Dose of Awesome #240

1. Awesome was an evening of darts (a game at which, I’ve discovered, I’m not half bad), delicious food, and hockey.

2. Awesome was having pretty much all thhe time I need and want to read novels over the holiday. This morning I finished my third novel in a little over a week – All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews. I’m still digesting it…

3. Awesome is a dream vacation in the making. I’ve had my eye on a G Adventures trek in Iceland (10 days, from Reykjavik to Reykjavik). For years, I’ve wanted to go to Iceland, and thought that this trek would be the perfect way to spend a good portion of my time there. The only thing holding me back was the exorbitant price of the trek. However, thanks to Boxing Day sales, I was able to book a spot on a mid-summer trek, 500$ off. My plans are still in the making, but this is the start of an amazing adventure.


Dose of Awesome # 239

1. Awesome is writing this dose of awesome from my almost brand-new iPad. I’ve been entertaining the idea of buying one for awhile now, as my laptop is aging and my iPod is much too small for me to enjoyably do the things I like to do (mainly reading and writing). It doesn’t completely replace my laptop, as there are some things which I cannot do on it (such as upload photographs and play DVD’s), but it’s pretty awesome nonetheless.

2. Awesome was a Christmas holiday spent with my boyfriend and his immediate and extended family in Chicoutimi. Not only was this my first time meeting them, this was also my first time putting my at-home computer-based French lessons to the test (I’ve been studying using Rosetta Stone – a computer program consisting of 5 levels, each containing 4 units, and I’m almost finished the 4th level). Many of his relatives speak no English whatsoever. I’ve survived (and enjoyed immensely) several consequtive evenings of dinners and parties with various family members and/or friends of my boyfriend. I’m also thankful to have been a welcomed part of their holiday.

3. Awesome is finally getting around to having an eye exam, getting new glasses, and a haircut. All that’s left to do is schedule a massage (which I will do when we go to Quebec City on New Year’s), and my vacation “to do” list is complete.

Dose of Awesome # 238

1. Awesome was an evening of beading, painting nails, and ’90’s music with friends. I finally learned how to make beaded ulu earrings. Here are my first:

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2. Awesome was snowshoeing, despite shitty snowshoes. I had to have tripped over my own two feet at least 9 times (4 of which included the times one of the snowshoes flew off my feet because the buckles refused to stay tight). I’m not going to lie, this made me grumpy. However, I am thankful for the mild weather and another opportunity to go.

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3. Awesome was putting up, and decorating our first Christmas tree. Not only is this our first Christmas tree together, it’s the first Christmas tree I’ve ever put up in my own place.

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Dose of Awesome # 237

I tried posting earlier this week, but the website did not seem to be working.

1. Awesome was taking a hobby to the next level. I’ve been doing observational drawings for years now, off and on. I started drawing from photos in magazines when I was in high school. Then, after an undergraduate and BEd-long hiatus, I got back into it when I moved to Tasiujaq. But for the most part, I never drew from my own photos. Nor did I (with the exception of a portrait I drew for an ex boyfriend, and a portrait I drew for a friend) draw for other people.

After finishing my latest personal project – a portrait of a Quechua woman that I’d taken in Ollontaytambo during my 2011 travels in Peru (below) – I was inspired to start advertising. I placed an ad on a couple of Kuujjuaq’s Facebook groups, and promptly received a request from a woman to have two portraits done of her family. I am about two thirds finished the second.

Quecha Woman

2. Awesome was an invitation to a mid-week dinner/taima party, which was last night, with great people and delicious food.

3. Awesome is it being Friday, with an awesome-filled weekend ahead.

4. Awesome is the fact that Christmas vacation is just one week away!

Dose of Awesome # 236

I went snowshoeing this afternoon with some friends. It was -33 degrees Celsius with windchill (and winds blowing at least 50 km/hour). We managed, most of the time, to be hiking away from the wind. However, we couldn’t avoid walking into the wind for ever.

1. Awesome was the moment, after 30 minutes of hiking blind, that my glasses unfrosted – revealing a world in which I would no longer trip over my own two feet every third step; in which I was no longer forced to move in slow motion, and could hike at a normal pace. Despite the cold, it was a beautiful 3 hours of snowshoeing.

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2. Awesome are spontaneous funny theme nights with my boyfriend. Like meatloaf and Meatloaf.

3. Awesome is a lucky streak. I’m not one to buy lottery tickets or play BINGO. I never go to casinos, nor do I really gamble in any other way. On the rare occasion that I do, however, purchase raffle tickets or enter my name into a draw of some sort, I never win. However, this week I did. Four times – three 50$ gift certificates (one for the restaurant and 2 for the local art store), and a card with a 50$ bill inside. Perhaps I should try my luck more often.

Dose of Awesome #235

I consider myself a morning person – a person who wakes up with a list of things to do every morning. Not things that I necessarily need to get done, but things that I want to get done.

As a morning person, I’ve read many a book (many of which I probably wouldn’t have read otherwise), learned the vast majority of the French that I know, ran countless kilometers, and made art. As a morning person, I’ve found a balance between work and pleasure.

I feel like I’m losing my morning person-ness. On top of that, I’ve been grumpy as hell. Perhaps it’s winter. Perhaps it’s pre-Christmas teacher exhaustion. Perhaps it’s one, or a million other things. But, the past few weeks I’ve woken up severely lacking in the enthusiasm that usually drives me in the wee hours of the day. Determined to re-enthuse my inner morning person, and brighten up my disposition, I thought it was a good time to re-establish the habit of writing about the things that are awesome, first thing in the morning. I hope to make this a habit again.

1. Awesome is my backyard. It’s winter again, and time to take out my snowshoes. I’ve gone once already, and plan to go again tomorrow. I’m thankful for Kuujjuaq’s beautiful and endless tundra.

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2. Awesome are free, or near-free books. I’ve been on a reading frenzy as of late, and n the past week I’ve acquired 6 new-to-me books, for less than $1.50.

Some titles I’d recommend are:

-Hearing Birds Fly by Louisa Waugh
-Beyond the Sky and the Earth by Jamie Zeppa
-A Woman in the Polar Night by Christiane Ritter
-A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout -Kiss of the Fur Queen by Tomson Highway and,
-A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews

3. Awesome is yoga. I did yoga regularly when I lived in Tasiujaq, but, upon moving to Kuujjuaq, grew more inclined to sweat my way through an hour on the cardio machines at the forum. After 3 years of no other option than a home workout, I was glad to live in a town with a public gym again – thus growing out of the habit of doing yoga.

However, after my trek in the Dolomites, I had a hard time going back to the gym and actually enjoying it. An hour trudging away on a machine and going nowhere used to feel good. Now it’s just boring. Excruciatingly boring. Exercise shouldn’t be that much of a mind-game.

So, I took a little hiatus from the gym to work out at home. In the meantime, I rediscovered my love of yoga. Ashtanga yoga. Power yoga. It’s still a great workout, but so much more than that.