Happy .... blasphemy? day?

Apparently today is Blasphemy Day.  As a person who believes in some stuff and works at a faith-based company, I personally love me some good natured blasphemy.  Maybe irreverence is the better word than blasphemy, but I'm pretty sure we would all enjoy our lives a little bit more if we could make a joke or two about what we believe in.

Because I can never think of funny things on the spot, I can't come up with any examples of my favourite blasphemous/irreverent jokes, so instead I'll give you this little gem from one of my favourite movies of all time:

Maybe not quite blasphemous, but hilarious.

happy birthday to ME!

Guess what I just got as a belated birthday gift from my Mom?

BAM!  So exciting!

What?  You have no idea why I would be excited about this?  Well, let me give you many many reasons:

  1. I am a Mennonite girl who is supremely lacking in the cooking department.
  2. Not that I am incapable of cooking, I mean, all cooking is is following a recipe until you know it well enough that you can make stuff from your head instead of the recipe, so a more accurate statement might be that I am disinclined towards cooking.
  3. Mennonite food is the best.
  4. One of the recipes is for Butter Soup.  I mean, come on.  AWESOME.
  5. The picture of aprons on the cover makes me happy.
  6. Seeing the word "Mennonite" on the cover of a book, intended in a positive light, makes me happy.
  7. There is so much delicious food in here!  Cheese Cauliflower Soup!  Rolled-p Kielke (Noodles)!  Tacos with mashed potato filling!  More variations of bread and buns than any cookbook realistically needs!  The easiest pie crust recipe in the world!  Doughnuts!
  8. Not to mention all the Menno standards that you can tell are authentic with their German names: Blaetter Torte!  Apfel Kuchen!  Borscht!  Bubbat!  Holupschi!  Kartoffelpuffer!  Kielke!  Paska!  Perishky!  Pfefffernuesse!  Platz!  Portelky!  Rollkuchen!Wareneki!  Zwieback!
  9. They specify the use of Rogers Golden Syrup when eating rollkuchen.  This is very important.  Recently I had my rollkuchen with syrup that was in a Rogers Golden Syrup bottle, but was regular, butter-flavoured syrup.  It was the most disappointing rollkuchen experience of my life.
  10. The authors of this cookbook started off with a blog that got really popular (as so many authors these days - hel-lo, why do you think I'm doing this?  Just kidding!) but they aren't capitalizing on their internet fame to get rich - all their profits are going straight to charity.  Because Mennonite girls are awesome.
So there you go.  Ten reasons why this is the best birthday gift ever.

Thanks, Mom!

An Ode to a Transit Pro

Usually whenever people use the internet to talk about transit users it's all complaints, but the other day I had the pleasure of riding with a real pro.  This an ode to her.

O!  Blonde-haired girl with a backpack.
You sat down beside me on the 99,
And I worried, I worried
You would be annoying to get past
Do that thing people do where they sort of move their legs
And you have to squish past them and their
Giant backpack.

If only I'd known who I was dealing with,
A pro!  O, a pro, yes, a pro you were.

As my stop approached, I began to prepare,
Book in the purse, strap on the shoulder.
Your keen pro senses, they sensed my actions and their meaning,
And your strap, too, made its way to your shoulder.

I saw your body, tense, ready to move,
When the bus stopped at a light, instead of a stop.
I chose to remain seated
Instead of standing by the door like a schmuck.

With anyone else, it could have been awkward:
They would have stood and I would have been forced
To get out of my seat before I desired.
But you, O Pro, could not be fooled -
Your keen senses and quick reaction times saw
That it was not time to stand, and you waited, you waited,
Yes you waited for me to make my move,
And as soon as you saw that I was ready to stand
You leapt out of your seat, and out of the way,
So quick and efficient, I was taken aback!

You, my friend, are a pro, a pro at transit-use,
You should teach classes or maybe just write an article
About how to be a pro like you,

Oh no! I ordered a cappuccino and they gave me a latte!

Here's a fun new game: reframing all those little things that bug you every day through the "first world problems" lens.  For example, here's some things that were bugging me this week:

My friend gave me a free pass to see as many shows in this big theatre festival as I want to and I don't think I have time to see all the ones I want to see!

My laptop charger is finicky and needs to be plugged in at a certain angle to work.

I just got offered more jobs than I can handle teaching yoga classes.

I'm supposed to go to an opening of a play tonight and I just don't really feel like dressing up.

I ate a meal just because I felt like it and now I have to clean up the mess from preparing it.

They're re-releasing The Lion King, one of my favourite Disney movies, but they're making it 3D so I'd have to wear those stupid glasses if I see it.

PS: The subject line is a shout out to my friend Laura, as that's what she says when people are complaining about first world problems.

Planking. Really?

As per usual, I am behind in the "memes".  (I will always insist on putting the word "meme"in quotation marks, mainly because I think know Richard Dawkins is pompous.)  The latest "meme" I have encountered is planking.

I first heard of planking when hanging out with some Australians a couple of months ago.  I had never heard of it, and they told me that it's lying down across two things and taking a picture.

I thought "huh, that's such a boring and lame.  Australians are sure weird for thinking that lying across two things and taking a picture of it merits the title of 'game.'"

But lately planking has been coming up more and more, to the point where I've had to acknowledge that it's not just the Australians.  This is a worldwide phenomena of lameness.

Naturally, being the generous soul that I am, I assumed that there must be more to this "meme" of "planking" than just lying across two things and taking a picture of yourself.  After all, global phenomena are generally fun and cool on some level, right?  If it's an activity that's exciting and dangerous enough to die for (as apparently someone did), it must involve some kind of actual skill and prowess greater than holding your body rigid without support across your stomach, right?

For my answer, I turned to none other than Wikipedia.  What did I find?  I found that there is not more to planking than taking a picture of yourself lying across two things.  There is actually LESS to planking than taking a picture of yourself lying across two things.

It's lying down.

That's it.

Lie down in a funny place.

Take a picture.

You have now planked, congratulations!  You've participated in, wait for it, "the lying down game".

It's a game where you lie down.

So a frustrated parent invented this, right?  "Hey kids, I know what we should do!  No, no, we shouldn't keep throwing pieces of burning brick dipped in poo at Mommy's hair.  Let's play... let's play the lying down game!  Yeah!  Yeah, it's a real game, I swear!  You lie down in a funny place and Mommy will take a picture and post it on the internet and you will be famous!  Here!  Let's all lie down!!!  Yaaaaay!  Okay now Mommy's going to go get the camera - stay lying down until she gets back to take a picture.  Don't come find me, now matter what kind of horrible wailing you hear from the other room, that's just the sound the camera makes when it's turning on.  PLANKING!  HOORAY!"

Those gullible children listened and the world has never been the same.

Here's the photo that accompanied the Wikipedia page:

Does anyone else see anything wrong with this?  This is a game!  A GAME!  Do people remember what games are supposed to be?  This has to be surefire evidence that the internet is destroying our imaginations, because when I was a child our games involved finding Maleficent's horns in the bushes, pretending to be royalty while eating dinner, and dressing up our Barbies for dates. Sure, I tried to convince my cousin that we should play "use your eyes" and watch TV/read comics, but even I knew as I was suggesting it that the idea was lame. I just didn't want to play with the horse figurines again*.

Come on, children of the world!  There is more to life than taking pictures of yourself lying down!  At least imagine that you're a dying worm and act like you're frying to death.

*I'm exaggerating for the sake of the story, cuz! Your horses were rad!

Find a new target market

Does anyone else hate it when companies suddenly decide to market their product to women?  From beer to other stuff, eventually marketers of "male dominated" products realize that women spend money too and that they want some of that money.  Then they start marketing their product towards women.

How do they do that?  They turn it pink.  Or make it fruity.

I DO NOT WANT PINK FRUITY BEER!  I ALREADY LIKE BEER THAT IS BROWN OR REDDISH OR KIND OF A DARK YELLOW COLOUR!  I mean, sure, I bet the pink fruity beer is really good and I will probably have some once and a while, because seriously?  Fruity beer?  Delicious sounding, right?  But guess what I drink more often than that?  Actual, real, brown/reddish/kind of dark yellow beer!  I drink it all the time!  I love beer!  It's delicious and frothy and cools you off in the summer time in a very special way that no other drink can do.

You also get a very high volume of liquid when you order a beer vs. a martini or wine or girly drink, which is good for me because I tend to continuously consume whatever liquid in front of me until it is one at the same rate, regardless of alcohol content.  Beer helps me regulate.  Also, it's usually cheaper.

If you want to get more women to drink beer, how about you try making ads that don't make women into shrews and ho-bags?  How about a commercial with a cool and intelligent woman wearing her awesome sun dress and the cowboy boots she just bought in Portland and having a beer on the patio with her friends?  Or asking her boyfriend to toss her a cold one instead of texting him 30 times to "check up on him" when he's trying to have a "guy's night out"?  Or finishing off the pitcher?  Or suggesting the pitcher?  Or doing one of the many other things that a girl will do when she drinks beer instead of making the product pink and fruity and lower-in-calories and then dangling it in front of her like yarn in front of a cat.

I mean, sure, I'll take the yarn, but then give me some real beer after that, please and thank you.

So you're going to Portland?

Wondering what you should do on your next trip to Portland? Take a tip from me!
  1. Go with a group of awesome friends who never stop bringing the fun.
  2. Voodoo donuts: hit it up around 1-2am. Any other time and there will be a 2 hour lineup.
  3. Wander with no agenda! You may discover that the Pearl District has an art walk full of kind-of-pretty-good and the occasionally really good artwork.
  4. Get your tarot cards read at the Saturday Market (also in the Pearl District). You will leave feeling incredibly hopeful about your future.
  5. Powell's Books. Just go. You will be amazed.
  6. Give yourself a challenge/game. Mine was to take pictures with all of the servers we encountered on the trip.  We had another game of taking photos with the local hipsters without them realizing it, but never actually did it.  Fun fact: there aren't as many hipsters in Portland as one might expect.  Or we were too mainstream to be in their neighbourhoods - we did see the most on Alberta St if you're looking.
  7. Eat eat eat. Restaurants we visited included The Clyde Commons (gourmet-esque food for non-gourmet prices!), The Tin Shed (breakfast! adorable lady-server!), and Daschutes Brew Pub (best grilled cheese ever! really cute male server!).
  8. Drink drink drink. Find that pub we found on Alberta Street that has ping pong tables and Apples to Apples in their backyard area. Or that other pub that also has a great backyard area. I say backyard area because it actually feels like you're in your friend's Mom's awesome backyard and not a fancy patio. Also, find that bar that has a bowling alley.
  9. Don't go to the club your cute server from Daschutes recommended. It looks lame.
  10. Talk to the locals! Everyone is so nice, especially if you're a gaggle of attractive, cool ladies from The Real Vancouver.
  11. If you're wandering around and see a sign for a yard sale, go check it out. The people holding the sale could very well be a group of Vaudeville performers with an amazing double-decker bus they use as a dressing room and stage-backdrop and they will let you walk around the bus and take pictures. They will also have a toy horse covered in mirrors andwill recommend a vintage shop up the street you wouldn't have found where you will buy the cowboy boots you've always wanted for $14, which is next to the other vintage shop where your friend will get the sexiest Betsey Johnson heels of all time for an equally great price that you will forget.
  12. Leave good tips. Apparently they think Canadians are bad tippers there. Let's work together to change that!
  13. Pick a neighbourhood and spend the day there. We did The Pearl on day 1, Alberta/Mississippi on day 2, and then Nordstrom's in the morning of day 3 before hitting the road.
  14. The Doug Fir also has attractive wait staff and cheap concerts.
  15. Use Radio Cabs for all your cabbing needs - their drivers are also attractive and have great senses of humour.
  16. FOOD CARTS! Go to them all. Especially Brunch Box with their grilled PB&J shaped like a dinosaur. Don't worry, you don't even need to look for the food carts, they will find you.
  17. Are you rocking the diet-restricted life?  Never fear!  Every single restaurant has dairy, gluten, and animal-product free options and the servers will be happy to indulge your every request.
  18. Get ready to admire the hugely attractive local population - everyone in Portland is beautiful!

Dreamin' is Free

Another dream post!

You'll have to picture all the events of this dream happening in the style of the movies like Water For Elephants or Big Fish. Keep in mind that I haven't actually seen Water for Elephants, and am making major assumptions based on the aesthetics of the trailer I saw with that awesome Florence + the Machine song playing throughout that was probably the only thing making that movie look good at all. Basically, everything in the dream had sort of a vintage-circus-glam-Tim Burton feel to it. The actual contents of the dream, however, were very un-glamorous.

Plane crashes! Murder! Mystery!

Okay, that actually does sound kind of glam, doesn't it?

In true vintage-circus-glam-Tim Burton fashion, I will present you with snapshots of the most dramatic moments of the dream, punctuated by meaningful flashes of light in lieu of the traditional cross-fades, giving the whole thing a sense of heightened symbolism:


I am rooming with a vintage-circus-glam-Tim Burtonesque elderly couple who have a giant home and a huge backyard surrounded by mountains and water that appear to be from another time. Possibly another world.


We witness a slow-motion plane crash happening in the backyard. So slow-motion, in fact, that I have to look away and look back to actually see the advancement of the crash. The plane does not burn or fall to pieces, but slowly crumples into the ground in a rather artistic manner, with the elevated cockpit left untouched.


One more plane crashes, as well as what I later describe as "flying saucers" to someone else in the dream (although there are no aliens present), adding to the the quirkily artful wreckage.


People from plane no. 2 are some kind of vegabonds on the run and don't want us to call 911. Too late. At least the emergency personnel never show up.


Dream-me wakes up in the middle of the night in my very vintage-circus-glam-a-la-Tim Burton bedroom with a larger-than-life-sized bull staring me down at the end of my bed. It charges. I first jump up and manage to hold it off from crushing my by basically planking between it and the wall. A dramatic bead of sweat runs down my delicate, vintage arm. I am trapped betwixt wall and bull! What will I do?!


I manage a daring escape that involves some kind of roll to the side, but the bull is too quick for me and its hind legs crush my lower body. I witness vintage-circus-glam me (with very lovely hair, by the by) twitch with death.


Turns out it wasn't me! In true dream fashion, the victim switches and the old lady who co-owns this home that was crushed in my stead. I, however, know the truth: one of the evil carnies who crash-landed in this home wants me dead. And now there is no one to protect me and no way for me to escape. Every night when I go to sleep I will know that my life is in danger and there will be nothing I can do about it.


I look at the faces of the growing crowd of vintage-circus-glam carnies from a Tim Burton film and try to figure out which one of them might want me dead.




Note: I am actually posting this the day after my birthday, but am dating the post to the date of my birthday for the sake of lying.


Dream Time 2.0

Last night I had a dream that I had holes in my teeth. It was super disturbing! I was looking in the mirror and my teeth had all these little holes in them that made me think of those commercials for Sensodyne F where they show the little tubules in your teeth that the toothpaste fills so that your teeth don't hurt. I vaguely wondered if I should start using Sensodyne F and if other people would notice the holes in my teeth. I felt like they had just looked so good, why did this have to happen now?!?

So, with the help of my roommate, I have researched the meaning behind this dream and it's not pretty.

Option 1: Holes in teeth mean holes in the family - I am going to lose a family member.
This is from yahoo answers and the person who posted the dream in question replied that indeed, their dog died not long after the dream. I shan't accept this option!

Option 2: Low self confidence.
The thing is, that I've actually been feeling pretty good about myself lately. I find I cannot, in good conscience, accept this option.

Option 3: Upcoming health problems.
I guess I can't really come up with a good reason to reject this option except that I don't want to have health problems.

Option 4: I want to give someone a job.
I don't not want to give someone a job. Could this be it?

Option 5: I have uttered false or foul words that are coming back to haunt me.
Honestly? The only thing I could be haunted by these days are some true words that I held myself back from saying. Ya-huh!

In the true fashion of a self-chosen reality, I'm going to go with Option 4. I totally want to give someone a job. That MUST be it.

Thanks, internet, for interpreting my dream!

Toilet Paper

One thing I have learned from living with roommates is that human beings use SO MUCH TOILET PAPER!

Let me preface this by saying that this is not a specific comment on any of the particular roommates I have had, but on every human being (apparently).

But seriously, when I have had my own bathroom all to myself, I feel like I don't use that much toilet paper. When I share, we sometimes go through an entire roll in one day! Is this normal? Is this possible? Seriously, I am looking for advice here. What is the normal toilet paper usage for the average human being?

Factors that may be influencing my perceptions:

-I am generally not home a whole lot, which obviously reduces the amount of TP I'll use at home
-It is quite possible that doubling the amount of people using a bathroom is simply doubling the amount of TP being used and that's what I'm noticing

Text Dating

Is anyone else even a little bit uncomfortable with the amount of text messaging that goes into the initiation of dating someone these days? I think I might be a bit of a fuddy duddy*, and it's not like I have anything to be nostalgic about: despite being a teenager in the pre-cell phone days, I never really dated at all until cell phones and text messaging were already ubiquitous.

Anyways, I get why it's so prevalent: texting is way less scary than a phone call. I mean, making real phone calls barely ever happens these days anyways. Despite totally resisting and hating text messages for years, when I finally buckled and got unlimited texting including in my cell plan, my ratio of airtime vs. text messaging flipped. I went from using over 1,000 minutes a month to 300-500, and easily go through hundreds of texts. At this point, just phoning a friend feels like kind of a big deal, let alone phoning a potential date.

Still, I feel very strongly that text messaging shouldn't be used for conversation, at least not with someone that you don't really know. Someone you're trying to woo. If you're nailing down plans or trying to find each other in a crowd, then yes! Text away! If you want to send a little "hey I had fun last night" note without launching an entire conversations, then go for it.

In fact, the times I feel good about using texts for an ongoing conversation are as follows:
-Someone lives long-distance and you're keeping in touch in real time
-You are already close friends or in an actual "romantic relationship" and are bored/need to talk about something but one of you is in a situation where you can't actually talk

Otherwise, text me for a purpose and then let's get on with our lives.

All this to say, DUDES: think before you text! What are you trying to do? If it's chit-chatty in the least, just call her. If that's too scary or something you don't want to do, then maybe don't call or text her until you have a concrete reason or are willing to talk.

Also, please take the time to write complete words. Or if you can't do that then at least spell the words you do include properly. Believe it or not, we do judge you based on that, and if you can't be bothered to spell a word correctly in a text to me, then I'm going to assume you can't be bothered to do other things correctly with me. Just sayin'.

*Okay, I know I'm a bit of a fuddy-duddy.