Monday, March 28, 2011

Lending Support...

Ey-oh!! Yes, it has yet again been longer than I would like since the last time I have written. By now though, I am suspecting you, my faithful readers, have gotten used to this. Again, my apologies. It seems as though I misjudge the amount of time I actually have every day - 24 hours only seems like alot, but there really isn't much left after you factor in 6-8 for sleep, another 8 for work, 1.5 for the gym...You get the picture. Today's topic is actually quite straight forward - I am "lending support", for lack of a better term, to some friends. I am here to help promote what they do because I think that 1) they are awesome, but more importantly 2) they work hard, and their work deserves your attention - especially if you have been reading my offerings. And so, without any further ado...

Kristel's Kitchen - I first met Kristel in university, back in my McGill glory days. She was the anglophone who sat next to me in Littérature Francaise depuis 1800 - I am going to be real honest here, I wasn't sure I would ever be great friends with someone who would take such a boring class of their own free will. Though, I suppose, it is an admirable trait. More admirable though than her ability to pump out constant A's in dull classes are her culinary talents. And I know she reads my blog and will say "You're giving me too much credit" but Kris - you don't need to pretend to be modest here, you totally rock in the kitchen. For those of you who have yet to discover her wonderful blog, Kristel dishes about food (no pun intended). From dishcrawls to techniques, meals to tips, this girl is just full of advice for whatever you find yourself in the mood for. What's that? Your main squeeze is lactose intolerant and you don't know how to deal? Kristel will teach you how to MAKE your own lactose-free cheese so you can go back to loving your significant other, and enjoy lasagna together. Not sure where you should bring your date for dinner? Well if you're in the 514, check out the Kitchen - Kristel is bound to have a mouth-watering suggestion that will leave you both nothing short of inspired. The best part of this blog though is its honesty. Whereby most of us will simply state something "isn't good", Kristel will tell you the "pourquoi" of it all. And just because something isn't necessarily her cup of tea, doesn't mean she won't like it, or at least give the credibility the dish, or restaurant deserves. Now, perhaps you will think I am biased, and maybe you're right. Or, perhaps I seem over-impressed because I can't tell my foot from my ass in a kitchen when it comes to cooking - after all, remember I CAN bake. Honestly though, this wonderful and talented girl has gotten me to try dishes no one else ever would. And this is because I trust her palette. That is huge for me because though I am not a picky eater persay, I am very weary of what I will put in my mouth. So, whether you're a seasoned vet or looking for something new, check out this blog - an awesome read guaranteed to enrich your life!

Stuffed Ashes - You know all those things you see on television that make you wonder if it's a scam? Well, there is a good chance my friend Darleya has bought it, tried it and written about it so that you, as a consumer, can make an informed decision when it catches your eye at the store. To be honest, I sometimes wonder if she has a money tree growing in her yard, secretly. Some of these things, no matter how awesome, I would have much trouble justifying cost-wise. But then again, this is made easier when she has already gone through 90% of the legwork, and I can reasonably expect to not be disappointed. Darleya here has reviewed so many things I am honestly not sure where to begin. Have you ever wondered about products at the grocery store - things that seem as though they are borderline novelty items? Well, my dear friend here is like a born explorer and has quite possibly tried the product that has left you stumped with a blank gaze across your face. Are beauty products your hidden vice? I know they are one of mine. And before I make a purchase, be it moisturizer, primer, mascara, even lip gloss, I turn to Stuffed Ashes to see if the product in question has been tested, or if she has at least heard anything - I value her opinion. Newly added to the roster is vacation spots. Vacations seems to be one of the things that people who have no money are willing to spend money on. You SAVE for a vacation, so you want it to be memorable. Now, seeing as she does have a mortgage and vehicle to look after, Darleya can't squander all her earnings globe-trotting just yet, so I believe this section is still "under construction" in the sense that it will grow in time as she takes more vacations, but her reviews so far are fair and detailed, and most certainly informative. She also has a passion for games - board games, computer games - she is a gamer in the truest sense of the word. When she shows up to parties, she usually brings a bag of games with her - she's awesome! And so are the games she brings! Whether they be low-key 2-player games suited for a quite, rainy afternoon indoors at the cottage, or 10-player games for a bunch of rowdy, alcohol-dipped, party go-ers, this girl knows what will get people going and seems to have just the game for every situation - I can certainly attest that my life hasn't been the same since summer '07 when she busted out Apples 2 Apples at Chalet Meunier...The hilarity (and political incorrectness) that ensued is stuff you see in movies. You know the saying, Buyer Beware? Well now you can be - go ahead and read up! You might be surprised at what you will find in this well-rounded, all-inclusive blog!

REP Interactive, LLC - How I discovered REP Interactive, LLC is a tad odd...I would love to sit and brag that I was at some networking event, but alas, no dice. I was at Wet Republic in Vegas enjoying some well-earned time under the sun when I was introduced to their CEO, poolside, by a mutual friend. FaceBook, being the social networking tool it is, allowed me to find said CEO and keep in touch after Vegas. As we exchanged information, I learned what this young chap was doing career-wise, and I must admit I was fairly impressed. Not only was his company successful, but I had never even thought of what he was dabbling in - genious I tell you. REP Interactive, LLC puts together sleek, customized and engaging new media commercials geared for ALL service sectors. This works because everything is tailored to the clients' needs. Back in October, REP had a contest whereby they were giving away tockets to a Guerilla Union event - somehow, I managed to win a pair of these...Not only did I get to enjoy the concert, but I got to spend a day with some of the most professional people I have ever met. They know how to get the job done and have a good time doing it! The end products are nothing short of stellar, and in an emerging market, they are bound to go far. Add to that their expanding territory and ease in deploying staff - they have you covered through and through. Though their blog is slightly outdated, it is certainly worth a gander, and will provide some examples of what REP Interactive, LLC can do for you!

Alright - now that I have done some PR work for some friends, I will leave the rest to you! Check them out, see what they have to offer. I assure you, none of them actually knew about this post prior to it being published - I simply felt that they deserve some recognition for what they do. Be it running a business, or even maintinaing a blog, I can certainly vouch for how time-consuming and tough it can be. Though I only have the blog aspect to deal with, I am constantly looking for time to write, but also time to live life - after all, if I didn't live my life, I would have nothing to write about. It's like a catch-22.

So, enough about that, I am off for some well-deserved sleep! In the meantime, encourage some of my hardworking friends, and if you come across something I should be reading, or should mention here, let me know! Always looking for good reads!

-Milie B.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

BATS is Back!

Alright, alright. I could sit here and patronize you all with my apologies about how it has been sooooo long since I wrote, but that wouldn't actually do anything, now would it? And so, I am back. Perhaps even with a vengeance, but probably not. In all honesty, I have really missed you - what little audience I have. I have missed writing my random adventures, wild antics, and above all, day-to-day stupidities. What I find humorous in all this is that the last time I wrote, which was back in December, I recall I was dating a young gentleman. Said gentleman was well aware of my blog, and, when he spent the weekend, he specifically said "I better not show up in your blog!" - well too bad darling!! As fleeting as the moment is, here you are. And we are no longer dating - THAT much time has passed since I last wrote.

So here we are. The New Year is in full swing, and after what felt like an eternity, I am writing again. I suppose that as a welcome back post, I should start by explaining my leave of abscence. My ahem, beloved boss informed me - and the rest of my team for that matter - during a meeting in December that we were expected to make use of the $1500.00 we have at our disposal for continuing education and professional development. Free money you say? Yes please; just point me in its direction. As a result, I quickly found myself enrolled not only in Introduction to Project Management, but also Level 1 Spanish. In the blink of an eye, I signed away six - that's right - SIX entire Saturdays, as well as Tuesday and Thursday nights. Apparently, I thought this would be a good idea, and that more importantly, I was feeling up to the daunting challenge.

Fast forward past pneumonia plagued holidays, a cliché New Year's Eve midnight kiss and a return to work straight out of a horror novel, and I found myself about to begin class. I would love to say that I was mature about this, but the truth could not be further from. On the eve of the death of my social life for six weeks, I received a text from the dreaded ex informing me he would be attending a party where I would be that evening, with the sister of one of my best friends. Really? REALLY? Thanks for nothing - again. After sending my colourfully worded well-wishings to him, I decided to venture to the psychic fair in hopes of getting some sort of news that might turn this day around. *Allow me to digress for a moment: The day sucked in particular because not only would I see my ex, but I would see him at Cookie Monster's house - where Cookie Monster would be with his girlfriend, whom he met at back to Pumpkin Spice...On Ice to refresh your memory as to how horribly awry that night went.* I am still not certain why I thought any psychic would ever give me good news - as I sat down, I felt an ominous cloud settle over me. I shuffled and cut the deck, and the reading started. Failure. Yes, that is the FIRST card that was flipped over. W.O.W. I was aghast. Especially when three cards later, she flipped the Fool. I nearly lost my shit. The boy who had left me mildly broken-hearted but three days earlier had that EXACT card tattooed on his calf. I was on the verge of tears, and most certainly ready to leave. I'd had enough - time to get to this party, and get my drink on.

I woke Saturday morning after an awesome four hours of sleep in less than stellar shape. I took off like a bat out of hell - it was that or go back to bed. Not only did I arrive on time, I arrived ahead of time. The class started, and I was instantly absorbed - I could tell that the six Saturdays would be well worth it, despite having to listen to some really annoying people. I left that Saturday looking forward to the next five classes, and to the challenges the class would present. Spanish was much less exciting, pero, hoy yo hablo un poco de Espanol. Honestly, the first two weeks were not so bad, but it quickly became very obvious to me why I had decided early on in life to just plow through school - returning is really tough. Especially with a full-time job. The energy isn't the same anymore, priorities change, and it is battle to try to find time to dedicate to reading some very dry material, and completing homework assignments. After the ex moved out of the house last year, I stopped drinking coffee. It wasn't planned, but I liked that I felt better without it. School drove me right back into its sweet, loving arms. It was a brief encounter with hell, but I must admit, at the end of the day, I love going back to school. Even though it took away from just about everything else, I still totally rocked both my classes - 87% in Introduction to Project Management and an SC in Spanish - I assume based on test results and attendance I have a grade somewhere in the 85-90% range.

Paired with school came a complete and total lack of time to go to the gym. That and the second bout of pneumonia over the Christmas holidays led me to believe that perhaps a break from physical exercise was a good thing; it would let my lungs heal and get back into shape. It also meant that I no longer had that time every day where I could tune out and just observe life happening around me - I lost my primary source of writing inspiration!! Add to the lack gym time (or any time at all for that matter) the fact that I met a boy who lives out of town and you have the perfect recipe for me not writing. But even if we removed Mr. Paul from the equation, I still would not have had the time or energy to write. Truth be told, I wrote a post upon my return from the 514 back in January. It was almost complete, but as I re-read it, I couldn't help but feel disgust - I wasn't proud of what I had written. It lacked the usual depth you have all becomed so accustomed to, as well as any type of heart on my behalf. I just wasn't proud of what was displayed on the screen in front of me - how could I even think of clicking the "Publish" button. I deleted that post tonight, and at the same time made somewhat of a personal vow never to write when I don't feel up to it - why write garbage? Though I am certain some of these posts are questionnable in their nature, I am proud of all I have written so far - yes, even the "smut"...

And so on that note, welcome back. Welcome back to BATS, and welcome back to me, Miss Milie B. It is presently 10:15pm on a Wednesday night. As I look out my 11th story balcony window, I see a white screen, and millions of tiny snowflakes falling all at once. As mother nature covers the city in her white blanket, all I can think is it's nice to write again. No - it's excellent to write again, and I can't wait for my next post. I hope you all enjoyed your holiday season as much as I did mine, that your New Year has been nothing less than prosperous until now,and I hope you will all continue to read (and forgive my being M.I.A. for 3 months)!

-Milie B.