Rooting around in my bag of tricks

Happy Friday friends!

You know it’s going to be a good day when you wake up to this kind of magic.

Tonight M and I are going round two with our local movie theatre in an effort to finally see Skyfall. We went last week, but the film was already sold out.

My excitement is palpable (and growing!)

I keep hearing about this electric scene between Javier Bardem and Daniel Craig that makes my tummy feel all a-flutter.

Ahem.

In the mean time, Nymeria is cute-ing up the joint like nobody’s business. Last night she snuggled up next to my legs and slept on my feet, purring up a storm.

I managed to catch her with one of her mice friends:

This also gives my stomach butterflies (for monstrously different reasons, of course.)

In the meantime, fry-up time!

An apple a day.

Arriving home last night the only thing I wanted to do was make something that tasted of autumn deliciousness.

So I baked an apple-blueberry crisp.

I have a few recipes committed to memory, and this one is so easy-peasy that I feel as though I could put it together with my eyes closed.

(What with how zonked I have been for the past couple of days – or, ahem, weeks – this a boon and a half.)

First, start with your ingredients:

Then, don’t take any other photos of putting the crisp together, save this one:

Eat the remainder of your triscuits. While the crisp is in the oven, go see your Little Sister, help her with her math homework, and make plans to take her to the Vancouver Christmas Market in December.

Upon your return home thank your husband for taking the dessert out of the oven. Then turn on the fire, curl up on the couch with your love, and dig in.

Also, a little vanilla ice cream never hurt anyone (or a crisp for that matter.)

Dee-lish.

Prairie Royalty.

Being the good Canadian girl that I am, I pride myself on being a fan of the Tragically Hip.

Gord Downie and his posse make some darn fine music, and as such I was shocked to hear a song of theirs just the other day on CBC that I had never before heard.

Wheat Kings is a beautiful, haunting song.

I am currently doing the thing I always do when I crown a new favourite tune – listening to it over and over again until I cannot stomach hearing it again for at the very least the foreseeable future.

As of today, I am still very much in love with it and I implore you to take a moment and let this magic into your lives:

Werner Herzog.

I’ve written before about Herzog and his films, and the other night M and I watched Happy People: A Year in the Taiga.

This. Guy.

What a film maker.

I cannot say much besides I have no idea how this man has never before won an academy award.

He is a absolute master.

(Also, I really wish he narrated my dreams.)

Happy People is a documentary that looks at the life of the indigenous people of the village Bakhtia at the river Yenisei in the Siberian Taiga.

It is beautiful and smart and touching and inspiring. And it will really make you want to get a husky.

Watch this movie. Please.

So that’s all she wrote you crazy cats.

Joyeux fin de semaine to you all!

This swinging hot spot

Is it just me or is Wednesday the absolute worst day of the week?

Seriously.

I mean, Monday is a complete write off.  You know what you’re getting into when you wake up on a Monday – just getting through the day feels like some awe-inspiring accomplishment.  Tuesday is great because, well, it’s not Monday. Thursday is fab because it is the lead-in to Friday, and hell, Friday is the awesome appetizer to a wonderful and exciting entree called “The Weekend.”

But Wednesday?  Blah.  It’s uninspired.  It spreads itself so thin it’s practically a recommended serving size of peanut butter.  Even a Wednesday full of meetings doesn’t make the time go by.  Instead, the day still drags, and at the same time still gives me anxiety about all the stuff I have yet to get done.

Overall, a pretty bleak experience.  So, in order to combat the evil Wednesday, I have developed certain coping mechanisms to get me through the day: going for an hour long walk at lunch time if the weather is nice; trying on all the beautifulbut painfully expensive clothing at BCBG if the weather is crap; eating all the leftover baby shower cake; etc.

The most important step though, to surviving a Wednesday, is the way I start my morning.  In the ten minutes I have between getting off of the skytrain and turning my computer on in my office, I stop by the Second Cup coffee shop underneath Bentall 4, make small talk with the lovely baristas who work there, and order a small, non-fat, vanilla bean latte.

These drinks are lifesavers – I never used to drink coffee before I started my new job, but now that I am Ms. Tired McTiredmeister all the live-long day, I rely on this magical combination of espresso, steamed milk and vanilla extract to wake me the heck up in the a.m.

This morning I was flipping through the The Province (investigative journalism at its finest), waiting for my drink, when I came across a story about a young skunk named “Bubbles” who had recently undergone surgery at the Burnaby Wildlife Rescue Association because she had become ensnared in a bubble tea lid.

Well folks, reading this story, on a Wednesday, without having ingested my daily nectar-of-the-gods NEARLY DID ME IN.

I was enraged.

That poor baby skunk.  How scary that must have been for her.  How utterly helpless she must have felt to be trapped in something so foreign, so toxic and so destructive.

Seriously, I cannot stand people who don’t properly dispose of their crap.  I mean, how hard is it to carry that drink cup for what, five more minutes until you come across the correct receptacle for disposal?  YOU ARE KILLING BABY SKUNKS YOU HUMAN PARAQUAT.

People are so bloody spoiled, ignorant and complacent about these things.  And hearing about the plight of young Bubbles only destroys me even more.  I have so much respect and admiration for the people working for organizations such as Wildlife Rescue because I don’t think I could ever handle a job like that.  I think my heart would break over and over again and that I would either 1) go completely mad and turn into an incensed, insane wildlife protection vigilante or 2) run away to become a hermit who lived in the wilds of the Yukon before being eaten by my pet bears (and inevitably have a film made about my life narrated by Werner Herzog.)

When I was living in England two years ago, I was walking home from campus one night and the fellow in front of me stuffed his Subway garbage in one of the university’s hedges.  I grabbed the plastic bag out of the hedge and sped up my gait, hoping to catch up with him and publicly shame him.  He happened to see me retrieve the garbage, and noticing my enraged approach, quickly took of up the hill at what was pretty much a run.  Not to be outdone, I took off too, matching his pace.  When we reached the top, he paused for breath and I yelled out, “YOU CANNOT JUST STUFF YOUR GARBAGE IN A BUSH!”

Shocked that I had actually ended up saying something, he looked over at me and muttered with derision, “Bloody American.”  The he took off again.

I was so shocked that he would try to use my (perceived) nationality as a comeback, all I could think of for a reply was, “I AM CANADIAN!!!”

To anyone who witnessed this, I must have looked quite a sight – just blithely yelling out my nationality to an empty street, what with the hedge garbager having escaped into the night.

So let this serve as a warning: while I may not be at option 1 (see above) status yet, I have no problem outing those who don’t treat Mother Nature, and her lovely animal friends with respect.  TRUST.

On a more positive note, here are some of the lovely animal friends my husband and I met whilst in the U.K.:

This is Saffi, a rescue dog with a big smile and a bushy tail.  M and I met her whilst walking along one of the canals that connect Warwick with Leamington Spa.  The canal network throughout England is really something to behold.  You can walk all the way from Birmingham to London along these waterways.

This is the swan that stepped on M’s foot while nipping at his fingers because the bread wasn’t coming fast or furious enough.  Kensington Gardens was beautiful that day.  Its vast, but inviting green space was speckled by frost and snow; whispers of tourists blown to its far corners, drinking hot chocolate to stave off the cold.  M and I fed the swan until our sandwiches were gone; as hard as he tried, the taste of our fingers were just not to our web-footed friend’s liking.

These are three of the sheep friends I made on a day trip out to Baddesly Clinton, a medieval manor house in Warwickshire.  When I think about this day, all I can think about is how vibrantly beautiful it was.  I felt as though I was living inside of a prism.

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