Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Just Beat It Beat It Beat It Beat It No One Wants To Be Defeated - Take 6

Shawn and I fully expected a sad, droopy puppy when we went to pick Stella up last night but instead we were met with a very excited Stella. She came barrelling out of the back room when she heard our voices and covered us in puppy kisses. It was exactly what I needed after a stressful Monday.

Once she got over her initial joy that we hadn't abandoned her forever, Stella calmed down quite a bit. She was lethargic from the drugs and tried to avoid Wolfgang as much as possible. He would try to engage her and she would just slink away instead of trying to eat his face like she normally does.

He was quite flummoxed by it all.

Eventually he gave up and Stella and I enjoyed some puppy cuddles. It was all very nice and sweet until bedtime rolled around and we had to get the drops in Stella's ears.

She was having none of it. We have to put 3 - 4 drops in both ears twice a day for the next week. It is impossible to do. She jerks her head around and I can't see what I'm doing; I just squeeze the bottle and hope that some of the medication is actually getting into her ears. Shawn is 6'3" and weighs over 200 pounds and he cannot hold her down. He can control her legs but then she starts whipping her head around. So he lets go of her legs and tries to hold her head and she starts kicking and scratching. It took fifteen minutes to do this morning and I'm not even 100% sure that any drops went into her ears.

I am begging for suggestions here, people. How do you get drops in your pet's ears?

On top of the drops, Stella has to take two different pills twice a day for the next week. Getting her to take the pills isn't a problem - she's a whore for cheese (she takes after me!) so I just stick the pill in a chunk of cheese and she gobbles it right up. The problem is that both pills need to be taken with food and they need to be taken fifteen minutes apart. This means that I need to feed Stella half of her breakfast; give her a chunk of cheese with a pill in it; wait fifteen minutes; feed her the other half of her breakfast; then give her another chunk of cheese with another pill in it. And then repeat at dinner. So basically I'm putting more energy into planning Stella's meals than I am my own.

However, I am not complaining if it means that my pup is getting better (I will, however, complain about the $300 vet bill we were hit with when we picked her up.)

* * * * *

And just to make this the longest post ever, it's the last day of the month which means ... beets!

I peeled the beets and cut them into wedges. I drizzled them with olive oil and added five cloves of minced garlic and some sea salt. I wrapped them up in foil and put them in a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes. Then I unwrapped them, drizzled them with honey and balsamic vinegar and cooked them for another half hour.

They were ... alright. They didn't suck. The honey and balsamic vinegar really masked the taste of the beet, especially since the beets ended up extremely caramelized (when we were kids, my parents would refuse to admit that they'd burnt something; they'd always say that it was just "golden." These beets? Were golden.)

To reward ourselves for eating our June beets, we devoured a strawberry rhubarb cobbler.

Monday, 29 June 2009

Though You're A Scrawny Pup I Would Be Happy Just To Cheer You Up

Stella does this thing sometimes where she gives her head a bit of a shake and her ears go all flippy floppy. It makes the cutest flapping sound.

Stella's ear flap from Hillary W on Vimeo.

I couldn't sleep last night because every 30 seconds I'd hear her doing it. Flap flap flap, all night long. This morning she was scratching her ear and groaning so off to the vet we went.

Stella really dislikes going to the vet. I walk her there so she's a bit tired (read: doesn't have the energy to be a total asshole) when we arrive but it doesn't matter - as soon as we near the door, her tail tucks between her legs and her ears droop and I can tell she's storing her energy up for one final attempt to bolt. It happens every time we go, without fail. I'll get the door open, she'll move toward the door so the leash has a bit of slack in it, and then quick like a fox she jerks the other way and tries to run for freedom.

It was the same today, which was reassuring. I think the day Stella is okay with going to the vet is the day I know she's really sick. The vet checked her out and discovered a nasty ear infection.

Stella needs to spend the day at the vet. This afternoon she'll be sedated and the vet will clean and treat her ear infection. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't worried. In fact, I'd be lying if I said I didn't immediately call Turtle and start crying as soon as I left the vet's office. Stel has only been sedated once before - when she was spayed - and when we picked her up she was the saddest, droopiest puppy in the world.

So if you could think some positive puppy thoughts for my Stelly Belly today, I'd much appreciate it.

Sunday, 28 June 2009

I Remember We Were Walking Up To Strawberry Swing

I love summer. 

I love strawberries.

Stella does too.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

I Want To Love You Pretty Young Thing

This week I:

- laughed hysterically while Stella pulled Wolfgang around the kitchen on my housecoat. 

- cried when: Jon & Kate announced their separation (and I'd never even seen one episode before Monday); my awesome mom made me three pots of homemade soup on three separate occasions (2 pots of cream of cauliflower and 1 pot of chicken / spinach, if you're wondering); I had blood taken and the nurse couldn't find my vein; I realized that I accidentally bought light ice cream instead of the good stuff; heard the news about Michael Jackson.

- spent far too much time with the puppies.

- realized that Wolfgang is the most annoying puppy in the world.  

This is why Wolfgang makes me stabby:

Wolfgang tells me where to go from Hillary W on Vimeo.

That's all I've got. I'm still sick. Still bored. Still ... stabby. Happy Friday, lovelies! 

Monday, 22 June 2009

Lights Will Guide You Home And Ignite Your Bones And I Will Try To Fix You

So I'd really like to not be whining about how sick I am still but, uh, I'm still sick. And as such, have not done anything interesting in the last six days. And by "not done anything interesting" I mean "didn't go to the Coldplay concert on Saturday night." The Coldplay concert I'd been looking forward to for months. 

I would really love to be someone who isn't fussed by this sort of thing but I'm not. I'm fussed. I'm disappointed and stroppy and a little sad. And yes, I realize how hard my life is that I had to stay home Saturday night instead of going to a concert. A concert that I was able to pay for with money I made at my job. I know. I know! Me and my first world problems. It's just ... I really love Coldplay. I've never seen them play live before. And Snow Patrol was opening for them. I really love Snow Patrol. And I'm just so tired of feeling crappy. 

Speaking of feeling crappy, after being up all night with pain pretty much everywhere from the neck up, I went to the doctor this morning. Turns out that the antibiotic I was prescribed last week didn't work. Meaning my strep throat is worse and I now have ear infections in both ears and a sinus infection. Um yes, I am a joyful one right now. 

However. This wasn't meant to be a whiny post. I actually wanted to thank everyone who left sweet, thoughtful comments last week. I've been really shite at responding to them so I'm hoping this post will suffice. You all rock. I am continually surprised at the support and kindness that you all throw my way. This is two steps away from becoming a drunken "I love you man" so I'll stop my babble. Just ... thanks. 

Saturday, 20 June 2009

You Want Me To Twist It Twist It For You A Little Bit Twisted

It was either this or I talk about strep throat again:

This is my lovely friend making a complete an utter arse of herself to complete her secret mission.

As you can see, she is a million laughs.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Baby, Instant Soup Doesn't Really Grab Me

Hey so remember yesterday when I was all "I have to be at work even though I'm sick. I'm such a trooper. I can tough it out because I'm so strong." Well. That lasted for a few hours. And then it got to the point where I was tearing up every time I swallowed. So I went to the walk-in clinic and was told that I have strep throat (for what feels like the 80th time this year.) And I cried. The poor doctor was so fussed but I couldn't help it. (In my defense, it is a certain time of the month where hearing that one has pus visibly running down one's throat is bound to set one off.) I'm just so frustrated. I feel like I'm always sick. Since getting back from our holiday, Shawn and I have made a huge effort to eat healthier. We've started going to the vegetable market once a week and stocking up on loads of fresh produce. We eat salad at least once a day, usually twice. We've stopped eating at restaurants as much as we used to, we've cut back on the sweet stuff and the salty stuff, we've tried to make healthier versions of the takeout food we love. And yet here I am, back on antibiotics. Clearly I need to eat less leafy stuff and more fried foods. 

So I'm hanging out with the puppies today, hoping that I don't get in too much trouble when I go back to work on Monday. And because apparently I am 7 years old, my mom is coming over to take care of me. My mom rocks. She lives 20 minutes away from me (well, 20 minutes for me, with her driving it's more like half an hour) - 2 bridges away from me - but she's still coming over to make me homemade soup. 

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

The Hotel Bar Hangover Whiskey's Gone Dry

A few bits & bobs because I am feeling braindead and babbly today:

Yesterday I wrote about Goldie Cook's secret mission without really understanding what it's all about. Consider me enlightened:

"Last week it was confirmed that I was into the final stage of a Cadburys competition. I am now competing with 9 other Cadbury Cream Egg Twisted Super Agents to hunt down the Goo on the Loose! Goldie Cook is my Super Secret Agent name and my mission is to track down ‘the GOO’ that is on the loose. I have to follow the clues to where the Goo is going to attack next by trekking up and down the country to secret locations. I have to document my progress by Twitter, YouTube videos and gain as much support publicity as possible."

So again, if you would like to support Goldie, you can:

friend her on Facebook

join her Facebook group

follow her on Twitter

watch her YouTube videos

I really do appreciate everyone who has supported my (completely bonkers) friend. She is a gem and really deserves to win!

* * * * *

The Hangover really is as good as everyone is saying it is. I highly recommend you go see it (unless you're easily offended by crude humour, in which case you should probably not go see it.)

* * * * *

I was emailing back and forth with Ben on Saturday (during the engagement party) about an idea he had. It was a very good idea but my brain was a bit fuzzy from the wine. I ended up answering back with this little gem:

'Am druink. Will be coherent at some point tommorrow. Loves!'

which I was unaware of until Ben sent it back to me on Monday. Thanks for the laugh, Ben! Also, thanks for outing me as someone who cannot spell tomorrow without spellcheck (though I guess I'm sort of outing myself.) Anyway, the lesson is: when you're drinking and you get to the point where temporary tattoos sound like a good idea, put the Blackberry away. I've had my Blackberry for less than a month; it was a rookie mistake. One I (hopefully) won't make again.

* * * * *

I'm sick again! And at work, spreading my germs around. I hate it when people come to work sick but at the same time, I know that my coworkers and I have no choice. There are certain times when we cannot call in sick and today is one of those times. And so I will sit at my desk and slowly die. And whine about it on the Internet.

* * * * *

That's it. That's all I've got. Only ... 8 more hours until I can go home and die in bed.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Okay If I Wasn't An Actor I'd Be A Secret Agent

You won't find someone with a bigger heart - or a bigger laugh - than my friend Goldie Cook. She adopted me as her token Canadian when I was a lonely barmaid in a tiny village in England. She provided many laughs, a couch to sleep on, a shoulder to cry on, and one truly horrendous hangover (which included broken bones!) after the gongshow that was my going away party. Goldie will do anything for anyone and rarely asks for anything in return. Which is why when she does ask, I will do anything for her.


Goldie Cook is on a secret mission. You can help her win 20,000 pounds by:

friending her on Facebook

joining her Facebook group

following her on Twitter

watching her YouTube videos

Do any of these things and you will earn my undying love and affection. Promise.

Monday, 15 June 2009

Everyone You Meet They're Jamming In The Street All Night Long

I woke up Saturday feeling worse than Friday. My throat was on fire and the glands in my neck were swollen and painful. A responsible person - a grown-up - would have stayed in bed. I got gussied up and went to Cat's engagement party and proceeded to drink wine, eat approximately 4lbs of cheese, kick ass at Wii bowling (I won't lie - the only reason I kicked ass is because I thought ahead and brought yoga pants to change into for the Wii portion of the party. My flexibility and range of motion were far greater than the chumps who tried to play while all dressed up in party clothes. They won't make that mistake again, I'm sure), and play with temporary tattoos (there is a certain point in afternoon-drinking when the idea of a cute leetle fishy on your wrist seems like the Best! Idea! Ever!)

We left the party around 6:00 so we could make it back to my parents' place to pick up the puppies (we felt guilty leaving the pups alone all day and night so my parents puppysat for us. No really, we're that lame.)

Stella was not happy at us for leaving her.

We headed downtown shortly after but it was too late; the meet-up was already over. I was really disappointed that I missed the opportunity to hang out with some Vancouver bloggers (if you went, how was it?)

Robin and I met up with Shawn and the guys, one of whom is leaving this week to go to the UK for a few months.

We had to send him off with a proper goodbye.

We ended up in a club with red walls and a pulsating drum beat and many silver beads and birdcages hanging from the ceiling; where the average age of the other patrons hovered slightly above 19 years old. One of the guys bought an overpriced bottle of vodka that gained us entry to the VIP section. Our group of eight huddled around our one table, trying to spread out on the banquettes without having to pay for another table, and had sloppy conversations about Vancouver and how we miss each other and how much we love each other and how Shawn and I need to move back downtown.

I love sloppy conversations. Especially when they involve my single guy friends trying to convince me to put in a good word for them with Robin (oh and Robin? The dude who's house we started the night at? Is totally going to ask you out. Sorry.)

Shawn and I ended our night with poutine at Fritz and then fell asleep in the cab.

I was hurting yesterday morning but multiple mugs of hot tea brought me back to life.

How was your weekend?

Friday, 12 June 2009

Baby Please Open Your Heart And Catch My Disease

Friday Faff: I'm Highly Medicated Don't Judge My Rambling Edition

I have spent the last two days dying of a throat/ear blight. This morning I woke up and could feel it in my chest. And yet ... it's Friday and calling in sick on a Friday is a major no-no in my office. So here I am, at work, spreading my nasty germs around.

Suffice it to say, I will not be at the BlogHer Vancity event tomorrow. I've got to be way out in the suburbs by 2pm for Cat's engagement party and I'm thinking I may need the morning to rest up. Who knows ... maybe tomorrow morning I'll wake up feeling fine and I'll crash the meet-up. Anyway, to anyone who is going tomorrow: I'm really disappointed I won't get to meet/see you. Hopefully next time I won't be a disgusting bag of disease and I will be able to go.

* * * * *

In other news, I forgot to write my 10th Monthiversary post. I'll, uh, get on that. At some point. Maybe.

* * * * *

After months of being jerked around by multiple car dealerships, Shawn and I were able to trade in our cars and consolidate to one car. I lost some cash on my car but Shawn managed to break even. We are now the proud owners of a 2007 VW GTI. She's gorgeous.

* * * * *

Oh! I almost forgot. This happened on Tuesday but I have been stewing about it since. The pups and I were at the dog park. I noticed Stel acting a bit weird so I called her over and discovered a really sticky, strawberry flavoured, giant wad of bubblegum stuck to her foot. It was all up in between her toes, under her nails, stuck in her fur, ALL OVER. It took me so long to get it all off. I made the poor thing stand in the bathtub full of coldish water while I tried to scrape it off. Her foot is a little sore (the pad is a bit raw) but I figured it was better than her chewing the gum off her foot and eating it.

So. If you are in a dog park, don't spit your fucking gum on the ground. This goes for the asshats who smoke while in the dog park also. Put your trash / gum / cigarette butts in the garbage/poop receptacle the parks people so kindly provide. My dogs (especially Stella) eat everything. She has eaten more cigarette butts than I can count. THIS CAN'T BE GOOD FOR HER. Aaannd I'm done ranting.

* * * * *

Tonight is the Stanley Cup final. I'm cheering for the Penguins because the Red Wings really annoy me for some reason (probably because they win all the time.) And because Mermanda lives in Pittsburgh and I don't know/read anyone who lives in Detroit.

* * * * *

So that's all I've got. What's going on in your world? Do I have any Vancouver readers who are going to the meet-up tomorrow?

Monday, 8 June 2009

Goodbye My Love Into Your Blue Blue Eyes Your Blue Blue World You're My Baby Blue

Dear Dave Matthews Band:

Thank you for producing such a kickass album. I have been listening to 'Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King' all week. You never disappoint me.

Keep up the good work!

Your Baby Blue

* * * * *

Dear Maxie,

You are crazy and I love it.

Your blogger face is beautiful.

Love Hillary

* * * * *

Dear Soup I Made for Dinner Last Night:

Thanks for not tasting gross.

Look! Food without beets!

red onion, green pepper, garlic, jalapeƱo, snap peas, shitake mushrooms (sliced big enough that I can pick them out) and broccoli

stirred around in a few tablespoons of hot olive oil until the onions are soft

1 can of baby corn - sliced, half a brick of tofu - diced, 1 package stirfry noodles, 1 can of water chestnuts - sliced, all thrown into the pot with 8 cups of chicken stock

heat until broth is bubbly, vegetables are soft, and tofu is hot

I'm sorry that Shawn wasn't interested in you. Maybe one day he will accept tofu as an unavoidable part of his life.

The One Who is Already Sick of Soup but Has a Giant Pot to Work Through (anyone want to come over for dinner?)

* * * * *

Dear Jillian,

Erm ... since when is Vancouver your hometown? Last year when you were on the Bachelor, weren't you from Red Deer? I'm confused. A few things confused me, actually, during last night's episode. Like, what time of day were you in Granville Island Market? I have never seen it that empty. And was it as awkward for you to kiss Kiptyn as it was for us to watch you kiss Kiptyn? I like the guy, I think he's one of the less douchey bachelors, but dude, that kiss was cringe-worthy.

Last night's episode wasn't just confusing, though. It was also very dramatic. You were so adorable when addressing the guys after the girlfriend bomb was dropped. You were just so Canadian when you called it the "rudest thing" and told the guys that your "feelings were hurt." I could have used a few more swear words is all I'm sayin'. I can't wait to see what happens next week.

Love Hillary

PS: Thanks for sending David home. I'm 99% sure that he's a serial killer.

PPS: You should pretty much just marry Reid now, but only if he promises to never take off his glasses.

I Think I Got Something In My Teeth Could You Get It Out For Me? That's Effing Teamwork!

Last week Ben posted a review of the Flappy on Who's Your Daschund. I scoffed - scoffed! - at his claim that the Tuffy Flappy could withstand a week with his pups.

I had to see for myself.

Things started off well. Wolfgang loves his Flappy.

I bought two of the same-sized Tuffies so the pups wouldn't have Flappy envy.

The problem is that nothing tastes better than someone else's Flappy.

Please note the sad, lonely Flappy that has been forgotten by Wolfgang. Clearly it does not taste as good as Stella's Flappy.

Wolfgang is fighting a losing battle.

Tug of war!

The shenanigans were resolved when the pups realized that they could both chew on one Flappy without getting in each other's way.

Overall I'm pretty impressed with the Flappy. The pups had a lot of fun, the squeaker was less obnoxious than other toys we've tried in the past, and neither puppy managed to destroy it. The Flappy isn't a toy that I'd leave with the pups in their crates (Stella has managed to chew the ends off the flappy bits and I'm confident that given a few hours alone with the Flappy she'd manage to chew through the middle bit) but it's definitely a toy I'll let them play with when they're out of their crates. Every toy we've tried with the pups has been ruined (by Stella) on the day we brought it home. I'm not exaggerating when I say that the pups each have one toy - the Nylabone Galileo Bone "designed specifically for powerful chewers" - so I'm very excited to have found another toy tough enough to prevail against Stella's earnest attempt at destruction.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Bad Boy Bad Boy Whatcha Gonna Do?

Yesterday started off fabulously.

The puppies didn't start their daily whinefest until after the alarm went off (Wolfgang usually starts a good two hours before the alarm goes off. I don't know why I still love him.)

Shawn woke me up the good way.

My boss is away so I get to wear cool t-shirts to work. Yesterday's said "A city built on rock n' roll would be structurally unsound." It's funny but also really relevant to my job, which brings me joy. (Just to clarify: my job doesn't bring me joy. The t-shirt's relevance to my job brings me joy.)

I got to work and realized it was Camp Day at Tim Horton's (which is just an excuse to buy lots of coffee.) (What? I do it for the kids!)

See? Fabulous!

Things started to get less fabulous around midday.

I went to grab sushi for lunch. The sushi place I go to is set up with coolers filled with prepared rolls on the left and a cash register directly in front of you when you walk in. I've been going to this sushi place for almost four years. As soon as I walk in the door, I check to see if the spot where my roll is kept is empty (and it always is at lunch) and head straight for the cash register to order if it is. There was a lady, an EVIL LADY, faffing all over the cooler when I came in the door. Just as I got to the cash register, she whipped around so that she was directly in front of me with the roll she had just chosen. BLATANT BUDGING! Obviously I couldn't let it go - not after Monday's coffee line budging incident - so I cleared my throat. Loudly. I know, I'm an animal. So I clear my throat in that "let's both just acknowledge that you're an asshole" way and she turns around, not to apologize, but to give me the stink eye. I was thisclose to kicking her in the shin.

I went back to the office and ate my sushi. The sushi tasted a bit ... off. Three hours later, when my guts were trying to escape my body, I realized that maybe when sushi tastes wrong, one should throw it out instead of continuing to eat it. Lesson learned.

Yesterday Nilsa wrote a post on how wonderful her neighbourhood is. I left a comment bemoaning the state of my neighbourhood. She emailed me back and I realized that I had been a bit tough on my neighbourhood. It's really not so bad.

And then I got home from work.

The street in front of my building was full of scary men in body armour. Four large, black trucks filled the street with two police cars crammed in for good measure. There didn't seem to be any sense of urgency - the scary men were just milling about - so I approached the door. I asked one of the men what was going on and he told me not to worry, that my building is now "the safest building" in my city. Ha ha. He wouldn't tell me what had happened though, just that it was resolved now and he couldn't talk about it.

I got into the elevator with two police officers who were headed to the 4th floor. I live on the 4th floor. So of course the crazy sets in and I start to worry that someone has broken into my condo and murdered my puppies. Because murdered puppies warrant 6 police vehicles and no less than 20 police officers. Obviously.

I asked the officers what was going on but they wouldn't tell me anything, just that it was now safe to be in the building.

Dear Police Officers,
Telling a crazy lady that it is now safe to be in her building is not reassuring to her. AT ALL.
Love Hillary

I couldn't find any information online until this morning so I got no sleep last night (though that might have had something to do with the heatwave we're currently experiencing.)

It turns out that someone on the 5th floor was hanging out a window with a pellet rifle so someone called the police. Apparently it looked like a real rifle. I'm unclear on what a pellet rifle is or what one looks like but I'm happy that the entire freaking police force turned out to deal with the situation. I'm also happy that no-one got murdered (especially puppies!) because Shawn left this morning for a four day business trip and I would likely have to spend those four days at my parents' house if I wanted to actually get some sleep.

So to sum up: coffee = good, sushi = bad. Puppies = good, asshats with pellet rifles = bad.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

I Love The Exquisite Array I Love The Camp As Camp Parade

It's Camp Day at Tim Horton's today, which means a portion of every coffee sale goes to the Tim Horton Children's Foundation.

I cannot think of a better reason to drink copious amounts of the yummy goodness that is Tim Horton's coffee.

Here I am cracking into my first double double of the day.

(PS to Mermanda: I finally have a Blackberry so I can take photos and email them instantly! No cords required!)

(PPS: My hair is being an asshole today. Don't judge me.)

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

One More Cup Of Coffee For The Road

Dear Lady Standing Three People Behind Me in Line Yesterday,

When a new cashier opens, it's not a sign for you to jump ahead to be first in her line. That's called budging. The next person in the original line gets to go first. That's just the rule. You may not agree with it but you still have to obey it.

We were lined up for coffee.

On a Monday morning.

That's a good way to get stabbed, in my opinion.

The Lady Who May Be a Little Too Dependent on Her Caffeine

* * * * *

Dear Stella,

Last night when you came out of the bedroom with a sock in your mouth, I told you very sternly to drop it. Thanks for not listening. It meant that Shawn had to get up from his dinner to make you drop it (it was his sock. I have no sympathy for the guy who leaves his damn socks on the floor every freaking day.) This gave you the opportunity to jump up on his chair and start eating his salad while he dug the sock out from where you left it under the bed. You looked adorable with a bunch of baby spinach hanging out of your mouth.

The One Who Reprimanded You Harshly but Was Laughing Hysterically on the Inside

* * * * *

Dear Wes,

Stop singing your song. No really, stop it. Maybe if I had the opportunity to hear the song in its entirety instead of only hearing the first line over and over and over, I wouldn't want to punch myself in the ear every time you opened your mouth.

The One Who is Not Ashamed to Admit She Watches the Bachelorette

* * * * *

Dear Self,

If your bare legs touch the train seat, your dress is too short. It is especially too short for work.

Love Hillary

PS: Wash your legs.

* * * * *

Monday, 1 June 2009

Just A Small Town Girl Living In A Lonely World She Took The Midnight Train Going Anywhere

I met Robin after work on Friday for what was supposed to be a few civilized drinks. We were drinking Pimm's for eff's sake; you can't get more civilized than Pimm's. It had been a while since Robin and I had a proper visit; one that didn't involve kitchen gadgets or noisy puppies or time constraints. A few drinks turned into many drinks and the next thing you know, we're sitting in an Irish bar with a bunch of English blokes. That is the type of night you have when you're friends with Robin.

I've known Robin since her family moved to my neighbourhood almost twenty years ago. We were in the same grade 2 class. We bonded over a shared love of the Skip-It (I had one; she didn't; a great friendship is born.) Robin is one of those forever friends; one you know will always be there. The problem with that, of course, is that when you know someone will always love you, you don't always spend enough time earning that love. Since moving out of the city, I haven't made enough of an effort to be Robin's friend. I've been phoning it in for a while.

I have my justifications: my stressful job, my soul-sucking commute, my attention-hogging puppies. What it all boils down to, though, is that I've been avoiding the city. I see Robin when she comes out to my place or we meet after work for a quick drink. I don't come to the city specifically to see her. Friday night made me realize why. I miss the city. I miss the seawall and the chilled-out atmosphere of a lazy summer afternoon spent on the beach. I miss walking home from work and being able to hit a grocery store, liquor store and drug store all on the way. I miss catching a $7 cab ride to the Granville Strip. I even miss the ankle-turning cobblestones of Gastown.

When I woke up Saturday morning, I told Shawn that I want to move back downtown. We've been talking about buying a house but that would entail moving out to the suburbs. The real suburbs with lawns and backyards and no highrises or transit system. I could sacrifice my dream of having a garden and he could give up his hopes of ever having a home studio and we could happily live in 550 square feet of prime Vancouver real estate. Right?

Shawn, surprisingly, wasn't totally against the idea. He misses the city as much as I do. It's not something we could do in the near future but it's an idea that is now brewing in the back of both of our minds. For now I need to stop punishing myself for moving away from this city I love and work at being a better friend to Robin. After all, a friend with a sweet downtown address is not someone you want to lose touch with (I kid, I kid.)

(Okay maybe not, but I do love Robin for more than her awesome apartment.)

(She also has really gorgeous clothes that she lets me borrow sometimes.)