Bonus: Muchas Gracias

February 27 - MILAN, Italy

I didn't imagine that I would spend five such excellent days in Madrid.

None of it would have happened without Greta the Great and Alejandro the Awesome. They are in the Dictionary of Julia under many entries including, but not limited to, hospitality, generosity and friendship.

Wicked Bonus: Sonya

February 27 - MILAN, Italy

I am back after a wonderful time in Spain (I could write 10 Good Things each day). I must mention Sonya.

I arrive last week in Milan thinking I'll spend two days on my own browsing the shops (if you don't shop here, spend the extra time in Rome or wherever). Sonya - a friend of a friend whom I met once in Toronto last year - is at the airport picking up her sister from Boston. She recognizes me and stops me in my tracks (I am a moron and nearly don't recognize her). Sonya lives here. We take the ride into the city with some Waterloo guys stopping over en route to Dubai. She invites me for dinner. I join her sister, boyfriend and friends that evening. A lovely time is had by all. My Milan experience is radically improved.

All by 100% happenstance!

Bonus: Mix

1. Three weeks of travel . . .
2. Three cities: Milan, Madrid, Damascus
3. Three friends: G, A and A

I won't post regularly again until Mid-March. But *stay tuned* for bonuses and Guest Writers. I know they'll take good care of my blog while I'm off doing the paper edition of Three Good Things. Just to mix it up a little.

Euro and Middle Eastern editions of 3 for 365 coming soon. I'll leave you with this from a cool little button I received two weeks ago. Who knows the source?

if you want it.

February 19: Pedicure

1. The Etobicoke Sprint: ran ran ran for the bus and made it.
2. Pedicure, finally! Cindy is interesting. She always refers to herself in the third person.
3. Evening snack: yummy Polish marshmallow cookies from G's mom.

Oh, and I found a loonie in my pocket. This is something non-Canadians might have to look up.

February 18 (2): r.i.p.

1. This talented writer and wonderful gal linked me. She is good people; check out her site.
2. After a relaxing yet productive day, dinner at home with friends.
3. Yee - packing genius! - ordered me to start packing for my trip (for my own good), then declared which undies are no longer acceptable. Verdict: relegated to undie serfdom (dust rag class).javascript:void(0)

February 18 (1): Pig

February 17: Sunglasses

1. There were a couple of precious moments in which I found ways to adjust the pillows and lie in bed without my head pounding, spinning or exploding.
2. After a slow start, a refreshing walk to the grocery store (in my sunglasses) for healthy dinner food (that actually functioned as breakfast).
3. Ursula and I watched an Italian movie called Ginger and Cinnamon. We had no idea what to expect, but it turned out to be one of the better, more unusual chick flicks I've seen.

February 16: Drums

1. Two people in queue let me in ahead of them, so I could shop'n'run to work on time.
2. I found out I don't need to work on Saturday.
3. I scored some red wine, which Kevin and I drank (like kids) behind the club in Little Italy. Then we went in to meet all kinds of friends and see Samba Squad, the loudest drumming party I have ever experienced. If you don't count the partial hearing loss, it ranks as one of the great nights out of 2007.

February 15: Exorbitant

1. My dad helped me with my taxes.
2. My bro helped me with photo scanning.
3. My roomie helped me analyze all my exorbitant cell phone bills (when she wasn't laughing at them).

February 14: Crunch!

Happy Singles Awareness Day!

There is no getting past Valentine's - there's a lot of love out there. (My favourite film illustrating this is Love Actually.)

I've been lucky. To honour that, good V-Day memories:

1. Two years ago, landed in Buenos Aires, hit the spa, and had a massage I will never forget (after a flight I will never forget).
2. Last year, my man biked across the city to be with me.
3. Today, a quintessential Canadian winter picture in Toronto, bringing back memories of childhood. We awoke after a blizzard. Beautiful. Mother Nature gifted us with a bright blanket of the whitest snow and blinding light shining down. Snow angels. The sound of packed snow under boots: crunch!

February 13: Raspberry (Beret)

1. Email from a friend in Madrid who excellently offered to pick me up at the airport next week.
2. Booked a night in a Milan hotel that won't cost a fortune (it will be the most expensive week of the year, with the annual Exhibition).
3. This site linked me in the header. Thanks!

And the light raspberry tea I am drinking at the moment. Other than these, today rhymed with Zit.

February 12: Balm

1. Fantastic Japanese restaurant with Sharon.
2. Shopping afternoon in Yorkville with Yee.
3. Soothing beeswax balm on my chapped lips.

February 11: BA!

This post was originally full of witty, but sarcastic, content. I needed to let the anger fade... after all, it wasn't such a bad day.

1. My weekend ended the same way it began: watching Da Ali G Show over two meals (dinner and breakfast, respectively).
2. I learned about short tons versus metric tons and performed colourful mathematical calculations. So hot!
3. My 1yr-old nephew and I had an intense conversation. Auntie Julia talks. Lukas moans like he's constipated and yells, 'BA!'

February 10: Humming

3. Silent day: my bookshelves and I, spending time with my work, past, present and future.
2. Silent dinner: rested mind. No talking, no singing. Just peace (and the fridge humming).
1. Silent friends: laptops side by side (she taught me how to better organize my music).

Bonus: Sunshine

Memory lapse. When I stepped out this afternoon, sparkling, intense rays hit my face in a big sunshine kiss, warming me up inside and out. It was actually the happiest moment of my day.

February 9: Engineers

1. I met two bankers - both lovely - to discuss retirement (yAWn).
2. I wore my Converse All Stars to the office (and to the bank).
3. I had the great pleasure of drinks with not one, but *two* hottie-hot-hot engineers. Sizzle! Ouch! Ahaha!

I love women bankers. They understand that a professional hairstylist is a legitimate part of the budget.

February 8: E-Ticket

1. I realized it was one year ago today that I had surgery. Better health followed. Which had more to do with the fact that I cut coffee, dairy, spice, alcohol and processed food from my diet...
2. A letter I wrote was published by a national newspaper.
3. I finally received the e-ticket for my upcoming trip.

Inspired by daivutez's extras:
4. Hello-how-are-you chat with 3yr-old nephew.
5. Arrived home to food in the fridge - thank you!
6. More fine chat on a 1am call. Taking care of business. Night owls don't get enough credit.

February 7: Ken School of Men

1. My definition of Cryptaesthesia on Word Imperfect won the poll. If you like words, you will love this site. Check out Sonnjea's definition of Squaloid.
2. A campaign called the Sex-Fu Challenge (sponsored by this award-winning site) caught my eye. The ad invited me to text 777888 and enter 'boy' or 'girl'. I figured, why not? I don't need to win an iPod, but I can pretend to be a savvy teen (even if I wasn't). An interactive quiz followed: the better the answers, the more ballots. I got 15, woot! Then I went online to see what was going on there. I am now a graduate of the Ken School of Men.
3. My roommate is back from England! With British newspapers and Harrod's tea. Total babe, she is.

February 6: Colour

Another day of wars in the world. But also:

1. Supportive friends and a vivacious compliment.
2. Awesome hair colour by Nicky at Rosedale Civello.
3. Andréia, who sat patiently for 20min. and watched me have my hair blowdried. Then we had a slice at Mama's pizza, where she gave me a belated Christmas gift. Sweetheart.

February 5: Squalls

1. I had the good sense to put on winter boots.
2. I danced around in the snow squalls.
3. I vigorously asserted myself. Which felt good, as it should.

February 4: Super-what?

1. Salmon, which I was buying anyway, was on sale.
2. Successful grilled salmon family lunch was served.
3. A highly productive 12hrs of work followed (thanks to the salmon, no doubt).

No Superbowl for me. Just salmon.

February 3: Ladies

1. Got off on the right feet, dancing all day to Lady Sovereign.
2. Praise to Ana, who had my friends and I to her groovy house party.
3. Out with a bang at a Greektown danceclub for Elena's goodbye. When your two Japanese friends are grooving it to traditional Greek with a hip-hop twist, your rocker friend is busting a move to Justin Timberlake and you keep shaking your booty on a paper-streamer-covered dancefloor (ignoring the bar fight somewhere between the DJ and the upstairs), you know you're having a good time.

Lady Sovereign and Lady Elena are among the few people with the gift to inspire dance in others. (I'm talking the higgledy-piggledy, lose-your-head, shambolic kind.)

February 2: Dishes

And the day continued. The 'other' Julia (with the straight hair):

1. went to a dinner party serving tasty Greek dishes (the names of which she cannot remember);
2. enjoyed the company of very nice people (and their cute brothers) in a very nice home; and
3. fell into bed, into a deep, warm sleep.

Bonus: 15 years

This is so big, it deserves its own post. Today, 4pm EST, I had my hair straightened for the first time in 15 years. It is straighter than straight! Anyone who knows me knows my curly hair. This is HUGE. It's not bad, just different. And maybe that is good.

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes . . .

February 1: Psyched

1. Beginnings: Happy New Year, again. If January didn't work out, try February! It's working for me, though I've already broken my resolution to avoid chocolate.
2. C A L M . . . Long overdue massage, with jacuzzi and nap thrown in for good measure.
3. Psyched! I got my travel visa to the Middle East back from the embassy in just two days (more on this later).