Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Able Bodied Olympics

This is really weird to write about. Should I write about it more? Is it weird for you? Are you even interested in this? I am so very, very conflicted.

Ok, Erica, stop writing like a 17 year old.

So I've been hearing about this girl a lot this weekend. Girl is an Olympic athlete, what an accomplishment! You go girl!

BUT... but.

Every article I've read about her says how impressive she is and how amazing it is what she's doing.

Yes, it IS impressive that she's an Olympic athlete, it IS impressive that she has come so far as an athlete. All very, very impressive.

What isn't impressive is that she's doing it with one hand.
Spoiler alert: you don't need two hands to play table tennis.
She made the Olympics by competing on the same level with no disadvantage as other competitors. Much like how a one-handed runner could potentially compete in the Olympics.

I'm saying 'Olympics' as compared to the 'Paralympics'. However in most articles that I've read, the term 'able bodied' Olympics keeps popping up. Does that make it the 'able bodied' Olympics and the 'non able bodied' Olympics? MUCHO DISLIKE.

Really, what I'm getting at is, as I share a lot with this girl I don't like it when it's pointed out that I'm in sort sort of special group and deserve crazy credit. I am, much like this girl is, just trying to fit in with all the rest of this crazy planet. I don't want special treatment, I want to earn my way through the same trials as the rest of you. I don't get to stand closer or count faster when I'm marking in frisbee because I have shorter arms than everyone else.

What I would prefer would be to see the media treating her as having a 'special story' and not that her performance is more impressive than any other female table tennis player. That's not fair to the ABLE BODIED table tennis players who have worked just as hard to get this far.

Send hate mail to onearmedbandit (at) gmail. SERIOUSLY. (Seriously).

Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday Favourites ver. 18

In which I post fun and favourite things from my week, (almost) every Friday!

HEY, it's going to be beautiful this weekend! Get thee outdoors! How will you be enjoying the weather??

1. We went to the cottage last weekend - what a wonderful, relaxing time. Everyone should have a cottage in their life. Whether their own or a convenient friend or family member's beach abode. They are just the best.

2. For the past two weeks, RB and I have been a 1-car household. His trusty, old, ragged, giant, purple car finally bit the dust. He bought a new one but it wasn't immediately available. Hence the 1-car family. Wait - his car breaks down and so I have to go car-less? Something about that doesn't add up... either way - NEW CAR came this week!! WOO!

3. I seriously haven't cooked in two weeks. Does this weather do that to you, too? There's been a lot of sandwiches in these parts...

4. Oh god I saw Magic Mike. I seriously haven't stopped thinking about it. Read more here. Excuse me for a minute...

5. Ok, I'm back.

6. WE'RE GOING TO CHICAGO NEXT WEEKEND. Holy shit. Do you have any restaurant or site recommendations??

7. Bookmarks this week:

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Things We Can All Agree On: A 'Magic Mike' Review

Two, please. 

I am literally 35 minutes out of the theatre after watching 'Magic Mike'. I thought of this list on the way home because thinking about anything else was not an option.

Hey, I'm not judging YOU for carrying around your hard copy of '50 Shades of Grey' now am I??

Without further ado -
Things we can all agree on after watching Magic Mike:

1. We're all going to be thinking about Channing Tatum next time we're getting it on - boys and girls alike. Man can DANCE!

2. Should we choose to download or otherwise own a copy of this movie we are all going to know at exactly which second his first solo act starts... and his second... and the moment Alex Pettyfer first takes his shirt off.

3. Don't do ecstasy. It'll fuck you up.

4. You can still be a stripper if you're over 30. Case in point: Joe Manganiello (and Matthew McConaughey but his character is a bit awkward though always shirtless so there's that...)

5. It's a good thing theatres are so dark so no one can see you blush.

6. It should have been offered in 3D.

7. Pick-up trucks.

8. Don't bring your boyfriend, he'll ruin it by mocking the smooth moves of the fine male 'dancers'.

Conclusion: go see it. It's hot. Just when there's too much talking happening they throw in a dance number. It's emotion and hot naked men. Every women's fantasy.


Monday, July 16, 2012

Not so smart smartphones

This really shouldn't be that big of a deal but it consumed me for three days!!

Last week my blackberry died. My precious, BBM running, email managing, light flashing blackberry went KAPUT. The decision I was faced with should have been simple: get blackberry fixed or get new phone.

Should be simple except I swear I live in the MECCA of smartphone loyalty battles.

In Waterloo, home of blackberry creator RIM, people are fiercely loyal to their choice of smartphones. It probably doesn't help that 90% of my friends are in some kind of computer related profession and are a special kind of gadget whores (I mean that in the nicest way!). There's no point in going to your local tech shop to hear about the latest smartphone offerings, your friends have already done extensive research and will drop everything to tell you why their choice is the best choice.

Is it like this where you live?? Or do people not give a shit?

Being offered so much info was great in that I felt I was making an informed decision but it was also overwhelming and stressful. After all, it wasn't like I was trying to determine who to vote for!

Here's what it came down to:

1. I am a shallow smartphone user, not a business user
2. I don't care about back-end BS nor do I even know what that means
3. I like pretty things!
4. Like taking fun pictures!
5. and playing fun games!
6. I *think* I can live without BBM.
7. RB is an iPhone user and I basically use his phone as much as my own
8. I want easy, simple

Conclusion: I bought an iPhone 4S.

It makes sense for what I want in a device. It is not at all related to any news stories etc regarding RIM. I am very conscious that I may have insulted or hurt some feelings as I should be sticking with the local team. For that, I am sorry. It most certainly was not personal.

Really though, I cheer for the Detroit Red Wings. Did you expect any less?

Find me on instagram @erica_rw, mostly cupcakes, sometimes puppies

Friday, July 06, 2012

Friday Favourites ver. 17

In which I post fun and favourite things from my week, (almost) every Friday!

Is it insanely hot where you are?? I has been 100F/35C ++ all week... the dog lasts about ten minutes outside before pulling into the shade and parking his tush. Smart dog.

How was your long weekend?? Or your weird half-week if you're south of the border? I spent my day off cleaning the garage, don't be too jealous. Onto the list!

1. Going to the Farmer's Market. Have you been recently?? July, August, and September are basically PRIME months to go as everything is in season. There's a handy list here of what you can find each month. I know it can be inconvenient to make it to the market - it's only open 1-3 days/week and gets very busy midday - but I find that the freshness of the food, and supporting the local businesses makes it worth it for me. Maybe you'll join me one Thursday morning at 730? Fritters and coffee on me!

2. I completed THREE Life List items in June. All three were completely unintentional. Read about em' HERE.

2. My favourite snack all summer has been an Everything bagel (Montreal style) with cheddar cheese, cucumbers, and some kind of kielbasa. Or spinach. Or tomato. Really, anything on a bagel has been like crack these days. I'm single-handedly supporting the bagel stand at the market. Forgive me if you go and all the everything bagels are gone. and the turkey sausage. I'm a bagel hoarder. It's a tough life.

3. BUGS. This is the opposite of favourite but it has been consuming me all week. WHAT is WITH the FRIGGEN bugs?? Gawd. I know the answer is 'it's the summer, there are bugs everywhere'. NO, not good enough. I went to make this wonderful triple-berry cake only to open my container of raspberries to find a beetle. I am still traumatized. On the bright side, I went all-blueberry on that bitch and the results were wonderful!

Thank god for blueberries!

4. Caught The Avengers in theatres this past weekend - apparently it was the last weekend it was out! The theatre was still full! With good reason, too. This movie was awesome, loved all the effects, story, etc. Great summer blockbuster.

5. Bookmarks this week:

Thursday, July 05, 2012

All of the Accomplishments

I randomly re-read my Life List about once a month. Twice now, I have been reading and found things that I've accomplished without realizing it. I guess that means that the goals I've set are truly what I want to be doing as I finish them without trying!

June was apparently very productive and I completed THREE things on my list!!

#82: Go on a spontaneous, last minute, vacation.
This holds the least magnitude as it was the easiest to accomplish. That is very bizarre to write as the thought of going on a last minute trip makes me sweat (and not because it's 102F/39C). On June 11th I decided to go to Florida on June 13th. I booked my flight at 5pm on Monday and 48 hours later I was en route to the Buffalo airport. I'm not sure I'll ever get more last minute than that BUT I have to say it was very cool and I would be willing to try it again. It was a huge push out of my comfort zone and I survived, it feels great!

#67: Make a Kub set, teach my friends. 

I bet you're asking (unless you are Caitie Rosen and are reading this...) what the heck is a Kub set?

Kub (pronounced like koob) is a Swedish yard game. Described as a combination of bowling and horseshoes. Low physical exertion, drinking encouraged. Win-win. 

I first came across this yard game in the summer of 2002 (holy shit that was TEN years ago!!). It was the summer between grades 11 and 12 and I had the wonderful summer job of working for my parents at 'Cruise' Camp (Forestry Survey Camp). We (me, 10 surveyors, and one wonderful Quebecois cook) were on an island in Northern Manitoba, dropped off by a plane, with no contact to the outside world save for the $3/minute satellite phones. It was a smoke-free, dry camp. Needless to say we were pretty bored in our little free time. We played a lot of chess, card games, scrabble, and Kub. I'm not sure who's idea it was but someone this carton of blocks made it's way to camp. 

I'm not sure what prompted me to want a set of my own (ten years later). But we went out to the local hardware store and bought the necessary pieces for about $40 and made our own set. You can find your own instructions here. We have since taught many of our friends and even RB's family. It's become a staple at our place - doesn't hurt that I'm beating RB 5-2. 

And finally... carrying the heaviest weight, almost a whole year in the making...

#20: Read LOTR Trilogy

Jesus H. Christ. I am both relieved and saddened that I've finally finished all three books (though I learned quickly that it's not a trilogy at all and is in fact 6 'books'). I finished Fellowship in about three weeks, Two Towers took about three months and finally Return of the King took FIVE months. I had to break up TT and ROTK by reading other books because the descriptions of mountains at the respective end/beginning was putting me to sleep after half a page. With that said, I did really love the books. The stories are crazy and interesting and unpredictable (despite having seen the movies). I'm glad to have read them and I think I might take another stab in a few years!

Have you accomplished anything fun lately??