Ten Charities for 2013

And even earlier! I’m on a roll this year.

For those of you who are new, every year I donate to a pool of charities which I’ve chosen (usually 10). This is the second year I’ve contributed to a pool all year and then did a big batch of donations at the end of the year. I’m not going to reveal the breakdown this year, just the pool total.

Here are 2013′s charities, in no particular order:

Charity Pool: $700.00

1) Charity:Water
Cause: providing sources of clean water

Cause: helping victims of trafficking

3) Restore NYC
Cause: employing and helping trafficking victims

4) Equality Now!
Cause: ending gender-based violence and discrimination

5) Ottawa Food Bank
Cause: helping local families with food needs

6) The Ada Initiative
Cause: Promoting and supporting women in technology

7) Little Warriors
Cause: protecting children from abuse

8) Farm Forward
Cause: promoting and advocating for a sustainable, cruelty-free, conscientious diet

9) MEOW Foundation
Cause: rescuing abandoned cats for adoption

10) Interval House of Ottawa
Cause: helping local women and children get out of abusive situations

As you may notice, there’s a wide variety of charities and causes being represented here. Some are local, some are global, all are doing good work which I can get behind.


Christmas 2013

I’m actually early with this list this year! Go me.

Obligatory notes:

1. Please do not buy me cosmetics, lotions, skin care products, etc., I have super sensitive skin and it’s tough to explain which ingredients I avoid. If you want to go this route, please buy me gift cards/certificates/discount codes from one of the places I buy skin products from:





2. My preference for gifts in general is towards experiences (for example, trips, movies, good food, concerts, shows, plays, etc.) and consumables (food, money, gift cards, movie passes, etc.). Despite the fact that I have rather large wishlists on various sites, I move irritatingly frequently and would like to try and minimize the amount of stuff I have…

3. Quality over quantity; expensive isn’t better. I appreciate the thought people put behind their gifts more than anything.


- Any sort of experience (spa visit, tickets to a play/dance/concert, travel pass, etc.)
Ideas (you’re not restricted to this, they’re just suggestions):
- Tickets to something at the NAC or to a dinner theatre show
- Via Rail travel credits/pass
- Westjet/Air Canada travel credits/pass
- Spa visit
- Groupon/LivingSocial travel experience
- Coyote Rock membership renewal (Ottawa only – talk to me first)
- Inside Out Studio membership renewal (Ottawa only – talk to me first)
- Take me out for dinner ;)

- Money towards new camera equipment. Next on my list is a good flash, remote shutter control, 55-250mm or 70-300mm lens. Alternatively, a gift certificate from B&H would help towards this as well.

Anything from Ten Thousand VillagesEthnotekBridgehead, Timothy’s (but no K-cups please), or Second Cup

- Anything off my Amazon.ca wishlist (if you are doing this, please use the “buy” buttons on the wishlist itself, this will ensure the item gets removed and no duplicate buying will occur) or ThinkGeek wishlist or Etsy wishlist

Gift cards or certificates off the following list: iTunes, Tim Hortons, Second Cup, HMV, Amazon.ca, Better World Books, The Body Shop, LUSH, IKEA, Paypal (yes, you can get Paypal certificates!), ThinkGeek, Bridgehead, LCBO, Timothy’s Coffee

- A random gift from this list:
–> Holstee Manifesto
–> Stretching for Pole and Pure Splits DVD set
–> Small-sized hoodie from Flag Nor Fail
–> Mosaic Frame from MOO
–> Pillowpackers Travel Pillow
–> Any Mass Effect merch
–> A kettle (I currently use my coffeepot to heat up water, a nice solid kettle would be awesome)
–> Talk to me first, but I could also use some videogame DLCs (both Steam and Origin) or Bioware Points :D. I go by “silverstreaked” on both systems.

- Another good gift which I will really appreciate is giving a donation in my name to a charity from the list over on the right under “I Support…”

Please do not give me any of the following:

- Gift cards to clothing stores
- Anything Starbucks, Walmart, McDonalds, or “Made in China”
- Cosmetics / lotions
- Items which reflect your beliefs and not mine
- Meat… lol

Again, some people think it’s arrogant to have a “do not give” list, but I really feel it’s helpful. This way, you’re assured of giving me something you know I’ll appreciate.

If you have questions, let me know– otherwise, happy Christmas! :)

Making my floor look good

I am trying a new method of shining up my floor, which was recommended by a friend. Still waiting to see how it works out– this hardwood floor has seen a lot of wear. I am actually on the hook for it if it’s deemed too scratched up at the end of my stay here (as per my lease), so I figured I’d better be nice to it.

Here is what I heard works wonders on hardwood:

To 3/4 cup of oil, add 1/4 cup vinegar (white or apple cider). Mix them in a jar, then rub the mixture into the wood. You don’t need to wipe it off; the wood just soaks it in.

So one patch of my floor got rubbed with oil and vinegar on Sunday. The recipe wasn’t specific on which kind of oil to use (I used Canola here), but various sources on the internet seem to favour olive oil. I’ll see how it looks by the end of the week (I already stepped in it a few times, whoops) (and don’t tell my landlady).


August 12, 2013

It has occurred to me, on occasion, that I could be content riding on trains all the time. I wonder if there’s a career path which will let me do that?

I do this from time to time…

…where I can never wake from a bad dream / I do this from time to time / where I can never say the things I mean

I’ve always thought I have a strange taste in favourite songs.

My favourite song from a particular group or artist is not usually one of the singles or a song which ever got a lot of radio time (if at all). It also tends to be one which is stylistically different in some way from the rest of the album. Sometimes it’s the lyrics which get me, sometimes the rhythm, sometimes the tone. Here are a few, if you’re bored and want to hear some new music (but you will have to look them up yourself, because learning about people is not a 0-effort proposition ;)).

Angels & Airwaves – Sirens (the title and first line of this post are from this song)

fun. – All Alright

Youngblood Hawke – Dreams

Great Big Sea – Boston & St. Johns

Anchor & Braille – Hymn for Her

New Found Glory – Boulders

.moneen. – The Glasshouse

My Chemical Romance – Summertime

Brand New – The Archers’ Bows Have Broken

Dashboard Confessional – So Impossible (close second- The Shade of Poison Trees)

The Calling – Things Don’t Always Turn Out That Way

Hawthorne Heights – Come Back Home (reprised)