Monthly Archives: August 2011

one august goal was GOLDEN!

welcome to the last day of august! everyone says this, so i’ll say it, too: where did the summer go. i am throwing my arms up in the air in dismay because you know as well as i do that in the blink of an eye, we’ll be walking around in conditions like this:

(source)

so enjoy the sun and warmth while we have it!

at the end of july, i shared with you three goals that i concocted for this month of august. let’s review:

goal #1: be a girly-girl

success rate: B

this goal was more of a success than a failure. i’m esp happy because i kept on trying right to the end of the month. here are a few ways in which i showed my girly-girl colours:

  • i watched an episode each of bethenny getting married and the hills. with regular viewing, i could pick up some very useful grooming and fashion tips. [i am also up-to-date on jersey shore. whether that show assists with self-improvement goals is debatable and up to you!]. watching these fluffy shows brought out my inner air-head, i did notice.
  • i switched up my earrings and hair barrettes/hairbands every day, and used hairspray once or twice (had to buy the hairspray!)

$5 flower-power earrings that i found when i was out with sarah - i went back for them!

  • i party-prepped extensively for angela’s birthday party!
  • mom and i enjoyed a bonus shopping outing one aft over at the mall. at the embellished room, i picked up two floral pieces:

a mini - dress (treat from mom!)

this top, i adore. the vibe is such that i am calling it "my grandma i. 1970's florida top" - > the floral pattern is just of that vintage!

  • i wore nail polish more days than not, and make up every time i left the house

there is still room for improvement! i fell a little short on:

  • actually wearing skirts – shorts are still just soooo comfortable
  • lotioning up during the day [in my defense, i do not enjoy putting on lotion before a yoga class as it makes me too slippery]; i did cream up my face nightly

take away lesson: i’m certainly not on the path to becoming a diva any time soon, but it is fun to do a little something to spice up your appearance, even if you are the only one who knows it.

goal #2 blog in lower case letters

success rate: a+

ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner!

(source)

i hearby declare that this writing style is the new normal for the blog. i ♥ love ♥ blogging entirely in lower case! hopefully, you don’t miss the capital letters because i’m going to stick with no capital letters until further notice.

goal #3: enjoy a different sweet treat every single day

success rate: barely a pass (d+? c-?)

i was doing really well with this goal until i got the flu in the middle of august. that 24 hours of *upheaval* completely messed with my taste buds and appetite. i abandoned this goal because the whole quirky point of it was to riff off baskin robbins and their 31 flavours, and present my own 31 flavours. oh well. i still enjoyed fun treats this month – hotdog, anyone?!

i had no specific reading, knitting or grocery goals for august, but let’s recap anyway.

groceries: cheapest month so far since i started tracking in may. chalk that up to the flu: saltines and frozen pepperoni pizza are cheaper than fresh veggies – did you know?!

knitting: i’ll talk separately about the silky baby blanket when it’s done – almost there!

reading: i finished american wife on sunday august 28th

just in time for it's due date at the library on monday august 29th!

this novel’s structure is unique in that it is divided into four parts, one for each of the places alice lives over the course of her life. while the book is absolutely wonderful, and i highly, mightily recommend it,  the weakest chapter is the final section, “1600 pennsylvania avenue” when charlie and alice are in the white house. i just found the tone and pace to be somewhat different in this last part.

here’s one quote from alice, from near the end of the book, that struck me: “oh, the past, the past – how the memories of the people i loved sear me.” p 546

this novel gets a resounding **** four star rating. i will miss alice! i am totally inspired, now, to read a biography on laura bush. there are a few suggestions in the back of american wife, so hopefully i can find one at the library. for now, i am doing a brain vinyasa and spending time with…

counts towards the girly-girl goal, no?!

and next up is september – the TRUE new year begins on labour day, totally, don’t you agree?

how was your august? any highlights to share? i’m happy with all the outdoor time i enjoyed. i did make the most of the hot and sunny days!

cora makes us breakfast

dad and i seem to have a set point of waiting ’til the last minute to get in our outing of the month! more often than not, i do believe, it seems to come down to the final days of the month before we finally get our acts together and get out for our father-daughter bonding time!

cora‘s opened its uptown waterloo location – the franchise’s 113th spot – in november 2009. since then, i have heard varying reports about this popular breakfast/brunch/lunch restaurant. here’s feedback i have received: on the positive side, people rave about the fresh fruit that accompanies each dish, and the generous portions you receive; on the negative side, it’s been reported that the menu is overpriced and that the dining room (for the waterloo location, anyway) is loud and impersonal.

it was time to find out for myself.

cora's - located in the mall in uptown waterloo

who else to drag along invite to do a cora’s review than dear dad?! [dad has dined at cora's many times before - a good sign that he was willing to go back??].

me, ready to dine!!! dad must have been very hungry - his camera work is a little off (chopped cora's sign!)!

the restaurant was not busy at all this morning (on weekends, they are lined up 20 deep, right into the mall). we got seated at a lovely window table.

dad!

the menu is, quite honestly, the most extensive brunch menu i have ever seen:

namesake cora, on the menu cover!

take a look (and drool not):

page one...

page two...not done yet...

...and page three!! zowie!

holy moly was it tough to choose – i spied at least 10 choices that would have made me very happy.

those readers who know me well will laugh at this: you know my taste buds have been wonky since i had the flu. well, this morning, i knew there was ONE SPECIFIC FOOD that i had. to. have. as part of breakfast:

bacon!!!

[ok, you can stop laughing now. but i'm so serious about needing bacon!!!]

so, i narrowed my picks to two:

option a...

or, option b

i ended up choosing…

cora's special!

wow – you would not believe what was included in my plate: two poached eggs (you can choose how you want your eggs); bacon, ham, sausage, fried potato wedges, a thin pancake/crepe, and fresh fruit. oh, and toast!

dad's plate was much like mine, but he got blueberry pancakes instead of the crepe

let's dig in!

so, what did i think?

cora’s rocks.

i absolutely loved this breakfast and would give it an a- rating. my favourite was the thin pancake! everything was really tasty. my only suggestion for improvement would be to crisp up the bacon and cook the potatoes longer – they were both a little underdone for my liking. otherwise, the quality leaves nothing to be desired.

thoughts about the pricing: most selections run between $10 – $14 so it’s not the cheapest eatery in uptown, but the quality matches the price point, to my mind.

service was just fine. nothing spectacular, but our food arrived without too much delay and all of the servers were very polite. dad had his coffee cup refilled quite a few times. [i did not have coffee!!!!].

and loudness? now granted, it was not full while we dined, but we could not even hear the table directly behind us, so the atmosphere was pleasingly quiet.

cute and tasteful colour schemes and wall decor - very relaxing and welcoming

final thoughts: i can’t wait to go back to cora’s, honestly. really, you go to a restaurant for the food, right? (service, atmosphere being secondary and supplementary). and cora’s offers an extraordinary array of delicious options.

dad and i enjoyed perhaps our best outing to date! we never shut up the whole time, and i so appreciate being able to yak dad’s patient ear off. dad is a very wise man. pops, i ♥ you!

can't leave without the requisite self-portrait!!

over breakfast, we already discussed options for our september outing. bet we get out before the end of the month, we are so eager!

what’s your favourite brunch spot? in uptown waterloo, angie’s kitchen is perhaps the best known (it’d be the one recommended in a tourist guide). personally, i think angie’s reputation outweighs the quality…although mom and dad just had a very positive brunch outing there this past weekend! to each their own!

smile! you’re at the buskers!

waterloo was buskers-crazy this weekend!

the fun and games all started thursday eve, but i was working at the store then, and again all day friday, so my earliest opportunity to get in on the action myself was friday eve.

we were blessed with perfect weather this weekend, too, for the outdoor festivities:

this year's colour theme

i was really keen to see a 7 p.m. show on friday eve: the aerial angels from kalamazoo, michigan. i was a few minutes early, so i checked out the *midway* section of the festival for a bit:

the ferris wheel: is there a more classic carnival-type ride?!

games of chance...

i swear "toss the rings" is rigged - too bouncy!

i didn't play - just what i would need to come home with -> a giant horse!

GUESS WHAT. there is no whack-a-mole game this year. what a shame! that was the joy of my evening at last year’s buskers outing!

this year, i really wanted to see more of the cirque du soleil type acts. the aerial angels fit the bill perfectly!

the whole set up was pretty comedic, too

great to see such a huge audience with fans of all ages!

this man was beside me. i wanted to elbow him and whisper, "er, sir, mind taking photos for my blog for me?" i refrained.

mimi, isabel, and spike put on the quite the show. here are a couple of highlights:

"the warm up" - yes, that is mimi's leg that they are *stretching!* holy flexibility!

spike, mid-performance

fire-eating - it sure looked real to me!

supported only with fabric strips!

i really give isabel (the performer above and below, here) credit: she could not be that much younger than me, and she more than held her own with the acrobatic moves. plus, she had the most charisma and star-power of the three performers:

eye contact with the audience - she's looking right at me!

the finale act

wow, i give aerial angels top marks. the girls were funny, entertaining, acrobatic, and just put on a really good show.

from there, i wandered over to the main stage and caught most of ernest the magnifico who hails from redfern, australia.

unfortunately, i arrived after the show started and was at the back so it was a little hard to see and hear.

getting the crowd warmed up

goofy antics involving volunteer "victims" from the audience

this final act also involved a pogo stick, a fork on a helmet and a balloon. don't ask!

it amazes me how the performers are able to pick volunteers from the crowd who end up doing a really good job. these guys helping ernest the magnifico were perfect! this show was pretty funny, but the pace was a bit slow. still, a worthwhile performance to see, and i laughed out loud several times.

and that concluded friday evening!

~*~*~*~*~

saturday, i had good intentions of getting to buskers by late afternoon. we ended up putting together the ikea couch (photos at another time!) so i arrived later than planned but still caught parts or all of four shows.

first up, circo loco from ste-aurélie, québec. me = confused because the program said the show would start at 6 pm. that’s when i arrived, and i only caught the last 10 minutes! that’s ok, because this duo weren’t really my style.

their act was very dramatic, and included no talking

stilts + flames - don't try this at home, kids!

yes, that is a flaming hoop balanced on her middle! there are knives pointing inwards, too!

the grand finale: he dove thru the flaming hoop! that was pretty cool (hot?!).

since that show wrapped early, i accidentally caught most of les vitamens from sainte-brigette-de-laval, québec.

physical comedy - these guys were extremely funny!

it’s great how this worked out, as this duo’s performance ended up being one of the best shows i saw all weekend!

big guy + little guy - perfect set-up for physical comedy

the buskers program describes les vitamens as “high octane” and that’s the perfect description. very entertaining.

there’s been a staging area in front of the store all weekend, and twice i had caught snippets of a performance i really wanted to see: a duo called street circus from winnipeg, manitoba.

he's been performing since he was 10! 17 years!

this married couple, dan and kim, were just fantastic: high energy, funny, cute as anything, and they had awesome music to go along with their act. they really played to the audience, and exuded enthusiasm and humour.

these kids were so charmingly cute! great chemistry together and interaction with the crowds

so glad i had the opportunity to watch this show, beginning to end. plus, they entertained us for a full hour!

kim - another gymnast extraordinaire

never seen that kind of hoop before! he kept going around and around...

yes, she is spinning a hula hoop around her ankle!

audiences always lap up anything to do with FIRE!!!

this team gets my vote for "people's choice award" for the weekend!

the last show of my night was jason escape from boston, massachusetts. unfortunately, i should have quit after street circus, while on a high note. jason basically had one act – his big escape. he wasn’t all that funny (his ad libs were mildly amusing, at best), so the 45 minute set-up before the grand escape was rather tedious.

filling in time...

we'll just jump ahead to his upside-down, straight jacket pose...

part-way through - the ropes are off...

he's free!

i do wonder how he did that…part of the magic of a professional performer!

what a fun weekend! there was better variety in performers this year, and my yen to see acrobatics is satisfied. plus, i laughed a lot! i’d say the buskers festival this year was the best one that i have attended, over the years!

~*~*~*~*~

buskers outtakes:

i saw these hats in the vendors' area and it reminded me: if you are over the age of seven, please do not wear animals on your head. not a good look.

for the kittie-cat phobe, this drawing is enough to induce nightmares. i just about jumped out of my skin, at first glance!

"chalkmaster dave" - anybody else thinking of bert in mary poppins?

~ i met my cousin heidi, her husband jim, and 12 month old baby on saturday eve! had so much fun chatting, i forgot to take a photo!

~*~*~*~*~

favourite type of street performance? acrobatics, magic, slapstick physical comedy…what would you choose to see first? the more acrobatics the better, although i do appreciate a performer with a gift for funny ad libbed banter, too!

tomorrow‘s blog post will be up some time around mid-day! see you then!

i’ll see your five and raise you one

good morning!

i hope you enjoyed a marvelous weekend. i loved having the buskers in uptown waterloo. did you get out, those of you in this area? i swear half the population of k-w made it to uptown waterloo at some point over the weekend. the crowds were huge!

i discovered yet another all about me set of questions. once again, i found the idea over at gabriela‘s blog. this has got to be, what, the fourth or fifth idea that i have pilfered from une vie saine?! this questionnaire is short and sweet.

FIVE words to describe myself:

~ organized

~ sweetly quirky

~ optimistic

~ stubborn

~ hardworking

FOUR favourite foods:

~ cereal

~ peanut butter

~ apple crisp

~ avacado

[you will note the glaring absence of coffee and raw vegetables/salads...yup, the flu-induced aversions are still holding...]

THREE things i’m most proud of accomplishing:

~ running a 3:00:45 marathon at the 1998 boston marathon (my pb)

~ graduating from university with a four year honours degree and bachelor of education degree [even though i am no longer use my french or teaching degrees, an education is a wonderful asset and life experience]

~ buying my very first car – a little green mazda 323 with racing stripes! – with funds 100% from my own bank account

(source)

TWO favourite workouts:

~ running

~ stairmaster

[the #1 and #2 ranking flipflops depending on my mood and the weather]

ONE thing to expect from my blog:

~ haha, a blog about nothing, to be seinfeldian about it?! the blog started so i could track last year’s 1970 kiki project, and has grown to include writings and musings about things that interest me, and more often than not, bring a smile to my face as i write. i like variety on my blog – i’d get bored writing about the same stuff every day, and you’d fall asleep reading.

now, just so i’m not a complete moocher, i’m going to contribute a sixth question to the original five:

SIX activities you would do with visitors to showcase your city:

~ walk through waterloo park

(source)

~ visit the st jacobs farmer’s market

~ go around ring road (by foot, bike or car) at the university of waterloo campus

~ shop in uptown waterloo, specifically hitting words worth books, write impressions, skirt, delirium, running room (!), eating well organically, and wherever else we had time to go after those spots

~ eat gelato at a sidewalk table and people-watch at whole lot-a gelata

~ watch a movie at the princess cinema

#1 spot – touristy or otherwise – that guests to your home should visit? the train ride from uptown waterloo to st jacobs is very popular but i’ve never taken it, so don’t want to suggest it without really knowing if it’s worthwhile or not!

~*~*~*~*~

here is your fun and life-enhancing trivia question of the day. i heard this on the radio at the store the other day.

according to forbes magazine, who is the most powerful female celebrity in the world?

waiting

while

you

think

(source)

answer: lady gaga

would you have guessed that? i would not. i am still stuck in the oprah or madonna eras!

sarah’s house

wes and sarah are building a house!

things are taking shape!

ok, ok, they aren’t doing the actual labour themselves…they are having a house built.

sarah and i knew we had to squeeze in a visit before the pace of life picks up dramatically in september. i’m increasing my work hours, and sarah (a teacher) goes back to school, so an august visit was a must!

on thursday, we started our day with a visit to the new home [love a friend who also believes that a 9:30 a.m. get-together time is sane and cool]. sarah and wes’ future neighbourhood is in a new subdivision of a town five minutes outside of the city. the move-in date is set for november!

sarah outside her house-to-be!

the view from a different angle

sarah drove me around the neighbourhood before we walked over to the new house. we had to park a couple of blocks away, because the scene outside sarah’s house is building frenzy!

lots of action going on during the day!

we couldn’t actually go into wes and sarah’s house because work was being done. it’s bricking time!

the side walls are bricked already, you may have noticed

some evening when things are quiet, i’ll tag along with wes and sarah, and go for a tour through the house. i liked what i saw from the outside! exciting times!

from sarah’s house, we went to cathy’s house

i'm very comfortable here!

like i said, sarah returns to the classroom in less than two weeks (had to add that small detail, sorry teachers!) and i have been having no problem spending money out shopping lately, so we figured a trip to the mall was a justifiable activity.

we started here:

sarah showed me something really neat that, of course, i now would like to have!

i think you'd call it a scent diffuser (?)

you plug that thing into a wall socket and insert a smelly thing:

sarah models the smelly thing...

and, voilà, beautiful scent wafts through your home! i went gaga over “salty caramel” and “leaves” (had a cinnamon base). **idea for my xmas list!**

then it was on to clothing!

don't think we actually bought anything here...

…although sarah found a COAT for $29.99! sadly, not her size.

up next:

newly reno-d location at the mall

i had been oohing over sarah’s jeans today – which happen to come from smart set! in we went, and…

they happened to be 25% off!

here’s why these are so super-awesome: there’s no button at the waist. so they look like jeans, feel like tights! that’s my kinda pant!

see?!

i tried ‘em, i loved ‘em, i got ‘em! sarah had luck with some tops, too!

happy shoppers!

across the aisle…

here, sarah totally lucked out: she found a knit dress that is just her type of thing for only $20, and tights were 2/$15! i admired this dress…

on sale for $15

it even looked good on! but i passed it by…

as sarah was completing her purchase, my eye wandered to the nearby display…

snazzy! i'd go for that yellow/orange in a heartbeat! only $8 for 2!

we made one final stop at payless (score one more for sarah – she’ll be set for back to school!).

can't go home without a self-portrait!

that was really, really fun. ok maybe now i’m done shopping for a bit (i seem to recall saying that yesterday, didn’t i?!)

what activities mark the end of summer for you? for me, i’d say back to school shopping/fall clothes shopping, and the buskers festival – > you can still catch the acts today and tomorrow, locals!

return trips, part two

two weeks ago, we went to ikea on a fact finding mission. i had no intention of purchasing a new couch, that day. the goal was simply to research options. the mission was accomplished! i found exactly what i wanted, and was eager to return to get a new couch!

last week’s planned return trip was kiboshed by a life-sucking attack of the flu.

this week, i was sure hoping the revised return trip to spend some money would come together without a hitch!

uh oh:

the weather conditions at the time of departure from waterloo

great.

just what you want when you’re going to be transporting home a couch in the back of an open pick up truck. i crossed my fingers that the day would clear up. [little did i know that later on, environment canada issued severe storm warning and tornado watches for the evening, in the region!].

then we hit heavy traffic.

it took 17 tries to get a half-acceptable "bored" photo; yet, i can do "gleeful" with no retakes necessary!

we made it!

one final sky-watch before entering...

ikea’s layout confuses me. i have to follow the blue arrows on the floor, or risk getting completely disoriented.

we made it to couches!

i knew i wanted orange!!!

except, guess what? somehow, i confused the colour of cover i coveted (the orange) with the style of couch i wanted (which does not offer orange):

decidedly more muted tones in the "beddinge" line that i had chosen

so, what to do? get the colour i want, in a style i don’t like as much, or get the style i really liked in a colour that i can spice up? yup. that’s what i thought, too.

the selection!

i chose the off-white. maybe not the most practical colour option, but you can wash the couch cover, plus i really liked the softness of the corduroy fabric. i can just see me flaked out watching jersey shore. and i can throw any colour of accent pillow on there, quick as a flash.

ok! cool!

to get out, it was back to following the arrows. of course, many temptations awaited along the way.

colourful + cheap toilet bowl brushes? ok!

just loved walking around the rest of ikea with toilet brushes under my arm...

the only kind of ick part about ikea shopping is finding your stuff in the warehouse-style aisles. first prize, though, for clarity of labelling and ease of finding where you need to go:

i don't actually touch things, here. i supervise.

two weeks ago, i saw this poster:

a perfectly placed promo to catch you at your weakest moment, after all that warehouse scavenging

and ever since, i have been fixated on the idea of having an ikea hotdog. do you think the flu nixed that desire? not in the least. in fact, it made it stronger. [since the flu, i am still completely off of coffee and fresh vegetables; corn on the cob, pepperoni pizza, and cereal? cannot get enough].

i was so excited about my hotdog!!!

sadly, the line-up for the café looked like this:

you know i hate waiting in the first place. and for a $0.79 hot dog? not so inclined...

but, a-ha! on to plan b!…

over to front street we drove, right into the heart of downtown toronto…

across from the cbc building...

…to our family’s favourite hot dog truck:

love a street meat vendor with flair, eh!

two dogs and two drinks, please...

me = no onions!

fric-a-frac, was that ever delicious!

and the day was not yet over!

now, it was on to see adorable e and baby c!

for months, i have been telling the girls i will bring down my kit of hair barrettes. and i keep forgetting. aunti finally remembered!

setting up the hair salon...

are we off to a luau?!

pretty fancy!

the day’s excitement was STILL not over! remember that severe weather watch? well, driving home to waterloo, did not the heavens open and pour out sheets and blasts of rain, all while lightening danced continuously all over the sky, all the way from mississauga to home. and my new furniture was in the back of the truck. we got back, and b had done such a good job of securely tarping everything that it all was bone dry. amazing.

and that, my friends, should conclude the shopping updates for a little while. i know my bank book sure hopes that is the case!

what’s your shopping method? research and compare, or complete the task as quickly as possible? i know that if i’m obsessing over an item for more than 24 hours, i really do want it. my in-the-heat-of-the-moment mistakes of the past have included: designer jeans, clipless pedals for my bike, leather pants…i’ve learned to stop, drop and roll stop, think and budget!

shuffling up to future shop

….or, dragging my heels up would be the more appropriate term.

future shop epitomizes all that is wrong with the big box shopping experience: overwhelming selection, poor customer service, a cacophony of noise blasting in your face as soon as you enter, upselling and/or extended warranties pushed on you by the *youthful* sales associates…plus electronics is not my bag. i do not enjoy setting foot in future shop. (my apologies to my cousin joel, who worked at future shop, once upon a time!).

however, my beloved little green ipod shuffle is showing signs of being on its last legs.

the green headphones were my own add-on. i like green!

greenie owes me nothing. i’ve used and abused this device for years. in fact, i had a more recent ipod shuffle version which was a piece of carp (remember the one that looked like a stick of gum, and had the controls on the headphones?), and this little gem has outlasted it by eons.

greenie has just been so moody lately. sometimes he works perfectly, then other times he just suddenly stops abruptly, mid-song, and refuses to play again for a few minutes. cradling him in my palm has proven to be the fastest fix. what a baby.

filling my mind with blissful thoughts like “serenity now!!!” “peace, calm, happiness!” over to future shop went i.

haha, don't those clouds make it look like future shop marks the gates to heaven??!

i exited the rav at 11:31 a.m.

over to electronics…

i keep putting off getting anything more sophisticated than a shuffle

i peered down and did a double take:

is that MY green ipod???

the formal ipod shuffle display

just as i was lining up that shot, sales child associate “wes” stopped his dusting and asked if he could be of assistance. wow, i didn’t have to go search for someone!! that’s a first (seriously). the thought flashed through my mind that he was going to scold me for taking a photo. thank goodness he said nothing!

wes set me straight on the ipod shuffle story: they discontinued the “stick of gum” ipod because it was so universally detested. in stores, now, is the next generation of shuffle: the design is a return to the model i love and adore, it’s just a bit smaller.

i almost chose another green one, but decided against that colour choice because greenie would throw a hissy so that i can tell the ipods apart (who wants to waste time figuring out which is which?).

wes efficiently processed my sale (he DID, of course, offer the extended warranty, but as that’s a step in their POS, i’ll forgive him, and he wasn’t pushy about it) and i give him top marks for helpfulness and friendliness. i chickened out of asking him for a photo for the blog. (yet, i’ll stop a stranger in walmart??!).

time upon rav re-entry: 11:39 a.m. not bad.

so, a dreaded retail experience turned out to be really quite dull! isn’t that nice.

silvah cost me $59.99:

don't worry, dad, i paid cash. i did not just post my credit card information. :)

did you notice that hst applies?! i did!

silvah and i hightailed it back home.

i love shuffles

i introduced the kids to each other:

don't get too close, now, said greenie

here is my plan: now that greenie knows his days are numbered, i bet he’s going to start acting a lot more responsibly. in anticipation of such, i am going to leave silvah in his packaging for a few days…

he can decorate the corner of the dining area table...

…but still keep him in plain view so that greenie knows he’s there. plus, then, i can procrastinate on initializing/syncing/whatever you call it silvah. hate that job.

tomorrow: more shopping to tell you about!

return trips, part one

one measly week.

that’s how long i held out before i was sucked back over to walmart.

and it’s all the fault of jersey shore. this past week i have been practically obsessing over the gtl tshirt:

file photo from sunday august 14th, outing with mom

this week, when the thursday flyers came out, i couldn’t wait to page through the one for walmart! here’s my shopping list method:

it's easier to just cut out the photo of what i want - then i know the item, the price, and have a visual!

yes, it’s not pretty, yes, it is cumbersome, but it works for me. [sidenote: vegetables and coffee are still soooo ick-sounding that i did not take advantage of the last few items on that patchwork list].

so, once again, it was a rainy sunday, but this time i arrived late afternoon. the parking lot was not at all full! i had thought sunday late aft might be a little zany. but either the rain kept shoppers away, or i am wondering if this walmart, being so new, has not yet become a destination station for hordes of people.

lessons learned from last week:

grab a cart!!

i have only one crossword left to do in my current book, so i hit up the magazine area, first. why not take advantage of this…

10% is 10%!

…to get this!

see the easy crosswords book in the bottom right corner? mine!

[i sincerely hope these are easy. my last book lied to me as the puzzles were challenging, not mindless mildly mentally stimulating].

i hope this book carries me through to christmas. because, nicole, i am following your idea you gave me and asking for the people magazine crossword puzzle boxset!

and then.

women’s apparel…

and!!!

got my shirt!!! oh, happy day!

next, i moved on to the grocery area, and spent more time going up and down the aisles, this week.

while i skirted around the veggies, avacados are not currently offensive, and also not a standard veg:

price compare: this week, avacados are 2/$5 at valumart

i found a new cereal!!!

$3 for a bag of honey graham bites!

[unfortunately, i've already tried the cereal and it tastes like what you'd expect a $3 bag of cereal from walmart to taste like...i'll bury these tiny squares in with some other types, and all will be fine].

just another example of the mega-savings possible – almond milk. the walmart price:

$2.79 at bulk barn - the next cheapest place i have found

unfortunately, they were out of stock. but since i’ll likely be back later today very soon, at least i know it’s available, here.

as i headed to the checkout, i had to chuckle. look at my cart:

not exactly crammed full!

now this week, i could have gotten away with just my arms or a basket.

have to say, the sheer size of this walmart still rather awes me. i can just imagine what newly-arrived immigrants think of the whole walmart concept. if it boggles my mind, to some extent, it must be beyond comprehension for someone who has never before experienced shopping at a mega-store like this.

what good bargains did you find during the past week? back-t0-school sales are everywhere! good time to stock up on paper products!

~*~*~*~*~

gtl didn’t wait long to get outta the house:

at coffee culture with vfbf joanne, yesterday. no coffee!

then it was on to yoga class. jersey shore tshirt doing yoga. yup.

~*~*~*~*~

eta: on sunday eve, a tornado ripped through my beloved town of goderich.

here is the link to the reporting from the k-w record: goderich tornado

i was so very sad to hear this news. wishing all those impacted strength and courage.

yoga, then and now

i redeemed my yoga groupon yesterday! now, one more month of ommm-ing and breathing and contorting stretching mind + body at fearless heart is all mine!

i’ve been off the mat for exactly four years now. it’s funny because yoga is something that i am not at all inspired to do on my own – i need a class to go to. this is quite unique because i don’t need company to knit, run, watch movies…quite funny that i never whip out my mat at home.

my introduction to yoga came in january, 2003. it’s complete serendipity how i found my teacher, karin. i was in the health food store on devitt street (it had a different name then) and was looking at the community bulletin board. i pulled down 3-4 slips of paper about various yoga classes. once home, i called them all and karin was the only one who actually answered the phone. [and i found out later that this was a totally rare occurrence].

i started with the beginner ashtanga class, once a week, and my yoga world blossomed from that point, on.

(source)

from january 2003 to august 2007, i practised yoga anywhere from 1-5 times per week. guess what – i never got super-bendy! but, as i learned during that yoga journey, über-flexibility is not the goal of a yoga practice.

we’ll cut short the trip down yoga-memory-lane for today or else i’ll be typing you’ll be reading til midnight. the story will continue another day.

fast-forward to this summer: the outdoor yoga class was seriously the first yoga time i had indulged in since august 2007.

serendipity, once again!

yoga gives me time to think, and i’ve enjoyed a couple of a-ha flashes of insight during the past couple of weeks. here’s a comparison of yoga, chapter one (with karin) and yoga, chapter two (with a fearless heart):

yoga then:

~ i went to yoga to get a workout. a 90-minute ashtanga yoga class, the primary series, with full vinyasas, is indeed a form of exercise, and that’s what i wanted.

yoga now:

~ i go to a class for the complete mind-body-spirit experience. i like saying, “body, how are you feeling today?” i’m willing to listen to the message my muscles, my heart, and my brain are all giving me.

yoga then:

~ for each pose, i tried to mimic the proper form perfectly. it didn’t matter how my body was feeling – i tended to muscle my way into the pose no matter how uncomfortable it made me feel.

yoga now:

~ i listen to, and absorb the cues from the instructor and let my body go as far as it pleasantly wants to. then i stop. i breathe. i enjoy the stretch/twist/bend.

(source)

yoga then:

~ i practised *competitive yoga*. i was very mindful of what the other class participants were doing. i was totally jealous of anyone who could do a jump-through (i never, ever got that – ever!). if she could bind with her toes, well, i would, too! if he could reach his wrist, well i could wrap my hand around my wrist, haha on you!

(source)

yoga now:

~ i don’t watch other class members. it’s silly to compare, and sillier to base my feelings on what others are doing or not doing. i focus on my own experience.

yoga then:

~ my yoga teacher was my guru. karin had a unique gift for sharing her knowledge with others. i learned so much from attending her classes, over the years. whether she was sharing anecdotes from her own life, or wisdom from david swenson or patthabi jois, i marvelled at the life lessons that i was absorbing. and it was more than stop and smell the roses stuff. i admired, revered, respected, appreciated karin – she is one of those rare gifts of in humanity. you only meet a few of these in your life.

yoga now:

~ the instructors are my guides. the teachers at fearless heart are less hands-on with adjustments than karin was, but they still impart yogic philosophy that i find totally groovy. two examples: we were in warrior pose, and instructor suzie asked us, “what energy is available to you today, for this pose?” that word available really struck a chord – don’t force yourself past what your body is up to right now. then, the other day, when we were in savasana at the end of class, lindsay suggested: “if you’re finding it hard to keep your thoughts from wandering, that’s ok. let yourself think about what your mind is drifting off to. don’t fight it.” i loved this! usually, we hear, keep your mind focussed on your breath/don’t let your mind wander/stay with your breath etc. to be told it’s ok if your mind is up, down, all around was refreshing.

yoga then:

~ dad came to class! with karin, the year was divided into fall, winter, spring and summer sessions. about a year after i started, dad joined me in the beginner class. this was absolutely my favourite yoga era, ever. there was a core group of us in that class that all got along so well. and our class was held in a belly-dance studio with mirrors, colourful saris draped around the room, and christmas lights! it was a totally happy place to be.

yoga now:

~ i miss dad! i don’t miss the mirrors! i always thought i needed a mirror to be able to perfectly find my pose. guess what? who cares if you’re a tad more hunched on one side than the other! similar to the belly dance studio, i still enjoy the hardwood floors and natural light of the fearless heart studio.

yoga then:

~ the only sounds in the class were our breaths and karin’s guiding words – and laughter, every so often!

yoga now:

~ background music! i like it! it’s not a distraction, but an aide. i like the ambiance that the zen-y music creates.

(source)

yoga then:

~ front row, right-hand side was my spot. i had to have this location or else i couldn’t enjoy my practice!

yoga now:

~ i prefer the front row, right-hand side, but it’s way ok if i’m somewhere else in the room. i can comfortably do yoga anywhere!

have you ever taken a “vacation” from a sport or activity? i hardly knit at all during university, esp my eight months in quebec. i had no time, energy or desire at that point in my life!

~”you take practice, all is coming!”~

sri k patthabi jois

(source)

new experience # 25: watch a movie in 3D!

i’m not joking you! it’s true! i’ve never been to a 3D movie!

(source)

i know it’s hard to believe, especially since i really love movies – and since 3D films have been around longer than i have – but a 3D movie experience has never happened. [yes, i'm capitalizing "d" for "3D" because lowercase looks funny].

i think it’s because i emphatically dislike animated features and sci-fi flicks. and both of these genres are where you usually would get to enjoy 3D visuals.

way back when i conceptualized this year’s 1970 kiki project, i’d shortlisted “watching a movie in 3D” as a new experience i really, really wanted to do. but, i’d pretty much resigned myself to the fact that i was going to have to tolerate an animated feature (i draw the line at sci-fi).

funny how things work: i was looking through thursday’s sale flyers from the paper, and realized i also had the week’s entertainment guide in there. so i flipped to the movie listings and this movie caught my eye:

glee: the 3D concert movie

(source)

yippee-yi-yay! i love glee! [but how was i completely caught unawares that a movie was even out?!]. i was a devoted fan for the first season of this hit tv show. i loved the quirky humour, jane lynch, soap-opera-but-speeded-up storylines, and yes, the singin’ and dancin’ hits the kids belted out each week. since season one, i’ve only watched the show sporadically. but, i know the characters, the premise, the type of musical entertainment – what a perfect 3D movie option pour moi!

i wasn’t about to chance not getting in on saturday eve. so i purchased my ticket for the 6:40 p.m. show [early show! 1 h 40 min long movie! -> talk about filling my movie prerequisites!]

ai-yi, ouch! $13.50! (and no coupon this time). empire theatre + 3D movie is no bargoon! (a movie at my beloved princess costs but $7). but, as you’ve heard me say before, what i won’t do for the blog!….

printed-at-home ticket; i chickened out of trying the "download to mobile" option!

as i was organizing my movie ticket, i had to think of angela and her spectacular live glee concert experience back in june! i’d love to know how angela would compare the two “shows!”

i debated gussying up a bit, but decided against it. my fear is always that theatres will be iceboxes, and i didn’t want to shake and shiver all eve – i’ve had enough of that sensation this week. is earrings and make-up good enough? plus, it was raining out. excuses, excuses

at the entrance to “theatre street,” i received my glasses!

fastest photo-taking known to mankind: i'm sure the kid - i mean usher - thought i was soooo weird

looking gleeful WITH flash!

looking gleeful withOUT flash!

yes, two photos as i was so very, very gleeful!

do they think we’re morons?

now i was standing by myself, laughing, taking a photo of the 3D glasses bag. totally weird woman

you know…

i like the look!

"shades" (punny!) of the kiki harrharrwoods, no?!!

me being clueless, i thought the glasses would still be red + blue (green?). they were very comfortable – and i dislike sunglasses!

and recyclable! how very 2011!

now for my movie observations, in point form:

  • i’m going to play it straight with you: the movie is totally cheesy. i did enjoy the song and dance numbers, which was what i was there for, but several of my favourite songs were missing (best production number in the movie: safety dance – this youtube clip is from the tv show). the filler chatter in between songs is way too “rah rah glee” – it felt like brainwashing, sickeningly sweet self-promotion. however, i do give the production team kudos for their message (obviously aimed at the tween + teen audience members) about acceptance and loving yourself.
  • the 3D experience, on the other hand, blew. me. away. wow! confession: prior to the movie, i worried i wouldn’t get the 3D thing – you know how some people are resistant to hypnosis? well, no prob on that, as the previews blew me away! a bird flew over my head from the back of the theatre! it rained confetti on us! during glee, the stage appeared to be right in front of my toes. and the images were totally crisp, clear – really, really sharp definition in colours and visuals.
  • i loved the cameo appearance by gwyneth paltrow [i don't believe this revelation needs a spoiler alert as i doubt you're itching to get out to see this movie]. funnest surprise: the dancing, singing little asian boy, not much older than cutie c – if you HAVE seen the movie, you know who i mean.
  • i would have enjoyed seeing this movie with lisa and her two daughters to get the tween/teen perspective. and i needn’t have worried about the film selling out – i think there were 19 females and two males in the audience! [i've since read some online reviews - not exactly gushing with praise, are they??...have to share this: "i found the film insufferable." christopher tookey, daily mail]
  • bottom line: i’d see a 3D movie again any time – is adorable e too young for this experience? i would see an animated/disney movie with her in a heartbeat [alvin and the chipmunks in 3D is out at xmas!]

star ratings: the movie itself: * 1/2 stars (one and a half stars); the 3D special effects: *** 1/2 stars (three and a half gleeful stars!)

what’s your history with 3D movies? haha, i am imagining the audience reaction if there would be a film with scenes of a rough airplane flight, or a ship being tossed about at sea… :)

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