Saturday, July 31, 2010


A girl I am currently working and traveling with introduced me to something super awesome - DavidsTea.

It's a relatively new chain of tea stores that make super amazing loose leaf tea.  I'm drinking a cup of their maple rooibis as I type this - so amazingly delicious.

I love tea, a lot.  I think the differences between all the varieties of tea are pretty interesting as well.  This summer I've been growing peppermint, chocolate mint, and lemon balm so I can make my own super fresh herbal teas.  Some of my favourite bagged teas are Celestial Seasonings Chai (black or white, but I think I prefer the black because it's a bit stronger and also, this brand beats all other chais because it is more spice and less black tea flavour), Celestial Seasonings Candy Cane Lane (decaf peppermint green, only available at Christmas), Twinings Pomegranate black, and Tim Hortons green tea.  I've wanted to get more into loose leaf teas but they are so much more expensive and less accessible and I am kind of lazy and hate washing the metal infuser because it's too hot to touch when I take it out of the cup and then I end up forgetting about it until bits of tea have dried into it.

DavidsTea might change that though.  Loose leaf teas that come pre-packaged so I don't have to ask an attendant for ____ grams of every variety I want to get, being able to sample smell the tea before buying, AND they sell disposable tea filters (like tea bags you fill on your own)!  Maybe you can buy the disposable filters at Walmart or something too but I've never seen them anywhere.

The bad news is that DavidsTea doesn't have a location in Saskatoon, but it DOES have a location in Regina and the entire chain has only existed for about 2 years.  So here's hoping for a Saskatoon store in the near future!  Until then, I'll be road tripping to Regina and/or shopping online.

Friday, July 30, 2010

TLC marathon woooo

I don't have the channel TLC at home so when I'm staying in hotels it is sometimes a treat to get to watch reality shows about clothes and wedding dresses and bakeries all night (not so much a fan of the shows about tattoos and motorcycles and giant families though).

Tonight I got to watch Say Yes to the Dress (LOVE IT) and the NEW Say Yes to the Dress, Say Yes to the Dress Atlanta which was so awesome, AND this new show called DC Cupcakes.

The cupcake show is pretty good except that a few of the scenes are obviously staged.  But oh well.  Anyway there was just this scene where a mom came in and was like "hi, I want a billion cupcakes for my daughter's sweet 16 party and here are the swatches of the table linens and also the swatch of the colour of her dress, plz make cupcakes to match."  Ummmmm WHAT???

So anyway they made these absolutely gorgeous cupcake centrepieces.  Cupcakes that looked like yellow roses were attached into clay pots to look like beautiful pots of flowers!  So beautiful.  Anyway the mom took one look and was like "Ummmm these DO NOT look like the swatch I gave you."

What???  I just can't believe people have so much money to throw around that they have massive sweet 16 parties with swatches in the first place, let alone flat out complain about the colour of icing (which totally didn't clash with the swatches and looked way better than the colour of the stupid swatch) without saying how great the centrepieces looked.  Are you kidding me?  Who are these people?  I don't want to know them.

ALSO:  these new iPhone 4 commercials where people are chatting on FaceTime (I think that's what it's called?) are so lame.  They aren't heartwarming at all.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Donut peaches??

These things are apparently called "donut peaches."  How do they work?  Is the pit really small?  They are so weird looking.  I found them at Safeway in Northern BC.

Friday, July 23, 2010

High Rolla

If you guys have ever thought to yourselves, I wonder if Robyn is some sort of secret high roller, like I wonder if she does things like fly on planes that have Porsche commercials on them, well, you would be correct.  I am indeed a high roller.

Not only did I win $2.95 total in two days' worth of GAMBLING at Niagara Falls casinos this past March, not only did I recently take a flight to Ottawa where there was a PORSCHE COMMERCIAL this past July (they clearly only play that commercial when they know there are high rollers on the plane who would actually buy a Porsche), but now the word is getting out about my high rollerness (rollery?) - Hammacher Schlemmer is sending me catalogs in the mail to try and sell me a TWO MILLION DOLLA submarine.

I have no idea how I got on the Hammacher Schlemmer mailing list.  When I got the first catalog a few months ago I have to admit, I thought it was a joke until I remembered that I am really rich ($2.95 remember that, I also currently have a $2 winning lottery ticket to cash, 5 cent candies are on me) and they probably heard about me and decided that I am worthy of their prestigious magazine.  But anyway, I got the new catalog today with THIS on the cover:

I'm not kidding, apparently it is a real live two-person submarine that can go to 1000 feet.  And most importantly, it costs ACTUAL TWO MILLION DOLLARZ.

Have a look at the catalog listing yourself.  I honestly did a double take when I saw that there was something in an actual catalog that I was receiving that cost 7 figures.  Anyway I probably won't be buying it because you know, I don't want to flaunt my immense wealth.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Degrassi Takes Manhattan: Movie Review

Before we get started, make a note that I really only saw 2/3 of this movie, so it won't be totally complete, but my sisters told me what happens in the end so basically I saw the whole movie.

Anyway, in late elementary school/early high school I used to watch Degrassi Junior High and Degrassi High reruns on CBC after school, and was excited to watch Degrassi: The Next Generation when it premiered.  I have seen most of the episodes in the 10-season run and while I wouldn't go so far as to call myself a fan, I have enjoyed watching the show and following the characters' stories for the most part.

Degrassi has always been a show that centred around teen issues - any issue you can think of, the characters have probably dealt with it at some point.  But the nice thing about the old Degrassi and TNG's first few seasons was that the only thing making the series unrealistic and unrelatable for teen fans was the ridiculously high number of issues the same characters dealt with week after week - other than being bombarded with problems, the characters generally came from middle class families, went to a public school, had acne and bad haircuts, and wore t-shirts and jeans  - they what one might call normal kids.

Someone once pointed out that the series began to change when longtime fan Kevin Smith asked to guest star and the series created a plotline about Kevin Smith shooting a movie at Degrassi, kissing Caitlin Ryan, and giving dating advice to the characters.  No offense, but Kevin Smith coming to hang out at your school isn't realistic.  Getting Kevin Smith involved with the issues gave the series an almost surreal feel.  Still, the Kevin Smith episodes were pretty early in the series and usually when he left the series was able to get back to normal... sort of.  Kevin Smith did help to kickstart the Hollywood career of one of the characters (as in, the character became a Hollywood actress, not the actress got a real movie career) and after she became "famous" (which the show never actually focused on), a lot of other characters began making it big as famous musicians, working in the fashion industry, etc.  Eventually, especially over the past couple of seasons, the show started hiring better looking actors and having more sexually charged plotlines, no doubt to compete with the shift in content of other high school dramas like the extremely inappropriate Gossip Girl and 90210.

It makes me sad that Degrassi ended up selling out to try to blend in rather than stay true to its original premise.  In the new episodes, the issues are still there but they seem to take a backseat to major storylines about dating and friendship drama and being rich.  I suppose it's nice that the characters are allowed to develop more, but I liked the Degrassi that you could distinguish from other teen dramas because it was first and foremost a show about issues.

Which now finally brings me to my discussion of the latest Degrassi movie, Degrassi Takes Manhattan.  It was so, so, soooooo bad.  Like, seriously.  I am not kidding, it seemed like bad fanfiction.  Did they draw plotlines out of a suggestion box?

Two major characters who have been in the series from season 1, Emma and Spinner, who have never really been that close of friends, got drunk at Niagara Falls and started making out and got married.  Then they wanted to get divorced but then they were like "Hey this has been the happiest week of my life, let's really get married."  Hey Degrassi here is a great opportunity to run with the issue of teen marriage and why it is not a good idea... but apparently (I skipped out on the ending, remember) the movie showed this teen marriage after dating for a week as a really positive and smart idea.  Good one, Degrassi.

Some characters that were CLEARLY added into the series to compete with Gossip Girl, the extremely rich Declan and Fiona (so why do they go to a public community school again???), moved back to Manhattan for the summer with no parents and Declan got his girlfriend Holly J an internship with TVM (MTV) so she could come with him.  But then Fiona also got an internship with TVM and tried to make life terrible for Holly J because she was jealous that she was dating her brother because she was in love with her TWIN BROTHER????  Creepy teen fanfiction alert.  The climax of this storyline happened when Fiona KISSED her brother to try and make Holly J jealous.  WHAT???

The final really boring storyline was that this other character named Jane was also in New York and met this creepy 35 year old man in Central Park (he wasn't supposed to be creepy or 35 but he tote was) and joined his band as the new singer, made out with him, but then he got back together with his GF so she was sad and apparently she tried to go stop Spinner and Emma's wedding but then didn't because she saw how happy Emma made Spinner.  Oh yeah, this was because Jane and Spinner had dated for like 3 years.  Are you kidding me, how does any of this make sense at all.

Final verdict:  worst fanfiction ever and most unrealistic movie ever.  The moment I realized how bad this movie really was was when I saw that Jessi from Jessi and Dan from The Hills Aftershow was one of the guest stars and I said to myself, "Jessi, you host The Hills Aftershow.  You are so above this movie." It was that bad.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Potato Chips in the Microwave

Did you know that you can make potato chips in the microwave?

These ones got a bit overcooked because I cut them too thick and couldn't find a good cooking time.  But all you really have to do is cut potatoes super thin, mist them with a bit of cooking spray (canola oil - and this step is optional if you want to go totally fat-free), put them on a plate and microwave on high for 3-5 minutes (more if you cut them too thick like I did).

Healthy potato chips!

Sorry that the picture is a bit blurry; I used my phone because I was kind of too lazy to go get my camera. But not too lazy to make potato chips from scratch?

PS - Saved by the Bell is on and it's the episode about writing a new school song.  All of a sudden, all of the characters know how to play every instrument, including playing the piano by ear... good one.

Monday, July 19, 2010


I have some sad news.  Maggots got my broccoli :(

Luckily, I was able to sample a tiny bit of the broccoli before the maggots (of the cabbage root fly) completely killed my plants.  Oh maaan garden broccoli is so good!  Next year I am taking that website's advice and making some sort of barrier over the roots so those idiot maggots can't eat my broccoli.

I guess this is what gardening is about for beginners - getting your plants eaten by idiot bugs so you can learn how to protect them in the future.

I'm not going to post a picture, because it was really gross.  I threw the plants into my garbage can where I discovered that the bottom of the garbage can is covered in a few litres' worth of garbage juice.  What a gross day.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Bounce Dryer Bar - Saving you seconds since 2010

Sometimes when a stupid TV commercial comes on (or I see a stupid print ad or company name, for that matter - really, anything ridiculous related to marketing or branding) I like to imagine in my mind the "board room" meeting where all the advertising executives came up with the concept.  Right now the imaginary meeting that comes to mind is one of Wired 96.3, Saskatoon's Douchebaggiest Radio Station (TM).  When my sisters drive my car they always switch the station to it and I get in and hear a DJ with a FAKE FAKE FAKE Australian accent.

"Okay guys, we're about to launch this new radio station and we want to appeal to youth.  Like, we want to be really cool.  What can we do to be cool?"

"Uhhhhh well as DJs we could have interviews with ourselves on the website answering questions with REALLY FUNNY answers"

"OMG that's gold.  DO IT.  What else?"

"Uhhhh I can pretend to be Australian?"

"O.  M.  G.  Chicks LOVE Australians!!!!  We're doing this.  We are sooooo doing this."

"We could also sponsor events at The Pat"

"The Pat!  Youth love The Pat.  PARTYYYYYYY GET DRUUUUNK  but seriously, the Australian accent idea!  We're going to put all the other stations in town out of business!"

Wired 96.3, honestly, you are the douchiest radio station I've ever heard.  I am pretty sure that's how the meeting went down.  Also, I'm sorry if you don't have Facebook and can't view that link.  The Pat doesn't seem to have a website and the best thing I could find to show its awesomeness was the Facebook group with 23 members.

BUT ANYWAY that has nothing to do with what I actually want to talk about, which is the new Bounce Dryer Bar.  The Bounce Dryer Bar is this stick of fabric softener that you stick to the side of your dryer instead of putting in sheets every time you do laundry, and it apparently lasts about 2 months.

The ad campaign for the BDB isn't less waste (throwing out sheets all the time) or freeing up more cupboard space by not having to keep an extra box around - and don't get ahead of yourself, I agree that really, both of those reasons for using the BDB are reaching already.  What is the ad campaign focused on?  FREEING UP MORE TIME.

The current commercial opens up with a mom introducing herself and telling viewers that she has kids and a husband and is a really busy mom.  The Bounce Dryer Bar can just be put in the dryer and forgotten about for a couple of months, rather than her having to spend all that extra time putting a dryer sheet into the laundry every time.  Seriously, the angle they're going for is that the BDB saves you time.

I'm not sure how anyone could actually accept that as a valid reason, unless for whatever reason people fold their dryer sheets into origami cranes or something before putting them into the dryer.  Really, Bounce?  Saving time is the best you could come up with?  I honestly can't even imagine that board meeting... nope, nothing.  It's like everyone skipped out and the only person who showed up didn't really want to do it so they just wrote the first thing that came to mind and somehow, someone approved it and hired actors and PEOPLE GOT PAID and it became a full-blown campaign.

As North Americans, have we really accepted our laziness to the point where saving five seconds a day is the number one selling point for a product from a major brand?  Don't answer that.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Delicious Cheese Samples

You guys!  Today I discovered something amazing.  I was at Sobeys for the second time today by accident because I locked myself out of my house as I was getting dropped off at home after coffee with some peeps, so I phoned my sisters and they were at Sobeys so I got dropped off at Sobeys instead, but ANYWAY I was at Sobeys and my sisters were buying deli meat and I was looking at all the gourmet cheese because I LOVE cheese.

BTW.  I love cheese so much that I am not sure if I would give up meat or cheese if I had to choose.  I love meat but I also love cheese and honestly, I'm not sure which it would be.

So okay, I was in the cheese section and suddenly I spotted a plate of cheese cubes with toothpicks in them with a small sign that said "Maple Cheddar."  The plate was just sitting there on a stack of other cheeses, not very prominent and basically hidden unless someone was looking through the cheese section specifically for maple cheddar samples.

Have I stumbled upon something awesome?  Maybe EVERY SINGLE TIME I've gone to Sobeys there has been a plate of delicious cheese samples in the gourmet cheese section and I've just never noticed because they make it so hard to find.  Maybe the delicious cheese samples are only for the true cheese fans:  if you spend enough time looking at all the cheese you'll eventually find the delicious cheese samples.

I'll keep you updated.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A whole bunch of Friends helping out Friends.

My cable is through SaskTel Max, which includes Max Front Row pay-per-view movies.  MFR offers a selection of new releases each month and also a "theme" list of movies - for example, a couple of months ago the theme pack was "Romance" and one could choose a PPV movie from a list of old and new romantic comedies.

This month, the theme is "Friends Helping Friends"

"Okay, new SaskTel summer high school intern, your first task is to write the description of this month's Front Row theme pack for the Max guide."

"Ummmm lol okay what is it lol"

"It's called 'Friends Helping Friends' and it's a bunch of movies about friends helping friends.  Just write something like that but make it sound more like a professional description."

"Ummmmmmm how do I do that lol.  What did you say again?"

"It's just a whole bunch of friends helping friends!  Seriously, it's not that hard to paraphrase."

"A... whole... bunch...  heyyyyyyyy I should say 'helping OUT friends' instead of just 'helping friends'!  That will TOTALLY make it seem like it's in my own words.  Should I capitalize 'friends'?"

"Arghhhh what do you think?"

"I'll take that as a yes." 

45 minutes later, the above descriptor was born.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Saved by the Bell OH BROTHER

So one of my favourite blogs that hasn't been updated in years is Saved by the Bell Quote of the Day.  If you've never read it but have seen Saved by the Bell, clear an hour or so off your schedule and read through the archives.  It's screamingly funny commentary about how absolutely ridiculous Saved by the Bell was.

I don't think I watched SBTB when it originally aired (not the Zack Morris version anyway - The New Class aired on NBC Saturday mornings along with Hang Time, City Guys, and Malibu CA which I watched every week in the late nineties) but over the past 10 years or so I've caught enough reruns that I have probably seen every episode at least once or twice.  I think it's one of those shows that a lot of people used to watch when they were younger and remember fondly but can now watch critically and realize how absolutely insanely terrible and poorly-produced it was.

Today I watched the episode called The Teachers' Strike.  The funny thing about SBTB is that every episode sort of seems like bad fanfiction of a better show - like seriously, how were SO MANY nonsensical and prejudiced episodes of a show like this PROFESSIONALLY produced and okayed to air on a non-cable network?  Oh wait, it was aired on NBC...  So anyway in this episode the plot was as follows (as far as I can remember):  there is this academic bowl quiz tournament happening against Valley (the rival school), but Zack and Slater want to go skiing and ditch school, but Zack doesn't know how to get out of school without being caught, but there are teacher contract negotiations going on and if the teachers can't get the deal they want they might go on strike, so Zack and Slater frame Mr. Belding and make it sound like he hates the teachers so they go on strike, the teachers hate Mr. Belding and go on strike, Zack and Slater go skiing and come back the next day or something, they find out the quiz bowl has been cancelled and Jessie and Screech and Lisa are sad about it because they are the quiz bowl team (of course they are), Zack and Slater barge into the negotiation/strike meeting and tell the teachers that Mr. Belding is going to give up his parking spot and turn his office into the teachers' lounge and buy them stuff with his Christmas bonus so the teachers like Mr. Belding again and go off strike, the quiz bowl is back on but Screech is sick so now what? he has to drop off the quiz team, nerds from Valley come to the Max and taunt Lisa and Jessie about how they can't win without Screech and challenge Zack to be on the quiz bowl team, Zack joins the quiz bowl team, everyone visits Screech in the hospital and he teaches them about astrophysics and the order of the planets (ummmm aren't you in HIGH SCHOOL shouldn't you know the order of the planets???), Slater tricks the Valley nerds into studying only football before the quiz bowl, it's the quiz bowl and the Valley nerds are tote winning, Zack suddenly turns the tables on the nerds and selects BASKETBALL as the final topic so the nerds don't know any of the answers but obvi Zack does, it's a tie game but the final question is "what is the order of the planets?" and Bayside wins the quiz bowl because Screech taught them the order of the planets and Mr. Belding is happy and loves Zack.

Congratulations if you read that, but more congratulations to ME for actually watching it and paying attention (sort of anyway).  Because I think you can tell by now how incredibly bizarre an episode it was.

I have about a million problems with the episode but my biggest ones are:

1.  Zack and Slater were HUGE JERKS to Mr. Belding and instead of owning up to what they did, they solved their problem (the teachers on strike and hating Belding) by once again being huge jerks to Mr. Belding.  Why does he have to use his Christmas bonus to pay for your screw-up?  Zack Morris, you are a despicable human being.  I know you're not real but I actually hate you so much.  What is this episode (and most other episodes of SBTB) teaching kids?  I know there are other episodes where the characters do show respect for Mr. Belding but come on.  This one was a 25 on the 1-10 meter of disrespect, and not just for Mr. Belding but for other groups of people as well...

2.  Fat jokes.  SBTB LOVES making fun of fat people... and nerds... and feminists... but seriously ANY plus-sized character on the show was cast for a reason - to be the butt of fat jokes.  I think there was one episode where Zack made fun of a fat girl and she got mad at him and he felt bad but other than that one isolated incident, SBTB hates fat people.

3.  The quiz bowl finale.  A series of coincidences like those WOULD NEVER HAPPEN in real life.  Oh, how convenient for you Zack, you just KNEW that you'd be able to pick a sport other than football for the final category and you KNEW that the nerds wouldn't be ahead so much that you couldn't catch up with your infinite knowledge of sports.  The cocky way Zack said "Uh, I believe that's Michael 'Air' Jordan" was actually one of the most annoying things I've seen on TV ever.  I feel like some douchebag on the set during filming was like "Uhhh maybe instead of saying Michael Jordan you should say Michael Air Jordan to show how much you REALLY know about basketball" I don't know maybe it was even Mark-Paul Gosselaar (Zack Morris himself) because the way he delivered that line, the cockiness almost didn't seem like acting.  It totally seemed like he "wrote" the line himself and was soooo proud of it.

So the nerds lose to the cool kids again.  The moral of the story is, don't be a nerd, don't be fat, and you can always use your principal as a scapegoat even if it means he loses his office, his parking spot, and his Christmas bonus to pay for you being a huge idiot.  Thanks Saved by the Bell.  Thanks for all of those valuable life lessons.  Zack Morris, you're the worst.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


I grew up around gardeners.  My parents have always had a big vegetable garden in their yard where they annually grow radishes, peas, beans, potatoes, lettuce, beets, carrots, cucumbers, dill, tomatoes, cabbage, kohlrabi (link for those of you who don't know what it is), and other vegetables on occasion (I remember we grew corn when I was really little).  They also have a ton of raspberry bushes and pots with hot peppers, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, parsley, and more cucumbers.  Most people I think have tasted the difference between store-bought and home-grown carrots, but have you ever tried fresh steamed peas right out of the garden?  The difference is mind-blowing.

My mom came from gardener parents who grew many of the same vegetables as well as had a crabapple tree, plum tree, and Saskatoon berry bush in their yard.  The thing I miss most about that house is definitely the crabapple tree - I've been meaning to get some crabapples and make a pie for the past few summers but it just hasn't happened.  Crabapple jam is also amazing and I've been able to find a similar-tasting substitute for my grandma's jam at the Saskatoon Farmers' Market.  Also perfect beet borscht made with nothing but garden vegetables - beets, beans, peas, dill, potatoes, carrots, and maybe a couple others - is another taste I've been missing terribly since my grandma moved out of her house and stopped cooking.

Over the past few years I've really wanted to start gardening myself.  This is a bit of a problem since I live in a house with a parking lot instead of a back yard, and until the past fall I lived in the basement.  I put a couple of parsley pots outside my window last summer but that was really all the space that I "owned" in the yard.  But this year I live upstairs with dibs on the front yard space!  Check out my sweet sweet garden:

It started off as a couple of herbs but I wanted to see if vegetables could be grown in smaller planters.  So far I seem to be having relatively good luck with broccoli

and red peppers (they're just babies so far)

It's true, I'm attempting to grow some peppers in a pot that we burned on the stove and can't use anymore.  It has no drainage so it's an experiment.  They seem to be doing well though!

I've also got a planter with two rows of romaine lettuce which is coming up nicely.  Although I'm leaving town in about a week just when it starts being ready to pick and I might get back after it's all done :(

Garden lettuce - so much better than from the store!  My favourite summer salad is fresh lettuce, cucumber, dill, green onions, with sour cream for dressing (be generous with the sour cream).  Add some salt too and the flavours go together AMAZINGLY.

My sister and I also bought a couple of different strawberry plants at the beginning of the summer.  One of them is obviously not going to produce fruit this year but the other has a few flowers and one lonely half-berry:

My favourites though are the tea herbs I've been collecting.  I'm hoping to find a place for them indoors in the winter to keep them going.  I probably shouldn't buy anymore but I've currently got peppermint, chocolate mint (!!!!! who knew it existed !!!! it actually smells so chocolately), and today I accidentally bought lemon balm because it smelled so good :D

Mint is super easy to take care of (basically if it's being kept outside, you just leave it and it grows itself - totally idiot proof).  The other day I harvested a few of the fresh leaves to make tea.  It was the freshest, "cleanest" tasting drink ever.

I am really excited to eventually move into my own house and have a big garden and plant fruit trees, but until then I am content with this tiny planter garden.  I love going outside every morning to check how my plants are doing.  You guys should start tiny gardens too, they are so fun!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

My Parents vs. Wasps

My mom really enjoys texting.  Her texts are hilarious because she doesn't know how to correct a word in T9 if it guesses the wrong word and also doesn't know how to spell out a word using ABC mode or something similar.  I don't have an unlimited texting plan (neither does she though haha) so I try to limit the number of texts I send when she tries to have a long text conversation, but some of the sagas that unfold over nothing more than a series of poorly-composed texts are pretty awesome.

The latest news from Humboldt is that a wasp nest has been built on my parents' deck.

Mom:  Can you check when on computer how to get rid wasp nest

After which I did some Googling and called her.  I'm not sure if anyone who's reading this has ever had a similar problem but what The Internet suggested was to call an exterminator, poor fuel into the nest, spray poison into the nest, or start a small smoky fire under the nest, and also catch stray wasps in cans of pop.  I relayed all of these suggestions to her.  For some reason my parents both really liked their own idea of starting the nest on fire.  Might I add that their deck is almost as old as me and completely rotted (i.e., a major fire haz).  I am hoping I talked them out of that idea.

Mom:  Betty white show on my channel five


Mom:  We knocked the wasp nest off this morning when it was cool some are buzzing around looking for their nest

By "we" she means my dad knocked it off and she watched from the back window.

Me (that evening):  Are the wasps all gone?  You should try to catch the rest in a bowl of pop or something.
Mom:  The wasps seem to be looking for their house the pop didn't seen to work yesterday they dont like mint though

Mom (the next day):  Wasps are trying to rebuild their nest they got one layer done then dad cleaned it off
Me:  Spray that area with raid or something?  I think to get rid of them you must have to kill all of them.  Or hang up a fake one near that spot
Mom:  Yeah need to im to led valley
Me:  Can't you just make one?  Put a nylon over a roll of toilet paper or something
Mom:  Thats lee valley to get a fake one and we are going to get raid need to get rid me the queen

Translation:  Their next step is to buy a fake wasp nest from Lee Valley Hardware (pictured above, source here in Saskatoon.  You'll notice that the Waspinator (R) looks suspiciously like a dirty sock, which my parents could probably easily locate right in their yard (they use old socks as rags), fill with newspaper, and set or hang right near the nest site.

My parents love coming into the city though and I suppose wanting to buy the official Waspinator (R) is as good an excuse as any, even if the highway between Saskatoon and Humboldt is washed out from all the recent flooding.  Only the best fake wasp nests for my parents I guess.

Sunday, July 4, 2010


I've been wanting to try making sangria for a while.  To be honest I didn't even know what it was until a few months ago until I went to Hole in the Wall for a cooking class and everyone was talking about the amazing sangria you can get there (PS - Hole in the Wall cooking class is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED ahhhhhhhh so fun and delicious).  I looked it up and it sounded excellent and today I decided to see what I could do.

Apparently most/classic sangria is made with red wine, a sweetener, brandy and/or orange liqueur, and sliced fruit (apples, limes, oranges), but I searched around the internet for a bunch of different recipes and decided to use white wine instead.  I wanted to use some stone fruit which supposedly go better with a white wine, and a white wine sangria just felt more summery.

I didn't use one set recipe; I basically combined and tweaked a bunch to work with what I had on hand (and what I felt like buying).  My final combination was approximately as follows:

1 bottle pinot grigio
1 shot brandy
Less than a cup of orange juice
About 1/3 cup of sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
1 lime, thinly sliced
1 large navel orange, sliced
1 peach, sliced into small sections
1 large plum, sliced into small sections
10 large, fresh mint leaves
Carbonated water with lime flavour

I mixed everything except the carbonated water together and chilled it for about 4-5 hours - the mint was an afterthought which I added in the last hour but next time I'll add it at the beginning.  My peach and plum were also not entirely ripe since I bought them today.  I generally prefer nectarines over peaches but the nectarines at the store were rock hard - next time I should definitely buy my stone fruit a few days ahead of time so it can ripen up a bit.

To serve, I put a couple of ice cubes in a glass, filled it about 1/3 with the carbonated water and then filled the rest of the glass with the sangria, although a person could fiddle with that ratio based on how boozy you want it to taste.  It was sooooo good ahhhhhh.  It was my first sangria experience so I'm sure it just gets better from this point, knowing some changes to make for next time.  Also we didn't quite finish the pitcher and I'm excited to try the leftovers tomorrow after it's been chilling together for over 24 hours.  I could definitely taste the difference the longer it sat this afternoon (I tried a teaspoon every hour or so to check how it was coming along).

So here is a picture of the almost empty pitcher.  It's sort of from a weird angle/perspective... anyway I am also trying to think of something creative to do with the wine-soaked fruit rather than just eating it or throwing it out.  Ice cream topping?  Perhaps.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Scene Update

So, the outcome of the Cineplex Scene fiasco is pretty boring.  I got an email on June 30 from a woman in Guest Services telling me that the points had been added to my account, and the trail of messages in the email showed that the investigation request was sent from Scene Help ( to Guest Services ( on June 22.

I still can't believe it took 8 full days to "complete the investigation" but at least I'm getting some compensation for the personal info exchange.  And in the future if these issues arise it's probably best to directly contact Guest Services, an email address that doesn't seem to be publicly available, rather than jump through Scene Help's hoops first.