Thursday, April 30, 2015

Sushi..... someone should totally deliver me some for lunch please

Ah sushi, Kevin and I probably grab some once every other week. And like an old lame couple, we typically frequent only two establishments.

Kinjo Sushi in the Northwest, for when we want to eat in. And Nami Sushi on 14th St. SW (formerly Sushi Motto) when we want take out.

So why Kinjo? I know, it's got some mediocre reviews, but we keep coming back.

-Too many small children in restaurant
-Can be a little pricey
-Nothing super special about the very northamericanized sushi
-Deep fried California roll is outrageously over priced
-Can be very busy at dinner time, be sure to come early or you'll be waiting

But for Kevin and I, the pros outweigh the cons

-Free taster of 4 peices of sushi when you sit down
-Free Pocky when you leave
-The beer is cheep!
-standard maki rolls comes in 4 pieces, so when it's just the two of us, we can order a wider variety
-We almost always get seated in the same table (not sure if this is a pro)
-Everything tastes good, and service is quick and friendly
-The Philadephia Roll meets our high standards (not actually that high, but we had a terrible one somewhere once and now this is a must for our sushi place)
-Can order online for pickup
-Located near a Chapters for after dinner book buying

Now onto Nami Sushi, which to be honest I still think of as Sushi Motto, only better now.

Why do I love Nami sushi? because you can get a crazy amount of food for like $10. And it's all so good.

I won't do a pros and cons here (as far as I can see the only con is the lack of a Philadelphia roll on the menu). But what I will tell you is, I used to get Sushi Motto all the time for takeout, it's within walking distance from my apartment, the prices weren't bad and the sushi was good. Sometimes we'd eat in, but mostly I'd call an order in, and walk over to pick it up.

Then suddenly this December, with little fanfare, Sushi Motto became Nami Sushi. Same location, same decor, I suspect the same staff, same pile of magazines in the waiting area. But a new, much less expensive menu.

For instance: look at their lunch specials!?!

And then you get another 10% off for picking it up yourself, how can you compete with that?

And why am I even telling you about sushi right now in the first place? Because I'd really love some for lunch today... So I'm off to see what I can find on skip the dishes or something.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Thank god for Netflix Original Series!

I swear I am beginning to think the best new TV isn't even on TV any more. And with Tina Fey behind the laughs on the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, you can see why I might say this.

Also I have had the theme song stuck in my head for 2 days now, after binge watching the entire first season.

Ellie Kemper (Who I grew to love on the Office) is perfect in the lead role, she just lends her talents to innocent/oblivious so well. And although Jane Krakowski plays almost the same character as she did on 30 rock, it worked for her there and it works here too. But I think it's Tituss Burgess who really steals the show.

Anyways, since Orange is the New Black Season 3 doesn't release until June 12, I'm going to need suggestions on what to watch next.

Oh also, since I adore all things made with yarn, and we're on the Kimmy Schmidt topic, have you seen the amazing set of crocheted Kimmy dolls by Crafty is Cool's Allison Hoffman?

Aren't they amazing?! And Jane Krakowski even brought her's on Seth Meyers' late night show. Famous crochet for the win!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

John Oliver Just Ruined My Favourite Ten Dollar Dress

Yesterday was Monday, which means I did what I do every Monday. Clicked over to YouTube, scrolled down my subscriptions and watched Sunday's Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.

The full length show airs Sundays at 11PM on HBO, but each Monday morning you can find 15-25 minute John Oliver rants on the YouTube Channel.

Typically Oliver highlights something that's wrong with America, wraps it up in sarcasm and humour, and drives home a call to action for viewers  to be responsible citizens and consumers.

Every week I watch, and I'm shocked at the state of the world and the USA (pronounced 'Murica), and am left gratefully that generally Canada has it's sh!t more together than that. But this week John struck close to home.

This week John drew attentions to the real cost of discount fashion, shining the light on some of my favourite brands including H&M (and their $4.95 dress). (video's 17minutes but totally worth it!)

I have to admit, I happen to love finding a cute top or dress or jeans for less than $20. And have certainly bought things just to wear once, leave them in my closet for a year and then get rid of them. (at least I donate or consign everything). And if you piled up my entire wardrobe, not only would you find I have more than enough clothing to wear something different every day for months at a time, but I would probably still complain the next morning that I have nothing nice to wear.

And that's before you go anywhere near my lululemon collection.

So while John calls out the executives of many of the brands making irresponsible supply chain management choices to support their low costs while still turning massive profits, I felt a second call out to me, as the consumer.

Because let's be honest, every time we buy a $10 disposable dress, we are sending a collective message that this is OK.

I can't make any promises that I will radically change my shopping habits all at once. But I think I need to spend some time seriously thinking about them. And maybe set some goals regarding how I shop.

So that's what's on my mind this Tuesday. What do you have to say about the disposable fashion industry? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Hockey Superstitions and the Calgary Flames

When my brother Mark was playing hockey growing up (btw happy belated 24th birthday brother!), and it was an important game, my mom would ride the elevator at the arena up and down for the last couple minutes of the 3rd period. I guess it originated with the tension in the arena being too high during a particularly close playoff game, but after his team began scoring game winning goals while my mom was in the elevator, it became an important superstition. And any time his time was tied going into the final minutes of the game, Eva would head for the nearest elevator.

Interestingly, my mom has also been banned from my cousin Zach's hockey games a number of times over the years. Apparently they just can't win if she's watching, and the serious hockey family that the Senecals are, well needless to say, although they appreciate that my mom just want's to support her nephew, they can't take the risk.

Unfortunately it would seem the bad luck might run in the family. When Kevin and I started dating, we went through this horrible dry spell where he absolutely could not score a goal in any hockey game I was watching him play. Any game that I'd miss? He'd call me afterwards to inform me that he'd scored 4 or 5 goals. Even worse? During one game I attended, he got on the ice for his first shift only to have his skate break about 30 seconds in, and then spend the rest of the game sitting on the bench. Thankfully we eventually got over the hump, and I can confidently watch him play without feeling like a jinx.

Now this brings me to the Calgary Flames, and an unfortunate trend.

The last season the Flames made the playoffs? - 2009

I moved to Calgary in 2010.

During the 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 seasons, I attended Flames games live, and although they usually won those games, they did not make the playoffs.

This year I did not make it to any games, and poof! Despite a poor prognosis at the beginning of the season, Flames make the playoffs.

Alright.... but it couldn't just be me could it?

So this enter round one of the playoffs - Game 1? I missed it, and they won.

Game 2 - I wore my jersey all day and watched the game hit up a bar to watch the game.... They lost.

Game 3 and Game 4 - did not watch, Flames win!

Game 5 - wears jersey all day, listens to game on radio in the lab.... Flames lose.

So Saturday night I was understandable anxious to put on my jersey and head over to A.J.'s to watch the game.

And when the Canucks scored 3 goals in about as many shots early in the first, I buried my eyes on Kevin's shoulder and told him I was going to have to keep my eyes closed for the rest of the game.

But I never should have doubted myself! I'm not a jinx at all. Flames turned that game around and won it spectacularly 7 goals to 4.

And I proudly sported my jersey as we walked down to 17th Ave to join in the Red Mile, with what seemed like most of the rest of Calgary.

Oh and I'm pretty certain I have some video from my phone.... and that the audio is 90% me wooing, but maybe I'll share it in time for Duck Hunting Season!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Seriously Good Soup - Oak Tree Tavern

This past week, Kevin and I met friends for dinner at the Oak Tree Tavern in Kensington. I had been to the small, second story, pub before, for drinks during Salsa Fest, but never eaten there before.

Seriously, I cannot recommend the Oak Tree enough, everyone's food looked amazing. Big portions at reasonable prices. And my meal....Well lets just say, I've been thinking about it all week since.

I know, I know... the picture makes the soup look like a bowl of slop.

But let me wax poetic about it.

First of all the name of that soup,

Dill Pickle Soup.

And I love dill pickles. I can tuck into a jar of pickles the way most girls do into ben and jerry's.

But dill pickle soup, I'll admit, I was apprehensive, and asked our server about it. At her recommendation I gave it a try.

I guess I would describe it as being essentially a potato chowder with a fatty and pickle-y taste, complete with whole pieces of pickle. And over all delicious.

Maybe I'm not selling this soup as best as I can. Maybe you just need to be there to try it for yourself. Either way, you can bet I'm going to be trying to get my hands on the recipe, or at least I'll be dragging Kevin back to the Oak Tree ASAP.

Now onto the sandwich, it was the Oak Tree BLTC, a perfect combo of pesto marinated bocconcini cheese, smoked bacon, kale and tomato. Top it off with a reduced balsamic vinegar aioli and throw the whole thing on a fresh ciabatta bun and you've got one hell of a good sandwich.

And that whole meal (which I devoured without taking time to breath) was only 13 dollars.

Have you eaten anything that good lately?

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Friday, April 17, 2015

One Seriously Long Week

Thank God it's Friday people. This week has seemed to go on forever! And maybe it's just been because I've been having such long days? Or have had so many meetings scheduled at school? Or because I spent Tuesday and Wednesday with every muscle in my body sore.

Why's that? Because Monday night I joined Jen (Pretty Little Grub) and friends for a game of basketball.

Did you know I played basketball in highschool? And in fact we even won the NOSSA AA 2003 championship, and I was captain? And mainly I was the captain by virtue of being one of the tallest girls at my very Italian highschool?

Did you also know that I pretty much haven't even touched a basketball since then?

However our team kicked some butt, I had a blast. Some of the old 'skills' came back to me, and I was even able to score a basket (heck yes!). But more seriously, it was a far cry from my 'glory days'.

Unfortunately, since I've been only doing Yoga lately as far as physical activity, and since we only had one sub, and play two 25 minute halves, this is how I felt when I woke up on Tuesday Morning.

Still looking forward to play again next week tho.

Aside for basketball and body pain. This week has been crazy busy in the lab, mainly preparing for our Cardiovascular Research Day today and our Biochemistry Departmental Retreat next Friday, handing over my role as the Chair of our student association, and writing up the methods section of a paper.

Plans for the weekend?

Watching the Flames game tonight, hopefully while drinking beers.... or better yet margaritas.

Heading to the mountains with Sarah tomorrow for one last adventure before she moves to Ontario.

Working in the lab, and running errands for the Departmental Retreat Social on Sunday.

Sleeping in. Yoga. Knitting.

How about you?

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Decorating Easter Eggs

Happy Easter ladies and gents! I hope that Peter Rabbit came hippity hoppiting through your neighbourhood to leave some eggs and treats for you to search for this morning. Here in Calgary he left footprints behind in our blanket of fresh snow, reminding us all that despite the warm weather, summer's still a fair way off.

This year, for the first time since I was a kid, I decorated eggs.

I did some of the traditional variety (these were dyed for an attempt at Easter Bread which failed horribly).

And got creative with some craft supplies I had around the house and some plastic eggs.

I tried feathers, a sticky mess, but well worth it.

And Washi tape, which makes for a very quick decorated egg.

If you want to spend 20 minutes burning you fingers with your hot glue gun, you can do yarn wrapped eggs.

The process sucked so badly I  gave up after one egg.

Much better than yarn, however, was wrapping eggs in some of the fabric scraps from a quilt I made two years ago.

Once all was said and done, I gave my eggs a quick coat of glossy gesso (you could use modge podge) to seal all the edges down.

The finished eggs look great, and were a lot of fun to make. I still have a dozen or so plastic eggs, so I'll probably spend some time this afternoon decorating a few more.

Hope you have a Happy Easter!