All the thanks are belong to you!

Well, a magical thing happened yesterday.

The Word Press gods smiled down on this here little blog, and my post We are all travelers here was Freshly Pressed.

This was my second foray into the FP world, and I have to say I am just as humbled, honoured, and jazzed as I was the first time.

But more than anything, I am so excited to meet all you new fab chaps that have stopped by my little slice of the internet.

Thank you all so much for coming over, leaving a note, liking a post, or just taking a peek around.

Here at Rant and Roll we like to have a good time. So please, put on some sweet tunes, limber up those limbs, and have one sweet mad dance party.

I am working on a longer piece for Friday’s post, but in the interim, please enjoy this sneak preview:

In our hotel suite, we ate sushi and drank diet coke. My sisters gave themselves pedicures in the bathroom, and I practiced putting in my contact lenses.

That night I slept, but the butterflies in my stomach and the persistent buzz of a malfunctioning air conditioner ensured that I slept little.

The morning of the wedding broke absolutely beautiful. It was to be a hot, sun-drenched day, perfect for a garden ceremony and dinner.

The first person to arrive was our photographer, my soon to be sister in-law Vanessa.

“Getting here was crazy!” She exclaimed. “There’s this crazy burnt-out semi-truck taking up space on the number 1! Traffic was moving so slow, I didn’t think I was going to make it on time!”

A burnt out semi-truck?

Tune in Friday to read the full story!

Same bat time, same bat channel.

And in the mean time, let’s end on a laugh, shall we?

I dream. Sometimes I think it’s the right thing to do.

Guess what friends?

This is my one hundredth blog post!


Heavens to Betsy, I can hardly believe it.

I started Ye Olde Rant and Roll last October, because I was missing creative writing something fierce.

I was already writing a boat load for work- including blogging three times a week – so I figured if I had the stamina to keep it up at my job, there was absolutely no reason why I couldn’t stick to a schedule of writing three times a week for fun.

(Hilarious almost typo. I first wrote “fur” instead of fun. I most definitely would not write three times a week for fur.)

At first all of my posts were Rants. (Definitely capital R.)

There was bad stuff going down all over the world, including in my own back yard, and I wanted to draw attention to those issues.

I had a voice – I might as well use it.

This was fantastic for the first little while, until I realized that I wasn’t totally worked up about issues all the live long day. I didn’t have enough things grinding my gears to produce three posts a week.

Plus, amazing, intriguing, inspiring things were happening on an almost daily basis – brilliant things were going on, and they were affecting me as much as the other issues I was discussing.

Write, write, write, write!

So gradually, I began to explore different sides of the world, and my life, through this here blog spot.

I started writing about fashion. And food. I wrote more about my life with Mr. M and our little beauty cat Nymeria.

I wrote about past travel plans, vacation adventures as they were happening, and I’ve hinted about expeditions that will soon be coming down the pipe.

(Mixed metaphor? Oh well, I’m owning it.)

I’m chronicling my progression to Tough Mudder status, unpacking my love-hate relationship with professional hockey, and singing the praises of my always entertaining family, my brilliant friends.

BUT! One the most important elements of this insanely wonderful ride is I’ve had the chance to meet all you rad-freaking-tastic readers and writers.

And I love that I get to have a glimpse into your lives, your stories, your rants and your rolls.

I’ve started writing upwards of five times a week because I feel so honoured to be a part of this amazing community, and I just get so jazzed the heck up all the time about stories that, well, jazz me the heck up!

This is how you dudes and dudettes make me feel!

A couple of you have asked me where I got my nickname from. So prepare yourselves for a thrill!

Well, almost three summers ago I worked with two beautiful young ladies, both the same height, one brunette and one blond. One day I made a joke to another colleague about them being Betty and Veronica. He turned to me and asked, “well, what does that make you?”

“Um,” I said. “Well…I’m tall, and lanky, and pretty nerdy. So – I guess that makes me Ethel?”

And it did. To many, many people from that day forth, I was Ethel.

The second part stems from a lunch break I had the day after I defended my Master’s thesis. I spent the whole time describing my research to a co-worker. At the end of my (ahem) rant, he asked me if I would rather he call me “doctor” or “the dean.”

“The dean,” I said.

So there you go. The birth of Ethel the Dean!

And to mark this auspicious occasion, if there are any other questions you have about my bonkers life, I’d be happy answer them.

(To an extent. Or for fur.)

I can no other answer make, but thanks (and thanks!)

This morning I woke up and checked my e-mail.

Then I did this:

Holy mother of pearl!

And then afterwards, I did this:

Freshly pressed! Yowza!

And then for the rest of the day, I felt like this:

Chillin. Illin. And cleaned the heck up!

Funnily enough, after work, what did I do?

I went to the gym gosh darn it!

I kind of felt like I owed it to them in a way.

It ended up being a fab, FAB workout too. I ran sprints and hills (alas – on the treadmill), squatted until my thighs were about to give out, and then did enough push-ups and pull-ups to never want to partake in another one until the end of time (or, as it more likely, for the next two or three days.)

Then I came home and got my cooking groove on with the ever lovely Mr. M.

We decided it was high time to make some homemade spaghetti sauce along with some sweet mini bowtie pasta.

We lined up our veggies and got to work:


There is something so calming about working in the kitchen with someone you love.

It also helps if you have similar taste in radio programmes. The CBC has been absolutely killing it with their 20 year anniversary coverage of the Seige of Sarajevo.

I’ve been brought to tears many, many times listening to their coverage. Seriously, their interviews are just outstanding in the extreme.

As we listened we chopped, woked, and boiled.

Boil it!

M was kind enough to capture much of the action.

Needs more tomatoes.

We also decided to cook up some spicy shrimp for good measure.

Shrimp it!

For a final outcome of this:

Absolute bliss.

As an end note, I would like to send a massive thank you to everyone who has dropped by this here blogspot, left a note, liked a post, or subscribed to updates, whether it be today, or the day I started up Rant and Roll.

Your support means more to me than you know.

So to all of you, a toast!

I couldn’t do it without you.

A cup of kindness

It’s pretty crazy to think that we are only two days away from beginning a new year.

I don’t know whether time is speeding up, or if I am slowing down, but events seem to be happening at a much quicker pace, than say, ten years ago.

So, to whomever turned up the dial on the world’s treadmill, could you slow it down a tad friend? I need to catch my breath and get my bearings!

I find that doing something that really pushes your physical and mental limits is a great way to help both time run away from you, and yet somehow make it hang suspended in mid-air, like some crazed escape artist, hanging from a tightrope wire.

For instance, yesterday, M, my dad, and I climbed Mount Haystack, all 3560 feet high and 8.6 miles long of it.

Just a hop, skip and a jump to the summit!

It was an adventure and a half, especially seeing as though for the actual ascent we didn’t have a marked path.

I have never scrambled up so much loose rock in my life.

I have never been pricked by two different types of cacti, nor have I ever seen a coyote while mid-mountain descent ( they are usually only skulking around my backyard back home).

Nor have I ever seen a view quite like this one before:

This is the definition of man-made (and man-maintained).

We started out at 7:30am, to get a jump on the crowds (there weren’t any) and the heat (there was quite a lot of this).

It was a seriously fun, seriously taxing hike.

Other things that I learned while out on the trail:

1. Barrel-head cacti always grow leaning to the south, and look like giant prickly cucumbers.

Keep those barrels rolling. ROLL HIGH!

2. An oasis will crop up in just about the most remote, random place that you could ever imagine.

Yet not a drop to drink.

3. Making your sandwich with a tomato in it the night before is never a good idea, even if you think you’ve protected the bread with both lettuce and cheese, because the lettuce and cheese will also make it grow soggy.

I don't have a photo of my sandwich so please accept this glowing cactus.

4. I am the queen of the world.

Leo ain't got nothing on me.
A room, erm, peak with a view!

It’s quite insane to really mediate on 2012 as a tangible, real thing. I remember ringing in 2000 as if it was yesterday.

You've got to put one foot, in front of the other...

It’s not that I am weary of the new year, but more curious, filled with a subtle sense of wonderment about all the new (and completely bonkers) adventures I will embark on next.

So here, in no particular order are my resolutions for the approaching three hundred and sixty-five days:

– Run the Victoria marathon in 3:30:00 – Begin training in April, qualify for Boston in October.

– Travel, explore and take on the (sometimes scary) unknown with the love of my life, Mr. M.


– Continue having a positive relationship with food and my body, because without this, there is no way I will be able to accomplish numbers 1 and 2.

I am also so happy to be writing regularly again through Rant and Roll.

Many, many thanks to all of my fabittyfabfab readers and subscribers. Your encouragement, comments and support mean the world to me! Without a doubt, you all make my little, slightly daft heart smile!

I wish you all a brilliant and beautiful coming year, free of prejudice, and bias, but always REMEMBER: should you encounter any of this in your daily life, do not despair, for after I wrench myself from the corner from whence I have curled myself up in the fetal position, I WILL TAKE THEM ON AND I WILL CRUSH THEM!!!



Smile, little heart. SMILE!

Happy New Year to you all!

– Ethel the Dean.