Thursday, July 31, 2008

Book ~ "The Ex-Debutante" (2008) Linda Francis Lee

From Amazon.com ~ Coming out in Willow Creek, TX, society has its snags. At her own debut, Carlisle Wainwright Cushing failed to execute the Texas Dip — a deep full curtsy where a girl sinks so low that she touches her forehead to her skirt — properly. Now almost 30 and a successful Boston divorce attorney, Carlisle is summoned home to represent her diva mom, Ridgely, in her latest divorce. Carlisle is also asked to rescue the troubled Hundredth Annual Willow Creek Symphony Association Debutante Ball and to teach seven iffy debs-to-be the Texas Dip. But the attorney representing her mother's soon-to-be-ex is Carlisle's old heart-throb, the former bad boy, Jack Blair, who is the brother of the ultra rich Hunter Blair and father to India, a spoiled deb-to-be. Can Carlisle deal with all the challenges while allowing her renewed feelings for Jack to come out? Lee depicts Carlisle and the antiquated debutante tradition with equal parts chagrin and tenderness.

Ridgely is a cow.

Carlisle is a wimp.

The whole concept of the rich and debs was dumb.

But I continued to the end because I enjoyed the writing style.

I'm not a big fan of romance novels but will probably check out another of Lee's books because of the writing style.

Chia kitten

Sister Sarah had given me a Chia kitten for Christmas.


I'd put it away and was going to do it when the warm weather came.

Then I couldn't find it.

I found it yesterday ... of course, it was right in front of my eyes!

Here it is!


It has to soak in water for 24 hours.


As do the seeds (to form a paste).

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

751

On the way home, we stopped at 751 on Queen Street W. It's had a few names including Paddy Murphy.


We always have a different experience every time we go there.

Raq n Waq, Toronto, ON

Gord and I walked home after supper at Milestones.

We stopped at Raq n Waq on Queen Street W ... neither of us had been there before.


Great patio and we'll be back!

Milestone's Grill & Bar, Toronto, ON

Sister Sarah had given Gord and I a gift certificate to Milestones for our anniversary and we used it after the Jays' game.

Gord started with a Mojito (hand-shaken with Appleton White rum, lime juice, plenty of fresh mint, cane syrup and a splash of soda). He thinks Milestones makes the best Mojitoes in Toronto.

I had a Bellini (a frozen blend of premium white rum, peach liqueur and sparkling white wine, topped with Boone’s sangria).


Teena and Gord

Gord had a Ceasar salad.

I had Spicy Thai Chicken Drummettes (toasted sesame-cucumber mayonnaise, peanut sauce) ... yum!


Then Gord had the special ... steak with shrimp.


I had the pork chop and garlic mashed potatoes.


Thanks, Sister Sarah!

Toronto Blue Jays 2, Tampa Bay Rays 3

Gord and I went to this afternoon's Toronto Blue Jays game. Because it had been pouring rain earlier, the dome was closed.

We were in the cheap seats ... $9 in the 500 section.

Alas, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays won 3 to 2. It was a good game.

Because it was a 12:35 start, it was "camp" day and there were tons and tons and tons of kids there. We were surrounded by kids, going up and down the stairs continously to the bathroom. So we moved a few times.
Alex Rios

Lyle Overbay

Look at the buses lined up waiting to take the kids home afterwards!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Bar Wellington, Toronto, ON

After seeing The Dark Knight, Gord and I started walking home.

We stopped at the Bar Wellington and discovered they had buckets of beer ... 5 Amsterdam Pale Ale for just $15.

So here's us (taken with my cell phone):

Dark Knight

Gord and I saw The Dark Knight on the IMAX this afternoon.

Batman raises the stakes in his war on crime. With the help of Lieutenant Jim Gordon and District Attorney Harvey Dent, Batman sets out to dismantle the remaining criminal organizations that plague the city streets. The partnership proves to be effective, but they soon find themselves prey to a reign of chaos unleashed by a rising criminal mastermind known to the terrified citizens of Gotham as The Joker.

I'll admit that I wasn't looking forward to seeing this movie.

But it wasn't that bad.

Heath Ledger is excellent as the Joker. He is hilarious in the scenes at Gotham Hospital.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Birthday/anniversary stroll

Gord and I went for a stroll along Queen Street W and then north on Roncesvalles this afternoon and into the evening.

First stop was the patio at The Kitchen (Queen W/Northcote).

The bathrooms are downstairs and really hard to find. Yes, these are the bathroom doors!

We had a drink at the Gladstone (Queen W/Gladstone).


We were hungry so had fish and chips at Mitzi's Sister (Queen W/Sorauren). Yum!


We headed north on Roncesvalles and stopped at the back patio at the Local Pub (Roncesvalles/Howard Park).

We sat with a couple named Michelle and Michael. They've been married for 25 years and have two kids. They split up 20 years ago and became roommates three years ago. Wacky! Michael started a band in 1962 called Jon and Lee & The Checkmates.

One last stop on the back patio of Loons.

Book ~ "4th Secret of the One Minute Manager" (2008) Ken Blanchard and Margret Mcbride

From Amazon.com ~ Blanchard, along with coauthor Margret McBride, presents the 4th Secret, a concept that, when implemented properly, is one of the most powerful actions for improving company and employee morale. This is a book that can extend well beyond the business realm and repair relationships that we thought were broken forever.

Using Blanchard's signature breezy style, The 4th Secret of the One Minute Manager tells the story of a bright young man, Matt Hawkins, who wants to help his mentor, the company president, face and deal with some crucial mistakes. For advice, Matt turns to family friend Jack Peterson, known by everyone as the One Minute Manager. What begins as a beautiful country weekend turns into an enlightening few days when Matt discovers how to take action effectively when we have done something wrong. Through this engaging parable, Blanchard and McBride teach readers step-by-step how to accept responsibility for their errors and deal with the cause of the damage while maintaining a genuine sense of integrity.

This is a clearheaded way of approaching one of life's most perplexing dilemmas: how to accept that we have made a wrong decision and how to correct it by making a meaningful apology. The techniques described in this simple but profound story will have significant results at work and at home.

A really really quick read ... it took about an hour.

The story is cheesy but the message is a good one.

Book ~ "Tell Me Where It Hurts" (2008) Nick Trout

From Amazon.com ~ This is the perfect gift for anyone considering becoming a veterinarian. Trout, a staff surgeon at Boston's Angell Animal Medical Center, has exactly the traits that any pet owner would wish to find in a vet: he's smart, sensitive, experienced, empathic and has an excellent sense of humor. He also happens to be an excellent writer, and his personality suffuses the many stories sifted from recollections of thousands of animal encounters during his 25 years of practice and compressed in this account into one day. Trout shows how the daily life of a veterinarian requires the ability to be a social worker, a psychologist, a grief counselor, mentor, carpenter, plumber, cosmetologist, athletic coach, magician, grim reaper, and occasionally, guardian angel. And in some of the more heart rending stories, such as that of an older widowed man dealing with the potential loss of his shepherd companion, Sage, Trout shows his sensitivity to the fact that in each case, The rewards and strength of the bonds with the animals in their lives proved irresistible, irrepressible, and more than worth the risk.

Interesting combination of experiences along with scientific facts.

It was a good read for any animal lover. It was interesting getting into the head of a vet. The chapter about having to put pets to sleep was a bit tough to read, though.

Happy anniversary to Gord and I!

Sarah, Teena, Gord and Ken
July 26, 2002 ~ 5:30pm

City Hall, Toronto, ON

Happy birthday to me!

46 years ago today ... at 2:12pm ... I made my arrival into the world at the Grace Maternity Hospital in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

My first birthday

Friday, July 25, 2008

RIP Randy Pausch

Remember I blogged a couple weeks ago about Randy Pausch after reading his book The Last Lecture?

Randy passed away today.

If you haven't read his book, I recommend that you do.

Wish Upon A Hero

Wish Upon A Hero sounds like a neat idea ... as long as people don't take advantage of the kindness of others.

I read some of the wishes and, if they are sincere and honest, it makes me thankful that I have as much as I do.

Welcome to the world's largest social helping website. Everyday new wishes are posted and everyday wishes are granted. Wishes range from needs to wants and can be searched by category, time, location and even by keywords. Anyone can become a hero just by granting a wish. It's easy, it's free and it's inspirational. The world is now empowered to help itself.

Wish Upon A Hero was first conceived by founder Dave Girgenti shortly after the September 11th attacks on New York City. Dave dreamed of creating a platform where can people help other people directly. This idea became a reality in September of 2007 when the site was launched.

Wish Upon A Hero
has registered over 13,000 members from all 50 states and 101 countries. As more people join the site, then more people are getting help. Members have posted close to 19,000 wishes and an amazing 12,000 wishes have been granted in the first 7 months. The wishes range from small items like baby diapers to incredible request such as Lasik Eye surgery. No wish is too big, no hero to small. Sign up today and become a hero!

Television Without Pity

If you miss any of your favourite shows, you may want to check out Television Without Pity.

Fun, and often sarcastic, episode recaps of over 175 of TV's best (and worst) shows. Keep up on what's going down on the tube.

TelevisionWithoutPity.com delivers exactly what its name promises: detailed recaps of TV dramas, sitcoms and reality shows in an admittedly biased and snarky way. Ease into the site by reading a "weecap," (a shorter recap composed in real time as the reviewer's watching the show), then go for the full length, real deal summaries to get the whole story on your favorite episodes.

Try out several different recaps to get a feel for each reviewer's writing style (some get to the point a little quicker than others, but might not be as funny). Or head to the Forums to discuss an episode or show with other Television Without Pity users.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

We Are What We Do

I came across We Are What We Do today ...

Welcome to We Are What We Do, a new movement inspiring people to use their everyday actions to change the world. We're not talking moving big mountains. More of a gentle nudge from the corner desk. A little prod from the sofa. A gentle push from the PE room.

So go on then! Track an action, share, connect.

The idea behind We Are What We Do is pretty simple: small actions completed by a lot of people means big change. There's definitely power in numbers.

The site launched in 2004 with a list of 100 simple, everyday actions people can do to improve their health, environment and neighborhoods. And in the last four years, over 1.3 million actions have been completed! So what are these simple tasks? Everything from using just one energy-saving light bulb to planting a tree to smiling at (or hugging) someone to shutting down your computer properly. Doesn't seem too hard, right?

Here's my tracker so far:



Click here to join!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Busy day

It wasn't a terribly exciting day ... but it was a busy one!

I met with a fella I used to work with about a project I may work on with/for him. Sounds interesting so we'll see if it works out.

Then I had a doctor's appointment. She wants me to come in every three months or so to check my blood pressure (she's very thorough). She's always running late ... I finally saw her at 12:45 (my appointment was for noon).

Then I had a dentist appointment for a cleaning.

And I ran into three people I used to work with ... and they all work for the same company!

And look at my red pepper ... it's turning red!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

MOS Certification

I wrote my Microsoft Excel Expert exam this afternoon ... and passed.

Yay!

So that makes me a Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Master since I've already passed the PowerPoint, Word Expert and Outlook exams.

Whoohoo!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Hancock

Gord and I drove to Hamilton this afternoon to see Hancock with his son, Ken.

From Toronto.com ~ There are heroes. There are superheroes. And then there's Hancock. With great power comes great responsibility - everyone knows that - everyone, that is, but Hancock. Edgy, conflicted, sarcastic and misunderstood, Hancock's well-intentioned heroics might get the job done and save countless lives, but always seem to leave jaw-dropping damage in their wake. The public has finally had enough. As grateful as they are to have their local hero, the good citizens of Los Angeles are wondering what they ever did to deserve this guy. Hancock isn't the kind of man who cares what other people think - until the day he saves the life of PR executive Ray Embrey and the sardonic superhero begins to realize that he may have a vulnerable side after all. Facing that will be Hancock's greatest challenge yet - and a task that may prove impossible as Ray's wife, Mary, insists that he's a lost cause.

I like Will Smith so was looking forward to seeing this movie.

Lots of action! Interesting story, though I wasn't buying part of it.

I'd recommend it if you are looking for a fun action-packed flick.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Bungalow Cafe, Toronto, ON

Our former neighbours, Kirsten and Justin, came for a visit. They moved in 2004 to Newmarket and we haven't seen them in a while. It was great to see them!

Kirsten and Justin

Kirsten getting cozy with Morgan

For supper, we enjoyed Bungalicious at the Bungalow Cafe. An appetizer, main dish and a dessert for just $30! It's a great deal!

Kirsten and I ordered Shit That Dreams are Made of martinis. Yum!


Here we are!

Gord, Kirsten, Teena and Justin

I had stuffed pork chops with scalloped potatoes ... yum!

Kirsten's chicken scaloppine and scalloped potatoes

Chocolate Crème brulée for dessert