I'm Prepared To Alienate People With This One

Sometimes I admit things to the internet that I never would in real life. Things, perhaps, like the fact that I watched a Miley Cyrus bio in full and then told my boyfriend over dinner, "that girl was really born to perform."

Though I have a lovely boyfriend and am therefore not interested in online dating sites, I can only imagine what my profile would be like.

Dear Carmen,

Your eHarmony compatibility quiz tells us so much about you! Based on the fact that you spent today folding origami flowers and cranes while listening to Miley Cyrus, we have matched you with Sven. Sven likes Star Wars, light sabers, and War Craft --but the fun doesn't stop there! He can make a mean pot of generic macaroni and cheese with ketchup garnish.

Is you appetite whetted? Ours certainly is.

Go get 'em tiger!

-The eHarmony team


How to Win Friends and Organize People

It's no secret that I love a certain Chef Michael Smith. I wrote a post about him recently, make one of his recipes almost every other day, and am currently watching his show as I type this. Something I noticed today while watching is just how organized this guy is --a bowl for composting, tea towels neatly folded in a drawer, and the list goes on.

Anyone close to me knows that I'm not organized. Order and routine has not come naturally to me, and though I was forced to implement some basic agenda use during university (after too many panic attacks), I can still remember walking in to my grade ten science final five minutes late, and asking why everyone was being so quiet. I sort of have a love hate relationship with organized people, partly because I wish I could be one, and partly because I just don't understand their brain activity. Here is a list of the traits and tendencies I associate with Organized People:

1. They like cleaning. Wtf? Ever heard anyone go on about how much they like to do laundry or the dishes? I usually just stand dumbfounded for a while and then give them my cell number, three of my emails, and a blank message in a bottle just in case. In their bedrooms or bathrooms you will likely find that hair elastics have a place or container were they "go". Mine go on my wrist...until I lose them.

2. They do not miss tests or proposal deadlines. This means that instead of having to fabricate a grandiose lie about how your therapist just retired and do you know what it's like to depend on the weekly help of a trained medical professional? --they just walk to the front of the room and hand it in.

3. They make lists and to-do's. I also do this, but generally I try to just write down things I've already done so that I can move down the list marking off big red check marks. For them it's about getting things done. For me, it's about boosting my self-esteem.

4. They aren't flakes. From all of my extensive research on "organized people" I feel that they follow through on plans, responsibilities etc. If you deviate from this, and are a flakey clean person though, let me know.

5. They get accessories down pat. I have approximately 2 necklaces that I like to change up depending on my mood. These people, sheesh, talk about colour coordination and daily variety. Amiright, amiright?

I know there's no way I'm getting to ten so I'm going to round down now. Though this list is peppered with judgment, I do sincerely wish I was part of the club. Sigh. I'm off to go read how "How to Win Friends and Organize People".



Some people are photogenic, others never had a chance.


feeling fruity

A year or so ago my boyfriend and I were discussing travel. I don't think our conversation was very serious, in that we weren't making any concrete plans, but I told him I had one request: I wanted to go where mangoes cost pennies. Perhaps there are smarter ways to plan travel, say, by considering financial situations, activities, transportation, etc --but I'm a trail blazer. Driving on a highway in the middle of nowhere we stopped at a roadside fruit stand. The people there kept on screaming MANGOES, MANGOES! and I was like EAGER! We loaded about 15 giant mangoes into the car, and all for the hefty price of 80 cents. I unsuccessfully tried to do a one handed photo shoot, but this specific mango was almost as big as my head.

Either the farmers are feeding these puppies some secret Miracle Grow, or my brain is tiny.

PS - Brit Brit, I took this for you. I saw this wall and thought only of your face --not because you look like a wall, but because you (and I quote) "like exposed brick wall more than most people."


nails did

I got this manicure for $1 y'all. When the woman asked what I wanted I began to choose some pale peach hues and light gold sparkles. She pushed those aside and said, "this is Cuba, not Canada," and slammed a bottle of fuschia nail polish on the table.

Whatever you like is what I like, I said.


Ay Caramba!

I'm exshmoosted. I got home to Toronto this morning from Cuba, after seven days in the city of Santiago. Not knowing when I'd be able to have internet connection was unnerving, and in the end I had about 10 minutes in 7 days, which for those of you who can wing some arithmatic, is no mucho. I felt guilty everyday that I wasn't updating my blog, and yet there was just not much I could do. On the other hand I was in an entirely different city from any I have ever known, and I'm very thankful I was able to take this trip.

In an effort not to sound patronizing or condescending about the experience, I will instead gather my thoughts and share tomorrow. Right now I'm running on about three hours sleep, one bowl of pho, a kinder surprise, and a swift bike ride through downtown t zone.

Here is the children tour of Santiago and Barracoa, a clear theme I noticed in sorting my pictures from the trip. The award for Overall Cutest Child goes out to the little boy in gym shorts and old man loafers who posed for me every chance he got. When I turned my camera around to show him the pictures I had just taken, he ran away laughing hysterically, which I'm pretty sure is Cuban for "damn I look good in these."


wa wa wa weekend

Weekend blogging is sometimes difficult to fit in, especially when you're stuffing your face full of delicious appetizers, mains, and desserts. I really love to cook and this weekend I tried out a couple recipes I've never made before, but somehow forgot to take pictures of the food. Do not fear internet! I took plenty of myself to make up for it.

We ended up at Watusi one night, some random Tibetan bar/restaurant another, and visited the beaches. Er, how did we end up at H&M? Heh...Girls are good at that. Man, though, I just want to buy everything there and wear it all at once so I can be Sweden's next top model.

These are the cherry stems I tied in knots with my tongue. Thanks, yep, go on, call Guinness Book they don't want me.

In my last order of business I must add that I'm leaving for Cuba tomorrow. Noah and I are going for a week to visit his mom and sis and I'm unsure about what kind of reliable internet connection I'll have access to there (if any). I might enlist mini-me (my sissy poo) to stand in as lowercasecarmen, but we'll have to see if she's up for the job. Meg, can you be hilarious and narcissistic? These are tough shoes to fill. Call me.


Friends in from out of town, late-night tibetan momos, lemon risotto, lychee panna cotta. We are eating too much and I've had no time to post.

Mom, Dad, sis, I will be back soon.


I might try to submit this one to McSweeney's

Things people like to yell at me when I am riding my bike and they are drunk:

1. Lady in red!!

2. Don't shoot, I'm unarmed (let's assume all of these end in exclamation points)

3. Being environmentally friendly heeeey?

4. Schmoopie Doopie (got that one last night)

and a drumroll please, 5. Hey baby


I don't have a reasonable explanation for this narcissistic photoshoot

I took these pictures before I laid down on the floor and called my boyfriend at work. I didn't want to freak anyone out, but I uh, had some flu like symptoms and started to feel like I couldn't get up. They were afraid that I might have had the wine-say lu-fay, but everyone was too terrified to actually say the words, even the nurse. Turns out all's good in the hood, and after I popped some advil cold and flu pills, I was feeling much better.

During my clinic visit the nurse asked if I had visited Mexico recently and I was like, yeah, I wish. I popped down right after my weekend rendezvous to Paris with all this extra cash I have. I did have a taco the other night though, so, does that count?


kings and queens

Recently my boyfriend and I have been looking for some pretentious art to adorn our bare walls. Up until today we only had the infamous pony painting --a masterpiece I created to replace the original that was oddly stolen from an apartment lobby...but that is another tale.

Like everything else I hold dear, I found two regal painting today at the village of value. Perhaps my affinity for this urine-scented store is unhealthy (literally) but at least my addiction is 'recession-friendly'. Yeah, whatever, I just barfed in my mouth too.

I dedicate these paintings to my dad, a man who admires the British royal family and all that they stand for.