Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween


Dining out with Geo, volume 1: The Golden Pagoda

Having gone to a wonderful local restaurant yesterday for a birthday meal, I was so impressed, I feel the need to tell you all about the place, so if you are ever in Saskatoon you can check it out. Now the birthday meal extravaganza was narrowed down to a few of my favorite places, Amigos (a local mexican place with live bands - fantastic food), Truffles (a local restaurant with amazing food, first class chef and even creme brule on the dessert menu), Red Pepper (a great local Vietnamese place) and the Golden Pagoda (where I've always wanted to go but have not yet tried).

We decided on the Golden Pagoda. It is a Burmese/Asian restaurant, with food that was a mix of Asian, Thai and Indian cooking flavours and styles. The menu was very diverse: soups, salads, appetisers with curries and burmese style main courses along with with a large list of tasty desserts. The atmosphere was quiet and cosy - nothing too fancy, just nice and friendly. The service was friendly and very good. Our appetisers of Burmese samosas with tamarind sauce were fresh and crispy, and the tamarind sauce was delicious. I've never had anything quite like it - nutty and hot at the same time, with just a hint of coriander. In fact, all the food was fresh and amazing. For the meal, Jay had spicy noodles with chicken & veggies, and I had chicken and onion in garlic oil with egg noodles. Both were delicious...subtle spices we've never quite tasted the combination of before and all very yummy and very fresh.
Believe it or not, we had room for dessert, and I am so glad, as it was the best part of the meal. Jay had warm tapioca cooked in coconut sauce - fantastic (and I'm not even a real fan of coconut). I had tempura bananas...they were crunchy, with a soft yummy banana middle and a spicy honey dip sauce that wasn't too sweet and left a hot tingle in your mouth afterwards with the banana flavour. Quite possibly one of the best desserts I've ever had. Better than creme brule...and that's saying a lot.

Overall, I think the Golden Pagoda is vying for my new favorite place. If you're ever in Saskatoon, call me - well go for tempura bananas.
I give it 4 1/2 stars.

Monday, October 30, 2006


Happy birthday to me!
Happy birthday to me!
Happy birthday dear meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
Happy birthday to me!

Yay. My brother had me over for food and pie and a movie yesterday...as well as some pumpkin carving. He gave me my own beer brewing kit for my birthday...heh heh...now there will be TWO kits goin as soon as I can ge tto the brewer store and start up a batch of holiday fruit beer. Nifty.
Pack that in with a bonfire, pumpkin carvings, a Darth Vader Mr. Potatoehead and yoda backpack it's been a pretty sweet birthday season so far. I'm hoping to watch Nightmare Before Christmas tonight or tomorrow with J and maybe if I'm extra good I'll get to go out for Creme brule tonight.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

And a good time was had by all

Weeeeeeeeeell, thanks to all who came out to our little fire.

We had a great time preparing and making lanterns, carving pumpkins and snacks the day before, and hiking out into the woods with good friends and relaxing and talking by the fire.

I learned a few things saturday night:

-lanterns made of cardboard may start on fire (go figure...)
-people can get lost going to and from a fire in the woods in the dark when they've never been thre before- perhaps I need glow sticks to mark the path next time (or I just need how to draw a map better).
-You can successfully roast a marshmallow, make a cup out of it and then drink Heather Cream out of it. It is useful though to NOT poke the stick through the marshmallow when cooking and make a marshmallow funnel - you can't drink out of that (ahem...Curtis)
-The woods are beautiful by firelight and lantern light.
-My husband is a jedi
-Do not put a thermos open and upside down in your car...or you'll run out of hot chocolate before you get to the fire (my car smells chocoriffic though)
-If you rotate who is first and last in the line while hiking in a group in the woods in the dark, the crazy man won't pick you off one by one...too many distractions
-If you invite him, Yoda will bring marshmallows to a party

And most of all...we have some great friends.
Thanks to all who came and shared our fire. We had a great time - hope you did too.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Build a fire….we’re gonna build a fire

Well hello there.

You are cordially invited to a Halloween birthday bonfire on Saturday night, October 28. The flint should hit the tinder at around 7:30 PM, with sparks and crackles into the wee hours. May I bribe you with snacky cakes and hot chocolate? Marshmallows?

Oh yes, it will be great.

So, you probably want to know a few things like:

Where is it?
In a firepit nestled in the woods on the edge of the city, approximately a 10-15 minutes walk from the parking lot of Sutherland Park Beach off leash dog park.

What will I need?
Warm clothes, a flashlight and happy thoughts. You'll be a ways from the world, so plan accordingly.

Why should I come?
Because you’ll have a great time - crackling fire, good company, tasty edibles and marshmallows to roast - What more could you ask for to say goodbye to fall and welcome in winter? And besides, it’s my birthday soon. Come stare at the stars with me…rumor has it you can see the space station at ~8 PM. I plan on seeing if that's true.

And last, but certainly not least – How do I get there?

Well, park your car in the lot for the cross country ski trail/Sutherland Beach off leash dog park. To get to this parking lot, you can access it from a grid road, with entry off Central Avenue, 50 m north of Attridge Drive. For more detailed maps please see here or here:

From the parking lot, follow the path on the right towards the river, between the 2 barbed wire fences. You can also walk through the gate into the dog park and follow along the fence on the right. Walk for about 5 minutes until you reach a giant sign and a large pile of railway ties at the end of the off leash park. Exit the off leash park and turn right, following the path beside the barbed wire fence. After about 5-10 minutes walk on this path (You'll walk by a farm on your right on the other side of the fence) you will come to a tiny little wooden footbridge. Just past this bridge is a large clearing. Turn left on a path, walk about 6 metres and take your first left onto the path into the trees. In a few short steps you’ll come upon a crackling fire, happy people and will have reached your destination. If we are feeling particularly helpful we’ll put a few flags along the way…but it’s not too hard to find.

It’s a bit of a walk...dress warm, wear hikey shoes and let your jedi senses guide you to a bonfire in the woods. The shindig starts at about 7:30 (unless it's raining) and goes until the fire fades.

Oooooh…Spooky Nootchies.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

They weeble and they wobble...

Well, apparently I have a problem with depth perception.
How do I know this you ask?
Well today I have fallen UP the stairs no les than 4 times.
I suppose I should be grateful it was just stumbling up and not DOWN, as I use the stairwell a lot in my job. I haven't been carrying anything when falling which is also a bonus. I just keep looking over my glasses and then regularly through them and getting all mixed up as to where I put my feet.

I believe I"ll need a labcoat made of bubble wrap soon.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Be da be deep deep ba dee dee ba deep..


This is a beer world update.

The beer in progress by the as yet unnamed brewery is coming along nicely.
Should be in the carbuoy by tuesday.

In other news, there is no news, really - it's downright mellow here. Getting the house all ready for winter and getting ready for my birthday (I finally get to open my gift soon - meep!). We plan on having a bonfire in the firepit across the lake, and I'm making a few lanterns to hang in the trees and some snacky cakes for around the fire. We're gonna put out an open call to friends and see who shows...and, as odd as it sounds, even if noone does cuz they are going to a more cool Halloween shindig, J and I will sit and sip hot chocolate and look at the stars.

Can't wait.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

So there's this giant diamond, see...

Well...now I can say I know what it's like to be busy...

I finally have a few minutes, so I thought I'd just say hi and what I've been up the for the past while.
Saturday was Scott Thompson's show - it was really good. He had a few people opening and with him, one was a musician, she sang a few songs while the other guy (from Blue Rodeo but I can't remember his name) accompanied with an accordian, keyboard and blinky lights (like I said - it was interesting and very unique). Then the Blue rodeo guys did some odd songs and also palyed a few short films he'd done, which were pretty hilarious. Then Scott Thompson did an hour or so of a one man show, about his life. It was wierd, touching and hilarious. He talked about high points and low points in his life, and even had fun at his own expense, looking at some times when he went too far (which seemed ot be very often) and ended up offending people instead of making them laugh. I'm glad I went. It was almost like a very long very good fringe play...with Scott Thompson in it...bonus.

On sunday my brother and I started our beer. All I can say is, Yeesh - don't let a biochemist try to make beer with you. I was WAY too paranoid about sterillity and all that - my brother is a very patient guy. And the funny thing is I'm STILL wondering if it will all be good! After lab work it just doens't seem sterile enough...anyways, we are making Trent County English Ale (Paddockwood Brewery Kit - a local microbrewery that makes yummy ales and sells some of their recipes as kits). Sounded yummy. Should be very full flavour with lots of maltiness and hops. It seemed a safe starter - not to complicated. We used live yeast and my brother hasn't called me yet to tell me it's off, so, so far so good. As for the labels, well we are gonna make our own, but we keep changing our name, so it will be a while before they're done. It's a few weeks until we bottle them, so we have a bit of time to figure it out. Sunday night I volunteered to help out for a Bingo to help raise $$ for the radio station. Long and boring. And yes, little old ladies tried to scam me for money on the bingo cards I was running...craziness. Someone did win $10000. Sadly, it was not me. And watching a room full of people blot at tiny cards for hours was really disturbing. I will say tho that Bingo hall food is really good.

The rest of the week has been crazy busy with labwork, getting better and Dr. Who. I still haven't had time to watch this weeks BSG yet...hopefully tomorrow. Our VCR is acting up. I'm glad it's on twice or we'd have missed it. The Doctor Who episode was tremendous, though, I must say. The monks were a bit overdone, I have not a whiff of complaint about the rest -the werewolf was fantastic and the new doctor is nothing short of brilliant. He is so emotive..and his eyes! Well, I often read people's eyes and like to watch them and tend to look right into people's eyes when I talk to them...to me a brilliant actor can say more without even speaking. David Tennant - well, all I can say is he's a good man. Plus I just like the idea that someone who watched Dr. Who as a kid and loved it and used to dress up as him is now acting the role. Seems proper.

And now? Well, I finally feel pretty much back to the old me again after the plague ran through our land. I've caught up on my wifely chores and had a bit of time to spend with Jay and now, after a bit of reading (I'm into the Dark Tower book 4) it is sleepytime for me. I snowed the first snow of the year, which I'm not amused about, but I'll get over it. Our yard is still full of leaves so now it's a snowy leafy mound. yuck.
Sorry if this seems rather diaryish. Lots to think of over the past while once I put it all down. I had lots more to say and think about and it's all buzzing around in my head, but strangely enough, I'm too weary to write them down. I need a few hours when I can really flush them out and do them justice. Right now it'd come out more like Mr. Mugs than philosphy.


Friday, October 13, 2006

fridays are fine for fantastically fresh freedom fries

Hmmm...I can't find my camera.


There's been some really cool frost and sunrises lately and I can't photograph them. I hope it turns up soon.

At least it's friday. A final long sniffly day full of work and then I can relax. I have tickets to Scott Thompson's one man show tomorrow night and J is taking me out for mexican food first. AND my brother and I afre going to get a kit this weekend and make some beer. We've decided to be Beast & Bucket Breweries. Should be nifty.

Sorry, but I gotta go.

Thursday, October 12, 2006


That was the sound my head when it exploded....
after watching the season premiere of Galactica.

Man...the writers are going overtime on that show - FANTASTIC!
They're spoiling me for...well...everything else.

BUT, I'm still sick and busier than I thought, but I just had to pop in to say that BSG the new series is fab.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Pie good. Cold Bad.

Well the pie was good...but I'm still sick.
I took the day off to lay at home and sleep and get better, as I have lab stuff I can't avoid the rest of the week.
So off to bed for me. Bye.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Experiment #2: Pie and the Plague

I am hackingly ill, and if it weren't for a few things that must be done today I'd be at home in bed. Sick enough that I haven't watched the premiere of Galactica that we taped over the weekend...that 's for tonight.

But I'm testing a theory:
You see, my Mom makes the best blueberry pie in the 'verse. She made one just for my brother and I. We were both sick. He feels better now that he's had two pieces of pie. I have a few I took home to enjoy when the flavour tasting abilities came back to me. Soooo...I hypothesize that eating lots of pie will help you you get better faster.
I plan on testing this at lunch.
And, yes you can have just pie for lunch.
Just watch me...

Friday, October 06, 2006

I have something to say.

So - after a bit of thought, I'd just like to say that after catching up on a few episodes in prep for the season starter this weekend (which I hope I hope I hope will tape prpoerly when we're gone):

Battlestar Gallactica the new series is the best show on the air right now.

Thank you.
You may resume your lives now

Oh angel of joy and light unwanted, have you known the sickness?

Well..I'm offically infected with the plague.
Oh well...I'm still looking forward to the weekend away. Hopefully I won't give it to everyone this weekend...
The derbies are made, but I kinda miscalculated and there's only 8 (no I haven't eaten any yet). I'm starting to think noone will want the sickly desserts anyways, so it might be OK. All the more for J & I, I suppose.
I still have much to be thankful for.
And so I say: Happy Thanksgiving all.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Taking the plague on the road

Well, what can I say?
The day is done and I'm heading home to check on my sickly husband and make some Derby's - spice cakey ones with cream cheese filling. They're my contribution to Thanksgiving munchables at the lake this weekend. Then it is off to Little Bear tomorrow (I get to leave early - woot!) and the woods and lake and squirrels and relaxing with the sniffly sneezy love of my life. With any luck I won't catch the plague from him and we'll manage to not infect the rest of the family.


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Cheater Cheater Cheater

I was watching an episode of South Park last night and I was struck again at just how much the guys who do that show manage to say about things that noone else will touch and actually have something GOOD to say. IT was an episode about music downloading and Cartman forming christian rock group...and it was funny and true in a lot of ways, as he just picked any random love song, and replaced girl and baby with Jesus and it was an instant lame christian rock song. It was true ina way - I remember growing up and hearing a lot of christian rock and a lot of it was awful. There was the good stuff, like Steve Taylor and the 77s, but there was the crap, just like all other music genres. The idea that you could make crappy music, as long as it had "good lyrics" and still make a lot of money, because that was all people were looking for was a bit too true. I still remember when bands like Hokus Pick and the 77s made "regular" songs and got slammed - because heaven forbid you just write the songs and words that come to you...where am I going with this? I don't know. There is certain music that inspires me, often to tears, sometimes it's the lyrics, sometimes it's an emotion that I recall when I hear it...sometimes it's just way too good and doesn't even have lyrics. You can't dictate what inspires people. And if you're in it for the money...well your music will suffer for it.
Anyhoo...no soapboxing today. It's too early and I'm not coherent enough to put together a solid statement...I'm still taking in the morning coffee.

I will say though, that "ordinary life" is very nice. It’s been a while and I must say – I’ve missed it. I’m all for working then coming home and relaxing…deciding what to do (if anything) and then doing (or not doing) it.
Last night we just did a few things around the house and read for hours. It’s been eons since I’ve done that. It’s weird when life is normal again and it takes adjustment…

TO stop myself from further pointless banter: a meme
me me me me.

Current clothes: Jeans, orange and brown shirt, superstars and black specs.

Current mood: Dazed. I’m back at riding my bike to work in the morning after a few weeks off and my hip is sore, like I sprained it (can you sprain a hip?) but I didn't do anything to it... Plus I’m still thawing out. It was frosty this morning...

Current music: "Swallowed in the Sea” by Coldplay.

Current annoyance: Student loans. I’d love it if you could just make arrangements and pay them off like normal loans, but oh no if you ever have troubles, every 6 months for the rest of your loany life you have to bend over for the anal probe and see just what you owe them for the next 6 months. It should mention in large letters on the loan application that they own your soul once you apply. B*stards. I wish I could pay them off and be done with it. Someday…

Current thing: Reading. It’s been so long since I’ve had time for it, so I’ve been reading voraciously the last few days. I’m almost done the 3rd Dark Tower book.

Current desktop picture: Still a bright red picture of a gerbera flower.

Current song in head: Shake Break Bounce -Chemical Brothers...it's next on the iPod.

Current book: The Wastelands by Steven King. Some of the best stuff I’ve ever read.

Current DVD in player: The second disc of the 7th season of South Park. I watched it last night while eating supper.

Current refreshment: Coffee with fake cream & sugar.

Current worry: Besides student loans? Well, life’s been pretty good. As long as the loan jerks don’t take the extra $$ J makes at this new job we can finally maybe go on a holiday or maybe fix our car before it explodes or something cool like that. (But they probably will, so I don’t want to get too excited) I’d just like a few months of soltitude and happiness with noone messing about with our lives and nowhere to be. It’ll be grand to just “live” and “let live” for a bit.

Current thought: What is my birthday gift? I still have to wait 27 days for it.
Meh. It’s harder to wait than I thought!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Hail to the geek

I still haven't had a chance to wath Star Wars yet...
I've been swinging around my lightsaber as therapy but hopefully we can get to at least one of them this week...
It's hard to when your husband falls asleep early (oddly, I don't mind - I just think "YAY *I'm* not the one falling asleep early!"

How have I distracted myself? Well, I now own an R2D2 Christmas ornament...and a C3P0. Yoda too.

Yeah I know...I'm a geek

Sunday, October 01, 2006

We now return to the program already in progress

I'd just like to take a moment and ask:

Just for once I wish sports would be preempted for something *I* want to watch...


Short Couple, Long Marriage

It's been a busy weekend so far...all sorts of obligations we forgot, but one of the things we went to has filled me with really happy hopeful thoughts.

The couple we stayed with when we went to England a few years ago just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary yesterday.
50 years. It's crazy when you think about it.
Bill and Arlene are two of the most interesting, crazy and wonderful people I think I've ever met. They're always playing practical jokes and making people laugh and the love they have for each other is humbling. They are some of the most inpiring people I've ever met and after all this time they still do. After spending an afternoon visiting with their family and friends and hearing stories of how they met and their family and all the things they've done together over the years...AND that they'd love to have 50 more years together as merry pranksters, J and I both kept thinking the same thing:
We want that...we think we have that...we will always want that...

Love is grand.

Cunning Plans

 Life is wierd ya know. It seems a lot of things have been hitting me hard lately. Been distant from people, including my partner who is dea...