Sunday, September 6, 2009

Adventure Day 38 Part 1- Another step in #25 & #36 Try 5 different kinds of cheeses

My day started out swiftly with an early trip to a somewhat far away land to get all of my documents signed for my passport. It took no time at all to complete this and by 10:30am I was back in my neighbourhood ready to tackle something else on my list before I had to go to a meeting that afternoon. I knew exactly which number I was to tackle: #36. Off to the Italian Bakery and Deli I would go!

I entered the store a bit disoriented as to where I should be. You see the only time I ever visit this place is with my one aunt when she visits and we generally only stick to the bakery section. They have THE best brownies (with little shaved pieces of white chocolate on top – sooooo good!), among many other yummy treats. But this time I was in for something different, something I would have to travel over to the deli section to get, my cheese! Sista had reminded my a while before that this deli usually has a couple of different kinds of cheeses out during the day to sample (if you were there at the right time) and I thought that this would be the perfect opportunity take advantage since cheese can be rather expensive. I went over and browsed around not immediately finding the free samples, instead I started to pile several various kinds of cheese in my arms that were new to me and within my price range.

As I rooted through I discovered the sampling area and hit the jackpot! They had two kinds that I’d never had before. I snuck a piece of Canter-something right away and quickly wandered about the store to ponder the new taste. It didn’t take long before I strolled right back to an area that had little melba toasts you could also taste. Canter-something definitely needed to be eaten in conjunction with a cracker or bread or anything, but overall not bad. Once I realized I would save myself a dollar or two by not having to buy one of the hunks of cheese in my hand I returned it and headed over to the brownies … even trade, at least price wise. I soon decided that I should try the other sample available and made my way back to the free cheese.

Asiago. I popped it into my mouth and right away loved it and noticed that it did not NEED a cracker – hmmmm interesting. I put back another one of my cheeses. Eventually I figured enough was enough and it was time to move on out so I could try the others that I bought - off I went.

When I arrived home I got out some grapes and wheat thins and sat down for my favourite kind of lunch. First I tried Nappi, thinly sliced light cheese with little flavour – I wondered if it was supposed to be melted. No patience for that today, it was good the way it was, just not bursting with flavour. Next, I tried the sliced Havarti with herbs and olives. This was a soft, creamy cheese that seemed as if it too would be good melted but also great as is, I decided I would have to try it in a sandwhich someday – thumbs up for it. Finally I had to get out the knife and open up the Wensleydale (sp?) with cranberries. I had heard of this kind off of a movie so I had to try some. It was also good, better to be spread (sort of) on a yummy cracker – very sweet. Yum! You may also remember that I bought Blue cheese early on in my 40 days and did not really enjoy it. I do like it in dressings and probably would in very small doses. Unfortunately no one mentioned that this is how one eats blue cheese. Instead I had gotten out a sharp knife and hacked off a chunk to eat with a little cracker and immediately spit it out and wanted to brush my tongue right away. Warnings need to be on the packaging.

The first half of my day was rather productive with my list. I very much enjoyed my cheeses and learned of new inexpensive ways to try it. I really do love cheese but it really is quite expensive no matter how you cut it (I have even asked for baskets of it as gifts - I am still waiting). I think it’s an amazing discovery and a rich commodity. I think I am learning too why you eat it with whine – I need to attempt that sometime. Another thing to try!

Adventure Day 37 – Beginning #25 Getting my passport

Adventure Day 37 started rather early for me for some reason. I’m not sure why but every once in a while I wake up with things on my mind and a need to do them right away. I probably was considering the fact that I had very little time to complete my list and I really had to get on it, so I did.

I think it was 4-o-clock in the morning when I decided I should start working on my passport papers … sounds logical to me.

#25 has been on my ‘To do’ list for years actually, and I finally had to push myself to do it. I’m not sure why I thought that is was so much work, maybe it was the trip to the government office and the potential wait time I would have to go through in line. Maybe it was all of the tedious questions you have to answer on the application, or getting that stupid picture that truly makes you look like an inmate (and it’s supposed to convince them you are good to travel overseas eh?). Whatever it was that delayed my intentions I was determined to overcome it or at least try this time.

I actually began my paper work for my passport early in my adventure but when I went to save it before printing I accidentally lost everything instead. Needless to say that really ticked me off and sent #25 on my list to do only when I absolutely had to, apparently that was Day 37. Early morning work must sit well with me because I completed my papers, printed them off and was inspired that evening to whip over to the Wrinkleville mall where my car towing/travel place is that I could quickly get my mug shot done. I couldn’t believe how fast it went, I guess that’s because it was 7pm and everyone in Wrinkleville was already tucked into bed. I was the only person in the store and had my pics done in a couple of minutes (along with a couple of maps necessary for my fall placement at school). Why didn’t I do this sooner?!

Next that evening I called up my accountant who lived about 50 minutes away to see if he could be my guarantor for my papers (only because I didn’t know anyone in the city I lived that I’d known for long). It was set that I would visit early the next morning to have them signed. Wow, once again I ask, why did I wait so long?

Between my early morning paper work and my evening photo shoot I had made an appointment to have my hair done. This sounds like a normal thing to do but for me it’s always an ordeal. You see I didn’t just make an appointment for a trim but also to have a little colour done. This is always a scary thing for me since the last time I asked for some natural highlights put in I got a bleached streaky look that made me want to hibernate for the winter. Not to mention the wonderful bowl cut and hack job done on my bangs. I’m not a huge fan of hairdressers but my friend Shell Bell had been sporting a lovely haircut so I stepped out in faith and asked for her hairdressers’ name and made an appointment right away.

Another reason I don’t get my hair cut or coloured often (rarely coloured) is the cost. It just seems so ridiculous to spend money on something that’s just going to grow out in a matter of days. It seems a bit vain. However I had decided to put this on my next list then when I saw Shell Bell’s hair I thought ‘Why wait? There’s no time like the present!’

I ventured out to a new hair artist and was pleasantly surprised with both the work she did as well as the price – both very good! I had also made a date to meet with Shell Bell and her two little girls (who I am delighted by) after my hair was done, so off I went for another wonderful visit.

I had babysat Flower and Rosebud early in the summer and had a ball with them. You see I had only met them a couple of times before but we all seemed to click and ended up having a great day together – we were all sad when it was over. It was a great time to be able to see them again and go to the park together. When I arrived Flower (who’s 5 I think or almost) greeted me with a hello and showed off her beautiful black and white flowered top with lots of sequins on it which added lots of sparkle, of course Rosebud (I think 2 ½) couldn’t’ be out done and she too showed me the lovely dress she was wearing (the same one she wore the day I looked after them – I smiled and told her how cute it was). Apparently Flower told her mom that she was getting dressed on her own and picking out something special for my visit, I was honoured.

We enjoyed our time together outside and I wished I had longer but I was on the go once again. As I left I was thankful for the chance I got in June to spend the day with two little girls that I had not known previously. It’s kind of funny; it was totally on a whim that I answered a facebook plea for help from Shell Bell to offer to babysit for the day (I had no other plans or work to do – why not help a friend?) It’s something I normally would’ve paid no attention to because I didn’t really know her kids and I live a drive away, but the desire to be adventurous was already brewing (ok so babysitting a couple of little girls isn’t all that adventurous, but it was a step out for me).

I am thankful in so many ways how doing new things and blogging about it has brought people into my life or brought those already there in a bit closer. It’s these kinds of things that I enjoy the most!

Adventure Day 36 - #14 Walk into a place and get a pedicure

Before I make myself out to be a liar I want to set the record straight: I have indeed gotten a pedicure before. The catch is that I’ve never done it for no reason, it’s usually been before a wedding or something (or maybe I just needed an excuse to go and do it). I will admit I find it intimidating doing anything for the first time in a new place. It’s always nice to get a referral to go somewhere or to go with someone else. It was no different with this number except that the person who joined me for a pedicure invited me to join her - I readily accepted.

The person I shared this number with was Sista. Apparently she visits a pedi place every now and then and said she got a decent deal on it – I’m all about a decent deal, especially when it comes to doing something unnecessary.

We met for lunch (it seems essential to a girls’ afternoon out) then went to a little place called ‘New York Nails II’. The name of this place is absolutely hilarious to me for two reasons: First of all we live in Canada, second of all everyone that worked there were Asian and barely spoke English – a little off the beatin’ trail to New York in my opinion.

As soon as we arrived we were told to go to the colour wall and pick our paint. Sista went with a light bright orange and I a deep red, I thought I would try and match my ‘40 days’ purse (the colour actually looked like black in the end). We then got to take our seats in a couple of side by side gigantic massage chairs. Not long after we were seated the chairs were turned on and boy were they an experience!

I’ve never had a pedicure done while enjoying a massage chair before so this definitely added to my overall pedicure experience. I had no idea a chair could do such things! It really does work you ALL over. I had no idea my butt could be contorted in such a way. The weird part is when Sista saw my face and the seemingly immense discomfort I was in she said “You can change the settings you know, or shut it off”, I couldn’t do it, I felt obligated to get every cent out of what I had paid for my pedicure (even if it had nothing to do with beautifying my feet). I replied with “No, this will give me A LOT to write about … a lot”. Although looking back, I am now speechless about the chair, let’s just said it was a love-hate thing I guess.

As we sat and soaked our feet two Asian little ladies came to work away the calluses that had developed. First they cleaned, then trimmed, a little cuticle work, some cream, then the filing – and I don’t mean our toenails. If you’ve ever had a pedicure you know what I mean. The point when they bring out the huge rough file to help you say good-bye to all of your dead skin. Well, as my lady worked away (all the while speaking fluent something-or-other to the other little Asian lady) she immediately noticed my stiff reaction. I really tried to relax and just let her work but it was killing me! She finally asked “Tick-o? Tick-o?” I quickly replied “Yes, it tickles, a lot!” For some reason I had the absurd idea that if she realized how ticklish it was for me that perhaps she might try being more gentle or careful somehow – boy I was dreaming! She continued to torture each of my feet (along with all of my nerves too).

After the filing work out, more soaking and cream she eventually got to painting my nails. Thankfully that wasn’t uncomfortable – I was starting to wonder why pedicures were considered a ‘treat’. In time we were able to leave our souped up lazy boy chairs to sit on a couple of office chairs with our feet sitting under a giant fan (which by the way didn’t feel like a fan at all – I think it’s just there to make you think you are getting more for your dollar).

The whole experience took about an hour and a half I would say and an interesting one it was. Definitely different than any pedicure I’ve had before! At one point I thought ‘I could get used to this’ and at yet another point I thought ‘Beauty is painful man! Why do we do this?!’ overall I had mixed reactions. I will certainly do it again because there is just something great about getting your toenails painted evenly and perfectly by someone, they were so shiny – they looked fake.

I’m ok with fake every once in a while …