Monday, January 25, 2010


I knew I was feeling emotional when I started to tear up at the American idol auditions. Does everyone that goes on the show have some sort of tragic back story?

I think it is completely normal to be nervous to go on a large trip, but mix that with huge amounts of excitement and Sarah conquering her asthma to sing for Simon becomes 'so brave' and sleeping at night becomes impossible. Luckily my friend Jen is feeling exactly the same way, so receiving messages from her in the early morning has become delightfully relaxing, and slowly our trip is coming together and we are just ready to go!

I am fully packed, have a ride to the airport (thankyou grace) and am just generally in a good, buzzy sort of mood. I can't wait to share with you all the amazing things we will see when we are away. It will be a little harder to blog once I'm in India, so please excuse the large absences between entries.

Alright peace and love to you all

Next Blog entry in India xxx

Friday, January 22, 2010


The Google adverts down the side of my blog never fail to make me giggle. I find it amazing how they manage to reflect what I have written in my post that day. For example after my Golden Globes bashing it was offering people 24K gold dipped roses for valentines day. It has also offered egg donor services after I confessed I made an omelette by cracking eggs one handed. Once it even offered Harry Potter lessons, I'm not going to lie I nearly clicked.

Anyway being the child that I am, and physically unable to stop myself, I have decided I'm going to mess with the algorithm. The following list will be made up of topics that have just come into my brain, call it a stream of consciousness, but I am excited to see what advertisements end up popping up.

1. Cats in socks
2. Delicate Origami Swans
3. Ninjas on pirate ships
4. Teeny Tiny Dogs that fit in teacups
5. Monkey Brains (thanks to Mat and Josh for this one)
6. Jumping Beans
7. Christmas themed candy corn
8. Green Santa
9. Jiminy Cricket
10. Pho Friday

Thats quite a list, come on Google, Mr search engine to the stars. Lets be having you.


Thursday, January 21, 2010


News from Haiti is devastating. To even begin to imagine how the people there are feeling or how those who have lost loved ones are coping is near impossible. This is why, while watching the golden globes I found myself becoming more and more irritated by celebrities sitting in their twenty five thousand dollar dresses surrounded by decadence saying nothing about Haiti. I guess the tiny ribbons just didn't cut it for me. 

It's not so much a money thing; the irony of wealth displacement was obvious anyway. It’s the influence these people have. Here we have a massive show, based around massive films, watched by mass amount of people. If even half the people accepting awards had gone up there and not thanked people who have homes to live in and streets cleared of dead people and had instead mentioned Haiti, something would have got done. 

As you can imagine from my blog, watching the award show with me wouldn't have been a huge amount of fun, and after about an hour my roommate suggested I would be less stressed if I just turned off the television and went to bed. Oh wise and intellectual Mike, I was waiting for someone to redeem the night, how could I turn off now? They sent Maggie Gyllenhaal up for about thirty seconds to mention Haiti and he looked at me expectantly as if this may placate me, it didn't. Sensing I was about to explode into another long winded speech about inequality in the universe he asked me what exactly it was I wanted to happen on the show. 

Turning his question into a 'what would I do if I was accepting the award' scenario, I answered that I would get up on stage and tell people to donate as much money as they could to the relief fund. I would explain how fortunate all us celebrities were to be in a position to help, and then tell the world I was going to melt down my golden globe and donate the money to those who truly needed it. And here is a break down of what goes into the statuette, which I nicked from the Golden Globes Official Website. 

ABOUT THE GOLDEN GLOBE® STATUETTE· 5.5 lbs· 10.75” tall· 3.5” width of base· 24kt gold plated zinc die cast top – Globe with symbolic filmstrip wrapped around, HFPA letters on base, atop golden cup· Exotic marble base, tapered sub base atop rectangular pillar· Made by Society Awards in New York· Each Golden Globe Award is individually hand-finished· Presented in red velvet lined, leather bound chest with HFPA logo stamped in gold·

Are they serious? It reminds me of the first time I watched Schindler's list. I remember they bring Oskar Schindler's car out, and he starts crying because all he can see is the amount of people he could have saved with the money for his car. If someone tallied the price of the golden globes vs. the amount of people that money could have helped in Haiti, the numbers would be truly sobering.

Anyway, we are only in control of our own actions, and so now that I have finished venting, I plan to do what I can to help. I have posted a link to the Canadian World Vision Website, which is accepting donations. Not everyone has money to donate but giving time, and organizing events is just as important, doing anything is amazing

Alright Peace and Love to all of you

Meryl x

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Who won the chocolate battle?

So you know when you are little and your mum does a bit of your homework for you, and no matter how hard you try that little bit of homework it better than all the rest of it? That's essentially what this blog entry is.

My mum, who coincidently is my biggest blog fan, sent me this article.

It's about the chocolate battle I have been tirelessly trying to cover - ok fine covering in a lazy devil-may-care way.  Amazingly for me this whole chocolate thing has spiraled out of control and has become a massive story. I can only compare this feeling to those who started out with Barack Obama, before they even knew he would become the most powerful man in the world....I have a feeling there will be a lot of hyperbole in this post, I've been sick the last couple of days and like an over excited kid, dizzy on lemonade, I'm excited to be back writing.

So the article my mum sent me - you should read because it's interesting. However as most of you won't read it, I'll quickly summarize. The author was implying that although input about the Kraft take-over from politicians helps Britain with its sense of national pride, and makes it feel protected from multi-million dollar industries swooping in, it would be unfair to set a precedent and allow politicians control over what are essential business deals. 

Which, in my humble opinion is true. However what it has meant (unbeknownst to the author at the time the article it was written) is that Kraft won. 

11.5 billion dollars they paid, which has made approximately 4,500 people a little bit worried about their jobs. Not to mention Cadbury is no longer. It's that, that has freaked me out most. At first I thought the fact that the same people who make cheese in a jar would be making chocolate worthy of the queen was the most unsettling aspect of the take-over. Now I realize that a future generation will miss out on the British owned Cadbury franchise, a more American future that seems to be taking over the world in general. I think this fight felt very David and Goliath, and although I started with insisting indifference, I'm starting to feel like I just watched a bully win a fight. John Cadbury is probably rolling over in his grave. 

As I have mentioned many a time, we are dealing in chocolate. This is not a weapons trade, or a discussion on the infringement of minority rights. It's not a discussion of how inappropriate the golden globes felt after watching the devastation in Haiti. (which I will get to in my next post) But it is a little bit important. Corporations concentrate on making themselves bigger and more influential, Kraft has become the second largest food company in the world, and it has now taken the second largest confectionery company in the world and added it to its collection of about 40 others. The future of Cadbury as we know it is now pretty uncertain and I plan to keep a close eye on it. Will I be able to forgive Kraft for stealing it? 

A Cadbury chocolate covered Ritz prototype sure wouldn't hurt.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Warm pillows, and heavy duvets,
Snuggled and Warm. 
Squishy mattress, linen sheets 
Stretched Out


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Egg Success

Occasionally when I'm cooking I pretend I'm the host of a cooking show. If you'd like to take this opportunity to pretend you don't do the same go ahead, I won't judge, but we both know the truth. 

I'm not a very good chef, and I certainly don't make anything one wouldn't consider amateur, but being the host of a hugely successful pretend cooking show, I'm brilliant at. Due to lack of imagination I normally name it something like ‘Meryl's Cooking Hour’, or 'Cooking with Meryl' and it mostly features omelettes or soup. But the passion with which I open that soup can or cut up those vegetables is second to none. 

Why am I sharing this with you? 

The only reason I'm sharing with you another, potentially embarrassing, quirk of mine is because last night I did something really cool. While making omelettes I dared to try and crack the eggs one handed, and to paraphrase Rex Harrison 'by George I got it'. Seriously, there was only egg in the cup, no shell in sight. Now I've tried this before, and normally, I crack the egg, my fingers close in and the shell implodes into itself causing egg and shell to fly everywhere. Needless to say it’s been a while since my last try but I just knew the good viewers of Cooking with Meryl deserved a go again. 

The eggs came out excellently (I nearly said eggsellently, but only me and my dad would have found it funny) they were really delicious. I guess I've learned that the secret ingredient to a great omelette isn't love its pride, oh and pepper. Maybe next week I'll have a go at separating egg whites, but hey, baby steps right?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Irritations of 2010

This is going to be the easiest blog entry I've ever written. This is partially because I have honed the ability to complain about anything, and partially because there are lots of irritating things that have happened in 2010 already. 

I shall list them in a list.

1. TTC - Easily the most irritating and most talked about pain in the arse of 2010. Three bloody dollars to get on the train. When I first came to Canada the price was two dollars and twenty five cents and that seemed an appropriate price considering there are only two train lines and about seven minutes between trains. When they first hiked the price to two seventy five, I thought it would mean there would be more trains, less breakdowns and perhaps an extra station or two built along the line. I was wrong. Don't even get me started on buses and streetcars, like the Hulk I promise you wouldn't like me when I'm angry. Anyways, being an environmentally conscientious young whipper snapper, and being unable to drive, means I still have to suck it up and use public transport. Seriously though if they don't start showing some sort of progress to suggest my extra twenty five cents a ride is going towards something, I'm going to turn green and write a very stern letter to the head office. 

2. Two Thousand and Ten - It's pronounced twenty ten people- 20, 10. I knew I would have to decide whether I was going to go for twenty ten vs. two thousand and ten and I'm truly glad which side the coin landed, of course that now means everyone who pronounces it in its longer form makes me want to take their tongue and shove it down their throat. On the surface, I really have no issue how one says it, but there is this deep underlying force then gets inexplicably agitated, just like when someone says 'two times' instead of twice. I'm working on my anger issues I promise. 

3. Global Warming - There are still people out in the world who think that Global Warming is some sort of hoax, who think it is a conspiracy or a lie the government made up to frighten people. Its not...

4. The Snow - Why is it, that no matter how much it snows it is never snowman-making snow that settles? We've had crunchy snow, slippery snow, melty snow and slushy snow. If it can't support the weight of a carrot then it might as well bugger off back into the sky where it belongs.

5. Facebook - I love facebook, I really do. I think people who avoid it to be cool are stupid, and people who continue to be surprised that publishing photos on the internet mean they are owned by public domain are even worse. What I don't like about facebook is that every time I go to check my profile my music cuts out for a second. This could just be my mini computer being slow, but I’ve had it happen on someone else's too. I just don't understand why it can't handle both at the same time. Maybe I'll write to Windows and get to be in one of those slightly irritating 'Windows 7 was my idea' commercials. hmmm...fingers crossed.

So there we have it, already five irritations and it’s only the middle of January. I may have to invest in those chill pills I keep hearing about. Hey, why not voice your irritations of 2010 all you have to do is leave a comment....someone, anyone? Just leave a comment, you know you want to. 


Monday, January 11, 2010

Friends are like wine, they get better with age

I really like this sentiment, the idea that the longer we know someone the richer the experience becomes, is heartwarming. However seeing as most of my experience with wine includes copious amount of inexpensive plonk, I couldn't help wanting to end the statement at 'friends are like wine. '

Or in my case friends are like cheap wine. And it works. Friends, like cheap wine, help you get drunk, they don't cost you very much, and the more you have the more likely it is you'll end up dancing on the table singing along to 'A Whole New World'. This isn't what happened on Friday, but as we all stood around laughing for Michele's birthday I realized how grateful I should be for the incredible people who were surrounding me. I keep reminding myself to drink in everyone and their incredibly diverse personalities. I find the more people I meet the more I realize how much you can learn from your friends and how vital they are to your growth as a person.

I guess in that way friends aren't like wine. They are more like herbal tea, you let them steep and you get a stronger idea of who they are. Goodness, I guess today is comparison Monday, I read that last sentence back and thought to myself 'maybe friends are just like friends Meryl'. See the difficulty I have go through ignoring the more sensible voice in my head.

I chose to write about friendship today because this weekend was my friends Michele and Grace's birthdays. The two of them are actually quite similar, both are strong and smart and caring. They both make me laugh until I can't breathe and are genuine and kind, I love the two of them to death, and do worry what would happen if I lost them from my life.

In other will never guess what happened. After deciding my slightly frayed thread of consistency in this blog would be news about chocolate I found a new show called Chocolate News. Not only is this the same title I gave my chocolate blog entry. (A blog about chocolate, not a blog made of chocolate) It is also part of the pledge I made to bring you as much chocolate related news as possible.
Less excitingly, the show is terrible. Truly terrible, not even laugh at how bad it is terrible. I only watched the first five minutes, and that was a struggle. If you don't believe me check it out, I don't have a link for you, but those truly committed to this blog will find a way to view it....what none of you?

fine here's a link:

Alright must dash....peace and love x

Friday, January 8, 2010


I really have to stop procrastinating, get stuff done in the now.

Alright, will stop procrastinating tomorrow. Good plan

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Juice Anonymous

I am addicted to Juice.

The events of last night were the cherry on the cake, the proverbial line crossing between liking Juice and being unable to stop myself drinking juice.
My lovely friend Michele brought over an eight pack of juice boxes, or cartons of juice as they say across the pond. Knowing I would try and drink them all at once I put them in the freezer thinking I would defrost them one at a time when the juice urge struck This I believed to be a brilliant plan because it would mean even if I wanted juice I'd have to wait a full hour or more for the carton to defrost.

Yeah, thats not exactly how it panned out. There I was at ten o'clock last night, wondering firstly, why I hadn't removed the straw from the juice carton before putting it in the microwave, and secondly, why the microwave would not defrost the block of  ice I was waiting desperately to pour down my throat.

I was calm for a while, plan B was put into effect, and I filled the sink with boiling hot water before placing the, still, rock hard carton into the now steaming bath. Within five minutes I could feel the outer layer of the juice re-liquefying and instead of leaving it to continue I grabbed the straw, stuck it through the prescribed silver hole and drank whatever was in there.

To be fair it was delicious, but it still left the inner ice cube that hadn't melted. I couldn't put it back in the sink, as I had pierced a hole in the top. I now had two options. One was to wait for the rest of the juice to melt, and the other was to cut the top open and eat the juice out  like an ice lolly. Really there were far more options than that, like seeking professional help, or throwing what was left away. But I don't think I need to tell you what happened.

Other than the massive amount of brain freeze that comes with eating solid juice, I don't regret a thing. I just think I've learned an important lesson. I guess I'm going to have to quit juice. Its not going to be easy, and there are no juice anonymous support groups in the city, well that I know off. But i'm going to be strong. Cold Turkey starts this morning, and they say the first step is admitting there is a problem right?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Is that a clever pun on the word bollywood Meryl?

Why yes Meryl it is, and it can only mean one thing...well lots of things, but in this case it only means one thing. I'm off to India. ...Exciting!

So in a couple weeks I'm heading off to exotic India and while I'm super excited to embark on such an incredible journey there is a small amount of me that feels like stressed Eric just before the vein pops out of his head and strangles him. (picture enclosed for those not in the know)

Luckily my excitement has overwhelmed my nervousness, and I am ready to experience a world very different from the one I've seen so far. It's funny really, when I was leaving to come to Canada a weird rumor went round that I was moving to Africa, and then another one circulated that I was off to India forever. I didn't really know about it until nestled in with the 'have fun with the mooses' messages on my leaving cards were best wishes for India.

Oh how we all giggled..and by we I mean me, and by giggled I mean wondered about the type of people I had befriended.

But back on topic, I will of course be blogging from India, first stop is Mumbai or Bombay as it used to be called. I'm not actually sure why they opted for a name change. Oh dear, I just looked it up, really should have left myself wondering. The Hindu Nationalist Party in 1995 pushed for a name change to further themselves from an 'unwanted legacy of British Colonial Rule'. I think I'll drop my British accent when I get there, opt for a more Canadian twang. I'll be undercover (insert James Bond theme tune)

So I guess I can recycle the best wishes for India and use them on my actual trip there, although I've let the people down by never having actually seen a moose during my time in Canada. My roommate has an absolutely incredible moose story that I would love to share with you, but it paints him and most of his posse in a very bad light so I'll protect him this time.

So thats news for now. A quick hello to my lovely friend Nanette who is back in America, also want to post a link to a fantastic Blog. Beans is about to head off to New Zealand with the band, so I assume her blog is about to get even more interesting, and envy making than it already is.

Check her out here :

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Chocolate War Update

So a little while ago I wrote a post about Kraft putting in an offer to buy out Cadbury. Or as the bbc put it 'Kraft Food's hostile bid for Cadbury' To be honest I was making fun of all the fuss surrounding it. Little did I know the controversy had thickened. Nestle had joined the hunt.  Ok so it hadn't actually. People saw them selling off shares in some eye care group and assumed they were going to use the money from that to put in a bid for Cadburys. I think we all learned what happens when you ass-u-me.

Either way people have got themselves all hot under the collar over this, and perhaps a gentle reminder that we are dealing with chocolate here might snap the more sensible out of it.

I was actually very excited to come across a chocolate related article, because I was reading the other day the best way to get your blog up and running is consistency.
The advice read that if your blog is about the same things consistently then people are far more likely to re-visit it. If you keep switching topics you pull in a more diverse and therefore less faithful audience.

Now I don't need to tell you I've got a touch of the old attention deficit disorder, my writing probably speaks for itself, but keeping to one topic seems a little boring. Slightly worried I pondered if I could keep my blog topic based and then into my lap fell part two of chocolate-gate. As your official insider into the chocolate universe I will continue to report on any and all chocolate related news, interspersed with articles on alternative controversial topics. So voilla, Houston we have consistency

Free cuddles all round

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Fire Up The Tardis I'm off to Planet Television

So I just finished watching the latest Doctor Who. It was a two part-er. It was brilliant!

Truly Brilliant

I've never been shy to proclaim my nerdom and since geek chic dominated the 09s its become cool to be lame. However Doctor Who is one of those shows that has survived the test of time, thrived after its reintroduction and got better and better as the years have gone by. A bit like the doctor himself (hmm you see it, you see it?)
Russell T Davis is a personal hero of mine, and his ability to inject a very serious, emotionally charged sci fi series with such humor is incredible.

There are very few shows that leave me feeling overwhelmingly jealous, but on those occasions when a show reflects the natural humor we find in reality its like magic. Doctor Who's premise is so far removed from reality. We are asked to believe there is man that can fly through space and time in a 1950s police box, which by the way, is bigger on the inside than on the outside. However, it manages to entertain a secret desire we all hold, that something exciting could happen to us and change our lives forever. That topped with a script full of banter and witisism makes it difficult to watch without wishing you'd writen it.

I think I've made it clear over my last few blog entries that at times I become unimpressed with North American television. This is almost solely to do with the amount of advertising on the box. I don't believe I am the only one in Canada to have watched so many adverts I've forgotten what they are a break from. I literally sit waiting for the adverts to finish to remind me what it was I was watching, and even then the chances are its a re-run of something from years ago. They've got really cheeky actually, just yesterday friends cut to a break  before rolling the credits, before taking another break. That's more commercial than show.

Still, you know a show is a good one when you don't start flipping during the break. Nobody in the flat is allowed to touch the remote Thursday night during the office and I don't remember  ever switching channels when Lost was on. The big bang theory is another show where the writing is always excellent, there is a small amount of farce that makes you think of classics such as fawlty towers that are still funny today.

If you do have some time on your hands I would recommend watching Modern Family, every episode is even funnier than the last. While visiting planet television you should also check out Bored to Death, United States or Tara and Parks and Recreation.

If you want to go British for the day, Gavin and Stacey is breathtakingly good, and Peep Show, The Inbetweeners or Misfits are good for a giggle. If quiz shows are your thing check out Never Mind the Buzzcocks but careful they are all highly addictive.

I should point out, I watch television purely for research, I don't even enjoy it.  I'll only watch a show if I'm sitting in a pitch black room surrounded by terracotta carved gnnome figurines, it keeps me grounded you know. I just hope that one day, someone sits down at their computer and with a small amount of enthusiasm writes about my show, if I'm really lucky maybe I can be the creator of a little bit of magic.

Ok time to come back to planet earth. I'm back at work tomorrow and like the seven dwarfs I'm going to whistle my way through the day. I hope that the big slap of reality that is monday morning doesn't hurt you guys too much

a bientot . 

Friday, January 1, 2010

1 of the 1 of the 10

It is the very first day of a brand spanking new year and I am so full of good intention I could give Santa a run for his money.
I do realize that new years resolutions are a waste of everybody's time but it hasn't stopped me from making a hundred million of them and believing all of them shall be put into effect.

New years day puts everyone into a somewhat philosophical mindset. We know it's just another day but the feeling of clean slates and brand new beginnings is enough to make us wonder where in our lives are we? where is it we are hoping to go? This I think it was instilled in us during highschool. I dare anyone to think of a better feeling than starting a new exercise book. The spine is not yet broken, that first piece of rulled paper is clean and white. It is the one time of the year at school I wrote carefully and beautifully, once that first page was turned it was like the pressure was off and everything went back to being less important.

Today is page one of a new exercise book, and everything I do today will set the tone for the year. So what do I do? What do I want from this year?

This year I want everything. Just like Veruca Salt in Charlie's Chocolate Factory, this year I have decided the sky is the limit. As long as I avoid huge white, chocolate egg laying, birds I should have a fantastic year.
2010 for me, is all about putting words into action. I am going to become the proverbial Yes Man doing as much as I can to broaden my horizens and open my mind. I think if this year the government listens to its people, and the people listen to the world around them we could make a massive difference.
In short this year I'm going to try and treat every page of my exercise book as if its the first. I am going to be present for the people around me, and I'm going to take advantage of every opportunity that passes my way.

I plan of course to fit this new reigeme around the hours I spend on the internet. If they could find a way to integrate youtube into the centre of an exercise book they totally will. In fact I'm realizing quite quickly that the exercise book analogy isn't going to last till 2020, maybe the youngans' will feel the same way about that first saved word document of the the year? God I feel old.

So with that I'm off, but don't worry I will be back. Deciding this year I want everything will mean a lot more spec writing and tonne more blogging which I am super excited to do. There will also be far less sausage rolls in 2010, some sausage rolls obviously, but just..less concentrated.

Finally a quick shout out to Hayley and Chris, who both threw AMAZING new years eve parties last night thankyou so much for an amazing evening!

And of course Happy New Year to all of you. I hope this is the year you recieve your invitations to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, but if not I hope eveything you wish for 2010 comes true.

Hugs and Cuddles all around xx