paul's race season is ramping up, and last weekend was week one of racing every weekend for the next four weeks building up for Nationals and a World Cup race.

We left Friday morning only 45 min behind schedule, and began the long drive from Vancouver to Kimberley. The drive was long and uneventful, we managed to get it done in just over 9 hours stopping only for gas and pee breaks along the way. We saw five deer, one goat, two coyotes and one bear. The place Paul booked us to stay in was waaaaay nicer than the dump we stayed in two years ago. It was big enough for six people, but we had it to ourselves.

Saturday we met up with the other athletes in the group Paul trains with; Michael, Shane and Jay, and their coach, Brian. The guys headed out to ride the bike course and Brian and I followed in his vehicle, chatting about what an obsessive nut Paul is and such stuff. Following the bike the guys all threw on their wetsuits and tested out the cold water at Wasa Lake. The rest of Saturday was spent relaxing, eating, attending a pre race meeting, and watching the hockey game. It's been a while since I've traveled to a race with Paul, so it was really nice to feel again like I play an important role in the process. I know what meals to make, what gear needs to be ready, when to just be quiet, and when to be helpful.

Saturday morning we were up bright and early to prep for the race and pack the car up. We headed down to the race start, which was already bustling with age grouper tri geeks taking themselves oh-so seriously, and getting their transition spots just right. After Paul changed his transition spot about eight times, we set up his gear and I stood by to be useful.

After a quick pre race pep talk by Brian, the gun went off, and a great race ensued. Paul lead the swim, was first out of the water, first out of transition on the bike, and had an amazing bike holding the lead the whole way. His new Time Trial set up on the bike was working well for him, Brian was pleased with how strong he looked, and Paul was happy with his new gear. The run went well, but not quite as well as we would have liked, Paul was passed by the course record holder, Kelly Guest, and so ended up finishing second overall. Both Paul and Kelly finished under the previous course record, and finished only 14 seconds apart. It was a good race, Paul said he felt good but not great, which is a good thing because that means his peak is yet to come. He also said it was really nice to have me there again, and it really felt like we were a team. He always says he knows how much work I put into his triathlon career, and when he wins a race he really feels like 'we' won, not just him.

The next four weekends he'll race in Oliver, Philadelphia, Brampton, and Edmonton. Brampton is Nationals, and that's where he'd like to be peaking.

Sunday after the race we drove from Kimberely to Penticton (about six hours) and stayed there for one night on a family friend's ranch. We had a great meal, and left on Monday with a cooler full of free beef for Paul. Monday drove from Penticton back to Vancouver, and other than a lame speeding ticket just leaving Princeton, the drive was good.

If you click on the picture above it'll take you to my flickr page and you can see more race pics. Unfortunately, I'm still getting to know flickr and I screwed up my storage space and maxed out my free storage for this month. More pictures to come next month now that I've figured out the bugs.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

thanks, but no thanks

My mother is a wonderful person who has always been supportive of my vegetarianism. My mother is also a family doctor and so is concerned about her vegetarian daughters getting adequate iron, protein, b 12, etc. Now, I'm not a terribly picky eater. I don't eat any meat, and to me meat includes any animal, poultry, fish, seafood, I don't like mushrooms, and I don't like things that have raw eggs in them. Otherwise I'll eat pretty much anything. Whenever there is a family dinner the main dish is usually meat. I love side dishes and am perfectly happy to just eat them, the potatoes, the veggies, the yorkshire pudding . . . yummm . . . and not have any special vegetarian entree prepared for me. My mother, however, insists on making me something special every time I eat over there. Usually it's a lentil or bean based dish, and I'll usually scarf it down and if I don't Paul will finish it. Usually it's delicious.

Usually it isn't vegetarian haggis.

Enter the sister living abroad. Emily, when she comes home for the holidays usually brings an armload of tasty treats only available in England. Yummy vegetarian friendly Christmas puddings and the like from Marks and Spencer, gigantic chocolate bars, and this year past, a tin of vegetarian haggis. The haggis sat in the cupboard for, oh, five months or so untouched, and I peered at it curiously a few times, but my curiosity never got the point of actually opening the tin. Last weekend Buddy invited us over for dinner (via my dad) and we sat down for a meal of roast beef, veggies, and all the fixings. My mother placed the usual little dish of something special down beside me, and I peered at it, not entirely sure what it is. When I asked her, Mom replied that there was lentils and beans and other things in it, but I could tell she was holding something back. I peered a little further and asked again what it was, and she said, 'um, it came from a tin.' and I immediately knew that it was the haggis. Although there was no actual meat in the tin, and I am a big fan of all kinds of fake meats, other than one small spoonful, I just couldn't bring myself to eat it.

I mean, haggis? Come on.

Sorry Em.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

crappy week, great news

This has been one of the most frustrating weeks I can remember at work. I don't want to vent too much since I know there are people who are on my staff who read this blog, and I don't want to be as unprofessional as certain people have been. Suffice to say, I am a lifeguard, not a filter technician, and the fact that I have been abandoned at work to deal with the most major filtration problems I have seen in the four years I have been there is the biggest bunch of bullshit ever. I've clocked a ton of overtime, said many bad words in front of my staff and plant ops, and swim coaches, learned that I have never been hugged by the 'most huggy guy on staff' (though he rectified that misdoing today with a surprise and suprisingly pleasant hug in the staff room), and nearly been reduced to tears of frustration in the middle of an international swim meet.

And then on Friday afternoon, at the end of my day, in the middle of a vent, I received the following text message from my dad:

"Latest PSA test good 5 years cancer free today"

And that made it all worth while.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

you got gigantic box

Earlier this morning I was talking to a friend online who is getting married in August in a venue she has not seen. She lives out of town, so she won't get to see the venue until the wedding. I went to see it last night to sort out some decorating and flower ideas, and figure out what will work best. Anyhoo, there we were chit chatting away and I said to her, 'I think you have huge balls for agreeing to a venue with out even seeing it', and the conversation continued.

I thought nothing of it until later in my day, on my lunch hour run (okay, my 9:30am run, but that IS my lunch hour) when I was trying to keep my mind busy as to not focus on the mind numbing pain I was causing myself, I contemplated this phrase of 'huge balls'. Since the balls in question clearly refer to testicles, are we inferring that courage is a masculine trait? Is there an alternative phrase for women?

Here are a few I've tried out. You can vote on which one you like best.

1) you got gigantic box

2) I'm really impressed by your labia

3) you have huge ovaries (since I think ovaries are the opposite of testicles, biologically speaking)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

serenity on a budget

Upon the reccomendation of my therapist, Deb, I took a book-on-cd out of the library called 'Nonviolent Communication' by Marshall Rosenberg. It's all about learning to listen to people and hear their needs, and communicate your own needs. It teaches the difference between saying things like 'I feel neglected' and 'I feel sad because I think I am being neglected when we don't spend any time together', and it teaches saying things like 'I'm hearing that you have a need for (fill in the blank) that is not being met, and I'd like to learn how I could meet that need'. Stuff like that.

Deb makes me do weird things sometimes (unlike that other shrink I took for a test drive who told me she doesn't use techniques, doesn't give homework, doesn't reccomend readings, she just talks. whatever. I can do that for FREE with any of my friends), so I was a bit skeptical, but I took the CD's out of the library, and uploaded them onto my ipod (is that illegal? Anne, does that violate some library code of conduct?). I've spent the last week or so going for walks in the afternoon listening to this series of CD's, and I have enjoyed it SO much. He has a wonderful voice to listen to, and a lot of what he had to say hit me in ways I didn't expect it to. It's about a lot more than just communicating. I have taken great pleasure in walking around, wearing my hat, and listening to this guy, and taking a look at myself from the outside. I take some wierd joy in knowing that the strangers who walk by me have no idea what I'm listening to, and how peaceful what I'm listening to is.


I've finally put some more recipes up on the recipe blog. They are both 100% my recipes from my brain, invented and tested in my kitchen. You can read them here.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Plantetorium

We're in a north facing apartment, so we don't get a ton of light. Some late afternoon sun on the balcony, sure, but not much else. We do, however, have a sky light, and under the sky light grows the plantetorium. The plantetorium started with just a couple of manky plants, but an inherited big blue pot (thanks Marie!) and a crush on the fiscus at the corner store got us our first big one. Then I moved the jade I inherited from Jenn P. (much to the dismay of Kimmie, who got all of her other plants) under the sky light, and gave it a bigger pot, and man has it taken off. Various trips to Ikea and Wonderbucks for shelves, pots, and plants, and a memorable field trip to the Vancouver African Violet Society's annual show brought more and more green to the plantetorium. Those old ladies at the African Violet show sure loved Kimmie (but who wouldn't love a beefy 24 year old guy going ga ga for AV's?). Kimmie and I also became plant pirates, trading clippings with each other, picking up leaves and bits of plants from the street, raiding other plants in the office for trimmings . . . many of the plants in the plantetorium have been acquired in this nature. This past weekend a friend who is leaving town for a while brought us his babies, and now the plantetorium is starting to look like a jungle!

(note to self: acquire some non-ugly pots for new large plants, and stat!)

(Next weekends plans involve going shopping for my balcony plants! Horray!)

Friday, May 19, 2006

Today, in our living room . . .

Paul: Do we have a little ball, Babe?

Me: For what?

Paul: My physio exercises. I need to roll it around under my foot.

Me: I think we have a tennis ball around somewhere. I'll go look up stairs.

Me: (goes upstairs)

Paul: Never mind. I'm just going to use an orange.

Me: (shouting from upstairs) Don't use an orange! You'll squish it.

Paul: Okay, we'll hurry up then.

Me: (rummaging around upstairs)

Orange: (SQUISH!!)

Paul: Woah, Babe, you were right.

Me: What?

Paul: The orange. It did squish!

Me: No duh Babe, no duh.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Nothin Much

I haven't posted in a while since I haven't really felt like I had much to say of an interesting nature. Lets see . . .

Last week I went with some of my staff to a skin cancer clinic put on for lifeguards who work outdoors. It was pretty interesting. We all got our sunglasses tested in this little machine that tells you the percentage of UV rays the glasses actually let through, and my cheap sunglasses from the bay did remarkably well. We also stripped down to our underpants (or short shorts as it were) and got our skin tested for signs of damage by way of a dermatologist (most of us by the non-cute older doctor, but lucky KD by the CUTE younger doctor) waving this light wand around over our skin. We scored some sweet free sunscreen, and some educational flyers we have been putting up at work. We've also been checking the UV index and posting it in the staff room, and reminding people to slip, slap, slop.

Yesterday I had a major brain fart at work and left the chlorine pump for the hot tub on manual for nearly three hours. To put things into perspective, leaving the pump on manual for 1/2 hour would be sufficient to make the chlorine level really really really high. Three hours was enough to change the colours of peoples bathing suits and discolour jewelry. Whoops! My boss was suprisingly not that mad at me, and just gave me a hard time about it, and some 'these things happen' shrugs.

And, I have a cold, and cramps.

That is all.

Friday, May 05, 2006

A tough day being a lifeguard at an outdoor pool in Vancouver . . .

Not quite the same story when it's pissing rain in October, but glorious on days like today.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Lookie what I made

A shopping bag made out of a rag rug, some funky vintage oil cloth, and some webbing from the outdoor fabric store. Total cost of materials: less than $5. It was pretty time consuming, but I think the next ones will go faster.


"You are an investment for my heart."

-Paul, who managed to be a complete sweetheart for 75% of the weekend

"Horray horray, the first of May. Outdoor screwing starts today!"

-My Dad, via text message.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

and then a miracle happened . . .

and she passed chemistry! Whoooohoooo! Didn't think that was going to happen!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Your Daddy Is Mike Tyson

What You Call Him: Daddy Dearest

Why You Love Him: You don't love him, you just love calling him "daddy"

Saturday, April 22, 2006

she's back from the land before blog

Apologies for the delay in posting, I've been busy trying to keep my head from exploding. But the term has done, and I survived it! More importantly, I managed to get through the term without killing Paul, though I plotted ways to do go about it for at least the last 6 weeks of the term.

On my mind today? Worms! No, not the kind that you can get from biting your fingernails that make your anus itch at night (you should NEVER bite your fingernails), the red wrigglers which can be used in worm composting.

One of the things that has really bugged me about living in an apartment is the inability to compost, and on this earth day I've been searching around for ways to reduce my waste, and I've come upon the worms. What fun! You can read all about how to start your own apartment friendly worm compost system HERE. Now I just have to convince Paul we want about 1000 new roommates . . .

Also, Paul and I have agreed that we need an 'us' activity. Something we can do once a week that is not school, triathlon, work, watching tv, etc. Something we do together that isn't physically demanding (not after a 6hr training day, anyways) and doesn't have to be the same every week. So far pottery class and playing cards are the top suggestions. More suggestions welcome.

In closing, three of my close friends and my boss all lost a close family member within a 3 week span. I won't discuss the details, because it isn't my place, but I will say this; count your blessings, and tell your loved ones you love them. You never know what's around the corner.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Strange man, nice pictures

I suppose it was nearly three years ago now when I first met Brian. It was at the Squamish Triathlon, and we started chatting because we both had dalmatians. We were standing and chatting, it was at least 10 minutes before anyone expected to see a rider come off the bike, and Paul came whipping around the corner. I took off after him, yelling and cheering, snapping as many photos as possible before he zipped off for the run, and was gone. Brian came and found me again to enquire about who the heck that fast guy was, and a strange sort of friendship was born.

Brian coaches for a local triathlon club, so while he doesn't race, we bump into each other at nearly every local race. We're both support crew, and it's nice to have someone else to talk to while our athletes are off being important. It's nice to have someone who understands the role being played behind the scenes, and how important it is. And it's nice, though a little weird, that Brian feels compelled to take a picture of Paul and I at every race we are at.

And he finally sent me some. The top one is from The Tour de Gastown last summer, where Paul and I were both spectators, and Brian was there. I think it's a horrendous picture of me, but I like the picture as a whole. The one down below is more recent, from the First Half Marathon in February, where Paul placed 10th overall, and ran a personal best. I like that picture a lot. It says a lot about us as a couple, without saying anything at all.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Buddy Trant - King of the Avulsion

Poor Mr. Bubbaroo. Nearly 1 year to the date of his infamous Big Bad Birthday Walk, when an unfortunate misunderstanding with a German Sheppard left him in stitches - about 20 on the side of his rib cage, he does it again.

This time he does some spectacular damage to himself. Anyone who has ever knocked on the front door to my parents house has experienced what I like to call the 'Bark N Slam'. Upon hearing the knock, Buddy launches himself down the hallway, screeching along the hardwood floor so fast he can't stop, slams his whole body into the front door, and then continues the barking and growling. If you didn't know there was a 12 year old 65lb dalmatian behind that door, you'd think it was a 2 year old 150lb rottweiler trained to attack. Buddy has given himself some pretty nasty nosebleeds via the 'Bark N Slam', but never an injury like this.

Yesterday afternoon, a friend of my brother's knocked on the door. Buddy started hurtling himself down the hall, as per usual, and as the viewing window at the top of the door was open, Buddy could see someone out there. So not only did he launch himself at the door, he also launched himself upward. Will, my brother, said the dog was literally airborn for a few seconds, and splatted himself against the door cartoon style. Somehow, and no one has really figured out how, he did some damage to his left rear leg, tearing a triangular avulsion, and exposing tendons.

Now, normal people would bundle their dog up in the car, and take him to the vet. My family has never been normal people. My mother, as some of you already know, is a doctor. A people doctor, that is, but she seems to think that she is a doctor to all creatures at some time or another. She also seems to think that Krazy Glue and Duct Tape are all she needs to fix the dog. She also wanted to break the pet rat's neck one time, but that's a whole nother story. One time, one summer, when Buddy went into some other dog's house, and that dog told him to get the fuck out by biting him in the leg and tearing a chunk open, my mom attempted to fix the dog by first gluing the wound together* and then when the dog kept moving around and the glue wouldn't stick, she thought it would be good to wrap the tape around his middle to help hold it shut. My Dad eventually made her take the dog to the vet, and explain why he was covered in tape and glue. Furthermore, my parents being the thrifty type told the vet that a general anesthetic would not be necessary, so they simply froze the wound, held the dog down, and stitched away. He was pretty good. Last year, when I took him on the Big Bad Walk, the lady whose dog bit him drove me to a vet before my mom could get to him, so he did get properly stitched up, but again, we refused the general, and all held the dog while he got his stitches. Well that was $400 well wasted, since the skin never took, the stiches fell out and he just had a gaping wound on his side, which eventually healed into an impressive looking scar. I guess old Bud figured now that he's 12 and all, he doesn't have so much time left to impress the ladies, so better up and get some more scars. Back to the current wound . . . yes, you guessed it, Momma T fixed him up herself. Not with tape and glue this time though, she went to her office and got a proper suture kit, and some freezing, draped the kitchen table with a clean table cloth, hoisted the dog up there, and while Dad, Pamela and Will held him down, Buddy got 15 stitches.

And now he has to wear a cone.

* My mother isn't totally insane, they use krazy glue type stuff in operating rooms now.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Things I will do when I have more time

I've made a hefty decision not to take any summer classes. Furthermore, I've decided not to kill myself with contract teaching, working 16 hour days this summer. No, all I will do for the months of May - Aug is work one full time job. And probably teach the odd NLS pre/recert, or something like that, but those are quick one or two day jobbies, so I'm allowing myself that. I mean, I've been going at this pace for two years (and before I went back to school I used to do a lot more contract teaching, so I've really been going at this pace for much much longer) so it'll be a lot to get used to having all that free time in the afternoon.

Here are some things I intend to do:

-A thorough spring clean of each and every room in my apartment, which will include going through EVERYTHING and tossing stuff out.
-Steam clean my carpets, which will hopefully remove the splotches from cleaning up bike grease
-Go and purchase some additional shelving and reorganize the storage system in my living room/kitchen/dining room areas.
-Finish knitting the cabled hoodie (started a year ago)
-Finish knitting the alpaca scarf (started 18 months ago)
-Finish knitting Muchi's hat (started in Dec. His b-day was in Sept!)
-Start and finish knitting Chris Lee's hat (b-day was in Jan!)
-Knit Tatjana's hat OR go to Nanaimo for a weekend and re-teach her how to knit it.
-Finish the quilt I started BEFORE Paul and I moved in together (should be more inclined to do it now that I have an actual sewing area set up in my apartment).
-Make Dolmades, which I bought a jar of grape leaves for over a year ago.
-Make creme brulee, or SOMETHING I can use the blowtorch I got for Christmas on.
-Do something with my VSB credits. Another sewing class, or maybe cake decorating?
-Go visit Jacquie and meet her new baby (Brenna, born in Nov!)

That oughta tide me over for a while! And of course, spend time with all my neglected friends and family, dust off my social skills, and have a good ol' time. Friends welcome to participate in any of the above activities, especially the cleaning ones!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

moments of clarity

Every so often, every once in a while, comes a defining moment in my life. A moment where I realize I have to do something, change something, say something . . .

I've had a few this week.

The important one, between spells of vomiting, is that I do not believe I can continue to live my life at it's current pace. I want to be happy and healthy, and I am currently neither. It does not matter how many classes other people think I should be taking, or if other people think I'm working hard enough, it only matters that I know I am challenging myself, and doing what I need to do for me. I need to find a balance. I need to find some me time. I need to find my sewing machine and my knitting needles and my blow torch (mine is for melting sugar, not glass) and I need to find my sanity, and that place in me where I feel good, and empowered, and like me again.

The other one is, it is rather important to use the finger guard included with your mandoline.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Where She Been?

I've had a few emails and other gentle nudges this week reminding me it's been a WHOLE WEEK since I updated my blog last. Shocking.

Here's where I'd like to explain why I am currently a bad friend, a bad partner, and a bad blogger;

I work full time. It's effectively a 40 hour work week, plus more some weeks, depending on the current state of chaos at the pool. Plus I go to school, which is 11 hours a week of actual in class time, and they say for every 1 hour in class, you spend on average 2 hours out. I'd say between studying, doing assignments, being with my study group or my tutor, that's pretty accurate, making school a 33 hour a week engagement. If you put the two of those together, that's a 73 hour work week, every week. Now that doesn't include travel time - it takes me 15 min to drive to work in the morning (I go a smidge faster than I should since there are no other cars on the road at that time of day), and about 25 min to drive from work to school, park far enough away that the parking is free, and walk to school. I typically eat at least 1 meal a day in my car, while driving from work to school. Another 25 min to walk back to the car, and drive home at the end of the day. So that's 65 min travel time every day, 6 days a week. That's 6.5 hours a week commuting. I try to do most of my cooking for the week on Sunday and Monday, and have everything well organized so I don't starve or become malnourished the remainder of the week. But if we average it out, I'd say it's about an hour a day, including making breakfast and lunches, which I pack with me to work, prepping dinners, baking muffins and bread for our packed meals. So that's another 7 hours a week. House work, including laundry, dishes, cleaning, probable 2 hours a week, and Paul and I have agreed we just won't freak out if the place isn't totally clean and neat until May . . . there are little piles of stuff happening all over the place . . . chem notes, clothes, triathlon gear.

So if we add that all up, that's an 88.5 hour work week BEFORE I've done anything for myself, including. I do manage to get about 7 hours of sleep a night, which I would simply DIE without, I'm so god damn tired all the time as it is, so that's 49 hours, and there are a total of 168 hours in a week, minus 88.5, minus 49, that leaves 30.5 spare hours in the week in which I'm supposed to eat, exercise, rest, relax, spend time with my partner, see my family, spend time with friends, knit, craft, have fun, and update my blog. Okay, so I'm currently updating my blog on the company dime, but perhaps now you can see WHY it doesn't happen as often as some of you would like. Or WHY I still haven't finished that sweater, or any of those hats I've promised a few of you.

Until April 18th, which I believe is the last day of my exam period, I will continue to be a bad friend, sister, daughter, partner, and blogger, and there isn't a whole heck of a lot any of you can do about it (except maybe come out for a few cocktails at the end of it all).

I told Paul the other night, through tears of fatigue and stress, sometimes all I want to hear from people is 'You know what Katie? You're doing things the hard way.'

And he said, 'You know what Babe, you're doing things the hard way. But you know what? You're doing it, and I'm so so proud of you for that.'

And that made my week okay.

Friday, February 24, 2006

A place for all that

As requested by Harmony, I have made public the recipe for Log. If you don't know what Log is, you have been missing out. If you do want to know, then you're about to find out. My blogging has been taken to the next level, as per request by my sister Emily, I've created a whole nother recipe page. And you can visit it by clicking HERE.

There is also a handy link to this new recipe page over in the sidebar in the links section. It only took me about a half an hour to figure that one out.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Playin' Hookey

A two day Spring Break? Pffft. Screw that. I need more! I've officially extended my Spring Break by one day, and what have I done? Come home, eaten chocolate, watched day time TV, eaten Popcorn, watched the olympics, eaten cake, and fallen asleep on the couch. It's been glorious. I intend to do the same tomorrow.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Wonder No More

Remember this?

There were many theories as to the identity of the driver of the pink beast, and inspite of my many stakeouts nearby the bubblegum Hummer, I never got a glance. Until now. Curious? Check THIS out.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Getting Closer

My Dad informed me today that his quest to find my blog goes on . . . and though he has yet to have any success with finding me, he has managed to find Christa's blog, and read about how great I am. See you soon, Dad.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

High Risk

I had my appointment with the Hemotologist on Tuesday, and while he didn't really tell me anything I didn't already know, he gave me some further information on what I already knew. Basically, I have this inherited abnormality in the Factor V Leiden gene, which increases my likliness of clotting. Duh. He said that with my structural abnormality (extra rib), clotting abnormality, and being on the pill, I was basically a ticking time bomb. I will always be at risk, always. I will be at particular risk whenever I fly anywhere longer than 6 hours, and with any hormone change, such as pregnancy. Actually this pregnancy thing is quite serious. Here is what I've found:

Women with Factor V Leiden (FVL) have a substantially increased risk of
clotting in pregnancy (and on estrogen containing birth control pills or
hormone replacement) in the form of DVT (deep vein thrombosis, sometimes
known as "milk leg") and pulmonary embolism. They also have an increased
risk of preeclampsia, as well as miscarriage and stillbirth due to clotting
in the placenta, umbilical cord, or the fetus (fetal clotting may depend on
whether the baby has inherited the gene). Note that many, many of these
women go through one or more pregnancies with no difficulties, while others
may miscarry over and over again, and still others may develop clots within
weeks of becoming pregnant.

There may be nutritional and lifestyle reasons why some women clot and some
women don't. There is some evidence that low magnesium levels can increase
the tendency to clot (2). Likewise, high homocysteine levels may magnify
the effects of FVL or vice versa. The treatment for high homocysteine
levels is supplementation of vitamins B-6, B-12, and folic acid (3). Both
birth control pills and pregnancy demand higher intake of these nutrients,
so nutritional deficiencies in women with FVL can have extreme
consequences. Likewise, women who exercise regularly and are not immobile
for long periods of time will have better circulation and less opportunity
for clots to form. Given that the vast majority of people with FVL are
unaware of the condition, and the fact that in the U.S. it is a safe bet
that every midwife has had at least one and probably many clients with FVL,
it pays to be aware both of the nutritional issues and the symptoms of
abnormal clotting.

Women who are diagnosed with FVL are generally considered high risk in
pregnancy, particularly if they have had clotting in the past. Standard
medical practice in most cases is prophylactic treatment with low-dose Low
Molecular Weight Heparin (LMWH, usually Lovenox) for women who are not
actively clotting and therapeutic anticoagulation with LMWH for women with
active clotting.

So, further investigation will be done, since a 'slight abnormality' has shown up in another clotting factor, along with the 'significant abnormality' with the Factor V Leiden. And some family testing may be done to figure out if anyone else has inherited this condition, and where the heck it came from. Life goes on.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

How Great Am I?

Well, pretty great, according to Xta. She has written an incredible tribute to me at the close of our nearly 4 year period of running the show together at the pool. You can read it here.

She's said some pretty awesome things, and the more I read them, the more they make me teary eyed.

Christa, in short, is the craftiest lady I've ever met. Not in the neat and tidy Martha Stewart-esq way in which I strive to be crafty, but in a wild and crazy 'ooooh, I can melt glass with fire!' kind of way. She has huuuuge boobs. I have tiny tits. She is the yin to my yang. We made such an awesome team, saw totally eye to eye (for the most part) on how things should be done, and earned praise from high up people in the aquatics community for shaping things up. Our boss is an IDIOT and still doesn't think he was the reason she left, and ultimately, he'll be the reason we ALL leave, but I don't think he'll ever be aware of that, so I shall plug on, keep my head down, keep going to school, and one day get the hell out of there and move onto other things too. Christa is moving on to the next phase of her life, which is the self-supporting with her arts phase, so . . .

check out her incredible glass beads at

and check our her latest passion, hooping, at

Buy a bead, take a hooping class, heck, buy a necklace to wear to a hooping class (hoops and beads and jewelry can all be shipped, ya know)

Christa made a comment in my early days at the UBC AC, that she wondered how many Head Guards she would last through. 2 I suppose, since I'm still there. Now I'm wondering how many Head Instructors I will last through, 1 so far, and the new one hasn't started yet, but I feel very uneasy about it. I am aware of a bit of a wall I already have up, and that is mainly due to anger I have at my manager about not being included in the interview process for someone who is going to be MY partner. I am doing my best to take this wall down, and be unbiased, so I can be warm and supportive of the new HI when she starts at the end of the month. I wonder how many Head Instructors I'll last through . . .

I am very sad about the end of my working relationship with Christa, but she needed to move on, and in the end, I needed her to go too. It's been great - I wouldn't be so sad about it if it had been crappy, and now we can start a new era of being 'just friends'. Wow.

And . . . Speaking of self supporting arty friends, my friend Harmony Trowbridge now has her CD 'Amoraphobe' in music stores all around, both east and west coasts. Check it out now! I have 2!

And shout out to my cousin Katherine, who reads my blog after all! Howdy Darlin!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Nerding Out = Survival

For most of last week, exhausted, weary, bummed out, generally feeling like total crap, I was pretty sure I would end up dropping a class this term. That would suck, cause I'd only have to take the same class again at a later time, much like the ill fated micro economics class of September 2004. Only, on Sunday, a miracle happened: Chemistry study group! And who formed this nerderiffic little club? I did! I did! I did! I spent Sunday afternoon sitting in the cafeteria at school with some of the other 'older' students in the class, going through chem notes, bitching about our prof, and actually absorbing the info. I went home and finished my prelab assignment and my lab write up, and actually figured stuff out on my own.

Here is what I can do:

An experiment calls for 10.0 grams of anhydrous copper(II) sulfate, but the only chemical available in the chemical supply room is copper(II) sulfate pentahydrate. How many grams of the hydrate would have to be heated to provide 10.0g of the anhydrate?

Reaction equation:

CuSO4.5H20(s) --heat--> CuSO4(s) + 5H2O(g)
hydrate anhydrate

Step 1 was figuring out that this was basically the same compound, and all I needed to do was separate the CuSO4 from the water to get the stuff I needed for the experiment. But how much? Well, to do that I need to figure out the percent composition of CuSO4 in the hydrate.

So . . .

% mass CuSO4 = 159.6096g CuSO4 / 249.686g CuSO45H2O x 100 = 63.9241%

then . . .

?g CuSO4.5H2O x 63.9241 / 100 = 10g CuSO4

and . . .

?g CuSO4.5H2O x 0.639241 /0.639241 = 10g CuSO4 /0.639241 = 15.6435g CuSO4.5H2O required

Lets double check that . . .

15.6435g CuSO4.5H2O x 63.9241g CuSO4 / 100g CuSO4.5H2O = 10g. CuSO4!!!!

Some of the cancellations may be a little unclear, but that's about me not being a computer genius, not anything to do with the chemistry.

Horrah! Chemistry study group rules! This makes me ridiculously happy, and I think I may survive the term after all!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

To Skip, Or Not To Skip?

The dilemma: sit through a god awful two hour Chemistry lecture, absorb nothing, take really patchy notes, go home exhausted, make dinner, attempt to prepare for tomorrows Math quiz and do poorly on it . . . OR skim chem, go directly home from work, have over six hours to plow through three units of Math and get ready for tomorrows quiz. I hate skipping classes, and almost never do, but I'm so friggen swamped, and had such an unproductive weekend (my own fault, as a result of birthday festivities which shall remain undisclosed) that I really feel like I'm drowning. The semester is showing no signs of letting up, and I really feel that I must spend this week, and this weekend buried in the books, attempting to get ahead, and then perhaps I will feel slightly less stressed out. So, I suppose I'll skip one class, and hope I don't miss anything TOO important.

Such is life.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Computers ARE wrong!

You scored as Journalism. You are an aspiring journalist, and you should major in journalism! Like me, you are passionate about writing and expressing yourself, and you want the world to understand your beliefs through writing.






























Seriously? Journalism was the main thing I was NOT interested when I was studying writing at UVic. I guess they don't have a category for the aspiring Craft Lady of Steel. They were right about Chemistry though . . . >shudder<

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Best Birthday Ever

This has been the best actual birthday day I can remember in a long time. Why? Just lots of little things made my day. Got up for work, and Paul had put out a new ipod shuffle for me. Got to work, and there were various happy birthday signs up around the staff room (thanks Wednesday night staff!), a special birthday desktop on my computer (thanks Xta!), and the best birthday song ever waiting for me on my voicemail (thanks Kimmie!). The many phone calls and emails and text messages I got throughout the day were awesome, and yes Harmony, I DO think we should patent our special birthday song and overthrow the current birthday song and make millions . . . Lunch out with work folks, on to school, and many more special calls, and a message from Kimmie saying he had just finished BAKING me a special birthday treat! What fun! (I'll get it tomorrow). Home after school, and Paul went out to get me some cake (okay, pieces of cake, but we shared, and I shared the cake at lunch too, and I went for a longer than usual run today . . . hey man, it's my birthday!) and really made me feel special and wonderful and loved. In fact, I felt special and wonderful and loved all day long, which I guess is why it was the best birthday ever. Gosh! My 27th year has certainly started on the right foot.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


According to my Vascular Surgeon, tests have shown that I have a 'slight abnormality' in Factor V Leiden which is one of the eight genetic clotting factors. This little bugger doesn't appear too serious on it's own, but in the presence of oral contraceptives (check), surgery (okay, a while ago on that area, but check), and physical abnormalities (uh, an extra rib? check) it can cause clotting (yes, I could have told you that).

So what does all this mean? Well, I will have to see a Hemotologist, and then I'll know more.


"It's a low-risk way to learn about investing, which is appealing to women," said Emily Trant, head of investor services for, which oversees the 12,000 ProShare investment clubs in Britain.

That is my sister. Yes, the same sister who I so hastily accused of blog ruining back in December. Clearly, the blog has not been ruined, as the blog goes on, and Emily admitted to me recently that she feels a little betrayed by the blog, since she so enjoys reading it, and it snipped at her a little. So I'd like to play a little tribute to my not so little sis.

There is an age difference of exactly 1 year, 3 months and 12 days between us, I being on the slightly older side, and she being on the slightly younger side, but the age difference is trivial. So trivial, indeed, I believe it caused an intense sibling rivalry which started the day she was born, and ran rampant for nearly 16 years, which was about when I moved out of the house. It rears it's ugly head every so often, but for the last 10 years or so we've gotten along reasonably well. Our mother blames herself for the trouble, and quite frankly, I blame her a little too. Her mistake, according to her, was not moving me into my 'big girl room' prior to bringing the new baby home from the hospital. Instead she brought the new baby home, put her in MY bed in MY room, and then proceeded to show me this new large place I'd be living in. I was, apparently, pretty pissed for a child of less than 16 months old, and seemingly, stayed pissed for most of my childhood and adolescence.

There are many moments from our childhood, adolescence and teenage years where I did and said things which were pretty mean, and I don't think we need to revisit those moments, although Emily is pretty good at re-telling them, particularly once she's had a few cocktails. I acknowledge the fact that I could, and still can be, a pretty mean person when I want to be.

The point is, having survived all those years with a horrific bitch of an older sister like me seems to have only made her stronger, and turned her into one of those annoying people (in the best possible way) who excels at absolutely EVERYTHING she does. (This is perhaps why I get so annoyed when she takes on an activity I enjoy, since I feel like I need SOMETHING that just I can be good at) So what has she done?

Well . . .

Played Ringette all through highschool and University, and I couldn't tell you whether she was any good at it because honestly, I never went to a game, but I know she had a butt-load of fun.

Put herself through University by lifeguarding, and graduated DEBT FREE with a degree in Economics (honours?)

Annoyed Olympic Swimmer Mark Johnston by being better at English than him

Was a second runner up in the Miss Iberostar Barlevento contest

Put a hole in the neighbour's garage by backing the trailer hitch of the van into it

Moved to London (England) after graduating to get herself out of her comfort zone and got a job doing some important investment related mumbo jumbo

Was so good at that they made her the head of some portion of said mumbo jumbo

Took up Rowing, and despite the ugly calloused man hands, is loving it, and of course kicking ass (sculling ass?)

Canoed the Bowring Lakes

Did the West Coast Trail

Has been traveling around countless places

Lit her hair on fire at the office Christmas party the first year she was working in London

I'm sure her proudest moments are yet to come, and whatever she chooses to do, she'll kick ass at it, cause that's just what she does.

Don't worry Pamela, I'll do you another day.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Let's have a free vote on the issue . . .

Right. Let's have a free vote on issues, on rights we have fought and fought and fought for, people have died for, rights we are entitled to. Let's take a vote and see if all that fighting was in vein. Do you not think that ANY two people who are in love have the right to be married if they want to? Do you not think that a woman should have the right to control what happens to her body? Perhaps if you were a woman you would feel differently about this issue. Perhaps if your daughter or sister or mother were raped and as a result became pregnant you would change your mind.

You know what, Mr. Harper, we're lucky you're a minority government. You are such a schmuck, you have inspired people like my partner, who at 30 had never once in his life voted before, to take the stroll over to the polling station, register, and vote against you. So it wasn't enough, it still got people motivated. How do you like that, you motivated people by being an asshole. And you know, I don't really care about this whole sponsorship scandal. I think your buddy Mr. Mulroney did far worse when he was in power, and I'm sure you woulda done the same.

Mr. Harper, you've now topped the list of the 3 people I would punch in the face if given the chance. Thanks to you, Celine Dion can now sleep safe at night.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

I am wearing

Size 27 jeans. TWENTY-SEVEN, which incidentally is also how old I will be in exactly one week. This is the smallest pair of jeans I have ever squeezed my hiney into, and it's quite exciting. How I acquired said jeans must be blog worthy . . .

Rebecca, our chock-full-of-british-attitude cashier at work is a fashion-a-holic, and also an ebay shopping whiz, and also the tryer of every fad diet to hit the market and so very skinny kinda lady, brought in a pair of jeans she had bought on ebay but turned out to be too big for her. They're Rock & Republic, a brand I'd never heard of before today, but apparently Victoria Beckham (aka Posh Spice) designed these jeans herself, and they retail for around $300, but internet savvy Becca got them for a steal of $80. Alas, the size 27 in the 'sexy fit' stretch denim was not the right fit for her, but they slid onto me like a fricken glove. Amazing. So she just handed em over, refusing any cash in exchange.

I'm going to buy her a nice bottle of red wine, probably Liberty School, my favourite semi-pricey red, which is well worth each and every one of the thirty dollars. And a steal of a deal in exchange for well fitting jeans.

Although I must admit, my ass hardly looks like the one in the picture. Sigh.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

chick peas

If you have ever read this blog before, you will know I've been on a bit of a bean kick. Again, credit must go to Jill for inspiring this whole thing, and credit must be passed along to Isa Chandra Moskowitz the author of Vegan With a Vengance who inspired the whole bean shanadagans in the first place.

Anyhoo, onto the Chick Pea, aka the Garbanzo bean, aka friggen delicious. Yummy in hummus, yummy in soup, stew, or just plain and dandy cold from a bowl. I usually toss about a half a cup or so into my spinach salad on Monday or Wednesday night for a little protein kick me up.

And here's why.

Chick-peas/1/2 cup cooked

Calories 135
Total fat (g) 2.1
Saturated fat (g) 0.2
Monounsaturated fat (g) 0.5
Polyunsaturated fat (g) 1
Dietary fiber (g) 6.2
Protein (g) 7
Carbohydrate (g) 23
Cholesterol (mg) 0
Sodium (mg) 6
Folate (mcg) 141
Manganese (mg) 0.8
Copper (mg) 0.3
Phosphorus (mg) 138

Nutritious AND delicious. And the re-hydrated dried ones DO taste better than the canned ones. I've been eating them raw all afternoon, they sure taste more pea-y that way.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

the bean craze goes on

I found this book on my Mom's book shelf and snagged it last night. She's out of the country right now, so what ev. It's AWESOME! So many beany recipes. Even cookies and muffins and breads with beans. It's not a totally veggie book, but I think the veggie sections are totally worthwhile. It's put out by the bean growers of Ontario, or something like that. Good people to support.

Last night I made the white bean stew a la Jill, a la Katie. Since I didn't have specific instructions, I winged a lot of it, so if Jill and I were to each freeze a portion of our stews and fed ex them to the other, I'm sure we'd have 2 entirely different, yet equally wonderful stews.

Here is what I did:

Sauteed 1 whole onion, and 3 cloves of garlic in the biggest pot I have. Add 1 1/4 cups of white wine, and 2 Tbsp tomato paste. Cook a little while. Add 2tsp crushed up fennel seeds, 2 tsp oregano, 2 tsp rosemary, 1/2 tsp sage, 1 tsp tarragon . . . and something else I can't remember right now. I put all the spices in my little garlic crushy thingy my Dad gave me for Christmas, and it did a nice job of breaking them up a bit.

Then I sprinkled in 2 tbsp of flour as a thickener, and let simmer a mo or two. Toss in 1 parsnip, cut into little cubes, 2 carrots, chopped up, 1 head of cauliflower, chopped up. Simmer till tender. Then it looked like there wasn't going to be enough liquid, even for a stew, so I added another splash of wine, and 2 cups of veggie broth. Added 2 cups of cooked white beans, 1/2 cup or so of frozen peas, and let all the flavours hang out a bit to develop.

Served over barley, cooked in veggie broth, which was delicious. The whole thing was incredibly tasty and healthy and wonderful. It will be made again.

The whole thing was amazing, and my apartment smelled incredible. It made sooooo much stew, we each ate a heaping bowl, a serving went to paying of my debt to Xta (gotta love that barter system) and Paul has eaten another serving today for lunch. There are still at least 3 or 4 servings left.

Friday, January 13, 2006


The following have both been rediscovered after an absence of nearly 10 years.


Wow, has it been that long? Yep, cause when I navigated my way onto the Vancouver Public Library website and logged myself in, it turns out I have a $0.50 fine from 1996 for some book I had on reserve about Generation X.

Did you know they give you books FOR FREE???? And they will ship them to the branch closest to you? It's incredible. They even have DVD's you can borrow AT NO COST. Amazing. I have 3 cookbooks and 1 documentary on order. I may never buy a book again.

Okay, that's a total lie, I'm addicted to buying books and I know it. But I am on a budget, so the library it is! Hurrah!


I remember when I went to UVic eating a lot of dried beans (nicely soaked and cooked, that is) and that too was nearly 10 years ago.

I have to give credit where credit is due, so you should all know it was Jill who started the dried bean craze. Did you know a can of black beans can cost anywhere between $0.89 and $2.49 depending on the brand, and whether you hit a sale or not. And did you know that I went to my favourite bulk food store (favourite, though geographically undesirable unless I'm stopping by my parents place) earlier in the week and filled up a 1L jar of dried black beans for less than a dollar? And did you know when soaked and cooked that jar of beans will TRIPLE in size?

Hot dang!

So far this week I've soaked a cup of black beans, which turned into nearly 3 cups of black beans, and made our typical Tuesday night brown rice n beans dish (which made tasty leftovers last night for me, and a wrap for Xta's lunch yesterday, since she's terrified of rice and beans on their own, but disguised in a tortilla, she finds them quite tasty) and I'm currently soaking a cup of cannelini beans which will become this awesome stew inspired by Jill.

I'm going to see if the library has a book about beans.

Come to think of it, my Mom, who has unsuccessfully been trying to push beans on me for years, has a whole bean book at her house. I'll have to stop by for a visit today and see if I can find a turnip. Or a parsnip. Whatever.

Bean away!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

trying to be a better me

I don't like New Years Eve, really anything about it, but I did make a resolution this year that I feel strongly about keeping;

I am not going to support Starbucks any more.

Why? Well, mainly, I think there are too many of them. Anyone who has stood at the corner of Robson and Thurlow in Vancouver, trying to decide which Starbucks to go to, knows what I mean. There are now two locations in Kerrisdale, on the same street, just 2 blocks apart. A new Starbucks sprung up in place of the old pet food store on Arbutus and Valley Dr, after most of the stores there never re-opened their doors after a devastating fire in the Schezuan restaurant in that little strip. A new Starbucks on the corner of 16th and MacDonald, in the new retail complex where I cannot remember what was there before they started building. Nothing, perhaps? And on UBC campus, there are at least 4 locations that I know of, and they are all busy, all the time.

I'm sure it will make no impact whatsoever, the absence of my occasional $5 Chai tea latte, or $2.62 London Fog, but I feel strongly about my $2.62 going to support the little guy instead of the jolly green giant.

In further efforts to reduce, reuse, and recycle, I'm attempting to always have my travel mug handy, make my beverages at home or work and use my handy thermos, take my own plates/bowls/tupperware to take out places when I go to them, which isn't often, buy more from bulk food places and take my containers with me to fill up on location to reduce packaging, and drive my car less when possible.

Kudos go to Xta, who has chosen to continue to feed her Starbucks addiction (grande tazo chai, no water, no foam . . .) but not unless she has a travel mug. No mug = no drink. Horray!

Every little bit counts, right?