Favorite Things Right Now...

Podcasts. OK, so I'm a bit late on the Podcast scene. Does everyone know how awesome they are?? Because I sure didn't. Sure, the last time I checked out the Podcast section in the iTunes store was approximately 2006, when the offerings were less than stellar, but 4 years have done wonders. Now, when I'm trying to drown out the sounds of my colleagues, or my phone, I just put my ear buds in an let Rick Steves take me on a wild adventure through Armenia, or discover why magnesium is a good supplement to add to my diet. Excellent. So I can work on things that aren't interesting whilst listening to things that are (and yes, nutritional supplements are fascinating to me...no judgment, please). Anyways, the best Podcasts I've found so far are Travel with Rick Steves (I love his books, so it makes sense that I'm into his Podcasts), Sex with Emily, Dishing up Nutrition, Savage Love (as in, the Dan Savage newspaper column), The Moth and Sound of Young America.

The local farmers' market. Again, a bit late to this scene. I've only lived here for over two years, no big deal. There is a fantastic farmers' market on Saturdays not far from where we live, so for the past month I've been dragging Kurt to it bright and early and loading up on fresh, organic vegetables and eggs at a fraction of the cost of their half-rotten, overpriced, supermarket counterparts. It has made a huge difference to our meals and our grocery bill. Not only are we now eating local and organic, which are both so important in my opinion, but we're eating seasonally as well. This is a huge, fantastic step forward for our life on the Rock, since produce has been such a huge downer for me since pretty much the first time I ever set foot in a grocery store.

Getting OFF of the Rock! We're going to Cayman in just over two weeks, which is going to be a.w.e.s.o.m.e. Not only will we be reunited with Ash and Andy, our much-missed pals who left this Rock for that one, but we will also get a chance to hang out with Heather and James, who are going to be there at the same time to celebrate Heather's birthday. I sense some mayhem approaching. There might be stingrays involved. And boats. And rum. And a lot of food. Good times!

Two weeks or so after we get back from Cayman, we're off again - this time, to NYC. The main components will be similar to Cayman...a chance to visit with our much-missed friends, EAP and Mugsy, fine dining and general good times. I can't wait. We're staying a bit longer than our first trip in 2008, trying a new hotel (still in Midtown), and I'm mostly just looking forward to exploring, night and day. My camera will definitely be the first thing I pack.

We're also planning a bigger trip for late in the year - likely November. We've got the general idea mapped out but still need to work out a few details, so more to come on that later.

Dreaming up home-based business plans. It's always been my dream to work at home, for myself. After years of having no really good ideas for how to accomplish this, 2010 has presented me with three totally different ideas, all very do-able with a bit of business training and some experience under my belt. One would require about two years of course work, but it's something I'm really passionate about, so I'm thinking I would really enjoy the schooling anyways. Anyways, after the madness that is my work life, it's really nice to think that working for myself at some point is more feasible than I had previously thought.

Happy thoughts, indeed.

Cloud of Shame.

Remember when I blogged? Wow. I'm pretty embarassed about this.

Five years ago (!!), I started my first blog. It was kind of the lead-in to this blog, which I started when we moved to the Rocks. Anyways, I was a pretty formidable blogger, back in the day. Sure, I still only had like...6 loyal readers but I was blogging regularly. Sometimes even more than once each day. Imagine. Anyways, I went from being a blogger extraordinaire, to an OK blogger, to a shamefully delinquent blogger. Ouch. How the mighty have fallen. Or, how the moderately adequate have fallen, rather.

So, what is up with you, my 3 remaining readers? Are you still out there?

I'm still here. I'm still on the Rocks, lost at sea.

I spent two and a half glorious weeks in Victoria over Christmas, soaking up all of the comforts of home. It wasn't originally supposed to be such a lengthy trip, but when the time came for me to start packing to come back to the Rock, I decided that I wasn't ready yet, so I somewhat randomly decided to have a tooth pulled. Not a random tooth, mind you, but that devil tooth that started giving me trouble about this time last year, while I was working in CayMAN. To make a long, gory story short, I managed to weasel my way in to see the same specialist who yanked out my wisdom teeth when I was 16. This guy is THE guy to see in Victoria, should you ever require any tooth yanking services. In 20 minutes, my troubles were gone. And now, two months later, my mouth is finally back to normal, after a year of pain. Oh, the lengths I will go to for extra time at home. Sad. But can you blame me?

The highlight of my trip? The family Christmas dinner, hosted at my parent's house. 20 persons of varying levels of Swede gathered in our living room for a feast. No roast beast, but a formidable spread anyways.

I came back to warm, sunny, beautiful weather and, of course, my lovely man. The warm, sunny, beautiful weather gave way to the Rock's "winter" about mid-month, leaving us with miserable torrential rain and gale force winds pretty regularly since then. Can I complain? No. It's not cold. I work indoors. Some rain and wind is not the end of the world. It just means that I haven't had a good hair day in awhile.

My job went from being 8:59 - 5:01 to more of a 7:01 - 6:30 kind of situation. I'm not making excuses, but coming home and blogging was pretty much the last thing I wanted to do. And then I got a secretary aaaand...back to 8:59 - 5:01, for the most part, which is absolutely fine with me. As an added bonus, my secretary has also made it her personal mission to save my soul and to assist me in finding Jesus. We get along great, but if I get annoyed, all I have to do use some mild profanity or casually yell "JESUS CHRIST!" and she gets all quiet as she undoubtedly contemplates just how effed I am, spiritually. I love her.
At the beginning of February, Kurt and I celebrated our six (6) year anniversary. What? When did six years go by? Amazing. We celebrated with a "staycation" at one of the resorts at the other end of the Rock. We just went out for a night, but had a great dinner, watched some Iron Chef, ate some ice cream, and fell asleep to the sound of the crashing waves (it was one of those gale force winds weekends). Good times.

We're not into the Olympics at all. I've shocked a few people by saying this because they all think that because I'm from Canada, I should be really into Vancouver 2010. I was in Vancouver at the beginning of 2010 and saw just about everything I wanted to see...and yes, I'm aware that the Olympics didn't start until February. I'm not into winter sports at all. If it's on, I'll watch it, but I'm not going to go seek out a TV so I can watch the luge finals. I've watched clips of the opening ceremony, read all about the protests (lame!), and if I were there I'd probably be all excited about going out with friends and being a part of it, but I'm not sad that I'm not. However, we did get some Olympic mitts in the mail last week, which we're proudly wearing whenever appropriate. Which, in this climate, is not often.

Obviously, we are very excited about them. They are pretty awesome. GO CANADA!

The Rock has some representation in the Olympics, believe it or not. One guy. We were cheering for him too, but he was disqualified on, like, the first day. Kind of like the idea of a Jamaican hockey team, winter Olympians from the Rock are...challenged. Though, I understand that he is quite the luger. Lugist? Whatever.

By far, the Olympics were trumped for us by the appearance of George last weekend! Our 30 year old tortoise came out of hibernation last weekend for an hour. He ate half of a ham sandwich and then went back into his igloo for a few weeks. I don't think we'll see him regularly until the end of March, but it was nice to see his smiling face for a little bit, anyways.