Grapefruit for Breakfast

I’ve been thinking about resolutions and suchlike for the last little while. I’m about to embark on a fairly life-altering diet plan (life-altering in the sense that I’m doing this to alter my interaction with food in a big way). And I’m thinking about why I’m doing this.

I haven’t always been overweight, as a very young child I was pretty well regular sized. But marching into puberty (which we all remember with fondness and joy. . . Right. . .), kinda messed up my metabolism as it can for girls and I got heavier. I’ve never gotten really big, cause I’ve never been fully sedentary, but I’ve certainly always had issues with how many pounds I was carrying around with me. It didn’t help to have a grandmother who’d exclaim “Why you so fat?!?” at me every time she saw me. (of course. pots and kettles. I get my Eastern European farmer-peasant physique from her side of the family. if you know what I mean. . .).

I’ve worked through the psychological issues to some extent (I’m still not a fan of the terms “fat”, “chubby”, and “hefty”. but “zaftig” is a great one. so, I’m progressing), with occasional lapses. For instance, about a year and a half ago, I was getting pretty depressed about my unemployment which led to me kinda giving up on going to the gym regularly. Which then had the net effect of me balooning. Well, “balooning” is probably being overly dramatic, but that’s how it felt at the time. Nothing I owned fit right anymore, and I just got more and more discouraged. And it did end up affecting my relationship with the boyfriend a bit at the time (though our forthright relationship definitely helped in that respect). Plus, right around the same time, I got hosed by the CRA (the bastards. erm. maybe I shouldn’t say that on the Internet. . . Ah well.) so I had massive sudden financial woes too.

And I’ve always turned to food for comfort. Luckily, I mostly prefer the making of than eating of food, so I didn’t get really unfit. But I definitely had my fair share. And a bit extra.

But then I got my job last summer, and that’s led to a year of employment, so I’m in a better place financially. And I gave myself a kick in the ass and started swimming more again and going to the gym regularly. And it’s paid off, to some extent, and I’ve definitely worked off the majority of what I gained, and several inches gone has made my closet a friendlier place.

But. And there’s always a but. It seems, that once I was able to relax a little, my body decided that that was it. So I’ve been struggling with minor health issues for the last year or so. Some things have been there prior to this period, but they’ve intensified unpleasantly. And adding more exercise isn’t quite doing the whole trick. So, diet plan! Because, while I generally eat fairly healthily, I do still indulge cravings. Mostly in the carb department. So starting July 9th, I’m going to be trying out the Whole Living 2012 Healthy Living Action Plan thingy. Hopefully it’ll help me decipher what my body does and doesn’t want to be consuming, and I’ll also be able to think more thoroughly about my relationship with food and how I eat.

That’s not to say I’ll stop reading my favourite food blog, nor making the tasty treats she makes, but I’m probably going to be more conscientious about what I eat and the role it plays in my life.

 

This is all feeling like one big First World Problems, amiright? But I think a major problem, in North America especially, is our relationship with food. The amounts we eat, the amounts of unhealthy food we eat, the amount of food we waste, the lack of knowledge about where our food comes from and how to cook simple and healthy and tasty meals. I’m so lucky to be where I am, I have so many advantages that the majority of the human population will never see, and yet I have periods of boredom and self-centredness, and I’ve noticed that “the blahs” are starting to run my life. And I want to stop that in it’s tracks. I want to live life to the fullest, to the best of my abilities. And take charge of my health and well being.

Life is a huge gift, and I want to stop looking that gift horse in the mouth. And this is my way of kicking myself in the ass and getting to it, instead of talking about it endlessly.

 

So this week and next week, I’m going to go to the gym every day after work (yup, EVERY day. well, except for the holiday Monday coming up), I’m going to take the stairs (10 flights!) to work every day, and I’m going to start weaning myself off of the foods I’m going to be avoiding during the cleanse so that I”m ready to start. And I’m so excited! I’m not expecting an earth-shattering revelation, nor a total mind-body transformation. Cause that’s kind of dumb/hokey in my opinion. But I just can’t wait to feel excited when I wake up in the morning. To greet the day with energy instead of a groan and a roll over and a hit that snooze button 17 times. And this is one step to that end.

 

So I had a grapefruit for breakfast. And it was marvelous.

erm. . . .

Would you look at that? The post that vanished showed up!! You get your “I’m back!!” post sooner than anticipated!

Yeah. so. . .

It’s been a little while, huh? It’s not a real excuse, but I have been pretty busy, what with life going on and all.

First there was that head injury (lord, what was that? 4 months ago?? ooops. . .), then I suddenly moved, and work sent me to Sudbury (of all places), and more work and life stuff happened. Like, the boyfriend’s parents came for a long weekend. The dining room chair situation is pretty dire, but we managed to have a great curry dinner (his mum’s Sri Lankan. and the curry, it is tasty), for a Parents-Meeting-For-The-First-Time meal. YAY! Sadly, the boyfriend was recovering from the worst ear infection at the time, so he didn’t enjoy this overabundance of tasty curry as much as he’d like. He’s all better now, and taking better care of his ears, so that’s good.

And other things happened, as it does in life, n’est-ce pas? I actually sat through the ENTIRE 4.5 hours of Philip Glass’ Einstein on the Beach (part of the Luminato Festival here in Toronto)!!!!! It was great (and made my butt sore. TMI for you?)! And then I had very tasty food at Origin (with the boyfriend, and a couple of good friends who also saw that show with us). Good day, last Sunday. REALLY good day :)

And. Believe you me, there has been music and food going on in my life. LOTS OF IT TOO!!!! I got a gig as a (paid!!) soprano soloist at a new church (yup. TOTALLY GAVE UP ST. GEORGE’S ON SUNDAYS!!!!!! And I feel absolutely no regret, so that was definitely the right decision.). I still sing on Wednesdays at St. George’s (of course), and hopefully that’ll continue after the summer break (the new priest likes the service, so that should help). I guess the whole “new priest” thing is pretty big too. There were things that happened, and a new priest had to be found. Life goes on. Though, I hope to get a new church come the fall, since Etobicoke is a bit of a crazy trek on Sunday mornings (thanks to our odd TTC hours that day), and maybe other singing gigs would be awesome. We’ll see.

As to the baking side of things, LOTS OF IT HAS BEEN HAPPENING!!! And rhubarb season is truly marvelous! I’ve been eating too much, of course. But I’ve found something that’ll help me with my long-term healthy fitness/food goals! (more to come) And I found a new food blog obsession (for those who think my attachment to Smitten Kitchen is unhealthy, I say “suck it”. but this one is pretty great too! I’ll have to share some recipes from there as I make them!).

But yeah, life’s been hectic and I’ve even been interviewing for a potential full-time permanent position. No idea if my odds of getting an offer are good, but it’s nice to get an interview anyway! Plus, surprisingly an actual archivist job has come up, so I’ll be applying to that this week too!

I’ve been working on my laissez-faire. We’ll see how that goes ;)

And. Well. There’s this too.

I’m going to participate in A Fashionable Stitch’s (aka Sunni) 2-in-1 sew along!! I don’t know which one I’ll do, there’s a wrap dress or a shirt dress that you can make from the pattern, and I’ll probably end up doing both. . . Hopefully something in my stash will work, or I may need to visit a fabric store in the near future!! I actually just finished a “box blouse” from a tutorial Sunni did recently on her blog, with a lovely Japanese double gauze plaid fabric I got online. A post about that will probably follow shortly!! It’s very comfortable!! And I’m glad I did this on a yarn-dyed plaid, as it made all the straight lines REALLY easy to sew at least mostly accurately :/

Another And. . . In regards to my “new healthy diet, change-up” thingummy. I think I’ve found something to help me reset and start my relationship with food afresh. What??? You may ask. . . Well, through my new food blog obsession, I found a link to the Whole Living online magazine and their 2012 Whole Living Action Plan. And it looks great!! Tough, especially the “giving up alcohol for a month” part of it. But I think it’ll be a good way to really get myself going towards a healthier lifestyle. Though don’t expect me to go sober permanently. Cause that ain’t happening. Just so you know. Also, I hopefully won’t become that person who’s ALWAYS talking about their AWESOME CLEANSE THAT YOU SHOULD ALSO TRY BECAUSE IT IS AWESOME. But I’ll probably talk a bit about what I’m doing, and what the food’s like. I’m really looking forward to it though, and a friend of mine (my fearless leader, actually) is going to try it with me too :) I hope it goes well!

Welp, Dear Internet. How’s that for a come-back post?!

Kinda boring I think, actually… . Oh well, I’ll get my groove back I hope!

I hope you’ve been having a great last few months! Hopefully I’ll be more posty now. Cause I know how much you’ve missed me! Right. . .

P.S. Prometheus = meh. And Fassbender is phenomenal as per usual. Watch it to enjoy him wearing body suits a good 80% of the time. . .

Fail

This won’t be a long one, and don’t expect any pretty pictures, cause I need to go to sleep now. But I thought I’d let you know, Dear Internet, why I’ve been so absent lately.

1. I discovered Pinterest. As you know, I’m mildly (hah) OCD, and this is definitely filling up my available Internetting minutes right now. It’s not at all that I need to PIN ALL THE THINGS RIGHT NOW!!!! Nope . . . Hmmmmmmm maybe I should like my Pinterest to this here blog? Things to think on.

2. I’ve been testing out new recipes like a crazy person. In my looking at changing the diet a little, I’m discovering the joy of lentils, and expanding my knowledge of the awesomeness of quinoa. Pictures may follow at some point. . .

3. I totally gave myself another concussion this weekend. Yeah, I said “another” – this is my second doctor-diagnosed concussion. And they’ve both been due to my problems with standing up near hard edged objects. Damn you, Kitchen Counter!!! I kept on with my mad schedule of baking and cooking ALL THE THINGS this weekend. Cause I’m dumb. And them with less than three hours of sleep on Sunday night, I was pretty much down for the count yesterday (unsurprisingly). Wheee. I discovered the evil of fluorescent lights today. Not that I didn’t already know they were evil. . .

Fail.

4. I’ve been preparing for the Lenten music season – new music and all that.

Anyway. I promise to try to be more diligent about posting, Dear internet. Is that good enough for now? I do have things up my sleeve, just so you know.

Any good new obsessions for you lately??

Acceptable Uses of Houndstooth

Yeah. Don’t like houndstooth. Especially if it’s printed and in stark black and white. Like this:

Fleece houndstooth? WTF??

From Fabric.com

(And don’t ask me why it was printed on fleece of all things. Houndstooth is a fairly conservative and dressy pattern. Fleece is the antithesis of dressy. WTF??) Other colour combinations are preferable. And proper woven houndstooth is the best option.

Anyway, I recently came across an acceptable use of houndstooth:

Current progress on the Teknika gloves

Nothing like non-standard colour choices to help me change my mind :) Probably also the simplified design too. . .

You can find the pattern here, at Knitty.com. If you’re a knitter, and don’t know about Knitty, you’re welcome!! There are actually a few great patterns in that issue, so check the rest of the issue out too! Nothing like freely available patterns, amirit?!? I’m also currently mid-progress on the Vines cardigan, from the Fall 2010 issue, in an excruciatingly gorgeous teal coloured yarn.

Sorry about the overly dark image. . .

It looks pretty navy here, but believe me – gorgeous! I also am mixing the teal wool with a lovely variegated blues and purples wool I found on etsy:

Looks MUCH blue-er in real life

And here’s the colour card for the teal yarn I’m using from the Berroco website. It’s actually (from my monitor anyway) pretty accurate to the real colour:

A photo on the web can't even come CLOSE to how gorgeous this colour is.

And before your start wondering why this blog is called “My life in food and music“, I’d like to share the last two baking projects of mine. That’s right! It’s time to see the final products of my Wine & Cheese baking!

Here are the Bourke Street Brownies, with the genius (if I do say so myself) substitution of dried cherries:

Definitely Sinful. . .

They’re at least twice as tasty as they appear in this photo. And they vanish quickly too, which makes me happy :D  They’re almost entirely chocolate, so they’re definitely melt-in-your-mouth.

And here’s the phyllo appetizer I made:

The tasty innards mixture!

Phyllo might be an ass to work with, but it's sure worth it!

These also miraculously vanished at the speed of light. It’s quite simple too – sautée a bunch of sliced shallots with as much garlic as you like (lots, if you’re like me. . .), add roughly chopped mushrooms of whatever varieties you like (about a pound), then add a cup or so of white wine (whatever you like to drink), and cook covered for a few minutes. Take some sundried tomatoes you’ve soaked in hot water (to plump them up), chop them, and add to the mushrooms. Cook the mixture, stirring occasionally until the liquid has almost completely evaporated, but before the mixture has started to stick resolutely to the pan. Mix together with chopped parsley and basil (however much you like) and add a bunch of panko breadcrumbs and grated parmesan cheese, and season to your taste. Let it cool and then make it up like spanakopita (use the Smitten Kitchen’s recipe – works well for me. Though I use olive oil, instead of melted butter, as a nod to healthfulness. . .).

And, on the music side of things, I’ve been madly learning my part for a piece we’re going to sing in a couple of weeks:

(this is my first video post, so hopefully it works. . .)

I’ve been listening to this recording nearly nonstop for the last few days. Nope, not obsessed at all. Not me. Nuh uh. . .

We, obviously, won’t be having instrumentalists as it’s just us singers. But nevertheless it’s such a gorgeous piece and I’m beyond thrilled we’re going to attempt it!! We’re actually going to be rehearsing this coming Friday (also playing Catan!), looking at things for the Lenten season, and the ATB/TTBB stuff we’re going to sing on Ash Wednesday since our lovely soprano will be off in New York that week. We’ll also be looking at Ronan’s Tenebrae, which are liquid in their gorgeousness. Cannot wait!

I have a substandard Valentine’s Day planned – doctor’s appointments – and an interview on Wednesday to look forward to as well (I’m not at all nervous, why do you ask?), so the Love Day itself isn’t really on my radar. Plus, with the boyfriend’s insane schedule, it’s unlikely we’ll be able to spend time together tomorrow. . . Ah well, our anniversary is in a month, it’s not like Valentine’s has an enormous place in our hearts . . .

How about you, Dear Internet? Any chocolate-based plans for tomorrow?

Hey there, Epiphany! Didn’t see you coming. . .

I was sitting on the bus, on my way home from work. I had opened my massively large book:

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(Book 1 of Neal Stephenson’s Baroque Cycle: Quicksilver)

Only to find, what seemed like only moments later, that I was suddenly at the subway stop already. I’d gotten so caught up in the story that time stopped for me, even as it whizzed by all around me. This made me think of one of the other books I’m currently reading (yup. I read several books concurrently. Deal with it), the most recent in George R R Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series. Which I’m finding REALLY hard to get through right now. And I’ve been blaming the writing’s short-comings (which may yet be a factor), but now I wonder. Because I’m reading that series on my new e-Reader. . .

So my Epiphany was this: I don’t think I can get totally immersed in The Story if I’m not reading from a Real Book. Maybe it’s a sense-memory thing (Maybe it is the not-quite-but-almost dreadful writing. Or maybe it’s the Martin-style Waiting To See Which of My Favourite Characters Gets Killed Next), but I’m really having trouble with A Dance of Dragons. . . It might be different if I’d grown up with reading from a screen, who knows. But Real Books? They’re just better. For me, anyway.

Now. That’s enough introspection. Here’s some stuff I’ve been meaning to post!!

Knit bunny toy!!

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Pattern from Last Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson (and beautifully photographed by Anna Williams). It was SUPER-EASY to knit up, and lots of fun too! I can’t wait to make my elephant version!! I also got a commission to do one for another friend who just had her first child. I’m happy to report that a collective “Awwwwwwwww!!!!!” rose from the ranks of the baby shower where the little guy was unearthed And I apparently need to get More Last Minute Knitted Gifts now. . . When will it end???

And here’s the present all wrapped up, for those of your who have a wrapped present porn fetish:

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(I did in fact knit those carrots too. They’re from the Mochimochi Ninjabun pattern)

I also gave them a copy of the obligatory, and seminal, Pat the Bunny (I detect a theme!!), and my mom graciously donated one of her Tree of Life knit baby blankets (she kind of knits them compulsively, and we have at least three hanging out in our linen closet, waiting to find a new home. . .). No pictures of that, so you’ll just have to imagine it – it’s a creamy white, and ridiculously soft, as the new synthetics can only be. Synthetic yarn, you ask? Well, it’s hypo-allergenic AND easily washable! Perfect for baby blankets!! :D

And here is a raft of pictures of food I’ve made!!!! Take a look!!

Portugese Custard Tarts!!

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Though, I have to tweak the recipe as the custard isn’t quite what I was hoping. The dough is super-cool to make. I’ll have to tell you about that sometime. . .

Here’s a tease:

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Ingredients!! For an appetizer I’m making for the Wednesday Candlelight post-Service Wine & Cheese. The Quintet is doing the food this week! This stuff, when combined with the Dreaded Phyllo Pastry, will become (hopefully) a nice tasty treat!! I’m only not quite sure about it cause I kind of totally made it up. Though, mixing up various mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, shallots, garlic (LOTS of garlic), Gewurtztraminer, panko, fresh basil and parsley, and freshly grated parmesan all wrapped up in a crisp and rich phyllo pastry crust is going to have to work damn hard to be inedible. . . Just sayin’. I’ll take pictures of the finished products when they’re assembled, promise!! And I’ll let you know how people liked them too ;)

More teasing:

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I forgot to take a picture of the finished product (yup, gonna have to wait on that one too, Dear Internet), but all those photos? Those disparate pictures show the makings of my sinfully delicious brownies!! They’re from the Bourke Street Bakery cookbook – the dark chocolate and prune brownies. And before your brain explodes in disgust, let me tell you that 1. You start the recipe by soaking the prunes IN BRANDY for three, count them 3 days; and 2. I use dried cherries instead of prunes . . . Yes. It is made of awesome. I do intend, at some point, to make them as the recipe instructs, but not quite yet. All the dark dark dark chocolate, the lovely cocoa (and yeah, TOTALLY using the Valrhona cocoa for these. . .) and the sweet tartness of the cherries, WITH BRANDY??? These are pretty special brownies. Though, not that kind of special, just FYI. Not that there’s anything wrong with those brownies, per se.

I found out last night that I’m definitely in teenage-starry-eyed-first-love with the baking scale I got for Christmas this year . . .

I also need to show you my progress on the knit solar system (no photos yet) – I only have Saturn left to finish. Plus all the FINISHING. . . And I have two skirts to make, and my Colette Sencha blouse (I’ll actually be making a wearable muslin of it too – Shock! Horror!!! Cause I have a BOATLOAD of this lovely turquoise Kona cotton, and why not?? I have plenty of buttons. . .).

And in Katie’s Actually Going To Be Moving Out This Year!! News: I just found out that my parents will actually get me a new sewing machine for my birthday XD I so excite!!

So, apropos of nothing really, here’s a bunch of books I want (I’ll have to show you some of my Amazon wishlist sometime too, so you get a better sense of the crazy. . .):

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(totally bought the above already. . . Nope, not at all compulsive. . . Nuh uh. . .)

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Enjoying the photo-bombing so far?? Here’s some more!!

This is a dress I saw in the Holt Renfrew window display that I NEED TO HAVE!!! Even if I’m not willing to um pay the (I’m assuming) roughly 700$ it would probably cost there. . . Here’s a photo:

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And here’s where I’ve become Internet Famous!! Ok, not exactly. But that’s where the lovely Adventurous Dressmaker answered my question about what patterns I could use to approximate said awesome dress!! Wheeee!! Pattern bought, so all I have to do now is figure out what fabric to use. . .

Some more goodies. . . A coat!!

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I stumbled across it on Dear Golden Vintage’s etsy site. I thought “Awesome coat! It’ll never fit me!” then I looked at the measurements, and sure enough I was wrong – my size!! And even with conversion to CAD from USD, and with shipping, I got this lovely beauty for less than 100$!!!!! Some indications (sleeves that are a few inches too short, belt that hits me a good two inches above my natural waist. . .) that point to this coat being originally for someone several inches shorter than me. But I don’t care! It otherwise fits awesomely! And I lurve it :D

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That, above, is a terrible photo of an AWESOME snack I made yesterday in the middle of my serious cooking/baking-palooza: red lentil spread!! It’s a Donna Hay recipe in her Off the Shelf cookbook. Super-easy and packs a nice flavour punch. Especially since I add smoked paprika and cayenne to it. And extra garlic. Of course. There’s some in my lunch today :) Just so you know, Dear Internet, I made the brownies, the filling for the phyllo appetizers, Home-made Mac-n-Cheese (Mom makes the cheese sauce, and I do the everything else. And since we add tons of veggies and canned tuna, that’s more than people usually do with the dish. So you don’t think I’m just being a whiney baby. Not that I’m not a whiney baby. . .), AND the lentil spread. That’s a lot for one evening. I was standing for a good 5 hours straight. Oh the first world problems I have. . .

Spangly dress I saw in a crazy dress shop window during a Queen Street window-shopping trip with a good friend, and fellow Whovian (whom i have also infected with love for the new BBC Sherlock series. ) :

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Awesome silver shoes I bought during said “window-shopping” trip. . .

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But they are awesome and cost 50% off the original price, so I forgive myself. . . I’m going to wear them to the two opera productions I’m seeing in the next few months!! In the interest of full disclosure, that “window-shopping” trip netted me those shoes as well as five different belts. . . Oooops . . . This belt was so awesome, I just had to have it though:

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Seriously awesome. And also 50% off. But now I’ve been researching the company that made this belt (Brave, in Toronto), and there’s at least five other belts I now covet. . . Including this gorgeous obi belt. . . Only 90$. . . But . . . Sigh. . .

And now for something completely different: the new subway train!!!!

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I finally got to ride the new train!!!!! I got a second ride Monday night, so I’m felling like a proper Torontonian now!

I think that’s enough for one day, don’t you, Dear Internet?? I’ll leave you with today’s sunrise, as viewed from the window near my office. Sorry about the not-too-awesome quality. . .

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I have something I’d like to say

Okay. So. I’ve been a little busy. Preocupied, even. 12 job applications in the last 2 weeks, attempting (and sadly failing) to finish my knit solar system (Damn you, Pinched Nerves!!), planning some baking (brownies, and phyllo appetizers!! Photos to come! I promise!!!) and all the other things that fill my life full to bursting, leaving me to ignore you, my Dear Internet. An unforgivable crime, I know.

But. Today, on my way down to the subway level (and I’ll admit, I was preoccupied with my thoughts at the time and might not have paid attention as well as usual), I ended up cutting off some dumb biddy (not that I’m feeling annoyed or anything) to get down the stairs. I was going round a corner, fairly quickly as is my wont, and heard this muttered “Christ!!” behind me. Oh, I’m sorry, Slow Person! Did I go too fast for you to realize I’d get to that spot before you did?? Also, how is it my fault that I got there first? I wasn’t trying anything, You. Walked. Into. Me.

And it’s hard not to add “Dumbass.” there at the end. . .

I’ve been having various conversations on this theme lately, one at lunch today even – the Rudeness in Public Transit Conversation. Or possibly the Thoughtlessness in Public Transit Conversation. Well, they’re basically the same thing, aren’t they?

People push in front of you to go slowly, people stand at the top/bottom of staircases or in doorways obstructing the way, etc. ad nauseum. And apparently, people resent others who go faster than them.

But. Why should I have to be the one who makes way all the time? Why do I have to pay attention to EVERYTHING ALL THE TIME?? I’m the one who moves out of the way on the sidewalk when the person going the other way doesn’t move out of my path. I’m the one who let’s the other person go first, the one who let’s someone have the seat I wanted, even when I’m having a terrible headache and really need to sit down. Not that they ask, in general.

So what if, on occasion, I don’t bow to other people’s needs? How often have I missed my train/bus/etc. because of staying behind the Slow Person Who Takes Up The Whole Pathway??

/rant

How was your day, Dear Internet?

And, just so you know, there will shortly be a much less rant-y post to follow. . .

I LOVE that “aaarrrrggghhh” is my most used category. . .

Yup. Thanks, Category Cloud, for summing up my life so beautifully. I was happy until the post I was writing decided to vanish after I tried to add a link . . . AAARRRRGGGHHH indeed. . .

Anywho – I’ll try to recapture what was lost through the judicious application of that thing called “memory”. I know this is strange for you, Dear Internet, so bear with me.

First off, I made a totally new recipe (for me) last night (between work and singing, and then after singing too). And there are photos. Which you won’t see until I’ve tried one of the items I baked and decided how I feel about it. And after other people have eated them and told me if they are any good or not. I will say that custard was involved, and said custard was quite tasty, if I do say so myself. My dad agrees, but I really don’t know if that’s an endorsement that will carry much weight for you. Especially when I tell you that my dad? If it’s not too vinegary for him, he likes it and eats several portions of it until it is gone. And no, he’s not fat. He’s not even that unhealthy (though, there was a recent heart-health scare, that has made him realize that he can’t eat like a 20-year-old forever – damn you cholesterol!). For which I am daily annoyed. Damn you, hormones!

I have a cute bunny knit up (with cute wee knitted carrots!) that I need to remember to photograph for your viewing pleasure too. So expect custardy things and bunnies in your future!

I was also writing about how “productive” my day is going today (as evidenced by this blogging that I’m doing currently). Though, I do own that the bulk of productivity for me today lies in the Spoonflower (check out my blog roll thingy, cause links, they won’t work. . . dumb computer) searching I’ve done. You should see my list of “OMG!!! SOOOOOOOO CUTE!! I WANTS IT!!!!!!!” fabrics that is steadily growing. The number of times my clicker has hovered, whistfully/longingly/anticipatorially/tentatively, over that “Buy Now!” button. Because, for some reason, print on demand fabric isn’t all that cheap (it’s not unreasonably priced for the quality of fabric they seem to carry, but it’s still pricy in comparison to the discount online stores I frequent. [Aside: Remind me to tell you about the plaid fabric I fell in love with on Waechter’s online store. Not a discount store, that one. Oh well.] Though, I (proud/sad to say) have not purchased anything from them (i.e. Spoonflower). YET. . . Cause, topiary fabric? medieval besitary fabric? mushrooms? sea creature “paisley”? knitting/sewing/baking novelty fabrics (APRONS! OH THE APRONS!!!)? pigeon paisley!?!?!!??? OCTOPUS paisley? constellations? “SQUIDAMASK”???!!!??? and SKIRT PATTERN FABRIC?????? YES PLEASE! I’d be linking to all of these gems, except, as metioned above, LINKS DON’T WORK HERE RIGHT NOW!! sigh.

Not that I’m excited or anything. . .

Anyroad – Spoonflower, it is awesome (and no, I’m not being paid to say that. Notice the lack of specific advertisers?). And I will eventually make a yard or two (or five) of these beauties mine own. And even if they only end up being used as facing/pocket bags (like to make pockets, not purses. though purses could work too, come to think of it)/linings, they will make me happy. And that’s what matters, isn’t it? Might as well do what you can to make yourself happy in this life (without negatively impacting others, of course), cause it’s never long enough, is it.

My life is pretty full right now, so I think I’ll type out a handy-dandy bullet point list for you, Dear Internet, of all the up-coming projects on my plate. In no particular order, the ones that come to my head are:

  • Solar system mobile (for a tiny new person who’s just joined us here on Earth), using MochiMochi’s Teeny-Tiny earth pattern as inspiration. The Sun is taking for bloody ever, and I’m not even trying to get it in scale. sigh. Mecury and Pluto both only took a couple of  minutes though, so I guess it balances out a bit.
  • Work on my CV and cover letters for several jobs that have come up that I want to apply to in the next couple of weeks
  • Knit up the Teknica gloves (for me, cause I’m that selfish) from the Winter 2011 Knitty Magazine (huh. should link to that in my blog-links-thingumy) - you use conductive thread in the thumb and forefinger, so that YOU CAN HAVE WARM HANDS AND SMART PHONES TOO in the wintertime. Since it is finally getting a little Winter-y up here in the Great White North
  • Sew up two new skirts from remnants (i.e. the FOUR extra yards I got. Cause it was such a good price. . .) of the wool/silk blend herringbone suiting I used as a trim on my Fancy Dress for the wedding I attended this past Fall (have I shown you photos of said Fancy Dress? I forget. I’ll check on that and get back to you): one pencil skirt, and one wrap skirt
  • Sew up a new dress, possibly using the Coffee Date Dress pattern so generously made available on The Selfish Seamstress’ site (see my blog list-roll do-hicky over there on the right-hand side of the screen. Cause, links. . . Remember?) or one of the patterns from the Built by Wendy Dresses book (do an amazon/chapters search, cause I’m lazy. and . . . do  I need to say it?), out of this great large-scale check (in soft blues, greys, and greens) dupioni silk I got for like half off (yaaaayyyy! discount fabric web stores!)
  • Silk blouse (you should see the colour – blue-ish teal-y awesomeness!) from the Colette Sencha pattern
  • Clean my bedroom. Cause it’s making my OCD soul scream in agony. Constantly. So annoying
  • Bake a tasty treat for a singing rehearsal with the Valrhona cocoa I got for Christmas. Lucky girl, or what? I’m thinking the Brownie Cut-Out Cookies, for ice cream sandwiches. Cause nothing is better for singing than chocolate AND dairy products!!
  • Prepare for our first Wednesday night octet. And It Is Going To Be Awesome. That is all.
  • (not actually all, sorry to psych you out there)
  • Make myself (see?? so selfish. . .) a stuffed elephant (same base pattern as the Upcoming Bunny), cause it’s been calling out to me for the past five years and I’ve YET to make her. Which is just rude of me, when you think about it.
  • Look for a new sewing machine, for when I move out. Cause the Huskvarna, it is not the awesome, and why should I get to take it with me when I move out anyway? My sister sews a bit too, so that would be extra-selfish. A helping I’m not ready to take (i don’t kow if your brain is going to follow the logic of that, as my brain is notoriously weird when it comes to logical progressions, but I’m leaving it in cause it makes me happy). Looking at the economical Bernette line from Bernina, but I’ll let you know what I think when I’ve tested one out.
  • Start on that whole find-out-what’s-going-on-in-my-innards medical testing thing I’ve been meaning to get the ball rolling on. . .  

So yeah. . . That’s me for the next little while.

Maybe I’ll start working on finishing uploading all those Newfoundland photos. . . Heh.

See you laters, Dear Internet!

Feienabend

(sorry for the blog-silence, I’ve been busy. . . )

Just so you know, Dear Internet, I don’t actually know German. (And yes, the title of today’s post is in German! how exciting!). Well, I do know a few words and phrases in German, learned from my mom (and singing some songs in German as a kid) who grew up there. So I can pronounce German (well, one dialect anyway) but pretty much understand none of it.

It pretty much translates to “celebrate the evening” – it’s the moment where you can all of a sudden relax and enjoy some free time, put up your feet, and (in North American parlance) veg out. It’s really just a perfect word, and marvelously describes a feeling I have always had in my life, the joy of being able to suddenly have all the remaining time in the day all to myself. For me, this is especially important because it means that I can turn off, reset, and be myself. I’m rarely ever completely myself with other people, and it is supremely exhausting to go through a day consisting of public transit, work, conversations with colleagues, more conversations with colleagues, lunch – more conversations with colleagues, talking talking talking, meetings, then when work is done, more public transit. And if I’m going to the gym, there’s further human interaction and public transiting. And there is only so much talking with people that I can take.

So I really do take a moment, once I’ve gotten home and started to unwind, to realize that – HUGE sigh of relief – I don’t have to talk with ANYONE for the next several hours. I can work on my crafty projects, surf the Intertubes, blog, internet window shop, nap, ANYTHING!! And it is amazing.

Feienabend is pretty much up there with schadenfreude (for me) of awesome words/concepts. So I thought I would share it with you, Dear Internet!!

And, speaking of projects. . .

The boyfriend’s sister has two young girls and apparently could not find nice mittens with idiot strings (you know, the ones that keep your children’s mittens from constantly vanishing??). She guesses that it’s a liability issue – if a child can strangle itself on something, even if it’s you know useful, it cannot be sold anymore. . . So she asked me to make a couple pairs for her girls. So I went looking for a challenging and pretty pattern that would be fun for MY FIRST KNITTED MITTEN PROJECT EVAR!!! YAY!!!!!

So I went to Knitty.com to look for options. And I found this pattern:

Matrix mittens

And, well, I couldn’t say no! I’ve only recently started to plumb the depths of two-colour knitting, so this was a perfect project to further develop those skills. Very quickly as it turns out, since it took less than a week to knit four mittens, their respective idiot cords, finish them, and sew linings for them out of polar fleece. FAST PROJECT, guys!!! Check out the pattern here!!

Here are the mittens I made!!

First project 2012 - Completed!

You use a fairly chunky yarn, so they really knit up fast. And I went a little Mod with my colour choices :)  My mom was skeptical that the fuschia and mauve went together, apparently, but did own that they look really cool, once made up in the pattern. I love playing strong colours off each other. And the underlying blue to both colours helps them work quite well together, I think.

And now for our close up. . .

Another pair of mittens!!

So, there you have it, Dear Internet. The reason I’ve been too busy to blog for the last week.

I’m hoping to post about my hike along the Humber River last weekend sometime soon. And you’ll be hearing about my other ongoing projects as they get completed. . . One hint though, to keep you on tenterhooks: there will be more knitting. Surprise! Bet you didn’t guess that one!

Hopefully I’ll be baking soon too – a new recipe has caught my eye! Oooo!!! And there’s my 8-part choral experience coming that I will be telling you about so, rest easy, Dear Internet! I have lots up my sleeve for the next little while ;)

I hate computers

Yes that’s right. I said it. Computers effing suck sometimes.

I was about to finish a nice little nostalgic post, but this stupid site effed up and instead of loading a link I was adding to the post, it MADE THE POST VANISH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So you’re going to have to wait for the nice, nostalgic post until I’m less about stab someone. That is all.