Thursday, October 9, 2008
Since Allie moved away, I've been trying to cheer myself up by keeping our evening "wine" tradition alive. I have decided that drinking alone is not taboo. In fact, since my unemployment began in June I have designated 2pm my happy hour. Lately happy hour has been moved to 8pm, but that will change once I move and get settled back into unemployed life again.
Jealous of Allie's close proximity to my favorite border, I decided to also designate Thursday night at Fiesta Night. Tonight I tried my hand at making enchilladas - with marginal success!
In other news, Evan and I have decided to move to Sudbury (again). We got a cute little apartment, and moving days is just 20 days away.
In the heat of the moment, and due to an influx in our "cash flow", I also decided that it was time that Evan and I purchase our very own furniture (as opposed to our apartment full of hand me downs and mismatches). Always an eager little beaver, I posted everything that I wanted to replace on www.usedottawa.com and started selling.
I have had great success with www.usedottawa.com in the past, and this time also proved to be quite glorious. Within 48 hours I have sold everything. Now, this is a good thing... however, I still have 20 days left in Ottawa and am now reduced to one living room chair and a mattress on the floor. I am living like a student all over again!
A woman came today to buy my bedframe, and she nearly pissed herself when she saw my "toolbox". Rather, it is the L House toolbox (which I inherited when Allie moved to foreign lands). I thought it was quite fitting that an apartment of 2 women, should have a toolbox that is actually a shoebox full of IKEA allen keys, masking tape and twine. When Evan first saw this he hung his head in shame. I think he is going to shell out for a more manly toolbox when we move. I don't blame him.
As I was walking home from the Wine Rack (a staple purchase for me lately) I noticed that they had changed the quote in the church sign on the corner of my street. It used to say something about Dinosaurs and becoming extinct. It now says something about too many people having opinions and ideas leads to chaos and war. This quote really disturbed me.
What kind of freaks go to this church at the end of my street? Perhaps if I have a sunday off I should wander down and find out.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
1) The yarn store in Sudbury looks like the bargain rack at a flea market. Not to mention the lady who runs it is a total biatch, and I wouldn't give her my business if she PAID me!
2) Sudbury is behind the times, and is seriously lacking a Booster Juice (my lifeline). In fact, the juice bar craze is so far from Sudbury, I am not sure they even know what it is.
Tears are trickling down my face as I realize that the closest yarn store that sells great yarn (Fleece Artist - my other lifeline) is 6 hours away.
I suppose I could buy a Vita-Mix and a how-to book on making your own juice smoothies... however, I don't think I have what it takes to spin and hand dye my own yarns. I have tried and failed miserably! Perhaps if I asked the Fleece Artist nicely she will send me some yarn :D
Sunday, August 24, 2008
CO 40 sts
all even rows are purled
3) k3 *yo ssk k6* rep, k3
5) k1 *k2tog yo k1 yo ssk k3* rep, k2
7) k3 *yo ssk k6* rep, k3
11) k7 *yo ssk k6* rep, k7
13) k5 *k2tog yo k1 yo ssk k3* rep, k6
15) k7 *yo ssk k6* rep, k7
repeat these 16 rows until desired length or the end of your yarn :D
Monday, July 28, 2008
So that is a grand total of 5 rescue kittens this year. Three of them found fabulous new homes, and two of them (the first two) will remain chez Cyr-Bampton with the Queen Mum, Jupiter.
Yesterday, after Butters had gone home, and the vacuum had been put away, I found this in my living room:
I call this our Family sandwich - PB & J (Penelope, Buttons and Jupiter). Say Cheese!
Can you imagine this amazing catball curled up with Evan and I at night... purring away. Glorious.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
The first few weeks flew by - tons of errands, a wedding in Halifax, turning 29. However, now that I have my days and nights free to continue as established, I am finding it harder to keep myself occupied. Most of you know that I cannot sit still for very long - "relaxation" is not a part of my day to day life.
The number one question that I am asked by everyone I come into contact with is: have you found a job yet?
My answer is NO. And NO I am not looking.
I have always been an advocate for self-employment. In recent months I have even joked about "when I start my own company" or "I don't want to work for anyone else ever again". So when I (ahem) lost (ahem) my job last month I called my own bluff. If I am going to change my life, why not change it RIGHT NOW?
Brianne's Top 5 Reasons to become an Entrepreneur
- I am eligible for Employment Insurance benefits. The government is going to pay me to stay at home for 9 months. What else am I going to do with my time?
- Evan is moving in next month. More time together for planning and getting excited about our future together.
- Evan and I have decided together that we need to leave Ottawa post haste. We have known since day 1 that we were never going to settle here. So why are we still here?
- I will never be any younger than I am today.
- Why not? If we're going to achieve greatness we better get crackin'!
Are we scared? Holy Shit!
Can we do it? Fuck Yeah!
Great risks yield great rewards. Being handed an opportunity is just step one. Taking it is a whole different story.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Thursday, June 12, 2008
They call me the Cat Whisperer.
Anyway, the kitten was someone's abandoned pet. Abandoned cats do not fair well since they don't have the basic foraging skills that wild cats have. So they end up starving. Poor things.
I took this little one in, and began to nurse her back to health. I had some help from a very generous man in Evan's building who took her for the first 4 days while I was at a wedding out of town. And Tara who donated some high-cal Recovery cat food.
Skinny kitty - I call her Sweetness due to her extreme affection - is now gaining weight and is doing much better. My parents are adopting her, so she can spread the love freely throughout the Cyr family.
My skinny little mini has also made a new friend. It's like a mini Jupiter! Today I caught an almost-catball moment. I wasn't able to catch a picture of it, but I was able to get this picture of mini Ju trying to score some of that JLC.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
There is a fine art to making the perfect cocktail - and it is worth every painstaking moment of preparation. From pureeing the fruit by hand, to squeezing fresh lemon or lime, there is something very satisfying about the end result.
My favorite summer cocktail is the mojito - but only when made properly.
I have made mojitos many ways, and with an array of different ingredients - from soda to sugar water to lime juice. However, I want to share with you Evan's recipe for the perfect mojito - because nothing tastes better than this.
In martini shaker combine several fresh mint leaves and 2 whole limes cut in quarters. Use a wooden mulcher or similar tool to pound the living piss out of the limes. Note: these limes will provide the "mix" for your mojito. Add brown sugar to taste - I like to put between 1 and 2 tablespoons. Mix with mulcher. Add 2oz of rum - I prefer to use Captain Morgan's dark rum, but that is my preference. Note: don't use flavored rum, it is sacreligious not to mention disgusting. Add about 1 cup of crushed ice - the ice MUST be crushed. Shake shake shake. Pour into the recepticle of your choice - I like to use the fancy glasses. Add more ice to fill the glass. Enjoy.
Since I am on a perpetual diet I can rank these babies in at approximately 200 calories - depending on how much sugar was added (15 cal per teaspoon). The fresh lime, mint and ice is less than 50 calories.
In my opinion this is the best way to enjoy 2 ounces of rum. And once those 2 ounces have been enjoyed, enjoy 2 more. However, beware of the possible drunken effects of too many mojitos.
Friday, May 30, 2008
When I got to Capital City I took a job with a brand new small business – an aspiring Acupuncture clinic. I had always wanted to own my own business, and I thought that this would be a great opportunity to find out just how much work is really involved and learn first hand about the ups and downs of entrepreneurial endeavours.
At first, running a small business was fun and exciting. The business had just started, I was their first full-time employee and opportunity was rampant. Over the last 2 years I have seen this business go from an extremely profitable month, to a devastatingly bankrupt month.
I have seen what can happen to a perfectly good business when the owners let personal issues interfere with business needs. I have experienced what can happen when the business plan is fatally flawed. I have transitioned the company through an ownership change, and personally helped the company avoid bankruptcy. I have stuck it out in tough times for the good of the business. I have put my heart and soul into something that didn’t even belong to me. I now know what it will take to make my own business a success.
The last 8 months have been especially stressful. There were days of panic and hopelessness. There were days when I wanted to ram heads through walls. There were days when I wondered how I ended up becoming the pillar for a business that I didn’t even own. Every day I wanted out.
I felt that I couldn’t leave – that I was obligated to stay. The new owners had no idea what they were doing, and I am not the kind of person who leaves people hanging. I wasn’t prepared to deal with the bad karma aftermath of leaving two brand new business owners in the middle of a huge mess.
On Tuesday the business owners informed me that they would “have to let me go.” After thinking about it a bit, the only emotion that kept coming to mind was – RELIEF. A huge sigh would come out and I would think ... ah, it’s not my problem anymore. I would think about all of the mistakes that were made, and the lack owner leadership that the company has and I would think ... ah, it’s not my problem anymore! My mind would race around thinking about all the things that are missing, and that need to be done in order for this business to become profitable and I would rejoice... IT’S NOT MY PROBLEM ANYMORE!!!
I woke up Wednesday morning and I smiled. For the first time in nearly a year I didn’t wake up and immediately begin stressing about all of the things that were wrong with someone else’s business. I hadn’t had any nightmares about work. I hadn’t made any mental lists of things to do. My mind was clear and free and it felt amazing.
As I watched this business rise and fall over the last two years, I became more and more frustrated. If it had been my own business, I would not have run it this way. I would have done everything differently. The frustrating part was that the owners never took my advice. Things like having a business plan, sales projections and budgets are givens – but no one takes my word for it.
When I think about “losing my job” I feel more like I am finally being unburdened by something that has been dragging me down. The shackles have been cut. Someone else has finally taken on the responsibility of owning this business – the owner! Go figure!
While I enjoy my two weeks notice, only one question remains: should I take my red swingline stapler???????????????????
Thursday, May 22, 2008
NOTICE TO READER: i officially give up on blogger formatting. i also officially hate blogger.
My roommate A has been in awe of my purging abilities for a long time now. In the last 5 years I have purged my entire life twice - both times as a result of a move.
A is a self-confessed pack rat - a hoarder if you will. When she found out that she will be moving to California in the fall she decided that it was time to purge her life. Scorch the Earth and start over 3000 miles south-west.
The Current Purge Pile
The following is A's current list of purgable items. As the move gets closer and closer more items will be added to the list. A isn't really the best at understanding the fine art of buying and selling used goods. She has a hard time determining what a fair price for a used item is - often overpricing things. To help her out (and to test my true Donna-ness) I am going to price the items for her. Donna will review my prices and let me know if I have a chance at being the heir to the Yard Sale Queen throne!
- The Computer Chair
- Purchased at IKEA in 2002 for $39.99
- The chair is still in usable condition, however computer chairs come down significantly in price over the last few years.
- Brianne's Price: $5.00 OBO
- The Rubbermaid Cooler
- This gem was purchased at Walmart in 2005 for approximately $40.00. Used twice.
- Brianne's Price: $8.00
- The Filing Cabinet
This item was passed down from a friend for free who probably got it for free herself.
- Brianne's Price: Free to a good home/Donate to thift store
- The Side Raper Table
The "Lack" side table from IKEA was purchased for $19.99 in 2003. There is some damage to the top of it.
Brianne's Price: $5.00 OBO (or gifted to Brianne)
Angelo Luzio tap shoes - apparently barely used and no stink. Paid $100.00 in late 1997-1998.
Brianne's Price: $50.00-60.00
Another IKEA purchase 16.99 in 2003. Good condition.
Brianne's Price: $5.00 OBO
Monday, May 12, 2008
I set up my kitten condo using a medium size dog cage (courtesy of PetSmart and their unlimited return policy). I used the "divider" to create a second level with a blanket and a cat bed. You will notice that kitten #1 (calico) and kitten #2 (black) were more interested in sitting in the litterbox.
This morning I managed to trap 2 of the 4 kittens. I used a string laced through the back of the carrier to pull the door shut after the kittens had gone inside to feed. Unfortunately it is hard to get 4 kittens to go in the same place at the same time.
When I went back downstairs to retreive the other 2 kittens, there was a construction crew in the yard making all sorts of noise and they had scared the rest of the family back under the deck. Obviously I was going to have to come back later.
After trapping all 4 kittens I plan on taming them (courtesy of Evan, who has graciously put up with my non-stop kitten talk and offered me his apartment for all things kitten) and finding them amazing homes, and perhaps keeping one or two to add to my own family :D
I also plan on trapping the mother, and using the Humane Society's feral cat program to Spay and Vaccinate her (cost $75.00) and then return her to the yard where she has been living for over a year. The Cat Rescue Network has also given me instructions on how to create a warm home for the feral cats in the winter using a styrofoam box and some straw or hay. I have also agreed to continue to feed the feral cats on an ongoing basis.
When the house owners and neighbors saw what I was doing in their yard they said "Wow that is really nice of you". It made me wonder: how long had these people been ignoring these small furry babies that lived under their back deck? Did they walk by every day, not even thinking to feed them or try to find a program that would help them? After finding out that there was a furry family in need it took me less than 5 minutes to decide what I was going to do.
Am I just a crazy cat lady? Everyone seems really surprised when I tell them about what I am doing. Like I am nuts for spending money on this project or something.
I've toyed with the idea of providing animal care as an occupation in the past. There was a time that I was considering veterinary school. Perhaps this is part of my calling.
P.S. Donna has confirmed that this is exactly what she would do.
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
When we first met I was excited. Possibility was in the air. New beginnings - the world was our oyster.
At first I was dismayed by your foul stench, and rank aftertaste. However, these are qualities that I have grown to enjoy. I will not judge you for your composition - it's not your fault.
My bathroom symphony is quickly becoming a masterpiece. Soon I will be among the ranks of Mozart and Beethoven. My toilet paper consumption has increased by 500%.
Your "recommended food guide" has left me unfulfilled and often starving. There is only so much plain brown rice that one woman can forcibly eat. With or without Bragg's cleanse-friendly soy sauce.
However, my waistline thanks you, and my pants fit better. I no longer want to cry when I see my boyfriend scarf down pizza and muffins.
However, I still dream about large double doubles and birthday cake.
After 9 days with you, I no longer fear the BE (bathroom emergency) and the words "hunger pang" are now replaced by "weight loss".
Sadly, I will part ways with you soon. But I will think of you often, mostly while in the washroom.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
In preparation for Carrice's upcoming wedding, and that size 6 dress sitting in my closet, today I began an 8 week bootcamp and cleanse program to kick my booty into shape.
My roomie, A, is doing the cleanse with me for support. Somehow it is always easier to do something horrible if you know that someone else is suffering with you... sorry A!
Basically, the clease consists of 4 herbal supplements taken 4 times a day and a VERY restricted diet. In preparation, Sunday evening we made a huge batch of pico de gallo - a mexican salsa that is positively delicious - fresh tomatoes, jalapenos, onions and cilantro.
The last time I had made this recipe, I ended up with what I like to call FIRE CROTCH! I cut up the jalapenos, washed my hands, then went to use the washroom - where I suppose a portion of my skin touched a very private part of my body.
ANTIBACTERIAL SOAP DOES NOT WASH AWAY THE FIRE FROM JALAPENOS.
The pain was agonizing. I imagine this is what having STDs must feel like. I even considered something unimaginable - the douche - but decided against it out of principle. I wasn't sure if I could live with myself after ha!
Well, I wasn't going to let this happen to me again!
What would Donna do???
There is no shortage of "Wine Rack" bags in our house. They make really great disposable sheaths for chopping dangerous vegetables.
Perhaps I will find a way to make these fashionable and wear them more often.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
At Easter I played rockband with my brother and his girlfriend for hours on end - and I had been begging Evan to stop at Future Shop so I could buy this bad boy for myself and he kept telling me that I shouldn't rush out and buy it.
Little did I know that the bugger had been secretly plotting to surprise me with it. I came home a few friday's ago to find that Evan had snuck into my apartment with Rock Band while I was at work. Naturally I set it up immediately, cracked a bottle of white and got straight to work. Twelve hours later I thought that perhaps it was time to get some rest. My foot was numb and my contacts were dry.
So if you're wondering where I am - you will find me in front of my TV with my xbox 360 banging some sticks, fingering some solos and wailing some tunes. Sometimes all by myself. ha!
I hear that my dad is getting pretty good at the game too... perhaps a Cyr Family tour is in order?
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
I knit up these little darlings for a friend of mine who is having a baby this spring. Not only are these the most adorable things you've ever seen, but there is a little matching bonnet. Tres Bien!
Knitting these little baby treats is probably not helping the whole late-twenties womanly urges to procreate. Don't you just want to fill those little booties with some tiny toes???
It's a good thing I have friends who are brave enough to rear children. It should help fend off my urges for another few years at least... but I doubt that it will stop Donna from busting my balls.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Over the years I have sipped my "double doubles" anxiously awaiting the moment when I can sink my teeth into the waxed paper edging... only to find out that I have been told to "PLAY AGAIN!"
Play again?! No matter how many times we curse and complain that we never win, we still play again, because the lip of the lid told us so. I am currently on a 2 year losing streak.... I believe Good 'Ol Tim has cursed me!
You can imagine my surprise yesterday morning when I rolled up my rim to find THIS! The curse was broken!
In fact, I was SOOO excited that I completely forgot to tear off the tab so that I could claim my prize, and threw the cup in the garbage.
I realized my error when I was standing in line at Tim Horton's this morning. I recoiled in horror as I realized that a) I didn't want to dig around in the office garbage can and b) that the cleaning staff had come overnight.
When I rolled my rim this morning, it told me to "Play Again"
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
And so begins my quest for an ass so tight you could bounce rocks off of it. I am quite tired of the gym though. All those doubles on Op Skinny Jeans last year really wore out my welcome mat at the Goodlife.
However, on the DL I passed a sign this morning while walking from the Tim Horton’s (I needed a taste of Sudbury) to work that said “Boxing Club Opening Soon”. Very interesting...
We were out shopping for my bridesmaid dress last week, and the sales lady came back with this beauty for me to try on. I do believe the exact words out of my mouth were: What the fuck is this? I am 28 years old, and I am NOT going to a children’s birthday party!
However, if I was going to hit up a children’s birthday party this dress would definitely make the final cut. I look like a cake topper for a sweet sixteen.
Donna would probably have bought this gem and worn it proudly just for jokes. I am not that brave. Yet.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
At the time I just figured I was going through a phase, life changes etc. I have not dyed my hair since. Hairdressers often comment that I should dye my hair – I suppose that dying your hair is pretty much customary now. My most common response was always, “I am not dying my hair again until I go grey” – and it just sort of ended up becoming my plan.
Now, I’m only 28 years old, and my gorgeous locks are still deep brown and curly. However, yesterday I received a little bit of a shock. When I was putting my hair into a ponytail I saw one, single, solitary, shiny, short, silver hair. PANIC!
Since I was a child, my mom would always tell me that I have had one, single grey hair since I was born. This one hair that has always been grey, and living somewhere on my head amongst a sea of curl.
Is it possible? Could the hair that I found be the one? Is it the same single grey I’ve had since I was just little?
Or... could this be a fresh one? Where there is one, is there also another? And another? OH GOD!
It was too much to handle. So I asked myself “What would Donna do?”
I decided that Donna would convince herself that it’s the same one I’ve had since I was a child. However, if that “same hair” pops up more than 5 times it’s time to call the salon and book a cut, colour and possibly some therapy.
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Let me back up a bit and explain.
I had just arrived home from a long day at work, and I was perusing the kitchen for tonight’s dinner, when my world came crashing in: ANTS! Not just your average, run of the mill picnic ants. Tiny, translucent, orange, gnat-like creatures, crawling all over the counter, the sink, the wall, the cupboard.... in my FOOD!
Somehow these bastards had worked their way into my grocery cupboard (luckily, my roommate A’s cupboards are currently untainted).
When something like this usually happens, I tend to pick up my phone and call home. My mom always knows what to do with these sorts of things. However, my parents were vacationing in Jamaica which made mom unavailable to help me.
“Don’t Panic!” I told myself... “What would Donna do?”
Without hesitation I reached for the rubber gloves and the Javex, proceeded to clean every inch of the cupboard including all of its contents. I also managed to purge at least one full cupboard’s worth of crap while doing it. Hooray!
It was at this time that my roommate A came home. A is a scientist – she completely understood what I was doing. Without missing a beat, she grabbed the gloves and the bleach and got to work on the bottom cupboards.
I must have blacked out, because the next thing I remember is working furiously on the kitchen floor which I had decided was unacceptable.
Donna still has this idea that I am a complete slob – no matter how old I get I will always be that 16 year-old that never cleaned her room. Luckily, A obtained photographic evidence of my anal cleaning spree.
Donna should be proud!