Sunday, September 27, 2009

Bon Voyage, Sibbie: The Heidleberg Haus, Calgary

Sunday, September 27, 2009
My brother Al and his girlfriend, Julia, left last weekend for their 45 day trek across Europe. I am so excited for them- as far as I know, neither of them has left the continent (as kids we went to Hawaii but I still consider that part of North America).

To help them prepare for their trip, which includes a long stop in Germany, Gary and I took them out for dinner and passed on some valuable Surviving Abroad With Your Significant Other advice.

We decided that it was also a good idea to teach them some important German language skills: Food and Beer.

So before they left, we met Al and Julia at the Heidelberg Haus, the restaurant in the German Canadian Club.


First lesson: How to take photos of yourself in front of historical monuments!

Now, for $19.95 each we ate as much as we wanted from a buffet of authentic German eats. The food at the Heidelberg Haus was good, but the worst food we ate in Germany was still better.


Second lesson: How to identify delicious foods that won't kill you! (Julia is lactose intolerant)

That said, I'd go back :)

We talked about taking the train, where to find cheap food, how to say things like "beer" and "fork" and survival strategies for not breaking up while abroad.

(Full disclosure: I broke up with Gary while we were in Germany. It was hot, I was tired, and he made me climb 700 steps to the top of a hill when we CLEARLY could have taken an alternate, stair-free route. We got back together 15 minutes later.)

It's hard to talk to my brother, if you've ever met him- and it's even harder to talk sense into the boy. But I feel that buttering them up with schnitzel and kuchen helped get the final point of our conversation across:

Don't get wet, don't get lost, and because those two things are going to happen regardless of any preparations, don't take it out on each other.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Regrets

Saturday, September 26, 2009
It's the last weekend of September and it feels so much like summer that I'm wearing shorts and flip flops.

Peoples, I don't wear shorts IN the summer. I'm not a shorts person. It has to do with my strong, fundamental belief that after 14, the upper thigh shouldn't be seen in mixed company.

Uh, or my cliche hatred for my thighs, whatevs.

But here it is, unusual Indian Summer and I spent the day napping and washing dishes. I had a lot of dishes to wash. It needed to be done.

But it occurs to me that next week will be October, and I didn't sit on a patio and drink endless pitchers of fruity wheat beer this summer. I didn't sunburn my nose and laugh until my sides hurt; I didn't do shots with new friends and stagger home without a coat, my ears ringing.

Oh, well. Next year.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A brunette walks into a barre

Wednesday, September 23, 2009
A few weeks ago, Mama and Papa B came for a whirlwind, short notice visit (as they are frequently wont to do). I met them for coffee one morning and revealed that I had come to a consensus on my new hobby.

My dad laughed out loud. He guffawed, people. This was not a titter, or a "hehehe", or even a coy LOL. This was full-out, gut-busting laughter.

And so began the build up to my first Adult Beginner Ballet class.

Gary accompanied me on my quest to find ballet slippers. We timidly entered the Dance Supply store recommended by the school and after a brief misunderstanding where I was presented with a children's size 9 ballet slipper, I was on my way.

So yes, blog friends, every Monday night for the rest of the year (and into 2010 if I don't kill myself first), I will spend 75 minutes bending, stretching, standing on tippy toe and generally feeling like a jackass.

An ungraceful, clumsy, hippopotamus-in-a-tutu jackass.

But secretly, I love every second of it, and on top of it all...more blog material! Win-win for all.

And no, there will not be a recital.

Homeless

Last night I tossed and turned. I twisted the sheets and awoke with my hair stuck to my forehead, uncomfortably covered in a sweaty sheen.

The dream I had was startlingly real. Living in my car, sleeping in the parking lot at my work, or when it got too cold, on the floor in my office. Showering and getting ready for the day in the dancer's locker rooms. Doing all the above in secret.

This is reality for some. Apparently it was the reality for one of my coworkers, many years ago.

Thankfully, it's not my reality. At least, it's not today. But it's frightening that my brain could capture the details so crisply.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Best steak of my life

Monday, September 21, 2009
Friday night Gary and I both left work on time. We got dressed up. I applied eyeliner. We hit the town.

Gary had planned a surprise date to celebrate the amount of time we've been together. We received much mocking and some scorn from friends who reminded us that once you're no longer in high school, you're not allowed to celebrate monthly anniversaries.

But to the haters, I say boo.

I'll take any chance I can get to actually put on pretty clothes and have a nice, romantic evening with my boyfriend, and I feel that anyone would do the same.

By nice and romantic, I'm not necessarily excluding Panago delivery and three episodes of the Big Bang Theory, but variety can be a nice change...

Also, I ate the best steak I have ever encountered IN MY LIFE.

So Friday night we settled in at Vintage here in Calgary. (Tap) Water and Red Wine, crab cakes and great service later, I was convinced to trade in my favourite cut o' beef (prime rib) for a rib-eye steak.

GOOD CHOICE.

BEST FOOD EVER.

Like butter. Steak flavoured butter. It was the best meat I have ever eaten in my life, people, and I have eaten a lot of steaks. Gary's filet mignon paled in comparison.

So here's to another 18 months, more steak, and more romance. For all of us.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

What do you mean by that, exactly?

Sunday, September 20, 2009
I often think that I take things people say completely the wrong way.

But when your new hairstylist- who you are seeing only because your old and trusted hairstylist fell off the wagon and mysteriously moved to a different province- tells you that suuuure, she could cut bangs for you, IF YOU WANT, because, well, you DO have the forehead for it...

or the waiter at a fancy shmancy romantic restaurant offers you a choice between bottled or tap water, and when you say that tap is fine, tells you that he knew you'd say that, he could tell you were tap water people...

what the hell do they mean by that, exactly? Do I have a huge forehead? Do I look like I don't appreciate water with bubbles? Are you trying to suggest that I'm low classy and have a giant face?!!

Maybe I'm wavering on the bangs issue because of a cowlick. Maybe I'm not in the MOOD for San Pellegrino!

Harumph.

I have the Sundays.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Things I do while not wearing pants

Friday, September 18, 2009
I really don't like wearing pants. Added to my propensity to spill yogurt and other assorted sauces and food items on myself, pants are generally the last thing I put on before leaving my house in the morning.

In fact, I'm not wearing any as I type this, sipping on a smoothie and moisturizing my face to prevent crows feet.

Here is a list of things I do on a regular basis without pants:

Style- blow dry and flat iron- my hair
Brush my teeth
Apply cosmetics (and by this I mean lip balm and mascara, but somedays I go all out with Carmindy from What Not To Wear's 5 steps to a made-up face)
Floss
Check my email
Read magazines
Do yoga when no one else is around
Make smoothies
Pack my lunch
Pluck my eyebrows
Talk on the phone
Pay the bills
At-home proofreading
Watching Gossip Girl
Knit
Practice my fierce dance moves

Things I do not do without pants:

Fry bacon.

But because I'm a Lady, I only do the above when it's just me at home. If G's around, I at least put on some stretchy pants.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Pot Roast

Wednesday, September 16, 2009
I realized a few moments ago that my posting has been a bit random of late. And by random, I mean completely phoned in.

I apologize. I try really hard to make you like me. I don't want to be Sally Field liked, but liked well enough. Or hated. Or whatever. I just want my ego stroked. STROKE ME!

But I digress.

This spills over to every part of my life. I am a people pleaser. I just want to make the people around me happy and fulfilled. This should, in my pea brain, lead to Megans being happy and fulfilled, but more often than not, it leaves Megans feeling crusty, cynical and drained.

And sometimes without any scathing blog content.

So. Blog readers. What do you want to know about me, my life, my blog? What do you want me to write about? What are you here for? Ask me anything. I'll try to answer it. (With some caveats...like I'm not revealing my home address. You need to come visit me and bribe me with beer for that info!)

I am going home this evening to a dinner that I threw together in the crockpot before I so much as brushed my teeth. I hadn't even peed yet and I had dinner on the go. How is that for super-homemaker-of-the-year?

And then I'm going to proofread. For several hours. Until my big eyes roll out of my head.

So I anxiously await your questions. They are what I am looking forward to, the bright light at the end of my tunnel, what might prevent me from sticking my head into the collating part of the xerox machine and hitting staple- for tomorrow, I have more proofreading to do.

And I know there are about a hundred or so of you reading and about five of you (two being my PARENTS) are regular commentors!

I need a haircut, NOW.

I have somehow convinced myself that it is okay to continue wearing my hair in a sort of messy, frizzy, pinned up bun because the style is called a chignon, which is French.

And we all know that everything French is chic, sophisticated and stylish.

Even hair that might not even be fit for the gym.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sorry, Vicky...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Not even you can make this look sexy.


Image from Victoria's Secret

Though I am oddly attracted to the concept of a romper for Fall-Winter. I know that technically it's a jumpsuit, but it's a close relative of the romper, yes?

Monday, September 14, 2009

No corners in heaven

Monday, September 14, 2009
You'll be missed.



And not just for those back muscles. Or tight, tight pants.

(Too soon?)

Anyone want to come over and watch Dirty Dancing on Bluray?

Jake and the Kid

This weekend Gary and I joined Lady and Mr Rose for a matinee performance of Theatre Calgary's Jake and the Kid. It made me nostalgic for a Saskatchewan that existed 40 years before I was born, but in so many ways, is the Saskatchewan I grew up in.

Saskatchewan gets a lot of flack. I give it my fair share, too. My boyfriend frequently comments on how boooooring it is to drive through, and how much better his home province is. Yes, BC is Canada's Golden Child, and everything there smells like fresh nature and green trees and joy rains from the skies and unicorns run free. I get it.

But the flat, stark beauty of the prairies shouldn't be ignored.

Jake and the Kid was a show that won me over with bling. The set design was marvelous. The wide-open feeling of the prairies that I found so suffocating as a teenager was captured with a multimedia display projected on stage. We saw the town of Crocus through the eyes of The Kid, at the scale of The Kid. Barn doors towered and the sky stretched out beyond belief. Only the chill of the Max Bell theatre reminded me that I wasn't in the dirty, dusty, dry prairie.

The production had some challenges- relationships that would have added depth to the production weren't explored, the show moved at a slow, loping pace- but Jake and the Kid is what it is.

And at the heart of it, it's a play that reminds us of the importance of faith, of community, and what happens when the two are combined.

At least, that's my take.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Hot Yoga for the Lazy and Unmotivated

Wednesday, September 09, 2009
My approach to fitness is simple. I like to put on spandexy clothes, do some moderately intense (or easy, depending on the day) cardio, stretch, and go home to eat, very pleased with myself.

Obviously I have not seen dramatic results from any workout regime.

Last week, my friend Angie convinced me to try something different. Hot Yoga is mighty trendy, and- well, if all the cool skinny kids are doing it, it can't be wrong.

Unless it's drugs. Or premarital, under-aged sex. Or, marital under-aged sex. But I digress.

Done in a room heated to about 115 degrees F, with very high humidity, hot yoga is supposed to be incredibly beneficial to the entire body, mind, and yadda yadda yadda.

I thought this would be a good opportunity to expand my horizons, de-stress and maybe get a good workout out of the deal. And cross a list item off! A class is 90 minutes long- what could I possibly lose?

Apparently, my dignity. And balance.

At any rate, I'm writing this while I dry off from a second shower and while the water boils for the GIGANTOR pasta dinner I'm going to consume in a few minutes. I thoroughly encourage you to try hot yoga, even if you've never tried plain old boring yoga before. But before you do, you should know the following things:

1. You will sweat like you have never sweated before. This is not a ladylike glow. This is not a flushed-cheeks, glistening forehead. This is the most you've ever sweated PLUS all the sweat of an entire junior varsity football team. To the power of seven.

2. But you won't stink. The room, hot and muggy as it was, smelled like...nothing. This is important because a significant amount of time is spent inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth. I tried really hard not to laugh when the instructor encouraged us to try to sound like Darth Vader on the exhale. I failed.

3. You will feel light headed, dizzy, and vomitous. You will want to die. You will want to pass out and give up. This will happen within the first three minutes. Stick it out! The feelings will reoccur approximately every ten minutes after that, but hey! You get a good 10 minutes of non-vom headrush.

4. Everyone will be thinner, bendier and less sweaty than you. Get over it. Also, try not to stare at anyone else's incredibly toned sweaty backside. It's rude.

5. There is no shame in spending a significant proportion of the class lying flat on your back trying not to puke. You're a newbie! Embrace that newbness. Also, if you get really good at it, you will no longer have an excuse to lie on your back, soaking wet with sweat, in a really hot room.

Doesn't that sound like fun?

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Long Weeeeekend

Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Hey guys.

Sorry.

The long weekend came and went, with it several days of driving and sitting and more driving and getting sort of off track on secondary highways in Alberta and a harrowing drive through the Kootenay Mountain Pass after midnight. And eating at McDonalds, TWICE. (We never ever ever eat at McDonalds, but not much is open in Fernie at 10:00pm. Who knew?) But hey! There was also a Ferry ride, fresh corn on the cob and some delicious spaghetti, so not all is lost.

Anyway, I'm back in Calgary, and I have oodles of housecleaning to do, and it's cold enough now that I can't walk to work with wet hair without my little ears getting chilly. I have a semi-formal cocktail event on Thursday night and I have nothing to wear; I have my first hot yoga class on Wednesday night and I have nothing to wear; and I'm contemplating getting bangs.

Thoughts?

Thursday, September 03, 2009

I blame J-Lo.

Thursday, September 03, 2009
I work with people who are very, very attractive. They have fit, lean, small, tight little bodies and the grace and poise of...ballerinas. Yeah, the people I work with are a lot like ballerinas, but not necessarily ballerinas, though let's not rule that out entirely.

Anyway, every morning I arrive to work at the same time as one of these hot (and very, very nice) people. He is from France. And every morning, he holds the door open for me and I walk through and up the stairs.

And every morning, I am convinced that he looks at me and thinks in his head,

"Zat woman has zee widest ass I have ever seen IN. MY. LIFE. Zat ass is much, much different from zee bums of my ozherrr coworkers. Sacre bleu."

And every morning I try to climb the stairs out of sight in a hurry, unsuccessfully shielding my bum with my purse or some files- managing to only call more attention to it, awkwardly sloshing coffee all over myself until I arrive at the top of several flights sweaty and in a panic.

I know that he is not thinking that. In fact, I know that *no one* I work with or encounter on a daily basis is thinking to themselves about the remarkabilty of my backside. No one is thinking about my backside, period.

But lord love a duck, every SINGLE morning that is what crosses my mind.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

What do you mean it's only TUESDAY?!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009
I am ready to kill someone for a long weekend. Fortunately for someone, THIS weekend is a long weekend.

Hurrah.

Friday night at *fingers crossed* 4:00 *yeah, right* Gary and I are packing up ship and heading west to the Kootenays for the long weekend. I am super excited about the weekend in the mountains, less excited about the super long drive. Oh, well. Time to sleep, yes?

If you can sleep while your vehicle is hurtling through a dark mountain pass at 1:00 am on the Friday of the long weekend.

Did I mention that I need a break?