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Tag Archives: fun times

The Returned – 2013

16 Mar

The random perk of working odd days and hours from most people is you end up seeing things on tv you would have normally never seen. That is, if you are watching tv at some point during those non-working hours when it seems most everybody else is slaving away…

Today I saw a movie on tv called The Returned. I have noooo idea why I decided to watch it, it is a zombie movie and that isn’t really my thing, ya know? That and I had other things I should be doing…theoretically…

the returned

I figured I’d watch a bit at the beginning, it would prove to be dumb and not hold my interest, and I’d go back to my book buuuut that didn’t happen…

Two hours later I am staring at the screen in horror, but not scared horror, in anger horror, emotional horror, life is unfair horror, and amazed at how good a zombie movie could be when it doesn’t focus on gore, or violence, or any of the standard zombie movie cliches.

Probably people who love traditional zombie movies don’t like this one as much, so maybe that is why I liked this one, because it is different?

Without giving away any spoilers, in case you decide to go watch it, in this movie people who get infected and get the zombie virus can take a once daily injection to hold off turning in to the stereotypical zombie. They are called “The Returned” because they returned from the horrible fate that awaited them if they hadn’t gotten the medication and responded to it…that fate of course being a transition into a traditional zombie and then a bullet to the head.

The main characters are a married couple, he is a “Returned”, she is not. They face a crisis, as does the rest of the world, when the medication needed to keep all the “Returned” as humans is running out.

It is one of those great movies that lets you analyze a situation that is happening in the world and debate what you would do, what would those you know do, what do you believe should be done by the government, the military, the medical professionals, all without making you feel threatened because it is just about zombies not something real, like say, an outbreak of Ebola, or Avian Flu, or H1N1…you know, those pesky outbreaks that had people freaking out about closing borders and not sending aide to other countries for fear of the disease then being brought back.

Sorta like how District 9 could inspire conversations that in actuality were about how to treat refugees, but since in the movie the refugees were aliens there was less chance of people freaking out about having a conversation around the rights that are awarded to refugees because it is just aliens, right? πŸ˜‰

I love movies like that, movies that can open dialogue about topics usually shunned because they are uncomfortable to talk about.

In case you hadn’t gathered by now, I liked the movie, I even recommend the movie…just don’t go in to it expecting all the normal zombie movie stuff or you’ll be disappointed. Go in to it expecting some zombie gore type scenes, but mostly expecting a drama about relationships, a movie that will make you question what could cause you to change your views on how to treat your fellow man, how much do you think society should do to care for those who have un-treatable illnesses that could spread and kill quickly, how long do you think your humanity would last when faced with unbearable decisions?

Ooooh, look how quickly a zombie movie got deep and thoughtful! πŸ˜‰

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Toby’s North Shore

12 Nov

Ok, first off I have to apologize at my lack of photograph, I am a bad foodie, sigh, and forgot to take a picture of my dinner. And fyi, I so should have because daaaamn that dinner was good! lol πŸ˜›

This past Monday a friend and I met up for dinner and we went to Toby’s, here is the restaurant’s website link:

http://tobysnorthshore.ca/

Now, if I had been a good little dieter I would have ordered a salad but I was cold, and hungry, and tired, and all of those things conspired to make it easier for me to justify splurging on my calories and ordering something based on my taste bud’s preference vs my desire to get a smaller ass preference.

Enter the Pulled Pork Sandwich, or as they call it the Pulled Pork Crunch.

This would be where a picture of it would go if I had one, *big epic sigh*

It is a pulled pork sandwich with coleslaw and onion rings on a hoagie.

So good. So so so good. As in amazingly good! As in go order this sandwich! Mmm! πŸ˜€

The side options are fries, salad or colcannon which if I remember correctly is mashed potato with kale in it. I figured I was already goin to town with the calories in the sandwich no point in pretending to be healthy by getting a side salad lol so I got the fries.

The fries are also delish! They are the type that have a batter of some sort on them that makes them super crunchy, man I love those. πŸ™‚

The sandwich, the epic amazing sandwich, oh where to begin! It is huge, so I cut it in half and even eating just half leaves you full. There is a lot of pulled pork on the sandwich, as there should be, with a good ratio of meat to sauce. So, not too drippy but not dry either. Some sauce ended up on my plate but not enough I felt I was losing all the good stuff lol There is also coleslaw on the sandwich, it seemed to be more for texture as I didn’t really taste it. Again, the ratio of coleslaw to everything else was spot on. Then there were, I want to say three large onion rings but it might have been four, and those are what took the sandwich up a notch.

Who doesn’t like onion rings? Only crazy people! So adding them to an already delicious sandwich is brilliant!…in my oh so humble opinion that is lol πŸ˜‰

After eating half the sandwich and a little under half the fries I stopped eating, engaging in the trick everyone trying to lose weight knows about where you eat slow (which I sorta didn’t do) and take time after finishing so your brain can realize your stomach is actually full. I really wanted to keep eating but instead engaged in conversation and what do you know, it worked! I was perfectly fine with getting the server to pack up the leftovers to go because half a huge sandwich and a little under half an order of fries really does fill a stomach.

However, some guilt kicked in on the drive home and I started thinking about how I probably really screwed up my calories for the Monday and taking the left overs home would mean I would eat them on Tuesday thereby screwing up my calories for two days in a row which, hmm, yeah, not cool. So I engaged in a little bit of good karma and gave my left overs to a homeless lady I saw on the way home. Don’t go freaking out to me about germs an stuff, I cut the sandwich so the half I gave her I hadn’t even touched let alone bit in to and the fries were unmolested also since I only touched the fries I ate.

Then, me being me I emailed the contact info from the website requesting the nutritional information buuuut I didn’t really think I’d get an answer. Or if they did answer it would be to tell me they don’t know, which sucks.

Happy surprise I got an answer the next day and he had the nutritional information! According to Chef Chris (he is the one who answered my email) the sandwich was 400 calories and the fries were 225 calories.

Not bad at all!

I was expecting the meal to be well over 1000 calories, and I’m not really sure how it wasn’t, but I also don’t care, I am just happy it was not nearly as high as I imagined lol

Plus, it gets even better when you remember I only ate half!

I sorta wished I hadn’t given my left overs away but I’m sure the lady I gave them to needed the food more than I do so I guess I’m actually still glad I gave them away. πŸ™‚

tobys

Canada Day!

2 Jul

Ok so depending on your time zone I am a day or longer late with this, oops! I’d apologize, which would be oh so Canadian of me πŸ˜‰ but the reason I didn’t write anything on Canada Day was because I was busy celebrating Canada Day and if I hadn’t done something to celebrate Canada Day than I wouldn’t have anything to write about now, would I? That’s right, that is my logic and I’m sticking to it! teehee

logic

July 1st is Canada Day, in case you didn’t realize that from the above paragraph lol It is a day filled with hanging with friends and/or family, food, some form of alcohol, proudly displaying a flag or maple leaf or at least wearing red & white, and fireworks. Whether those fireworks are the official display put on by your city or some cheap ass stupid ones your neighbour’s kids set off in the park down the road well, whose to make that distinction?

Canada Day is the one day of the year we are unapologetically Canadian. We don’t refrain from wearing something with a maple leaf on it while in our own country because it is tacky, we don’t shy away from sharing videos on YouTube that say how great we are (though most of those videos say how polite we are lol), we jokingly embrace the stereotypes that are out there and eat something maple flavoured, or order the poutine, or wrap bacon around something and claim it is a legit meal. Our large cities have family friendly activities that include our military showing us simulators that they use for training, you can sit in a tank, or wear one of the backpacks the soldiers wear to see juuuuust how heavy it is (which fyi, I tried, they are ridiculously heavy!). It is the one day of the year we allow our Canadian pride to show…although we are still fairly understated about it, shrug, but ya know, that is just our way…sorry! πŸ˜‰ lol

This year I went to a friend’s place for a bbq and just general hanging out. It was a fairly chilled event which was nice because it was a roasting hot day and none of us felt like doing anything super active.

There was video game playing, on an old system, so really it was retro video game playing lol We were playing on an N64 and I can’t remember the games names, they were games I had never played before and oh wow did I suck lol Luckily I was with nice people who didn’t make toooooo much fun of me πŸ˜›

After game playing there was the food! πŸ™‚

For dinner we bbq’d kabobs…

Dinner!

Dinner!

We actually had a lot of kabobs, I just forgot to take a picture until they were almost all eaten, oops! They had chicken or pork, corn, red and green peppers, zucchini, red onion, pineapple and baby potatoes on them. Three of us made a little assembly line to put them all together, my section had the stabbing of the zucchini, peppers and corn which you’d think would be ok except I stabbed myself in the palm of my hand when putting the skewer through one of the corn pieces, sigh. It is a very me thing to do lol πŸ˜›

Then there was dessert! I brought it, thought I’d try a new recipe. My only goal was to have the finished product look somehow patriotic, so I wanted there to be red and white incorporated in to the dessert. Sounds stupid I know but meh, I was baking it so I get to pick things like that.

I made a brownie and strawberry trifle…

Chocolate Brownie and Strawberry Trifle

Chocolate Brownie and Strawberry Trifle

I’ll do a separate post with the recipe for the trifle, in case any of you are interested in giving it a try. πŸ™‚

Because this is my Canada Day post will I put a video about Canada, and of course, being a Canadian pride video it is made by a beer company *rolls eyes* πŸ˜› I like the video though, it shows how we are a multi-cultural country and how if we all work together good things happen, least that is my interpretation of it. πŸ™‚

Aaaaaand here is another video about Canada, just because…it is a song instead of a commercial if that makes it anymore enticing for you…oh and there is an astronaut in it! Who doesn’t like astronauts! πŸ˜‰

I know July 1st was yesterday, and a lot of my readers aren’t from Canada, but regardless, I hope you all had an awesome Canada Day (even if it was just a normal Wednesday for you lol)! πŸ˜€

Rio Tinto Alcan 2015

23 Jun

June 20th & 21st were the days of the Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat festival. Technically the festival started June 19th with the dotting of the dragon eyes ceremony but I never go to that so for me the festival started June 20th…that is this past Saturday for those of you not near a calendar lol This festival is the largest Dragon Boat Festival in North America, it is actually the largest outside of China, it is massive. This year there were over 100,000 people there and the competition was fierce!

Let me just say this weekend was beyond awesome! πŸ˜€

Both days were sunny and gorgeous and busy and I loved ohhhh I’d say every minute of it!…well, maybe not the early rising part cause I hate mornings but once I was up definitely every minute.

I was racing with two teams this year. My team, The Twisted Hips which is a mixed team…that means we have both men and women on the boat. The second team was Concord Flying Dragons, they are a ladies team that a friend of mine is close with, they needed a couple extra ladies so I got asked and of course said yes, who wouldn’t want more chances to race?

Both teams won medals, wOOt! wOOt! which means I came away with a Gold and a Bronze! Oh yeeeah! πŸ˜€

My bronze and my gold medals.

My bronze and my gold medals.

Aren’t they such a pretty addition to my collection? Love em! πŸ˜€

The Twisted Hips

The Twisted Hips – we won bronze.

The Flying Dragons

The Flying Dragons – we won gold.

My team!

My team!

This is my team, I’m so proud of each and every one of them! We’ve been training since February, in the cold, the rain, the dark. We come to practice when sick, when we don’t feel like it, when we’re exhausted. We race with injuries, when our lives have a million other demands, in any weather. We fight for our division within the festivals, we earn our medals, we race with determination and heart. πŸ™‚

And I’ll stop with the preachy aren’t-we-awesome stuff now lol πŸ˜›

I don’t have a team picture of Concord…yet! I like keeping team pics from each festival so I’ll be making sure to get one eventually.

I took some random pictures during the weekend which I will now bombard you with! teehee

2015-06-20 15.54.04

2015-06-20 15.54.08

2015-06-21 10.54.30

Okay so there weren’t as many pictures to bombard you with as I thought, I took a lot but I highly doubt you want to watch a series of pictures showing the end of a race or multiples of shots that are near identical lol I don’t have any video footage of our races, if I did rest assured I’d be providing you a link so you could watch lol

For me the festival is all about the races, obviously, but there are a lot of other things happening to keep those in the crowd entertained. There are a large variety of food trucks, with pretty much nothing healthy lol Some of us from The Twisted Hips shared some Beaver Tails which sounds barbaric until you learn they are pastry, deep fried, with toppings put on top. They are oh so yummy! We went with the classic toppings of cinnamon and sugar but you can get a whole bunch of stuff on them. There are also vendor tents for shopping, yay shopping! You can find all kinds of things, dragon boat gear, clothes, jewellery, food and drink samples (I got a delish blueberry yogurt from one tent and a yucky tofu mango drink at another *shudder*) and random other things. There are also tents set up from companies giving away stuff, or with contests you can enter, you know all they really want is your business or to recruit you to their cause or to teach you something but hey, free stuff is enticing so I’ll listen to someone talk about why I should drink tap water over bottled (which I already do lol) if it’ll get me a free item that I will, oddly enough, never ever use, and end up having to throw out at some point when I am decluttering. It’s weird lol but it’s a festival! πŸ˜›

Oh! I forgot! We sponsored a team from Portland, which really means we bought them some food and were friendly with them lol They also won a medal so we took a team pic with them. πŸ™‚

Rio Tinto June 20-21 2015 J

I don’t know who took this, a camera ninja obviously! But there I am in marshalling (the waiting area where teams get lined up before going to the boats) in all my dragon boat finery lol

Who took this? lol

Who took this? lol

And lastly, this is me with my dinner which came loooong after we won and celebrated, it was the best burger ever! I’ve probably had better but I was so hungry it sure seemed like the best ever lol πŸ˜›

I'm such a lady lol

I’m such a lady lol

So there we have it, it was an awesome weekend I wish didn’t have to end but of course it did, sigh. Filled with friends, and fun, and food and medals! πŸ˜€

Food For A Friend

28 May

I don’t invite people in to my place often, the main reasons are:

(1) my cat doesn’t like people

(2) I only own one living room chair so that means only one person will get to sit comfortably

(3) I don’t own a table so there is nowhere to sit and eat

(4) my place is super small, having two people in it makes it feel crowded

(5) I am a sucky host

Despite all these reasons I decided to invite a friend of mine over for dinner, a dinner that I would be making! Β I was happy with making the offer, even happier when she said yes but as the day of the dinner got closer I started to get a bit stressed. I was trying out two different recipes and I was freaking out about messing up and giving both of us food poisoning, or about the food tasting horrible and having to order emergency take out or about any other possible ways to screw it up that I hadn’t thought of yet lol.

I chose two random recipes from online, spoke to a chef friend of mine for some tips and explanations of things in the recipes that confused me, bought ingredients I would never normally buy and next thing I knew I was prepping food, in my kitchen, while listening to music, and kinda enjoying myself. Go figure.

I felt so domestic! πŸ˜›

The appetizer was Crusty Parmesan Herb Zucchini Bites. I rate them a 5 out of 5 for ease of making but I didn’t like them, my friend did though so I think it was just that I’m not a huge fan of rosemary but that’s in the recipe, a little less rosemary and I might like them better. Also, I kept them in the oven a bit too long so the cheese was browner than I cared for. shrug. Personal preferences, whatcha gonna do? πŸ˜›

washed, ends chopped off, halved, coated in oil

washed, ends chopped off, halved, coated in oil

drizzled balsamic vinegar

drizzled balsamic vinegar

mixture of parmesan cheese, rosemary and thyme

mixture of parmesan cheese, rosemary and thyme

cheese and herbs sprinkled on top

cheese and herbs sprinkled on top

I put the zucchini in the oven at 350F for 15 minutes, the last 5 minutes the broiler was on which was theoretically going to make the cheese a nice golden brown buuuuuut it turned out like this…

not quite how the picture with the recipe looked, sigh.

not quite how the picture with the recipe looked, sigh.

Like I said, I didn’t much care for them but if I try them again with different herbs I might. I normally love zucchini so despite this recipe not working out all that well I might try it again with different toppings, see how my tastebuds like it then. πŸ™‚

The main course was a One Pan Pasta dish that I kept seeing floating around facebook. You put all the ingredients in the pot at the same time, add water, get it to a rolling boil, boil with occasional stirring for the length of time it takes to cook the pasta and boom! Pasta dish! It is really pretty looking at the beginning, at least I think so…what do you think?

See? Pretty!

See? Pretty!

There is whole wheat spaghetti pasta, washed and halved baby tomatoes, one thinly sliced red onion, salt, garlic, red pepper flakes, fresh basil and extra virgin olive oil. Not shown is the 4 1/2 cups of water you add. Once it is all cooked according to the recipe there will be a small amount of water at the bottom of the pot which you shouldn’t worry about because it will thicken up in to a sauce. Um…hmm…small amount of water?? I don’t think so! More like whole whack load of water! I was worried I’d somehow screwed up since there was way more water than there was supposed to be but I used tongs to serve it and it was ok, actually better than ok, it was really good. I especially liked the addition of the red pepper flakes, they made quite the difference – in a good way! I also give this dish a 5 out of 5 for ease of making, there is a bit of prep work needed which to me seemed like a lot of work but that is probably because I never cook, I think compared to most recipes the level of prep work needed wasn’t that big of a deal.

The recipe said it would make 4 servings but it made way more than that…course most people eat larger portions that I do so that probably has something to do with it lol It would be a good dish to make then portion out in to servings and freeze for future meals, well, I think it would be, do baby tomatoes freeze ok? *confused face*

The final result was this…

not as pretty looking lol topped with parmesan cheese, Mmm!

not as pretty looking lol topped with parmesan cheese, Mmm!

Since I don’t own a table I put two tv tables against each other, kinda ghetto but hey, it worked lol The final look was…

my "table"

my “table”

My friend brought some fancy bread and she put together some balsamic vinegar and oil for dipping. The little mugs were filled with strawberry daiquiri , I don’t own glasses meant for alcoholic drinks either…I feel like I should start making a list of things I don’t have but apparently should lol.

All in all it was a good meal, with great company and I’m glad the evening happened. πŸ™‚ Turns out my stress was about nothing cause even with the cheese getting too brown on the zucchini everything worked out alright…maybe I should invite people over more often…maybe lol πŸ˜›

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