Monday, August 20, 2012

Life Around Here: Food

So I finally ventured out to Grumman 78 (the resto in the faubourg, not the truck though that would have been awesome!

I drank juice in a bag. Can't say that I've ever done that before. I suppose I can cross that off the life list. Not that it was on the life list...

I'll be honest, I'd probably skip the raspberry lemonade next time. It was a bit too sweet for my liking, plus the bag isn't that eco friendly. But it was fun once!

But the food, that was pretty awesome. Especially cause it was FULL of coriander. Have I ever told you that I LOVE coriander? I do. It makes food awesome. In fact, I can't believe that this is one of those foods in life that I never ate growing up (that and avocados). Honestly, I can't conceive of life without avocados and coriander and yummy Indian food (sorry Mom but you make the worst curry ever and I had no idea how amazing Indian food was until I visited a Sikh temple for an Anthropology project). All these foodie things that I missed out on in life).

So yeah, what was I talking about? Oh, right... tacos. Yummy, coriander filled vegetarian tacos (with veg friendly refried beans - I asked).

While the ambiance of the faubourg is seriously lacking (I don't even know what happened to the place, it used to be MUCH nicer), the food is solid! I'd recommend taking it to go though...

Friday, August 17, 2012

be yourself: blogging how to advice

OMG: for those of you who are bloggers or read blogs or aspire to blogs, I think this post on Helen Jane is the best I've ever read about blogging.

There are so many articles on how to blog out there. How to draw readers in. What to write about, how to find your voice and she just reminds us to dance to our own rhythm and stop trying to anticipate what others want.

Just be yourself. Sound advice!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

life around here

The weather continues to be warm around here, albeit muggy and wet. But I'm not going to complain. I might be back in my jeans again, but I can smell fall in the air and that just makes me happy! I love fall.

We're gearing up for a provincial election here in a couple weeks, which should be interesting. None of the candidates seem particularly promising as I don't feel like any of them are trustworthy.

From corruption to separation to refusing to host an English party page, I'm not feeling very charitable towards Quebec elections or politicians.

Actually, there's one I'm leaning towards but I suspect his campaign promises will fall short in delivery, particularly since it feels like a lot of his ideas are pipe dreams and castles in thin air. 

What I'm really interested in knowing is whether or not voter turn out will be any better this go around, especially given the fact that our choices are so abysmal!

Honest to god, part of me thinks it's time to start thinking about moving back to BC again! But the funny thing is, even though I'm feeling rather pessimistic about the political climate here, I am feeling more and more like this is home. For the longest time I only quasi put down roots in this city but now I see all these ways in which Montreal has become more home to me than the West Coast. It kind of freaks me out but pleases me too!

But really, politics aside, this is just such an amazing city (even for those of us living in the burbs):

I had some time to kill the other day, so I grabbed a coffee, book, and journal, and hung out along the Lachine canal by Atwater market. The photos above and below are from my 2 hours relaxing by the water. (In case you're wondering, I'm making a very concerted effort to remember that I'm still an islander, albeit in Quebec, because I love the water so)! 

The next shot is much less processed but hopefully just as nice. In case you're curious, I actually took these photos on my iPhone and edited them in Picasa. I have to say that the latest Picasa update is pretty solid in terms of trying catch up the with the instagram/etc app fade. I didn't do the above edits in one step like I'd do in an instagram type app (more like 10 steps) but I'm pleased with how they turned out nonetheless!

The photo below gives you a better idea of what the actual lighting at the time I took the photos was like:

 How can you not love a city that lends itself so well to photography? A city with so many fun bits and nooks and crannies just begging to be recorded?

Monday, August 13, 2012

new glasses

So I bought new glasses. Exciting, right? I know. Me too I'm excited.

Wanna see? Of course you do!

Here are the old ones:

Very rectangular. I like them but I've been wearing them for 4 years now. How crazy is that? Yeah. 4 years. They're so loose that they barely stay on my face! I suppose I could tighten them but I also need a stronger prescription so...

Here are the new ones:

 Ok, it's not the greatest of hair days but hair aside... the new ones are more granny style. Not a big change, but overall, subtle enough of a difference that I feel like I'm changing things up a bit, you know? Yeah, you know what I mean!

Best thing about them? I bought them using a coupon for free frames from Clearly Contacts so they cost me $80, including shipping. Sweet, right? I have to say, the process, as much as I stressed about it because I have a big head and worried the frames wouldn't fit right, was pretty awesome because the fit is pretty great. I had to adject the bridge a bit, but that's normal. Overall, I have to say I was pretty happy with the purchase. In fact, if another coupon code comes my way, I may be tempted buy a funkier, fun pair.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Pool drownings, media, and responsiblity

For those of you who live in the Montreal area, you're probably aware that this summer has seen a crazy number of pool/drowning related deaths. It's been hot and incredibly humid. I'm sure that has something to do with it.

The swimming pool where a teen drowned Tuesday night is alongside a wide boulevard across the street from homes in the Montreal borough of LaSalle.
image from the CBC (see link below)

An interview on the CBC about the most recent incident in Lasalle that happened on Tuesday night has me wondering about people's attitudes about the city's responsibility in terms of prevention.

In the interview, a local resident claimed that it was very easy to access this pool by climbing onto a roof near the fence in order to hop over the barbed wire. Apparently the fence has 2 structures on either side that make it fairly accessible to hop the fence without harm. The guest went on to admit that he has done this at another pool in the neighbourhood that was more private and harder for police to see. Moreover, the city gives out tickets when they catch people swimming illegally.

So far, so good, for the most part.

He then said that he felt the city could do more to make it more difficult to access the pool (as in not having the building near the fence that make it easy to climb over it), but went on to say that he'd still sneak into pools after hours because he doesn't think that he'd ever be in harm's way.

My question is this: if the city has put up fences, has police surveying the area, and is handing out tickets, is the city still responsible for doing more to prevent late night illegal swimming escapades?

I mean really? Even though we can climb over the fence, the fence itself is clearly there to tell us we're not allowed to go in, thus alleviating the city of responsibility for our actions when we violate the laws. We know what we're doing. It's pretty clear. So why should the city do more? Just because we can climb over the fence, does that mean that the city is suddenly responsible when we decide to do so? Call me crazy, but it seems to me like the city has done its job and as sad as this incident is, the city is not at fault in any way for failing to do its part in preventing it.

To me that just seems like common sense. Am I wrong?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

thinking, thinking, thinking & frogs!

I feel like I haven't scrapbooked in ages, which I'm sure can't be true. It's funny, doing project life, as much as I like it (yes, I know I haven't shared photos of it in ages, but I'm still doing it), sort of makes it hard to do the big, artsy pages because I use up so many of my photos in the process. I'm not a huge fan of repeating the same photo over and over again. I know that people do it, but for me it feels a little like it defeats the purpose!

Anyways, I broke down and opted to repeat a photo just cause I love it so much:

I apologize for the graininess of this shot. I really should use my fancy schmancy camera more often. I just get lazy and my phone is always close at hand, so it just seems easier. Like I said, lazy!


I was in the car the other day, talking to a friend about an issue I'd talked about in this space and she made the comment that my blog is a "business blog" of sorts. Her timing with the comment couldn't have been more apt because lately I've really been thinking about this space and what I do here. For a while I really wanted to make this space very craft business oriented. At another time I used this space for political issues rants. And in another incarnation (more recently) this space has become all about scrapbooking. Some days it just feels like a space where I share stories with friends and family who live near and far from me.

But now I'm looking at this space again and wondering what I want out of it and what I want to put into it. I suppose this is a natural evolution of a blog during the blogging process.

I think sometimes that knowing some of your readers personally can make blogging hard because I can get caught up in the potential reactions that a post can create. I worry that I'll bore people with my rants or scrapbooking. But I shouldn't, obviously, because it's not like I dragged you kicking and screaming to this space. You chose to be here so I should just be me in this space. And that's kind of the philosophy I've been chewing on most as I think about what I write and where I want to go next.

Yeah, I know I'm probably over thinking this. But hey, it wouldn't be me if I didn't over think it, at least a little bit!

Whatever. People and spaces and blogs change. All my ruminations are just me freaking out about identity and ideas and the sharing process. I'll get over it! And it's my blog, so I'll write what I want to!

Friday, August 3, 2012

life around here

Lest you think that I'm always contemplating my navel and thinking deep thoughts, here are some photos of what we've been up to lately in our home:

Driving through Vieux Ste-Rose and enjoying the local community events!
 I really love Vieux Ste Rose. I drive through it every morning on my way to work and it just makes me happy. Even with all the stop signs that mean it takes me forever to get to the highway. It's quaint and all that good stuff!

Bike rides by the river!

Look what we saw:

You can't see them cause the little buggers are slippery that way, but there are tons of frogs here! Every time we took a step towards the water, a bunch of frogs would jump and swim away. It was awesome. And then Paul tried to get close and ended up stepping in the mud. Ick. But we were by water, so he sorted it out...

Paul and his other mistress: his iPhone
Paul using his resto-Montreal app (it even works in Laval) to figure out where to go for dinner. It was hot an we wanted air conditioning! When we bought the house we decided that it wasn't worth it to pay for the central air option (hello, it was like $10 000 extra). What we didn't think about was the fact that in the next 30 years in this house, the amount of times we go out for dinner and air conditioning might have actually made it worth it...

This is where we went for dinner. Bistro de la Gare. It's on the other side of the river (as in the north shore) but it's cute. And they have books for decor. I dig that. Their sangria is pretty tasty too.

Paul & his other mistress, Mayla, share a beer
Our cat is a water whore. That's right. I said water whore. Drippies, condesation on your glass, mud puddles, toilet bowl, dish under plants. She'll drink water from anywhere and everywhere, except from her bloody fracken water bowl where we just poured fresh water. I'm starting to get pissy about it and am tempted to go out to the mud puddles and collect her water from there because maybe then she'd bloody well drink it! Stupid cat!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

pondering life lessons

I’m an oversharer. 

These have nothing to do with anything. I just found them on the shore while on our recent bike ride adventures (from which I am STILL scratching mosquito bites) and well, I thought they were fun! I dig them, that's all!
So that said, let me tell you about what’s been on my mind lately: Babies. 

As in, to have or not to have them? As in, we’re trying to have one but it’s not such an easy thing because my body is changing and doing some odd things. We know we can get pregnant. That’s not the issue.  Don’t worry, I’m not going to go into the body stuff. 

You can heave your sigh of relief now!  

What my reaction to it all though, is what I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. The recent baby adventures have brought to light is that I still have a lot of shit to make peace with.  Namely, the fact that I’m not sure how ok I am with things being out of my control, and I think that’s a problem when going into motherhood. But more importantly, I think that might be a problem for life in general, you know? 

I want things when I want them. I don’t want the having to work for them so much. And honestly, that’s kind of a shitty thing to have to learn to accept about yourself (and I've been trying to forget that lesson since grad thesis writing taught it to me). I mean, I want to just trust that it’ll be when it’ll be, that it’ll all work out, yadda yadda, but I’m not so good at the letting go bits. I over think them.  And then I over talk about them, which leads people to telling me to stop stressing, so I end up being stressed about the fact everyone thinks I’m stressed, and in the end, I just get frustrated that this is something I have to work  for (physically and emotionally).  

And I’ve learned, in and amongst moving house, taking over a new role at work, and trying to have a baby, that when the going gets tough, well I start doing stupid things like setting deadlines and micro-managing the details like I can actually have control over things.  Oh sure, I tell myself there’s a lesson in it, that I’m learning good shit, but here’s the thing: am I really learning anything when I continue to seek to control that which is actively seeking to defy control? Yes, I see the irony in this: Marya, ever the rebellious one, is now confronted by her own body/mind rebelling against her! Yep, life is funny and karma is a bitch! 

So what am I going to do about it? Nothing? Something?  

Here’s the question I’m currently asking myself: is trying to change myself and my response to this just another way of packaging up my desire to control the situation into a pretty disguise, or is it actually the right thing to do?  Yes, I may be over thinking this people! But welcome to the world of yours truly!

So that’s where I’m at right now. My current stress is not about being able to get pregnant, or even if I want to have a baby, but about what are my reactions to it all telling me about how I need to grow as a person right now?  

(Hmm, maybe this all boils down to is not so much about babies, but the fact that I’m stressed about my reaction to stress)!?


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