One year ago today, we went to pick up our special little guy from a Loyal Rescue foster carer. I can’t believe it’s our one year Jake-iversary! It’s been the best time having him in our lives. We still have some ways to go for his behaviour to fully settle down (and we’re still doing training with him) but we’re getting better at working with who the little guy is and what he needs. He’s been a real trooper with adjusting to our new apartment, and going into the summer with his sporting new hairdo I reckon he’s got another excellent year ahead. If you are able, please adopt a dog (or cat, or small critter!) who needs a home, just like Jake did, and your life will be better for it, as well as theirs.
You can read other updates I’ve written this past year through the Jake tag, too. Now, onto a slew of adorable photos (and a video!) because.. well, because Jake. ❤
Having been temporarily living in places that aren’t my home country since 2007, I’ve had to say more than my fair share of goodbyes to friends. I have a lot of wonderful people in my life outside where I’ve now settled down (and great folks here too!) – keeping in touch can be tough, but I know everyone that matters to me makes an effort, as I do. Sometimes there’ll be visits, no matter how fleeting. I haven’t seen my BFF since I was living in London in, but he’s still a part of my life & will always be – as much as the time difference between here & Australia is a pain. When you have people in your life whose company puts you at ease, who you feel comfortable around and who you love, they are your family and the distance can be a pain in the butt, but isn’t the end of the world.
But knowing this doesn’t make it any easier to say goodbye to a dear friend when you’re not sure when you’ll see them next. Brains and hearts are strange in that way. I’ve known Candice for a couple of years now – we met doing baking magic at a board game cafe and got along like a house on fire. A new friend at work slowly became a fast friend in life, seemingly effortlessly. That’s the kind of thing that makes you know you’ll know someone for many years. Through the board game nights, hanging out on patios, mutually experienced work woes/good times/dancing in the kitchen, playing Talisman and drinking with our friend Fiona, talking nonsense on the couch at the end of a party to the bemusement of onlookers, how wonderful it was to see the art she made, shouting Lemongrab-ian quotes at each other, and all of the times she would listen when I needed her to – that’s a damn fine friend. Without question.
After a few bar stops at her farewell last night, we ended up at the Victory Cafe in the Annex – a frequent home for our patio jaunts the last couple of years. It was about time for me to pumpkin & get to bed for work, and as I was getting my shit together I realised something. In that packed room, with about 20 or so people – we were all there because we have these wonderful memories and feelings for our friend, she means so much to all of us that we had to see her off with a rambunctious showing of love and drinking. It was so nice to be in that moment and see tangibly how awesome a person is by the outpouring of love and farewells for them! It made me recall my Australian / London goodbyes quite fondly, I’ll be honest.
So while the goodbye was inevitable, and kinda sucks, I look forward to the day where Candice and I will be in the same place again – I know it’ll happen. We can grab a pint and sit down to catch up on life, how much Adventure Time we’ve both been watching lately, and how she’ll probably be a famous artist and shit by then. It’s going to be awesome, just like it is whenever I get to see/hear from the rest of my friends sprinkled around the globe. What a wonderful bunch of folks I am lucky to know.
And bud, I’m gonna miss you. Give the motherland hell.
Alright, Thursday. You’ve come around again, haven’t you? January’s been a bit of a blur for me so far, and my internetting hasn’t brought me much time for blogging. But I’m clinging on!
TILT giving me a reason to keep coming back. Seriously, it’s a great and positive thing already, and realising it’s time to throw another TILT post together brings me back here. Now I just gotta get on the other stuff. (I refuse to entertain the notion of giving my links round-up up entirely, maybe I need to rethink the timing/frequency?)
Finding $2.25 in a dryer in the laundry room. Seriously, it was like a tiny fleck of gold in the mud. I used it to buy myself a (admittedly not great drip) coffee because I’m dead-tired today from having a sickly dog last night. Poor wee dude.
Realizing I have delicious cookies leftover from a meeting yesterday to have with my coffee! COOKIES.
Having a surrogate roomie for a bit! We’ve got a friend couchsurfing with us before he moves into his new pad, which means another built-in board/video game friend in the house! Yesss.
Knowing some pretty rad people. Wonderful feminists, animal lovers & rescuers, considerate folks willing to engage in great discussion about topics close to my heart. It’s great. I like being reminded there are folks like that in my slice of the world.
Writing/receiving letters. This has been wonderful of late! I am trying to get myself to send out something every 2 -3 weeks to someone. And as always, the receiving stuff is grand.
Having enough leftovers from last night’s mega salad to snack on a scaled-back version for lunch today. It’s just the greens & chick peas & dressing, but damn it’s good. (I have most of the rest of the veg as crudite snacks instead.)
What is making your Thursday rad, folks?
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.
The wind is cool and the leaves are all almost turned. It’s weather for hats and scarves and rugging up, toting a cup of tea or coffee around to keep your hands warm. I love wandering around in the autumn weather! It’s so beautiful out there, and still no sign of snow.
Being able to have a later start morning meant I could spend some time with Jake, and go for a good long walk in the ‘hood with him. We’ve had a busy week which means he’s been a bit lonely, poor little bud. I had the evening at home last night with him too, so that was nice – especially for him scoring scraps while I cooked! Little dude LOVES kale. Who knew.
I’m excited to see all the new board game releases coming out of the Spiel game fair in Essen, Germany! It’s like San Diego Comic Con for board games, and as exciting as hearing about new Apple product releases. So far there’s a couple of things that look awesome – a tile version of the great cooperative game, Hanabi, and an expansion to the terrific city building game Suburbia. Keeping my eye out on Board Game Geek daily to see what the buzz is!
Remembering the trip I took to Paris/London with Adam last year after he’d attended Essen. This was taken at the British Museum, almost a year ago to the day. Adam was a sweetheart and surprised me with a ticket to meet him there, and it’s legit the most romantic thing anyone’s ever done for me.
Daiya have been rolling out a lot of new products in the past 6 – 12 months. Cheese blocks, cream cheese, slices.. and now PIZZAS! All gluten-free and vegan. Swoon. I’ve tried the fire-roasted vegetable and the roasted garlic and mushroom, and they’re awesome. Texture of the crust is great – crispy but not tough – and the topping/cheese ratio is just right. My only complaint is they could stand to be a little bigger (especially when having to share with Adam!). But a half a pizza plus sides is a great meal. I’ve only seen them at Noah’s (Bloor/Spadina) so far, but I’m hoping to see them pop up in the wider array of health food stores I visit regularly.
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!
I had kinda forgotten/not realised it was Thursday. Being off work on a Monday means my brain is whack for the rest of the week. (Hence I didn’t think I’d stacked off blogging so much.) There’s a little grump edge today, but i’m trying to grab the love!
Didn’t have long to settle back in before we had to tetris shuffle our apartment and hide everything under drop sheets – we had our windows replaced today. I love them, they’re nice and shiny and we have a non-drafty balcony door now which will be nice in winter. But I don’t like the disruption to my home 😦 I just want to be comfortable and clean, y’know? And for the work to be done so we can put everything back. Whoo.
I love there’s a new vegan bakery store front in Toronto! Although seeing how I overindulged in Montreal, I need to hold it on the treats for a while. But Through Being Cool make some amazing stuff – I taste tested some for a certain café that ended up being jerks and not ordering her stuff in.
Weekends are so good. I know I just had an extra long one in Montreal, but I love the regular weekends of pottering, hangouts, relaxing and just recharging. I am craving that weekend so bad right now! Soon.
Risotto. I always get mad at how long it takes to make, but it’s really just wonderful. So so tasty. Love it.
- That we’re getting some new stories in the Firefly-verse, post-Serenity, too! I love those characters so much, and while the fallout from Serenity will make for some tough stories to tell, I’m so into it. I want it now.
- Speaking of things Whedon-y.. Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (what a mouthful) is delightful! Loved the first episode & already want the rest ALL NOW PLEASE. Okay, so I get a bit grabby when it comes to this stuff..
- I love hearing passionate people speaking about important issues that ring true with my beliefs and personal/social politics. I attended a panel last night all about youth & technology, and the issues of cyber-bullying & slut-shaming, and it was amazing to hear the ideas coming up and stories shared. Truly awesome!
- Planning for travel is the best thing. I love searching Google Maps, Yelp, Happy Cow and generally poking the internet for Good Stuff. I have a great list of stuff to check out in Montreal! Coffee, baked goods, fine dining, board game related stuff! Woo! We even got a decent looking independant hotel through Hotwire, hoping it’s a good one. (…And they have cable to watch Breaking Bad on Sunday night.)
- I had my first pay day! Having an income again is SO AWESOME! I got excited about budgeting last night, you guys. It feels great. I don’t want to say I love money and have $$ for eyes, but it makes me feel functional again, working for a living.
- I love how I get to spread out my birthday over two days each year; from late morning on the 25th I start getting birthday wishes from the future (Australia), and then it all spills over into today in the time zones much closer to me. Take that, constructs of time!
- And speaking of birthday awesome: getting to sleep in this morning, snuggle with Jake, and be surprised with breakfast in bed from my sweetie was an awesome start to the day. I love that mister of mine. And pancakes. I looooove pancakes.
Back in early 2011 when I was hanging out with Adam & getting to know him, we talked about music, as budding friends often do. I knew he was from Winnipeg, so naturally the Weakerthans came up in conversation. They’re one of my favourite bands, and had collaborated with Ontario artist Jim Bryson on his album The Falcon Lake Incident. When one of your favourite bands collaborates with another musician it’s like the real life equivalent of a streaming radio service going “you listened to [x artist], so you may enjoy [y artist]!” so I’d planned on going to see Jim play with the Weakerthans band at Lee’s Palace on their promo tour.
I mentioned the show to Adam to see if he was interested, as he liked the Weakerthans. (I was oblivious at this point to the fact I effectively asked him out on a date.) The show was terrific, and the album was something we really latched onto, listening a lot together as we hung out in the beginning of our relationship. Even to this day as I hear the opening notes of the album I get a rush of emotion. Super sappy, eh?
When I saw Jim would be playing a support slot to Jenn Grant at Lee’s Palace this month, it was pretty much a given that we’d go to the show and celebrate a proxy anniversary. I even won tickets to the show by sharing my heartwarming little story with the promotions company! We stopped by the merch table to buy a CD before the gig started and introduced ourselves to JIm, and thanked him for being the reason for us getting together, effectively. He asked if there was anything we wanted to hear specifically, and before he played it during the show gave us a little shoutout. N’awww.
It was a really terrific show. Low-key and intimate, with a little audience singalong for Metal Girls (our request), some non-Falcon Lake stuff that was lovely, including a song about Ontario and a bizarrely amazing sounding cover of Kanye West’s Holy Grail. (Bryson had seen the lyrics and never heard the song, and just penned some music to fit some of the lyrics and it’s wild.) There was a lot of wry stage banter and little stories about the tour so far and his family which was just such a nice and familiar way to have him be between songs. A thoroughly enjoyable show, and a super romantic and wonderful way to spend an evening celebrating the fact that as a couple we don’t just have “our song”, but we have a whole beautiful album.
I encourage you all to check it out, starting with Constellation (with the most – and i’m not being sarcastic here) mournful and gorgeous trumpet riff ever: