The Dog and Pony Show

Tomorrow I have an interview! I’m pretty psyched, but that’s all I can say about it.

But part of my 25/25 includes some interview necessities, like ironing, for a general neat and clean appearance. And shoe-polishing. And languages. So I’ve shelved the Spanish for now and am re-learning my French. That sounds bad, but it’s just that I don’t speak it in my personal life (to the consternation of “true” Quebecers). In general I would consider myself bilingual, but if I haven’t spoken it for more than a week, I find I lose the most basic words. It sucks.

Oh, and I’m doing yoga to calm my nerves and just feel a bit fitter than I really am…

Wish me luck?

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What is my new goal?

OK, so I only got 4 responses yesterday. And everyone voted for something else. So please share this! I would actually get a kick out of strangers helping to decide this new and last goal.

And you: vote!

Poll ends in a week’s time, so get on with it! I will announce the winning choice on Wednesday, August 15 🙂

For Your Consideration

So here’s the deal. The tattoo is definitely off the table. And I need to figure out what to replace it with.

Here are some of my options:

    1. Learn how to knit
    2. Become a better swimmer (already working on this…)
    3. Go ice skating (I haven’t skated since I was 12)
    4. Stop watching TV and movies for a month (I waste a lot of time)
    5. Donate or sell 10 possessions
    6. Go to 5 networking events to help me get a new job

Your help and opinions would definitely be appreciated! Vote in the comments please!

August Update!

It’s been well over a month since I’ve last talked to you guys! My goals are going well under their way at the moment, but I think I’ve hit a wall with some of them!

Because I have started to save up my money, I won’t be able to Skydive this year.. I am fairly sad about that, mainly because it has been a goal of mine for a very long time! But it’s OK. Another goal for another year! Instead, I’ve decided to replace it with another goal of mine that I have actually started! Writing a book. More details of that to come, but for now, let’s take a look at my list:

 

  1. Finish my script
    Completed! And I feel great about it
  2. Changed to now: Start to plan/write a book
    Will update on this next post
  3. Take dance lessons
    I took a couple of classes here and there and realized how much I’ve missed it! Hoping to continue with this later on
  4. Market my business better
    I have added myself onto Google, and have actually gotten a great response! Everything is starting slowly, but I know that I will be successful in the long run
  5. Keep in better touch with the ones that I love
    I have emailed so many family members from all over to keep in touch, as well as calling friends or texting friends whenever I can. I can officially call myself a social butterfly haha
  6. Volunteer for Molson
    This will actually be done at the end of the month! So I can cross that off in a couple of weeks
  7. Spring cleaning: donate clothes and furniture that I dont need anymore
    I got rid of so much stuff in my old place, and now still finding myself overflowing in the new place! But I still felt good about donating all of the things that I didn’t need.
  8. Teach someone Yiddish
    I haven’t really sat down to teach Brian, but I have given him some words here and there. I really should do this soon so that I can finally complete it!
  9. Learn how to cook 5 new dishes (non-Jewish ones!)
    mmmm. Those dishes were yummy!
  10. Move back to Toronto & explore what I haven’t before!
    Loving Toronto, Loving the new place, Loving Brian!
  11. Paint something new and unexpected
    I actually have everything in mind I just need to sit down and do this. I’m thinking maybe this weekend!
  12. Donate blood
    Yay!
  13. Get a new Tattoo from George Brown
    Getting the tattoo on September 22nd! Meeting with him on August 11th to go over the design once again. Very excited!
  14. Get a new piercing with Meagan Bond
    As you saw from the video, that was fun haha! Love having my nose pierced. No idea why I was so “against” it beforehand!
  15. Be better at my job – Lean more about audio equipment
    Ah, the day that my manager told me to cross this off. What a great day!
  16. Volunteer for TIFF
    I got accepted to volunteer! Which was amazing. Awaiting confirmation on which theatres I’ll be working at and then I can make my schedule :
  17. Donate Money to Organizations
    I donated money to Mitzi Perez and to Adrienne Frank! Very happy that I was able to give this to them while I had the money
  18. Learn Sign language
    Waiting for Ilana!
  19. Start saving heavily to purchase a new place for 2013
    Since my school loan just got paid off, I can now start to save my money for hopefully a new place next year!
  20. Go to a party where I don’t know anyone and make a new friend
    I still manage to go to parties here and there where I don’t know a lot of people to potentially make some new friends
  21. Try not to eat at fast food restaurants for a whole year
    I have been making my meals almost daily and try to eat every time at home when I can! I think I have been quite successful for that!
  22. Go see more indie movies and bands
    This is an ongoing on that will probably go on for a very very long time haha!
  23. Quit smoking, for good. Not for me… but for all of you.
    Last cigarette Dec. 31 11:55 pm!
  24. Do more activities during the winter, my least favorite season.
    I did go out a lot last winter! Let’s hope that sticks for this year!
  25. Help out my friends with their 25on25
    Also ongoing but I’ve been giving some tips and tricks to Leila! And she’s progressing so well with it!

 

6 more things to accomplish before my birthday on October 9th!

Think I can do it??

July Review

Oh hey there August, what’s up?

I’ve been pretty busy and enjoying the weather. Scratch that, I’ve been a hermit at home, but sometimes I go swimming and to yoga. It’s all good. So what happened in July? Here we go:

On the list of things that was supposed to happen: I blogged sometimes; wrote to my grandma; went camping; practiced typing; practiced Spanish (not getting much better though); started cooking more regularly; and am getting into the habit of ironing (slowly). I am also still working on those short stories; playing chess (are you on Chess with Friends? Get at me!); and walking around like a pro in heels. I also learned how fix a flat tire and all of the other shit associated with it, and I got like fifteen new followers on Twitter! Not a bad month.

Not on the list but also happened: my boyfriend visited Montreal and we got attacked, but otherwise had a lovely time; I lost my job; I was published on The Billfold and some people liked it and some others didn’t; I’m practicing typing and have almost learned the entire keyboard; and am making plans to go to places I have been to before, to see Andrea and my boyfriend (boyfriend, boyfriend, boyfriend — let me know when this gets annoying). No knife-throwing, but I am taking control of my finances. Let’s talk about the stock market! (oh G-d, let’s not, really).

As for moving out, maybe I’ll have some news for you all next month!

Getting my knife skills back

Chop. Chop. Chop.

I’ve been cooking here and there for years, but lately I’ve been trying to make more of an effort. Part of it is cause my brother is home, and he likes to get involved in projects. Part of it is my trying to get into a new routine.

Last week we made tomato sauce from scratch. Yesterday I made a vegetarian curry, with chickpeas, cauliflower and potatoes. It’s a dinner time staple at our home. Tonight I made a summer favourite. Due to the heat, I had no interest in cooking, so I made amba salad. (Sidenote: I did however, teach my brother how to cook white rice from scratch.) Amba is pickled mango from Punjab, and is sold in oil or vinegar, and is eaten like a condiment. It’s not sweet at all, but it retains its hairy texture in a sour and spicy sauce. Maybe hairy is the wrong word, but it retains that absolutely delicious mango texture.

When I was on my own, studying abroad, I suddenly had these crazy cravings for this food. I used to hate it as a kid, but went through 1L in about four months. That’s nuts by the way, I mean, imagine eating 1L of ketchup or mustard that quickly! I used to make myself this salad to stave off homesickness and scurvy.

Here is how to make the best summer salad:

Ingredients:
2-3 tomatoes
1/2 English cucumber or 1 smaller type
1 green pepper
Amba
Salt and pepper to taste

Optional ingredients:
Green onion
Sweet (vidalia) onion
Parsley
Lime juice

Method:
Dice veggies: tomatoes, cucumber, pepper onion, etc. and put it in a bowl. Scarf this spicy and refreshing concoction down. If you put onions, don’t kiss anyone. This is what mine looked like:
Tomatoes, green pepper, parsley, vidalia onion and some salt n pepper. I ran out of cucumbers earlier today making something else. The yellow is the amba.

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50 Loads of Laundry

The nice thing about no longer having a job is being able to do all of those little things you’ve been putting off when you were working. Like taking clothes to the tailor, shoes to the cobbler, repairing that sleeve that was unravelling, and so on.

And ironing. But first, in order to have things to iron, it’s important to actually wash all those clothes. And over the last three days I haven’t done 50 loads of laundry. But it’s pretty close, from sheets and towels, to all of the articles of clothing that gets me, my mom and my brother through our days, I think it’s a bit ridiculous. Wednesday I did five loads, and Thursday I did another three. Today I hope I’ll manage to do all of those picky items that can’t go into the washing machine, and get some ironing done! (obviously I haven’t been very efficient about this but there is only so much room to hang all of the stuff that doesn’t go in the dryer).

Oh my goodness the ironing I have to do. Tuesday I ironed one shirt, and it *only* took me twenty minutes. But that’s probably because it wasn’t too wrinkled and it had short sleeves. I think I will work on this more so that it won’t be the most agonizing task in the world.

In other news, if you see my brother, you should ask him about his iron. After six months of comparison shopping online, watching endless product demo videos and reading a limitless amount of user reviews, he actually bought an iron. It’s a Rowenta and has like a million extra steam holes and it weighs like ten pounds. He’s obviously really happy about it, but I haven’t seen him iron yet.

Camping Recap

As I mentioned, I went camping. We left on Saturday and came back on Monday. It was… interesting. It could have been better and it could have been much worse. In general it was great except for the fact that I have something like 30 bug bites over three days.

I really enjoyed the planning part! It’s a weird thing, but I love it. I had spreadsheets of equipment, color-coded by we was going to bring what. There was a shopping list and a vague itinerary. It was all pretty great. We never left on schedule in either direction but it hardly mattered.

On Saturday, we hit the road a bit late after buying all the groceries and packing the car. It took ages. Then. Got a bit lost finding our campsite after finally reaching the national park. We went to the Mont Tremblant national park, by the way. It’s pretty lovely and well-maintained.

We arrived as it was getting dark, so it took us some time get our tents up and the fire going. We ended up preparing and eating dinner by lantern-light, because we were so late.

Sunday, we went hiking and then ate lunch in the car, as we had packed sandwiches but were not hungry by the time we reached the peak of our trail. Our site was near a lake, and there was a beach with soft and fine sand. We re-packed a cooler and then spent an idyllic afternoon drinking and swimming and reading on the beach. It was lovely!

Monday, we ate and went back to the beach. Since some of the group were having issues with our feet we didn’t do a lot of hiking, and it seemed for the best. We were all pretty stressed from various circumstances in the city and this seemed like the necessary escape we all needed. An hour or so later, we left the beach and got on our way home.

The only hiccup in the trip was that we had a nail enter one of our wheels, which meant we had to use the spare and find a garage to get the tire patched. We drove about 45 minutes out of our way to drive under the best conditions. Shortly after we had replaced our tire and got back on our way, thunder and lightning and hail all struck at the same time. This was so scary!

But we made it home ok. Which is the important part!

Gone Camping

I have set out camping today. Let’s hope it is a good experience!

As a child, camping was not my favourite activity, but it wasn’t the worst either. I’m a city girl through and through, but I think it’s time to head out, and clear my head of the city and kick back with some close friends. While I planned this before I found out I was losing my job, I am lucky that it coincided nicely with my last day.

When I was under the age of 10, we went out to the Adirondacks or maybe the Laurentians and went camping for a couple of days. My family and three or five others all came together, pooled resources and gear, drove out and enjoyed the wild. We went hiking, which we used to to a lot of as a family. I hated sleeping on the ground.

At sleepaway camp, which I attended the summers I was 12 and 13, there were three-day trips. The first year it was a canoe trip. Nothing stayed dry. It was a coed trip with boys and girls in separate tents. Hormones ran wild, but I don’t think anyone actually “hooked up.” This was the first time I ever saw leeches.

The second year, I went on the “easy” hiking trip. It was not easy for me, as this is when I distinctly remembering the severity of my shoulder pain. We slept in a shelter that had hard wooden bunks. I may have sprained my ankle, and spent some time soaking it in the frigid lake. I think I was fine afterward though.

In high school, for a school trip we went on a hiking trip. 40 girls went hiking together, with tents all lined up in rows. There was a rustic house nearby that we had use of to cook and wash ourselves. The trail I was sent on had yellow jackets, so I refused to go further. Many of the other girls got stung twice.

In 2009, I went camping with some male teenaged cousins and one pair of parents. It rained a lot and our tarps were inadequate. We went hiking, and we also went to a natural water slide in some rapids. We jumped off some of the rocks, which was terrifying and amazing. We slid down some others where there were “paths” that we used as slides. The water was freezing but we continued for ages. It was incredibly fun. The hiking was also fun, even though I was slow. I ruined my sneakers, as they never dried out properly and moulded by the time I took them home.

We’ll see what this trip brings!

Keeping track

Part of the point of this project is to log all of the activities and create some accountability. And I’ve had to start doing that more seriously with my money.

I’ve started a thing, which is keeping track of how much I’m actually spending. I always know an estimation of how much I’ve spent, but I’ve never added it up unless my credit card statement did it for me. To top it off, my brother’s love affair with Excel has rubbed off on me a little, and I’ve actually started a spreadsheet tracking the amounts, the dates and where. I don’t categorize, cause Mint does it for me, but this forces me to think about my spending after the fact. Which is good. Like was it really important to spend this money on that thing or experience or that food? Oh, no? Well then perhaps I shouldn’t purchase whatever it was again.

That part is nice, because I find I am kind of an absent-minded spender. Even if I vow not to spend any money for a day or a week, it’s like oh, but I have to pay my phone bill, and I need to do this maintenance thing, and this item of clothing is falling apart. And then the promise of no money spent goes out the window. Kind of like a diet, where your tummy is rumbling because you keep thinking about much food you can’t eat. A little annoying, but I’m hoping this will help me out a bit in understanding things that are important to me financially and in living my life the way I want to — not the way I should, or feel compelled to.

It’s handy dandy! Let’s see how it will affect my spending in the long run.