Tuesday, 30 April 2013

An Award-Winning Orchid (Photo)

Congratulations to Steph on her photography win in Ottawa earlier this month! You can read more about her entry, and see the photo that won, on her blog, HERE. To further celebrate this achievement,  I have finally made a bit of movement on my long-standing project to update my links on Always Standing, note them on the LEFT.

Monday, 29 April 2013

A Good Day For Sports And LGBT

"Tens of thousands of men have played in the NFL, NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball. Until today none had expressed his homosexuality before retirement." --- from The story behind Jason Collins' story: The interview, by Jon Wertheim

Pick-up the May 6, 2013 edition of Sports Illustrated 
or read the article online HERE

Money Challenge - Week 5 - Update


Time Frame: Two weeks. Monday April 22 to Sunday May 5, 2013
*Transportation: No cabs, Autoshare, ZipCar, or Car2Go for a week.*
Update: It went well - I was successful, though it was very hard on a couple of mornings and I was late for work once. I am continuing on and trying to keep this going for a second week.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Busy Weekend

I know I haven't posted for a couple of days but I have been pretty busy. It wasn't a super fast-paced weekend but I did fill it with lots of friends, family, and fun.

Earlier this evening, I leaned back on the couch and thought, "Wow, I sometimes I can't believe this is my life." Things are good.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Something Wrong With My Face

I watch as the water pools in my hands. It is a little too cold, but that will help wake me up on this groggy morning. Bringing my head down and my face into the clear water; I never splash water on my face in the mornings, just slowly swirl and bath and rub my face with the water. It is always a slow process, and while probably fairly useless in terms of cleansing the skin - it is absolutely key in making me feel awake. But this morning it feels different.

My cheeks feel like they are sagging down to touch the palms of my hands and I can feel a thick, papery, leather substance, which seems to float. I keep my head down and fill my hands again, this time working to clean the sleep out of my eyes, which is taking more rubbing and hand refilling than usual. I bring water down across my skin again, and I can't feel the pressure of my fingers pressing the skin on my unresponsive chin and forehead. I start to wonder, "Are the muscles in my face numb? How did the skin get so detached from the structure of my face? And why does it feel so disgusting?" It doesn't feel disgusting in a dirty or greasy way, just thick and dead.

I grab the towel from the rack and start patting my face dry as I lift my head to look in the mirror. Slowly I am revealed to myself as I move the towel, systematically drying from top to bottom. I recognize my reflection but the colour is off. My skin has turned the shade of a freshly painted, new construction, suburban home - Builder's Grey, or is it Pale Beige? All of my pores are large to the point that they form dark shadows, pock-marked across my face, especially on my nose and along my cheek bones. There are probably dark circles under my eyes too but right now I am trying to understand, "Can you get bags under your ... pores?"

The two or three martinis consumed leisurely at the bar the night before spring to my mind. Actually, it is slower than a spring, more of a gradual uncurl of thought, "This is what alcohol does to you. This is why so many alcoholics have such terrible skin as they age." There wasn't much time left before I needed to be out the door and on my way to the bus stop. I didn't have a second to consider make-up or moisturizer - or any type of magical tonic or cream. Just time enough to glance quickly back at my reflection and notice that my eyes are terribly blood shot too.

Waiting at the bus stop the chilly wind can be felt on my hands but not my face, "What, has it switched? Is the skin-part of my face numb now?" I bring my cold hands up to my forehead and the sides of my face - they feel cool against my warm skin. I start to press my fingers into different places around my face - temples, hairline, forehead, under the chin, apples of my cheeks - not worrying what this might look like to my fellow transit commuters.

I am slightly relieved to discover that it feels as thought my skin had attached itself more firmly against the fat, bone, and muscles of my face, and I can feel the pressure of my prodding fingers. The relief is short lived since each poke hurts like it is touching a fresh bruise. "How did I bruise my entire face? What is going on here!?!" I think. While boarding the bus, I show my transit pass with one hand and rub my face with the other. I sat down to figure out this strange second stage of my quiet hangover. I slowly evaluate the situation, turning thoughts over in my mind like fat fluffy pancakes, "My skin is again affixed to my face but now it seem as though I have a full-face bruise beneath it?" This might be a slow morning.

--- Christine Sweeton, 2013 (I guess this piece could be illustrated with this photo from a few years ago. The physical reaction was slightly different, though I am 6 years older.)

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Puns For Anna

Anna loves 'em and I hate em! I would like to note that this list came from the Joke of the Day on Zoomer.com - a lifestyle portal customized for the discriminating 45-plus demographic - so that shows the usual audience. (I will admit to smiling at the first bunch, but the lower section I just had to roll my eyes.)

I tried to catch some fog. I mist. 

I know a guy who’s addicted to brake fluid. He says he can stop any time.

I stayed up all night to see where the sun went. Then it dawned on me.

I’m reading a book about anti-gravity. I can’t put it down. 

I did a theatrical performance about puns. It was a play on words. 

Energizer Bunny arrested: Charged with battery. 

I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me! 

Broken pencils are pointless. 


When chemists die, they barium. 

Jokes about German sausage are the wurst.   

The girl said she recognized me from the vegetarian club, but I never met herbivore. 

They told me I had type A blood, but it was a Type O. 

Class trip to the Coca-Cola factory. I hope there’s no pop quiz. 

I didn’t like my beard at first. Then it grew on me. 

What do you call a dinosaur with an extensive vocabulary? A thesaurus. 

When you get a bladder infection, urine trouble. 

What does a clock do when it’s hungry? It goes back four seconds.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

We Are Not Friends

I previously posted a long porn spam email that I had gotten. (So long in fact that in the comments my mom wished I had just included excerpts, but the whole thing was just so impressive I wanted to post it all.) Anyway, this Adriana person won't give up! I got another one from her:

------------- from an Email 

 Hey sexy!

I missed you friday night at the club :( 
 I was hoping to chat with you today while i work :) 
That is if you don't mind seeing me playing with myself on cam hehe ;)
Yah I am still doing the same job for now while paying for school. I made like $800 the other night and got to cum twice lol . I know I am sooo bad..Anyways please keep me company and chat with me in private while I work today and I promise to show you a little something something. I think I have this free access link in my member section.. 

 OK here it is! DO NOT GIVE THIS TO ANYONE ELSE PLEASE! Gotta start work now, cum see me so i am not jsut getting naked for strangers! (She then provides the link again) 

talk soon 

As I mentioned last time, she seriously has the wrong email. And I don't remember her mentioning that she was paying for school - I thought she was looking for some restaurant gig or something and was moving 'right effing near' me. Was I supposed to meet her at a club on Friday, I really don't remember her tell me that. I am hooked into the character though - obviously not enough to reply to the email or visit the link - but I almost am looking forward to more messages from her!

Monday, 22 April 2013

Money Challenge - Week 5

Time Frame: One week. Monday April 22 to Sunday April , 2013
*Transportation: No cabs, Autoshare, ZipCar, or Car2Go for a week.*
Notes: I take a lot of cabs! And have always been able to justify it, even though the logic is sketchy at best most of the time. I try to cut back often but one thing leads to another and I start taking them more then I should. Car2Go is a great option in Toronto, I can use it to just go one way and it is very affordable. However, I have a TTC Metropass and there is no reason not to use transit.  

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Money Challenge - Jason's Week 5 - Update

Time Frame: One week. Monday April 15 to Sunday April 21, 2013
*Loose Change: Gather all the coins lying around the multiple locations of the apartment (desk, bedside table, bookcase, table by the front door, coin jars, etc.) and take them into a free coin counter at a Bank of Montreal.*


Saturday, 20 April 2013

Cat And Mouse

The computer in this picture is pretty old but cat behavior has not changed much with the addition of laptops and tablets. Two does this now and Binx did it before. (Thank you to Jenn for posting this on Facebook) Cat on keyboard:

Friday, 19 April 2013


I hurt my foot earlier this week and right away I remembered the R.I.C.E. rule. ERin taught it to me back in Ottawa, after what was probably a foot or ankle injury. (I think I get more than the average amount of foot and ankle injuries.) Anyway, according to Wikipedia, RICE is a mnemonic for a treatment method for soft tissue injuries which is an acronym for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. When used appropriately, recovery duration is usually shortened and discomfort minimized. I am not very good about the compression part, and I think in Ottawa ERin really emphasized that part and taught me how to wrap my foot. Basically the resting part is easy, the icing helps if you are able to do it quickly, and even a few days later I am still sleeping with my foot elevated throughout the day and in bed at night since it swells-up really easily and becomes painful when it does.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

10 Fun Facts

----- from Facebook

10 Fun Facts

1. You can't wash your eyes with soap

2. You can't count your hair

3. You can't breathe through your nose, with your tongue out

4. You just tried no. 3

6. When you did no. 3 you realized it's possible, only you look like a dog

7. You're smiling right now, because you were fooled

8. You skipped no. 5

9. You just checked to see if there is a no. 5

10. I love these things!

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

So True

I heard this at a conference I am attending for work.

You can have two of the following (but not all three):
1. Fast
2. Good
3. Cheap

So true! Seeing that I always need 3, I have to either sacrifice quality or speed.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Money Challenge - Week 4 - Update

Time Frame: One week. Monday April 8 to Sunday April 14, 2013
*Dinner: No ordering in, getting take out, or going out to eat.*

Chris: Technically made it, but had a work dinner last night, which was eaten out but I didn't have to pay.
Jason: Made it through the week - ordered pizza for dinner tonight, couldn't even make it past Monday.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

I See The Moon

Oh there you are my crescent moon
I see you high up in the sky

The perfect curve so round and smooth
I picture sleep and teddy bears

Two thin points as sharp as nails
I watch you scratch the cold dark sky

The city lights and crowded streets
We can't ignore you 
Bright and strong above us all.

---- CS, 2013

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Saturday Puppy

Just Another Picture of Kilo
Photo by my boss, taken on her phone.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Not Enough Sleep

Last night I went to bed at 11:45pm and because of an early meeting I woke up at 6:30am - this means I had less than 7 hours of sleep. It wasn't really enough for me. I didn't feel sleep deprived by any means, but the first few hours of the morning were pretty rough. It isn't really right to complain, and I didn't, especially when I thought about the other people around me:

My boss wakes up at 5:30am everyday so that she can take her dog to the park in the mornings and regularly gets less then 6 hours of sleep a night.

Just like my Grandma, my Dad has always stayed up very late, not going to bed until 2am or later. Due to years of terrible sleep patterns, now, even as he ages and his body changes, and even though he has the luxury of retirement, he still sometimes spends less than 5 hours in bed. 

Jason, Tessa, and a few other  friends suffer from insomnia and have nights where they get less than 4 hours of sleep.

Kiyomi has a week-old baby and, due to feedings, is getting less then 3 hour increments in which to sleep.

So, I guess it really could be much worse for me.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Wrong Email I Think

This poor girl, I think she got the wrong email. She is obviously looking for some friend she used to talk to over facebook, but that isn't me - I also think the friend was male. I can understand how she may have gotten confused, because judging from her typing, spelling, grammar, etc. I don't think she is very bright.

------ from an Email

BABE... i guess your not getting any of my email huh? ive been tryign to email u so many times but this dam laptop is such a piece of garbage and keeps freezing.. anyways how u been?

In case u dont know who this is its ME Adriana.. we used to chat a bit on facebook and then I think u deleted me :( haha.. anyways guess what... I got 2 things to tell u.. both good news.. 1) im single now.. yup me and my bf broke up about 3 months ago... and 2) guess where im moving? RIGHT EFFING NEAR
U.. lol... ur actually the only person im gonna know there.. well 3 cousins too but i cant chill with them lol..

I remember when we chatted u told me u thought i was cute and u wanted to chill so now we finally can HAHA! im kinda scared to move.. im hoping this email addy is still the one you use and u can chat with me ebfore i get there.. maybe even help me move my shit in...are u still on facebook? i cudnt find ui was
soo confused...anyways im gonna need someone to show me the town and take me out so u better be around bebe...

we only chatted a couple times but i remember thinking to myself i wanted to get ot know u better when i was single..a nd i thoguth u were cute too but cudnt tell u cause i wasnt single lol...ok so more info about me.. well im 23.. virgo.. love the outdoors and love to socialize, go out for drinks, restaurants, movies etc.. travel.. i have a lil kitty named BOO and i luv her to death... uhhh oh im a super horny gurl too but
every gurl is they just wont admit it. so ilove watching p0rn and all that.. love sex etc blah blah blah...who doesnt..

I really hope we get a chance to chat for a bit either online or on the fone before i get there enxt week.. i hope u remmeber me and still wanna chill and arent married yet lol.. OH YA also.. i need to find a job when i get there..

do u have any hookups or know anybody hiring? id LOVE to work in a bar or osmehting like that...really anythgin cause my current job is fun and all.. and technically i CUD keep doign it but i want a change.. i
currently work from home and well thats cool but i need ot be out meeting people.. oh wait. i dont think i ever actually told u what i did? hmm shud i......???? ok WELLLL... and dont get all weirded out
on me.. i work on a webcam chat community site and i get paid to chat with people and get naked HHAHA... BOMB right :)? I KNOW.. like i figure iim horny anyways why not get paid to chat with people and play with myself heheh...anyways i hope u dont look down on that and NO THATS NOT WHY IM CONTACTING U RELAX URSELF lol... i actually need help once i move and i remembered u live there so im reaching out....like i said before this computer is a complete piece of CRAP and freezes NON
STOP.. ive tried ot send this email to u maybe 3 times already and im hopign this time i can hit SEND before i run into trouble lol..

ANYWAYS.. heres the deal....every month natalie (my boss) gives each of us 3 VIP codes to give out to whoever we want.. so with this code u can lgoin to watch me at work for free and dont have to pay like
everyone else... the only way i can give u one of the codes (so we can chat) is if you absolutey DO NOT give it out to anyone else and u ONLY USE IT FOR URSELF... i only get 3 a month and she gets pissed if more than 3 people use them so DONT SHARE IT MISTER... i figured u cud always email me back instead but my email account doesnt even let me login half the time.. so the bets palce ot chat me is my chat room...

if theres anyone else logged in when u sign in ill boot them out.. but remember DONT SHARE THIS PASSWORD PLEASE BABE IM BEGGING U.. I TRUST U... im online most of the day now to try and save money for my move.. also since im in such a huge debt already form my student loan :( I really thingk we need to chat before i get there and make sure u evern remember me hahha.. anyways ive rambled on and on now and ur probably soooo annnoyed with me so ill stop now.. im gonna go start work.. i really hope u come chat me. it wud make my day and releive a lot of my stress about the move... REALLY i mean that....anyways once i see u in insdie ill shoot u myc ell number and u can gimme yours.. if u dont wanna come chat i understand but its really the only palce to find me now days.. if u email me abck ill probably get it once i get there after my internet is setup so about 2-3 weeks fomr now.. but im hopign to see u in my chat room.. rmemeber its 100% free with this code im gonna give u.. just DONT GIVE IT OUT OR ILL KICK U IN THE BALLS INSTEAD OF LICK U IN THE BALLS WHEN IS EE U hahahahha...k babe im out
for now... chat ya soon.. kisses xoxo Adriana

(She then provided a link)

I have gotten the occasional porn spam or other sex related spam but I have to admit this one is done nicely. She just wants the recipient to be able to get a hold of her! She is moving nearby, they are going to start hanging out. Before she moves he might as well talk with her through her porn-website-job, how nice of her manager to provide a code to let friends into the chat room. Especially since her laptop has been giving her toubles.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Bronze Medal

Jenn had a Settlers tournament this past weekend, three game boards were set up on three different tables and two rounds were played. I came third out of about 15 players, though no bronze medal was awarded, just The Victor of Catan! I hope it becomes an annual event and that I can try again next year to get the coveted plaque.

Monday, 8 April 2013

Money Challenge - Week 4

Time Frame: One week. Monday April 8 to Sunday April 14, 2013
*Dinner: No ordering in, getting take out, or going out to eat.*
Notes: I am not terrible about making dinner any more and I am cooking a lot more than usual. However, there is still usually at least one night where I eat dinner out, either because I am meet friends, going on a date with Jason, or need to grab food before some evening activity. Then I also, out of laziness, order in a couple of times a month. Groceries and cooking is always cheaper, there are great deals in restaurants and fast food places but they are never better then making your own food.
Insight: Nicola said that her and Drew did this and quit cold turkey for an extended period of time. They also hadn't been eating out or ordering in very often but thought that it would be a good cost saving measure to stop altogether. At first she said it was really difficult and they felt deprived. But then they got used to it and this past weekend they got home late and were tired but there wasn't really any food in the house. So, Nic went to the cupboard to figure something out, "We have a can of tuna, I could make something with that?" Then Drew suggested ordering in a pizza which Nic had actually forgotten was even a possibility for dinner. So there is hope! 

Sunday, 7 April 2013

The Nephews Are Coming

This morning Jason heard about the birth of his third nephew and by this evening we were at the hospital helping to welcome the tiny baby into the world. Kristen's sister is due to have a little boy in the coming couple of months and last week Noah became an Uncle for the first time when Kyomi gave birth to the beautiful Daniel. It is a great time for baby boys! Congrats to all!

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Your Saturday Puppy

This little girl was at work yesterday. It isn't The Office Puppy, it is a puppy from the office next door. Her name is Kilo and was just so soft.

You Are Chocolate And I Want To Eat You
Photo by my boss, taken on her phone.

Friday, 5 April 2013

Really? No Way!

---------- from Twitter

"Money for deals is the biggest obstacle holding investors back from doing the real estate deals they want to."

Shocking revelation! Okay, I admit there could be many other obstacles holding investors back: doubt in the market, comfort in other areas of investing, previous bad experiences with real estate and/or tenets, wanting something faster and/or easier to invest in, etc. However, I feel that, in general, money is an obstacle that prevents a lot of people from doing a lot of things, seems like a pretty pointless statement. 

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Another Skype Date With The Ladies

The GeoConnections Girls catching up again, and imitating some famous celebrities again. (We have our patterns.): 

Anne - Shakira (Her hips don't lie)
ERin - Taylor Swift (After a break-up with John Mayer or One Direction)
Me - Natalie Portman (Not as much as usual)

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

True For My Cats

While Binx spent most of her time in the Napping Quarters, Two is well traveled on this map and will often disregard what ever is under the covers and just sit/lie on top of it - my legs, back, hip, stomach, chest, etc.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Another One Buys A House

In perfect timing to my recent post about adding in the Real Estate tag, Teri and Greg bought their first home! It is a large house in Oakville in a beautiful neighbourhood with lots of mature trees and a large park. (I know this because I Google Street Viewed the address.) I don't have many of the details. As luck would have it, Teri and I had already arranged to get together this evening so I will find out more soon. I don't know the closing or moving dates, whether there was a bidding war or conditions, how long it had been on the market, how many times they went to see it, the timeline on the offer, etc. But, I did get to see pictures of what the house looks like and it is beautiful! (Definitely not a starter home, it looks large and updated nicely.) Teri was able to send me the Virtual Tour - I don't know how long the link will last but if it no longer works you will just have to trust me that it is a really nice home.

Monday, 1 April 2013

Money Challenge - Week 3

Time Frame: This past weekend
* Keep the cost of my trip to Ottawa for the long weekend (Easter) under $200 *
Notes: I have finished this and was successful! It was a bit harder than I thought it would be, but I made it through.

$     3 - Magazine for bus ride
$ 150 - Greyhound Bus Ticket
$     3 - OC Transpo
$   15 - Lunch at The Works
$   13 - Dinner ordered in
$    7 - Lunch at Starbucks
$ 191 - Total