Sunday, May 31, 2009

I can't say enough ♥

Where to begin...

There's so much I want to say about Pixar's latest masterpiece, Up, but I don't want to ruin the story. Before watching it, I knew very little about the storyline and I'm glad I didn't because it made for a more powerful viewing experience as I left the theatre in a most vulnerable state.

What I can tell you is that it was amazing. The storytelling was incredible right from the start as very little dialogue was needed to capture the essence of the protagonist. I was surprised to find myself in tears so early on. I was also delighted at the use of ephemera and references to mail throughout the movie - two of my favorite things.

Pete Docter, the director of the film, is also known for his work on Monsters, Inc. He worked with Ricky Nierva, production designer (also from Monsters, Inc.) to create the memorable cast of characters. The New York Times ran an interesting article on how the characters of the movie were developed. (Warning: spoilers***) I loved reading about the process and how shapes were used to incorporate elements of each character's personality. "Because Carl is so set in his ways," the article explains, "the designers thought it would be best to represent his features in square shapes, from his face and his glasses down to his fingers and knuckles." It's that kind of detailed thoughtfulness that I appreciated about the movie.

Also, I love that Pixar doesn't sell-out by catering to the dreaded 'princess crowd' that Disney does. They aren't busy shoving this idea of family down the throats of their viewers (and by family, I'm referring to Disney's idea of predominantly white, nuclear, heterosexual and conventional families). I love that Pixar takes chances and doesn't try to protect children from the realities of life. I also love that their stories aren't built around cheesy and useless messages but around the depth of their characters. The movie is accessible to all ages, incredibly fun and still offers room for reflection but not the kind that Disney tries to coerce.

I think I might even like it better than Star Trek but just to be sure, I'm going to another viewing of Star Trek today. ^.^

Saturday, May 30, 2009


It's been a long week. I can't wait to fall asleep. G'night all. xo

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Their thoughts can kill

I'll never get sick of this movie poster. It so accurately captures how I'm feeling sometimes (like today). I think I'm going to make it my 'go to' picture when I post about days that have gone horribly wrong.

I've decided that I'd like to change the movie name from Scanners to Career Counsellors-in-training...just for today (ah, look at me being the optimist). The words are perfect: Their thoughts can kill. (And yes, they certainly can. I'm dead inside.)

This afternoon, our group came together to finish the last part of our project. I won't go into all the nasty details but let's just say, there were some really great examples of counselling terms we've learned such as immediacy, confrontation and resistance. It was madness. Sheer and utter madness. At one point, a group member was in tears and refused to speak to any of us. While another instance involved restraining one member from going ape poo on another. (Okay, it could have been me.) As I mentioned yesterday, some of the thought processes in play were simply baffling. It was as though the discussion was about completely different topics in totally different languages between two different species. (Oy ve or should I say, "Hee haw"?)

It still got done, though, as painful as the whole ordeal was and now, I'm going to transcribe the changes from this afternoon and get it into a nice, clean format - free from all the dirty work involved. I also have some case notes to do and then, I'll treat myself to an episode of the latest Apprentice UK and some time with the fam.

Hope your day was chaos-free and that that you're well. Talk soon, friends. xo

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

This was me after school

Another day of non-stop testing. To add insult to injury, part of the day involved group work and I found myself in a brainstorming session that resembled herding cats - wild cats on speed, that is, who brought along their skittish ferret friends and hyperactive guinea pig companions. At times, I was bewildered at the thought processes of some of the group members. Luckily, there was one other member who spoke the same language and I was so grateful for that.

Just as we were wrapping things up, I saw two of my cronies and the three of us made a mad dash to a pub nearby. I felt all frazzled and crazed and jittery from the testing but the cronies were forgiving. To quote a very wise FBP - 'Hanging with my fun peeps, swilling liquor and swearing like sailors' was exactly what I needed.

(Thank you guys! ♥)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Battery of tests

As if my nerves weren't already shot from watching the last episode of Breaking Bad and staying up way too late lastnight - at school today, we were subjected to a battery of timed aptitude tests - one after another after another after... It was like a firing range of really strange, nonsensical quizzes. I felt nervous, frenzied and at times, stupid as I plugged away at the different sections.

I ask you - was it really necessary to point out that my numerical and abstract reasoning could be likened to that of a pigeon? And so what if I couldn't make sense of the lines and dots and do-hickeys? Most of them resembled Q-Tips and pipe cleaners that had fallen on the floor, anyway. (Seriously) I think the worst part was doing the quick evaluation which identified jobs that I've either already done (and hated to the point of thinking it would be more fun to poke blades under my fingernails) or jobs that I'd never do (because the sheer thought of doing them makes me want to change species).

Because the program I'm taking is experiential, it's expected that students go through each test, process and intervention a client may encounter. In doing so, we're able to see each side of the counselling perspective so that we can relate better to the client and also learn about ourselves in the process. I imagine by the end of the class, we'll all be exhausted, (hopefully) more self-aware and still some, utterly confused (this happens a lot in my program).

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Neighborly love

J assembled our new barbeque today and we readied ourselves for a night of feasting. Little did we know how large that feast would be! While we were barbequing, our neighbor brought out several plates and bowls of delicious food to share from the little birthday party they were having. There was a grilled veggie salad, scallops, veggie skewers including sweet potato that melted in our mouths and corn with a light sugary glaze. It was all so delicious and awfully kind.

In return, we brought over some homemade coconut cupcakes with vanilla frosting - some were covered with colorful sprinkles or red crystal sugar while others were topped with sweetened coconut. Afterwards, the girls played together in the backyard. It was a really wonderful example of the generosity of neighbors and the special little 'hood we live in.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Double Digits

Time to celebrate! Here's to your special day, Sweet Cheeks. ♥ xoxo

[And special greetings go out to all of the birthday babies today - near and far! Hope you have a day filled with fun! Happy Birthday, LL!]

Saturday, May 16, 2009

On the road again

We're heading out on another road trip this weekend. We'll be visiting my in-laws in Kingston to celebrate the long weekend and the first of a few birthday celebrations for the (not-so) little person.

We'll be taking a different route than we normally do so we can stop at little towns along the way. One of our stops includes Port Hope to visit a shop that sells our favorite salsa - a smokey pineapple variety. (Mmm!)

Hope you have a lovely long weekend all! Enjoy! xo

Friday, May 15, 2009

I think I love you ♥

♥ I'd like to dedicate this song to the Red Velvet cupcake. xoxo

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Live long and prosper

Star Trek was AMAZING. I loved this movie! JJ Abrams is a master at storytelling as he brings a fresh, fun and thrilling interpretation of Star Trek to the screen. I felt like I was on an exhilarating ride that I didn't want to end. Every time I managed to catch my breath, I was immediately plunged into another exciting adventure. There was never a dull moment and I especially loved the humour spread throughout. The world JJ Abrams created was so imaginative and creative yet totally accessible. During parts of the movie, I felt storytelling reminiscent of LOST and I loved the Slusho reference in the movie.

Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto provided believable and superb performances as Kirk and Spock with Eric Bana as a wonderfully evil Nero. I must say, space never looked so good.

For those of you that have never seen a single Star Trek film nor been fans of the series, not to worry. This movie is perfect for even the uninitiated. In fact, it might just make a Trekkie out of you yet.

[On a side note, I really think people should consider adopting the Star Trek salute to replace the overused gang signs you see in photos. I am so going to do this from now on. Word up, Scotty.]


What would J.J. do?

J.J. Abrams is my God. Amen (Brotha).

This will be me in a few hours

I'm watching Star Trek today. I can't wait!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Guess who's coming to dinner?

If only life were this civilized. Last night, while I was completing my assignment, there was quite a ruckus going on outside. I kept hearing banging and scratching and the sound of a car alarm going off. A couple of times, I even got up and looked out the window to see what was going on but it was dark and didn't see anything unusual. My racoon radar was on high as I suspected them trying to get into our green bins where we compost our perishables. At one point, I imagined the savvy little latch pickers trying to get into the window which frightened me to no end as I imagined the chaos that would ensue if they got in. I thought of turning the porch lights off and on to scare them or open the front door to shoo them away. Little did I know that the furry critters had gotten into one of our bins and were busy feasting on our compost just outside the front door.

When I left the house this morning, it looked as though our bin had exploded all over the front porch (what was left of it anyway). It sickened me to think of the crap they were munching on and nauseated me further as I looked at some of the scraps and evidence left behind. I'll bet there was a posse of them dining on our waste - digging in like it was Christmas dinner. I'm glad I didn't interrupt them. Who knows what might have happened...

For those of you that don't have this problem in your neck of the woods and have never had the pleasure of seeing these critters up close, you might be interested to learn that the raccoons here in Toronto are quite large. At least the ones that I've seen terrorizing the streets in my neighborhood. Some are as large as small dogs or fat cats. They're plump and crafty (not in the good way) and don't seem to be afraid of people. They're skillful at opening up the green bins and they are the worst dinner guests because they never clean up after themselves.

[Thinking about it now, I shudder at the thought of what might have happened if I had opened the door. I imagine them running into the vestibule at the front of the house and circling me or worse yet, pouncing on me as I opened the door and then scratching my eyes and face or biting me. Oh, the horrors! I hope they don't try to come back for seconds tonight. Greedy bastards!]

Why am I still awake?!

I think I put too much effort into this last assignment. Why couldn't I have just left it alone (or perhaps, started it earlier)? I'm going to be hurting tomorrow morning when the alarm goes off! Ack!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

In search of the perfect patio

It turned out to be a beautiful day today so after school a friend and I wanted nothing more than to sit outside on a patio and grab a nice, frosty cocktail. We traipsed all over downtown looking for the right ambiance which, to us, meant a sunny patio with an available table at an establishment that served our favorite drinks.

My friend remarked that she hadn't heard anyone order a Long Island Iced Tea in ages and commented that it seemed like an outdated drink these days. It's not like I was ordering a Greyhound or a Bennett but still. She meant no disrespect and we laughed about how the drink was very much a 90's cocktail. We then went on to give our own personal views about the 'fancy drinks of today' like two little ol' bitties and commented how some of these martinis taste like rubbing alcohol.

After testing out three different tables on three different patios, we settled on a place in the heart of downtown Toronto (which shall remain nameless). There were all kinds of funny things that kept happening with patrons and servers but it was a really fun time. I look forward to spending more time with this new friend and getting to know her (and the various patios around Toronto).

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day ♥

This is dedicated to my Mom and all of the special Mothers out there today. Wishing you love and happiness always. xo

[Sending out an extra special wish to my sister-in-law who will be celebrating her very first Mother's Day with her beautiful baby girl and husband. See you soon! ♥]

Friday, May 8, 2009


Another beautiful day here in Toronto. Ahh...

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Hey BabyCakes, I'm sweet on you ♥

A friend of mine shared a link with me for a recipe from the BabyCakes NYC bakery. We are definitely going to this place on our next visit to NYC! They offer 'all-natural, organic and delicious alternatives free from the common allergens: wheat, gluten, dairy, casein and eggs' and their menu sounds delicious! I can't wait to try their cupcakes (think: vanilla with zesty lemon frosting and red velvet with creamy vanilla frosting...I just shed a tear!), cookie sandwiches and macaroons.

They've just recently put out a cookbook, as well. Here's a video promoting it and a peak inside their lovely shop. Look at all the scrumptious goodies to be had! ♥ See you there!

BabyCakes, the Book of Recipes: It's Here (Almost)! from BabyCakes NYC on Vimeo.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Premature foot exposure

It's a beautiful day here in Toronto - it's sunny and warm with blue skies. People are out and about with a lighter step and a warmer disposition (or so it seems). Yes, the beautiful weather seems to brighten people's moods and lighten things up. In the same vein, people are shedding their clothing at an exponential rate but of course, I'm not here to write about that. I'm writing this as a plea to all those who are thinking of shedding their more modest and restrictive footwear in exchange for something more liberating, cooler and yes, more revealing. Before you do this, my friends, would it be too much to ask you to take a good look at the state your feet are in? I'm not saying your tootsies need to be like butter - supple and sublime (though, wouldn't that be nice?) - but would it kill some of you to take out a nailclipper or some polish remover just to get them, at least, presentable?

This post is in response to some horrible sightings I made on the subway this morning. I couldn't help but look. They were there - unfettered and disrobed - staring right at me. I turned away quickly but it was too late...the damage was already done. I wanted to approach these people and ask them what they were thinking. It's like seeing a man in a fancy suit with a crappy pair of footwear or Woody Allen with Soon Yi. It just doesn't make a lot of sense.

And of course, this rant does not absolve me of my own responsibility. I am guilty of neglect, Your Honor...but you don't see me struttin' my stuff nor will you until my piggies have been weened from their winter coats and primped for the coming season.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Case of the stomach flu

It's crazy how quickly it can creep up on you. One minute, you're walking downtown and then the next, you're shivering under blankets or running to the bathroom. UGH! Go away dreaded stomach flu! You're not welcome here!

On a happier note, I received the sweetest and most thoughtful message yesterday. What a wonderful surprise. ♥

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Last day

Today is the last day of my term break. Right now, I can't imagine getting up early every morning again and sitting in a classroom all day. I'm going to miss the freedom of doing whatever I want, whenever I want like sleeping in, watching movies all afternoon, having lazy days or just spending the day reading. (Sigh)

On the other hand, it'll be nice to see classmates again and catch up with them. It'll also be good to get things going again so I can work towards finishing the program. I hope this term whizzes by like the last one did.

Friday, May 1, 2009


I feel restless today. I think I'll go downtown and catch a couple of flicks. I always seem to feel more energized when I'm part of the city (and then, I crash from exhaustion when I get home). Hope you're having a good day.