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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Otherwordly Wednesday

I'm foregoing the Wordless Wednesday this week, because I say so.

I've only recently discovered how to get mp3 files onto my Blackberry to assign them to ringtones for different people... No, really I don't work in IT, I don't do anything technological in my day to day work...

As such, I've been poring over songs to use as my default ringtone, with little success.  I can't decide, there are too many good ones!

To date, I've been focusing on Rammstein songs, but alas I can't decide out of those either... argh, this is difficult.

On the Rammstein front, I've been listening to their newish album, came out in 2009 and I'm just now listening to the songs.  What sort of fan am I?  One who bought their album even though Mike said I should have downloaded it, the deluxe album too, which was twice the price of the regular album.

The first song on the album, Rammlied, was in fact the song they opened with in Montreal.  Not having the album, I didn't know this.  I also didn't think to look up the English translation til today...

Rammlied *

Whoever waits patiently
will be rewarded when the time is right
Now, the wait is over
Lend your ears to a legend


Some lead, some follow
Heart and soul, hand in hand
Forwards, forwards, don't stop
Reason gains meaning and form

If happiness makes you sad
If there are no stars in the night
If you're lonely and alone
We are here, tune in


Some lead, some follow
Evil face, good game
Devouring and being devoured
We take little and give a lot

When you don't know the answer
what's right is right
If you're sad and alone
We are back, tune in


One way
One goal
One motif


One direction
One feeling
Made of flesh and blood
A collective

Whoever waits patiently
will be rewarded when the time is right
Now, the wait is over
Lend your ears to a legend


* Taken from Herzeleid.com

A great song, which captures that night and how long we had waited to see them.

And yes, its on the short list of songs that's already 6 strong...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Before and After

The other day I was getting ready to go out to Mike's company's Christmas/New Years celebration when the idea struck to take a before and after picture of myself - no make up vs with make up.

For your viewing pleasure:

Not to be outdone by Gimli - pre and post brushing.

I think we both look lovely in the after pictures, what do you think?

Monday, January 24, 2011


After our weigh in yesterday morning, somehow I've managed to lose roughly 2-3 lbs.  Mike is about the same.

Its good for him because he's starting to see some real results, which means that I'll be buying him a belt for his birthday in March, as he shrinks toward his initial weight loss goal.

Its good for me because my muffin top has shrunk ever so slightly.  I have set a goal for myself of the end of March to be a bit more toned than I am now so if I need to pick up a new bikini at the start of the season I can.  I'm being a bit vague about all this for my sake because at ~120 lbs, I don't want to be losing weight like a crazy person, yet I have some areas that need to be 'tightened' up a bit.

So long as I can still eat my chocolate cookies, cake, nachos, wings, french fries, I'll be fine!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Things for 2011 - January update

An update on my 2011 list.  We're off to a slow start, but I've never done this before, so I think its a good learning curve.

1. Read More, nothing special, just reading.
2. Pay attention to my blog and post more - already started
3. Join BlogHer
4. Attend BlogHer 2011, wherever it is
5. Do what I need to do to get off one of my medications
6. Go to the Zoo
7. Make a better attempt at brushing Gimli more than once a week
8. To achieve this, setup a grooming table in the laundry room
9. Start expanding the list of meals that I can cook from memory
10. Start branching out and cooking different things, planning is key and laziness is no excuse
11. Eat more fruits and veggies
12. Cut my hair, and not just a trim either, goodbye long locks.
13. Get a 2nd corgi
14. Learn to walk two of them properly
15. Improve Gimli’s recall
16. Make a Pooh Bear gingerbread house
17. See The Lion King stage show - bought tickets for June!
18. Continue with the No Complaint experiment - ongoing
19. Take more visits to The Arboretum and see our coyote friend again
20. Get off my butt and be more active - started with Wii Fit
21. Play with Gimli in the snow
22. Try to make a snow ‘animal’
23. Get more sleep
24. Read Brene Brown’s book, The Gifts of Imperfection and apply it to myself
25. Woofstock?
26. Parasailing @Castaway Cay - not happening as its cost prohibitive
27. Discover local restaurants in my city
28. See the Tim Burton exhibit - going in February
29. Go to the Animal mass with Jeannie
30. Make it to Trinidad to introduce Mike to the rest of my crazy family, hopefully I'll still be married by the time we return.
31. Go to the Winter Walk with your dog - Starting on January 29th
32. Start a new job - going to Feb. 1st
33. Eat at a Summerlicious restaurant

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Carpe Diem

I first learned about this term in high school, Junior year British Literature.  Incidentally, this was one of my favorite English courses ever!

However, despite learning about it, its not something I practiced.  Well, except when I needed to do something around the house and it built and built up until I couldn't take it anymore and the day was just as good as any.  Although now that I think about it, that's not really Carpe Diem is it?

This past year, (2010), as I've previously mentioned, was one of the best years of my life in a very long time.  It was the year I turned 30 and something switched in my head.  Although I still feel the same as when I was 29, last year there was this feeling in me that wanted to take stock of the past decade.  I think that's part of why I started the No Complaint Experiment and while that continues on, at the latter part of 2010 the Carpe Diem thoughts came back.

I look back and recognize our entire Rammstein experience was based on Carpe Diem.  Yes, we were against odds on both fronts, but at least we took the opportunity to try for the tickets.

Around Christmastime, an email update on a new team went out at work and before I knew what I was doing, I went after it.  Not fully understanding it all, but I asked for more information.  I pored over the information over my Christmas holidays and when I returned to work, I started the process.  It all passed in a blur, but on February 1, I start my new position at work!

Its all very exciting and some days I forget all about it until I'm reminded of it again.  All because I chose to see what else was out there, because I grabbed the opportunity to look for more information.

I feel 2011 will be the year of seizing the day, of trying new things and not wondering what if.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Downward facing dog pose

This evening while doing my Wii Fit exercises, I happened to try the Downward Facing Dog pose for the first time.

There I was with my head down towards the balance board, my butt up in the air when who comes by to investigate but Gimli.

He meanders his way underneath my body, looks up at me and does his own version of the Downward Facing Dog pose, his little white feet sticking out, his brown eyes looking up at me as if to say,

"I can do it better than you can!"

These corgis I tell ya...

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Gimli and his sheep

As seen in the last Wordless Wednesday, Gimli received a number of Christmas presents in 2010.  One of them was a stuffed animal sheep.  I'm not entirely sure Gimli knows what to make of it, but he does enjoy running around with him throughout the house, upstairs and downstairs and into his lady's chamber.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

56 calories

Surprise surprise, I was up at 5.30 am again this morning.  Except this time, it was because I couldn't breathe.  Yes friends, I'm sick with a cold again.  Let's not get into how I picked up this bug shall we, there was already an argument that took place.

I've been sick since Sunday and its pretty much in its later stages where the mucus reaches your throat and you end up with a sexy hag voice.

Instead of getting onto the computer and wasting time, I opted to try my hand at Wii Fit Plus.  We received this for Christmas in an attempt to help us be more active.  In the winter months especially, its tough for Mike to be active because a wheelchair and snow don't mix too well.  For me, I can get away with daily walks with Gimli and romps in the snow, but its not enough.

We started using the game this week and I have to say its a nice way to go from very little activity to light-medium activity.  This game is not for hardcore gym attendees, but there are some Yoga and strength training exercises that really make you feel the burn, especially when you have little core strength to begin with.

Today I managed to burn 56 calories.  It was my second attempt at Wii Fit and I felt a bit better as I'm starting to get accustomed to it and the mistaken belief that I was fit was quickly draining away.

Today there's all this talk about losing weight especially in light of the levels of obesity in North America, but I feel not enough is done to help people understand that you can have a healthy weight/BMI, which I do, but am I in shape?  Nope!  Do I pass all the lab tests like cholesterol and glucose, am I a model patient on paper?  Yup!  But can I run up a few flights of stairs?  With difficulty.

Monday, January 10, 2011

I don't know how to read...

A simple bathroom scale.

My weight has been fluctuating a bit over the past 10 years, going from roughly 110-130 lbs.  At 110, I looked too skinny and unhealthy.  At 130, I had a muffin top and did not like the way I looked in my clothes.

Right now, I have a slight muffin top that jiggles a bit.  I don't like it.  I haven't liked it for quite some time.  Last year I wore a bikini for the first time since I was 6.  I looked fine, just a little too much padding here and there so I resolved to do something about it.

I told myself I would weigh myself and based on that figure, I'd adjust accordingly and try to maintain that figure.

I stepped on the scale and it read 130 lbs.  Ok, I have a bit more work to do, no problem, I can do it!  Months passed to this past weekend.

As part of our things to do in 2011, Mike and I are going to be more active and work on toning etc.

When I stepped on the scale, it went like this:

"Mike, can you tell me the number on that scale?"


"It is not!"

"It is, look for yourself."

I made Mike mark the spot on the scale and I got down and took a good look.  125.  Blast, I thought I was 5 lbs heavier for a good portion of last year!

Oh well, maybe I'll pick up a digital scale...

Saturday, January 8, 2011

its 5.30 am

Its roughly 5.30 am and I'm lying in bed staring into the darkness.  I haven't slept much over the course of the night.  Lucky for him, Mike is sound asleep.

Its 6.20 now and I'm sitting here writing.

I get like this from time to time, something will always keep me up or wake me up at an ungodly hour.

This was a strange week.  It started off with my dream of having a baby, a girl again, who then grew at an advanced rate so that in a few days she was now a few months old.  As usual, I woke up, rolled my eyes, shook my head and decided I had been watching too many strange things on Youtube so I put it out of my mind.

Then the later events of the week hint that change is in the wind.  I can't say too much about it just yet, but I really hope this week coming goes well.

Here are some bonus pictures of Gimli who, unlike me, finds it easy to fall asleep when completing a sudoku puzzle.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Real Christmas tree?

We have an artificial Christmas tree.  Right now its sitting in the corner of our living room naked except for a couple strings of lights, the other decorations already relegated to the basement.

I wondered about getting a real tree this year because growing up we only ever had a real tree once.  I vaguely remember it, except that it shed pine needles all over the floor and made the house smell like Pine Sol.  At that time, I expected the Pine Sol lady to come around the corner and talk about the power of the real tree.

Today on the walk, many of our neighbors had put their real Christmas trees to the curb.  Gimli proceeded to sniff and bury his head into its branches and then mark every one of them.  Maybe he smells the animals that used to live in them and wants to find them, who knows.

Yeah, no real Christmas tree for us...

Monday, January 3, 2011

What was 2010?

2010 was one of the best years we've had in a very long time.  2006 was the year we were married, bought our first house and the year I started my current job.  2008 was the year we brought home Gimli, went to California & Las Vegas with friends and went to Walt Disney World with a different set of friends.  2007 was nothing to write home about.

2009 was dreadful.  Aside from the good things - attended 2 weddings, bought and moved into our current house, saw Metallica there were these...

Underwent the stress of selling and moving to the in-laws, living with the in-laws for 3 lovely months, a full year of Mike's unemployment, shouldering the finances and the stress of being the sole bread winner, work suffering as a result of all these factors, plus the beginning of my migraines, which would occur sometimes 2 or 3 times a week, attending 2 funerals.

When 2010 rolled around, I was glad.  Glad to close the book on that year and move onto a new year of hopeful possibilities.

What 2009 lacked, 2010 made up for it in spades.

  • Mike started a job in January, (Thank God!)
  • Finances slowly starting to come around again
  • Went on vacation on a Disney cruise where a stingray tried to eat my finger!!!
  • Erected our gazebo in the back yard
  • Erected the fence so Gimli could play outside
  • Saw Rob Zombie and Alice Cooper!!
  • Saw Young Frankenstein - the play
  • Took Gimli to the Arboretum where we saw a coyote
  • Got to play my inner model by posing for an awesome photographer, Danny Yam!
  • Went to Chicago to see The Jim Henson Exhibit
  • Started this Blog - something I've been wanting to do for a long time
  • Went to the Pirate Festival with Zombieman where we won a raffle to stay at a haunted hotel - heading there in the Spring
  • Went to Oktoberfest
  • Saw Rammstein!!!
  • Turned 30
  • Made Christmas dinner with all the fixins twice!

As 2011 begins, I have a list of things that I'd like to accomplish in 2011.  Who knows if I'll get to them all, but at least its a start.

Lastly, a few pictures of what was 2010.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

12 years in the making

December was quite busy for us and I'm just now catching up on all the things I should have been writing about for the past month.  Remember the list from this post, My head is full and no one likes my cookies, well, I'm going to talk about one of the items on that list.

12 years ago I was a young, naive teenager fresh out of high school with grand ambitions swirling in my head.  I was going to do this and I was going to do that and nothing would stop me.

(It seems quite sad to think I would fall so far in a couple years and yet I would manage to grab onto a quivering ledge and start on another path. That's me, always clawing, in my stubborn way, back...)

At this time in my life, musically at least, I was a wanderer.  I didn't have any favorite bands or musicians. My radio was stuck on a station that I didn't much care for.  This all changed when I happened to see some music videos on MTV, (yes, when it actually used to play music videos as opposed to the drivel it broadcasts today), that quite literally opened my eyes.

The two videos that stuck out are  The Unforgiven II by Metallica and Du Hast by Rammstein.  I scouted around for radio stations that played these songs and I've been a fan since then, adding on more bands as time wore on.

Later on, I met Mike and we often spoke and still do about going to Germany to see Rammstein because it had been so long since they had played in North America.  Plus, with my love of the German spoken voice AND Christoph 'Doom' Schneider (drummer for Rammstein), it seemed the only way we'd be able to see Rammstein was to travel to Germany...


May 2010

We discovered Rammstein was playing at an outdoor festival in Montreal, in July, during the summer of eternal heat waves.  Given this along with Mike being in a wheelchair we decided against purchasing tickets.

Late September 2010

We find out Rammstein is going to play just ONE show in New York on December 11th.  This was billed as their only North American show.  Knowing we would be up against scores of people all trying for a finite amount of tickets, we tried any way.  Alas, this was not to be.  As Mike was on the phone with the rep at Madison Square Gardens, the handicapped seats were sold.  We were saddened, yes, but in the pit of our stomachs we knew there was little chance we would be able to score tickets.

October 2010

We learn they are planning a 2ND North American show in Montreal on December 9th.  I thought this was a ruse and it took a few days for me to fully accept we'd have a second chance, even after I confirmed the show at the venue's website.  At this time, the tickets were not going to be on sale for a couple weeks, so we had our game plan ready.  Ticket day was a Saturday at 12pm.  Mike was going to try again for 3 tickets - one for me, one for him and one for our friend, Zombieman.

Saturday came and I had forgotten the day was ticket sale day until Mike reminded me.  I was off to the mall looking for purses.  There I stood in the store, looking at purses when the phone rings.  I had no concept of the time, although it must have been around 12.15 pm.  Its Mike.  The first thing I hear is his laughter.  (Note, at this time, Rammstein is far from my mind).  I can't remember what he says next, but the realization sinks in and my stomach turns over and a large smile creeps over my face.  I can't remember purchasing the purses, nor the drive home, I was that shocked surprised ecstatic that it was true.

The tickets arrived some time in November and they were stuck up on the fridge.  It was then that I started having mini paranoia attacks that we would forget the tickets on the fridge on concert day.

December 9th, 2010

We decided to take the train to Montreal on the Thursday, see the concert and return on the Friday.  Wednesday night, it took a while for me to fall asleep as I fully prepared myself that this was a huge fabricated dream and that I'd wake up on Thursday expecting to go on the train but instead someone would tell me it was all a lie.  Fully expecting to go to the side of the fridge and see no tickets there.

Instead, it was real.  I grabbed the tickets, placed into my purse and off we went to the train station.  I even made Mike and Zombieman 'sign off' that the tickets were placed into my purse and the purse was then put around my neck, I was that paranoid.

The train trip up was uneventful.  I read, I napped, I colored, I looked out the window.  I tried to force myself to believe this was actually happening.

I did have something stuck in my head though.  The entire train ride up, this song was in my head, Du riechst so gut.  I don't know why, it just was.  I hadn't even listened to it recently, in fact I hadn't really listened to Rammstein prior to the concert.

We arrived to a snowy Montreal with slushy streets that was a nightmare to traverse with Mike in his new wheelchair.  We ate poutine, well not me, but Mike and Zombieman did.  We struggled to return to the hotel, where I double checked the tickets had made the trip with us.

We readied ourselves and headed to the Bell Center.  Being in a strange city, we took the 'wrong' way into the arena for a wheelchair.  Had we known, we could have just walked above ground for a block and it would have taken us straight in without needing to navigate stairs, but it wouldn't be us if it was that easy.  Waiting in line was agony.

Finally, we made it up the escalator and handed over the tickets I had so lovingly carried and into our seats.  We were in the accessible section somewhat opposite to the stage.

The opening act was Combichrist.  I really cannot tell you about this part of the concert.  Its a blur and this is no slight on Combichrist whatsoever, but my impatience was starting to rear its ugly head.  We then had to wait for about 1/2 hour for the setup before Rammstein took the stage. This was maddening.  I don't know why, but each minute felt like forever.

Then, finally, after 12 years this happened...

The song: Rammlied

I was rapt.  Time itself stopped.  Songs ran into songs.  Two encores and they played this...

The song: Du riechst so gut

Words cannot describe how I felt, this concert for which I had waited for so long.  When they said goodbye, I was truly saddened.  It seemed like they had just taken the stage and now they were leaving.  I wanted them to continue, I wanted to hear more.

I guess I will have to head to Germany for more.