Thursday, August 31, 2006

Going to see Darcy (oh, and Nick & Sue too)

I'm all excited this morning! Tomorrow we leave for Windsor. Not that Windsor is that exciting but I'm going to see my niece. Even better - I'm going to spend a week with her. My parents, Nick and myself will be heading to Windsor tomorrow afternoon for the long weekend. I will be staying behind though when they head back to Montreal on Monday. While Sue goes to work next week, I'm going to babysit Darcy! Yes, that is an exclamation point. I'm very excited and hope this turns out to be a good experience for both of us. I've got lots of what I hope are fun activities for a two year old and if all else fails, there's always the park.

Must remember to charge the camera batteries tonight. Back in Montreal on Sunday, Sept. 10 and will do my best to post some pictures on flickr then.

Hope you're all ready for plenty of Darcy anecdotes!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Happy Belated Birthday to Jilly (and Me)!

Sorry, sorry, sorry. This week got off to quite a busy start and I just haven't had the time to write.

First off: Happy Birthday to my penfriend of many, many years, Jilly. She celebrated 37 years on Saturday, August 26.

Second: Happy Birthday to me. I too celebrated 37 this weekend, but on Sunday, August 27. Thanks to my family for a lovely dinner 'en famille' Saturday night. It was the first time in a long time that all 6 of us were together to celebrate. Thanks also to Super C for braving the rains on Sunday and joining me for a yummy (if very fried) Peruvian dinner, followed by the most divine chocolate cheesecake at Calories (Oh yeah - the CD kicks ass!). AG - you suck. And you know why.

Friday, August 25, 2006

First injury at the gym

OK, so it's not like it's a sports related injury and it's not so much an injury but a bruise. A very painful bruise. A bruise that happened about an hour ago and is already showing itself nicely. A bruise I got when I was rinsing my hair in the shower and WHACKED (yes, that hard) my elbow on the shower's temperature control tap. I hit it so hard that even now, an hour later, the pain radiates from my elbow all the way down to the palm of my hand.

On a more positive note, I survived yesterday's post-spinning soreness and much to my surprise was able to walk this morning. There was another spinning class this morning, but I decided not to push my luck and went for my more traditional walking and elliptical training.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

So this is what it's all about

Just in case you never hear from me again, I'll let you know why I may just curl up and die today. Bright and early this morning (6:30am) I took my first spinning class. If you don't know what spinning is, click here. Now I understand what all the fuss is about. That said though, I am spent.

So I went to this class and I sweat. And then I sweat some more. And then even some more ... I have never sweat so much in my whole life. Not in Mexico, not in the Bahamas, not in Panama. And the reason I was sweating so much is because my heartrate was so friggin' high that a couple of times I actually had to slow down because I thought my chest was going to explode. But at the end of it I felt good. Exhausted but good.

Now that I've stretched, cooled down and showered I'm feeling a little more human. Thank goodness we have a coatroom here where I can hang up my clothes to dry. I'm supposed to meet a trainer at the gym tonight to set up some kind of fitness program - hope I make it through.

Chances that I have some trouble walking tomorrow are looking high.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Another Bad Start

This morning I discovered that 6:30am is really too early to be at the gym for a muscle toning class that didn't even happen. Especially since it was once again close to 1:00am by the time I fell asleep. But I did my best to go with the flow, picked up my iPod and spent some time on the treadmill and eliptical trainer. Think I'll do a slow walk home tonight and hope that my body has enough time to relax before I attempt to sleep again.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A Better Start

Today got off to a much better start than yesterday. I didn't get locked out last night, I got to bed at a reasonable hour and I managed to get up on time this morning. So on time that I even made the effort to get to the gym for 7am. And the good thing is I didn't have to speak to anyone either. I did my workout, a nice cool down and stretching afterwards. Feels good.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Locked Out

Oh man, way to freak me out late at night.

Yesterday afternoon I went out with my parents to visit my grandparents and to pick up my brother Nick at the airport and then drive him to the training centre in Rigaud. All fine (apart from Nick's bags not showing up but that's his story to tell) ...

Until my parents dropped me off at 10:45pm and I couldn't get in the front door of my building! I'm standing there, in the fantastic drizzle that's been coming down for 12 hours straight, in the dark, trying all the keys on my key ring, trying to convince myself that I'm doing something wrong and that I'm not actually locked out. Meanwhile the panic starts to mount and in less than a minute I have visions of me banging on windows and shouting for someone to let me in. Thankfully it didn't come to that. I decided to walk around the back of the building to see if anyone on the terrasse level was up and would let me in (without calling the cops about an intruder in their yard first). What a relief when my neighbour saw me straight away, let me in and explained that when the locksmith changed our locks last week, they had not changed the front door lock. Phew! But by that point my anxiety level was pretty high and even after going through my usual routine of preparing lunch, getting my clothes ready for work and all that, it was still after 1:00am by the time I was relaxed enough to turn the light off.

6am came far too quickly, I reset my alarm for 7am and then reset it again for 7:30am. And I didn't exercise this morning. Yeesh ... what a start to the week.

Friday, August 18, 2006

All Radiohead All The Time

Yesterday was one of those days that one particular thing just keeps coming up. In particular, my favourite rock band, Radiohead.

It all started with an email from my Mom, asking why my brother Eric and I weren't in Avenches, Switzerland to take in the Rock Oz'Arenes open-air music festival. I had a few reasons: 1) I had an oral appliance to pay off and 2) I was in Switzerland last year.

Later at the Y, at the end of a muscle toning class, the cool down music was Radiohead, Fake Plastic Trees, to be precise. How cool is that?

Finally, I walked home, got myself some dinner and opened up the paper. And what do you know, in the Arts & Entertainment section, there was a blurb about the Radiodread album coming out next week. As soon as I can, I'll be downloading it from iTunes.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Big Trouble

Swiss Miss, you're in big trouble. I just had a delivery from Indigo. A full 10 days before my birthday. How on earth am I supposed to wait that long before opening it?

Isn't that funny

Over the last two weeks I've found it increasingly difficult to exercise. Not due to any type of sports related injury or lack of time but simply due to lack of interest. My dvds have finally become boring. I've noticed that since I haven't been exercising as much, my sleep has started to suffer again and I also feel more lethargic all day long. So this morning I said "Enough!", got up, did a round of exercise with the dvd and what do you know ... I do not feel lethargic. In fact, I feel energised, ready for anything and happy (yes, I think I just said I feel happy). Isn't that funny?!

This week I've spent a lot of time on the internet checking out various gyms and sports centres in and around Montreal in an effort to figure out which one will best suit my needs (not to mention how easy it is for me to access). I visited the YMCA on Monday and they gave me a free pass to try out their stuff. I'm heading over there tonight. If all goes well and I don't completely embarrass myself I think I'll just do it already and join.

Monday, August 14, 2006

The Last Hurrah

Although summer isn't officially over (or so I've been told) it certainly has been feeling that way over the last week. However, spending some time up the camp with Dad this weekend helped me to enjoy a little more of summer's best.

Mom and I got up to camp a little after 3pm on Saturday and managed to get a solid hour or two in at the beach. Granted we were in pants and jackets but it was still nice to sit there, people watch and feel the sun warming us (and the wind cooling us). We also went on a nice hour-long walk up, down and around one of the avenues. That was particularly fun as we got to see a number of beautiful cottages (i.e. mansions). All that fresh air had us in bed early and sleeping like the dead. Mom even had to wake me up at 8:15 on Sunday morning! After a leisurely breakfast we headed out for another long walk, followed by about an hour or so in a peddle boat on the lake. All that exercise and fresh air had us both falling asleep in our beach chairs! A warm lunch and then back to the city. Summer may not officially be over but now that I've had one more beach day it's OK. Well, it's not really OK but you know ...

Enjoy what's left of it because we'll all be bundled up soon enough.

Friday, August 11, 2006

How rude

Have been meaning to mention this all week, but other stuff sort of came up.

Listen to this - Monday morning I was waiting for the bus on my way to work. It was just before 8am, bright sunny morning, I had my purse on my shoulder, my back pack on the ground in front of my feet. I was standing at the bus stop with 2 other women. In the park behind me there was a guy playing fetch with his two dogs. I watched them play, not really paying attention to what was going on around me. I had noticed that someone was walking down the sidewalk toward me but figured this person would walk around me, in front or behind, like any normal person would. I figured wrong. I guess the two other women were closer to the street side of the sidewalk because this person chose to walk behind us. But apparently I was standing too far back on the sidewalk because this person plowed right into me! As I hadn't been watching her, I wasn't prepared for someone to push me over just like that. I teetered over and tripped over my backpack but caught my balance and didn't fall. The other women shouted out "Hey!" or something. I was speechless. I turned around to have a look at this person who was continuing along her merry way as if nothing had happened!

The woman in front of me explained that she had seen this woman coming along and thought she looked bit weird. As she got closer and hadn't made any detour from her path she watched closely to see what would happen, never expecting what did happen to happen. She said the woman obviously wasn't right in the head. Anyway, within another minute the bus had arrived and we all got on. 15 minutes later as I was getting off, the lady that had spoken to me earlier, jokingly told me not to bang into any other people today. I laughed and said I would be more careful of where I stood.

What a start to the week though.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Remember The Rule!

This is for Sina. 'Nuf said.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Running Question

Although it's not really a running question, but rather a question related to keeping your feet blister free while running.

I was recently told by someone in the foot care industry that marathon runners put Vaseline on their feet before putting their socks on. They do this to prevent blisters. We both want to know: is this true and does it work?

Anyone? (Nick in particular.)

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

I think summer's over

I've had to sleep with a duvet for the last three nights.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Post Weekend Report

Despite a half day of work on Thursday and a day off on Friday, the weekend itself got off to a rough start on Saturday. I had rented a car and went to pick it up from National at 11am. Only to find out after filling out the forms and stuff that the car wasn't even in their lot yet and it could "maybe" be ready in half an hour. As it turns out I got in the car 45 minutes later ... (my relaxed zen attitude had completely gone by this point.)

Next went to pick up AngryGnome in NDG. As we were coming out of her building, for some reason I stopped, looked at the corner and watched as a black car going through an intersection on a straight arrow, hit a red car turning left illegally, followed by a silver car rear-ending the red car. Brakes squealed, metal crunched, airbags exploded and smoke billowed out of the car windows. Luckily there were plenty of witnesses and the people were quickly removed from the cars and sat on the sidewalk - nobody seemed to be hurt. I went to see if there was anything I could do (I don't know what, but still) and it seemed that a couple of people who were closer already had things in hand. I did notice at least one person on the phone, who I hope was calling the police.

We got in our car (a PT Cruiser, which although fun to look at, I wasn't particularly impressed with - too slow on the pick up, no trunk button from inside the car, too dark tinted windows, weird way to get the high beams on) and got on the autoroute to stop by my place for my stuff but almost immediately got stuck in traffic ... got off at the first exit and made the way through Verdun instead.

Bad things (or good things?) come in threes and that seemed to be it for the bad portion of the weekend. Everything after that happened like clockwork, including beautiful weather, no bugs, a relaxing time, good company.

The concert on Saturday night was awesome. The Inn at Shelburne Farms was the perfect location. It was fun to listen to Mozart's Requiem, eat our picnic, people watch (and of course comment and discuss), watch the sunset, watch the stars come out, breathe in the fresh air. It really was a lovely evening. We got back to Lyndy's parents' place by 11pm (even managed a little late night grocery shopping!) and relaxed on the fronch porch for a few hours in the cool evening air.

Sunday morning I took a little walk up and down the road and managed to come up with a little "montage" of the mailboxes along the way. While they are interesting themselves, it would've been a good idea to compare the mailboxes to the houses they belonged to. Had a late breakfast, then an early afternoon nap followed by a late lunch. Watched Lyndy's relatives play bocce ball for a while (they were having their annual party) and then we headed home.

I know I was only away from home one night but it was relaxing enough to feel like I'd been away longer. It was great. Thanks LB for the good company, laughs and your bbq-ing abilities.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Off Again

Gotta love these long summer weekends. I'm taking this afternoon off work and the office is closed again tomorrow! Then on Saturday, AngryGnome and me head out to The Inn at Shelburne Farms in Vermont, to partake of the Vermont Mozart Festival. As AG mentioned in her blog post, it's her first time and it so happens to be a first for me too. Keep your fingers crossed for a nice evening.

I'm also hoping for a quick visit to a grocery store to try a few more fun foods that we just don't get here.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Oh What a Night!

Thoughts have been running through my head non-stop since last night's crazy storm. I wish I could be a great writer and describe the scene to you so that you felt like you were there, but it's not quite going to happen that way. My humble apologies.

Marc came over last night to give me another key for the bike lock he gave me (as it seems I have lost/misplaced the other one). In return for his favour, I made him dinner - Shroom With Ado. Portobello mushrooms, green and red peppers, red onions all wrapped up in warmed whole wheat tortillas. It was pretty tasty!

Anyway, we chatted after dinner and just as he left I went to open my windows again and discovered that the wind had really picked up. About a second after that Marc called me to tell me that he was in front of my building and he was watching a lightning storm. I ran outside, saw the lightning with him and decided we'd get a better view from the roof of my building. Up the stairs, onto the terrasse and there we had it. A clear view of downtown, the mountain and to the west (east view is blocked by a big old tree). So we watched the lightning for a while. But it wasn't just watching and waiting for the lightning to hit somewhere. The sky would just light up, every 2-4 seconds! On and on and on! It kept coming and coming! The sky would turn a white/grey kind of colour, then blue, purple, green ... the clouds were moving in fast and we were getting a sprinkling of rain. After a good 10-15 minutes of that we noticed that the mountain had disappeared behind the clouds. Rain was a comin' - fast and furious. Within a minute downtown had disappeared almost completely. I have quite a good view of the skycrapers downtown and all we could see in the end was the top of the IBM building. No more PVM, no more Chateau Champlain, no more 1000 de la Gauchetiere. And that's about when the rain started to pour down on us. We stayed for another 5 minutes or so but then decided to go in.

Marc dried off a little and then left to drive home. I dried off, changed clothes and sat in my window for another 30 minutes. I watched the lightning, the wind whip the trees, the rain come down sideways at times and listened to the thunder rumble continuously. It was awesome.

Lucky for me I didn't lose power at any point. I heard on the radio this morning that quite a lot of people in Montreal did (78,000 according to The Gazette).

Swiss National Holiday

A little late on this one. Yesterday was the Swiss National Holiday. I should've said Happy Birthday Switzerland (715th or something), but somehow I forgot.

Hope my friends and relatives all enjoyed themselves and ate lots of cheese and chocolate.