Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Found My Match with Fish Hair Salon

One of the worst parts about moving all of the time, apart from not being able to own anything because packing you junk around is very expensive and bulky, is having to find a new hair stylist in every new city you live in. For most people this is not really a huge deal, but for me this is a fairly big deal because my hair is something that I take kind of seriously. I have thick, coarse and horrible hair that does whatever it wants and doesn't give two shits about what I want it to do. So when I find a stylist that can control the hair and beat it into submission like a masochistic thrill seeker, I do not want to let that person go.

Since living in Victoria, I have had a semi-successful experience in one salon but decided to give my second cut to a business that multiple people recommended to me, which is Fish Hair Salon. Basically when you call to make an appointment, you are given options of what level of stylist you want. They have people employed there who range from brand new and training (Juniors), all the way up to people who teach and train and are hair gods in the salon world (Executives). The price of the cut/colour/service depends on what level of employee you want. I think this is pretty awesome to give customers the choice like this because not only does it give the control freaks the opportunity to chose someone with lots of experience, it gives the staff who are training the chance to pick up customers who are willingly giving them a chance to practice and learn. After I explained my evil hair to the girl on the phone, she recommended me someone who she thought would be a good fit and today I went in to see what would happen.

I have had the same experience with every stylist that I meet for the first time, meaning that they are all hesitant to do something different and generally just copy what I already have. I am always hoping and wishing that one day one of them will say, "I have a great idea!" or, "I have a vision of what would look amazing on you." But it never happened. I guess I kind of thought that because they are the experts that they would be willing to open up about what might look good or what I can improve on. If I walked in with a huge 10 year old mullet, would they just agree to keep going with what I have been doing because I am comfortable with this which makes them comfortable? Always cut off the mullet if I have a mullet!

Unless it's a super sweet mullet, then let me rock it just a little longer.

Finally, today was that day when someone stepped up to the plate that I have been offering for so long. I told her that I am extremely open to suggestions and this huge smile spread across her face. I took this as a good sign. Then she said that she wanted to shave the sides and back of my head super close. To be honest, I had a mild inner panic attack. I didn't react at first as I let the idea process, but then I thought about the celebrities that I have seen that have the cut that she was suggesting and I wondered if perhaps I could pull it off too! I am the first person to push other people to do drastic things with their hair because most people aren't willing to take the risk, so I figured that it was my civil duty to do this to prove that I'm not a sissy and that I am willing to walk-the-walk.

So for the first time ever in my life, I had clippers on my head and a good part of my head got shaved. Wholy crap it was scary to feel my hair falling all down my shoulders and see it piling on my lap and around my feet. My heart was pounding harder than an agorophobic's while shopping in Walmart on Boxing Day. Overall she really did not take that much off but because my hair is so thick, it seemed like a lot of hair falling. She also assured me that she was 98% sure that I would love the cut. I liked those odds. And yes, the cut is pretty cool.

So it looks like I found my hair dresser in Victoria - and in record breaking time! Usually it takes several bad cuts before I put my faith into one person. So thanks Fish! I shall return!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

If Dog Was The Teacher

I don't know where this came from or how I came across it, but every time that I read it I cannot help but smile because every word is so very true.

"Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:

Live simply.

Love generously.

Care deeply.

Speak kindly.

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.

Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.

Take naps.

Stretch before rising.

Run, romp, and play daily.

Thrive on attention and let people touch you.

Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.

On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.

When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.

Delight in the simple joy of a long walk. 

Be loyal. 

Never pretend to be something you're not. 

If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it. 

When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently."

Friday, April 26, 2013

Hiking Around Goldstream

I have a very strange sense of curiosity. In some ways, I am the most incurious person and will accept what I am told, no questions asked.

Them - “Adrienne, the world is round.”

Me – “Cool.”

Chris thought this was a very odd trait to have because he is such an inquisitive person who cannot rest until he has researched every fact and idea that comes his way, whereas I just accept these things and move on.  There are billions and billions of questions in this world and I do not have the longevity to research everything, so I have to pick my battles when it comes to finding answers to my questions.

On the flip side of this, my personality will do a complete 180 and be incredibly curious when it comes to the outdoors. I have written posts about this problem in the past, but when I am outside hiking on an unfamiliar trail, my inquiring mind cannot rest as to where I am going. I have to know what goes where, and what will that trail lead to or if I branch off in that direction, what will I find? As soon as I am ready to turn around and head back, I will see a trail heading off in another direction and my curiosity becomes slightly overwhelmed and I just have to see where it leads to. Today is another perfect example of this.

I live very close to Goldstream Provincial Park which has a lot of hiking trails winding and twisting all throughout the mountain and area. Since the weather finally got beautiful, I decided to head out there this morning and see what it had to offer. Before I ventured up the mountain, I had a plan in mind of which trail(s) I wanted to take and I planned at least a good hour of hiking……

Three hours later I returned to my car.

I couldn’t help it! You should see it up there. The trails just keep meandering in and out of the forest and it’s just so gorgeous and peaceful and majestic! How can one simply just turn around and go home when there are miles and miles of mysterious trails to investigate? At one point I was walking along the old rail bed when I thought, “Ok, if I don’t see anything interesting after this upcoming bend, I will turn around.” But once I got around the bend, I saw a trail heading into the bush which was just the beginning of my plans getting disrupted. Then I heard water falling, which just perked my interest even more. Then about 10 minutes later I found the waterfall and my heart leapt into my throat because it was so stunning that it took my breath away.

The east coast is a gorgeous area to see and I am thankful that I got to experience its beauty. The smell of the ocean, bright green pastures, endless beaches and amazing red sand is definitely something that should be experienced by anyone who has the opportunity. But when I am in the mountains in BC, I am always completely overwhelmed with the beauty around me. The smell of moist earth, moss, cedar trees, fresh water and just the whole alpine wilderness around me, is easily one of my favourite things in the entire world. Yes, even the skunk cabbage brings a smile to my face because it is just another part of the whole experience.

But the absolute best part of the hike was when I was climbing into this one area on the Arbutus Ridge, and I began to hear frogs croaking. As I climbed higher and higher into the area, the sound of them became louder and louder and it soon became all that I could hear. As the trail leveled out, I found a swampy area just packed full of chirping frogs and I wish I could have recorded the noise they produced because it was just remarkable. I crouched down to watch them and as I did this, it was as though someone had hit mute because they all became dead silent when they realized my presence. I laughed and walked away from the area, only to hear them slowly begin again as I got further and further from the area. How can one not smile like a fool in a moment like that? 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Jurassic Park 3D

In no particular order, here are some of my favourite all-time movies: Fight Club, Forrest Gump, The Wedding Singer, American History X, Baseketball and Jurassic Park. Action, romance, thriller, suspense, comedy...I like them all. Except horror. I can't handle horror movies. They freak me out far too badly to even attempt.

About 2 weeks ago when I saw the trailer for Jurassic Park 3D, I nearly peed my pants in excitement. The original came out 20 years ago when I was just 9 years old. I remember everyone in my family going to the theatre to see it, but I was "too young" so I stayed home. Me? The dinosaur lover had to stay home? Yeah, I got gypped on that one. Still though, it remains one of my all-time favourite movies because it is just awesome. The movie was just so big, intense and jammed packed full of action, adventure, science and best of all, dinosaurs! There was nothing even remotely close to the caliber of what they were attempting with Jurassic Park in movies back then, in terms of bring these giant creatures to life and making them look so real and frightening.

They've been bringing old movies back to theatres in the form of 3D, such as Titanic (no one would go see it with me), Finding Nemo and Beauty and the Beast, which is kind of cool because it gives you a different look at the classic movies that we all love so much. But like I said, when I saw that Jurassic Park would be coming to theatres, and in 3D, I knew that I could not pass up the chance of seeing it on the big screen for the first time ever in my life.

So today I took Grayson to the theatre to see it, and I was not disappointed! I was a little worried that Grayson might be scared considering he is only 7 years old, but him and Jaime both assured me that he'd seen it many times before and that it would be no problem. And yeah, apart from the scene with T-rex and the jeeps, he took it really well. Hell, even though I knew what was going to happen, my heart was pounding in a few scenes too!

The whole experience of seeing it all so big and in 3D was just very cool. You could see every crevice in the creature's skin, every curve of every leaf in the jungle and every drop of sweat on the actor's faces. When the velociraptor was jumping up to try to get Lex's leg as she was dangling from the ceiling - I jumped back about 6 inches in my seat! A lot of people criticize bringing back movies in 3D because sometimes the 3D isn't all that great or isn't consistent throughout the film, but I think that they did a really great job with this film and I applaud them for letting me see it in such a way that made me see and notice things that I never did previous times.

Plus, twice I heard lines that I had never heard before! I've seen that movie countless times, practically know if off by heart and for some reason today I was able to hear these 2 lines and it shocked me because it was unexpected. Maybe I'd just never watched it loudly enough.

1) "I hate climbing. I hate trees. Way too high."

2) "Big Tim...the human piece of toast."

How have I never heard these before? Well, the first one is when Dr. Alan is climbing the tree to save Tim from the car that went over the wall and he's kind of muttering it under his breath as he's going up. But the second one, I have no excuse how I never heard that line before. It's a pretty epic line and I love it and I am sad that it took me 20 years to acknowledge it's presence in the movie.

Several times today as I watched the movie, I really took the time to appreciate the acting involved in this movie, especially with the kid actors. The acting is really great and these people had to act absolutely terrified throughout most of the movie, which must have been difficult to do considering there were no actual scary creatures chasing them who wanted to tear them limb from limb.

And I hate to say it and maybe it's just because I'm older and can appreciate him more...but is it just me or does Dr. Malcolm look pretty sexy laying on that table in the control room after being attacked by the T-rex?

Friday, April 5, 2013

Starbucks Bermuda Triangle

I am not the first person to admit this strange phenomenon, but what is it about Starbucks that makes me so damn productive?

Back in university, one of my roommates always went to Starbucks to get her assignments done. I would never scoff her or judge her or anything of the sort, because we all work differently and some people can function very well in busy, loud and distracting environments. She would go there and spend all day doing work (plus some socialization of course since Charlottetown is a tiny town and meeting up with multiple people you know in a Starbucks is highly likely.) I never knew how she did it.

Me, I always knew that I needed peace and quiet to get my school work done. When I am at home, it's all about closed doors with no TVs or radios going in the house to distract me. If there is any kind of background noise going on while I am doing homework, I'd might as well just tear the paper in half and leave the house to go for a walk, cause I ain't getting no work done. It's very frustrating because I try and try to ignore the noises, but my brain will always wander to the slight distraction instead of focus on what is in front of me.

Then one day, I went to Starbucks with my lap top. I really just wanted to get out of the house and drink some delicious coffee, so the excuse of going to a coffee shop with my school stuff made it justifiable. As long as I had good intentions of getting shit done, then all was good in my world if I accomplished nothing more than people watching and sipping a comforting Americano.

But then something magical happened. I destroyed my school work and did a pretty awesome job at it! It was as though I was in the Starbucks Bermuda Triangle where the music, espresso machine, chatty workers, gossipy customers and noise from the street all came together to create this symphony which made me buckle down and get my work done. What was going on? Why is this happening?

Because Jaime is surprising her fiancee with a private chef and cooking his birthday meal as I type (I know right!?! Lucky guy), I wanted to make myself scarce from the house today so I packed up my stuff and have been hiding from the house all day. After some wandering around and a deep tissue massage at the local Oriental Therapy Clinic (mmmmmmm, it was lovely) I have now been sitting here in Starbucks for over 3 hours and have accomplished more school work today than I have in the past 2 weeks. I'm sitting at a tiny table that is only large enough to hold my computer and my coffee cup, and my textbook and binder are balancing on a chair beside me.The rest of the tables are packed full of people; friends catching up on each other's lives, babies crying in their strollers and workers walking around clearing empty cups, washing tables and talking on their headsets to the people in the Drive-Thru. There is so much bloody noise right now, and yet I am highly productive. Like I said...Starbucks Bermuda Triangle.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Parents Visit!

I am a totally terrible daughter for not blogging about this yet, but my parents were here last weekend and it was great having them in Victoria with me! They were awesome enough to pack up some the essentials that I had to leave behind in Trail (such as my summer tires) and drive it over the mountains through some crazy snowy weather and onto the island. Trying to decide what to do while my parents were here was tough since I am new to the area myself and have yet to discover my own personal favourite features to show people who are visiting. I knew that they wouldn't want to be spending a bunch of money on going out to eat, so I wanted to find some places that were new to me, but had great local reviews.

Then I thought to myself, where is a place that I gotta eat? Then my brain went into corny tourist mode and I hit the internet to see if "You Gotta Eat Here" or "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" have ever gone to any local places that I would be interested in trying out. We decided to try John's Place which is a tiny local restaurant on Pandora Ave that is famous for its scratch cooking and homestyle menu (with many twists to make it not like what momma used to make). I had the Salsa Chorizo Benny, served on the amazing cornbread with a monster bowl of fruit on the side, and moaned in delight with every bite. The coffee wasn't very good, but my plate of food made up for that. I don't think mom and dad enjoyed their meal as much as I did mine, but I'd definitely go again to try many other things on the menu that peaked my interest. I really wanted the Ragin' Vegan Burrito but it was sold out, so I'll have to get it next time.

The second place we went to a couple nights later was Bin 4, which is another locally owned restaurant that specializes in burgers that are made with local ingredients, no hormones and good quality meats. I've been wanting to go to this place since I heard about it, since they have 2 kinds of lamb burgers, and I love me a lamb burger. I had the "My Big Fat Greek Burger" and it was really tasty! Not as tasty as the one from the Wooden Monkey in Halifax which I would step over my own sister to have again (kidding! kidding!), but still a good choice for anyone who likes lamb in the form of a burger.

See my dad, who LOVES burgers and I don't know of anyone who appreciates a burger as much as him, said that his burger at Bin 4 was in the top 3 burgers that he has ever eaten. Now. That's pretty huge. I don't remember the name of the specific burger that he got and it was a daily special so it's not on the regular menu, but this information about my dad alone should tempt you to try this place out.

While the folks were here, dad and I did a few good walks/hikes. One of them was up Mount Finlayson which is up by Bear Mountain, which is the area where they were staying while here. We've hiked some pretty good sized mountains, and this one is not big at all (just shy of 1400ft), so we figured it would be no big deal at all to climb one morning. Didn't research it, didn't look into it too much, just got up early Sunday morning, got into some walking gear and headed up. We didn't start at the point of the trail that most people take, so we missed this sign,

And this sign too,

And ended up climbing a pretty scary and trecherous trail. Like, I'm talking skinny scary pathways, steep and slippery rock faces, fallen tree, exposed roots to trip over, lose stones paths and areas where we would completely lose the trail and have to wader around looking for the way to go (orange markers on the rocks) without falling off the edge of the mountain.

All in all, it only took a little over an hour and a half to do the round trip which isn't all that long at all, plus we stopped to take bunch of photos, but the incline and grade of that trail was not at all what we were expecting. From the bottom, it really didn't look like much at all. Never judge a mountain by it's cover people!