Stationary Drifting


Best Of: March

best of March

last of winter

march doggies

flowers & cards

/// quality time in Jarry Park && sun for longer && the last of winter /// Mars and Josie being adorable /// dog parking at Marche Jean Talon /// Consulting the cards /// Spring flowers to brighten grey days ///

I can’t believe its the end of March already! I feel like I just wrote the Best of Feb and Best of Blogs: Feb posts. If this blog is any indication of what my life is like, I pretty much DID just write those posts….March flew by and I have been fighting to keep on track with my life schedule. I didn’t blog as much as I would have liked to unfortunately. It slipped away in a flurry of sewing, applying for jobs, marking, and writing. And a little friend and couple time mixed in.

Here are some highlights:

Life:

march bowling

/// me lovin my new talent. Is it possible to be a bowling alley shark? /// Mars celebrating yet another spare, he is also better at bowling than pool ///

I think the thing I was the most excited about this month (besides sewing) was the oncoming spring. Winter is not my favourite. At all. I get really depressed with all the grey and I hate trying to get around in the snow. Montreal is a walking/biking city, the transit is decent but ALL of these modes of transport are a pain in the winter. Walking is hard, biking is impossible (for me, some people I know still do it), and transit is packed, hot and often late. Because of all of this I stay home a lot, taking my vitamin D pills and trying to remember times when I could go outside without 18 layers. Spring was in the air early this year, and although we got one last snow storm this month it has been warmer, sunnier and the snow is mostly gone. Which pleases me to no end. Also daylight savings means its lighter in the hours I’m awake, which does wonders for my mood. Saskatchewan has it right with the no daylight savings, its the worst.

2 of my favourite friends have birthdays in March. My platonic wife Corrie lives in Winnipeg so I didn’t get to celebrate her like I want to but my longest friend Felicia moved back to Montreal and we went bowling like a bunch of REALLY COOL 30 year olds. I turned out to be a lot better at bowling than pool and got TONS of strikes! It was a black light, jams from 1999 kind of night and we all danced and sang and cheered on each other for hours. I loved it. More bowling on the menu from now on.

Speaking of birthdays, we had a very belated birthday party for Mars on Corrie’s birthday. Since we were out west for his birthday and he didn’t get to celebrate with friends I wanted to make sure that he was celebrated properly in Montreal. An awesome group of people showed up to our favourite Salvadorian restaurant to eat a ridiculous amount of pupusas, then came back to our place for cake (a flourless chili chocolate cake I should post about), tequila sunrises and late night confessions of childhood crushes (mine was Leonardo Dicaprio). It was really lovely and I think my guy had a nice, if very bemused time. The flowers above are the leftovers from the bouquet I got him in celebration. The next day we went and saw a play about Mahalia Jackson. Which felt fancy and was a nice night out for the two of us.

I went to a few great shows this month, including a jam packed with talent show headlined by Invincible (Detroit) and hometown hero Akua. I got to meet a bunch of really talented people and sway to really great music (including my all time favourite MC who jumped on stage for a track <3).

Other than that it was all job applications, academic articles, marking and sick days on the couch. A classic March.

Crafts:

Sewing away to my heart’s content, which I’m planning a whole separate post for. So far I’ve made 3 dresses and 2 skirts. They turned out really well and I wear them all the time! I love planning up new things and trying to figure out how to make them. I’m still pretty impatient when I sew. I want to wear them immediately! I have to learn how to enjoy the process more, and also iron… I’m pretty proud of myself for not using patterns and still having pretty awesome results. I could use access to a serger though, jersey is kind of hard to sew with a regular machine.

Books:

Still reading White Teeth. BUT I’m almost done!

Recipes:

march food

/// my winning ribs before they were cooked, no after picture. I was too ready to eat a million ribs by the time they were done and forgot to take a photo /// one of my favourite, filling soup recipes from 101 cookbooks. Its especially good when sick like I was a few times this month ///

Mid month a group of friends and us had a rib off, where we all submitted a rack of ribs, ate our faces off and voted. I WON!! It was my first time ever making ribs and I won! I’m pretty damn chuffed with myself for it because I had some stiff competition. Also, I’m not usually the come-in-first type so it did wonders for my ego. Everyone’s were really really good though and the real winner was my stomach! We’ve been organizing chosen-family get togethers pretty often these days and its awesome. I love having amazing people to laugh with and talk about real shit with. Makes life so much sweeter.

And because I’m a firm believer is sharing recipes I’m going to post my Keetha’s 2 Die 4 Dry Rubbed Ribs this week!

In the meantime check out 101 cookbooks for the above soup’s recipe, Red Lentil Soup with Lemon. 101 cookbooks is one of the best cooking sites I know. I have one of Heidi’s books [super natural every day] and its great but you don’t need to buy a book (though I recommend it!) to access her recipes. The 101 cookbooks site is incredible, searchable, and super varied. Her food is healthy, simple, seasonal,and delicious. I really like this soup because its so hearty with the lentil and rice, it has greens and is flavoured with tumeric, cumin and mustard seeds. Add a the suggested spinach, and some yogurt or peppers goat cheese and its basically the best ever.  I ate it for 2 whole days when I was sick this month and it made me feel so much better. I actually made it again yesterday and I’m still loving it.

Music:

I’m still obsessed with songza and have been exploring all sorts of genres. My current favs (besides 90ies), are latin lady MCs, reggae, and bluegrass.

Sidenote:

I’m still trying to figure out good ways to post pictures. Sorry if things are weird. I’m struggling with sizing…

March in a nutshell. I can’t believe its over. April is going to have to be a bang up month so that I can catch up!


2013: the post in which I state my resolutions

I think I was kind of trying to avoid writing a post on new years resolutions, etc. For no particular reason other than the fact that it seemed to be required of bloggers (am I a blogger now?), and a bit cliche for this time of the year. I guess I do like to have personal time capsules though, hence the existence of this blog in the first place. After reading a few bloggers talk about looking at their resolutions from last year and comment on them I got a hankering to be able to do that myself. So here’s my plan for this year, no particular order, mostly to look back at in approximately 353 days and see how it worked out.

1. Finish my thesis

This is a really big one. I know that my thesis has made an appearance in the complaining part of this blog many a time. Its been dragging on a long time and is getting to the point of being more of a myth in my life than a reality. I’m tired of feeling embarrassed and apologetic every time someone asks me about it. I really want to have it done and over with so I can prove to myself that I am capable of such tasks and and to be able to move on with my life. The thesis is holding me back from starting other things I care about learning because I can’t really imagine, or justify to others, starting anything new with this still sitting there. So to do this I’m going to have to 9-5 this shit. No more flexible time, no more excuses, just all work all the time until I’m done. It will feel so good to move on and I’m going to use the yearning for that feeling to drive me.

2. Find a good job

Finding a job has been a helluva chore. Its been over a year that I’ve been applying, going to interviews, feeling rejected, and starting again. My goal for this year is to make the changes that need to be made in order to find work, which will include really thinking about whether Montreal is the place for this to happen. I’ve been applying to work in other places but maybe I need to make the big move to change up the formula and hopefully find something that works. This requires a lot of thinking and planning since I don’t exactly have the income to up and move to a more expensive city (thinking Toronto), and obviously this decision also affects M so its got to work for him too. Whatever it is, something is not working in my application process and I need to evaluate that. This goal is related to the above goal in a lot of ways, not the least of which because both are making me feel stuck and also probably that getting my thesis done and graduating will help the job hunt. Its also related to moving my life and my new little family’s life and goals forward. So its back to the regular job hunt for me. To do this I’m going to get back to regularly searching for and applying to jobs. I’m going to make it my begin the morning routine, over coffee and breakfast (which I will also be getting better at), before working on my thesis.

3. Drink more water

In the past I’ve gone for more of a general “get healthy” goal. I’m not ditching that because let’s be honest, I’m way too young to not take care of myself. This year though I’m going to put down a more specific goal of making sure I drink a lot more water every day. Like the full recommended daily amount. Its not a hard goal but its a habit I want to form and it will take some conscious intention to get it started. I’m going to follow the Mayo Clinic’s advice because they seem legit and are usually not too extreme in their recommendations. They say that the average woman in a temperate climate should drink 9 liters a day so I’m going to aim for that. 9-10 big glasses or my water bottle a day should do the trick. I want to start each day with water before anything else and move from there. Luckily I drink a lot of water when sitting at a desk, mostly out of fidgety boredom, so this should work perfectly with my above plans.

4. Start a Cdn political analysis blog/podcast

This one is going to be on pause until the Thesis is done because frankly I’m not sure I can handle more writing, other than blogging, on top of that but I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time. Hence the Department of Analysis blog I keep but don’t write on these days. I follow a lot of grassroots political blogs and podcasts and really enjoy the perspective. My complaint about this though is that all of them are American, and while I appreciate the updates on what’s going on there I want to publicize what’s going on here too. The idea is not to be a journalist so I won’t be going out to follow stories, that’s not my goal. What I want to do is be a pundit of sorts and do commentary on events, news and politics in Canada to try and up the conversations happening about the situation here. The US affects our politics but we have plenty of our own that needs to be discussed. I’m going to aim for a late spring launch on this. If I can get others involved then great but if not I’m still going to do it.

5. Start a small Apothecary

I’ve been into herbal and holistic healthcare for a long time now. I think my first foray into it was when I got Bell’s Palsy (8 years ago?) and doctors told me that they didn’t know anything to ease the symptoms or speed recovery but that some people had good results from acupuncture. Luckily at that time I was still covered under my dad’s awesome teacher’s insurance and I was able to get acupuncture 3x/week for months free. It worked, was relaxing and most importantly I had (what I’m told is) a remarkable recovery. I still seek out acupuncture when I need it these days, though I don’t have coverage for it so its a lot less often. From there I got myself a naturopath and started using herbal remedies to make myself healthier and my obsession has only grown. Nowadays I treat just about everything with herbs (unless I’m really sick) and have gotten into making toiletries. I know make my own deodorant, cream and lip balm and am learning to make more. I’ve been researching lots of recipes (and even classes) but for now I think I can start a small apothecary making non-internal products and selling them around town. So this winter is for learning, and when the thesis is done I will launch!

6. Make a budget and stick to it

Classic resolution and one that I make almost every year. Its a bit comical to try and make a budget for such a small amount of money but at the same time SO necessary. This budget is going to focus on watching what we spend and paying down debt so that when we eventually have good jobs and more income we know where our money goes and hopefully have a cleaner slate to work with, and better credit. Eventually we will want to do things like buy cars and maybe a somewhere to live. Or at least travel. Money sucks when you don’t have it. So a budget has been made for this year, mapping out the real expenses we have and prioritizing the important things, including a (very small) budget line for entertainment. Now we just have to make sure we stay on track.

7. Read more books

My degree has killed my ability to sit and read for fun. I feel guilty when I’m not reading academic stuff so I haven’t really. I got a mini kobo for xmas this year and some bookstore gift certificates and I had no idea what to buy! This is so weird for me, I used to be such a big reader. This is somewhat related to the next resolution. Don’t get me wrong, I read, a lot. I have a solid 29 blogs and news agencies that I check at least once a day (thank you flipboard), not to mention the many articles, postings, rants and commentaries that also make up my daily reading. I love reading and I love learning, I acknowledge that I’ve turned more towards emerging and grassroots/popular learning in the form of new media academics and I like it. I get challenged a lot from it and it inspires a lot of discussion in my home. I miss reading for fun though, and reading fiction. Anyway, I finished reading Fun Home last week and am partway through Alison Bechdel’s new book, Are You My Mother?. Next up is Barbara Kingsolver’s, Flight Behavior on my new kobo. Then maybe something by Zadie Smith? I don’t know yet. The plan is to read at least 30 books for fun this year (idea from blackandwhiteandlovedallover). 30 is not much but it seems reasonable in the face of the stack of books I have to read to finish my damn degree.

8. Use less screens

This is another reason why I haven’t been reading enough. I have a million screens that I can look at in all places. My computer, tablet, smart phone, and (now) ereader makes is virtually (pun intended) impossible to avoid looking at a screen. I can sit in front of the computer all day, or peruse the www on my tablet in bed or while traveling (I even use it for knitting patterns!), the phone works for small spaces like the metro or bus or if I don’t have the tablet with me. The ereader for when my eyes feel like falling out of my head from starting at screens too long. So, with the health of my eyes in mind I’m going to make sure I spend a significant amount of time not looking at screens a day. Whether that’s reading (ereader doesn’t count, its nice on the eyes), knitting, hanging out with friends, cooking or whatever I’m going to make an effort.

9. Go somewhere new

Phew, this post is getting really long. Its taken me almost 2 weeks to write!

This is a fun one, a lot of these goals feel kinda heavy….I’m a wanderlust at heart. I’ve been in Montreal for 5 and a half years and its closing in on the longest I’ve lived anywhere, including places I lived as a child (Calgary was 7 years). My parents move(d) a lot, I’ve moved a LOT. There was the period of time between 19-24 I moved cities, if not countries, every 4 months. I like being nomadic, I get excited by new places. I have come to enjoy the benefits of being somewhere a while, which mostly have to do with knowing people for a long time, but I still need new places in my life to keep things fresh. So my goal for this year is to go to at least one new place. It doesn’t have to be far, it just has to be somewhere I’ve never been before.

10. “Renovate” the apartment

I’ve been living in this little apartment for almost 2 years, and now officially over 1 year with M. When I originally set up and painted the place it worked really well for me. We made a few changes to fit M in when they moved here but other than moving one or two pieces of furniture and clearing out a closet and a few drawers for them to use there haven’t really been any changes made to the place. Its in desperate need of an update and a shuffling to make ‘my’ place ‘ours’. My goal for this year is to declutter, paint, recover and buy with M to make our house ours. We’re exploring ways to cover the terrible linoleum in the kitchen & bathroom. Suggestions welcome. Changing a rental apartment is an interesting dance between wanting a good space and not investing a lot into a place we’ll move out of and leave behind.