November 28: Poppins

1. Generosity: the guy on the subway shared his newspaper.
2. Patience: the girl at the salon let me have my Mary Poppins of Pockets moment as I took forever to empty out my coat.
3. Highlight: the girl doing my hair gave me a positively brilliant idea. She is a creative, gorgeous super-babe of the universe.

‘He is a statue wrapped in a painting in a frame made of muscles.’

Bonus: TP

1. toilet paper
2. toothpaste
3. teepee

November 27: Privileged

1. to be imparted valuable perspectives from Canada's aboriginal community,
2. to hear a speech by Stephen Lewis, former UN Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa,
3. to spend an afternoon in a sauna and spa, followed by a 90-minute nap.

December 1 is World AIDS Day.

November 26: Blubber

1. Gift: Box of luxury Ukrainian chocolates.
2. T-shirt: ‘50 Ways to Leave Your Blubber’
3. Fruit: Large, ripe, green, sweet, juicy pear.

November 25: Turtles

1. Playing Animal Yoga with my nephews after lunch. ‘Be a tree!’ [Stand tall.] What else? ‘I know! Let's be turtles!’ [Get down, curl up, tuck head into shell.] ‘Let's be bacon!’ [Lie down flat on back. Sizzle as frying pan heats up.]

2. Walking with my brother in the late afternoon. Walked right into the nail salon, where my hands and feet got some much-needed tender loving maintenance.

3. Biking with my Toque eastward at sundown, facing a full moon and a warm wind. Biked right into Izzy on Bloor Street, where we got some much-needed Linner.

Weekend Bonus: Random

This week, in no particular order, three good things:

1. Booyakasha! I finally remembered the numbers on my old combination lock. They were in my memory bank all along.

2. Hip. I was told by the young'uns in the mailroom that Nike Airs circa 1995 are coming back. My cross-trainers (in white leather) have been part of my wardrobe all along.

3. Eh? I finally got my first Toque. This Canadian classic features hand-knit wool, chin strings and long ear flaps. I never did wear one, though I was Canadian all along.

November 24: Linner

1. Incredible feedback from my U of T professor and classmates.
2. Linner (lunch + dinner) with my brother and his friend David.
3. Terrific Humber performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

‘Things growing are not ripe until their season.’

November 23: Red

1. At Yoga, I had to be a Fish - and I was feeling it.
2. At work, I had to meet a deadline fast - and I did it.
3. At home, I had to unwind already - and I succeeded.

Thanks to:
1. relaxation,
2. motivation, and
3. half a bottle of red wine.

Bonus: Gobble, gobble!

Happy American Thanksgiving!

November 22: Fertile

One free poster. ‘Canada, the Most Fertile Country in the World’

Two new pairs of All Stars. It was high time, indeed – before I baked something!

Three (or four) business cards from willing retail sponsors (for an upcoming fundraiser).

November 21: Tips

1. Perfect parallel parking, courtesy of yours truly.
2. Lots of Las Vegas tips, courtesy of the boss man.
3. Help brainstorming sexy Canadian personalities, males, 40-60 years old, courtesy of my colleagues. This was a real challenge. Not because we don't have sexy Canadians, but because our celebrity culture isn't that strong. We universally agreed that Pierre Trudeau was the perfect Canadian sex symbol, alas, he is no longer with us.

Three Things: Pigeon?

I like Yoga, but no matter how hard I try, I cannot be:

1. a downward dog,
2. an upward cat, or
3. a sleeping pigeon.

I guess I don't have an inner dog whisperer.

November 20: Passcard

Random 1. It was quite warm outside, so I biked (again).
Random 2. A girl at work swiped me in with her passcard.
Random 3. Leftover mini-cheesecake, coffee bean on top.

AND my brother called me tonight. Myliu, broliuk!

Bonus: Keywords

Inspired by Greta's post, some keyword searches people have recently used to land on my blog:

1. ‘legal advice on opening smoothie bars in Spain’
2. ‘365 reasons to be thankful for a lover’ (sounds like a whole other blog)
3. ‘hot chat with sex starving nuns’

Umm, yeah... thanks for visiting!

November 19: Respite

1. Respite: running late, but meeting cancelled.
2. Vehicle: dad finally agreed to let me use his.
3. Insta-outfit: got my forgotten blazer back.

Bonus: Want

‘When you choose what you want most in life, you must not begrudge the price.’ The Good Wine, Doris McCarthy, MacFarlane, Walter & Ross, 1991

November 18: Extraas

It's an official Me Day!

1. I sleep in because I can.
2. I call NYC because I can.
3. I eat the whole tub of Haagen-Dazs Extraas Caramel Cone Explosion ice cream because I can.

November 17: Baking

1. My professor doesn't mind that my paper is late.
2. My friend doesn't mind dinner with my nephews.
3. My nephews don't mind the pungent smell of my Converse All Stars. They take turns smelling them. ‘My turn!’ ‘No, my turn!’ Matthew says, ‘Auntie, they smell like something for baking.’

November 16: Senses

Coming to mine.

1. Inside the taxi, smell of salami (nose) followed by being truly heard (ears) over a delicious cup of tea (mouth). Followed by smiles (sight) and a hug goodbye (touch).

2. On a street corner, sipping my tea (taste) and taking phone calls (hearing), someone I know steps out of his office for a smoke (smell) whereupon we catch up on outstanding business. Followed by a handshake (touch) and direct eye contact (sight).

3. Lay eyes on a head-to-toe down coat (sight) and snuggle up in it (touch). In the presence of that brand-new smell (nose), get some great outdoor gear advice (ears) before unwrapping a fresh package of spearmint gum (mouth).


On discovering my two new coats are significantly cheaper in the States (anger), call an online retailer to ship to Canada (hope). Discover that many brands cannot be shipped outside the USA (outrage). An American friend agrees to accept the coats and forward them to me (delight). Savings: $450 (glee). Canadians, revolt!

Ačiū, Ingrida.

Bonus: Twins

‘Oh, you must have your hands full!’
‘You sure must have your hands full!’
‘Wow, you must have your hands full!’

November 15: Totally!

1. Overheard.

‘I love your cane!’
‘Thanks! $23 at Shoppers Drug Mart.’
‘It is so pretty!’
‘I know. It was my lucky day!’

2. Said.

‘I'm joining a gym tomorrow!’
‘Me too!’
‘I don't know – but I will!’
‘How exciting!’
‘I know!’

3. Read.

‘Both optimists and pessimists contribute to our society. The optimist invents the airplane and the pessimist the parachute.’ British novelist G.B. Stearn

Bonus: John F. Kennedy

‘We must never forget that art is not a form of propaganda; it is a form of truth.’

‘The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word crisis. One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger - but recognize the opportunity.’

‘Once you say you're going to settle for second, that's what happens to you in life.’

November 14: Wedding

1. Compassion. My former boss returned my call quickly. [I am grateful.]

2. Compliment? I thought I recognized someone on the subway. I looked at him funny, then shook my head and explained that he looked familiar. He said, ‘I wish I was.’ [I am flattered.]

3a. Conversation. Email chat with a friend in Brazil, who invited me to her wedding next summer. [I am delighted.]

3b. Conversation. Email chat with an old school mate. Shoutout to Oliver: Good luck with your thesis work! [I am proud.]

And not to be unappreciated on this most mid-November of days:

4. Currency. Unlike some at work, my pay was deposited into my bank account. [I am relieved.]

Bonus: Mottos (2)

Canada's motto is A Mari usque ad Mare (From Sea to Sea). The Toronto Star asked readers for suggestions. Among them:

‘Polite neighbour of world power’
‘Politics divides us, hockey unites us’
‘Canada – Atlantic, Arctic, Pacific – Terrific!’

Bonus: Mottos (1)

Britain is seeking a new national motto. Three from a list in today’s Toronto Star:

‘Chicken tikka masala, chips and rice’
‘No, please, after you, honestly’
‘Five quid a beer? Blimey!’

November 13: Breezy

1. Surf diddly surf: window of webmail access at the office.
2. Motion and commotion: breezy biking through the mild city, with memories of last night's squeaky-clean chlorine streetscape.
3. Pickled pearl onions: surprise complimentary salad.

Three Things: Order

I have a lot of clothes, but never imagined I had six weeks’ worth of unmentionables. The order in which they disappear after the good ones are gone:

1. the ugly, stretched, oversized and rejected, then
2. the lingerie (lovely, but not always comfy), then
3. the bathing suit bottoms (really, how desperate).

November 12: Aprons

1. Aprons: with which to dry myself after getting soaked.
2. Sweaters: with which to dress myself after forgetting mine.
3. Undies: with which to postpone doing my laundry.

Bonus: Remembrance Day

‘What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty and democracy?’ Gandhi

‘Only the dead have seen the end of war.’ Plato

‘One is left with the horrible feeling now that war settles nothing; that to win a war is as disastrous as to lose one.’ Agatha Christie

November 11: Tocar

‘Tocar’ is my favourite Spanish word. It means both ‘to touch’ and ‘to play’ (as in, an instrument). It's beautiful.

1. Small moments: Connecting with a colleague - and a free lift.
2. Happy moments: Connecting with my bro - and free movies.
3. Misty moments: An invisible connection with my friend Owl, who designed a very special xylophone bench. It sits on the Northeast corner of Liberty St. and Fraser Ave. in Liberty Village in Toronto. At 1am, it said, ‘tocarme’... so I did.

November 10: Passion

1. Smiled at an exhibit. I really liked the photograph of children playing hockey under the ‘passion’ section.

2. Cried in Parkdale. I was invited to watch some site-specific theatre. Very moving. lullaby is being staged by Dark Horse Theatre until November 18.

3. Laughed at home. I watched I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry. Sophomoric? Yes. Laugh out Loud? Yes!

November 9: 1983

55 mins: Super-duper fun Latin fitness dance class.

2 hrs: Unwinding with my dear friend Rita, who also hooked me up with a ride home (this is a 2-for-1).

1983 AD: I didn't ask, but was granted a new birth year by someone in power, for a youth rate on a pricey package.

November 8: Calls

1. Re-Call: After falling asleep to a meditation CD (one track was titled ‘developing a loving kindness’), vivid dreams and self-awareness.

2. Wake-up Call: J and J, two friends, meet as colleagues and call me together via speaker phone from their office.

3. Call of the Wild: Hot-diggity-dog! Partying with Americans and Japanese, including a photo shoot with all thems all.

Three Things: Fridge

1. a tub of margarine
2. a jar of Dijon mustard
3. a bottle of Stella Artois

An absent bachelorette lives here.

November 7: Nipply

1. Cleveland? Email from Daiva, wherever she is.
2. Los Angeles? Email from Michael, wherever he is.
3. Toronto? Email from David, wherever he is.

I can keep track, though, of the email I got about being nipply.

6 noviembre: Almuerzo

1. Hora del almuerzo con mis amigos latinos.
2. Paseo en la ciudad universitaria en la tarde.
3. Tiempo en la noche para acabar mi tarea.

November 5: Eggplant

1. Falafels (second for half-price) from Laila's.
2. Eggplant slice, grilled on request, while waiting.
3. Leftover Halloween candies, hunted down...

Mouth watering, 1:00 am EST, going to hunt down eggplant.

November 4: Ginger

Here is my idea of a meal that has it all:

1. Club Grilled Flatbread Panini,
2. Righteous Red Smoothie, and
3. Carrot-Apple-Ginger Juice.

I have this strategy. I always ask for extra ginger in my (small) juice. I drink the whole thing while I'm waiting for my panini to be grilled. Then I take the panini and the smoothie away. This makes me feel groovy and fantastic! It's why I hang around smoothie bars. It sometimes outshines everything else in my day.

November 3: Oil

1. Brains: My instructor stayed behind in class to answer our questions. I'm not a University of Toronto alumna (though I attended in utero), but it's got my respect for Brains. What a world-class, top-notch school.

2. Stomach: My strategy for eating pizza is to ask for the freshest slice. I don't care what variety, so long as it is fresh from the oven. When it's pepperoni, like it was this time, I am extra happy.

3. Fingers: Chili oil dripped off my pizza slice, conditioning my cuticles and moisturizing my hands, which remained exceptionally soft and smooth for the next 24 hours.

November 2: Eyeballs

(Way beefore the film. Free brownie muffins and drinks at a local bank. Could these be the city's best-kept complimentary breakfast secrets?)

A. During the film. ‘I lost my cousin to Italian Vogue.’

BEE. After the film. Making shadow puppets on the stage. ‘Look! The little dots on the movie screen make up a big speaker!’

C. Way after the film. Shop clerk to my nephew: ‘If you look too much with your fingers, you will grow eyeballs on your fingertips.’

Bonus: Acceptance

This evening, I read Stacy's post on Acceptance.

November 1: Offers

1. Spanish teacher offered my friend and me good tutoring rates.
2. Russian colleague offered me pretty European cigarette boxes.
3. Young couple on the subway offered me Truck Mart magazine.

October 31: Hysteria

1. Arthur: tried Arthur's new Acai rainforest berry smoothie.

2. Evalyn: watched a lineup of incredible performers at Hysteria, including Evalyn Parry.

3. Julija: met the beautiful, motherly Eastern European vendor at Church and Wellesley. Halloween in the streets: enjoyed sausages in boxes.