Saturday, April 23, 2011

No Hair Day

Shampoo. Rinse. Repeat. Condition. Comb. Towel dry. Finger comb in product. Scrunch. Air dry.

Getting my curly hair ready every morning is an ordeal. I get that this is the case for most people, but I've decided I'm going to go for no hair and erase the problem altogether. Two weeks today I'm going to have my head shaved for Balding for Dollars, a fundraiser at B.C. Children's Hospital in Vancouver for kids with cancer.

I've thought long and hard about shaving my head myself, just because, but then I thought there's two reasons to do it for a cause:

1. It's more socially acceptable to say, "I did it for cancer research."
2. Why not help out with cancer research?

My sister-in-law mentioned the May 7 event to me a few weeks ago, and since I was thinking of losing my locks around early May, I thought, hey, there's still time to fundraise, so this is perfect.

So far I've raised $175 from family and friends (people are amazingly generous when it comes to supporting a good cause!) and my goal is $300. I think I can make it happen in the next two weeks. If you want to donate, you can do so even after the event is over and I'm totally bald. Go to and use a credit card to donate any amount (anonymously if you'd like). 

I'm both excited and nervous, but mostly I just figure I've already told everyone I'm going to do it, so I can't back out now and change my mind. And hair grows back. It'll take a while, but it will grow back. There's lots more where this mop of hair came from!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I & II Samuel

Finished reading the two books of Samuel today, which puts me at about a third of the way through the Bible. Samuel I & II aren't really about Samuel at all (except right at the beginning of Samuel I) -- these two books are more about King Saul (the bad king) and King David (the good king).

I like the relationship between David and Jonathan, Saul's son. It's nice to read about real friendship in the Bible amidst so much violence and mistrust. I also enjoyed the classic tale of David and Goliath, in which the Phillistine giant  is knocked out cold by David's trusty slingshot. David later becomes king after Saul's demise, and he seems to be powerful and all good till he can't help himself and sleeps with a married woman, Bathsheba, while her husband Uriah is off fighting in King David's army. What an ass David is. He has all these wives and concubines but it's not enough. Unfortunately for him (and for Bathsheba) God is angered and their son dies as an infant, and David has further troubles down the line. Fortunately for the Isrealites, however, he's still a solid leader, and keeps building a stronger nation and ultimately leaves a legacy of peace and prosperity.

There are many events and good quotes in both these books, but for some reason I found them the most tedious to read thus far.

**NEXT: I & II Kings

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Big Sisters, Step 2

Had my 1.5 hour interview yesterday with a counsellor from Big Sisters. Felt like I was being grilled for a dating service. Actually, it wasn't bad at all, she just asked me all about my interests and ideas about childhood and why I want to be a Big Sister (so I can goof around and be silly with a kid and get browny points for being a "volunteer"!) and if I like bowling and if I've ever touched a child sexually. Whoa! What? Okay, I knew that question was bound to come up, but she just casually slipped it in there like she was asking if I wanted sugar in my coffee. Creepy. But necessary. Of course we then laughed about the fact that if anyone answered in the affirmative they'd be a little crazy for applying to the program to begin with.

Other than a couple of slightly uncomfortable questions (no one likes talking about pedophilia), we basically just had a good chat about what it means to be a Big Sister (a buddy, a mentor, definitely not a parent or a counsellor) and what I can expect from having a Little Sister. Fun! I'm looking forward to seeing the world again through the eyes of an eight-year old, and getting to do kid things I wouldn't think to do on my own, like swing on the monkey bars at a playground or do finger painting or baking cookies. I am a bit nervous to see who I'm matched with of, course. I've no idea what to expect, really. I hope she thinks I'm cool. Okay, who am I kidding? I just hope she has the same idea of fun as I do. I really don't want to have to spend three to four hours every week watching princess movies.

Training will be on May 2. After that, I'll wait to hear who I'm matched with and then will officially become a Big.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Countdown to Half Marathon

Two weeks today I'll be running the BMO Vancouver half marathon, all 21.1 km of it!

This morning we ran about 11 or 12 km and next weekend we're only going about 10 km and then it's the big day the following weekend. Last Sunday we did the longest run we'll have done to date: 16 km around the Sea Wall and Kits. So I've no idea what an extra 5 km feels like on top of that, but I imagine it might hurt a bit. Whatever, I've done all the training I was supposed to do with the clinic, so it's all downhill from here. (In a good way, of course.)

I'm looking forward to having my Sunday mornings free again, though I guess I'll probably continue running either Saturday or Sunday mornings anyway because I want to keep the momentum going for a full marathon sometime in the next nine months.

One thing I've learned so far, especially this morning, is that if you're going to run for more than an hour you can't skip breakfast. I felt weak, like I'd given blood, and I was ravenous at the end. Breakfast is good. Gummy energy things are a bonus.

Two weeks!

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Friday night I played a round of mini golf and I got a hole-in-one on the tenth. It was pure accident of course, but definitely pretty magic to watch that little purple golf ball tip off the bricks at the side of the green and purposefully roll straight into the white plastic cup. Ace!

The funny thing is, I actually had this as a bucket list item when I first drafted my list. I replaced it a couple of years ago with "Become a Vegetarian," though, so it's not something I can cross off. Oh well, considering the fluke aspect, it didn't exactly fill me with a sense of major accomplishment. Was fun, though. Not sure that'll ever happen again!

Monday, April 4, 2011

To Cook or Not to Cook

I've realized something tonight. I will never be really great in the kitchen because I'll never be hungry enough to want to spend the time it takes to make a gourmet meal. I watched Julie & Julia at home with my mom tonight and enjoyed the movie, but the food definitely didn't turn me on the way it does the two protagonists... or their husbands. Watching them practically convulse over a chocolate fondue or braised duck left me scratching my head. Don't get me wrong. I love food. I really, truly love a great meal. I just don't want to have to cook it myself and I don't understand where the joy comes from. Watching Julie and Julia painstakingly prepare (including de-bone) a duck, stuff it, and then wrap it in a cheese cloth followed by some kind of blanket of pastry just stressed me out. Imagine if you burnt that? That's an afternoon of your life gone that you'll never get back that you spent cooking! Cooking! It may be an art, but what you make never gets hung on the wall, no, it just quickly turns to shit. Think about it.

Or maybe I'm just lazy. Whatever the case, I was hoping (sort of) to have some sudden life-changing moment of culinary inspiration after watching this film, but no, I'm going to scratch "become a world-renowned chef" off my (other) list of aspirations. Of course I still want to learn how to make the basics. I still have #38, "Prepare a five-course meal for friends" on my bucket list. And besides, everyone's got to eat. They should know how to feed themselves more than just bacon and eggs. Being dangerously close to my 30s, it's definitely time to be able to know more than just how to make breakfast for dinner.

So my sister-in-law is teaching me how to cook. Beginning of last month I asked her if she would teach me to make some simple meals. She learned when she moved out. Why I never really did is a question that remains unanswered... (unless we can sum it up by saying there was always a sushi shop not far from wherever I've lived, even in Merritt, B.C.)  I offered to teach her to drive standard in return. She declined the driving lessons because she would then be obliged to drive her husband's car and my brother has a, shall we say, less than stellar ride. She drives a nice Volvo. I can see the logic of not wanting to have to trade vehicles. She did, however, offer to teach me to cook for nothing. Sweet deal. So every Wednesday for the past several weeks, she's been coming over around 5 p.m. with cloves of garlic and recipes to make salad dressing from scratch (people do this in real life!) and my brothers come over and my parents are happy they don't have to cook and we sit around the dining room table and have a family meal. So far Denise and I have made:

1. Veggie lasagna (with oven-ready noodles. We didn't want to get too crazy right off the bat.)
2. Grilled salmon with tomato-avocado salsa and baby roast potatoes.
3. Chicken (the best chicken I've ever had, hands down. We improvised. No recipe.)
4. Chili.

So far, so good. The only dish I've tried to replicate on my own so far is the lasagna. Definitely wasn't as good as the first one. I think maybe I used too much parmesan cheese. Too salty. Haha, well, listen to me, going on about food. Tralala. But I am no foodie, that's for sure, and I make no pretenses about it. No desire to follow that trend. There's got to be a nice medium ground though, where I can feel competent in the kitchen and be able to feed myself (and possibly a party of friends) without freaking out or just dialing for take-out.

I do have a few friends who are foodies. They make pasta from scratch and spend hours, literally hours at their stoves, labouring away until late at night before they can sit down to their supper because what they've made could be served at a fine restaurant. I love being invited to eat at their homes. I always enjoy what's put before me. But I'm also happy I didn't have to make it myself or worry about how it got to look and taste the way it does. I don't need the joy of cooking, I just want to the competence of cooking.