Sunday, November 30, 2008

Christmas time is here.

Ah the company Christmas party. db's company held their party last night at a Greek restaurant in North Burnaby. For db and I there were two vegan meals prepared consisting of stuffed peppers, tomatoes with a side of potatoes and a greek salad without the feta. It was pretty good, but way too huge for us to finish along with the bean soup, hummus and baba ghanosh that we'd already been served.

There were gifts and a game. One of the gifts was some very tastey looking olive oil bottled in a wine bottle with it's own label. I'm really looking forward to opening that.
During dinner we had a performance from a belly dancer that got a lot of other people dancing as well, which was almost more entertaining than the belly dancer. Overall, it was a fun evening until the drama kicked in when one of the guys was so drunk he couldn't really speak anymore. We figured he had started drinking before he came to the party since there was no way he could have gotten into that shape over the course of the evening. It wouldn't have been a big deal except that no one knew how to get him home since no one knew where he lived. We had a general idea (as in Surrey) and no one could get an address out of him. Plus he's moved a couple of times this past year so he gave a few addresses when someone did eventually get him to speak. A few people pooled their cash together and put him in a cab with one of the addresses. I imagine he made it home...eventually.

Having catered many parties like this I've seen similar circumstances. There's always one at a company party isn't there?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

run vegan run

I can spend a lot of time coming up with reasons to not go for a run especially when it's cold, dark and after days work, but last night I had a new reason to go running. Our local running room had some adidas reps with shoes to try out. The running room has a Wednesday night group run so the event coincided with their group run. So I finally did it; I finally went for the drop in group run.

It was pretty cold last night. It was probably around 3 degrees and I couldn't wait to get moving and warm up. I had to buy some gloves while I was there because the ones I wore were seriously inadequate. Then, I tried on a couple of shoes and settled on the Supernova Sequence which is a similar style to my Asics Kayano. They felt a bit firmer, but I decided to try them out. The rep handed me some free socks and I mingled in the group until we were organized into smaller groups.

I had planned to just take an easy run with the 5.5 k group, but as the group leader started setting up the groups, I jumped into the fartlek (speed play) group for people who run a "1:30 to 1:50 half marathon." Then, he said "even if you run a 2:05 half marathon you should go in this group." That sealed it. I know 1:51 was my last time, but was I still in such good running form? If they took 2:05 then I could do it. But we were such a small group of only five people including the pace setter. We started out together at what I would consider a brisk pace and then when the pace setter picked it up for the first time we started to separate. I tried to keep the two front runners in sight and they were really not far ahead of me, but I was running fast and I felt fine. The shoes felt fine which was a good sign. I was pretty happy that I kept up with the front runners. When we stopped at the last street light, I was able to run with them for the final block and chat a bit.

I was thrilled with my run and being able to keep the front runners in sight. I ran a 29 minute 5.5 k. This is reason enough for me to try and make the Wednesday night group runs. With a more flexible schedule at work I can go in a little earlier on Wednesdays so I can leave early enough to make the group run.

As for the shoes? Being about a hundred dollars cheaper than the Asics (of course I usually buy them on ebay for a lot less), I think I'll give them another try when I'm ready for a new pair.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I was visiting mister anchovy's blog and noticed that he too had just finished The Wire so I thought I should write something about this great series.

db and I just finished watching The Wire. My whole family had been talking about it for several months and would get into discussions about episodes while I'd sit there having no idea what they were talking about. My mom bought the series and sent us home with four seasons after our vacation. Thanks mom!

We took our time with the series, making sure we had no distractions so we could commit fully to watching an episode. I loved every minute. It did take me a few episodes to get into the pacing of it, but by the third episode I was hooked. Each episode doesn't wrap up in a tidy way, but rather recognizes that the entire season and beyond with tell the whole story. It's untraditional in many ways and breaks with lots of t.v. series standards, creating it's own style and pacing. It's a fantastic series. The writing is brilliant and is very cinematic in its choice of shots or the way the camera moves in a space.

I'm sorry it's over only because television this brilliant doesn't happen that often.

Photos from the week.


More fall colours to appreciate. The leaves have pretty much dropped by now. Today, however, I noticed that Van city still has quite a few trees with lots of leaves. It's gets that much colder once you move further from the coast and here in whoville we've got some elevation as well.


There were wind warnings in the news so I got out early and ran. The run went well and I managed to avoid the nasty weather, which really didn't get that bad until well into the night.

For dinner I debated with myself on what to do with the two smallish delicata squashes and finally settled on squash risotto. This is an easy way to make your risotto creamy without having to add an dairy products. Creamy and delicious. Make your risotto as you normally would, but prior to adding the rice, cook your chopped up squash for about 10 minutes. I cooked the squash with a couple of tablespoons each of earth balance and olive oil and then just covered the pot. Then I stirred in my rice and cooked it a little before adding the wine followed by the doses of stock.


db named this one the Mt. Crumpet soynog cappucino. It's actually my tea with a noel nog cream. Delicious. It's a great way to start a Sunday.

The One-of-a-Kind show has come to Van city. Eventhough we had already gone to Circle Craft's seasonal show, we decided to go to the One-of-a-Kind as well. It's about a fifth of the size of the one in Toronto, but it's the first year.
I was curious on how they could pull it off in BC Place with that icky roof and the dull lighting of a stadium. You can see the solution. It worked really well. An area of the field had been cordoned off and enclosed. There was carpeting to muffle the echoey sound that you might expect in a stadium and overall it was bright and set up really well.
We weren't really shopping since we don't really Christmas shop (and of course having no money to spend helps), but I really enjoy being able to admire all the work. I guess it's more like going to a gallery for me. I probably should have gone to the east side culture crawl, but I made my choice. Next year I'll have to get to the culture crawl.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

More from the ppk.

Brunch! You know I love brunch. What's not to love about brunch?

Over at the post punk kitchen there is a little preview of Isa Chandra's latest book that will be all about vegan brunch. Could life get any better? I guess it could if we could all be vegan.

love that burn

Running hills was my spontaneous choice today. I have a general guideline of how long I want to run which means I'll run out half the distance and then back. Today I knew some hills were in order.

During my last training session for the Victoria marathon I eased off the hill once I realized I had an injury and then tried to stick with as flat a terrain as possible. Then, once I realized that I was only fit enough for the half-marathon I stuck with my physio and moved to nothing hillier than the trail that rolls up and down, but never gets really hilly.

Today, I tried not to think about the hill as I ran up it. Then my throat started to burn with every breath. I took a short break after four minutes at the top of the first hill and then felt the burn in my lungs as I walked a little more. Once the burning subsided (it really didn't take long) I went at it again. I completed a short loop of just over 4 k. Fortunately 1.5 k of it was downhill.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

On the beach with John Francis, Planetwalker

I just finished the book Planetwalker and highly recommend it.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

More of fall

It's been fairly rainy this last week. Today the sun is out, but yesterday when i walked to my doctor's office, it was overcast and just lightly raining. I actually prefer the colours when it's overcast because they seem much richer than on a sunny bright day like today.
We've had a generous fall that has felt like a full season. When I lived in Ontario and Quebec fall seemed so brief and it seemed to shift from extremes (hot to cold) very quickly. I think I prefer this longer season.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Fall Colours

The smokebush in the front yard is a fiery orange.

The fall colours are in full bloom (except for my toad lily) and are amazing. They are mostly yellows mixed amongst the evergreens that look so vibrant on our overcast days. However, I fear that the past two days of rain may have caused all the leaves to fall before I take anymore pictures.

I realized that the food we've been eating are not unlike the colours outside.

db's yellow tomato sauce from our garden tomatoes. We're pretty happy to still be making fresh tomato sauces from our garden in November.

Vegan cupcakes take over my world. Caramel Apple Cupcakes with a Caramel Penuche (fudge-like frosting).

Not only are these vegan, but I made them gluten-free as well. They are divine, soft and moist with a fudgey frosting. Oh my goodness. I think I'm going to have to get Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.

Here they are in the frosting area.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

The past week

With VeganMofo over I've stopped keeping the camera in the kitchen and I felt I needed a little blogging break. Of course there was the U.S. election in there and work etc so I've been focusing my attention elsewhere.


Loaf, loaf and more loaf. I slept in, spent some time with Prima and Gigi. I went to see my friend tp who has this fabulous store. She use to work with me at the Valley until she went after her dream and set up her own store. Now it seems like it all happened overnight, but really it was months of her taking courses, planning, renovating, and ordering the most fabulous stuff ever.

Here's one of the prints I ordered from her. "Hedgey," as she calls it, is from PaPaYa.
She carries pacifica, Beautea organics and barefoot venus so I always have a supply of soy candles and bath salts that are vegan. Also she has locally made exquisite jewellry that I mostly have to drool over (good thing it's under glass) since I can't afford it. There is one woman's work she carries from Ireland who re-makes new pieces from antique jewellry. It's unbelievably beautiful.
Anywho, I'm very proud of her and we had a nice visit on a rainy Saturday afternoon.


db and I went to the gallery to see WACK: art and the feminist revolution. Spend some time on the website, it's quite worth it. Some of the artists speak about their work. It's wonderful to hear their voices and hear them talk about their work.
WACK is a huge exhibit covering women's art from the 60s to the mid 80s. We spent several hours going through the rooms discovering sculpture, paintings, fabric arts, film & video, interactive art, and pieces from performances.
It was quite a moving exhibit for me. I knew some of the women artists (mostly the filmmakers), but many I discovered for the first time. I felt very connected to what the women were conveying, responding to and/or subverting in their work.
The exhibit is extensive and I'm glad I have a gallery membership so I can go back and visit at least once more, maybe twice. One of the rooms has a listing of several films that will be screened throughout the day and what days they will screen them so if I time it right I can get a film in as well.


Work. Newcastle wins over Aston villa and drag themselves from the very bottom of the Premier League table.


Work. Oh yes, that election in the U.S. I thought I wasn't that interested until I started to watch the country shift to elect Obama. I read this as a definite rejection of Bush's administration and their policies. After watching such a dramatic change, I am also greatly disappointed in our electoral process and the sad excuse for leaders that people vote for in Canada (with exception to May of course).


Work. It was my sister's birthday! I didn't get to speak to her but I hope she had a great birthday. When I called her after work I knew she'd probably be out to dinner since she's usually always out on her birthday.
I remember once we made her favorite food for her birthday. A couple of years she was away on her birthday doing a show so I remember the year we cooked for her quite well. She requested Indian food and we made a beautiful meal for her. This was when we rented the downstairs of her house.
When we lived together she came for lots of meals and I miss those days. She often felt like she was imposing on us, but we never felt that way and could never convince her otherwise. I loved sharing our meals with her. Sis cooked for us as well and that was always a treat or she'd bring something to our dinner to contribute (sometimes it was just one of her cats visiting which didn't always go over well with our cats).
In the warm weather we'd eat outside on our patio or on her deck. I think we were really lucky to have had that time in our lives together. Happy Birthday sis.


A little running, a little job search, and hopefully some baking. We'll see.