2012 Goal Update: Month 5

Every month I review my progress on my personal goals for the year, which are listed here.

Culture:

Movies by Rom

Rom and I went to see The Avengers which he was avidly awaiting. We had seen the movies that fed into it: Thor, Captain America, Iron Man and The Hulk. I liked the movie more than I expected to: it held my attention and had lots of humour. I also really liked Loki’s Elegant Goth Aristocrat (EGA) look! For those who didn’t see the other movies mentioned above, they are referenced throughout, so you might want to sit this one out.

Loki in The Avengers

We are currently re-watching the Alien movies at home in anticipation of Prometheus being released this coming week. Rom bought us advance tickets for the opening night. Yes, he is that keen!

Meanwhile, Rom is on a movie jag this month after subscribing to Netflix. I watched a few documentaries with him like Inside Job and Affluenza. We are both economics geeks. I just chose one feature film to watch so far: Tamara Drewe, based on the graphic novel by Posy Simmonds. I was impressed by it! The graphic novel had an ominous tone. The film was quite faithful to the book, but again, was much funnier (especially the scenes with the two teenage girls and the rock star!) This weekend I am planning to watch Miss Potter on Netflix.

Movies watched this month: 4

Goal: On track

Restaurants

My nephew celebrates his birthday every year with an extended family meal at the Chinese buffet. As much as we enjoy getting together, the food quality and selection at ye olde Dragon King Buffet has really suffered! I noted in March that another old standby, Garden View Chinese restaurant, was disappointing too, despite being in the same location for 30 years and having a reputation to uphold (or maybe rest on?) We love Fan’s, but the service is poor.  We could buy local at Wong’s, which has wonderful food made fresh, but the atmosphere is “waiting to pick up your take-out” style. Good excuse to actually get the take-out! We will have to cross the harbour to eat at some of the better Chinese spots, like The Great Wall and Zen.

Rom asked for a full English breakfast at Ma Belle’s Tea House for his birthday. For Canadian readers, a full English usually consists of such things as: UK bacon (back bacon), sausages, fried eggs, toast, sautéed mushrooms, a broiled tomato, and baked beans. For UK readers, the typical big restaurant breakfast here would include the bacon you call streaky bacon, ham or sausage, eggs, toast, and hash browns: never any vegetables! So the UK-style breakfast is only available specifically at English tea houses and English pubs (many of which parody, rather than offer, British culture).

For the first time since beginning meal planning 15 months ago, there was a day neither of us felt like cooking so we went to the nearest Greek restaurant for spanakopita, horiatiki and not-so-Greek cheesecake. It was a welcome break, but I don’t think we’ll get into the habit of not cooking.

This month I also skipped dinner twice which is normally beyond rare: we went to see The Avengers directly after work, and we had a gift certificate that included popcorn and drinks, so that was “dinner”! Another night I was car shopping so I just had a bowl of cereal… and ice cream at DQ on the way home.

To top all this off, I made dinner for the extended family for Mothers’ Day on May 13. So I had to make a rather serious effort to keep my weight in check all month! I kept my motivation up, though, because June 4 marks the date I started my, ahem, “slimming program” last year. I was eager to be able to say I maintained my new weight until the one-year anniversary. Now I will change my deadline and say I’ll maintain my goal weight for the full year after I reached it (which was October 10). And then find some excuse to keep going, because I like gimmicks.

We didn’t go to any of the restaurants on my wish list this month because the birthday folks got to choose!

Restaurants visited this month: 3, unless you count Empire Theatres and Dairy Queen (?)

Goal: No progress

Books

I am ever so pleased with my reading this month. Didn’t do much else – just read books! I will post my reviews tomorrow.

  • Bringing Up Bebe – Pamela Bruckerman
  • The 100 Thing Challenge – Dave Bruno
  • Kitchen Counter Cooking School – Kathleen Flinn
  • Nina Here Nor There – Nick Krieger
  • Brooklyn Modern – Diana Lind
  • At Home: a Short History of Private Life – Bill Bryson
  • On the Outside Looking Indian – Rupinder Gill
Books read this month: 7
Goal progress: Ahead

Concerts

I purchased tickets to go see Slash and his touring band in July.  I didn’t get to any shows in May and I also missed La Cage aux Folles at Neptune Theatre, mostly because I was busy car shopping in the evenings.

I am almost starting to feel non-musical! The new Japandroids album should cure that.

Oh, for fun, I decided to check out what music is in the Top 40 lately – I do try to be informed once in a while. I listened to One Direction, The Wanted, and the latest from Usher, J-Lo, Drake with Rihanna, Gym Class Heroes, etc. While pop music is not my thing (I like indie rock), I can definitely understand the appeal, whether to feel more positive or energetic, or get through the work day, or bond with one’s kids (or inner child), etc!

I got a kick out of the twist at the end of Carly Rae’s Call Me Maybe video!

Concerts seen this month: 0

Goal progress: Negative

Personal Finance

On the plus side, I have no more car repair bills. On the negative (financial) side, I bought a new car! After test-driving a Honda Fit (aka Jazz), Mazda 3 and Nissan Versa, all small hatchbacks, I decided on the Versa. It felt peppy, was capable of climbing tough hills without groaning, has a bigger interior than my old car, and is supposed to be mega-fuel efficient. The strangest thing for me is the new CVT transmission. It starts and stops very cleanly and runs quiet, almost reminding me of an electric vehicle. I had wanted a bright blue car but to get a deal I accepted a black one, which I very quickly got used to. With the money I saved compared to buying one of the competitors, I have just booked a trip to Toronto to see Link and take in some TO culture later in June. Can’t wait!

Financial Goals This Month: Met (car purchased and trip booked)

My new car – a Nissan Versa hatchback

Driving

The new car runs really smooth so I can go faster without Rom noticing. Also, I am driving more conscientiously, to protect the car. So, over all, there “appears” to be an improvement. Good enough 🙂

Food

As noted above, I ate out more than usual. In addition to everyday meals,  I made 8 loaves of bread, 4 litres of yogurt, and a pot of chicken soup for lunches. I had hoped to make muffins and granola, but didn’t get around to it. Which led to many days of boring snacks such as toast and more toast.

I will post an update soon on my meat/sausage/vegetarian challenge!

Clothes

Nothing new  in May! Nothing seemed urgent. I am tired of my work clothes because the weather is not summer-worthy yet, but otherwise nothing has changed. I haven’t seen any “must-have” looks for the summer. I am looking for a new backpack to replace one I bring to work every day, which is torn and has rapidly fraying nylon. Does that count as a wardrobe purchase?

Goal: Buy replacements as needed, pare down

Progress: Neutral

Organizing

Still need to finish office clean-up and complete re-do of craft/computer room.

Progress: None

I cleaned out my old car before trading it in. Does that count?

And finally:

Magic the Gathering

Did I play a game with Rom? Even for his birthday? No, I did not. However, I know all about the new Avacyn Restored set, its mechanics, and today’s release of the new Plainswalkers decks. I also listened to him tell me, in great detail, everything he knew about the upcoming Avengers and Prometheus movies, and committed to attending with him. So that was my way of being companionable this month.

In June I would like to go through the Netflix offerings in more detail, go see the exhibit of movie costumes at a local museum, and plan what to do on our Toronto trip (besides seeing the Picasso exhibit at AGO!)

2 comments

  1. I love that you can go faster in your new car with Rom not noticing….that’s that sort of thing I would do lol!

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