Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Twelve Days of Christmas.

I was in the mall today, inching my way through the chaotic masses, listening to the PA lady remind me over and over that there are seven shopping days left. Somehow, I just don't believe that "The Twelve Days of Christmas" was originally intended to be a shopping countdown.

My bank account is now at rest. I'm done.

This is more like it. Thanks, Dad, for the link.

For the Love of Mitch

I love Mitch Hedberg. I could read/listen to his stuff all day. Too bad he's dead. It dampens the hilarity a bit.

I saw a commercial on late night TV. It said, "Forget everything you know about slipcovers." So I did. And it was a load off my mind. Then the commercial tried to sell me slipcovers, and I didn't know what the hell they were.

A lollipop is a cross between hard candy and garbage.

I saw a lady on TV, she was born without arms. That's sad, but then they said, "Lola does not know the meaning of the word 'can't'." That, to me, is even worse in a way. Not only is she missing arms, but she doesn't understand simple contractions. It's easy, Lola - you just take two words, put them together, take out the middle letters, put in a comma, and you raise it up!

I think foosball is a combination of soccer and shish kabobs. Foosball screwed up my perception of soccer. I thought you had to kick the ball and then spin round and round. I can't do a back flip, much less several, simultaneously with two other guys who look just like me.

I like rice. Rice is great when you're hungry and you want 2,000 of something.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

A Winter’s Tale


I had an epiphany on Thursday afternoon: I didn’t want to work on Friday. I asked my boss for the day off. It was a risky thing to do, considering there was work to do and I was taking a significant chunk of time off over Christmas, but I did it. And surprisingly, he gave the okay. So I woke up early Friday morning and caught the 7:30 bus to Kitchener. I like to think of my weekend as “Home for the Holidays Part 1.”

Friday afternoon, I spent four hours making gingerbread cookies with my brother Joel. It was quite the hilarious adventure with a surprisingly stellar outcome, save for one burnt batch. We discovered that if you flip a burnt cookie upside down and thickly coat the burnt side with icing, the sugar counteracts the burnt taste. Joel is the sprinkle king. And he was right; Mom uses the icing recipe in the little pamphlet. I assumed she had a magic one stored in her head. I’ll never live that one down. One day we’ll host a cooking show. With a witty title like How to Bake Gingerbread Cookies In Under Two Hours From Pre-Made Dough.

That evening, we watched Sons of Mistletoe. I don’t care how uncool this makes me, but I love made-for-TV Christmas movies. And Sons of Mistletoe became a favorite when it first aired in 2001. I’ve been waiting for it to air again ever since. I’m serious. I’ve Googled the thing many a time. Warm, gooey, heartwarming Christmasy goodness. ‘Tis the season for orphans and romance. George Newbern is one of those everyman charmers whom I absolutely adore. Plus, he makes my Jesus radar go off. It’s a gift, identifying Christians in Hollywood.


I woke up early. Up until Saturday, I had only purchased one Christmas gift. So Mom and I headed out into the shopping madness and I gave up my debit card to the Ghost of Christmas Presents. We shared New York fries, ran into an old friend (he’s not old; it’s just been a long time. Just to clarify, in case he ever reads this), I discovered a love of the Skinny Vanilla Bean Latte, and had a pretty productive and stress-free day. I’m now almost done my shopping. And because most of my family is literate, I will not elaborate further. No one wants to learn what they’re getting for Christmas from a blog.

We got back in time to make pizza for dinner. So good. And then two games of Scrabble. With three tiles (one of them a blank), I scored 78 points. I wonder if Scrabble pride is a subset of the pride listed in the seven deadly sins.

And it started snowing.


Winter wonderland. My church in Toronto cancelled its service. As did many churches in the Kitchener-Waterloo area. But not my parents’ church. In fact, we went super-early. No weather would stop the Christmas play from premiering. After a continental breakfast (iced cinnamon cookies. Yum), we watched a rather delightful play starring my father (or semi-starring him. I’m pretty sure he had the most lines. Or pretty close). And since the play centered on people getting snowed in, the whole “weather outside is frightful” was actually quite appropriate.

I didn’t mind the snow today. It was beautiful. It felt like Christmas. I was nostalgic for an era before my time. I wanted to go for a sleigh ride. But the thought of busing it back to Toronto was a little daunting. I seriously considered staying in Waterloo until tomorrow morning. But I didn’t want to get on a 5 a.m. bus and lug my heavy bag to work with me.

At the bus station, I asked the woman how the weather was affecting the bus schedule. She said she didn’t know. She hadn’t been outside since earlier that morning. I love it when people don’t understand what I’m asking. Someone else told me that everything was delayed by an hour. But since the bus ran hourly, I caught the 1:30 bus at 2:30 instead of catching the 2:30 bus. No real delay for me, then. The Toronto-bound bus arrived. My brother Nathan got off it. He was coming home for Christmas from Peterborough, and I was heading back to Toronto. The people in line looked at me strangely as I hugged the guy getting off the bus, phoned my parents to tell them to pick him up, and then boarded that very same bus.

The guy beside me on the bus was reading Douglas Coupland. The girl ahead of me leaned back and squashed my legs. I slept. I started reading The Lovely Bones. It almost made me cry. Twice. Go read it.

Post-bus ride, I lopsidedly trekked through some deep snow on unshoveled sidewalks, lugging a massive bag, suffering through knee-high drifts behind my place. My soaked jeans are hanging in my shower.

I’m unpacked. I’m warm. I’m ready for bed.

It was a good weekend. I drank coffee three times. That’s a record for me. And I think I can handle another short week now.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Envelope, Please

Award season is upon us. I don’t feel much like listing all of the nominations for every award show going, but since the Golden Globe nominations were announced this morning, I will draw your attention to some of the noteworthy nods (at least in my world).

Of course, I will have to first point out that Lost was, once again, snubbed. Quite painful, really, as it’s the best show on TV. At least Heroes was also snubbed. Not sure why Grey’s Anatomy keeps getting nominated. Blech. And where was the Christian Bale nod for his work in Rescue Dawn/3:10 to Yuma/I’m Not There? Sheesh, people.

But Cate Blanchett was recognized for I’m Not There. She was brilliant and, thus, most likely unbeatable in her category. I haven’t seen most of the films yet, so I can’t start making predictions, but I was pleased to see Hairspray, Amy Ryan (of Gone Baby Gone), and TV faves Hugh Laurie and Patricia Arquette on the list.

Reasons for my early morning happy dance:

Pushing the Love

Pushing Daisies was nominated for BEST MUSICAL OR COMEDY SERIES.

Lee Pace (Love him. Second only to Zac Levi when it comes to TV boyfriends).


Anna Friel


Canadian Love

(Bolded text indicates the Canadian, whether it be the actor, the director, or the production itself).

Eastern Promises (Dir. David Cronenberg)


Juno (Dir. Jason Reitman)


Julie Christie


Away From Her (Dir. Sarah Polley)



Lars and the Real Girl

Ellen Page



William Shatner


Boston Legal

Donald Sutherland


Dirty Sexy Money

Anna Paquin


Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee


Adam Beach


Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee

Now, there is still no knowing if the Golden Globes will even air. With no end to the writers' strike in sight, there's talk of the event being picketed. Most actors wouldn't dare cross that line. So maybe this year it really will have to be just an honor to be nominated.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

It's in the bag.

I carry an unusually large bag. Sure, it may be a trendy thing to do, but I'm not really that hung up on looking like Jessica Simpson when I leave my apartment at 7:10 every morning. The trend just happens to coincide with my habit of lugging everything I own with me everywhere.

But lately, it's been almost too full. Too heavy. So I thought I'd take an inventory of what's inside.

Things in my bag today, not counting the pockets stuffed with coupons, a dryer sheet (for those static days), keys and unmentionables:
  • Nalgene (750 mL)
  • Lunch (sandwich container, 2 smaller ones for grapes and almonds)
  • 75% dark chocolate bar
  • Weekly planner
  • SpongeBob notebook (filled with scribbles about end credits and grocery lists)
  • Mere Christianity
  • Wallet
  • Checkbook
  • Pens
  • Cell phone
  • Tylenol
  • Lozenges
  • Glasses case
  • Snow White clutch filled with lip gloss
  • Kleenex
  • Indoor scarf (since I wanted to wear a winter scarf with my coat and didn't want to double-up)
  • Freebie newspaper
  • Gum
  • Toothbrush and paste
  • Deodorant
  • Band-Aids
In case of any emergency, I'm ready. I'm the office pharmacy. I don't have to swing by my place after work if I decide to go somewhere in the evening. And on rainy days, I manage to stuff Bert the Umbrella in there too.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

For Your Reading and Viewing Pleasure

I’m lazy, so it’s link time.

Losing It

Johnny Depp and Tim Burton are being interviewed together when a reporter makes the ridiculous statement that they’ve been working together for ten decades. The reaction is adorable.


A coworker sent this article to me today, which is hilariously appropriate seeing as my dad’s crashing my place in a couple days. It’s quite a phenomenon, the freeloading parents (Dad, you’re more than welcome. Just don’t smoke up while you’re here).

Roommate Wanted

I’m a pretty picky person when it comes to living with people. Which is why I live alone. Apparently, this guy’s pickier.

My favorite excerpt:

You must be ok with my upholstery hobby. On every third Tuesday of the month I request that you vacate the house between the hours of 4 pm - 11:45pm while I upholster various pieces of antique furniture. I am a perfectionist and require complete silence in the house. I've tried this with housemates who've promised to stay in their rooms, but this proved impossible as bathroom habits demand a regular schedule that interrupts my artisan work. That said, I will give you a small stipend on these days if it will assist you in finding something to do with that block of time.

No newspapers or magazines. The ink gets everywhere and the gloss irritates my eyes. Sorry! You are free to read them on the front porch, but they must be stored outside of the house (perhaps in your car?)

This is not to sound discriminating, but, if you speak either French, Urdu, or Afrikaans, I kindly request that you not speak them in my vicinity as the cadences used in these languages are grating to the ears and nerves, for me.

Geeky Kind of Love

Best wedding cake for nerds ever:


Talking to Telemarkers 101

I was once a telemarketer. A woman gave me a rhubarb pie recipe over the phone. And a man warned me that we shouldn’t talk about the government, or they’d put bags over our heads and ship us off to Cuba. But no one did this to me. (Warning: It’s a little PG-13).

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Jimmy & I

Klara: I really wouldn't care to scratch your surface, Mr. Kralik, because I know exactly what I'd find. Instead of a heart, a handbag. Instead of a soul, a suitcase. And instead of an intellect, a cigarette lighter which doesn't work.

Alfred: That's very nicely put. Yes. Comparing my intellect with a cigarette lighter that doesn't work. Yeah, that's a very interesting mixture of poetry and meanness.

‘Tis the season to spend quality time with my second dead boyfriend (#1 being Gene Kelly). There’s something about snow that makes me want to dedicate an evening or two to Jimmy Stewart (always credited as James, by the way). And after reading biographies on both men, Jimmy is really more my type, what with being faithful to his wife and all.

So this past weekend, I was quite delighted to find that The Shop Around the Corner was airing on TCM. I have a soft spot for TCM, partly because it plays the classics and partly because I have a credit on its website.

The film is an adaptation of the Hungarian play Parfumerie and inspired the Judy Garland musical In the Good Old Summertime, the Broadway musical She Loves Me, and, much later, You’ve Got Mail. Since Tom Hanks is the modern-day Stewart, it makes sense. It's the Everyman charm.

Loved it. Love him. I can feel It’s a Wonderful Life calling me....

Alfred: I think people who like to smoke candy and listen to cigarettes will love it.

Saturday, December 01, 2007


My brother Joel drew this for me a few years ago. Brilliant.
Click on image for full size. You must read it to understand.

Right Now

There are clean sheets on my bed. Still warm.

There are sweet-potato fries in the oven.

My apartment is lit by two miniature Christmas trees.

I am home.

I spent last night in Parry Sound, Ontario’s winter wonderland. While I often complain about the cold in Toronto, it’s a different kind of cold there. It’s a crisp, picturesque, storybook cold with over a foot of pure white snow blanketing everything. For a brief moment, I wanted to be Rosemary Clooney, all decked out in a fur-trimmed red velvet cape, singing alongside Bing Crosby.

I went to cheer on my cousins who were starring in their high school’s production of High School Musical. I have yet to be a parent, so I can only imagine the pride that comes with seeing your child sparkle in the spotlight. Even still, watching the girl I once tried to teach to walk gorgeously singing and dancing on stage was pretty mind-blowing.

They were fabulous. So proud.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Lars and the Real Girl

"The search for real love begins outside the box."

Sweet. It was the word that immediately popped into my head as the end credits started to roll. Not the colloquial "sweet" used by adolescent boys, but the pleasing, satisfying, endearing and thoughtful sort of sweet you might find in a dictionary. Without all the sugar allusions. Because while it was a sweet film, it wasn't nauseatingly so; it had the perfect balance of reality and bittersweetness to even things out. It was moving. I laughed out loud.

Ryan Gosling deserves another Oscar nomination, if only for the way he blinked. Some actors dye their hair for a movie; Gosling transformed every little mannerism. The blinking, the squinting, the posture. There was something so unselfconscious about the performance, something so honest and awkward and gentle. The entire audience fell for the man-child named Lars.

And not since Wilson the volleyball has there been such a beautiful on-screen relationship with an inanimate object.

Go see it.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

From Tuesday to Tuesday

I feel stupid. And sick. Nauseated and silly and immature and impatient and horrible. Unattractive and undesirable and lonely.

How was your Tuesday?
One week is a long time in the scheme of my emotional landscape. I was cleaning out email drafts this evening when I came across this half-written email, apparently never intended to be sent. Written to no one in particular.

Today was a good day. I worked for nine hours, had a decent lunch (see previous post), snacked on dark chocolate, made plans to meet a friend for a movie tomorrow evening, and came home to a little Pilates and leftover artichoke-and-mushroom oven omelet. And now I'm in cozy pajamas, half-watching Top Chef. I'm glad I didn't stay in last Tuesday.

Turkey Madness Version 2.0

It's lunchtime. Determined to redeem yesterday's turkey disaster, I venture into a small artist-run café called Artistic Grounds. It's a cash-only, super-tiny place, decorated with artwork by local artists (all of which is for sale).

I see a turkey sandwich behind glass. I order it. And then the magic happens. She opens the premade sandwich and starts to add whatever I want. For no additional charge. Havarti cheese, tomato, spicy Dijon mustard, a squirt of mayo. So good.

They have homemade chocolate chip cookies. I can't resist. And then I grab a bottle of water.

Now, keep in mind that such a lunch at yesterday's location would have come to at least $10. No exaggeration needed. So you can imagine my elation when she charges me $5.40 for my entire lunch. I want to hug her. And later, when I eat my awesome turkey sandwich, I want to hug her again. And that chocolate chip cookie? It's one of those melt-in-your-mouth, made-by-Grandma cookies. My happy radar is beeping.

If you're ever at Queen and Bathurst, go to Artistic Grounds. Support local artists and eat turkey that's not ham. Everyone wins.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Turkey Madness

All I want is a turkey sandwich. So I order one. On toasted whole grain bread.

The sandwich guy puts the meat on first. I stop him. What about the mayo? He was going to put it on after, he tells me. On top of the meat. I shake my head. I want it on the bread. He obliges, but he's clearly unimpressed with me.

He puts the meat on again. I stop him. I asked for turkey, but this is obviously ham. No, he tells me, he's made sandwiches before. Ham is more red. Well, this turkey is way too pink to be turkey. He assures me it's turkey and keeps making my sandwich.

I ask for mustard. He squirts some on the turkey/ham and then proceeds to thickly paint the other slice of bread bright yellow.

He asks if I want orange or white cheese. I feel like I'm 5 years old again. I say white. Yep, I am 5.

He puts one leaf of lettuce on it and asks if that's enough. I say no. Once again, he's not impressed. He sighs loudly as he adds another leaf.

When I go up to pay, I tell the lady that I'm not sure if it's a turkey or a ham sandwich. She looks at me as if I'm stupid.

As I leave, I hear a woman order peanut butter on white. He asks if she'd like that on whole wheat.

I go back to work and eat my ham sandwich. It tastes like mustard. I pretend it's turkey.

"Assume" makes a WHAT out of "u" and "me"?!

For someone who is quite indecisive (and still can't decide if she likes the jeans she bought weeks ago) and likes to carefully think out decisions and plan ahead for everything, it may be a little surprising that I jump to conclusions quite quickly.

For example, I sliced my thumb open in the fifth grade. I told the doctor to amputate my hand as I'd never play the piano again. I'm glad he didn't listen.

I once told my Sunday School class not to listen to Amy Grant after I saw a 10-minute clip of her on TV singing love songs to a man (shocking, I know). I assumed she switched her affections from the Almighty to the flesh (or something like that). I later recanted this, and Amy is once again near and dear to my heart. But still, my childlike rash judgment has stuck with me a bit.

I wasn't even really aware of this until the other day when an email conversation with a friend ended rather awkwardly. The first place my head went was, "I've overstepped some kind of invisible bounds. I've broken some sort of unspoken rule of friendship. It's over." Is it really? Probably not. Maybe. But jumping to a conclusion isn't going to help the situation. And rereading the text won't help either.

I'm starting to dislike the written word when it comes to conversation. I don't mind blogging, journaling, or creative writing, but typing in an attempt to get to know someone is painful. My quirky babbling doesn't mesh with everyone, and neither is my sense of humor apparent to those who skim read. And my paragraph-long answers to a two-word question could be a little overwhelming, just as I interpret a one-sentence reply as a brush-off.

Moral of my story: I'm glad I still have my hand. Amy Grant remains a nostalgic favorite. And it's time to start talking face to face a little more.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


A couple weeks ago, I was almost asleep when my high-school locker combination popped into my head. Then, as I was packing up some Christmas baking last weekend, I found the sticker from my lock (combination faded but still there) on the bottom of a tin I used to display in my room when I was a teenager. Weird.

Those of you who knew me between the ages of 16 and 19 know that at such a point in my life I was quite attached to a certain band. Or at least a certain lead singer of a certain band. Now, you must understand, I did not put up posters of Jonathan Taylor Thomas in my bedroom when my peers did. I did not hold hands with immature cootie-carriers in junior high. I was the mature one with the ridiculous standards. And then I met Toby Penner, the older, fantastically gifted and completely-oblivious-to-me musician. And he rocked my world. So while my friends were trying to find prom dates, I just lip-synched to Jake in my bedroom, fully planning to marry the guy one day.

Yeah. Times change.

I’m older. So is he. And Jake CDs are now merely nostalgia hugs on rainy days. But Toby has a YouTube channel, so I can continue to stalk him. In a less creepy way that I would have if such technology were around five years ago. With age comes wisdom. I now understand that he wasn’t really my Prince Charming; Reunion Records just made me believe he was. But his very existence helped protect me from the adolescent broken heart; he inspired me to spend late nights at my piano, figuring out simple chord progressions to journal entries that barely made sense; he furthered my belief that I would never have to settle for less than God’s best for me. And for that, I’ll always have a soft spot for Mr. Penner.

I also blame him for my orange pants. But no one’s perfect. Hey, love can make you dress like a pylon :)

So here’s Toby, reminiscing over the same days I now type of, sheepishly admitting to the very bubblegum pop that defined my seventeenth year.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

"High School Musical 2" vs. "Newsies"

High School Musical 2 is on right now. I’m totally sucked in. I won’t even pretend to be watching it for mere “cultural research.” It’s just pure sugary fun. I liken it to Newsies for the next generation, most likely because Kenny Ortega directed both of them (although no one actually watched Newsies until years after it was made. It’s more of a VHS/DVD phenomenon).

I completely get the Zac Efron thing. If I was 16, he’d be on my wall. Okay, probably not my wall, but I’d probably have a couple Seventeen magazines hiding in my room somewhere while I lip-synced to the soundtrack in front of my mirror. I only wish I was kidding.

A Tale of 2 Ortega Movies.

High School Musical 2


The Star

Zac Efron. Perfect Aldo hair. Rather sensational in Hairspray. Shot to stardom way too quickly. Pray for him.

Christian Bale. Arguably the Internet’s first star. Before major fan sites were old hat, he was bigger than the A-listers. A cult fave since the mid-'90s. And now Batman.

The Music

Catchy bubblegum pop. The soundtrack has been HUGE. And award-winning.

Rousing Disneyfied pop. The re-released soundtrack was selling more than Britney Spears on Amazon (when Spears was in her prime and it meant something).

The Fan Base

Smash hit. Even my brother could correct me on my “did they kiss or didn’t they?” trivia last weekend. Set viewing records on cable.

Cult hit. A guilty pleasure for my generation. And the one to follow. Not popular until VHS and DVD. Bombed at the box office.

That Solo

“Bet On It.” Zac gets to be all angsty and manly and dance by himself on a golf course. A departure from bouncy pop.

Santa Fe.” Christian gets to be all angsty and manly and dance by himself in a cowboy hat. A departure from bouncy pop.

The Kiss

Saved for the end. With music swelling, sprinklers going off, fireworks.

Saved for the end. He comes back for her. And the masses rejoice.

And now, for a visual comparison:
Zac in action:

Christian doing his thing:

Love live the Disney musical machine.

Friday, November 23, 2007

"Whatever Happened to Predictability?"

A couple of Entertainment Weekly “reporters” were given the challenge of watching the entire series (that’s eight seasons) of Full House in one sitting.

Here are excerpts from their Uncle Jesse marathon.

*I thought the pic was appropriate, as I've already had one Christmas dinner.
And I have two Christmas trees in my apartment. And I'm cold.

Question of the day: How do I get their job?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

It's time to move on.

A cute boy smiled at me today. Was it because I was super-cute and fetching? I wish. It was because I can't let go of my dysfunctional relationship with Bert (yellow umbrella). In the pouring rain, a twisted mass of canary-colored nylon sheltered half of me. Any smiles garnered from strangers were stifled laughs.

Fast forward to thirty minutes later.

I'm almost home. It's still pouring. A car swerves, hitting a deep puddle with remarkable precision. I am drenched. My new coat has a pretty fantastic dirty water pattern splashed across it. My jeans are now hanging to dry. And Bert, even more ravaged than before, is recovering in my bathtub.

I think it's time to start seeing other umbrellas.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Blog Outtakes.

I think about blogging quite often. In fact, I’ve started numerous blog entries that I’ve never bothered to post. My computer has saved drafts of both nonsensical babble and censored-by-me journal entries. The former I am sparing you from; the latter I am sparing myself from.

I will, however, share snippets of thoughts I’ve never posted. In no particular order.

Reading Into Things.

I've heard guys complain (numerous times) about girls reading into everything. Some are hesitant to compliment, go out for coffee, or even chat for very long for fear the girl will be planning their wedding in her head as they do so. Or interpreting "Wanna catch a movie?" as "I love you." And they do have a point. We're good at that.

But I think there's a much bigger problem (and I know I'm not alone on this one).

I read into me. Yep, that's right. When you say you like my haircut, I'm more likely to worry about how you might interpret my response to such a comment. At the end of a conversation, I'm replaying my own stupid answers or body language that might have misrepresented who I am. I regret sending emails, for fear that they're too business-like, too flirtatious, too all-round stupid. And this isn't just with guys I'm interested in. It's a guys-in-general thing.

Facebook Friends.

I haven't seen him since high school. Apart from the world of facebook/myspace, we are now strangers. I was 13, standing in his garage, listening to his band play. Now he owns his own production studio. And home. And makes hauntingly beautiful music. And we remain strangers.

In my head, she's still a rebellious teenager in a Nirvana shirt. In reality, she's a happy newlywed. I wish my head would catch up sometimes.

He came to my birthday party the summer before 2nd grade. I moved away at the end of 5th grade and haven’t seen him since. And now he works a block away from my office. I’m not sure how to catch up. Fourteen years is a long time.

She cried through drama class, bemoaning her PMS-induced hatred of high school. She was going to be a star. Today, she’s a burlesque dancer* in an open marriage.


A Lie for a Life?

She was hiding Jews behind her wall. When Corrie Ten Boom looked that soldier in the eye and said, "I don't know what you're talking about," was the lie a sin? And was it better to sin than to offer up the innocent to evil? Wouldn't the truth have been the greater evil? Perhaps she should have remained silent.


A few weeks ago, I was looked in the eye and thanked for my legacy. Pretty humbling. And empowering. I didn't know I had one.

I’m scary.

I terrified the girl upstairs. To the point of giving her a completely sleepless night. All I had to do was open the front door.

Just a Thought.

Sometimes an excellent first date can set the bar too high for the next guy.

Oozing Coolness.

I sewed a button on my coat while on the bus a while ago. I am officially the coolest person ever.

Meet the Blog.

At what point in a new friendship does one introduce the blog? Over time, I’ve become more hesitant to share this with non-bloggers, as it can contribute to rather lopsided relationships. I blog about me, my friend reads about me, I learn nothing about them. I have a non-blogging friend who doesn’t read blogs. She’d rather hear the story in person than intrude on the written thoughts of others. Or something like that.

More of the List.

I’d like to learn to play the guitar. It’s #52 on my list of things to do.

You’ve Got Nothing.

I check my email too often. Facebook only further aggravates my problem. And the high of receiving a message fades all too quickly, leaving me wanting more and more.

Quote of the Day.

C.J., a contestant on season three of Top Chef, is bewildered by women, particularly their love of a certain thin pancake.

“Girl power. If there was another Spice Girl, there’d be Crêpe Spice.”

So true.

Monday, November 12, 2007


  • Chuck just broke up with his fake girlfriend. Love that show. Speaking of fake relationships…
  • Ryan Gosling turned 27 today. Numerous coworkers pointed this out to me. It’s getting a little out of hand. Yet still quite amusing.
  • I think I should join a gym. My hour-long walks are already being compromised by inclement weather. And it will only get worse. I’m torn between Extreme Fitness and a local community centre.
  • I’m becoming a Wes Anderson fan. Go see The Darjeeling Limited.
  • The writers are on strike. Which means there will be more reality television. Which means I’ll be watching less TV.
  • A guy on the subway in New York saw the girl of his dreams. So he created a Web page to help find her. And it worked. The hopeless romantic in me is charmed.
  • Thanks, Michael, for pointing me to a study that has forever challenged my work ethic. An excerpt:
    A similar study conducted at Harvard University over a period of three years attempted to determine conclusively whether working was more productive than various different subsets of not working. The results showed across the board that working is 100 percent more productive than listening to music and checking e-mails, 100 percent more productive than meandering around the office socializing with coworkers, 100 percent more productive than playing online Sudoku, 100 percent more productive than watching YouTube videos of nostalgic childhood television programming, 100 percent more productive than reading celebrity-gossip blogs while chatting with friends on Instant Messenger, 100 percent more productive than napping, and 98.2 percent more productive than not showing up to work.
  • I chose to come straight home after work rather than run errands in the rain. The main reason? I have yet to replace Bert the Umbrella. It’s just too soon to move on.
  • Christmas starts for my family this Saturday. Which means Christmas baking starts in my apartment this week. So much fun.
  • Kendall Payne’s new album, Paper Skin, is hauntingly gorgeous. So vulnerable. CDBaby.com is where it’s at.
  • My sponsored child does not go to school. He dropped out after Grade 2 because of a distance issue. He's only 10. So sad.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Tragic & Lovely

"Nadine's crazier than Joel." Yes, I was recently introduced this way. And my brother Joel can be pretty fantastically crazy.

My theme song of late has been "I Am Slowly Going Crazy." For various reasons. And of varying degrees of madness. But I figured out a rather pretty chord progression for my version of the song, so I suppose it's worth it. And crazy can be fun. Or so I've heard.

A week or so ago, I sat on my bed and thought, "Is this my life?" It wasn't a complaint; I was merely trying to process the rather significant changes and events going on around me. "Tragic and lovely" is how I summed up my recent preoccupations to a friend. I've been both blessed beyond measure and quietly broken (well, the "quiet" part is probably quite subjective). Either is far better than feeling numb.

I was sitting in a cafe recently, chatting with an old friend. We were talking about nothing of major significance, yet the conversation felt hardly trivial. And I caught myself experiencing a new freedom. It was the oddest thing, being so aware of myself without the burden of self-consciousness. And for that brief moment, I wanted to stop time and just sit there forever, completely content with the woman I've become. And this friend is a rather spectacular individual; logic would dictate increased insecurity around such a soul. But no. "Maybe this is what it's like to feel beautiful," I thought, before slipping back into present space and time, and stepping out into the evening air.


It’s easy to complain about work. Or threaten to look for another job. And I’d be lying if I tried to pass off my work environment as a positive and supportive space 100% of the time. Because of this, it’s also easy to overlook the fun times. And so, in an attempt to be Little Miss Giggles, I shall share with you the recent fun times in the world of subtitling.

  • A coworker gave me a book: Geeky Girl: The Straight Scoop on the Well-Rounded Square. Thus far, I have learned that I need to know more about Star Trek, feminism, computer technology and knitting.
  • Post-Halloween candy run. We were too late, but Shoppers got our money anyhow.
  • Running into George Stroumboulopoulos at The Healthy Butcher. And totally ignoring him.
  • A closed-captioning friend Photoshopped my head onto Rachel McAdams' body so that Ryan Gosling’s arm was around me and not her (this was post-breakup news. Clearly, I was the reason for the demise of their relationship).
  • Playing Scrabulous.
  • Looking at bridal gowns online. A coworker’s sister is getting married and is welcoming feedback as she narrows down her choices.
  • Countless emails that evolve from serious grammar questions to giggly girl talk.
  • Sharing hair stylists and dentists.
  • Researching Cobb salads and discovering that the ingredients in the one someone bought for lunch are wrong.
  • Changing the Wikipedia definition of chickpeas to include being poisonous.
  • The invention of a Walker, Texas Ranger drinking game. And no, people don’t generally drink while on the job. But it’s fun to speculate. The rules below are copied from a long email thread going around yesterday. You have to take a drink every time:
    • Walker comforts a child by saying, "When I was your age, my father told me a story about a young Indian boy..."
    • Walker punches someone (not dropkicks).
    • Walker uses his magical Walker-sense to "feel" something out.
    • Walker acts like an asshole [not my choice of language – don’t judge] to Trivette, who laughs it off as if they were best friends.
    • The Cherokee are shown to have magical powers.
      • Drink two if it's a different "mystical" culture, like the re-incarnated Buddhist lama who can cause plants to grow and heal his wounds.
    • Walker visits the state prison, and it's suggested out loud and in the prisoners' reactions that Walker has put every single one of them in there.
    • Walker goes undercover.
      • Two if it's as a different ethnic race.
    • When a major backstory is introduced in Walker's life, like, five seasons into the show, and it just has never come up before. Ex. that he was engaged to be married, and she was assassinated.
    • When we meet a character we've never heard of before, but who Walker is BFF with.
      • Two if the character dies before the opening credits.
    • C.D. tells someone not to worry about Walker, who has gone missing.
    • C.D. tells someone not to worry about Walker who is undercover doing a strange job because it just so happens Walker has work experience doing the very same task.
      • Two if it was "just after he got out of the Army."
    • Walker must jump out of a closed window and yet somehow doesn't have a scratch or cut on him when he's done.
      • Two if it's any storey above the first.
      • Three if there's also a fireball following him.

I love those days when work doesn’t feel like work.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

More Life

She’s still alive.

I have a new friend.

She now knows Jesus.

And miracles are happening.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Scary Mary

It's Halloween. And this is scary. Enjoy.

Thanks, Dad, for introducing me to such cinematic brilliance quite some time ago. I'll never look at the classics the same way again.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Goodbye, Bert.

I didn’t see it coming. For 10 months, I believed we were happy. He was there on the dreariest of mornings, on the blusteriest of afternoons. He was my protector, my shelter.

And this weekend, without warning of any kind, Bert the Umbrella decided he’d had enough. Giving me no chance to repair whatever strain he was under, he abandoned our relationship and gave himself up to the wind and the rain.

Perhaps I’m not meant for long-term relationships. I was so desperately hoping to celebrate our one-year anniversary this coming December. Instead, I shall wallow in my sogginess, alone.

Upon recovering from the dissolution of what was once so beautiful, I will host a screening of Singin’ in the Rain in his honour. Nothing heals a damp soul like a serenade from a dead boyfriend.

Thank you, Bert, for 10 months of meteorological adventures. I will never forget you, my first yellow umbrella.

Life [Continued]

She is still alive.

She knows she’s loved.

God is in control.

Monday, October 22, 2007


We had lunch last month.

We went to the same high school.
We went to the same church.
We went to the same youth group.

We were never really friends.
We just didn’t connect.
We lived in different worlds.

There was a message on my phone this evening.

She lost the baby.
She has full-blown AIDS.
She has three days to live.

I don’t know what to feel.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Grammar Woes

The above video is a snapshot of my daily life. Seriously.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Games Children Play

I’ve had this song in my head for two days now. I’m not sure why, seeing as I don’t own any Edwin McCain music nor is he getting much radio play these days. But it’s there. I sat down at my piano this evening, only to end up playing the chorus. Yeah, I’m an Edwin-channeler.

I will admit that I happen to find his voice rather perfect. More so even than Bebo’s. Yeah, it’s probably a good thing I don’t know the guy, as I’d probably have to marry him if I did. And all he’d have to do is sing “Make me bacon” and I’d do it. And if he sang it while playing his guitar, I would kill the pig myself.

Anywho, at times like these, when a song is endlessly looping in my brain, I play the game my young cousins taught me.

This is how you play:

When you have a song stuck in your head, sing or hum it aloud. Preferably around numerous people. You get a point every time you hear someone else sing or hum it. Essentially, the whole object is to spread the song. That’s it. Super simple. And no one else needs to know you’re playing. It’s a sneaky game.

To warn you, it’s a slightly boring game when you live alone.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

"Punched Before Eating"

I like food. And up until today, I was unaware of a certain hazard to eating.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

One Bus Ride

The following is an account of one bus ride from Toronto to Kitchener. Armed with old CDs and a notebook, I spent my Friday afternoon squished in a packed bus, scribbling down the trivial thoughts that rattle around in my head.

Here we go.

  • There’s a guy sitting across the aisle and one row in front of me. The brim of his hat is curled upward; his hair is a mop of unruly spirals. He opens his laptop, flashing his Christopher Lee-as-Dracula wallpaper. Then he turns on Goonies. I’m distracted, even though the film is silent.
  • The woman next to me is sleeping, so I don’t have to feel guilty for ignoring her.
  • I have a soft spot for Corey Feldman. Thanks to A&E.
  • I start playing Twenty, a Reunion Records 20th anniversary compilation CD I haven’t listened to in years. It’s really too bad that the band Daily Planet didn’t have any longevity.
  • The Goonies guy is silently laughing.
  • Everyone around me is reading, but I can’t make out a single title. I’m always looking for a kindred spirit in literary tastes.
  • Rich Mullins. So sad. I miss him. (Always wear your seatbelts, kids).
  • Josh Brolin is snarling in his red bandana. I’m distracted again. And Sean Astin: Goonies + Rudy + LOTR = perfect career.
  • Why do I always expect Jerry O’Connell to be in Goonies? Sheesh. It’s not Stand By Me.
  • “The passion that ignites us all.” I see this on a Maple Leafs banner. I agree with it. A passion for or against. Bring up the Leafs and you’ll get a passionate response on way or another (or a passionate “I hate hockey.”)
  • Why isn’t he watching with the subtitles on? This is a time when my work would seem meaningful and important.
  • “Consuming Fire.” Isn’t that the music video with Third Day playing their electric guitars in a large body of water? They should have called in “Consuming Electrocution.” I love Max Powell’s voice. Some don’t, but those people aren’t my friends.
  • What would happen if I started lip-syncing on the bus? Or rocking out on air guitar?
  • A baby is crying. Note to self: When you have a baby, buy a car. Oh, but he’s so cute. And now smiling. The baby is in front of the Goonies guy. Not I’m doubly distracted.
  • I skip Kathy Troccoli. Too pageanty. I feel like I should wear a tiara and spin around slowly.
  • Wes King’s more like it. I can play “I Believe” on the piano. Three chords. Four for the chorus. I feel old. I loved this song when I was 11.
  • We pass Ikea. The toy store for grownups. I still need shelves. And a house to go with them.
  • Clay Crosse. I used to think he was cute (again, when I was 11). “Comes down to a man dying on a cross saving the world.” I need to host a mid-‘90s CCM dance party.
  • We pass the building for LavaLife.com. Hmm…No freaking way.
  • There’s a cute guy beside the Goonies guy. He just put his book away. Now he’s watching something on his laptop. Stupid glare. I can’t see what he’s watching.
  • All Star United. I now feel 12, rather than 11.
  • The new objective of this ride is to figure out what the guy besides Goonies guy is watching.
  • Gary Chapman. I own a cheesy Amy Grant Christmas special on VHS that he costars in. I saw him open for her in 1995. I still strongly identify him with his ex, which weirds me out a little. Maybe I’ll skip this too.
  • Jake. I was going to marry Toby. I’m only half joking. “Believer” is the song playing in the bathroom in Left Behind during Kirk Cameron’s conversion. Still a soft spot (for the band, not the bathroom).
  • Pipes are bursting (Goonies).
  • I switch the CD to Bebo Norman. Love him (not in a Jake way, though). Lyrically gorgeous. So honest and uncontrived. Kind of folksy rock, I guess. I could listen to him forever. So I probably will.
  • The guy beside the Goonies guy put his computer away. I’ll never know what he was watching. I guess I’ll never be a private investigator.
  • Traffic has slowed. You’d think it was a Friday during rush hour or something.
  • I believe the Goonies may have discovered some treasure.
  • “Great Light of the World.” I want to curl up on my bed and listen in the dark. But I’m on a bus.
  • The Baby Ruth subplot (Goonies). Doesn’t it always come down to chocolate?
  • “I would give my soul just to look at you…. If you found my heart, would you run it dry? Break it all apart just to run and hide?” Again, he’s too honest for standard lighting. The CD needs a good candle.
  • Now it’s “Long Way Home.” No kidding.
  • I see NDP signs. Um, they better collect those pronto. I believe there are laws that dictate how long they can stay up after an election. And I’m pretty sure their time is running out.
  • The baby is crying again. I understand.
  • Now they’ve found the real treasure.
  • We’ve stopped in Cambridge. Which would be awesome if my parents lived in Cambridge. They don’t. I stay on the bus.
  • “So Afraid.” A.K.A. Nadine’s theme song. Perfect. I’m too lazy to write out the lyrics. Maybe one day….
  • We pass the Canadian Honey Ham Factory. I am learning so much today. I now know where to get honey ham.
  • A coworker visited St. Jacobs a while ago. She was weirded out by the open green spaces. I was weirded out by her.
  • We pass Wal-Mart. I think of Nathan. Which is like seeing a McDonald’s and thinking of vegans. Which I do.
  • Goonies make-out session. No wonder my parents were careful about what I watched. I could be a tramp right now had they not shielded my eyes from such vulgarity.
  • I really should adapt Trixie Belden books into movies. Like Goonies for girls. Not really.
  • Bebo: “You came sailing back to me.” I’d like to go sailing. And maybe I’ll come sailing back to someone. Although I’d rather go sailing with someone instead.
  • A Kitchener water tower.
  • CD switch again. Smitty (Michael W. Smith to those who don’t know him as well as I do). I’m having a nostalgic ride, listening to stuff I haven’t played in ages.
  • “You’re my best invention.” There ARE subtitles in Goonies. Well, the translated stuff, anyway.
  • Another Goonies make-out session. Sure, they survived. Not worth kissing Josh Brolin over. (I jest. She was probably paid a lot for the movie. I’d kiss him if Spielberg told me to).
  • Best Smitty lyric: “But I could never live in a yurt on a diet of Mongolian barbecue.”
  • I trip from Toronto to Kitchener = one viewing of Goonies. Exactly.
  • Is it wrong that I know the three-part harmonies to “Love Me Good”?
  • I’m here!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Catching Up.

Since the last blog, I...
  • Slept on an air mattress. With a hole in it.
  • Ate a generous amount of pumpkin pie. A real lady would never reveal how much exactly.
  • Finished a Scrabble game quite spectacularly. And people were around to stroke my ego.
  • Explained the High School Musical nude-photo scandal to my younger cousins (They brought it up, I swear).
  • Learned that Andrew Shue of Melrose Place fame went on to play professional soccer.
  • Called my dinner at the Korean BBQ with coworkers "my hot date with raw meat." Someone thought that "raw meat" was what I call my boyfriend. Not to self: Be more selective with word choices.
  • Consumed massive quantities of meat (mentioned above).
  • Voted. In the rain.
  • Did laundry. In the rain.
  • Made a rather fantastic roast beef, cheddar and spinach sandwich. On a dark rye bun.
  • Learned that Dane Cook made $9 million last year. For being unfunny. I made significantly less. For being hilarious.
  • Considered buying Kelsey Grammer's house. Check out that library. How I pine.
  • Wore a spring outfit on a cold fall day. And froze.
  • Was told I should work for Harlequin. I would consider it if they'd let me get rid of the Fabio-esque covers. And the majority of the content within those covers.
  • Decided that the following spontaneous poem (from Waitress) would probably not woo me successfully. Especially the odor part: "If I had a penny for everything I liked about you, I would have many pennies. A penny for your teeth, a penny for your nose, a penny for your eyes, a penny for your hair, your navel. A penny for your odor. A dollar for your heart."

My dad blogged about Thanksgiving. I'll let him tell you about it instead of rewriting the same stuff.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Thoughts Before Thanksgiving (aka A Slow Workday)

  • Ryan Gosling slays me. The guy has been showing up at premieres of Lars and the Real Girl in the tackiest/most awesome grey suits ever. With a scruffy beard and some extra weight to enhance his dapperness. He's playing the father of a teenager in his next film, which probably explains why he doesn't want to be all lanky and teenybopper hot. I would watch his movies if he grew an arm out of his chin, that's how brilliant the man is.

(All pics per teamsugar gallery)

  • Anyone catch the pilot of Pushing Daisies? It's kind of like watching Tim Burton's Big Fish in episodic form. But maybe more charming. And so innocent and chaste (For good reason. Touch the cute guy and you're dead. That's reason enough to hold my own hand instead of his). Pure delight. Essentially, Ned, a pie baker, has the gift/curse of being able to bring dead things/people back to life with one touch. If he touches them again, they're dead forever. And if he lets them live for more than a minute, someone else will drop dead to balance things out. And naturally, he just raised his childhood sweetheart from the dead. So he can never touch her. Ever. Brilliant. And Anna Friel is sooo the British Zooey Deschanel. With an American accent, ala House. Her name is Chuck, which officially makes Chuck the name of the year. Watch it. It's the best new show of the season. Even better than Chuck. And ceramic monkeys are involved, so you really can't go wrong.


  • I had the opportunity to use the phrase "fecoventilatory collision" in an email at work today. Oh, how I amuse myself.
  • I am no longer capable of making decisions. I was at the dentist's yesterday, and was given the choice between two different night guards (I'm a clencher, as I've already established). I couldn't choose. I was near tears. So I went with her recommendation, paid about a weeks' salary, and left with major buyer's remorse. And I don't even get the thing until next week. Seriously, people. I was near panic attack. And they say stress is the trigger for clenching in the first place. Maybe I should quit my job and become a shepherd. My parents would approve. My dad likes sheep.
  • John Steinberg likes my new haircut. And John Steinberg happens to be one of Toronto’s top hair stylists. This is a very big deal. To me, anyway. I also believe that every workday should end with a scalp massage.
  • I am not an impulse shopper. In fact, I’m so good at not shopping, that I can talk myself out of buying things that I need. But today was different. I was browsing in Chapters when I noticed the display wall. “What’s this? A new Douglas Coupland? Why have I not heard of it?” Naturally, I checked it out. The Gum Thief. Very exciting. What makes it even more exciting is that it was 30% off. And it was autographed. That’s right, folks. Try to contain your jealousy.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The Stuff of Life

  • This is Vegetarian Awareness Month. Now that I am aware of vegetarians, I think I need to go eat bacon. Wrapped around chicken. (Sam, if you're reading this, I kid. You're my favourite vegetarian. For you, I would make fake bacon).

  • Do you dream? In colour? Do you remember your dreams? If so, you're more likely to clench your jaw when you sleep. So never stick your finger in my mouth when I'm sleeping. I will clamp down and never let go. And then I will judge you harshly for being the kind of creep who sticks fingers into peoples' mouth. What is wrong with you? And how did you get into my apartment?

  • I'm not sure if it's an inheritance or a hand-me-down, but I am now the proud possessor of my grandma's evening bag collection. Including a fuchsia satin clutch with matching gloves. And a glittery silver clutch not unlike ones featured in InStyle magazine. And a black suede handbag. And a sequined one. Someone invite me to a gala. Please.

  • Chuck is still my boyfriend. It’s been two weeks, and we’re still going strong.

  • I arrived at work this morning slightly damp and chilled. And then I froze. Some really smart and handsome person (sarcasm on both notes, as no handsome person would do such a thing) on the night shift cranked the air conditioning to 17 Celsius. "That's it, I quit," I thought to myself. But unemployment does not pay the bills. And then I would be cold all the time.

  • I went to the mall yesterday to buy a jacket, but came home with sponges and Febreze. The last time I went shopping for jeans, I bought frying pans. A disturbing trend is beginning to emerge. Soon, I will be wearing rags in my clean and domestically fabulous apartment.

  • It had been quite some time since having a decent conversation with a stranger at the bus stop. This morning, I met a photographer who used to live in Berlin. His girlfriend speaks five languages. He has a dog. He's lived all over the country, and has great ideas about improving public transit. And he thinks I have a great job.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Roses, Copyright Infringement and June Cleaver.

Who needs the Eiffel Tower when you’ve got the TTC?

There was a man at the top of the escalator in the subway. He was alone, waiting for someone. He held a single red rose.

My imagination went into full-on epic-romance mode, casting Richard Gere and Debra Winger in the story of this man’s life. Was there about to be a passionate reunion? Would he scoop her up and carry her out of the station? Or was he waiting for a mysterious stranger? Was it a Sleepless in Seattle moment, two people in love who are about to meet face-to-face for the first time? Or maybe it’s more You’ve Got Mail. Note to self: Fire Richard Gere and call Tom Hanks.

Later, as I sat on the subway, I saw a woman sitting by herself. She was carrying a white rose.

I’d like to retire. Tomorrow.

I gave myself a five-day weekend (which helps to explain my absence from this blog and all things technological). It was much needed. I needed a break from my life. At one point on Thursday, I was lamenting that I’m full of concepts, but lacking in plot details. I have so many openings for novels and screenplays in my head, but I have no idea how to develop them.

Fortunately, I have a brother with a ridiculous brain full of random stories, culinary innovations (none of which he would actually be able to produce -- or choose to consume), inventions and new words. So he took one of my ideas and ran with it. And kept running. Somehow a small drama about my favorite mystery neighbor (“Boy Behind the Wall” to those who love him) became Die Hard 5. I kid you not.

Later this weekend, I was at my grandma’s, chatting with my 12-year-old cousin who wants to be a writer. And I told her about my idea. And she stole it. She thinks we’re in some sort of race to write the same story. I have a feeling hers will have aliens and dragons in it. All the same, I hope hers falls flat. I wouldn’t want to have to sue a 12-year-old over the rights to my story. It might make Thanksgiving a little awkward.

There’s a cow in my sugar.

I have now contributed to the steaming of one fabulous Christmas pudding. For those of you who don’t enjoy ingredient spoilers, stop reading now. For the rest of you, prepare yourselves. There are potatoes and beef suet in Christmas pudding. Yes, the very pudding that’s full of figs and raisins and candied fruit peel has major animal fat in it. I felt like I was in a Friends episode, channeling Rachel, accidentally layering beef and peas into my trifle. But I shall eat it anyway. And enjoy it immensely. And tell all my little cousins how gross it is so I can have more. And eventually, I’ll take over this part of my family’s Christmas tradition, slightly obsessing over the Leave it to Beaver Christmas I shall impose on the ones I love.

Speaking of food, I should go make tomorrow’s lunch. Shoot. Now I’m signing off as if this is an email, not a blog. I suppose I could go further and treat this as a phone conversation with family.

I love you. Good night.

Monday, September 24, 2007

I Heart...

3:10 to Yuma

*as recommended by the formidable Michael Lewis

Two thumbs up. Two awesome actors equally matched. A shoot-‘em-up Western with character development. Here’s to the beginning of an exciting movie season. Cheers.


So quotable. “Pedal safe.” So adorkable. Major heart. And Zac Levi (above) hearts Jesus.


I’ve been walking everywhere. More than an hour a day. Late September is amazing.

Dark Chocolate

My recent drug of choice. It gets me through the day. And keeps my heart healthy.

Christmas pudding

This may seem a little out of season, but I’m going to learn to make Christmas pudding at my grandma’s this coming weekend. You have no idea how thrilling this is. I will be the next Martha Stewart. Promise.