Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Now That's Class!

Any guesses as to what these are? I'll give you a hint. We were visiting Brother G and his wife V last night, and they were telling us about their recent trip to South Carolina to visit TC's folks who rented a condo down there this winter. While there, the MIL & FIL insisted that they visit Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede.

At this point you're probably thinking "Oh, so these are the cheesy souvenirs from that visit." You're partly right.

Apparently, when you order wine with your dinner at the Dixie Stampede, it comes in these white, plastic cowboy boots. Which means that sometime during the design of this establishment, someone thought this would be a good idea. And enough of the people in charge agreed with them to make it happen.

The mind boggles.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Ole! Ole! Ole!

Growing up in the Maritimes - where no one really played soccer except that one kid who was kind of wierd anyway - I had never heard of the World Cup. It was swiftly made clear to me in the summer of 2006 that this put me in the minority on a global scale.

Here in Toronto, it is HUGE. There was no way I could have been prepared for the phenomenon that is TO during the World Cup.

Everyone had flags waving from their car windows, over balconies, in windows, on cubicle walls - basically anywhere they could think to put one. Little stores pop up on street corners selling merchandise. At work, every television (and many computer screens) was tuned in to every game, and there was always a crowd of people around each one.

By the quarter finals, it had become a massive, firm-wide event. The flags of the 8 remaining teams were hung at reception, and removed as each team was eliminated. Any games that took place during work hours were projected onto the big screens in the large boardrooms, where we had set up free wings and pizza, as well as fresh popcorn made in the carnival-grade popcorn machines the company rented for the duration (it was my job to make the popcorn - I smelled like butter for weeks!).

TC and I live near one of Toronto's Italian communities, and every time Italy won, we wouldn't be able to sleep at night because of the horns sounding in celebration from the myriad of cars driving up and down the street. And when they won the cup...whoo, boy! More than 20,000 people came to our area to party - and party they did!

This year is shaping up to be much the same, and I'm loving it! I was waiting for the streetcar after work today, and there was obviously some kind of delay as the line stretched all the way to the other side of the station. People were incredibly irritated, and fuses were short. When a TTC supervisor arrived on the scene, he was asked none too politely what the hold-up was. His response? "Mexico just won, and the street was blocked."

What followed is the reason I enjoy the World Cup. All of a sudden, no one was irritated anymore. It made perfect sense to everyone that the street had to be blocked in order to properly celebrate a victory. Complete strangers in line began discussing the merits of various teams, the results of the earlier game between Argentina and South Korea, the annoying-ness of the vuvuzela get the idea.

No other event that I know of brings people together like this - even the Olympics don't really come close. And it's fabulous to see :)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Happy Birthday BB!

On this day, many years ago :), a baby boy was born to a young couple living out east. The years passed and he grew up to become a great guy - quiet but thoughtful, a lot of fun with a wacky sense of humour, hard-working and hard-playing, an all around nice guy. And an awesome big brother who put up with quite a bit from his loud, bossy, easily irritated little sister :)

Today I'm thankful for that guy.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Short & Sweet

This one's going to be short, but oh so incredibly sweet! What am I thankful for this week?

I'm going to be an aunt :)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Change of plans

I think I may have to amend my initial intent for this blog - life is still a bit too crazy for daily posting, so why don't we try this instead: Once each week I will post about something that happened for which I'm thankful, and then as I have time I'll add whatever other little posts strike my fancy.

Something exciting did happen this past week, which I'm incredibly thankful for. After 6 months of paperwork, paperwork and more paperwork, we finally have some movement in our ongoing quest to adopt. Last Thursday we met with a social worker from our local Children's Aid Society to review our application and conduct the preliminary interview. There's still a long way to go before we're placed with a child, but at least this means they're considering us and the process is moving along. The next step is to be assigned an adoption worker who will be with us throughout the process, so here's hoping that won't take too long ;)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Stumbling into a Rabbit Hole

I rarely watch TV. Not that I don't watch TV shows, but I generally prefer to find a show that I like and then watch it on my own schedule on my computer or on DVD. For the past few weeks, though, TC has taken over our computer to watch every episode of The Office (a show I can't stand because it reminds me too much of work), so I've had to resort to flicking through the channels to find something interesting.

And there was a significant amount of flicking. Is it just me, or do most primetime shows that are on right now really bite? There seem to be only a few categories available:

  1. Crime shows, which have become rather predictable and have therefore come to rely on being shockingly graphic or twisted. The one exception I've noticed is NCIS, which tends to pay more attention to character development instead.
  2. Reality shows, which are farther from reality than most fictional shows.
  3. Dramas, which are essentially evening soap operas.
  4. Sitcoms, which are almost all variations of the same situation. The variation comes in the exact nature of the quirks possessed by the couple/family that are the main characters. Again, I do have an exception. TC and I both love Big Bang Theory.

And that's about it! There doesn't seem to be a lot out there, so I was thankful when I happened to stumble onto this program:

I had previously seen Tin Man, which was produced by the same people, and I highly recommend it as well.

What about you folks? Are there any shows that you would recommend to someone who's tired of the same old, same old?

PS - I feel the need to add that I only watch these shows while I'm working on some kind of craft - knitting, crocheting, embroidery and the like. Wouldn't want you to think I sit around doing nothing ;)

Monday, January 4, 2010

It's Not the Place, It's the Company

It was a pleasant surprise, after the insanity of the past few months, to discover that I was actually glad to be getting back to work this morning. At first I thought it was because of the break, and that probably does have a lot to do with it, but after a while I realized that another major reason was that I missed my co-workers.

It's kind of bizarre - I've never developed that kind of attachment to anyone I've worked with before (outside of summer camp, which is a whole different kettle of onions). After giving it some more thought, though, it makes perfect sense. These are the people that I've seen on an almost daily basis for the past few years, and we've recently come through a very stressful group project that required us to really pull together and work as a team to get everything done. That tends to be a major bonding experience.

So today I'm thankful for the people that I work with. They make coming to work a lot more fun than it would be otherwise :)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

We finally have some snow! I know some of you down east are probably sick of it already, but up until today we haven't had any here in TO, so I'm glad to see it :)

Today was the first day I had to pull out the long-johns and wool socks, bundling up in multiple layers of sweaters and my warmest hat & scarf. Love it! It reminded me of all the times as a kid that we got into our snow gear and went outside for hours of fun.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Baby It's Cold Outside

Have you ever gone a little bit shack whacky? By the end of the day yesterday, TC and I decided that we'd been stuck in the apartment for long enough and needed to get out. We made plans to walk down to a little Thai place today for lunch, so that's what we did despite the extremely cold temperatures outside. As a result of this little outing, I'm thankful for 2 things:

1) That there's a Thai place nearby which is MSG-free. I don't often get to enjoy Asian food, since the majority of it contains MSG, so it was great to be able to eat at this place without having to worry that my heart was going to go haywire shortly thereafter.

Amusing side note - there was a guy in the restaurant who entertained us greatly with his continual efforts to impress both the woman with him and the waitress. My favourite part?
Guy: (Trying to impress Asian waitress with his extensive knowledge) Did you know that Thailand was named one of the best places to live? It was Bangkok, actually.

Waitress: (deadpan) Are you sure?

Guy: Uhm...well, it could have was somewhere over there.
Tee hee!

2) Did I mention that it was extremely cold today? We walked to and from the restaurant, about a 25-minute endeavour each way. By the time we got home I was painfully cold, which made me realize how thankful I was for a warm apartment to come home to where I could put on warm, fuzzy clothes and make a nice hot cup of tea while I waited for the feeling to come back in my fingers. My heart goes out to the people who I know will be out on the streets tonight.

Friday, January 1, 2010


Today is the first day of 2010, and the first thing that I'm thankful for is the fact that it's a statutory holiday so I can turn off my blackberry.

One of the long term fallouts of the work craziness over the past few months is that my team is now required to carry the blackberry with us at all times, so that we're always available should an issue arise. I have received emails and phone calls during all hours of the day and/or night on this thing.

It's not a development that I'm especially fond of, so for today I'm going to revel in the fact that no one from work can reach me. I'm unplugged.