Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Olympic Flame makes it's way through Canada...

I have always been a big fan of the Olympics. I don't watch any sports usually, mostly because I never have any idea what is going on, but for whatever reason I find the Olympics the most exciting thing ever. Next year, the Olympics will be in Vancouver, and while I am extremely sad that I am not going, I am extremely happy that they will be held in Canada. I'm looking forward to seeing a sea of Canadian flags at some of the events. And believe you me, I cry like a baby whenever a Canadian athlete wins a gold medal and the national anthem plays. Actually, I tear up whenever I hear the national anthem anywhere. Baseball game, school just happens. I think one of the things I miss most about grade school/high school is getting to hear the national anthem every day. It just makes me really...happy.

Anyway, the Olympic torch is on it's way through Canada, making stops in several communities along the way. One of those stops was right here in St. Kitties.

I did have some issues with some things, like the Olympic t-shirts they were selling coming in plastic bags with MADE IN BANGLADESH written in giant bold letters. But all in all, I can look past these things because it was an event that really brought the community, and by extension, the country together.

Canada is a huge country, and sometimes it is hard to feel connected to your fellow Canadians when they live so far away. It's not like being Belgian or something. Events like the Olympics have the ability to really bring a country together, because we are all cheering for the same thing-for the Canadians to beat the Americans at something; at anything. :)

I liked the way the Olympic Torch Relay was organized, because it was made into a community event in each individual community. The Torch Bearers in St. Catharines were people that have made a significant contribution to this community. The man pictured running with the torch, Mike Accursi, is a local high school teacher and professional lacrosse player. Each person in the Torch Relay got to run with the Olympic Flame for 300 metres before passing it off to the next person. Seriously, how cool would that be?? It was really amazing to watch, so I can't imagine the emotion if you actually got to carry it.

Lighting the Olympic cauldron.

It was basically a sea of red and white and flags. Great to see.

Ice sculpture!

Elusive mittens that were extremely hard to come by! I waited in line for a long time, but when I got to the front they were sold out. Then today my co-worker came in and was like, "they had one pair left at Zellers, I got you some!!" Awesome!!

Bring on the bobsled Vancouver, I can't wait!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Travel Tuesday-New York, New York

Once upon a time, a young girl named Meg dreamed of going to a place she saw only in the movies: New York. With it's skyscrapers, it's shopping, it's culture, it's history, it's people, it was so very different from the small Canadian town she grew up in. She dreamed about it for years, until one day, when Meg was 15 years old. She was going along with her family on a trip to Florida and while Meg does love the sun, she's not one for sitting on the beach for any length of time. At least she wasn't then.

"But", her parents said, "there's one more thing, "on our way to Florida we are stopping in New York City."

This was quite possibly the most exciting news Meg had ever heard in her 15 years of life. She burst into tears. So this is what it felt like to actually have a dream come true.

You might think that New York could never live up to such high expectations, but it did. That first trip began a love affair that will likely last until my dying days. New York City is hands down, my favourite place on Earth. And I have a lot of love for a lot of places. But oh, that city.

If someone were to ask me why I love it so much, I don't even know if I could put it into words. It's a bit like the love I have for Bette Midler; fierce, yet kind of unexplainable.

It was great to see the city at Christmas time. I mean for a city that bubbles with energy all the time, then it absolutely oozes it at Christmas time. If you go to New York at Christmas and don't leave filled to the brim with Christmas spirit, something ain't right.

So I present to you, a photo diary of my trip to New York City. I love New York, I love New York, I LOVE New York.

I have several hundred more pictures, but I didn't want to go overboard. More stories to follow.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Furry Friday

Alright, I actually broke out my camera again last night! The runs are pretty much frozen, so we can bring the dogs out there again. And the weather was pretty nice last night, making it much easier to press buttons. I only had one pair of gloves on!

I'll be the first one to admit that Chihuahua's are cute, but I don't think I could ever have one. I would be afraid of stepping on him/her all the time...and really, it wouldn't take much to crush a chihuahua. I don't trust my clumsy self with that. The constant shaking they do is somewhat endearing...but it's like...are you actually cold, or are you just trying to get my sympathy? This wee one is only 4 months old, but I don't imagine he'll get much bigger. He's adopted already, natch.

Does anybody else have this problem with Blogger? Why do the pictures upload sideways when they are clearly the right way on my computer?? If someone could enlighten me as to what I'm doing wrong, I'd be eternally grateful. Anyways, this is the elk hound! He's only 4 months, and I'm pretty sure by the time he's done growing he'll be the size of a deer.

Again with the sideways. Oy. I'm not sure why this dog is back...I couldn't get a sensical answer. But he's getting so big. His body has elongated completely since I saw him last.

The ears!! I'm so obsessed with this dogs ears. Can you imagine being a basset hound puppy? People would just be constantly tugging at your ears. Just like Dumbo.

Ah, they are getting so big! I cannot even handle going in the room with the puppies. I want to pick them all up, and they are constantly jumping and crying, and it's almost too much cuteness to handle. Almost.

All the doggies had Christmas bandanas on last night which was extremely adorable. How is it that dogs in bandanas look 12 times cuter than dogs without bandanas? But it was very festive!

Happy Weekend everybody! There will be a New York related travel post next Tuesday. Cross my heart. has just informed me that "sensical" is not actually a word. Huh! And to think of the number of times I've used it in a sentence...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Cloris Leachman and other random thoughts...

I think my mind was officially blown last night. By Cloris Leachman. I was watching Prancer (aka, one of the best Christmas movies ever!) and Cloris Leachman came on screen, and I was just like...1) Cloris Leachman is awesome, and 2) she's like in every great movie ever, 3) her name is Cloris.

I love the movie Prancer for so many reasons. The drama! "Without Prancer, there's nothing left for me in this town". Ummm okay, 9 year old girl! Dramatic much? I just googled "Prancer quotes", and a movie came up called "Prancer Returns". Starring John Corbett!! How did I go through my entire life not knowing there was a sequel to Prancer??? It has the exact same plot as the first movie, except it's with a boy. I have to find this.

Anyway! Cloris Leachman. Seriously though, she is in like...everything!

-Bad Santa
-Now and Then
-The Ellen Show
-The Beverley Hillbillies
-A Little Piece of Heaven (Anyone remember this movie? Kirk Cameron? I had this taped on videocassette and I seriously watched it approximately 100 times). This is the exact description from IMBD: "Will Loomis is living with his retarded sister Violet, who wants a younger child to play with, so Will 'kidnaps' one (and then another) child from the local children's home. The child is told it is dead and gone to heaven. Will and Violet try to make their farm a little piece of heaven for the kids, while the authorities wonder what has happened to the kidnapped children." Bwahahaha, amazing. I wish I still had that.
-Ferris Bueller
-The Facts of Life
-Young Frankenstein
-plus like 8 million more things.

Wow, I can't believe I talked that long about Cloris Leachman. But seriously, every time I see her, I'm always like, "Cloris Leachman again??" and I'm just amazed.

I think one of my goals for 2010 is going to be to get her autograph. I'm totally adding it to the list. Wish me luck!

I'm going to try very hard to get good pictures of the pups tonight, because some of the dogs there now are pretty great. A little Chihuahua puppy, who needs to be lifted out of his kennel because his legs are two skinny for the grate. An Elk Hound puppy. An elk hound!! A blue tick coon hound puppy!! ahhhhh. I can't even handle it. I'm such a nerd about dog breeds that I haven't seen in real life before. I saw the elk hound puppy and I practically jumped up and down. Commence mocking!

Anyway, my head is slightly clearer today than it has been in a while. I am not going to apply for the job I was talking about earlier this week. I'm leaving this job soon. And I'm really just going to try and go for it. Life that is. I feel good about these decisions, and my head has now quieted some. It's nice.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I don't even know...

I just gotta say, my posting will be sporadic until next week, when I have 11 glorious days off of work. I apologize for the lack of a travel story yesterday, but I just...I have no excuse other than...this time of year is busy yo!

I'm working on a editorial for the local newspaper on breed specific legislation...that is due next week. I'm working on a travel piece for a contest. I'm also doing an oh so exciting article on Unusual Driving Laws in's all great, I love it, but it means I need to take a break from here for a bit. Not to mention all the fun Christmas stuff: eating to excess, visiting with friends, drinking, guarding the Christmas village in case somebody tries to move something, you know! Also the baking. And the shopping...which I have barely even started. I know I will be regretting that, because if there is one thing I hate about Christmas, it's busy malls. One time, when we were shopping at Christmas time, one of my friends started to shout really loud, "oh my god, I'm having a panic attack, I need to get out", and then I dragged her behind me while parting the crowd. It was all a ruse. That's how badly we needed to get out of the crowd. Why am I talking about this??

Anyways. I'll be back. I just wanted ya'll to know I'm alive. I'm off to the shelter now to set up a paw washing station. It's a glamorous life people.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Unfurry Friday

Well, a plethora of things happened last night which prohibited pictures from being taken. The main issue was that I was wearing so many pairs of gloves, that I could not bend my fingers to hold the camera properly, let alone press a button. Gale force winds plus freezing cold temperatures did not make for a great time. I even upped my shivering in the hopes that somebody in the Tim Horton's line would perhaps buy me a hot chocolate, but nooooo. Bastards.

I went to check on the puppies from last week, and I was going to take more pictures so you could see how big there are getting. But when I took out my camera, my battery was dead. Pictures were just not meant to be last night I guess! Also, I kept picking up and squeezing the puppies only to later discover they were covered in crap, thus covering my jacket in crap. It was unpleasant.

I undid my coat so it wasn't completely obvious that I was covered in dog shit, and as I was walking out, another volunteer was walking in. He showed me a newspaper clipping about Charlie's new home (he's become a local celeb ya'll!! haha, so cute), and then he was like, "it smells like dog shit in here". To which I could only reply, "yes, that would be me". I decided that would be a great time to leave, as being the smelliest thing in a dog shelter is a hard task, but there I was.

I wish I had a fun story about last night, but nothing really happened. I think I might have blacked out from the cold. I was wearing jeans, and I believe that's where I went wrong. I was bundled up like crazy, but my legs were frozen. Next week, I'm breaking out the long johns.

Isn't it weird how long johns can be both an undergarment and a donut? What the what?

I logged on to Facebook today and I had a realization. Facebook depresses the ever living piss out of me. If I see one more status that says "I'm engaged!!! <3", I am going to rip shit. I love feeling like everybody's life is just moving along, and I'm stuck here. Thanks for nothing Facebook. These are usually people I'm not even actually friends with, so I'm not too sure a) why they are on my list, and b) why I even care, but whoomp there it is. I dunno, I just had a very "I hate Facebook!!" moment today, and I thought I'd share.

Are these stream of consciousness posts working for anybody? I'll get back to actual writing next week, but this is honestly sort of fun.

I signed up for a Pet First Aid course on Sunday. Pet First Aid!! And it starts at 9 o'flippin clock in the morning. I'm sort of excited, but also sort of apprehensive. There is a lunch break. And in my experience, there is not much that is more awkward than eating lunch with a bunch of strangers whom you were thrown together with during a one day course. You would be surprised the number of times this has happened to me. I'm an awkward person to begin with, so I'm really not looking forward to that. In regards to what Pet First Aid will actually entail, I have no idea. Maybe I'll get to use a scalpel? Or at the very least, a thermometer?

This work day feels eternal, and I'm starting to feel a little giddy.

I really want to go to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. I'm thinking May or June. My goal this weekend is to get the application done. Is anybody as obsessed with Dogtown as I am??

Anyways. Happy weekend!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

My Eternal Question

I'm at a bit of a crossroads right now. I've mentioned before this whole stuck feeling, and it is still driving me crazy.

I've been thinking lately about settling, and at what point a person should give up on their dreams. Here's the thing-there is this job coming up that everybody thinks I should apply for. It's full time, 9 to 5, doing communications, which is what I went to school for. I think I would have a fair chance of getting it. It would be an okay job. The pay is good and there are even benefits (omg, benefits!). But still, I waffle. I mean, this is clearly all hypothetical at this point, because I don't have the job, but I just can't help thinking, "what if". If I did apply for this job, and I got it, I would have to put all my plans on the back burner. On the one hand, I think I would be settling.

Is it irresponsible of me, to say "to hell with benefits, and large gobs of money, I want to work with dogs for a living. I want to travel, see the world, and I want to write about it." Would it be more adult, more responsible of me to just say, "Yes. I need to buy a house, get married, settle down. Save enough money for retirement. That'll be enough. You can travel when you retire".

But. I don't want to be 80 years old, staring out the window, thinking of all the things I could have done, but didn't.

The money for this job is extremely good, and everything I want to do costs money. More money than I have now, and more money then I could ever make at this job. So, I think to myself, perhaps it would be wise to really try for this job, and just save money. But then I fear I would become stuck and comfortable.

I just don't know you guys. Life is short. There's a big world out there, and while I've seen a lot, there is still so much more.

Maybe I'm making it too big a deal, being slightly too dramatic. I just can't seem to figure out at what point do I stop dreaming so large. A big part of me says never, but there is a little part in there that is just saying, settle down already. I love where I live, but I don't want to be stuck here. I can't be stuck here.

I dwell on these things so much, that everything gets all tangled. Responsible me and daydreamy me are duking this one out, but no one's winning yet. Sometimes, I really wish I could turn off my head.

I meant for today to be a New York post, but that'll have to wait until Monday or Tuesday. My computer at home is trying to kill me with it's slowness. I have no idea what is wrong with it, but I sure can't afford a new one. wamp wamp.

I hope I don't sound whiny or anything in this post, I just honestly dwell on things way to much, and it is nice to put it out there once in a while.

On a completely random note, how great was Glee last night?? So many lines made me laugh hysterically.

"She's the one they made me talk to when they found out I was keeping that bird in my locker."

"Okay. I'm just gonna come out and say it. This is a singing competition. I don't know how those deaf kids got in. They weren't singing, they were like honking and everyone was crying and I was like, "Get off the stage. You're terrible and you're making me super uncomfortable."

"You'll be adding revenge to the long list of things you're no good at, right next to being married, running a high school glee club and finding a hairstyle that doesn't look like a lesbian."

Bwahaha. It's like the only show I never miss.

Anyways. This is the last quarter life crisis post I'll write for a while. Back to puppies and travel stories!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

And I'm back!

I'm back, but I can't say I'm happy about it. New York at Christmas is a blast. New York is always a blast. Must live there one day. The only famous person I saw the entire time was Krysten Ritter. Does anybody actually know who she is? Because nobody I was with did. Anyway!

This will be brief, as I have a million things to do. I will have pictures/stories from New York tomorrow hopefully!

When I got home, I found out that Charlie has been adopted!!! I'm sure you all know how happy this makes me! All he needed was a little publicity! Wow. I just feel so great. He's got a home for Christmas ya'll. Tear.

I have many blogs to catch up on, and I will resume commenting soon. Hope you all had grrrreat weekends!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Furry Friday

Today is a good day in dogland guys!! Remember my Christmas goal of finding Charlie, the beauty of a white shepherd a home?? Well today, guess who got on the front page of the paper?? Mr Charlie himself. I am hoping, hoping, hoping, that someone out there will read the story and just have to have him. Keep your fingers crossed for him!! A forever home for him has been a long time coming.

Anyway, I again apologize for the quality of pictures...basically until it snows, we have to walk all the dogs on leash, and what with all the lunging and pulling, and general not walking on a leash very well, tis hard to take good pictures of the dogs with one hand. Anyway! I think you'll enjoy this weeks pictures because they are full of PUPPIES!!

Ummm there is not much that makes me happier than bunches of puppies falling all over each other. These guys are 5 weeks old, and holy crikey they are cute.

Bah!! I could not stop picking them up and snuggling them. Also, my favourite part of this picture is the dogs trying to eat each other in the background.

No idea why this is loading sideways. I'm not computer savvy enough to fix it either. Welps, turning your head slightly is worth it for the cuteness!!

A 9 week brown, standard poodle puppy!! Yes please. I tried for a very long time to get a picture with the dog looking at the camera, but it just wasn't happening. Also, in half of them you couldn't see her eyes. SO CUTE.

Poodle again! This dog was so fluffy it was hilarious. Her fur seriously made her look twice as large as she actually was, but when I picked her up, my hand completely sunk into the fluffiness.

That's it, that's all for today! Remember to send out good vibes for Charlie!!

I'll be away until next Wednesday, so probably no posts until then (unless I have absolutely nothing to do today and I can write a Travel Tuesday story!! Honestly, it very likely will happen).

Happy weekend!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

NYC in T-minus 3 days..

I really cannot put into words how much I love New York City. The first moment I set foot there, it sucked me in, and it pretty much hasn't let me go since. I adore the hustle, I adore the bustle...I just love it more than any other place I have ever been. I will jump on any opportunity to go there. One day, and hopefully one day soon, I want to go there for like a month and just really sink into the city. I can't figure out a cheap way to do this though. Leasing an apartment for a month in Manhattan is hella expensive. Help.

I've always wanted to go to NYC at Christmas time, and it has been on my life goal list for as long as I can remember. I'm pretty sure the first time I saw Home Alone 2, I was insanely jealous, even though Kevin was all by himself, making friends with homeless people and getting chased by criminals. MARV!

So finally. Finally!! I will be flying to NYC on Saturday, bright and early in the morning. And I will come back on Tuesday night, full of Christmas spirit, and hopefully with a knock off designer purse on my arm. I cannot even wait. I am going to pack as much as I possibly can into these three days-window displays, museums, shopping, Central Park, Strawberry Fields on the anniversary of John Lennon's death, ice skating, drinking, dancing, theatre, Christmas, and lots and lots of photos. Also...I'm finding Carrie Bradshaw's stoop if it's the last thing I do.

I'm getting itchy feet, so I'm glad this little trip is coming up soon. Sometimes, I just need to be somewhere that is not here.

Tonight is the Christmas Party for the Humane Society, and this is always good times because it involves all you can eat Chinese food from the Mandarin. They basically rent out a giant room and all the staff and volunteers go. Mmmm Mandarin. I never usually go, because it's expensive and I can't eat enough to justify paying $25 for dinner. However, free? I'm all over that!

Also, I just found out about this The Best of 2009 Blog Challenge, and I'm going to give it a go. And by give it a go, I mean, do it when I feel like it. As much as I would like to say I will post every time, there is no way in hell I will post every day. I'm just not interesting enough. Basically there are prompts for everyday, but some of them I know I am going to have absolutely nothing to say about. Welps, we'll just see what happens. Pretty much, I will use these prompts when I can't think of anything else to write about. Nothing like half assing it!

Without further adieu (I'm a day behind):

December 1- Trip. What was your best trip in 2009?

Best trip of 2009....

I have only taken one so far, but it was a great one! I went to Europe and went though Munich, Berchtesgaden, Salzburg, Prague, Olomouc, Krakow, Zakopane, Budapest and Vienna. It was pretty damn great. Favourite cities? Munich and Krakow for sure. Munich is probably my favourite city in Europe (that I've seen so far), and Krakow was just so much more amazing then I was expecting. I was expecting, I don't know....grey and boring, and it was absolutely the complete opposite. It is beautiful, and there is an incredible amount of interesting history there. Munich! What else can I say about Munich other than, if you ever go to Europe, don't miss it! It is an amazing city. Amazing.

City that did not meet my expectations? Prague by far. I mean, it was beautiful, don't get me wrong, but it was just not at all what I was expecting. I think what turned me off was the sheer number of people. You couldn't even turn around without walking into somebody. Nothing like being carried across the Charles Bridge in a wave of people. If I go back to that area, I'm going to opt for Cesky Krumlov.

This trip was incredible, and I met a ton of amazing people that hopefully I'll keep in touch with forever. Rheana and Yolanda (otherwise known as Deanna and Leslie in my travel stories), are both awesome and it was so much fun to hang out with them. The British boy, who I haven't talked to in forever and despite certain circumstances, was a totally cool guy and so fun to hang around with too! One of the best parts of travelling is definitely the people you meet along the way.

December 2 Restaurant moment. Share the best restaurant experience you had this year. Who was there? What made it amazing? What taste stands out in your mind?

Ummmmm, honestly, nothing is standing out. In anticipation of tonights dinner, I'm going to say, my favourite restaurant moment is going to be tonight at the humane society Christmas dinner. Really amazing people + unlimited Chinese food=win

Alright, we can all see how good I'm going to be at this blog challenge!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Travel Tuesday-An Adventure in the Mountains

Today’s story is a short tale of my horse riding adventure in Poland. This would be much better with some pictures, but I suppose I just need to work with what I’ve got here. I’ve adapted this story from my travel blog which I wrote while I was away this Spring. I’m thinking I’ll leave this one pretty much exactly as it is in the journal. This story is a slightly different format than the others! Enjoy!

“Okay, the farther east I get, the more wonked out the computer keyboards get. Please excuse any grammar or spelling errors!! It is allll the computer.
Zakopane is a very cute little city…right in the Tatra Mountains. Everybody is friendly, there are cheese and bread stands filling the streets, and it just smells…fresh.

Today we went horseback riding, which I was totally looking forward to, because yay horses! When me and Deanna initially signed up, we told Carlos our tour manager that we were beginners, because while we have both ridden horses before, we could in no way be considered good at it. But he was like, “if you say beginner, you will have to just stay in the pen area, so I am going to write you down for advanced.” Warning sign one. But we were just like…okay, that’s fine, we will deal with it when we actually get there.

So we got into a car (we being Me, Deanna and Nikki), with this polish woman,who drove us to the horse farm. It was beautiful. We get there, and standing before us were three of the most effin huge horses I have ever seen in my life. I was like…ummm do you have one half this size?? I cannot emphasize enough how large these horses were. We may as well have been riding elephants, although that very likely would have been less scary. Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Giant horses-warning sign two of impending death. Instructor that does not speak english-number 3. horses that only understand polish,number 4. Can you see where this is going?? I mean, I love horses, and these horses were absolutely beautiful, but holy shit, I could tell this might not turn out well. The guy working there had to actually lift me onto the horse. The stirrup was so high that I could not physically boost myself up. The instructor told us that the word “volo” means “slow” in Polish. “This is all you need”, she assured. We tried to tell her that we weren’t expert horse riders, but I really don’t think she understood us.

Off we went. We walked through the woods, and at one part we had to let go of our horse and move branches out of the way. Hmmm get your eye poked by a tree branch or dangle precariously off your giant horse? What to choose, what to choose. We went down rocky slopes; we walked on bolder covered paths. We went through the river (which was awesome). Deanna’s horse fell on some rocks at one point, but she managed to right herself. We did all this while walking at a nice pace. It was leisurely, and the scenery was beautiful. When I picture riding horses, this is basically what I picture. Giant open fields filled with wildflowers, mountains in the background, all while walking at a slow and non life threatening pace.

W eventually get to the end of the one road , and the instructor said to me, “you want to try trotting?” In my mind I was like, well no,not really. But then she yelled,”KICK YOUR HORSE!!”, which I did, but he did not move. SO THEN, she gets out this whip thing, and just slaps my horse on the ass, and he takes off like a bat out of hell, all while I was clinging to his back for dear life. I screamed at the top of my lungs, and I’m pretty sure the whole of Zakopane heard me, because my scream ricocheted off the mountains. The instructor was behind me yelling, “STOP, STOP!!!” Which…I had no idea how to get my horse to stop. I was pulling reins, I was yelling an increasingly panicky “Volo! Volo!! Volo!!!!”, but my accent must of been off, cause horsey did not stop until we were up the road and around the corner.

The instructor trotted up on her horse, stopped beside me, and proceeded to yell at me, because I had grabbed that little handle on the saddle instead of the reins. I was like, “lady, I thought I was going to die, I had to grab something!” She just stared at me. Nikki and Deanna came riding up, hysterically laughing. “That”, Nikki said, “was hilarious. But you are doing a really good job!!”

Deanna and I trailed behind for the rest of the ride and chatted about our horror of a horse riding instructor, and our complete dumbness in thinking this was a good idea. We made it back to the farm in one piece and to get off the horse, the man again had to lift me off while I slid down the horses side. I was the very picture of grace. I backed away slowly from the horse, all while thinking I would not be horse riding again anytime soon.

So concluded our horse riding adventure. It is funny now, but at the time, I was certain death was coming to greet me in the form of a giant Polish mountain horse.

And I haven't even gone near a horse since!!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Furry Friday..sorta

Well, unfortunately I don't have any pictures today. The runs at the shelter are under construction so we need to walk all the dogs on leash, which is fine, but it puts a serious damper on my photo taking ability. I actually got one cute picture of the giant rottie Malcolm by getting him to follow the light that the camera was casting on the ground, then I quickly snapped his picture...but alas, I have left my camera at home.

I'm hoping to get some cute pictures this weekend, because this weekend is PET PICTURES WITH SANTA!! (plus a bake sale). The concept of Pet Pictures with Santa is hilarious to me, and I cannot even wait. So cute! Also...we are giving free bandanas to all the animals that have their pictures taken with Santa, so this means we have made teeny, tiny little bandanas, because if someone brings in their guinea pig...they are getting a bandana god dammit! Please stop a moment and picture the chaos that will likely ensue during this event. Hilarious yes? I can't even wait.

I baked up a storm this week, so hopefully all my goodies actually entice people to spend money.

I have mentioned before that the shelter is right next door to a Tim Hortons...the line up for the Timmies stretches right along the back outdoor run, and there is a patch of grass in between. When I walk the dogs outside, I usually walk them through this patch of grass. Last night I was walking this Catahoula Leopard Dog mix, who is just cute as a button, but he's huge and strong. He kept stopping, and I could not for the life of me move him. Of course he chose right by the Timmies line to be ornery. It's embarrassing. Then he decided it would be a great time to roll around in the ditch. This is usually the point where people start yelling things from the drive thru line, and I have to shrug my shoulders, like, "welps, not my dog, what can you do??" Most of them walk pretty well, but you get the odd one that just drives you insane.

What else, what else....a TON of the dogs are adopted and this makes me veeery happy. But Charlie still needs a home. I planted the seed in the assistant managers ear that maybe they could pitch a story to the local newspaper about Charlie, who has been at the shelter for almost a year now. People love a good sob story, and honestly at this point, I'm not above milking the situation a little. Charlie needs a home, and this is all I'm asking Santa for this Christmas. *Hopefully* something comes of the paper thing.

A couple disturbing things happening here in Canada regarding animal rights.

First off, over 100 neglected sled dogs found tied to trees in Quebec. The kicker?? Because this jackhole willingly surrendered the dogs, he won't get charged with anything. The laws for animal abusers need to be way tougher in this country.

Second, several employees at the Toronto Humane Society have been arrested on animal cruelty charges. This includes the General Manager, the head vet, the president and two others. I pretty much have no words for this. These people are supposed to HELP animals. They work for a HUMANE society. Jessssus. I was looking through some of the pictures that animal cruelty investigators took, and they are fucking appalling. Don't even bother clicking on the link because your faith in humanity will pretty much be out the window.

Thankfully, those huskies are getting a happy ending...a lot of them have already been placed with foster homes or adopted.

The Toronto Humane Society has over 1000 animals in their care. That is a huge responsibility, and god, you hope that when you have an organization like a humane society, that they would treat the animals, you know, humanely! Lord love a duck.

I hope karma gives these people a swift kick in the ass.

Anyway, happy news! Guinea pigs in christmas bandanas! Cats looking unimpressed at sitting on Santa's lap! Dogs barking for hours on end! Cupcakes!

I'll try to post some cute dog pictures if I can.

Happy Friday!!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Randomness and Blog Awards

Okay, I am sitting at my desk and the bosses are having a meeting. They are discussing a new publication that the office wants to put out, but the problem is there is nobody to write the editorial. Except that there is. Me. I went to school for journalism. I write for several websites, a magazine and a newspaper. They know this. I want to burst in there and be like "ummmmmm hello, am I really THAT invisible??? I can write!!" It's's really frustrating and it makes me a little bitter. Why would no one think to ask me? Seriously! And yes, I could just volunteer myself, but I am in a place that is so frustrated and stuck, and I need that validation that comes from somebody saying, "hey, I think you would be good at this." It's like...the more they sit and ponder who is going to write this thing, the more I want to scream.

Do you ever have the feeling of being stuck in some sort of box and you are pounding on all sides, but you just can't get out? You go to school, you do well, and you leave expecting that your hard work is going to pay off in some respect, but then you end up in a job that you are horribly overqualified for, but you stay there because you need the money and there is nothing else. Is it just me??

It's not like I don't try...practically every moment of my day is spent visualizing and planning an exit strategy. I grew up thinking, knowing, that when I got older I needed to be doing something that is making a difference, that is putting good vibes out into the world, but I'm just not there yet. Not as much as I want to be.

Yesterday, I googled imaged "doink the clown unmasked", and although it is a valid question...who was doink the clown anyway? It's not a productive use of my time. That is not a piece of information I really need to store in my brain. I don't want to sum of my work day to be, "So, what did you do at work today", "well, I spent an hour researching WWF wrestlers from the early 90s, and then seeing where they are now. Did you know the Undertaker is now a preacher in Alabama?".

I don't mean to get all angsty and whiney, but sometimes I just get overwhelmingly frustrated and I need to vent it out. I just, I feel so positively stuck sometimes. Maybe it's me, maybe it's the city, maybe it's just a combination....all I know is, I really need to get out of this box or I will actually go crazy. Seriously, I will go mental and very likely have to be institutionalized.

Anyfrigginghoo, it's time for Blog Awards! I've received a couple of blog awards in the last couple of days, and it is time for me to pass them on.

The hilariously funny Carissa over at Carissa Jaded, gave me this award:

Carissa is a hilarious, extremely honest blogger, and you should definitely check out her blog if you haven't already. I never miss a post! Love her, she makes me laugh every day, which is always appreciated!! Thanks Carissa!

I'm suppose to hand this award out to four bloggers, so here it goes! Some of these people don't even read my blog, but I am going to say "Thank you for blogging" anyway, because I love their blogs just that much. Also, seriously, how cute are the little pilgrims on this award??

First off, one of my favourite blogs of all time is 2birds1blog Meg is hysterically funny. There are numerous times her blogs have made me laugh out loud at work, then I have to pretend I'm coughing, and it's just awkward. This blog seriously makes getting through the day a little bit easier, and a whole lot funnier! If you don't read this already, you must!! I'm extremely grateful for this blog.

Second, the Novelista Barista, is one of my fav bloggers. She updates all the time, manages to make her blog really interactive, is honest, funny and just seems really nice! Very cool blog.

I just came across The Travel Nerd, the other day. It's a great blog if you like travelling and are interested in travel writing. She doe a lot of interviews with travel writers, which I find extremely interesting.

Annnnd, last but definitely not least, Candice over at That's Tangly, is an awesome blogger. She's funny, loves travelling and is a great writer. I love reading all about her adventures in St. John's, as well as her travel writing career. So great.

This next award was given to me by Jen at Life, Love and Wine. Thanks Jen!! This is another blog I never miss! Check it out please!!

I'm supposed to write seven random things about goes:

1) Okay, this one is not about me at all, but I found it hilarious so I thought I would share. Some guy just walked in here, picked up a blank piece of 11by17 paper and said, "what is this, a map of the city?". The paper was blank, absolutely nothing on it. My reply, "no, it's blank paper". WTF???

2) One of my best friends in absolutely convinced I have ADD. Apparently I fidget constantly, and jump from one sentence to the next when things are completely not related. I prefer to call this, "bored easily".

3) I've wanted to be a writer since grade 2, when I wrote a story and got chosen to go to Young Authors Day.

4) I hate talking on the phone, a lot. I much prefer email, texts, or just seeing someone face to face. I would rather walk somewhere and talk to somebody then call them on the phone.

5) I am horrendous at math, and I need a calculator for even the simplest things. Except I know my times tables like nobody's business.

6)I have a deep deep love for Alex Trebeck and Jeopardy, even though I feel intensely stupid after watching it.

7) I love climbing things and exploring. I am still obsessed with tree forts. My dream house would have a huge tree fort in the backyard and a secret passageway, much like Dawn had in the Babysitter's Club.

Well! That was more difficult than it probably should have been!

Now to give the award out! I'm going to stick with 4 people, because.... I want to.

Dave at Mark My Words His blogs always make me laugh/think, and I love when he goes on a rant. I tHiNk hE MIGHT REALLY eNjOY ThIS sEnTENce.

Laura at Tidbits from My Mind I'm pretty sure I've given her an award before, but that's cool, because she deserves it! She always has interesting posts, and I never miss any!

Sami at Herding Cats. I started following her a while ago, and I have quite enjoyed her blog! Check her out.

Annnnd I'm giving the award to Carissa because she's awesome. I've already linked to her above, buuuut I"ll do it again. Check out her blog.

Okay, maybe I really do have ADD because that took me an eternity. And my eye won't stop twitching and is driving me slightly insane. That is all.

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


So, I got this email forward the other day that was supposedly about questions people around the world have been asking about Canada, since so many people will be travelling to Vancouver for the 2010 games. (Why am I not going to this?? I irritate myself.) Some of the questions in this email are ridiculous, and I definitely question their validity. I tend to think people, especially people who clearly have access to the internet, would send in any of these questions to an International Tourism Organization. The email never says which International Tourism Organization, and a google search for "International Tourism Organization" brings up nothing.

If this forward is actually valid, I can understand why people ask some of the questions. I don't really expect people to know everything about every country in the world, Lord knows I don't...but at the same time, I have basic knowledge about most areas in the world.

What do you guys think? Do you think these are actually real? The answers are sarcastic replies, but the questions are supposedly real:

Q: I have never seen it warm on Canadian TV, so how do the plants grow?
( England )
A. We import all plants fully grown and then just sit around and watch
them die.

This might be a reasonable question if the person wasn't you know, from England!

Q: Will I be able to see Polar Bears in the street? ( USA )
A: Depends on how much you've been drinking.

You know what? I can see how this might be a valid question if you don't really know anything about Canada. I mean, it's the same with Australia right? I'm sure people wonder constantly if there are kangaroos hopping around the streets. Kangaroos=Australia, Polar Bears=Canada. Now, never in my life have I actually seen a polar bear in the wild, but then again, I suppose I can see how some people would think they just roam around up here.

Q: I want to walk from Vancouver to Toronto - can I follow the Railroad
tracks? ( Sweden )
A: Sure, it's only Four thousand miles, take lots of water.

This one had to be a joke right? Right? If not, I just, I can't comprehend!! Basic world geography!! Most people in the world know that Vancouver is at one side of Canada, and Toronto is in the middleish? Right? Can you imagine asking a question like this? Google Maps people! Save yourself from embarrassment!

Q: Is it safe to run around in the bushes in Canada? ( Sweden )
A: So it's true what they say about Swedes.


Q: Are there any ATM's (cash machines) in Canada? Can you send me a
list of them in Toronto , Vancouver , Edmonton and Halifax ? ( England )
A: No, but you'd better bring a few extra furs for trading purposes.

Again, I suppose this can be a valid question. If I'm travelling somewhere, I want to know if I am going to be able to use my debit card. But the question says this person is from England, and that is what boggles my mind.

Q: Can you give me some information about hippo racing in Canada ? ( USA )
A: A-fri-ca is the big triangle shaped continent south of Europe
Ca-na-da is that big country to your North...oh forget it. Sure, the
hippo racing is every Tuesday night in Calgary. Come naked.

WTF? USA? Some Canadian had to have made up this entire email...

Q: Which direction is North in Canada ( USA )
A: Face south and then turn 180 degrees. Contact us when you get here
and we'll send the rest of the directions.


Q: Can I bring cutlery into Canada? ( England )
A: Why? Just use your fingers like we do.

The question makes sense I suppose. It's not like they asked, "Do they use cutlery in Canada?". Perhaps they bought someone a nice cutlery set and want to know if it is going to make it over the border...who knows right?

Q: Can you send me the Vienna Boys' Choir schedule? ( USA )
A: Aus-t ri-a is that quaint little country bordering Ger-man-y, which
is...oh forget it. Sure, the Vienna Boys Choir plays every Tuesday
night in Vancouver and in Calgary, straight after the hippo races.
Come naked.

hahaha, come on now.

Q: Do you have perfume in Canada ? ( Germany )
A: No, WE don't stink.

Q: Are there supermarkets in Toronto and is milk available all year
round? ( Germany )
A: No, we are a peaceful civilization of Vegan hunter/gathers. Milk is

This question made me laugh a lot when I first read it. Come on Germany!! Half of my brain is taken up with random German knowledge!

Q: I have a question about a famous animal in Canada, but I forget its
name. It's a kind of big horse with horns. ( USA )
A: It's called a Moose. They are tall and very violent, eating the
brains of anyone walking close to them. You can scare them off by
spraying yourself with human urine before you go out walking.

"Big horse with horns"=best description of a moose ever.

Q: Will I be able to speak English most places I go? ( USA )
A: Yes, but you will have to learn it first.

You know what, I can give you this one USA! The English/French thing would probably be confusing to someone who doesn't live here.

Real? Fake? Mixture?

Happy Thanksgiving Tomorrow to all you Americans! Enjoy the holiday and all the yummy, yummy food!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Travel Tuesday-A Ride on the Bus

A Ride on the Bus

I’m always a big fan of taking public transportation when I travel, because a) it’s just cheaper, and b) it is way better to see a place the way locals do. I am completely directionally challenged, and have found myself lost on foreign public transportation more times than I can count, but as a means of getting place to place I still prefer either walking or taking the subway/bus.

I was in Dublin with my parents and we decided we would go take a tour of the Guinness Factory, which is about a ten minute bus ride from the city centre. Luckily my parents agree with my “no taxi” philosophy, and we hopped on the bus to go down to the brewery. It was crowded, and it was standing room only. We made our way to the back of the bus and stood next to a woman with a small boy in the stroller. Nobody was really talking for the first couple of stops, but one of us must have made eye contact, because suddenly the woman was our new best friend.

There were no introductions, no “where you from”, her main mission was to impress us with her toddlers anatomy knowledge. The woman was clearly intoxicated, and she stumbled and slurred her words.

“Ssssshow the family where your poo comes from!!” she directed the child in a thick Irish accent. The child stared at her with a look I interpreted to mean “mother please, you are embarrassing me.” Personally, I think two years old is a little soon to be mortified of your parents, but in this case, I was totally on the kids’ side.

“I said, show them where your poo comes from!!” she said again, louder this time. My parents and I exchanged awkward glances with the other people on the bus, and they smiled back in that way people do when they mean to convey their sympathies at your situation, but have no intention of getting involved.

“Ohhhhh, he knows this!” the lady said to my mother, “show them where your poo comes from!!”

“It’s okay” my mother said, “he’s probably just being shy”, trying to alleviate the situation.

“No. No. Fine then!” throwing the child a fiery glance, “SHOW ME WHERE YOUR POO COMES FROM” she hollered. Everyone on the bus turned around and stared. It seemed to be taking forever to get to the brewery.

“Hey!!” she was suddenly shouting, pointing towards the front of the bus. “It’s our stop now!!” A small child started making his way from the front of the bus to the back where we were standing. The three of them got off at the next stop. Once they were off, everyone shuffled kind of uncomfortably.

“Yup”, one man finally said, “she’s on the bus with them all the time, every day, always drunk”. The situation was comical in one way, slightly tragic for the children in another.

We finally made it to the brewery, and hopped off the bus.

“That was pretty much the best bus ride ever”, I remarked as we made our way towards the entrance. We laughed about it, and then continued on the tour of the brewery. We came back from the tour with bags full of Guinness related items. Hats, mugs, chocolate bars-we had ‘em.

Standing at the bus stop, waiting for another bus to take us back to the hotel, it had started to rain. Large puddles had formed on the road, and we huddled under the bus shelter. A man came staggering towards us, walking partly on the road, partly on the sidewalk. He was clearly intoxicated. A car drove by him and splashed him with a huge amount of rain water.

“HEY!!!” he screamed, “You fucking wanker, come back here!!!” He started to run drunkenly after the car, but realized soon enough he was never going to catch it. He came stumbling back over to where we were standing. Being the only three people at the bus stop, he stopped and stared directly at us. His face was a mess; he had clearly been in a fight as his nose look broken and bloody, and his eye was blackened.

“Good day,” he said, directing his words towards my mother and I. “I’m very sorry for using such language in the presence of ladies.”

My mother and I stared for a minute before she said, “it’s okay!” He went on his way.

The bus came shortly after, and once again it was packed. We made our way towards the back, the crowd trying to make room as we went.

“Hello!!!”, we heard a familiar voice call out. “He’ll do it now. Show them where your poo comes from!!!”

And that is why I will always, always, choose public transportation to get me places when I travel.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Where exactly does the weekend go??

Geeeeeez, the weekends fly by way to fast for my liking. Every Monday morning I wake up and I feel like poking my eye out.

Anyway, this weekend was pretty super! It involved playing in an arcade, dance dance revolution, caesars, gossip girl, musicals and lots and lots of baking.

First off, has anybody seen this movie?

I had never even heard of it before, but it caught my eye at the video store, and I'm so glad I rented it, because it was so cute. Seriously, see this movie. I now have the hugest crush on John Krasinski ever. Plus, the soundtrack is so good. Must get.

My friend K and I went to hang out on Clifton Hill in Niagara Falls on Friday. Living so close to Niagara Falls for most of my life, I have to say that Clifton Hill is a place I avoid entirely in the summer. Well, I try to, inevitably, I find myself there at least once. But it is so much more pleasant and less "get the hell out of my way" in the winter. For those of you who have never been to Niagara Falls, Clifton Hill is quite possibly the tackiest place on earth. Its juxtaposition right next to the actual Falls always struck me as rather poor planning, but I suppose I have grown to love it. I mean, here is this street filled to the very brim with haunted houses, fun houses, mazes, arcades, souvenir shops, candy shops, restaurants, rides, a total sensory overload, and then just down the street is one of the "wonders of the world", a sensory overload of a different kind. It's two completely different worlds. It's just so odd. Kind of great, but odd.

Oh, and this year they have built this new attraction called "Rink at the Brink", and it is an ice skating rink right next to the Falls. I cannot even wait to try it out. We were laughing because when you walk anywhere near the Falls, you get soaked by a very fine mist, so we were wondering how this might work in the winter whilst skating. We decided that it would be fecking freezing, but worth it. Niagara Falls in wintertime is one of the most beautiful things you ever will see. Everything freezes because of the mist, so benches, trees, lamp posts, etc are all covered in a layer of ice that is pretty damn magical, I must say. I've seen Niagara Falls approximately 1 billion times in my life, but it never gets less awe inspiring.

Anyhoo, that went completely off track. We hung out in the arcade for a while, playing guitar hero, dance dance revolution, skee ball and all those other wonderful arcade games. I believe I collected about 90 tickets, and for this I got a sticky hand, trick gum and some fake tattoos. Win! Afterwards we decided to go in the Funhouse, because as I remembered it from when I was 8, it was the coolest thing ever.

As we were entering, the lady at the entrance was like, "the exit is broken, so you can play your way back up to the entrance to get out". Blokay!

I have no idea if it has changed since I was eight, or my eight year old self was just impressed really easily, but the Funhouse is, well, it's shit. Don't get me wrong, we had fun, but it was just not worth the $10 it cost to get in.

Let's go on a little enter through a large spinning tube, step on a spinning disk (which stopped spinning when we stepped on it...guess we were too heavy), go over a moving bridge, then head downstairs. The first room you get to is a mirror room. I can tell you that this is the highlight of the entire Funhouse. Seeing yourself as a midget, extremely tall, fat, skinny, it never gets old. We stayed here until the girl brought the vacuum down and started cleaning. The universal signal for "we are closing now".

You then head down a hallway which is lined with doors, none of which actually open. Then you cross a rope bridge, and get to a room with 3 giant blow up balls in it. The floor is hard as rock, so you can't even jump on them without risk of injuring yourself. Then you crawl through a tunnel and come to a crooked room, then a black light room, then a room with a rope net. People, I could have built this thing in my basement, and it would be ten times better. Even children would go in here and be like "who came up with this crap???". I'm hoping it has changed drastically since I last went there, or else my 8 year old self was way to easily amused!

Anyway, I just wanted to warn ya'll in case you were in the vicinity of Niagara Falls and were enticed by the seemingly fun looking "Fun House". Don't do it.

Yesterday, I went to Toronto to see a musical called My Mother's Jewish Lesbian Wiccan Wedding. It was so good! The songs were catchy, the story was well told, and it was just one of those plays that make you happy. Well, all musicals make me happy, but this one did in particular.

I baked up a storm on Saturday for the bake sale coming up next weekend. All I need to do is make some more brownies tonight, make some cupcakes on Thursday and I'll be done.

I need to start writing more seriously. I'm thinking of signing up for some travel writing classes. They are pricey, but I think it might be worth it. I'm feeling massively stressy about money right now, so I keep flip flopping.

Anyway, this week is a leetle intense, but I will do my best to post a couple of times. (Travel Tuesday and Furry Friday for sure). I'm going to start working on my Travel Tuesday right now. Tune in tomorrow for a story about taking public transportation in Ireland!!

Happy Monday!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Furry Friday

Last night was like heaven for me. There were puppies galore. I walked in, and there was a husky puppy behind the front desk. A HUSKY PUPPY! I about died, because husky puppies are the cutest! I have no idea who he belonged to, but I think one of the staff. As soon as I saw him, my immediate reaction was, "oh my, so cute!!!", and the staff member literally looked at me like I just kicked a kitten in the head. It was THE most disgusted look I have ever gotten. I mean, the staff are never overly friendly, but holy shit, last night took the cake. Is there any other reaction to a husky puppy? Google "husky puppy" and I think you will agree.

Although, I always question when staff members at a dog shelter get a dog that clearly isn't from the shelter. Ummm you work at a dog shelter...there are dozens of dogs here that need adopting, not to mention hundreds, thousands around the province, yet you've adopted a purebread, expensive puppy from a breeder (I'm assuming this, but I have my doubts that he came from anywhere else) Buuuut, whatever, it's not my shelter. However, when I do eventually open up my own animal shelter one day, staff must have rescued dogs, because what the shite kind of example is it otherwise? Anyway! I want to work at Dogtown, as the staff there are always super happy, and probably wouldn't make me feel like I'm wasting their time by volunteering. Good thing I love the dogs. Errrm, anyway!

So once I got over the cuteness of the husky puppy, I walked into the kennel and who is there but a border collie puppy and a basset hound puppy. Holy cripes! Puppies are my favourite.

Anyway, it was pouring rain last night so I couldn't get great pictures, but I did my best!

This dog was so long I couldn't get him all in one picture. He was such a sweetie though. Very cuddly. The ears!! Oh my.

Again, horrible photo, but you can kind of see him. So cute. He's adopted already.

This was the little border collie pup, who was three months old, and was a stray. Which is just really odd to me. He's adopted already too.

The smudge on the camera is from his nose, when he kept jumping on me. I was like, "dude, I am trying to take a cute picture of you, and you are making it realllly hard!".

Love this dog. Bax is from Louisiana, and has been at the shelter for a while now. He's adopted, provided he gets along the with couples other dog. Here's hoping! I *think* he'll be okay.

Hehe, I'm such a sucker for scruffy dogs.

And that's all the semi good photos I got! Next weekend is the bake sale, so I'll be baking up a storm this weekend/next week. Hopefully I can make something edible and delicious!!
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