Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The shoes got in the way of my run ...

This afternoon, I slipped in a swim between meetings. 60 non-stop laps. Not bad. Even had time for a 10-minute lunch too. Good stuff!

Later, off to meet KR for a little shopping though I was supposed to run.

Clothes shopping ... something I rarely ever do. I see that more as a girly-girl thing, and though I can glamour it up without your ever knowing that I am truly a jockette (because I am such an amazing and credible actress) ... well, I figured I could have some fun alongside the other bargain hunters at Winner's, the well-known brand name discount store.

And I figured what the heck, my track pants and jeans are wearing thin and look like they've been dragged over every possible rough surface.

Honestly, I shop like a man. I know what I want and go out only when I need it, preferring hardware stores. I hate comparison shopping and trying things on. I go in, take a look, and if I like what I see, get as much as possible in the same store. One-stop shopping and I'm done for the year. Haven't had a "shopping spree" for over a year and a half and felt like my wardrobe was due.

"What! I can only try on six items at a time?" Good thing my friend and I tag-teamed for each other as we proceeded to try on all the outfits filling our shopping carts.

Ugh, I was caught in bargoon heaven and had just cause to purchase ... like the nice Simon Chang trench coat with the flowered lining to replace the one that I bought 13 years ago when I was big and pregnant. Yes, I have managed to slim down considerably since.

And no, no, no, couldn't say no to the $9.99 little black dress special.

And of course, just had to get some 4" stilletto pumps to go with it ...

Last pair of sexy pumps I bought was 20 years ago. Yup, figured it was time for a new pair. Anyway, my yellow Asics running shoes don't quite go with the little black dress.

Who says a jockette can't be sexy? I've got JC's party to go to in a week and a half and I want to look HOT!

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

I've been eating way too well ... burp!

I ate supper tonight with Killerchops. Quite yummy - baby bok choy with garlic, tofu in oyster sauce, BBQ pork (char sui), and white rice. He thinks it's cool having a Chinese friend who cooks well. (Cute, my kids think it's cool that I'm a Chinese mom who cooks well.)

Then we went to see the film "Number 23", starring Jim Carrey. Don't go see it 'cause ...


Felt like a parody about obsession, or some trashy film noir with a low-budget script and a high-budget set. I wanted to laugh out loud and diss it openly, tear it to shreds, but I don't think the audience would have appreciated this as they "gripped their chairs in fear".

Managed to slip in a half hour swim afterwards ... my doing, heh heh heh ... KC was a good sport about it though. I think he would have rather just relaxed over some tea instead ... Thanks KC!

Oh yeah, KC also saw a lady ram her car right into the underground garage support beam. Everyone who parks underground secretly harbours this fear. The only difference is, we watch out for those beams so we don't charge into them!

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Monday, February 26, 2007

Reset ... reset ...

My hours have been too wickedly all over the place. That's what I get for being an artist and hanging out with people who also have do not have "regular" schedules. So tonight, I am going to try to go to sleep "early". These late nights have been killing me, throwing my balance off, and making my training not just irregular, but more like haphazard.

Got back from some fun snowboarding last Saturday with the kids (they are almost as good as I am now!) Thought I had my cell phone on me but didn't. And it wasn't in my coat pocket either, as I had checked when we arrived at the ski hill. Where could it be? After calling my cell phone several times with my cordless home phone and searching everywhere with a flashlight, I finally found it. Not IN my car, but UNDER my car, half buried in the snow. I guess it must have fallen out of my jacket pocket as I loaded up the car.

Still works, but the LCD screen is kaput. Can't see who's calling or whom I'm calling. Can't access my phone book either. Drat. But it still works!

Sunday was a recreational day. We visited the pool and went tobogganing on the hillside. My oldest son congratulated me for swimming faster than than I did last year :-) I still can't beat him in a short race though ... And why do kids always choose the part of the hill with the biggest bumps ... OUCH!

Weather is finally warming up. I've been *thinking* a lot about running, but I suppose thinking about it isn't going to make me sweat.


Oh yes, here's the 5-star meal that my friend PB made for me and two other friends last night. Absolutely delicious! My tummy was spoiled rotten. Sorry no pics ... my appetite was stronger than my artsy photographer side.

Red wine, not sure what kind as I did not drink any, but undoubtedly a good one as PB is a wine connoisseur
Blackberry liquor (a bit like sherry and very yummy)

Green and black olives
Marinated eggplant
Gherkin pickles
Vine leaves stuffed with rice
Cheese crackers with spicy red pepper jelly

Grilled vegetable terrine
Garden salad with warm goat cheese croutons

Main dish:
Veal shanks with endives and lavender

Mango sherbet with champagne syrup

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Friday, February 23, 2007

Happy Year of the Pig!

We went to Beijing (the restaurant) tonight for a little Chinese New Year feast. My oldest son was born Year of the Pig, how quick the cycle comes round again! No food pics though ... we were too engrossed in woofing it all down, it was too delicious!

What we ate:
Shrimp stuffed tofu
Garlic snow pea leaves
General Tao chicken
Salt and pepper shrimp
Cantonese chow mein
Dry beef chow foon
White rice

Here are the remains ...

Who was present:
Silly Sally with two sons
Killerchops with his son
I have never met a non-Chinese person who has refused to celebrate Chinese New Year with me. I even hosted a Chinese New Year's party once for 30+ guests and there were only two Chinese people attending, one of whom was me, the other an old school friend from Toronto. How cool is that?

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Have a great weekend!

Didn't manage to get the run or swim in today, drat, ran out of time, but did get a good short swim in yesterday, just 35 min. Been working a lot on my pull, which is going well as JC tells me he's having trouble now keeping up, and also on my flip turn, which is going ... alright. Still trying to figure out the right moment to twist ... Can I start twisting as soon as my feet push off the wall? Seems to be the only way I avoid half the pool going up my nose ...

Here are some words I'd like to share with you for the weekend. I live my life this way ...

Why lead a mediocre life when I can choose an EXTRAORDINARY one?

Enjoy ...

Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is bliss, taste it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it.

-- Mother Teresa

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Trail running story

I was doing some trail running one day last autumn when a frog called out to me and said, "If you kiss me I'll turn into a handsome prince." I bent over, picked up the frog, and put it in my jacket pocket.

The frog spoke up again and said, "If you kiss me and turn me back into a handsome prince, I will tell everyone how smart and sexy you are and how you are my heroine." I took the frog out of my pocket, smiled at it, and returned it to my pocket. Then I continued running as the sun was starting to set and I hadn't brought my headlamp.

The frog spoke up again and said, "If you kiss me and turn me back into a handsome prince, I'll stay with you for a year and do ANYTHING you want," and quickly lashed out his long tongue. I rolled my eyes, thinking all males think the same, and again took the frog out of my pocket, smiled at it, and put it back into my pocket.

Finally the frog asked, "What's the matter? I've told you I'm a handsome prince and that I'll stay with you for a year and do anything you want. Why won't you kiss me?"

I replied, "Look, I'm a Triathlete. I don't have time for a boyfriend or a lover, but a talking frog is cool. And if I play it right, I could make enough money off of you to get that tribike I've been looking at and also pay my way to Ironman Lake Placid 2008."


Going for an hour swim now ...

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Observations of the Day

I was doing a quick 30 minute jog around my neighbourhood, first run in over a week, and had just crossed a small intersection when BANG! A car coming out from a STOP collided with the car I had just crossed in front of.

Lady, get off your bloody cell phone!

Some people just don't get it ... if you don't pay attention, you can cause an accident. Obviously, she did not use the stop sign to actually look to see if the intersection was clear.

Lady: "Oh, I didn't hear a bang."

Silly Sally: "That's because you were too busy talking on your bloody cell phone."

[Silly Sally rolls her eyes.]

On a nicer note, slipped in an intense albeit short swim, about 25 min. at the neighbourhood pool. Almost every end of lap was a flip turn.

Question: Is it wrong to start twisting while doing the flip? I saw a learning video clip yesterday that said that the twist is only started after pushing off the wall, but I tried this today and found it harder. Way more water up the nose. I think I might keep doing them "my way" - faster and it works.

I don't tie my shoelaces properly either or hold my chopsticks correctly. Heck, I don't even train right.

I can rub my tummy and pat my head and chew gum though.

Cute observation today. There was a mixed Asian-Caucasian 5-year old girl beside me in the change room. Her mother spoke Chinese to her. The little girl spoke both Chinese and French fluently back to her and sang little songs like "Frère Jacques" the whole time her mother dressed her.

Made me think of me when I was little, always singing ... I knew how to whistle too at that age.

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Sunday, February 18, 2007

The hard thing about ...

The hard thing about working weird hours is that it can throw the whole schedule out of sync. That's how I feel today, my entire day feels wasted and I have no motivation to go out and run in the snow. Wouldn't even have time ... have dance practice soon.

But for the moment, I'm sitting here still in comfie pyjamas not wanting to get dressed to face the rest of my evening. Ever get those moments where you just want to be home, doing nothing but catching up on little things? And of course staying in pyjamas is par for the course. Well, I guess I asked for it ... it's been quite the social week.

As much as I am an extrovert, I have this very sensitive introverted introspective side that just needs peace and quiet, that needs just not to make any more effort than I have to and just relax at home. Yup, I am an introverted extrovert homebody. I would be a hermit too if I didn't seem to have so much of my life focused around people and events.

Funny, I seem to organize things for groups of people often enough, and do enjoy seeing everyone have fun, but my preference is more of a one-on-one or small intimate group setting. But the best setting is me and my pyjamas. No, actually my favourite is me and my kids and our pyjamas.

Ahem ... training? What dat?

Here's some pics taken recently of me by JC. First, getting ready for a night out ...

And then on my way downtown to celebrate Chinese New Year over dim sum with a friend. Happy Year of the Pig!

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

To all my Valentines ...

Nice thing about being single is that I'm allowed to have as many Valentine's dates as I like without being chastised.

Valentine #1: Late dinner at Buono Notte Feb. 13 with Zute, a cyclist friend, who was in from out of town for a ski show. Clock struck 12 ... What a great way to kick off Valentine's Day!

Valentine #2: Casual dinner Feb. 14 with equally single JC. Phaya Thai is my favourite Thai restaurant! So happy they opened up a closer second location on Laurier, much closer to me than downtown.

My friend AT sent me an e-mail to celebrate SAD, or Singles Appreciation Day. When I called her up later to have a chat, she told me that she tried to dine alone at a restaurant and was refused a table! Wasn't even allowed to sit at the bar since they had a no food at the bar policy. Sucks doesn't it!?

Well, AT, if we had been in the same city, I would have happily had supper with you - you would have been Valentine #3. Valentine's Day for me is about love and appreciation. AT, you're an amazing friend and a wonderful person!

Here we are at a beach in Honolulu. Though she lives in North Carolina, she came out to Hawaii to cheer me on for the 2005 Honolulu marathon. You rock, girl!

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Death is very finite

The man on the hill passed away Saturday.

My "lil' brother's" father passed away last Thursday.

At the visitation, I saw one of my runner friends, Mercury. His wife who was also mother to one of my best friends passed away last summer unexpectedly.

My swing dance friend CM passed away last summer from cancer. Very sad - she was only 35.

My mother's future is still in question because of her liver and cancer. Another friend, just a few year's older than I, has cancer and is dealing with it courageously, no complaints at all from him, just appreciation that he has one more day. Another friend's mother just got operated on for cancer ... I will cross my fingers for her. I share my friend's sadness because I was there in the same place a year ago, so sad and worried about my own mother.

And then of course, there is my near-death experience with my car crash.

DEATH. It's not quite the same when we hear about it. It's not the same either when we see it on television or in a film. Seeing the man on the hill die rocked me right to the core.

Made me do a lot of thinking. I don't want to have any regrets when I die, things I wanted to do and say ... I don't ever want to look back on my life and wonder what if? All we know for sure is that we have RIGHT NOW.

It was a morbid weekend and having not had the time to deal with it, Monday came and I was EXHAUSTED. On top of it all, my headache refused to leave.

A friend PB cheered me up Sunday night with a fantastic supper, osso bucco, aren't I the lucky one? We followed it up with some tango dancing ...

Today, I felt less affected by the morbidity of the weekend and met up with JC for a quick half hour swim. I guess the eleven hours of sleep I got did me some good. "What a hardcore weekend you had," JC said and gave me a hug in the pool.

I am so fortunate to be alive and to have good friends.

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Saturday, February 10, 2007

The Man on the Hill

I took my sons snowboarding at Bromont today. The snow was amazing and though it was quite chilly, it wasn't freezing! Bundled up quite nicely in several layers, we were having a great time, until one of my sons didn't quite make it to the bottom of the hill.

Turns out he twisted his knee slightly during a little fall, but erring on the side of caution, the snow patrol took him down the rest of the slope. I went to pick up the car on the other side of the mountain to meet them.

When I reached the parking lot, an ambulance passed me, lights flashing, sirens howling. I thought for a second, "No, this can't be ... it's just a twisted knee - I hope it's not broken!"

Worried, I quickly parked the car and made my way to the first aid cabin. I peered inside and saw a man lying on a table. He was urgently being administered CPR. His face was all bloody. I suddenly realised what was happening. Great sadness overwhelmed me and I felt the urge to cry.

Just then, a woman from the snow patrol approached me and told me my son had been moved to another area, for obvious reasons. My son was oblivious to what was happening in the cabin just beside him, feeling better having had his knee taken care of. My other son made mention of hearing on the walkie-talkies that a man was unconscious.

As we were getting into the car, a man on a stretcher was being taken out of the first aid cabin. A yellow blanket covered his face and body. His red ski boots peered out from the other end. The ambulance drove off, no flashing lights, no wailing siren ... and I knew he had not made it.

Incidents like this add a solemn perspective to life.

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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Hanging out with the guys ...

Today was quite the social day ... First on the agenda was breakfast at Byblos on the Plateau with Maurice Alarie, my massotherapist for the last 6 years. He's seen me through every marathon, every triathlon, and also through my car accident. He's given me amazing support with all my endeavours. Highly recommended! Today we had a pick-my-brain meeting as he's set up his services at the Serei Martial Academy and wanted my marketing opinion.

We laughed about how we couldn't understand people twiddling their thumbs, wondering what to do with their time. How do people get bored ... there is just so much out there to do! Both of us have been independent workers for a long time and we immensely enjoyed the freedom of enjoying our days as we wish ... without the constraints of a 9-5 routine. Doesn't mean that we don't work hard, just means that we have more choice of when. But that when also means financial insecurity and most people can't handle that.

Life is full of choices.

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Rushed off after the meeting to swim with JC, another freelancer. Didn't have more than a half hour but worked on my catch, still looking for that perfect balance of power and effort and efficiency. Boy I have short arms. Even when I sprint, I still can't beat JC. We went for coffee afterwards to catch up on things other than swimming ...

And here is my friend GB. He came over after work and forced me to get out and run with him for a half hour. I felt like backing out because of the cold, but was glad when we decided to go for it anyway. One cool thing about my neighbourhood is the variety of restaurants. We opted for Vietnamese as the post-run food. Imperial rolls and Chow Mein ... scrumptious ...

The rest of the night was doing laundry. I was so tired from my "double training", I fell asleep on the couch while folding clothes. I woke up an hour and a half later embroiled in my freshly-washed sheets.

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

I promised them it would be full of colour ...

When I got separated many many years ago, I found I had to downsize from the big apartment I shared with my husband. I told my two children, then one and three years old, that we'd be moving to another neighbourhood and that our new home would be a lot smaller but with a big beautiful tree in the backyard. My oldest son told me that was alright, but then asked if it would be "plein de couleurs" ... full of colour. I told him yes, it would, and then kept my promise.

This is my "LEGO Kitchen". We still live in this tiny yet practical house. It has become our beloved home, full of warmth, vitality and laughter, and all the conveniences of a bigger abode. If you walk too quickly through the front door, you might find yourself suddenly in the backyard, our wonderful backyard lovingly shaded by the big willow tree, providing us shelter from the blazing sun during all our summer BBQ/water gun parties. Our house even has a piano that yearns one day to have hands and fingers run all over it. (Yes, yes, I hope to teach my kids soon!)

My friends marvel at my sense of organization. Heck, I marvel at how many shelves I've had to install and at how ingenious I've become at fitting together pieces of this jigsaw puzzle. In my Lego kitchen is one of my favourite corners ... The Monster Corner. We drew these one day while waiting on set (oops, actor lingo). I drew the monster second to the right, and my youngest drew the one to the far right. Mama and baby monster. When it'll be time to move one day, I will take these monsters with me.

I like to cook a lot. Mainly because I like to eat a lot. And I really like to cook in my kitchen.

Last night, I had an early supper right after my swim since even a half hour swim makes me ravenous. Lo and behold, 10 pm rolled by and I was starving. Hence, my delectable homemade Caesar salad with equally delectable homemade garlic whole wheat bread.

Obviously, staying up into the wee hours of the morning to diddle on my computer and dawdle around the house doing important things like laundry and making beds, combined with my fast digestion system only contributed to my next snack.

Yummy spicy oven fries. "Cavendish FlavourCrisp". Eat 'em while they're hot.

Today, I went out for a half hour swim again with my new swim buddy JC. I think the swim buddy thing is working - it's getting me out consistently! Woohoo! Now all I need is a "friggin' cold weather" run buddy and soon, a "friggin' cold wind" cycle buddy when it'll be time to take my bike out again onto the streets.

I had planned to get my butt back onto Mr. SB, my loyal stationary bike, after a super long hiatus and watch CSI New York. To his dismay but not mine, I didn't since this next dish got in the way. I proceeded to shamelessly eat way too much of it, then punished my own gluttony by doing computer and paperwork instead of watching the tellie.

Spicy Thai shrimp with zucchini and red peppers on a bed of rice. Delicious!

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

I'm on youtube!

I got this e-mail from Dance Conmigo this morning. Didn't have time to look at the link until later tonight when I took some time to clean up my e-mail and realized ...

... it was me and my friend RG dancing in the video! How fun! How exciting! How embarrassing! There we were, dancing improvisationally to a song I really like, Tracy Chapman's "Give Me One Reason". We were giving a demo of West Coast Swing, my favourite social dance ... and one of my other passions, besides triathlon.

Positive comments only please ... :-)

Oh yeah, managed to slip in a half hour of swimming again today. I told myself that I would only do flip turns at the ends of each lane, no touch turns, and I worked on improving my catch (or grab) and press.

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Monday, February 05, 2007

It's great to have a swim buddy ...

It's always fun to have a cool friend who lives close by to hang out with. It's even better to have that same cool friend to hang out with in ... THE POOL! JC, like me, works freelance from home. We are both always on our MSN.

"Fancy a swim?"

So there we are, meeting at the nearby pool. Sure fire way to drag my butt out of the house when I know that there is someone game enough to drag his own butt out of the house too.

My swim buddy wasn't available yesterday though, boo hoo, but I still managed to slip in 60 laps quickly before my 2-hour dance practice.

Today, our schedules cooperated and we happily slipped in a leisurely half hour swim together with little bits of chatter at the end of the lanes when we met up inbetween laps. Gotta fit in our daily gossip!

Thanks JC!

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Sunday, February 04, 2007

Girl's Night Out

Yesterday, I got in an intense half hour swim but today, I somehow got sidetracked and ran out of time to train before my friend, and guinea pig west coast swing dance partner (I'm learning how to lead), CM, came by. For a while now, we'd talked about "drinking and dancing", so lo and behold, we decided to throw in a little gourmet feast as well.

Tonight's menu:

- fresh baguette
- 3 types of olives
- baba ganoush
- 5 types of cheeses: old cheddar, havarti, smoked gouda, jarlsberg, and oka
- cherry tomatoes on the vine
- wine: 2005 Wolf Blass Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon (Australia)

Main Course:
- pork filet marinated in a teriaki-like homemade sauce
- sauteed zucchini with garlic
- halved new potatoes sauteed with green onions and some sort of special mixed spice given to me by my running friend Grommit (hey, G, what's in that mix?)
- wine: 2005 Minervois Chateau de Gourgazaud (France)

(upon our return from social dancing):
- whole wheat banana bread - simply delicious
- I had offered it "a la mode" but we were simply too full

We finally got to toast the New Year ... I hadn't seen CM since my charity birthday party last December.

Here we are ... two girls ready to go out for some fun social dancing at Dance Conmigo. I love that ballroom stuff ... and I even got to try out the nifty Argentine tango steps that another dancer PB taught me just last night! PB sure worked me hard, but it was worth it!

Late night again for me ... time for tea and wine and "Sex in the City" until I fell asleep on the couch ... Girls' night out ... a total blast!

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Thursday, February 01, 2007

How cool is this?

My photographer friend, Jonathan Clark, sent me this pic of his newly decorated living room. He's finally put up some of his fantastic photos, like in a studio. Check it out and let me know what you think.

And here's my living room:

Not as grand, but I've got a little tiny apartment. I think I could actually fit my whole apartment into Jonathan's living room. My apartment is so small that if you walk too quickly in the front door, you'll find yourself in the backyard.

One day, I will have my loft space where I can hang a mirror ball in the living room, dim the lights, and dance to Barry White, Marvin Gaye, Anastacia, and so many other cool artists. I have a little disco ball that I use in my living room right now ... my kids and friends think it's cool. One Christmas, I actually gave out a whole bunch of disco balls to my friends ... the gift beckoned. Now I just need to get a lava lamp but that'll be for when I get my huge loft space.

I wanted to go for a swim tonight but I've been working solidly from about 8:15 pm. Well, actually even before that ... Had to take a break. Had a major glitch. Any techno geeks out there? Well, basically, my DVD drive wouldn't read the DVD-R that was couried to me and neither would Jonathan's DVD drive. Lo and behold, Mac comes out and saves the day AND my ar$e, we transfer my TIFF files to a CD-R and here I am now.

So all I got in was a lousy little run, only about a half hour in -10C weather, which is warm for right now but cold enough to make my chin want to fall off. Scarf, use a scarf, Bonnie ...

By the way, Mr. David Fein, gentleman and fantastic dancer ... I hope you're going to go to The Boston Tea Party !!

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