Tuesday, 30 June 2015


--------- from Facebook

Oldest Child
I make rules

Middle Child
I'm the reason we have rules

Youngest Child
The rules don't apply to me

Monday, 29 June 2015

A Solid Score

I did a GMAT prep test this weekend. I would like to get an MBA at some point but am not in any rush because of the time, work, and cost involved. However, both Maria and Natasha are planning on writing the GMAT this summer to apply for their Business Masters. I figured it would be nice to have some company when studying and the scores last for 5 years. The fake test helps give a sense of my starting point - I went in pretty much blind. I knew what type of questions to expect but hadn't studied at all.

My score was 620, which is pretty decent. This is in the 69th percentile. With just that score I would have no issue getting into most of the Canadian schools. However, it isn't quite high enough for the elite programs and it isn't good enough for scholarship options, which I will need because an MBA is expensive. Here is what the test is like and how my score broke down:

Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) - 30 Minutes - 1 Topic
Scored out of 6, not scored on the practice test.
This is an essay.

Integrated Reasoning (IR) - 30 Minutes - 12 Questions
Scored: 4/8
Percentile: 37
Types of questions: Multi-Source Reasoning, Graphics Interpretation, Two-Part Analysis, Table Analysis

Quantitative - 75 Minutes - 37 Questions
Scored: 36/60
Percentile: 40
Types of questions: Data Sufficiency, Problem Solving

Verbal - 75 Minutes - 41 Questions
Scored: 40/60
Percentile: 90
Types of questions: Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, Sentence Correction

I know that I can do much better on the Quantitative (or Math) section. I knew how to figure out pretty much all of the problems but without studying, I didn't have the tools needed (like the formula for the area of a circle, or different shortcuts you can make with exponent equations). I am glad that I will be able to improve this because the main score is out of 800 and is calculated only from the last two sections. The IR is really really hard. I don't know if they send that score separately and if they do how much it matters to admissions.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Where I Get It From - Feet

Sunday Mornin' Coming Down - A post about my Dad each Sunday, named after a song that he loved.

Size: Mom - Small, 7 - 7.5. My mom's are even smaller.
Shape: Mom - High arches.
Toes: Dad - Aunty Nicky says they are 'prehensile toes'
Calluses: Dad - Very prone to calluses
Corns: Mom - Also prone to corns
Bunions: Dad - Luckily avoided them so far
Shoes: Neither - I have adopted my own shoe style, flats
Ticklish: Mom - We are not ticklish
Ankles: Dad - Weak and easily twisted/sprained

I love feet, I mainly love women's feet, I really love my feet!

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Grey Hair!

Tessa straightened my hair this evening, and we found 3 full length grey/white hairs. This is a first. I pulled them out.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Congratulations Heather

Heather has been awarded a Graduate Professional Certificate in Cultural Heritage Studies from the University of Victoria.

The program provides advanced learning for emerging and mid-career individuals involved with a range of cultural heritage fields. Heather already has an MA in Greek and Roman Archaeology from the University of Newcastle in England. She has been working in her field (museums) for as long as I have known her. It feels like just yesterday she was talking about starting the online program from U of Vic. She did it on a part-time basis, one course per term, so she could still work full-time. It can't have been easy, I am so proud of her.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015


This weekend was difficult and I chose to stay home from work yesterday because I hadn't fully regained control over my emotions. I spent most of the time alternating between depression and anger. It is almost like I went through the 'stages of grief" again, but on a micro level.

I see the value in the Kubler-Ross model that details the different emotions experienced in periods of grief. The theory is well known and covers: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. The concept has been pushed beyond the initial situation of a loved one dying to include other types of traumatic situations -  rejection, divorce, illness diagnosis, addiction, infertility, job loss, break-ups, etc.

It has also been suggested that, "the stages of grief exemplify the basic process of integrating new information that conflicts with previous beliefs." I totally get it - change has always been really hard for me, but I am finding that my dad's death is even harder.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

A New Father

Happy Father's Day Mike
Photo by ME
(February 2015)

A Hard Day

61 years ago today you were born, Happy Birthday. 
31 years and 28 days ago, I was born, Happy Father's Day.
1 year, 6 months, and 25 days ago, you died, I miss you.

It isn't that rare that my dad's birthday, June 21, falls on Father's Day. However, it happened in 1987, 1992, 1998, 2009, and then again this year.


Sunday Mornin' Coming Down - A post about my Dad each Sunday, named after a song that he loved.

A nighthawk and a social butterfly.
Mental numbers focused on prices.
Sailing, squash, bikes, and Wi Tennis or Golf.
Mama's boy, baby brother, posthumous grandfather.
Suits, old tank tops, sandals with socks.
Loving and kind - an amazing guy.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Cleaning The Furs

Two's Tongue
Photo by ME, 2015

Thursday, 18 June 2015

TB - Curves Diet

I discovered The Curves Diet back in Ottawa. I was working out with JennB at Curves and decided to try their Weight Management Program. It was very easy to do when I was living with JennB, who did all the cooking. During the first half of 2010, 7 months, I probably lost about 40lbs through exercise and following the diet guidelines with absolute precision. Then I went on my big trip for a month and a half, during which I lost another 10lbs from all the walking, strange food, and still adhering to the basic rules of the diet. The last part of 2010 I moved to Toronto and started my Masters at Ryerson - the stress from that pulled off another 10lbs, leaving me quite thin. Over the next 5 years I have put that 60lbs back on and maybe a little bit extra. Off and on, I would try following the program again but never with the same dedication and gusto. I do like a lot of the recipes though. I decided last week to start again and have dove into it with my complete focus. I hope to see similar results as before, but recognize that it is slow going. Today, I decided to do a throw back to all the Always Standing mentions of the only diet that I have every enjoyed or been able to follow:

The Curves Diet
- Making The Switch : The first mention of the program
- The Undiet : Too much food
- Guest Writer - Blogging - Steph : Steph mentions the diet in a Guest Writer post while I was in Russia
- Final Week : It looks like I decided to start it up again during my last semester at Ryerson
- Fuck February : I don't think I kept it going very long that Fall but decided to try again at the start of 2012
- Back Under The Threshold : 2 years later it looks like I returned to the diet

This time will be different than my previous failed Toronto attempts. I am already being stricter with myself. Not only do I plan to keep going until I reach my goal weight, but I also vow not to eat a single french fry until my wedding day (on which I will have them as part of my dinner entree at the pub.)

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Physically Too Old To Game

I found a really fun game! Actually I have been waiting to buy it for a long time. Last time Jason and I went to Ottawa, Jenn and Jon showed us Prison Architect that they bought on Steam. It looked like a lot of fun - a combination of zoo tycoon and sim city. However, when we got home and I researched getting it, the cost was pretty high. Steam has a summer sale so I decided to wait for that to get it. The sale happened last week and I got the game for a great price.

The problem is that I am now addicted and can play the game happily on my computer, in my own little world, for hours. I haven't felt this way about a game in a long time. Lately the games that I have been into have been on my phone (or Jason's tablet): Theme Park, Pet Shop Story, and Trivia Crack. I can really get into these games but I don't feel that absorbed and each time I play it is only for a short period of time.

My love of Prison Architect reminds me of playing games like World of Warcraft or The Sims. Staying up too late. Wishing I was playing instead of being at work or school. Long stretches of time focused on the computer. And in true game addict style I was up until 1am last night, stretched out on the couch, laptop in my lap, designing my prison for hours. When I finally decided to go to bed, standing up was painful. My lounging position had cramped a bunch of muscles. I definitely don't have the energy or stamina to game like I used to, or I need to find a really comfortable/ergonomic position to do it in.

Very True

"Critique is an opportunity to learn and to grow and to better ourselves. And who among us could not be better? Liars, that’s who!"

- Daniel Dalton

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

2 Deposits Down, 1 To Go

I know I just had a wedding/marriage related post, but I am all excited today from sending off the signed contract for Jason and my wedding reception venue - Watermark Pub.

I want to pause to explain the slightly unconventional choice of location for what is normally a very formal dinner. For the longest time I told people that I would get married in 2021, do the paperwork in Las Vegas and have a big party at The Cottage. Then two most important men in my life spoiled these carefully thought out plans. Firstly, Jason hates Vegas and didn't want to do a 'destination wedding' there. Secondly, my dad died. A big wedding reception at the beach, with lots of planning and party rentals, would be most enjoyed by him and myself. With my dad gone, I no longer thought of The Cottage as a logical place to get married - it would be a lot of work and a lot of pain missing him. I needed a new dream.

I liked lots of wedding ideas, but nothing fully hit home or gave me a clear vision of what I would want to do with Jason - until I read How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran. The following excerpt hit home:

Six years and a £19.99 engagement ring later, and it’s our wedding day. It was – initially – going to be in a register office in London, followed by a reception in a pub. In boring, empty mid-October. Everyone could have got the bus home. It would have cost less than 200 quid. We could have knocked it all off in five hours flat. Oh, I wish we’d had that wedding. You can read the whole article HERE.

As I mentioned in post title, the contract and subsequent deposit that was sent to the pub today is actually the second bit of confirmed planning. We have also booked our legal ceremony or what I have been calling 'the paperwork,' at City Hall and paid a deposit there as well. The only place left to decide on, book, and pay the deposit for is somewhere on Toronto Islands where we will spend the afternoon and have our actual ceremony.

Monday, 15 June 2015

The Marriage Box

It has taken the trial and error of multiple relationships, years of personal ups and downs, and the finding of my perfect partner to finally learn how to build and maintain love that is strong and healthy. Relationships take work, and sometimes the help or guidance of outside professionals. With Jason, I am more giving with love, sex, and adoration than I have ever been. I fight cleanly and argue productively. We have created a home free from insult and I look forward to creating a marriage full of love.

------------ from Facebook
Marriage Box
Most people get married believing a myth that marriage is a beautiful box full of all the things they have longed for; companionship, intimacy, friendship, etc. The truth is that marriage at the start is an empty box. You must put something in before you can take anything out. There is no love in marriage. Love is in people. And people put love in marriage. There is no romance in marriage. You have to infuse it into your marriage. A couple must learn the art and form the habit of giving, loving, serving, praising, of keeping the box full. If you take out more than you put in, the box will be empty.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Computers In The 80s

Sunday Mornin' Coming Down - A post about my Dad each Sunday, named after a song that he loved.

I wouldn't say that I am the digital generation because we didn't get the internet until I was in middle school and I was very late to get a cell phone. However, I have always had a computer in the house. I am pretty sure my dad got his Atari computer before I was born. I can remember watching him play it. There were so many games. When I got older I got to play too. My favourite was River Raid, which was a flying and shooting, scrolling style of game. I think my mom used the computer for word processing, but all my memories from it were with my dad playing games.

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Cat T-Shirt

I love this shirt, it is so cute. I think my Aunty Laura gave it to me (or maybe Grandma.) It is so old though and I should probably get rid of it soon. Luckily it is really high quality for a t-shirt, nice and thick, so it has lasted well. It is currently used as a comfortable option to lounge around the house or sleep in. I got it years and years ago, when I was a kid. The black cat was because I had Binx at the time. When cats clean their toes it is my favourite thing. So funny, so interesting, and so cute!

Thursday, 11 June 2015

More Forgetting

Earlier this week I described My Most Forgetful Spin and I listed all the different items that I didn't have with me. Well, the list should have been even longer and last night's spin class with Tessa reminded me of the final item I had forgotten on that frustrating day last week - My Headband.

My headband is basically a nicer version of my dad's old forehead sweatband that he wore for squash. It took me forever to find a good one for me! I knew I needed something to keep some of the sweat off my face when I spin, and out of my eyes since I wear contacts. However, I wanted it to be thinner than the thick towel-style ones.

For Christmas my mom gave me a giftcard and I went and picked out the Bang Buster Headband at lululemon. It was wider and more substantial than the ones designed to just hold back hair fly-aways, but more sleek then the most serious style that had fancier workout fabric. I bought two and they are seriously the best!

I just went online to find a picture of them, and I was also considering buying a third one online from lululemon as a treat for myself. I discovered some sad news - they have stopped making them! They now have a version for the same price that is of lower quality when it comes to style, design, fabric, etc. You can read a good comparison of the two HERE.

It took almost six months the first time, and I love the two I have, but my search for a nice spin sweatband continues as I try to find a third one to add to my workout wardrobe.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Signs From Heaven

------ From Facebook, from Matt Fraser

Some examples of things that dead loved ones may have used to communicate with you:

- repeating time on the clock 11:11, 12:12, or waking up at the time when they passed
- meaningful song on the radio
- birds, butterfly, signs in nature
- lights flickering
- phone calls from their number
- visits in dreams
- smells such as cigar smoke, perfume, etc
- see some who look exactly like your loved one in a public place or on tv
- finding pennies or dimes
- feeling their presence in the room with you
- random memories that just come to mind

(I believe in the concept, but not all of these apply to me.)

Eating His Toes

Avery's New Favourite Snack
Photo by Aimee, Edit by ME

Tuesday, 9 June 2015


Teri and I have started to book things again for our trip this summer. (We booked our flights a while
ago.) It is going to be an amazing two weeks, mid-summer, for a road trip down the west coast of the USA. We will spend time with Monica in Seattle, visit Portland, meet up with Jason and Greg in San Francisco for the long weekend, and hang out on beaches down near San Diego. I put a countdown on my phone this morning. However, right after the took the screenshot (see Right) I double checked and we actually don't fly out until Sunday morning, June 26 so the counter has been updated to reflect that. 47 DAYS! We are doing most of our planning on a Google Docs spreadsheet, Greg made it for us and I love it! Travel planning is almost as fun as the travel itself.

A Forgetful Spin

Last night I had to do a spin class without socks. I was worried that my feet would be gross or that I would get blisters, but it was fine. Normally I would buy a pair of little cycling ankle socks from the studio but I had my most forgetful spin ever last week and had to buy a pair then - couldn't justify doing it two weeks in a row.

The Most Forgetful Spin
(Last Monday)
It is hard for me to go and work out on a Monday evening at the best of times, let alone when I forget SO many things! But I powered through and am glad I did. Here's what I had to deal with:
No Sports Bra - Both of the ports bras that I wear to spinning were dirty and seeing that it was laundry day I wanted to leave them at home to get clean. I made the decision that it would be okay to go in my normal (padded, push-up) bra this one time. So I didn't forget this, it was a conscious choice but it ended up getting compounded with a lot of others.
No Shoes - I realized this on my way to spinning after work. Sitting on the streetcar I remembered that I had taken my running shoes out of my workout bag because they were still wet from Ride For Heart. I wanted to give them the day to dry. I then forgot to put them back in my bag when I left work. Luckily the studio has tons of special clip-in bike shoes that people borrow and all the bikes have the clippy-things on the reverse side of the peddle. I figured I would just try that out this time.
No Socks - I often forget socks, at least four other times. I know this because that is approximately how many pairs of specialty bike socks I have, which I buy from the studio every time I forget to bring a pair. When I noticed in the change room that I hadn't packed any I wasn't that bothered by the thought of picking up another $15 pair. The socks are great and I use them all the time. I also hadn't forgotten in a while so hadn't needed to buy any in a long time.
No Athletic Shirt - I technically remembered to bring a proper tank top to work out in (I think it was a Nike one.) However, I hadn't ever wore it with a normal bra and upon putting it on the see-through-ness was pretty intense. I guess it doesn't matter when my sports bras are brightly coloured little crop-tops that look like a bathing suit top, but it did matter when wearing a normal blue bra with bumpy black lace. I decided I would be more comfortable in the basic cotton tank top (cami) that I had worn to work. I haven't done that since very very early on with my spinning - they are too warm and gross when wet.
No Contacts - The little container that I had brought with me, complete in a little ziplock so that the solution doesn't get all over my workout bag, turned out to be empty. No contacts in it, no solution either, can't believe I didn't notice. That meant doing the class with my glasses on.
No Water Bottle - This is a regular issue. I often forget, though usually remember in time to text Tessa to ask her to bring me a spare one (which I bought to keep at her house just for these occasions.) Tessa responded to my request reminding me that I had taken the spare home by accident a few weeks earlier. She will nicely share her's with me during class when I am in this predicament. Tessa is an excellent workout pal and if it wasn't for her - this huge list of forgotten items would have probably caused me to walk out and skip that class that day.

My First Forgetful Spin
(Months Ago)
The list above isn't actually my most forgetful spin. I once made it all the way to spin class without my workout bag, meaning I was wearing work clothes and only had my purse with me. I was also ready to walk away from doing class that day. But my spinning studio is amazing! The instructors are so friendly and helpful. They really encouraged me not to skip the class and tried to find a way for me to join Jason and Tessa on the bikes. The Manager explained the clip-style shoes and got me fitted to use them for the first time. The owner lent me a sports bra and offered me her own pants (which would have never fit) but I decided my pants were a stretchy enough type of jean to bike it. They then found my a promo t-shirt. It really appreciated their support to help me keep with my fitness goals.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Where I Get It From - Face Edition

Sunday Mornin' Coming Down - A post about my Dad each Sunday, named after a song that he loved.

It was hard to figure out which parts of my face I inherited from each parent and I think I might be off on some of them. I used this picture of Mom and this one of Dad, along with a combination of my memory and what people have told me in the past about looking like them.

Skin Colour: My Mom
(Dad's skin was pink/peach, but my mom and I have the green/yellow undertone that is very Mediterranean. It is 'olive skin tone' if you are looking for something nicer and I don't know how we got it seeing that we are quite British.)
Skin Texture: My Dad
(I don't have to care for it much and I tend to be able to avoid major breakouts. Also just my nose gets freckles, which was like him.)
Eyebrows: Maybe My Dad
(Neither of my parent's eyebrows are as thick, as big, as course, or as dark as mine.)
Eyelashes: My Dad
(My brother and I both got his long lashes.)
Eye Shape: I Think My Dad
(I think this is more difficult to tell, it might not really be from either. In fact I always thought the shape was closer to my Aunty Nicky's.)
Eye Colour: My Dad
(Mum has blue eyes, which are awesome. I have boring brown ones like Dad.)
Nose: My Dad
(The 'Joynes Nose' on my mom's side has a reputation for being quite large. So part of me is glad to have missed that. However, both Mike and I have Dad's nose, which has a very thin bridge at the top.)
Lips: Both Parents
(My mom's smile is nice and wide like mine, but my lips are more full, which is similar to my dad.)
Face Shape: My Mom
(Both my mom and I have oval faces. We also have a well defined chin, though you can only notice it on me when I am thinner.)

Saturday, 6 June 2015

A Lovely Cadence

* Cadence Shirley Ann N. *
Born: Friday June 5, 2015
Time: 10:04pm
Weight: 9lbs, 4oz
Proud parents: Taylor and Mark
Proud Big Brother: Lochlan

 Welcome To The World Cadence!!
Photo stolen from Facebook
(I can't wait to meet her!)

Always Standing Note: I have adjusted a tag which previously was just BabyLoch to be BabyLochCade so as to reflect posts related to either or both of Taylor and Mark's children.

Cat In A Stroller

I am going to send you over to my mom's blog for Caturday this week - Vicarious Travelling. She has a fun post about Avery visiting The Cottage and meeting most of our extended family. The best though are the shots that show Avery meeting Rasta - Rasta is not impressed with this other tiny cute thing getting all the attention. He did jump into the stroller though, and definitely enjoyed that. Cats and babies, something for everyone.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

I Rode For Heart

Sunday morning was rainy and very cold. I know this because I was awake at 6:00am and down at my workplace in Liberty Village by 7:00am. I did the Ride For Heart as part of the Forrec team, so we met up as a group to start together. Jason joined us. Thank you to everyone who donated towards my ride - I completed the 25km route as promised. This is impressive since it was only about 10 degrees out and rained the entire time. I finished in less than an hour and a half (though only a few minutes ahead of Jason who was doing the 50km). It was a very surreal experience to bike on the roadways - there is no need to break. Even on bike trails there seems to be stopping and such, but I did the whole thing on Sunday in one go, not putting my feet down once. It was a lot of fun and I would like to try the 50km route next year.

Monday, 1 June 2015

Kitchen - Part 1

I took two days from my vacation time and worked on the kitchen in Rrunuv Bayit. Mom came to Toronto to assist me and we repainted all the cupboards with a fresh coat of white paint, did a serious clean of all the cabinet hardware, and covered the pink tiles with a fake stainless steel sticker. It was a very productive couple of days and I am extremely thankful for the help. Here is the Before and After of the East Wall of my 'new' kitchen:
Click image to enlarge