Sunday, July 31, 2011

How to Eat Fried Worms

One of the first "chapter books" we read as a novel study in elementary school was How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell.  It's a book about a kid who must eat 15 worms in 15 days to win a bet for 50 bucks.  I quite enjoyed the book in grade 3 but didn't really think much about it ever again until 2006 when I saw a movie of the book was being made.  I never saw the movie and I don't think it did too well at the box office (I don't know if it's still a common grade 3 novel study) but recently I saw it being advertised to be shown on Family Channel (yes I sometimes watch Family Channel...) and watched it... alone on Friday night... but that's beside the point...

Anyway I have to say, I really enjoyed it.  I know it's a kids' movie, targeted at elementary school boys, but it made me happy.  They changed it quite a bit from the book as far as I can remember (10 worms in one day, made it a bit more about overcoming bullying I think), but I really liked it because it was one of those movies that made me remember how much fun it was to be that age.  No weekend commitments, just running around the neighbourhood with your friends getting into trouble.

It was just a sweet, 100% wholesome and kid-appropriate, feel-good movie that I don't think there are too many of these days.  I like movies like that.  When I was a kid, the actual target age for watching these types of movies, other kids made fun of me for not watching "grownup" movies so I was embarrassed to admit what my favourite movies were.  Funny how 15 or so years later there are less people in my life who would make fun of me for watching kids' movies!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Scoping out Wedding Venue!

You may or may not know that we booked our wedding venue (and photographer) before we were "officially" engaged.  The way we saw it, we'd been talking about getting married for years so the "official" engagement coincided more with actually announcing things rather than making wedding plans.  So no, the proposal was not a Big Surprise but not having any input into my own future before we started making wedding plans would not have flew.  I digress.

But anyway, we booked The Berry Barn near Saskatoon for our venue without looking around too much.  We went out there in the spring before anything was blooming to check it out and decided it was the place we wanted.  I'd never seen it in the summer, or with the tents set up, so we sort of took a gamble.  Then a couple days ago my sister Megan went out there with some friends and started worrying that it might be too small of a venue and would be a terrible venue if it rained.  I wasn't too phased but still a little worried that maybe we had jumped the gun and should have shopped around a bit more.

BUT yesterday Allyson and I went to check it out, and all my worries evaporated and turned into excitement.  I get to get married and have a big party in this awesome space!

 When you first walk in to this very large outdoor space, there is a big set of tents on one side and tons of trees and flowers and Saskatoon berry bushes on the other!  The berry bushes surround the whole property so snacks will always be within reach haha.

 A closer up picture of the tents - unless it rains, sides stay up.

Inside the tent - definitely not set up for a wedding... see the next picture from the Berry Barn's website:

A little better I'd say.

 What you see standing beside the tent.

Shady deck area for hanging out with a glass of wine (or, plastic cup of wine, v. classy).  Another view:

So nice!  I can't wait to sit there and visit with people.

 The arch that begins the aisle, ending at a little chapel!

Not sure why that table is there haha.

Seating areas from the steps of the chapel.

 The best part:  A FIRE PIT!  Yes I am having s'mores and hotdogs at my wedding woooooooooo.  SO FUN yes my dress will smell like smoke but I will also have to pee in an outhouse so you just have to not care at some point.

 Another shot from the back of the area (the fire pit is behind those big trees).

Final shot of the property with the fire pit on one side and the deck wayyy in the back.  I am not sure if water runs through that little stream or if it's just for decoration or for runoff when it rains.

Yayyyyyy what a nice venue!  And even if it rains and we have to stay in the tent, I don't care.  I would rather wear rubber boots than heels anyway.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Letter from the Past

On the last day of grade nine (June 20, 2000), my very excellent English teacher Ms. Mackenzie had us all write a letter to ourselves that she would send us in ten years.  I got my letter recently (a year late, not mentioning that as an annoyance but to clarify for anyone who reads this and is like "but it's 2011!!!  Good job on the MATH DEGREE, NOT") and thought I would share some advice and questions from my 15 year old self.


Dear Robyn,

Hi.  How are you?  I am fine.  I am now at the end of grade 9, the last day of classes.  I am not extremely happy, because I was just starting to get into it and now it’s done, so I’ll have to start all over again next year because grade 10 will be different.

So, do I still have the same handwriting?  Am I rich and famous?  What’s going on?  Where am I living?  Am i even living?  Have I published that book yet?  If I haven’t, DO IT NOW!  You probably have a computer, right?  Type it up!  Get moving.

So what are the slang expressions?  Now they are stuff like, “cool,” and “sweet.”  Really stupid.  The only one I say is cool, because it’s the only word that’s cool.

What was the canoe trip like?  Was it fun?  Will I always remember it?

Who of these people in my class do I still know?  [Names removed haha] (that was our seating arrangement).


Robyn, Age 15, 2000

Dear 15 Year Old Robyn,

So to answer your questions, my handwriting is pretty similar.  It still looks a bit teenagery but I think it has gotten slightly more grownup, though a handwriting analyzer would probably guess I was a teen.  No, I am not rich and famous in the sense you were asking about.  I am not a movie star or a bestselling author because I know that's what you were implying, but I'm probably making more money than I should be only a year out of school and as for the famous part, just type "wisdom teeth change face shape" into Google Images... so sort of rich and famous.  Just not what you imagined.  I'm living in Saskatoon and no, I have not published a book.  But at least I'm trying to write more often by having this blog.  And the book you're probably thinking of, where I publish all of my private journals filled with not-very-juicy teen angst, is NEVER going to happen. 

I think slang is pretty much the same actually...

And the canoe trip WAS awesome.  Definitely one of my favourite memories from high school.  I think I will always remember it and I'm glad you decided to go on it.

I'm still a little bit in touch with a couple of the people you mentioned, but not close.  Which is totally okay, since I've made a lot of amazing friends since I finished high school.  I definitely didn't marry whichever boy it was you had a crush on in that class, which is probably what you were implying by that question, but I'm going to marry someone a lot better.  You will have to wait about 6 more years to meet him, but it'll be worth it, I promise.


Robyn, Age 26, 2011

Monday, July 18, 2011

Airport Douchebags

Ever since I heard this Louis CK bit (fast forward to the 2 minute mark if you are impatient, but the whole thing is great):

I have tried to be more appreciative of the miracle of flight.  I fly a lot (it's how I commute to work every shift) on pretty tiny planes so already I have gained an appreciation for Air Canada Jazz planes, which I used to think were tiny and annoying, now they seem luxurious compared to what I ride in every week.  So yes, it may take me half a day or more to get to Montreal but at least it doesn't take me several days or weeks.  I remember that and it makes me a happier traveler.  So I try to keep the complaining about delays etc. to a minimum.

However, what I WILL complain about, are airport douchebags.  To me these are the people who loudly complain about service that isn't actually that bad or the people who want everyone around them to think their life is super interesting so they talk LOUDLY about their money or "fame" or whatever.

I went to Montreal this weekend and encountered many airport douchebags.  First off, some unknown band in the Saskatoon airport all wearing sunglasses and talking loudly about their shows.  I just cringe when people wear sunglasses indoors and try to be cool in such an uncool place as the Saskatoon airport.  Dudes.  Who do you think you are?  It's freaking Saskatoon and you aren't celebs.  Take of your sunglasses and read the Star Phoenix like the rest of us.

Next, in the Tim Hortons line in the Toronto airport, a ridiculously overweight man was standing at the counter while the cashier tried to take orders, loudly complaining to his wife that the food was taking forever.  His wife nervously tried to calm him down by saying something like "now honey, there is a huge lineup and they're obviously busy" to which he loudly responded "Yeah well I don't care, I'm f---ing hungry".  Umm that's great fat slob, so is everyone else in line.  (Normally I would not bring someone's weight into this argument but he was being such a horrible jerk I feel justified in doing so.)

And finally on my way to Toronto from Montreal, I had the pleasure of sitting down next to another band, or bunch of roadies, or backup musicians or something and got to listen to them loudly discuss how Hawaii sucks, how to get frequent flyer points and which celebrities they've booked flights for on frequent flyer points, and my personal favourite sarcastic quote:  "Don't you just LOVE agents??" to which they all chuckled heartily.  Yeah agents SUCK woooooo we're famous.

On our Iceland trip we met a great example of an Airport Douchebag.  He and his girlfriend/wife/sister were on our flight from Toronto to Iceland, and then connecting on to Paris.  The flight left Toronto about half an hour late and he was loudly freaking out about them possibly missing their plane to Paris.  He called over the flight attendant and voiced these concerns, and the flight attendant informed him that he had nothing to worry about because the plane we were on was the plane going to Paris, so it couldn't leave until we got there anyway.  After she left, he continued to loudly swearingly complain about the situation because he didn't believe the flight attendant.  He clearly knew the flight schedule better than her and tried to get everyone else sitting in the area worried about missing their connecting flights.  After he finally shut up he and his girlfriend/wife/sister smacked the TV touch screens for the duration of the 5 hour flight.  Did I mention they were sitting right behind Brahm and me, so it felt like kids were kicking our seats the whole flight.  Love that guy.  I will always remember him as my favourite Airport Douchebag.

How not to be an airport douchebag:  don't try to make everyone else in the airport jealous of your life of luxury which doesn't actually exist, stop complaining about the service unless it's ACTUALLY terrible (because let's face it, you're in an airport, everyone here is making minimum wage, or you're sitting in economy, what do you expect), and remember that you're in a chair flying through the sky.  Calm down, watch your movie, drink your ginger ale and it will all be over soon enough.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Some totally mint texts

This summer I've got three types of mint (chocolate, peppermint, and spearmint) growing in pots in my front yard.  I usually just put a few leaves in a glass of water to add some subtle and delicious flavour (together with lemon balm it is especially good, although Brahm told me it tasted like grass - whatever).  However my sisters started making mojitos one day and almost stripped my entire spearmint plant of all its leaves in one afternoon.  I was sort of annoyed, so my mom, one of the mojito drinkers, went to the Farmers' Market the next morning and bought me two bags of fresh mint.

It was a very nice gesture but since I normally only use 3 or 4 leaves a day and mint doesn't last more than a few days in the fridge once it's been picked (and does not freeze well), I wasn't sure what to do with it.  I don't have a good setup or area for drying it to make tea, so I have mostly just been putting a lot more leaves than usual in my water since I wasn't feeling especially ambitious to look up mint recipes this week.  My mom took one bag home and WAS ambitious to look up mint recipes, as evidenced in the following series of texts:

Mom:  Mint is getting a little wilted im going to put it im scrambled eggs
Me:  Hmm I don't know how that would taste
Mom:  Just supposed to bed it at the end to bring out the  aroma im going to try it right now ill let you know
Mom:  Its good just bed it at the end before you fold the moelet it bring out the flavor just egg and mint chopped or not you will like it bring

So... mint in eggs?  I can't imagine it being that good, and I can't work up the nerve to potentially waste eggs by adding mint and it being too gross to eat.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Gardening - The Adventure Continues

My last post about gardening was almost 2 months ago, and a lot has happened since then! 

I took this picture in early June, after transplanting my tomatoes once again into larger pots:

And now just barely a month later, every single one has buds or blooms or tiny tomatoes!  I had to buy cages yesterday because some were starting to fall over, but now they are all well-supported and hopefully on their way to producing an abundance of colourful and delicious tomatoes.

The one neat thing about having to be away from home for 7 days at a time is getting to see how much the plants grow from the time I leave to when I get home again - I'm pretty sure they grew about a foot during the last week.  And when I left, only 4 plants had little tomato buds on them but now they all do!

I often look out my window and see people staring at all the plants as they walk by.  I am sure some people think a crazy old woman obsessed with plants must live at my house, but when your backyard is a parking lot with no where to plant things, you have to improvise.

Besides the 20 tomato plants, I have 4 celery plants, two eggplants (which are still tiny and I highly doubt I'm going to get anything out of), 3 types of mint, lemon balm, 4 cucumber plants that aren't doing so well but we'll see what happens, parsley, dill (which is dying, but I threw some seeds in the rocky dirt to see what would happen - looks like they are coming up), bell peppers, stevia, and then yesterday my mom came to visit and I realized there were a bunch more plants in the yard.  I think this needs to stop before it gets too out of control.