Tag Archives: 31flavours

meow

happily, i am feeling much better this morning. i’m not 100%, though, because the thought of having vegetables or coffee is….unpleasant, to be polite. but it is amazing what rest, gingerale and mom’s tlc (the benefit of having a mom who lives next door!) can do.

so let’s look at what i originally wanted to chitchat about yesterday!…

~*~*~*~*~

it was meant to be.

on tuesday, i went back to delirium and my kitties were waiting for me:

my three little kittens...

while paying for my 5407th new(est) tshirt, i was chatting with the store owners, lydia and annissa. both of them are super-friendly and welcoming. in my previous two visits, lydia was very friendly (but not overbearing) and helpful. i was so surprised when they mentioned that delirium has existed for almost ten years – time flies! the delirium vibe is slightly off-beat, unique, quirky…you won’t meet yourself on the sidewalk ten times over. venture in, locals! [lydia is camera-shy or else i’d have a photo of her with the kittie-cats!]

the cats made their first public appearance when they met bailey that eve:

ok, they were a little shy...

[funny sidenote story: debbie (bailey’s *mom,* and i have been bff’s for over 12 years now – and we were friends in grades 7 & 8, too). when we got together this week, we discovered that both of us have this quirk about buying books that have been made into movies. we refuse to buy the book if it has the film depicted on the cover – we want the original edition! for example: eat pray love – > NO julia roberts version!! i think it’s great that after all this time, we can still discover new things about each other!]

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all this recent talk about shopping reminded me of one of my favourite photos from my (newly reconstructed) baby album:

13 months old

as the story goes, mom was at zellers, with me in the shopping cart, there, as you can see. there was a photographer in-store that day – likely one of those deals where they offer to take a photo, then try to sell you a package deal. well, both mom and the photographer tried every move under the sun to get me to smile. i was having none of that! so, finally, the photographer just snapped my photo and that was the end of that!

~*~*~*~*~

american wife report:

i’m up past page 375, now. george bush charlie is being a real jerk. laura alice’s actions completely shocked me! reading is a good recover-from-the-flu past-time…i got through a good lot of pages, yesterday!

~*~*~*~*~

now, i want an iphone.

hi nicole! :)

also on tuesday, i met nicole, my friend-thru-sil ana, at starbucks for coffee + visiting. we enjoyed fabulous conversation. nicole has an iphone and i am in awe over its capabilities. i do like and appreciate my blackberry, but this iphone just seems very up my alley in terms of how my mind works and how visual it is. nicole also told me more about pinterest. i first heard about this super-cool online creative outlet on angela‘s blog (here’s her post with tons of details), and now thanks to nicole’s added details, i am super-intrigued. i am going to check this out…but am wary of it’s time-sucking power!

~*~*~*~*~

31 16 FLAVOURS OF AUGUST

thanks to being sick, there were no treats on wednesday, so i’m outta my own contest. sweet sixteen is where we end the challenge.

these folks understand:

(source)

that’s not to say there’ll be no more treats this month – dad and i still have our outing of the month to look forward to, and i’ve got some fun coupons that we could use!…

pinterest? iphones? cats vs dogs? starbucks coffee? favourite treats from this month? share away!

the skirt, revisited

well, my moral dilemma resolved itself in the blink of an eye.

after work on saturday, i went back to delirium to try on my skirt.

let’s start with the good news:

the skirt is priced at $54.99 which i thought was really not bad. i found out that the skirt comes from a mother-and-daughter-design/production team out in california:

the skirt's hangtag

most likely, you cannot read the print in the photo. the skirt label is “heartbreakers,” and the motto across the top states: “made with love and no regrets.” isn’t that awesome philosophy!

unfortunately (fortunately?), as soon as i put the skirt on, i knew it was not for me:

as seen on me, not the mannequin in the window!

it’s too long. the word that immediately came to mind: dowdy. to suit me and my style, the skirt would need to be one virgin mary long, not two.

too bad, so sad. or not. at least i no longer have an internal moral debate to resolve.

except.

i found a tshirt i covet and adore!!!!

IS THIS NOT FANTASTIC AND FUNNY?!!!

NOW I WANT THIS TSHIRT!!! [yes i am screaming, i am excited]. I LOVE THE CARTOON KITTIES – LOOK AT THOSE BOWS!!! – IT’S A HOOT BECAUSE I DISLIKE CATS INTENSELY (sorry, zo!) AND I LOVE THE “SEE NO EVIL…” ETC CAPTION. AND IT’S ON SALE FOR $25!

[and i have approx the same amount of tshirts as the number of goals wayne gretzky scored in his career].

once again: it’s decision time…

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

your runner’s world ad-of-the-month moment:

as seen in the september issue

a very cute play on words! saying more with less – always impressive, in my book (er, magazine?)!

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

i’ve really been enjoying the yoga classes at fearless heart yoga. i’ve attended sessions led by instructors lindsay, suzie and lauren. each of these yoginis has her own distinct style, yet each one is awesome. i was getting sad because my two week trial pass was nearing its end – in fact, it runs out today.

but then, the yoga gods buddhas intervened!

late last week, i made good on this groupon offer!

this makes THREE groupon purchases, now!

yippee! i will activate my one month pass this week. any time can be yoga time! how’s that for divine karmic intervention!

~*~*~*~*~

31 FLAVOURS OF AUGUST

15/31

treat: kind bar from eating well organically

price: $2.59 – > plus hst, don’t forget!

rating: ** 1/2

tasting notes: i wanted a pre-yoga healthy-yet-sweet snack bar. these kind bars, i like. larabars i intensely dislike – i don’t get the hype (sorry, fans). the kind bars are wheat free, gluten free, dairy free (very good assets before downward dogg-ing) but, mainly, i just like the taste. this flavour combo was chewy and sweet and hit the spot. a little expensive to be taken daily.

a THRIVE-ing party scene!

saturday, i enjoyed a deliciously fun day: some highlights included…

~sunny skies

and it got sunnier as the day progressed!

~playtime worktime at the store

~a return trip to delirium to visit my skirt (more to come on that!)

and then, the icing on the cake was an evening party celebration at thrive juice bar!

thrive: a little gem tucked inside the bauer lofts courtyard

today is angela‘s birthday!

happy 23rd, ange!

and to mark this special occasion, she invited local bloggers + friends to a private, evening soirée at thrive. i had not been back since my last visit in april! to say i was excited to return is an understatement!

it was but a quick walk over to thrive and to the party.

it was wonderful to chat with angela, in person, again - we usually communicate via blogs!

the first party guests that i had the pleasure of meeting were angela of oh she glows, and her husband, eric:

with eric, angela and angela

bloggers, united!

i’ve been reading (oh she glows) angela’s blog since march 2010, so i felt like a stalker i already knew her! angela and eric are both so warm, genuine, and easy to chat with.

no shortage of topics to chat about! angela is a great conversationalist!

a few other party guests:

sara and matt!

angela and her housemate, robyn!

although i missed photographing everyone, all of angela’s friends were so inclusive and friendly – prior to the party, i only knew (birthday) angela, so it was really fun to meet new people, and find out how everyone was connected to angela!

now, on to the food!

jonnie (of thrive) and angela had pre-planned our evening menu – in a (cashew)nutshell, it was all amazing. take a look:

crudites

pizza! artichoke hearts were on top

angela and angela in action!

jonnie and his staff, sarah and stephanie, were wonderful. they explained each dish to us, and were warm and friendly.

our hosts for the evening

stephanie described each app or dessert, as it was served. amazing memory!

to cap off our evening – sweets!

brownies and blondies - raw! vegan! gluten free!

birthday cake!

a chocolate shot with which to toast the birthday celebrant!

angela, as we serenaded her with "happy birthday"

this was a wonderful, fun, energizing evening. thank you so much, angela, for including me. i’d be hardpressed to say which was the most enjoyable aspect: the chic venue and warm ambiance provided by thrive, the welcoming group of friends and great conversations, or the the raw! vegan! amazing! apps and desserts served up by our talented hosts.

what a fantastic mid-summer night’s eve!

(birthday) angela has a knack for capturing gorgeous photos on her iphone! the clarity and colour are amazing! see?…

and (oh she glows) angela also has honed her camera skills . she kindly passed along some of her pictures from saturday eve. enjoy a *bonus track* montage!


~*~*~*~*~

31 FLAVOURS OF AUGUST

14/31

treat: homemade peanut butter cookie from mom!

price: mom doesn’t charge!

rating: ** 1/2 (two and a half stars)

tasting notes: mmm…chewy. peanut-buttery. melt-in-the-mouth-y. plus, it came from ♥ mom! ♥ treats baked with ♥ love ♥ are extra-special!

feeling like goldilocks

the condo casa’s getting a new couch!

this week, on the way down to visit cutie c and adorable e [sorry, couldn’t help but throw in the new blognames!], we stopped at ikea aka canada’s the swedish wonderland to do some research.

[before we get involved in the furniture discussion, i’ll insert that we had a great time babysitting the girls for a couple of hours – it was a quasi outing of the month occasion. i have no photos. aunti was quite occupied with playing grocery checkout and “party planning” with the little munchkins].

i love ikea. i could seriously outfit 100% of my home with ikea stuff. i’m smitten with how they set up fake little home scenarios to woo you:

a pretend apartment!

upon further examination, this is a kids' room, i do believe - but i love the colours! i'd take it!

after a little drooling admiring the layouts and furniture/design options on display, the focus returned to the purpose of the trip –  couches:

couch after couch after couch after couch...my sidekick, b, takes on one for a test drive...

i had done my research online, and knew which models were on my shortlist:

yes

yes

yes

as i was gazing at this model…

the klippan loveseat

…an extremely tall and very jolly man with a european accent (swedish, perhaps?!) exclaimed, “you don’t lihke the gveen strah-pes, do you???!! eez very bright!” hahaha, well, actually i love it, hahaha!!, was my response. it’s just funny when total strangers initiate conversations. [and i do genuinely like that couch cover – but it’s not on the list of options. i have a feeling it’d grow tiresome pretty quickly].

anyway, after much up-down, up-down, ring-around-the-couches, we had determined that:

  • the klobo was way too hard
  • the klippan was a bit too shallow
  • the kivic was very nice and soft!
  • the karlstad was on the firm side, but was the best of the bunch

then, we happened upon this display!

the fake scenario: a den/tv room

an option that was outside the box, that was unresearched, but that was perfect and divine!

yes!!!

enter, the beddinge sofa bed!

boring details

various colour options for the couch cover

since this trip was a fact-finding mission only, no purchase was completed. but after a few days of contemplation, i’m 99.9% sure that the beddinge sofa bed is the way to go. i love how it just invites you to flake out, given the depth of the seat. it’s exactly the right combo of firmness and cushiness. like a futon, it can be flipped open to serve as a bed (aunti’s thinking ahead to future sleepover opportunities!…).and the flipping-open part is super ez to do – i tried it! i can do it!!

now, the next decision is what colour to choose. i’ve got thoughts on that percolating, and need a few more days of weighing the pros and cons of neutral vs bright! (but no green stripes!).

so, this coming week will be the money spending return trip to ikea.

part two of the great couch hunt – coming soon!

are you an ikea fan? people tend to be pretty much divided in their opinion – either they love the cheap sleek look of this décor style, or they’re not fans of the cookie-cutter design and warehouse shopping style at all.

[with today’s title, did i trick you into thinking i made good on one of my “things i will do in my lifetime!”]

(source)

some day, this look – hair, not face – shall be mine!!

~*~*~*~*~

31 FLAVOURS OF AUGUST

13/31

treat: brownie and blondie bites at angela‘s birthday party at thrive juice bar (party recap tomorrow!)

price: party treats!

rating: *** 1/2 (three and a half stars)

tasting notes: wow! both of these desserts are vegan, raw, and gluten-free. both of these desserts were phenomenally delicious. as a chocolate fan, i expected to love the brownie more – well, guess what? the blondie gets the top honour, in a very close race. seriously, both were out-of-this-world incredible!

question for ya

it’s really surprising that i don’t trip on the sidewalk and fall on my head when i’m out and about.

the best window shopping in the ‘hood is the section of king street – either side – between erb and william streets. when i’m going up or down this stretch, my head is permanently turned to the right as i gaze in the store windows (i seem to always head UP towards william street, then BACK towards erb street, hence the direction of the head turn).

this is one of the more interesting store fronts on “the strip:”

indy/funky clothing store in uptown

i practically pulled a spiderman

(source)

in front of delirium this week.

my skirt is back!!!

this is one of those pieces that has grabbed my heart!!

i don’t know how many moons ago it was when i first saw this skirt. last fall? the winter? i totally forget. i DO remember pointing it out to mom and dad when we walked past one time and gushing over it.

however.

here’s a close-up of the fabric:

notice the motif...

yes, the repeating pattern is of the virgin mary.

i have this thing for unique, colourful, noticeable fabric prints. i have owned several items from peach berserk, among them…

my "eyeball shirt," as i call it - the sleeves have kissy kissy lips, too!

[funny story: i’ve also had a skull and crossbones hoodie from peachie, and a top that had soldier faces, circa “the war of 1812″ on it. a woman actually asked me if that was hitler on that one. can you believe that?!]

here’s the dilemma: do i feel comfortable, as a respectful christian, wearing a skirt of the virgin mary? would that be a sign of disrespect? is it blasphemous?

back in aruba, in march, i bought my catholic-themed bracelet:

recognize mother teresa, the pope, the virgin mary, and others?

again, it’s one of those items that i just had to have because of its quirkiness and orginality and it warms my heart to wear it. however, it’s one thing to wear a small and inconspicuous bracelet that gives me a private chuckle, and quite another to flounce about in a look-at-me, attention-grabbing skirt. but i adore it so.

how comfortable are you with “making a statement” with your clothing? i draw the line at swear words. although i can’t say that the french connection logo hasn’t made me pause in consideration! to do a personal psycho-analysis, i’m guessing that i find borderline-outrageous items a way to express my inner, oft-suppressed rebel. how’s that for playing armchair shrink?!

~*~*~*~*~

31 FLAVOURS OF AUGUST

12/31

treat: powerbar chocolate protein bites

price: $3.09 (price with my staff discount) … + hst!!

rating: *** 1/2 (three and half stars)

tasting notes: for frankenfood, these are pretty freakin’ awesome. there’s a crunchy outer layer which covers the chewier inside. i could pop these babies like bonbons all day long. and 20 g of protein per package! i just wish they were cheaper!

and to think i almost didn’t ask

let’s end off the your work week with a very happy story, ok?!

on tuesday, i shared about a job interview i had back in july.

in relating the story, i neglected to mention that i was so very relieved to NOT be offered the job. being bypassed for the position made my life a whole lot easier.

here was the conundrum facing me: i strongly desire a 40 hour per week job, for a few reasons. i love working at the store and do not wish to work anywhere else, at this time.

due to the size of our store, and the number of sales associates who work at one time, i am only able to work at my store location on a part-time basis (usually 25-30 hours per week). so often, this summer, as i was mulling over my options, i kept returning to one thought: it would just be so awesome if i could work 40 hours, doing what i do now.

a plan hatched itself in my brain.

it made me grimace. it was a good plan…but, it would mean that i would have to ask for what i wanted.

that sounds so simple, doesn’t it? but to be honest with you, i find it hard to face the possibility of being told no. i like to avoid situations where potentially, i could hear what i don’t want to hear.

get a grip!, i told myself. you need to do this – propose your idea. the worst thing that can possibly happen is that you will end up exactly where you are now.

so i did.

i talked to and emailed the people i needed to. i held my breath and crossed my fingers and said a prayer to God. i firmly believe that things work out as they’re meant to be. i really hoped that God’s perspective matched my own.

well, guess what.

in less than 72 hours, the powers-that-be had approved my request. i got exactly what i had been hoping for.

effective the beginning of september, i will be the assistant manager at both my store and our sister store, located just a few kilometres away. between the two stores, i’ll be working 40 hours per week, doing what i love.

i have been smiling pretty much non-stop ever since finding out this news. and thanking God for his guidance and for giving me courage.

you’ll never become a millionaire working retail. if it was money that i was after, i would have remained in teaching, or stayed at the insurance company. but, for right now, i find my job interesting, fun, rewarding, and satisfying. those are good feelings to enjoy every morning when you greet the day.

so, this whole situation was a personal growth experience, and also taught me an important life lesson: it never hurts to ask.

any moments where you were hesitant to make a request for something you really wanted? we may not always receive the answer we are looking for (hey, can i have the last bite of your donut?! haha!)…but later on, eventually, all becomes clear, and we see why the river twisted, turned and flowed as it did.

~*~*~*~*~

31 flavours of august

11/31

treat: chocolate chunk cookie from tim hortons

price: $0.93

rating: **1/2 (two and a half stars)

tasting notes: at more than a dollar less than the s-bux version, this is your value meal deal. you still get the same chocolate, in chunks, imbedded in rich, buttery, yummy cookie dough. a steal-of-a-(tasty)-deal!

where’s the catch?

look what followed me home from the store the other day!

cereal - what a surprise!

i swear, these jumped right up into my grocery basket. i was so shocked when i got home. :)

lately, i’ve been very loyal to my puffins. box after box after box has come and gone from the condo casa.

(source)

locally, puffins are available for the best price up at beechwood zehrs. when i ran out of them earlier this week, i didn’t feel like driving up to beechwood just for cereal. i decided to see what i could get in lieu of the puffins across the street at valumart.

reese puffs -> puffins…close enough, right?!

i’ve had these reese’s puffs before, and wasn’t a huge fan. but, what sealed the deal on trying them again was a) they were on sale b) the offer of a free beach towel!

five options to choose from!

i grabbed a box quicker than you can say puffins, catch you another time.

at home, i carefully read over the fine print.

i’m leery about promos that appear to be completely free, no strings attached. they sound too good to be true. but this one appears to be straightforward. free towel, shipped for free to your home. and the ordering instructions are very clear:

1,2,3, free towel for me!

i love how this offer is open to canadian residents only! i’m so used to seeing “for u.s. residents only” in magazine ads (or on blog giveaways, haha!). also, it’s funny that the small print states there’s a limit of 10 towels per household. that’s pretty generous!

i followed the ordering directions to a t:

there's my unique code, on the inside of the box...

the website - first step -> enter your code

someone has a sense of humour!

nope, not a robot!

....and a joke about delivery method!

my first choice would have been the pillsbury dough boy towel. sadly, neither dough boy nor the sizzlin’ stripes version are available any more.

3rd choice: the cheerios towel - that's ok, too

order done in about 2 minutes - great online service!

i’ll let you know when my free towel arrives. er, make that towels. yes, i hightailed it back to valumart to scoop up two more boxes of puffs. now, if i eat all three boxes in a row, i’m going to be mighty sick of these sweet little balls, but as long as i keep the package sealed, they’ll keep for a while – and i can alternate them with…puffins! so, if all goes according to plan, i will have three towels (the cheerios, honey nut cheerios and lucky charms ones) by october 18th!

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

upon seeing the free towel offer on the box of cereal, i immediately thought back to the free tshirt deal we had once upon a time at the store. it was two-three summers ago when the running room teamed up with vector cereal and saucony on a promotional deal. on specially marked boxes of vector cereal, there was a coupon for a free tshirt from the running room. literally, all you had to do was cut the coupon off the cardboard cereal box, bring it in to the nearest running room store, and collect your free tshirt. seriously. there were no catches, no requirements to buy product, nothing.

well.

the good news is that we went through a lot of tshirts. in fact, saucony was completely overwhelmed by the demand for the shirts, and ended up producing many, many more shirts than originally anticipated.

actually an awesome shirt: tech material, light, good quality. this is the front...

...and the back! i still have mine - love it! and yes, i bought vector in order to get it!

speaking as someone who was working at the store level, the free tshirt offer was…often overwhelming and quite intense. we frequently ran out of shirts. of course, people looking to redeem their coupons were *disappointed* (the nice ones) when we were out of shirts. every time we’d get in a new shipment, they would fly out of the store. we went through a lot of shirts that summer.

my personal opinion is that the free tshirt offer was good in theory; however, i would have made it free with purchase of $20 or $50, something like that. the idea is to draw people into the store to get the tshirt, then hopefully they will buy product once in the door. we got a lot of folks who flew in for the tshirt and scrambled back out asap.

it’s fun to still see these vector tshirts being worn in the neighbourhood. i can spot them a mile away!

any great promos that you’ve capitalized on? ever been hooked in by something that appeared to be free but had a catch? i would not be so keen on the beach towel offer if i had to pay for shipping. this is a pretty sweet deal for only having to invest in a box of cereal!

~*~*~*~*~

31 FLAVOURS OF AUGUST

10/31

treat: chocolate chip taste-testing challenge (~ a palmful of each)

price: vegan chips (on the left) = $5.99 a package!!! the hershey’s (from valumart) = about half that price

rating:  both get *** (three stars) for their taste

tasting notes: love chocolate chips. these are both delicious. the hershey’s win because they are dark chocolate and practically sinful in deliciousness. the vegan chips get the advantage for their tinier size and totally delightful flavour – they taste very authentic and pure. if i had to choose, i would take the vegan chips. but not for that price.

musical extremes

can you believe we can count on one hand the number of weekends left in the summer? (because summer ends at labour day, i don’t care what the lunar calendar tells us).

to make the most of the glorious summer weather, i headed over to waterloo park on sunday evening for my third band concert of the summer! who am i?! this is turning out to be the summer of outdoor music!

even more funny is that i attended the concert on my own: mom and dad, my usual cohorts, were at the church golf tournament, so i ventured out solo. i didn’t feel all that weird as there were quite a few other singletons lollygagging on the park lawn, taking in the music and calm summer eve.

this week’s featured group:

"the galt kiltie band"

on the way over to the park, i was quite excited – i thought that a kiltie band was going to be an ensemble of marching bagpipers wearing kilts. like this:

(source)

i was wrong! how very disappointing! so, now, i have no idea what defines a kiltie band. this group was no different in sound or style from the other bands of previous weeks.

no marching, no bagpipes, no kilts :(

the group played very well – for the number of members, they produced a big sound. (also, the acoustics in this old bandshell are surprisingly amazing and impressive).

don't you just love the conductor's bow tie? he was very energetic, too (if a little eccentric!)

my favourite selections this week were the swing tunes. i felt transported back to another era! i wanted to get up and learn the lindy hop!

now, let’s talk about more hip music, shall we? yesterday, i finally purchased some new itunes. can you believe i haven’t switched up the songs on my ipod since march?! i’m just not tired of the awesome mix i have! however, listening to z103.5 this summer, i’ve heard several songs from the charts that i wanted to add to my itunes database (i have about 620 songs, now).

here’s the playlist that i downloaded:

  • i gotta feeling – the black eyed peas
  • party rock anthem – lmfao
  • sexy and i know it – lmfao
  • sweat – snoop dogg vs david guetta remix
  • i wanna go – britney spears
  • up n down – britney spears
  • fire – raghav
  • where them girls at – david guetta
  • brand new chick – anjulie
  • the edge of glory – lady gaga
  • rolling in the deep – (a dance mix version of adele’s hit!)
  • give me everything – pitbull
  • on the floor – jennifer lopez
  • jet lag – simple plan
  • country girl (shake it for me) – luke bryan (*random find!)
  • little bad girl – david guetta

[sidenote: i wish i could insert a groovy chart and link you directly to each song. sadly, i have no clue how i would do that – so, you’ll have to google or search itunes to hear these picks!].

music: do you purchase songs online? buy cd’s? i love itunes – what a great invention. the problem with buying cd’s (in the olden days) was that i’d love 2-3 songs, and then be stuck with others i wasn’t so keen on. now, i just get what i am 100% jazzed about. i don’t mind paying…the convenience and legitimacy of the whole itunes system is much appreciated!

one song that’s your summer of 2011 theme song? i can’t get enough of party rock anthem by lmfao

(source)

~*~*~*~*~

31 FLAVOURS OF AUGUST

9/10

treat: reese puffs cereal!

price: $4.49 for the box (i did not eat the whole box at once!)

rating: **1/2 (two and a half stars)

tasting notes: you’ll hear more about this cereal later this week. i made a delicious combination of gf corn flakes, corn bran squares and these puffs. this cereal is very sweet (goes without saying!) with great crunch. i liked them better this time than the last box i tried!

new experience #24: deliberately cheat on a test

for today’s dramatic tale, we take a step back in time to the month of july – maybe 4-5 weeks ago, now.

prologue: as i have mentioned over and over and over again a few times, i love my job at the store. i was made for retail sales, specifically, within the running universe. it’s a very good thing when you wake up wanting to go to work, and bounce with every step that you take to get there.

that being said, recent life events gave me pause to consider other employment options. sometimes, it’s necessary to test the waters, dip your feet in the pool,  in order to avoid stagnation.

i applied to a full-time job in the bookstore of one of our local educational institutes of higher learning [sidenote: i don’t mind sharing this story with you because all pertinent parties/people who need to know about it were made aware, at the time].

and what do you know, i was granted an interview.

act 1: the day of my interview (i found it interesting that i had absolutely no say in choosing my interview day or time. i was informed when and where to show up. as luck would have it, that week i had ONE day off from the store, and my interview was scheduled for my free day. that was a good sign) my emotions were on high alert: you know that sensation where every nerve ending is electrified. kramer knows what i mean:

(source)

human resources had sent me a comprehensive email which described the interview format, the interviewers’ names, etc. i had prepped quite extensively for my interview, brushing up on media press releases, the school’s history, future plans, etc. i also reflected on possible questions i could face, (ex: what’s one of your weaknesses, what type of person would it be challenging for you to work with) and mentally composed the most positive ways in which to respond.

i arrived on campus over an hour early, so meandered around growing increasingly bored and anxious until my interview time.

act 2: promptly, at the specified time, i was ushered into the interview room where i was greeted by the three-member interview team. to cut to the chase, by the time i walked out 30 minutes later, i was feeling really good about how the interview had gone. the questions were not as complex as i had anticipated, and i was able to draw from my customer service/retail experience quite readily and confidently.

smiling as we all shook hands, i breathed a sigh of relief, as i turned to exit.

then.

the representative from human resources turned and said, “if you would just follow me, we have a short math quiz for you to take.”

say what?

my eyes didn’t physically pop out of my head, but it sure felt like they were going to.

nowhere, in all of the various communications i had received had math test been referred to. this was a complete and unexpected surprise.

i do not shine to my utmost when sidesmacked with surprises.

act 3: i was shown to a small box cubicle in a windowless cubbyhole room, given a two-sided sheet of questions, a calculator and pen, and advised that i had thirty minutes in which to complete said quiz, but i likely would not need that much time.

i glanced at the questions. they appeared to be fairly simple. too simple. i thought, these must be trick questions! i glanced at one of the questions: “your pos (point-of-sale) system is down. calculate the hst tax on the following (six) items.”

i froze. what is the hst amount in ontario??? [hst stands for harmonized sales tax]. i KNOW i’ve worked in retail for six years, and this fact should be front and centre in my brain. and yes, i purchase items in stores practically daily. but i couldn’t, for the life, of me, recall what % the hst is.

i glanced around. there was a small window in the door of the room i was in, but no one was outside, and no one was checking on me.

surreptitiously, i snuck my blackberry out of my purse. with agitated fingers, i plugged “hst” into google search. i had to go into and back out of a few websites (*#$&* this!!!) then found the amount i was looking for: 13 %. i will never forget this fact, as long as i live, you can bet on this.

so, i was able to complete the math calculations. but again, i thought, this must be a trick question. i bet something on this list is exempt. by this point, i was too rattled to do any more illegal internet searching. i just wrapped up my responses to the quiz, and called it a day.

now, you have to know this about me: all through school, from kindergarten right through to university graduation, i was, unequivocally, the teacher’s pet type of student. never in a million years would i even consider cheating on a test or assignment. so while i am super embarrassed that i didn’t know the hst, i also have to admit i am proud that i thought to use my blackberry to help me out. and i can’t say i’m sorry for or regret my actions.

act 4: a couple of weeks later, i received a letter advising that i did not get the job. to my dying day, i will be convinced that the surprise math test did me in.

~*~*~*~*~

31 FLAVOURS OF AUGUST

8/31

treat: chocolate chunk cookie from starbucks

price: $1.94

rating: **1/2 (two and a half stars)

tasting notes: the chocolate chunks make this cookie. the dough is a bit tasteless, but overall it’s a good cookie. that being said, it’s not mind-blowing, or anything.

two lovers, 2 days….

…not me, you sillies!

within the past few days, i’ve watched two movies that i borrowed from the library:

two lovers

(source)

and

2 days in paris

(source)

yes, i just picked the letter “t” section, and fingered through the options til i happened upon these selections [tangent: don’t you hate when you know you want to rent a movie but you wander aimlessly thru the aisles for ages on end, until you finally make a decision? ugh. such a drag!]. luckily, i found my movies within a couple of minutes, this time. (honestly, i didn’t realize how funny the titles sound when you put them together until i saw the dvd cases side-by-side; then i just couldn’t resist today’s blog heading!).

the library is a treasure-trove! sure, the options are not as extensive as at blockbuster, say, but you can find film classics, tv series, indy releases…and all for free! i also like that you borrow the movies for a week at a time. this is good, as i could spread out movie-viewing over a couple of evenings, if i so wished.

ok, back to the movies…

each of these films played at the princess when they were released, but i never got over to see them on the big screen. physically seeing the titles, reminded me they had been on my “to see” radar.

two lovers was disappointing. the movie was a bit too slow-paced for my liking, and the cinematography was very dark, sombre. i did like that the story revolved around people – my favourite type of movie. i really enjoyed that gwyneth paltrow’s character (michelle) was messed up emotionally, and was a bit of a whack job – she seems so prissy and perfect in real life. i also really liked the interplay between leonard (joachin phoenix) and his parents – their complex relationship was realistically depicted. while the storyline is nothing new (love triangle), i couldn’t guess how the movie would end. so, this movie viewing experience wasn’t a total flop, but i can’t enthusiastically recommend it to you. most guys would definitely be not so interested (except for the scene where gwyneth exposes a bare tata – that’ll rouse them!).

rating: ** (two stars)

2 days in paris, on the other hand, was highly amusing, and the type of movie i adore!

julie delpy wrote, directed, and stars in this relationship drama. who else does all that? yup – woody allen. and this film will remind you of his style, for sure, with the hand-held camera work/filming technique, character and dialogue-focussed storyline, that ad-lib style of conversation, as well as the voice-over narrative.

two stand-out actors: marion (julie delpy)’s father – what a character! his lines steal every scene. and the male protagonist, jack (adam goldberg) is rock-solid as the paranoid, hypochondriac boyfriend.

the film bounces back and forth between english and french dialogue (with english subtitles when french is spoken). listening to parisian french is just music to my ears. since my uni degree is in french (a very rusty skill, nowadays), i enjoyed hearing the french dialogue, then reading the subtitles and seeing how closely the translation matches. from what i know of french culture, the film does a wonderful job of subtly conveying parisian culture, and the xenophobic mindset which the french are stereotypically known for.

i laughed out loud so many times during the film! but, this movie is also about relationships – it’s a drama as well as a comedy. sometimes the subject matter was quite …liberated and free, if you catch my drift – as is the french way.

i loved the movie – until the final five minutes. i recommend it if you a) are a woody allen fan b) don’t mind “reading” a movie c) like relationship dramas (this one is too indy to dub a “chic flick”).

rating: *** (three stars)

did you see any movies or tv shows this weekend? friday eve i watched the new jersey shore!! (season 4, episode 1). it was a total hoot! i’ve missed these kids! jwoww is kind of freaking me out with her new look, though. funniest scene: snooki driving standard. memories!

~*~*~*~*~

31 FLAVOURS OF AUGUST

7/31

treat: banana popsicle

price: $0.79

rating: ** (two stars)

tasting notes: i was feeling a little caked-out after saturday’s party. plus, it was at about a zillion degrees of humidity, yesterday. there are only two acceptable flavours of popsicles: banana and chocolate. i chose banana! it’s funny that i don’t really like bananas as a fruit, but i love banana popsicles! i picked banana over chocolate because i was also a little chocolate-d out!

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