Saturday, November 29, 2008

is it possible to be too comfortable?

I thought my puppy was spoiled....

how close is too close?

This gives me chills, it's so cool and terrifying all at the same time!! Joanna posted this crazy story about Victoria Falls.  In September and December you can actually swim as close as you want to the very edge of the falls without being washed away to your death.  The area is called Devil's Pool and it puts you smack at the edge of a 420 foot waterfall, one of the largest in the world.

I think this is amazing and I would completely be that person with the camera over the side.  I'm pretty sure I can hear my friend Dennis fainting as we even speak of this...

Just to refresh your memory, Victoria Falls usually looks like this..

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

ol' dirty phoenix? l'il joaquin? dj jazzy joaquin?

So if you've got your ear to the gossip mill than you'll know that a while back giant sucky baby Joaquin Phoenix said he was leaving acting to pursue a music career.  And while we all were expecting him to come back with a moody singer/songwriter Tom Waits-ey kind of project, Lainey is reporting that Joaquin Phoenix's long awaited musical attempt is in fact, wait for it, a rap career!!!

Apparently there is a documentary being filmed about his transition from actor to musician and the other night he got up on stage at a club and proceeded to unleash his hip hop self on the poor audience.  And oh yes, the film crew was there to capture the whole moment for the film.

Wow...I really did not see that coming.  I've been dying to write about this all freaking day....

famous pets

So sweet, sweet Jane wrote a story on pet adoption for the holidays and was lovely enough to include our Bailey and Sadie in her story.  It's currently posted on and you may very well see it in a national paper near you soon.  There's a great picture of Sadie, my favourite photo of our dearly missed old man Bailey and one of Felicity Huffman, who is the lady behind the Iams Home for the Holidays program.  

You can read Jane's story right here.  

It's very sweet and Sadie might need her own agent soon.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

weekend round-up

So as expected, this weekend was the weekend o'Sadie. She still needs lots of training etc so we trying hard to stay focussed on that for the next little bit. She's got some bad habits poking up here and there and we figure it's best to break them now while she's still small. Puppy classes don't start until January so in the meantime it's up to us.

Friday Marc had the best idea ever and called ahead for Bella Vita takeout. Seriously, best idea ever. Friday night Sadie had some visitors. I think we don't get visitors anymore. Sadie gets them all. And with a mug like hers I can't really blame her. She had a great little visit with pals Rob, Jenny and Richard who spoiled her with a bone bigger than she is. At least for now.
Saturday we had what feels like our first sunny day in months so we jumped at the chance to soak up some vitamin D with a puppy play date with Mike, Jocelyne and Sadie's new best friend Gypsy.  It also gave us a chance to get some sunny day pics of Sadie in the snow which is obviously, the cutest thing ever.  Saturday night was a great dinner at Respect with my folks and some late night drinks where Sadie was hugely spoiled by her Gramma and Grandpa.  In case you were wondering where I get my love of dogs, it's from them.  

Sunday we got hit with yet another snow fall and spent the day chilling out and refusing to shovel.  I put up my Christmas tree in an attempt to force the Christmas feeling into this house. I have never been less prepared for Christmas than I am this year and am finding it really, really hard to gear up.  The tree is awful pretty though and is helping a bit.  I also got my flu shot like a good girl.  Did you?? Tis the season and all....

Sunday, November 23, 2008

dear santa...

Call me a giant loser, but I really want this Shark Floor Steamer for Christmas.  You can steam clean your floors without lugging around a giant contraption.  And when you've got a house full of hardwood and tile, this is right up your alley.  

Wow....I am such a dork.  Like, for realsies.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

mutt or no mutt?

Ever stare at your pound puppy with his pointy Doberman ears, Poodle-like fur and Saint Bernardish jowels and wonder "What are you???" Well, wonder no more. Sharon posted this great link about a breed test that will determine what your mutt is made of. Swab the cheek, mail it in and you get a Canine Heritage Breed Test Certificate back in the mail for the price of $119.

mad hatter

So this is supposedly the first on-set shot of Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter in Tim Burton's upcoming version of Alice in Wonderland.  So far?  I think that looks pretty damn cool.

Friday, November 21, 2008

post secret

I habitually check Post Secret but have never blogged about anything I've seen there. This secret made my cry outright.

And then this one made me laugh.

Monday, November 17, 2008

weekend round-up

So let's get the other stuff out of the way before we get to the really good stuff which is, of course, puppy stuff.Friday we pretty much sat around waiting for it to be Saturday so we could go and see Sadie the puppy. I tried to drink some wine but it gave me a headache so instead I fell asleep on the couch while watching Austin City Limits.

Then Saturday we went to see Sadie!!!!! Youpee!!! It took all of about 1.72 seconds for us to decide we were going to keep her. I don't even think we were out of the car. The decision was likely made as we were pulling into their driveway and we saw her bounding across the yard all feet and fur and adorable. I believe Marc's exact words were "Oh my F-ing God..."

Anyway, the family was really upset to be giving her up but realized their work schedules didn't allow them to give her a good home. They work in the city and live in the country so the commute meant that Sadie was alone for much longer than she should be. It was actually heartbreaking to take her, even though we know we'll give her a great home. The mother and father were both crying as was their oldest daughter who actually stomped into her room, slammed the door and was throwing her stuffed animals against her bedroom window. Taking a soft, cuddly puppy from someone who is weeping as they hand her to you is about as fun as you'd think it is.But, we know we're doing the right thing for them and we promised to send pictures and let them visit whenever they want as they just really want to see Sadie as a full grown beauty. So we drove the 35 minutes or so back into town with Sadie sitting right in the middle of the backseat just staring at us. She was so good we were both totally shocked. She just sat there. Like a person. And if you said something to her she would tilt her head so far to the side she'd almost fall over.

And of course, the rest of the weekend was pretty much us starting all of our training. She's pretty smart and already knows a bunch of stuff, she sleeps through the night more or less and only had a few accidents in the house. The main thing we're going to have to work on is the puppy biting. Man alive her teeth are sharp and when she gets riled up there's just no stopping her. Thankfully when the nighttime rolls around and she turn into a cuddle queen, the nipping can be easily forgotten. So for now, training, training and more training before she gets so big she's impossible. And boy is she going to be big! Bernese Mountain dogs were bred to pull wagons of milk up mountain roads to outlying villages and to herd sheep and cattle. When she gets big enough I'd love to harness a little sled to her so she can pull all the rugrats around. Apparently they thrive when given a job like that so what the hell? She already loves the cold weather and while we were outside she curled up right inside my big thyme plant in my garden and took a little nap. She's so pretty I can hardly stand it but because we were so busy with her I only managed a few pictures while we were putting up our Christmas lights.

So while that was pretty much the whole weekend we did manage to squeeze in our annual watching of the Santa Claus Parade from the comfort or my office downtown. Friends and family and all their kids all waving from the windows and getting hopped up on sweets -- it's a great tradition. Saturday night we also managed to make an appearance, albeit brief cuz of Miss Sadie, at our friend's Carrie's house. She had a house concert for the Sunparlour Players and I am quite a fan so it was great to catch them in such a great intimate spot. They're lovely lovely gentleman who are so not too cool for school as many musicans can be. I wish I could have stayed for the jam afterwards but when the puppy calls, you must answer.

Seriously, she's so pretty I don't know how I'm going to get anything done.  And tonight she played the role of most perfect puppy ever which makes me love her even more.  No biting, no craziness, nothing but kisses and cuddles and cuteness.  Yup, this is the Sadie blog from now on......

Friday, November 14, 2008

bringing it all back to sudbury...

So Bob Dylan was in town last night and Marc and I had passed on going for a couple of reasons. 1) On a budget, the tickets were just a bit too pricey. 2) We were really reticent to spend that much on what was likely to be a bad concert. As much as both do love Dylan, the man hasn't put on a good concert in half a decade.

Anyway, last night we had 2 free tickets fall into our laps at the last second so what the hell, we went. I once saw an Elvis impersonator in the parking lot of a carpet store because someone gave me free tickets. So off we go.

Now, I'm not saying it was a terrible show. Cuz it certainly wasn't. I've seen way worse shows before in my life. However, I am still pretty happy we didn't pay $140 to go to this show. Now, before you say 'Oh the guy's 67 years old, cut him some slack" blabbity blah blah, the only slack I will cut him is yes, of course his vocals are not going to be as strong. And yes, he was never known for his stellar vocals and yes he always kinda mumbled. I am a fan and I do know all of that stuff. But, being old does not give you a free pass to be boring or detached. I've seen and heard enough live footage to know that for a long time, Bob Dylan was engaged and interesting and told funny stories onstage. Now, it's just laziness. Thank god for his great band.

Also, I've been lucky enough to see a fair bit of "aging" legends live in concert and every one of them has put on a better show than Dylan did. I saw Roy Orbison the same year he died and he was just as good as ever, Willie Nelson is 75 and had more energy and even though he crams all his vocals into the last note of music in a phrase he was still better live than Dylan, Gordon Lightfoot is 70 and when I saw him I still got shivers even though his vocals are nowhere near where they used to be, I saw Teenage Head 4 months before Frankie Venom died of freakin' throat cancer!! Throat cancer!! And that guy still sang his face off. Hell even Jackie Washington, the guy is 89 and give him a bit of shade and a patch of grass and he'll still give you the best show you've seen. Kelly, remember when we saw the Everly Brothers open for Simon & Garfunkel??? Seeing them sing "Wake Up Little Suzie" is still one of the funnest concert memories I have and those guys were ancient when we saw them.

Like I said, it wasn't a bad show. I just hate having to play "guess that song" all night and I'm a big enough fan that I shouldn't have to do that. Just even say "thanks" in between songs? Maybe a "What up Sudbury!" or something? Anything? Watching you play guitar and harmonica though? That was still pretty damn great.

So mumbling and everything aside, it was still pretty cool to be in the same room with him when he sang "A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall." I just think that it's such a shame that songs with lyrics that changed the world, aren't heard. I listen to "Freewheelin" on vinyl and it still gives me goosebumps. He was 22 when that record came out. 22!! 22 years old and he was writing songs like that. It's staggering really when you think about it. And I just really would like to close my eyes and hear something that even resembles the vocals and feelings and emotions of that song. I want to hear "a hard raaaaaaaaaaaaaain's.......gonna faaaall." Cuz that gets me. That makes me want to clench my fist and fight the good fight and get on board. When he sings ".......................................................anaharraygonnfall" it just makes me sad and makes me wonder if he even believes it anymore. I want to believe that he does but he just doesn't sell it. I don't want or need for it to sound the same. I actually don't want that at all. I just need the feeling to be the same.

Maybe that's my biggest problem? I want to feel like I did when I heard Gordon Lightfoot sing "If You Could Read My Mind" at Massey Hall. Surrounded by people that were so quiet you knew nobody was thinking about anything else. You knew everyone's heart was breaking whether they wanted it or not. Cuz he sang it and you knew he still believed it as much as he did when he was heartbroken enough to write it.

That's what I want out of Bob Dylan. Make me still believe it all, as corny as it sounds. Until then, I'll just wish my parents had taken the road trip to Newport in '68 just so that one day they could tell their kids about it.

guess the celeb

Holy crap. THIS is Rose McGowan??? Remember when she went nude with Marilyn Manson to that awards show??? Now she looks like Lisa Loeb???? I'm so confused...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

speaking of wedding love...

...let's talk about the nuptials of Cowgirl reader and fellow high school alum, Tanya K. Talk about weddings that remind me of my own!! Details aside, Tanya's wedding is also the wedding that Marc and I tried to have when we realized we wouldn't be able to get married in Tofino, B.C which was kind of our fantasy wedding plan. When that didn't pan out we started planning what seems to be Tanya's exact wedding, venue included! We ended up getting married in our backyard instead and I although wouldn't change a thing about it, I feel like I'm living vicariously through her wedding. As if, even though it didn't end up working for us, I kinda still got to see what it would have been like cuz we were so on the same wavelength when it came to wedding details! Anyway, here's a photo comparison of why I love Tanya's wedding SO much.

The dress. Tanya and I both braved the world of internet shopping for our dresses. Mine, I paid $120 dollars for and bought sight unseen off the JCrew website and had no alterations done except to have Marc's mom make me a sash for my waist. Tanya braved Bluefly for her adorable short Vera Wang dress, sight unseen, no alterations. Let's hear it for internet wedding dresses!!

The shoes (see above photos). My Fluevog wedding shoes cost me 3 times the cost of my dress and were the first thing I purchased, I had to design the whole rest of the wedding to match them and aside from marrying Marc, was the best decision I made about that whole day. Tanya, wanting to be as tall as her hubby on the big day, sourced out these drop dead gorgeous orange Nine West skyscrapers. That's right, on her wedding day she picked fabulous orange shoes. Love it! Seriously, it really is all about the shoes.

The venue. Tanya got married at the Arowhon resort in Algonquin park. Marc and I came within a millimeter of getting married here but caved cuz we wouldn't have been able to have Bailey and Mina be a part of the wedding. It's so pretty and can see from Tanya's photos that it would indeed have been gorgeous. It's really small and intimate and exactly what we wanted. Word from Tanya is that the food is insane for anyone that might be looking for a great getaway.

The flowers. We opted to revive the forgotten gardens that came with our backyard as opposed to spending tons of money on flowers we'd never use again. The result is a garden that will last hopefully as long as we do. We did have bouquets and centerpieces but we made them ourselves from the buckets of sunflowers we bought in bulk from a drugstore flower store. Tanya opted for letting nature take the credit too. After all, when you're in Algonquin Park, nothing you do could be prettier than what's already there. Small gorgeous bouquet -- so perfect with her dress (see last photo below).

The tattoos. Tanya is ballsy and chose her wedding date on the inside of her lip. I chose the inside of my wrist. What can we say? We're girls who are not afraid of committment!!

Man, I could talk about weddings all the time now that mine is over and done with.

All to say, congrats Tanya on your beautiful, beautiful wedding! Great minds think alike!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

weekend round-up

Just so ya know, I had a really lovely weekend.  Like one of those weekends that sneaks up on you, it's so lovely.  Friday, the lovely Liana treated me to a night at the theatre and we went to see David French's "Salt Water Moon" here in town.  Like good theatre goers, afterwards we went for drinks!  Yay drinks!  Met up with our pal Ben and his Aussie gal-pal Fran, Matt and Billy and had a lovely evening that still managed to get me in bed before midnight.

Saturday brought an early morning and a visit to hairdresser extraordinaire Paula who worked her magic and I am now channelling Mia Farrow from Rosemary's Baby -- or her hairstyle anyway.  It's my new favourite thing.  Had a farewell lunch for Fran as she heads back to Australia for a 3 month visit with her family.  Farwell (temporarily) to Fran!!  We'll miss you!! Ran a pile of errands and Marc, who felt in the mood to cook, whipped up a great dinner and we spent the night hunkered down watching many, many episodes of The Wire.  Which is great.  The Wire = great.

Sunday brought a pancake breakfast, 4 loads of laundry, and one of the longest baths I've ever taken in my life.  And product heavy too.  You name it and if it was meant to go in the bath in any form, I used it.  Marc, in his continued efforts to make me better, made me a deliciou homemade spinach and asparagus soup for dinner.  I feel more iron-filled as we speak.  I topped of the day with making myself a French Martini and watching The Simpsons.  I may even have another one tonight.  Sunday turned out to be surprisingly lovely.  One of those days where nothing out of the ordinary happens but the day still manages to rank right up there.  I could do with many more days just like Sunday.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

maybe anne murray was right...

And the hits just keep on comin'! I don't know what it is about this week but it's just been overwhelming with all it's blog-worthy animals! Apologies for the 800 million cute animals posts lately but it really is out of my hands.

This time it's the birth of a rare pygmy hippo at Australia's Taronga Zoo. Look at that face!! A hippo that really could live in your bathtub?? Like they're not cute enough in full size, someone up there thought to shrink them down thus capturing the cutest baby animal title forever.

Dear Santa: One rare pygmy hippo for my bathtub please.

Friday, November 7, 2008

wedding love

I love this wedding post over at Joanna's for 2 reasons: It is so Wes Anderson style and reminds me so much of my own wedding except mine was much less New York chic and my invites and favours were not nearly as amazing.

First off, let's talk invitiations. Groom is a graphic designer so they hand typed the invites, made little buttons of themselves as party favours and a friend painted their portrait. I would give my right arm for a handpainted portrait of Marc and I in some fun medium like this. It is so Royal Tenenbaums perfect, my heart hurts.

They got married in the bride's childhood home (we got married in our home with the reception at my folks' place), walked down the aisle to music played by their friend (us too! Yay Dan!), she wore an adorable short dress (me too!) and they went out afterwards (us too!!)

Just cuz I'm feeling mushy, here's my favourite shot from our wee wedding. Sigh.....hi Bailey.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

puppy cam

Seriously? A live streaming video of new puppies?? Complete with tiny barks?? You know I do have to leave my house don't you? I could watch this for forever...

Video clips at Ustream

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Eeeeekkkk!  Jane says we're getting an Anthropologie in Yorkville!!!  Ladies, hang on to your wallets!!!!  This is the best news I've heard all week!!!!!  Pretty dresses and sweaters and armchairs your days are numbered!

can I keep them?

Puppies and wild polar bears frolicking together. This is pretty excellent. It's a clip from this show "Jailed Polar Bear" that played on

girls and puppies

There's not a whole lot of need to explain why this video makes me happy.

See more Natalie Portman videos at Funny or Die

ravioli party

So something else that made me pretty happy recently is homemade ravioli. Shortly after Thanksgiving, we managed to square away some time over at Casa Dan and Lisa's for some good old fashioned ravioli making. You name it and we made it -- all from scratch, all by hand. It took pretty much all day but when all was said and done we ended up with 3 glorious batches of oddly-shaped and yet hopelessly delicious ravioli goodness. On the menu: roasted pumpkin (thanks to Sam for sacrificing his Halloween pumpkin), goat cheese and arugula, and butternut squash with molasses. We made our pasta from scratch and got all floured up in the process. Alas I don't have the recipe from Dan and Lisa's contribution but am sharing the recipe we used for the butternut squash. We've made these before but this was a first time with this particular recipe and I'm tellin' ya, I'll never use another one. It was so good it was worth the entire afternoon it took to make them.

Thanks to Dan and Lisa for dragging us out and making us happy.

Butternut Squash Ravioli

1 small to medium butternut squash (about 2 1/2 pounds)
2 tablespoons dark molasses
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Gray salt and freshly ground pepper
Ravioli dough (you can buy or make your own)
Flour, for dusting board
4 tablespoons sweet butter
8 fresh sage leaves
2 ounces Parmesan, for grating
2 ounces bittersweet chocolatee for grating

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Cut squash in 1/2 and scrape out seeds. Spread 1 tablespoon molasses in the cavity. Season with salt and pepper. Place cut side down on a roasting pan. Cook in the oven until very soft, about 1 hour. Let cool to room temperature and scoop out flesh into the work bowl of a food processor.
Puree squash until smooth, then spread on a baking sheet and return to the 375 degree oven to dry, about 10 minutes. The consistency will be like mashed potatoes. Scrape into a large mixing bowl.
Heat the butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat until it begins to brown. Immediately remove from heat and add remaining 1 tablespoon molasses and all the vinegar. Add to squash with mascarpone, Parmesan, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper and mix well. The recipe can be made ahead to this point (makes 2 cups filling,)

To fill the raviolis: Lay out a sheet of pasta dough on a lightly floured board. Cut into circles with a 3 1/2 inch pastry cutter. Put 1 tablespoon squash filling in the center of 1/2 the rounds using either a pastry bag or a small spoon. Leave a 1/2-inch border all around the filling. Moisten borders with water and top with remaining rounds of dough. Press all the air out and seal firmly by pressing all around with fingertips. Lay raviolis out to dry on a lightly floured board or baking sheet and lightly flour the tops. Repeat until you run out of dough and/or filling. To cook, boil in lightly salted water until tender, about 3 minutes. Reserve 2 ounces of the cooking water.
Uncooked, filled raviolis may be used immediately or frozen for 2 months. Lay them out on sheet pans and place in freezer until frozen. Transfer to plastic bag.

For the Sage Brown Butter: While raviolis are cooking, in a large saute pan, melt the butter with the sage and a pinch of salt until it foams and becomes light brown. Reserve.
On medium heat toss the cooked raviolis in the sage butter then transfer to a serving platter or dishes. Add 2 ounces of the cooking water to the pan and swirl with any residual butter. Spoon the butter sauce over the raviolis, then finish with a generous grating of Parmesan and bittersweet chocolate.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

the view from my couch

So as a result of being completely marooned on my sofa with no other options other than napping,  I've watched a lot of stuff on DVD.  Like A LOT.  Since Marc has the fun job of keeping me company, he has also watched a lot of stuff on DVD.  I took this opportunity to initiate him to the joy that is Entourage and we watched the entire first 3 seasons and he is now a full convert.

Second, I stopped fighting the urge and fell victim to the entire first season of Gossip Girl.  Basically I didn't watch it because I knew how much I would love it and frankly, my TV dance card was full.  But faced with an eternity immobile on my sofa, I decided enough was enough and I just needed to be happy.  And boy am I ever happy.  Gossip Girl is really the best ever and being able to watch it in its entirety has been glorious.  Considering I had a pretty nasty Chuck Bass crush without ever having seen the show, needless to say it is now unstoppable.  Gossip Girl = Best. Cure. Ever.

Third, I also chose to initiate Marc into the wonderful that is Mad Men.  I've been catching the odd episode here and there but have never been able to pin down it's airtime and I think Marc is just never home when it's on so he had never seen even a second of it.  Enter the first season on DVD and we are both happy campers.  I'm thinking of taking up smoking and plan on drinking a whole lot more while in my office.  I may even take it a step further and set up a clinky little drink cart too.  What's even better than that?  Seeing this Simpsons meets Mad Men ad for their annual Halloween episode this Sunday.  Thanks Kaili and Shannon for the smiley heads-up.  It really is the best.

I am also taking entertainment suggestions from any and all. My couch time sees no end in sight anytime soon and my DVD player is dangerously close to being empty.....

cowgirl update

So obviously I've been absent from blogland for the last long while and I think it's about time I explained myself.  A few weeks back Marc and I had one of those moments that test the whole "in sickness and in health" vow we took.  I don't want to go into huge detail as the story is a long one that seems to keep getting longer.  

In a strange nutshell, Marc and I were pregnant and now we are not.  It has been awful and sad and heartbreaking and everything everyone says it is.  However, as my cousin so aptly put it, the fact that this happens all the time to a lot of women really amounts to nothing.  It's happening to you and you feel like the saddest person in the world.  The news came quickly and was accompanied by even more overwhelming news and the already complicated story just seems to get more complicated with each passing weekend.  2008 has proven to be one of far too much heartache for this girl and I would very much like for it all to be over.

Needless to say, I haven't felt up to writing about cute shoes and celebrity gossip.  We've both been trying to focus on keeping our heads above water and finding our way through every new surprise that life seems to keep throwing at us.  We both hope it will be over soon but we still have things to work out and medical issues to sort out.  In any event, I have amazing family and great friends that are all helping us find our way through all of this.  I've actually been surprised more than once at the people that have come out of the woodwork with the loveliest sentiments.  

In the meantime we have come out of this an even stronger pair which truly does make all the difference.  When you pick someone to share your life with, you can usually rely on only your heart to tell you you made the right choice.  It takes situations like these to make you truly realize that the hand you picked to hold during something awful was absolutely the right one.

So thanks for your patience and I will try to get back into the swing of things.  There have definitely been some things that have made me happy during all of this and they deserve mention.