Sunday 28 February 2010

Totally shattered......

... just now. Just got back from Nottingham after a 7 hour car journey. Will elaborate tomorrow. I'm staying up just long enough (about 5 minutes) to shout hooray for Victory over the Americans - and then that's it - I'm going to crash into my cozy comfortable bed.


Sunday 21 February 2010

Bad Sportsmanship

I have 2 home countries. I was born and grew up in Canada, but all of my ancestors before me were born right here in the UK. That makes me British through and through. I'm very proud to be a Canadian, but I am equally proud to be British. (by British I mean - all of Britain - as my ancestors come from all across this land - and Ireland too incidentally)

However, I have to say that I am ashamed of the Canadian athletes (Americans and Germans too) who have picked on this girl...

Amy Williams - Olympic Gold Medalist for Great Britain. She is the first individual Gold Medallist winner in this country for 30 years.

The argument apparently is that her helmet is slightly more aerodynamic than everybody else's. The fact of the matter is - she slid better than anyone else on that course. Mellisa Hollingsworth had a crap run... let's admit it. We all saw it. That happens sometimes. Get over it. Stop crying about it. It just makes you (and all of us as Canadians) look pathetic and sad when you can't be a good sport and accept that someone raced better than you. The helmet was inspected and passed by a jury for competition. Amy did NOT add a spoiler to her helmet, it was made like that by the manufacturer.

It just makes me sick that you can't let her have her big moment without this nonsense. I'm really ashamed, very very ashamed of you Mellisa Hollingsworth - and all of the athletes making a big deal about this. It's sad. Pathetic and sad.

Sigh... what is the purpose of the Olympics? To bring athletes together from all over the world in a friendly spirit of competition. This is an opportunity for them to show their very best - not their worst. Bad sportsmanship is just that - bad. Instead of being a good sport and congratulating Amy on her excellent run, you've just brought a bad spirit into the games with your ridiculous allegations. Honestly, I'm ashamed, just ashamed of you.

On a positive note - Canada and the US go head to head tonight in Men's Hockey. Let's hope Team Canada do well tonight. I'm certainly routing for them. However if they don't (heaven forbid) then I won't go crying about it and blaming the Americans. Sorry, I have to let this go don't I? Still, it's just annoying. Bad sportsmanship is just sad.

We're very proud of you Amy. :-) You're a hero back here in your home country. You tell them where to shove their helmet controversy.

Wednesday 17 February 2010

Things I Miss About Canada (The Calgary Edition)

Here's another middle-of-the-week post... isn't it exciting?

Well, the other day when I was feeling all patriotic after watching the opening ceremonies, I decided to write a list of all the things I miss about Canada. Many of them are Calgary-specific - but some of them are things that all Canadians would miss if they were separated from them. I shall add links or pictures to whatever ones I can. *Note* These are not in any particular order, but are listed as they came to me. Some of them should probably be grouped together, but in order to retain the authenticity of original thought - I shall keep to the "as it came to me" list.

With no further ado, here it is...

- George Stroumboulopoulos
- Hockey Night in Canada (and the theme song)
- Coach's Corner
- Moxie's White Chocolate Brownie

- Kraft Dinner (original)
- President's Choice (anything and everything)
- Skor
- Ed Whalen (but obviously I can't bring him back from the dead)

(isn't that the best picture of Ed you've ever seen?)

- My family

- My crazy nephews and my sassy neice

Couldn't find a good photo with ALL of my nephews in it, but here's my wee sassifrass neice.

- My VERY best friends

- Being packed very tightly like a Sardine on the C-Train
- Heated Bus / Train Stations
- Block Heaters
- Wide Open Spaces
- The Rockies
- Fields upon Fields of Wheat
- The Claresholm 7-11 - Chicken and Wedges

- Stuart McLean & the Vinyl Cafe
- McNally Robinson
- Heck even Chapters/Indigo
- Reitmans!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- Zellers
- Stampede Wrestling

- Stephen Avenue
- The Rockyview Hospital - it feels like home somewhat... (oddly)
- The Drive from Calgary to Cardston
- Banff & Lake Louise
- Tobogganing throughout the winter
- Winners
- The Real Canadian Superstore (or stupidstore as we lovingly call it)
- Famous Players (I guess it's now called Cineplex)
- 17th Avenue
- 4th Street
- Tourette's Girl (don't ask)
- The DHCC!!!!!!!!!!!!
- Unit 71 - Urology
- Urologists
- Alright, SOMEtimes I miss the snow
- Being bundled up like a burrito when it's -40 degrees celsius WITHOUT the wind chill factor... (-70 with WCF)
- My Snow-dogs and igloo (just kidding)

- Boston Pizza at 2 am
- MacLeod Trail
- The Calgary Stampede (how it used to be - with real cowboys and family fun)
- Elbow Falls

- Kananaskis Country - and about a zillion different hiking options (though I have that sort of thing here too)
- Drumheller, the Hoodoos, and the Royal Tyrrell Museum

- Bison and "Head Smashed In" Buffalo jump
- Moose (Meese?)
- Native American Indigenous Peoples

- Multiculturalism (though Dundee does fairly well with that too)
- Royal Canadian Air Farce
- Newfies
- Burger Baron (does it still exist?)
- Fish Creek Park
- The Bow River
- Prince's Island
- The Calgary Tower
- Hot Dog Stands on Corners - ooh, and Tubby Dog

- Giant Poplar Trees
- Perogies

- Poutine

- A&W Root Beer
- The Burger Family
- Peter's Drive In and milkshakes so thick - they remind you of liposuction sucking it through the straw
- A&W Onion Rings

- The Second Cup
- Cinnzeo
- The Hudson's Bay Company
- Devonian Gardens
- The Terry Fox Run
- Roots
- Rick Mercer Report
- Corner Gas
- Little Mosque on the Prairie
- The Calgary Farmer's Market (even though it's insanely expensive - a very cool place to walk around)
- Forced Air Central Heating
- The Calgary Flames
- Mooch

And last, but certainly NOT least...

- Timmie's

That's all I have for now. I'm sure more things will come to me. It's just that sometimes you don't realize what you have until you're removed from it. Then, it's the little things you really miss.

There are about a zillion things I would probably miss about Dundee too if I ever left. It's all about perspective really, but culture runs deep.

Sunday 14 February 2010

VD & The Olympic Spirit...

Well, it's Valentine's Day, and I find myself not dwelling on the usual things I think about on Valentine's Day (you know - how I've never had a good one, and how - yet again I'm all alone, etc...) I find myself obsessively watching the Olympic Games on the BBC i-player, and also - not worrying so much that I'm all alone on Valentine's Day - yet again. Besides that, a dear friend (of the male persuasion) sent me a lovely Valentine's message. (that hasn't happened since grade 6) I also enjoyed a nice evening out at a girlfriend's house - where she entertained a house full of people with good food, crafts, and cookies. It was nice. I often refer to VD (pun intended) as Single's Awareness Day - as everywhere you turn in the weeks leading up to it - there's all this ridiculous pink and red everywhere, and lingerie is on sale, and chocolate, and flowers, etc... but - really it's not so bad if you ignore it.

Here's David Mitchell on... "The Act of Giving Flowers" - just to remind us of how foolish we all are...

Whilst I think David's Soapbox rant is quite funny, and highly accurate, I find that I - being a girl - am always happy to receive flowers. I will happily always accept flowers from anyone who chooses to give or even send them to me. However, having said all of that, I have learned that the key to enjoying Valentine's Day is to just ignore it. Enjoy the Winter Olympics, and the company of nice people, and forget all the other crap.

Speaking of Winter Olympics...

Did you see the Opening Ceremonies??? Sheer Canadian awesomeness.... that's the only way to describe it. Everything about it said "Canada" to me. I LOVED it, and I don't usually love those things. Perhaps it's just because I'm so far from home, and I needed a little home to remind me of where I came from.

I'm going to be eyeing the scores of the hockey this year very closely. Go Team Canada! Women's and Men's teams that is... we're going to take them all down - one by one... in a friendly Olympic Spirit kind of way that is.

People say that the Olympics are too expensive, and that Vancouver is going to go Bankrupt hosting them, and yes - they have a point, but that doesn't prevent me from enjoying the Olympics anyway. I do love watching hours of people doing things I would never do in a million years. (Beckys don't respond well to slidey things on their feet)

Sad to hear of the Georgian athlete who died in training. It is tragic, though I suppose that is the risk all Winter athletes take - especially in a sport as dangerous as Luge-ing. I hope his team-mates are able to carry on in his absence and do very well in the games.

Sunday 7 February 2010

The New New Plan...

Sigh... I know I change my mind about this every single week, but...

I've decided to make a new overall plan for my health.

The week before last was probably the most stressful one I've had in a while, and my body didn't respond well to it. So, after doing some thinking, and listening to my body, I've decided to take a different overall approach for my health.

I've also decided to give this "Flat Belly Diet" a go. My sister started on it last week, I'm not sure how it's gone for her (need to call her tonight), but overall - how bad could it be? It's like 1600 calories, well balanced, and promises to banish belly fat, whilst eating more - fat. How bad could it be? I'm going to read the book all the way through before I start though. It's best I know what I'm doing if I'm going to apply myself seriously to it.

Anyway, besides that, I've decided that I need more sleep, and a balanced approach to exercise. Therefore, instead of the hardcore 30 minutes of cardio every single day, on top of walking and Yoga...

I shall follow this routine...

Monday - Walk to and from work, do 30 minutes of cardio at lunch.

Tuesday - Walk to and from work, do 60 minutes of Yoga at home.

Wednesday - Walk to and from work, do 30 minutes of cardio at lunch.

Thursday - Walk to and from work, do 60 minutes of Yoga at home.

Friday - Walk to and from work.

Saturday - 60 minutes of Yoga at home, walk to and from the grocery store.

Sunday - Walk to and from church

Simple enough? I think so. How hard could that be? The hard part is going to be sleep... I remember some time ago, my friend Natalie who is a Dietician told me that when you get at least 7 hours of sleep a night, then certain chemicals (leptin and grehlin) are released which help you to lose weight. (in a manner of speaking) Plus, I have found that when I don't get enough sleep, I'm cranky, unhappy, unhealthy, and stressed out. Kalms have been helpful, but nothing replaces sleep. Yoga should help with feeling less stressed too.

Bad stress is bad. Bad. Bad. As time goes on, I think I'm going to face more of this bad stress. Therefore, I better get my routine going now so that I can have the tools to face it.

I need to spend less time at my computer as well, and more time reading. I have a lot of reading to catch up on. When I start school, (hopefully in March - if all works out) then I'll definitely have to spend less time at the computer and more time reading, or perhaps more reading at the computer, and less social networking. Well, regardless - I need more balance. Balance is what I'm going to get.

Thursday 4 February 2010

Blog-Aid (what a brilliant idea)

ooh, look - it's a blog in the middle of the week...

Well, I just had a thought, and decided to share it. I've just purchased this cookbook...

It's a collaboration between Julie Van Rosendaal and 26 other food bloggers on the internet. I know that every single recipe I've ever gotten from Julie has been absolutely fabulous, so seriously - it's worth every penny, and the best bit is that every penny spent on these books is going to help the folks in Haiti. I think it's a brilliant project, and I'm happy to support it. I highly recommend others do so as well.

You can buy the book here... (link)

... and you can read Julie's comments here... (link)

Go out and buy this book! (Actually, you don't need to go anywhere to buy it, I certainly didn't. Buy it from the comfort of your home.) Seriously - buy it.