Monthly Archives: March 2009

Miraculously Sweet

There exists a berry (native to West Africa) that, when eaten, makes anything bitter eaten within a few hours after OUTRAGEOUSLY SWEET!!!! Sour lemons? Try Miracle Fruit. It has been on my radar some time and I (desperately?) want to give it a try. It has the novelty of breathing helium or optical illusions. I like things that mess with my senses (WITHOUT the use of illegal substances thank you). It is mentioned in the kitschy book “Fruit Hunters” by Adam Gollner. It will likely come out first in its most lucrative market for artificial sweeteners (all us obese North Americans who want to have our cake and eat it too, without it going straight to our guts, thighs or working out). Other potential uses: making food appealing again to cancer patients thus helping them to recuperate some strength and nutrients. Diabetics. What a funky berry!



My 24th birthday was shaping up to be pretty pathetic. No real plans. Homework. Dinner (somewhat out of pity, let’s be honest) with my boyfriend’s sisters.

But Mark to the rescue! He arrived at my door at 2pm yesterday with no warning. I hadn’t heard from him the night before or all day yet and was resisting the annoying girlfriend desire to message him constantly and call to see where he was. I’m glad I played it cool because his absence was travel related!

What a great birthday surprise! He’s here until Tues to celebrate with me and even the most mundane birthday seems special now. It was completely unplanned on his end too (which adds to the romance in my opinion) he decided Friday night at 430 pm and left the next morning at 430am. 430 am! He must really love me. 4am blows.

I opened my gift a bit early too:

Lonely Planet: Best in Trave 2009 (we spent the afternoon planning our hypothetical round the world trip only going from west to east)
Bastard Tongues: all about Creoles….its perfect!
AND a nifty wide angle/macro lens attachment (which I still need to test)

The Best Spring Day is Made of….

Cruising in a red 1990 Mazda truck
Windows rolled down for the fresh air
Country music on the ever-so-slightly crackling radio
One-handed grip on the worn steering wheel
Glorious sunshine

Salt n’Peppa

With no experience to draw from I often wonder how I will handle the inevitable ‘sex talk’ with my future children. I know I want to be straight forward and just use the real words in an age-appropriate way. But I believe it is just as much about HOW you say it as what you say (kids will pick up if you are sweating with nerves and awkward about it.) Being uncool myself the suave sex-talk just doesn’t seem likely to be something I’ll excel at. Basically what I want is for not to have THE talk and that is it, I want everything to be open forum in my household.

Such a contrast from how I grew up. I don’t actually think that my parents are total prudes who would avoid questions about sex but we just never talked about it. Somehow I picked up very early that asking about sex was embarrassing and awkward and I found anything I needed to know from my friends long before my parents thought to bring up the subject. Not just sex but (the possibly more uncomfortable) puberty topic.

The one conversation my mother and I ever really had about sex or puberty:

Mom is outside vacuuming the van and I go to offer some help.

Me: Would you like some help?

mom: Sure. So….do you want to talk about your period?

me: No. (turns and goes back inside).

I was about 11 and already had the info. Why can’t we be more like Europeans? This topic came up while I studied and eavesdropped on a a gaggle of undergrad girls recounting how they learned about sex/what their parents told them. It seemed like the only one with a completely comfortable experience was the one who spent summers in Germany with family where everything was just matter-of-fact-of-life type stuff. Oh my poor first child…

Child’s Geography

This may not be easy to explain now that I face putting it in words but I still remember some small parts of how the world looked to me before I really had looked at a map or connected the cartographic lines with actual places, places that I knew.

Let’s see if I can make sense of this:
B.C. – now standing for the Province lining the west coast I used to picture it as a large land mass to the north. I also believed that is somehow stood for (the letters BC that is) the literal end of the world (meaning that is where the lemmings jump off, the world just ends)

Toronto: I thought everything was Toronto. We visited my aunt every summer in Georgetown, which I thought meant basically Toronto. Etobicoke too. Kitchener. Burlington. Gravenhurst (gravenhurst??? yep, Toronto) All pretty much Toronto.

Guelph: this place name really meant nothing to me until I applied to the university there but I do remember having an image of a town on the very bottom tip of Ontario on an island. Has to be on an island.

The first time I actually entered the city limits of Toronto would have been over Christmas break in grade 12, meaning I was 17. But I sure thought I had been there almost every summer for my entire life.

Reasons I could Lose my Mind

Thursday evening I have a midterm for 7 chapters of an online physiology course. I haven’t had to work this hard to memorize so much material since high school!
As for the reasons:
1) does scurvy cause madness? I’m out of everything but eggs and can’t go to the grocery store until late thursday
2) I thought doing the study guide as instructed would help…it does. But it also ELABORATES and gives more details than even the textbook…awesome
3) I emailed the T.A. for some reassurance and got none. Less than none. I have been informed that yes, all of those nit-picky little details about which protein allows doublets of microtubules in cilia to slide past each other (dynein) will be included. His exact words “It is exceptionally difficult, but doable. Study hard” Thanks.
4) Other classes can’t be skipped to study because I have midterms in both of those classes next week.
5) I miss Mark.

Are those enough reasons? I could come up with more but those are the most pressing. I will be getting my nourishment in the form of knowledge these next few days (ok, i’m sure i’ll grab snacks from the convenience store too).

Also, I realized that I routinely commit a heinous gym crime: visible non-white socks at the gym *gasp*. Acceptable: sockies that can’t be seen above the shoe OR white sport socks
My socks: colourful flamingo socks above line of shoe (I have pants so this isn’t a tall sock-with-shorts thing) but my workout pants do make me look like i’m waiting for a flood.

Walking Pathetic Fallacy

The weather has been like a woman in menopause lately (up, down, tears & hot flashes) and it is taking me along with it. I’m a sucker for a sunny day but drabness and rain get me down when I’m already a bit lonely or looking forward to two weeks with 4 midterms.

My distraction outside of homework this week has been Big Love. Yep, a tv show and it is all about polygamy. But it makes the characters so endearing (even the cute brunette from “He’s just not that into You” is one of the wives). It focuses on a Utah family (one husband, three wives, 7 kids) trying to keep their lifestyle a secret while living in a normal neighbourhood and running a very public Home Depot-type store. All the sister wives just love each other (ok, they disagree, a lot). Just imagine this scenario with the genders switched: One woman bringing home the greasy bacon and three doting husbands all sharing the wife and submitting for the ultimate good of the family. Ha! I was going to get all huffy about the husband and how he is constantly in a state of indignation when he feels he is being lied to but pretty much constantly keeps his business dealings a secret (you know, wouldn’t want to worry all those wives). How he blatantly went on dates with another woman (can’t get into heaven without lots of wives). But, well, it is a show about polygamy……

Where is the show about polyandry?

Some People just Don’t Know Funny

Joking around is my style, I just can’t take everything too seriously. I typically get a kick out of my own jokes. Sometimes other people do too. Often people do not appreciate my humour.

Today in Spanish class we were working on vocab and the word was desdén (disdain). The prof asked us how we might show disdain/dislike for someone non verbally.
“Not talk to them”
“Not invite them to a party”
“Ignore them”

“Put flaming dog poo on their doorstep”
*silence accompanied by blank stare by professor*

Continuing on. I get a nudge from a classmate, “You would actually do that?”

Um, no, it was a joke.

I’ll Hit 400 Posts Next Time

This weekend I: got to chill with a good friend (and together take my drunk housemates out for McDonald’s, at least they were being responsible); go to my last volunteer Saturday for the language centre where I worked with children with communication difficulties; threw a bridal shower for a friend; had dins in St. Thomas for Mark’s grandmother’s 89th birthday.

About three of my Friday night hours were spent making these:

I can now make something impressive and all it took was a recipe for marshmallow fondant (because the real stuff is just way over my head for now). A few tips though: 1) have someone else around to help you add ingredients (your hands become encased in marshmallow pillows)
2) Plan for a few hours to do the decorating, at least until you get the hang of it
3) Have a tub of icing and use an icing bag (or ziploc with the corner cut off) to save time when applying the decorations (it doesn’t stick without regular icing)

It is definitely no Bakerella but I’m on my way. It was fun, maybe I can combine my scrapbooking and cake decorating….that would be a challenge.