Wednesday, July 28, 2010

No Money, Same Number of Problems

I have about 10 dollars to my name right now and that's the least of my worries. In fact, I'm pretty lucky because I lead a mostly worry-free life. I did, however, do my fair share of worrying today over whether or not I'll be able to find a course to take this fall through distance ed. and whether or not it'll transfer. Here is what happened today in a nutshell: a runaround at UVic. A transcript of today's conversations with UVic officials, you ask? I'd be happy to oblige:

Me: Hi, I have a problem with my courses.

UVic official (UO): You'll have to wait in line.

Me: (Waits in line, with a smile, because she's generally cheerful) Hi, I have a problem.

UO: (Big Sigh) Ok, what is it?

Me: Blah blah blah. I've done this, this, this, this, and this to try to figure out whether or not my problem is solvable. Can you help me please?

UO: (Avoiding eye contact, and using uninterested tone of voice) Maybe. Let me look on the computer... Mmm, nope, I've done the same things you did at home to solve this problem and I don't know any more than you do. You should fill out a form, give me money and go talk to the English Department.

Me: Ok... (Gives money, walks over to Clearihue to try to talk to someone she's already emailed twice) Hi, (with a smile, because she's a fucking smiley person) I need to know if a course I might take elsewhere would transfer to UVic.

English Department Official (EDO): (Without making eye contact or smiling) Have you looked at the BC Transfer Guide?

Me: Yes. (Do I look stupid??)

EDO: You should talk to the guy who's in charge of that stuff.

Me: Yeah... I've already sent him two emails. This is urgent because I need to register in this course before August 20th and I know it takes time for you people to process things. Also, it's not even my fault I have to do this, it's YOUR fault because my class was cancelled two days before it was scheduled to start. (Why won't UVic admit they've made mistakes and try to squeeze in people who were adversely affected?! I'll tell you why: because they just don't give a fuck, they only want your money.)

EDO: Oh... Well he's at a conference. He'll be back tomorrow.

Neat-o. I went to Victoria for nothing that helps with the reason I went down there. On the plus side, I did get some books from the library for the course I may or may not take, depending on whether or not this guy who will email me tomorrow wants to accept it as transfer credit. I also spent an ungodly sum on textbooks I know I'll need in the Fall, which makes me kind of happy because it means I won't have to wade through a sticky Axe Body Spray and candy-smelling Uggs-wearing eye-rolling sea of awkward pubescent first-year students at the bookstore in September. A silver lining, I guess.

Anyway, to liven up this post here are some pictures of delicious things I've recently eaten:

Sweet and succulent local strawberries!

The following badly-lit photo is of almond-crusted filet of sole, pan-fried in garlic, with lemon and parsely, accompanied by grilled 8-ball squash (not lemon) and peas. I did get a good photo of it, but I accidentally deleted it. This dish looked a lot better in person. Oh, and the wine was a cheap and delicious Gewurtztraminer (I had to look up the spelling). Squash-grilling credit goes to GP.
Last but not least, here is a meal of roasted garlic and lemon chicken with steamed green beans that have been drizzled with a white wine reduction of the pan juices.
Damn, I'm good.

PS, I nearly forgot: I'm in the process of making yoghurt! Stay tuned for details.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Shit. It happens.

It wouldn't be a year at UVic without some kind of registration/scheduling fiasco. This year's catastrophe, you ask? Well so far (I'm not holding my breath on there being just one problem, because we all know that UVic has spies everywhere, just waiting for an excuse to hand you more trouble) my English class in August has been cancelled. To UVic's credit, this is not something that could be helped; the professor for the class seems to have come down with an illness of some kind, which is sad because I really like the professor who would've taught it.

Now, this cancellation wouldn't be a problem if it wasn't my last English course I ever had to take, or if I lived in Victoria, or if I weren't taking three fourth-year linguistics courses in the fall, or if I actually liked English coursework. But unfortunately it is and I do and I am and I don't. So this means that I could've gotten a job this summer after all and would have had quite a bit more money to my name in the fall when I start school. I think what pisses me off most about this is that probably most of the people in the class are in my boat too (insofar as wanting to finish school before Spring semester) and UVic doesn't give a rat's ass. Here is an excerpt from the email they sent me: "ENGL 383 will be offered in Spring 2011. We apologise for the inconvenience this will cause." What they neglect to say is that the course in the spring has been full for weeks and the waitlist is full too, so I couldn't even register if I wanted to. Heaven forbid they actually offer more English classes to, you know, keep up with the demand. As much as I hated the people, teachers, and environment at the U of A, I have to admit I never had this problem there.

I want UVic to really apologise, not just say that they apologise. They should be bending over backwards to fix the problem they made! Whine, whine, whine, this is not my fault. Stupid UVic.

I guess shit happens. I foresee a minor meltdown sometime next week that involves GP having to go out and get me some very un-P90X goodies and hold me as I shovel some incarnation of fatty carbohydrates into my mouth and simultaneously sob uncontrollably. As much as having the summer off sounds like a fantastic time, it's only fun for about a week. After that, I've found that I get bored from not having a routine, or any friends in the vicinity to hang out with. Not that I don't realize that I'm lucky for not having to work, or that I'm complaining, but... Well, I guess I am complaining, but this is my blog so I can do what I want.

Sometimes I make airplane/jet/explosion noises randomly, just because. I'm not really sure what this means, other than I'm weird and not really ready to be an adult.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Let Me Count the Ways #2

Reasons Why I Love My Cat:

1. She doesn't complain when I do something gross near her. Not that I ever do anything gross.
2. She's cute as fuck, especially when she sleeps with her paw over her face, or when she plays in her water dish, or when she's playing with a toy.
3. I know many reliable ways to make her purr, which makes me feel good because I know she's happy.
4. She likes coming up on my tummy to have a cuddle.
5. No matter what our conversations are about I'll always sound smarter.
6. She is an independent woman; she doesn't always need me to play with her or hang out with her. Sometimes she just wants to sit alone on the windowsill and survey her domain.
7. She knows when I'm feeling sad and if I'm crying she comes and nibbles at my face to make me stop.
8. She talks to me.
9. She wiggles her leg if I pet her in a certain spot behind her ear.
10. She likes to help with homework by coming and sitting on my lap, even if there isn't enough room for her and I'm wearing clothing that she slips around on.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Get Up Offa That Thang...

..And dance 'til you feel better. Seriously. It works like nothing else. Not that I was feeling particularly bad, but today I've been doing a bit of sitting around. I worked out in the morning and then did practically nothing except vacuum and watch endless episodes of Say Yes to the Dress.

When I jumped into the shower to get ready for a dinner date with GP I decided it would be good to have some music to wash to and the shuffle on my iPod did not disappoint. It started out innocent enough with Michael Buble's "Lost", then progressed to Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" and I won't deny some head bopping and singing along was happening at this point. The next song that came on (by the way, I think it's pretty amazing that I remember all these, feel free to praise my steel trap-like mind) was Blink 182's "First Date", which I totally rocked out to because it reminded me of my wannabe angst-ridden teenage years and, oddly, Caitlin Bishop, who used to be a huge fan of that band back in the day. (Holy shit that was a run-on sentence.) Yes Caitlin, I thought of you in the shower. Wish I could say it was the first time...

So by this time I was going whole hog singing and dancing in the shower and sadly my shower was coming to an end. As a side note, Blink 182 must record all their songs louder than normal people because when their song came on it was substantially louder than Journey. Anyway, I jumped out of the shower and when the Spice Girls' "Stop" came on I just couldn't believe my luck. I can't think of a song that's better suited to make-up application and hair styling than that one. So I got my hair and make-up did and then chose my outfit and put it on as usual.

Something funny, however, was happening to the iPod player. It was silent. Oh, no, it wasn't silent, it was a very quiet intro. What could this be, I asked myself. Curious, I took a peek at the iPod. I don't usually do that because I like to be surprised by whatever song comes on next, but as they say, desperate times. I look. OF COURSE. Nothing could top the Spice Girls except a 14 minute-long mix of Darude's "Sandstorm", circa 2000, Kanye, and, randomly, Soulja Boy. Well wasn't this just excellent. I was putting the last touches on my face and hair, fully dressed now.

I started bopping, then bouncing, and then I got very hot. I had no other option but to remove my dress and begin full-on dancing. I hadn't had an underpants dance in quite a long time and an epic 14 minute-long one was just what I needed. I seriously broke a sweat. It was fantastic; I almost wish GP had come home when I was at minute 9 or 10, so that he could've danced with me. I was making up unique and never-before-seen dance moves left, right and centre. So I guess what I'm saying about this is that dancing is fun as hell. If you need a change you should get naked and do some right now. Seriously. Go.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


When I worked out today I felt my muscles shred. Seriously. I didn't know that was actually a thing before; I just thought it was something dumb juice monkeys say but no, I really felt it and it felt great! Last week GP and I took our 54-day photos. We're about 60 percent done and I've noticed definite improvement. Today I saw my arms in the mirror as I was drying my hair and did a double take: "Are those really mine? Holy shit!". Yeah, Kim, those pythons are really yours and those porpoises you call thighs are yours too. Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating a bit. Sometimes when I sit down I engage my quadriceps on purpose and put my hands on them to feel how firm they've gotten. See for yourself:

An aside: I just noticed an unidentified sticky substance (get your mind out of the gutter) on my arm. Naturally, I licked it off. It was sweet and tasty, just as I thought it would be. GP has been trying to break me of this habit with very little success. It's just my way of embracing that new found and foraged food movement.

On Sunday GP and I went to Bright Angel Park. I'd never been there before. How flattered I was when he told me it was his first date place of choice and he's taken many a lucky lady there (sarcasm). Regardless, it was beautiful and we had a lovely time hanging out on the river. Look how cute we are:
There was a really cool suspension bridge, on which I made GP feel unsafe by bouncing up and down. After the park we went to Whipple Tree Junction where GP had never been. We saw Golda's mum and had a nice chat with her and then bought some fudge for GP's dad, whose entire mouth is full of sweet teeth. (Un)fortunately we forgot to give GP's dad the fudge and had to eat it ourselves. Damn. A great day all told.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Livin' Small

From time to time I fantasize to GP about living in a small place off the grid somewhere close enough to a city not to get bored but big enough to have a large garden and an outdoor bath tub. The other day I came upon a link from my childhood friend Alex and yet again my curiosity and enthusiasm is all stirred up! The link was this one: and it really got me excited.

I remember when I was a kid and I'd build cushion forts with my brother (and Alex, and his sister Zena, for that matter), or we'd all play in our playhouse which we had coerced my dad into transforming from a plain one-level abode to a two-level house which we felt would have a lot more resale value in the elementary student market. We'd spend hours in there making concoctions of various muds and grasses and generally making believe. Sometimes in the summer our mum even let us sleep out there. I think tiny homes, or even just small ones, appeal to a very human need to nest and create a cozy place of one's own. They also appeal to my (not sure if other people share this need) need to have things "just so". I like knowing that I was the one who decided where things have gone; I like the agency of decision making-- it's a huge ego stroke, not that I need it.

Many hours I have spent today looking at the tinyhouse blog and trying to plan out a future small house. I don't want to live in 96 square feet, I think around 800 is more my style. Here's the house I've been lusting after:
I think the beauty of having a small house is that you free up so much room for other things. Want a fantastic veggie garden? You got it. Want a flower garden for cuttings? You can have that too. Want chickens? Have 'em. I want a small house like this one for my own. Case closed.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Let Me Count the Ways

Here are the reasons why I am like an old lady:

1. I like going to bed early and waking up early so I "don't waste the day away sleeping".
2. I like knitting.
3. I talk to my cat... A lot.
4. I have nice handwriting.
5. I get sleepy in the afternoons and I can't "tolerate the heat/cold like I used to".
6. To go along with the above, I wear big hats and lots of sunscreen to avoid skin cancer.
7. One of my favourite beverages is tea. The other is a refreshing gin and tonic.
8. I have a great memory for birthdays, but I will tell you the same story countless times if you don't let me know I've already told it to you.
9. My hands are bony.
10. I get annoyed with loud sounds, like construction, and I take second hand smoke as a personal insult.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Fat and sassy!

I feel kind of annoyed today, like mostly normal with a twinge of "things fucking annoy me when they don't go my way". In that spirit, I'm going to indulge myself and provide a list of things that have been annoying me lately, or just annoy me in general. Before you say anything, I realize most of these things are completely irrational but if you know me then you know I'm nothing if not self-indulgent and irrational at the best of times:

1. Drivers on the Malahat
a.) People who have Olympics license plates always seem to be bad drivers
b.) People at the helms of minivans always seem to be bad drivers
c.) People who wait until the last possible moment to merge into one lane are not bad drivers, they're bad people

2. People who live in our condo complex who smoke and make sure all residents can smell it. If you're a smoker and you do this you should be shot. I don't think it's much to ask to be able to enjoy my residence without breathing your toxic fumes.

3. The sun. Stop burning me so much. It's not my fault I'm fair-skinned.

I guess that's about it. I thought I had a lot more to complain about, but getting those things down freed up a lot of space in my brain for thinking about things I like, such as:

1. Eating outside on summer evenings. I have such a delicious meal planned tonight. Doing another roast chicken like the one I posted about a while ago.

2. GP, because he does the dishes and he is warm.

3. Margaret Atwood. I just started reading Year of the Flood and I can tell it's going to be a good one. I'm so glad she decided to write a sequel to Oryx and Crake.

4. The fact that Canadians aren't censored like some other countries, despite the recent happenings at the G20 in Toronto. I am free to say Stephen Harper is a poop-eating wanker and the government won't bust down my door and "disappear" me. Well, actually, we'll see what happens when I publish this post...

5. That there are SO MANY farms in the Cowichan Valley! What a great opportunity I have, and how advantageous that I've just finished reading The Vegetarian Myth, which totally opened my eyes to how much each person really needs to eat within her/his own locality. I'm so excited to do some exploring of these places on the weekend with GP. I also can't wait to eat the local strawberries I bought for dessert...

6. Friskies. She is so heart-meltingly adorable.

What annoys you? What makes your annoyances worthwhile?

Here is a picture of a dinner I cooked a while ago:
It was kind of a Moroccan-inspired (mostly because it had olives and lemon) dish comprised of a bed of artichoke hearts, bell peppers and olives, sauteed in lemon zest, white wine and herbs on which reclined a grilled chicken breast that had been marinated in garlic, lemon, rosemary and a little bit of red wine vinegar. Yes, it was very tasty.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

When the Boyfriend's Away...

I will play! Today GP is doing some former-law-student thing down in Metchosin and I felt like I'd be a third leg (is that a thing?) if I went. So instead I stayed here and unfortunately none of my friends (you jerks) could come play with me, so I went solo for the day. No big deal, it turned out to be a lot of fun to be out on my own on a sunny day.

(Aside: Friskies just came and sat on my lap and now she's purring her head off. Ugh... SO EFFING CUUUUUUUTE) Here is a picture of me loving her:
GP and I went and looked around Cowichan Bay yesterday for a little bit, but we got there too late and all the shops were closed. So today I took it upon myself to go back and do my own little investigation. In particular, there was a cheese shop I had my eye on looking into and I sure am glad I did. I'm sure if you've ever been to Cowichan Bay you know the one I mean. It's called Hilary's Cheese Shop and Deli (or something like that) and it's got various gourmet delights. I could've bought the entire showcase but instead I bought some French Port Salut, my granny's favourite cheese (it's kind of a creamy cheddar), and some Spanish Valdeon, a very strong blue cheese with a crumbly yet creamy texture. Goodbye P90X diet...

On the subject of blue cheese, I am so very glad I'm one of those people who can stomach an exceedingly strong one. When I asked the woman in the shop what kind of cheese "that one" was she kind of hesitantly explained its origins and asked me if I'd like to try it. "Of course!" I said, thinking everyone who works in a cheese shop likes blue cheese. Apparently that's not so, but the taste was delicious. It's good there are people like her because if the world was only populated with blue cheese lovers we wouldn't be very special. She was almost reverent when I told her how much I liked it and kept going on about how it's the "strongest cheese we have in the shop!". I am such a freak that a co-worker of this lady came over and asked me if the cheese was a gift. Thinking back on it, I'm not really sure if that's a compliment. What a crappy gift to give someone, "Happy birthday, here's a six dollar wedge of cheese that smells like armpits." I guess it would be a good gift if it were given to someone like me... Hint hint.

I really wanted to visit some farms today, as I just found this website: via my friend Amy. It's a list of all the farms in Southern Vancouver Island, which is pretty cool. I think it would be more fun to do that with friends though. Any takers? Instead of visiting farms, I went to the Old Market just south of Duncan because I know they have tonnes of local strawberries right now. Needless to say I bought a basket and it's very hard not to run to the fridge right now to grab a couple. There really isn't anything like gulping down a juicy farm-fresh strawberry full of flavour but not sweet like anything else. In fact, I can't wait to have my own garden so that I can grow my very own strawberries and eat them warm from the sun. Failing that, I'll just have to find a neighbour with a prolific berry patch, like my brother and I used to do.

When I got home I cooked up a delicious meal for myself, which included a couple of these tasty morsels:
What are they, you ask? Well I'll tell you. They are feta cheese with lemon, mint, olive oil, and a little bit of spicy red pepper all wrapped up in a piece of grilled eggplant and they are SO IMPOSSIBLY GOOD. So fresh, so smoky, so slightly spicy and coolly creamy. I have to thank dear Adrian again for Nigella's Forever Summer because that was where the recipe for these came from. Let me tell you, this is a summer recipe if ever I've tasted one. Originally there were ten little babies, but I admit I uttered the phrase "You're too small, I have to eat you" to two runts. Later, two more (sadly for them, happily for me) found their way to my stomach, but there are six awaiting their end in the refrigerator because I couldn't bear to pass up the praise I know I'll get when GP tastes these. Plus, I have a feeling this is one of those recipes that profits greatly from a sit overnight if that's possible. You should buy Forever Summer or get a friend who is as great as Adrian and will buy it for you even if, like Adrian, his reason for buying it is because "she just looks so sultry on the cover, caressing those tomatoes".

I tried making protein bars today. All I can say about that is: dismal failure. I'll keep trying and post my successes (if any) here. I'm not so sure I'll be trying too often unless I find a foolproof one; protein powder is expensive and, therefore, screwing up is too.

Now it's very likely I'll knit, or keep reading The Vegetarian Myth. Who knows? The night is young!