Monthly Archives: January 2010

January: The month in Review

Bye bye, January! Here’s a quick recap on where we stand as the first month of 2010 draws to a close…

Completed thus far:

- 4 recipes

- 3 movies

- 6 reads

- 12 cereals

These stats are about what I would have expected at the three week completion mark of The Project. A few comments:

- yes, the Cereals are way out in front…but this could become more challenging the further along we go and I become less enticed by my options. But so far, the easiest category, and I have a feeling it could be the easiest one to complete with the least amount of effort.

- I should have more Reads accomplished next month as I receive my next round of magazine subscriptions. Plus, I have a newspaper idea…

- without the motivation of The Project, I would not have baked at all this month. Really. But when I look at the various steps involved (choosing a recipe, making it, writing about it), it’s not all that bad…you need one Project that is a little *challenging,* right? And for me that is Recipes! 

- watching 40 Movies is going to be the biggest challenge, I think at this point. I have to work at carving out a two hour time block, and I have to be in a “movie kind of mood.” TV can be on mindlessly in the background, but movie-viewing requires more focus. There are some movies coming to The Princess that I would like to see – I just have to make the time to get out there!

Next up: the shortest month of the year, with 28 Days. Welcome, February!

Advantage: Goodlife

I’ve been scooped! For the last couple days, I was planning a post where I wanted to talk about the Goodlife Toronto Marathon and an interesting development for the 2010 race (October 17, 2010). Then yesterday, the story breaks that the City of Toronto is putting its foot down on having two marathons in one city, three weeks apart, and will issue ONE marathon permit only, beginning in 2011.

Here is the full story, as it appears in the Globe and Mail today. It’s well worth a read, if you have time. The issue is being flogged to death in various running forums and I am not going to delve into the story in depth right now. But for the running community, this is a face-off worth watching. Which race will prevail? Each one has its loyal supporters and vocal critics. I’ve competed in both events over the years, and each one has advantages and disadvantages.

Positives:

Waterfront Marathon: more crowd support, larger field of entrants, excellent organization, draws more elite level athletes

Toronto Marathon: better/more scenic course, longer history of existence

Negatives:

Waterfront Marathon: course is boring as all get-out, September weather sometimes an issue (hotter, more humid)

Toronto Marathon: poorer organization, point-to-point course necessitates transportation issues

I am willing to bet that the number of entrants increases in both events for the fall 2010 races, due to the fact that it will be the final “running” of one of these events. And who knows: the winning marathon may well go with a different course. I think we will also see an increase in the number of people/crazies who do both events – this is the last chance!

At this stage, who will prevail? I am placing my money on the Waterfront. Money talks, bottom line.

But here is the REAL story I initially wanted to discuss! Runner’s World Magazine has chosen the Goodlife Toronto Marathon as one of its  four Marathon Challenge sites for this year (the other marathons being Flying Pig in Cincinnati, San Francisco and Richmond). What happens is you sign up for the Challenge, and Runner’s World provides you with training and perks on Race Day.

This is a complete coup for the Goodlife Marathon! Runner’s World magazine is likely the most recognized running resource in North America – any association with this magazine is going to bring your event more money, more competitors, more recognition. It’s the same deal as if Tiger Woods has chosen to play your golf tournament.

So, let’s tie these two stories together now: we have a race to see which of the two Toronto marathons will prevail (due to the rivalry between race directors, there is no way a compromise or a combining of the two events will ever happen). We have the presence of Runner’s World at the upcoming Goodlife Marathon in 2010…but the Waterfront is decidedly the “bigger” event…this is going to be good!

Websites:

Waterfront Marathon – http://www.torontowaterfrontmarathon.com/

Goodlife Marathon – http://www.torontomarathon.com/

Mr and Mrs Dress Up

When I was little, I dreamed of the day when I would be old enough to wear spiky high heels, thick make-up and designer dresses all day long. Well! The reality is that my favourite fashion labels are Sugoi, Lululemon and Nike. Daily make-up routine is blusher, eye liner and a dab of mascara. Spiky high heels? I currently do not even OWN a pair of high heels.

This proved to be a bit of a dilemma when we were invited to attend the Graduation Banquet for the 2008-2009 Conestoga College Pre-Service Firefighter Program. The Banquet was held this past Saturday evening and was a semi-formal affair. Brad was all set; we brushed off Old Faithful, his go-to suit for all events requiring such level of dress. I decided upon my handknit mohair dress. I last wore it to Chris and Ana’s wedding in October 2005; luckily, knit dresses are classic in style!

photo opp pre-banquet

Shoes? Mummy to the rescue! I gratefully borrowed her brand new pair of patent heels that she generously and kindly offered to lend. These gorgeous lovelies deserve a close-up:

ta-da!

Now on to the Banquet…The organizing committee is to be commended for the fantastic banquet they orchestrated. Several times throughout the evening, the comment was made that this was the best banquet in years. Certainly, great attention to detail was evident in the decorating, seating assignments, catering selection, and organization.

When we arrived at the venue, the Romanian Cultural Centre in Kitchener, first year students greeted us, gave us our table assignment and escorted us into the main hall.

Since this was my first Conestoga College-related social, I appreciated the chance to meet Brad’s colleagues and some of the firefighter instructors who help out with the program.

Craig (centre), his wife Anna (L), Brad (R)

I was really impressed with the number of family members who attended to support their son/daughter/grandchild/spouse etc. Over 200 guests were in attendance, the highest number yet for a graduating class’ banquet.

Brad (L) with Class President Marty Long (R)

Full Circle: Brian Ertel, friend from years ago, now is an instructor, too

Following cocktails and mingling, we enjoyed a three course buffet of salads/apps, hot dishes, and desserts. Thank you plaques were presented to area fire departments which support the program, and awards were handed out to deserving students. We were very touched with our thank you gift of gorgeous flowers:

beautiful!

All in all, it was a lovely evening out. The next banquet will be held in January 2011, but after that we will have one to attend every three months as the Pre-Service Program continues to grow and new classes are added. It’s an honour to be included on the Guest List as the students celebrate the end of their studies and anticipate joining the fire service. (I think I will likely invest in my own pair of heels…) :)

Am I Allowed to Grunt While I Do That?

Among the many diets vying for your attention is the Paleo Diet. You can read more about it here, or I can summarize by asking you one question. Basically, if you are going to follow the Paleo way of eating, before inserting anything into your mouth, you must ask yourself, “Would a caveman have eaten this blueberry/Cheeto/sushi roll?” If the answer is yes, go right ahead and munch away. If the answer is no, you must immediately drop whatever you are holding and run far, far away.

So this morning as I was pounding away, up/down up/down on my Stairmaster, the thought crossed my mind that this Stairmastering is such a manufactured movement. Don’t get me wrong: I adore my Stairmaster with a deep, abiding and passionate love. In case of fire, I would shriek and scream and make Brad toss my Stairmaster onto his back before we race out of our burning condo. So would a caveman have Stairmastered? Not on your life. He wouldn’t have had real stairs to lumber up, let alone fake, manufactured ones.

If the Paleo diet is all about eating foods that existed thousands of years ago, let’s ponder what a Paleo Exercise Regime would be like. Let’s do a list of “IN” paleo exercises and “OUT” paleo exercises. Then we’ll conclude whether a Paleo Exercise Diet is feasible for us in 2010. So remember, our main question is: would PaleoMan (or PaleoWoMan) have been able to do this exercise?

“IN” Paleo exercises:”

  • running (yea!)
  • walking
  • swimming (open water only, no chlorinated pools)
  • weights (as in hoisting a baby, gathering wood)
  • stretching (as in reaching to pluck fruit from a tree)

“OUT” Paleo exercises:

  • all cardio gym equipment (elliptical machine, Stairmaster, recumbant bike, stationary bike)
  • outdoor cycling
  • skiing
  • weightlifting/body sculpting/Zoomba class
  • Yogalates

Are Paleo workouts do-able for us? Not so much, I fear…unless you live on an organic farm and have innumerable hours to spend on earth-centric workouts. And remember: to be truly hardcore, you’ll have to do it all barefoot!…but I’ll debate that touchy topic another day…

When Streaking is No Longer Enough

Likely, you have heard of running streakers: people who go umpteen years without missing a day of running. Runner’s World profiles such types from time to time. There is no “set” distance or time necessary to be a streaker; each person decides what is their personal minimum to keep their streak alive, be it one mile, 5 km, or a half hour. Entirely self-determined.

I, personally, have known two streakers. One guy’s minimum was one mile per day. One time, as legend has it, he went out to stumble through his mile while suffering the equivalent of double-galloping pneumonia. Another former running buddy once ditched his semi tractor trailer at the side of a highway during a raging snowstorm to do an out-and-back run, just to keep the streak alive; this tale I heard straight from the horses’s mouth.

Commendable or crazy? I leave it to you to decide which side of the fence you are on. All I know is that streaking is no longer something of which to be in awe. 2010 bodes well for being the Year of the Extreme Running “Feet/Feat” :) – read on to see what I mean…

Example number one: Monica Scholtz is an almost-local ultra goddess. I have never met her, but have heard of her, and have heard only enthusiastic comments about her positive personality and down-to-earth good nature. She is going to run THIRTY 100-mile races in 2010:

http://www.monumentaleffort.com/?p=443

To put this in perspective, finishing ONE 100-mile event in a given calendar year is remarkable. This link will provide you with the details of Ultrarunning’s Grand Slam (completing four specific 100 mile races in one calendar year).

Example number two: This guy is going to run 52 marathons this year. I guess this is what you do when you are unemployed and bored and have oodles of money.

Example number three: This guy is going to run the marathon distance 250 times this year: http://www.cbc.ca/cp/Oddities/091230/K12309AU.html

I guess this is what you do when you are more or less retired, bored and have oodles of money.

So a steak of a mile a day? pshaw.

Sherway Shopping

Day 3/3 of the birthday weekend, and to wrap up the celebrations, we went shopping to Sherway Gardens. A “destination shopping trip,” but fully worth the drive (and no traffic issues on a Sunday). In 3.5 hours at the mall, I think I got into about 10% of the stores. Truly a fabulous selection of stores that we don’t have in K-W, like Holt’s, Lululemon, Sporting Life, Nike  – those were my “A List” shops to hit today.

Happily, the design team at Sherway considered the Shopping Husbands: Brad quite enjoyed the leather comfy chairs and relaxed and waited quite contentedly with his Blackberry when he needed a break from accompanying me to the stores.

Purchases made at:

Nike (two jog bras and a long sleeve running top PLUS a long sleeve top for Brad – at least he did not come away empty handed!)

Lululemon (running tights, Stairmaster shorts, running shorts)

Aritizia (retro Adidas jacket, casual tights from their 2010 Olympics line). Fabric of the tights is too cool:

unique, eh?!

Mall hugely busy – is it not post-Christmas, bleak mid-winter and recessionary times? You’d never know it from the line ups and numbers of shoppers.

Thus endeth the 40th birthday weekend and I have a hugely updated wardrobe with which to remember a fabulous weekend!

How I Spent My Birthday-Day!

I purposely designed the birthday weekend so that the actual birth-day is filled with my “usual favourite things.”

Woke up at 5 a.m., the usual wake up time. Why waste time sleeping?

Spent time with my beloved Stairmaster:

Spent time with my favourite things: Coke Zero, knitting, two newspapers and Runner’s World magazine:

And it’s a beautiful day in the neighbourhood today, to boot. Apparently, I was born on a day much like this: sunny, cold and crisp. I don’t remember it, though.

My favourite Pookie telephoned to wish Aunti a happy birthday. Then she had to go play with her dollies. End of conversation!

Walked Brad for a late afternoon outing – beautiful day!

a little frosty, but invigorating!

And now tonight we have rented DVD 500 Days of Summer.  This will be Movie #1 for “40 Movies.”

Pre-Birthday Day

I decided a while ago that this birthday deserved three days of celebration: pre, day-of and post birthday days. Since Jan 9th falls on a Saturday, this makes for a perfect long weekend of birthday fun.

Friday eve was a get-together at mom and dad’s. Usually we go over Sunday evenings for meal time followed by a game of Yahtzee but since tomorrow is Shopping at Sherway Gardens day, we all celebrated together Friday evening.

mommy comes through with themed birthday napkins, as is her style

My very generous family (including mom and dad, Brad’s parents, and my grandma) spoiled me with money gifts. I am sure I will be able to happily spend my birthday money in Toronto on Sunday!

cards from Grandma, Mom and Dad K

mom even found a cardinal sticker for the envelope

While I’d like to be able to report that I rocked the Yahtzee game, no such luck (guess I had my turn when I won last week!).

no one got a Yahtzee but we all got our bonus!

Drum roll please!…and the winner on this fine day was none other than….

...Ervie! Congratulations, father!

Official 40th Birthday Photos:

The Birthday *Girl*

the very special mom and dad who brought me into existence - thanks! :)

What is the 1970 Kiki Project?!

For several months, I have been wondering how I could celebrate turning 40 on January 9th. I wanted a special year-long project to commemorate reaching this milestone (although I really don’t feel 40; in my head 40 feels middle-aged/old-ish). So what to do? I wanted a project that could last all year, starting on January 9th, 2010 and ending January 8th, 2011.

I’m a fan of year long plans. For example, a few years ago, I took one solitary photo every day of the year. This was when the digital age was in its infancy, so I used a disposable camera and have a photo album collection of these photos.  Another year I was a member of the Community Editorial Board for the K-W Record. I enjoyed the opportunity of writing seven columns that year for the paper.

So, I started thinking of little projects I could 40 times in one year. And I’ve been wanting to start a blog for a couple of years…thus the birth of the 1970 Kiki Project. I determined that 4 categories of 40 would be achievable without driving me batty. It took a lot of thought to pick the 4 categories. Many walks and workouts were spent thinking of possibilities. So, here are the four categories that made the cut and why I chose them.

From January 9th 2010 to January 8th 2011, I will:

1. Watch 40 movies – I love movies, both DVD rentals and going to movies, esp at the Princess Cinema. But I often don’t make it a priority to get out to a movie or even rent a movie. So I vow to watch 40 movies and give each a rating, using the four star rating system favoured by film critics everywhere.

2. Make 40 recipes of baked goods. Notice the distinction between BAKING (which I am going to do) and COOKING (which I am not going to do). Possible recipe selections could include squares, cookies, muffins, cakes…anything that I think my Target Audience (aka Brad and my dad) will like. After the initial taste-test, I will ask Brad (and Dad) for the four star review and post their comments. I will also post the recipe or a link to where it can be found. There will be 40 different recipes, no repeats.

3. Read 40 different publications. I love newspapers, magazines, books, the printed page in general (just have NOT gotten into reading online). I will read 40 different “items of media” and give a review of the publication’s content, level of writing, personal appeal.

4. Eat 40 different types of cereal. In answer to the ubiquitous question of “if you were stranded on a desert island, what one food would you choose to have?,” I would answer CEREAL without a moment’s hesitation. There is nothing better than a big bowl of 4-6 different cereals mixed together. I cannot sleep if I don’t have cereal before bedtime. Remember on “Seinfeld” where Jeffy had all those boxes lined up on his kitchen shelf? That could very well be me. I do have my preferred rotation, but in an effort to expand my horizons, I will try 40 different cereals this year. Again, the four star rating system will apply.

In case you’re wondering, here are options that did NOT make my final cut of four:

~ I debated long and hard about doing something running related. My dream would be to run 4000 km this year, run 40 km a week, break 40 minutes in a 10k (those days are past, I think!) or participate in 40 different races this year. However, my track record is not great when I set lofty running ambitions. So I am going the opposite route, setting ZERO goals and making absolutely ZERO running plans. Running has been a 20+ year passion, I miss it when I can’t do it, and we’ll just see how the year plays out. Could be interesting!

~ Knitting. Could I make 40 different items? Knit 4o different sock patterns or 40 baby sweaters? Nope. Knitting is my constant companion and favourite quiet-hobby, and I didn’t want to turn this creative outlet into an obsession that would leave me stressed and disgruntled.  

~ Donate $40 per week to a charitable organization. Seems a bit too “toot your own horn.”

~ Say YES 40 times when my first inclination would be to say NO. I didn’t want people baiting me with questions “wanna go whitewater rafting with us this weekend in Ottawa?” that would force me to do something I really didn’t want to do. Nor did I want to cause any hurt feelings (OMG, she didn’t really want to spend Sunday afternoon with us!!!). I might secretly keep a tally. :)

~ Take 40 rest days from working out, be able to do 40 pushups by the end of the year…both things I hate so why would I include them in a fun project?!

Five days til the contest begins…

ushering out the old year…

We spent the last day of 2009 with our favourite girls. (and our favourite brother and SIL, too). We all enjoyed a brunch outing (along with many other families, by the looks of it) in the ‘hood.

 

E. enjoys taking photos – here’s one of uncle b. aim just a little higher next time, E!…

...and she did!

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