Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Stray Urban Planning Dog

This is a story of a semi-stray dog named Jar, a.k.a Ricky, a.k.a Licky. Jar used to live in our neighbourhood, having been found as a puppy by some South Asian construction workers. Barry took a liking to the dusty, not terribly affectionate, 10 year old dog back in 2009. Above, he's seen taking him to the vet when the construction dust and human shampoo got him scratching.
Yesterday, I went to the Urban Redevelopment Authority's museum of urban planning, which showcased the next series of buildings to emerge from where there used to be sea.
They make intricate models and don't get to drive trains around them.
Our condo is shown in such detail that you can see (me in) the hot tub!
Anyway, here a display on old heritage shop houses. In the top right are those from our former street.
And there, immortalized in the museum, is our little friend! Now, of course we can't be sure, but Barry put a collar on the dog to help him avoid the fate of some strays, who nearly never have collars. Also, Barry claims to recognize the urban planning puppy's stubby snout, and he's very proud.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Menus and Zen

Barry has been eating too many burgers.
And our experiments confirmed that I'm not meant for the bike trainer. So we got us a menu board.
It turns out my chalk skills aren't up to par either.
My kale and tempeh cooking skills are a better approach as are my air fried truffle veggie chips.
Bread making is hit or miss, reminding me that I don't like hobbies with a large risk of failure.
Luckily I have wee, inappropriate-looking finger cots for when I try to cut myself up!
After these adventures, I sought zen from our rooftop. Zen rises.
Another kind of zen comes from Hindu temples, and I found a new one this week.
Finally, I found giggles in this sign. Do you think people will get it?

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Canadian Things

I did not know that a wall of snowshoes could exist. But I've come a long way, because last year I didn't know that snowshoes were no longer made of wood.
Barry and his brother did a snowshoe race, but the conditions were not hard core enough for the shoes shown above, thereby causing damage.
After that Barry and I needed to warm up (me from just thinking about it), so we wore our fuzzy slippers to the hotel bar. This defeated the purpose of my Christmas pedicure (with a ghost in it due to the linguistic challenges I had with the pedicurist).
Anyway, the bar has the best Caesars in the world. Since the Caesar is Canadian, it's a smaller world, but still.
Controversial statement: Ottawa also has the best shawarma in the world. Although I haven't yet been to Lebanon, I offer the following proof:
1) Ottawa has an obsession with Shawarma, with nearly 200 restaurants across the city, way more than in Lebanon.
2) Ottawa shawarma is better than what I've sampled in the Middle East or elsewhere.
3) Ottawa is way bigger than Beirut.
4) Ottawa seems to have regional shawarma adaptations, such as increased use of toum and kabees el lift.
Ottawa also has world class Vietnamese food above, and breakfast, below.
Canada is known for its great outdoors, but I was cold, so between meals I had to hang out with the creepy unicorn, who haunted my jetlagged dreams.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Top of the Hill

Barry turned 40 and is coming to terms with it. Being the supportive girlfriend that I am, I did a fabulous job of helping him to cope. I also hoped the surprise party would startle him into looking his age.
We had a customized menu. This makes 40 year olds feel special.
Oysters are high in vitamins and minerals which are good for the middle-aged.
Mark was the surprise actor mastermind, and welcomed Barry to his new decade with appropriate gifts.
Meanwhile, our younger friends (with apparently iridescent shirts?) try to help Barry keep with the times.
Clearly it didn't work. More importantly, below is Tom, our genius mixologist, and Chef Carlos in the background.
Tom invented custom Barry cocktails for the occasion! Below is the Loonie Toonie, for which Barry's been waiting a long time. Isn't it beautiful?
Below, Mark and Sohini demonstrate their "espuma awe" faces with Carlos.
The Fountain of Youth cocktail was inspired by Barry's love of passion fruit.
Special Anti:dote parmesan pizza, which is worth turning 40 for.
After many courses, we finished the meal with a small desert and age-appropriate sherry.
That was all I planned, but our friends added gifts. We had to explain these, since the new technology can be tricky.
And Barry got an original Rick Rimond. You might not know what that is yet, but a bobcat is involved.
One note: When planning a surprise, you need to consider which walls are made of glass.
Thanks to all of our friends for helping Barry through this midlife hurdle!