LJ Supports NaNoWri

Compass
I wish this had been an option when I completed NaNoWri.

http://community.livejournal.com/lj_nanowrimo/470.html

Good Things Happen When I've Had Some Sleep

Compass
So this morning, Derek took a mental health day so when both kids were awake and I was barely up, he told me to go back to bed. I haven't slept like that in months.

This afternoon, I went running and when I got out there, it felt good and I was ready to go. I ran for an hour and a little more than five miles (5.09 miles in case you were curious). It felt pretty good and I was a little tired but that disappeared after my shower.

Tonight, I had my weekly yoga class. The focus this week was on twists. We were sitting on mats the whole time pretty much, but it was a good workout. When you do a lot of torso twists, it increases the blood flow around your spine. The last ten to fifteen minutes of our class is a wind down relaxation, but when we walked out of the school, I had a ridiculous amount of energy.

I came home to leftover lasagna from supper. I'd frozen a loaf pan of lasagna a couple of weeks ago and reheated it for the gang for supper. (Making lasagna in loaf pans is great for a smaller group for supper like my family. No eating it for days and days ever after.) It was so goood! I'll definitely do that again. I've never done any freezer cooking before so this was my first experiment. I stuck it in the oven partially frozen (because I didn't pull it out soon enough to defrost fully) with the tin foil over it. I kept it in the oven at 300* until a knife stuck in the middle for 10 seconds and pulled out was hot to the touch. Voila! Heated through and I knew it was heated through.

Thankfully, my energy level is starting to level off now so I will get some sleep tonight. :)

Yes, I know. This proves I'm Mentally Ill

Greys Anatomy
Somoeone posted a link to a huge pile of countdowns for the big holiday on another site I go to and I could not resist posting it here.


Rambling about Appearances

Compass
The other night I was watching something on TV (although right now I can't recall what) about going to the theatre. The people were dressed up like this was a social occasion and not just a regular old thing. Then today, on a community board I was on, someone was lamenting they hoped the annual sports dinner ($100+/plate) they had bought tickets for wasn't a formal occasion and couldn't he just get away with business casual.

Enough.

I'm not suggesting for a second we need to go back to the days when ladies wore long skirts and men were not seen in public without a long coat and shirt buttoned to the collar. Far from it. But I do think society has fallen to an overly casual state. Golf shirts and khakis are good enough for the office and most women don't even need to own a pair of heels except sometimes for weddings. There's less care for grooming and presentation and sometimes I wonder if that translates to how you feel.

When I worked for the bank, we did have a business casual dresscode for most days. However, on days when the CEO or VPs were visiting, we changed to business formal. The men wore suits; women put more effort into their attire and out came shirts that required ironing. And you know what? The environment for the day was electric. People felt better. In a sales environment, it's hard sometimes to be motivated, but in formal attire, there was a confidence that wasn't there daily.

The economy is not in good shape overall in North America. We know the US is in its own financial bind while Canada could be in for a rough ride due to our close trading ties. There likely will be less to spend and maybe we do need to consider what we lost as a society when we tossed out when we went so casual. When society dressed up and treated going to the movie theatre as an outing and an occasion, did we appreciate it more? We've become a society which doesn't mind spending cash all the time and goes out for entertainment --- supper in a restaurant, wing night in a lounge to watch the hockey game, cappucino and cheesecake at a coffeeshop. There's nothing wrong with that, but I wonder if this current state of affairs in the world might not make us reevaluate the stuff we used to do when there was less cash? Potluck at someone's house for the big game. Games night in the apartment with a deck of cards or Rockband on the Wii.

I'm curious to see what will happen over the next year. Our generation really wasn't old enough to notice how bad it was in the 80s and have pretty sparse experience with how hard recession can hit. Maybe I'll just have to perfect baking a few more variations of cheesecake.

Thinking Politics

Compass
After a point, all this media talk about the economy and markets is just talk. They repeat themselves so often that it becomes meaningless. We've heard it all. At the same time, they also yap about the federal elections like it's a completely separate issue, but I'm not sure they are so exclusive.

Canada will go to the polls for a federal election on Tuesday. We eat well for Thanksgiving this weekend before going to cast our ballots for those turkeys. I do not expect much of a change; really, the biggest change that will come from this election is the rejection of party leaders. A very poor Liberal showing should lead to Dion's replacement. Layton needs to pull in more seats to prove his leadership is worth something. Then there's Duceppe, the leader of a regional party allowed to hold federal seats; he's been under pressure from Quebec for not pursuing the interests of their province more fully (whatever the heck that means). All three leaders could be replaced post-election. I expect our current Prime Minister to be the Prime Minister after the election.

The American people are obviously in a bigger mess than we are, but they still need the stability of a decided president. I'm not sure the newly elected president will be able to do anything in his first term anyway; has an American president ever inheritted such a mess from the previous administration? I'm not sure selecting Palin has swung the female vote of the Hilary supporters as McCain hoped. Palin is a bit extreme in some of the things she says; does she honestly believe everything she says or if this is just the road she thinks works for her to compete in what she sees as a mostly male-dominated business.

But really, getting back to the economy, while I don't think an election campaign is a time of instability, I do think to some extent it limits the ability of the government to put together a solid plan to handle economic challenges and/or prepare for any potential future snags. The economy in western Canada is largely (but not solely) natural resource based and trucking along fine while eastern Canada is in a tighter spot due to their reliance on the manufacturing sector. The members of the current govt are campaigning on their record and trying to avoid promising anything new while the opposition parties are promising the world to try to get in. None of that does anything to address preparing for different coming challenges.

I'll be happy to get these elections out of the way. We'll be taking our kids to vote. It's important to vote and I think it's very irresponsible when people do not exercise that right. It doesn't take much to pick up the paper or go online the day before, read the summaries of the platforms and go vote. It's not the perfect system, but it's all we got and no candidate is going to represent every single ideal you or I want. You deal.

My Favourite Olympic Event

Maple Leaf Canada
It came down to the last 100m, but Simon Whitfield is coming home from Beijing with the Men's Triathlon silver medal. In the last sprint, Frodeno from Germany had enough left in the tank to pull ahead at the 75m mark. It was a hard and strong finish for both men.

Whitfield won the gold in Sydney in 2000 which was Triathlon's debut as an Olympic sport. He was 25. Today, he's 33 (same age as me incidentally) and wins silver. The lead pack was all world class competitors. There is no shame in not crossing the line first. What an entertaining race!

What I especially love about this man is his attitude. He's so positive and bleeds Canadian. When our 8 man heavyweight team won gold in the rowing on the weekend, he sent a message to CBC to congratulate them and to invite them out to the triathlon competition. When he didn't medal in Athens, his first words to the media were "I'm sorry, Canada" as if he'd let us all down. (I do love his post on that blog when he says CBC needs to get Phelps off the main page and get Ryan Cochrane, bronze medallist who set a new Canadian record, up there!)

He's a class act all the way and someone I am so proud to have represent us. Congratulations, Simon! You make us all proud!

http://simonwhitfield.blogspot.com/

I Love Saskatchewan

Maple Leaf Canada
I know I've said this before, but I'll say it again.
I love not changing the clock twice a year.
We are already on DST and we stay on DST all the time.
I imagine it's just a hassle for the rest of you to have to re-adjust.

An Open Food Survey

Compass
1. What do you think is the most impressive/delectable/wonderful thing you know how to cook/bake? You know, the thing you make for special occasions or company or when you just need really great eats for a mental lift.

I get compliments on my baking so that would be the easy answer. Derek's family really likes the cookies I make; at this point, I can tell you the favourites for my ILs. I make really good homemade burgers; that's not impressive but fits the wonderful/delectable part! ;)

2. What would you like to learn to make, but are intimidated to try or haven't made for whatever reason? What is holding you back from trying it?

I want to learn to make bread, good cinnamon buns and pastry. The last time I made pastry, it didn't come together well. I made cinnamon buns from scratch once but it wasn't a good enough recipe (not enough cinnamon and no raisins). I'm determined to try all three of these this year!

3. What do you think everyone should know how to cook?

I think everyone should know how to make one complete adult meal that doesn't come from a box. By adult meal, I mean more than just frozen chicken nuggets and French fries. It could be spaghetti, meat sauce, a side salad and garlic toast. It could be baked potatoes, frozen veggies and steak. It could be a rice-chicken stirfry with vegetables. Even chili from scratch, topped with shredded cheese with storebought bread on the side. It's important to have one full meal in one's repetoire.

**Edited to add my answers***

Tags:

What a Crappy Trade and Deserved Fallout.

Maple Leaf Canada
Lowe screwed the Edmonton Oilers this week when he traded their heart and soul away over a reported 100K. It's so sad to see Captain Canada in a Islanders jersey. He should've been first priority to resign. They'll lose money in ticket sales and merchandise with him gone. This is the younger generation's version of the Wayne Gretzky trade. So very sad! The New York Rangers are my loved team (who will be golfing during the playoffs), but I can't help having a soft spot for Edmonton.

And what has Edmonton done without Ryan Smyth?

Lost to Phoenix 3-0. Got booed by the fans.

Lost to Minnesota 5-0. Got booed by the fans.

Anyone else see a trend here? So sad.

One of Those Quiet Still Moments!

Greys Anatomy
It's 840 am. I'm awake, loving a glass of orange juice, while my boys are both still in bed. It's a surreal experience to be awake in the morning before my son like this. LOL!

I needed to get up and stretch after 10 hours in bed even though I'm still a bit sleepy. Yes, last night wasn't an especially late night, but with being on the go from around eight in the morning all day without a nap or slowing down, it needed to be a earlier night for me. Matthew was in bed and sleeping by ten so a bit later than usual and I think I reached ten-thirty MAYBE, but we needed sleep. We aren't done yet. We're moving again today.

More to come later about our Christmas.