Tag Archives: Narcissism

My Toronto Bucket List

Since moving to Toronto three years ago, I’ve been whittling away at my “Toronto Bucket List”. Admittedly, for the last year or so, I’ve not been thinking about the “things I need to do in Toronto” as it very much started to feel like my home, and we all know that you rarely go sightseeing when you’re “home”. There are still a bevy of things I want to do before leaving this glorious city, though, and have set the goal of having my list completed by May 30, 2010. I plan to blog about each thing that I do from the list, just like I’ve been doing repeatedly* for the last three years. Ahem.

So, in no particular order, here’s my list of things to do before leaving Toronto^. If you see anything I’m missing, let me know! I don’t want to leave this city with any regrets!

Go up the CN tower
Niagara Falls/Journey Behind the Falls
U of T Art Centre
Campbell House
Walk High Park
Attend a Toronto FC game**
Tour Osgoode Hall
Tour the wineries in Prince Edward County (or at least drink a bunch of wines^^ from there ;-))
Ride the entire subway line and take pictures of each station
Go to Bulk Barn
Go to Body Blitz

The Don Valley Brickworks/Taylor Creek Park Completed 4/18/10
See a play at the Stratford Festival
Hockey Hall of Fame Completed 5/15/10
Design Exchange Completed 6/4/10
Redpath Sugar Museum Completed 5/29/10
CBC Museum Completed 6/4/10
Shop the St Lawrence Market Completed 3/27/10
Tour the Toronto Stock Exchange — Not a possibility, but I did see the original TSX trading floor at Design Exchange! So that counts. ūüôā Completed 6/4/10
Visit Allan Gardens Conservatory Completed 4/10/10
Check out Doors Open Toronto Completed 5/29/10
Spend time at the Leslie Street Spit Completed 5/24/10
Check out Wychwood Art Barns Completed 6/5/10
See the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art
Completed 6/5/10
Skate down the Rideau Canal — considering we had 1.25 cold days in Toronto this year and the Rideau was barely frozen and is unlikely to freeze prior to May 30, I am gonna go out on a limb and say that I won’t complete this one. But I’m adding it anyway, primarily because I’m the boss here. Check the URL, yo.

Eat/Drink at:
Splendido
Harbord Room
Origin
Cowbell
Jet Fuel Completed 4/10/10
Five Doors North
Dessert Trends Completed 5/28/10
Guu Izakaya***
Swan
Leslie Jones Completed Completed 5/27/10
Ruby Watchco Completed 6/3/10
Sidecar Completed 5/22/10
Negroni Completed 5/23/10
Mothers Dumplings Completed 4/9/10
Cameron House
Roof Lounge at the Park Hyatt
Communists Daughter
Sweaty Betty’s
Bar Chef
Eat noodles at Pacific Mall

* Well, not doing such a great job of. I’ve done waaaaaay more stuff than I’ve blogged about, much to my chagrin. Ten lashes for moi!
** I’ve been to nearly every other professional sporting event in Canada except TFC. I’ve been to a Leafs game, Senators game, Canucks game and Raptors game, but never a soccer game.
*** I ate at Guu in Vancouver, but I’ve heard it’s different in T.O., so I’m gonna give it a whirl here.
^ The most amazing city that is the love of my life! For truth. ūüėČ
^^ Like Norman Hardie. Oh my, his Pinot Noir is so good.

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101 Things in 1,001 Days

List: [list] -noun. A series of names or other items written or printed together in a meaningful grouping or sequence so as to constitute a record.

If you’re anything like me, you love to make lists. Grocery lists**, lists of things¬†to pack, everyday to-do lists, lists of movies to see, books to read, lists of things about yourself, and lists of things you’ve already done just so you can cross things off said list.

The original idea of the¬†“101 things in 1,001 days” apparently began a while ago and continues at DayZeroProject.com¬†but, since we all know I’m not necessarily an early-adopter^, I sat back and waited for a while just to make sure the thing took hold. ūüėȬ† Apparently, it did. So, after much brooding and thinking and mulling and deliberating and reasoning, here’s my list of the 101 things I plan to accomplish in the next 1,001 days. If I start today, I should complete the list¬†by.

So, after much thinking and pondering and mulling and reasoning and excogitating,¬†I’ve come up with my list. Let the crossing off begin!¬†

Note: I’ve been working on this list for a while and just so happened to do some of the things on the list before I published it. And because I’m the master of this domain, I say they count. ūüôā

  1. Make a personal book of recipes
  2. Write a letter to myself to open in ten years
  3. Watch the sunrise and sunset in the same day
  4. Sleep under the stars
  5. See the Northern Lights
  6. Join a book club Joined a foodie book club at Nicholas Hoare
  7. Go to a showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show at midnight
  8. Go to SXSW
  9. Send a secret to PostSecret
  10. Take a hot air balloon ride
  11. Watch a meteor shower
  12. Go on a picnic
  13. Buy a bicycle — and ride it!
  14. Start my own business — I haz ideas!
  15. Finish Infinite Jest
  16. Make a bucket list
  17. Try colouring my hair brown
  18. Complete a half marathon
  19. Do meditation once a week
  20. Go snowshoeing
  21. Find out¬†my blood type (I think it’s A-, but not I’m not + :-))
  22. Build and sleep inside a blanket fort
  23. Start doing yoga
  24. Buy new furniture (dining room table and sofa)
  25. Go to the Texas State Fair and eat a fried Twinkie
  26. Start recycling
  27. Start playing tennis again
  28. Drive across Canada
  29. Learn to sew a button
  30. Delete my MySpace account
  31. Visit an apple orchard
  32. Visit the wineries in Prince Edward County
  33. Go dogsledding
  34. Take a multi-vitamin everyday
  35. Find and meet with a financial advisor
  36. Create my will
  37. Balance my chequebook everyday
  38. Adopt a cat or a dog
  39. Ride the Polar Express
  40. Learn to play Hearts and Texas Hold ‘Em
  41. Watch “What the Bleep Do We Know” in its entirety
  42. Grow an herb garden
  43. Go to cooking school for a week
  44. Finish watching every season of “Lost
  45. Watch at least one full season of “The Simpsons
  46. Spend a weekend at Le Scandinave
  47. Get nominated for the Junior League Board of Directors Nominated as the Communications Director for 2010-11
  48. Skate down the Rideau Canal***
  49. Watch “Roots
  50. Publish an article in a travel publication
  51. Finish knitting the scarf I started in July 2009
  52. See A Prairie Home Companion live
  53. Watch the complete AFI Top 100 Movies
  54. See the McMichael Canadian Art Collection
  55. Eat at The Doctors House, Splendido, and Harbourd Room
  56. Clear out the 765 emails in my Gmail inbox Completed February 22, 2010! I deleted more than 1,600 emails from my inbox! W00t!
  57. Figure out if I should keep or sell my condo in Houston
  58. Go up the CN Tower
  59. Read a book written by someone with whom I disagree (which¬†shouldn’t be very hard)
  60. Fly on the new Boeing 787 (cannot. wait.)
  61. See the Tragically Hip live
  62. Move my blog over to WordPress.org
  63. Hike four Ontario trails
  64. Attend the BlogHer Conference
  65. Find a plane spotting group in Toronto
  66. Try Ethiopian food Ate at Ethiopian House in Toronto with my Yelp friends. Let’s just say I won’t be going back. Ahem.
  67. Set up the 1TB external hard drive I’ve had for six months
  68. Put together a first aid kit for my (newly paid off) car
  69. Play golf at Pebble Beach
  70. Become a docent at an art gallery
  71. Complete a Berlitz French course
  72. See a play at the Stratford Festival
  73. Go to High Park
  74. Frame all the unframed things I have lying around my house
  75. Actually finish the Flickr “365-Day Challenge”, rather than starting it and finishing it after 45 days. Ahem.
  76. See contemporary dance at the Winch at least six times
  77. Start taking hip-hop dance classes again
  78. Participate in NaBloPoMo twice a yar
  79. Try out roller derby
  80. Provide school supplies for an underprivileged family
  81. ¬†Buy a MacBookPro, because I’m really¬†tired of double-clicking ūüôā
  82. Get rid of my landline
  83. Fly a kite
  84. Go camping in an actual tent and not what I like to call “Hyatt” camping
  85. Learn how to use my Canon DSLR I’ve had for two years rather than just shooting on Auto
  86. Go see a sport I’ve never seen before (I’m looking at you, soccer)
  87. Write down ten things for which I’m thankful everyday
  88. Begin the courses towards becoming a master sommelier
  89. Get my eyes checked
  90. Eat dim sum…and dim some more!
  91. Watch 26 movies that begin with a letter in the alphabet
  92. Travel to: Asia (Angkor Wot, Thailand, Hanoi, China); Canada (Banff, Halifax, Winnipeg); Chile and Argentina
  93. Backup my computer
  94. Skate at Harbourfront Centre
  95. Complete my digital afterlife
  96. Build a snowman****
  97. Stop swearing for a whole month
  98. See a baseball game at Wrigley Field
  99. Make a key lime pie
  100. Try to make heads or tails of¬†Canadian Parliament and their constant¬†proroguing.¬†ūüėČ

 

^ although I’m not necessarily a late-adopter either; to wit, I have three close friends who don’t even have Facebook pages. Also, they¬†drive horses and buggies. ūüôā
** I ‚̧ the Grocery app on my iPhone. No more losing my arm in my purse looking for a pen and paper!
*** Completion which requires actual cold weather and not this hovering-right-above-freezing all winter. The skateway is actually closed because it’s not cold enough!
**** See above. This task also requires snow and we haven’t had any snow this year. In fact, Vancouver’s having to *ship it* in for the Olympics. Global warming, indeed.

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Filed under I Love Narcissism, Life Stuff

This Post Is Like a Britney Spears Song: Incoherent And Rambling (Day 29)

Time to pack away the turkey roasters and pumpkins and, if you’re like my family,¬†pull out¬†the 578 bins of Christmas decorations: December is upon us. Ah, December: that month-long foray into¬†complete mayhem consisting of parties, parties and more parties;¬†family gatherings with crazy Aunt Bess who won’t stop asking when you’re *finally* going to settle down; more¬†shopping¬†than you can possibly accomplish in a mere¬†30 days; and more eating and¬†drinking than any human being should ever attempt.¬†I’m already booked for the next two weeks solid at which time I’ll pack my suitcase once again and head to my most favourite city in the entire¬† universe, New York City, to celebrate my birthday. I’ll be a mad woman traversing the burrough, squeezing in¬†shopping, eating¬†excellent edible material, traipsing the Met,¬†and dancing around to a musical or three (Hair and Next to Normal, here I come!).

Post NYC, I’ll unpack and repack once again to head to Houston for the holidays about which I am quite excited, because nothing says “holidays”¬†like cranking up¬†the¬†A/C¬†on¬†Christmas morning. ūüėȬ†Jokes.

Before I take off on my jaunts, though, I’m doing some cool things in T.O. this week that I’ll try to recap when I have a free moment, by which I mean during the six hours a night I should be sleeping.¬†All I can say is thanksbeto¬†Steve Jobs¬†for the WordPress iPhone app.¬†

Рseeing Thomas Keller speak and having his new Ad Hoc at Home cookbook signed
Third Tuesday Toronto to see Julien Smith speak (!)
Junior League Christmas party
– Yelp’s Elite Christmas party that’s Mad Men-themed!
– Going to a Christmas tree farm and cutting down a tree for the very first time! And getting my nog on afterwards.
– An¬†always fabulous iYellow Wine Club event called “Happy Birthday South Africa” at Reds Wine¬†Bar
– Company Christmas party, but, more importantly, the after party. ūüėČ

Clearly, I need a lifestyle manager.

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104 Posts::208 Things (Day 5)

This is officially my 100th104th post! I had every intention of posting this on¬†my 100th post, but then I lost my mind and signed up for NaBloPoMo and, in my haste to post a blog every single day (along with, oh, I don’t know, living my life), it took me a few days longer to finish this bigosity than I anticipated. In celebration of my¬†100 104 posts,¬†I’ve done what I’ve managed to spare¬†both you and me¬†from thus far –a long, rambling list about the mundane minutiae¬†of my life.¬†But fret not! The¬†list has officially arrived. You’re welcome. ūüėČ

I’ve lived in Canada for 895 days now (!) and¬†have done way more than 100 104 things but, apparently,¬†someone¬†injected me with a little bit of lazy along the way, so 100 104 posts are¬†all I’ve written1.¬†¬†It’s taken me eons longer than I expected to get to 100 104 posts¬†for reasons that are unimportant.¬†Let’s just say that, like Talullah Bankhead once said, “‘It’s the good girls who keep diaries;¬†the bad girls don’t have time.”¬†

Like many of you, I am a list nerd. Lists, for me, are like manna from heaven. I make lists about lists and¬†I write¬†already-completed tasks on my lists just to get pleasure of crossing them off.¬†So, in honour of my 100th 104th post, I thought I’d do what I do best and list 200 208 things about me that you may or may not already know, but about which I’m sure you are dying to know. And, all for the mighty, mighty price of free. Because Catholic-family sized soliloquies is what the intertubes was invented for,¬†yes?¬†The good part of all of this¬†is that I¬†can’t see your eye-rolling, so it doesn’t hurt as much.¬†Anyway,¬†grab yourself a snack, put on your Snuggie,¬†make yourself comfortable, and read some Carmen goodness…

Growing Up

  1. I am an only child. 
  2. I¬†was born in Houston, Texas. It’s like living-on-the-face-of-the-sun-hot there.
  3. I started walking when I was ten months old. I have no idea if this is an accomplishment or not. 
  4. Apparently, I liked to climb as a child. My mom once walked into the kitchen after putting me to sleep and I was sitting on top of the refrigerator. I still like to climb on things.
  5. My surname is French and is properly pronounced “meeyAy”. My peeps came from France, through Canada and down to Louisiana. Hence you could say that, with me living in Canada, the Millet family has come full circle. Or, that we hate the heat. Discuss.
  6. I grew up with a Cocker Spaniel named Buffy, who I used to carry everywhere. Literally. If we went from the living room into the kitchen, I carried him. Poor dog. After Buffy died, we got a Miniature Schnauzer named Heidi. The first time she walked into our backyard, she fell into our swimming pool and had to dog paddle her way out. She never went near it again.
  7. My dad used to tell me that when you ate oysters, they would come alive in your mouth and swim down your throat. To this day, I have never eaten an oyster. Thanks Dad!
  8. I have direct relatives in Alaska, four cities in California, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Ohio.

School Stuff

  1. I went to a private, Episcopalian2 school until 4th grade. We went to chapel every Friday. 
  2. I learned to speak Spanish in 1st grade and still speak it today, although not as fluently as when I lived in Texas since there are approximately 6.5 Spanish speakers in Canada.
  3. I went to school with the same people from 4th through 12th grades.
  4. I was accepted at all the universities to which I applied: University of Texas, Baylor University, Texas A&M University, and Louisiana State University.
  5. I have a BA in Speech Communications and Marketing from Texas A&M University.
  6. I was accepted into law school, but decided I didn’t want to waste my life away with my nose buried in law books. Instead, I now bury it in boatloads of email and project management red tape.
  7. I have finished half of my MBA.
  8. I will probably never finish my MBA, considering I reside in a country where I am not permitted to pursue any kind of formal education.   

My Deets

  1. I’m 5’3″
  2. Most people think I’m taller since¬†I wear 4-inch¬†heels 98% of the time. My knees hate me for it.
  3. I have blue eyes, though they tend to change colour depending on what I’m wearing.
  4. I have naturally blonde hair, but it’s getting darker as I get older. Hello,¬† highlights!
  5. I’ve always wanted a tiny pink streak in my hair.
  6. I wear a size 8 shoe.
  7. I grew up with 20/70 vision in my left eye, but after wearing glasses until University, it is now corrected to nearly 20/20.
  8. I’m a registered Republican. I’ve voted Republican in every federal election with the exception of the most recent one (gasp!).
  9. I’m socially liberal and fiscally conservative.
  10. I’m a cradle Catholic3
  11. I’m a Sagittarius, which I’m¬†pointing out only because it means you should be thinking about what to get me for my birthday.
  12. I bought my first house when I turned 29 + 1.¬†I bawled my eyes out the night before I closed out of¬†sheer terror and six years later, it’s still¬†a-ok.

 My Metaphorical Suitcase

  1. I spend the majority of my discretionary income on traveling. It is my absolute biggest passion.
  2. I’ve traveled to 26 US states and 43 major US cities.
  3. I’ve traveled to 3 Canadian provinces and 8 Canadian cities.¬†
  4. I’ve traveled to 13 countries on 3 continents.
  5. I just started writing¬†a travel blog called A Metaphorical Suitcase. It’s all professional sounding and isn’t nearly as much fun as ATGAIC!
  6. My favourite cities¬†are New York City and Paris. It’s clich√©, but I don’t care. They live up to the hype.
  7. I love, love, love to fly. I am a plane geek and can identify the type of plane just by hearing the engine4. I still get butterflies when I see planes take-off, land, and in the air. Conclusion: I should marry a pilot.
  8. I want to¬†fly privately just once. Travel gods, you can’t see me, but I’m down on my knees begging…
  9. I recently went on my first helicopter ride. I got nauseous and nearly had to use the bag. Conclusion: I should stick to planes.

¬†Books I’ve Finished In the Last Six Months

  1. When You Are Engulfed in Flames — David Sedaris (re-read)
  2. Barrel Fever — David Sedaris
  3. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone5¬†— JK Rowling
  4. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets — JK Rowling
  5. My Life in France — Julia Child
  6. The Death of Conservatism¬† — Sam Teanenhaus
  7. Infinite Jest — David Foster Wallace (I’m only halfway through this one, but it’s 1,079 pp, so cut me some slack, people! Also where I got my idea for blog footnotes)
  8. Liberty — Garrison Keillor
  9. The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry —¬†Kathleen Flinn
  10. The Picture of Dorian Gray — Oscar Wilde (my¬†all-time favourite book)

Magazines To Which I Subscribe

  1. Vanity Fair6
  2. Wired
  3. Newsweek
  4. Travel & Leisure
  5. Broken Pencil (zine)
  6. Photography
  7. The Globe and Mail (newspaper)

My Favourite Games

  1. Taboo
  2. 80’s Trivial Pursuit
  3. Crossword puzzles
  4. Scrabble
  5. Blokus

My Monstrous Wanna-be Techno-nerd Tendencies

  1. I have six email addresses
  2. I own four URLs
  3. I have 15 different blog URLs set-up over three blogging platforms, and actively blog on three of them.
  4. I use an HP Pavilion 17″ laptop that is an absolute pig on weight and space, and is coming unhinged — literally.
  5. I secretly want a Mac, but I’d never admit it. ūüėČ
  6. I have profiles on more websites than I care to admit; they easily number into the 30’s.
  7. I currently have 161 Facebook friends. I am very selective in who I add and know all of them IRL.
  8. I currently have 4,029 images on Flickr  
  9. I currently have 755 unread emails in my Gmail inbox, some of which date¬†to 2006. If you’re still waiting for a¬†reply,¬†this is probably why.

Edible Material

  1. I started drinking coffee about three months ago after I bought a french press. I am now addicted.
  2. I still drink¬†tea, especially sweet tea (also known as the “wine of the south”).
  3. My favourite cuisine is Tex-Mex7.
  4. My second favourite “cuisine” is french fries. I recently¬†went on a french fry crawl with some Yelp friends and I was at peace.
  5. My favourite vegetable is broccoli, although the only one I don’t like is eggplant.
  6. My favourite fruits are watermelon (especially good to cure a hangover), pineapple and strawberries, but I love them all except kiwi.
  7. My favourite Houston restaurants are Cafe Annie¬†and Pappasito’s Cantina. My favourite Toronto restaurants are¬†Grace¬†and Nota Bene.
  8. My favourite cocktails are Pimm’s Cup, gin & tonic and big red wines.
  9. My favourite dessert is my dad’s world-famous chocolate sheet cake.¬†It is fierce!

Things That Take Me To My Happy Place

  1. My iPhone
  2. My hard, candy pink iPhone case
  3. My red, cast iron risotto pan
  4. David Sedaris
  5. Sparklers
  6. Backtalking
  7. Wearing pigtails
  8. Eating brunch
  9. Bubble baths in soaker tubs (TMI?)
  10. Blogging
  11. Hummingbirds
  12. Bubbling hot tubs at 105 degrees Fahrenheit, especially ones overlooking oceans
  13. The CBC
  14. Cats and dogs
  15. Hiking
  16. Musicals, especially Chicago and Spring Awakening, and singing them at the top of my lungs in the privacy of my car. Sometimes I get funny looks from passers-by.
  17. Year-round Christmas lights
  18. Listening to ‚ÄúThis American Life‚ÄĚ podcasts and swooning over Ira Glass
  19. 30 Rock, Entourage, Top Chef, Project Runway
  20. Snow falling at night
  21. In-town hotel stays
  22. Jumping on said hotel beds
  23. Haiku
  24. Dancing
  25. My passport
  26. Trying new foods (I just had Korean for the first time!)
  27. Witty repartee
  28. 1% chocolate milk in a frozen glass
  29. The Sunday Times
  30. Queen Video
  31. Cherry and orange Slurpees
  32. Photography/photo safaris/my cameras
  33. Stepping outside my comfort zone
  34. Giggling/Laughing/Chest-shaking guffaws
  35. Swinging on swingsets
  36. Hip Hop karaoke and hip hop dance class
  37. Public Radio International
  38. RadioLab
  39. Jalape√Īo hummus
  40. Classic 80’s music
  41. Jarritos Mandarin flavoured-drinks
  42. Arm’s length photos, thusly
  43. College football.  GEAUX TIGERS!
  44. Madonna, the Dixie Chicks, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Michelle Obama, my momma

Things That Take Me To My Unhappy Place

  1. People who use the word “reoccurring” instead of “recurring”. People of the universe: “reoccurring” is not a word!
  2. People who drive slowly in the left lane. I want them to die very slow deaths please move to the right.
  3. Smoke/smoking/smokers/people smoking and walking in front of me on the sidewalk whose smoke I am therefore forced to inhale
  4. Being hot, unless I’m on a beach 
  5. Liars
  6. Cheaters
  7. Balancing my chequebook(s). Unluckily for me, now that I live in Canada but am still paid in USD, I have to manage not one, but *two* chequebooks. They are the bane of my existence.
  8. Clutter 
  9. Migraines — I don’t get them often, but when I do, I get really, really sick
  10. Oprah
  11. Americans who travel abroad and act ignorantly. When in Rome, people. If¬†you don’t like it, go back to your bubble.
  12. Paying a $60 annual tax to the City of Toronto just for having a car in the city
  13. Paying 5 cents for a plastic bag. I still giggle when I buy clothes and have to cart them out of the store over my arm.

Things On My Desk At Work 

  1. Two flags: a Canadian flag and an American flag
  2. The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy; Hirsch, Kett, Trefil
  3. Coloured file folders with labeled tabs; mostly pink, with a smattering of blue, green, yellow and red
  4. The Belvedere calendar, which I’ve had on my desk every month for ten years
  5. An Ikea lamp
  6. Green apple-flavoured Viraguard antiseptic hand spray, so as to protect myself against the pig flu
  7. Two buttons: Toronto Maple Leafs/Raptors & Vancouver Canucks  
  8. A Remembrance Day peony, which is on my desk because it keeps falling off of my coat.
  9. Various pens, including a pink feathered ostrich that rattles and an Incredibles pen that lights up when I write
  10. My perpetually refilled cup of Diet Coke (Conclusion: I require plentiful amounts of chemicals).
  11. The original Wooly Willy

Things In My Refrigerator

  1. Half a bottle of Cave Spring 2007 Riesling
  2. Unopened bottle of White Zinfandel8
  3. Fig & Walnut jam (the brand which I don’t know since I threw away the wrapper)
  4. Goat cheese (beneath which said unnamed Fig & Walnut spread is spread)
  5. Freshly grated gruyere cheese and a block of Parmesano Reggiano
  6. Jalape√Īo hummus
  7. A case of Caffeine-free Diet Coke
  8. Whipped cream
  9. Can9 of Amsterdam beer
  10. Box of Jiffy cornbread10
  11. Fresh spinach
  12. Red onion
  13. Cilantro
  14. A motherload of condiments, but most importantly, salsa

The Last Ten Things I Listened To On XM Radio

  1. The Bob Edwards Show, to which I listen every single day
  2. We Both Reached For the Gun — Chicago soundtrack (Channel 75)
  3. Not Ready to Make Nice — Dixie Chicks (Channel 25)
  4. Enola Gay — OMD (Channel 44)
  5. Kids — MGMT
  6. West End Girls — Pet Shop Boys
  7. Genius of Love — Tom Tom Club
  8. My City Was Gone — Pretenders¬†
  9. Bigmouth Strikes Again — The Smiths
  10. Black Celebration — Depeche Mode

Random and Seriously Fun Facts About Moi

  1. I will try absolutely anything at least once (except oysters. ew.)
  2. iPhone apps to which I’m addicted: Fling!, Tetris, Scramble and Groceries
  3. I wanted a 5-speed car after graduating University, so I bought¬†one¬†without knowing how to drive it. My¬†friend Jill drove¬†me¬†home and¬†taught me how to drive it¬†the next day. I stalled my way to work for about a week, but¬†loved every second of it! My current car¬†has a¬†Tiptronic transmission, but it’s really faux-manual and isn’t¬†nearly the same.
  4. My favourite artists are René Magritte, Julian Schnabel, Mark Rothko, and Cy Twombly.
  5. My favourite museums are the Menil Collection in Houston; the Tate Modern in London; and the Musee d’Orsay in Paris.
  6. I have an interest in both Surrealist art and art stolen by the Nazis during WWII.
  7. I prefer to sleep only on white, high thread count sheets.
  8. My favourite flowers are pink tulips, pink peonies and white orchids.
  9. How I lived prior to having a PVR is beyond me.
  10. I went tobogganing for the first time in March 2009. I was the only person over the age of five going down the hill.
  11. I have a serious crush on Andy Williams.11
  12. My porn star name is Buffy Fairacres.12
  13. My favourite number is 1313
  14. I have a keen interest in the workings of the Intelligence community, specifically the CIA
  15. I haven’t played a videogame since I¬†kicked ass at Tron and Donkey Kong on Intellivision, circa 1985
  16. I only run in Asics Gel Nimbus running shoes. They are like running on pillows.
  17. I’ve never¬†broken any bones or been stung by a bee
  18. I don’t have any tattoos, but I had my belly button pierced during an otherwise mild rebel phase. It got infected¬†after I went into the disgustingly polluted waters of the Gulf of Mexico and had to take it out.
  19. Three of my closest¬†friends don’t¬†have Facebook pages. I find this bizarre.
  20. I love timepieces, especially vintage ones (though I can’t afford them, so I only get to gawk at them in¬†store windows).
  21. My favourite piece of jewelry¬†is my Tiffany “hook and eye” bracelet I bought¬†with the first paycheque I ever earned out of University
  22. My necessary extravagance is a regular 90-minute massage (I’m looking at you, Toronto Bodyworks)
  23. My favourite all-time movie is “Moonstruck”
  24. My lipstick is MAC Lip Glass in Flirt
  25. My mascara is Yves Saint Laurent Volume Effet Faux Cils in black
  26. My blush is NARS “Orgasmic”
  27. My shampoo/conditioner is L’oreal Professional Lumino contrast and Vitamino Color. It smells delish!
  28. Other than shampoo and conditioner, I don’t use any hair products.
  29. My moisturizer is Cetaphil
  30. My toothpaste is Colgate Max Fresh Liquid Gel in Clean Mint;¬†I also have an¬†addiction to¬†Closys (the nectar of fresh breath gods but that isn’t sold in Canada!)
  31. My summer perfume is Annick Goutal Eau d’Hadrien and my winter perfume is either Coco Chanel Mademoiselle or Annick Goutal Mandragore
  32. My favourite nail polish colours are OPI “Privacy Please”¬†for my nails and “Lincoln Park After Dark” for my toes. I switch¬†to OPI “I’m Not Really A Waitress” or Chanel “Ruby Slippers” during the holidays.
  33. I’m an absolute candle *freak*. I have a candle closet in my house and currently have about 20 unburned candles. My very favourite scent is Votivo Red Currant and anything clary sage scented. Someone just told me that¬†candles are the new ‚Äúcat‚ÄĚ for lonely single girls.¬†If that’s the case, then I must be a complete hermit.
  34. I wanted to learn to knit since all the kids are doin’ it. I took¬†a class and am halfway through a scarf that looks like a ten year-old made it. Actually, that’s probably not fair to the ten year-olds out there! Stop laughing like that — I’m trying my hardest!
  35. I was once driving in the rain and saw a man walking in it. I stopped and gave him my umbrella, and I’ve never met anyone more thankful.
  36. I once entered a cake baking contest in middle school. The cake was called ‚ÄúBetter Than Sex‚ÄĚ. I won first place.
  37. I’ve met and had my photo taken with Julian Schnabel. !!!!!
  38. I‚Äôve met David Sedaris and was so starstruck that I could barely speak. He signed my book with a hand-drawn photo of Abe Lincoln with a mouth bubble that said ‚ÄúDiabetes is for lovers‚ÄĚ. Yeah, I didn’t¬†get it either.

1I’ve actually written more than 104 posts, but haven’t published 49¬†posts I’ve drafted. For shame.
 2Anglican, for my Canadian readers
¬†3 If you don’t know what it means, look it up!
¬†4 This applies to Boeings only. I’ve only flown an Airbus once and that was in Europe, so¬†I was probaby either inebriated or exhausted.¬†
5 Also known as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in the U.S. I have no idea why it’s called something else in Canada and the UK.
6 Although I despise its Canadian editor, Graydon Carter. His editor’s column was about George W. Bush every single month literally for eight years. I would think that someone as educated and revered as he is could surely come up with something to talk about other than GWB for 96 issues.
7 By “Tex-Mex”, I do not mean “mexican”. Everyone in Toronto thinks that I mean “interior mexican” when I say I miss mexican food. Clearly, they have never had the goodness that is Tex-Mex.
8 It’s from when my mom was here. It was, dammit!
9 Because I’m a classy dame.
10 Imported from Texas because the single, solitary store that sells it in Toronto charges 4x the price I pay in Houston.
11 I am secretly a 75 year-old woman.
12  The name of my first pet and the street on which I grew up, yo.
13 Does anyone else find the irony in the fact that my lucky number is also the 13th footnote?! I swear I did not plan that!

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Seeking: Girl Riding Shark

The sheer magnitude of¬†analytics¬†available on the interweb is astounding. I guess that could be a good thing or a bad thing depending on how you look at it.¬†Figuring out which words or phrases for which people are searching is important if your goal is to increase your readership and eventually get paid ads on your¬†site, for example.¬† Or, you can do¬†what I do:¬†blog¬†about the mundane things that happen in your life and hope that someone other than the people your parents paid good money to read your site1 actually read it. Ahem. ūüôā

I follow a motherload of blogs and the majority of them reference their blog stats at one point or another. Until recently, I could have cared less about my stats. I knew WordPress tracked them, but I was not the girl who rushed home every day to check her stats, or even worse, refreshed my stats page on an hourly basis to find out how many more fools around the world wasted their time reading my drivel. Until recently, that is. When I finally checked things out, I had a slight moment of shock and awe. Some of the phrases for which people search are pretty effin’ hilarious, such as “snidely whiplash bondage” or “how about texas? that’s a random state”. Or, my personal favourite, and therefore post title, “girl riding shark”. I mean, seriously, if there’s some girl out there riding a shark, she is someone I am going to be required to meet. Also, let me just add that there seems to be an abnormal number of people — a plethora, I’ll say — out there searching for Dudley Do-Right. At least 15 hits per day come searching for my very brief reference to the great do-gooding Canadian mountie. Forget Google analytics and listen to what I’m telling you: blog about Dudley Do-Right and you’ll be a paid ad millionaire in no time.

Now, take a gander at some of the other phrases, and places, for which people have searched, and from whence people have come, to feast their¬†eyes on the goodness that is A Texas Girl’s Adventures in Canada. I’d say judging from the search terms, it has been an adventure, indeed…and whoever had the¬†“nude thai girl date”¬†sure didn’t invite moi.

The last 25 searches that brought people to my blog:
dudley do right
snidely whiplash bondage
canadian things that start with “i”
sorting mail
funny iphone
film semi server
montreal hispanic buildings
india garbage girl
dudley doright
things that failed
poutine roll
dudley do right
au pied du cochon
dudley do right villain
texas girl’s adventures
how about texas? that’s a random state
girl riding shark
best way to soup up a f350 [snicker]
nude thai girl date
garbage monkey
dew blue
david ninjas po po
toronto outdoor adenture show photos
traditional culture in vietnam
apparently
reuters board times square
people walking down in a street and thin
garbage streets montreal
full garbage
naked bike riders
crazy people walking
tim hortons in texas [ed: uh, no]
rated pg13
texas girl canada carmen
  
The last 25 cities from whence my blog readers came:
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Atlanta, Georgia
Campinas, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Ottawa, Ontario
Woodbridge, Ontario
Pierrefonds, Quebec
Etobicoke, Ontario
Houston, Texas
Grande Prairie, Alberta
Oxford, Ohio
Göteborg, Vastra Gotaland, Sweden
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Kiev, Kyyivs’ka Oblast’, Ukraine
Toronto, Ontario
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Mountain View, California
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Annapolis, Maryland
Amsterdam, Noord-holland, Netherlands
Los Angeles, California (by googling “restylane”, not surprisingly)
Teller, Alaska
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Dublin, Ireland
Bucharest, Bucuresti, Romania

And lastly, some good old-fashioned geek stats for the monstrous nerd in you!
2009 blog postings: 64, because I believe quality is more important than quantity (read: someone injected me with lazy)
2009 blog postings still in draft form: 46 (ditto above)
Number of blog visits to date in 2009: 16, 457
Average number of hits per day: 55
Most popular blog post: Reason #7,482 Why I Love My Province
Busiest day on my blog: Sunday, June 21, when I posted The Day I Joined the iCult
Number of blogs I follow on Google Reader: 49 (two of which are my own because I really am that narcissistic)
Number of blogs that are currently unread on my Google Reader: 367. Clearly I have some work to do.

1 I jest, of course. I have only paid one person never paid anyone to read this blog. People just seem to show up on their own. Suckas.

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Filed under Random

Happy Anniversary to Me!

Photo credit: Canadian Cliche Compendium

Photo credit: Canadian Cliche Compendium

This week marks the¬†second anniversary of my move to Toronto the best decision I’ve made in my life to date.¬†¬†A mere seven-hundred thirty days ago, I woke up with the roosters due to my being the world‚Äôs biggest ball of nerves and jumped on the only one-way flight ever I‚Äôve taken.¬† And moved to Canada.¬†

I‚Äôve experienced so many amazing, magical things during my time¬†here.¬†¬†I’ve seen so many¬†fantastic places and most importantly, gotten to know¬†a ton of seriously¬†phenomenal people.¬†¬†It’s true what they say — Canadians are super cool¬†to a fault, so of course, I¬†fit right in. ūüėČ

If you’ve read any of my fantastically amazing blog to date, you¬†know¬†that¬†I am¬†an unabashed fan of both Toronto and Canada.¬† In honour of¬†my undying¬†love for my adopted¬†country,¬†I decided to take a short¬†trip down memory lane and¬†proselytize on¬†some of the awesome things I’ve seen, done,¬†learned, and learned to love since moving to the Great White North.¬†

Without further ado, a few things¬†I’ve done…

– Traveled to¬†as much of this gorgeous country as possible.¬†¬†So far, I’ve traveled to Montr√©al, Qu√©bec City, Ottawa, Vancouver, Dorset in Ontario’s cottage country, Niagara Falls <swoon>, and Ontario’s wine country.¬† Soooo much more to go.¬† You know, like seven whole provinces and three territories. ūüėȬ†
– Have seen two of the five Great Lakes: Ontario and Erie.
РHave gone tobogganing on a real live, old-timey wooden toboggan.  Unfortunately, the three year olds on the hill lapped me.
РFell in love with CBC Radio 3, the best radio station on earth and who recently decided to continue playing 100% Canadian artists.  Awesome.
– Started drinking scorched Tim Hortons coffee. It’s a cult, I tell you.¬† But a very attentive, loving one.
РWalked and explored as much of Toronto as possible, but still only covered like 1/4 of the city.  So. much. more. walking. required.
– Celebrated with¬†the other 1,000,000 people at the world’s second largest Pride Week and¬†Pride Parade.
РWitnessed a Canadian federal election that took two weeks, not two years. 
–¬†Met Jack Layton at the Taste of the Danforth (two birds, one stone).
РMet Julian Schnabel at the Toronto International Film Festival (one of my *most* favourite festivals in this city).  Get here and go.
– Hung out with some cool Toronto Raptors (Chris Bosh, Anthony Parker, and Jamario Moon).¬† Because we’re tight like that.
– Learned¬†to¬†properly dress for, walk and drive in snow (well, I still don’t like to¬†drive¬†in it, but at least I’m not white knuckled and sobbing¬†anymore.¬† TTC, me love you long time!)
РFinally figured out the metric system 
– Walked Queen Street West — my absolute¬†favourite street — more times than I can recall.¬† I love¬†seeing mohawk-sporting street kids¬†strolling next to stay-at-home-moms pushing¬†their Gap-clad spawn¬†in¬†$9,241 strollers. Acceptance of diversity¬†makes me swoon!
– Argued¬†the benefits of non-Universal healthcare (believe me, it ain’t free, as evidenced by my VERY large Revenue Canada tax bill)¬†.
РWatched a TON of Canadian sports: Toronto Maple Leafs, Ottawa Senators, Montreal Canadiens, Vancovuer Canucks, Toronto Blue Jays, Toronto Raptors, Toronto Marlies, Toronto FC, Pee Wee Hockey (yes, they start skating here at approximately 7.25 months of age).
– Joined the Junior League of Toronto.
РBecame an iYellow Wine Club Ambassador.  Ange and Pax are seriously awesome people.  I (heart) them.
– Fell in love with Red Rose tea – mmmmmmmmmmmmm.
– Had roti for the first time.
– Had Ethiopian food for the first time.
– Had Sri Lankan food for the first time.
– Had Tunisian food for the first time.
РHave eaten at about 4,792 Toronto restaurants.  Only 2,984,316,705 to go.
– Watched uncensored Canadian television.¬† I mean, who cares if someone says “f*ck” on television?¬† 99% of¬†parents say it anyway!¬†
– Bought Canadian art by Canadian artists.
– Have seen a ton of amazing Canadian art (Group of Seven, First Nations, and about 7,000 art galleries, festivals and crawls).
– Joined the Art Gallery of Ontario, with its gorgeously-designed building by Toronto native Frank Gehry.
– Enjoyed the quiet pride that is the hallmark of this country.
– Frozen my tongue to a pole in the dead of winter.
–¬†Bushes and boulders. Deserts, glaciers, sea shores, tropical forests, rivers, mountains, lakes, plains.¬† Yes Virginia, they really do have it all.
– Figured out how to decipher the funny-coloured Canadian money, including loonies and twonies.
РExperienced four *actual* seasons, rather than 11 months, 18 days of scorching hot summer and 12 days of sort-of-fall.
The CBC.  For thoughtful, professional explanation of world events without hype, opinion, or fluff.  End of story.
РHave seen more processions down the Highway of Heroes than one should ever see in their lifetime.  Simply.  Amazing.
– Learned that¬†in Canada, a¬†Whippet is neither a Devo song nor a dog.¬† It’s a cookie.¬† And a damn good one.
РLearned that in Canada, rye  not only means bread, but also whiskey.
РLearned that in Canada, hydro does not mean water, but electricity.
– Learned that in Canada, BBQ really means grill.
– Learned the hard way that the only iced tea they drink is from a can. Ew.
– Gotten forced off the Don Valley Parkway during rush hour and accosted by Toronto’s finest for having Texas license plates.¬† True story.
– Built a snowman.
– Figured out¬†that no one — NO ONE — is open on statutory holidays.¬† When they say “holiday” in Canada, they mean it.¬†
– Observed Earth Hour by attending way cool¬†“lights-free”¬†parties two years in a row.¬† A-hem.
РPaid $5.50 a gallon in gas.  Actually, I continue to pay $5.50 a gallon in gas. [ed. note: 1 gallon = 4 litres.  A-hem.]
– Conversely,¬†pay¬†only $2 — yes, TWO DOLLARS — per prescription.¬† Thank you, dear company for whom I work.
– Worn shorts when it was only 10C/50F outside because after the -30C/-2F winter days, 10C/50F feels downright balmy.
– Lived through seven straight days of -30C weather. For my American friends, that’s¬†cold.¬† So¬†cold, in fact, that my cracked, ashen flesh started showing signs of cellular degeneration and I¬†practically¬†sawed off my gangrene-plauged limbs in desperation by day three.¬† I don’t recommend it.¬†
– Went to a non-Catholic church for the first time in my life.¬† Don’t tell my dad.
– Have seen a ton of Canadian dance (Winchester Theatre, aka The Winch, FTW!).
РTaken 15GB of photos, all lovingly posted on my Flickr page (where *your* photos should also be).
РHave eaten poutine.  And did not at all like it.  Of course, I had it at Swiss Chalet.  Ew.
– Enjoyed amazing, help-you-at-any-cost customer service. No matter with whom you’re doing business.¬†
– Blogged my arse off about what I’ve done here.
Rolled up my first Tim Hortons rim.
– Participated in Pay It Backwards Day which could only happen in Toronto.
– What have I not done?¬† Started to say “eh” and “zed”.¬† It will *never* happen. ūüėČ

I had no idea what to expect when I moved here.¬† Admittedly,¬†like a lot of Americans, and much to Canadians’ chagrin even though they won’t admit it, I didn’t really¬†know much about the place.¬† Beyond all of the activities I’ve done, places I’ve been and things I’ve seen,¬†the one thing I’ve learned is that the true spirit of Canada really does lie in its¬†people.¬†¬†I’ve¬†met so many¬†outstanding people and made such amazing friends that,¬†even when they make¬†fun of my accent and stare at me like I’m from another planet, I still love them.¬†¬†Canadians¬†*are* nice to a fault and¬†they *will* do anything for you.¬†¬†

None of this is to say that I am not completely and utterly proud to be American.¬† I am a Texas girl through and through…and always will be.¬† I’ve just packed more into two years here than I did in my entire thirty-three years in Texas —¬†I even¬†have the lost tread on my runners to prove it —¬†and¬†have¬†loved¬†every single second of it.¬† Here’s¬†to¬†two *more* years of mind-numbing, face-paralyzingly cold winters;¬†beaver tails;¬†¬†far too much BlackBerry usage;¬†hockey; Tim Hortons; Canadian politics; Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics; snow; curling; liveable summers; and big, giant red maple leafs.

Canada. It’s easy to spell. It means village. What’s not to like?

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Filed under Canada

365 Days

I¬†‚̧ the interwebz.¬† I am an avid amateur photographer and¬†love everything about photography, especially¬†how it¬†has the ability to capture a single¬†image at a split second in time.¬† I’d love photography even more if I was actually good at it,¬†but I digress.¬† I recently ran across the coolest Flickr group called¬†“365 Days”.¬† It’s a¬†project where each¬†group member takes a self-portrait every day for 365 straight days and posts them in the group photostream.¬† The photo should only be taken by you,¬†so¬†if you know me at all, you’ll know that this is right¬†up¬†my alley.¬† I actually have a “Self Portraits” folder in my pictures file.¬† Finally, an outlet for all of my shameless narcissism.¬†¬†

The 365 Days project is also fitting since I only have about 365 more days in Canada (sob).  I originally started my blog so I would have a snapshot of my time and adventures in Canada, and now I will have a photographic record of myself each day during my last year here, as well. 

Needless to say, I am supa-psyched.

Here are my first and second posted pictures, respectively.  Yes, I am a dork.

365 Days - Day One

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9:45pm on March 7, 2009

9:45pm on March 7, 2009

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Filed under Canada, Flickr