Sunday, October 26, 2008

Tea and Peeve

I drink tea at work, a lot of it. We have a nice kettle that I dutifully fill and boil several times a day. Most times when I make tea I'm in the middle of doing some Very Important Work and I can't stand and watch the kettle boil so, I leave my mug with the teabag inside in front of the kettle and I go back to my desk and continue on with my work.

My desk is close enough to the kitchen that I can hear the 'click' noise the kettle makes when it's boiled (no high falootin' whistlin' for our office!). Several times (many times) someone else who drinks tea has come up while the kettle is boiling and stands and waits for it.

Now here's what gets my goat - they, those who have been waiting for the kettle, completely ignore my mug with teabag inside and fill their own mug and walk away. Uh? What?! How about I WAS THERE FIRST so FILL MY MUG TOO!! I'd do that if I took my mug up and the kettle finished boiling and there was a mug sitting in front of the kettle.

I understand that sometimes a person really, really needs their tea but if there is only enough water for one mug. Please then do me the kindness of re-filling the kettle and setting it to boil again. Have the courtesy to imagine that maybe I also really, really need my tea too. I'd do the same for you.

I know, it's a small thing but it's like someone taking your stuff out of the dryer when it's just finished. Like, give a person some leeway to get back to the laundry room before you go fondling their dainties (and not so dainties). Don't stand there like a vulture waiting to scoop up whatever kettle or laundry carrion that you can get your talons into.

I thank you and my tea habit thanks you too.

Monday, October 20, 2008


I saw the Sarah McLachlan show at Roy Thompson Hall on Saturday night with an old friend, and it was simply wonderful, of course. Not only for Sarah (who was, as always, spectacular) but more in fact, for the opening act. Her name was Meaghan Smith, and she was sweet, funny, lovable, engaging, smart, pretty and a Truly Great Singer. I was in laughter and in tears throughout her entire set, and can't recommend her show enough if she comes your way (Victoria, I think she'll be in California next week, heads up!) .. this one goes out to Auntie Jennie.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

School Daze

I love school. I love school in ways that are gross and obsessive and juvenile but I don't care. I love it. I had a great high school experience, which I've been told is unheard of. I loved my friends, my social position, my looks, my boyfriends, my teachers (Mrs. Shaunessy and Mrs. Gas being the only real exceptions) and I loved homework. (Well, in the classes I gave a shit about like English, history or drama).

When University rolled around I majored in English, and then did a post-grad in journalism and because I was taking what I wanted, I got way better grades than high school. I graduated from my final degree with honors. But that said..... there was one scholarly dream that went unfulfilled.

I have always wanted to go to an American College/University.

When I was little I wanted to go to University of Maine because I spent my summer's in Maine and loved it there. Then I wanted to go to Yale because I wanted to be an actress and they had a great drama program. I bought everything and anything I could - during a 2 year stretch of time - that had a Yale crest on it.

For a brief moment I wanted to go to University of Arizona because they had an olympic-sized pool in the middle of their quad. What? That seemed like a perfectly good reason at 17.

As I approached high school graduation I realized how much it cost to go to a US university. My grades were definitely not good enough for a scholarship. I thought about, and could have gotten, a partial scholarship to a Texas university for............ cheerleading. However a partial scholarship + foreign tution (because I was not a citizen of the US) would leave me with a bill of about $22,000 a year.

$21,666. 19 is what it ended up costing me for a BA and a graduate degree from 2 Canadian Institutions (and that includes dorm fees and meal plans). So fiscally Canada wins even if my dream died..... well hybernated. I tend not to let my dreams die.

But tomorrow, at 36 years old, I become a student at the University of California, Los Angeles. Granted it's the "extension program" which is adult/night school classes, but it's still UCLA. And it's for TV screenwriting, my true passion in life, so.... I'm thrilled. (The pic above is the actual building my class is in).

So tonight I've been rushing around downloading course materials, printing off campus maps and parking info. I bought a spiffy new notebook, a pretty pen and a nifty folder to keep my scripts in and....... and I even picked out my first day (night) of class outfit.

I am in heaven.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Sex for Money

I found this site that allows you to send in a week's worth of you and your partner having sex - 1 hour a day, so 7 hours total - and they'll pay you $2000. I was all prepared to hate the thing and get all reactive and feminist about exploitation blah blah blah. But I watched the short bits they have of each couple on the promotional page, and was, in spite of myself, completely and utterly charmed. These are (for the most part) really sweet people. Funny, silly, both smart and stupid.. all human. I can't for the life of me get pissed off about it.

Something else, harder to put my finger on. The simple joy and goofiness these people seem to have in their relationships with each other.. it opens a window into what a relationship could possibly be, once you scrape all that self-conscious, egotistical, judgemental crap out of the away. Is that sort of thing only possible when you're really young and in love? When we get older, do we start to expect too much out of people, and somehow suck all the possibility of joy out of everything, trying to make perfection happen?

Just wondering.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Fall Food

It's getting colder out, becoming that time of year when a young woman's thoughts turn to curling up under blankets with a good book, listening to the winds howl outside, strolling throught the leaves in the cool light of a late afternoon sunset and cooking food that keeps the soul warm until the crocuses start to poke their tiny heads through the frost towards the sun.

I love a good fall and along with a good fall I love a good chili. My personal recipe is a hard one to write down for others to understand. It involves some stewing beef and veal, kidney beans, onions, a homemade blend of chili spices, jalapeno peppers, garlic, salt, pepper and a desire to feed the people I love my love. I think I get my cooking habits from my Mom and my Great Auntie Vera.

I was looking around for a new recipe for chili, I thought I'd Vegan Chili a whirl and in my travels somehow I wound up here:

Apple Oven Pancake


4 apples
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
3 Tbsp flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
salt to taste
3 Tbsp brown sugar
3 Tbsp milk
2 eggs


  • Peel and core apples. Slice into 1/4-inch slices.
  • Melt butter in a heavy oven-proof skillet. Add sugar, cinnamon. Mix well.
  • Arrange apples evenly in skillet over butter-sugar mixture. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.
  • Combine flour, baking powder, salt, brown sugar, milk, eggs. Beat well. Pour over apples.
  • Bake in skillet in 400°F oven for 10 minutes.
  • Invert onto serving plate. Serve warm, with maple syrup or sour cream.

I'm sure it'd be easy to make this recipe vegan by substituting either Ener-G Egg Replacer or banana for the eggs and margarine or rice oil spread for the butter.

I know what I'm having for breakfast on Sunday. I've got my favourite flannel pjs and a good trashy novel waiting. Fingers crossed that there's a good wind blowing, I'm pretty sure the pressure is going to be low.

The Best Way to Start a Day

I've been hiking Fryman Canyon for the last three days. I intend to make it a daily occurence, despite the pain in my legs that is trying to convince me otherwise. It's honestly not a strenuous hike, I'm just slightly out of shape. And no matter what my thigh muscles are telling me my heart and head are absolutely in love with it.

It cost $1 to park at the lot where it begins. One dollar a day for parking is way cheaper than a gym membership anywhere. And on top of that at the gym you have to deal with people and equipment and mirrors that to me are so detrimental to an actual work out. Who the hell thought it was a stellar idea to stare at oneself while you body jiggles and jaggles every which way and you're sweating profusely? Not me.

The first part of the hike is a steep uphill incline and it's paved. Paved from, I'm guessing, about 1972 so it's all bumpy and cracked and uneven. It's a bit of a strain. But once you hit the dirt path.... it's all golden. Literally. Sunshine, stunning, sweeping valley views, wildflowers, and silence. No gym stereo or aerobics instructor or machines clinking or weights clacking. Just nature and your thoughts. It's a really nice, refreshing way to start my day. Even my chihuahua Gus, who isn't known for enjoying long walks or behaving on them, trotted along like a good little boy the entire way without an issue. He too seemed to be enamored with the place.

The daily hike gives me much treasured, much needed alone time in my head without any kind of distraction I can focus on planning my day, working out writer's block, mulling over new jokes and - just as important - daydreaming.

Fryman Canyon is one of my favorite things about this new home of mine and I thought I would share it with all of you.