Wednesday, March 20, 2013

What I Did Over March Break, Part 1

Alternate Title: How to be Cool

I wrapped up the week before March (aka Spring) Break not feeling particularly spring-y nor particularly cool. Despite a few days of glorious above-freezing respite the weekend *before* March Break started, winter is a tenacious bastard, and as I sit writing this post on the official first day of spring, I am once again looking from the inside-out at a freshly-shaken snow globe. O, Canada, indeed.

A few weeks ago, in a fit of ambition inspired by multiple viewings of "Pitch Perfect" (and probably a glass or three of wine), I signed up for DJ camp at Off Centre DJ School in Toronto. A few days after I signed up, I received email from Laura at Ladies Learning Code about an application I'd previously filled out to mentor their workshops and camps for girls, and a few emails later I had committed to spending the mornings before DJ school mentoring girls at Girls Learning Code's March Break Camp.

First let's talk about GLC camp. These girls were all amazing, and the event's organizers, Laura and Ashley, killed it. On the first day of camp the girls were editing HTML and CSS to make Love Bombs. By the end of the week each group of 4-6 girls had created an entire website full of multimedia goodness, including a logo they created using GIMP, a stop-motion animation, and photos and a video that they shot and edited. The group with which I worked most closely made this website for their cause, "Operation Rescue: 911 For Animals." Did I mention they were seriously amazing?

Next up, find out how I learned to scratch, beat match, and that time I ate pie with a 2013 Canadian Junior Champion figure skater. (And you thought I was kidding about the whole cool thing.)

Friday, March 01, 2013

Sunnymail #2

From: Sunny To: Gillian
Date: Sun, 17 Feb 2013

Really like this little valentines gizmo. It's a neat invention . Sorry if I was more than stunned yesterday. Was very tired. 'twas good to see Denise so hope I was not too off the wall. How is Lolo? Love you. Xxx,loo.Sunny
The gizmo in question is a stylus, which seems to be facilitating much longer missives.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sunnymail #1

Last Christmas, we bought Sunny an iPad, primarily to facilitate FaceTime convos with my brother in Toronto. It has not been used for that so much as for being the world's most expensive handheld Solitaire game. Recently however, Sunny (who is now 81) rediscovered email. I'm not quite sure what inspired her, given that the last email I received from her was in 2009, however, I'm glad she's honing her technical skillz. (Next thing you know she'll be on Maybe we can get her in a video with In short, her emails are too good not to share with the three of you who still have UFF in your RSS feeds.

From: Sunny To: Gillian
Date: Tue, 12 Feb 2013
Subject: Query

Just to find out if I can send a message. Think that's very clever huh ? Love Sunny

Monday, January 14, 2013

Last we spoke, I was 26 days into a 100 day project. Then, as usual, I had knee surgery and my life was derailed for a few months.

Now it's January and time for my annual three blog posts! This year I'm resolving to post once, in January. And, if you're reading this: RESOLUTION ACHIEVED. We're all very proud of me. (I'm also resolved not to have knee surgery this year. We'll see how that goes.)

I just returned from a week in New York, during which I drank approx. 8 bottles of wine, ate out at least 15 times, and partook of various Puerto Rican feasts, gracias to my/Ken's in-laws. In fact, the last night I was in town when I stopped by to say adios, the table was covered in food: Rice & beans, Dr. Pepper (!) chicken wings, and the most delicious roast chicken of all time. Even though I was on my way to meet friends for dinner, and at 9 a.m. the next day, I had to both try a wing ("It's just a wing!") and take a to-go container of food with me ("For breakfast!"). Frankly I'm surprised I didn't incur additional weight charges on the return flight.

Now that I'm back in the land of the ice and snow, I've resolved to cook more. I was feeling uninspired, but a quick Epicurious search yielded this recipe for Fracatelli with Pecorino and Mustard Greens, which looked both easy and cheap (even with ingredients from the nearby fancypants grocery store).

The verdict? Two enthusiastic forks up! I would be impressed if someone cooked this for me, and even more impressed to learn that it's possible to prepare a tasty homemade pasta dish in around 30 minutes for under $5 (I already had a hunk of pecorino and always have an ample supply of butter). I'd never heard of frascatelli before but it couldn't be easier to make, and if your pantry is better stocked than mine, you might not even need to buy semolina flour, which would bring your total down to under two bucks for the mustard greens. (I used chard instead, which tasted great, was still only $1.49 for the organic AND rainbow variety.)

Perhaps I should just resolve to cook once this year so that I could cross that one off too, and focus on avoiding trampolines and slippery floors.