Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Family Moments

For most of my life I have had a 'maternal instinct'. While at this point I have no children, I do tend to be the one with a purse full of granola bars, directions laid out, and tickets pre-ordered. It's what I do. I think I've said it before that I want kids but find it hard to tell people because they assume I mean NOW. Are you kidding me? Why would I ruin what I have going right now with a baby? Not a chance. Kids, family.... SOMEDAY LATER. I feel there is no harm or threat in saying that.

Tonight I saw 'The Blind Side' with Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw. I feel it necessary to mention Tim as he is primarily a country music star but nailed one of his first large acting roles. That and, well, he's hot. Moving on... not to give away too much of the plot but at one point the family is preparing a kid to go to university. They are at the campus and showing them around, explaining the cafeteria, how much to study, etc. It was a really sweet moment, sending the kid off to the big world of University, leaving his family. It got me thinking about when I started university. I didn't have the grand drop-off and move-in experience with my family. It's not exactly a life-changing moment, after all, I turned out fine-ish. However, it was a pretty big moment in my life, the type of thing that, while I didn't need the HELP of my family, would have been nice to SHARE with my family.

My family is not from around here and so I was packed up at home and my brother and I drove halfway across the country together. My brother had already started school and so he was returning after a trip home and I was going to start school for the first time. I imagine my parents figured I had my brother, who was attending the same school, to show me the ropes and so I'd be fine. My aunt helped out and we all carted ourselves to my residence to move me in.

At this point, I had been to campus once to see my brother, but that hardly counts as I saw nearly nothing. I had no perception of what a university campus was like and what to look out for. There had been no build up to choosing a residence and emailing my Don or my new roommates. It wasn't so bad to figure out but it's not something that's fun to do alone. I really had NO CLUE what I was getting into.

Back to my maternal instinct. In the movie, it's a really precious moment when the family is so proud and attempting to send their kid off with as much preparation and advice as possible. I would have really enjoyed having my family with me that day, merely as support as I started something very new and foreign. I have no remorse towards my parents as there was really no way they could have been there. I just know that when it comes time for my kids to start off at a big new school, that I will try to make it as easy for them as possible and that it is important to me to see them off on the start of their massive journey into (attempted) adulthood.

What pinnacle moments in your life did you find it was especially nice to have your family there with you? What moments do you wish your family was or wasn't there for?

Monday, December 07, 2009

How do you feel about your embarassing moments?

A few months ago I decided I was going to cut back on partying a bit. I was thoroughly sick of hangovers (you'd think I'd learn after the first one...) and I was also sick of waking up the next day and remember what stupid things I had said or done. Not that I was off the handle or anything, just a little too relaxed with the brain-to-mouth filter. While I have had many more productive mornings as a result, I'm still finding myself cringing over things I've said or done. I don't think I'm doing anything especially out of the norm, I just feel that once I'm in public in a high-intensity situation (packed bar) I tend to just talk without thinking. It's a terrible habit and I have no idea how to stop it, if it's really that bad, or if I'm completely out in left field.This started on a long train of thought back to first year university and all the stupid things I did as a 17 year old. While part of my brain is saying "ugh I can't believe I did that!" the other part is saying "...how likely is it that anyone else remembers it?"

To compare that last thought I tried to think of stupid things I might have witnessed my friends doing or saying to see what I remembered and how I felt about it. Honestly, I came up pretty empty. I love my friends to death and I'm certain they've done ridiculous things that are embarrassing and cringe-worthy but I honestly don't remember them as such. I had a friend rock star* the hallway outside of my apartment one night and I don't remember it as embarrassing but hilarious and with sympathy.

So, is every silly thing I've done remembered completely differently by my friends than it is by me? Is my unnerving urge to apologize to the world completely unwarranted? How do you handle your embarrassing moments and how do you get them to quit haunting you?

* the verb "to rock star" means to do to a room what a rock star might do after a big show and heavy drinking...usually involves projectiles and bad smells.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Boomer Behaviour

While I was in Rome, Boomer went to the kennel. I was a little concerned as he would be there for 10 nights and I wasn't sure what he would be like once I got him back home. Much to my own joy, he seemed fine. He still knew his commands and still remembered me and the apartment. When I got home from Rome, the heat hadn't been turned on yet (as described in my previous post) and so Boomer was sleeping in my bed. Needless to say, even though Boomer seemed fine I did not enforce our routine right away. Not such a good idea. If you are a dog owner I'm sure you understand the importance of consistency, 100% of the time. Slacking off after my trip probably wasn't such a good idea.

The week after Boomer started being more aggressive at the dog park. He's always been very playful but now he was barking at other dogs and even got in a bit of a fight with one. Boomer was becoming very obnoxious very quickly. Yesterday, I was leaving for groceries and I tied Boomer up as I always do. Normally he will just sit down and kind of look at me as I leave. This time however he went completely BERZERK. He started barking at me as I was putting my shoes on and didn't stop even by the time I'd gotten to my car. I came home and he was obnoxious all evening. By that point I was sick of it and began plotting how I could sedate him without feeling guilty (NO, I would never do that, I was just VERY frustrated!!). Instead of continuing with my cruel thoughts I remembered I had bought two books on dog behaviour. One was a bit passive and the other was Cesar Milan.

When I first got Cesar's book I found it a bit aggressive and not gentle and caring enough. Then I spent time with Boomer. Boomer is very hyperactive. Sort of like an ADHD kid. Disciplining Boomer with a gentle "No Boomer" wasn't going to work. So I started reading. The conclusions I had made are as follows.

1. Boomer must be calm before ANYTHING happens.

This means Boomer was sit still before being fed, before getting affection, before I open the door, before I put his leash on, before I give him a treat... EVERYTHING. This requires a lot of patience but we are getting there! He is a pro at sitting before we cross the street, I only have to say it once!

2. Erica comes before Boomer... or as Cesar says... Erica is the Pack Leader

This means I go in the house and exit the house before Boomer, Boomer walks at my side. Boomer sniffs when I give his leash slack. Boomer is on my schedule and vice-versa.

3. Be consistent.

This means creating rules (eg: not allowed to sleep in my bed) and sticking with them 100%. This was very tough this morning when Boomer woke up at 6:30 and wanted into my bed and proceeded to whine right next to my face. No cool, Boomer. I did not give in! Eventually he went back to bed. Yay, that's a win for the Pack Leader! Consistency also lies in when we walk and when Boomer gets fed. (I made a schedule!)

4. Remind guests to ignore him.

If Boomer is hyper when guests arrive and then he gets attention immediatly then he perceives this as a reward for his behaviour. Not so! Ignore Boomer at first and then once he is calm, proceed to smother him with hugs.

5. WALK before PARK. PARK does not equal WALK.

This was a big one for me as I was taking Boomer to the park everyday as a means of exercise. This is not true, the dog park is a form of socializing. Boomer would go bonkers as we'd be driving to the park and then he'd get all pent up and go nuts once we got there. It is a common misconception that excitement means happiness when in fact excitement often means frustration. Boomer was entering the park very frustrated and so he was very irritable... hence the fight. As such, Cesar recommends that you walk your dog before you go to the park and then once they have had some exercise, take them to the park. This is going to be a tough one to get over as Boomer is very excitable and nervous. For now, we are avoiding the park as Boomer learns to calm down and gets used to his new lifestyle.

I've heard many people that disagree with Cesar's methods but I feel that they are suitable for Boomer as he is so high-strung and needs a stricter environment if he is going to stay with me.

We'll see how it goes!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tips for surviving when your apartment is freezing

...or How to Survive Sub-zero Temperatures With All the Amenities of a First-World Home

1. Always stay dressed in many layers. Some basics include long johns, flannel pants, sweat pants, wool socks, slippers, undershirt, long-sleeved shirt, sweater, large hoodie, scarf, toque, and blanket. I suppose when I wrote 'suggestions' it may have come across as "some separate ideas you many want to try" when really I meant "this entire list is one suggestion of one set of clothes you could wear... at once" just want to be clear.

2. Never undress. Do not risk skin exposure. You will be cold when you sleep so just crawl into bed dressed as such. Sure, that seems kind of gross going to bed in what you have been wearing all day but desperate times call for desperate measures, sheets can be washed. Really, you're already wrapped in blankets, going to bed just means turning your body from a vertical fetal position at your desk to horizontal on your bed.

3. The shower is both the best and worst part of your day. The time you spend in that seemingly magical spray of pure goodness will be the greatest 10 (...or 25...) minutes of your day. The 5 minutes prior to and afterward are the worst of your day. Getting in and out of a shower requires nudity (I know, you're shocked) and there is no way around. You get in with your clothes on and those clothes are going to turn frigid as soon as you step out. It's not worth it, trust me. Instead, enjoy the pain-turned-pleasure of your fingers thawing out.

4. Spoil the dog and let him sleep on the bed. Did you know that a dog's natural temperature is roughly 15 degrees warmer than a humans? No way is that extra heat going to waste. Trust me, when it's 4c in the house, that dog is not leaving your side. Not to self... get a bigger dog...

5. Go out for meals. Your fingers are too stuff to cook and you can barely get up from your chair. Going out for meals means showering (described above...mmm....), getting a hot meal made by someone else, and being in an establishment that likely has heat as it would be closed otherwise given the temperature outside and it would be considered cruel and unusual punishment to allow humans to suffer as so (HMMM FUNNY THAT).

6. Go to bed early. The more you sleep the less you have to endure in this frozen hell.

Fun things to do when your house is the same temperature as outside which happens to be less than 5c:

1. After your shower allow your wet hair to freeze into icicles so that you can crack them like you did while waiting for the bus growing up

2. Fog up mirrors and draw funny pictures

3. See how many scarves you can fit twisted around your body without getting tangled up

4. Leave the house because it's ludicrous to stay instead. Bring puppy and head to brother's house.

...to be fair the heat came on about an hour ago though it is sure taking it's sweet ass time filling the house. Perhaps it's karma for my posting a slightly bitter blog entry.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Graduate Stigma

Hello lovelies,

It has been 4 months since I finished school. For the past 6 years, I switched what I was doing every 4 months with co-op. 4 months school, 4 months work. That routine would put me getting ready to start school again on Monday. Nope, not this time. This time I get to keep working. This time I don't get to spend labour day prepping for frosh week. This time I don't get to go to a keg party every night for a whole week.

While I'm thrilled to have a job and to be able to afford a few extra indulgences, it is bittersweet. I spent 6 years in that routine, I spent 6 years enjoying that routine. It's not the easiest thing to part with.

There is a bit of a stigma attached to graduating. It seems that you become a 'sketchy grad' almost immediately and to spend time with anyone in their undergrad is frowned upon. This is so bizarre. Why would I give up my slightly younger friends just because I finished school? I'm still in town, I'm still me. It's as if you are forced to grow up. You are not allowed to enjoy keg parties anymore, you are not allowed to walk around in sweatpants. Sure, I don't really enjoy the crowds at most keg parties and I haven't left the house in sweats in a long time... but when all my undergrad friends are enjoying themselves this week, I feel a bit left out.

Why do I need to quit this activities and un-friend these people? It's not as if I'll never grow up. I'd say I'm a lot more grown up then many other people my age. Why must this stigma exist?

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Pissed Off Doggie Business

Does any one else immediately want to blog when they get pissed off?

Here's the jist of it...

Boomer, my dog, is pretty awesome. He's cute, funny, and his behaviour has improved so much since I got him almost 2 months ago. I'm so proud of my little guy! Boomer walks very well when he has his Halti collar on but walks very poorly without it. I have not tried him on a harness mostly because the Halti is working fine so why spend the extra money. FYI - a 'Halti Collar' is a gentle leader collar, it goes over their snout but it's not tight. If the dog pulls, the collar tightens on their face, which dogs hate and so they relax. They are pretty common in these parts. They also make people around you more comfortable as it can act as a muzzle so the liklihood of being bit is decreased. Boomer's problem is that he really likes other dogs. Boomer LOVES other dogs. I could take Boomer to the dog park and leave him there and he would not even know I was gone. However, when we pass other dogs while Boomer is on his leash & Halti collar, he barks at them. Which brings me to this morning.

I wak outside to talk him for his morning walk. We cross the street and coming in the opposite direction is an older woman (I'd guess 55+) with a walker and a seeing-eye dog, or at least an assistance dog of sorts. Well crap. So I start walking and Boomer starts barking. Thankfully, her dog doesn't flinch. Side-bar: assistance dogs really are amazing. This woman however yells at me. Something to the effect of "You need to control your dog, I shouldn't have to walk down the street in fear that my dog is going to lose control, get a harness for that thing." Umm...what? Ummm... last I checked we can't all have perfectly behaved dogs.

I'm pissed off because this woman used her disability agaisnt me. (I'm not sure what it was, I don't think she was blind as she knew boomer wasn't in a harness.) She yelled at me as if it was my responsibility to make sure her day is without distrubance. What a piss-off. i'm sorry this woman is so miserable and needs to yell at a 20-something and her cute dog just so she feels better about herself. Lady, I'm sorry for YOUR cute dog who is so well behaved because you probably never rub his belly or accidently drop a peice of dinner on the floor.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Today I found out that my dad reads my blog.


Haha, I'm ok with this, there's really nothing to hide and I've pretty much told my mom everything I've put on here anyway.

EIN might be a bit quiet for a little while as I type up recipes for my messy kitchen. I'm having so much fun writing them out and hearing about people reading them!

This weekend I think I'm going to host a tapas party... I'm sure you will hear all about in over on MMK. Enjoy your weekend and try a new recipe!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

D7 & Messy Kitchen

D7 is no longer D7. He finally messaged me today saying he's trying to work things out with his ex. Good for him but crap for me. Oh well, nothing I can do.

In better, bigger, brighter news... my messy kitchen has launched! It is still very basic and generic but it will soon be much better... stay tuned!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

SS Update D6&7

EIN has been a bit more 'datey' rather than 'cooky'. I AM working on making a unique cooking website, I'm even going to have my own domain name! It's coming... very soon...

In other news, I've had a very pissed of week. I've already spoken about a conversation I had on Sunday... which was pretty crappy. Well that date happened. Here are the details... what are we on now, D6? Let's say D6.

D6 shows up, good sign. He's very cute and is wearing a perfect outfit. Do guys where 'outfits'? Whatever, what he is wearing is great. Me, D6, and SuicideBoomer head into the park, chat chat chat, sit down, chat, chat, chat. Eventually it's getting dark and buggy so we head back to my porch, chat, chat, chat. I have to get to another function and we've been chatting for a bit so I walk him to his car. Now, explain to me what I did wrong.... I had a good time with him, I'm attracted to him, I suggest meeting up again. That makes sense to me... but apparently not to D6. So he goes on to say... very un-clearly... that he doesn't think he can get over my little limb issue. COME ON!!! He was very unclear though... but that's what I got. He said he didn't see me fitting into his life and that I would limit him... or something? I'm really not sure. I pretty much say 'you're wrong' in a few more words than that... but whatever, if it's an issue then I'm not going to force anything. To his credit he was as polite as one could be in saying such USELESS CRAP and he apologized many times and admitted that he was acting naiive etc. BUT DUDE, COME ON. YOU ARE MAKING AN ISSUE OUT OF NOTHING.

Ok so whatever, that happened. What pisses me off the most is that all of a sudden IT'S AN ISSUE! It has never been an issue!! I feel stupid writing about it because this is way more time than this issue deserves!!!

ERICA HAS ONE HAND. That is the end of it, there is nothing more to it!! I live my life like any other normal 20 something single. I am independant, I have a car, a dog, a job... I get no special treatment, I do everything a normal person would do. There really is NO DIFFERENT. WHY ARE PEOPLE SO STUPID?? This is the end of this, it's not an issue for me so I never want to talk about it because there is nothing to talk about!!! I called my mom and told her about this and neither of us really knew what to say. I was upset because I think I thought I was supposed to be... but after 2 minutes I just didn't care. I don't even care about the fact that a guy I was on a date with said that... it's just the fact that it's all of a sudden an issue I'm supposed to deal with. It's not even that I SHOULD deal with it but CHOSE not to... NO, IT'S NOT AN ISSUE. Ugh, this is so over.

In other news, here's some info on possible D7. Messaged me on POF on Friday afternoon. Very cute 'I read your profile and it sounded like I was reading my own so I HAD to message you' very cute. I replied Saturday early afternoon. He replies Saturday evening (yay quick replies). I replied Sunday morning, He replies later Sunday morning with a super long reply... more replies later and we chat all evening on msn, great chat. At the end of the chat he says "I've enjoyed chatting, let's chat tomorrow" hey cool awesome. Monday evening we chat again, great chat! At one point I say "How about instead of sitting at our computers all evening we get some ice cream?" He says he has to go to his parents house but he'd be back later and maybe we can chat and maybe we can hang out Tuesday. Sure cool bye. Well, he doesn't make it back before I go to bed... and I haven't heard from him since... I'm a girl and I over-think everything and notice everything (ie: not online)... so ya, I'm a bit peeved. I'm peeved because he said we should chat later AND we should hang out and then... nothing... I realize guys are COMPLETELY OBLIVIOUS on all occasions so I'm sure it's only a matter of time. I need to learn patience. Now, like ALWAYS, I've written this out and it feels completely stupid. Good day y'all!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

SS Update... new dates!

Hello lovelies,

I am having a bit of a problem today. This online dating thing is fun and different but it seems to be a real pain in the ass for someone who has something inherently different with their physical appearance. (There is clearly a story here...)

So I messaged this guy, we send a few back and forth and eventually we chat on msn. I mention that I had a really bad date the other day (as you read about below) so I'm a bit more cautious about meeting people. We chat and eventually agree to meet up. He says something like "I hope I do better than the other guy... and I hope you're not a man!" Oh har har jokes. So I say "No no, I assure you I'm not, never have been... but actually there is one thing that might be a bit strange. I have one hand" I then change my display picture to show him. He kind of went weird at this point. I go on to say it's no big deal, I'm comfortable with it, you'll forget about it 5 minutes after meeting me, etc. But... then he says 'Way to leave that to the last minute' And so I am returning to this endless debate. To confess or not to confess.

I have honestly thought through every side of this debate. Why does it matter? I know I don't want to be with someone who is uncomfotrable with it. But people are naturally going to act strange. I even act strange when I meet someone who has weird shit going on. IT IS STRANGE. It is strange because you don't see it everyday and unfortunate stereotypes exist. That is true and I'm ok with that. It's just getting people past that very first impression. So really, this guy wasn't really that out of line. Physical attractiveness plays a large role in first impressions. i'm just hoping he doesn't think too much of it and does show up on Tuesday. I like to think that once a person meets me any stereotypes immediately collapse. It's just a pain in the butt that I have this one extra hurdle. OH WELL, at least I'm not green like Elphaba in 'Wicked', that girl had it bad.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Cupcakes + Bitchin Icing

I made chocolate cupcakes the other day:

This is the recipe, but I didn't make this icing

This recipe has never failed me. It has directions for making different sized cakes and also cupcakes. I like making the bundt pan one because it's just one pan and looks nice, too. I never really made icing before but I bought a few new tips at bulk-barn the other day and no way was I going to BUY icing. So... get ready.... this is the icing that I made. Adapted from 'Martha Stewart's Cupcakes' cookbook. I couldn't find the recipe online so I'm typing it out... because I love y'all.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream Icing... CHOCOLATE stylez

Not as sweet as standard icing, very buttery and smooth. It's easy to adjust the flavour, instead of chocolate you can add lemon zest or coconut extract.

5 large egg whites
1 cup + 2 tbsp white sugar
Pinch of salt
1 lb butter, at room temperature
1.5 tsp vanilla
4.5 oz semisweet chocolate OR 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips (same thing... I use Bernard Callebaut chocolate chips from Bulk Barn because they are to-die-for... buy them once and you will never go back... so don't buy them because they are $$, ignore everything in these parentheses)

Makes about 5 cups

1. In a double boiler on medium heat, melt chocolate. Allow to cool while you move on with the next steps.

2. If you have a kitchenaid mixer... create a double boiler using a small pot of about 1.5" water and the metal mixer bowl. A small pot is required because you don't want the water in the pot to touch the bottom of the mixing bowl... I tried this today and it worked awesome. If you don't have a KA mixer... you can use a standard double boiler, the KA mixer bowl just means less dishes... moving on. Into the bowl, combine sugar, egg whites and salt. Whisk constantly as the ingredients heat up and the sugar dissolves. You will know when the sugar is dissolved by rubbing a bit of the mix between your fingers. You shouldn't feel any crystals. It doesn't take too long and you don't need much heat. Medium-low works well. Mixture will remain gooey but sugar will dissolve despite the appearance.

3. Take the mixer bowl off of the double boiler and put in onto the mixer with the whisk attachment. Start on low and gradually bring the speed up to medium high. Once you get stiff, glossy peaks (not dry), bring mixer down to medium and let 'er go for another 8-ish minutes. Should look glossy and fluffy. Bowl should also be cooled down (touch the base - should no longer be hot).

4. Bring the mixer down to medium-low. Un-wrap your block of butter and with a knife, gradually add the butter by the tablespoon. I wasn't too picky here - the mixer is going fast enough and the butter is soft enough that it only takes a few spins to incorporate the butter so don't get fussy. My butter was VERY soft, that probably helped. NOTE: THE MIXTURE WILL LOOK CURDLED TOWARDS THE END OF THE ADDITIONS, JUST KEEP WHIPPING AND IT WILL SMOOTH OUT.

5. Turn mixer to low and add vanilla and cooled chocolate. Keep mixer on until bubbles are gone and everything is smooth. You can pipe/spread it immediately or store it as below.

NOW... the best part... this bitch can go in the FREEZER! Haha, use what you need (which will not be the whole recipe) and then freeze the rest for up to a month. You can store it in the fridge for up to 3 days, bring it to room temperature and give it a good whip with a spoon before you try to spread it. This icing is very tasty, not too sweet and very silky smooth.

It should look like this at the end:

This looks like A LOT of work for icing. It is a bit more than your standard sugar+butter+milk type recipe but it's so good and fluffy and very worth it. I put very detailed instructions just in case... I always like a little encouragement in a recipe :)

On a side note... I've really been loving blogging lately but I've noticed that my blog has been largely personal life and cooking. I'm considering starting a unique cooking blog to store all my recipes and write them out according to how I make them. I will keep y'all posted!

Monday, August 03, 2009

General Update

My updates have been a little rare lately... between Monday and today I have worked almost 70 hours so my spare time has been spent lying on the couch trying not to think about work.

I obviously had a terrible time Saturday night but I'm hoping this week will bring better luck. My roommate has introduced me to one of his friends who I might ask out this week... and there's a cute guy I've seen at the dog park a few times.

On that note, my dog is the biggest ice-breaker around. For example, Boomer tried to hump cute-dog-park-dude's little boxer. Talk about awkward. "Sorry my dog doesn't have any class... my name is Erica" Hah, I'll have to work on my opener next time.

I posted a few recipes on a new site I'm using, have a look and let me know what you think.

Cream Cheese & Feta Pinwheels
Banana Bread/Muffins
First Date Salad (if any - make this one!!)

Hope y'all have had a great long weekend!

Sunday, August 02, 2009

SS Update... doesn't deserve a number

I had a bit of a crisis this weekend. I don't really feel like writing out the whole thing... mostly because it doesn't deserve to be put down and chronicled and I don't really feel like re-visiting it. The only details that matter are that I genuinely did nothing wrong and I was called a... STUPID CRIPPLED WHORE by a real live human being.

Never in my life have I faced such judgment. Never in my life have I ever known humankind to have such anger and rage. Never in my life do I ever want to re-live this or a similar situation. The person said it to me and I was destroyed. I know from the deepest spot of my entire being that I am none of those things, that didn't make it hurt any less though. After everything I realized how incredible my friends are and how I could not ask for more judge-free, welcoming, understanding, and caring people to be surrounding me.

My friend Andrew picked up his phone FIVE times in the middle of the night as I sobbed. His immediate reaction was that he had no reaction, he was in shock. He listened to me wail on the phone for far too long than necessary. I am so grateful to have him as a friend.

My housemate Adam, who was watching the dog for me, not only stayed up with the dog (who had been barking) and waited for me to get home but had the immediate reaction to say "Do you have his address, can we go kick the shit out of him?" (Oh revenge, you can be so tasty) He was patient and understanding and I couldn't ask for more.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Foodie Goodness

Very quick update...

Last week I made the following:


This is my favoutite - EVER!!! I double the sauce part at the end and it is great... I never put in cashews because I never have them... and I serve it with jasmin rice.... it is still FAVOURITE the next day after it has festered overnight... hot OR cold... sometimes I can't wait the 2 minutes to heat it up. I love it, you should try it and then let me know :)

I Also made this pie... which was ok. It's really important that you let it sit in the fridge for a bit otherwise you will have pie soup. It was pretty tasty, espesh with Ontario strawberries and rhubarb.


Juicy SS Update to come soon!! xxoo

Saturday, July 11, 2009

SS update: Date #4

Well, WELL! Date #4 was last night. It was great!


On Canada Day, there are fireworks north of campus and pretty much the whole city goes. Naturally, I went with a few friends. We are chilling on the grass waiting for the show to start and I see my friend Mike standing nearby... I go over and say hello and then introduce myself to his friend.

"Hi, I'm Erica"
"I know, we've met"
"Uhhhh....*sticks foot in mouth*"

Later that evening, me being thoughtful/caring/nice/polite (like you thought any other :p) I found him on facebook and wrote a message:

"Hi D4,

I promise to never forget your name again


I get a nice reply 'Ya, no problem... etc" but then, 2 days later... I get the cutest most perfectly eloquent message asking me out for drinks. This message should be used in some sort of 'How to ask a girl out and get good results' manual. I obviously said yes... though with the exception that we need to hang out at my place because Suicide-Boomer can't handle me leaving just yet. I did JUST get him after all.

Friday, 8pm rolls around. D4 shows up with dog treats. Not only that but fancy dog treats from the posh pet store in Uptown Waterloo. Points man, points. So with Boomer tied to the porch and chasing Squirrels, D4 and I chill out in on the porch enjoying some Stella and Apple Crisp (I made it... you know, just in case... haha, I'm so smooth) After who knows how long, I'm starting to fade, I had gotten up with Boomer at 5am. So I bid adieu to D4 but not before giving him my number (he asked!). We both said we'd like to hang out again , "Ya, maybe for dinner?" (he said) I suggested I could MAKE dinner... "I'm not even going to pretend I can cook so that would be awesome"..... *le sigh*

So it was great! Good convo, loved my apple crisp... no complaints!

Also, this afternoon (not 2-4 days later... what a stupid rule) I got a text saying he enjoyed the evening and is looking forward to next time.

So now I have to figure out what the heck I'm going to cook!! Any suggestions?? I'm thinking spinach & strawberry salad... (AKA 'First Date Salad' as I dubbed it last summer after making it for just about every first date I have)... maybe Butter Chicken? Maybe a pie? Boys love pie... ladies, make pie for your man. It is an easy win.

Boomer actually walked into his crate on his own just now and is having a nap... this is a good sign!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Single Style Date #3 & Boom Boom the super dog

This post should be a report on Date #3... except Date #3 didn't happen.

I started talking to this guy a few weeks ago. I would say it was going pretty well and then he asked me to go for drinks on Wednesday but that we would discuss the details later (I think he asked me last Friday). Sure, why not. That makes sense.

Sunday rolls around and I ask him about his weekend, leaving out the date plans... I figure this gives me another excuse to talk to him Tuesday/Wednesday. Wednesday comes, I message him:

"Hey... still on for tonight?"

That was at about noon on Wednesday... no reply. Oh, he is in Toronto so I scheduled dinner with a friend (Bryan) that night to, just to make the hour drive a bit more worth it. Well, 5pm comes and I still haven't heard anything. I don't want to stand Bryan up so I decide I'm going to drive to Toronto regardless of if I hear from D3 or not. Before I go, I leave the following:

"I'm heading to meet my friend for dinner, give me a call/text if you still want to meet up"

(He knew I had made dinner plans with Bryan and that we were going to meet for drinks once I was done).

No answer, no call, no text...

I get home later that night and there's nothing... and now there's still nothing...

Pretty much I'm going to drop this one. Too bad really, he seemed quite nice but now I just feel like he was rude. Boys - say SOMETHING! Don't just leave a girl hanging like that. No matter what - say something. Make up an excuse if you have to, as long its something.

Moving on. I actually have Date 4 tonight. He's a friend of a friend and he's coming over to my place to chill with me and Boom Boom. I have more faith in this guy, we'll see if I'm right!

Also, Boomer is settling nicely. Last night was his first in my apartment. I put him in his crate at about 9pm, turned the lights off, shut the door to the office. I sat down to watch tv and he started barking... waiting... barking... ok fine, I'll come see you. I went in, said hi, and then sat down at my desk for a few minutes. Eventually (maybe 5 mins?) he settled. I left the room and then he was FINE. NO NOISE!! I woke myself at 5am to the sound of what I thought was him whimpering but it was just stupid brids outside. I was awake so I took Boom Boom out, he was still totally passed out! Haha, he didn't eat breakfast yet and he's back asleep now! What a cutie... I hope this behavious keeps up! I'm going to test what he's like with me leaving him mid-day... I NEED milk so he's just going to have to deal with not being next to me.

Happy weekend y'all!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009


I have found my +1.

I went to the SPCA today and met Boomer the Beagle. I fell in love. I adopted him. He has infected stitches from having his peanuts chopped so he can't come home until Thursday. You bet your britches I'll be posting pictures.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Single Style update

Update on D2 from previous post.

Reminder, D2 had mysteriously deleted his profile.

Ignored that and decided to text him. I waited until Sunday night and sent the following:

"I had fun yesterday, let me know if you want to make plans again, even just as friends"

I figured that left it open an unassuming.

I got a reply!

"I had fun too, I also got the friend vibe but maybe we can have drinks next time I'm in town"

Hm, I think I'm just going to let this one go. Oh well, on to bigger and better.

I've had a few messages from other people online, some interesting, some NOT. I'll keep you posted on any advancements.

In other news, we won our hockey game tonight. I really love playing but I realized today just how attached I am to my team. The team who was playing after us came in and mentioned that they didn't have enough players so we were welcome to join their scrimmage. I considered it but decided not to. I enjoy playing but it is largely because of the comfort and acceptance my team offers. It is by no means something I demand but it certainly makes for a better experience. It has been no easy trip playing hockey amongst 99% guys and with a clear disadvantage. I love my team though, I feel completed equal while playing.

Enjoy your Canada Day tomorrow! It is supposed to thunder shower here so I may just catch up on some work.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Summering, Single Style

I've been single for about a month and a half now. I've chosen to take dating very casually this summer, go on lots of dates, meet lots of people but I'm not going to dive into anything too quickly - a habit that has escaped me thus far.

What I've found so far...
Apparently it's easy to meet people in this town, but you really have to put yourself out there. I have been making an effort to make conversation with people everywhere. From the grocery store to the laundromat... everywhere.

What I've proven so far...
as my mom would say 'you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find a prince.' I have a feeling my summer is going to prove this all too well. Hopefully it won't be too much of an ego blow.

Date #1
Originally I met D1 at the bar as he is a friend of a friend. I met him we chatted, nothing really spawned from that. In our short encounter I did think he was cute so I asked my friend for his BBM (everybody and their mom in this town uses BBM it seems). We start chatting a bit, mostly about hockey. Eventually I get a message asking if I want to go for drinks. Sure, why not! (I am a big believer in the 'what have I got to lose?' mentality) He meets me at my place, we walk uptown and sit down for a pitcher. When I first met him he did come across as a bit of an asshole but while we are walking to the bar this mentality seems to have disappeared as he asks me about work and is surprisingly polite. Overall, a good start. We are chatting over our beers and I mention that I like to cook (which is pretty accurate considering it's my #1 hobby). Well, D1 replies with 'that makes sense, you're a girl... haha.' Um, really buddy? You're going to try and make me laugh with chauvinistic comments? Strike #1 for D1. I ignore him and move on, I mention a few things that I have had success with in the kitchen. Then he says 'I'm sure you're a great cook but I'm probably better... haha.' Ok, you need to work on your delivery a bit. Strike #2 for D1. At this point I'm just going to ignore these comments and move on. The rest of the conversation is fine and we eventually finish out pitcher. The bill comes, 1 pitcher, total $14.25. (Reminder: HE asked ME out). He pulls out $10 and says 'I have $10...' (which I implied to mean 'what do you have to contribute - didn't YOU ask ME out??) So I top off the bill to $17. He looks at me and says 'Aren't you generous, our waitress wasn't that good and tipping her well would mean you encourage poor performance' ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? Firstly, that's a pretty average tip. Secondly, it's the difference of a couple of dollars! It's not like I was leaving a tip on a $200 tab. Strike #3 for D1.

D1 lives on my street so it is only logic that he walks me home. We get to my door and we are chatting and he says 'can I see your apartment?' So I say yes, he comes upstairs and we sit on my couch for a bit and then I tell him I have to work in the morning. so he should go.

Sorry D1, 3 strikes and you're out.
D1 was a #1 D-Bag. He was rude to me and pushy. This may for for other girls but it's not really what I'm looking for. I'd much prefer a gentleman.

D1 has since tried to contact me and... yes, it's bitchy... I have ignored him.

Date #2
This was a new experience for me - I met this guy online. I use 'Plenty of Fish' and D2 messaged me here, we wrote back a few times and he eventually asked if I wanted to get together. My weekend was pretty busy so I suggested meeting for ice cream and taking a walk in the park. As this was my first experience meeting someone online I was a bit careful - met him in a public place, mid-day, my roommate knew where I was. He had given me his cell number and we texted a bit before-hand, all very positive 'looking forward to meeting you' and 'I haven't done this either but it will be fun.' All good signs. The date was nice, pretty simple, ate ice cream, chatted, I would say successful. We hung out for just over an hour, which I think is decent for the first time you meet someone, don't be TOO ambitious. I had to leave for Hamilton anyway. So we finish our walk, he gives me a hug and says 'That was fun, maybe we can do this again' and I say 'Ya I'd like that, talk to you soon.' End of date. I head off to Hamilton feeling pretty good that I'm alive, he wasn't crazy, and I genuinely would like to see him again. Fast-forward to this morning (the date was yesterday around lunch)... I log in to POF and... his profile is deleted. Um, what does that even mean? I know this because I see his old messages in my inbox but there is no user name beside it... I click on the old message and it says 'this user has closed their account.' What does that even mean? So now I'm confused. After I left the date I figured I would message him later tonight or tomorrow morning with with something like 'I had fun, let me know if you'd like to make plans sometime.' Only now I can't do that... BUT I have his phone number. Should I call him? Should I pretend like I didn't notice? Does it even matter? It just seems a touch strange...

So that's my dating experiences so far this summer, I'll try to post more and hopefully you guys can provide me with some decent advice and I can instill some wisdom on you!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

My Speech

"Mr. Chancellor, Members of the convocation, Family, Friends, and above all, fellow graduates of the class of 2009.

It is my pleasure to stand before you today as a fellow graduate and a member of such an inspired group of individuals.

First things first, congratulations, we’ve made it, we are through.

In preparation for this speech, it was intimidating to think I had only 2 weeks to collect my thoughts on 5 years of experiences. Such a small block compared to the 5 years we have spent here. 5 years that have brought us from calling home to ask how to use a washing machine to preparing cover letters for full time employment. 5 years of all-nighters in res to all-nighters in our 4th year study rooms. It is thrilling to consider what lies before us, yet bitter-sweet for what we are leaving behind.

I started at UW as a na├»ve 17 year old, boasting of my high-school calculus marks and eager to impress my profs. Little did I know, nothing could prepare me for the ride I was about to take. I came from a very small town where engineers were people who drove trains and the discovery channel was something your grandparents watched. Frosh week was an interesting start to my time here and to this day I still have no idea where I got lost or how I made my way back to res. Residence was a new-fangled freedom that few had experienced but also a bit scary with no one to worry about what time you got home. We were young first-years who knew nothing but had so much energy; the upper years were intimidating in a sort of ‘I sure hope I can make it that far’ kind of way. Little did we know that we would make it that far and become those mentors that we saw in our first months here, that we too would make the claims ‘I never even opened that textbook’ or ‘watch out for PDEng 45.’

It was humbling to learn that I wasn’t alone, nor was I even part of the minority in my new stresses. We were all embarking together, most of us away from home for the first time, bringing a different value, culture, background, and enthusiasm to the table. These peers became our family and the labs became our home. Together we churned out our homework, prying our eyes open and trying not to go crazy from lack of sleep. Along with managing our demanding workload, many of us found other niches to spend our little free time in. With so many opportunities on campus alone, it is no wonder we argue how exhausted we are. We made time to be dons, orientation leaders, athletes, tutors, activists, and artists, though sometimes it felt as though we couldn’t escape engineering with our conversations veering back to the glu-lam arches in our spring break hotel.

Above all, this degree has taught us the importance of critical thinking and problem solving. Tools that we can apply to everything that we do and talents that were tested in our dual learning environment of school and co-op. The combination of moving every 4 months, relocating to new cities, and starting new jobs more than most do in their lifetime ads up to a well refined library of life skills to enhance our already appealing resumes. Today, we move forward with these tools in our next pursuits of employment, grad school, and so many other paths we have chosen. And for all of this hard work and perserverance we each have our iron rings as lasting reminders of what we have accomplished, the responsibilities that have been given to us, and the opportunities before us.

Given everything we have achieved, it would be foolish not to mention those that stood behind us throughout our uphill battle. Our families, for giving their time to listen to us and sympathize with our efforts, I remember so many phone calls home describing to my mom just how much work I had and how unlikely it was that I would be sleeping tonight or ever this week. To our mentors that we found in our co-op terms and their seemingly everlasting patience and dedication to stay after work and teach us the finer details of pouring concrete. This patience was also found in our profs and TAs who gave up their own time to help prepare us for our looming exams. And finally, to our peers that we now call friends who stood with us while we came into our own, shared stories and experiences and helped to mould each other into the outstanding individuals we are today.

Fittingly, I prepared my speech in our 4th year study room, surrounded by my peers as I put off finishing our design project and ignoring the pile of lab work sitting beside me. I speak to you today, clearly having finished all of that homework. Looking back and seeing that we have truly become responsible adults, prepared to face the hefty challenges ahead of us. In these times of economic uncertainty, who better to bring our country to its best potential than a group of young engineers? We have been crafted into some of the most talented and innovative individuals. Some of us are heading to medical school, law school, teacher’s college, and an array of other critical roles in our society. Who better to re-build what has been lost than a group so well-rounded and motivated? Engineering graduates truly are some of the most employable individuals. We are willing and we are able.

Albert Einstein stated ‘I never think of the future, it comes soon enough.’ Our 5 years are up; we can finally stop thinking about it. We have arrived. To the University of Waterloo, Engineering class of 2009, I wish you success and good-luck. "

Performed June 13, 2009, University of Waterloo AM Engineering Convocation; PAC.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

On trash talk

It's the Stanley Cup Finals.

My team is up (once again) for the cup, against an admirable opponent.

Did you see that?... did you see how I didn't diss the Pens? ... how I even commended them for their progress since last year? Ya, that's sportsmanship.

I don't trash talk. Ok, that's a lie. I hardly ever trash talk. I have yelled a few obscenities at Fleury when he walks to far out of his net. They are rare and they are only during the game and they are AT Fleury and not AT a Pens fan.

Otherwise, I hate trash talk. I believe in my team, I know as much about them as I have time to learn. You might know more about them. You might know a dark secret about them. That doesn't mean you should throw it in my face. I recognize that they have faults but I still love them.

Specifically during these playoffs I have been very ircked. I've watched every game, I've seen the plays, I've heard the calls. I got it. You don't have to remind me. We lost, I know, that sucked. Does it make you feel better to rub it in my face? Please, you can boast all you want about how great your team was but allow some simple tact:

1) State facts, not random catch phrases.
'What a play by X and Y! They really caught Z off guard'
Instead of:
2) Don't remind me of failures my team suffered, I respect your team, please respect mine. Like I said, I SAW the game, I KNOW what happened.
3) Respect ME when I tell you to keep your trash talk to yourself or someone who cares to listen.

I realize that trash talk is part of any sport. I guess what I'm saying is that I don't want to hear it. Share it with whoever will listen, by all means. Don't share it with me. I'm looking for good clean, INTELLIGENT discussion about the game.

One last night, Let's gooooooooooooooo REddddddddddd WIIIIINNGSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, April 17, 2009

On Twitter

In searching through my twitter history, I realized it is my one year anniversary. My first tweet was on April 14th, 2008. I'm pretty sure I had about 4 followers until this January when it exploded and... became stupid and useless (for me).

For me, twitter was one of those dorky internet indulgences that few had discovered and sort of went hand-in-hand with my blogging and blog reading. One of those little secrets between me and the internet. That little secret is now EVERYWHERE!!!!! IT'S EVEN ON OPRAH!!!

Everyone and their mom now has twitter! It is no longer my little daily indulgence into the secret life of Barack Obama or John Mayer. It now hosts scads of my friends, who I'm obviously following (how rude not to!) and I have to censor my posts like I would on facebook.

I liked it when twitter was unknown. Now, I feel obligated to post, like it's my duty as a user of this newly popular internet mecca (literally: a place many visit or want to visit).

So now what? I can't deny that I enjoy John Mayer's cute and witty updates or being able to text the world which bar I'm at in hopes that they will join. Well... I really have no answer, I imgine I will either continue to update or randomly start forgetting and end it like that.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Part of getting an engineering degree is getting an iron ring. It's a small silver ring that you wear on the pinky of your working hand. It represents many different things for different people. It can act as a reminder of the responsibility that you may have or it can act as a reminder of the hard work you have accomplished. For more info, head to www.ironring.ca

My point...
I got mine this weekend. It's a huge weekend and we count down to it right from the day we start our undergrad pursuits. It's bigger than getting your certificate, bigger than finishing your last exam, it is the biggest day of your engineering degree.

There are other degrees which give out rings but the engineering tradition has existed the longest, from my understanding. We also are the most likely to wear them and many, many do. It is also very recognizable in the feild.

This weekend my class got our rings, we celebrated, we drank, it was great. Today, at school every fourth year engineering student was proudly sporting their new piece of jewelery, many of which will rarely take it off.

My actual point...
I feel so strange about it. I've been counting down for so long. I celebrating my 1500 days to iron ring, 1000 days to iron ring, 500 days to iron ring, 250 days to iron ring, 100 days to iron ring... you get the point. Now I have it and now I don't care to wear it.

I got it Saturday afternoon and naturally wore it all day and celebrated into the night. On Sunday, I spent the afternoon making lasagna, like any old person. My roommate, who also got his ring, was wearing his all day. I didn't get it. I wasn't an engineer on Sunday, I was just me... cooking a lasagna... why did I need my ring?

What other profession sports their degree on their body ALL THE TIME? Doctor's do not drive their kids to school with their white coats on. Why do I have this silly little ring that I'm expected to wear all the time? I just felt silly.

So I kept thinking about it. Maybe I'll just wear it at work. But then again why do I need a symbol of my degree showing, why can't I just get respect from my abilities to be a good employee? Why can't I be judged on the things I say and the quality of my work? Why do I need this reminder, for myself, and for others? It's too bad that many will see my ring and immediately judge me, whether good or bad. I may get respect for it, I my get mocked for it. Either way, I am being judged on the degree I chose to pursue and not on my actual intelligence.

Right now I'm at home, not wearing my ring. I'm not sure if it's because I spent 3 hours in the kitchen with my hands in and out of the sink, or if it's because I don't feel like I need to wear it. I'm really not sure. Anyone I spoke to today about this simply said 'you'll get used to it' but I'm not sure I want to.

For the time being, I think I'll play it day by day. Maybe I'll end up wearing it all the time, maybe I'll never wear it.

What is most interesting to me is that no one, including myself, could have predicted this.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Valedictory Address - The Sequel

As I posted earlier this week, I was a contender for Valedictorian of my convocation.

Well, I got it.

Let me elaborate:

On average, 1200 Engineering students graduate from the University of Waterloo every year. This is a crap load of people. Also consider that each of these students has 2+ family members who attend the convocation. Because this number is so huge, there are 2 ceremonies for us. The first is for the civil, chemical, geo, enviro, mechanical, and mechatronics students and the second is for the electrical, computer, and systems design students. As there are 2 ceremonies, there are 2 valedictorians. One chosen from each group. I am thrilled to have been chosen to speak to the first group. There will be close to 700 people at the ceremony. 700 people I have to speak in front of. Excuse me while I crap my pants.

I was going to post the whole thing here but I had some discomfort about it. If you would like to see it, by all means send me an email and I will fire it your way.

I am SO excited. My parents had better make it.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Valedictory Address

For the past year I have been interested in given the valedictory address at my convocation this summer. I have written down some thoughts but I think I could use some more insight, any ideas?

Saturday, February 07, 2009

25 things about me

I don't like posting facebook notes so I'm doing it here.

1. I am naturally blond and will always say I'm blond no matter how many times I keep dying my hair brown.

2. I was TERRIFIED to learn how to drive and then my mom conned me into taking this test. Now I have my own car and I'm very confident in my skills.

3. I am obsessive about folding laundry and making my bed. Both are always perfect. This also means my sheets are cleaned very often.

4. Any money I made when I was growing up went to 'book orders.' I spent everything on books, I got the Narnia series for $20 out of those things.

5. (much like Marcia) I can bake, cook, knit, sew, craft, etc BUT I am a TERRIBLE gardener

6. Most of my daydreams involve what I want my house and family to be like and stupid mom things that I will do for my kids.

7. I have been trying to lose the same 15 pounds for 4 years, I came very close but it all came back. I say this as I'm eating a 1kg bag of mini eggs.

8. I love word games and I will OWN you at them (crosswords, scrabble, boggle, etc)

9. I love dogs more than words can say and I can't wait to have a big, stupid, drooling, pooping monster running around my apartment. However, thinking of those things WRT babies grosses me out.

10. I spend a crap-load of money on my hair, shoes, and clothes.

11. I believe 99% of what Oprah says.

12. My mom is the greatest human being and the most important person in my life. I can only hope to someday be half the mom she has been. I call her 5+ times a week usually.

13. I use my google calendar as if my life depended on it.

14. I will spend hundreds of dollars and hours cooking for others but I will make KD for myself and be happy

15. I am so thrilled with the program I have (just about) completed and happy to say I'm heading into a job that I really enjoy and hope to do for a while.

16. My brother's approval is paramount to pretty much anything I do. I have no idea if he knows this.

17. I ALWAYS have my blackberry on me and it's always on. It's a terrible habit.

18. My nails are painted 80% of the time. If I had enough money I would get them done pretty much everyday.

19. I thoroughly enjoy crappy television; specifically 'The Bachelor'; 'The Batchelorette'; 'America's Next Top Model'; 'American Idol' etc.

20. My favourite foods are strawberries and french fries, favourite meals are lasagna and pretty much all Indian food.

21. I drink coffee, I have made it 4 years surviving one 1 cup per weekday. This past month I upped it to 2 cups and now I'm having trouble going back. I drink it black.

22. My most prized possessions are my cookbooks & notes, my stuffed dog, and my shoes.

23. I am NOT competitive. One exception are things I feel especially good at. So I'm competitive at baking and cooking and NOTHING else. I play sports for fun and get mad if you're too competitive and then I will quit.

24. I have one hand and I don't think I would be anything like the way I am if I'd always had it. It is one of my biggest blessings and humbles me to no end.

25. I have never broken a bone. I fear the day that I break my arm and my significant other must do (pretty much) everything for me. If I have no sig. other, I fear for the worry it will cause my mom.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


I have been trying to write this for weeks. Here's what I have so far, I guess I will fill it in as I think of more things.

I have exactly 6 years and 350 days left.

30 things to do before I'm 30

1. Get a dog (hoping for Sept 09)
2. Finish my UG (hoping Apr 09)
3. Fall in love (really... whenever...)
4. Lose 15 pounds (ideal: Feb 13, 09... realistically, Dec 09)
5. Own an espresso machine AND know how to use it (next couple of years?)
6. Own real furniture, not student crap (sooner, better... next year?)
7. See Alicia Keys in concert (whenever)
8. Party on George St. in St. John's, Newfoundland (whenever)
9. Speak more French (Forever)
10. See a Red Wings game at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit (soon, while I'm still in love)
11. Make thanksgiving dinner (this year?... oooo even better if my mom decided to visit!)

So I can be listed as '1 day'...

Here you go, Carmen.

I missed the first week of school so I am in a mad rush to catch up. There are excited things and boring things that I should post. Likely not until this weekend.

To everyone - I'm still listening!