Friday, October 29, 2010


Bob, I think it's carrots you smell. The cooked kind.

Fresh Baking, lumber stores, and freshly brewed coffee- good smells.

Bacon, Popcorn (especially the stale popcorn breath smell of movie theaters), Cigarette Smoke and Boiled Cabbage- not so good.

Even worse? Cooked Carrots. Oatmeal.

I can't stand the smell of either of those things. I'm not sure what it is. Maybe it's the sweet undertone? Maybe it is a residual childhood memory that involved having the flu and those smell pushing my nausea over the edge. I can be walking through the office enjoying the smell of freshly brewed coffee and toast when all of the sudden I am stopped dead in my tracks by Oatmeal. Someone has cooked it and almost instantly my tummy turns. Ugh... I'd rather smell the sickly sweet synthetic Maple Syrup instant Oatmeal because it overpowers the original assaulter.

I don't have an issue with Oatmeal cookies or granola, it's just the cooked stuff. I don't have a problem with raw carrots or even eating cooked carrots (usually)- I just don't want to smell the stuff.

Am I alone in these aversions? What smells can you just NOT STAND? Please, do tell!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Friggin' Twilight

There are some things that make you laugh so hard that you had to admit... I watch Jersey Shore.

Figgin' Twilight from Jimmy Kimmel Live

Top 40 Essential Canadian Novels of the Decade

Words for Thought

I am a CBC listener and lover. Over the last month CBC has asked Canadians to come forward and nominate the top Canadian books of the last decade.

Well, the response came in by the thousands and here is the top 40 list:

A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews
Bottle Rocket Hearts by Zoe Whittall
Clara Callan by Richard B. Wright
Come, Thou Tortoise by Jessica Grant
Conceit by Mary Novik
Crow Lake by Mary Lawson
Drive-by Saviours by Chris Benjamin
Elle by Douglas Glover
Essex County by Jeff Lemire
Far to Go by Alison Pick
February by Lisa Moore
Galore by Michael Crummey
Heave by Christy Ann Conlin
Inside by Kenneth J. Harvey
Late Nights on Air by Elizabeth Hay
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Moody Food by Ray Robertson
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
Pattern Recognition by William Gibson
Room by Emma Donoghue
Shelf Monkey by Corey Redekop
Skim by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki
Sweetness in the Belly by Camilla Gibb
The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis
The Birth House by Ami McKay
The Bishop's Man by Linden MacIntyre
The Bone Cage by Angie Abdou
The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill
The Day the Falls Stood Still by Cathy Marie Buchanan
The Fallen by Stephen Finucan
The Last Crossing by Guy Vanderhaeghe
The Stone Carvers by Jane Urquhart
The Way the Crow Flies by Ann-Marie MacDonald
The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood
Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden
Through Black Spruce by Joseph Boyden
Twenty-Six by Leo McKay Jr.
Unless by Carol Shields

Canada has spoken! We asked you for your nominations for the Top 40 Essential Canadian Novels of the Decade and did you ever answer.Canadians around the world sent in their suggestions through our recommendation form, email, Facebook and Twitter. We tallied up each and every vote. More than 6,000 nominations came in and you voted for 400 different novels of every genre: science fiction, mystery, romance, young adult and more. We couldn't be more thrilled with the result! But enough about how awesome Canadian book lovers are. Without further ado, here's the Top 40 list as chosen by you!

Cast your vote for your most essential novel below! Only one vote per person, so choose carefully. Over the next 10 days we'll be exploring the chosen novels in more detail, so check back to get the lowdown on all 40 contenders. The poll is open until midnight ET November 7, and we'll reveal the Top 10 list on November 9.

To cast your vote go to CBC Canada Reads

I've only ready a handful of the books listed above. I think I will dive in and pick another handful to bring into my reading list- Oh but which ones to pick?

Have you read any of the books on the list? If yes, which ones have you enjoyed? Which ones have you not enjoyed...

I definitely pick my books by their covers. Not all but many... I've often found myself pleasantly surprised. I am drawn to the following books:
  • Skim by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki
  • Come, Thou Tortoise by Jessica Grant
  • Moody Food by Ray Robertson (mostly for the mention of food)
So I think I will start there.

Monday, October 25, 2010


Nice things don't just come in Blue Boxes you know.

There is a new way of saying...
I Love You
I'm Sorry
Happy Birthday
or Just Because

It's not flowers, it's not candy, it's not jewelery (though it usually doesn't hurt either),  it's BeautyGram.

"Sending a BeautyGram is the sweetest way to simply and conveniently make her feel special. Women all over are talking about getting the "pink box" . This little packaged bundle will encompass the feel good factors and stimulate the senses with all the beauty must haves a woman deserves. The Beautygram experience begins with the first glance at the hot pink box which continues to radiate its glitz by its amazing tastes and smells, and finishes off with an amazing spa day experience. Let her indulge with the finest products that make her day!"

Sounds kind of cute in my opinion. These little packages start modestly at a cool $99 (Canadian) and work their way up effortlessly from there.

Hand Delivered in Style
Cute, isn't it! I'm not a Sex and the City OH MY GOD I LOVE SHOES AND PINK kind of girl but I like creative ideas. I like having as many different options for gift giving becasue it makes my life easy. This is one of those things. Kudo's to new ideas!
Pictures borrowed from the Life Styles section of the Calgary Herald.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Five Differences

Today is Friday and I played this game at work in the afternoon:

A new spin on a classic game. The graphics are surprizingly attractive.

Never Say "No" to Panda

Whoever said Panda's were cute obviously never said "no" to them:

Never say "No" to Panda

Panda is a Cheese company in China.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


It takes:

  • Nelly Furtado
  • Walter Gretzky
  • Olivia Newton-John 
  • George Stroumboulopoulos
  • a few hockey players
  • A bit of Glee and a whole lot of Hockey to make this movie...

It opens this Friday and to be honest, it makes me giddy just like a Tim Hortons commercial and wool socks.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Day After

It is the day after Election Day and Calgary has a new Mayor. He was called the dark horse, a distant third in a battle of 15 candidates. No previous political experience, only business and life experience. He won the respect of the hipsters, the young voters plus others and in the end he won the race.

Meet Naheed Nanshi:

It was wonderful to see Calgary passionate about something other than hockey, Stampede or the H1N1 influenza vaccine clinics. Calgary was passionate about Calgary. The election broke city records with 53.24% eligible voter turn out, killing the previous record from 1989 of 47%. Voting stations ran out of ballots and had to have more couriered for other places. There were chalk drawings on the ground for one candidate and happy volunteers marching down the side walks holding signs for another candidate. People were honking, waving and happy to be having an election (that is until you got into line, the voting stations were not organized for such a voting participation).

Now, as a city, it will be interesting to see what we have chosen. I admit, I didn't vote for Nenshi. I started out being a supporter but over time and through my research I found that another candidate grew on me. Up until the last hour before I went to cast my vote I was undecided. It came down to "If my vote was the deciding vote, who would I want to choose..."

And that is how I came up with my final decision.

Nenshi has many promises and ideas of how to build on the city and make it better. I am curious to see where this takes us. Really, I'm just happy that half the city came out to vote. And happy that we busted out of our Cow-Town stereotype... at least for a while.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Decisions are Made by Those Who Show Up

Make your mark.

The word idiot originates from the Greek word idiwtes (idiotes), which refers to a person disinterested in participating in democracy and public life.  These people were viewed as selfish, contemptible and stupid as they were more concerned with their daily personal affairs than they were of the good of the society. 

Today is voting day in Calgary.

For the first time in my short little life I have actually witnessed passion in a civic election. Perhaps it's just my ward and my demographic however, people are actually interested. It's a hot topic on many peoples lips. Mature conservatives are pulling towards McIver, younger risk takers are Team Nenshi and some are even pulling for a former evening anchor woman Ms. Barb Higgins. Out of a race of 12 (? I think. 3 people have pulled out early) there are 3 front runners all appearing to be neck to neck to neck -- though what do the polls show anyway? That's a whole other conversation.

I don't care who you vote for (Well, in a way I do. There are a few people I would rather NOT see in City Hall but truly, I'd rather that everyone show up and cast their stone.) just as long as you vote.

Don't feel educated enough to make a decision- here are some links that might help you out:

Full unbiased list of all contenders

Everything you need to know before you vote

Don't be an "idiot" and get out there and vote. You don't have a legitimate excuse in my opinion. Employers are obligated by law to allow their employees time off to cast their ballots. Plus, you get a free breakfast at Holy Grill after you vote (Polls open at 10am). Yummy! 

Happy Election Day Calgary and remember, decisions are made by those who show-up.

*gets off soap box


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

It Starts With Us: Love Bombing

This is Nate St. Pierre, we wants to change the world.

Some people think you have to be rich before you can start changing the world. Some people think you need to have power, fame or even a job (Don't get me wrong, I think jobs are great things and everyone should have one.). You don't have to be religious, selfless or a saint to make the lives of others better.  You don't. It can be smiling at a stranger crossing the street, giving a friend a hug or even as simple as "love bombing" a persons blog. Simple, small actions that requires minimum effort and has maximum output.

Have you heard of them? I didn't until just after just reading an article about them at The Calgary Herald. As I expressed yesterday, I like positive intention. Curious, I went to the site and here is a little synopses of what they are all about.

The goal of ItStartsWith.Us is to build a global community of individuals focused on making a positive impact in the lives of the people around them.

Each and every one of us has the ability to change the world by touching lives in this way. And when we hear stories about the positive things others are doing, we become more aware of the opportunities we have to make a difference for the people around us.

We have a global team of thousands of people who join together each and every week to make a difference in this world. We have a Love Bomb team who provide hundreds of notes of love and encouragement to hurting people every week. We’re developing a Love Drop team who are beginning to give back financially to families who need a little help. I work with all kinds of organizations to show them how they can use this concept of micro-giving among digitally connected people to make a huge difference in their community.

We're changing the world, in just 15 minutes a week.

Pretty great isn't it. Simple but effective.
I don't belong to It Starts With Us -yet- but it seems intriguing. I like to do little things in my day-to-day life that brighten up the lives of those around me. I usually send people mail- all kinds of it at different times of the year for no reason at all. Give little packages of sweets to complete strangers or other things that might just make anothers day a little easier.
How about you? Are there little things that you do in your life that brings joy to other people. Random acts of kindness? Tell me, I'd love to know!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

What Really Matters

Dogs (animals) teach us what really matters in life.

I haven't been on Blogger for a while- okay, a week maybe. That honestly is a long time for me. Even though I don't always write I often come on and read what everyone else is doing. So anyway, I was perusing through my blog roll of people I follow and came across something titled "What Really Matters". The title alone struck me. What really matters? What REALLY matters? What really matters. To me.

A lot of things matter to me. I can say that there is a lot I feel passionately about.

The obvious answer would be LIFE but in a way I would be darting the question because it's such a broad decision.

Under the heading of LIFE, the things that matter the most to me are:

  • My connections- with family, friends and myself. It doesn't mean I have to stay connected with everyone I encounter at all times. People do come and go depending on the circumstance and where we each are in life. It just means having those connections with people and with myself. Allowing a little vulnerability. Intimacy and to be needed. Human connection is something that really matters to me.

  • Pleasure-  taking full advantage of life within my own personal means and what it has to offer. Enjoying the things I enjoy to the fullest. With uncensored joy. Sharing this pleasure with my connections means a lot to me as well but has been somewhat difficult recently. This is something I am working on shifting.

  • Experiences- I read somewhere that money brings happiness from experience. It's not the things you buy with money it is the experiences you create while using money. Not to say that you need a lot of money to have experience but it does need a be there somewhere. Even if it is just a $2 peddle boat ride. Using money as wisely as possible. Even taking a class to learn a new skill or move forward in life. Reading a new book. It all matters.

  • Kindness and Respect- to animals, to time, to the earth, to others and to ourselves. I don't really think I need to expand on this.

  • Boundaries- knowing when to say no. Knowing when to call time out and knowing when to call it quits. As important as it is to me to know my boundaries, to stick-up for what I need and want... it's also very difficult. It matters because it's a part of the relationship you have with yourself. I stand-up and support the people in my life, why wouldn't I do that for myself?

And under all those sub headings comes the tiny little passions:
  • Music
  • Food
  • Laughter
  • Nature
  • Adventure
  • Art
  • History
  • Health
  • Dance
  • Conversation
  • Creating  Etc...

I'm sure this reads rather dry and overly optimistic. I tend to be that way. I'm sensitive to negativity and am often defensive when I find myself  in the same room as it. Life isn't perfect, my life isn't perfect but it should feel good. Do you not agree? These are some of the things that matter most to ensure I make the most out of what really matters, for me. My Life.

So, care to share? What really matters to you?


October is my favorite month. Perhaps favorite it the wrong word because I don't find myself sitting around all year pining away for October to come around. I don't sing songs or dream about October and I would not name my first born child October either. Actually, the hippy in me says that might be a better name then my original idea of "Tangerine" (Tange for short)- true story. You can thank-- actually I don't really know who you can thank about that. I think I came up with that all on my own without the inspiration of anything. Anyway, not the purpose of this post.

October often seems to be the month where everything comes together. Loose strings from the summer tie them selves up into a neat little package ready for the cold winter months. Lessons learnt are harvested and stored away to be used later on. Everything just has a way of working out, in October. If I didn't know better I might almost say that there was a type of magic in the air.

Perhaps there really is a Great Pumpkin?

It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown

Does October hold something special for you?
Obviously aside from Halloween and Canadian Thanksgiving.