Wednesday, May 31, 2006

the new heart attack on a plate / bowl

Sometimes a blogger is lucky enough to stumble upon a picture or news article that just screams "write about me"!!!

Even after being in North Carolina for two weeks and eating some incredibly yummy-but-terrible-for-you southern food, I never saw anything quite like this. The fun continued as I went to the "Keep it Balanced" nutritional information. I mean c'mon - these folks sell deep fried chicken! Not sure why all fast food places are on this kick - trying to pretend that they don't sell greased up french fries with their salads and fajitas (yes, McD's has fajitas now).

In the spirit of truth-telling I'll admit that for just a teensy (wow never used that word b4) little second this actually looked like it might taste good. Only for a second though, I promise.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

the cardboard invasion

Today our cozy little apartment was invaded.

Even though we knew it was coming, things still happened all at once - first there was one, then two, then five...

There is a promise of many more in the coming weeks, which makes our kitty very happy. Not sure so about us though, since these "invaders" have a way of taking up all of the available space in a person's home...

Monday, May 29, 2006

Why I'm glad I live in Canada

I'm always amazed at the coldness of a Canadian winter (especially in my Northern Ontario hometown), and the crazy humidity of the summer. For example, it is currently 29 degrees celsius (that's 84 to our American friends) at 10:30am in the morning. Apparently we're due to hit 38 degrees with the humidex today...

** later note: temperature hit 41 with humidex today ***

What to do on a day like this? Stay inside, hug your air conditioner, find a shady spot along the river, find a beach with water clean enough to swim in (no small feat for people living in the Windsor / Detroit area), and be thankful for ice cubes and cold beer.

I have an "escape" from all of this.

Having nothing better to do today other than search online and get more stuff in the apartment packed, I started reading information about the people along the Gulf Coast and the infamous "evacuation plan" that the politicians are trying to come up with.

Their plan?
If you see a hurricane: "Run like hell"


Now I'm no expert on time (having in fact been accused on several occasions of running on "Mel time"), but didn't Hurricane Katrina happen over 9 months ago??? To me a disaster plan for a Category 4 or 5 hurricane should involve several very simple phone calls.

"Ya hi, bus companies? We were just wondering if it was okay for you to help move people out of the state if there's a big hurricane headed our way?"
Done and done.

"Hello rest of the USA? We're trying to get a plan together for housing in the event of a disaster like Katrina - just wondering if you've got any hotels or other housing that can be provided in the event of a mass evacuation?"
Done and done.

Okay, I could keep going with this, but it probably won't be very fun to read. My point is, with all of the millions of dollars sent down to this region and support offered from all over the USA and Canada (which was not officially accepted in the aftermath of Katrina), things like transportation and gas and food and housing should not be causing the leaders of the Gulf Coast states (and the rest of the USA) such a headache. I just don't get it.

Ellen recently did a special about the people in New Orleans who are still dealing with the aftermath of that terrible hurricane. It was an uncharacteristically sad episode featuring her breaking down into tears at the sight of all of the damage still down there. I was shocked at the absolute silence in the areas that she was touring. Where are the bulldozers? What happened to the hundreds of people offering to help? Where are the construction workers??? This whole thing just seemed WRONG.

I just have to wonder why this is still such a problem, when there are so many people offering to help out. I know things take time, but this is waaaay too much time. The city of New Orleans is trying desperately to get tourists back in hopes that they will get the financial benefits that this industry brings every year. While I can appreciate that they still need money, I'd love for somebody to get on the television and explain where the hundreds of millions of dollars that was donated less than a year ago has disappeared to. Seems to me that it should be awfully hard to spend that much money that quickly - even for a restoration effort of this size.

Then again, what do I know about all of this?

here's the article:

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Notes from "Super Aunt"

On my last visit to London, Kim and Steve gave me the best present: 20 minutes alone with Gordie. Kim needed a shower and Steve had to get some work done before heading out of town for a business trip. His parting words as he went down the stairs:

If you need me, just scream

As I looked at "Serious Gord" and he looked back at me, I realized the odds were higher on him screaming way before I started to (unless he got another handful of my hair). He's just starting to get to the age where he looks for his Mom and Dad when they're not around and after awhile I knew he'd probably start to wonder where they went off to.

I managed to go almost the entire 20 minutes before this happened. This required singing and little games, and walks around the living room to look at the kitty or out the windows.

I was determined to get a laugh or even just a smile out of this stoic little one, and spent most of the time trying to do exactly that (or distract him from the fact that Mommy and Daddy weren't around)

Hey Gordie! Aren't you such an adorable little man?!


Do you want to go look outside?
Silence. A thoughtful stare.

Oooooh look at the kitty! What a cute kitty huh?!
Silence. Accompanied by a look clearly designed to tell me how weird he thought I was.

*** I should admit that reading this now makes me aware of how wierd I probably sounded. For some reason I ask Gordie (and Addis) questions as though they'll answer me. Occasionally I'll repeat the question as though saying it twice will produce a response. No wonder Gordie looked at me like that ***

Gordie must have realized that Mommy was done her shower because his fussing started right before she came down the stairs.

While 20 minutes might not seem like alot, I have realized that it can be VERY long if a baby is not in a good mood. It was a big relief that Gordie seemed to enjoy spending some time with me :)


With my other nephew, it's a lot easier to get a smile - pretty much everybody can get him to grin. Having mastered this feat a long time ago, I was determined to help out my good friend Ledawit out by geting her son to say "mama" instead of "dada". (I should note that he already says "dadadadada" all the time)

"Okay Addis, say momomomomom"


"C'mon kiddo, I know you can do it! Say "momomomom"



Apparently this is a fun game.

He won.


It's amazing to watch the development of these two boys - Addis is literally minutes away from saying his first word (which will probably be "dada" in spite of my efforts to get him to say "mama", "cat" or "hi" - some teacher I am huh) and crawling too. He rocks on all fours and looked like he was going to do it as he contemplated how to catch Kim's cat.

To "the Dude's" credit, he stared right back instead of running away and seems to have realized that these little people can't actually catch him. Yet...

I look forward to the stories of Gordie chasing poor Dude through the house. He's slowly mastering the "roll over" and eating solid food (as mentioned in Kim's blog) and smiles and giggles lots for his parents.

This will be another game won by the kid, I'm sure.

Maybe this is the great secret of how to be happy in Motherhood - no matter what, your kids win. Especially when they're as adorable as these two.

As their honorary Auntie, I will be more than happy to let them win whenever they want.

Not so conservative after all...

I think this picture speaks for itself...

"I was gonna help fix the country, but then I got hiiigh"

Sunday, May 21, 2006

I'm running away to sell fruit in the Bahamas

okay well maybe not but I definitely wish I was...

Sunday evening has arrived and the highlight of my night will be the Desperate Housewives finale and Game 2 of the NHL Western Conference Finals.

well that and something interesting that I came up with to combat my boredom.

This is something I haven't attempted in years, despite my great love of watermelon. Probably because the result of combining liquor with a watermelon resulted in a concoction so vile in flavour that my friends and I were forced to wash each "bite" down with beer.

I should explain that I was 19 years old and did not realize that an entire 26-er of Silent Sam vodka wouldn't taste good in a regular sized watermelon. Even after soaking up the vodka for over 24 hours, it still leaked vodka everywhere and we basically had to slurp up the pieces instead of bite into them. this did NOT taste good (basically like eating straight vodka). To make matters worse, I got pretty sick and couldn't eat watermelon for the rest of the summer.

Anyway, Being that this was a half of a watermelon and a tasty rasperry lemonade cooler, I figured it would be safe.

Flavour wasn't too bad actually. It definitely satisfied my craving for something fruity and tropical (since the weather outside is a very sunny 14 degrees).

maybe a few more of these will help me to forget about the Bahamas.

probably not though...

Friday, May 19, 2006

Just when I thought we'd escaped - the allergy monster strikes again

ARGH How I hate those allergies! Because of them I am sitting here on a Friday night in front of my computer instead of at Kim & Steve's playing board games or card games. We'd been invited to London for the night, but Jeremy was feeling absolutely horrible so there wasn't much we could do, except stay home.

So here I sit watching playoff hockey (Edmonton vs. San Jose) which is never a bad thing to do, but I would have given up watching the game to see our friends and of course little Gordie.

Speaking of Gordie, I haven't posted my latest pics of him and his friend Addis.

Gordie and mommy on their first Mother's Day :)

Love these pictures of Gordie - clearly starting the teething stage where everything goes in the mouth. Love how he was trying to eat his soother - very cute. He's chewing on my Baptism present to him in the other pics, which he seemed to enjoy until he realized it wouldn't fit in his mouth.

Here's Addis trying to figure out how to crawl / get that cool toy out of Gordie's mouth. (He helped us pick it out in the store and has wanted it since then)

Here is Addis showing off his clapping ability (can't believe how big he is for being not even 10 months old yet!), and Gordie showing off how much he can fit in his mouth.

What an adorable pair of boys

Is there any wonder why I don't like being so far away?

A camp weekend... in Windsor?!

This is not a rant, I promise.

This weekend is the official opening weekend of cottage season, a time when friends get together outside with beer and BBQ and look forward to the coming summer.

Unfortunately for Jeremy and I - even though we actually have a cottage to visit - my parents are out of town and my camp is 8 hours away. So we are stuck here in Windsor! On a brighter note, I know that the days of dock-sitting and campfires aren't that far away.

It's our friend Dylan's birthday tomorrow and we've been trying to decide about going to London for his party. These parties are always fun, but I'm usually ready for bed halfway through them. When we lived in London, I used to fall asleep all the time when Dylan was over - he and jeremy would be up all hours of the night and I'd just "close my eyes for a minute". zzzzzzzzz

Still partying in London will likely be more fun than hanging around this apartment, taking the odd walk around the city, and starting to stress out over how much there is to do. I tried forcing myself to relax this week. I guess it worked, except that after 8 months of constant action, I now feel a little guilty for spending the day with a book.

Tomorrow is supposed to be warm (around 20 degrees) and sunny, so if we don't go to London, I'm thinking it could still be an outdoors day. We've been putting off going to Pelee Island and since it's not too pricey, this might be another good thing to do... Or maybe I'll dust off the rollerblades and try not to fall on my ass down by the river. Or maybe I'll pack up the car and bring a good book to our favourite riverside park.

It's funny how none of those things are as appealing as sitting around a campfire... must be something in the air today.
Down by the bay
where the watermelons grow
back to my home
i dare not go
for if i do
my mother will say
"did you ever see a goose chasing a moose"
down by the bay

hmmm maybe I can do without the campfire songs.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

In three months...

....we'll be living out of suitcases (at Ella Lake - my favourite place in the world)

... we'll be getting ready to board a plane to England

... all of my plants will be given to good homes

... everything will be sold, given away, put into storage and packed

... we'll have a flat rented in LONDON!!

... my kitty will have a temporary place to stay while he waits for his first plane ride

...we'll have said all of our goodbyes to friends and family (except mine since they're taking us to the airport)

... my car will be all gone (back to Toyota) after several trips to London, Dunnville, Port Elgin, Port Colbourne, and finally Sudbury

... I'll have two weeks to explore a brand new city in a brand new country before starting work as a teacher

This summer is going to FLY by. Is thinking I'm going to get all of this done wishful thinking???

On another note:
Our kitty is getting more and more whiny lately. He meows for attention almost all the time, and today I realized that both jeremy and I talk to the cat as though he understands us. This might be because he meows at the correct time intervals to our questions or comments, which is pretty funny.
I don't know what's sillier: the fact that I talk to my cat as though he understands me, or that my cat talks to me as though I understand him.

On yet another note:

Happy Birthday Lyndsay!!! Hope you have a great one :)

Monday, May 15, 2006

Featherhead Man, I-Shot-the-Sherrif Lady, and the Screamers

No this isn't the name of a new band.

Have you ever wondered what goes through the minds of the people who wander through city streets singing aloud, screaming, shouting, yelling, muttering under their breath, or doing other random strange things without seeming to notice anybody else around?

In high school there was a girl we called called "Crazy Laura". She believed she was a princess from another planet with a hundred brothers and sisters, and used to tell us stories about them. She used to spin around in circles as she sang in the gymnasium and was always involved in assemblies (usually doing a lip-sync of some kind). She did all of this as though it was completely normal. While this was a source of great amusement for some, I always kinda felt bad for her and wondered if she even realized how we looked at her.

Every city has them - the people who become minor celebrities because of their bizarre behaviour. On another random blog wandering, I stumbled upon the writings of a woman who must be to her city what the Featherhead Man is to Windsor.

This woman alternates between using her real name, a pseudonym (how do you like that word?!) and calling herself GOD. She mentions being in jail, living in homeless shelters, getting kicked out of bars, and seems to classify people are either angels or demons - including celebrities and politicians - listing their names and her explanation in several posts. After reading a few posts, I found letters written to hiphop artists and Dick Cheney, and a man who is apparently a soulmate (they haven't met but apparently JFK was supposed to bring them together one day). Apparently this individual felt that it was okay to list her full name, social security number, and mailing address (so any immigrants who wanted to use the information would be able to get whatever documents they needed). Anyway, I read all of the posts listed on her main page - just couldn't stop reading.

A little while back Laura had a post up asking what to do with a person who is clearly crazy but obviously doesn't know it. I had no real advice for her except to just act like everything is normal (so nobody will get hurt).

Don't know what the point of this post is - except to maybe say that I'm darn glad to not have ended up with a career in psychology. Just don't think I would have been able to have an ordinary conversation with a person named God.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mother's Day

Since I don’t have any money to spend on cards and gifts, I thought I could do a tribute to all of the mothers in my life.

This year I got a whole new outlook on what it means to be a mother. While I didn’t have a child of my own, my two closest friends in the world did have babies this year; one in September and one in December. Watching their bellies get bigger (and listening to ongoing stories about maternity clothes), witnessing morning sickness, looking at baby clothes, having conversations about baby names and feeling a baby’s kick on mommy’s belly – all amazing things that I was lucky enough to be a part of. Witnessing all of the things that women do for their babies - before and after birth - has helped me to appreciate my own mother even more. In my opinion, all kids should call their mothers on their birthdays to say thank you.

Ledawit: the night that we found out that you were pregnant, I looked at you and thought about just how fitting the word “mother” was for you. I’ll never forget spending all of that time looking at baby clothes in the Superstore, eating spinach dip, and listening to you order “Virgin Caesars” at restaurants. When I think about getting that phone call at 4:30am to find out your little angel was finally here, I still get tears in my eyes. I’m so proud of what an amazing mommy you are and can’t wait until Addis is older so I can tell him stories...

Kim: what an amazing mother you turned out to be (not that I’m surprised)! While I was a bit sad that we weren’t having babies at the same time – so they could go to school together – I was and still am so incredibly happy for you and Steve. The two of you are such a great team! Gordie is such a gorgeous little boy and with a smart, loving, wonderful mommy you just know he’s going to grow up right. You have shown incredible patience and resilience in the face of any difficulties that go along with raising a newborn, and clearly find much joy in your son. I’m so proud of you.

And to my own mother:

Thanks for supporting me in everything that I have done – both good and not-so-good.

You let me make my own mistakes in life, and as a result, I’ve learned many important lessons.

I admire your life’s work so much and hope that someday I can look back at my life and think that I did half as good a job at being a teacher.

Thanks for still loving me even when I wasn’t being loveable, laughing at my jokes when nobody else did, and being so proud of every little accomplishment in my life.

You were such a powerful support to me this year, and I can’t say thank you enough for the hours spent on the phone discussing lesson plans and other things that I learned about becoming a teacher. It would have been a lot harder to finish this year without being able to call you and ramble on for an hour (or more…). Hope your ears aren’t ringing!

I hope that I can continue to make you proud of me – as proud as I am of you.

Love you lots!

You called your child a blessing. Never forget that you are blessings too!!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

For the Mothers

A Talk With God

"They tell me that you are sending me to earth tomorrow - but how am I going to live there being so small and helpless?"

God answered,

"I chose an angel for you. She will be waiting for you and will take care of you."

"But in heaven all I ever do is sing and smile and laugh.
That’s enough for me to be happy."

"Your angel will sing for you and will smile for you every day and you will feel your angel’s love and be happy."

"And how an I going to be able to understand when people talk to me if I don’t know the language that men speak?"

"Your angel will speak to you using the sweetest, most beautiful words you will ever hear and with much patience and care, your angel will teach you how to speak."

"And what am I going to do when I talk to you?"

"Your angel will place your hands together and will teach you how to pray."

"I’ve heard that on Earth there are some bad men. Who will protect me?"

"Your angel will defend you, even if it means risking her life."

"But will I be sad because I will not see you anymore."

"Your angel will talk to you about Me and will teach you the way for you to come back to Me, though I will always be with you."

At that moment there was much peace in Heaven.
Voices from Earth could already be heard, and the child asked softly,
"God, if I am about to leave now, would you please tell me my angel’s name?"

"You will call your angel:


Friday, May 12, 2006

some more randomness

Saw this on a blog I was reading today and thought I'd give it a try...

: getting very excited (and scared) about moving to another country
I WANT: to pay off my school debts, see the world, and settle down somewhere near friends and family
I WISH: on stars (yep, even at 27 I'm still a hopeless romantic)
I HATE: allergies! inconsiderate people, and being in debt
I MISS: my friends and family
I FEAR: never finding a permanent job or place to settle down
I HEAR: somebody's stereo playing the parking lot, and my kitty meowing
I WONDER: if "the best of me is still hiding up my sleeve"? john mayer ** (gotta keep this one - it definitely applies to me too!)
I REGRET: not standing up for myself more in the past and not being brave enough to do certain things
I AM NOT: going to change my mind about moving to England - even if it's scary
I DANCE: all the time!
I SING: everywhere and anywhere - especially in the car and shower
I CRY: at a lot of things both happy and sad - Kim & Steve's wedding for example - so much emotion that I cried on my way up the aisle (kinda embarassing now)
I AM NOT ALWAYS: able to explain what I'm thinking
I MAKE WITH MY HANDS: photo album / scrapbooks, lesson plan activities, yummy meals
I WRITE: almost as often as I want to now that I have a blog, and more than I wanted to during the school year
I CONFUSE: people around me sometimes - see note about not being able to explain myself
I NEED: to win the lottery! well right now i need more coffee :)
I SHOULD: get my mother's day card in the mail
I LOVE: my family and friends (Jeremy of course), my new little nephews, being outside, a good cup of coffee, reading a great story, my lake, and oh well i guess i love lots of things
I THANK: see above - for bringing me happiness and strength when I need it, and just making my life that much sweeter

Why I still love hockey even when my team gets knocked out of the playoffs

Sorry about another hockey-related post, but you non-hockey fans still might find this interesting...

When I was little, my dad took me to OHL games all the time - we actually had season tickets for the Sudbury Wolves, and I had the opportunity to watch players who are now in the NHL play when they were 17 years old. To this day, I still swear that the craziest things I've ever seen in hockey happened in Sudbury's "barn".

This year's playoffs has been very strange with some incredible playing, but also frustrating performances by many of the teams I wanted to see advance. My team got swept (by the DISNEY DUCKS no less), and all of the Canadian teams except Edmonton are either out or on the brink of being eliminated.

Tonight's game between Edmonton and San Jose (game 4, series at 2-1 for SJ) has been completely nuts - incredible scoring chances for both teams, great skating, great scoring, just an overall very good example of what the sport of hockey gives to its fans.

Anyway - the point of this post.

Edmonton's tying goal was the result of a fluke. Well, actually a series of flukes. So flukey were these flukes that the CBC announcers and Ron McLean said they'd never seen anything like it, and will likely be talking about this one for a loooong time.

San Jose is shooting on net, and Roloson (the Edmonton goalie) blocks the puck, which takes a crazy bounce and flies in a perfectly straight line up in the air...

fluke #1 - the puck flies right over everybody on the ice
fluke #2 - an Edmonton player (Samsonov) just happens to be behind everybody else on the ice and the puck pretty much lands in front of him
fluke #3 - the San Jose goaltender comes waaaaay out of his net, about halfway to the blue line to deflect the puck out of the Edmonton player's reach. Instead of hitting it past him, the puck knocks off the Edmonton player's shoulder and lands on the ice at his feet.

Samsonov scores on a completely empty net. The closest player on the ice is the SJ goalie - who's still gotta be at least 10 feet away so all he can do is watch.

Arena explodes into cheering as the fans go absolutely crazy.

I freakin guess so.

You just can't make this stuff up folks.

People who watch this sport will agree that it's not perfect and definitely has some issues, but the things like that crazy flukey fluke make this game something special. But maybe I'm a bit biased...


update: Edmonton wins the game 6-3, tying the series - Canada's only hope for a Stanley Cup

Thursday, May 11, 2006

the DaVinci code

This is my first try at a somewhat controversial topic... Briefly I will set aside my usual posts about life in Windsor, my adorable kitty, the pending move to England, random musings about being a teacher, or any of the usual stuff, for something a bit different.

I read this book last week and was completely spellbound by the storyline and the writing. Being a Roman Catholic from birth, I was very curious to see what all of the fuss was about - since the church publicly denounced it and encouraged all Catholics to boycott the book and movie.

No worries: I won't discuss the storyline itself since some of the bloggers reading this post may not have read it or are planning to see the movie.

Anyway, I find it ironic that the church is making such a public fuss about this story. First off, this is a fictional work. Brown uses real objects, places, and relgious groups & customs to enrich his story. He does not claim that the story is true or that it's message is real. The problem is, he is such a talented writer that some people WANT to believe what he's saying is true. The claims made in the book are pretty incredible and lead me to wonder what things would be like if some of them were true. I did not however, believe they were true, nor did I question my religious beliefs because some author (albeit a good one) writes about this possibility.

Second, in the book it is said that the church was seeking to destroy information and hide a secret that could affect it forever. The real world response to this book - boycotting and all of that - actually feeds right into the story. Talk about life imitating art...

Third, the Church has accomplished exactly the opposite of what they meant to do. They have provided more publicity for this novel than there ever would have been otherwise. Everybody knows about this book and the upcoming movie. This is partly due to Brown's legal problems (being accused of plagiarism), but I really think it's mostly a result of the Church's comments. I have not spoken to a single person who has not heard about this story or the drama surrounding it, and most people either want to read the book, have read it already, or are planning to see the movie. I personally picked the book up because I was curious about it.

Perhaps the best method of dealing with this novel would have been to ignore it... There are a lot of interesting parallels between the DaVinci Code and the movie Dogma. When I saw Dogma the first time, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it, and was able to take many of the comedic jabs at the church in stride. It's fasinating to me that if you look at both of these stories in different ways they come out with different meanings. Wonder what would have happened if the church had demanded that Catholics boycott Dogma? Probably would have meant much better box office payouts...

It always amazes me how many people get so offended by things. Especially something that wasn't really intended to be offensive in the first place. I mean, this is a fictional story about fictional people (well okay some real historical figures too) in a real world setting. I think it's an excellent literary tactic, since it brings people into the story and allows the readers to connect more easily with the plotlines and characters. (Note: Brown is most certainly not even close to being first to use this technique and will definitely not be the last) People are actually going on DaVinci Code tours in Europe. I'm sure I'll be trying to find some of the places mentioned in the book myself when we're exploring our new city (a big part of the story takes place in London).

The reason for this post is due to my travels through and a random blog post that says that it's okay for people to read and enjoy the novel, but that the author hopes Dan Brown will learn the error of his ways and be sorry for writing material like that. Hmmm. I don't recall Dan Brown saying that he has revealed some great truth or proof of a real life conspiracy, or encouraging his readers to go against the church in any way. Maybe I should read this book again to make sure...

The last thing I want to say isn't a direct quote from the story, but in my opinion captures the essence of the true point Brown is trying to make (those of you who have read the story will understand):
Faith is believing in something without needing proof of its existence.

A person who really has faith will not be effected by things written in a novel (or that are dictated by other people).

Anyway - just my opinion. Hope the post didn't offend.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

who would have thought a tree could be evil?

Another trip up north to my lake...

This was meant to be a nice, relaxing visit with my parents and Jeremy's grandparents. We'd have a nice campfire, maybe a sauna, play cards, and spend lots of time outside.

We did get to do some of those things, but about a half day into the trip, something terrible happened.

It started with a sneeze. Then another, and yet another. Next thing I know, I'm stricken with the worst allergy attack since about 5 years ago (coincidentally a spring spent in Sudbury).

The cause?

This is a picture of a birch tree with a bunch of seeds blowing in the wind. Looks harmless, right? Not to me though - I have a bad allergy to birch pollen and used to suffer from horrible allergies when I lived up north. As I got older they got less severe, but since I haven't been around these stupid mean trees during springtime, my tolerance for their pollen is pretty much gone.

So while we played board games, went for walks, watched hockey (a whole other disaster that I refuse to discuss except to say hopefully next year will be better for my team), went for boat rides, etc - I was constantly sneezing or blowing my nose.

After trying several different combinations of allergy pills, things got a little better, but weren't great because they made me very tired. argh

We did have a great visit, and the drive home went very well (even got some nice pics from the French River) but I have made a commitment to never ever visit Sudbury during May again!

Friday, May 05, 2006

can you guess which restaurant this is?

okay, once again exploring news items online while watching the Ottawa / Buffalo game (currently 4 - 3 for Ottawa), and I found something surprising.

These pictures show the remodeling of a restaurant that is trying to update it's look.

Can you guess which one???

Thursday, May 04, 2006

trying to escape the boredom

School is over now - no more classes, no more assignments, no more stress over trying to balance a zillion different things all at the same time. My school friends are gone - moved back to their hometowns to search for jobs and reunite with friends and family.

With my newfound freedom, I'm able to volunteer in my old classrooms, get stuff organized for the move to London, spend some more time with Jeremy (who I had to ignore for 8 months, the poor guy), and of course relax a bit.

Last night I discovered this great website that teaches people how to understand British slang. Since the kids I'll be teaching will definitely say things I wont get - I figured I need to do a little "research".

Some of this is like a foreign language to me:
arseholed = completely messy, stinking drunk
barmy = crazy
brassed off = pissed off or fed up
cracking = the best, or a stunning girl
gen up = get information, do research
jammy = lucky
naff = uncool
wanker = somebody who is a bit of a jerk
*** for more info, check out: ***

my favourite so far is dodgy.

Looking forward to hearing all of this in everyday conversation in a few months. Hopefully I'll be able to translate most of it by the time I end up in a classroom!