Saturday, January 27, 2007

Delicious Weekends

Every so often, I just have to blog about how awesome my life is, not because I want to brag or rub anyone's face in it, but simply because it helps me to reflect and be thankful. Today is one of those days.

I am on a weekend getaway / working holiday with Hubbs; he did a two-part presentation on RUBY (yes, her) and RUBY on Rails (sort of like her on speed), and I came along to be his P.A.

Reason #1 for my life being awesome: we're staying at the Marriott, which is
hands-down one of the most fantastic hotels in Vic. It's right in the heart of downtown, within walking distance to some must-see major attractions. The hotel is a little more upscale, so it gives out Bath & Body Works amenities (which I love!). As well, the workout facilities here are first-class; we're talking all upper-end Precor cardio machines (treadmills, bikes, recumbent cycles, and x-trainers), a bench and free weights, a universal gym, free workout towels, and a water dispenser! Oh...and 3 TVs within the workout room, which looks out onto the patio, and into the pool/hot tub area.

Reason #2 for awesomeness: last night I had a glorious sleep on a very comfortable king-sized bed with an abundance of down pillows, a down comforter, and way too much room, allowing me to do near-acrobatics in my sleep without hitting poor Hubbs in the face. This, following a very satisfying, decidedly gigantic "Love Boat for Two" sushi dinner at Yokohama. (Reason #3).

After rolling out of bed this morning, I went for that kick-ass workout. Then, I paid a little visit to the Bay Centre ,which was surprisingly close to the hotel. Of course, I did have to return to the hotel to do some homework during the early afternoon, but this was followed by another leisurely walk in brisk, 4 degrees Celsius weather, to a nearby Blenz Coffee, where I enjoyed a much-needed cup of afternoon energy. (Reasons #4, 5, and 6).

Hubbs was gone nearly all day with his coding cronies, so I had room service (6 oz. top round steak with potato latke and veggies) delivered up, and enjoyed a nice tasty (though expensive!) dinner on my own (Reason #7). When Hubbs returned, we headed down and soaked in the hot tub until we were prunes (Reason #8), at which point we made a quick stop at the steam room to detox before high-tailing it back to the room, where I slipped into the very comfy terry-cotton robe supplied by the hotel (Reason #9). Which brings me to now.

I am so thankful for the mental break that a short getaway trip like this can bring! Sure, it ain't free and thus cannot be made into a monthly sort of thing, but every so often I appreciate being able to go somewhere else. It refreshes and rejuvenates me, and I am so grateful that Hubbs and I have had the freedom to do this kind of stuff once in a while. This is why my life is awesome; I have been blessed with opportunities to do and experience a lot of great things, which I believe are gifts from a very gracious God to a very undeserving me.

So in a nutshell, that's what I've been up to. Tomorrow = more food, more fun, and more exploring before Hubbs and I fly home.

What a great life!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Copycat Art

This is my proudest work to date in Art class. The task: paint the cover to one of your favourite children's books using tempera paints and choosing either monochromatic, analogous, or complementary colours.

I can barely remember all of the books I read as a youngster, much less pick a favourite! However, the Toad and Frog series by Arnold Lobel came to mind (as did Roger Hargreaves' Mr. Men series, but those would've been too "easy" to paint). I busted my butt and worked for hours drawing and painting and mixing paints for this project. Here's my completed work, followed by the original:

I think I shed a few pounds off of both characters =) because my zoomed in, printed image (shown) is actually a slightly stretched version of the original, but overall, I was surprisingly impressed with my work. We'll see what my prof thinks when I go to submit this during the week! Man, I hope I get an A. =S

Oh..and here are a few Matisse-inspired collages I made, done as examples for a lesson activity for Gr. 1-2 kids:

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Art Schmart

This course is slowly killing me and sucking away the entirety of my available time, but I am rediscovering my love of art through taking a methods course in Art.

Art is in everything, you know. And it is precisely these daily things, seen and represented in new ways, that captures and holds our attention.

So far, I've done some sketching (see Hubbs' blog for an example, though I don't think it's very good), watercolour painting, Photoshopping, photography, and drawing. I'll be working on some headline poetry (poetry made out of newspaper word clippings) later today and tomorrow, plus I'm starting my clay mask today as well. Fun, eh? It's a class like no other, I tell you; there is music playing, we're chit chatting, and we are using our hands to create rather than just to regurgitate what is being presented to us. I love the ownership I have over my projects, and I love the kinesthetic experience. I also love how each product created by the different students in the class are like little windows into their being, and that no two projects are remotely the same.

These things that make me excited to go to art a
re the very things I am hoping to establish in my art classroom. I feel so inspired and challenged! =)

Anyway, if you're wondering why I have been MIA in the blogging world, blame the art. It has become a bit of an obsession. ;)

Thursday, January 11, 2007

You Never Know What You Have Until You Lose It

It's really not as dramatic as it sounds. I'm talking about sleep, and sleeping in. During my previous life as a student (as in, last term), I only had classes on Mondays and Wednesdays, which left me free and clear to sleep in on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, not to mention schedule massage appointments, volunteer, and do extra shopping.

That luxury is gone, and oh how I miss it dearly. Nowadays, I have class from 9:30ish until 2:00ish every day of the week, plus since it is a condensed term, I have the same classes each day but they're more intensive than the 4-month ones, which translates into more reading and homework than what would otherwise be had in a 4-week period of a 4-month term.

I miss my old life, and sleeping in. I wake up tired and go to bed tired now. Plus, with our new workout routine, I'm in the gym 5 times a week, too, so I'm extra tired. Oh, and we also started experimenting with a newer eating menu, which means more cooking for Mrs. Loquacious in the precious few minutes each day that she has to spare.

My only highlight of January? 24:Day 6 starts on Sunday.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

And 5 More Things You Didn't Want to Know About Me

Darn you, Catherine Jane, for blog-tagging me!! My heavy sense of web-guilt means that I am forced to respond, even though many of the visitors to this blog have probably already been subject to my other "8 Things" post.

In order to keep it less-yawn-worthy for those of you who already know me, I'm going to change it up a bit. Instead of talking about 5 things you don't know about me, I'm going to tell you about 5 things that I recently purchased or acquired as a gift, that I think is awesome.

1) KitchenAid polypropylene cutting board - It's easy to clean and doesn't dull my knives or get cut up by them. The rubber grips mean that the board doesn't slide around the counter, either. It's honestly the only cutting board I will ever need, and I love it!

2) Pampered Chef Santoku Knife - It's a professional all-purpose knife, so it is weighted at the handle. It cuts through everything (so far) amazingly well with far less effort than my other knives have required. This knife totally makes me want to chop things up (like veggies that I don't eat, or chicken breast). The only thing that is remotely bad about this knife is that it needs honing every so often to keep it sharp, and in my paranoia to maintain its performance I think I may be over-honing.

3) Kiehl's Supremely Gentle Eye Make-Up Remover - It's only available in the city at Holt Renfrew (an arguably expensive, excessive, pretentious place, I know, but I really wanted this product and was willing to endure the haughty glances from other shoppers / salespeople in order to get it!). This remover takes off more make-up than any other product I've ever used, plus my eyes don't sting or bother me after I'm done, even if I'm still wearing my lenses! It comes in lotion format, which makes it far more smooth and easy-to-use than the clear liquid variety of eye-make-up removers. I look forward to removing my make-up at night now!

4) 450-Thread Count Bedsheets - I don't think I can ever go back to cheap thread-bare sheets now that I've slept on heavenly higher-thread-count linens. These are among the nicest sheets we own right now, but if I have things my way, we'll be adding to our collection of bedding very very soon, and you can bet that everything will be at least 450-thread counts or higher from here on in. The bed just feels a ton more comfortable (and firm) when the sheets are thicker, I swear.

5) M.A.C. Lustreglass Lip Gloss - Okay, so maybe I have been using this for a little while so it's not quite a new acquisition. My little sis introduced me to it when I got my first tube for Christmas last year, and since then I've been buying this all the time! Lustreglass is essentially a shiny lip gloss that has very little tint to it, but smells like vanilla and enhances the lipstick colour you're already wearing. I use the "Love Nectar" shade, and I thought the product was so kick-a$$ that as stocking stuffers I bought each of my sisters a different shade for Christmas this year.

So, those are 5 great things I recently got. =)

And instead of tagging anyone specifically and subjecting them to the same web-guilt that I have been ridden with, I am going to tag EVERYONE and ANYONE who reads this blog, so if you wish to respond on your blog with either a) 5 Interesting Things People Didn't Know About You or b) 5 Awesome Things You Recently Got, then feel free! =)

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Okay, A Happy New Year

Hallelujah, I can breathe again! And even taste food (although now I can barely hear anyone owing to my plugged ears)!

So, onward and upward to 2007. I am excited about this year. I have a feeling that it's going to be a great one, and one that has a definitive impact on Hubbs' and my future, at least for another couple of years.

Highlights of the year will include:

-a quickie trip to Victoria (it has been nearly a decade since I've been there)
-24: Day 6 (starts January 14th, biatches!)
-my sister's wedding
-my graduation
-my securing of a full-time teaching job (God-willing)

-our purchase of our first new car
-our purchase of our first home

-my first set of 4-pack abs (God-willing)
-our first ever grown-up bedroom set

There's more, I'm sure. 2007 is a year of promise and hope and direction and change, and I look forward to all of it.

Now, onto resolutions. I don't believe in New Year's resolutions anymore. I believe in every day resolutions. As a result of my expensive education and training in pedagogy =) and learning, I've concluded that effective people are reflective people. That is, the most successful people in the world set goals, carry them out, and then self-evaluate their action plans on an ongoing basis. During that reflection time, one examines what they've done, how they've been successful, and how they can improve. These examinations are then applied to their next set of goals and action plans, and the cycle continues to achieve greater effectiveness and success.

Obviously, then, such a thing cannot be limited to once a year on January 1st, because we all make decisions and accomplish goals every day, every week, every month. As a result, we need to reflect on our actions and choices every day, every week, and every month, not just on an annual basis as part of our cheesy dinner rituals on New Year's Day. I believe that reflection, and the resultant self-awareness, is what ultimately leads to effective and successful people, not the establishment of once-a-year resolutions that get abandoned after a mere 3 weeks of half-hearted devotion.

So, my resolution is not to set a bunch of New Year's resolutions, but to be more conscious and reflective about what I do each day. This encompasses what I eat, how I spend my time and money, what I say, and how I teach or interact with others, be it my Hubbs or my students or my other friends and family.

And that's all I have to say about that. =)

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

..And a Crappy New Year?

Happy New Year, everyone!

I'll post about 2007 later, but for now let me say that the first 2 days of the new year have been miserable for me, thanks to the cold I seem to have acquired from staying with my in-laws over the holidays. My head feels totally stuffed up due to my over-congested nasal cavities, and my body is sore even though I haven't seen a piece of gym equipment in 2 weeks.

I've done the Advil Cold & Sinus thing (Day & Night), but drugs only reduce the symptoms; they don't cure my agony. And this set of drugs doesn't even completely reduce the symptoms, which is why tonight I resorted to looking up home remedies to use on my cold. One that I read about, prescribed wearing wet socks to bed (layered with cotton and wool socks that were dry). I didn't try that one, though I was sorely tempted to and most curious. I lacked the wool socks, you see.

Another site recommended the following, some of which I have done:

1) Know when NOT to treat the symptoms - Done.
2) Blow your nose often (and the right way) - Done.
3) Treat the stuffy nose with warm salt water.
4) Stay warm and rested. - Done.
5) Gargle.
6) Drink hot liquids. - Done. In process of having a "hot toddy," too.
7) Take a steamy shower. - Done.
8) Use a salve under your nose. - Done.
9) Apply hot and cold packs around congested sinuses.
10) Sleep with an extra pillow under your head. - Done.
11) Don't fly unless necessary. - Done.
12) Eat infection-fighting foods. - Can't (I'm pseudo-allergic to half that stuff!)

So I've done like more than 8 of those suggested things. So far, no good. I'll keep you posted on the "hot toddy" results, since I'm starting to feel a buzz from the shooter-glass of rye that I added to my chamomile tea. In that sense, I guess I'm feeling pretty darn good, right?

Any other ideas of remedies to help relieve my agony? I'm open to all suggestions, and would like to see this cold go away ASAP (preferably before Friday, when I have lunch with my benefactor for one of my scholarships).

Did I mention? I hate colds. What a crappy way to start off a kick-ass new year! =(