Thursday, 31 October 2013

A Halloween Rebel

When I bite into a Kit Kat chocolate bar across the sections I feel like such a badass. I swear it makes it taste better too! The little Halloween Kit Kats are just two tiny sections, and I prefer to eat them without breaking it apart and every time it makes me smile; I am such a candy bar rebel! Next time I have a big one (unless I am sharing it of course) I am not going to eat it stick by stick like a chump; buck the trend and take a big bite!

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Seriously, She Is So Helpful!

I know that I keep posting about how helpful Two is around the house. But she was at it again! Wrapping up a birthday gift and I leave the room to go find a pen to write in the card; I return to this:

Two Helping Wrap A Gift
Photo By Me

So yes, now that pretty wrapping paper has bite marks along the edge from her 'helping,' which looked a lot like attacking.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Living With A Boy

So, it is official, no question about it, I am now living with Jason. We did the final clean-out of his old apartment this afternoon and then returned the keys (main door, apartment door, mail box, parking garage, etc.) I am trying not to feel too overwhelmed by it, but there really is no going back from this point. So far, since he has basically been living here for almost a month now anyway, it has been amazing; I foresee us having a long and loving future. Still, no denying that this is a big step that I have never taken before and the reality of that came to me as I looked around his empty old apartment. (I don't know what I was expecting, all of his furniture is here now, of course it was going to be empty, but I hadn't seen it before tonight.)

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Teri - The Bride Of Greg

Teri and Greg are getting married next summer. Yesterday, I got to go wedding dress shopping with her, her mom, Monica, and Kendra. I love watching wedding dress shows, such as the many different versions of TLC's Say Yes To The Dress, and being a part of the wedding in this way (I also went dress shopping with Taylor and Steph) is like a live show version! Teri looked beautiful in pretty much everything she tried on and by the end of the day she had two dresses that she couldn't get out of her head. After dinner, we loaded up the photos taken on our various phones and cameras throughout the day and after a fairly quick side-by-side viewing of the two favourites - she picked one. It is stunning, she is going to look breathtaking when she walks down the aisle in July!

Steph is their photographer and has done a session with them already. I think she captures them perfectly! Check out a couple of the shots HERE. They really reflect the way Teri and Greg are together and how happy they make each other. I am very excited about it all!

Friday, 25 October 2013


The sunrise is longer in the city
Pink and yellow light traveling up tall buildings
It is somehow still dawn downtown

Smoothie for five times the cost of its ingredients
A day of work for a month of breakfast
Sounds fine until you think about it

A good seat on transit makes all the difference
Your own space to think and read and watch
Everyone is quiet this early

Servers in the coffee shop are way too happy
They will hate you by lunch time
But I have mine in a bag
Trying to compensate for the smoothie

- Christine Sweeton, 2013

Thursday, 24 October 2013

New Headboard

Jason has moved in, and his king-size mattress is now on a nice wood bed frame. However, buying a headboard of that size to go with the frame was going to be too expensive, and take up too much space in the small room. So, on a suggestion from Kristen, we are using a picture(s) as a headboard or focal point for the room. I made these and they hang above the bed:
(Made from leftover cream coloured cloth from the bottom of some old curtains that I stapled around from brown cardboard. I then used a marker to write our names. The centre one doesn't have anything written on it. I feel like the effect is very minimalist and goes with the dark wood, cream, and basic neutrals of the room.) Here are some close-ups:
(As you can see, I looked up a 'computer-style' font for Jason's name and a 'Shakespeare-style' one for mine. This reflects our difference in educational background, Computer Science and English, we are an odd mix.)

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Google Is So Helpful

Google likes to help you out with your searches; once you start typing a little list of drop down options shows up, based of your recent searches.

I hate you, Google. You’ve caused a lot of problems in my relationship. I share a computer with my girlfriend and she would look up anything.'I’m going to look up apples today.' She just hits ‘A.’ It’s 'Asian ass porn' instantly. Google is, like, 'I’ll take it from here. I know exactly what you’re looking up… Well, every time you hit ‘A,’ it’s ‘Asian ass porn.' Google! All I ask is that you let her type three letters before you jump to such a bold conclusion. - Daniel Tosh

Well, I needed to look up how long I needed to bake chicken in the oven (45 to 55 minutes if you are curious) so I went to use Google on Jason's tablet. Here is his drop down menu:

How to ...
How to make your own XBOX360 Hard Drive
How to clean and lube your bike
How to tie a tie
How to train your dragon

It reminds me of a post I saw on When Parents Text:

They should also make a website for 'when eight year olds use google' some of Sammy's latest googles include 'are mermaids evil' and 'how to make a real baby dinosaur'

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Results Week - ME!

I didn't do as well as everyone else - but I had such an amazing time that my poor scores just inspired me to work harder for next year. After finishing I couldn't stop smiling (and panting.)

Finish: 262
Gender Place: 147
Category (F 25-29):  31/32

Total Time: 1:25:19.2

Swim (400m): 15:49
Transition 1: 5:01
Bike (10km): 33:46
Transition 2: 1:34
Run (2.75km): 29:11

Side note, I think my terrible transition times didn't help; the transitions are often called 'the fourth event'. I took a lot of thought into setting my area up to speed transition, but it didn't help. For sure next year I want a bucket of water to clean the grass and sand off my feet after the swim before having to put socks and shoes on for the bike and run.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Results Week - Jason

So, Jason beat all of us, which I am going to say is because he swims a lot during the winter and bikes a lot during the summer. He was a bit nervous for the running part, and we did train for it, but he ended up getting a good time, especially after being tired from the swim and bike. The picture on the left is from the start of the race; just before the start of your heat you can get in the water to His category was also one of the first ones to go and the rest of us got to watch his entire swim and cheer as he came out of the water and ran back to get his bike for the second part. It was really inspiring and I think it gave us a boost before we started,since he did the swim in such a short amount of time. And the whole thing - IN UNDER AN HOUR! So impressive.

Finish: 129
Gender Place: 85
Category (M 30-34): 12/18

Total Time: 0:54:28.4
Swim (400m): 11:08
Transition 1: 2:57
Bike (10km): 21:59
Transition 2: 1:15
Run (2.75km): 17:11

This is Jason after the race. (He won a water bottle as a door prize.) I am excited to start training with him again for next year. We need to start going to the pool in the evenings to beef up our swimming.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Results Week - Mom

I finished before my mom ... but she beat me. Her category started last so there was at least 20 minutes between us; she caught up and I fell behind and when you look at the finishing times and stats she did amazing! (Totally kicked my ass.)

Finish: 247
Gender Place: 135
Category (F 55-59):  5/6

Total Time: 1:10:05.1

Swim (400m): 14:37
Transition 1: 3:59
Bike (10km): 28:07
Transition 2: 0:54
Run (2.75km): 22:31

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Results Week - Teri & Kendra

Seeing that Teri now consistently runs in 10km races and K has completed a marathon in the past, I knew they would do well at the triathlon. And I was right!
Before The Race
K and Teri
Photo by My Sports Shooter

Teri and K finished together, I actually think that they crossed the finish line holding hands - I can't show that shot because, unlike the one above that was in the Sports Shooter 'Free Zone', you have to pay for finish line photos. Anyway, Teri and K finished 206th and 207th - 99th and 100th for women. For their category, which was also my category, they were 21st and 22nd of the 32 females from age 25 to 29 that raced on Toronto Island that day.

Total Time: 1:00:58.7
Swim (400m): 12:37
Transition 1: 2:49
Bike (10km): 26:48
Transition 2: 1:00
Run (2.75km): 17:46

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Short Week - Results Week

To jump start me back to writing more regularly for Always Standing, I am setting up short series of posts with the various results for everyone who did the Triathlon back in August with me. Here we all are after the race:

MultiSport Canada Triathlon Series - Toronto Island 
August 24, 2013
Me, Jason, Mom, Teri, Kendra
Photo by Dad

If you are impatient and want to ruin the surprise you can look us all up on the Sportstats page HERE. However, results will be posted on Always Standing following the above photo from the right this week:
Teri and Kendra: Wednesday
Mom: Thursday
Jason: Friday
Me: Saturday

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Scary House Numbers

Yesterday, I was at a Lunch and Learn for first time home buyers. (I am not a first time home buyer, but we helped organize the session so I stayed to listen.) A cool 'rule of thumb' that was mentioned was that every $100,000 of house costs about $500 a month, in rent or mortgage. Obviously this is pretty rough, since changes in down-payment amounts can really change monthly mortgage payments, but I did find it pretty accurate in a more general sense. When I added up the total rent paid from all three of the units in the house I live in, it would suggest that it has close to a million dollars in value, which is about what I have seen similar places in my area selling for. Sadly, when I also look at what I am currently spending for Rrunuv Bayit and translate that to what I could afford in house value - I can't even buy a condo in Toronto and keep my mortgage payment comparable to what my rent is right now.

The second interesting number-ratio-rule thing that was discussed was putting aside money for repairs, maintenance, and general house upkeep once you own a property. The mortgage broker and real estate agents that were running the session suggested 1% of the value of your home per year put aside for maintenance. Then, last night, I was watching Til Debt Do Us Part, and Gail Vaz-Oxlade (who I have been in love with for a very long time, she really is the greatest) told a couple that they should be putting aside 3% to 5% of their house value per year. This might be because the show was filmed about 10 years ago when house values were different or that the state of repair and age of the house is an important consideration.

I have created my own 'rule of thumb' related to maintenance and upgrades, I think that for every 25 years of age of a house the owners should save (and then spend) 1% of the homes value on repairs and renovations. This would mean that a newer home would cost less and an older home should be getting more frequent and expensive upgrades.

I am going to use my parents as a rough example for my new theory. (The numbers are very very rough seeing that I live in Toronto and don't really have any concept of small town Ontario or cottage country housing costs, so please don't even consider these numbers estimates, they are more like uneducated guesses.) So, when living in a 'century home' in Paris that was worth let's say $200,000 a lot of money should have been put into upgrades (and I think it was, looking back on my childhood, it was spent in pretty much a constant state of house renovations.) The house was slightly over 100 years, so that would be 5 sets of 25 years, so 5% of the value meaning  $10,000 a year. That would mean a new roof, or saving for a couple of years for a new kitchen, but basically it would cover large projects. Now, they live in a brand new place down at the beach, possibly worth $400,000 meaning that 1% a year is $4,000. There aren't a lot of large repairs to a new house (or at least there shouldn't be) and it would be silly to upgrade something that was just built (especially in my parent's case since it was custom to their specifications.) However, $4,000 could pay for a small plumbing repair, or save up to upgrade appliances, large bathroom fixtures, fireplaces, or built-in features.

I really like numbers, and ratios, and rules, and everything to be cut and dry - black or white. (Yes, I know reality isn't like that, but I really wish it was.)

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Time To Get Fit

As I mentioned before, I did a Triathlon at the end of the summer. Even though training for it didn't go as planned and didn't happen as often as I would have liked - I did still train. I spent a couple of days each week swimming, biking, or jogging. Now, without the motivation of a race looming and with the cold weather approaching, I find myself loosing the fitness I had. So, I am joining a gym at work! I hope to do cardio exercise on my lunch hour.