5 Signs that I’m Getting Older

Five signs that I’m getting older…and my “glass-is-half-full” take on it…

1.  Sign that I’m getting older:  It was a one time incident but Armando will not let me live it down…I called it, “The Twitter”.
The “glass-is-half-full” take on it:  I actually do know what Twitter is and in fact, use it.  So I think I’m actually ahead of the technology game compared to some people my age.  I can thank my techie hubby for that :)  And in case you’re interested…Twitter is one of the best ways to get the most up-to-date, and breaking news, quicker than TV broadcasts, radio, etc. But it’s “Twitter”, not “The Twitter” ;)

2.  Sign that I’m getting older:  Armando, myself and a group of friends had a party night the other night.  We pre-planned to all crash at our friend’s house so we could have a few drinks and not worry about driving home.  Instead of drinking games and lineups of shots though, we played board games and had coffee halfway through so we could last until 1am.
The “glass-is-half-full” take on it:  We actually remember the night, no hangovers and we all had our own bedrooms to crash in, rather than a space on the floor because now we’re adults and we have friends that live in houses and not bachelor pads.  Oh, and we can’t forget that nice wine and appies replace the bag of Doritos and promo 6-pack of beer that used to fill our party nights.

3.  Sign that I’m getting older:  My mom mailed me an article that was cut out of the local newspaper of the city I grew up in.  The newspaper has been running a “looking back” column for years.  They write about what happened in the city 20 years ago, 30 years ago, 40 years ago, and so on.  As I looked at the article I gasped as I saw my name under “30 years ago”.  Ugh!
The “glass-is-half-full” take on it:  I haven’t lived in that city for about 15 years now but I still made the news! *insert happy dance here*Brandon Sun

4.  Sign that I’m getting older:  I look at the short, tight dresses that girls wear these days with a bit of a judgemental eye.  Which is a little surprising considering I was known for some questionable clothes back-in-the-day.  Heck, if I still had the flat tummy, I would probably still be tempted to wear crop tops.
The “glass-is-half-full” take on it:  I believe my judgemental eye is a little warranted and not because of aging.  Case in point:  I bought a tank top. Fit me perfectly. But then I noticed the tag inside said that it was a size small.  Small?!  Could this be true?!  My excitement of fitting into a small was short-lived as I soon noticed on the tag that it stated that this tank top was actually a dress.  Huh?!  *heart sinking to my feet*  You mean to tell me that a small dress fits me perfectly as a tank top?  Yes, I see this as a sign that clothes are smaller than they used to be and no, it’s not because I’m larger than I used to be.  Well anyways, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

5.  Sign that I’m getting older:  I went to The Backstreet Boys concert.
The “glass-is-half-full” take on it:  I went to The Backstreet Boys concert!!

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And for those that want a trip down memory lane, here’s some video footage of the concert.  Might be hard to hear with the screaming women that are channeling their 15-year-old-selves ;)

Armando Meets the Cadbury Creme Egg

Cadbury Creme Egg Armando and I were driving yesterday when I saw a sign at McDonald’s advertising a Creme Egg McFlurry.  I made a comment about it and Armando asked me what a creme egg is.

Me:  You don’t know what a Cadbury Creme Egg is?
Armando:  No.
Me:  Seriously, the Cadbury Creme Egg that is a staple chocolate for Easter?
Armando:  Umm, nope.
Me:  You must know what it is.  I’m sure once you see it, you will know what I’m talking about.
Armando:  I don’t think so.  Where do you get them?
Me:  Where do you get them?!  Like, they are everywhere!
(I start thinking that maybe they are known by a different name in Mexico, as is often the case with things so I pull up pictures of Cadbury Creme Eggs on my phone.)
Me:  See…these are Cadbury Creme Eggs (I show him pictures of wrapped ones and ones cut open to show their yolky yellow and white centres).
Armando:  Ewwww.
Me:  Yeah, I guess it does look kinda gross.  But you have to try one.  I grew up with these.  I don’t really like them but it’s an Easter thing.  I’ll buy you one.

Cadbury Creme EggI buy him one and he cuts it open.  His reaction….”Eww.  These are gross (looking).”  After taking a bite…”These are too sweet.”  But, he ate it all before I had a chance to take a bite as he starts telling me of an Easter tradition in Mexico.

“All the kids take real eggs a week before Easter, empty them and let them dry.  The eggs are then filled with confetti and different faces and things are drawn on the eggs.  Then the kids take them to school and they smash the eggs on top of each other’s heads.”  Umm, okay.  Can’t say we do that in Canada.

Definitely different Easter traditions.  Happy Easter everyone, no matter how you celebrate it!

An Open Letter to the National Post Condemning Its Bullying Platform


UPDATE (March 20, 2014):  My desire to stop the internet bullying that I was witnessing ended up throwing me into this vaccination debate.  Check out my solution to all this vaccination debating. Dear National Post, To vaccinate or to not … Continue reading

Hockey Pools, Algorithms and Cute Jerseys

Armando came up to me the other day, excited about being invited to take part in a hockey pool.  Armando?  In a hockey pool?  I was a little concerned.  And confused.  He seemed excited, as if he was a hardcore hockey fan.  I will give him credit…he does know a bit more about hockey than when I first met him (Yes, he did once ask me who Wayne Gretzky was!).   To hang with the guys or to small chat during business meetings with clients in Canada, he’s had to learn a bit about our national pastime.  And he has.  But competing in a hockey pool?  I was worried.

Then I had a flashback of the one time I entered a hockey pool.  The guys I worked with were holding their own playoff hockey pool.  They decided to let the girls join, probably to increase the prize pot.  I threw in my $10 and picked my teams.  I didn’t use stats or odds. I picked teams based on which team names I liked, favourite jersey colours or cities that I was fond of.  Not scientific at all.  So you can imagine the guys disbelief when I won the pool!  So this just goes to show that all the stats and knowledge of hockey you may have means nothing in a hockey pool.  But what about having a fancy algorithm?

So Armando doesn’t know the first thing about being in a hockey pool yet he was not concerned because he had an algorithm.  He explained to me that he had a program that by inputting all the players and their specific stats, a complex algorithm would determine the top players for his team.  And if somebody picked one of his players, his program would recalculate and find the best replacement player.  Trust my husband to put a computer-geeky spin on a hockey pool!  But I won a hockey pool by picking teams based on jersey colours so who am I to judge?  Let’s hope my beginners luck rubs off on him!

How do you pick your teams in a hockey pool?

Good luck to all and let the hockey season begin!

Our first time "playing hockey" on ice.

Our first time “playing hockey” on ice.

Nationalities, Travel Visas and Canadian Pride

Canadian passport (1993-2002).

Canadian passport (1993-2002). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tonight I was filling out a travel visa application form.  My first one ever!  One of the lucky perks of being a Canadian:  you don’t often need to get a travel visa to enter countries.

I was actually quite excited about the process though.  Well, not so much the process but the end result of getting a travel visa in my passport.  I am secretly a little jealous of all the visas that Armando has in his passport.  I know, weird. I’m sure if I actually had to get all the visas that he’s had to get, my envy would soon disappear like the money needed to get them.

I just wanted to share a few things on the visa application form that I found interesting:

1.  They asked for my complexion.  Not sure that I’ve ever been asked that on an application form.  Hmmm….rosy pink? Sun-kissed peach?  Better keep it simple.  White.

2.  They asked for my dad’s full name.  Hmmm…what about my mom?

3.  They asked for my guarantor’s name and address in the country that I will be visiting.  Who do I put if I don’t know anyone there?

4.  They asked for my nationality.  Well that’s easy…Canadian.  But this question really got me thinking.  I remember growing up and when I had to write on forms what my nationality was, I would write Ukrainian.  I was raised as a Ukrainian.  In my grandma’s home, the air would ring with Ukrainian chatter.  I would sing Ukrainian carols at Christmas and recite the Lord’s Prayer in Ukrainian at church. I took part in Ukrainian traditions, danced with a Ukrainian troupe for years and ate endless perogies, cabbage rolls and borscht that contributed to my Ukrainian hips.  My ancestors were from Ukraine but I was 2nd generation Canadian.  Yet, I would say that I was Ukrainian.  And if I remember correctly, my fellow classmates would also write Scottish, Irish or whatever background they came from under “Nationality”.  “Canadian” didn’t seem to be an option.  I guess everyone was trying to define their differences and besides, what was a Canadian anyways?  We were taught that Canada was a mosaic of cultures.  I guess we were just signifying which culture we represented and “Nationality” was where we defined it.

Now being older and wiser, I can definitely say that my nationality is Canadian but my Ukrainian heritage has definitely influenced me throughout the years.  And I am definitely proud to be Canadian and appreciate the fact that I don’t require a travel visa to most countries because, heck, who am I going to put as my guarantor on this visa application?

Cold Saunas are Cool (and Cold!)

So we survived!

The Cold Sauna Lobby at The Sparkling Hill Resort

The Cold Sauna Lobby at The Sparkling Hill Resort

The Sparkling Hill Resort, where I took Armando for a birthday surprise getaway,  has the only cold sauna in North America.  It is a sauna that has a temperature of -110 degrees celsius.  Yes, that’s what I said: MINUS 110 degrees celsius!!  Armando and I wanted to add it to our list of “experiences” and it was quite the experience!

Cold saunas are used as a health treatment called Cryotherapy. It is a form of treatment used for arthritis, poor circulation and other ailments.  We chose to do it for the fun of it.  Doesn’t it sound like something you’d want to do on one of that last sunny days of summer?

At the entrance of the Cold Sauna in a snazzy gear!

At the entrance of the Cold Sauna in our snazzy gear!

There are 3 rooms to the sauna.  The first room that you start in is -10 degrees celsius.  You stay in that room for only 5 seconds.  Then you go into the second room which is -50 degrees for another 5 seconds and then you enter the last room which is -110 degrees and you stay in there for 3 minutes.  There was a kinesiologist in the room with us, talking us through it the entire time while Bob Marley sang in the background, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”  which I found quite humorous.

It was very challenging to make it through the 3 minutes but we both managed to stick it out and it was an amazing feeling afterwards.  It is very uncomfortable and even slightly painful at times but the mental challenge of sticking it out for the 3 minutes and succeeding was so rewarding at the end.  You feel so good after that it was worth the challenge.

Before going into the sauna, your skin is usually around 30 degrees celsius but when you are in the cold sauna, it drops to about 5 degrees celsius.  You can see on my arm where my mittens ended.

Before going into the sauna, your skin is usually around 30 degrees celsius but when you are in the cold sauna, it drops to about 5 degrees celsius. You can see on my arm where my mittens ended.

It has been a weekend of challenges for me and I faced another challenge this evening at dinner.  Stay tuned…(Check it out Here!)