Saturday, December 24, 2011

happy christmas to all

I have taken a semi self imposed and semi accidental break from the computer. I meant to put up a post saying 'merry christmas- I'm busy with friends and family and after a semester of full time work and school I need a break- see you in the new year.' but then I ran out of time before travelling.

Now that I've arrived, no one knows the password for the wifi- so I'm connection-less on my computer and actually not all that upset about it. The Internet will still be there tomorrow and the next day. That being said, I do love that I've met so many nice people in blog land so I do hope that you all have a happy Christmas or a happy whatever you'll be celebrating or not celebrating this year. I hope you all get to enjoy some well-deserved time off and enter the New Year rested and rejuvenated!
ice cream and christmas- together at last
Be safe and be happy!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

scene from a semi long run

I'm not on a training plan. I don't know what my exact race plans for 2012 are. I haven't decided exactly what I'm going to focus on. But I am still running. Even as the weather is getting colder, I'm putting on the shoes and getting some miles* in. Sometimes it is for a quick "reset" run between the end of my work day and the start of my evening, while other times it is a nice long-ish run in the sun followed by coffee...with some great friends.

This Sunday, none of us had any big plans for the day so after deciding to meet a little later to the morning, it was off for an "Old Port" run in the sun. It was nice to get out there and enjoy a beautiful Sunday morning. And shockingly, it was December 18th and the first time I had run in long pants- it has definitely been a mild winter!

photo break in the old port
I'll figure out what the race plans are soon enough. But until then, I'm enjoying running for fun!

How has winter started for you- mild or terrible?


*I recently read a bit of a rant by a Canadian saying that posting in miles is selling out and trying to appeal too much to the American reader. Even though I'm not a huge fan of the blog that was being ranted about, I was on this blogger's side- I actually run in miles. Yes, I'm Canadian, but I run in miles. It is just how I think about running. Partially because training plans are often written in miles and it is easier that way, but the other part is that when I started, I didn't know how far a mile was- so running a mile seemed far more abstract than running 1.6 km. So there you have it- I'm a mile runner.

Friday, December 16, 2011

funny friday sign

I take the Metro fairly frequently. It is really convenient (there's a stop around the corner) and it means not having to drive or find parking in downtown Montreal. I notice this sign a lot and it makes me laugh every time.
people with reduced mobility
Is there a pregnant lady in the world who looks like that?

Happy Friday! Have a great weekend. Anyone have any big plans?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

scenes from the week- christmas trees and meat, together at last

So life is no great. I handed in my paper (YAAAAAAAAY) and just have to do some thesis reading and emailing and chatting. But nothing to hand in for grades until well after Christmas - so life feels much better now. My brain? Fried. I commented to my boss on Monday that it was just Monday and I already had 'Friday brain.' I was genuinely having trouble speaking in full sentences and my brain was so tired I was actually starting to feel dizzy. It was pretty nuts. But now the paper is handed in (with the thought "well...it is good enough") celebratory beers have been had, and I can follow the steps in my "cheer guide" to start getting excited about Christmas.

And since my brain is still mushy, I'll share a couple of pictures instead of trying to sound intelligent :)

First up- we bought a small tree this year but didn't have a tree stand. The other day, Jordan came home with this:
best. stand. ever.
I have no idea what it originally sold for in...what the 1950s? But the actual retail price: $5! Perfect. Especially because our tree was $25.

I took a lunchtime walk to the market yesterday. It was great to get outside and get moving at lunch and the market at Christmas time is just so joyful. Outside it smells like Christmas trees and winter. Inside, it smells like Christmas dinner. But one of the best parts of going in the middle of a week day was seeing this:
mmm...meat
I know it sounds weird, but I actually found watching the guys load the giant sides of meat from the truck to the cart. And to see it actually look like part of an animal. Some find it gross, I find it cool. And I kind of wanted to steal the cheese truck next to it.

Happy Wednesday- hope you can make it a Wine Wednesday!

If you're a meat eater- if you could only have one kind of meat for the rest of your life, what would it be? (I'd pick pork...with the hope that somehow fish didn't count)

Monday, December 12, 2011

on being a student who works full time

This is my view for the work week. I work in my home office, mostly from my work computer but sometimes from my own computer.
worky worky
This is my view while I'm doing school work. I work from home, sometimes in my office, from my own computer.
that's not even half of it
That document you see on the screen of my computer? That is the paper I hope to hand in either today or tomorrow. While it doesn't mean the end of thinking about school (I need to read some more background documents regarding my thesis work and get some of that organized), it means the end of having to think about handing in my assignments for the semester.

I'm looking forward to spending a little less time sitting in this chair.

Friday, December 09, 2011

friday morning coffee

Friday morning coffee is the best coffee of the work week. French press- I love you.
delicious

Thursday, December 08, 2011

another sign

As I've stated before- my neighbourhood is really quite interesting. So it really shouldn't be surprising that I came across the following sign while taking a walk the other day:
who shot the sheriff?
I wonder what prompted the crossing out of the word sheriff?

Have you ever actually met a sheriff?


Wednesday, December 07, 2011

five things about me part two

Remember part 1? Well here are five more things about me:

1- When I first started running, I ran alone. I loved the alone time and I couldn't imagine running being anything other than "me time." True, at the time I didn't know anyone who I could run with, but I also didn't feel like I had a reason to run with others. Now that I run with others regularly, I can't imagine going an entire training cycle of long runs and speed work all by my lonesome. Sure, I love a good solo-run to work through my issues...but most runs are much more fun with friends.
high five!
2- I love christmas oranges. Love them.

3- If I have the choice between french toast, waffles, or pancakes, I'll choose pancakes every time. The exception might be this though:
full of buttery goodness
4- I don't believe in astrology or fortune telling or anything like that. But my zodiac sign is Cancer...and I'm really quite "crab-like."

5- Even though it meant spending Christmas away from our families, one of my favourite Christmases was the year we flew to San Francisco on Christmas day. Random fact- the customs agent did not say a WORD to me as I went through customs. Not a word. I don't think he was happy to be working.
christmas morning at the airport (with an orange)
Again- tell me something about yourself.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

christmas cheer guide

Even during the Christmas season, we don't always feel so cheery and filled with the holiday spirit. Maybe it was a bad day at work, winter traffic, other people being stupid, or crowded shopping mall parking lots that bring you out of the Christmas glow. Or maybe your life is just a little crazy and you're finding it a little hard to get into the spirit. If any of this applies to you this season, here are my surefire ways to get into (or back into) the holiday spirit.

1- A cup of Cheer.

red cup for the win
Even if Starbucks isn't your thing- sitting down with a nice warm cup of your favourite winter coffee, tea, or warm beverage is a nice break from all the craziness of the holidays. Throw on some music and just enjoy a few minutes by yourself or with someone you like to spend time with. Just moved to Liberia and aren't sure about drinking a warm beverage on a warm day? Crank up the A/C, put on a Christmas sweater, and enjoy the beverage for a few minutes. Then resume your pool sitting and sunning.

2- A Christmas Tree.
a very philly christmas
Even if I don't have one at home, sitting near a Christmas tree and looking at the decorations and the lights always puts me in the Christmas spirit. They're so shiny and pretty and it is hard not to feel happy when you're sitting in the glow of the tree (and if you're lucky, smelling pine!). Whether it is a tree as a part of the mall's Santa display or a tree in a good friend's living room, it always puts a smile on my face (even one that looks like this). Can't find a tree to look at in person? Open a bottle of Pine Sol, put on some Christmas music, and google image search "Christmas Tree." Then try not to spill the Sol as you sniff it.

3- A Christmas Movie
Can I refill your egg nog for you? Get you something to eat? Drive you out to the middle of nowhere and leave you for dead?
Whether you're an Elf, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, Home Alone, Die Hard, or Love Actually fan, a Christmas movie is ideal for Christmas cheer. The soundtracks are full of Christmas music, the sets are gloriously cheery, and in general, things work out in the end. They are feel-good movies that make you feel all warm and cuddly inside. Even Bad Santa makes you feel good for parts of it. So find a movie, grab some popcorn, and let the cheer overtake you. May I recommend Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer? Just make sure you watch the whole way through- it is a bit of a downer if you just watch the part where society bullies the characters who are different.

4- Holidays on Ice.

(source)
No, I don't mean some sort of Disney ice capades holiday show.  If you aren't familiar with David Sedaris, you should really become familiar with him. His short stories are pithy, smart, and hilarious. Especially the Christmas ones. While I'm sure reading the book is quite nice, I recommend listening to the audio version of Holidays on Ice. He narrates the audiobook and the way he tells his own stories is practically perfect in every way. If nothing else, these will make you laugh and will make you wonder what the heck the Dutch were up to.

5- Booze it up.
cause of and solution to all life's problems
If all else fails, spike your coffee, make your egg nog a double, drink gin right out of the bottle...whatever your style, booze it up good. If it doesn't put a little cheer in your step, just drink more and you'll forget why you needed cheer in the first place. This is actually probably the best option if life has beaten that holiday spirit right out of you, but just for the sake of your health, try numbers 1 through 4 before resorting to this one.

What would be in your Christmas cheer guide?

Monday, December 05, 2011

favourite things christmas blog swap- thank you!

So I decided to participate in the Favourite Things Christmas blog swap over at Best thing is Love. Since one of my favourite things about Christmas is finding fun things to give to people, it seemed like a fun thing to do.

I got my gift in the mail at the end of last week and it was full of all sorts of fun goodies from Nicole:

There was hot chocolate, two kinds of barks, a gift card for some new holiday tunes, a great magazine, and of course- a little Baileys for some extra holiday cheer (and since Nicole won't be drinking Baileys this Christmas, I'll gladly dedicate that drink to her).

Thank you again Nicole! I can't wait to pick out some new music!

What is one of YOUR favourite things to do, give, or eat around Christmas?