Monday, May 31, 2010

Goodbye, Louise.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Now, onto a more cheerful note

At my local Asian market yesterday, the cashier exclaimed:

"You spent almost $10!  Take a free mango!"

That's the kind of math I can get on board with.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Disappointing Gym: Another Excuse to Not Exercise and Hate Yourself Later

Ways to screw up a new gym:

1) Cram too many weight and squat machines in one room, thereby increasing both the number of meatheads that go to said gym and also decreasing the space needed for civilized activities such as stretching

2) Have the lockers in the change room be non-functional

3) Be a total exercise tease and have separate rooms for classes, wall climbing, a running track, and basketball/volleyball/badminton courts but not make them open and accessible to anyone

4) Increase the amount of flatscreen TVs that are constantly set to TSN (do you think I want to see professional athletes while I am trying to not pass out from being out of shape?)

5) Forget to put in a sauna (Fools!)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

A-Frame Houses

A-frame houses make me nostalgic for a time before I was born: a vague picture of canoes on lakes, musty plaid sleeping bags with difficult zippers, board games and card games and cross-country skiing. Notable for their sloped roof lines and triangular shape, A-frame houses experienced a surge in popularity in the mid-20th century, when architect Andrew Geller began populating the Atlantic beaches of New York and New Jersey with the design. Architectural historian Chad Randl, whose excellent book A-Frame considers the important role this structure plays in our understanding of post-war capitalism, is also cognizant of the nostalgia these homes evoke, noting that visiting one was stepping back in time to "Friday nights unloading the car after driving from the city, apres ski parties, hot cocoas, games of Parcheesi and chess, skis piled up in the corners, and wool socks drying on the loft rail" (1). And although the popularity of the design began to wane in the 1980s, as the vinyl siding-clad suburban behemoths of my generation were ushered in, I, for one, would like to see A-frames move out of the woods and into the city.

1. Randl, Chad. A-Frame. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2004. 9.

Bridesmaiding, or how to spend an exorbitant amount to look worse

Women in their mid-late twenties have a big problem.  I am not talking about the impending fear of osteoporosis or the growing concerns of keeping your neck moisturized.  I am talking about Bridesmaiding.

A good friend of mine is the maid of honour in a wedding where she has to wear 4-inch diamond-studded heels, a lemon coloured dress, get a $300 hairdo, and attend 2 stagettes (one in Vegas) and 2 showers.  She is not quite sure why she is the maid of honour, but it means she is required to attend weekly "planning" meetings. I also have another friend who is 8 months pregnant and was asked to wear a strapless hot pink number with silver heels.

Last year I was in 3 wedding parties, in what could almost be considered the Olympics of wearing sucky metallic shoes.  Of course, it is always flattering to be asked, and every event involves a soggy, heartfelt speech by the bride about their appreciation for your friendship.  It is just heartfelt enough for you to forget the $500+ round trip ticket you purchased to get there.  Or the shiny shoes.  Or your stiff, anachronistic bouffant hairstyle.  Or the turquoise dress with boning that digs into your engorged stomach because you ate too many perogies during the dinner reception.  Hopefully your efforts are also enough to let the bride forget that you drank too many glasses of champagne to alleviate the anxiety of having her older relatives talk to you about your aging body.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The "Diane Keaton"

When I finished writing my master's thesis, my dearest friend re-christened the "French 75" (1) in my honour as the "Diane Keaton." The name stemmed from an earlier conversation about my tendency to dress, to varying degrees (both to my advantage and my detriment) in a manner that could only be described as Keaton-esque. It seemed only fitting to carry the name over to my signature beverage:

2 oz. Gin (or Cognac)
1/2 oz. simple syrup (or 1 tsp. very fine sugar)
1 oz. lemon juice
Champagne or sparkling wine

Combine gin, sugar, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker with plenty of ice. Shake vigorously and strain into two iced Champagne flutes (or scotch glasses with crushed ice). Fill with Champagne or sparkling wine. Garnish with a lemon twist.

1. The "French 75" was invented by French-American WWI pilot Raoul Lufbery, who believed champagne cocktails required more kick, as in the kick of a French 75mm field gun. Mr. Lufbery's second claim to fame was having a pet lion named Whiskey.


Look at this beautiful basket of eggs.  The soft, non-offensive muted colours.  The woodsy quality of the basket.  You can just picture the manicured hand of a young woman with tousled blonde hair reaching into the basket to make homemade eggs benedict.  Or perhaps she is whipping up a very au courant lemon olive oil cake.  Or maybe she is going to make the most disgusting, rubbery scrambled eggs you've ever eaten.  That's right.  Good eggs can go bad, Leighton Meester-style, in less than 10 seconds.

Up until about 3 years ago I was a cruddy cook.  The Shake and Bake instant scalloped potato kind of cruddy.  This of course was not indicative of a lack of passion for food, but rather a student laziness combined with an art theory-induced narcolepsy.  Scrambled eggs and rice were my go-to Saturday morning breakfast.  Simple, easy, cheap, kind of Asian.  At diners, I am an over-easy egg sort of gal.  Other than this, my egg consumption is usually in baked good form.

I live with someone who loves eggs.  His family loves eggs.  He eats hard-boiled eggs on a regular basis.  His mom packs us egg salad sandwiches.  There is a hilarious in-the-know family joke about his dad tossing a soft-boiled egg against a kitchen cabinet in a fit.  It's like, a thing.

Eggs are not terrible things, but come on people.  Let's not get carried away.

Monday, May 17, 2010

2010, 6 of 1, half dozen of an other

A roast chicken, almost every Sunday evening, for 5 months and 2 weeks.
The 4 year anniversary of my west coast arrival, and a foggy reflection on the 2.5 lost years of my life.
7 books began, 6 yet to be finished.
Life changing pizza.
A brief stint at regular exercise, but an overall improvement in sit-ups.
The continuation of an obsession with leeks.
$6500 in taxes.
Becoming more functional after a drink at lunch.
An innumerable amount of applications, and a handful of rejections.
A mysterious whale in False Creek that constantly brightens my walk home from work (oh, the possibility).

Not bad 2010.  Not bad.  You could do better.

Like this:

Laundry Room Treasure

We also found Bleach by Nirvana and a self-titled Stone Roses album. A trio of awesome.

Thank you Mr. Goldenweiser