Well now dear LJ, it's been a while, hasn't it?
In fact it's been just over 3 months since my last journal entry. And for that, I apologize.
You see, I got a little distracted.
On March 19th, 2 days after that last entry, my Paul took me out, and we celebrated our One Year anniversary. He also asked me to marry him!!

So I got engaged!!

I also finally escaped from working at the bookstore, and was able to start full time at the most awesome toy store on the planet.
And, honestly, I can't say much else has happened since then. I've just been busy hunting for dresses and a place to hold the wedding, and writing a journal entry kept being the last thing on my list of things to do.

I can't promise to write regularly, or remember to post all those photos that I keep wanting to post...but I will certainly try my gosh darn best to do so more regularly. In fact, as I write, I'm waiting for Arizona pictures to upload to Flickr, and then onwards to uploading pictures from Emerald City. And a few other fun ones as well :D
Yesterday I got a new cellphone, because the old LG Eve up and died on me while updating the software...or rather, the program doing the software update crashed, and there was NO FAILSAFE. So I lost everything and was stuck with a $73/month plan and no phone for about a week....but I got a new Blackberry Torch yesterday, and it seems to be a nice phone. I suspect I'll want to badger the phone company about switching up my plan, however, since some of the apps on the phone don't work because I don't have a social media plan, I have a voice/text/data plan. *fail*
Once I figure out the email, BBM, etc, on this thing, it should be a pretty good phone. The phone company has screwed me around too much for it to be crappy!!
While I was away from LJ, an entire half season of Doctor Who has aired and been watched - I'm...I still love my Doctor, don't get me wrong, but this feels much different than the last 5 seasons. Although I TOTALLY CALLED RIVER SONG!!! I KNEW IT!!... But here's hoping the next half of the season, later in the fall, keeps me happy. I'm not sure how I feel about the Doctor being in the middle of a war though.
I've also been watching Game of Thrones, based on the books by George RR Martin - and I LOVE it!! HBO is doing an excellent job! I'll be watching the last episode of the season tonight, and hopefully I'll get my hands on a copy of the book to read soon.
Showcase, a Canadian channel, also just started broadcasting a new comedy series called Almost Heroes, and I'm really enjoying that too. It's about two brothers who inherit their Father's comic book shop. One, total nerd-geek, has worked in the store since they were kids, and loves every moment of it. Not really business savy, but he knows his bifs from his ka-pows. The other brother has been away failing law school, but does know a bit more about business and how it should run - and comes up with the idea of putting in a coffee bar to help bring in business to the comic shop - it helps that he knows a bit about running a coffee shop as well. ;) Although significantly more suave and less-dweeb, he still knows his geeky genres. The two characters play nicely off each other, and the show is filled with Canadian actors and actresses, so I'm pretty pleased with it so far. If you can get it, watch it!!
Anyways, look forward to some photo filled posts! Arizona and Emerald City will be up first, and then maybe some cooking, and some other random stuff :D

Updates & Japan

I have a nice big pile of pictures to show off from Arizona and Emerald City Comicon (both trips were AWESOME, fyi) - I just have to actually upload them to Flickr, so that I may share them here :P
I also have a fun cooking experiment, with pictures, to share....again, I need to upload the pictures to Flickr.

But today I need to share Japan with you.
I love Japan, and have many, many amazing memories from time spent there. In the future I really want to visit there again. It has a special spot in my heart, and I feel oddly at home there, for a crazy white westerner.

But, obviously, right now, thats not such an amazing idea - not so easy to go backpacking through a country thats been devastated by Earthquakes, Tsunami's, Volcano eruptions, and Nuclear meltdowns. All in the span of one week.
In my trolling of the Youtube videos that have been coming up since this all started last week, I keep seeing people saying that all of this is the work of God, that Japan deserved what has happened because they're all atheists/whale hunters/sinners/evil war villains, etc.
Well, I'll have you know, there are Christians in Japan.
Not all Japanese hunt whales.
There are millions of people in Japan, not all of them are sinners - in fact there are millions of very nice people there.
And, if you think Japan needs to pay for what happened during World War II, I'll point you in the direction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Damn certain they've already paid the price there.
So, all I can ask right now is that you remember that the people in Japan are human. Just like you and me.
No, Japan isn't a third world country - but if you think that means they don't need the help of the rest of the world over, to recover from this - I'd have to say you're very wrong.
This video is proof of that: 

So my request to you: Find your nearest Red Cross, or equally trustworthy charity who's fundraising to help Japan out, and donate whatever you can spare.
If you live in Canada, you can text ASIA to 30333 and donate $5 to the Canadian RC from your cell phone - it gets added on to your monthly phone bill. (http://www.redcross.ca)
If you live in the USA, you can text REDCROSS to 90999 and donate $10 to the American RC from your cell phone - it gets added to your monthly phone bill. (http://www.redcross.org)
If you live in the UK, I don't know if you can text to donate or not, but you can contact the British Red Cross for more information (http://www.redcross.org.uk)
There is also an English-language Japanese Red Cross website here: http://www.jrc.or.jp/english/index.html

Cooking Experiments 1: Yam Pancakes

 I figure I'll start a series of posts journaling my experiments with cooking. 

Here is the first of what will presumably be many, (if I remember). (I apologize for lack of photo...I didn't really think of this until after I had eaten everything.)

(I will note: The Boyfriend feels that when, in the distant future, I become pregnant, he fears what my cravings will be, because he thinks I have a weird taste in food....sometimes, I can't argue - I did put cinnamon and sugar on my perogies the other day, after all.)

Today I had a craving for Okonomiyaki. I didn't have the right ingredients (cabbage, dashi, furikake, bonito flakes, etc). However, I did have yams, and flour, and lots of eggs.

I love yam fries, don't get me wrong, but eventually you have to mix it up a little bit.

Sooooo, with lack of a grater (no idea where that went), a big cup of rum-hot chocolate, and a sharp knife, and a few looks at recipes for sweet potato pancakes (which all call for onions, yuck), I started 'er up.

Amy's Sweet Yam Pancakes

I used:

1 medium sized yam
4 eggs
2 1/2 tablespoons* Flour
1 dollop* of rice milk
2 teaspoons* of sugar
a dash* of cinnamon
and a teaspoon* of vanilla
margarine (or oil)
a couple dashes* of salt
1 Mixing bowl
1 plate
Something for beating batter.

Makes 2, dinner-plate-sized pancakes

* - When I say tablespoon, teaspoon, etc, it's really an approximation - I used a spoon for the table (tablespoon=soup spoon?), the tea spoon in the sugar bowl (teaspoon = small spoon), and a dash was basically how much came out of the shaker when I shook it once. A "Dollop" was the amount I felt I needed, and has no real world measurements, it wasn't alot though.
When I experiment, I don't normally use measuring spoons - I generally go with what looks and feels right. Intuition.

1. So, I started with the yam. Since I had no grater, I very carefully sliced the yam up as thin as I dared without cutting my fingers off. Not as thin as I would have gotten with the grater (which suited me just fine, turned out very well.) I put my thinly sliced up yam onto my plate.

2. Once I had the whole yam sliced up (it took approximately one episode of Mythbusters), I mixed up the batter. First I cracked 4 eggs into a bowl. Then I dumped 1 tablespoon of flour into the eggs and (slowly) started to mix it into the eggs. Once I had mixed it in a little better, I beat it until the yolks were well beaten. The flour didn't completely dissolve like I wanted it to, but I figured it was because I used a fork, not an egg beater. Next I added my dollop of rice milk (I'm allergic to milk, so feel free to use your own alternative...I suggest cow/goats milk, almond milk, or soy milk - rice isn't as thick as those three), sugar, vanilla and cinnamon, and mixed it in. I then slowly mixed in the last 1.5 tablespoons of flour.
I tried to get the bits of flour as small as possible, and made sure not of them were popping into dry flour before I stopped my mixing.

3. Next I heated up my frying pan (a non stick one, I don't know if that makes any difference.), I set it to just under medium heat. Just in between quarter heat and half heat.)

Now, this might seem fattening and gross to some...or, if you were raised like me, it might seem perfectly normal. Either way, feel free to use something else. I used margarine. You can use butter, or any sort of oil - whatever suits you.)

Anyways, I melted a good amount of margarine in my frying pan, and added salt to it. Not a lot, just a fine sprinkling in the bottom of the pan.

4. Next I tossed approximately half of my sliced up yam into the pan, and let them cook for about 15 minutes, covered, stirring it a few times with my spatula, until it was slightly browned.

5. Once slightly browned, I added my batter mix. I let it cook, uncovered, for about 1.5 minutes. I used my spatula to lift the edges to see when the underside was cooked enough, and then (very carefully) flipped it over to cook the other side for about 1.5 more minutes. (You can cook it longer, if you feel the need, or less...depending on the heat of your frying pan....it should only get lightly browned at max.)

6. Repeat 4 & 5 for the second pancake.

7. To eat, I chose to melt margarine on my pancake, and sprinkle an unhealthy (read: not a small amount) amount of sugar on top.

Things I would do differently next time:
I would use either soy or almond milk.
I would mix the flour with the milk first, and add the eggs after.
I would also use 3 eggs instead of 4, which I feel would create a higher yam ratio to the batter. More yam = better.

I chose to use sugar, vanilla and cinnamon as my flavorings to create a sweeter experience (yams are naturally sweet, so this just boosts the sweetness) - I'm certain more savory herbs and spices would be just as good. In the past, I've used paprika and curry to spice my yam fries, so it would be equally good in a yam pancake I'm sure.

Overall rating: - AWESOME!

Recipe followed: None. Used various potato pancake recipes for a guideline, but in general used my own intuition and personal tastes to create my masterpiece.

Next time: Maybe okonomiyaki?
Billy & Penny


The holidays have been good to me. My parents gave me a RED Wii, which was one of the few things I really wanted. The others were slippers - which I got....and Doctor Who Season 5. I had to buy Doctor Who myself, although really my Aunt paid for most of it, since she sent me a big ol' Chapters gift card, and I ordered it from the Chapters website.

And, as a wonderful Christmas present, Paul's Grandma decided to pay for us to fly out to Arizona for a weekend, because she really wants to meet me.

I'm pretty excited about the trip - I love travelling, I've never been to Arizona, and I get to meet the woman that Paul fondly refers to as Turbo Grandma. We're going over the Valentines weekend. We're going to check out his favorite restaurant while we're there, Haus Murphey's, which is apparently a German restaurant (this makes sense, Paul is of mostly German heritage.).

We're also going to go to a Pheonix vs Washington (DC) NHL game, which is exciting, since we both like hockey (Paul about 100x more than me...But at least I like it.) - this is pretty cool, simply because instead of $70-300 for one crappy seat at a Canucks game, we're paying about $40 each, and we'll be able to move down to better seats, since the arena there never fills up.

Obviously we're going to spend time with Turbo Grandma, and she even wrote to me asking me what it was I wanted to do while I was down there. I told her anything to do with history would make me happy.

I think the only think I'm not looking forward to is the actual process of getting there. It's not the flying - I quite enjoy the flying part. It's the going through piles and piles of security to get on the plane that bothers me. I haven't flown anywhere in the States, but the last time I flew within Canada, the security was already pretty fierce - and this is Canada! And I keep hearing about how strict the security has gotten down there...the American Government (Not Americans themselves), have gotten waaaaaaaaaay too paranoid.
I had bad dreams the other night about being frisked and then being pulled into an interrogation room for absolutely no reason. (I'm getting paranoid about them being paranoid! Guh.)

Anyways, expect many photos (from my new camera!) when I come back!

The meeting of Pauls parents went very smoothly, and I felt very comfortable with his family. We all got along quite well, and I like them alot. I hope it doesn't take as long to get down there for a second visit, as it did for a first one :)

I also, at Karens prompting, started knitting a hat. It's going pretty well, now that I've fixed the several different mistakes that I made at first. I also picked up sock yarn (why is basic sock yarn so expensive?!...) so that I can try knitting socks as well, when I've finished the hat up. :)

And, final thing, best buddy posted this to his facebook, and I love it:

It reminds me of The Master :)

Frohe Weihnachten!

 ...Er, meaning, Merry Christmas! Hope you're all doing well!

I never beat NaNo this year. Too much stuff on my plate. Oh well!

I decided to learn German. Only, I'm terrible at self-teaching...I bought about 4 books, plus a dictionary, and very slowly I am in fact learning German.
What made me take this on, you ask?
Well, Paul is German. Well, American-born German. Granted he doesn't speak German. But we plan on travelling to Germany at some point, for Oktoberfest, so it's probably useful - trying to talk to people who are drunk, in anything but their native language might be difficult.

Oh, oh, oh! I saw Sara Barielles LIVE!! And she was AMAZING!! My cellphone takes crappy photos, so there aren't any of the event, but she was just amazing! Her two openers were Holly Conlan, who was amazing herself, and Cary Brothers, who is, in fact, one man, not a bunch of brothers. He was pretty awesome as well.
At one point Paul got up to go to the washroom, and came back with a signed CD from Holly Conlan for me - he's so sweet :) She signed it Happy Birthday as well, and later when Paul brought me back to meet her, she knew who I was instantly, and told me Happy Birthday. She was really nice. 
Cary Brothers was nice as well, Paul dragged me over to meet him as well, and they stood there talking for a good ten minutes. (He knows who Paul is, as Paul used to do music/concert reviews, and had seen Cary in concert before) And then he signed a poster to both of us. :D 
I had a nice little hang over the next day, combined with being deluxe-sick. Reminder to self, never combine cold medicine with alcohol. I felt sick anyways without making that silly mistake.

Collapse )

Later the same week we went and saw another concert, Jason Collett, with Ian, the pastor at Paul's church. He's a good guy, him and Paul spent most of the trip there and back talking about records and recording and music. Ian, aside from being a pastor, also has his own independent recording studio.

Jason Collett was pretty cool to see live, his tour right now is all in small off-the-beaten-track venues. So, this particular venue was the Biltmore Cabaret in Vancouver. Certainly not the Commodore Ballroom, thats for sure.
His two opening acts were....meh, at best. The first girl I felt like I was listening to nails on a chalkboard, and the second guy was mediocre at best.
But then Jason Collett came on, and it was awesome. Perhaps not the best for sound quality, in this venue, but his talents exceeded the venue and it didn't really matter. He is one of Canadas best folk singers for a reason.
I got one of his t-shirts after the show, and he was running his own merch table, which was crazy and awesome all at the same time. He was really nice when I got my shirt as well. :)
This deer had beer sunglasses. Possibly the most unique venue ever, in terms of decor, at least.
Decor at the biltmore

The other night I had a weird dream. I don't know how it came about, since I didn't have Star Wars on the brain before I went to bed, no anything to do with time travel...but here is what I remember.
I was going around this military base, either rebel or empire, not sure which, but we were riding around in a military truck. Not a speeder, a truck. With wheels. This part was one of the more vivid parts, because I distinctly remember looking up and being in awe as we traveled underneath the big AT-ATs - and there were lots of them. Paul, when I told him about this, suggested that, if in fact it was a rebel base, that they were stolen AT-ATs. 
Anyways, I was going around this base trying to track down these Jedi that had appeared, and I was the only one who knew who they were and where they were from. Apparently they had all been thrown forward in time, like, from pre-Old Republic era - when there was a plethora of Jedi around. But the time when the dream took place, was post-original trilogy era - so anyone who saw them was terrified of them, and no idea how to deal with them.
Anyways, one part of my dream didn't involve me, it was an aerial view of the Jedi fighting with people in some sort of hall. Paul seemed to think that the fact that I wasn't physically present in this part, is an indication that I'm not self centered. The simple fact that I have a blog, and I write about myself, must indicate that I am, actually, on some level, sort of self centered though, so I'm not so sure about his comments.
Of course shortly after that, my phone went off from a text message from Paul, and I woke up.

It's getting to that point in my relationship with Paul, where both sides the family field are itching to meet us. His entire family seems pretty curious about me, and to be honest, I've never felt like so many people want to meet me. It's slightly intimidating. My parents aren't quite so anxious...but they are getting tired of hearing all about this fantastic guy, yet never having met him. They get the first encounter, however, since they have an easier schedule to work with. So after work on Sunday, we're meeting them for dinner. Dear God, please don't let my Mother embarass me. I'm not too concerned about my Dad, but my Mum, .... yeah.

So far, first meeting with his family....well, technically it's not their first time meeting me is it? I met them, and his brother and sister in law, at Easter. Mind you at that point we were still only weeks into our relationship, and so to prevent them questioning me and him, he simply called me his Lady friend, and left it at that. I wonder if they'll remember me. Haha. "Second" meeting is certainly more official, but so far, all I know is that I'm welcome to see them on Christmas, but I probably won't, 'cause, you know, I want to see my own family. He invited me to the family get together in January, and thats all arranged...although we both want to get the first meeting done with before the end of the year. Ah well, it'll happen eventually.

It seems slightly old fashioned, I guess. And a bit weird to me, all my previous relationships, family meeting was all done and handled by the end of the first month. It's been 9 months with Paul, and only now is it happening for us. Hmm.

And that is a nice long update on where my life is right now. I can't promise another update before Christmas, but there will probably be one shortly after, or perhaps after New Years.

I might be crazy...

Working 6 days a week.
Generally out and about doing things on the 7th.
D&D more than once a week, and books to be read and games to be played.

And I STILL want to take on NaNoWriMo this year????

Okay, okay, maybe my life isn't as busy as some other peoples lives are....but it's far more busy than normal for me at least.

Thankfully, I have my trusty EEE PC, which has a word processor. Which means I can write any time, anywhere. I am rather doubtful that I'll actually manage to beat NaNo this year....but you never know, right???

So far as I can tell, if I actually sit down and write for an hour a day, maybe I'll actually get in the habit of writing regularly, and manage to write something and finish it! Wouldn't that be something?... If I finish a novel, and I'm confident enough about it, I think I might even debate submitting it to a publishing house.

On a side note: Boyfriend Paul is super awesome, and makes me so happy its stupid. :)
Anyways, it's almost time for Big Bang Theory, so I'm going to watch that, and get some writing done afterwards!
nightmares forever

I ain't Dead, yet.

I'm not dead.

My computer, however, is, at least for now.

It's been nonfunctional now for about a month, but only last week did I bother to actually sit down and try to fix the blasted thing. Turns out I need to reinstall the operating system, or install a new one. Yaaaaay! Only one minor problem with all that - I have no idea where the system disc is that came with the thing. So that leaves me with the option of upgrading to Windows 7. Which isn't so bad, but it costs a pretty penny.
My Dad had the brilliant idea to purchase a multilicence version, so that we can upgrade all three computers in the house, and it'll cost us all less per computer. Sounds good too me - I'd rather pay $80, than $130, thats for sure.

So what, you ask, am I writing from?
Well, a year (or was it two?) ago, when I opened up my new bank account, they were having a promo where if you opened up a new bank account, they would give you a free eeePC - which is a very small, compact, Linux-based, laptop.

I rarely use the thing because it is really small, and really all its good for is internet browsing, and some basic word processing (guess what I'm using for NaNoWriMo?!)...

Not so bad, I guess. But useless if I want to watch YouTube videos, play music, play games of any sort, edit graphics, etc. Which is all the other stuff I do with my computer, other than word processing and internet browsing.

On a random note, why is it so hard to find a white jumpsuit? I was planning on doing a Princess Leia on Hoth costume for Halloween - but can I can the bits I need anywhere? noooo - and do I have the time or patience to make the thing from scratch? Not at all.

So I'm going with pixie-dust pixie instead. Which means sparkley glittery shiney! <3 YAY! I'm going to try and find a cheap silver dress to tear apart at Value Village in the next week, along with some wings. I got some glitter hair spray and glitter gel from Zellars today - and nearly got a set of sparkly fake eyelashes, until I saw they were $9.99....yeah, no. Too expensive for Halloween. At least with a Leia costume, or my Doctor costume, I know I'd use them again in the future for conventions and such, so worth putting a bit more money into - but pixie-dust pixie is a one-time only thing - so the less money spent, the better.

I'll post pictures after Halloween, when I get the chance.

Anyways, there you go - I haven't forgotten you Live journal! Not yet!
time travel save planets

Oh, hello!

I suppose it's been a while, hasn't it?

This weekend I'm going to a family reunion. I've never been to a family reunion. What does one normally do at a family reunion? What does one pack to go to said reunion?

Truth be told, I'm not really all that excited to go. I really want to see a few of my cousins, and one of my Aunts I'm always happy to see....but the rest of them I don't know all that well, and I'm always awkward around people I don't know very well.

At least I get a holiday. And I didn't have to pay for the bus tickets. So no loss of money on my part, except what I spend while I'm there.

... I wonder if my Auntie Rose will make Saskatoon berry pancakes? She makes them sooooo well, and I dream of them for months after I come home after visiting her. Ah, I'm drooling right now just thinking of it!

I'm sort of debating throwing a Shakespeare play in my bag, and gathering everyone together to put on a crazy version of one of the Bards plays.

Things I need, need, need to remember to bring along:
Camera, and extra batteries.
Cell phone & charger.
MP3 Player, and charger.
DS, a couple games, & charger.
A book.
Clothing, obviously.

I'm debating throwing some sewing in my bag...but I'm not sure, working on stuff in a moving vehicle never works out too well.

Also, after making a few stuffed animals and toys and such, I've been debating turning this hobby into some sort of profit. Nothing too big - nothing that will consume my life. I don't want to be sitting at home making stuffed animals every night because I have a list of people who've paid for something.
If I did this I would make a few, put 'em up for sale, and only make more if those ones sold. Everything would be unique - maybe one or two would be based off a pre-set pattern (like the super kritters), but normally most of the kritters I make, are all one of a kinds anyways. Even the ones that come from the same pattern, look completely different.
Not sure though, it could be something to try. But the online crafting world is HUGE, and it's very hard to get anywhere with anything. Maybe I'll make some for a craft fair this fall and see what happens. Easier to sell to someone standing in front of you anyways.

AND, of course, no entry is complete without some Doctor Who reference.

I adore Matt Smith, and he has officially overtaken David Tennant as my favorite Doctor. Tennant I adored because he was quirkier than Eccleston, and Smith, by far, is a billion times quirkier than Tennant. And, well, I adore quirky. Now,  just need my chance to talk to Smith for 5 seconds on a random Brit radio station and I'll be set. ;)

Geronimo? You betcha!

You know, at the end of End of Time, I wasn't all too sure of how I would like Matt Smith as the Eleventh incarnation of the Doctor. But now that I've watched all there is to see so far of the new series, I'm re-hooked. (Actually, I just realized what day it is. I need to download the latest episode.)

David Tennant is still My Doctor. He will always be My Doctor.

But, Matt Smith is squeezing in there to take second place, booting Paul McGann to third place.

I wasn't certain about Stephan Moffatt taking the reigns either, but after seeing last weeks episode with the Weeping Angels, I am convinced that I will not be disappointed. Every previous episode that Moffatt has written, I've thoroughly enjoyed, so I'm certain he's going to keep up the good work.

I'm really excited - in three weeks Toy Traders is getting the new action figures in - and I am so pouncing on them at the earliest possible moment. If I can score a second Doctor for Paul as well, I will, but if I get Eleven and Amy Pond for myself, I will be so ridiculously happy.

Speaking of Amy Pond, I recently bleached my hair out - and it turned out fairly reddish orange (that's what happens when you already had dye in your hair before bleaching it.) - and my co-worker has dubbed me Pond as a result.

On a slightly related side note: I converted my special gentleman friend into a Dr Who fan. :D
Dr Horrible Evil Laugh

Dr Horrible 2?

Well, I was talking about Dr. Horrible with the DM, and remembered hearing rumors about a second Dr. Horrible.
So, out of curiosity, I went and asked Google.
Google claims people think that Joss Whedon is selling out and making a major film out of Dr. Horrible 2.
But, really, the interview with Neil Patrick Harris that everyone keeps quoting, doesn't give a proper answer either way.

This is what the various sites keep quoting, from an MTV interview.
Apparently they're making a 'Dr. Horrible' sequel - a feature film... I don't know of what scale. They're talking all options, because they made the first 'Dr. Horrible' in five days on no budget at all - that was its intention. You don't want to necessarily make the feature film be an $80 million giant movie, because it defeats the purpose of what the first film was made to be [but] then again, you don't want it to be so low-brow that it's not worth paying money to see as a movie.

So, read what you will into it, but I don't think NPH knows, and that probably means Joss doesn't know just yet either.
Shooting is apparently set for a break in filming How I Met Your Mother's 2011 season. ... That could be wrong, of course.

No matter what format Dr. Horrible comes out in, I'll be excited!!
I want to know what adventures Dr. Horrible has in the Evil League of Evil.
... Although, it won't be quite the same if they release it as a feature film, as opposed to the small format and down-low of the original Dr. Horrible.