I went to the Byward Market in Ottawa this weekend and had a fantastic time! There is something special about the Byward Market...it's not as bohemian or pretentious as Kensington, not as crowded as St. Lawrence and much more 'homey' than the Queen Victoria in Melbourne. It was a beautiful, sunny day, and I was able to snap a picture of these cute little painted pumpkins.
There's this huge pimp-looking guy that rides a stupid electric bike to work each morning. It's dumb. It's half motorcycle, half scooter...it's just ridiculous. He always cuts me off and never signals. He rarely obeys the rules of the road. It's very frustrating.
Today, he decided that instead of riding on the road, he was going to ride on the sidewalk. Keep in mind that this guy was probably going at least around 20km/hr - this is dangerous to have on the sidewalk!
About a minute into his ride, a police officer popped out from around the corner of the building and stopped this guy. I didn't see what happened, but this guy totally got his ass handed to him and I hope -HOPE- he got a ticket. Stupid guy.
Cool weather, crisp air, leaves changing and baking; fall is here! I love it when the house smells like spicy orange-date loaves or roasting vegetables, and I can't get enough of long walks with warm coffee, sunshine and a cool bite to the air. I love love LOVE the fall!
I was listening to the radio the other morning and there was a commercial advertising for a milk program at elementary schools. It reminded me of being in elementary school and going every lunch to grab myself a milk. I wasn't a juice girl, I wasn't a pop girl;
I was a 2%, white milk child.
Since I bought milk every day, I had my name entered in (every day) to win "Milk" prizes and won a bunch of them. I have a notebook with cows dancing on the front of it, another notebook with cow spots, a wallet with someone surfing on a glass of milk...I won a ton of things from Milk.
In Toronto you don't fall asleep to the sound of crickets; you fall asleep to the sound of old Chinese women rustling through your recycling bin, looking for bottles to return to the Beer Store.I hear they make good cash.
I realized last night that biking can be very enjoyable and relaxing when you're not zooming around trying to get somewhere quickly. I tend to try and get places fastfastfast when I'm on my bike, but if I take my time and enjoy the ride I can see a lot more and don't get all sweaty and gross at the end of it. Imagine that.
We've been doing a "Biggest Loser" competition at my workplace and today was our final weigh-in. Everyone threw $100 in the pot and had a goal to lose 7% of their body weight between June 1st and Aug 31st. I was worried I wasn't going to make it and even got up extra early today to go to the gym and workout/sweat my ass off in the sauna.
Turns out I made it (and then some!) Yeah! That means I'm down 17lbs in three months. Bam.
TrainerJamie says that I'm working out a lot and should be losing more weight than I have been. I'm guessing this means calorie restriction and tightening up on my diet. Ugh. Goal is to lose another 15 by end of October.
Anyways, I suppose this post was a tad more "personal" than most days...but not losing $100 really made me smile.
Today I smell good, I look good, the bike ride into work was good and I even had 10 minutes to spare so I grabbed a coffee from Tim's; it's sunny and cool, I got a few cheques last night so I can pay a bill or two, got to bed at 10:15pm so I feel nice and rested...
I told my trainer that I was going to have sushi for dinner. Here’s the conversation:
“TrainerJamie: Okay, so what will you eat? Jenny: Brown rice, avocado rolls, veggies…no raw fish. TrainerJamie: Avocado? Be careful. There’s a lot of fat in them. Good fat, but still fat. Jenny: Good fat! Like me! TrainerJamie: Yes, just like you. You’re my little avocado roll.”
He called me his little avocado roll. Isn’t he the cutest?! He’s single, ladies…
Call it whatever you want - "fate", "coincidence" or "walking the blueprint of life" - but when you run into someone in a place you'd never think to see them, it always makes my stomach vibrate. Earlier this week I ran into an old friend in my building at work. As it turns out, she is on a temp assignment for the entire month just six floors below me. This has happened once before with another friend that was in the building for a week. It totally floors me.
If I hadn't left work five minutes late and chatted with my co-worker for two minutes in the lobby, I never would have walked by her and we could have gone the whole month not knowing that we were working so closely together. Think of all the wasted lunch dates and after-work drinks!
This happens all the time, it seems. You run into someone you haven't seen in ages who just happens to be at that exact same spot at the exact same time. Impressive for a city so huge. Even more impressive when it's in another part of the country or overseas.
I don't know what it means or why it happens, but I do know that it makes me giddy whenever it does. And hey, now I have a lunch partner for the month, which makes me even happier!
The older I am, the more excited I get for my friends when good things happen to them. Weddings, babies, trips, promotions, new houses...I genuinely share in their excitement and love to see them happy.
...even though I'm sure I get a tiny bit jealous every now and then.
There are a ton of homeless people in the city, and the creative, quirky and friendly ones always make me smile. A guy outside my workplace last night had a sign that said “Obama wants change…so do I!”; the man that I see various places around town dressed in red, holding a sign under his bushy beard that says “The sleigh broke down”; the guy that sits outside of Lee’s Palace who I tried to give a granola bar to once and he refused – he was lactose intolerant and the bar was coated in chocolate. There were two guys in my old neighbourhood that loved reading so I always gave them my old books. They would joke around with me and brag about how fast they finished the latest Dan Brown or Mark Billingham I gave them. There’s a man who holds the door for people at Tim Horton’s who always comments on my rosy cheeks and says I have a beautiful glow. I wouldn’t necessarily call these people optimists, but it’s always nice to see people who are so down and out be polite, friendly and have a sense of humour.
"I write you with pain and saddness and tears in my eyes. You do not know me but..."
I finally got one of those "My father died and left me $6 billion in an account, but I can't access it because I live in Nigeria" email scams. It makes me feel in the loop and like I should be on Dateline. Just another small, ridiculous thing that made me laugh.
You drag your feet to the gym, dreading every step and wishing you could just eat a cheesy pizza instead. Eventually, though, you get there and start working out. Amazingly your body says "YEAH!" and goes with it and before you know it you're doing one of the hardest workouts of your life, pushing yourself more and more. Walking out of the gym your cheeks are red, your head is high and your body is totally buzzing. You can feel the blood running through your veins and the air in your lungs, and even your eyes seem to see a bit brighter. It's one of the few times you won't crave junk, but instead want veggies and a healthy protein (well, at least it's that way for me) and maybe some chocolate milk for dessert (c'mon, I can't always be a health-nut). That high stays with you for a good long time after you work out and it kinda makes all the sweat, money and denial of pizza worth it.
As a receptionist, about 75% of the office walks by me multiple times a day. Over my time here I have given them nicknames, have inside jokes with most of them, know about their lives and they know about mine. It's always nice to see someone walk in, give them a genuine smile and get one in return. Sometimes words aren't even spoken; I get numerous high-fives and fist-pumps each day without every saying anything else to the person. I'm pretty lucky to have such great co-workers.
You're on the train, casually doing the crossword at the back of the free newspaper. You get a few words here and there, but you're no professional crossworder by any means. Suddenly an answer pops into your head and you write it down...which leads to you getting another answer and another and another! You're on a roll! A total hot-streak, filling squares in with vigour and pride. You get a giddy sense of excitement knowing that you filled in those words bam-bam-bam, and take a look around to see if anyone was watching. No one looks at you, but you thought you saw a lady's eyes turn away quickly when you brought your head up. You're one huge step closer to finishing the puzzle and look even harder for another
They sit on their front porches, dressed in colourful frocks or all-black outfits, staring at the street that lies beyond manicured lawns and altars to the Virgin Mary. Faces set to an unamused frown, they watch you shamelessly as you walk by; women quietly, men sometimes louder, yelling "Bella! Bella! Buonjourino!" They talk to neighbours in loud Italian, laughing and yelling from street to porch. One time, I even saw an old Italian woman -dressed in a moomoo and slippers- run out to her son's car as he was leaving, shouting in Italian and waving a Tupperware container filled with food. There was snow on the ground and she hobbled back to her home slowly, but she was happy that he would be well-fed.
Often times you can see these sweet old grandparents sweeping their porches, walkways, sidewalks and even the street in front of their house, f
ollowed closely by a quick spray-down with the garden hose. There are many puddles on sunny days in a Little Italy neighbourhood.
There are few things nicer than waking up slowly on a Saturday morning to sunshine and birdsong. Your eyes flutter open and you see blue skies and fluffy white clouds out the window (if you're lucky enough to have a view of the sky!) Somewhere in the distance birds chirp and squirrels chatter. You look at the clock and decide, with a big stretch and a slight pillow-reposition, to stay in bed a few minutes longer.
You're sitting at a restaurant, slowly sipping away on a beverage of your choice and notice that your drink is almost finished. Shortly thereafter, your server brings you another drink - FREE OF CHARGE! Free refills keep coffee warm and pop bubbly.
The art of dressing a salad is a skilled one. Too much dressing and you can't taste the salad, too little dressing and the salad tastes like the cheap iceberg lettuce you bought because you were trying to save money. When you get the perfect amount of dressing, life feels right. Balanced. Your salad is complete.