Monday, June 26, 2006

Tentatively spontaneous

I met Ananda in Tofino and we eventually became roomies in what we called the House of Pam. When I moved back to Vancouver, she moved soon after. When Ananda moved to Victoria, I followed suit. We're pretty good friends. The name of my blog is particularly significant to Ananda, because I say it to her often. For example, "let's make tentative plans to watch animal documentaries on Thursday" or "let's make tentative plans to eat chips and dip on Saturday night." It's hard to make firm plans with Ananda because she is a very busy lady, so I make tentative ones.

While I have a penchant for making tentative plans, with Ananda and otherwise, I'm finding my social life in Victoria to be more spontaneous than I'm used to. In Vancouver it felt like social activities had to be excrutiatingly schemed. But here? Here people just stop by your house to see if you want to go for ice cream or for a swim at the lake.

Victoria is a small city, and some people complain about running into people you know at every turn. Although I am a fan of anonymity at times, I think I am more of a small town girl at heart, and Michael is a small town boy. That's why we like Main Street (in Vancouver) so much - it has a small town atmosphere; we were regulars at the diner and we knew the owners of our produce store enough to chat with the chatty guy about odd subjects (he told Michael he would be a good politician, but we all know I'm the politician in the family). But even though Main Street has a bit of the small town quality, it didn't satisfy my craving completely. Like why don't I know the chatty guy's name? Do you know who I'm talking about, Brie? At Everfresh Produce? We lived there for five years and I don't know any names. And even though our friends lived in the neighbourhood, last minute plans were a rare occurance.

I don't know my grocers' names in Victoria either (actually, we just met a guy named Allen who works at the Market on Yates), but it's only a matter of time, friends. And it's only a matter of time before those same grocers will stop in unannouced for a visit.

Friday, June 23, 2006

On coffee

Michael peer-pressured me into drinking coffee during the first years of our romance. He did it with iced coffee. I was still resisting his tactics when I was faced with a particularly delicious blended coffee beverage in 1999. We were on our way to Burning Man when we dined at this hip restaurant in Reno that served a milkshake called the Princess Erin. Think vanilla ice cream with espresso, banana and peanut butter - there may have been chocolate involved as well. I couldn't bring myself to order it, despite the appropriateness of the name, but Michael had one sent over. The sip I forced myself to drink planted the caffeine seed in my body. From there, it was an easy transition to the assortment of coffee drinks that Michael pushed on me.

These days I only drink double americanos or africanos if they are available (I've only seen them in Victoria - basically an americano with steamed milk). I'm sort of like the characters Meg and Hamilton Swan from the movie Best in Show - the yuppie couple that met at Starbucks when they both drank latt├ęs. Like me, they moved onto americanos. Like them, I've also had braces - though not at the same time as Michael (who never had braces).

Now I drink more coffee than Michael. I'd say he drinks a few cups a week, while I need a cup a day (I'm enjoying a delicious cup at Rebar in my profile picture). Most people drink way more coffee than me, I don't deny it. For instance, I don't rival Mr. Death, who drank 40 cups of coffee a day before he died in 1999. He also smoked six packs of cigarettes daily.

There is no tentative plan in this post - no plan to quit the coffee. I'm hooked. Whether I'm working in an office, studying at university or puttering around town on Saturday morning, coffee is part of my daily ritual. I often have to convince Michael to join me.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The joy of cooking

My mom gave me the Joy of Cooking for Christmas in 1997, and this is part of what she wrote inside the cookbook: "I hope you find joy in cooking and sharing the products, and I hope you never think of cooking as a requirement."

You see, when we still lived at home, my sister Shannon enjoyed cooking and I did not. But slowly, slowly I have grown fond of the kitchen. No longer satisfied with pasta and store-bought sauce, I have moved onto fancy, healthy dishes - most come from my favorite (vegetarian) cookbook Moosewood Restaurant New Classics, but the Joy of Cooking has proved to be an excellent reference guide - just what my mom planned. I made the not-so-healthy turkey pot pie last night (see scrumptuous photo, below), and my new tentative plan is to follow the cookbook's instructions for roasting a (free range) chicken with all the fixings and making a broth with the bones. Forgive me, vegetarian friends!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

No tourists

A couple of weeks ago Zoe and Dan drove Ananda, Michael, Lydia and me to East Sooke Park. I felt sick from all of the winding back country roads and Lydia was scared that we would never see civilization again, but we arrived without incident and enjoyed a picnic on white sand - not too common in these parts. I'm from Saskatchewan, but I lived in Victoria while I was in grade 11, and I don't recall coming to this park. It's especially great because tourists are too lazy to find it. Hell, most tourists are too lazy to go to Beacon Hill Park, which is a 10 minute walk from downtown. I'm ok with that.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Your hissper stranged me out

I like new words. Here are some that have recently come to my attention:

In a recent CBC radio interview about UFO sightings in a town north of Prince Albert, SK, Kenny Lapratt says of the sighting, "It stranged me out." Listen to the interview hosted by Sheila Coles here and you can hear it for yourself at the end of the program, along with liberal use of the word "eh."

Michael and I went to see a play called J Mclaughlin's Apocalypse a couple of weeks ago. It was a solo play starring a drunk (no acting here) middle-aged woman (or here) who suggested the audience have an orgy - we didn't take her up on the suggestion. It was a very entertaining show, but then I was sold when we got free cupcakes with pink icing as we took our seats. During the show, McLaughlin introduced a new word: hissper (rhymes with whisper). I can't recall the context of the word, but I think it really captures the notion that whispers are often louder and/or more abrasive than speaking in your normal voice, a subject that Zoe has brought up twice in recent days. This word is for her.

I never saw the first episode of the Colbert Report, but in it he coins the word truthiness - my Uncle John told my grandma and I about it last weekend. It is the quality by which a person purports to know something emotionally or instinctively, without regard to evidence or to what the person might conclude from intellectual examination. Since Colbert was on the discussion table, I told my uncle and grandma about the performance he gave at the White House Correspondents Dinner a month or so ago. He was ruthless in his roasting of George W Bush and other government higher ups, and he also laid into the press. You can watch the 24 minute show if you want, but if you don't have time, just know that it was an uncomfortable experience for everyone in the room (the tension becomes palpable 9 minutes in) - we even felt embarrassed for George as we watched him take the insults with a red face. My grandma didn't know if she approved of Colbert's lack of tact, but later that day she told me she pulled a Colbert when talking to a fellow about Irish history - meaning she called him on his stupidity. My grandma is so hip she also watches the Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

I know this post is getting long, but I have to add one more word, if only to plug one of my favorite blogs. Heather Armstrong was dooced in 2002, meaning she was fired from her job for things she wrote about in her blog. The word comes from the title of her blog: Dooce. What about getting fired for using work time to update one's blog? What's a good word for that?

Tentative plans

I have tentative plans to write and post pictures in this blog, but don't get worked up just yet because I make many tentative plans that never come to pass.

I've had plans to make perogies without my Baba's help for a few years now. Last month I promised to do it and document the experience with photos before I see her in August.

I have plans to learn how to use my fancy digital camera. I've had it for three years and I just learned that I can take photos at close-range by pushing the button with the tulip above it. That was a good day.

I have plans to use my sewing machine for something other than hemming pants. I have plans to make wedding presents like this quilted log cabin pillow. I've had plans to look into quilts since I read Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood seven years ago.

I have tentative plans to record the actualization of my tentative plans on this site, but if past performance is an indicator of future performance, my Baba, my photo albums, and my newly wed buddies will be out of luck.