29 April 2009

120| ninety-nine.

yep. that's how many days until our wedding. i'm worried. but only because the wedding industrial complex tells me to be worried.

i actually wasn't counting until a friend of mine pointed out that it was 57 days until her wedding. then i had to go count.

it could be worse. another dear friend is getting hitched in eight days. so, really i feel rather ahead of the game.

it's been a long time coming. and it's still a little ways to go.

|image theknot, because they started this rebellion in me. |

119| in the margins.

i like talking about marginalization. mostly because i believe such a dialogue is healthy, and somewhat necessary to putting an end to marginalizing groups and individuals.

meg is talking about feminism and weddings today. it makes me ridiculously happy.

on the other hand, a local columnist in london {ontario} and i have been picking our battles this weekend over his ethnocentric column from a week ago. the column talks about his experience with a family of either "romanian or lebanese" origin, haggling with someone at a sears outlet store. hardly newsworthy. his assessment of the family as weird and his mocking of their experience was indeed very ethnocentric and hardly empathetic to the culture shock they likely experienced. anyway, it has resulted in a back and forth of comments from myself and from the blogger and a discussion about ethnocentricity and the marginalization of minorities in North American journalism. the discussion was interesting, even if i didn't change his opinion {it ended with "you're wrong, kate! you're wrong about canada and you're wrong about journalism-- i'm not sure if he realized that i'm a communications & canadian history major.}

| image yushimoto |

28 April 2009

118| late nights and earlier mornings.

my best friend {and maid of honor} is up in ottawa visiting me, and has been for the last forty-eight hours. can i say that i'm so happy to have such a wonderful, amazing human being in my life? seriously. she's the best evar!!!! we spent the last few days exploring and re-exploring the city, trying on dresses, looking pretty, drinking, eating, sleeping in, and tomorrow we'll cap it off with my favourite brunch place. only because i have to go back to work. *sigh*

we saw the wedding venue tonight, and i kind of am realizing that things will slowly, but surely fall into place. it's a bit scary. and very exciting.

also, because of her visit, the earliest i've gone to bed in over a week has been 1:30. hopefully this will change tonight. but, i've become a little bit of an insomniac. in addition to many other things. consequently, i'm spending my night in front of a computer screen deleting people from facebook that i haven't talked to in a long, long time. for. the. win.

p.s. i promise that my blogs will become more interesting upon my return to the work environment.

25 April 2009

117| decompressing by doing.

{or: how to have a really, really productive saturday}

today was my last saturday as an undergraduate student. this sounds really weird, and it is a really weird thing to mark, but i've sort of had a schedule for saturdays over the past four years that has involved brunch, grocery shopping, school work and an out of the house activity in the evening.

in light of the really long paper i've been writing, my sleep schedule was thrown off and i went ot bed at six thirty this morning, after falling asleep on the couch around four {thank you to those of you who sent me lovely messages of support and demands for me to go to bed between four and six-thirty}.

my day commenced with andrew's doing the crossword and my trying to remain perfectly silent while he did so. i am not so good at this. but it was a good test for me, and i started thinking of all the things i wanted to do today, given that the weather could not have been nicer if it had tried.

we brunched at jak's, one of my most favourite brunching places, and the patio was open, which was marvelous! we went shopping for him and found the most adorable top for our friend's daughter who is presently obsessed with wonderwoman. we went to bridgehead: i worked for two or three hours plugging in footnotes {over a hundred}, while he went and played catch with a friend {tee hee}. we then came home and i gardened, and gardened and gardened. we are going to have so many beets this year. gardening was followed by picnicking {hamburgers} on the grass in our yard, and then more schoolwork, and then baking.

this might have been one of the busiest days i've had in a long time. but, it's also been one of the most enjoyable!

happy saturday!

23 April 2009

116| window shopping, living rooms

i'm an awful blogger. really, and truly. i'm also an awful spender. i do however, have four weddings, two anniversary parties, a broadway show, my convocation and a great deal of brunches on patios to attend this summer, and only one dress to spare {which i am presently sporting}. and otherwise, i'm spending wisely.

however, there will be a large purchase in august. a new sofa is coming into our living room {andrew's parents are amazing and are footing the bill as a wedding gift}.

having worked at ikea in the sofa department, i understand the sofa to be the most critical piece of furniture in your living room. or at least, the seating area in general as being the msot critical. so, we hummed and we hawwed {does haw have two Ws as a past tense? amanda? anyone?} and we decided on this little lovely sectional that will look lovely in our current apartment...

but, now i'm left with the question of "what do we put with it?" it's much more modern than our current sofa, and is leather {i'm going to hell, i'm aware of that...andrew really wanted leather, so leather it is}. We have the rest iof the furniture quite well sworted out, but I think such an event might call for a few accessory pieces...

jenna rose pillow, $60

andrea rund carpet {ikea}, $299

wall decal, $18

115| neglect.

yikes, it has been a very, very, very long time since i have written. it's a bit sad. but my life has bceome consumed by really and truly two things. which i love dearly, but are too much at once...

  • the end of my work contract
  • my term paper on david bowie/glam rock/ homosexuality

last night was a very late night, followed by an early morning. and i felt as though something was missing. i was looking through mouse's blog {currently occupied by the lovely amanda} and came across some eddie izzard, who might be my favourite comedian of all time. and it broke it. i have had this serious, i have to do everything right, and right away atmosphere hanging over me for the past week, and eddie broke it. thank god!

i had been neglecting laughter, and smiles, and beautiful things. pretty things. yes, eddie izzard is pretty.

i was searching through my bag for my lunch, and found to my shock and dismay, my engagement ring. i thought it had been on my bedside table all this week, but not that i think about it more, it was actually in my bag, from the gym, which i finally had with me again today {something else that i have been neglecting}.

i picked up the ring, held it, examined it, and promised it not to forget about it for a very, very long time {i'm at the point where i don't feel anymore naked with or without it...}

anyway, i'm back. i promise. at least for a little while.

image waleed

20 April 2009


“Success is never final. Failure is never fatal." 

i'm sitting in the library, where i should arguably be reading on rock and roll as a cultural practice. however, it's been a sort of a bitch of a day. but, only because i'm allowing it to be. the train was forty-five minutes late, i happened to try to do all my errands over lunch, forgetting that the rest of the world eats around then to, and it turns out my application for graduate scholarships failed. 

given that the application was a yes or no sort of deal, and that the scholarship was in the neighbourhood of 10K per year, it feels a bit epic on the fail scale. but, failure is an event. not a person. and i should arguably be celebrating the opportunity to create more debt for myself {debt, which will be paid off much sooner than most, because it will nonetheless be on the small side}. as unfortunate as it is.

i now return to my regularly schedule program of reading, wrting and editing in such a fierce way one would think that i were a monkey at a type-writer.

i promise, that this blog will become more wonderful in the coming weeks.

17 April 2009

113| reminiscence, present

i have but one exam this term, my final exam, of undergraduate school. it's tomorrow {today} at nine a.m. go figure, one exam and it's a saturday morning.

the topic is easy. introduction to canadian studies. and the exam is only worth 35%, a fraction of a half-credit course. and i'm doing quite well in the other 65% of the course. it's not that i don't want to do well in the exam, because i do. but between my sizeable term paper on bowie, and the end of my government contract, i have had more on my plate than was manageable.

so, here i sit at three a.m., some six hours before my exam, contemplating the last four years of studying, and exploring. reminiscing before it's over. a girl i had courses with will leave for her first full-time job in the north tomorrow. and, i of course, am cramming for this exam. except not really.

because if university has taught me one thing, it that knowledge is power, but being quick off the draw in acting on that knowledge is possible more important. 

right now, however, all i can think is "man, when i lived in residence, i could get upten minutes before my exam and stroll into the room in pyjamas". but for the part where i never did that.

|image vermontferret |

112| quarante pour trente.

{or, forty for thirty, if you're an anglophone.}

a lot of people lately have been challenging themselves. rachel did it by not shopping for a really, really, really long time. twelve whole weeks. that's 84 days of saying "no, thank you. i don't think i need this". tenthousandonly vowed yesterday that she was going to run three miles for thirty days.

but, as we've discussed i'm already working towards being a rational, sane consumer in a way that i wasn't before. and i hate running. not only do i hate running, but my knees hate it, and i don't really want a knee replacement at 30, thank you.

so, i am promising that i will bike {on the incumbent} for forty minutes for thirty days. mostly because i need to get my ass back into shape after easter. but also because i plan on doing this alongside other exercise {ie. weights, stairs, ultimate} and it'll be a good motivator.

i'm one of those people who cannot exercise alone. and if i'm alone, i need music. and so, my music selection has been dwindling lately, aside from a new-to-me neko case cd. so, could you pretty-pretty-please propose a few songs that would make my heart race while i'm on that bike for the next thirty days?

merci beaucoup!

16 April 2009

111| twirling around the courtyard.

i love the little things in life. i had the most marvelous lunch in ages. i strolled around the market. i went to the paper store, and bought paper for a surprise for andrew's birthday {and an envelope for a job application}. i bought two figs that were juicy and delightful, and a pear that was crunchy and crisp. i bought fizzy water and pumpkin soup that was savoury and satisifed me as much as soup can {which for me, is a lot}.

i wanted desperately to twirl around the courtyard, but my hands were a bit full. so, instead i smile at the sun, and thanked it and walked on. only to find in the next courtyard over a little girl twirling with her doll.

image yoshiko

14 April 2009

110| dress to impress.

found. one very lovely, well-priced dress, unique and ideal for the following:

  • 3 weddings
  • convocation
  • countless brunches
  • reading under trees.

hurray. now, if only they can special order my size!

109| untitled.

my final day at practicum, and what am i up to? yep. photoshop. playing around with fun pictures of other people`s weddings. or celebrations. because really and true, a wedding is just a big kick-ass celebration that you don`t ever want to forget. and that is what my wedding is going to be.

the more i thought about all of this, the more i realized the importance to me, of being practical. and yet, being fun. but not too frivolous. also, for the record, captions marked with an asterik will be used in our wedding. as in, this is what this puppy is going to look like. {which only raises the question what the whole day will smell, sounds and taste like!}

from top left...
  1. invitations from ello there *
  2. strawberry jam from martha
  3. merit badge, "for tying the knot", leemeszaros
  4. bouquet from oncewed by way of tenthousandonly *
  5. twig ring set from esdesigns *
  6. wedding poster from ello there *
  7. photograph from littlecookies
  8. pom poms from pomlove * {we will be making our own, thank you}
  9. cake from the girl with the most cake * {only uses buttercream. oh. so good}
  10. dress from debra mcclinton via real simple
  11. cake plate from eddie ross
  12. photograph from photosforlife * {while we won`t be using mike the photographer, this is our venue}

13 April 2009

108| temper, short.

perhaps, it's just me. but a four day weekend lends to a lot of time in social butterfly mode. as much as i truly love my family and friends, at this junction i feel a bit like being a hermit. 

which, for the blogging world is great, because i do my bestest blogging when i'm feeling antisocial.

107| weekend, long

this weekend never wanted to end. and in someways, i think i was glad for that.

i took so many pictures, did so many things. ate so much chocolate. i relaxed. i slept. i watched back to the future with my niece. i ate more chocolate. i played tag. i fell down the slide and smacked my shin, leaving a huge bruise. but i did not cry. i read and a wrote, and i was read to. i baked. and i cooked. and i shopped. and i spent time with some family and some friends. 

it was my favourite things amplified. this is sort of what i want our wedding to be like. and yes, if you tag my on my wedding day, i will run after you. which is precisely why i'm not wearing heels.

10 April 2009

106| mallow, marshes

favours are one thing that andrew & i haven't really talked about. well, we've talked about it. we jsut haven't made a decision. i like the idea of giving something, especially with guests coming from out of town. he likes the idea too, but we both find some of the favours we've experienced to be tacky. then again, there are a lot of things about weddings that are tacky.

i came across these this morning though, and thought that they would be most delicious and practical, and easy to make... i just don't like the idea of food as a favour, and i never have. but if i can get around that, this might just be the ticket!
in the meantime, i'm going to be baking all weekend for friends and family, and i can't wait! i promise to take things more slowly this weekend, and actually get a few photos out.

09 April 2009

105| cities, old.

i can't help but thinking that it's strange that ontario, canada has a paris. it's near toronto, and not very big, and not particularly parisian. but there it is {there's also one in texas, for you american folk}.

my friend's family is from waterloo, ontario...which used to be known as new berlin before the war. it hosts the largest oktoberfest outside of canada, which is something to brag about {if you're me.}

new york used to be new amsterdam. and at one point, america considered german as its official language. wie interessante waere die welt denn? {what an interesting world it would be}.

just something to consider in light of globalization, history, nomenclature.

104| quiet post, new york.

less than two months.
i hope there are balloons.

08 April 2009

103| five things...i want to cook this summer.

remember all that talk about my bookmarked links at work? i think half of them are recipes: wonderful things that inspire me at work and remind me "hey, you there, get back to work, because then you can afford groceries this week to make such lovely things as us".

specifically, there are five that i am thrilled about this summer.

om nom nom.

06 April 2009

102| walk on the wild side.

i was looking through glam rock music libraries tonight, as i so often do on sunday nights {actually, i'm presenting a working draft of my paper tomorrow}, and came across this character, mr. lou reed. did i know who he was? nope. why not? i'm not sure.

needless to say, i thought velvet underground sucked on principle about two years ago. and then juno came out last year. and then i fell in love. and only now do i realize that this guy is this cool.

on an unrelated note, i decided last night that leonard cohen sounds exactly like my uncle. exactly. bar none.

04 April 2009

101| elizabethtown

flipping through the big silver box tonight, looking for news coverage on korea, and i came across this. i have far too much work to do to actually sit and watch it, but the cinematography has me sold, and that alec baldwin and susan sarandon are in it...well, i'm going to have an evening to myself {and maybe some girlfriends} with this movie and some wine.

100| saturdays are for...

my 100th post. not much of a surprise, i guess, but nonetheless a bit of a milestone for me--the type of girl who is non-committal to blogging, for the most part.

intially, today was meant to be a very hectic, yet boring saturday with studying and working out, and not much else. however, my day got sidetracked into an even-more-hectic-albeit-much-more-interesting day.

last night, i told andrew--after mini-golfing--that i was going to sleep-in, go to the gym, bake, and do school work all before five pm. he did not believe me, and i thought twice about my goals when i woke up from my deep, deep slumber this morning. i figured, going to the gym and doing school work would be enough {plus i'd already slept in}.

so, i hopped the train in the wet, mucky weather, undressed of course, to the library at campus, where i hunted high and low for books for all of three hours. my arms loaded, i then made my way to the gym, and worked out. for an hour and a half. wheeeee. please note, that at this time i had consumed all of a coffee and a small bowl of cereal. stress = energy.

i left the gym at three and there was a message on my phone, from andrew and our friend rainer saying that we were invited to friends' for dinner and perhaps we ought to bring dessert. i called andrew back, and made note that they'd be home in two hours and i had to shower and perhaps we best just pick something up.

well, my dears... i walked by a stand selling luscious bright red strawberries. and i will grant you that they looked tasteless in their plastic packaging from california. but what with the weather being dreary and my wanting spring, i decided right then and there, after consulting my blackberry {to make sure we had everything else} to make rachel's strawberry shortcake for dessert.

so, i grabbed what i needed and rushed home. 

was it easy like she said it would be? yes
was it tasted like she said it would be? yes*
was everyone pleased?oh, you bet

not to mention, i was able to achieve that final task that i wanted to do today. by five pm no less.

*i would argue that it was even easier, because in the time span of one half-hour, i made everything and i showered. snap.

|photo from rachel, because it all happened far too fast for me to capture on film|

03 April 2009

99| window shopping, butterflies

it seems only appropriate on an up-and-down kind of day to shower you with beautiful butterflies
{or, as i called them when i was little...flutterbys}.

flutter, $15
silver mobile, $58
cupcake stand {i'm a sucker for these}, $44

it's quite possible that i have a case of the fridays. or maybe butterflies were meant to come in small packages. either way, three seems to be my magic number today. happy friday!

98| rollercoasters, comfort

i love them. andrew hates them with a fiery passion. but despite my love for them, he is much better at dealing with days that are rollercoaster-like {ups and downs} than i am.

i truly like to find pleasure in the small things {i've been known to get excited about shower curtain shopping} . but it's also easier for me to dwell on small things.

today has been that type of a day...it started off with a job interview that had its ups and downs, followed by a meeting that went really well overall, and then good news and bad news from freecycle: i got the apron i inquired about, but not the typewriter {which i thought would be loads of fun for andrew's niece}. then i went out to pick up lunch, but it was raining, but not particularly hard. hard enough that i got wet, but not so hard that i could be pleased with looking ridiculous in all my watery glory.

however--and i'm sure this is a statement about how bad an emotional relationship i have with food--the highlight of my day {other than the apron} has actually been lunch. there is this amazing little german deli near my work that sells german sandwiches {meat, bread, nothing else} on amazing rye and kaiser breads and to-die-for-soups. nothing about this place is complicated, but everything about it whispers comfort. having lived in germany for a year, one of the many things i miss is the comfort food {large, soft pretzels, moist cheese, the bread. oh the bread. it's no wonder i gained 50 pounds that year!}. what made it even better is that it's budget friendly. my sandwich, soup, cheesecake {yes, cheesecake} and drink came to $6. i'm through my sandwich and soup as i type this, and dang, i'm getting full! it's not complicated, but it's some of the best comfort food i know of.

german town deli, please don't ever change.

02 April 2009

97| om nom nom.

every thursday, andrew plays ultimate {i play wednesdays}. every thursday, i get to chill out and eat whatever i want for dinner, and do whatever i want in the evening. 

there is a long list of foods that andrew won't eat {fish, olives, melon} for various reasons, so thursdays are a great day for me to make/eat foods that i don't otherwise get. tonight, that meant a little bit of olive and a bit of melon into a tasty stirfry.

stirfry of random no-recipe goodness
per person

  • 1 head of broccoli, sliced {include the stalk}
  • 1 spicy sausage
  • 1 sixth of a honeydew melon, cubed
  • 6 spicy olives of choice
  • 2 tsp olive oil {a smallish drizzle}
  • 1/4 cup basmati rice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • a pinch of cumin
  • a drizzle each of soya sauce and rice vinegar {about a tablespoon each}

cook the sausage in the olive oil until juicy and cooked through {3 minutes). add the broccoli and about 1/8 cup of water and continue frying. boil the water for your rice at this point. once the water has come to a boil, add the rice, stir and cover. set the timer for about 12 minutes. meanwhile, add the honeydew melon and sliced olives, as well as the soya sauce, rice vinegar and cumin. once the rice is soft and creamy, add it to the sausage/broccoli mixture and stir to coat.

served with sapporo beer.

om nom nom.

96| links, slink

at home, i have my links organized by purpose and in a hierarchal structure, such as:
  • entertainment
  • eating
  • shopping

under eating, i have recipes, restaurants, and blogs, under recipes i have "wedding menu", "baked goods" and "mains". under entertainment i have a whole variety of subfolders, ranging from "museums" to "photography". shopping includes "online stores", "real stores" and "indie artists" as well as "wedding registry" for the time being.

this is part of why i love opera and safari, they are very user-friendly things for organizing your internets. at work, we use internet explorer. and usually the things i save at work as favourites are recipes, and blog posts that i want to export after my contract is over. that said, my favourites sidebar is becoming crowded with beautiful posts like this that i want to remember for the wedding.

how do you organize your links?

95| allowance, resolution

i have been forever spoiled {up until last october}. and i have ever frittered away my money, left, right, centre, and behind me in some cases.

i looked in my bank account yesterday and gulped. and then i freaked out. and then i realized that i am far from practical with my money, and that i don't fritter away my money on magazines and drinks as much as i used to {good}, but rather on housewares and clothes and other slightly larger purchases {bad}.

i admire rachel for not shopping for eleven whole weeks. i could not do that. but, i am going to be very strict with my money from now on. and very aware of my purchases.

my debit card, ladies and gentlemen, is not leaving the house unless it is for the express purpose of either taking out money, or making a planned purchase. i will take out a certain amount of money, and subsist on that for a week. and if i go broke before, oh well. too effing bad. i can't keep relying on my overdraft. i could. but i refuse to.

new rules to spend by...

  • no specialty coffee, no breakfast pastries, no more $2 yogurt
  • with the exception of a dress for the summer {i'm too small for my old ones, and i have three weddings and my convocation to attend}, spending on clothing will be limited to $50 per month, not a penny more {right now i'm spending very close to $200 without thinking much about it}
  • i will not buy my lunch more than one a week
  • i will not go out for drinks more than once per month {this isn't really a big problem for me right now, but once patio season begins}
this will be different {i hope}. {also, i hope that none of you are particularly bored by my discussion of money. i feel like it's a major elephant in the room for me right now, and i needed to get it out there. exhale. and now, on with the otherwise normal life that i lead. ha.}

01 April 2009

94| grateful, yet busy

i have five job interviews between thursday and monday. five! i'm not complaining. i really think this is the greatest thing that could happen to me right now: to have a job lined up before my contract is completed!

but, i also recognize that between now and tuesday, my life is going to be consumed with things that are important, but not necessarily what i want to be doing. that is, if what i want to be doing is blogging, cooking, colouring {things other than maps}, planning my trip to new york over sushi, drinking with my teammates, and doing any sort of exhaling.

what i will be doing is researching, writing, editing, writing, editing, researching, writing, editing. and polishing: my resume, my shoes, my hair.

exhale. and go.

93| china, the dinnerware not the country

is it friday yet? let me start off by saying that i have been so inspired by so many pretty things to covet this morning. who the heck introduced me to shoestring? ah, yes. rachel, thank you...*sigh* so many pretty things, where to begin?

right, with last night's great china debate. andrew + i thought we had decided on our china {see above}, but over the past week or so i convinced myself i wasn't sold. i visited the company's website, and discovered that they fall into the "nice, but i question the quality of your product" cateogry of things, and really i don't want china that only lasts five years.

we went back to the place we registered and took a second look. i winced. andrew accepted defeat, and i tried to convince him of a lovely set that had birds on it. if only i were snow white.

it felt a little like wedding dress shopping. everything had to be "just perfect", except that i will be using this china for the next twenty-five or more years. which means that i should be able to:

  • dishwash it.
  • feed a crowd for a variety of different events on it.
  • not fret too much about my child{ren) carrying it
  • scrape it with a knife without mortal fears.
  • dishwash it again.
  • be able to pull it our for the day that real simple visits our house to do a photoshoot {ha} without panicking that it was completely in style when we received it, but lord does it look kitschy now.
  • place it in multiple houses without it looking "off".
  • dishwash it yet again.

i spent the morning on macy's website. why canada does not have a macy's is beyond me. i will in fact be making every effort to stop there when i go to new york. anyway, i have it narrowed down to four, which are below...

top left: martha stewart by wedgwood
top right: red blossom by mikasa
bottom left: gardner street by kate spade
bottom right: june lane by kate spade

so, faithful readers, which do you like the most? why? and do you know of anywhere in ontario that stocks kate spade?