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Officially part of the community

17 Aug

According to Mark, now that we have library cards, we are officially part of the Milton community. And I would have to agree with him. We visited the library last night and registered for library cards.

Mark hung around the magazines and I perused through almost all of the shelves and different departments. It’s a brand new library, very modern with new equipment. There is a lot of seating space and the furniture is clean. The children’s section is very exciting with a lot of attractions for children whereas the teens and adult sections aren’t as captivating. Clearly, their main focus is drawing children into the library. But they may be forgetting to keep teens and adults coming through those doors. Anyway, I digress… This was our haul from the library

Mark took out some magazines and I have the books. I’ve got a long train and plane ride next week so I’m sure they will keep me entertained.

On a lighter, I made a silly mistake last night. I bought glass jars from the Dollar Store for flour, rice, sugar, etc. As I was filling them, I noticed I had two bags of whole wheat flour. So I added one bag and then the second bag. As it was pouring into the jar I thought to myself: “Hmm, this flour is darker and isn’t sliding out of the bag as easily…oh uh.” That is when I realized the first bag of “flour” was in fact whey protein.

I felt bad throwing out the flour and protein so Mark just said: “Just scoop out the flour.” And that’s what I did. So we may have some protein enriched flour and some whole wheat protein. I’m sure it’ll be fine.

I’m gearing up for a 26km run tomorrow. The weather is supposed to be perfect: 21C, sunny and low humidity. Hopefully I can finish my audiobook version of Anna Karenina and move onto Oryk and Crake.

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Weekend in Connecticut

5 Jun

Mark and I spent the weekend in Middlebury, Connecticut where Mark competed in the Quassy halfRev distance (70.3 miles). We left Ottawa Friday around noon and arrived in the early evening.  Race-kit pick up was first on our list:

Saturday morning was quite the treat.  I made my very own waffle! I poured the batter onto the waffle maker all by myself!

Topped with some maple syrup with a side of scrambled eggs.  All that was missing was fruit – which was dessert.

After breakfast, we drove to New Haven to visit Yale. I was really looking forward to it. I wanted to visit a few libraries. Unfortunately it was raining rather heavily and then turned into a mist so once we arrived we didn’t venture too far away from our car just in case it started to pour again. I was able to visit one library: The Bass Library.

Both Mark and I had something to look at: I was in awe of the library and Mark was in awe of the fact everything was made of oak.

Sunday morning was the start of the triathlon.  Mark was feeling good and was not overly jittery. He had an excellent time of 5hours and 5minutes and finished 3rd in his age group! I am so proud of him.  He won a bronze medal and a fuel belt.

When Mark received his “winnings” there was a break in the clouds, thankfully.  There was a bit of a weather hold up because it came down like cats and dogs and made the field soggy and muddy.

This was not fun to walk in but we couldn’t escape it.  I ruined 1 pair of really cute shoes that I’m a little sad about.

Our weekend was really great but tiring. We arrived home at 11:30 on Sunday for an early rise of Monday morning to start the work week.

Weekend Re-Cap

15 Apr

I have many loves. I am passionate about many things. Two of my loves are: history and books/libraries. So what happens when I find something that combines all three? I am doubly in love and am consumed by it.  I recently stumbled upon a book at my public library entitled “The Swerve: How the World Became Modern” By Stephen Greenblatt.

This is a non-fiction public history book on a medieval book hunter named Poggio.  He happens upon a book that was forgotten for hundreds of year in a monastic library. It is the turning point in the events for the medieval humanists who re-claim a love for all things ancient Greek and Roman. So, at the moment I am very enthralled with this book. It is easily written so anyone can understand it. There are many references to ancient scholars but the author provides enough background about the person so the reader is not completely lost in a sea of unpronounceable names. The author includes a lot of primary source quotes which is great. Lastly, the chapters covers enough information that the load is not heavy.

I spent my Saturday afternoon at a coaching/mentoring seminar with the Ottawa Triathlon Club. We discussed the creation of training programs, how to interact with the athlete and how a training program should progress.  We covered a lot of Powerpoint slides but there are a few quotes that really stuck with me that I found were important for any athlete to keep in mind.

1) There’s the ideal [training program]; and then there’s life.
2) Lifestyle first (family, friends, school, work); triathlon second.
3) There are many ways to cross the finish line. The best way is to do it together.

So those quotes focus on the individual’s personal life and stress the importance of staying grounded.  When training for any kind of event, it is important to keep those around you happy. It’s important to keep that support system around you so you can share your success and, unfortunately sometimes, your failures. Personal relationships define us as individuals and it is so important to keep your loved ones close. The quotes also focus on community.  They encourage the creation of a community or a network of people you can talk to and refer any kind of information to. Although triathlon is not complicated the science, techniques, training and nutrition can be rocket science. So have a network of friends that you can talk to about any concerns that come up. It is also nice to train with a friend – so its encouraged to find someone with the same fitness and goals to collaborate in work outs.

This afternoon, I’m sitting in on a triathlon seminar provided by the Ottawa Triathlon Club. I am looking forward to meeting new people and gaining new knowledge that I can use while training and out on the course.

The end of the crazy-busyness

30 Mar

So I’ve been pretty busy in the last week (yet again). It feels like a re-occurring theme every week. But, things should start to slow down.

I unfortunately finished my contract with the National Capital Commission. I had been working there for seven months. I worked in a beautiful library that had not been updated since its creation. I sat at a large wooden desk that I’m sure every library in the 80’s was equipped with. But I loved it! I worked mostly independently and built a small little clientele. Regulars came in daily and I got to know a few quite well.  The NCC library is primarily a history and art/architecture library. We have very old material as well as very recent reports that are well used within the organization. We also often catered to external clients (students, researchers) who were always a pleasure to work with. I will miss the NCC library and all the people I worked with over the last few months. I will miss my large, wooden desk, the decoration card catalog shelf and all the old and rare manuscripts on display. But mostly, I will miss the work and the people. However, as they say: life goes on.  And it’s time for me to open a new chapter.

I will be working at the University of Ottawa for a few weeks on placement and then I will be done school. It is a bit of a scary thought but I am so ready!  I really want to take my knowledge learned from school and apply it! Such as the knowledge I gained from this assignment!

This is a mini exhibit we had so much fun making in a course called Special Collections. We worked with folios from a manuscript of a Book of Hours and focused on one aspect of the piece (here focused on art). We had a great time creating this and it only took 2hrs with 4 people working on it – I call it efficiency!

But now onto other things, the 10lb Shred is still going. I have not been following Tommy Europe’s meal plan but I have been controlling my portions and eating the same amount as he recommends. So despite not being the same food, it is essentially the same intake. I have been working out 6 days a week at different intensities – depending on the training. After tonight, I will have done 3 days in a row of spinning (ow! My bum!)

My first race is in 7 weeks! My training really needs to get ramped up so I am focusing on speed in all three disciplines. I will write up a training plan and share it with you! It should be posted by the end of the week.

Lunch time stroll

24 Mar

The weather was so beautiful that I needed to take advantage during my lunch break. I work near the Parliament so I decided to take a walk on the Hill. I took a few pictures – there’s just something about the Parliament that I love to photograph. I can never have too many photos from the Hill.

Ever since my first visit to the Parliament in 2005, I have been in love with this statue. For the longest time I was not aware of its history but I came across a very interesting book while I was working in the library of the National Capital Commission. It was a fairly old book that explained the history of all the statues of the Hill.  The meaning behind this one: It is named Sir Galahad and it was commissioned by William Lyon Mackenzie King in honour of his friend Henry Albert Harper who died tragically saving someone from the Ottawa River.

View from the Parliament as you walk up from the east entrance.

One interesting tidbit about the Parliament is the little housing community for cats called the Cat Sanctuary.  Cats were initially brought onto the Hill in the 1950’s to control the rodent population. They were free to roam the grounds to fulfill their duty.  Now, the rodents are removed through the use of chemicals but the cats stay. They are still free to roam the ground and come and go as they please. The houses are insulated for the colder weather. They are taken care of by volunteers and are fed through volunteer funds and some extra funding from the government. In this photo, there is one cat walking towards a food bowl (he is white and black).

This is the outside view of the Library of Parliament. It is a large and beautifully constructed library. It is used primarily by MPs and Senators. It was the only surviving structure after the fire in the early 1900’s which is very lucky because there are a lot of national treasures locked in the library. Unfortunately, it is not open to the general public. However, I am part of the library community so I have had the opportunity to visit the inside.

(This is a photo from last summer on my tour to the Libary of Parliament.)

I have continued with  my training with a really good and difficult spin class last night. I also completed my last stressful week at school – only two more weeks and I am done school!

Superhero stories

15 Mar

Someone recently recommended to me a book called The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon. I’ve only read through a few chapters but so far, it’s a great read. It’s about 2 cousins, one from Prague and the other from Brooklyn. Josef Kavalier, from Prague flees the country during the early months of the German occupation of Czech to live with his aunt and cousin in New York. Kavalier, a young escapist prodigy (during the wonder years of Houdini) is quite the visual artist as well.  So far, I’m learning about Kavalier’s past but from what I know. Both cousins create a a superhero named The Escapist who becomes as popular as Superman.

Michael Chabon writes with such ease and describes everything so beautifully.  His words are almost poetic in the sense that he does not use use just any word – it has to be the right one to fit the context.  The read is a little heavy but the story is easy to understand.

I can’t wait to get farther into this book – I can tell, it’s gonna get good!

Now onto my day 6 (almost a week!)

Breakfast: 3/4 cup oatmeal, 1/4 cranberries, 1 tsp honey (I know, I know – but it’s my favourite!)
Snack: 1/4 cup cottage, 1 apple diced
Lunch: Chicken wrap (I roasted a chicken the other day and saved it’s meat for sandwiches)
1/2 red pepper and 2 celery stalks with humus (2 tbsps)
Supper: 1 1/2 left over chili
Snack: 1 orange

I seem to be trying to become my own superhero in the last few months: working 2 jobs, school full-time, triathlon training, and keeping a social life. Which is why tonight I am taking the night off from working out. I need tonight to get my assignments organized, relax with my book, and listen to the calming rain.