Friday, June 29, 2012

THIS is why I love Voice-to-Text

"Hi Robin this is Jordan calling from the dress(?) in Saskatoon.  I'm just calling to let you know that all your bridesmaid dress has arrived today.  We're just eating them and getting them already to go so they can come pick them up whenever good for them(?).  Thanks.  Bye."

Best text messages ever.  Yum!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

What am I doing right now?

What am I doing right now?  I'm wearing my wedding shoes around my house as I go about my daily business to break them in and make sure they are comfortable enough to wear for a full day.

Because I only wear heels like, 4 times a year (you think I'm joking but I'm not - when I get pedicures they're like "wow, your feet are awesome!  You must never wear heels and wear socks all the time" and I'm like "yeah that's exactly right, I am not stylish at all"), I don't know how to walk in them.  This is sort of embarrassing and not "cute" like it is in movies where the girl is perfect in every way except for being sooooo adorably clumsy.  It is lame.  Also, clumsy accidents are not adorable, they are dangerous.  Movies are always like "OOPS I tripped and fell down the stairs and ripped my shirt to show some cleavage and also I have a flower stuck in my hair!  And my glasses fell off to show how beautiful I actually am!  But I'm not hurt!"  A couple weeks ago I fell down some stairs at work and broke the skin on my elbow through a long-sleeved t-shirt, a sweatshirt, AND a pair of thick coveralls.  Always wear your PPE, kids.  And use 3-point contact.

So because I legit don't want to twist my ankle on my wedding but I vainly do want to be a little bit taller since more than half the wedding party is over 6 feet, I am wearing heels BUT they are wedges.  If you are a boy and don't know what wedges are, they are like cheating heels which are way easier to walk in because there is no gap between the toe and heel.  That is a bad explanation, click the link.

But they are still a little bit hard to walk in, and I need to make sure the shoes aren't going to give me blisters or anything either.  So this is where we get to the part where I am walking around my house doing laundry in high heels.

I feel a little bit like a Stepford Wife doing chores in high heels, but also recognize that this is dangerous.  Carrying a basket of laundry into the basement while wearing heels and not being able to use 3-point contact is not safe.  I will probably take them off now.  They are comfortable enough.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Short Hiatus

Sorry guys - busy week, I didn't get enough posts ready.  I will hopefully be back Wednesday.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


One thing that just seems to make life in general more fun is the existence of doppelgangers.  After graduating high school, a couple of my friends who moved out to Edmonton both informed me that my doppelganger had been spotted in Edmonton.  I don't know if it was the same girl, because one friend was taking classes with her at U of A and one friend saw her dancing on a speaker in a bar (a good indication that it wasn't actually me), but the only time I've ever heard of anyone spotting someone who looks a lot like me (other than my sisters, who look a fair amount like me), it's been in Edmonton.  I always ask these people why they didn't take a picture, because I want to see what this girl actually looks like and if we are actually very twinnish.

And don't you think it would be sort of cool to meet your doppelganger?  Not that if I ever finally tracked down this Edmonton lookalike that I would ever travel out there to meet her, but how surreal would it be if I ran into her someday?

My sister has a friend named Mitchell.  One day I was driving home and I saw a guy who I was pretty sure was Mitchell crossing the street.  I looked at him a few times to make sure it actually was Mitchell.  When I got home I was doing a bit of work in the yard and felt someone looking at me.  I looked up, and it was Mitchell, walking by the house.  "Oh!" I said, about to say "I didn't recognize you Mitchell!"  But then I realized it was NOT Mitchell after all.  He didn't respond to my "Oh!" so he probably assumed he'd startled me and kept on walking.

I later mentioned this incident to my sisters, who both have either seen or heard of the Mitchell Twin.

I wonder how people who have met their doppelgangers feel.  Is it weird and bizarre to know someone who looks eerily similar, but isn't related to you?  Take for example Helen Hunt and Leelee Sobieski - while Helen is a couple decades older than Leelee, they look like mother and daughter.  Would it just feel like not a big deal because you do know someone who looks a lot like you (your mom or sister or something), or would it feel a bit creepy?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Quotable Quotes to restore your faith in humanity

Overheard in a breakfast cafe on the weekend:  "They say you're supposed to find something you love and then make a career out of it.  Well, the only things I love are like, hanging out with my friends and drinking, and going out and partying.  No one's going to pay me to do that."

Said by a contractor to an environmental engineer at work:  "You have to do ALL this work, for what?  Just to protect the fucking environment???"

Overheard while walking by a Bill C-38 protest in downtown Saskatoon:  "NOW what are these godforsaken people wasting their time protesting?"

Worthy of a lower-back tattoo, every one of them.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Safety Culture

Working at a site that has a lot of ongoing construction and maintenance and a lot of contractors coming through has made me extremely aware of safety culture, so I notice a lot of unsafe practices happening around me when I'm at home that I wouldn't have necessarily thought of before.

Yesterday I was walking down the street and I noticed a guy shingling a roof (or like, nailing something to a roof with a nail gun, I'm assuming he was shingling).  It was a very steep roof and he was wearing skate shoes, no protective gloves, no protective eyewear, and no fall protection!  It was a myriad of unsafe practices, and I kept glancing over at him to discover more and more safety violations that would have got him fired in 3 seconds from my workplace.

He noticed me looking at him, and kept glancing over as well every time I tried to sneak a peek at what he was doing.  He probably thought I was checking him out because he was so manly, but really I was thinking "That guy is going to shoot himself in the eye with a nail and then fall off the roof, what an idiot."

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The best summer drink

One of my favourite parts of summer is getting to flavour my water with fresh herbs like mint and lemon balm.  Last year my mom gave me some pineapple sage too which was really refreshing.  There are so many neat flavours of herbs out there and I love trying different ones each year.

To add a subtle flavour to water with herbs, just pick off a few leaves, wash them, roll them in your fingers to "bruise" them and release the oils (from the leaves, not your hands, that's gross), then add them to water.  I originally bought a mint plant a few years ago to make my own mint tea, but then realized that I liked it better in cold water.

I find that this lightly flavoured water with minty, fruity herbs is about the most refreshing thing out there, and I love having a large variety of herbs to choose from so I can create different combinations.  Last year I made Brahm one of these drinks and he said it tasted like grass :( :( :(  That was mean but I still love it.

This year so far I only have a lime mint (!!!) plant and a stevia plant.  I am not convinced the stevia adds any sweetness to drinks when added like mint, but I want to figure out what I can do with it.  I can't wait to hit up the Farmers' Market this weekend for some more steeping herbs though!  It's just not summer without flavoured water.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Running Back to Central Vac

I bought a Dyson vacuum last year, for a number of reasons.  And it was awesome because it was so powerful and sucked up all the dirt.  But today I cheated on Dyson with Central Vac.

I don't know how it happened but lately when I've been using the Dyson, even though it is superior technology, I just sort of longed for the days of the light, non-bulky Central Vac that I didn't have to keep unplugging and plugging in each time I changed rooms.  Central Vac, with its easily removable heads to switch where you're vacuuming with ease instead of having to stop the whole operation and untangle a cord and change the whole configuration of the vacuum.  Central Vac - I missed you.

The Dyson is still awesome for many reasons, such as when something gets spilled on the floor and it's too fine to sweep, so you just plug in the Dyson and it's gone in 3 seconds.  And it DOES provide a superior clean to Central Vac.  However, it is bulky and isn't great for vacuuming places like under beds or stairs.  I should buy another attachment, yes.  But it doesn't have as long of a hose as Central Vac.  (And yes, I realize that was some gross innuendo when I'm already anthropomorphizing vacuum cleaners by acting like I'm in a relationship with them, but I don't mean it in a jokey innuendo way.  Central Vac has a very long hose and Dyson doesn't, what else can I say here??)

If we don't buy a house with Central Vac, I can live with a Dyson, and also most Central Vacs get stored in the basement which is so inconvenient.  But I think I'll always secretly pine for Central Vac.  I tried out a newer and more high-tech vacuum but I eventually went running back to Central Vac.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Garlic Update

You are probably like "when is she going to write about garlic again????  That was SO interesting!" well don't fret, you are going to hear all about the garlic today.

If you don't remember the garlic saga, here is a recap, or I will just tell you.  In January I decided to see if one could grow garlic indoors, and it instantly went crazy and started growing huge greens so I got really excited.  But then it got all wilty and stopped growing, so I thought maybe it was done, so I dug one up and it just had a bunch of roots but was just a little bulby guy.  Further research told me that it was possibly in its dormant period - I guess the way you are supposed to grow garlic is get the roots established and then leave it for a while (over winter preferably) and then it will come up again in the spring.

Once I figured out that my garlics were probably dormant, I cut the tops off and left them for a few months.  I didn't water them so I was a bit worried that maybe I killed them.  I put them outside about a month ago when it started to warm up and let the rain take care of them, and over the past few days THIS happened:

They are coming up again!  The one that I didn't dig up a couple months ago started sprouting earlier and it's hard to see the new sprout on the other one because it just poked up today, but they are coming back to life!  Garlic supposedly needs heat to actually get big and mature so hopefully this hot summer will make the Garlic Experiment (TM) a success.  If so this obviously means I am an expert garlicker and I will most definitely be attempting to make my household garlic-sustainable in the future!

The rest of my gardening stuff so far is not as exciting.  My tomatoes are not doing as well as last year but it's only the beginning of June so hopefully they still work.  I definitely won't have as many tomatoes as last year which is sort of sad, but it's my fault for using some old seeds and also using that stupid Jiffy Greenhouse, which totally rotted the seeds because the soil was so wet.  The learning process is part of the fun though I guess... but I will miss having a huge crop of delicious tomatoes like last year.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

House Hunting Week 3: Moms Actually Do Know Stuff

House hunting had been getting really discouraging and stressful lately.  I'd been regretting not buying a couple of the houses we'd seen early on (but how were we to know they were awesome when they were the first couple we saw?) and feeling like we were never going to find anything.  Brahm was getting frustrated because every time he liked a house, I found something wrong with it.  I think the truth was that I was holding out for my "dream house".

But the way life goes is that you generally don't find your dream house when you only have a couple months to look and it is a craaazy seller's market where if you don't jump on a house immediately, you don't get to buy it.  So I was starting to get convinced that we were never going to find anything and should just get an apartment.

One of our criteria when we started looking was that we did NOT want to buy a new build in one of the new suburbs in Saskatoon, because all of those houses have tiny lot sizes, aka super tiny yards and basically touch the house next door.  All of these houses are extremely "cookie cutter" and we were not interested in a cookie cutter house.

However, this week our realtor showed us a cookie cutter house just to see what it was like.  And after a very emotional weekend of coming to terms with what we wanted and what we needed, we decided that maybe a cookie cutter house was what we should buy right now after all.  Because let's face it, while a giant yard that I can landscape the crap out of with bamboo screens and a huge garden and and a greenhouse is still a dream of mine, it's really not a feasible dream for right now when Brahm is working 12 hour days 5 days a week, and I'm living out of town every second week.  And trying to find our dream house in our first house purchase is a ridiculous amount of pressure that isn't fair to put on ourselves.  A smaller, brand-new house with a manageable yard is really what we need right now, and the dream home with the giant yard can be our future goal.  And the thing about the cookie cutter houses, to paraphrase something Brahm said, is that most people like cookies - they are designed for mass appeal with modern people in mind.  They are just NICE.  Not to mention that they are generally quite affordable in this over-inflated housing market.

So anyway, Brahm really wanted to put an offer on this cookie cutter house, but I needed to see it again before making a decision.  I took my mom with me to look again because my mom is always saying that she knows things about houses and I should listen to her advice, and I'm always like "MOM!  I'm 27 and have never owned property so I clearly know more than you, shut up you're embarrassing me, moms don't know anything" (protip:  moms actually do know a lot of stuff and you should listen to them sometimes) (also this is like the time I was 13 and going to one of my first babysitting jobs and my mom was giving me advice and I was like "MOM!  Who took the babysitting course, ME or YOU?" and then both my parents laughed and laughed and laughed for a long time).  So we went to the house and I warmed up to it and was generally ready to make an offer but my mom said "This is the first new build you've looked at.  You have a good idea of what houses in all the other areas of Saskatoon are going for and what a good deal is on older houses, but you have no idea whether this house is a good deal or a ripoff.  It's been on the market for over 2 weeks, there is a reason people haven't bought it yet when everything else on the market that's any good is selling in a day."  She made me drive around the neighbourhood and look for other similar houses that were for sale, and then go online and compare them.

And sure enough, a similar house with the same square footage just down the street was selling for 15k more than the one we looked at, BUT it had a bigger yard, ensuite bathroom, finished basement, better-designed kitchen, top of the line appliances included, legit laundry room (instead of a dark corner in the basement), insulated garage, and a few other good features that I don't remember right now.  None of these listed features were included in the house we were considering, and I can tell you that all of these things together should raise a house value by much more than 15 grand.  Then I looked at all the other new builds that had sold recently, and again, they all had more features than the house we had been looking at and had sold for anywhere between 10-45 thousand dollars less.  Seriously 45 thousand dollars less.  The house WAS ripoff.  A very lovely ripoff, but a ripoff all the same.  What do you know, my mom was right, and potentially saved us from wasting 45 thousand dollars.  Not that our realtor wouldn't have shown us comparables as well, but without taking the time to think about it and just rushing into an offer it's possible we would have been tempted to up our price.

So we didn't put an offer on the house, but we know our focus now and we're on the same page.  It was a very emotional weekend coming to this conclusion, but now that we know that we are going to buy a starter home, not our forever home, and all the starter homes on the market are basically the same and a dime a dozen, we just have to pick one that is a good value for our money and in an area that we can tolerate.

I'm excited about house hunting again, after gradually getting more and more stressed out and discouraged over the past few weeks.

Monday, June 4, 2012

I vow to not flush the toilet when you're in the shower

The thing that seems to be all the rage these days at weddings is writing your own vows.  Which is very cool if that's what you're into, and it's nice that it's something that's allowed these days too, because if you feel that the traditional vows aren't really what you want to say then you can say something that means more to you.

But the thing I think people need to remember too is that original vows are awesome but they are not necessarily MORE awesome than traditional vows.  Just because you're not writing your own vows does NOT mean you love each other less than the couples who write their own vows.  Taking time to write "extra meaningful" vows doesn't equal more love.  (Side note, sometimes people write "funny" vows which to me is kind of awkward, like shouldn't vows be serious promises, not a comedy routine?  Save the comedy for the toasts!  I always cringe a bit when people on wedding blogs write "and my husband had all the guests rolling in the aisles with his hilarious vows about putting the toilet seat down" but I guess I'm trying to tell you all not to judge traditional vows so maybe I shouldn't judge comedy vows, if that's your thing.)

I am ever grateful to A Practical Wedding, which I've blogged about before, for explaining this to me.  A Practical Wedding is so wise.  When Brahm and I first got engaged we talked about writing our own vows and we thought it would be cool and more meaningful than traditional vows, but then I realized that as an introvert, writing and saying my own vows in public was probably not going to happen.  Expressing myself that raw-ly in front of so many people terrified me.  (Strangely for an introvert, I do not have a fear of public speaking in general though.)  And I kind of felt bad about it, and Brahm really wanted to write our own vows, so it stressed me out a bit until A Practical Wedding set me straight.

What A Practical Wedding says about traditional vows is that they are awesome, because they are tried-and-true words that have been used for generations and started off millions of happy marriages.  It is TOTALLY meaningful to say these words that have been said so many times before you, words that so succinctly describe exactly what you should be promising when you marry someone.

A couple weekends ago we sat down to talk about wedding stuff and the subject of vows came up.  "Honestly - I can't write my own vows, and the traditional vows are what I want to say," I said.  He agreed that maybe we should just go the traditional route because writing vows that sum up what you want to say is HARD.  So, RELIEF.

So anyway, if you come to our wedding and you hear us use the traditional vows, know that we put a lot of thought into deciding to use them, and that people do have reasons for using or not using original vows that have nothing to do with how much they love each other or how seriously they take the ceremony.  I will sure mean every word I say of those traditional vows because in my opinion they can't be topped, and they are EXACTLY what I want to say.

In other wedding news, The Berry Barn's website got squatted, my dress came in (but it's too big so it has to get altered), and we ordered our favours from an awesome Etsy shop which further contributes to my intense love of Etsy and its sellers.  OH and also I went for my trial hair appointment where I had booked a stylist that a friend recommended and they were like "oh she got booked for your wedding day so we put you with someone else" and I was like "YEAH she was booked, I thought that's what I did when I called 3 months ago???  You jerks" and they were like "Yeah but she's really hard to get into" and I was like "So that means it's okay to cancel my appointment with her?" but I am pretty sure it's impossible to actually book in 6 people for wedding hair 2.5 months ahead of time for an August wedding so I had no choice but to stick with this jerk salon.  Luckily the new girl they gave me did a great job.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Motion sickness! The worst!

Flying home from work this week was THE WORST.  Apparently we were under some cumulus clouds (said the pilots) which caused CONSTANT turbulence for 2.5 hours.  Which got worse with all the taking off and landing in La Ronge, Prince Albert, and then finally Saskatoon.

I did NOT throw up, which is sort of a victory, but also sort of a WTF because all I wanted to do was throw up and feel better instead of feeling sick the entire way home.  The best part of the flight was when I got out my barf bag and almost threw up because my stomach seemed to settle a bit. 

Thus, I have to say that the only thing worse than throwing up from motion sickness is ALMOST throwing up from motion sickness but never actually doing it.  Although I have never actually thrown up from motion sickness, so maybe I just have a special form of it that never makes me actually throw up but just makes me feel horrible.

Motion sickness sucks the most.  It makes roller coasters not fun and makes flying to work terrible in the summer (in the winter the flights are pretty smooth).  I was reading about it today and weirdly it's supposed to go away when you stop being a kid, not develop in your 20s :(  (This is similar to how people are supposed to get gout when they are 60 year old men, not 22 year old women - another story for another time.)  Motion sickness is caused by your inner ear feeling motion but your eyes not seeing the motion apparently, so maybe on the next flight I should try sitting by the window and looking out the entire time (SUPER BORING but at least I might not feel sick).

I wish there was a cure for motion sickness because it is just a stupid thing that makes you turn into a lameo who can't go on roller coasters.  WORST.  I am happy about Gravol's existence but also it is super disgusting and hopefully not detrimental to my health to use it every week.