Friday, December 31, 2010

Farewell to 2010!

I know it's cliche but I'll say it anyways: I can't believe it's the end of 2010 already.  A lot went down this past year, including a new job; moving in with the beau; turning 30; (assisting in) buying a car; and the beau and I spending our first Christmas together (not only as living together, but as a couple doing double-duty with both families).

It's been a pretty great year and it's fitting that we're celebrating the end of it with a pretty great (if low-key) evening.  Lamb shanks are braising for dinner, we have a lovely bottle of wine to enjoy with dinner and we've got a few movies for later.  Honestly, this is going to be one of the best New Year's ever.

This has made me think about New Year's past and the various ways I've celebrated/"celebrated" the end of another year; here are a few that I can remember.

1996 - I was 16 and in grade 11.  After spending the week of Christmas sick with pneumonia, I spent the week of New Year's sick with a fever.  That translated into a week spent dozing on the couch and delirious dreams about a psychotic Santa Claus.  I spent December 31 in the same sick stupor, still on the couch, listening to the local radio station - Moose FM 103.3 - and fell asleep at about 12:00:01. 

1999 - Oh, the millenium.  This year was actually a little dull, but I do remember getting out of a car (completely sober) and tripping over the seat belt.  With both feet caught, I managed to get my hands out to brace myself but still landed knees-first on the asphalt and gave myself a lovely round bruise on each kneecap.  Walking hurt for a bit after that.

2002 - I was in Toronto and went to the Brunny with some friends.  What a dirty, dirty night.  There was an inappropriate kiss at midnight, crying and smoking on the floor of the bathroom, and not knowing where my roommate/ex-boyfriend had disappeared to.  The things you do at 22.

2005 - The first New Year's I spent with my mom since before I was old enough to baby-sit.  I was in Parry Sound for the Christmas holiday and decided to spend New Year's there too.  I was actually working a job that made me incredibly miserable and Mom spent the evening listening to me commiserate before breaking out the shrimp ring and Scrabble.  We had a wonderful time together, toasted at midnight and went to bed right after.  It was a pretty special night.

2007 - My final year spending New Year's waitressing.  Like many previous years spent serving (at a restaurant that shall not be named), things went fine until after dinner and people didn't leave.  Normally this would be a good thing, only we weren't expecting anyone to stay after dinner; they were supposed to go to a second venue for the party.  But they hung around and we didn't have the bar staff or the supplies or even the cash float to make it work.  At one point, the bartender was accepting plastic only for payment, as he had no change to give.  I managed to hide in the kitchen, doing clean-up, for most of the fiasco but I did get stuck washing glassware behind the bar at one point and people kept trying to order drinks from me.  I made some pretty awful drinks for them and just gave them away.  Then the chaos finally ended and I discovered my camera had been stolen from a staff-only area.  Awesome.

2008 - I didn't have anything planned this year and was preparing to spend a quiet night in, when a friend called and said he was also without plans.  That quickly turned into us getting together for a night of broiled steaks, cold beer and Canada vs U.S.A at the WJC.  And then Canada won the game, which made the night all the better.

Even though I often think of New Year's as the biggest dump truck with streamers of the year, I've had many many good ones.  Happy New Year to everyone and here's to many more good ones to come!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The kitty

Twice this weekend, my kitty woke me up with her snoring.  The first time was in the middle of the night on Friday; not only did she wake me up but her snoring was enough to keep me from falling back asleep.  I actually had to reach across to the Beau's pillow (where she was curled up) and shake her awake so she would stop.  She woke me up again early this morning, but it was late enough that instead of waking her up, I just cuddled up to her and we both dozed happily.

She was clearly exhausted from sleeping all night (sleeping can be very tiring) so she slept all day today, including a time when she curled up on the Beau's ugly Christmas sweater that I was (trying to) uglify. 
The green peeking out from underneath her is the tree I embroidered on the sweater.  It's coming along nicely.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

NaNoWriMo to Ho Ho Ho

NaNoWriMo wrapped up a couple of days ago and while I wish I could say I have a completed novel, alas, I do not.  The silver lining: I made some good progress and I'm optimistic I will finish a very rough draft by the end of the year.  I've already earmarked some time over Christmas to sit down and write.  There are a few days between Santa and Auld Lang Syne where we have nothing planned, so the Beau can play video games and I can write and all will be well.

Even though I didn't hit the 50,000 word mark, I am glad I tried.  I may even try again next year.

But enough about not-quite-novels; it's the Christmas season!  I love me some joyeaux noel!

My Christmas shopping is well under control, which not only makes me happy but gives me time to prepare for my FIRST EVER Ugly Christmas Sweater Party!  I can't believe that I made it to 30 without attending an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party.  Of course, an ugly sweater is required but they are harder to come by than I thought, so I've decided to Christmas-ify a couple of ugly sweaters for the Beau and I.  There will be lights involved.  I will post pictures. 

The Ugly Sweater party kicks off a week of Christmas fun, both with friends and at work and (hopefully) there will be a tree in there - a real one, no less! - and some present wrapping and maybe an egg nog with a splash of rum.  Ho ho ho!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Why write when you can knit?

NaNoWriMo is kicking my ass.  Seriously badly.  I'm so far behind right now.  I keep waiting for that rush of storytelling genius to come and for the words to spill forth from my fingertips and combine to form the best detective novel since Sherlock Holmes.  So far, no dice.  My problem is that this is how I worked when I was in school.  Why do something is pieces over a longer period of time when you can cram it all into one sleep-deprived weekend?  What I really need to do is just find some quiet time and sit down and write (much like I'm doing here...).  I'll do it, though.  I promise.

I have been doing other things though which have helped me avoid writing.  I've finally picked up the knitting needles again and made a couple of things for Halloween (pictures later) but I also set out to make the Beau a pair of fingerless gloves.  This presented me with a couple challenges: finding a pattern that actually had fingerless fingers (rather than just wrist-warmer style) and knitting said fingers (which I've never done before).  I did find one pattern but it involved knitting in the round, which I hate with the intensity of a thousand fiery suns, so I decided to combine this pattern with one for mittens knitted on two needles.  After two false starts and ribbiting A LOT of knitting, I stumbled on the right size/gauge for the yarn I was using and for the Beau's hands and managed this:

I even managed to knit the second glove IN ONE SITTING so they would be ready for the Beau's birthday.  This is how he found them as he left for work (I had already left).  I'm pretty great.

I've also got a couple projects to do for a friend's birthday (which is this month and coming the needles!) so that may keep me away from my literary masterpiece but I will find time. 

I hope.

Monday, November 1, 2010

NaNoWriMo: Day 1

To write 50,000 words in 30 days means writing about 1,666 words each day.  So far, I am 1,800 words into my novel.  Admittedly, I did work from home today, which meant plenty of time to start but starting is the hardest part, right?  And I've started. 

1,800 words is 3.6% of my total word count.  Baby steps writes the novel.  Baby steps writes the novel.  I'll get there.  I think.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

How to make November go by faster

Around the middle of October, I had a fit of I-can-do-it and signed up for National Novel Writing Month.  It starts November 1...which is tomorrow.


50,000 words.  30 days.  1 novel (in theory).

Let's see how this goes.

(I'm writing a detective novel.  I'm going to attempt to channel my love of Reginald Hill and Midsomer Murders into my own mystery-solving story of awesomeness.  I'll let you know how it goes.)

NaNoWriMo GO!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Money in my pocket

For the first time in a very long time, I have a savings account.

I have had a savings account before, of course.  I got my first one when I was but a wee thing, probably around five or six.  At the time, my mom was a teller at TD Bank so I she opened an account for me, My First Account, complete with pink bank book and a coin bank (which was supposed to help me save my change, but why would I do that when there was candy to be bought?)  I had the account for years and eventually closed it out in favour of a chequing account with Royal Bank.  That account came complete with debit card, so instead of helping me save my pennies, suddenly I had an even easier way to spend them.  And spend I did.

But now that I'm grown up (or at least growing up), it's time to be better with my money and make any meagre attempt I can to help it grow.  There are an abundance of high-interest savings accounts out there and I've been wanting to open one for awhile now, but with my consumer debt and student loans, it always felt that I should put any extra money towards those things rather than into a savings account.  Plus I have an RRSP so I've at least got something.  But this month was a 3-pay month and, with Christmas fast approaching, I opted to put some extra money into a savings account. 

I decided to go with Ally, not just because they have great commercials, but because they offer 2% on savings, which was the highest on offer among all the options.  (But which still irks me, as my credit card sits at 19.5% interest and my line of credit is prime + 3%.  Sigh.)

Since this is money for Christmas it won't be there for long (sigh again) but at least I've got a place to throw an extra $20, should I ever find myself in possession of such.  And I also have this nerdy "I'm a grown up" feeling for finally doing something responsible with my moolah, not to mention delusions of grandeur for an ever-growing savings account.  Let's see what happens.

Monday, October 25, 2010


I haven't blogged in awhile because I keep thinking that I should find a better focus for this blog, something that I'm interested in and can write about on a regular basis.  Several topics have come to mind but the more I think about each one, the more I realize that I'm just not into any of them enough. 

I mean, I love to read, but I've tried (and failed) to do a book blog.  I'm at a point in my life where finances are not just important but where I can also start making smart money decisions, but I'm not dedicated (or, frankly, open enough) to share the nitty gritty of paying off debt and trying to save money.  There are a variety of other things I'm into as well: hockey (the subject of yet another failed blog); knitting; baking; my cat (if I ever get to the point where I blog only about my cat, please place me in a padded room and walk away, slowly); magazines; eating better-for-me food, rather than just better-tasting-food; becoming a runner; and gushing about how utterly adorable my twin nephews are.

I guess I've been blogging about this kind of stuff all along but never really came out and said, "This is what it's all about!"  I never thought my life was interesting enough to just write about my life and maybe it's not, but that's what I'm going to do.  After all, this blog is for me, first and foremost.  Anyone else who tags along is an added (and welcome) bonus.

(Is it odd that I feel a huge sense of relief at having a new, defined direction?)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The wheels on the car go round and round

The Beau and I recently experienced some car trouble on the long weekend (engine died on the 400, at Barrie, which necessitated a tow back to T.O.) and this has led to the decision that it is time for a new car.  And this past Saturday, we started car shopping.

I have never been car shopping, simply because I have never had the money to own my own car.  There are cars that I like and lust over (mainly Nissan, but I wouldn't say no to a Mini convertible) but my car knowledge is purely aesthetic-based, i.e. will I look cute driving it.  So this whole car-shopping thing has been pretty interesting.

The first dealership we hit up was GM, because the Pontiac Vibe was near the top of our shortlist.  We even priced it out on the GM website beforehand to get an idea of cost.  So, we get there and the sales dude informs us the Vibe has been discontinued.  No more.  Anywhere.  Hmph.  I thought the Vibe was pretty popular, so I was surprised that it was discontinued but what irritated me more was that we had been able to price it out online.  Really, GM, if you don't have a car anymore, you shouldn't let me price it out.  Cause that's just not playing fair.

So, no Vibe.  In it's place, Mr. Sales Dude really, REALLY wanted us to buy an HHR.  (The dash looks great at night, in case you're wondering.)  Not only is the HHR more than the Vibe, it's ass ugly to boot.  (It looks a lot like the PT Cruiser, which I detest.)  However, as Mr. Sales Dude informed us, it would be a great car for Herman Munster because, in black, it looks like a hearse.  Nothing says young-couple-with-a-bright-and-happy-future like a hearse.

 Not a fan.

And to think my tax dollars bailed GM out for this.

After GM, we hit up Ford and test drove a Focus.  Nice car, quiet, smooth ride, but I bumped my head on the roof while in the back seat and I'm not that tall.  Then we went to Hyundai and test drove the Elantra Touring, which I liked best, but I don't know if the Beau is sold.  The Touring has gobs of room but could be construed as a wagon rather than a hatchback.  (I don't see wagon, but the Beau does.) 

I'd drive this.

We still have Mazda and Toyota to check out; as luck (or auto manufacturing) would have it, the Toyota Matrix and Pontiac Vibe are pretty much the same car, so we may get our Vibe on yet.  But regardless of what we get (really, what the Beau gets, as it will still be his car) I'm just excited that my automotive knowledge is slowly extending beyond knowing how good I'd look in a Nissan Z-car.  


Thursday, September 9, 2010

How to repel men

Today I stumbled across, which is pretty fun.  I first read about it in The Toronto Star and the article helps clarify that the author, Leandra Medine, isn't just making fun of high fashion because she's bitter or vindictive; rather, she admits to lusting after much of it but enjoys poking fun at its man-repelling qualities.

I have to admit, especially since I started working on Flare, I've always wondered about high-end fashion and how it's considered, well, fashionable.  I understand the point of haute couture and I get how some things that come down the runway are supposed to be avant garde and not for everyday wear, but still.  Maybe designer duds wouldn't have to cost so much if the designers would just stop making such ridiculous outfits which don't sell; that way, they wouldn't have to make their living off $500 t-shirts and the rest of us plebeians could actually afford some of this stuff.

I mean, seriously, this is high fashion?  (According to Halston, it is.)

Or...a Chanel offering, which is apparently from their Ready-to-Wear line.  C'mon, really?

Then again, when these are some of the people dictating what the latest fashions are, I shouldn't be surprised that some stuff can be a little, erm, out there.

Um, hi Karl Lagerfeld

You're a dapper wee man, Alber Elbaz.

 Oh, Betsey Johnson, you're just a little crazy.

But at least these and other designers keep fashion fun, if not always wearable.  Not that it matters to me and my jeans-and-t-shirt clad self...although I do enjoy looking at the pictures.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

X marks the spot

I'm a little terrified about the upcoming municipal election here in Toronto because of Rob Ford.  It not only horrifies me that he is the frontrunner but that my vote will not go towards the person I think is best for mayor but towards the person I think has the best chance of beating Rob Ford.  (It also seems, more and more, that that's how politics at all levels are going: vote for the person most likely to beat the person you hate most.  Viva democracy, or something like that.)

Today in the paper, I read that Rob Ford wants to scrap streetcars in favour of more subways and, on some routes, replace streetcars with buses.  I already know that the man is an idiot, but this is just beyond stupid.  The cost of building subways is astronomical compared to other options for transit.  Streetcars hold more passengers than buses, so it makes no sense to replace streetcars with buses.  He wants to spend $3 billion to extend the Sheppard subway line; it's already underused, so how can one justify that much money on it? 

The beau and I were discussing transit last Friday night and we both think that streetcars are the way to go to connect the city.  Yes, in a perfect world, there would be subway tunnels that actually connected the city, but they are costly in both time and money.  Streetcar tracks aren't the easiest thing to put in, but they must go faster and cost less than a subway tunnel.  And streetcar stops consist of a pole with a sign stuck to it and (possibly) a shelter; subway stations are all kinds of work to build and the TTC can't maintain the ones they have now, so why give them more to ignore? 

The more I see about the candidates and their platforms, the more I realize that Rob Ford doesn't give a rat's ass about you unless you drive a car - one of his reasons for getting rid of streetcars is to relieve gridlock.  I don't understand how taking a dozen streetcars off the road relieves the gridlock caused by the hundreds of cars that wouldn't have to be Toronto streets if we had transit that actually went places.

Oh, and another thing about subways tunnels is that they can't go just anywhere, but streetcar tracks can more easily be built into existing roads.  (I make this statement with all my in-depth knowledge of urban planning and road construction and whatever kind of engineering this would encompass.)  So, again, explain to me why it makes sense to build more subway tunnels? 

Rob Ford is an idiot, but he terrifies me.  If he wins, with Stephen Harper still in power federally, I may just have to move to Antarctica.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What the hell is wrong with people?

This Saturday, September 11 marks nine years since the attack on the World Trade Center.  And, according to one Florida pastor, what's the best way to honour it?  Why, by burning the Koran, for the International Burn a Koran Day, of course.

Pardon me, but what the fuck is wrong with him?

This angers me on so many levels, I'm not really sure where to start.  I guess the easiest place to start would be with the complete and utter ignorance "Doctor" Terry Jones is showing by thinking this is a good idea.  He was inspired to do this as a protest for the proposal to build a mosque near Ground Zero.  Does he really think that by attacking the Koran that Muslims will step back and say, "Clearly he is right.  If he is willing to burn the Koran he must mean business.  We will stop what we are doing."?  Fucking wanker.

Also at play is the blatant hypocrisy.  Here's a man who will likely profess freedom of religion to spew his misguided hatred, but obviously won't extend that freedom to other religions that might, say, want to build a mosque in New York.  The dumbass has also taken to carrying a gun with him at all times.  Right to bear arms?  Absolutely.  Freedom of religion?  Most definitely - provided you're a right-wing, fundamentalist, whackjob Christian, of course. 

And -AND - does Terry Jones not realized that, by resorting to such fundamentalist ridiculousness and blatant hatred towards Muslims, he is acting in the same way as the fundamentalist Muslims who express hatred towards the west?  Pot, meet kettle.

U.S. General David Petraeus has condemned the burning (hurrah!), out of fear that it will endanger the lives of American soldiers as well as Americans worldwide and would put the completion of the mission in Afghanistan in jeopardy (oh).  After all, it's only the lives of Americans we care about here.  Offending a major world religion?  Meh.  Offending the people in a country we're supposed to be "helping"?  Pfft.

It's been nine years since 9/11 and to those of us following reputable media outlets (i.e. not Fox News) we have been able to see that ideological conflicts are not resolved by telling the other side they are completely wrong (or with illegal wars, but that's another issue).  So, maybe instead of being completely intolerant, we try something crazy, like acceptance of differences?  Maybe instead of further polarizing those we perceive as our enemy, we try to reach common ground?  Maybe instead of hating anything and everything that isn't red-white-and-blue (emphasis on white), we try not hating and see where that gets us? 

(Yes, I understand that I am using "we" to lump together Americans and Canadians, but you can't deny that Canada is heavily influenced by what happens down south.  Ignorant bastards that they are sometimes.)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The colours of the months

While many around me are lamenting how fast the summer is going and how it's August already, I'm excited because we're entering my favourite time of the year.  I love August, September and October and the weather and colours and books they bring.  (Hurrah, fall publishing season!)

In my head, the months are represented by colours (Is that weird?  I think that's weird.) and the next three months are lovely colours in my mind. 

August is a deep, shimmery blue.  Growing up, the Georgian Bay was usually warm enough to swim comfortably by August so I always think of water and swimming this time of year.  August also brings cooler evenings and deep blue makes me think of the sky at dusk and a cool breeze that means breaking out a cozy sweater.  The thought of that really excites me. 

I have a deep hate-on for the colour yellow, but September exists in my head as yellow.  But it's not an opaque, awful yellow; it's more translucent and golden, like the sunlight through the leaves on a tree as the leaves turn from green to yellow.  I can't explain why I'm okay with September (my second-favourite month) being yellow when I so despise the colour, but I am.  And it's such a beautiful golden colour, too.

October is my favourite month and I see it as a bright orangey-red, mainly because of the leaves.  I love when the leaves start to change and the air becomes cooler and smells...different...fresher...better.  And I've come to associate the smells of October with Halloween (even when the smells aren't Halloween-specific) and since I love Halloween, this works out really well.  To me, October is so vibrant and brilliant and cozy, I really do love it.

Now you may be asking, what about the rest of the months?  Here's how they break down in colour:

November - dull grey, like tombstones and death.
December - pale, icy blue, like Jack Frost and snowflakes and icicles.
January - bright white, because snow is EVERYWHERE.
February - dirty grey-white, because (in the city at least) the sidewalks and dirt start to show through, making everything yucky.
March - deep green, mostly because of St Patrick's Day, but also because sometimes spring starts to show through this early
April - pastels, because of Easter and the first pale signs of spring.
May - light green, because spring should have taken hold by now.
June - lilac purple, because it's a flowery month.
July - solid, throbbing, burn-my-eyes-and-my-soul yellow, because it's so bloody hot.

(Can you tell November and February are my least-favourite months?  This is a little funny, since I'm a February baby and the beau is born in November.)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The roller coaster of life

Of all the metaphors for life, I think the I like the roller coaster best: full of ups and downs, moves slowly sometimes but mostly goes by pretty quickly, seems scary at times but it often turns out the scary bits are the most fun.  You know, that sort of thing.

As with most roller coasters, there's a big hill that you go up and then you go down...and then, for a brief moment, you are in the valley, the low point, the bottom of the hill. 

I'm there right now.

I was there yesterday too and it's odd for me to feel low two days in a row, but here I remain.  Blargh.  Sure, life will keep moving forward and I'll have no choice but to start chugging up the next hill and to keep rolling through the ups and downs of the coming days (and weeks and months and years).  But even knowing that, I can't seem to shake this funk. 

Maybe I need to ride a real roller coaster.  Sigh.

Friday, July 23, 2010

If the skirt fits...

It's a simple and sensical saying: When shopping, buy what fits.  So why do I have so much trouble with this?

I've had my fair share of body issues (sigh) and I can trace it back to when I was 10 years old and in grade four and someone called me "fat" for the first time.  Prior to this, I wasn't aware of how my body looked compared to other kids on the playground.  I was a bit of a tomboy and I ran and played and was all kinds of carefree.  I was still that way as a 10-year-old; it's not like I stopped all physical activity after age nine and packed on eleventy billion pounds.  But someone (and I wish I knew who, but honestly can't remember) decided I was fat and felt they should share this information with me.

Now, most people would just laugh this off and not care.  But even at 10 I internalized everything and suddenly, I was extremely conscious of my size.  AT 10 YEARS OLD.  Sure, I wasn't exactly tiny at that age, but I rode my bike everywhere, I figure skated and skied in the winter, I swam and jumped rope in the summer; I was a pretty active kid.  And now I was also fat.

20 years later, I'm still working on my body image issues and I'm pretty sure this is something I will work on for the rest of my life.  But back to this whole shopping thing: because of my body image issues, I also have size tag issues.  In my mind, there is a certain size I am comfortable being (and I'm not brave enough to share this with you) and if I have to go above this size, I'm more likely to walk away than try it on.  This has led to me purchasing too many things that didn't quite fit, leading to untold uncomfort during the day and many items of clothes that I just didn't wear.

Hooking up with my beau should have helped with some of these issues and I guess it kind of is.  I mean, now I'm with someone who lurves me the way I am and who tells me I look good and is okay if we leave the lights on and all that.  We even went shopping together for me back in the spring and I told him my size so he could help me look for clothes.  There aren't many people in this world with whom I've shared my clothing size.  The best part?  It didn't matter to him what size I wore; he was more concerned with finding items that fit and looked good on me.  (Note to self: adopt this attitude.) 

There was one thing when we were shopping: I tried on a skirt that was a little snug across my hips and the store had the next size up, only I was loath to actually try it on because I just didn't want to be that size.  I sucked it up though (but didn't suck it in) and tried on the skirt and it fit and I bought it and now I wear it all the time.  But when I got home, I promptly cut out the size tag, just in case the beau ever does my laundry.  I really don't want him to know what size that skirt is.

How does that other saying go?  Two steps forward, one step back, right?  Sigh.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Cha-ching, it's been a long time...

I've been thinking about budgets a lot lately.  One advantage to co-habitation is the reduction in expenses and subsequent increase in extra cash.  The catch with me is that the extra cash needs to be applied to my various debts.

Blargh, debts. 

When I shacked up with the beau back in March, I had a credit card and line of credit to pay down, as well as student loans still looming over me.  After diligently budgeting and making lump sum payments, last month I was finally able to join that previously-elusive group of people: Those who pay their credit card balance in full every month.

It was a little bit exciting. 

Next I'm tackling my line of credit.  I'm not quite brave enough to disclose the full amounts I owe, but it's enough that it will take me until next February to pay off in full - that is, if I stick to my budget.  And I'm not going to lie to you - that is trickier for me than it really should be, although I'm not really sure why because I'm very much a homebody who likes to read and do crossword puzzles and pet the kitty.

Before cohabitation (heh, B.C.), I was diligent about bringing my lunch to work; every Sunday night I would make enough of something to pack my lunch for the week.  Since I'm also pretty lazy in the morning, I would also make breakfast for the week, something that I could easily bring to work.  Now that I live with the beau, I'm pretty terrible about bringing lunch or breakfast and this is definitely taking a chunk out of my disposable income.  I'm not going to stop buying coffee every morning but I can certainly bring bagels and cream cheese to work for breakfast (even though they will never taste as good as the ones I get at Tim Horton's).

I really just need to work on getting back into my old habits and the only thing that's stopping me from doing that is laziness (let's be honest, here).  Of course, the advantage of doing that would be more money in my pocket which means more money to put towards my debt which means debt paid off sooner.  And I really like the thought of that.  

Monday, May 31, 2010

Life is good

I have a good life - in fact, I would go so far as to say I have a wonderful, fantastic, amazing, awesome life - and I am finally starting to realize that.

I have a super-awesome beau; I live in a super-awesome condo that I get to share with said beau and a super-awesome kitty; I have a super-awesome gig in the publishing world; I've got super-awesome friends (who I don't make enough time for and that's something I need to change); and I've got a super-awesome family who loves me and supports me and is all around super-awesome.

It's taken me awhile to fully realize all this.  I have perfected the art of always finding something to stress about, even if that something isn't worth thinking about, let alone stressing about.  Now - FINALLY - I'm able to stop doing that and it's a wonderful feeling. 

I can't say for sure why I've had this change of mindset; maybe it has something to do with turning 30.  February was a pretty exciting month for me and marked three major changes: turning 30, moving in with my beau and getting promoted to Production Manager.  In the aftermath of all that, I found myself getting anxious for the next "big thing" in my life, without taking the time to fully enjoy where I was in my life.  So now I find myself able to enjoy this stage of my life and to fully appreciate everyone and everything in it.  It's a strange place to be, I must say, not worrying about next month or next year or stressing about my finances or not feeling fulfilled in my job. 

And, oddly enough, I'm not worrying about the good stuff coming to a grinding halt.  THAT is pretty momentous too. 

So is good!

Friday, May 14, 2010

I rock

I've heard it said that you are at your most honest when you're drunk.

Well, all I can say to that is, after drinking a bottle of wine tonight, I feel the need to say, "I like myself."

Anyone who knows me well knows I can be rather hard on myself.  Apparently all it takes to get me to not be hard on myself is delicious red wine. 

But seriously.  I like who I am.  I've done well for myself.  I've learned from the ups and downs.  I'm doing well in life.  I've accomplished some pretty good things.  I've got lots of years ahead of me to accomplish more things and make many more mistakes.  All in all, I'm pretty great.

Now let's see how I feel in the morning.

What makes it so upsetting?

I have been loving the playoffs so far this year.  Sure, all the players I took in my hockey pool have been eliminated, but since I wasn't expecting to win anyways it's not that terrible.

In fact, I would rather have all my picks be wrong if it means awesome hockey, which is what has been happening so far.  (Except from the Vancouver Canucks.  They have taken over from San Jose as the biggest under-achievers in the Western Conference.)

As a former Leafs fan, I really shouldn't ever cheer for the Montreal Canadiens, but really, how can I not?  Some of the best hockey has come from the bleu, blanc et rouge, including two "upsets" in the first two rounds, beating Washington in round one and Pittsburgh in round two.  Honestly, I wasn't that upset at all.

Sure, Washington was the top team during the regular season and Pittsburgh is the defending Stanley Cup champions.  And okay, the two superstars of the league play on these teams: Ovechkin for Washington and Crosby for Pittsburgh.  Fine, Montreal barely squeaked into the playoffs, finishing 8th in the Eastern Conference when most people weren't expecting them to make the post season at all.

Yes, when you list out everything like that, I can see why Montreal's winning ways are considered an upset.  But isn't it more upsetting that the top team wasn't able to beat the Habs?  Isn't it more upsetting that the defending champs (and Sidney Crosby) seemed to forget how to score?

All kinds of pomp and circumstance is made over the regular season and the standings, with trophies for finishing first and scoring the most goals and racking up the most points and all that.  But really, the regular season simply decides who gets to play for Lord Stanley's Cup.  Sixteen teams get to give it a go and the best team wins.  (And don't start in with bad reffing or foot-in-the-crease goals or any of that nonsense.  If you think you can do a better job, go put on the stripes and pick up a whistle.) 

I don't think anything Montreal has done should be considered an upset because they have played better hockey than anyone they have faced and they have earned their playoff victories.  Both series went to seven games, so it's not like they had it easy, sweeping their opponents.

It's more upsetting that New Jersey lost in the first round in five games.  It's more upsetting that Roberto Luongo can't seem to stop a beach ball.  It's more upsetting that people started to care about hockey in Phoenix right when it seems hockey will be leaving Phoenix.  It's more upsetting that Montreal fans seem to feel it's appropriate to support P.K. Subban by wearing black face.

But Montreal causing upsets in the playoffs?  Nah.  It would only be an upset if they were to lose now.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Keep your head up, kid

Hockey player nicknames really irk me sometimes.


Makes them sound like they need to wear helmets off the ice, too.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

My sport's better than your sport

My beau is at the Blue Jays game tonight, which is kind of hilarious, not just because he doesn't like baseball but because it's a 2-0 game in the bottom of the ninth so it was likely more boring than baseball games generally are.  And while I'm quite glad that I'm not there, it does seem ironic (I think it's ironic) that he's at the game with a ticket on his company's tab while the company I work for owns the Blue Jays and I've never gotten free tickets.

Like I said, though, I'm glad I'm not there because I got to spend the night in front of game 7 between Montreal and Washington, which was a very exciting and tense Montreal victory.  Really, I'd be quite happy if the NHL just did away with the regular season and ran the playoffs four times a year.  It's such better hockey. 

On to round two!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Place your bets

I love hockey but holy crap, am I ever terrible at hockey pools. 

Every hockey pool I have ever entered I have lost and lost hugely.  It's not like I came in second in a winner-takes-all pool; oh no, I am consistently at the bottom.  Right now, I am 33rd out of 38 in my playoff pool. 

Despite my abysmal record, I look forward to each new hockey season and especially the playoffs because, who knows, maybe THIS will be my year.  I mean, someone has to win so why not me, right?  Well, not me because I always make the worst picks.  Honestly, did anyone expect New Jersey to lose in the first round, in five games no less?  And who would have thought San Jose would finally advance beyond the first round?  It's almost unheard of. 

I've won football pools in the past, which is awesome because I know nothing about football.  One of these days I will win a hockey pool.  One of these days...

Monday, April 26, 2010

One small problem

I know what my problem is: I am lazy.  There are so many things that I could have completed by now - written that novel, knitted that sweater, lost that weight, organized that yarn - but I'm lazy.  There is no other excuse. 

I have no problem doing things when I have to do them.  I get my work done on time and I clean before company comes over and I can finish a crossword puzzle like no one's business.  But if I don't have a time line, if I don't have to get something done, if I don't really REALLY want to do something, then I just...don't. 

I could say it's because I just want to stretch things out, make them last longer, have more time to enjoy them.  But no.  It's because I'm lazy, simple as that.

I'm not sure what the second line says; I just like the kitty.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Friday, April 23, 2010

Remember Scott Baio?

I'm too young for Joanie Loves Chachi and I never watched Charles in Charge, so I have no real nostalgia Scott Baio.  Therefore, I don't feel bad when I say I think he's a whack job.

But you know what else?

Scott Baio ruins everything.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Just another day

Hm.  I'm not very good at this blogging-everyday-thing, am I?  Le sigh.  The sad reality is that my life is nowhere near exciting enough to make daily blogging interesting to anyone.  And despite being opinionated and, erm, passionate (okay, rant-y) about many things, I often just don't feel like typing about it.  There's something much more satisfying in ranting, I must say.

And the past few days have been uneventful at best.  I'm sick and the beau is sick so there has been lots of couch time.  I think I might have allergies, though, and I must say, they suck.  The weekend was a bit of a write-off because of this but it did mean watching lots of Fringe and Casino Royale and Pandorum.

(Do you watch Fringe?  No?  Well, you should, if for no other reason than Pacey is all grown up.  But for true, it's a whole lot of awesome.)

We're also trying to teach the kitty to use a scratching post, to help keep her nails from getting out of control.  To do this, we have resorted to bribery.  One of us will take her to the scratching post and show her how to do it; she generally squirms and looks pleadingly at the one who is not dragging her paws across the carpet.  After we show her how to do it, we give her a treat to reinforce the idea: scratch the post, get a nom-nom treat.  She's kind of catching on; she has taken to sitting on the base of the scratching post and looking intently at us, wondering where her treat is.  Good thing she's cute.

Other than that, life in the west end keeps on going.  Holy crap, I need more exciting hobbies.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I spel good

It is "believe" not "beleave".

It is "soleil" not "solet".

It is "definitely" not "definately".

It is "you're not" not "your not".

It is "Seymour Butts" not "Semour Buts".

It is "shriek" not "shreek".

Sometimes Facebook makes me irrationally angry.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

It's the most wonderful time of the year

It's that time again - STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS!

Only the greatest time of the year, of course.  The next two months will be filled with all things hockey that matters - and no Maple Leafs!  (It's the little things that matter.) 

Round one started tonight and I'm currently flipping between Ottawa-Pittsburgh and New Jersey-Philadelphia and I'm already fed up with the commentators.  Last year, I got through a few rounds before I reached my limit; this year I couldn't even get through the first period.  So far, CBC is worse than TSN but give it time, my friends, give it time.

I really do love the first round best, though.  All 16 teams are still in it and any team could go all the way (even though you know, deep down, that Colorado and Los Angeles don't stand a chance).  I find the series in the first round are more likely to go six or seven games and the match-ups are much more exciting.  That, and there are eight different series to pay attention to, which is almost (almost) more than I can handle. 

It's also pretty great that our lovely 700-sq foot condo contains two 42" flat screen TVs; that means the beau can play video games in the living room while I curl up in bed and sporadically yell at the Penguins and Senator and Devils and Flyers. 

It's good to be me.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Kitty is curious

I'm tired tonight and possibly fighting off a cold and full of the Monday blahs so here's a picture of the kitty.  She's all curious about the great outdoors.

We want to get a harness for her so we can take her out on the balcony once the weather gets nice and she can enjoy the outside but still be safe.  I also want to take her for walks in the grassy areas behind our building.  I see nothing wrong with taking the cat for a walk. 

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Two days good, five days bad

Here we are, on another Sunday night.  I don't care how trite or cliche it might sound, but I'm still amazed at how fast the weekend goes and I would really like another day off.

But it was a good and busy weekend that included a birthday shindig for which the beau and I made a strawberries'n'cream cheesecake, complete with Batman symbol; the beau and I learned that our kitty loves tuna water, which means we can dissolve her kitty antibiotics in it, rather than shove horse pills down her throat twice a day; a lazy Sunday spent (re)watching season one of Fringe - this time on blu-ray and it's awesome and everyone should watch Fringe - and eating way too much Chinese food; and singing ridiculous made-up songs about the kitty (and suggesting I get my own variety show because the songs are so great).

And that's it, really.  Now for another work week!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Was that really necessary?

Word of the day: re-dun-dant (adjective) Being in excess; exceeding what is usual or natural.

When I moved in with the man, I moved into his condo and his condo comes with a gym.  I knew I'd end up canceling my Fitness One membership because - really - who wants to lug gym clothes to work then to the gym after work, then work out and shower and get home super late, when there is a lovely gym to use four floors below one's home? 

However, I dragged my feet a bit with the cancellation and finally got around to it this past week.  I stopped by on Tuesday and this is how the exchange went:

Me: "Hi.  I need to cancel my membership."
Guy behind desk: "Do you have an appointment?"
Me: "No.  I need an appointment to cancel my membership?"
Guy: "Yes.  How about Thursday?"
Me: "Sure."
Guy: "Okay, how about 5:45 pm?"
Me: "Yes, thanks."

(I feel I should point out that Fitness One is an all-women's gym.  The guy working behind the desk on that day is also a trainer but there is also this other dude who always walks around with his blue tooth headset and ill-fitting jeans on and I laugh at him on the inside.)

So I made my appointment, which felt unnecessary but I figured they would want to ask why I was leaving, what was good about the gym, what could be improved, kind of like an exit interview.  I mean, why else would I need an appointment?

I dutifully went back on Thursday and got there about 5:47.  I told the woman behind the desk I had an appointment at 5:45 to cancel my membership.  She seemed a little unsure what to do and muttered something to the affect of, "I'm not sure're a couple minutes...I guess you're not late.  Let me see who's available because I don't do cancellations."

I was once 20 minutes late for a doctor's appointment and they still had time to see me; the idea that my gym would reject me for two minutes of tardiness was momentarily mind-boggling, but since they didn't turn me away all was good.

Now, I was expecting the gym owner or manager or someone to come out and talk to me but who should appear but...the same dude who told I had spoken with on Tuesday.  And what did he do to cancel my membership?  He pulled out a sheet of paper, filled it out and had me sign it.  It took approximately 42 SECONDS to cancel my membership.  And I couldn't have done that two days ago?!?!?  Holyfuckingshit, are you SERIOUS?  Yeesh.

Oh, and the dude had bad breath. 

In the words of Tigger, ridickerous.

Friday, April 9, 2010

The heart does break

I have 271 friends on Facebook and one of them is dead.
It still freaks me out whenever I see him on the left side of the screen of my profile, where Facebook shows you a few of your friends.  But every time I see him there I have to click on his profile and it breaks my heart a little bit to see the loving posts still accumulating on his wall, especially from his girlfriend.

I don't know what I would do or how I would react if someone I loved died suddenly but an online presence remained, always there somewhere, reminding me of happier times.

It really is a heartbreaking thought.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

My intolerable intolerance

Word of the day: in-tol-er-ant (adjective) Unable or unwilling to tolerate or endure.

I think I'm lactose intolerant. 

For as long as I can remember, I've had a disagreeable tummy.  It felt that almost everything I ate would leave me feeling yucky and uncomfortable and desiring drawstring pants.  I just figured I was prone to heartburn or indigestion or something; then, this past Monday, I had a bagel with cream cheese for breakfast and felt all gross until around 3pm.  (I'm purposely not going into my specific symptoms because no one really needs to know that.)

Thankfully, the internet is available on computers now, so with the help of the always trustworthy Google, I was able to self-diagnose pretty quickly.  While it's not confirmed, I do hope to figure out if I do have a problem with dairy.  And if I do, while I will miss chocolate, it will be great to finally know why my tummy is so ornery sometimes. 

Yes, I know I can take Lactaid and other such supplements but not being able to eat things like chocolate, cream sauces, mayo, butter, cheese and the like will help me to get in shape so I'll save the supplements for those special times when I must have lasagna or butter chicken. 

Thankfully, amazingly, wonderfully, milk in my coffee doesn't seem to upset me.  Sometimes it's the small things that really help with the big things.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The man at Sherbourne station

"Thursday," said my newsstand man, smiling at me.

I don't know his name, but I see him twice a day at Sherbourne subway station, in the morning on my way to work and in the evening on my way home.  He's always there, smiling, chatting up the customers, and always keeping an eye on things - so much so that I once saw him chastise and stop a would-be shoplifter while barely breaking his conversation with me.

He was there, of course, when I started working for Rogers a year and a half ago; that was when I started buying my Glamour magazines from him.  And even though I would only buy one thing from him a month (sometimes two, if a particularly bad day required chocolate) he remembered me.  When Flare published its 30th anniversary issue last September, he pointed it out to me, one of his "best customers".  I had been thinking of subscribing to Glamour again but after he said that, I knew I would keep buying my magazine from him.

Now, he not only tells me when the magazine will be in but he keeps one behind the counter for me because he only gets three or four copies and sometimes there is only one left by the end of the day, when I'm there to buy it.  He doesn't know my name either but he knows me and he knows I'll be there for my magazine, so he keeps one for me.  And I will always stop by to pick it up.

Monday, April 5, 2010


I don't like blogging when I'm in a bad mood because I don't want to just vent on my blog because no one really wants to read that.

So I will just leave it there.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Suddenly it's Sunday night

Oops.  Missed a post yesterday; I just didn't have a chance to jump on the computer at Mom's and I don't like to travel with my laptop (or more technology than my iPod, really) because I generally travel to get away from all that stuff. is now Sunday night and Easter weekend is over but, more sadly, my week-long vacation is over.  I'd like to say that a week off is just enough to refresh me and that I'm ready to go back to work, but that would be a lie.  Not only would I be content to have another week off, I would be just fine with retiring.  Now.  Too bad my RRSPs would allow for about a month of retirement living before the funds would run out.  So back to work I will go.

I'm also pretty wiped tonight, despite the fact that I didn't do much today except eat.  I guess my body is just so busy digesting all the amazing food I ate this weekend that it doesn't have energy for much else. 

On the plus side, this beautiful weather is going to continue through the week.  Too early for spring skirts?  I think not!  Ooh, and sandals - I love my sandals!  Even in tomorrow's rain.  That's enough to lift my spirits, even just a little.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Here comes Peter Cottontail

Right after I decided on this blog-everyday thing, I realized that this is a long weekend and a holiday weekend, so I'll be out of the city for a couple of days.  Hopefully I'll be able to squeeze in a post at Mom's on Saturday.

But anyways, it's that hoppity hop holiday, full of ham and chocolate and lilies and family and such.  It's also the first joint holiday since the beau and I shacked up.  Sure, we had Thanksgiving and Christmas last year but that was different; we were still living solo...and I guess that makes it different somehow.  I will say one thing for it: since the beau has a car, NO MORE BUS.  I can't even begin to tell you how exciting it is to not have to take that damnable Ontario Northland milk run from downtown Toronto to Yorkdale to Barrie to Port Severn to Coldwater to Mactier to Parry Sound. 

I shudder just thinking about it. 

We're off in the morning, first to Parry Sound for the night to see my family and then to Midland for the night to see the beau's family.  The weather is going to be beautiful, there will be lots of food and even some babies (BABIES!) and some good ol' family time.  Should be all right.

Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Let's see how this works out for me

Word of the day: chal-lenge (noun) A call or summons to engage in any contest, as of skill, strength, etc.

Can I blog every day for 30 days?  Why, that seems like a challenge!  I like a good challenge, even though this is the kind of challenge I'm likely to fail out on.

(The kind of challenge I win at?  "Can you eat that entire container of chocolate-covered almonds?"  Why yes, yes I can.)

So I've decided (about thirty seconds ago) that I'm going to try and blog every day this month.  This is what happens when one is waiting for the beau to get out of the shower before going for hangover fast food goodness.

Warning: future blog posts may contain nothing of consequence, interest or even coherence.  There may also be myriad postings about the kitty.  Oh, and a blog post containing nothing but a picture also counts.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Resolutions 2.0

Word of the day: re-dux (adjective) Brought back; resurgent.

Today is March 31.  That means that tomorrow is April 1 (I'm so good at the calendar!) and that it's time for me to revisit all those resolutions I made way back when.  Although a lot has changed in the past two months, I see no reason not to make some kind of attempt at these.

Reading is the easy one.  I'll admit, I did enjoy me some genre fiction in the last little while, in the form of Stardust by Neil Gaiman and Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett (and both were fantastic and everyone should read them) but I did start a more literary book last night.  Elizabeth Kostova wrote The Historian, which is a beautifully-written story about the legend of Dracula (but it's literary, I swear!) and I loved it so I felt her follow-up book, The Swan Thieves, would be a great read too.  So far, it deals less with the supernatural and more with human nature, so I'm calling this a literary win.

Writing, well, if my blogging is any indication, that's a big fail.  But I have until tomorrow to smarten up, so we'll just leave this alone for now.

The running thing is proving a bit more challenging.  I started running and I really enjoyed it...then I got shin splints.  And oh man, did they HURT!  So I took it easy, got fitted for proper running shoes, eased myself back into it and I got three more days of running in (over the course of a week) stupid shin splints again.  So I'm off running again.  I'm stretching and trying not to aggravate them but I do still need to walk, so there has been some ibuprofen in my life lately.  Blargh.  I'm not impressed with my legs right now but as they're the only ones I have, I thought I'd treat them with a little more respect and take care of them.  So running is on hiatus, for now.

Remember the renovating stuff that was really more crafty stuff but I called "renovating" to maintain the alliteration?  Well, now that I'm officially living in sin with the beau I don't really need to make anything over.  That's not to say there won't be crafty moments in my future; they just won't be on the same level as that original resolution.  So it's not a resolution fail as much as it's a resolution negation.  Fair?

And finally, my favourite, relaxing.  Which I suck at.  Seriously.  Case in point: I am halfway through a week off with the beau and by Monday, I didn't know what to do with myself and was actually contemplating heading into work because I was bored.  Seriously.  Thankfully I have a wonderful, rational man in my life who managed to talk some sense into me and I've been having a pretty chill week since then.  I even soaked in the bath yesterday, something I've wanted to do for, oh, about a year or so and just never got around to.  So yeah, this relaxing thing could use some work.  (I just gave myself an excuse to be lazy - huzzah!

March, I bid you adieu and welcome April, armed with resolutions and a new resolve to achieve these damn resolutions!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Some things I just don't understand

Word of the day: non-sense (noun) Conduct, action, etc., that is senseless, foolish, or absurd.

Anne Coulter is giving three speeches in Canada and I'm not sure what is worse: the fact that anyone felt Anne Coulter had anything useful to say to anyone in Canada, or that she's getting $10,000 for each appearance.


I'm not a fan of Anne Coulter by any means but expressing any kind of dislike for the woman only serves to fuel her asinine viewpoints so rather than sound off on her idiocy, I thought it would be more fun to come up with an appropriate analogy about her.  Here's what I've got:

It is appropriate that Anne Coulter is visiting Canada in the spring, because it is during the springtime that construction really gets going.  And with construction comes lots and lots of noise.  Construction noise, like Anne Coulter, is loud, abrasive, irritating, and often incites anger in people.  But once the construction noise is gone, much like when Anne Coulter is gone, there is beauty and calm left behind.

I think it works...?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The belated birthday post

Word of the day: cel-e-bra-tion (noun) The festivities engaged in to celebrate something.

So I went and did it.  I turned 30.  I've got to say, it's not a whole lot different than being 29.  I mean, I still look the same and all.  Sure, other things are changing - like the job and the living arrangements - but otherwise, 30 isn't such a big deal after all.  (Until I fill out some survey or something where I have to give my age and suddenly I find myself checking the 30-35 box, rather than the 24-29 box.  THAT will be a difficult day.)

The one awesome advantage to turning 30 was getting spoiled by those nearest and dearest to me.  My main squeeze gifted me with a fantastic iPod Shuffle, so I can clip my music right to me while at the gym.  I hadn't seen the new version of the Shuffle and thought it was a Blue Tooth ear piece when I first opened it.  But upon realizing what it was, I was absolutely thrilled.  Isn't it cute?

And my most amazing friend created these most amazing Batman brownie pops for my birthday.  Seriously.  All made from scratch, even the brownie recipe (yum Martha Stewart brownies!).  So awesome and SO DELICIOUS.  I ate five of them.  Good thing I now have music to run to.

And of course, I was super spoiled by the rest of my friends, getting Inukshuk jewellery, a Bananagrams game, gift certificates, ice wine, candy and some of the most appropriate birthday cards ever (I got a grammar card!). 

With this kind of start to my third decade, how can I not love it?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Moving forward, moving in

Word of the day: pro-gress (noun) A movement toward a goal or to a further or higher stage.

I have a post in progress about turning 30 but I want to include pictures and I've been really lazy about downloading those pictures.  Also, I don't currently have my camera cable; it's at my apartment and I've been spending most days and nights at the beau's place, which is slowly but surely becoming our place.  So things are a bit out of place right now, as most of my clothes are hear, my electronics are slowly arriving and a random book or movie suddenly appears.

Now that I've passed this whole 30 thing, this cohabitation thing is occupying my life, but in a good way.  In fact, this weekend the beau and I will be furniture shopping for pieces that will help make the place "ours" and will also provide more storage so we can set up the condo a deux.  It's an exciting time. 

I'm also coming up on April 1, when I really need to get into gear with my resolutions.  I've taken a break from running because I got myself some wicked shin splints which weren't all that fun so I'm waiting for the budget to allow the purchase of some good running shoes, then I'll be back on the treadmill.  I've even gone so far as to get some training programs for both 5K and 10K runs.  Who knows - I might even be ready for something like that come the fall.  Maybe.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

After all...tomorrow is another day

Word of the day: pro-cras-ti-nate (verb) To put off till another day or time; defer; delay.

In honour of the Olympics, I am holding my own games: the Procrastination Olympics.

I am so winning gold in this event.

I mean, it's not like I'm moving soon.  Nope.  I'm not actually moving on March 20.  Not at all.  And I'm not moving in with my beau, meaning I don't really need to seriously clean out all my crap.  That's not happening.  And it's not like I've got to pack things up really well so I can stick them in storage.  So not what's happening.


Well, at least I'll get a gold medal out of this.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Best. Weekend. Ever.

Word of the day: hap-py (adjective) Delighted, pleased, or glad, as over a particular thing.

Seriously, I'm fairly certain this was the best weekend ever.  Let me recap for you:

1.  My exciting news
Friday afternoon, my exciting news became quasi-official as my department was informed of the changes, which includes me being promoted to Production Manager on Flare magazine.  This is my first official promotion and I'm super excited.  I love working on Chatelaine, but I work with/under the Production Manager; now, I'm going to be on Flare all by myself!  It's more responsibility and a promotion in both title and salary (yay!) but it's what I've wanted since I got into production way back when at Redwood.  And now it's happening!  Hurrah!

2.  I consider myself a runner now
And that's one resolution win.  Since last Sunday and including today, I have run six times.  Not too bad for someone who's only been running a week.  (Even if it is bad, don't tell me.  I'm pretty proud of myself!)  The best part is that I really like it and I feel SO GOOD after that I want to keep doing it.  My previous gym routine did not leave me feeling this way, so this is a physical health win too.

.3  I found a place to live
This just happened today but I found a place to live and it's really great and I'm so happy to have found a place that I love, and so soon.  Sure, it is only the second place I really looked at and considered but it's got everything I want.  Oh, did I mention it also has my beau in it?  Heh.  I'm moving in with the man!  (And his cat!)  It's kind of a big deal but it's a good big deal so this also has me pretty excited.  It's going to be rather awesome.

Oh, and I also had a lovely Saturday evening; the beau and I headed over to one of his friend's place and I made us all burritos and we played some video games (rather the boys did and I watched) and then I was introduced to Aqua Teen Hunger Force.  And Hand Banana.  I now have a Hand Banana sticker on my Rogers security card.  It's kind of fantastic and I'm looking forward to showing it off at work. 


Friday, February 5, 2010

Stuff happens

Do you know what's exciting?


Hm?  Yes, that's exciting.


Oh yeah, that is too.


What's that?  You're right, that is also pretty exciting.


And so is that.

Those are all definitely very exciting things, but there's something else that's pretty exciting.  And I'll tell you...

...when it's official.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

One less thing to pack

Word of the day: purge (verb) To rid, clear, or free.

April 1 may seem a long way off, but since that's moving day for me it will come up much faster than I'd like.  As I prepare for my move, I've decided February will be my purging month and March will be my packing month.  And by packing month, I mean "collect boxes and tape and other packing supplies for the first 29 days then pack like a mofo".  But back to February.

I've got to purge but not some sill superficial purge like I've done every other time I've moved.  (Yes, I'll wear these shoes again.  Who knows when I'll need construction paper?  I might read this kind-of-awful-sounding book one day...maybe.)  I've got to get rid of stuff.  Some things will be easy: clothes I don't wear I can easily part with.  I've finally come to terms with a bunch of the books I obtained while interning at Random House - in 2005 - that I have not read yet and likely will never read.  As for shoes, I know it's time to get rid of the many pairs I don't even look at, let alone wear.  The bonus to this is that once I get rid of the shoes I don't wear, I've got an excellent excuse to buy more to replace them.

Oddly enough, the thing I'm struggling with most are my CDs.  I don't buy CDs anymore.  I don't listen to CDs anymore.  I have iTunes and an iPod and that's all I need.  I download music and use the internets to find song lyrics.  Sure, I'll always buy Tragically Hip CDs but that's because I lurve them.  As for the rest of them, I just feel odd about getting rid of them.  I have no need for them and they only take up space but it just feels wrong to give them up.  And I like music but I'm hardly a music-phile (I"m sure there's a more correct term, I just don't know what it is).  That's why I just don't understand this need to hang on to something I know I'll never use again.  I've lived in my current place for almost a year and I haven't picked up a single CD in that entire time.  My rule with clothes is that if I don't wear it in a year it's gone.  By that logic, the CDs should be out the door too.

I'm sure I'll manage to move them along, drop them in a donation bin somewhere.  I just wish it didn't feel so...wrong.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A little love for Leaf Land?!

Word of the day: re-build (verb) To replace, restrengthen, or reinforce.

Those who know me know I'm a hockey fan.  Those who know me well know I can get pretty passionate about things and tend to rant about those things even when those within ear shot don't know what I'm taking about or, more importantly, don't really care what I have to say. 

I grew up a Leafs fan and I was with them through many years of futility.  Then, a few seasons ago, I just got fed up.  Now I can cheer for a crappy team (Exhibit A: my love of the pretty awful Tampa Bay Lightning) so I don't just walk away when you start to lose.  I walk away when you get boring.  See, that's because I'm a hockey fan, which means I can enjoy watching pretty much any two teams in the NHL play and enjoy it.  The reason I turned away from the Leafs was because they just weren't interesting to watch any more.  There weren't any players who actually played well or were really worth watching.  Plus, at the time, I really didn't like Mats Sundin or John Ferguson Jr.  I decided to stop cheering for the Leafs until both those wankers were gone.

And so began the Great Toronto Maple Leaf Boycott.

Even when both Ferguson and Sundin left the team, I kept up with the boycott, now simply because the team was still boring, just with two fewer "marquee" names.  However, this past week, the strangest thing has happened: I'm starting to feel the urge to cheer for the Leafs again.  And if not fully cheer them on, then at least watch them.  In fact, I plan to watch them tonight.  Why, you may ask?

Because they are worth watching again.  Two pretty awesome players have landed in Leaf Land this week: Dion Phaneuf and Jean-Sebastien Giguere.  I happen to be fans of both these players and I have followed Phaneuf since his junior days and I take him in every hockey pool I participate in, simply because he's Phaneuf.  (Just don't get me started on his girlfriend.  Ugh.)  And Giguere has actually won a Stanley Cup so the Leafs finally have a player on their team who has a Cup ring.  The fact that he's a fantastic goaltender doesn't hurt either.

I honestly never thought I'd be here, wanting to watch the Maple Leafs.  Now, I'm not crazy; I'm probably the only person in the city who isn't planning the Stanley Cup parade route.  But as a hockey fan I'm excited.

Now if only I could afford to see a game at the ACC, things would be even better.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

And I ran...I ran so far away...and I ran...I ran all night and day

Word of the day: pain (noun) A distressing sensation in a particular part of the body.

Guess what I did on Sunday?


(Okay, I actually jogged, but still...)

That's right, I got myself onto a treadmill and I started out walking for five minutes and then thought I'd speed up to run for five minutes before cooling down.  Then I started running and hit the five minute mark and...I KEPT GOING!  I in fact managed to run for another five minutes.  That's 10 minutes of running.  Yes, I know there are plenty of you out there who regularly run for much longer than 10 minutes but for me, this is kind of huge.  I mean, on Saturday I could run for 0 minutes.  Then on Sunday I could run for 10 minutes.  10 MINUTES!!!

So I'm pretty proud of myself.  But my calves are killing me.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Dear apartment-hunting: You suck. Love, me.

Word of the day: fu-til-i-ty (noun) A futile act or event.

Do you know what I hate?  Apartment-hunting.  It sucks more than anything has ever sucked ever in the history of sucking.  I mean, it sucks more than Nicholas Cage movies.  It sucks more than Nickelback.  It sucks more than Stephen Harper.  It sucks more than Dan Brown's writing.  In fact, it sucks more than all those things combined.

I swear, I will find Osama bin Laden before I find a decent apartment.

And please answer me this:  how the HELL does any landlord expect me to be interested in their apartment if they don't post pictures?  Come ON!  Everyone and their 95-year-old grandmother has a digital camera.  Take a damned picture and add it to the listing.  And not an exterior shot.  I don't give two figs* what the street view looks like.  I can generally figure that out just by knowing where the place is located.  I care more about the space I would be paying for.  You know, where I would live.  The place I'm expected to call "home".  Take a fucking picture.

Speaking of neighbourhoods, you know what else would be useful?  Telling me where the stupid apartment is.  "Downtown Toronto" is not a location, it's a general area.  Chances are the apartment will be near some major streets that intersect; tell me what they are.  "Convenient location" is easily the worst ever.  I mean, a "convenient location" would also be locking these dumbass landlords up in a trunk and burying them.  Tell me where you are.

Also, when writing your description of the place, please don't just vomit a thesaurus into the posting.  Tell me things that are pertinent, like if utilities are included or if there is laundry in the building/unit or if there is a laundromat nearby.  I get that some people have a love of adjectives but this is an excellent example of where pictures will work best.

(While I have found an abundant of tiny apartments described as "spacious", I have only found one described as "specious".  Why are people dumb?)

However, I have to move because my current place sucks almost as much as finding another place does.  So while I'm trading one kind of suckage in for another I know I won't end up homeless.  I will find four walls and a roof to house me and my Ikea .  I'm just not going to particularly enjoy the process.

*I love this expression and don't use it nearly enough.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Resolution #5: Relax

Word of the day: wor-ry (verb) To torment oneself with or suffer from disturbing thoughts; fret.

If it's good enough for Frankie Goes to Hollywood, it's good enough for me.  I need to learn to relax more.  Not that I'm not already the queen of laziness.  Oh, believe me, I win at lethargy.  It's more that I need to learn to not freak out and get worked up about things, whether they're big or little or somewhere in between.  I need to be able to chill out more and just take things in stride.  More importantly, I need to learn to not dwell on things that have happened and worry what people might be thinking about me because of something I said or did or didn't say or didn't do.

(There are things that happened years ago that I still think about and that still make me feel all anxious because of how I acted or what someone might have thought at the time.  I'm talking about things that happened in university.  I graduated in 2002, just to put it in perspective.)

There are certain things in my life that help me relax.  Like crossword puzzles.  I am so at peace when filling in those little white squares with the correct letter and I feel so proud and so complete when I gaze lovingly at my finished puzzle, all done in capital letters and in ink.  (Yes, I'm a crossword puzzle snob who flat out refuses to use pencil.)  So I shall do more crossword puzzles.

The beau's cat also helps me destress.  When that sweet little cat face appears at the side of the couch and she just looks at me and then gently pads over to my lap to curl up and start purring like a feline lawn mower, well, my brain melts and suddenly the only thing that matters is making sure I scratch her chin just right.  While I generally only see her on weekends, those are pretty great weekends so I'll have to be sure to keep that up.

And - what do you know? - working out also helps with the relaxing.  Doesn't that tie in so nicely with the running resolution?  Even if the running doesn't pan out, I'll just make sure to keep going to the gym.  If I can do this right, I'll be the most blissed-out person by the time 2011 rolls around.

Resolution #5, then, is to R-E-L-A-X.  Of course, if none of my other tactics work, I'll be able to justify shelling out for an all-inclusive trip so some swanky Caribbean spa.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Resolution #4: Renovate

Word of the day: pret-ti-fy (verb) To make pretty, esp. in a small, petty way.

Okay, so not really renovate, as I don't own any kind of dwelling to renovate, but I'm enjoying the alliterativeness of my resolutions so I'm going with it.

What I have to renovate may not be a kitchen or bathroom or roof or anything quite that fun but it's still stuff that I need to do.  I've got various pieces of furniture - side tables, shelving units, a vanity-type table, an ugly plastic drawer unit - that I've been meaning to make pretty and just haven't yet.  So when I move into my fabulous new apartment it will be high time I make those things look fabulous too.

In fact, I discovered this today, which will be the inspiration for my vanity table.  This table is ugly faux-pine and needs to not be ugly and this is one renovate-y idea I not only like but I can actually accomplish.  As for the other stuff, I'm not sure yet what I want to do but I've got a couple months before the move to figure all that out.

Resolution #4: Renovate all that ugly furniture into something pretty.  Yay pretty!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Resolution #3: Run

Word of the day: run-ner (noun) A person, animal, or thing that runs, esp. as a racer; a tackle or part of a tackle consisting of a line rove through a single block and fixed at one end. (who knew?)

I want to be a runner.  I have this lovely image of myself jogging along the tree-lined side streets of downtown Toronto on a beautiful springtime Saturday, feeling all fit and athletic and proud of myself. 

Thing is, I'm not a runner at all.  I blame it on my asthma, which might sound lame but I was officially diagnosed with exercise- and environment-induced asthma.  When I was a kid, the environment wreaked the most havoc on my breathing; spring and fall were killer, when all the pollen and weeds and stuff were out full force.  But exercise never seemed much of a problem, probably because I was always riding my bike or jumping rope or skating or swimming or doing whatever seasonal activity seemed appropriate.  Although I do remember that when we had to run in gym class, I was pretty useless.

Nowadays, it's the opposite: even in the middle of a humid, smoggy Toronto summer, I can breath just fine.  Sometimes the damp, chilly winter weather gets to me but that's rare.  It's the exercising that can leave me gasping.  But I still haul my ass onto that elliptical and I recently got myself a Ventalin inhaler, which keeps my airways from closing up when I overdo it.  This means I have no more excuses for not trying to run.

In fact, this past week at the gym I keep saying, "Maybe today I'll hop on the treadmill for a little jog" but then I chicken out.  What if someone sees me?  (Of course they will - it's a big gym.)  What if I look silly?  (Really, who cares?)  What if I fall down gasping for air?  (Well, then people will see me and think I look silly but if I take a pull on the inhaler, all should be good.)  So I'm going to try.

This is one resolution that I might actually get to before April 1.

Resolution #3: Stop running from the idea of running.  (Heh, pun.  I'm awesome.)