I own elbow pads

I do not wear them all the time.  I should.

(Elbows don’t photograph well.  Imagine your elbows the last time you did something that hurt like hell and left a mark.)

FYI: I am talking about roller skating, just so we’re on the same page.

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University

I’m taking a first year economics course at York University.  Not because I don’t already have a degree  or that I even need the couse for the second degree I’m working on (second-ish…Major leverage from the first degress going on).  I figured since none of the classes I actually need work with an adult’s schedule, and I need to take something to stay on as a student, I might as well take a course that may have the smallest chance of being useful in the future.  What isn’t useful, you ask?  The school’s website.

I thought it was only Carleton that had a labrynth of a website.  In fact, it seems all universities employ the same sadistic web designer.  After navigating this, and finally figuring out how to not only enroll for a course, but pay for it too, I curled up on the couch and cried a good cry.  It was all that could be done.

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Vacation’s Eve

As I’ve already said, summer isn’t over.  However, it is getting a smidge chilly in the mornings, and maybe I’m wearing a bit less chiffon and a bit more cotton.  Who are we kidding?  I don’t own anything made out of chiffon, but you get the picture.  So, to celebrate the lead up to the changing of the season, and the day that I start wearing hosery again, I bought this adorable Anne Klein drape-neck plaid sheath (‘Dress’ for the boys).  For work.  To look less schmucky AT work…  I am hoping it’s not a Man Repeller outfit, but I’m not entirely sure; maybe the way blondie wears it, but I don’t pair anything with black opaque tights and I am not 17 feet tall (measely 5.5 feet, and change) , so I’m probably pretty safe.

I’ve also been using the crock pot more lately.  The fact that I have only owned a crock pot for 3 weeks aside, it’s going well.  I have made several textureless dishes that had some great flavours about 4 hours ago, but now are a bit…how do you say…blah.  Thanks www.Chatelaine.com, but maybe I’m just not cut out to slow-cook.  I’ll keep trying, though.

I am also shortly (by shortly, I mean tomorrow) going on a extreme adventure to visit The North (Red Lake, ON) to see my rad 96 year old grandma and learn her potato soup and dinner roll secrets, my bestie Kiera whose spring visit you may remember, and the coolest person alive (aka my cousin Harriet).  The rest of my family as well and perhaps even a trip to this piece of forest that I have (more on that later).  Other than trips to the cottage, which were great, I haven’t done much travelling lately, so it will be nice to get away from Toronto for at least a few days.

I’m climbing the CN Tower, yet again, this year.  Last year’s time was dismal, I won’t even tell you; I wasn’t feeling well that day, I had a sore throat and my shoes were too tight…. so this year can not possibly be any slower!  Right?  That’s the theory, anyway.  I will solicit for sponsors as soon as I receive confirmation of my registration, so get your credit cards ready.  Or your cheque book, if you are my mother and/or terrified of internet credit stealing predators.

Sir Henry is healing well from surgery, thank goodness, and Miss Kitten has been hiding in her newly installed cat tree for the past 6 days. Hopefully it helps her lose some weight, who lets their cat become 12lbs?  I’m an irresponsible pet owner.   Don’t think that for a second Henry is cute and sleeping here, there was an entire green ball is his mouth when I took that photo, he was making sure I wasn’t there to take it from him.

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Do the Mash

I’ve grown quite fond of mashed cauliflower.  It sounds crazy, but it is a pretty decent potato substitute.But not particularly photogenic…

Paired here with semi-textureless slow-cooker sheppard’s pie.  Yum!

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New Name

I’ve decided, as you may have noticed, to rename the blog.  As I haven’t really followed my whole ‘2010 list’ idea, I thought it best to cut my losses and start anew.  Can you tell I’m a banker?

So, I’ve changed the list to what will become a life list.  Changed Mal. Listed. to Mal’adroit, to give me an excuse to be tactless, and I’ve stopped feeling guilty about putting in a piss poor effort into actually doing stuff on my list.

This blog about having fun and doing stuff I love, not about planning it.  So that’s exactly what I’ve decided it will be.

Cheers! And happy Labour Day.

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Summer isn’t over.

Between cottaging and touring Niagara Wine country, getting a new job and vet bills, I’ve had a pretty full second half of summer.  And people keep waxing poetic about the end of summer, but it’s still hot, dammit, and I’m going back to  school.  So for me summer will end very scientifically and without pomp or circumstance on the 23rd of September, and that is that.  Besides, summer fun is a state of mine, so I’m just going to carry that right along into fall.

My Henry had a lumpectomy this morning.  He is currently lying on the floor beside me trying to rip off his bandages, which I paid $15 for, I’ll have you know.  Then he’s probably going to rip out his stitches, which cost even more; then I surmise he’ll just eat his own paw off so that I may buy him a prosthetic one.  So far this month I have spent more on him than on my rent.  It’s the 2nd. If this pupperoni of mine gets into any more trouble, we’re going to have to send him to the pound, or we will sell his cuddles on the street corner to stressed out office workers. I think it could work, he is an excellent cuddler.

We had a lovely weekend away in Niagara, which, if you know Ontario, just isn’t that far from Toronto, but it was still a weekend away nonetheless. We had the most amazing three course lunch, stopped at so many wineries I lost count, bought many bottles of wine and got driven around in our very own private car, swank.  By the time we got to lunch, we had had a few tastings, and a very delicious icewine martini…Vice.

Since I had had a ‘few’ drinks,  I oohed and ahhed at each dish, talked about how I would take a photo, mmmed and yummed over how delicious the food was,  and remembered somewhere near the end to actually take photo, right before I ate the last slice of beet, or whatever morsel was left.  But I think that’s a testament to how great the whole experience was.  Both the food and the wine were amazing, really really amazing.  For the first time I understood what people meant when they said “the wine has nice legs.”  I feel so cultured.

Now, I know I am leading every to believe that all I do is drink wine, but that is just not the case.  In fact just a few weeks ago, I took up rollerskating.  My lovely husband bought me very own super awesome, super cool roller skates.  The only thing that could make them cooler is if I were actually a proficient roller skater.  Which, sadly, I am not.  But I’m working on it.

I also recently got myself a sassy new haircut to go with my sassy new marketing analytics job.  “Marketing analytics doesn’t sound so sassy, Mal”  You say.  Trust me, everything I do is sassy, even math.  Especially math.

So now that we’re all caught up,  I’m feeling a bit less like I’ve failed as a blogger.  Maybe next time I’ll tell you about my garage sale-ing adventures.  They will be called “HOLY CRAP PEOPLE ARE CHEAP! – Short stories based on my garage sale.” or something like that.

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#22 Visit a Vineyard

The other half of my skydiving and wine Saturday took place just outside of Niagara-on-the-lake, the least original name for a town ever, at the Hillebrand Estates Winery.  I have always been a bit confused as to when I should call something a vineyard or a winery, so I checked it out:  A vineyard is the actual plot of land that grows the grapes, and a winery is the production facility to make the wine.  A vineyard may contain a winery, but not the other way around, obviously. Neat!  Moving on.

After dabbling around town, checking out monstrous waterside houses that could easily be mistaken for hotels and swinging in to Peller Estates to buy some wine…you know, because we were in the neighbourhood…we got to Hillebrand for our 4 o’clock wine and chocolate tasting.  We got taking down into a darkl and chilly wine cellar with a massive harvest table; since I am currently at home sweating my pants off, I’d like to stress how chilly and lovely it was down there.  First up was a fruity Chardonnay with some milk chocolate.There were only seven of us, plus the guide, so as you can see, he was pretty generous with the wine servings.  Since it was such a small group, we also got to talking about the more interesting aspects of wine; like what to pair with curry, Cheetos and desert, and how one could possibly pair wine with a 25 course meal without eating it or using sparkling wine more than once.  Which, if you don’t know, is the final examination for getting one’s sommelier accreditation; a much more arduous task than I thought, I figured all you had to do was drink a lot.

Stephie really liked the cab-sov which was accompanied by a 75% cocoa, while Tori enjoyed the chocolate, mostly…but found some room on her palate for ice-wine, go figure.  The ice-wine was paired with a super dark and bitter 85% cocoa, probably my favourite coupling.In the end, she had so much wine she didn’t know what to do with it.Not to worry, the rest of us helped her out.  You’ll note there is no chocolate left on that plate.

*Not shown: a tasting of a cab-sov ice-wine mixed 1:4 with brut, magical, I highly recommend it…if you are so inclined to spend $80 on a bottle of ice-wine…I was not, so the tasting had to suffice.

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