Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!!!

We are doing some epic Halloween type things- stay tuned to see all the ghoulish stuff we created. My costume is almost finished and it's time for our Halloween party!! What are your plans for Halloween?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I'm not dead...

I have just been really busy. My schedule for work is a bit unbalanced so I was working a lot last week. I've had some time off and that has been used to frantically prepare for Halloween. I am really excited! Asia doesn't really do Halloween so it's been awhile since I really celebrated it. Steph is hardcore into stuff like I am so we're being pretty ambitious. Maybe it will backfire? Anyway, look forward to some updates about our Halloween tasks soon!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Missing Korea...

It's my only day off this week so I decided to use it to the fullest and try my hand at making gimchi jjigae at home. I trucked off to the Asian supermarket in order to find some of the ingredients and managed to come home with all sorts of goodies. In this picture: lots of gimchi, gochujang, ssamjang, red pepper flakes, Pocari Sweat, 2% peach drink, Lotte choco pies, sticky rice buns, galbi marinade, green onions and tofu.

Korea has been on my mind a lot. I feel like a torn person. I love being in Canada and that my family and friends are here. However, I loved being in Korea too. There was adventure, friends and a pretty sweet job. I had lunch with Diane this week and she asked me about jobs and I said that I wished I could have my job in Korea here. No, I don't want to be a teacher- I want to be an EFL teacher to adorable Korean children. I couldn't handle the lack of respect and all of the extra work that actual teachers have to do (much respect to them!). I liked the fact that the parents and I didn't share a common language and I loved how industrious, curious and dedicated my students were.

Lately I've been talking a lot about Korea to a particular client at work. He seems honestly fascinated about Korea and can't wrap his mind around the differences between there and here. He was shocked to hear what the population is and how most people live in apartments. Almost every night he asks me questions and so I talk and talk and talk and miss and miss and miss. I haven't been keeping in touch with my Korean friends as well as I should. I think I am avoiding it because it makes me sad that I can't be there with them. I look back at my Little Brown Blog and I get really sentimental. Sure, things weren't perfect there but nothing is perfect and it was really awesome. The jjigae tasted really authentic and was even better with some chamchi (tuna) mixed in. Another culinary success!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


I read an interesting article about the purpose of dreaming in Psychology Today not too long ago. It was by Jay Dixit and was called "Night School". It talked about a new theory which says that we dream in order to rehearse and prepare ourselves for situations. "Dreams are a training ground in which animals and people alike go over the behaviors that are key to their survival."

This actually makes sense to me, more so than any Freudian or Jungian theories. It also explains why the vast majority of my dreams are frightening. I shall be the most prepared person if a psychopath starts chasing me with a knife since I've been through that dream a million times.

I always thought that dreams gave your brain an opportunity to sort things out. Which is why someone I'd been thinking of or something I watched would show up in my dream that night. What about people who don't remember their dreams? Do they still get the benefits of the rehearsal? I suppose it would be subconscious.

What do you think? Do you remember your dreams? Does dreaming help prepare us for real life crisis? What about those dream books that tell you what a certain item in your dream is supposed to represent?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Under the Weather

I haven't been really sick but I've felt run down for almost a week now. Sort of like I have a constant sleep deficit even though I'm sleeping a lot. As a result I stayed in most of the weekend. Lucky for me, Mom made some of her world famous chicken noodle soup and some homemade buns to go with it. It was perfect timing! I've got a hard work week coming up so hopefully this will sustain me!

Celebration Dinner!

On Saturday night we went out for dinner with Mom, Tom and Steph. We'd already planned on going out earlier in the week but since we'd just found out the good news about Matt's LSAT score, it was more like a celebration dinner. Being the classy, sophisticated lawyer-to-be he is, Matt ordered a cheese burger and a huge beer. The ladies shared a really fabulous bottle of shiraz and a good time was had by all! We also shared a massive dessert at the end of the meal which was yummy but terribly difficult to eat. Somehow we managed. We're just that determined.

A Dirty Little Secret

I think it's time that I came out and said it. I hate Family Guy. Pretty much everyone I know seems to like this show but I just don't get it. I have never liked it. I remember the first time I watched it I was in university and some friends had it on. Besides being totally obnoxious and offensive, the writing is sloppy and it's just loud. It's the epitome of an "American cartoon", if by American you mean the stereotype that all Americans are loud and ignorant.

It turns out that I'm in good company for hating this show. Apparently the creators of the Simpsons and South Park also hate it. I can tolerate those shows but they aren't my first choice when I'm watching TV.

I think what it boils down to is that I'm not really crazy about TV. I just got out of the habit of watching it when I lived in Korea. I will watch it but I am usually not the person who turned it on. It just seems like a lot of noise to me. I like watching game shows, reality shows (Amazing Race, Biggest Loser, So You Think You Can Dance mostly), Friends, Lost... But I don't really follow any closely and I'm not sad if I miss them. I guess this is a good way to be although it usually means I just spend more time surfing the internet.

Anyway, I just had to let it out. I hate this show. It goes beyond irritating me and I now have started to refuse to watch it. Even hearing the theme music makes my skin crawl! Open your eyes people! This is a substandard excuse for entertainment. You can do better!

Sunday, October 18, 2009


I just wanted to quickly shout out to the world how brilliant my honey is! He received his LSAT score back this weekend and scored in the 95th percentile! He worked so hard and there is no one who deserves it more! I knew he could do it! Now let's just cross our fingers that it's enough to get him into the U of A so we don't have to move. Mainly we need to hope that they will consider this score instead of the first score (which wasn't terrible but wasn't this good). Most places take the highest score, however, the U of A averages them. Grrr! Anyway, raise your glass and join me in a toast to Matt!

A Special Gift

Look at this cool present our friend Donna brought Matt and I back from Iceland. It's a stone egg! If I can't be traveling then the next best thing is getting presents from people who are. It was made by a really famous Icelandic artist. Here's their website.

The story behind it is that Icelandic people believe that there are little "trolls" lurking behind the scenes. This egg has a couple of those trolls on them. I guess the trolls could be compared to fairies or angels. Since Matt and I are definitely angels (or trolls, if you prefer) this egg reminded her of us. Isn't that just the coolest?!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Review: The Year of the Flood

It's no secret that I love Margaret Atwood. She is my favorite author and I collect everything that she has written. I've read pretty much everything (including poetry) she's written (well, not the new economic book or the book about writing). I was ridiculously excited to hear she had a new novel coming out and I bought it the day it came out.

I liked it. I didn't love it. I think I would have liked it more if I had reread Oryx and Crake first (which I loved) since the two books are connected. I also didn't know they were connected and since I have the memory of a goldfish when it comes to literature it took me half of the book to realize that the books were connected. Yes, I know this is pathetic. So what ended up happening was me reading this book having a nagging sensation that I'd read it before and then realizing that was because it was connected to Oryx and Crake.

In case you haven't read Oryx and Crake, The Year of the Flood is a dystopic novel that shows us a future where a horrible disease has wiped out most of humankind and the people left behind are in rough shape. It also shows us what things were like before the "waterless flood" (what the religious group God's Gardners called the plague) and things were not good. It's a world where genetic splicing, cloning and plastic surgery are favorite pastimes and the environment is a mess. A new fast food chain, Secret Burgers, is popular since meat of any kind is fairly rare. The burger is meat but it's tough to say what kind. Basically it's a hellish, sad place and yet, so many of the details aren't that big of a stretch from where we're at now.

If you've never read an Atwood book, you need to. Maybe start with Oryx and Crake before you tackle this one. Now I just need to sit down and read her new poetry book!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Another Attempt at Cooking

I had the Tuesday after the Thanksgiving weekend off from work so I decided to try using the crock pot again. This time I tackled beef stew and made some baking powder biscuits to go along with it.

I had fabulous ingredients since Mom had loaded us up with fresh potatoes, carrots and beets from her garden. I bought some nice beef and trimmed it carefully. The stew turned out pretty good- it tasted nice. I should have added the potatoes later so they weren't annihilated and the beets made the whole thing pretty red. Oh well. The biscuits were nice but pretty filling. I used half whole wheat flour and half regular when making them. I also substituted skim milk for regular and margarine for butter.

It was an especially good idea since the weather was crappy outside. I am glad that the snow is finally gone but I am sure it will be back soon.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


This is really late and I have been slacking in the blog department. I am not sure what my problem is but it's possible I have been fighting off a cold. This has resulted in me feeling extremely run down and unmotivated.

Thanksgiving weekend was fantastic. We went to my Dad's on Saturday and had a massive ham dinner and played a lot of Balderdash. Leah finally got to meet my family (I mean, I've only been with Matt a decade so it was about time). On Sunday we went to the local fire station for a pancake breakfast. It was probably the nicest pancake breakfast I've ever been to since it included eggs, hash browns, bacon and sausage, a fruit and cheese platter, numerous kinds of juices and Tim Horton's coffee. I think Leah was charmed by the small town atmosphere.

After the pancake breakfast we headed over to my Mom's house. She did the turkey meal this year with all of the Ukrainian food favorites. To clarify, we actually aren't Ukrainian, we just like the food and there are a lot of Ukrainian people in our area. As usual, the crowning glory was the pumpkin pie! I'm drooling a little thinking about it.

We played more games at Mom's house and watched some TV. Basically we just relaxed a lot. The next morning she made this amazing cinnamon cake thing and had a bunch of fresh fruit for breakfast. So delicious! How did everyone else spend their Thanksgiving?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Up here in Canada it is Thanksgiving weekend. I was browsing through my massive list of channels (having TV is so weird sometimes) and I found this little gem. I know they have them (with just the fireplace) around Christmas but I didn't realize they did it for other holidays too. Isn't that turkey dangerously close to the fireplace?!

Anyway, I have taken a couple days off work (which means I have 4 days off in total with my regular days off) and I am headed to see my family for the weekend. I hope that everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving! Take the time to reflect on all the fabulous things in your life. Oh, and eat a lot of pie!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


I need to update some more. Life has been getting in the way. Matt is busy using up the desk space in our room on a new art project. I've been working, reading and catching up with friends. It's been tiring but mostly positive stuff. Expect some more posts soon. I finally finished one of my half finished books! I'm getting discouraged though with my reading progress...

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Noraebang Pictures!

I made a really quick slide show because my computer is acting up and I am lazy and should go to bed. It's a bit cheesy (the theme) but we had such a good time singing! I can't wait to go again!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

New Necklace

Here's the necklace I bought. Isn't it pretty? It's an old locket revamped by Blue Tree Studios. I also picked up a pamphlet about Stitch & Bitch. Maybe I should learn how to knit? I am sure everyone was desperately wanting a scarf for Christmas, right?

Friends, Farmer's Market, Fun!

I love this time of year and I really love how my life is coming together these days. My job is going pretty good, I adore my apartment and the people who live with me and I have old friends resurfacing daily. Lucky, lucky me!

Friday was a long, busy, fantastic day. I worked from 7-3 and got a lot accomplished. Then I immediately went shopping and bought some things I really needed (like pants since it is getting pretty cold). I went home and picked up Bryn on the way. We hung out while Matt cooked us an epic Indian feast from scratch (Steph ended up over and had some too). With the kitchen in shambles we rushed out to the Princess Theatre and caught the late showing of the Invention of Lying (Hilarious! Love!) and then came home, cleaned up and fell fast asleep.

Saturday we got the burnt out headlight fixed on the Kiester before heading over to the Farmer's Market to meet up with Carole and Severin. I can't even remember the last time I saw Carole. She's doing fabulous and I really missed her. I loved all of the fall colors and foods at the market. We bought some amazing spanakopita, butter tarts, blackberries, gimchi and kettlecorn. There was a craft show going on so we explored that and I picked up a pretty, new necklace. We checked out an open house for a new wellness clinic and enjoyed some free juice and snacks. Finally we had a bite to eat at the Artisan's Resto-cafe. Excellent!

After saying goodbye to Carole, I decided to bake some peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. Donna came by for a visit and offered some moral support. The cookie dough was insanely amazing but the cookies ended up burnt, despite all my efforts. I have a few theories as to why this happened- I used natural peanut butter (which is a lot more oily), the temperature/time instructions for the recipe may have been off or maybe my oven is insanely hot? I don't know. The last couple pans were less burnt so I did try to fix the problem. I seriously baked one pan of them for 5 minutes! Insanity!!!

Later in the evening we started watching the season opener for the Oilers. They fought a mighty battle but lost at the last minute to the Flames. I was so sad!! We watched the last half of the game at a noraebang (Korean karaoke) place. It was so much fun but the song selection was a tad random and we had to write down all of our requests by hand. This led to us forgetting what we'd chosen (which was sort of hilarious) and meant we had less control overall. Apparently there are two other noraebang places in the city so I intend to check them out at some point and figure out which is the best. I have to say that this place (Now & Us) has huge rooms and an adorable owner! Basically Saturday was also awesome! I love my time off so much!

We have nothing but great plans for Sunday, also. We're going to see some more friends and Bryn is making us chili and cornbread. To be continued!!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Name That Tune!

Tuesday nights at Room at the Top (a bar at the U of A) they have a Name that Tune contest. Steph has created a team and has been going pretty consistently. I work a lot of Tuesday evenings so I'm not usually available but I was this week! She had really talked me up which turned out to be an epic fail but it was a lot of fun. I did contribute (a lot more than Matt or Sev did!) but I learned that my musical knowledge is pretty selective. I know a lot of music but most of it isn't mainstream and therefore probably won't turn up as a question. Hahah! I did get the Hawksley Workman song right away though! Our team put up an admirable fight, however, we were thwarted with a few terrible categories and ended up in 4th place (out of 7). The saddest part was that we lost to our rivals! Curses! I vow to brush up on Top 40 stuff and redeem myself after Thanksgiving weekend (when I have another Tuesday night free). We're always looking for new team members (even on a casual basis) so if you're interested let me know!