Saturday, October 27, 2007

30 is the new 16

I haven't written for a while. It turns out that it's hard to juggle school and work and colds and 30th birthday party planning. But things have slowed down, and now I have time to sleep and ride horses.

Michael turned 30 on Wednesday. It's kind of a big deal, and we celebrated accordingly. Michael rented a Nintendo Wii since we had so much fun playing it in Ottawa, and it totally dominated the festivities. Thankfully my mom sent sparklers that managed to distract everyone enough to take a cupcake break. That's right, the reign of the traditional angel food cake has ended. I wasn't up for the headache with the egg whites, so Michael gave me permission to try something else. I surprised him with gingerbread cupcakes that were topped with warm caramel sauce and whipped cream, all made from scratch. I've never made caramel sauce before, and that was the most interesting learning experience. As far as health is concerned, caramel isn't very redeeming. It is sugar and butter and cream and a little bit of water and vanilla. That's it. It's scary to make in the same way that making donuts without a deep fryer (i.e. with a big pot of hot oil, like how my Baba makes them) is scary: you can really burn yourself. I got the cake and the caramel recipes from the Joy of Cooking.

In order to recover from the party and the cold that I had for a week, I slept for 11 hours last night. I'm not sure I've ever slept that long before, and it was glorious. Instead of spending the weekend in full recovery mode, I decided to sign Michael and I up for some horse riding today. It still seems like a totally random activity, but it was fun. A coworker of mine set it up, and I thought why not? I'm up for new activities. I was a little nervous at the beginning, but it turned out to a relaxing jaunt through the woods near Prospect Lake. I even calmed down enough to hold my camera up with one hand and take this picture:

I think I have the right amount of fear in my eyes.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

A report on Ottawa

I like Ottawa. I'm not sure that I'd want to live there, but I like it. The city lost points when the PM didn't meet us at the airport, but it gained points when Michael pointed out that John Manley was on our flight to the capital city. We made him nervous while we giggled and pointed at him while waiting for luggage together.

We didn't do any of the wonderful things you suggested, except go for a drive in Gatineau Hills, and the only reason we did that is because the wedding was at a ski chalet in the Gatineau Hills (I was in Quebec for the first time!). It was as beautiful as you'd expect at this time of year. Michael said he wasn't impressed with the fall colours, but I think he felt their goodness before the trip was through.

Museums need more leisure time. Am I right? That said, I'm intrigued and I really want to go back and check them out sometime. The Diefenbunker? Awesome. Also: the Art Gallery looked amazing from the outside, as did the Civilization Museum. When I finally visit Montreal, I'll stop by Ottawa for the museums.

Parliament Hill didn't disappoint. In fact, I think Michael, Imtiaz and I were all pretty impressed by the magnificence of the buildings. We don't have old stuff like that on the west coast (uh, except for the legislature). When Michael saw the line-up for parliamentary tours, he said it was just like Disneyland.

We went to Ottawa for Nathan and Cindy's wedding, and it was really lovely too. The weather didn't work out, but everything else was perfect. The ceremony was short with lots of cute music: Badly Drawn Boy, The Cure, Nathan's mom and brother. The dinner was traditional Thanksgiving dinner and the wedding cake was a tier of cupcakes: yum. None of the speeches were inappropriate and the slide show was really touching. I want to get married just so I can put together a similar slide show. After all of the formal stuff wrapped up, we danced until dawn. My hips were hurting as we climbed onto the shuttle back to the city. I tried to take pictures of the dancing, but they never capture the moment, do they? If you want to see other, better pictures, check out the ones on Flickr or Facebook. None of those are as good as the patriotic one in this post though. Am I right?

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Darjeeling Limited

Why? Why didn't I know about this latest Wes Anderson movie until one of Nathan's wedding guests informed me of its release last weekend? Don't you guys have my back? It looks beautiful and everything I want it to be - better than Life Aquatic, I predict. It's only on in Vancouver this weekend. Who's going?

A report on Ottawa will be posted in the near future.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Coming soon: a capital weekend

I'm going to Ottawa this weekend. As far as Ontario goes, I've been to Lake Superior, Niagra Falls and Toronto, but not Ottawa. I wonder if Stephen Harper will shake my hand when I arrive at the airport? I don't like him or anything, but I want to honour that Simpsons episode when Tony Blair greets the Simpson family at Heathrow. I wish life was like that.

Michael's high school friend Nathan Phillips is getting married in Ottawa. When I went to Toronto for my choir trip in grade 11, we went to Nathan Phillips Square. FACT: The square is named after the Nathan Phillips who was Mayor of Toronto from 1955 to 1962, NOT Michael's friend from Prince Albert.

I imagine that I'll take pictures of myself on Parliament Hill, but what else should I do? I'm not sure how much spare time we'll have, but we've rented a car: we're mobile. Any suggestions?