Restaurant Review: The Foundation

The foundationI went the The Foundation for the first time about eight years ago.  A friend of mine got some people together and we shared one of the big appetizer trays.  I remember liking some of it but not being overly impressed, especially with the service.  They’re sort of known for mediocre service at best.  But recently I’ve gone back a couple of times and I have to say, first impressions didn’t do it justice.

This place is know for being vegetarian.  Everything on the menu is plant based, except for a few things like the cheese on the nachos.  I took my mom there a few weeks ago.  She loves anything healthy, so I figured it was a good choice.  The Foundation is known for it’s nachos, so we ordered a big plate and… it was okay.  But the yam dip was fricken amazing!! I ate almost the entire plate myself, even though it was way too much for one person.  They had a good, but small, selection of beer which was just enough.

Tonight I went back and ordered the Quinoa, Chickpea and spicy peanut burger with the ‘loving side’.  I still don’t now what the lovely side, but it was some kind of seed salad in a creamy dressing that I ate fast enough that I can’t really remember how it tastes.  It was that good.  The burger was perfectly good, but when you have spicy in the menu, I expect it to almost burn my mouth off.  It was delicious, but there was no spice.

If you love healthy, plant based food, this is a must go!!  It’s completely hipster and the own that, with graffiti on the walls, thrift store furniture and waiters who are… unique.  The music was a little loud, but it made the atmosphere super casual.  I came out of there tonight feeling full without being stuffed, and like I’d just absorbed enough nutrients to make my skin glow and hair shine for the entire week!!

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Almost One Year

May 1st will mark the one year anniversary of living in my new place.  I guess after one year I can’t call it new anymore.  But it’s causing all kinds of reflections.  I spend a lot of time worried about my current self.  I’m stressed at work (in a good ‘there’s lots of work and I love it’ way).  My health seems to not always been my main focus.  My weight is a little stubborn, mostly because I’ve failed to keep up any kind of regular exercise, especially with my long work hours.  But in about 15 days, I will hit another landmark.  Living fully on my own for one full year!  Yay me!  I was so excited about it when it first came about, and even more-so when it started to happen.  I had all these plans and goals.  Have I hit any of them?

I used to dream of having my own apartment.  A tiny little bachelor suite I could be artistic with and make my own.  I look around my cute little apartment today and realize I achieved that in a big way.  I found an affordable place bigger than I expected, and I’ve decorated it to make it mine.  I mean seriously I love every corner of it.  I love the pink accents, the side tables I painted, the hutch my Nana left me that used to be ugly that I spent months sanding and re-finishing.  My picture frames on the wall, my candelabra my mom bought for my birthday, the birdcage my best friend gave me.  When I look around my apartment, I see myself everywhere and I love it.

My second goal was to live a certain lifestyle.  I’ve both succeeded and failed.  I have my routine that I love, but there are parts, like meeting my neighbours, that I never accomplished.  I suppose I want a ‘Friends’ style existence where I have people I love close-by that come and hang out, or I go over to them.  My friends are a little spread out, which is totally fine, but sometimes it’s easier to sit at home than go see them.  But one thing I have done is learned and loved my Continue reading

Family Misfortune

I am very sad to say that my last remaining grandparents is not doing very well.  My grandma on my mothers side has been a little frail and failing for months now, and recently it took a turn for the worse.  She’s a lovely old woman who cares only about her family.  Even in the hospital she says things like ‘I have nothing to complain about because I feel no pain’ and ‘the hospital staff here are wonderful’ and ‘all my family has come to see me, I’m so blessed’.  Put bluntly, she’s dying beautifully.  In her mind she’s lived a wonderful life, surrounded by wonderful people and loved just enough.  She was one of five, who had five children and those children had children, and now even those children have had children.  That side of our family is huge and super friendly.  It is a great legacy to leave.

I’m reminded of my Nana, who passed away before Christmas.  She had an ugly death.  I know that sounds cold, but it’s the only way I can put it.  She was a horrible person before her stroke, and then the stroke made it so she couldn’t speak and had a hard time moving and taking care of herself.  And she took it out on the few members of the family who she hadn’t yet driven away.  Visiting her was a chore.  You had to work up to it, prepare yourself, and have an escape plan ready in case she was particularly nasty.  When she finally passed away, it was with a certain amount of relief.  I feel horrible even typing it, but it’s the truth.  I miss her, and yes I loved her, but it’s a stress no longer part of life.  My grandmother is a totally different story.  As she’s aged, she’s made provisions for herself so that she would never have to be a burden on her family.  When she began to get old, she signed herself up for a home she liked in the area, and when there was an opening, she moved in.  She sold her apartment and made sure she had enough to pay for it herself.  Her big family would have supported her, but she always felt it was her role to make sure they were taken care of because she was capable of supporting herself.

As she got older and things became harder, she allowed her children to rally around her, but made sure it was always comfortable for them.  All she cared about was seeing everyone.  Continue reading

Morning Anxiety

AnxietyIn the last few weeks, I’ve been getting some morning anxiety.  It’s not unusual, but it is beginning to feel a little constant.  I’ve dealt with anxiety and stress before but this seems different.  I know, it’s always different 🙂  Unlike last time I felt this kind of anxiety, it’s not all the time.  It’s only in the morning.  I get up and the moment the world comes into focus, I stress.  I stress about the day and how affective I am at my job.  I stress about what I might have missed while I slept.  I just… stress.

When I get to work and sit down, it settles.  I get organize, and start going through my day.  By the time lunch comes around, I’ve stopped stressing and I feel fine.  When I go home and the day is over, I don’t seem to feel anxiety anymore.

Here’s the cycle of anxiety…

1 – I wake up and feel anxious

2 – I get in the shower and forget if I’ve washed my hair

3 – I stress about having enough time to blow-dry my hair

4 – I get ready and stress while my phone dings with constant emails

5 – I stress because I have to use the washroom but it’s time to leave

6 – My walk to work my mind goes nuts with what needs to be done

7 – I get to work, sit down, and start working.  I realize a few hours later my anxiety hasn’t really been an issue for awhile.  In fact, it will be pretty much dormant until I get up the next morning.

I have two plans to figure this one.  One, find out what it is about the pre-work day that’s making me feel like this.  Is it the fear of having missed something?  Not knowing what the day is going to bring?  The second is to start again that elusive exercise regime.

Oh I know, everyone says the the same.  Exercise will cure your anxiety.  I hate when people tell me that.  Anxiety makes you exhausted, and when you’re exhausted, you don’t want exercise.  But I’m going to just stop the voice in my head and do it.  I want to conquer my anxiety.  I love my new job and I’m doing really well.  What I need now is to stop assuming it’s work and start understanding that it’s me.  Something about me keeps getting anxious, and I need to deal with it internally instead of blaming the things around me.  I’m stressed in the morning, so I need to figure out how to combat that, and exercise is the best one.

I’m also inspired right now.  I think it’s because of the spring.  I’m inspired to start working on my self once more.  I’m in a way better place than I was last year at this time, and even before winter hit.  I feel like I’m at a good starting point to make things better, to make them amazing.

My old boss used to say something that at the time I would roll my eyes at because I was so frustrated with her.  She used to say unless we think ‘that’s amazing!’, then we’re not going to consider it.  I’d like to live my life like that.  If I’m not excited about something, then I won’t add it to my life.  Of course there are things you have to do, but there are things you don’t need to get into.  I want to go on hikes and feel alive.  I want to adopt a pet and love it unconditionally.  I want to buy on old piece of furniture and re-do it and think hell yes, I created this amazing thing!!  I want to be excited about everything.  I think adding excitement will help me to not dwell on the things that are making me anxious, because in the end, they’re really little things.  I can’t even spot them sometimes.

Sexual Harassment

sekuhara (2)I was involved in a very frustrating situation recently.  My old job, which anyone who reads this blog will know I couldn’t wait to get out of, has somehow pulled me back into a situation I feel fully uncomfortable being part of.

Here’s the sitch…

I went out to have drinks with a bunch of people from that job on a friday night.  There was one guy in particular who I hadn’t know long before leaving.  He’s a nice guy, but he’s crazy blunt and not afraid to speak his mind.  After we’d both had a few drinks, our flirting turned quite loose.  We went a little over the line with some of the things we said, but it’s important to remember that BOTH of us went over the line.  The next morning I woke up and thought ‘geeze, that got personal fast!’.

A short while later I was on the phone with a friend, another person I met while at this old job.  She’s a super nice girl and I love her, and the topic of colleagues came up.  I mentioned that this guy is super blunt, and if I were anyone else, he might need to tone it down a bit.  It was, what I thought, a normal conversation.

Fast forward a week.  I receive a text message from this guy apologizing to me.  It had been brought to his attention that some of the things he said to me had been considered inappropriate.  Wait… what????

I immediately called him, telling him at once that I had not been offended, and I couldn’t believe that this other colleague had told him.  That’s when I find out she hadn’t told him, she’d gone to the boss who had sat him down to have a meeting about sexual harassment!!!  What!!!  I was so furious that I couldn’t help myself, I called the girl colleague ready to got nuts! Continue reading

Take My Breath Away

A few weeks ago, a colleague at work wanted me to do an exercise in noticing the beauty of the world.  She said it’ll help you look up and notice the things all around you, and you’re see that the only reason things seem ugly is because you’re not looking at the beauty.  She asked me to go out into the world and take ten photo’s of things that take my breath away.

I have to admit, first I was totally unable to do so.  I think of ‘take my breath away’ as a song from top gun, and the truly epic wonders of the world.  I mean The Grand Canyon and The Colluseom in Rome.  I was looking around and could find maybe one thing that felt that epic to me, and I couldn’t figure out how to get a shot good enough to show it.

My colleague rolled her eyes at me and said I take things too seriously.  Something could take your breath away if you look at it and think ‘wow’, even in a small, insignificant way.  If you look at something and feel it’s beautiful, take a picture.

I realized that I was taking this way too seriously.  The point was to see the small things around me and find beauty in everything, and see if you have find a theme or trend.

So I went out again, this time with a new perspective.  I didn’t get the pictures all at once, but over a few days, I did end up with a collection of ten photo’s that I’ve compiled for this list.  A few appeared in my daily photo challenge, but some I kept for this.

 

I encourage you to do this as well.  It was a strange experience, but it did open my eyes to the world around me, and helped me see beauty when I felt things were ugly in life.

Car Won’t Start

car-battery-replacementBright and early Thursday morning I woke up, got ready, and casually left my apartment.  I got in my car with just enough time to get to work, turned the key, and…. nothing.  Like nothing at all.  It didn’t click, ding, light-up or flicker in any way.  It was full on dead.

Now I knew my battery was nearing the end of its life.  I’ve been expecting it to start having trouble soon.  But dead?  I thought I’d have a few mornings of hard starts, of begging my car ‘just this once!’ as it groans to life.  Anything.  Something to tell me ‘hey, get a new battery!’.  Nope, it just died.  Full on dead.  Like can’t get any deader.

Now I was annoyed.  Of course I was.  But it was worse that that day, I was supposed to drive all the way to the north shore to teach a class at a local university.  I quickly got out of the car, knowing I didn’t have time to deal with this right now, and quickly got on the bus.  Luckily I had change.

A quick Google search and a talk with a mechanic friend told me that I had killed the battery.  I could try to jump start it, but it would probably need to be replaced.

Here’s where this experience is all new.  I don’t have any car experience other than driving.  I’m not even sure I could replace my own washer fluid.  They do that when I drive in to get an oil change.  It’s not that I’m totally ignorant of the way things work, it’s just that I’m aware enough of the hundreds of tiny parts I could potentially ruin because I have no knowledge of it.  But my mechanic told me I could change the battery myself.  It’s easy.  Negative, Positive, Post – Post, Positive, Negative.  As long as I remember that order, I’ll be fine.

So I went to the local repair shop and bought a ‘fricken heavy’ battery!  Holy crap those things weight a ton!  Thankfully my mom had driven me there, otherwise I never would have gotten it all the way home.  Wow. Continue reading