It’s clear that I’ve been rubbish at the catching up on blogging since the move/new job, but I remembered it’s Thursday before 10pm, so here’s this week’s TILT!!
I had ’em for dinner last night and MeShell over at Vegan in Your City has been posting about them.. I LOVE TACOS SO MUCH. Handheld satchels of goodness. It reminds me, I really gotta make Jackfruit ‘pulled pork’ for tacos again soon. I love tacos almost as much as GIR does..
Moving along on the food-related vein, I love that one of my favourite bakeries in Toronto now has a Kensington Market location! I swung by last night and picked up a box of goodies to celebrate their closeness to me now. Butter tarts, mini-pies, and a delicious muffin that I shared for breakfast this morning. Mmmm. Now what they need is some killer espresso machine action and seats on that patio space!
I love that I have a 4 day weekend coming up! That I have no plans or commitments for! So much chilling out, pottering in the apartment finishing settling in, hopefully getting out into the sun with Adam and Jake when we are all free together. Plus seeing some movies and hopefully finally finishing Orange is the New Black!
That’s what’s making me happy this week.. which reminds me, it should be time for a new Pop Culture Happy Hour episode soon – they wrap up each episode with a segment called “what’s making me happy this week” which is always lovely, and usually full of great recommendations for tv, music, books & comic books! Check it out.
The last couple of weeks have been a bit here and there as far as a routine for me. There hasn’t been much time for regular posts except maybe for the TILT ones. I think I will hold off on the Digital Dozens for the next little while to give myself some space to post about some other stuff in the meantime as inspiration strikes.
For instance, about.. Hot Docs!! One of my favourite film festivals. We didn’t get a pass this year because we couldn’t justify the time/money cost, but I’ll be seeing 4 films which I’m excited about. Tonight I’ll be going to see The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz. I may do wrap-ups as the festival goes, or one reivew post at the end. We shall see.
I love to drink hard cider. Especially as it’s warming up. And especially Angry Orchard, which we can’t find here in Ontario – so we drank a bunch while we were in Niagara Falls NY, and brought some home to Toronto! Mmmm. Apple ginger is my fave.
As much as I loved being away for the Gathering of Friends, it’s nice to be back at home in my own bed, my own space, with my wee family. Although I don’t think things will be any less busy for the next little while, I still have home as my oasis. The upcoming search for a new place to live come June stresses me a little in this respect, because there is imminent upheaval.. I just have to hope our new place will be as homey!
I love Apiecalypse Now bakery! It’s easy to on a Thursday, when they open for the weekend and are posting pictures of all the treats.. mmm. But also, I love that I can buy ready-meals from them that are made with care, that are delicious, have fun labels, and that also benefit some charities! Like the delicious BBQ soy ‘pulled pork’ I grabbed out of the freezer for sammies earlier this week – a portion of the proceeds went to sponsoring Joachim the pig at Cedar Row Sanctuary! If only I hadn’t missed all the Easter goodies last weekend. Read an awesome review over here.
What are you loving today, internet friends?
I hear that today is the UN International Day of Happiness. How fortuituous that it falls on a Things I Love Thursday. It’s also a nice reminder that sometimes it can be hard to be happy, and to find happiness in your life. I think doing TILT (almost) every week helps me do that to a certain degree, and remember how lucky I am, too. The Action For Happiness folks who are behind a lot of the International Day of Happiness have a good list of actions to pick from to help foster happiness in yourself and others, too. In addition, they have a resource page if you’re unhappy, which is helpful too (barring the UK-specific contact stuff).
So, what I am I happy about today? What makes me happy, how do I make others happy?
I love making people laugh. I’m not professional comedian funny, but I can throw out a joke/bad pun/goofy face to good results. Seeing my sense of humour light someone’s face up is something I love, and it definitely makes me happy – and it’s something that I need to focus on more often because it’s a good indicator of how my general mood is.
I love Pop Culture Happy Hour. They’re generally always talking about all sorts of interesting things, and the most recent episode I listened to – The Naked and the Nerds – was really great! Plus, the host Linda Holmes does a round-up at the end of every episode for the segment “What’s Making Us Happy” – which is always a varied and entertaining bunch of stuff, and it’s a good source of things to seek out, pop culturally! This week the graphic novel The Shadow Hero was mentioned, and the way Glen Weldon was talking about it made me add it to my list of ‘to read’ stuff right away!
At the end of April I’ll be finishing up my temp job, so I’m starting to find the nerve to look for something else. My friends helping me out with looking over job applications, and sending positions of interest my way! I am super freaked out about/terrible at job hunting, so it’s nice to have the support there to help me along. Plus my current boss looking over the applications too means a lot! What lovely people in my life.
Speaking of lovely people, I really must point out once again that I dearly love Adam, and I’m so happy that he’s in my life. When I’m finding it hard to push through the sads, he’s there for me – understanding and supportive. Things I Love Thursday isn’t something that follows me naturally throughout every day, but Adam can help me toward that a little more. That guy is the best guy.
I hope, dear reader, that you have happiness today, and every day!
Although I am pretty consistently posting stuff to Instagram, there are still always bunches of photos that collect themselves on my phone and never make it off until I think about doing something like a photo roundup. So here we go!
And now to finish with a few games that have hit the table (out of many) this year so far.
I’ve had a tough time motivating to make my ‘usual’ sorts of posts this last little while. I haven’t forgotten about my digital dozen posts, it’s just seemed like a lot of effort to curate them (I am hoping for one tomorrow though). And my efforts haven’t exactly been stellar for throwback Thursdays /Things I love Thursday either. It’s not to say i’m not still trawling my reader for neat things daily, getting nostaglic about the good old times through photos or being happy and thankful for things in my life big & small, I just haven’t had the mental energy to articulate blog-wise about ’em like usual.
However! I haven’t been totally absent, which is nice. I have kept up some content, albeit infrequently, and that’s good! It’s usually a total fall by the wayside for me and blogging. Hence the “I’m not sure what this is about but it’s something” sort of catch up.
Let’s think about recent times.. I hosted a bunch of wonderful vegan ladies for soup exchange (like a cookie exchange, but with jars of soup and way more practical and amazing for winter!) which was really just a lovely sort of potluck and hangout and a great excuse to have a solid pack of wonderful people packed into my apartment. I started back in therapy which I’m hoping will help me enter the new year with a better perspective and arm myself for the next few years of life now I’m settled here and figuring out what I want to do with myself. I’ve gone to the ROM for various reasons (member previews, late night events) and that’s been enriching the museum pocket of my soul (rather large and cavernous). Laughed my way through seats in the splatter zone of the Evil Dead Musical, which has finally come back to Toronto (so much fun!). Brunched at fancy-pants vegan restaurant Grasslands with a few vegan besties, the best way to spend a hungover Sunday morning. Saw the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special in the cinema with my gorgeous friend Jamie, among a crowd of Whovians. Attending the veg book club for the first time, with the added bonus of brunch and great company was wonderful. I’ve been playing lots of board games in general as well, obviously, but having a mini veg-folks game day was great also. Have enjoyed the first bits of winter peering over the horizon, too. Alas none of this recent times stuff involves crafting or creating, which I just gotta get on top of, or being more active/gymming more. Boo.
And among all of that there has been my family downtime, chilling out and recharging with Adam and Jake, nesting and being at home. It’s what I pin my sanity on and would be lost without it, really!
I had a trawl through my phone’s photo gallery to see what I might not have shared (or shared much) over the last bit, so here’s some pictures to wrap up. Thanks for staying tuned.
And have I mentioned it’s so friggin’ nice at this time of year?
And with that, I sign off!
I love that Adam’s cafe, Fahrenheit Coffee, has won Best Coffeehouse in NOW Magazine’s Best of Toronto reader’s poll! I am so proud of how skilled he’s become, and how he’s amassed a huge amount of knowledge and his passion for coffee has flourished. That he gets to do it in a quality workplace like Fahrenheit is fantastic. Just look at this beautiful cortado he made me a while back..
While I love playing the physical versions of board games, sometimes it’s nice to poke at your tablet and zoom through a game instead (and much easier for travel purposes!). Obviously I prefer it when developers include Android devices in their board game to mobile game ports – for selfish purposes, owning a Nexus 7 tablet – but I love that top quality ports are happening at all! (And sometimes I get to try them on Adam’s iPad). So I love seeing a great game – Lords of Waterdeep – getting what looks like a pretty great mobile version developed, by the looks of this brief video. It should be out soon, I’m hoping to give it a try!
Snail mail is one of my favourite things – especially postcards! Even those of you who know me in passing online have probably seen me post about my wall plastered with ’em. Beyond those little scraps of ephemera, I don’t really send or receive real snail mail letters anymore, just an occasional parcel for presents or something coming in that I ordered. (Or stuff like my recently received permanent residency card, and renewed ROM membership, exciting stuff to get!). So when MeShell posted about this pen pal program, I signed up not thinking of how rubbish I am at writing or being creative, and just hoping it turns out fun (and ignoring the part where I worry my pen pal won’t like me). Never in my life do I think I’ll reach the beautiful heights of letter writing as this, however.. I could eat up little sentences like ” I have never seen such an agreeable likeness of a hedgehog, and the volcano in the background is magnificent.”
I have also been trying to find love and delight in the small things – trying to start some new books, making movie plans with friends, looking forward to seeing the Evil Dead musical now it’s back on stage in Toronto. These little things should keep me buoyant until such time as the rest of my brain catches up with life.
There are few punk (/post-punk) bands I love more than Fugazi. I’ve been lucky enough to see some of my holy grail bands live – I saw the Saints not long before moving away from Brisbane, and a few years earlier had gotten to see Joe Strummer play (I knew it was never going to be the Clash, but it was still amazing). Fugazi are my #1 holy grail band that I would FLIP the fuck out and probably travel to see multiple shows for. One day..
I love being able to make a cup of tea right here in my office, because for some reason there’s a kettle in here. Proximity to caffeine = higher than ever.
Really love finally having my permanent residency card. Makes me feel like it’s properly real, now! And now it’s just a month or so til my provincial health insurance kicks in. Woo!
Horror movies! So good. Well, the good ones are really good (there’s a lot of bad ones). I love the genre, though. But before I was old enough to be allowed to go and rent all the 15+ rated horror movies, this was my go-to. I still love this movie to this day, don’t even try to tell me it doesn’t hold up.
And more than ever I really flippin’ love my mister. He’s a good ‘un.
Today was busy! Too busy to collect my thoughts. This evening has been all about just relaxing. So now as I head to bed, I’ll leave you with some things I loved this Thursday.
– Getting out to a farmer’s market I rarely visit, to pick up a little produce (organic kale, and garlic, whee!) & try what the Brixton Grill has to offer. I got a pretty delicious BBQ seitan sandwich and lathered it with more BBQ sauce plus sauerkraut and pickles. All in all pretty good except for slightly too-chewy seitan.
– Finally getting to visit Through Being Cool, Toronto’s newest vegan bakery. Their space is to die for! Beautiful store front, such a spacious area with hardwood floors and a gorgeous HUGE workspace in the back. I grabbed a donut (of course) and a pizza bun for lunch tomorrow. Can’t wait to get over that way again, Amanda’s worked hard on that place and is turning out incredible stuff. I’m still pretty sad a certain board game cafe stiffed her when she they’d said they’d stock her stuff. But now I can give my money straight to her!
– Having a moment to myself to just sit outside in the park at Dufferin Grove and watch bees floating about gathering pollen (above)
– I love Adam. It’s true of all days, but today I just feel extra specially aware of how lucky I am to have such a supportive partner by my side. I’ve been trying hard to reciprocate for him as he’s had a busy couple of weeks either side of our trip.
– My vegan posse (and extended circle of friends related to it) here in Toronto. What a super awesome bunch of people they are. I’m excited to spend Monday with quite a few of them celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving in a cruelty-free way with a massive potluck!
– I got the first little burst of motivation to get back to regular exercise yesterday thanks to my friend Cheryl. I’m so bloody sore today. But I hope it means I can find time in my schedule again for it like I so easily used to.
Until next time, Thursday!
Last weekend Adam & I hopped on VIA Rail and had a 4 day weekend away in Montreal. (Well, 2 and a bit days really, as the first day/night was staying with a colleague of Adam’s outside Montreal, and Monday was half travel anyhow.) It was awesome to get away, have a change of scenery, but I think we pushed ourselves a little much walking around. We should’ve taken a bit more time to sit and relax, because it’s really what the both of us needed; by the time we were checking out of the hotel on Monday all we wanted to do was sit about in a cafe. (Which is not a terrible prospect for coffee lovers.) (Sorry we were too exhausted for you, Mont Royal, various museums, most of Old Montreal.) (PS. The cafe was Cafe Myriade, and the coffee as outstanding, and not far from Crudessence/Green Panther/Cafe Verdure!).
What we did do was eat delicious food, drink (mostly) great coffee, and wander randomly to explore stores/parks/streets. And that’s what we like out of vacations, mostly! I guess I just wanted MORE vacation. Which is a pretty natural response when getting away – trying to find that fine line between just enough break and wanting the comfort of home. Next vacation will be all about the downtime and chilling out, I think! (Added bonus of this: not missing Jake the dog 100% of every day and having a pang every time you walk past someone else’s dog in the street.)
So, enjoy a selection of the photos from our trip, and if you want to see the rest I’ve uploaded, you can see my photoset on Flickr. I’ve included some links in the captions, too!
I look forward to visiting Montreal again someday soon, especially seeing as how much the coffee & vegan eats scene has improved since I first visited in 2004! But until then, hopefully onto some more Canadian destinations.