The First Date Case

Situation: You are at the pool and realize that you did not have a towel to dry yourself off but  a seemingly unclaimed clean towel is laying on the bench in front of you. What do you do?

On Wednesday I made the decision to be cautious and hop into the pool  and the only thoughts in my mind by the end of the long 53 minutes pool-run were food-related. All I wanted was to wrap myself with my fluffy towel, shower, and EAT.

I saw my beigey-peachy-white towel laying on the bench just waiting for me when I got out of the pool. But the towel was gone by the time I had returned my pool running-belt! I was towel-less, hangry, and wet. Not a good combination.

What kind of person steals someone else’s towel at the pool (at the end of pool hour at that)?

What this experience has taught me is that the above situation must be presented on every first date. The above scenario is an excellent case to evaluate a potential bud to determine their moral compass, common sense, thinking pattern, and people skills.

If anyone answers that they would just take the towel they are a bad person. NEXT.

Personally I have been in a situation where I was pulled out of a running workout and sent to the pool because of hip pain. I had no towel and also had no time to go home to obtain one due to a post-work night class. I was not dumb enough or selfish enough to jump into the pool and steal a towel just so I could get my workout in. I like to think my solution showcases that I am a somewhat good person with people skills, common sense, and innovative thinking.

I had enough common sense to obtain a towel before I hopped into the pool. I flirted and imposed the entire sob story about my hip injury onto the alpha male at the front desk. I did not show up for my international business class soaking wet, and I did this without stealing a towel.

 

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The Catastrophic Normal Accident of the Day

Today I experienced a Normal Accident that resulted in a catastrophic failure in handing in an assignment that was (ironically) due for my Catastrophic Failures in Organizations course.

A Normal Accident is characterized by four features:

  • Warnings
  • Equipement Failures
  • Operator Error
  • Negative Synergy

The catastrophic normal accident bloomed out of a day that seemingly started on the right foot. Not only did I finish the paper in time to make and eat lunch but my roommate also informed me that we were going to make pizza for dinner! But as I read over my paper one last time, saved the document for the first time, and tried to emailed the paper to myself to print at the library, disaster struck. I could not find the document in the attachments box that had popped up.

I was surprisingly calm and told myself it would not be a big deal because documents have been saved in the wrong folder before. I told myself that all I needed to do was go to the recent documents section and voila my paper will appear. That did not happen. Finder was also no help. An Equipment Failure had occurred.

I felt like throwing the empty soup bowl at the wall. On Saturday as I waited for the onions to caramelize in the bacon grease I had read my weekly horoscope which had contained a warning about the loss of information within the IT department. This disappearance of a paper on Hydro One’s ERM process could have been avoided if I had just listened to the stars. I had made an operator error in not copying and pasting the contents of my paper into my email prior to closing the “saved document” and the train of operator errors continued as I restarted the computer in hopes the document would reappear.

The result was one of negative synergy as the document did not reappear and the titled document also disappeared from the recent documents section on Word. The negative synergy features continued as the only solution was to rewrite the whole paper. With the context still fresh in my mind, rewriting the paper only took an hour but the downfall continued. The document was printed at the library without too much turmoil but as I sped-walked to the building at the corner of Bloor & St. George it started to rain. The only way to avoid handing in an absolutely drenched assignment was to shove it down my hoodie.

I was wearing the running shorts from last night’s 4k+ in intervals workout when I walked into class. The paper was an hour and a half late. The paper was also crumpled and stained. I told my prof I had experienced a catastrophic normal accident and he laughed at me and told me to learn from the experience.

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Taste of Fall: Maplely Cinnamon Sweet Potato Waffies

The weather outside yesterday morning as I left for my workout was crisp. The sun was shining but the air held a slightly chilly bite. By the time warm up and mobility were completed I had stripped down to a sport bra but the few scattered fallen leaves on the gravel path reminded me that fall has arrived.

When I think of fall I think of pumpkin-flavoured goodies, spiced apple cider, squash, carbs, and cinnamon-flavoured things. A missing cookie tray, an extra sweet potato, and my current obsession with the waffle iron prompted the creation of these super cute and super yummy sweet potato waffies. Lightly spiced with cinnamon and sweetened with maple syrup, fluffy, and slightly crisp, these waffles were the perfect appetizer for 4 hungry female athletes in the midst of preparing a dinner of rice wraps.

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These Mapley Cinnamon Sweet Potato Waffies are super simple, super quick, and super yummy.

Sizing Size (side dish): 4

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium size fully cooked sweet potatoes (I simply poked a few holes into mine with a fork and threw them into the microwave until tender)
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon (approximation, please season to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons of maple syrup (approximation, please season to taste)
  • coconut oil spray or coconut oil

Assembly

1. Heat waffle iron and spray with coconut oil

2. Mash the cook sweet potatoes until fluffy, add the cinnamon and maple syrup, mix well and mash again (I had been feeling guilty about not lifting earlier in the day and opted for a cross-training arm workout)

3. When the waffle iron is ready, drop spoonfuls of the sweet potato mixture onto the griddle, making sure that there is sufficient spacing to ensure waffies are formed (and not waffles! – not that that would be a bad thing), and then just close the lid. The waffle iron will let you know when the waffies are ready and just repeat the process until all the waffie base is used up or eaten.

ENJOY!

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Waffles for Days – Banana Chocolate Chip Waffles

The last few weeks have been quite stressful and the upcoming weeks will continue to be as the recruitment season proceeds. The days and evenings have been filled with info sessions, job applications, and online assessments. Recruitment activities take up most of the day and evening but time still has to be carved out for work, class, and papers and I must admit the quality of my meals have decreased significantly. I must admit that in the last 2 weeks I’ve mainly eaten info session food, food from the Exchange at Rotman, and waffles.

I made and froze a few servings of waffles before school started and these waffles have honestly been the highlight of busy days that begin with very early morning runs. I simply pop a serving into the toaster when I get home from the run and by the time I’ve showered an amazing treat is ready for me to kick start a long and hopefully fun day.

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Banana Chocolate Chip Espresso Waffles

  • Coconut Oil or Coconut Oil Cooking Spray
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 – 1 tablespoons of instant coffee (I used a french vanilla blend from Godiva)
  • 2 ripe medium size bananas
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate minichips

Prep

Spray the waffle iron with the coconut oil cooking spray or wipe coconut oil over the waffle iron with a paper towel, heat the waffle iron.

Assembly

Mash the 2 bananas before adding the sugar and vanilla. Mix then add the the flour, baking powder, and almond milk. Mix until blended before adding the chocolate chips and the instant coffee. Stir until the chocolate chips and instant coffee are incorporated then ladle the batter into the heated waffle iron.

Enjoy!

-JC

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Bomb Diggity Healthy Chinese Takeout – Shrimp Noodles

I have the upmost respect for those that work full-time that still find the time and energy to train like a beast and compete at a high level. I have even more respect for those that work full-time, go to school, and still manage to train at a high level. I am currently trying to juggle my office job, an international business course, and training and I am not quite managing it. I have to admit I am feeling a little burnt out and the dedication to school and running has not been up there this summer. I rarely ever get any school work done on weekdays when I get home from my 7-9 class or my workouts which means I try to dedicate weekends to readings, doing cases, and working on that international opportunity project.

This weekend started with high schoolwork production expectations. I even tried to establish a high productive environment by kicking off Saturday morning with an early Elliptigo ride on the roads (an adventure in itself that left my heart racing due to the close proximity with cars that didn’t quite understand my workout tool). But between the 80 minute ride and hitting up the awesome, fun, and just plain amazing Track and Roll Meet (thanks Lululemon!) I ended up being too physically exhausted to do much but laze around the apartment making waffles. I tried to do some readings and work on an industry analysis, I really did! but when dinner time rolled around all I had done was read food blogs. For some reason the readings left me craving Chinese takeout (maybe it was the little research I managed to do on the HK beer industry – I promise it’s for that group project!).

I was too lazy to dig around the freezer for chicken so dinner had to contain shrimp for the protein component. I was inspired by the cravings for sweet and sour pork and threw together a fun, healthy, and quick meal that fulfilled all my Chinese takeout cravings. I had no expectations for this dish (to be honest I thought it would be another mishap) but when I took a bite straight from the pan the only phrase that came to mind was “Bomb Diggity“.

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Bomb Diggity Chinese Takeout – Shrimp Noodles

(I’m going to guess this is a low carb meal, and if you use gluten free soya sauce this can be made gluten free!)

Macro Ingredients:

  • 1 package of deveined shrimp, peeled (I used a 400g package of tiger shrimp)
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1-2 servings of sweet potato vermicelli (found in Asian grocery stores, I get mine from T&T)
  • 3/4 cups of broccoli chopped into florets
  • 2 tablespoons of soya sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of sesame oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon of lime juice
  • oil

Micro Ingredients for the Sauce:

  • 3-4 tablespoons of ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon of soya sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon of lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon of maple syrup
  • dash of garlic powder (or just use a clove of garlic to saute the shrimp)

Prep:

  •  Cook the sweet potato vermicelli according to package instructions
  • Spiralize the zucchini
  • Sauce it up by combining the micro ingredients listed above

Assembly:

1. Oil the pan, saute the shrimp until pink over medium heat, add sauce to pan when shrimp is pink. After sauce is added turn heat up to high and continue sauteing the shrimp until hot & cooked (for that “wok hey”). Remove shrimp from pan and set aside.

2. Saute the broccoli in the now-empty pan with a 1T of the sesame oil over medium heat. Add the zucchini noodles when the broccoli no longer tastes really raw (taste test method!). Throw the cooked sweet potato vermicelli into the pan before adding the soya sauce, lime juice, and the last 1 T of sesame oil. Stir & make sure the components are all fully incorporated.

3. Add cooked shrimp back to the pan, turn heat onto high and toss until all components are smoking hot. Serve with red pepper flakes if desired.

 

 

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Life is not a Chick Flick. Life Continues.

Girl meets boy at a bar. Life carries onwards without boy.

A few months later, girl meets same boy at a work event. Small talk between the girl, her boss, and the boy was made. Life carries onwards without boy.

Flash forward a few weeks, girl meets the same boy at a bar. Girl and boy exchange numbers. 

When girl returned home later that night the roommates claimed it was fate and the girl and boy were destined.

I am in the girl from the 4 lines listed above. For two weeks I starred in a real life chick flick.

The boy was picture-perfect.

Tall. Smart. Ambitious.

He was adoring. He was goofy. He was hungry. 

He liked ice cream. He was employed. He made her laugh.

I ended things with the boy last week. We had a nice two week run with some typical chick flick drama embedded but little personality things and the timing prompted my need to end things.

Like the movies, compromise on my part would have been necessary but unlike the movies I stood my ground. Also au contraire, I am not emotionless, I am not moping, I have not just thrown myself into work and am unable to enjoy the colours swirling on a daily basis.

Had thoughts of the boy and what could have been crossed my mind in the last week? The answer is yes. But that doesn’t mean I can’t continue to laugh over gelato with a girlfriend, spend a chunk of my last paycheck on a delightful Club Monaco dress, or make attempts at balancing the hectic life of a full time job, base training for the upcoming fall cross country season, and an international business course. In chick flicks the female protagonist is often showed as shaken over a break with the boy and their character development is altered by the incident but in the real world that doesn’t always happen and at times that shouldn’t happen.

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Ontario 2014 Election: Why I Won’t be Voting – Voting isn’t as easy as they say

I have some pretty strong opinions about each of the leading candidates for the Ontario election that takes place tomorrow but I am one Ontario citizen that will not be voting. That is not to say I do not care to vote or have a lack of care about the future health of my province and its people or that I simply do not care for any of the parties or leader. I will not be voting tomorrow as I am stuck in a rather tricky situation that I’ve realized many other individuals in my age demographic is experiencing.

The address listed for the purpose of claiming voting rights is about two hours by public transport from my place in the city. The reason why this address is still listed is that my downtown apartment is considered temporary (due to the nature of something called university I’ve moved 3x in the past 3 years). I work and live in the city and on a normal day it is rare to have returned home before 8PM – long story short there is no way for me to travel to the assigned voting station in time before the polls close.

Can’t vote on voting day? That’s what advanced voting is for.

Wrong. Again, there was no way I could have travelled back to the electoral district on a weekday in time before the polls closed. I did for some reason assume that advanced polls would be open on weekends. I learnt that was a wrong assumption over the weekend.

I find this type of situation quite ridiculous and concerning. Talking to other individuals of the same demographic revealed that many are facing a similar situation and the end result is that votes are not being cast. The “Youth” the “Younger Generation” is urged to vote and is criticized when turnout is low but this situation reveals that it is not that this demographic does not care but rather the voting opportunities are surrounded by booby-traps. And, it is not enough to do the homework on how to disable bobby-traps because some require special tools to navigate.  That being said, as much as I would like to, I will not be voting tomorrow.

FYI,

If I could throw something at our secondhand television every time I saw a Tim Hudak Million Jobs commercial (blatant lies, numerous economists have stated that these claims are nonsensical AND deficits are not always bad! a must-be 0 deficit financial plan can cost the province more money further down the road! – did someone miss the lecture on leveraging & NPVs?) the television would be broken and unrecognizable

Also, apparently the NDP ads are hilarious and contradict themselves.

As much as I am skeptical about Wynne, her slow running, and somewhat concerning running form I must say she may be the candidate that cares about Ontario the most.

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