Monday, July 30, 2007

The End of the World as I Knew It

... and (predictably enough, if you're an REM fan, anyway) I feel fine.

My meatless streak officially ended late Friday night. By the time the potatoes had roasted and the meat had cooked, it was well past 10:30 pm, which arguably wasn't the greatest time to re-introduce our bodies to something they hadn't ingested in over a decade. Oh, well. With the help of some digestive enzyme tablets and a hearty dose of courage, the deed was done. (Enter anticlimax.)

(Note: We did not eat NEARLY that much ham from the get go... those pieces on the plate will last about 46 meals, or 3.5 years, whichever takes longer.)

I'll admit I was visibly shaken before, during, and immediately after I had put the tiniest of pieces of ham into my mouth, chewed, and swallowed. My mind was reeling, and my long-standing issues with various food textures reared their ugly heads again. The next afternoon, though, I tried again. This time around, I dipped into the culture of my ancestors, and prepared the leftover ham with perogies and fried onions and mushrooms. (God bless Ukraine!) It was much better, and I didn't feel so nasty afterward. And now... perhaps I will be what they call a flexitarian? (One of those made-up states of being, like metrosexual.) I don't know. We'll see.

Even though the decision to try meat again was well thought out and pre-meditated by both Marty and I, it will still take me a while to renegotiate my feelings on the whole meat-eating issue and to feel like I am comfortable with this 'half-and-half' business on my own terms. I've caught myself a number of times almost apologizing for eating meat again to some of the people I know, and I'm definitely not cool with feeling ashamed or like a half-assed failure of a vegetarian. (It's funny how you can go for EONS without eating meat, and then as soon as you do, you get treated by *certain* vegetarians like they knew all along that you weren't cut out for the honorable lifestyle. Give me a break! I should point out, though, that all of you have been incredibly supportive, despite the shock. Thank you for that.)

Anyway... here's to hoping that this experiment will help Marty's blood get better.

Friday, July 27, 2007


Forgive the pre-teen title of this post... I'm just freaking out a little bit. Why, you ask? Well, because as we speak, I have an effin' HAM roasting in my effin' OVEN!!! (And it's not for some random meat-eating guests, either-- the plan is for MARTY AND I to eat it-- EEP!!!!)

I know, I know-- Ham is not normally that big of a deal. Perhaps it's a bit more exciting than chicken, but it's certainly not something to write home about, right? Unless, of course, you're like me, and you haven't had anything to do with ham or any other meats for more than HALF YOUR LIFE!! Seriously. I've *officially* been vegetarian since I was twelve, but if I had been given the choice when I was 8 months old... I probably would have been vegetarian back then, too.

So how the hell did this ham end up in my oven, then? Well, a couple of weeks ago, Marty and I trekked into Vancouver so he could have a live blood analysis done. The results were not good. Specifically, instead of having rich red blood cells wrapped with thick black ropes of protein, Marty's blood was a weak pinkish-blue shade and sported hardly any evidence of protein.

See the difference between healthy (above) and non-healthy blood (below)? I was sad to see that Marty's looked more like the bottom picture than the top one.

Anyway... We've been vegetarian for years and years, and even though we're pretty good at getting our alternative sources of protein (huzzah for legumes!), Marty's body wasn't absorbing nearly enough. The doctor even went out of her way to e-mail Marty a few weeks after his appointment to remind him that (quote): "Your body is grossly lacking protein". Hence the ham.

Both of us are a little nervous about what will transgress... we're trying to do this scary thing together, partly for moral support, but also because it's way more practical for people who live together to eat the same things. I know that a big part of my identity is tied up with the fact that I've been vegetarian for so long, and it seems so strange to me that I'll be cutting into a slice of meat in about a half hour from now. But on the other hand, a teeny tiny part of me is suddenly starting to crave meat. (!!!) Maybe I'm just trying to psych myself up for it... because I had an extremely hard time taking the ham out of the plastic and putting it in a tray to cook. I even got ham juice on my hands-- YUCK!!!!!

Well, I guess it won't be the end of my life to end my meatless streak. If I don't like it, I don't have to eat it again. I think I'm actually more afraid that I will like it and that my days of being a vegetarian will be over.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Check it out!

Hey all,

I'm a little run down and lazy, so go here to check out some hot photos of our lighthouse lantern. You can also check out Marty's website to see some of the daytime shots at the Luminara festival. Maybe I'll do a proper post about the whole ordeal tonight. Suffice it to say that our little lantern survived more than 8 solid hours of rain!

Thanks to Alex McMillan for taking these beautiful shots. Our camera didn't fare so well in the dark or in the rain (two strikes!), but he was kind enough to forward these pictures on to us.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Rain, Rain-- Go Away

At the risk of sounding like my weather-obsessed inlaws, I just have to point out that the bastards at the weather office do this every single weekend: They forecast nothing but rain on Saturday and Sunday, and then they invite the sunshine back come Monday. See?

July 21
July 22
July 23
July 24
July 25
July 26

Rain Rain Cloudy with sunny breaks Mainly sunny Sunny Scattered showers
High 16°C 18°C 20°C 21°C 23°C 22°C
Cloudy with sunny breaks
Mainly sunny
Scattered showers
P.O.P. 90% 90% 20% 0% 0% 40%

Normally, rain on the weekend would be a mild annoyance, but I would be able to take it in stride. Not this weekend, though. Nope. Saturday night is when our labour of love is supposed to get its moment in the spotlight. I'm getting horrific visions of the tissue on our lantern melting off in the inanimate object's equivalent of flesh eating disease. Yuck. Pulpy puddles of lantern and glue aren't fun on a good day, but they're even worse when they are the remnants of something you invested more than 100 hours of hard labour into! (<-- arrest me, grammar police. And while we're on the topic, the punctuation police can lay charges against me, too.) The crew at Luminara did a walk through the (rainy and soggy) park last night, and in a disturbing display of denial, nobody talked about what to do in the event of rain. The coordinator even went so far as to declare that she 'didn't think it would rain on Saturday evening'. OK... I love the coordinator and all, but I'd still like to know what Plan B is, in the (hopefully very unlikely) event that Mother Nature decides that she really does feel like raining on that night. Exactly how much wetness can a paper lantern handle before everything goes to shit?

Well, hopefully I'll be posting beautiful and magical photos of the lantern's grand debut on Sunday-ish, but just in case, here are some sneak preview 'before' shots of our wonderful lighthouse:

(Sorry, I decided against putting photos of the lantern all lit up at the last second. Call me superstitious, but I didn't want to jinx it!)

Everyone, cross your fingers, arms, eyes, and even toes that the weather holds out for Saturday. There are lots of things going on this weekend (Moss Street Paint-In, Luminara, Salt Spring Fibre Festival, and even the Harry Potter book release mayhem!), and it would be great for every single one of those events if the rain stayed away. Come on, Mother Nature!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Then Again, Maybe Not

Maybe it's the fact that I started a new job yesterday, or maybe it's the fact that my hair is sticking to my sweaty neck because of the high temperatures lately, but I've been thinking about cutting my hair short again. I've had my hair long(ish) for a while now, and I've been getting bored with the same old ponytail every day. (Note: I know I can technically do so much more with long hair than pull it back in an elastic, but of course I'm too lazy and/or low maintenance to bother with the blowdryer, straightening iron, and hair product. Besides, I've been commuting by bike between two jobs for the past four months, and even if I had enough pizazz to style my hair nicely for the first of two jobs, I certainly wouldn't be able to maintain the glitz for Job #2. I just can't be bothered.)

When I think back to my short hair, I generally feel a warm glow and nostalgic fondness. I associate my short hair with a sassy and confident version of me-- one who refused to fit into the confines of the 'traditionally feminine' box and one who looked great doing it! And even though I like having long hair for many reasons, too... I don't know. Sometimes I feel like long hair makes me too conservative, plain, and 'safe' looking. (Not like I want to look dangerous or unsafe-- just, you know, a little more spunky!)

Anyway, I was all determined to post some photos of my long-haired and short-haired selves and then to have you, dear readers, decide which of the two looks better suited me. I was all prepared to weigh the pros and cons of each option and then to make a rational decision re: a possible haircut afterward. But then I looked back through old albums of mine and was horrified with what I saw! Did I say that I associated my short hair with sass?! And confidence?!?!?! Well, I certainly would have needed some semblance of confidence to make these haircuts pass! Case in point:

Granted, I did pick the absolute worst of the worst photos to post as an example of my short hair. (I promise.) I can honestly say that this is the all time rock bottom of my looks captured on film. But now that it's out in the open, maybe I won't be so horrified about the thought of people accidentally stumbling upon this sorry evidence from my past (A&E biography, anyone?). Anywho, the point of this public humiliation is to remind myself that short hair requires just as much maintenance as long hair does, despite my (obviously distorted) memories of being able to just wash-'n'-go. Furthermore, it would seem from this evidence that the consequences of not putting any effort into styling short hair far outweigh those of stumbling out of bed with long hair and simply heading out into the world with a ponytail. Don't you agree?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

This Little Light of Mine (and Marty's)

I'm gonna let it shine!

We have been working non-stop on our lantern for the past week or so. It's making for tremendously long days (10 hours at work, then 4 or 5 more at the lantern studio), but somehow, just knowing that this chapter of my working life will be coming to an end in one short week is keeping my spirits high and my motivation in tact. (It couldn't come too soon, either. These last few days at work are DRAGGING ON!!)

Anyway, there are so many amazing lanterns being made at the Luminara studio (a pharoah! a geisha!), but of course, I have a soft spot for our very own lighthouse lantern.

(And yes... those are spandex cycling shorts on underneath my shorts... a little bit of 80s fashion never hurt anyone, right? And by the way, Robin, thanks for the yellow top-- the off-the-shoulder-top-over-a-sports-bra look really completed my retro ensemble!)

Alas, we are stuck right in the middle of everything to do our papering (in between the only washroom, the only staircase, the broom closet, and about a zillion people), but I am incredibly excited about the way it's shaping up so far.

We have been told many times (by many, many people) not to get too attached to our lantern, because so many things can happen to it between now and the festival. It can rip, get stepped on, burn down, collapse into the lake it will float on, or get soaked and ruined if it rains. Yikes. Luckily, we have taken many photos of the work in progress, so I'm hoping (hoping!!) that I won't be too devastated if anything happens to it. (I'm also hoping to win a gazillion dollars and travel the world, though, so that might shed some light on how realistic my dreams are. Not getting attached to the lantern = not very realistic. It's too late.)

Only two more nights left, and then our lighthouse will (hopefully) be ready to raft on the open sea! (OK, it's a lake, but at least it's still water!)

Tuesday, July 3, 2007


So... Just when I finally started to adjust to the 10-hour workdays and even the sub-par pay at my two jobs, I put my foot down and got a new one. (Keyword: one! So much for my super-intricate juggling act and the dramatic-collapses-from-exhaustion-at-home!)

In two short weeks from now, I will be basking in the sunshine of a regulated work week (37.5 hours!), a comprehensive benefits package (100 percent coverage for many of my family's health care needs!), and of course, vacation pay! (After all, what good is sunshine without a vacation?) This is where my revised To Do List comes in. Ahem:

1. Shower copious amounts of pats on my own back.

2. Try to find a way to deal with the tremendous guilt I feel for putting in my notice at my other jobs. (Why was I raised Catholic, I ask you-- WHY?!)

3. Resume congratulatory back-patting.

The best part of the whole thing is: I honestly feel like I was hired for being me, Masters Degree and all! Bonus points: The interview had none of those pre-formulated "What do you picture yourself doing in five years from now" questions... (BLESS THEM!!) All in all, I left the interview feeling like I had engaged in a conversation with the hiring committee, instead of feeling like I had accidentally dropped in on the Spanish Inquisition Convention. HUZZAH!!

Time Keeps on Slipping...

Technically, we have until July 14th to finish our lantern. However, Marty will be heading out to Calgary (again) on the 12th, and I'm hopeless at making any progress on this thing unless I get very specific instructions every step of the way (e.g.' put tape here. Now put tape there.', etc.) What this means (for those of you who are just as impaired as I am when it comes to reasoning and logic) is that our lantern must be finished by July 11th. That gives us just over a week, natch. Think we'll make it?

As you can see, although the frame itself has been completed, our lantern is still lacking one very important detail: tissue paper! Tomorrow night, we start tackling the giant reams of tissue and the oversized bottles of glue. We can do it!! (Right? Can I get a witness?)