Happy Sunday

I haven’t done one of these in awhile, so why not do one now? Here are a few things that are making me happy these days:

TV.  I love fall TV. Our friends came over last night for a glass of wine and I think we talked about TV for about 35% of the time. The shows that I’m particularly addicted to: The Mindy Project, Nashville, The Good Wife, Newsroom and Madam Secretary. I don’t watch Scandal but I’d like to start. If you also love TV programs with strong and complicated female leads, you should check out this: The Female Bad Fan.

In a World. The best movie I’ve seen in a long time. 

Hozier. My favourite album of the year so far. 

Bikes. A few weeks ago I participated in the Ride for Refuge. A national cycling fundraiser event that raises money for the vulnerable and displaced. I have to admit, when that 6:30 AM alarm went off on a Saturday morning, I has not the happiest girl around. But once I got out there on my bike, riding 25 km through West Saanich and Brentwood Bay, there wasn’t much that could make me happier. I live in one of the most bike friendly cities in the country, there is no excuse for not doing this more.

Galey Farms Corn Maze and Haunted House. This is pretty Victoria, BC specific. But if you live on the island you’ve got to go here. So terrifying. So good.

Bahamas. On Thursday I joined my friend Megan and the rest of Victoria at the sold out Bahamas concert, his Canadian tour kick off. I’ll be honest, I was expecting good but boring, but that’s not what it was. It was good and beautiful and awesome. If you’re Canadian, odds are he’ll be making his way through your city soon. Go!

Who We Are. Green Party Leader Elizabeth May’s new book. I had the privilege of hearing this inspiring and eloquent woman read from Who We Are on Saturday and wow. Her national book tour is currently under way. Be sure to check it out if you get the opportunity.

 

Thankful (belated)

I’m thankful that nearly all adventures begin with a one hour and forty-five minute boat ride. Just kidding. I’m only thankful for this some of the time. Most of the time it’s just beautiful nuisance.

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I’m thankful for road trips. I’m thankful that I can sing Weakerthans songs at the top of my lungs and he tolerates me. I’m thankful I have tolerance for his versions of Beck. And for his half-decent singing voice.

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I’m thankful I’ve always lived in places and travelled to places that require driving through the Fraser Canyon. What a humbling and breathtaking corner of the world. 20141018-101618-36978571.jpg

I’m thankful that even though the home I grew up in now belongs to another family, I still have a home to come to.

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I’m thankful for food and for eating. Every day I’m thankful for this. I love eating. Also I’m thankful for digestive enzymes.

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Thankful for these two, for raising me to be independent and supporting me through my successes  and mistakes. I’m thankful that they keep my pretentiousness in check, laughing at me because I don’t know how to chop down a tree.

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I’m thankful that they live in place where this sunset is a bad one.

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I’m thankful for outdoor activities like stand up paddle boarding. I’m thankful that I didn’t fall in.

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I’m thankful for red wine and boat rides, even in the fall.

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I’m thankful that I’m a naturally great shot, even from far away, even with old shot guns. It will come in handy one day maybe.

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More than all of it, I’m thankful for this guy who keeps me smiling and laughing and relaxed and thankful everyday.

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Bahamas

My top three concerts:

  1. Bruce Springsteen
  2. Paul Simon
  3. Bonfire Ball featuring Jason Collett, Zeus and Bahamas

I wish I was telling you that The Boss was rolling through Victoria, BC tonight, sadly he’s not. But as a consolation prize, I will gladly take Bahamas, who is in town touring his latest album Bahamas is Alfie. I’m not sure that he alone can top the magic that was the Bonfire Ball tour, but I’m looking forward to finding out. So is most of Victoria, because this show sold out in about 15 minutes. Fortunately for me, my friend Megan has free tickets and she is fun and awesome and generous, so I will be there too, singing along and swaying with the rest of the city.

 

Randomness

Lately I’ve had trouble finding the time and motivation to write a legitimate blog post. No excuses really, that’s just how it’s been. So instead of something written with thought and feeling, please accept this collection of random thoughts:

I. I think I might be a bad dresser. I thought I kind of had style down, but some recent events have me thinking otherwise. Last week my two best friends told me they were going to dress like me for Halloween. We’ll wear cords and crocs and a band tee shirt and a long, baggy cardigan. It will be hilarious, they said.  The next day my boyfriend said to me, We should go as Wayne and Garth for Halloween. You can be Garth, just wear your glasses and put on a hat. You can just wear your normal clothes. Ugh. Currently looking for recommendations on fashion blogs.

II. Speaking of my boyfriend, he rules. The other morning I had gone out extra early for a run without waking him up on the way out, instead waking him on the way in. The first sleepy words that came out of his mouth were, You’re so beautiful. I love your new shirt. It wasn’t a new shirt, it was an old running shirt but that’s not the point. His instinctual first words every morning are compliments. I totally hit the jackpot.

III. I have an old friend who manages one of the “cool” night clubs in town. Sometimes I make him promise me that he’d hire me to work there if I needed a job. It helps me kid myself that I’m still young and hip enough to work in a night club even though I’m totally not.

IV. I wish that night janitors didn’t always seem so earnest.

V. When I go running in the early morning or later at night, when it’s dark, I’m constantly making note of which houses around me have lights on, where the nearest people might be. I’m hyper aware of this when I see someone walking towards me. I’m hyper aware of the nearest place to seek help. Do other women do this? Do men?

VI. I feel like I have to make a choice between having a glass or two of wine every night or losing those last stubborn pounds. No one with any sort of fitness background has advised me that this choice is necessary, but it’s just something I instinctively feel is true. Every morning I decide I want to give up drinking. Every night I decide I’m comfortable with my extra cushion. I wonder if I’ll ever make up my mind.

VII. I’m going to visit my parents for Thanksgiving. They live in the middle of nowhere. I’m going to really enjoy spending the long weekend wearing almost exclusively pyjamas.

Toronto

toronto

Last week I took a trip to Toronto. My first visit to the city in 12 years. When I flew in last Wednesday I was like Toronto is amazing. I need to move here asap. But by the time I left on Monday I was ready to come home to the clean air, the slow pace, and of course, my love. Here are some highlights and thoughts after five days in Canada’s city:

The food was unreal. Like, out of control good. My first night in town I ate at Lee and I’m still dreaming about Susur’s Signature Singaporean-style Slaw. If I was rich I would go back to Toronto just to eat that slaw. I had a board of directors dinner at The Chase. Also unreal. And on my last night in town I had the 9 course tasting menu at El Catrin to celebrate a successful trip. I couldn’t move, but oh my, it made me happy.

Work trips are work trips are work trips. Trying to make them into anything else will only cause stress. I don’t know why it’s taking me so long to learn this. If I want to explore or see friends or family or have time to myself, I have to add an extra day. Remind me of this next time, okay?

West coast Canadians are snobs. Maybe not absolutely, but definitely relative to anyone east of the Rockies. Here at home, strangers don’t talk to one another, they don’t say hi or strike up conversation. Not true in Toronto. People are just friendlier there. And apparently when Torontonians come out west and tell us where they’re from the most common response is a sympathetic “Oh, I’m sorry, that’s too bad.” Guys! That’s not cool! Let’s collectively be nicer.

Diversity if beautiful. I live in a devastatingly white city. It’s boring. And the standard of beauty here is all too often the petite, blond pseudo-hippie. Also boring. Toronto was an interesting and exciting breath of fresh air.

It’s the place to be for professionals. When I graduated university at 22 I was so ready to start the rest of my life in the city I wanted to be in: Victoria. And while I loved ever minute of it, I’m regretful I didn’t spend a few years in Toronto growing professionally and experiencing big city living. At this point I’m on track with my goals, but I can’t help but wonder what life would have looked like if I spent some time living in Toronto. Shoulda, woulda, coulda.

Kalie. She lived across the hall from me in first year residence and we shared an apartment with 2 other great girls in fourth year. We hadn’t seen each other in probably 6 years, so catching up over dinner was such a pleasure. I’m so proud of her. Last year she was in Cats and currently she’s acting in a movie opposite Nic Cage. So, I pretty much am friends with a celeb.

And the absolute highlight: spending two days in a board room with our board of directors–retired diplomats, a VP at one of Canada’s largest banks, a senior partner at one of Canada’s largest law firms and others. Together we reviewed strategies and made plans and throughout it all all these established professionals listened to and respected what I had to say. I’ve never felt more grown up. Please, no one tell them my secrets.

 

October

In October 2012 I struggled with some of the worst anxiety I’ve ever had. It was constantly hard for me to breath, the only things that made me feel okay were running and drinking so I did a lot of both. I ran my first half marathon with a terrible cold in a time of 2:05. I was the skinniest I’ve ever been. I had Thanksgiving with Katie and Thai take out and a Treatza Pizza. I joined a curling league. I worked close to 60 hours a week. I tried to pay off my debt but had to replace the clutch in my car instead. I dressed like Leela for Halloween and danced to Plants and Animals, hiding behind my giant eye. I had many good times with the people who I love.

In October 2013 I settled happily into the comfortable stage of my relationship.  I went out less and watched more TV. Cuddled more. Life slowed down, but not so much that it became boring. I regularly struggled to run 10km. I had Thanksgiving with Kurt and his family in Vernon, BC. We explored the lakes and the vineyards and ate too much. He surprised me with a night at Sparkling Hill aka heaven on earth. I heard the Sadies play and Margaret Atwood speak. I worked close to 50 hours a week and put $1600 towards my debts. I had many good times with the people who I love.

In October 2014 I hope to:

  • Be happy. Be calm. Be spontaneous. Be present. Be powerful.
  • Eat mostly healthy and be active most days. Love my body for where it is today, not it’s potential.
  • Hear some live music.
  • Travel to middle of nowhere to spend Thanksgiving with my parents. Hopefully see a friend along the way.
  • Not hate Halloween.
  • Work 40 hours a week. Put $1100 into savings.
  • Find balance between living the life and resting.
  • Have good times with the people who I love.