Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Why, hello there blog!

Hello blog world! My apologies for neglecting you so terribly. As nearly always happens in my life, NOTHING HAS HAPPENED except tiny little mundane life events. Read on if you're bored...

1. My dog has Giardia, a protozoan parasite in the gut. While she has no symptoms, the vet said we do need to get rid of it to prevent secondary bacterial infections or any further complications. They gave me little packets of de-worming medication to put in her food for the next 3 days. I'll also have to wash and disinfect her bed and keep her from sniffing other dogs' poop (Mission Impossible!!). I'm just glad she doesn't straight up eat poop, like other dogs we know.

2. Studying is starting to cramp my style. While I enjoy knowing things, I do not enjoy the arduous task of putting those facts in my dinky little brain. Why haven't we found a better way to do this yet? Like some sort of surgery that puts all that knowledge in a hard drive in your brain? Google, I'm lookin' at you.

3. I came up with the best idea for an app the other day while texting Steven: GANGSTA AUTO CORRECT. Let's make it happen, Internet.

4. In my ashtanga practice, I recently got advanced to Bujapidasana, which is a really fun arm balance. However, I'm still not sure I'm ready for it. I'm still huffing and puffing by the end of Navasana, sometimes by the end of Marichiasana C. I'm trying to be worthy of advancing past Navasana, but it's hard when the call of cookies and The Good Wife is so much more delicious than 5 AM wake up calls.

Friday, 31 January 2014

A Response to "Don't Date a Girl Who Travels" from a Girl Who Travels

My Facebook recently exploded with links of this article: Don't Date a Girl Who Travels. And I can totally see the connection between my life and the experiences and opinions expressed in the article. But I can't help but think it's not painting a realistic picture. I've been called a drifter, the least of my family, unambitious, wasting my potential. Everyone is waiting for me to "grow up", or "settle down".

In a way, I wish everyone (like my very traditionally-valued family) could see my life as romantically as Don't Date a Girl who Travels. But these things, "unkempt" (aka possibly  unwashed), wandering, impulsive, restless, adrenalin-high, commitment-shy... these never used to be GOOD things. There needs to be a healthy dialogue about how the values espoused in the article are not necessarily as beautiful and lovely as you think.

From the beginning:
She’s the one with the messy unkempt hair colored by the sun.
Let's face it: unkempt = unwashed. For me, it's not a choice. I often didn't have time/money/didn't care/enjoyed the smell of ocean wafting off my own body. Not a pretty picture, but that's the way it is, folks.

She is hard to please. The usual dinner-movie date at the mall will suck the life out of her. Her soul craves for new experiences and adventures. She will be unimpressed with your new car and your expensive watch. She would rather climb a rock or jump out of an airplane than hear you brag about it.
Hard to PLEASE!? Give me a bowl of mashed potatoes and I'll be the happiest clam ever. It's important to differentiate "please" and "excite". Dinner and a movie is nowhere near as exciting as snowboarding or paragliding, but I'm not going to cry over it (part of that whole "growing up" thing). And "unimpressed with your new car"? What am I, a heartless bitch? I would be proud of you saving to purchase your own car.
Chances are, she can’t hold a steady job. Or she’s probably daydreaming about quitting.
People, commitment issues are NOT A GOOD THING. Steady jobs put dinner on the table. I'm trying to buck it up so I'll have broccoli to eat.
She might have wasted her college degree and switched careers entirely. She is now a dive instructor or a yoga teacher. She’s not sure when the next paycheck is coming.
While this is almost completely true (I teach yoga), I don't want to hear that I WASTED four years of my life at university. I made life-long friends and had wonderful experiences in and out of school. While perhaps the schooling could have been foregone, no one, least of all yourself, should belittle those years of work and effort. Also, my next paycheck is coming Tuesday. I know this because it's my friggin paycheck.

Don’t date a girl who travels for she has chosen a life of uncertainty. She doesn’t have a plan or a permanent address. She goes with the flow and follows her heart. She dances to the beat of her own drum. She doesn’t wear a watch. Her days are ruled by the sun and the moon. When the waves are calling, life stops and she will be oblivious to everything else for a moment. But she has learned that the most important thing in life isn’t surfing.
Nearly all of this quote is true for me. I first began traveling because the certainty and predictability of my future disgusted me. I craved uncertainty, and I still do. I have lost count of how many apartments I've lived in, how many watches I've lost, and how many times I've gone surfing. I have definitely sacrificed for that life, important sacrifices, but I do not regret one second of my life. I'm beginning to learn that the beat of your "drum" can change and evolve. I am beginning to crave other things, like having a 5 year plan (yeah, I said it. FIVE years. Whoa.). But that's what my drum is saying to me now, and I'm listening.

She will never need you. She knows how to pitch a tent and screw her own fins without your help. She cooks well and doesn’t need you to pay for her meals. She is too independent and won't care whether you travel with her or not. She will forget to check in with you when she arrives at her destination. She’s busy living in the present.
So far, this has always been true (except the dinners I've messed up), and I hope to always hold on to my independence. However, I also realize that mindless drive for independence and self-sustainability can push people away. It can be seen as insecurity and mistrust. I'm working on a good balance.

Most of all, please don't "Don't Date a Girl who Travels". Everyone needs a lover, a partner, a confidante--the drifters need it most of all because nothing else is stable or the same.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Catching up

Since starting my online Anatomy and Physiology course, I've had a lot less time for yoga, coffee, friends, the dog, and basically everything other than studying (including you, blog). On a good day, I spend 3 hours reading, reviewing and quizzing myself. Then I put on 1000000 layers to shovel my car out of the snow, and go to work.

Luckily, I get to learn cool things like why nicotine makes smokers cough, and less cool things like the fact that proteasomes contain numerous enzymes that break down denatured or damaged proteins. Woohoo!! Science!!!!

Hi dog... sorry I've been neglecting you...
On the Green Smoothie front, I've finally reached the point where I'm finally not hungry 20 minutes later. I've begun putting ground flax and some sort of nut butter in my smoothies, which really helps with the fullness factor. In fact, I'm usually not hungry until noon, which is a HUGE change for me! But with my tighter schedule, I'm really happy to be able to sit down and concentrate all morning without a growling stomach.

As for my evenings, I've suddenly had a lot more single-lady-eat-in-front-of-the-tv-nights. I was surprised that a lot of my meals were actually pretty delicious:

Roasted Eggplant and chickpea tomato sauce with spaghettini tossed in pesto.

Mashed potato with salad and leftover falafel.

Grilled eggplant, roasted green beans on a bed of mashed potatoes.

If you can't tell, I've been on a serious mashed potato kick these days. It must be the cold weather. I just bought another bag of potatoes to play with in the next few days, so I'm really looking forward to it.

Friday, 10 January 2014

Life was good before Navasana

I'm taking a lady's holiday and skipping Ashtanga this morning, so I thought I'd pop in and write a little update about how it's all going. In a way, it's going well, and that's why it's also becoming more of a challenge.

Recently, I got "advanced" to Navasana, much to my dismay. If you don't know, this is Navasana:

The picture looks all floaty and happy, but it's actually sweat-inducing and shaky and soul crushing.

Here's what my Navasana looks like:
Yes, that is blood, sweat and tears.

And I've got to do this every morning, 5x, with one breath lift-up inbetween. Uggggghhhhhhhhhhhhrrrrr.

However, Navasana is like the gateway to the cool stuff that comes afterwards, so hopefully I'll be able to levitate and gain mind-control powers soon, like all real yoga people.

My knee is healing well and my hip on that side is feeling looser every week. I'm still too fearful of hurting my knee to pull into a lotus position, but I do feel like I'm getting closer, and that's a good change for me. I've always been so into the "yoga as healing" camp that I've down-played the importance of going forward in the sequence, the "yoga as challenge" camp, let's call it. As I'm healing I feel like it's OK to introduce some more competitiveness and challenge into my practice rather than going easy and holding back.

You certainly can't go "easy" with Navasana.

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Gifts galore

We're getting close to the new year and there are still about 700 houses in Toronto out of power from that terrible ice storm last week. Workers are still out there plugging away at the one-off disconnections, but most intersections have been restored. 

If you're in the Toronto area, please donate to the local food banks, like our North York Harvest Food Bank, which is low on it's donations this year due to the fact that so many homes in the area were out of electricity and donating food was probably the last thing on people's minds. 

Now on to some happy stuff!

For Christmas, my sister got me these cute socks with polar bears on them. Only downside is that they won't possibly fit into shoes, so I can't wear them out.

 Then, today, I got the a gift in the mail even more awesome than cute socks:

My new physiology text book!! Woo hoo!! I've signed up for a course at the online university, Athabasca University, starting January. Eventually, I want to enroll in a physiotherapy program somewhere, but I've got a whole staircase of baby steps before I get there. 

Wish me luck! 

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Iced in

We were hit with a terrible storm a few days ago here in Toronto, and our public systems are still struggling to restore power and hence, heat, to thousands of homes.

For my humble little home in North Toronto, we were cut out of electricity in the early hours of the 21st. When we got up in the morning, the floors were freezing cold and the dog was shivering. It was pitch black out, but the blue flashes of light in the distance reminded me that we were only one house out of hundreds of thousands out of power and heat.

It was like we were suddenly transported north of the Wall.... without even a stop at Winterfell....

Once the sun came up, I took the dog out. I was surprised to find so much damage even in our neighbourhood.

Also, Two-Two's leash froze solid in the 15 minutes we were outside.

By late afternoon, we knew we needed provisions for dinner... for us and our neighbours. We found a restaurant open quite far north of the city, and ventured out to pick it up. Nearly every single traffic light was out, but we made it there and back.

At home, we had a few families in our neighbourhood come over to our house to eat hot food. We lit candles and kept each other warm. During dinner, the lights did a quick flash, and then the sky struck blue again and power went out. This happened 2 or 3 times, until we stopped cheering and just silently hoped that this time the fix would stick.

Eventually, we got too cold just sitting around the house, so we ventured out again for a hot drink.

By the time we got home, lights were on! We went to bed in the warmth and woke up in the warmth! It was marvelous, but plenty of our friends had to sleep through the night in the cold. So we're currently playing warming shelter and charging station to a bunch of friends until they can get power restored.

What an ordeal. Driving is still a headache as so many intersections are out of power, trees are blocking lanes, and some people are being aggressive assholes. I'm not looking forward to driving to work later today, but I know I'll be glad to be there when I finally get there.

About an hour ago, we got TV and internet back, so now I finally feel like we're back in civilization.

Hoping all of you Torontonians out there are keeping warm!

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Winter is here...

Winter is here, and I'm pretty sure I only like it because the cold only makes my daily Starbucks caramel brulee lattee taste SO much better.

Otherwise, my back and arms are getting the workout of a lifetime clearing the snow off my driveway. Snow is FREAKING heavy, people. HEAVY.

At least Two-Two is loving the weather. She jumps through the snow like a little rabbit. I guess that's what you gotta do when there's snow going up higher than you have leg for.

Because of the snow, I joined the rest of North Toronto at Canadian Tire to buy some salt for my walkway and winter windshield wipers so that I can drive and see at the same time. Look at me being all winter safe and responsible!

I saw this sign on the side of the salt tub and literally LOL'd.

I don't have any babies (just the canine one, whom I'm sure can manage to maneuver herself away from a bucket of salt), so I'm sorry for being insensitive, if this comes off as such. But this bucket came up to my KNEE. HOW CAN A BABY FALL INTO A KNEE-HIGH BUCKET?! If the baby is tall enough to climb up the bucket (and not tip it over), fall INTO the bucket (which is conveniently filled with salty drowny liquid), then it should have the capacity to either call for help or muscle itself out.

You've got to admit, the warning sign on the bucket is really REALLY funny. That baby just looks like it's grabbing salt to eat...


Green smoothie update?

Still rockin' the smoothe-a-day routine. Sometimes it's breakfast, sometimes it's lunch, and sometimes it's 1/3 of a dinner. But it always, ALWAYS still leaves me hungry about half an hour later.

Plus, that waking up with more energy in the morning thing? Gone.

I'm back to sleepy, reluctant, sore and lazy. Welcome back, my true self.