Saturday, January 27, 2007

It's a quiet winter day. We were up early (for a weekend) around 8am. Had blueberry pancakes with maple syrup and fruit salad of strawberries, blueberries and bananas. The berries have been strangely fresh this winter. I make the pancakes with half whole wheat flour and half all-purpose flour, which tastes pretty good. I had tried it 100% whole wheat flour but they came out very heavy.

Most of morning we've heard the sounds of various neighbours shoveling snow. I suppose I should get out there shortly, but right now I'm comfortable lying down on the couch with the laptop on my lap (on top of my lap oddly enough).

Almost forgot about my big news! I'm going to the Leaf-Canadiens game tonight in the Star box! Cool, eh? We were having a beer or two in Cafe Eric yesterday afternoon. Cafe Eric is my office at One Yonge, but I have a fridge now and it turns out that you can put beer in it to keep cool! Instead of going across the street for a beer, most people at work drop by my office, sometimes with a six-pack (it's handy that the the LCBO across the street sells beer). I put on iTunes, and move my portable table outside my office with a couple chairs (the "patio").

So we were having a beer, when someone from Circ walked by looking for Circ Support, because he had a couple 9th row tickets to the Raptors game to give away. Circ Support had all gone home for the day, so he offered them to us! Ryan was pretty happy to take them (he's a big fan). We were just getting over the excitement when I got a call from Sarkis at VPC asking if I wanted to go the Leaf game on Saturday (tonight)!

We've booked a couple bands for the wedding. The Manorfield String Quartet will be playing at the church, and the Boys in the Kitchen at the reception (they're one of the house bands at the Olde Dublin Pub in Charlottetown). We still have to confirm the details but at least we have the dates reserved.

I think I may get off the couch and go shovel the sidewalk.

Monday, January 22, 2007


I've heard this expression a couple times over the last week. When we took the cab back to One Yonge on Friday, Ryan had the taxi chits and we had to remind him, and he said Oh snap! I forgot I had the taxi chit. And on Saturday on the radio, Barry Taylor used it similarly. I figured it meant oops! I asked my Ultimate friends and Craig said it was an acknowledgement of an insult. Urban Dictionary gives a number of definitions, some with more swear words than others. I think #7, the new oops! is the closest to how I've heard it used.


We lost at Ultimate yesterday, again by a point. However, our offense was looking good (except when we got close to the end zone), and our defense was great. We just have to take our time near the end zone and we'll start winning. After went to the Bedford Academy for a drink.

Unfortunately our game was at 9:30pm, so I missed the end of the Colts-Patriots game. I saw the opening drive by Manning in the 2nd half, and then left for Ultimate. Go Colts!


On Saturday I finally met Heather's friend Shelley. We went out for lunch at Cafe Verte, and then for a coffee at Tango Palace. Later that night, I went out with Marissa for a drink at Mill St Brew Pub.

Sunday I went over to Marissa's to help her hang her new hi-def TV on her wall. She lives in a condo, with drywall and metal studs, so I wasn't sure about the best way to hang the TV. Ended up putting a 2'x 1' piece of wood on the outside of the drywall across two studs, and then screwed the mounting bracket to the wood. The TV's only about 50 pounds so it should be good.

Anyways, I should get to cooking. We're trying out Braised Sea Bass with Moroccan Spiced Sauce from the LCBO recipes.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Just got back from hockey, we had a very early game at 6:15pm. Unfortunately I had meetings at One Yonge in the afternoon, so I had to rush up from downtown instead of working at VPC and easing my way across. Took the South Kingway / Jane route, and the going was good until I got to Lawrence. There was an accident on Jane just south of the on-ramp to the 400, and it took me 30 minutes to get through it.

I ended up missing half the 1st period. We also had 13 guys (unusual for a 6:15pm game), so I hardly had any ice time. We lost 2-0, but I think we would have won with fewer guys on the bench. Ten guys made it up for a beer after, which is more than we usually get for a game.

Last night was much better for sports. Our Ultimate game was also an early game (6:15pm), but the game was at Waterside instead of way up north at YorkU. We won 39-16, our biggest margin of victory that I can remember. We played really well, and stuck to the fundamentals even after we had a big lead. My catching is back (Craig even took time to comment), but that's because it's speed point and I'm getting enough playing time to get into the game. (In the fall we had too many guys and it was regular point, so I didn't get much playing time and my catching was terrible). Craig's sister (also our real estate agent) just had her 2nd baby, so we stayed at Waterside for a quick beer so that Craig and Jen could get to Saint Jo's before visiting hours closed. Unfortunately we decided to eat at Waterside in addition to the quick beers. The food there is really bad, but I somehow get optimistic once I'm settled in having a beer. They had some new items on the menu, but I didn't make the connection that it was the same kitchen, and thought, oh, maybe this will be better. It wasn't.

On Sunday we played at the new field at Varsity at UofT (or, the UofT as Heather calls it with the article). It's now my favourite field downtown. The turf is great, the bubble is huge and doesn't come into play (unlike Sportsworld at the Docks). We lost by a point, but there's a number of new players on the team and it was our first game, so I wasn't disappointed. We went to the Bedford Academy afterwards. I really like the atmosphere there.

Well I think I will read some more of The Iliad. It's a page-turner.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

It was snowing this morning when we woke up, it looked very pretty. It's the first time this year I had to brush snow off my car. It's been a slow day today, I've been watching the football games and Heather's been working on her chapter.

Winter season for sports started this week. On Wednesday we had our first game, which we won easily. It was freezing inside the bubble at Waterside, and my hands didn't warm up until the end of the game. The team voted to wear green, but most people (including me) hadn't picked up a green shirt yet, so we wore lights instead. There's a big spectrum within green, so we may have to be more specific about the green so we all look the same. I voted for green so that I could use my $25 gift certificate from Lululemon. After the game we went for a quick drink at Fionn's (the game was at 10:15pm so it had to be a quick drink).

Thursday our hockey game was at 10:15pm as well. 10:15pm is an odd time, because it's too late to eat after the game, and I feel lethargic if I eat before the game. We lost 2-1, I scored our goal on a deflection. It's the 3rd or 4th game in a row that we've only scored one goal. There were hardly any whistles (the only one in the first period was for a goal), so the game finished pretty quickly (we play 12-10-10 minute periods).

Our Ultimate game today is at the newly-opened facility at Varsity Stadium. We're allowed to wear cleats, which I prefer. (The newer places have artifcial turf with little granules which prevent rug burn, on which you can use cleats; the older places such as Waterside have old turf which is carpet-like and cause bad rug burns if you fall, and you can only use running shoes which don't grip well on the turf). It'll be harder to find parking at Varsity, but there'll be more places to go out after the game.

I should go get ready for the game.

Monday, January 08, 2007

The weather got colder today so we decided to have a barbecue. We bundled up in our toques and Grammy Vera scarves and gloves, grabbed a couple Mill St tankhouse ales and barbecued some wings. I used a combination of Diana sauce and a hot sauce from the farmer's market in Ottawa. We tasted a sample when we were in Ottawa over the summer, but for some reason didn't buy any. But my sister bought us some for Christmas so it all worked out. The combination tasted really good.

We read in the Star over the weekend that the Gypsy Co-op has closed :( Heather and I went there on our first date. We had dinner at Czehoski's and then went to the Gypsy for drinks. That's too bad it's closed, it was a cool place. I used to go there with Bernice on Monday nights when I lived in King W, before Heather and I met.

We're both getting more excited about the wedding because we've been doing more of the planning. We sent out an email to everyone with the details (we'll be sending out formal invitations later on, but there's a lot of people planning trips and we wanted to get out the details). We also registered for the marriage preparation course (in June).

Anyways, I should get to bed.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

It was a quiet week at work -- school kids were still on vacation, and so most people took the week off as well. I got through a few things on my task list that had been sitting there for a while.

Thursday played hockey, the first time in two weeks that I'd done anything aerobic. Felt pretty good, although by the 2nd period I was losing my legs. The league has done funny things with the schedule this year, and we played the 2nd place team in the division above us. They came out strong, but then played down to our level the rest of the game. We played a good game defensively and ended up losing 2-1. I got an assist.

On Saturday Heather and I had the porcini risotto and veal piccatta yet again (I wanted to use up the leeks). Had a different pinot noir, which wasn't as earthy and so not as great a match (but still good). The porcini mushrooms are very earthy and the Sonoma Creek pinot noir we had the first time we made the dish were a much better match. I use dried porcini mushrooms, but I wonder if I can get fresh ones somewhere? I didn't use enough lemon in the sauce, and so we squeezed some lemon on after it was served. The pinot noir really picked up with the lemon juice -- it needed the acidity to bring out the taste.

After we met up with Maricar and Robin and a couple of her friends at OverJoy. It's been a while since we've been there (it's often booked for private parties). Had a couple Keiths and were home by midnight.

Got some more chores done in the house this weekend. I'm a big fan of maximizing the use of kitchen cupboard space, and one big waste is empty space between shelves. I installed an extra shelf (they're readily available at Home Depot etc) in the cupboard with dry foods -- so now our pasta and rice is all nicely arranged and accessible.

(You may also notice that the backsplash is finally grouted!)

I also got around to checking the humidifier. There's a label on the humidifier that says I should check it annually, so I dug up the instruction manual. The water dispenser comes out and I ran it under the tap to clear out mineral deposits. The humidifier is designed so that it cleans out most of the deposits automatically with the water drainage, so it wasn't clogged at all.

The winter Ultimate season starts up this week, with games on both Wednesday and Sunday. Both are speed point so I will start to get back into shape :)

Monday, January 01, 2007

Some more pics from New Year's eve...

Dinner at our place. From left: Robin, Maricar, Bernice, Nadine, Marissa, Heather, me.

Dinner at our place. The flowers are from Wild Thyme and the candle holders are from We!, both local stores in Leslieville.

Ringing in the new year!

No looking back!

Christmas was great, aside from me being sick most of the time. Christmas day was the worst, I slept through most of it. ...Nalini & Brendan and their kids Declan (5) and Darcy (2.5) visited from Ottawa, it was great to have them over. We last saw the kids on our road trip in August, and we noticed a lot of changes -- Darcy's able to talk now. They both like to have stories read to them. I would get into a coughing fit if I talked so Heather did more reading than me.

Declan kept a diary of his trip. Look at Leo on the front step!

Heather helped mom make the chicken this year, to learn how to make my mom's traditional Christmas dinner. It turned out really good. We also had the usual lots of cakes, (including my favourite, a rum cake). Our portuguese neighbours brought us a cake and homemade wine, which was very nice.


On New Year's, we had a little dinner at our place with Bernice, Marissa, Nadine, Maricar and Robin. I made the porcini risotto and veal piccatta that I'd made before Christmas. I used less lemon in the reduction on the veal, and it came out much better. I always have trouble measuring ingredients when cooking for more than two people (I don't use actual measurements), but it all came out okay. We went over to another friend's (Cynthia) condo for the countdown to 2007. We left early (around 12:30ish), still feeling a bit under the weather (plus Heather was having an allergic reaction to the cats that Cynthia used to have).

Today we slept in until 1pm! We actually got quite a few things done around the house despite the late hour -- we took down the tree, cleaned up the basement a bit, fixed the lights over the kitchen table, and re-hung the pictures so they're level.

Now we're watching Supersize me! getting all grossed out about eating fast food. We hardly ever eat at fastfood places so it won't change our lives.