Thursday, January 28, 2010

that's a knockoff if I ever saw it

What is UP with the paper sheets in a doctor's office? My doctor told me they were Dior. I think she was lying.

I'm pretty sure I would never make any money, but I feel I would be a great interior designer for doctor's offices. Anything that can enhance the experience you'd think would be appreciated. Less stressed people = healthier people. You'd think someone would have caught on by now...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

i spend entirely too much time on this website.

Spin the bottle and Twister: essentials at any junior high party.

it was like i was on acid.

I spoke to my dad on the phone last night about the situation in Haiti. I was budgeting while I was talking to him, and half-heartedly said, "I just, I have absolutely no concept of what they're going through." He told me to imagine it was like the entire Halifax peninsula was flattened, and everybody died. Times FIVE.

And, additionally, many, many of the survivors are now missing limbs.

I think my subconscious was aware that I needed a bit of a kick in the pants to try and understand the situation, because I had THE freakiest dream last night. My subconscious can't be credited with too much, however, because I also dreamt I had a pet crocodile who had babies ("WTF am I going to do with 100 crocodile babies???!!").

I dreamt I lost my arms.

BOTH arms. Right below the shoulder.

In the dream, the story didn't say how I lost them, but I was hanging out with my brother and my mom, and I had what I thought was my left hand on my mom's arm. I said, "Mom, but I can feel your arm. I can see my arm and my hand."

"Yes, Rachael, those are the memories in your nerves, they're going to take a while to adjust." It was like I had phantom limbs, on both arms, but they didn't hurt.

My brother then batted a balloon towards me, and for some reason, we both had plastic spoons in our hands (a throwback to me doing dishes before bed?). I took my plastic spoon in my right hand, and batted the balloon back.

"Steve, how did the balloon move if I didn't just hit with the spoon in my hand?"

"We attached the spoon to your stump with velcro, and you whipped your shoulder back."

Oh. My. God.

So here I am, in the dream, facing the fact that I don't have any arms. I remember thinking, "I don't want to be one of those people that does everything with their feet!".. but slowly coming to the conclusion that that was my new reality.

The last thing I remember was looking in a mirror at myself, hair in a ponytail, track pants, sneakers, white turtleneck (my next dream will feature Stacey and Clinton), and a yellow tank top with a race number on it. And stumps. Stumps for arms. I looked at myself in the mirror and realized that this, this was my new reality. I was an amputee.

I woke up, and the first thing I did was feel my arms, my hands, my shoulders. I jumped out of bed and turned all the lights on and looked at myself in the mirror, feeling my arms and hands to make sure they were in fact, attached to my body.

I spend the next 20 minutes trying to get to sleep, while thinking about all the things I wouldn't be able to do without hands - brush my teeth, straighten my hair, make a cup of coffee, bake, hug people, use the shake weight...

Today, I am grateful for my limbs.

Click here to donate to Haiti.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

yoga smoothie, and a note on class etiquette

I came home from yoga class today and made a deeeelicious smoothie.


1 banana, cut into slices
1 kiwi, skins removed
a ridiculous amount of frozen raspberries (about 1.5 cups)
1/3 cup sliced firm tofu
1/4 cup bran flakes
1/4 cup water
1/4 lemon, sliced in half

Blend. Add more water if smoothie is too thick. Serve topped with lemon.

This makes two "servings" (as shown above). I found the raspberries overpowered the smoothie, and the raspberry seeds and bran give this smoothie a gritty texture; I like texture to my smoothies, otherwise I feel like I'm being cheated when I drink one instead of eating all of the ingredients separately. Omit the bran and lay back on the raspberries if this is a problem for you.

I wanted to talk a bit about yoga class etiquette. Having been to a few different classes over the past few years, I feel like I've learned some useful tips in how to make the class better for yourself and those around you.

1. Always arrive at least 15 mins early. Besides giving you a chance to set up your mat, undress, and get your mind prepared for your practice, it also ensures you get a spot in the more popular classes. If you've never been to the class or location before, leave even more time, in case you get lost and have to ask someone for help.

2. Bring your own mat. This is a personal preference, because I think it's disgusting using mats that other people's sweaty bodies have rolled all over. Some studios are really good about wiping off the mats after classes, but lately, I've noticed it's been a rarity.

3. If the class is packed, and people arrive looking for a spot, be aware of the space around you, and make room for them accordingly. This morning at my class, the girl in front of me was completely unaware of what was going on around her, and was akin to a car taking up two parking spaces.. I find this really rude.

4. Again, if the class is full, be aware of your body during your practice, and adjust yourself accordingly during your poses. There are certain poses where everyone likes to be at the front of their mats; but if space is at a premium, staggering among the mats makes much better use of the space.

5. DO NOT STEP ON OTHER PEOPLE'S MATS. This is why I wanted to write this list in the first place. This is a HUGE pet peeve of mine. Before and after the class, be aware of where you're stepping. I view my mat as my personal space, a refuge space where I can escape the world. When someone steps on my mat, it's like they've entered my home without my permission. Not to mention their dirty feet are now all over my mat. Wait 5 seconds until they can move it out of the way. I really don't want to ruin the mood of the class, but violators will be swiftly beheaded. NO EXCEPTIONS. Unless maybe, you are reaching your phone to call 911, or your baby is crowning.

I hope these tips will help enhance your yoga experience. Namaste!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

utterly hilarious

This is possibly the most absurd invention I have ever seen!

talking to my 90 year old grandmother.

"Grammie, how did you know you were ready to get married?"

"When you're ready to get married, you want it more than anything in the world. You check him out for a while first, to make sure he'll be a good husband. If he's not, you give 'em the fly."

Friday, January 22, 2010

wake up call.

I received an email from a friend about this blog.

First of all, WOOHOO! Feedback!

Second of all, when I first opened her email, I thought - here we go. I knew someone was going to get upset about me whining about my terrible LDR. But she didn't blast me like I was expecting, she just opened up about her experiences, which I appreciate. She is going through an LDR of her own (her boyfriend is in Afghanistan). I know that we are going through similar experiences (missing a loved one, missing sharing everyday experiences.. missing smelling boy in person), but I am acutely aware that our experiences are very, very different. I have the luxury of texting (obnoxiously sometimes ... sorry DC!), and facebooking, and calling on the regular, whereas she has limited contact and a whole lot more worrying.

I guess the moral of the story is that I feel that a blog is a safe place to express what I'm feeling, and when it's dark and I'm lying in bed alone, sometimes I forget about how other people may be feeling.. and I just worry about me.

So thank you for your wake up call. Call me. Let's have coffee.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I know I'm no war bride, but sometimes I find this hard too.

my abs hurt

"At the age of four I was also under the impression that the penis was also called a delicate. The only way I could get my then seven year old brother to stop tickling me was to kick him in the delicate. It worked every time! My father had to pull me aside and tell me that boys had delicate parts and that I could permanently injure my brother's delicate if I kept kicking him there. Years later when I was able to spell I noticed that the washing machine had a delicate cycle, and I could not for the life of me figure out how boys could detach their penises to wash them in the washing machine. And where was the vagina cycle? I wanted to detach my vagina and stick it in the washing machine."

- Excerpt from

just outrage.

I may have mentioned on this blog before just how much I love Nadya Suleman.

I don't read trashy magazines. I swear.

But when I saw this cover I just had to get this out:


No one goes from this belly:

To this belly:

WITHOUT plastic surgery.

"No way, I would feel like I cheated," she tells Star. "I wanted to prove to myself that I can do it on my own, naturally. My friends call me Rubber Band because I always snapped back so quickly after my other kids!"

It's really cool how sit ups can get rid of all of those stretch marks and flabby skin! Wow!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

look it up on urban dictionary.

I recently discovered what, "squirrel on a trampoline" means.

I laughed for about 30 minutes straight.. and then promptly tried to search for a video.

Don't tell your mom I told you that.

about face.

I feel my posts have been rather negative lately.

I will never, ever, ever get sick of this man.

Strange talent + Disney movie + charisma = forever a place in my heart.

And I know Christmas has passed already.. but I'm still hanging on!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

another pet peeve.

I feel like I've been using this blog to rant a lot lately. I guess that's what it's for though, right?

It really bothers me when people talk about "finding a cure for cancer".

Let's get this out of the way first:

That is never. Going. To. Happen.

"Cancer" is an umbrella term that describes a group of diseases in which cells uncontrollably divide, and in some cases spread to different parts of the body. There are cancers that you can live with for 15 years and not be affected by. Then there are cancers that move so fast and are so invasive that you are dead within weeks. There are lots of different causes and triggers for this process to occur, which means that there are going to be lots of ways to approach the healing process. There will be treatments available that will work for one type of cancer and not another. This is why, when hearing that someone has cancer, I try reserving my reaction until after I hear what kind it is, and what stage it's at. Stage 1 prostate cancer? Is the most common type of cancer in Canadian men. It often grows slowly and can be treated successfully. Stage 4 stomach cancer is a different story.

There are lots of things you can do to prevent cancer from forming, although doing these things will not guarantee that you don't get it. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Drink lots of water. Limit your alcohol intake. Exercise regularly. Don't smoke. Stay at a healthy weight.

Moral of the story: there will never, ever be one pill or one injection that will cure all cancers. That's why we need to spread our resources and support various organizations that are raising money for cancer research, in all its various forms.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

reality check.

Yesterday morning, an apartment building down the road from me went up in flames, and damaged three restaurants attached to the building as well. More than 23 people lost their apartments and belongings.

Yesterday, a magnitude 7 earthquake hit Haiti, leaving tens of thousands of people homeless and officials fearing more than 100,000 dead.

Today, I am grumpy because my boyfriend is 300km away, and I may not have a job in April.

...doesn't seem like much of a comparison, does it?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Heaven = carbs and citrus.

On another note, this is the 3rd night in a row I've gone to yoga. Tomorrow night is inversions! Cross your fingers I don't fall on my head...

*Edit: I didn't fall on my head. I didn't even go. I stayed home and ate chocolate. Oops..*

Monday, January 11, 2010

yoga.. for free!

I've had an on-again off-again relationship with yoga for the last 3 or 4 years, and when I practice regularly I find a big difference in my stress level, as well as flexibility. Having had numerous instructors over the years, I've discovered what works for me as well in a teacher. I like someone who isn't afraid to adjust a pose by sticking a knee in my back or pulling my shoulders down, and I appreciated when they do it without ruining the flow of the class (quiet voice, or not talking at all). I don't like it when a teacher jokes around during the class or uses a sharp voice (I'm not explaining that very well.. what I'm trying to say is I'm there to do yoga, not become best friends with you, or to be barked at like I'm in the army).

Additionally, yoga is EXPENSIVE. The going rate for an hour class seems to be around $15, although if you join a session or get an "unlimited monthly" and actually use it, it drops. However, I have managed to locate enough cheap or free classes around the city that I barely pay for classes anymore. The downside to doing this is that the instructors are rarely the same, so if you're looking for continuity, you're not going to find it this way. However, you never get bored in your practice - because every class is different!

Here's what I've managed to find so far:

Lululemon: Sunday at 10:30am, and occasionally weeknights at 7:30pm; check the weekly schedule for updates
108 Yoga: Karma class Saturday mornings at 9:38am (donation); also, every 3rd Saturday of the month there is a 2 hour intro class for beginners that is free!
Moksha Yoga: Karma class Friday nights 8:30pm (donation, $5 min)
The Yoga Loft: free classes January 23 and 24th

..and I currently have a free pass for one class at Therapeutic Approach Yoga Studio.

There are also some classes at a few local churches:

St. Andrew's United Church: Friday nights 6:30pm (donation)
Fort Massey United Church: Wednesday nights 6:30pm ($5)

The moral of the story, is you don't have to spend a lot of money to be involved in a regular yoga practice. This week I could go to class 6 out of 7 days with all of the classes I've found (for $10! wow!).


Monday, January 4, 2010


My #1 pet peeve about women is panty lines.

Now, I'm trying to not get all self righteous here, because heavens knows I leave the house in some atrocious outfits. However, even if I leave the house in boots, sweatpants, and a puffy jacket, you can be assured that I will NEVER have a panty line.

Ladies, thongs were invented for a reason. Let's be honest, no one's butt actually looks good in just a thong, unless you have a butt like this (skip ahead to 1:05.. Karl likes her behind so much he replays the exact same clip at 3:49 and 3:55.. don't ask me how I noticed this). They were invented so the public is never subjected to the atrocity that is squishy 4 cheeks.

I bought my first thong when I was 13, a boring grey thing from Zellers (sexy, I know). I was sweating, alone, in the line up, trying not to look the girl cashier in the eye (heaven FORBID if it has been a guy.. I would have hurriedly swapped it for a chocolate bar at the last second), mortified that someone I knew would come swooping through, "HI RACHAEL! How are you? What are you... aaah.. oh!" and the heat from my face would fry us all.

There are even headbands for your cooch so you can avoid the possibility of ever showing lines over your hips.. this beauty is called a "C string", and when bystanders were polled, more than a few of them I'm sure actually put this thing on their heads thinking that's what it was for.

MY POINT IS God made Spanx for a reason. Get some. Or get looser pants. Wear a headband on your crotch. Go commando. Just, for everyone else's sake, fix it.

ice cream and bikinis.

Today I joined a gym.

And it wasn't because it is January 4th and I made a New Year's Resolution to "get fit" and "be more active" ... it was because I finally figured out that I can get a corporate rate through work and pay like, 30% of the cost of a membership.

Also, the chlorine level in my blood has been negative for a good long, I don't know, nine or ten months now, and when I caught a whiff of the pool air I was like an alcoholic after a sober period.. nothing else mattered, just me and the smell.. the feeling of the chlorinated water rushing over me as I gracefully pushed off the wall and took my first few strokes, remembering the freedom of the endorphin rush and the powerful feeling of my kick propelling me through the water...

..and then after the first few lengths, the crushing realization that I am fat.


Not fat as in, I-just-ate-an-entire-bucket-of-ice-cream-fat, or I-can't-fit-in-these-jeans-because-my-blubber-is-pooching-out-the-sides-fat, the fat feeling one gets after not exercising for an extended period and then blasting out an over-excited endorphin-driven few lengths. And I mean few. I only swam the equivalent of what, this time a year ago, I would have been doing for warm up in swim practice (!!), but for today, it was enough. In any case, it was more than I did yesterday!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

hello 2010!

I've decided, since I'm not very good (so far) at attaining the goals I set on this blog (remember this post? ..yeah, oops), that I'm going to tell you about things AFTER I do them. Then it will be like, "Oh, that was a great idea! Look at what she did!", instead of like, "This girl is such a slacker and she is never going anywhere.."

So here's what today looked like:


Emphatically, apparently, judging by the snow stuck to the side of the house..

Trust me, this is a big deal. I've been spoiled rotten my 23 years and only once ever shoveled a driveway (and that one time wasn't even the whole thing, just a car sized chunk!!). So here is proof that princesses can shovel too.

(And yes, I did blank out the licence plate, because although I am aware that approximately 4 people read this blog, I have high hopes that someday I will become a famous blogger and I am attempting to prevent stalkers from creeping me by combing through my old, naive archives).

I would never have been able to do that without this key element, which I have affectionately named "Tonka". I never thought I would have to use it... but who's laughing now!! My mom, that's who.

I also attempted a lasagna for the first time, in my brand new slow cooker :)

I haven't actually tried it yet, but it smells delicious!!

And last but not least, the Travel Jar!!

I've been wanting to go backpacking through South East Asia for years, and while I know it won't be possible for at least another year and a half, I thought I'd get a kick start on saving.. and by saving, I mean my pennies. Every bit counts, right??