Monday, February 15, 2010

Shabu-shabu, Swapping, and Sunshine

Hi everyone! I finally have some fun stuff to post about, so here we go! Sorry for the corny S-S-S title for this post, but I gotta come up with something clever for all these titles! Alright, if we
break it down by category, here we go:

-Shabu-shabu: Yesterday was Chinese New Year and J was originally supposed to go back home and celebrate, but, long story short, decided against it since the short trip would not be worth the 8-10 hours of driving it required. His family still really wanted to see him and had never been to our apartment so they asked if they could all come visit us instead, and of course we said yes. To be honest, I was dreading the thought of hosting 6 people (8 including us) in our apartment, but we made it work in the end and had a really nice time. The family loves doing Shabu-shabu dinners and it really is a lot of fun. We had all the fixin's - beef, pork, shrimp, cuttlefish, clams, fresh cilantro, watercress, and Chinese broccoli - his family really does go all out when it comes to Shabu. We made our way through a couple bottles of wine, and by the end of the night we were all full to the brim before we went to bed. We said goodbye to everybody today as they made their way back home and we got back to our normal routine.

Swapping: One of the online mailing resources I have discovered is called Swap-bot. All my fellow mail geeks out there will already know about it, but for my friends who don't, it's a mail exchange service for just about anything. You sign up for an account and can then search for swaps by category - food, music, books, etc., etc., etc. You, along with people who are interested in the same swaps, will sign up and eventually be assigned partners to whom you will send your items, whatever they may be. The latest swap I joined was a Mix CD Scavenger Hunt. The creator of the swap came up with 20 categories, and you had to find songs in your music library that fit the category and then put them on a CD. It was something I had seen on Swap-bot before and wanted to do and finally came across one I could join in time. It was a little challenging, but eventually I found a song for every category. Here's what the contents 1 of my 2 envelopes looks like, making its way to Australia: (the other is going to Canada).

^A bit hard to read, sorry...

So you have an idea of all the categories and the songs I chose for each, here they are:

  1. A sarcastic song.
  2. A song from a kids’ movie.
  3. A song that includes some whistling.
  4. A song sung by an actor/singer.
  5. A song that includes either na-na-na-na or la-la-la-la.
  6. A song that says exactly what you wish you could say to someone in your life (now or in your past).
  7. A song that has lyrics that make you go “heh?”
  8. A song sung by someone you had/have a crush on.
  9. A song that you might play if you were nodding off while driving, to wake yourself up.
  10. A song that mentions a season either in the title or the lyrics.
  11. Your favourite Queen song.
  12. A song that you would play on a badass roadtrip to total debauchery.
  13. A song sung by an American Idol contestant.
  14. A song that makes you want to be 16 again.
  15. A song that you think would suit as background music for a grown-up sit-down dinner.
  16. A song that you think would suit as background music for a brunch with lots of children.
  17. A song that you think would suit as background music for a big cocktail party.
  18. A song that talks about a grandparent.
  19. A song that puts you in your parents’ living room growing up.
  20. A song that you’d put on a mix cd for your best mate.

I've been thinking of hosting a handmade envelope swap since that is my current obsession and I have about 35 envelopes ready to be used. After a while you do get sick of staring at your own things, and I'm sure there's people out there who would appreciate and use the stuff I've made, and vice versa. I'm always interested in seeing other peoples' artistic and creative styles and this would be a perfect opportunity to do all of the above. Well, that's that for swapping. Onto the sunshine...

We had absolutely beautiful weather here for the past few days (after a couple weeks of awful on-and-off rain) and we took advantage of it! On Saturday and today J and I got out and played tennis...about an hour and a half on Saturday and and hour today. He has only played a handful of time and basically the only instruction he has had is from me, and I have to say, he has improved immensely since I first started hitting with him. He hits some really great shots and we can actually rally now, where as before it was much harder to carry on a point. It's nice to have a tennis partner who's always around and who you know will always want to play.

Alright, time to head to the kitchen and whip up some din-din. Hope you all are well...until next time!

Aaron :)

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