Adventures of Araleith

“Life is uncharted territory. It reveals its story one moment at a time.”

Frogs!

One of my frogs!

One of my frogs!

 

More of my frogs!

More of my frogs!

A few weeks ago, I decided to finally get frogs to put in my fishtank. So my sister and I went to the fish store to get African Dwarf frogs. They didn’t have any, because the newts that normally are peaceful tank-sharers with the African frogs ate them all.

So I got spotted floating frogs (aka Indonesian floating frogs) instead. They eat live food (pinhead crickets) which was weird at first, but I am used to it now. Having to feed and care for my pets’ food (no broccoli or spinach for the crickets, unless I want to poison my frogs, only stuff like romaine lettuce and carrots and sweet potato) is also kinda funny to me.

My cat finds the frogs incredibly fascinating. It makes me laugh a lot. They mostly just float around the tank, but feeding time is always an event.Lots of swimming then.

I have named them after Wizard of Oz characters, although I will admit not being sure if Dorothy is actually a girl or not. I also don’t know if Tin Man, Scarecrow and Cowardly Lion are boys, either.

How do you tell gender on frogs? I have no idea.

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Adventure planning!

I don’t often go on adventures that need planning, other than my yearly week long camping trip with my family, and that doesn’t require much on my part other than packing clothes and other necessities, and showing up at my parents’ place at the right time.

This year, though, with all the change I have gone through over the last year, I really wanted to stretch myself and do something just for me. Just something I have always wanted to do, but haven’t been brave enough to actually get to doing.

So, I will be going on a camping trip on the Canada Day weekend. A group of friends go every year and I have never gone along, but this year I got brave, and said I would like to.
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Octopus and Eel and Squid, Oh My!

A week or so ago, a friend and I went for sushi. I really love sushi. It is definitely one of my favourite food-options, especially when shared with friends. 

Now, one important thing to note is that I am completely inept with chopsticks. Many people have tried to teach me, but it never goes well. I remember the first time I went for sushi at an all you can eat place, and was trying SO HARD to use chopsticks, and failing, but I didn’t want to give up. At some point, a server touched my elbow, and very quietly laid a fork beside my arm. So from then on, I was a fork-with-sushi sort of girl. 

UNTIL.

My friend was convinced that I should learn to use chopsticks. I was protesting,  but he was like “No, I know you can.” So he taught me, patiently, and then insisted I try to use them for the rest of the meal. It was HARD. I dropped things (there was an impressive splashdown in my soy sauce dish at one point), I missed my mouth, but I persevered. I am not a pro, or anything, but apparently I can sorta use chopsticks now. I don’t think I am doing it properly, per se, but sticks get food to my mouth, so I call that a win. 

He also roped me into trying a few new foods. I am a tuna/salmon sushi kind of girl – things like eel and octopus are right out. I usually try new things, but I wasn’t quite brave enough.

But, well, that’s changed. I tried octopus sushi (weird flavour and texture, but not terrible. Not sure I would eat it again, though), bbq eel in sushi (very strange flavour, though the texture was okay, but I couldn’t stand eating much of it), grilled squid (very odd flavour, very rubbery, not really my thing), and deep fried calamari (tasty, like a rubbery fishy onion ring. My favourite out of the new foods). 

It was an adventure, for certain. I liked that we took something I do often (eating sushi), and still managed to make it a fun adventure with new things and lots of laughter.

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Pudding Cake Everywhere!

I was at my parents over the weekend, and my mom made pudding cake for dessert. Pudding cake is a dessert from my childhood that I love – its a boxed mix, and you make a cake batter, and then sprinkle a pudding-y powder over, and boiling water. You bake it, and like magic, you get something that is cake on the bottom, and warm yummy pudding-y sauce on the top. It is SO tasty, especially with vanilla ice cream. 

So we made two – one butterscotch, one chocolate. 

When my mom pulled them out of the oven, the chocolate one slipped from her hands, and hit the floor. The pudding layer went EVERYWHERE. On the oven, the fridge, the floor, the ceiling, everywhere. We all burst out laughing. Who knew pudding cake could fly so well? 

We did end up eating the chocolate pudding cake along with the butterscotch one – the cake part had stayed in the pan, and was really quite yummy. 

It was a tiny adventure, but a very silly lovely one. 

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Magical Bread Stores and Cardboard Boxes

I moved this past weekend – this is the first time in my entire 25 years of life that I will be living on my own (well, other than my cat, who is awesome). So my apartment is kinda a mess (slowly finding space for everything!) but it is mine and I love it. It helps that I have awesome family who helped me with my move – it went so smoothly! 

I get my cat today (I left him with my old roommate for a few days until I got this place sorted out some) and I am really excited to see what he thinks of the new place. There are still lots of boxes about for him to investigate, so it will be fun. :) Also, my windows are all at ground level, so I know he will see all sorts of interesting things.

I also discovered what I have decided is a Magical Bread Store in my neighborhood. It is this tiny little bakery/deli where they sell a variety of cakes and breads and buns and they have the tiniest little deli. I bought some sort of mystery cake there last night (it looks like it was made in a tube pan, but that’s all I know about it) that I haven’t gotten around to trying, but everything there seemed to be awesome. I will have to go back earlier in the day – I was there pretty late, so they didn’t have a big selection.

I almost couldn’t get my cake, either – I am so used to not carrying much cash on me, because it is rare that (other that on-campus eateries) they won’t take debit or credit. Well, this tiny little place only took cash, but luckily I had a friend along who paid for my cake, which was pretty awesome.

I am looking forward to learning more about my neighborhood as I have time to explore it!

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Snow fiiiiight!

I have a wonderful group of friends, who fully embrace my love for all things silly and random. 

We got our first real big snow a few days ago, so everything was covered in a nice layer of white. A friend of mine suggested we head to a park nearby his place, so me, him, and my boyfriend met there, and Operation SnowFight ensued. I made snowangels, we threw snow at each other, got completely soaked and laughed and there was yelling about poutine and meatballs (don’t ask, we are very weird). We wanted to build snowmen, but the snow wasn’t the wet sticky kind. Oh well. 

We went inside to dry and warm up, and there was hot chocolate, we introduced my boyfriend to the awesomeness that is Adventure Time (it is one of my most favorite random ridiculous shows ever), and played Cards Against Humanity (fun game, much silliness and laughter, even if I lost terribly!) and much fun and yay was had. 

It reminded me that I have some pretty awesome people in my life, who are willing to put up with my love for random adventures. 

 

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Not All Ladybugs are Ladies

Sometimes, adventures are not adventures, not in the typical sense. Then again, I don’t know what typical adventures are, I only know the ones I make.

I’ve been hit with some pretty fun (and by fun, I mean not so fun) back pain this week, so I have been doing the quiet hermit thing that happens when your mobility is restricted suddenly. At first I felt super lonely, then I was like no, this is PRIME ADVENTURE TIME. 

(I totally have the Adventure Time theme song in my head now.) 

So, this week was all about just doing things for me. I watched so much Chuck (I might be years late to the part, but man, that is a fantastically geeky wonderful show, and is where the title of this post comes from), I played video games til my eyes almost fell out, I read so many books. So many. 

IT was fun to recharge, just spend some quiet time with justme. Justme is a nice me. We have fun together doing Ashley-things. It worked for me. 

Last night I got to go out of the house (it felt AWESOME) and go watch ridiculous anime with a really awesome friend of mine. I have no idea if anyone else has ever seen The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, but it is my new favourite thing (second only to Nyanpire right now). It’s got a ridiculous premise, but most anime I have been introduced to does. Lots of nifty tricksy cliffhangers, which made me go AUGH AUGH AUGH and made my friend laugh, because he has seen it before. It was nice to just be ten kinds of ridiculous. I also had a half-shot of pure #1 maple syrup that night, which was amazingly tasty. It’s weird, but it was awesome. 

i am still not as mobile as I would like, but there are still 2.5 seasons of Chuck to go, so I shall be happily entertained in the meantime. :D 

 

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Once upon a time…

Last night a friend and I went to a local museum for their Celebrity Christmas Readings event. It was pretty neat – a few local tv news and radio people read a variety of Christmas stories, and it was a great way to get into the Christmas mood. It was kinda weird hearing people I am used to only hearing on the news talking about events and terrible happenings in the world reading me Christmas tales like The Grinch Who Stole Christmas and The Gifts of the Magi and so on. But also very awesome. One of the gentlemen, a local TV news person, was so into the stories, he was half acting them out from the podium as he read. That made them all the more moving, especially his reading of Ansel’s Special Gift, which I will admit had me in tears by the end. I was slightly disappointed by a local radio personality, who seemed completely unprepared for the event and his readings. He kept giving these odd asides to the stories in an attempt at humor, but they just detracted from the story. He also lost a page of one of the things he was supposed to read (an excerpt from A Christmas Carol) which was strange and disappointing. On a more positive note, though, I was delighted by the variety of the Christmas stories. Most were completely new to me, so that was wonderful. It was like getting to be a little kid again with someone reading you all these amazing stories. It made me excited for Christmas, for sure. The world felt a little bit more magical, in that darkened room, with someone reading you stories and weaving Christmas magic with their voice.

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Ideas Worth Spreading

Today was a local TEDx event (if you follow me on Twitter, you know this, as I was pretty tweet-spammy this morning!), which I was lucky enough to be chosen to attend. It was held in a fantastic new building on campus, which was cool, because that building is usually  closed to the public (at least for now), so getting inside was neat.

The talks themselves were pretty awesome. I learned about how the healthcare system in Canada is kinda broken, but people are working to make it better, and to make it more person-centered.I also learned about some inspirational stuff, like how following your passions and learning to just pick yourself up, despite what the world throws at you and the walls you run into in life. 

I also learned about “Finding your Tribe” – as Heather Dale (whom I admire greatly!) put it, “Don’t let anyone tell you that you have to fit in to make a success in your life.” You just have to find the people who are like you, and go from there. To find your people, you need to know what sort of person you are.

For me, this was a pretty randomly-brain-opening thing. I have been struggling lately with that sort of thing – I don’t really fit in, it feels like, in a lot of the spaces I find myself in, but I have decided that it just means I gotta find me a different game of human-interaction-Tetris to play. Someday, someone is going to need the weird shaped piece that is me, and I just have to keep putting myself out there, and finding the people that are like me. I can do that!

I did end up leaving early, though – it was a pretty intense social day, and for me, who is a pretty hardcore introvert, it got to be a little much. I decided to head home and recharge and work on some school stuff and the like. I don’t regret attending in the least, though. It was a pretty fantastic experience, and if there is a similar event in your area, I highly recommend it!

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Friendship is magic!

I have some of the most ridiculous friends on the planet. They are geeky nerdy fantabulous people.Most of them live farfarfarfar from me, which is alright, but I miss the face to face-ness.

Well, this week I got to chill with a couple of my local friends, and we had some adventures.

Thursday, I hung out with one of my guy friends who never ever fails to make me laugh. Seriously. He knows where all the crazy weird funny stuff is on the internet, and makes sure I see it. He is also teaching me to appreciate zombie movies, which is pretty supercool. We went to Canadian Tire, wandered about, made jokes at things, and then ate snacks (THERE WAS A HALF POUND REESES PEANUT BUTTER CUP INVOLVED, AND IT WAS AMAZING) and were generally just chill and ridiculous and poked at the internet. It was SO fun just to laugh at be silly for a while. 

Friday, I was feeling kinda peopled out, so I skipped social stuff with a large group of nerdy awesome people in favour of a quieter night at home. A friend of mine ended up coming over with pizza, and we just chillaxed (do people say that anymore? I do, apparently.) and watched Conan the Barbarian (so much cheeeeese). It was also ridiculous fun. I like friends who will make fun of movies with me.

These were pretty simple adventures, but both have kept me smiling over them, and I suspect they will for a while yet. 

Friends are awesome.

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