Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Laughed Out Loud

----- from Facebook

"I would rather cuddle then have sex. If you're good at grammar, you'll get it."

Monday, 24 December 2012

A Year In Review

I looked at what Facebook said were important events in my life this past year. I was glad to see Jason in there and Steph and Dave's wedding featured prominently. Those are two of the biggest and most exciting things to happen to me in 2012 - good job Facebook! This was the opening page for my 'Year In Review'. I think the wedding is a little over emphasized in the photos but a lot of photos are taken at those things.

Box O Wine

I am home, at The Cottage, for Christmas. I can't help laughing at my parents who have, on the corner of their kitchen counter, a huge box of red wine. It is 16 liters. The best part is the 'Flavour Profile' where they describe the wine as being "for wine lovers who enjoy easy drinking, casual-style wines... fun, food friendly and pair easily with a wide variety of foods and cuisines." This essentially says nothing about the taste of the wine, or maybe it does and it suggests it isn't very good. I can't really judge since I don't like beer or wine so it isn't anything I really understand. I guess it is a good thing that they chose "The perfect, everyday choice."

Friday, 21 December 2012

They Are Everywhere!

 I can't even take credit for finding this on the internet - one of Jason's friends told me about it. Funny because it is true and I know this because, in Toronto, Hipsters are everywhere!

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Not True

------- from Facebook

"You text him, he doesn't text back. He was obviously so excited that you texted him that he fainted."

The True Story of Rudolph

-------- from Facebook

A man name Bob May, depressed and brokenhearted, stared out his drafty apartment window into the chilling December night. His 4-year-old daughter Barbara sat on his lap quietly sobbing. Bob's wife, Evelyn, was dying of cancer. Little Barbara couldn't understand why her mommy could never come home. Barbara looked up into her dad's eyes and asked, "Why isn't Mommy just like everybody else's Mommy?" Bob's jaw tightened and his eyes welled with tears. Her question brought waves of grief, but also of anger. It had been the story of Bob's life.

Life always had to be different for Bob. Small when he was a kid, Bob was often bullied by other boys. He was too little at the time to compete in sports. He was often called names he'd rather not remember. From childhood, Bob was different and never seemed to fit in. Bob did complete college, married his loving wife and was grateful to get his job as a copywriter at Montgomery Ward during the Great Depression. Then he was blessed with his little girl. But it was all short-lived. Evelyn's bout with cancer stripped them of all their savings and now Bob and his daughter were forced to live in a two-room apartment in the Chicago slums. Evelyn died just days before Christmas in 1938.

Bob struggled to give hope to his child, for whom he couldn't even afford to buy a Christmas gift.But if he couldn't buy a gift, he was determined to make one - a storybook! Bob had created an animal character in his own mind and told the animal's story to little Barbara to give her comfort and hope. Again and again Bob told the story, embellishing it more with each telling. Who was the character? What was the story all about? The story Bob May created was his own autobiography in fable form. The character he created was a misfit outcast like he was. The name of the character? A little reindeer named Rudolph, with a big shiny nose. Bob finished the book just in time to give it to his little girl on Christmas Day.

But the story doesn't end there…

The general manager of Montgomery Ward caught wind of the little storybook and offered Bob May a nominal fee to purchase the rights to print the book. Wards went on to print, “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and distribute it to children visiting Santa Claus in their stores. By 1946 Wards had printed and distributed more than six million copies of Rudolph. That same year, a major publisher wanted to purchase the rights from Wards to print an updated version of the book. In an unprecedented gesture of kindness, the CEO of Wards returned all rights back to Bob May. The book became a best seller. Many toy and marketing deals followed and Bob May, now remarried with a growing family, became wealthy from the story he created to comfort his grieving daughter.

But the story doesn't end there either…

Bob's brother-in-law, Johnny Marks, made a song adaptation to Rudolph. Though the song was turned down by such popular vocalists as Bing Crosby and Dinah Shore , it was recorded by the singing cowboy, Gene Autry. "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer" was released in 1949 and became a phenomenal success, selling more records than any other Christmas song, with the exception of "White Christmas."

The gift of love that Bob May created for his daughter so long ago kept on returning back to bless him again and again. And Bob May learned the lesson, just like his dear friend Rudolph, that being different isn't so bad. In fact, being different can be a blessing. MERRY CHRISTMAS

Monday, 17 December 2012

The Office Puppy

One of the questions in the interview for my current job was how I felt about dogs. This is because there is an Office Dog. Gracie is the sweetest thing and I am so happy when she comes in. When I started last December she was just a puppy and now she is over a year old. (She is a Portuguese Waterdog and I am totally in love with the breed.) Check out her Christmas portraits!

Gracie Puppy - Christmas 2011
Portrait taken last year at a veterinarian's office
as part of a Toronto Animal Services fundraiser


Gracie Puppy - Christmas 2012
Portrait taken this year at a veterinarian's office
as part of a Toronto Animal Services fundraiser

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Great Monarchy Metaphor

---- from The Walrus, magazine Postscript, "Survivors: Revisiting the wedding of the love rat and the adulteress"

"I'm not a revolutionary, and I like the Queen. She seems just the sort of person one would elect as queen if one were given the chance. Canada is a constitutional monarchy. I accept that. It's like wallpaper I wouldn't have chosen in a room with a lot of bookshelves, in a house with a lot of history, and I've adjusted my tastes accordingly. After all, the bookshelves block most of it, Lord knows what you'd find behind them, and moving them would be too much work."  

By Tabatha Southey

Friday, 14 December 2012

An Expensive Day, Everyday

The benefits I was getting as a Ryerson student ran out in October. Even though I was only a student until December 2012, the benefit package runs from October to October so I have been covered for a while. It is a tough bit of reality to have to pay full price for all of my medications - literally hundreds of dollars. Here is a normal day for me:

Birth Control -Cyclen - $0.90
ADHD Meds - Adderall - $3.18
Morning Anti-Depressant - Effexor - $1.49
Evening Anti-Depressant - Wellbutrin - $1.75

That is a total of $7.32 everyday, and $219.60 every month!!
So it costs me almost 10% of my income to just to stay sane, functional, not pregnant, and making sense.

The good news is that my current work is arranging for me to have a benefit package, which they will pay for, in 2013. I am going to look at packages next week to discuss which one would be best; I know that I would like dental and obviously I need prescription drugs covered!

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Good Advice

"Don't argue with idiots. First they will bring you down to their level, then they will beat you with experience."
--- Sunjay Nath, Motivational Speaker

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

It Is Harder In Spanish

I have had a personal Twitter account for almost a year now (@SweetonChris) and set up a Twitter Feed for Always Standing right away. Well, a couple of months ago it went away and I have been trying off and on for a few weeks to get it back or set up a new one. It is hard to figure out - just like Twitter was at the start, but I am (literally) a professional at that now. Now I have a strange version of the widget that seems to be Spanish, and I'm not even sure it works correctly. The one that Steph has working for Stephanie Beach Photography's Blog is so nice and I need to find time to talk to her about helping me fix mine, though she uses WordPress now and not Blogger. Keep your eye on the left side of Always Standing to see if my Twitter Feed situation improves, hopefully I will get it all sorted out soon.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Armaweddin

I met Halley years ago when I went to visit Anna in Paris. She had quickly became Anna's best friend in France and they have remained close over the years. Halley is originally from Tacoma (near Seattle) but I don't exactly know where in The States she is now. The main thing I always connect with her is social media - she has always been way ahead of the times when it comes in media and the internet. Other things would be that she is smart, funny, fun, interesting, and beautiful. I am glad that Anna has stayed friends with her and from that, and Facebook, she has stayed on the edge of my radar.

She is getting married later in this month and it is going to be a very unique wedding. I had been following along on it a bit, but recently she wrote an article for The Huffington Post that explains it all in more detail - Read it here. Congratulations and best wishes!

Monday, 10 December 2012

Bond, Jason Bond

Jason In His New Suit
(Has Perfected The 'Hate That My Girlfriend Is Taking My Picture' Glare)
By Me, Using his phone, which takes terrible quality photos

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Christmas List 2012

Big Dreams
-Warm but stylish/fashion winter boots (7) or GC to get a pair
-Android Tablet, 9in style, not 7in
-Flat screen TV
-A nice/fancy but subtle watch
-Road bike, light and good for Toronto
-$ to help payoff student debt

And As Always - BOOKS
-Any! Used is great, hard cover preferred
-Classics
-Science Fiction, William Gibson
-Chick Lit
-Easy book to learn Bridge, basics

Fun Times
-Taboo
-Scatigories
-Eye shadow primer, Urban Decay
-Tickets to local dance, theater, and comedy
-Medium size globe
-Mix to make Chai lattes
-Picture frames
-GC for photo printing
-GC for Caryl Baker Visage (beauty store, in most malls)

For Two, Who Is Still Evil
-Cat litter deodorizer, Arm & Hammer
-Cat nip
-Ball/feather thing on sting attached to stick (Dollerama)
-Medium size scratching post with perch

For Rrunuv Bayit, My Apartment
-Spatulas for frying pans
-Biodegradable bags for kitchen compost bin
-Oven Mitts
-Candles
-Flashlights
-Air purifier that can remove pet dander
-Ikea tub style cheese grater
-Good knives to cut vegetables
-Ikea GC for closet organizer 
-Sears GC for a Wingback-Chair Cover

Renovations To My Rental
-Screwdriver with all the ends
-Nails and such to hang things
-White toilet seat
-Adjustable wrench
-Ceiling Light for hallway, and help installing it
-Tool box
-Home Hardware GC for paint

I Am A Birder 
(First Step Is Admitting The Problem)
-Small set of binoculars
-Small umbrella
-Bird book
-Photoshop for my laptop
-Small bills and change, Euros and American

Daily Necessities
-Lunch-size Pyrex
-Gin
-Thin black socks for work (7)
-PJs (M/L)

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Years Of Christmas Lists

I am prepping this year's Christmas List and will have it posted tomorrow. However, I was wondering what my previous lists looked like. The first two years of Always Standing I didn't post my list online, but since 2008 my list has gone up publicly onto the internet each year.

Take a look back at previous years (they are surprisingly similar):

2008 Christmas List
This marks the first public appearance of 'Cordless Drill'. Last year Taylor got me one!

2009 Christmas List
The Christmas before I went on my big 'around the world' trip. Asked for a lot of travel stuff.

2010 Christmas List
I didn't want enough apparently, and I had a late post for list additions.

2011 Christmas List
Last year was a bit focused on the car, that sadly I then crashed a few weeks later.

Friday, 30 November 2012

The Most Epic Of Mustaches

It is the very end of Movember and I want to finish with a photo of someone who really knows how to grow facial hair, Wes. He doesn't have a MoSpace page but still grows a 'stach and then donates to others - a great Mo Bro.
Wes Shows Us How It Is Done!

Growing Up, Again

Last night I bought a washing machine and dryer. I don't think I ever fully outlined the 'laundry process' at Rrunuv Bayit - I mentioned it briefly early on, before Kristen and I made arrangements with people upstairs.

At Rrunuv Bayit, the other two apartments in the building each have a washer and dryer in the furnace room. It took a while, but after a couple of months we were able to arrange with the nice couple on the top floor to use theirs on Tuesdays and Thursdays. There were some definite issues with this, not just that we only had two days to do laundry each week and that they were work days at that, but also that the way the wiring worked only one machine could be plugged in at the time (which means the people from the third apartment might be using their machines and we wouldn't be able to use the ones we had access to) and also the dryer is an 'apartment style' which means it has very little power and takes forever to dry things.

Anyway, the nice couple are moving out, which is sad because they were good neighbors. However, they offered to sell me their washer and dryer, so I bought them. Now I can do laundry any day of the week! Kristen was over and after scolding me for making such a big purchase when I have no money, she seemed impressed at my 'grown up' purchase. It wasn't that much money; I will definitely make it back when compared to using a landrymat. Using their machines thus far has more than saved me the amount they asked for. It did feel grown up - until I remembered I had bought a washing machine in a similar fashion before moving into Le Manoir, though that time it involved moving it too. So, I guess I am growing up - again.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Lovely Mushtashioed Men

It is almost the end of Movember and I wanted to remind everyone one last time to be sure to donate to this great cause! (Movember raises funds and awareness for prostate cancer, mental health, and other male health issues.) Jason has been participating, please see the picture on the right. These are my Mo Bros this year so please give generously on behalf of one of them or split your donation between them. Thank you so much!

2013 Mo Bros
- Jason Woods, my lovely boyfriend, Jason's MoSpace Page
- Drew Stewart, an Aussie friend of mine, Drew's MoSpace Page
- James Harris, long-time family friend, James' MoSpace Page

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Really Sims? Really?

I got the following email today:

This is for the Sims Social which is played on Facebook. I don't like it as much as the real Sims so stopped playing a long time ago - now they are trying to pull at my heartstrings. (I didn't like it because it often suggested paying money and you had to wait to do a lot of things because other Facebook people would need to give you items.) However, my sim looks totally different than the one above so it isn't really working. Though it is making me want to play the normal PC version, which I have yet to load on my laptop.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Christmas Song Showdown

Every year, the WOTS office plays a game with Christmas songs - they listen to CHFI (an easy listening station in Toronto that plays exclusively Christmas songs around the holidays) and keep track of the number of times certain songs are played. If the song picked gets played the most over the duration of the season then that person is the winner; each empolyee has a dedicated song.

Last year was even more intense with a 'special work-out song' that when played the first person to jump up and start working out (lunges, squats, jumping jacks, etc.) got an extra point put on their song tally. Also the whole office would then work-out for the duration of that song. This year that isn't happening since the players are too scattered and some of us are in offices where jumping up randomly would not be as appropriate.

Other specific rules include a two person verification and a specific version of the song declared. Kristen, from her office downtown at her new job, and I are playing by proxy and just hoping that those in the WOTS office a properly keeping track.

Here are this year's songs:
Nicola - "Do They Know It's Christmas" by Band Aid
Cailin - "Jingle Bell Rock" by Bobby Helms
Kristen - "All I Want For Christmas Is You" by Mariah Carey
Me - "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" by Bruce Springteen

Happy Holidays!
I hope you have started to listen to Christmas songs too...

Friday, 23 November 2012

Dying The Hardest

Last night I went to play movie trivia. I recently because a member of The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and part of that is access to a monthly trivia night. I brought Teri, Kristen, and K to be part of my team and we tried our hand at an evening of Action Movie themed trivia - we sucked. In fact, we got last place. The best part was that the lowest score gets a prize so we each got a free beer. The name of our group was also fitting - Dying The Hardest

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Great Fact Of The Day

78% of men would rather date a confident plus-size woman than an insecure supermodel.

This is from Glamour magazine's What Men Think About Women's Bodies article, which outlines the results of their survey of 1,000 men on the topic of what they find attractive. It then says, "Let that little nugget sink in for a minute - then allow over 1,000 men to remind you why they always want to leave the lights on."

Monday, 19 November 2012

Top 10 Books Read In The World

---- From Twitter, By Jared Fanning


The Top 10 Books Read In The World

As you know, I love visual representation of data, but for those in a rush I will break down what the above says. Also, this shows once again what a terrible English Major I am. Only read 5 of the 10!!

The numbers are based on the number of books printed and sold over the last 50 years. (Some titles may have had more titles printed, but then they didn't sell so it can be assumed those weren't read.)

- Read - The Holy Bible  (3,900,000,000, almost 4 billion!) In Grade 6, I got the little red version from The Shiners and in the front it outlined a breakdown as to how to read it in a year. I am very glad I took the time each night to read it and got through the whole thing. I don't remember much but it is an excellent base to have when reading anything else.

- Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-Tung by Mai Tse-Tung (820,000,000, also known as The Little Red Book)

- Read - Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling (400,000,000)

- Partially/Barely Read - The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien (103,000,000)

- The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (65,000,000) I want to read this, planning on putting it on my Xmas list

- Read - The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown (57,000,000)

- The Twilight Saga Stephenie Meyer (43,000,000)

- Read - Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (33,000,000)

- Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill (30,000,000) I have never even heard of this one

- The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank (27,000,000) Keep meaning to read this, putting it on my Xmas list too

How many have you read?

Friday, 16 November 2012

Bright Eyed And Bushy Tailed

----- Text from Jason

"When I was walking back from Tim Horton's, I saw a squirrel with a massive scone. I hope your day is as least as good as that squirrel's."

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

CSOL November Presentation

I got to visit Ter's school again yesterday to give a presentation on Social Media Marketing. I last went in May and even though it wasn't necessary, I redid the whole presentation and branded it slightly with CSOL. I think I got some pretty good points across and got the students thinking about the roll social media plays in marketing, both for products and people. It was a large group of them and the presentation was over lunch hour - I was able to hold their attention. Part of my success in this is that the current curriculum does not really include much about social media so the topic is interesting and rare. I love presenting and working with the topic and teaching people - it was awesome!

Sunday, 11 November 2012

A Smile For Your Sunday

Isn't Lochlan just the cutest? I love him!

Sunday Morning Smile!
By Taylor C.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Three Months And Counting

I met someone on eHarmony back in July. We got coffee and had a couple of dates spread out over a few weeks. I kept quiet about it on Always Standing because I did not want to overwhelm him with public declarations. Well, I feel like enough time has passed and today we are celebrating our 3 month anniversary so it is time for a true and official mention on Always Standing.

So, I am dating an incredible guy, named Jason, and couldn't be happier. I could go on and on about how great he is but instead I thought I would share some texts I got from friends after they met him...

"I like your bf he's cute and seems nice" --Danielle

"I think Jason is great by the way, he really seems into you and he's handsome to boot!... He seems like he's just a really nice guy. He could be the one!" --ErinAH

"Jason was lovely!" --Anna
*Note, after being told that he had liked her pancakes she liked him even more.

"I really like Jason... Anyone that can make Lochlan stop crying is a yes in my book. But seriously, you have picked someone special... You guys balance each other. You seem really happy!" --Taylor

It is always nice to get the approval of friends and family. I am very glad that they think he is awesome too. Also, for someone who is fairly quiet he seems to do really well meeting new people.  

Happy Anniversary Jason 
I love you

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Word Of The Day

clowder (noun) :
a group or cluster of cats

I swear I am not becoming a crazy cat lady, any more than I already am. I just saw this as a trivia question on a dictionary site and thought it was interesting. I also like a Parliament of Owls, Aerie of Eagles, Gang of Weasels, Congregation of Alligators, the list goes on. 

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Brain Dead Tonight

There is a lot going on but I am struggling to find anything to write tonight, even though:
- it is election night in the US
- I have an amazing boyfriend that I haven't written about
- there was snow today
- I just got back from a trip to Ottawa and Montreal

Brain dead, uninspired, writer's block. Maybe tomorrow will be a better blog day.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Word Of The Day

ailurophile (noun) :
a cat fancier , a lover of cats

Friday, 2 November 2012

About To Be The Laughing Stock Of TO

There is 'buzz' about this and I shouldn't be perpetuating it. I should be also sending you to a slightly more solid source, lots of different people, blogs, newspapers, etc. have written about it. The one I like the best so far is one connected to The Toronto Star - this article was posted on their New In Homes blog and it mirrors my recent statements about the issue.

The Issue: Another condo in Liberty Village.
A local developer, Lifetime, has submitted a proposal for a new 32-story tower on the site of the Liberty Market Building. The plans call for retail on the ground floor, and six storeys of office space, and a condo tower in the centre.

The Response: Opposition!!
Residents of Liberty Village started a social media campaign to attempt to have a potential condominium stopped, “saving” the Liberty Market Building.

The Ridiculousness: The blind and illogical hypocrisy.
Negative reactions are common when areas are facing the transition from low-rise too high-rise, but what makes the Liberty Village reaction so peculiar is the fact that the area itself is already a high-rise community. It seems somewhat odd for residents who purchased in an area that was built on condos to complain about…condos.

Final Statement: This is one of the most interesting proposals that has been seen in the area recently, and the developer appears to be trying to provide positive change and preserve the building's positive attributes, which makes the resistance all the more annoyingly insane.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Movember

It is back! I officially discovered Movember in 2010 and found people last year to support again. Well, it is that time of year again and my favourite charity campaign is here. What makes it even better this year is that on top of raising money and awareness for Prostate Cancer and men's health in general, Movember Canada has added a focus on Men's Mental Health to this year as well.

I am sure I will post about this again later in the month. In the meantime try to find someone to sponsor, and encourage the men in your life to participate. It is for an awesome cause and it is a very fun idea. Here is a bit of background from the website:

During November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces, in Canada and around the world. With their “Mo’s”, these men raise vital funds and awareness for men's health, specifically prostate cancer and male mental health initiatives. 

On Movember 1st, guys register at Movember.com with a clean-shaven face. For the rest of the month, these selfless and generous men, known as Mo Bros, groom, trim and wax their way into fine moustachery. Movember Mo Bros raise funds by seeking out sponsorship for their Mo-growing efforts. Mo Bros effectively become walking, talking billboards. Through their actions and words, they raise awareness by prompting private and public conversation around the often ignored issue of men’s health. 

Also, this always makes me think of a great Canadian politican:
RIP Jack Layton - The man with the greatest Mo of all.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Not Again!

It has happened again - around lunch today I started to get hit with a head cold. I have been sneezing and blowing my nose for a couple of days but now it has filled my sinuses, made me dizzy, it is hard to breath, and I am achy all over - full blown winter cold! Last year I mentioned that I get sick around Halloween, but last year I didn't really have a lot of plans. This year I'm working, having people over tomorrow on the actual day, and today I am going to a Halloween networking event in the evening. I don't want it to be 2009 all over again, when I had lots of plans but ended up in bed. I should spend the evening cleaning in preparation for having people over, but I think that will get sacrificed for a good nights sleep.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Comic Sans

Kristen's new job is much more about design than she had originally thought; this has lent itself well to font conversations. We actually often discussed fonts before too. She does not share my love for Comic Sans. This makes me sad - it is one of my favourites, the wiki articles says it is used in The Sims, which might be the subconscious base for my love.

Anyway, this rant describes my thoughts perfectly:

I’m Comic Sans, Asshole. By Mike Lacher

Friday, 26 October 2012

What So You See?

---------- from Facebook

The first 3 words you see are what you seek to achieve. 
What do you see? (Click to enlarge)



I saw: Fun, Hope, Success

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Breathtaking Images

I wanted to pick one or two images from this series to share on Always Standing before providing the link to view them all - but I couldn't pick. I also don't know how to describe this so am going to use the wiki article:

Jon Rafman (born 1981, Quebec, Canada) is a Montreal based contemporary artist perhaps best known for exhibiting found images from Google Street View.


I stumbled upon this a while ago and have been meaning to post about it. I found it so haunting - beautiful and not beautiful at the same time. The images and idea stuck with me. I looked through them again now and I found it just as powerful. I really appreciate that the artist doesn't add any text. (I also like that he is Canadian.)

Monday, 22 October 2012

Go To Goodlife?

My gym closed!! I don't know what do now. There are other gyms in the area, including a 24 hour Goodlife, but I really liked the other one, it was in a beautiful loft space too. I should be honest and tell you that basically my membership had become a monthly donation, but I was planning to start going back this week! Then I got an email saying that it was shutting down.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

MC & Maid Of Honour

As promised, I am posting a link to the professional photos for Steph and Dave's wedding. You can see them HERE on the photographer's blog. (Also, check out Steph's blog to read about her favourites.) All the phtos are beautifully done! I had no doubts, the engagement/concept shoot was amazing - so, I know that we were in good hands.

When looking through them, note the shot of me writing speeches (MC duty), the sexy picture of an almost kiss with a necklace pull, the one with Teri in the background, and my favourite, the most beautiful picture of Steph getting her earrings put in by her mother. Here is a sweet shot of me tying up Steph's dress (Maid of Honour duty), Steph's sister-in-law is helping me, a flower girl looking on, and Steph's mom is in the background...

Getting Stephanie Ready
Photo Copyright © 2012
By Genevieve Georget/Fifteen:Fifty-One Photography

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Who Wants A Springform Pan?

Last night, I went to a big warehouse sale for Kitchen Stuff Plus. I love this store! It is like a Winners but for kitchen, bath, and other household products. Even though I don't cook, I still like shopping! Anyway, I was looking for a couple of things for myself and anything that seemed like a good idea for Christmas presents. Well, I found a springform pan, which is something I have been wanting for a while.

For those who don't know (according to Wiki) a springform pan is a type of bakeware that features sides that can be removed from the base. The base and the sides of the pan are separate pieces. The pan is secured by a latch on the exterior of the wall. This tightens the 'belt' that becomes the walls of the pan and secures them into a groove on the base piece.

I assume springform pans have a few purposes, but for me it is a 'cheesecake' pan. Every now and then I think I want to make a cheesecake, which is an expensive endeavor as it is, only to realise that I don't have one of these pans so will be need to go out and get that first. So, now I have one!

The pan was a great deal; it is a high quality brand and was $9.89. However, that wasn't for just one pan, but three! What am I ever going to do with three of these pans? I can barely picture a scenario where I would use two at once, let alone a third. The quality of the pans is quite good and it would make a nice gift for someone, but unless explicitly asked for it would be a really strange Christmas present. Anyone who bakes probably already has one. It is just too random an item to give someone on a whim, even if I knew they were a baker.

I might give one to Mike, since he most likely doesn't have one and he used to like making cheesecakes when he was younger. I also feel that big sisters are allowed to give random gifts.

Friday, 12 October 2012

First Client - Balachandran Law

Today I worked with Aghi Balachandran to bring his law firm, Balachandran Law, to a wider audience through online marketing. Many people in professional fields are hesitant to move their business into the exciting world of social media. I hope to help Aghi Balachandran ensure that his online presence reflects the sharp and successful reputation he has already developed as a Criminal Defence Lawyer in Toronto.

Beyond social media, he is also planning on revamping his website www.balalaw.ca with a local developer. I hope to also assist him with this as well.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

A New Background

With my last laptop I really felt that changing my wallpaper/background would really make a difference and help improve things:
- After getting it repaired
- After reformatting it
My old laptop was not really the greatest and I know logically that the image displayed has nothing to do with how well the thing works.

However, I still take the choice of background very seriously. You have to look at it all the time! I don't like having people, or landscapes; I love roses. So, after taking my time and reviewing some options online, for my new laptop I have decided on the following:

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Gulp!

So, umm, this just happened: 
A woman at work asked if I was pregnant! 

That has never happened before; I really need to get started on a weight-loss plan and fast! She didn't say it in a mean way, and she is British so she actually asked, "Oh, are you all spronged?" Which she then clarified meant pregnant, I think it is a more affectionate British version of 'knocked up'. When I told her I wasn't, she back tracked a bit saying how great I look and that she was just thinking it would be wonderful for me if I was... I have only met her a few times, so she obviously doesn't know me well. It is so surreal; I have never been asked that before by a borderline stranger. I don't know what to think.

My Beautiful City

---- from Twitter

City Rising
By Tom Ryaboi


City Rising from Tom Ryaboi on Vimeo.

And She's Back!!

Steph has returned to the world of writing and blogging. She just posted on her main personal blog (The Great Abyss), giving some reasons for her absence. You can read it HERE. I am so glad she is writing again, I have missed it!

It also looks like she has made some adjustments and moved her photography blog over to WordPress. She also has a beautiful website for her company - Stephanie Beach Photography. I know I keep saying this, but I promise I will get the My Links section of Always Standing updated soon.

Monday, 8 October 2012

New Laptop

I finally got around to replacing My Little Pet, the old Acer laptop that stopped working on me a few months ago. I now have a shiny new Samsung! It is very nice to have a working computer again, I was relying on my work computer during lunch hours and my phone the rest of the time - that wasn't really cutting it. I have lost my copy of Microsoft Office and I also don't have photoshop loaded on this, so everything still isn't perfect in my world of computers but this new laptop is definitely a step in the right direction!

Friday, 5 October 2012

Crash & Cry

So yesterday I spent 6:30am to 11:00am crying - for no reason, or for lots of little insignificant reasons, depends how you look at. "I hate myself. I hate my life." When I get that upset, I end up making myself ill; so, I also threw up a bit. It was all really awful and after a crash like that I don't feel like myself for a while. It will take some time to get back to normal. I am functioning today - at work, awake, feeling human.

Lessons Learned (for what feels like the millionth time): My medication is important and must be taken everyday and refilled before it runs out. I need lots of sleep. It is important to eat right and exercise.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

CSOL - Christine Sweeton OnLine

After some pressure from my parents and Teri, I have decided to slowly start to brand myself and consider starting a small side business based on my Communications and Social Media background. I work with the business side of social media every day, it is an area of marketing that I am very comfortable with. I am also very confident in my abilities to provide advice and services to others in this area, so it really isn't a bad idea to slowly start to see where this could take me.

And of course, I always like to start with a name:

CSOL - Christine Sweeton OnLine

Mr. & Mrs. Koning

It is my pleasure, to introduce for the first time on Always Standing ....

Mr. and Mrs. Koning!

Photo Copyright © 2012
By Genevieve Georget/Fifteen:Fifty-One Photograph

Steph and Dave's wedding was so amazing! It was beautiful and perfect and an insane amount of fun!! More details and pictures will follow soon, but I wanted to let everyone know how the weekend went - in short, AWESOME!

Friday, 28 September 2012

The Night Before

I'm in Ottawa, hanging out in a big hotel suite with Steph on the evening before her wedding to Dave. We are both excited, and a little nervous, (and I may still be making last minute changes to my MC speeches.) Tomorrow is going to be amazing!! If you too are excited and want to see some pretty pictures now -- Visit this site to see Steph and Dad's beautiful, interesting, fun, and unique engagement/concept photo series.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Last WOTS Review

The fifth and final review Mom and I did of the 2012 Toronto Book Awards finalists for the WOTS blog can be read HERE

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Rough Day?

Having a rough day? Well, at least this isn't you:


A couple of weeks ago, Kristen sent me the following link:
13 Simple Steps To Get You Through A Rough Day
(And, I really really wish I was that penguin!!)

Side Note: Congrats to Kristen, it is her first day at an exciting new job! She doesn't work in the same building as me and I already miss her presence. However, she works right in downtown so that will give me a good excuse to go and visit other fun and exciting areas of Toronto! 

Thursday, 20 September 2012

It's Like The West Wing!

They are back! Kind of.

It looks like Mary McCormack, who was the Deputy National Security Advisor Kate Harper during the later season's of The West Wing, got a good section of the cast back together to help promote her sister - Bridget Mary McCormack, who’s running for The Supreme Court. I guess in the USA the public votes for who goes on The Supreme Court, I don't think we do that here. Anyway, Bridget Mary McCormack, is running on the nonpartisan ticket (I believe this means that she isn't connected to a party - similar to our Independent candidates.) So the video seems like a chunck of the show - I actually thought it was edited sections from previous episodes but I think it is a totally new thing. It mainly reminds Americans about voting in the nonpartisan section of their ballot, which apparently they often overlook.

Hopefully my American readers or Anna will help confirm or correct the above.

The Video:

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

More WOTS Reviews

Our third review - of Copernicus Avenue by Andrew J. Borkowski - is HERE.

Our fourth review - of Six Metres of Pavement by Farzana Doctor - is HERE.
This one is predominantly Mum writing and some editing on my part since I didn't get a chance to read the book yet.

 One last review to go and then it is FESTIVAL TIME on Sunday!!

Monday, 17 September 2012

Quote Of The Day

"Apparently people at McDonald's have goals."
-- ErinAH

(She had meant selling quotas.)

Steph's Bachelorette Weekend - By The Numbers

Dates - Friday September 14th at 7pm to Sunday September 16th at 2pm
Emails sent between JennD and I the week before - 11
Emails sent between Steph and I the week before - 3
Glasses of champagne served upon arrival at the hotel - 2
Rounds of Cards Against Humanity played w/JennD - 10
Pairs of shoes bought, for myself, at Ardene's - 2
Time on hold w/BMO about cancelled debit card - 12 mins
Teapots on our table at Chateau Laurier's High Tea - 4
Relaxation cycles done at Le Nordic baths - 3
Times we saw someone holding a 'silence' sign at the baths - 4
Won at the casino - 20 cents
(Photo of ErinAH and Steph with the winnings)
Hashbrowns ordered from McDonalds on Sunday morning - 6
Times ErinAH redrew her design at The Mud Oven - 5
Distance traveled by ZipCar Mini - 1026 km

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Second WOTS Review

Mom and my second review for Toronto's The Word On The Street: HERE

Friday, 14 September 2012

Got It!

Thank you for all your thoughts, hopes, prayers, wishes, etc. My purse and all of its contents have been returned to me. I am VERY VERY happy!

Great Friends - Great Day!

Today I am in Ottawa, Steph is getting married (to Dave) at the end of the month, and as Maid of Honour I am running the Bachalorette weekend - starting tonight.

Also today - it is Teri's birthday!!! She has moved out of the city and just started a new school year so we will be celebrating next weekend.

So, today is a big day for my two best friends. I love you both so much. Have an awesome weekend my two amazing ladies!

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Where Did You Go?

I lost my purse this afternoon! I was mid-delivery of a work project and I can't really remember where I last had it. I know that I had it when I parked infront of the condo building I was doing the delivery at and that I didn't have it when I left. I don't know how I lost it - it is huge, big and purple.

When I called to cancel my credit cards they said that they had not been used. So, I doubt it was stolen. Who steals a huge purple purse just for the $15 cash in the wallet and not try out the credit cards? I think I left it somewhere. However, I scoured the building later and couldn't find it. I really hope it turns up, that someone finds it and contacts me somehow.

The loss of all of the various cards in my wallet (credit, debit, various ids, various loyalty programs etc.) is a big inconvenience, which will cost me time and money that I don't have. Losing my cell phone, which was also in my purse, is really upsetting. My planner was also in my purse, and all my keys, and the list goes on. It has not been a good day. I am very sad and need to back.

As JennB used to say, "Say a prayer to St. Anthony." Now, I am not Catholic, but I always would since when something is lost you want all the help you can get! According to wiki; "St Anthony is venerated all over the world as the Patron Saint for lost articles, and is credited with many miracles involving lost people, lost things and even lost spiritual goods." Can you help and pray for me too? If you are adamantly against praying/religion - maybe looking up Anthony of Padua on Wikipedia and reading the article will count - that is more like research.

--- Please bring my purse back to me, as soon as possible. ---

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Bio & First WOTS Post

Here is this year's bio for Mom and I on The Word On The Street blog : HERE

Our first review is up too! HERE

Friday, 7 September 2012

Toronto Book Awards 2012

My mom and I are reviewing the Toronto Book Awards finalists again this year for Kristen at Word On The Street so stay tuned!

Thursday, 30 August 2012

SC - TexMex Salad

I took a risk and decided to make-up a salad recipe. I am a terrible cook and have no concept about how flavors work together but I figured if I made something TexMex then I could just put together things often seen in Mexican dishes and it should taste alright. 

Chris' Corn TexMex Salad
Can be eaten as a salad or used as a dip with scooped shaped tortilla chips.
-  Shredded Chedder and Motzerella (Served on the side for Kristen)
One can of Red Kidney Beans (washed)
- One can of Lentils (washed)
- Can of Corn Niblets (Drained)
- A large bunch of Spring Onions, Finely chopped
- Green Pepper (Cut to a size smaller than the Kidney Beans)
- Avocado (Cut to a size smaller than the Kidney Beans)
- Minced Garlic
- Lime Juice
- Salsa (I used Tostitos Roasted Garlic Salsa)

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Solid Cheese

Work is busy, as usual. The past two days, while administering our TTC program, I have been working on scheduling deliveries and organizing about 50 businesses who are participating in a promotion my office is preparing. All day today I have been muddling my days and messing up what day of the week it was. Luckily this didn't happened when dealing directly with a client but often I would find my self looking at various calenders and charts I was working on confused as to where we were in the week.

All day, I have been thinking that it was Thursday. -- It isn't, it is Wednesday.-- It doesn't even make any sense that my mind would skip ahead a day since I wasn't even at work on Monday. However, it felt like Thursday. Not even in a wishing it was later in the week so that it would be over sooner type of way - just genuinely my body/internal/natural clock seemed to make today Thursday.

I couldn't figure it out. Then I realised that I had made plans a couple of days ago with the guy I am dating to spend the night together, meet up after work and have dinner at The Ex - on Thursday night. Now, I was fully aware that this was happening tomorrow. However, I have been so excited about seeing him again that I am looking forward to it like it is a weekend, making it feel like it is happening on a Friday night. Hence making today feel like Thursday.

I think the phrase behind this sentiment, while quite cheesy, is also poetically beautiful while at the same time romantic in a way that is urban and modern and real.

You are my weekend.

As a side note, yes, I am seeing someone - who for the time being does not have a 'blog name' because his initial has been used in the past and I can't think of a good alternative. We met on eHarmony and even though we have stuck to weekdays, he is the first person  in a long while that I would consider worth having a date with on a weekend. I really do enjoy him, as, especially in the summer, weekends are golden times that I had yet to feel a guy was worthy of.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Internet!!!

I have switched between Bell and Rogers. Bell is at Rrunuv Bayit now setting up phone, internet, and tv. The GTA (Greater Toronto Area) and some parts of Quebec now have Fiber Optic cable available through Bell, so I am having that installed. They have to run new lines and set everything up. The two technicians have been here for 3 and a half hours already. Thus far the phone and, obviously, the internet have been completed. However, the tube tv that my parents gave me is posing a problem - they can get the sound to work but not the video. (We are listening to the Republican National Convention.) Happy to have the internet though.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

"Three Things I Want In A Guy"

------- from Twitter (A Craigslist Ad)
 

Click on the image to enlarge and read the text.
(I laughed so hard at this!! Totally want this car.)

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

You Cannot Multitask

As I have said before - I love visual representations of data! The Perils of Multitasking is a well done infographic (not always the case - sometimes these trendy infographic things are not done well or contain little/incorrect data or bad sources.) Highlights include: "Studies show that while working, being distracted by incoming calls or emails lowers a person's IQ by 10 points. The equivalent of missing a night of sleep. And twice the effect of smoking marijuana."

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Lessons From NYC - Brooklyn Bridge Is Busy

Looking Up To Avoid Getting Tourists In The Brooklyn Bridge Photo
Photo by me with my cell phone

Teri and I walked across from Manhattan to Brooklyn on the Manhattan Bridge and then returned by walking across the Brooklyn bridge. While the later is much more iconic, it was very very busy - packed with tourists. The walk towards the island has a nicer view, but it would be enjoyed more in the peace and quiet of the Manhattan Bridge.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Cat Yoga

Amusing and cute! (Also, features 2D-Kitten, which Two used to do all the time but I haven't really seen in a while. The movie calls it 'Warrior I' and the cat also does it in front of the mirror.)

2D-Kitten: when a cat arches into a Halloween version of itself, with a puffy tail and hops backwards: the cat appears to flatten, all four legs and paws seem to lie on the same plane aka. the cat is two-dimensional

Sunday, 12 August 2012

No Night Bus

I stare at the computer screen. Sober. With the knowledge that for the last 4 years writing has only come after drinking. But I want to tell the story of The Night Bus.

Or should I say - The No Night Bus

----

1:25am and the streetcar arrives as I check my phone for its schedule

A paper sign on a station pole details the final route before the switch to night blue. Municipal taxes for computer paper and a depressing 1:34am when my cell reads 1:39

I say that there is a 24 hour night bus and the others say that it picks up on the street a couple of blocks away so I walk towards home enjoying the cool night air and soon find the strip of metal with 24hr on top and a strip of blue on the bottom

Pull down the sleeves of my thin shirt

Look for a ledge to lean but find a wall

Sharp pains in my stomach that I can't figure out

Stand while moving digital images with my fingers to make other digital images in the hopes of getting another digital image. (I play a game on my cell.)

Watch cars and lights and cabs

Listen to conversations from open windows

Walk to the edge to look into the distance

An exit from the cell phone game shows 2:09am and that the battery is dying.

It has become a case of wills. Too much time. Pride and the need to triumph. Watching others give in to taxis or turn swiftly and start walking away - fun to see at first but now upsets me - I will not give up. There is no snow. The weather is perfect for waiting. (I try to pull my sleeves down further and stuff my hands into my pockets. Goosebumps formed ages ago.) This is a city of transit and I grew up in a town with none.

-Slowly lower body down the wall
-Sit in a clear patch of concrete
-Bend legs in front

Find my book in my purse and read.
Time stops for a while.

When the 312 pulls up it is full. The door is not opening, though there is movement inside leading to the hope of space. The number of people gathered at my corner has grown considerably and even if the doors open I am now standing behind them all.

Two more turn on their heel and walk away.

I watch the bus leave and wait to cross the street
The walk is nicer then the waiting.
Clothes on mannequins. Chairs on top of tables.

For a brief moment as I pass, I see a man lean over to peer into a mirror inside a darkened barber shop.
-- I move to the curb
-- Raise my hand
-- And hail a cab

Spending my last $10 at 2:59am

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Do I O U 2?

I really really need a laptop. My parent's want their netbook back, and I find it challenging to use. I got it in my head that I would buy a very cheap laptop - for $200. I scrounged together $200 and started looking; well, it turns out that laptops are sightly more than that. So instead I am going to start paying back the people I owe money too, which includes, but I don't think is limited to:
- Teri (for hotels/hostels during our trip)
- Steph (for a train ticket to her wedding)
- Dad (for the bridesmaids' dresses he put on his Sears card)
Let's just not talk about the credit cards...

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Two Cute

Two In The Window Of The WOTS Office
By Cailin C.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Burnt Belly

Last week I read at my doctor's office that skin cancer is the both the most prevalent and most preventable cancer. (I would argue that the cancers related to smoking are more preventable though.) Anyway, only a few days after that I get my first sun burn IN YEARS! It is pretty mild, just slightly uncomfortable. However, I am such an intense advocate for sunscreen use that I'm very disappointed in myself. At the cottage, I was, of course, wearing sunscreen but I wasn't diligent enough with reapplying after swimming. Also, I am now using this sport-spray kind that I feel needs more applications than the normal cream stuff. Well, now I know - learnt the hard way.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Healing Is Hot

I fell yesterday - randomly. I was walking outside, in new shoes that I can't even call heels, and I think my ankle just collapsed. Which isn't really that strange, it was the weak one that I sprained years ago and I affectionately call 'my hoof'. Because I was holding things, I landed on my elbow, forearm, and right knee. It didn't hut and thankfully didn't wreak my jeans. However, when I got home I found out I scrapped it up pretty good and it was bleeding (but it didn't go through my pants so I don't really get how that happens.) Anyway, y knee got a little swollen over night and is sore now when I bend it. Hopefully it will turn into a really impressive bruise! The strangest thing though is that the whole knee area, around the scabby part, is very very warm. I know that is how you tell a injury, but it is really strange to feel the difference in temperature between my two knee caps. I can't remember really experiencing that before.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Instead I Will Sleep

I am/was running out of my various pills - I am between doctors at the moment and while I do have a new one set up we have yet to really meet and timing is off in terms of prescriptions. I have been 'rationing' my main anti-depressants for the last few days. Normally I would take 3 or 4 a night, but to make them last I was picking some nights to have only 2 (including last night when I finished the last 2 I had.) Luckily, I got a small prescription done and will be seeing at least a nurse practitioner, who can prescribe medicine, this week.

Anyway, I wonder if I it is lowering of my meds or a combination of other things but today has been a strange day. It has been a bit of a roller coaster of emotions, nothing too extreme - I am not bi-polar despite a terrifying comment made by a doctor last year. Today wasn't really a bad day and there were lots of nice things and good emotions too. But I really feel like ranting and pushing out all of the negativity! I am not going to though, I think it makes more sense at the moment to just sleep.

Monday, 30 July 2012

Trust Me - It Was Amazing!

Mike Got Married!!

Yesterday, Little Brother Mike 'tied the knot' with Aimee - it was incredible. I had wanted to hold off posting until I had some photos to show you, so everyone could see just how dashing Michael looked in his uniform, how stunningly beautiful Aimee was, and how much fun all the guests were having at the party afterwards. However, for now you will just have to take my word for it. Everything was absolutely wonderful!! More details to follow - I promise.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Introducing: Locklan!!


* Lochlan David N. *
Born: Tuesday July 24th, 2012
Proud parents: Taylor & Mark
Proud godparent: Kristen

 Welcome To The World Little Baby Boy!!
Taken by me with Kristen's cell phone
(He is about 26 hours old in this picture.)

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Interesting Thought

----- from Twitter 

"When we work hard on something we believe in, it's called passion. When we work hard on something we don't believe in, it's called stress."

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

And The Baby Wins

Taylor and Mark got some very beautiful maternity photos done. (Yes, Taylor has been pregnant for the last nine or so months - something that I don't think has been officially announced on Always Standing.) I asked permission to post some of the pictures and Taylor said yes.

Well, last night Taylor had the baby! He beat me to even posting about the pregnancy! I am so excited - Congratulations to Mark and Taylor!!

Kristen and I are going to go and visit him tonight. From what I can tell from the small photos coming from Mark to the cell phone - I am going to be spending some time with a beautiful, tiny, perfect, and adorable little creature this evening. I can't wait to meet him!! Hopefully I can get a couple of quick photos and ask Taylor if I can put them up too. In the mean time here is what he looked like a month or so ago...




Mark & Taylor - Maternity
By Gerri Photography

Lessons From NYC - Art Deco Is Timeless

A Light On The Chrysler Building
Photo by me with my cell phone

I loved it before and I loved it again; The Chrysler Building is beautiful. I love Art Deco architecture on both a grand and intimate scale. (However, I am not a big fan of Art Deco elsewhere.)

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

USA 2012 - Roadtrip Update #4

Pre-Scheduled Post:
As per my trip itinerary (bar any issues/changes/complications etc.)
I should be ....

Heading home. This is our longest driving day. I need to be back in Toronto by tonight since I have to work tomorrow.

Boston? Where Are You?


Which Exit?
Self Portrait

Teri and I are heading back to Canada today. The above photo is from the drive between New York City and Boston - I am the navigator in the car. (When on foot, for the most part Ter handles transit and navigation.) I was good with the maps and directions for the first driving leg of the trip but this last one was a little shaky; There definitely were some u-turns, missed exits, and circling back situations. Today is our longest drive - lets see how well I do with the maps this time!

Saturday, 21 July 2012

USA 2012 - Roadtrip Update #3

Pre-Scheduled Post:

As per our trip itinerary (bar any issues/changes/complications etc.)
Teri and I should be ....

Moving on to visit Boston, the final city of this trip.

A New York Tidbit

Teri and I got a walking tour of High Line Park in NYC. It was amazing, 'Google it' to read about what it is. New York City is one of my favourite places in the world. It is so beautiful and vibrant! This is Teri's fourth time visiting the city and she says that she keeps find new and interesting things every time she comes. She had been to The High Line before, on her last visit, upon a suggestion from one of Greg's friends. We both love it here.

I have so many little stories to share about our two days here but don't time at the moment to write about them all. I hope to post a few in the future in a little series called Lessons From NYC, so stay tuned.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

USA 2012 - Roadtrip Update #2

Pre-Scheduled Post:

As per our trip itinerary (bar any issues/changes/complications etc.)
Teri and I should be ....

Driving to New York City today and we have tickets to see a taping of The Daily Show this afternoon.

As The President

It is just a normal afternoon, signing some Bill into Legislation while my lovely First Lady looks on...

However, it isn't long before the First Lady starts to get some political ideas of her own...

Teri and the United States Capitol Building
Photo By Me, Taken With My Cell

The first picture was taken in a gift shop in a Oval Office reproduction, it was pretty fun to pose with the big desk!

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Chillin' With Lincoln

Lincoln Memorial, Washington DC
Photo by Teri O

And by "chillin' with Lincoln," I actually mean sweating my ass off! It has been been high 30's here in Washington with intense humidity, also The Mall is wide open and dry making walking unbearable at times. Teri is often heard saying, "It is like we are in an oven!" However, the city is awesome; the buildings, memorials, and museums are impressive; and the history is amazing!

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Monday, 16 July 2012

USA 2012 - Roadtrip Update #1

Pre-Scheduled Post:
As per our trip itinerary (bar any issues/changes/complications etc.)
Teri and I should be ....

Checking into our hotel in Washington, DC later on today! (We first need to do a little outlet store shopping in Grove City.)

Sunday, 15 July 2012

USA Road Trip Itinerary 2012

I have started my trip with Teri! We are chilling out in a road-side motel just north of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Here is the planned itinerary:

Washington, DC
Monday July 16th to Thursday July 19th

New York, New York
Thursday July 19th to Saturday July 21st

Boston, Massachusetts
Saturday July 21st to Tuesday July 24th

To keep everyone up to date as to where I am, I have scheduled some Always Standing itinerary details to share when we are moving on to a new city.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Found It - x2

At one point a couple of weeks ago I couldn't find either of my pairs of glasses.

Item Lost: Red Pair of Glasses
Time Lost: 2 months
Last Place I Remember: At the cottage
Place Found: In the fruit bowl on the kitchen table

Item Lost: Black Pair of Glasses
Time Lost: 3 days
Last Place I Remember: At the gym
Place Found: In the hallway toiletries closet

Always Editing

Every now and then I go back and read bits of Always Standing - I tend to find errors. Here is a recent one:

From: Spoiled By J
Said: I found it both flattering and revealing.
(When talking about him finding and reading my blog.)
Should be: I found it both flattering and relieving.

Friday, 13 July 2012

That Gotye Song

I know that I just posted about THIS recently, but the song really is everywhere right now. This video is a very accurate representation of what happens when the song comes on in the car. It is funny because it is true. The clip is strange because at times I found it slow and awkward and that it didn't hold my attention and then it has shinning moments when I laughed out loud and chuckled afterwards about. What do you think?

Quote Of The Day

---- from Twitter

This made me think of my mom:

"It's not 'box wine'...... it's Cardboardeaux."

Thursday, 12 July 2012

SC - Matching

There was only three of us for Salad Club today, so I didn't have to make a lot. I decided to match that with a three item salad - a pared down version of the first one I did.

Not A Lot Of Time, Money, Or Ingredients Salad
- Defrost a bag of small shrimp
- English Cucumber
- Avocado
- Dressing: French (Kristen had Italian Herb)

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

The Sole Lease Holder

Last night I went to go and renew the lease for Rrunuv Bayit. Kristen & Noah are going to be moving out and living together a little further west (in a super sweet loft-style place that I hope they let me help paint!) I haven't fully decided whether I am going to get another roommate or try living on my own for a while. Either way, I decided I would be the only name on the lease. This is the first time ever that I have held a lease on my own! There was always at least one other co-signer. I can remember my first apartment, Glen in Ottawa; there were so many people signed on the lease: Steph, Em, & I were living together so we signed and then I believe our parents did too! A lot has changed in 8 years.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Spoiled By J

I met J very very quickly on eHarmony. He was one of the matches that I messaged the first night I joined and he was the first person I met up with to meet face-to-face. To be ensure that the first date truly was special, I met up with someone else from the online dating site to see if all dates were like that since I was so new to it all. The second date was enjoyable but the chemistry was not there for me. This second guy wanted to meet up again and I had to apologize and say we weren't a good match. J and I then moved quite quickly into 'relationship status' and I stopped being an active participant on eHarmony - basically closing my profile.

J and I had a decent run - for the most part it was a fun three months and a great re-entry into the world of dating after a bit of a hiatus. However, I feel like it gave me a false sense of security and incorrect impressions of the online-dating world.

Thoughts From My First Use Of eHarmony And How The Second Run Is Different:

-- "This is going to be super fast and easy." J and I sent a couple of fun and witty emails, did a bit of arranging over text message to meet up and grabbed dinner as a last minute plan when we both figured out we have an evening free. Now, I am probably over a month into dating again and I have found getting to know guys and arranging dates with them can be tedious. Sometimes the text messaging stage lasts so long and gets so intense/flirty/frequent that it is practically like we are dating before we even meet. I also am busy so maybe that is making it harder to arrange times to meet - but I am always busy usually my social life fits around everything well.

-- "I am going to meet interesting people and do interesting things." This thought is manly based on the idea the dates are creative, fun, outings. Admittedly J and I just grabbed basic pub dinners the first few times we went out but soon after, because his interests and life were so different from mine, I got to do a lot of things I hadn't done before - like go to a hockey game in Toronto, Go Leafs Go! I think I have first-date burnout. I have gotten to visit some nice restaurants that I haven't been to before (and I got taken out in a really sweet car by a guy who sadly never called again) but in general these meetings are not super thrilling. 

-- "The blog is going to help me."  J had found Always Standing prior to us going on our first date - without prompting. This ended up disclosing the ADD, depression, what I look like, etc. upfront. I found it both flattering and revealing. Now, guys either refuse to look me up, even when given the details or they do and then they disappear, presumably turned-off my something that they found online.

-- "Everyone will want to meet and then date me." My first two dates both resulted in being asked out a second time. I proceeded to date one of them and had to politely decline the other. Even beyond that there were people still online who were interested in meet me. I am finding people this time around who are interested in meeting me - though it doesn't feel like a long or impressive list at the moment. However, once they meet me - they do not want to see me again! Some just completely sever conversation, which is so frustrating. Then others send a short message stating that they aren't interested in pursuing things further, which is a method that I prefer, however still can be heart-breaking at times.

It is definitly a good thing that the last thought listed above got challenged. It is not healthy/attractive to go around with that sort of attitude. However, I do wish things were going better. I will post later on about the various theories as to why I don't seem to be making good connections this time around.

Friday, 6 July 2012

There Is Always Hope With Star Wars

I came home the other night and Noah was watching Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, or in my mind, "Sweet! Is that the first one?" I haven't seen it in so long, and of course it is SO good. I love the 'original three' so much. Someone has made a Gotye 'Somebody That I Used To Know' Parody about the fact that the 'new three' don't really live up to how great the other movies were. (For those who don't know the song or music video for Gotye's 'Somebody That I Used To Know' you can view it HERE. See the amusing Star Wars parody below:

Thursday, 5 July 2012

SC - Fish Salad

This is the basic salad that I always like to make, though beyond the spinach and tuna I often change up the other vegetables.

Tuna/Salmon & Spinach Salad
The tomatoes get everything mushy so I do them separately and add right before serving.
- Finely chopped carrot (I bought a little bag)
- English cucumber
- Green Pepper
- Tomatoes
- Spinach
- Top with either canned tuna or salmon (I brought little pouches of both so people could pick.)
- Dressing: French (though Classic Herb also works)

Friday, 29 June 2012

Teri: Friend - Teacher - Advocate

Teri was part of a protest organized by the students at the high school she teaches at. It made the local paper! “Carrying four clear garbage bags with 365 used coffee cups displayed inside, the students were trying to illustrate to coffee drinkers the amount of waste that goes along with purchasing their daily fix in a disposable cup.” The students were hoping to encourage coffee drinkers to switch to reusable. See the article HERE.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

SC - Watermelon & Cucumber Salad

I got this recipe from my boss at work. First I did a little test-drive with Teri & Greg for dinner then made a larger batch for Salad Club. Teri just has red wine vinegar, so that saved a purchase. It is really good and I might consider starting to stock it. The salad was good; it is very refreshing!

Watermelon & Cucumber Salad
The first three ingredients can be prepared and combined ahead of time, however once ready to finish the salad you will need to drain it before adding the rest of the ingredients.
- Small watermelon cut in cubes
- 2 English cucumbers cuts to a similar size
- 1/4 cup of finely chopped fresh mint
- 1/2 cup of Feta cheese
Dressing: Equal parts red wine vinegar and extra virgin olive oil along with a tablespoon of minced garlic.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Today's Thought

I am not the first to think this, nor will I be the last:

Where are all the baby seagulls and pigeons? They are obviously reproducing in urban environments, but where are the nests, eggs, and babies? I fear that these two species just arrive to this world fully grown and evil like some kind of devil bird.

Iz Bite You

---- From Twitter, sent to me by Jeska
Yes, this is what Two would be thinking, but with her strange French/Russian accent, "Iz reelly vant you to pet me, but Iz also vant to bite you!"

Monday, 25 June 2012

Letters To Vincent

I am just back from a short trip to Ottawa (just one night.) As part of Kristen's Christmas present I said that I would take her back to the capital to see the Vincent Van Gogh exhibit at the National Art Gallery. Taylor came as well. It was a really fun trip. As part of the exhibit you could write a letter to the artist and it would appear projected onto this large wall and they would also email you a copy. During his lifetime Van Gogh wrote almost 1000 letters. The gallery put the works into his hand writing. Here is mine:

Thursday, 21 June 2012

SC - Shrimp & Avacado Salad

Today was my first time bringing a salad to 'Salad Club' and I was a little nervous. I decided to make a variation on the salad my mom and dad often make to start a meal, especially if they are staying somewhere near the ocean and have access to a lot of fresh shrimp. I was also talking to Mike who said that avocados and tomatoes help bring out each others nutrients or something. Basically, I had a base idea, and I guess nutritional support, and then I just winged it...

"Wow, Taste Those Nutrients!" Shrimp and Avocado Salad*
Some of this preparation can be done ahead of time but the avocado should be cut and added right before serving.
- Defrost a bag of small shrimp, occasionally drain and sprinkle with lime juice (Takes 8hrs)
- Combine shrimp with halved cherry tomatoes, large chunks of field cucumbers and avocado
- Serve on a bed of romaine lettuce
- Dressing: French (I also provided Balsamic Vinegar for those who didn't want the French)

*Quote from Kristen after her first bite

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Photos From The Weekend

Quick Update: I went to Ottawa this weekend to start fulfilling my Maid of Honour duties and help out with Steph and Dave's September wedding. Steph's mother and sister-in-law were also hosting a bridal shower on Saturday so I attended that as well. It was great to start to see everything coming together - invitations, the venue, favors, everything is going to look so beautiful. There was so much to do for the wedding that I spent most of my time with Steph, though I did get a quick visit with ERin and Anna.

A couple of photos:
Cutest cookies ever!!
Kristen was at Taylor's helping to host a baby shower for her. Since I couldn't attended the baby shower I sent favors and had these sugar cookies made. These two are broken because I was carrying them around in my purse, I'm sure the other ones were fine.

 Problem solved!
While my other friends are having bridal and baby showers, I am still trying to figure out how to get my laundry done. I did a few loads at Steph and Dave's but their dryer wasn't working. I visited a laundromat quickly before heading back home laid out delicates in the back of the car. Yes, I am still the girl that is drying her laundry in the back of a car - when em I going to grow up?

Thursday, 14 June 2012

SC - A Private Health Club

We stole this idea from Heather, but had been tossing around similar concepts for a while - The WOTS girls and I have created a 'Salad Club'. Each one of us takes a day and we make a large salad to serve at lunch for everyone. It is such a fun and healthy idea. (I have Thursdays, starting next week. I need to start thinking of fun salad ideas.)

This is also going to be the start of a new feature on Always Standing - each Thursday I will post the recipe for the salad that I make for SC (Salad Club). Stay tuned!

Fail!

So the post below notes that it had been 10 days between posts, I seem to have cut that in half to 4 days but it still isn't near where I would like it to be. Life got busy - quickly. Summer 2012 is crazy!

Sunday, 10 June 2012

10 Days!

It has been so long since my last post - 10 days. I barely remember how to blog anymore. It is a combination of work being crazy with our annual event, May and June being very busy socially (pretty much all of my weekends are booked), and probably most importantly the breakage of my laptop leaving me using my parent's borrowed mini or Kristen's Mac. I appreciate the generosity in both cases but both are a little harder to write on than a normal size PC computer/laptop. I am going to try to get into a better pattern of things - working out, sleeping, blogging - the usual things I promise myself.