Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year!!!

Happy new year everyone! I hope you all have a wonderful time wherever it is you plan to bring in 2007. Don't get too drunk now!

For everyone meeting us at the H's, see you there! Drunken ping pong anyone?

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Crockpot Gingered Beef

2 lb round roast, trimmed
2 tbsp vegetable oil for frying
2 onions, sliced
1 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup ketchup
6 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsp white vinegar
1/2 tsp powdered ginger (2 tsp fresh)
4 cloves garlic, pressed
1/2 cup beef broth
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in a frying pan and brown the roast on all sides. Place onions in the bottom of the crock pot and place the roast on top. Mix the remaining ingredients and pour them over the roast. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until tender (meat can be shredded with a fork). Remove the roast and pour the cooking juices into a sauce pan and simmer on the stove with the lid off until they are reduced (about 10 minutes) and serve over the beef.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, 'cause I certainly did.

Some of us sang at the Star Christmas fund concerts which were an ENORMOUS success (as you can see from PM's blog), the same "some of us" and some others went caroling on the 23rd and raised some money for Sick Kids. That was a great way to start Christmas as we made one poor guy so happy he cried and made a lot of other people happy as well. We also got to sing together, have some good food, then go back for hot chocolate and figgy pudding which was exciting and excellent :)

Christmas eve was PI and my Christmas morning since we don't have any other good time to open the presents to each other and the cat. Then church, then the last of the wrapping before dinner at bear's friend's parent's place (which we do every year). Then we all leave for midnight mass together. I have enjoyed mass as long as I've been allowed to go. The best years were w/ PM when we were serving and got to tear apart little pieces of the cedar rope to keep the Christmas smell in the stalls for the whole service and pretend we were part of the choir. The year we set a poinsettia on fire stands out as an excellent one as well *grin* This year was my first in the choir and it was a lot of fun. I enjoy being part of the services again.

After midnight mass (and some drinking in the choir room) we went back to my parents. It's still nice to wake up at their place xmas morning and go downstairs together as a family to see what Santa left us :) This year, instead of buying it I made our traditional Christmas breakfast, schtollen. It turned out really well, which was also exciting. PI and I went home at lunch to spend some time w/ the cat and give him his last present, then went back to my parent's house for Christmas dinner.

Boxing day this year was spent w/ PI's mom's side of the family. That's always fun as there are 4.8 (B is very pregnant) small kids around making things very exciting. They're so well behaved too! I want B and K to raise my kids!

The food all 'round was excellent and I hope PI is alright at work today 'cause I'm exhausted!

Looking fwd to the New Year party and hope that MT and PI bring R 'cause I think she'll have a great time and she's a lot of fun too. Then it's my birthday and back to school.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Ann's French Silk Chocolate Pie

1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup white sugar
2 oz semi-sweet chocolate, melted
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 pie crust

Cream the butter and sugar together. Blend in the melted chocolate and vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, beating 5 minutes after each addition at medium speed with an electric mixer.

Turn out into an 8 inch pie shell and chill for 1-2 hours.

Serve topped with whipped cream and walnuts, pecans, or almonds.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Hey everyone, just 1 paper to go and I'm finished for the year! HOORAY FOR THE HOLIDAYS!!!

Other than school, not much has happened this week. I found this pic on a link from someone else's blog and thought it was hilarious and I'd share :)

Since the people who read my FIS blog seem to enjoy the recipes so much, I'm going to transfer that here 'casuse I'm not good at posting frequently on 2 blogs. For those of you visiting from my FIS blog, yes, I am bubbles, it wasn't my idea :S

Recipe Disclaimer:
I'm not sure where a lot of my recipes came from, I probably should have written it down, but if anyone has problems w/ the sources for copy right or whatever reason let me know and I can try and do something about it.

Any requests?

Bow Tie Pasta Piquant

2 medium tomatoes, diced
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs
8 ounces bow tie pasta
2 cups shredded green cabbage
1/2 cup blanched slivered almonds, toasted

Toss together tomatoes, vinegar and basil. Set aside.

Stir together olive oil, butter and garlic in a skillet over medium heat. Cook until bubbly. Stir in bread crumbs. Cook, stirring constantly, until crumbs are golden brown. Remove from heat.

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water according to package directions. Stir in shredded cabbage during last minute of cooking. Drain. Toss pasta and cabbage with tomato mixture; then toss with bread crumb mixture and almonds. Serve at once.

Serves 6

Bekki's Chocolate Mint Truffle Cookies

4 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
3 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs
1/2 tsp mint extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/3 cup crushed red & white peppermint candy

In heavy saucepan, melt first 2 amounts of chocolate and butter. Remove from heat. Vigorously whisk in sugar. Whisk in eggs, 1 at a time. Whisk in mint extract.

In another bowl, whisk flour with baking powder. Stir in chocolate mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours.

Roll dough into 1" balls. Place 2" apart, on parchment lined or greased baking sheet. Bake in top and bottom thirds of the oven at 350°F until slightly firm to the touch (8 minutes).

Remove from oven, sprinkle each cookie with tsp of chopped candy. Let cool on pan for 5 minutes, transfer to rack and cool completely.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

We have just bought the cat an harness and a leash in the hopes of making him an happier cat. He's been acting rather depressed lately and trying to go out. So far we've only been taking him for walks in the hall way. He's too scared to even go as far as the elevator. So PI tried to put the harness on the cat a couple of days ago. The first problem w/ this is that, b/c there's a bell on it, he thinks it's a toy and attacks it. Once PI actually got the harness on him he seems to think he can't stand up in it. You pick the cat up, put him on his feet, and he just slumps over sideways.

To date, the cat has only gone for 1 slump down the hall way. It takes almost half an hr to get him into the harness and he only stays out for 5 minutes before PI gets annoyed that he's just lying there or 5 gets scared and comes back in.

Yes MT, I know you warned us, but we still hope to prevail.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

I haven't posted in ages 'cause of school work and the FIS blog. That assignment's over now, so I'll just be posting here from now on (that should make the mango gallery happy :P)

Not much has been happening, really, to post about.

I'm volunteering at a conference on Friday. It's technically my first conference as a lib student, so that's exciting. I'll let you know how it goes.

The dreaded group work is done and we got an excellent mark on it. All the presentations are done too. This week I have 2 papers left. Also 2 papers and an e*** next week. Then the term is over and I can start the Christmas baking! Any specific requests?

Thursday, November 02, 2006

We're doing a survey for FIS1210 and it would be very helpful if as many people as possible could fill it out. Please feel free to pass it on

Click here to fill it out.


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

This amusing site was pointed out to me in class today. Have a look :)

Friday, October 20, 2006

for new pics of the cat see the fis blog (link in the side bar)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Last night PI and I went to order the wine for the wedding. We've decided to make it ourselves. This is rather exciting as neither of us has ever done this before :) Thanks to the Ss for the suggestion. We really like B and will probably keep doing business with him as we both like wine as well as the other stuff he offers.

We're meeting w/ a caterer this weekend to decide on a potential menu.

I think bride's maid dresses should be next on our list of wedding things that need doing.

Also, we went to a digital photography conference this weekend and got our wedding present a little earlier than expected.

And, we're going to a concert this week!

Friday, October 13, 2006

It's that time again!
Last year we didn't get organized on the caroling fast enough and it didn't happen. This year I'd like to start good and early.
Since I'm here all the time now, I'm home for the holidays (1 alto) MT is home too (1 bass) and says that PM will be home (yes?)(1 tenor).
The 23rd is a Sat so that's good :) We usually go on the 23rd anyway.
We should choose a charity, find some more ppl for parts, and see what we can pull together.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Happy Thanks Giving everyone :)
We had a wonderful tg weekend with TONS of turkey. On sat we had lunch w/ MT and PM at a dim sum place that wasn't the thai place we were aiming for, but was dim sum and, therefore, by definition, good. After that PI and I went to my parent's for the friends/family thanks giving dinner. After church on Sun which was...entertaining to say the least (and during which PI vacuumed the car)...we drove to K for tg dinner #2 at grammy's. That too was good, but I fell asleep watching the movie after dinner. Dinner #3 was with PI's mother's side of the family. Kid number 5 is currently on the way, and all of the oher kids are growing up to be apparently exceptionally well behaved! PI and I were both exhausted and stuffed when we got home and we went to bed early.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Well, the paper's done, but I apparently have a new obsession. Hopefully I can finish this tonight too :P

awsome swingle car ad

happy procrastination everyone!
Ok, last time I promise
MT, this one's partially for you:

For all those who love Carmina

for technight

'cause I think it's amusing

Ok, finishing the paper and going to bed.
ok, so CLEARLY I am trying to write a paper!

Hope you enjoy procrastination as much as I do, I'm off to finish my paper.
/me waves
I enjoy ads sometimes, Hopefully this one is inoffensive :P

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The pic of IT's cat as promised in an earlier blog....and forgotten about (oops :$)

Also, my glasses...ta da!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Bubbles has joined the ranks of those who wear glasses.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

I'd appreciate any comments about my class blog on this blog as I can then fix things (hopefully before the class reads them).

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

First classes have come and gone and so have buying text books, first assignments, meeting new ppl, etc. As my classes aren't terribly exciting (for the most part) I won't bore you with details.

I have to start another blog for one of my classes and I don't know what to do it on. Any suggestions? Maybe I'll bore the rest of my classes w/ blog postings on updates to my wedding plans or my socks :P

This weekend was fun :) On Fri I went for lunch w/ Phi. This was particularly good since I haven't seen her in quite some time. We had dim sum, went to the arcade, and wandered around down town and the E centre for a while. While in the E centre we happened across exactly what I was looking for for wedding shoes! So now I have wedding shoes :) They were a bit more expensive than I was planning, but I can wear them after the wedding and they're super comfy, which is important 'cause I'm going to be on my feet that whole day.

On Sat Manda was supposed to come for a day trip to To to have artichokes and weird fruit. Unfortunately she was sick. Get better Manda, hope you can make it before artichoke season ends. Sat night was K&K's house warming party (we still have to have one, and hopefully we'll finish moving in by Christmas and can do that). We couldn't stay as long as we wanted to 'cause it was late, but we had a good time while we were there.

Sun was I&T's house warming v.2, the family party. That was also fun. I&T recently got back from their 1 yr anniversay (congrats!) in Mexico and it's I's birthday (Happy Birthday!) so there was much to celebrate. They also have a very cute kitten.

pic to come

Also, PI has news, see his blog.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Well, here we are back at that time of year's the first day of classes. Most of last week was taken up with workshops on things like, how to find things in the library catalogue, how to change your password, how to write a bibliography, etc., and assemblies, receptions, and bbqs which were intended for us to start getting to know ppl...and eat free food, which everyone knows is a grad student's real role in life.

Also this week I finally got around to backing up our 10 hours of video footage from Australia as well as various videos of the cat, conference, convocation, buskerfest, and whatever else we've filmed since we got the camera. It's now on ftp for those who can access it and want footage of anything in particular.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Another week gone by :)
IT have had their house warming party. Their place is almost done now and it's looking great. They've gone to the Mayan Riviera to relax after their trying and busy year and will be back on I's birthday. Happy Birthday I!

We went to the CNE yesterday and had lots of good food, saw lots of fun exhibits, and walked our feet right off. Ow!

The Air Show was really good, if much longer than expected. Always a fan of the snow birds :)

Monday, August 28, 2006

Well, this was an exciting, if long, week.
On Sunday I got my wedding dress! Very exciting. Since PI also reads this occassionally, all i can say is, it's white! Now I have to get shoes.
On Monday we had the end of the summer, yay we've almost hit 5000 projects, congrats Max, you've written your exam, buy Bubbles, buy D, Hello PI party. Hooray for parties. I think I'm still digesting all the food I ate.
On Wed we had the anual building bbq. There was a lot of food, but we don't know very many ppl in the building, so we left early as there was no one to talk to.
On Thurs bear invited us over for dinner to continue her "learning to cook" dinner series. As she left for university on Fri I made her green tea ice cream. It turned out quite well.
On Sat we went to buskerfest and had an AMAZING time. There were tons of great acts :)

Sunday was the Howard's 24th anual island picnic. It rained quite a bit in the morning, but we eventually made it out to the party and had a great time.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Yesterday morning our cat managed to prove, beyond any doubt, that he is an idiot. While we were having our shower, he was, as he often does when he's frisky, batting at toes that passed too close to the shower curtain. We discouraged him from continuing and, so we thought, he left that bathroom to lick himself out of the steam for a while. We continued w/ our shower thinking the cat was safely out of range when he appeared, pointy end first and screeching, at elbow height flying through the shower curtain! He ricocheted off the back wall of the bathtub, landed on my feet, right under the spray of the shower, and both stu and myself sustained injuries as he exited the bath tub just as fast as he had entered it. Unfortunately, this event does not seem to have discouraged his forays into the bathroom or the bathtub :(

Also yesterday, we went to the Taiwanese festival w/ CP in the morning. While we were there we went to a cooking demo, the food tent, and watched the shows from the lighting booth courtesy of IB :) It was a fun morning, but we were really just killing time before PM's party!

Happy Birthday PM!!! <:-)

We had a wonderful and delicious time eating tons of dim sum and then we went to the Laugh Resort (a comedy club). This was especially good as PI and I have wanted to go to a comedy club and just never gotten around to it. We both had a great time. It was also good to see some old friends I hadn't seen in AGES (hi AT /me waves).

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Since I last posted Grammy has had her last chemo and can start to get her life back to normal, we went to the Jazz Festival and had a good time, went to a really fun party at PI's old boss's (see his blog for that), had PM and MT over for dinner and movie after MT's concert which was quite good, esp his solo (see PM's blog for that), had my mom and sister over for dinner, gone to B's for pie and to say happy birthday to the kids, gone to Kincardine for Grammy's birthday w/ the family (hooray for fondu and other deliviousness), and to PI's parents on the way back from Grammy's. Hooray for long weekends, it was much needed.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Well, I thought I'd seen the last of Bell, but apparently not. L just got a stack of bills for the internet. It took them a while to track her down. We cancelled the account in April. The bills are for May ->

I hate Bell and I'm beginning to wonder if they're trying to piss me off on purpose.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Since I last blogged we've been to see the fireworks finale at Festival of Fire, had ppl over for dinner and been over to other ppl's places for dinner, watched and groaned at the world cup game (Zidane what were you thinking!), seen IT's new house, been sick, watched lots of movies, and gone to Shakespeare in the Park. Shakespeare in the Park was fun. I've always liked Commedy of Errors. The picnic was also excellent as always and it was good to get a couple of nurtz games in.

Happy Birthday to:
Canada, Matt, Maura, Phi, Michelle, Liane, Bear, MT, Taddy, Luca, Sarah, Mom, Andrea, and Mrs. H. Also, happy World Jump Day and System Administrator's day.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Well, now that we're back and I've posted about Australia I can tell you what's been happening lately. PI is job hunting, we've been working on getting the pics down to a number that ppl will watch, meeting ppl for dinner whom we haven't seen in months, etc. Also, Tues the 13th was convocation. I'm now officially graduated :)

We've also looked at a hall for the wedding and booked the church for next Aug 11.

Happy Father's day to my dad and PI's. Also to Granddad and all other dads out there. We went to F's for the usual B side family party and that was fun.
May 26 - Today we left for Sydney. J drove us into town to meet A and S and they started us on our drive south. We were going to climb Mt. Warning but, because of our late start and the fact that we got lost, we ended up not having enough time. Instead, we found a busk tucker stall and had more fun w/ local food. We tried a fruit that, when you eat it, tastes like an entire fruit salad. We also had more finger limes. These ones were much bigger than the ones we had at the resteraunt. Rather than eating the whole thing we cracked them open. Inside were little green capsules that looked a lot like cavier. When you pop them b/w your teeth you get a burst of lemon/lime flavour. They're yummy. We also found Budah's hand. As if it didn't LOOK weird enough, unlike most fruit, apparently you only eat the skin.

We stopped at Springbrook National Park where we walked through some rain forest and saw a natural bridge that was formed by water eroding part of the roof of a cave and leaving a section in tact across the waterfall. It was really beautiful there.

We stopped in a few more places along the way that looked pretty. Saw a lot of kookaburras and a couple of kangaroos by the side of the road. The tourist trails there are...interesting to drive at the speed suggested on the signs. A lot of them aren't paved or maintained and whenever a bridge is necessary it looks as if the bridge was built then they tried to link them up with roads and missed. There is often a very tight turn onto and off of a bridge which is difficult to manage in a station wagon going about 80 km/h. We stopped again in Nimbin, the home of Mardi Grass. It is, essentially, a stoner town. A was stopped on the way into town by police doing brethalizer tests. Apparently they just do that every now and then...especially around Nimbin. In Nimbin we got asked about 8 times if we wanted a joint/cookie/brownie/other laced item and we were only there for about an hr! We also stopped in the Hippi Museum. They have a room that has tons of old fashioned egg beaters hanging from the ceiling. Everything else in the museum was similarily random and strange.

We stopped in Byron Bay for the evening at what turned out to be a very noisy hostle.

May 27 - This morning we rented a car (ouch, 1 way costs!) and started our drive to Sydney. Once PI got a handle on the fact that they drive on the other side of the road things were pretty much ok. He never quite got used to the idea that the windshield wipers and the turn signals were on opposite sides, however, and we went around several round abouts and corners w/ the windshield wipers on. We had a very clean windshield when we arrived in Sydney. We stopped briefly in Hungry Head and Hat Head National Parks b/c they had funny names. We ended up in Raymond Terrace for the evening at a Best Western where the only thing they had left was a spa room. After a VERY luxurious bath we went to bed.

May 28 - We arrived in Sydney just before noon and dropped the car off at the air port. From there we took a shuttle bus to the City Central YHA which was really nice. They gave us some directions and we walked around Sydney for the rest of the day. We went down to the harbour to have a look at the bridge and the Opera House. We also took a tour of the Opera House which was more informative and fun than I thought it was going to be.

We took the train back to the centre of town and then the monorail in a circle just so we could say we'd taken the public transit. The train in particular was a lot of fun. It's a lot like the GO Train here, but their seats can be flipped so you're facing someone, or not, as you choose. We took a video of it 'cause it was so neat. The train's also 2 stories like the GO. The monorail had a commentary about the city as you drove around it.

May 29 - We decided that, given we only had 1 day left in Sydney the best money value was to take a tour into the Blue Mountains. The first stop on the bus tour was at Featherdale. While this was a significantly less impressive zoo than any of the places we'd seen with J and j there was still stuff we hadn't seen. They had an albino peacock and wallabies and we both got to hold a tawney frog mouth and a kookaburra. There were also some birds we hadn't seen in other places. Later stops included Gulver's Leap, Echo Point and the Three Sisters, Scenic World where we went on a cable car across the valley, the steepest rail way in the world down the mountain, and a different cable car back across the valley. All of the views were spectacular and the pictures really don't give them justice.

We then stopped to look at the Boar's Head, then drove to Leura where we stopped in the candy store and Josaphine's. On the drive back to the ferry dock to take a boat back to Sydney we stopped at the Olympic Park to have a look at a couple of the building there. It was dark though, so we didn't see as much as I'd have liked to.

May 30 - 31 - We left Sydney this morning on Air Newzealand to Aukland. I watched My Family and Other Animals and Casinova on the plane at some point b/w Sydney and LA. The food was, as usual, nummy. We arrived in LA before we left Aukland b/c of the date line. There was a 7-8 hr lay over in LA which we both could have done w/o. LAX is not a pleasant place to spend any length of time and there wasn't really any good/inexpensive place to eat. We arrived back in Toronto at about 6:30 am and PI's parents picked us up and brought us some food since we'd emptied the fridge before we left (which was much appreciated).
May 23 - Today we went to Australia Zoo. While I don't like the Crocodile Hunter, he has an amazing zoo! The animals are really well looked after there. More than I've seen in any other zoo. While we were there we spent some time w/ a cockatoo, pet a wombat, pet kangaroos, fed elephants, and saw a snake show, bird show, 2 tiger shows, and a crocodile show. The most amazing animal they had there, though, was Harriet. She's the oldest living animal in captivity. She came to Australia with Darwin and is now about 175 yrs old! Harriet is a giant Galapagos land tortise.

May 24 - Today we went down to the beech to watch the pelicans being fed. I became somewhat obsessed w/ pelicans while we were in Australia. They're so BIG!!!

We later walked along the beech and played w/ the shells and looked for other small animals. We found some inhabited shells and watched them, more pelicans, and some very small water snakes, but no crabs.

We also got our photos from the underwater dive developed. While we were picking them up we noticed another dive shop in the same mall. They had much better, reusable underwater cameras on sale. We got one w/ a choral flash which should improve the colours in our photos by quite a bit.

May 25 - Today we went to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. This was definitely one of my favourite things on the trip. You get to feed lorikeets which are a local species of parrot. They live in the protected land in and around the sanctuary and, when it's feeding time, come in flocks to eat practically out of your hand. The staff give you a plate of a whey like product and they land on it, on your hands, arms, head, anywhere they can to try and get a drink.

We also held bearded dragons, a baby crocodile, pet more kangaroos, and a possum.

There were a lot more shows to see and we watched the bird show, snake show, totaly wild show, Tasmanian devil show, and aborigional dance show. Also, their echidna was up and wandering around as was the Tasmanian devil, which was nice as it doesn't happen often.

After Currumbin we went out to this Teppanyaki bar for dinner with the same friend of j's that joined us at Lone Pine. Dinner was fabulous (probably one of PI's favourite activities :P) and a lot of fun. They make all the food in front of you and throw a lot of food around too. It was especially fun when they started using their spatula to toss eggs at us while we tried to catch them in bowls.

We also managed to get ourselves in the newspaper that night. There was a photographer wandering around doing a feature on what people did in Redcliffe.
May 18 - We had brunch with my cousin A and his new wife S (they got married in Nov) to celebrate mother's day. It was really good to see A as the last time I did I was 7 yrs old.

After brunch we walked around Brisbane for a bit and ended up at the Queensland Museum. As it turned out to be free to wander around we did for a while and saw some exibits such as Australian wild life, transportation, etc. Then we walked back in the direction of A and S's house and stopped at a Buch Tucker resteraunt. We ordered the platter w/ crocodile as it looked to have the most variety. I don't remember what everything is, but the meats are emu, kangaroo, wallaby, possum, and crocodile. We agreed unanimously that wallaby is not a good animal to eat. I enjoyed the emu and crocodile. Also on the platter are finger limes (they taste like lemon and lime and are quite nice. we found bigger ones later), lilly pillys (the small red ones that are also in the salad. they taste a bit like apples when you're chewing but have a distinct cinnamon gum after taste.), bunya nuts (also in the salad - they kind of taste like dry, raw potatoes :P), duka (in a bowl, looks like crushed up nuts and leaves...and that's what it is. esp good w/ the lemon myrtel in it).

When we got home we watched Alex and Emma.

May 19 - Today was another rest day as the weekend was going to be busy. We went to the post office to mail more post cards, did some grocery shopping, and started planning our drive down the coast to Sydney. We also watched Rabbit Proof Fence and The Usual Suspects.

May 20 - Today we started our open water dives. We were diving at Flinder's Reef, the southern most tip of the Great Barrier Reef quite close to Morton Island where we were earlier in the week. I was really excited and scared about these as I'd never been diving in open water before. As a result I felt quite sea sick, which I'd never done before. I made it into the water on the first dive, but as we were practicing some skills w/ the instructor I lost my regulator, panicked, and ended up going straight to the surface. I spent the rest of the day throwing up every 15 min - half hr or so. It wasn't the most pleasant day ever, but the instructor was really helpful. He got me back in the water again, not as far under, just to get used to the idea and get over the fear of having almost drowned myself. Note to self: you actually can throw up through a regulator w/o a problem. On the way home we got sea sickness medication in the hopes of better luck tomorrow. PI, on the other hand, managed his dives today just fine and saw quite a lot of interesting fish.

May 21 - Much better luck today, I made it into the water twice like I was supposed to (ok, not quite as I was supposed to, but twice anyway). On the first dive I saw giant clams, 2 wobegong, flute fish, a ton of different wrasse, tiny electric blue fish, bat fish, sea cucumbers, tons of choral, and a bunch of other fish I don't know the name of.

While back on the boat for lunch we saw sea turtles. They're HUGE! A lot bigger than I was expecting.

On the second dive I saw a potato cod (also huge)

clown fish in anenome, another wobbygong, a lobster, a lot more of the same fish and choral, and found a cowry shell.

May 22 - Another rest day. In the evening we went out behind where j works and looked for kangaroos. We found one right away, but the pics didn't come out very well. We later found 2 or 3 more (hard to tell if they're the same ones in the dark). There are quite a lot of kangaroos around that area. Koalas too, but they're a lot harder to spot since they don't really move much and are high up. One wandered into j's work once, though, and they had to shoo it out again.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

May 15 - We went to Morton Island. This was a really fun day! We saw dolphins in the harbour as we were leaving on the ferry to the island. It was a 2 hr boat ride to the island and you could see the ship wrecks as you pulled in. There isn't a dock, the boat just grounds itself on the sand and lets down the back of the boat as a drive way off. The first truck down got stuck in the sand so the boat - the Combi Trader II - had to disembark, move over, and dock again. We were with a small tour group in 1 4x4 jeep thingy. The first thing we did on the island was drive across the beech (getting at least 1 ft of clearance from our seats when we went over bumps) to the sand blow. The sand blow is a small dessart that forms naturally on the island b/c it is a sand island. It just blows across the island at something like 1m. a yr (speeding landscape!) covering everything it comes across. It goes right over trees which survive and continue growing when the dune's passed. There are several of them which make up a dessert. We went toboggoning down the biggest sand dune we could find there. I got a mouth full of sand and several cuts and scrapes on my first slide down. PI didn't, so he went again. This time he had a movie moment. He was sitting on his board and it broke in half. He held the broken piece, looked at it, threw it away, and did spectacular whipe out cartwheels down the rest of the dune. I REALLY wish I'd gotten it on film, but we'd left the cameras in the car b/c we didn't want to get sand in them. When we were finished on the dune we went for another drive. We stopped at a camp site further inland where we had lunch and tried to snorkle in the lagoon there. The only problem with that was that the lagoon was FREEZING. It's fed from an underground, fresh water spring (I think), and it's winter in Australia. The rest of the day was spent at a look out on the cliffs where the light house sits, playing in tidal pools...

...chasing crabs, and things like that. Then we took the ferry home. We watched Cinderella Man that night.

May 16 - This was a much needed rest day. We went to the post office to mail post cards, walked the dogs, and watched Map of the World and The Life Aquatic.

May 17 - For the first time it rained today! Luckily, it was an indoor day and we didn't care that it was pouring. We went to Underwater World! Here we watched an otter show, a seal show, a sting ray show, and, oh yeah! we went swimming with sharks in their shark tank! be continued...

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

May 13 - This was supposed to be the wedding day, so things were a little tense/gloomy depending on the time of day and what we were doing. We went to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. Although you drive there, J and j thought it would be nicer if we got there by taking a cruise up the Brisbane river to get there. It was a really nice day (they all were actually, it only rained the 1 day we happened to be doing things in doors), so that was perfect. j invited one of her friends (who was to have been the other bride's maid) to come along too, and she brought her bf and his 3 kids. We took the train to Brisbane (staying in Redcliffe) and walked to the harbour from the station. The cruise was REALLY nice. There was a commentary that covered just about everything we could see from the boat including the fruit bat colonies along the river. Their fruit bats are HUGE!!! The commentary said they have a 1m. wing span!
The pic's not that helpful really, but you can kind of tell how big they are and how many were around. The cptn almost turned off the commentary 'cause he thought there weren't enough to mention. Most of the trees we passed for several minutes looked like this though. That doesn't look like "not enough bats to mention" to me!

At the sanctuary we watched a bird of prey show that was really good. It was my first look at a wedge tailed eagle. They're also HUGE. Actually, most things in Australia are just generally bigger than they are here.

Also while we were there, I got to hold a koala and feed kangaroos :) They had a bunch of kangaroos and wallabies just running free in a large field. It was 50 cents for a paper bag full of roo food which was enough to share w/ j, PI, and the kids without much difficulty.

We had a boat cruise back again and went souvineer shopping. Then we took the train back to Redcliffe and watched Dumb and Dumberer.

May 14 - As it was mother's day for us we phoned our mothers in the morning to say hi. We spent most of the rest of the day at the local Kitefest markets. I got some frangipani soap (I LOVE the smell. Found it at the botanical gardens earlier in the week) and we tasted Australian meat pies for the first time. PI really liked them. be continued...

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

May 10 - Australian SCUBA associations require a diving physical before they will allow you to dive in the country, so we did that. I didn't enjoy it, but it could have been worse. When that was over, we went fishing at Tichi Temba. I'd never been fishing before, so that was fun. PI was much more successful than anyone else and caught 4 fish. Unfortunately, because the tide was low and they've been having a drought for a couple of months now, the only thing we could get close enough to catch from the shore were toad fish. They're little and even the pelicans and cormorants who joined us to grab what we threw back weren't interested. I enjoyed catching them, but getting them off the hook was not exactly my cup of tea. Especially when the hook was especially stuck. Ew! Anyway, this was the first time I'd seen a pelican up close and they're HUGE!!! They probably stand almost up to my waist! I love pelicans :)
After fishing we went home and watched Open Waters in a further atempt to talk us out of diving. My mom had been telling us for a couple of months at this point that we were going to be eaten by sharks and we shouldn't go diving.

May 11 - On our way to Mt. Coot-tha Botanical Gardens we stopped at the dive shop in Toowong to book the dives for the next weekend. The botanical gardens were a lot of fun :) The first thing we did when we got there was eat our picnic lunch above a really nice pond. Very close to us was a very large lizard. They have quite a lot of lizards in Australia, but they don't tend to just lie around on display, so we were lucky to get such a good look at him.

The rest of the park was fun. They had a really nice bonsai display, a bush tucker garden (native plants that are edible w/ plaques describing what they're used for), a tropical display dome, lots of cactuses, and our first look at rainforest.

May 12 - This was a rest day as the previous one had been a bit of an early day and we were still potentially a bit jet lagged. We did some grocery shopping and had lunch at the sushi train. They have a LOT of different things in their stores. All their margerine is more yellow and all their cheese is more white. There fruits and vegetables are, on the whole, a LOT bigger than ours. They also have chicken flavoured everything. Chicken flavoured chips, crackers, salt...etc. They have pancake batter, muffin mix, etc. in a jug that's half empty. You just add liquids and shake it until it's mixed. Made specifically for camping. A lot of their candy and snack food is different too.

Near the grocery store is a resteraunt where they have a train w/ sushi on it and you just sit down at the bar and pick what you want to eat off as it goes by. Not PI's favourite meal during the trip, but he found enough to eat. On the way back we got lammingtons at a bakery. Apparently lammingtons are a normal thing for them. I don't think I've ever seen them over here. They're cake, covered in chocolate then rolled in coconut. Sometimes they have jam in the middle as well. Yum!!! We spent most of the evening working on a puzzle.

This is a lammington be continued...

Thursday, June 01, 2006

May 1: PI lost his job (as predicted 6 months ago to the day)

May 2: Happy birthday SS

May 3: Pick up TK and leave for OSCC

May 4 - 6: Conference. It was a pretty good conference this yr. Haven't heard the fall out yet though, so I think I'll leave posting about OSCC to PI and PM.

(eg of student art)

May 7 - 9: On the plane! We left Toronto on Air Canada to LA on an air bus. PI now swears he will never travel air bus again. They're not particularly comfy. The in flight movie was King Kong. I watched it 'cause I really had nothing better to do as the flight's about 4.5 hrs long. I didn't really enjoy it though. They don't feed you on Air Canada any more, and blankets and pillows on day flights are $2. At least they give you water and juice. They checked our passports 5 times before we sat down on the plane.

Once in LAX we discovered that we have to go down 2 floors to the air canada desk, tell them we were in LA, go back up 1 floor to get the luggage, go to the Air New Zealand desk to tell them we were flying to Aukland, recheck in our baggage through customs, get visas to enter Australia, and go back up another floor to go through customs again. They make you take off your shoes, belt, jacket, etc. and you have to take video cameras and lap tops out of their cases to go through. It was a pain. Neither of us liked the air port or being in the States in general.

If you have to fly, we both recommend an Air NZ 700 series air plane. They are COMFY!!! You have your own tv screen in the back of the seat in front of you and you can use it to watch movies and tv shows on demand (pretty big selection), play video games (eg tetris), listen to the radio (30 channels), look at the flight info (time of departure, arrival, local time, outside temp, estimated temp on arrival, altitude, distance traveled, distance yet to travel, etc. w/ diagrams). The remote also doubles as a phone and has a credit card slot. I watched Mrs. Henderson Presents, which i recommend, Memoires of a Geisha, a Futurama episode, played Tetris and Who Wants to be a Millionaire, listened to Robin Williams Live at the Met, and watched part of Tristram Shandy. They served breakfast and dinner. Alcohol is complimentary, there's leg room, blankets and pillows provided, they give you candy for landing.

The Aukland air port is wonderful. They have a spa where you can relax while you wait for your plane, lazy boy massage chairs, bathrooms that are entirely automated and say, "thank you, please come again" (a bit hitchhiker's guide really), and extremely friendly, polite, and helpful staff. Aukland air port is PI's new happy place *grin*. Short wait while they cleaned, refeuled and restocked the plane then off to Brisbane. Lunch came w/ chocolate ice cream and wine :)

We arrived at Brisbane, having completely skipped May 8 'cause of the time and date shift, at 11 am. J and J picked us up at the air port and drove us "home". We had a walk around Redcliff and went to the duck pond to feed the ducks before dinner. There are eels and turtles in the duck pond as well as a number of different birds. We still don't know what some of them are called. We tried to stay up to about 10 pm to put us on track and get over the jetlag, but PI fell asleep watching tv at about 8 and then, after he got up to make the bed so he could sleep in it, all he managed was to put the matress on the floor and fall on it. be continued...

Saturday, April 29, 2006

i'm bouncing off the walls w/ excitement now. we're leaving for oscc on wed and aus on sun!!! i'm planning to subject everyone to millions of pics and hrs of video when we get back so brace yourselves :)

any "i've been away and now i'm back" present requests?

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

I'm DONE!!!

Yay! *me does a little happy dance*

Now I'm home for good and that feels amazing! I'm not sure it's kicked in that I'm not going back to london yet. I was sad when I left yesterday, but the fact that I'm finally finished my degree and we're going to conference in a week and Australia in just over a week is making me so excited I don't think i'll be sad for about a month yet. Really going to miss living w/ the crew though. We had some excellent times this year!

Also, since I haven't blogged since it happened, congrats to C and C on their engagement.
Congrats to I and T for getting pregnant :)
Congrats to PM for also finishing.

Happy birthday to Fr. B. tomorrow.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Since I'm announcing things: Stuart's going to be an uncle :)

2 exams and 1 paper down, 3 exams to go.

I need 3 more tickets to graduation. Wish me luck getting hold of those. I have a feeling dad, PI, and Bear will be waiting to get rush seats after ticket ppl have already been allowed in :(

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

I just recieved the following email:

Congratulations! This message is to notify you that the Faculty of
Information Studies is pleased to offer you admission to our MISt
program beginning September 2006.

yay :D

Friday, April 14, 2006

Happy Easter everyone :)

Only 2 more days until you can have whatever you gave up back again :)

Thursday, April 13, 2006

i signed up w/ a program at harper collins that i heard about through the ola conference. you sign up, then you choose a book from the list of offered books for that month. if you're selected in the draw they send you a pre-publication copy for you to review. you just email them your review by the first of the next month. i'm currently reviewing a cook book, so there's a lot of yummy italian food happening at my place this week.

Friday, April 07, 2006

well, classes are FINALLY over and i'm generally in a much better mood b/c of it :)
now i just have to finish my last essay and read the stuff i've fallen behind in and i'm done for good!!!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Two women friends had gone for a girl's night out. Both were very faithful and loving wives, however, they had gotten over-enthusiastic on the Bacardi Breezers. Incredibly drunk and walking home they needed to pee, so they stopped in the cemetery.

One of them had nothing to wipe with so she thought she would take off her panties and use them. Her friend however was wearing a rather expensive pair of panties and did not want to ruin them. She was lucky enough to squat down next to a grave that had a wreath with a ribbon on it, so she proceeded to wipe with that.

After the girls did their business they proceeded to go home. The next day one of the women's husbands was concerned that his normally sweet and innocent wife was still in bed hung over, so he phoned the other husband and said, "These girl nights have got to stop! I'm starting to suspect the worst.. my wife came home with no panties!!"

"That's nothing" said the other husband, "Mine came back with a card stuck to her ass that said.....

From all of us at the Fire Station. We'll never forget you.

Friday, March 24, 2006

32 days until exams are over and counting.
2 papers and a seminar down this week, only 3 more papers and 1 seminar to go wednesday :S

Monday, March 20, 2006

currently working on

and keeping ii entertained :P

Monday, March 06, 2006

currently watching

currently reading

Last weekend my sister came to stay at my place in L. We had a good time. We went to H Ball w/ my friends from school, went to see the Pink Panther, went to chapel, had a party and played munchkin, ate a lot of good food (salmon and ribs), had a pre-birthday party for PI, and she gave a recital for my room mates. They were suitable impressed. PI took her home on Mon morning. She had a cello competition during the week and did very well.

This past week has been, well, interesting to say the least.

Slack week started, for me, on Feb 23, so i went back to PI's place for the week. On Sat we spent the morning in PI's office b/c they decided last Tues to tell him he was coming in on the Sat whether he liked it or not, and, essentially, the alternative was being fired. Since we already had plans, I spent the morning napping in the office. When he was done we went to the Auto Show. This was partly for fun, and partly for research. I'm doing a paper on concept cars for my auto class. We had a great time and wish we'd remembered to take a lunch since the price of food was highway robbery.

On Sun it was PI's birthday :) HAPPY BIRTHDAY PI <:)
We went to church in the morning to say good bye to Fr B since he is retiring. It is sad to see him go. Since we had to pick up I and T for lunch, we left at 10:30 when the service started. We had lunch w/ PI's family at FT's to celebrate his birthday. PM and MT called from NYC to wish him an happy birthday. That was nice :)

On monday we got the keys to the new place and, even though we were both working, we started moving. (I know i've blogged about this before, but I might as well do the whole week.) We both took Wed and Thurs off to dedicate a couple of days to moving. On Wed we took a bit of a break to go to MT's to organize some conference stuff and, while we were there, also started organizing wedding cake. YMM has agreed to bake both wedding and reception cakes for us, which is WONDERFUL!!!

On Thurs we had movers come to take the big stuff, like the bed and desks. They were very efficient and both PI and I recommend Mad Max and his Russian Goons for moving should you need that service any time soon. Apparently, if you say you were told about them through us you get a 10% discount. We recommend paying in cash. PI said he was going to blog about them more, so I'll leave that up to him.

By friday we had successfully managed to get everything out of the old place and into the new, cleaned up the old, and left the key on the counter for the old land lord. We're going to miss the place, especially the beauty of the old location, but we really needed the space, and the new place cuts 15-30 minutes off PI's morning commute and makes mine more convenient as well. The new place is going to be box city probably well into June since I'm moving out of my parent's place when we get back and that will probably take us a while. I also have to move out of my place in L and that will just create more boxes.

On Sat and Sun PI and I began SCUBA diving lessons. We figured that we'd give it a try as it would probably enhanse our trip this spring and it seemed like a good oportunity. Lessons went from about 8:30-7 both days, and we were both EXHAUSTED at the end of both days. Half of the day was spent in theory, the other half in the pool. Having just spent about 8 hours in a pool over 2 days, i'm feeling very itchy and am wondering if I'll ever smell of anything but chlorine ever again.

I know a few people who have gone SCUBA diving w/o any previous training. I don't know how they managed it! As well as the fact that there is a lot that I would not want to go in the water without knowing, going underwater with all that equipment on is terrifying! I don't think I've ever been scared like that before. It was like a nightmare. It's surprisingly small under water. While in reality it is extremely large, it feels so closed in. The amount of work you have to do in your head to stop yourself from freaking out is amazing. Just the concept of sitting 33' unterwater and breathing normally is a huge leap. Then there are other problems.

Once I got over the initial panic things went better. There are a couple of things we both have to work on, but we new belong to the dive shop and can use their pool in the mornings to practice. Despite the fact that it is a terrifying experience, we both ended up really enjoying it. Hopefully it is something we can do for a long time together. There are so many places to SCUBA, we are hoping to do it on all 3 of the trips we have planned as well as taking a few trips up to Tobermory to dive on wrecks. I highly recommend the experience...If you don't have any of one of the million or so health problems that would stop you from doing so.

Now I'm back in L and have way too much work to do.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

it's moving time and that means a lot of work and no time to be doing other things i should also be doing.
we've got to be out of 1.5 by fri. movers are coming tomorrow.
also tomorrow is the dentist :( this is going to be my first time going w/o my mommy. i'm scared, but pi's going w/ me so maybe it'll be ok. i really hate the dentist.
anyone know where i put the pegs for the blue book shelves?

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

whoever invented grad applications was a sadist!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


Wednesday, February 08, 2006

grammy's pathology report was yesterday. the tumour they removed was 4 cm! it's an aggressive cancer so they recomend chemo, but it's not necessary. she's technically cancer free now :) if she decides to do the chemo (which would be the safest if not the most pleasant thing to do) it would be 6 treatments 3 weeks apart. she'd be able to stay at home and not need too much extra care. so, overall it's good news. yay!
mmmmm cookies!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Tory?! Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Well, I'm very confused about exactly what's going on, but here it is.
Grammy's operation was yesterday and apparently everything went well. They didn't find any more tumours but we'll get a full pathalogical report in 2 weeks.
Mom was staying here but now she's not staying here and J was staying here but now she's not staying here, so I don't think anyone's staying here, but I don't really konw. What I do know is that mom's picking me up after class today and we're going out for lunch tomorrow.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

The joint birthday party was great :) I hope the tradition keeps up every year!
We finally got the cat out to PI's parent's place. We hope he doesn't drive them insane before we can take him back in June.

We got approved for the apartment we wanted and are moving at the end of Feb.

Someone cancelled their operation so Grammy got moved up to this Thurs from Feb 1. Hopefully all goes well and in a few weeks she'll be back to her usual self.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Well, it's about time I blogged again...Only I really don't have much to say :(
Grammy is doing alright, I guess.
Christmas and my birthday were nice.
PI's family has arranged a party for all January birthdays in the family and that will be fun. Hopefully we'll successfully get the cat to their place this time.