Thursday, February 23, 2006

Rx Cuteness

If you've never seen the website go to it. Go now! It's better than Prozak, really.

There's even a write-up in the Alt Health section of Now Magazine that suggests that looking at images of cuteness should have a beneficial effect on your mental health. So when your boss catches you looking at pictures of hedgehogs and kittens instead of the boring spreadsheets you're supposed to be working on, just smile and say it's a doctor-perscribed health treatment. You all believe I'm a doctor, right?

o( )__

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

It gets worse before it gets better

I'm in even more pain today than I was yesterday. It's such a cruel paradox that muscle pain is the worst two days after the offending exercise has taken place. I feel like I've been beaten about the chest and shoulders with a wooden cane. I walk like I left the hanger in the front of my shirt. Who knew I had muscles around my collar bone? Who knew they had the power to freeze my entire upper body. Curse whoever invented barbells!

On the bright side, I bet if someone proposed a robot dance contest, I'd win hands down. Come on, everybody! Get down like it's 1984!

o( )__

Monday, February 20, 2006

Ow, ow, ow, ow!

I let my friend K talk me into accompanying her to her workout class at the gym yesterday. It was arobics with bar bell weight lifting. I hurt in places I didn't even know had muscle!

o( )__

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Is it too early to start thinking about spring?

The amount of glorious sunlight that wakes me up through my south-facing bedroom windows every morning makes it hard to remember that it's not quite spring yet. Nevertheless, it hasn't stopped me from starting to plan my balcony garden. I've never done a lot of container gardening before, so I went to the library (just a few blocks from my place) to get some books on container gardening on balconies. Call me a geek, but I always feel better if I thoroughly research a project before I start it.

While out shopping with Nyron yesterday (for much-needed tall Billy bookshelves from Ikea) we decided to take a trip to Canadian Tire as well and I picked up some seeds. I got some clear plastic egg cartons from a nice freecycler and I'd like to try growing at least some of my kitchen garden from seed. Why?, because then I get to start the whole gardening process much earlier in the year! Of course, I haven't really managed to get a seed to grow into anything since we all planted bean seeds in 3rd grade, so we'll see if the fruits of my labour...well, fruit. In an attempt to get Nyron excited about my little wilderness of edible flora in the making, I let him pick most of the seeds - snow peas, green and red peppers, basil, camomile (for tea), carrots, cucumber, green onions, chives, parsley, peas, and tomatoes. Neither of us really likes tomatoes, but I've never had a tomatoe plant die on me yet, even in drought conditions where everything else withered away. This way, even if my green thumb turns out to be more brown than I'm hoping, I'll have at least one vegetable to show for my efforts. Anyone up for salsa?

As for my vermicompost, it seems to be going well. The only thing that sometimes worries me is the amount of moisture that keeps building up. Every once in a while I find white mold accumulating in the bin. I emailed the question address on Mary Appelhof's website and it was suggested that I take the lid off for a day or two. I've had to do this twice, so far. I'm not adding any water, it's all a biproduct of the worms doing their thing. I wonder if I should be adding more bedding or just keep leaving the lid off once a week. I think I'll go do a search of Yahoo! Groups to see if there's a vermicomposting group I can join to ask questions and get support. I'll come back and update my findings later.

o( )__

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Valentine's Day!

My Velentine's treat to you are two poems. The first is a poem by Stanley J. Sharpless. I don't know if he's a "poet" but this poem won a magazine contest in England for the best poem about the aphrodisiac effects of chocolate. I found it republished in Len Fisher's How to Dunk a Doughnut:

Cupid's Nightcap

Half-pat nine - high time for supper
"Cocoa, love?", "Of course, my dear."
Helen thinks it quite delicious,
John prefers it now to beer.
Knocking back the sepia potion,
Hubby winks, says, "Who's for bed?"
"Shan't be long", says Helen softly,
Cheeks faintly flushing red.
For the've stumbled on the secret
Of a love that never wanes.
Rapt beneath the tumbled bedclothes,
Cocoa coursing through their veins.
Just goes to show the 1950s weren't as puritan as they seem looking back, eh?
The second is one that I wrote a few years ago and that just today won the Valentine's Day Writing Contest that my work put on for the staff (there was also a contest for the students). It's a parody of The Passionate Shepherd to his Love by Christopher Marlowe:
The Passionate Hipster to his Love

Come out with me and be my love
And we’ll the weekend pleasures prove
Of bar and club and Indie show
To look like we are in the know.

After we have seen the band
We’ll sit the patio, beer in hand
And to prove we’re intellectuals,
We’ll wax existential.

We’ll lounge the grass of Philosopher’s Walk
Being a hip enough place to sit and talk.
Languishing, discussing out classes
While you gaze at my Elvis Costello glasses.

And I will buy you beaded rings
Made of Fimo and hemp-woven string
A T-shirt screened with an ironic slogan,
A courier bag all covered with buttons
And because it’s deck (and I’m low in pocket)
It’ll all come fresh from Kensington Market.

As I expound just what my heart meant
We’ll spend alternate nights at each other’s apartment.
My undying love I to you avow,
Well, anyway, at least for now.
My winnings include a hardcover copy of Brick Lane by Monica Ali and a bottle of Henkel champainge.
o( )__

Friday, February 10, 2006

A slight miscalculation

Last week I ordered a half order of biodegradable cups (4 boxes of 1000) to try out in our lounge. When the invoice arrived, we had a bit of a shock - we had completely miscaculated the price difference. When we looked at the invoice for the styrofoam cups we took the price to be the price per box, when in fact it was the cost of the entire order of 8 boxes. So instead of the biodegradable cups being $30 less per box there were actually over $100 more and instead of saving the company $300/month we accidentally spent $400 extra. Oops.

It's really too bad. I still believe that we should try and find a way to use biodegradable cup sin the lounge. The woman I spoke to a Green Shift expressed interest in the price difference between their paper cups and styrofoam cups, so I think I'll send her an email to let her know what kind of pricing comparison they're up against.

0( )__

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Wining and dining

On Thursday I got to represent my company at the Green Tourism Association's 10th Anniversay Wine and Cheese evening (we're not a tourism company, we're a school, but I'm the event planner for the students so I qualified). It wasn't quite as glamorous as it sounds, since it took place at 5:30 at the TD Centre and was entirely populated by people who had just gotten off work and were drinking to take the edge off. It was mainly an opportunity to mix and mingle, but it seemed to me that most of the people there already knew each other and it took me until my second glass of wine to be able to just walk up to someone and start a conversation (I'm a little shy). That person happened to be a tour guide with a tour company that recently sent us promo material in the hopes that we would use them for our student trips. I'm sure our conversation was very informative but, in a distinct downside to the concept of an after-work wine and cheese gathering, I can't remember much of it.

The lovely wine was provided by a local winery, Henry of Pelham Family Estate which is located in St. Catherines. I wish I was enough of a wine connoisseur to be able to talk about it's bouquet and undertones and such (if my friend Yorkshire Soul were here, he'd be able to write a whole review on just the wine) but all I can say was that it was tasty. There was also chocolate by Chocoland Eco-Choco-Art which is a local, family-owned company that produces organic, fair trade, hand-made chocolate "inspired by nature and poetry". Does it get any better? I even got to meet one of the owners, Radmila, who was presiding over her chocolate table and making sure people knew it was there to be eaten, not just looked at - and the chocolates did look beautiful. Of course, the most important part was whether or not they were delicious and they most certainly were. I could have wished she'd brought more varieties for me to try, though. : )

o( )__