Friday, December 31, 2004

I can't believe that I was able to live under the ignorance of world events for so long. I think it was Tuesday night when I found out about the tsunami. I was shocked. Why hadn't I heard about it?

I wanted to do something.
I felt ridiculous, sitting there, surrounded by my mounds of gifts. My family sitting around the woodstove, our cats dozing lazily on our laps.

Then I finally got back to my email and got a message from Jodi, who's living in Indonesia. She's fine, but asking for money. Quickly, so as to pay for some supplies that were to go out on some transport they'd secured. I'd missed my window.

But I still wanted to do something.
Sitting on Alex's couch with his laptop, watching TV, thinking about all of Oshawa being washed away, I went to the Canadian Red Cross site and donated.

Then I went to Save the Children and wanted to donate there too. But what I really wanted was to DO something. To help. I'm still thinking about donating more.

You should, too.
If there was ever a time when it was needed, it's now.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

I am so lucky.

Last night, I was driving home with my mom from Matt and Kendra's place, after their wonderful Christmas dinner, and I started realizing how lucky I am.

Lucky to have such a wonderful family.
Lucky to have time to spend with them. To have the friends I have. The life I have.

Later, I sat in the dark in my parents' house and looked out the window at the quiet winter night and remembered where I was last year and remembered what a luxury I would have thought it to be doing all the things that I'd done all this week.

My heart felt like it would break for being so full, as Mao curled up in my lap.

And now I'm back in Toronto, after a day out skiing with my mom, still feeling the warm glow of the holidays. I don't want it to end.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Happy Holidays to all the people I love the most - especially those that are far away that I can't hug or talk to directly.

Just know that I'm thinking about you and wishing you all the best.

Last night was the first night of Christmas.

Alex and I went out for dinner at the Rivoli and had the city's best chicken satay and I had yummy ahi tuna. MMM.

I got lots of good loot!
  • Lindors
  • mini massager
  • warm soft blanket
  • Air CD
  • beautiful frame with our photo and a hint on the next present:
  • trip to Stratford in April!

    And he got some good stuff too.
  • Sarah McLachlan tickets (may)
  • mattress pad
  • maid service

    I don't think we need any more presents.

    And today Will is picking me up to go to my parents' place. I cannot wait!!
  • Tuesday, December 21, 2004

    Dear Santa,

    I don't really want much for Christmas. Except a month of vacation time, which I'm not going to get.

    So if you're going to slip something under the tree for me, I'be been an awful good girl...

  • manicure, pedicure, massage, general princess-treatment
  • a lovely apartment close to work by myself
  • theatre tickets
  • an interior designer to decorate my apartment
  • the perfect black boots
  • the perfect presents for the people I love (too late, I already got em)
  • a really horrible tree that we get to over-dress with tacky tinsel and bulbs
  • a bathroom rug
  • someone to pick up the free TV that's been offered to me
  • someone to help me clean my apartment
  • a personal chef
  • David Gray CD
  • no more migraines
  • a great haircut
  • Winners
  • quality time with my family

  • I can't believe that Christmas is coming up so quickly.

    Yesterday I was "home" sick, having stayed at Alex's all weekend while he was away doing wedding stuff for his best friend Mike. I went to the wedding on Sunday night. Made the mistake of having some wine and BAM! That was it. I thought I was going to die.

    So it's an even shorter week at work. I'll have half of Friday off and go home in time to decorate our Christmas tree and go to church on Christmas Eve.

    And then - that's it!!
    A full week of hanging around the wood stove, drinking tea, reading a book with a cat fast asleep in my lap. I can't wait.

    Saturday, December 18, 2004

    Did you know that you can buy tickets for the TSO (Toronto Symphony Orchestra) for $10/ea if you are 29 and under? Well, I didn't until last night, when I picked up Alex's tickets for Bill Cosby.

    This morning, I clicked on over to's tsoundcheck and signed up only to discover that there are currently no tickets to buy. I wonder when you can actually buy them? Pretty useless to have such a program only to NOT be able to do anything with it.

    However, I then discovered something even BETTER... details to come. Surprises not to be spoiled...

    Friday, December 17, 2004

    What a day!

    Busy, but at least I'm out of work by 6pm.
    Yay Weekend!

    Plus, I'm having a better day.
    Yes, please!

    Thursday, December 16, 2004

    Who ever called it "white chocolate"?

    Let's get it straight, people: it is NOT chocolate. It's sweet and creamy, but so are a lot of things.

    Don't even try it.
    Go straight to Jail and don't pass GO.

    I've been crap about writing this week. Has something to do with the fact that it's been a crap week.

    Worked until a billion o'clock one night, plans with friends got cancelled twice, went to a movie last night, but it seemed rushed, and working until a billion o'clock tonight. Every day is a stress-day this week. Total crap.

    Now my computer is all messed up again. Stupid network card!

    With the retarded working schedule and the karma of the universe working against me, it's no wonder I feel so anxious. On the bright side, things can only get better.

    Good things:
  • I can't wait until Christmas!
  • I got a new computer at work that's pretty and uses XP (also pretty)
  • Both my poinsettias are alive and brilliant red (which is probably just a sign of the devil)
  • I ate way too many cookies today
  • I sent off a really big project tonight and it's awesome!
  • I wasn't nearly as pissed off by Ocean's Twelve as some people I know. I thought it was kinda cute.

  • Monday, December 13, 2004

    Travel changed my notion of life: it's not about achievements, it's about learning that anything is possible.

    Ever had one of those days when you really, really want those zesty cheese Doritos but you know that this kind of crap is going to kill you one day? Well, try the Crispy Minis in "Tortillaz" in Cheesy Nacho flavour. I'm going to forgive them the stupid I'm-trying-to-be-hip use of "z" in the name because they actually taste quite good. And approximately HALF the calories and way more fibre than Doritos.

    I know, I know. You don't actually buy Doritos if you're counting calories. But I'm on a mission to find a yummy snack that won't cause a heart attack. If you don't HAVE to eat fistfuls of lard, why would you?

    Of course, you STILL shouldn't eat the entire bag for dinner.
    Not that I would, you understand, but I'm just sayin'.

    What a great weekend!
    I managed to get most of my Christmas shopping done, do most of my errands, get to two Christmas parties, hang out with my favourite person, watch some of my favourite shows and get TONNES of sleep. Could it GET any better?

    According to my horrorscope, this week should prove to be challenging. My goal is just to accept it as it comes and not freak out.

    God rest ye merry gentlemen...

    Saturday, December 11, 2004

    Also, I saw a great site: Pretty wise.

    He's got an attitude that I enjoy:
    "The dictionary says that a slacker is 'a person who shirks work or obligation,' but I say a slacker is 'someone who doesn't stress out about their dumb job... If, however, you're still uncomfortable thinking of yourself as 'slacking,' think of yourself as 'relaxing.' Everyone needs to relax."

    Spread the relaxation.

    And remember: "If you are good, you will be assigned all the work. If you are really good, you will get out of it." (Unknown author)

    Just finished checking out Scott's new blog, TextMachine. I'm, again, quite jealous of the quality of writing and ideas.

    Sometimes I read other people's blogs and I think "damn, I need to do better" and then I realize that I don't care enough at this stage. I mean, I care, but not enough to actually spend the amount of time that would be necessary to really improve the WGC-blog.

    It's fine for now. I send my words off into a void and sometimes people read and sometimes not and maybe oneday when I realize that I hate my stressful life as Professional Cathy, then the dream-job (OK, maybe I'd rather be Managing Editor at a Travel site instead of Health) will take a back seat to my personal writing.

    However, I'm finding it more and more difficult to find the joy in the so-called dream job. It's all perspective, I'm sure. It's teaching me some great lessons. All I need to do is apply them to my own life. I can't wait.

    Last night, I decided to treat myself to the movies.

    I'd had a stressful week. Crazy, really. And I thought, "that's it, I'm going to be decadent and go to the movies." By myself!

    Leaving work at 7pm (yes, on a Friday) I went to see Closer, since it was the next movie to start at the theatre. It was a bit depressing, really. I didn't love it. I didn't feel the passion between Julia and Jude. I think I don't really like Julia Roberts so much. I'm sure she's great at some roles - actually, I liked her in My Best Friend's Wedding - but this was too heavy for her. I didn't buy it.

    The I watched The Incredibles, based on endorsements from both Alex and Raye. And it was GREAT. Totally recommend that for anyone.

    Today I'm at home with a migraine, trying to figure out how I'm going to:
  • get my sheets washed
  • get my hair cut
  • get my ass to my office Christmas party tonight

    when all I wanna do is sleep in a warm soft bed and maybe throw up a little to relieve my nausea. I'd cry but I know that it will hurt more.

  • Wednesday, December 08, 2004

    I had a wonderful shopping trip with my mom today. It was awesome - I got to leave work earlier and Christmas shop - my favourite!

    I think I'm almost all done my shopping now - only a few things left.

    Sadly, I've been so busy lately with work that I've not had time to do anything!

    This was a much-needed break.

    Sunday, December 05, 2004

    So I visited my brother's new home today in Guelph. It's just beautiful!

    And he has a new little girl.
    Meet Mushy:

    So cute. So loving. And so playful:

    I am totally in love.
    Sorry, Mao.

    Every time I go to update my site, DreamWeaver does something demonic to my pages and messes everything up.

    I'd like to use another editor, but the DW interface is so easy because it has the site file structure on my computer and on my server and I can just use the DW FTP. However, if it keeps acting like the devil, then I'm going to have to lay the smackdown on it.

    Any suggestions for a better (free) editor?
    Digifox once recommended UltraEdit, but it kinda sucks.

    I am wistful for the days of BBEdit on my Mac.

    First good suggestion gets eternal love from me...

    Saturday, December 04, 2004

    Started my Christmas baking with Sarah.
    We made:

  • chocolate macaroons
  • chocolate peanut butter balls
  • caramel cornflake chews
  • shortbread
  • chocolate marshmallow log

    And now, off to Theresa's Christmas glog party!

  • Friday, December 03, 2004


    Just read another installment from Raye's newsletter.

    My favourite part was the Danier honesty questionnaire. Raye is always a good read. She'd mentioned The Constantines, but I checked out their site and listened to some music and wasn't keen on it. I prefer The Free Press. I wish I'd gone to their show at the Horseshoe to see how they're sounding these days.

    And when I was checking out these sites it occurred to me to check my own site traffic stats.

    Turns out that my traffic took a major dip in August-September. I guess I wasn't being very interesting. I wonder if checking my traffic affects how or what I write. I mean, how could it NOT?

    Then I noticed that the GTABloggers linked to me. Isn't that nice? I had no idea. I just found out right this minute that I missed their holiday party tonight. Boo!

    Their site's not bad. Some pretty good T.O. events.
    Friday night and I'm BEAT.

    I finally put up some pictures on the walls.

    Weirdly, I feel unhungry lately. Not very interested in food. Except coffee, of course. Good strong rich coffee. I mean, if it were made here, of course.

    The best coffee I've had was in Australia. I really miss it. My faves:
  • the coffee roaster, sydney
  • jasper's, melbourne (atomica was OK too)
  • bean bar, adelaide

  • Wednesday, December 01, 2004


    1. I'm done my Web Strategy class!

    2. I'm surfing for deals on Xmas gifts (ie: christmas is fast approaching!!)
    Back when I actually used to cook, I used to consider myself a bit of a foodie.

    At that time, I was enamored with Epicurious. And, don't get me wrong, it's still good, but I have fallen in LOVE.

    Not only can I very very easily save my recipes to my recipe box, but I can add selected recipes to my SHOPPING LIST and it creates the grocery shopping list for me. Plus, it has a recipe clipboard that shows you all the recipes that you've clicked on recently, and you can bookmark them for future use.

    And the Search. I don't know if I should even start about the search. You can search by ingredient, by category, by the Top Ten, by the amount of time you have, or by the person who submitted the recipe.

    Goodness. That is a seriously GREAT search engine.
    It boggles my mind that I'm fighting to convince my Tech team that we need to make minor revisions to our search function when something like THIS exists.

    And that's all good... but get THIS:
    You can convert any recipe to METRIC or change the number of servings with a simple click.

    I am drooling.
    I wish I'd built this dream tool.

    Monday, November 29, 2004

    Ohmygosh I am back online.

    My oh-so-smart-tech-guy-at-work fixed it and I think he deserves a raise.

    I am oh-so-excited about having my computer back!
    ~kisses computer~

    Sunday, November 28, 2004

    Back in Toronto after a quick stay with my parents.

    You know, it never seems like I have enough time there/with them.

    This time, I decided I was gonna go to church. And I surprised myself by liking it.

    I looked around at the packed hall with all the children and their mothers and fathers holding them, or arms draped over their shoulders, sharing something. The families who couldn't give a hoot about fashion, but content as hell because they have their wife and their children and their little jobs they do to pay for the house and the gymnastics classes and the weekends when they go for an hour to give thanks for all their life's riches.

    And it made me at once sad and hopeful. Sad for myself because that's a brand of contentedness that I don't foresee for myself anytime soon. Hopeful, because it was that family closeness that I thought was gone in the world. After seeing day after day of parents verbally abusing their small children as they struggle up the TTC steps and make their meandering way to their seat, staring at the strangers, I wonder how children can possibly grow up to love themselves when even I feel so much bitterness emanating from their frustrated parents.

    It was a nice way to reflect on the week and on my life ahead.
    I wondered if perhaps I need to feed my soul more often.

    And now it's time to focus on my class project on Web Strategy. Feels pretty frivolous after some of the thoughts I've had today. Perhaps this is why those with faith have been shown to be happier people. Perspective.

    Thursday, November 25, 2004

    This weekend I'm going home to relax and refocus. Sometimes going home really helps my perspective. I think I need it.

    Tonight I came home and saw the lobby of my apartment building all lit up with Christmas lights and garlands and a big Christmas tree. It lifted my spirits so much, I just wanted to sit there the whole night.

    I love Christmas.
    Thank god for Christmas. If it were a person, I would hug it tight.

    Last night, the Raptors won and I lost the love of a good friend.

    It's weird how sometimes you feel like your heart is not alive.

    Tuesday, November 23, 2004

    Lately, I've been a little down. Focusing on the crappy things.

    So, today, I'm deciding to feel pretty proud of myself.

    I'm doing really well on my financial goals that I set for myself. YAY!

    I'm also doing really well on my career stuff. I'm learning, I'm doing some interesting projects, I've been promoted to a pretty sweet position. YAY!

    I'm also kicking ass in my course, although I'm not sure I'm learning all that much. And I doubt that I'm that smart that's just me. However, it's still a success.

    And I'm not gaining weight.
    I honestly haven't weighed myself in a long long time. But My clothes aren't getting any smaller. They're not getting any bigger, but shut up cuz I'm focussing on the positive here.

    Mar reminded me that every day we make choices. I'm trying to learn to be happy with the ones I've made.

    Today is reserved for not regretting my choices. Today is the day I'm happy that I did SOMETHING (and did it well) rather than paralyzing myself with indecision, rather than beating myself up for the things that I haven't gotten around to yet. There is plenty of time for more life in the days to come.

    So, YAY for me!
    I love my MP3 player.
    My Panasonic SV-MP30V. Fits in my cleavage.

    Monday, November 22, 2004

    I feel bad about today. I wasn't the nicest person.

    I complained about my client to my team, I was snotty to my boss and didn't spread joy like I often try to. I barely even spoke to some of my usual coworkers.

    Today I did not feel refreshed by my weekend.

    I'm not exactly sure what the problem was. I guess I feel like I didn't accomplish much.

    I'd meant to finish decorating my place. Didn't do ANYTHING. I'd been waiting for Alex to come over to help me with it and we had a bit of a disagreement so that added to the unpleasantness. I had a migraine. I didn't clean anything. I didn't cook anything. I went to Alex's house and we watched TV.

    I read my book. Lovely bones. Great book. But it didn't feel like much.

    The one great thing I did was go to visit Scott and Kat and watch the Grey Cup on their massive lovely TV. Well, I suppose I didn't exactly watch. It was more like, sitting, blabbing, and stuffing my face with yummy food while the Grey Cup played in the background. It was great. I really don't get together with my friends enough.

    I need to focus on those good things instead of moping about the bad.
    Life would be nothing without friends.

    Saturday, November 20, 2004

    My sister turned down a job opportunity in Calgary.

    It sounded great to me. Sounded like a risk, but a risk in return for something better.

    And she turned it down because she thought that it would make her sick with worry. She turned it down because she didn't want to risk the stability of the job in hand (which she's not really happy with) for the unknown.

    I'm really sad.

    It makes me wonder if I would make the same decision if I had a house. Makes me wonder if I ever want to settle down and have responsibilities.

    Friday, November 19, 2004


    Raye's Newsletter never fails to bring a smile to my face. And this week it has really made me think. Issue #7 discusses relationships.

    How many times in the past while have you heard or thought:

    "i'm too selfish and self-absorbed for a relationship"
    "i'm too independent"
    "i'm not good at them"
    "i'm used to doing my own thing and other people just complicate that groove"

    Raye asks: Are we getting too individualized as a culture? Is our quest for independence and autonomous success creating a trade-off that we can't possibly be happy with in the end?

    I can relate, even though I am in a relationship. I wonder about my ability to give and be selfless. I wonder if this is why I'm not married. I wonder if our culture, which so highly values independence, has ruined that part of me that really wants to need another person to "complete me".

    Reading Me to We, I have become more aware that we are such a ME-society. It's all about self-help, instead of helping each other. Are those that depend on others less happy? Statistically, the answer is no. So why do I loathe the idea of relying on others?

    It's difficult to put trust in another human being. Unfortunately, I must have high expectations and I am easily disappointed. And I mean, you can't CONTROL what that person does. Inevitably, they don't do what I would do. They have different priorities, needs and goals. It seems easier to just go on my own merry way, doesn't it? Why bother making someone else feel like they're a failure for not living up to my exacting standards? Except that we persist with the idea that the "couple" is the ultimate happiness. Except when it isn't. When it doesn't work - when it isn't right - whatever that means - then it's the worst failure.

    Sigh. I don't have the answers.
    But I'm searching.
    At least I know that others are, too.

    (If you would like to be added to Raye's list of newsletter recipients, let me know and I'll pass on the info. Otherwise, feel free to post a comment here about the issue.)
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    Saw Kevin Smith at Roy Thompson Hall last night and it was rather cool.

    He has a potty mouth, of course, which I found to be rather tiresome after a while. I mean, how many times can you swear before it stops being funny for the shock value? And much of his humour is shock-value. Unsurpringly, given the nature of Chasing Amy and Dogma, for example.

    But he's a pretty cool guy. Laid back in a way that tells me he's "on".
    Really reminds me of Alex.

    And then Kevin started talking about his wife.

    And I had a sneaking suspicion that Alex and I are living a parallel universe to Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

    I think I am Kevin Smith's wife.
    Except that I saw her and she's extremly pretty, so I'm not.

    But everything that Kevin said about his wife, I could have sworn came from Alex's own mouth.

    Alex and I stole sidelong glances at each other. I knew he was thinking the same.

    I have a new appreciation for Kevin Smith and I'm looking forward to his possible use of bionic ninja's hiding behind rocks at Degrassi High in his next movie, Clerks2. Don't be too surprised if, instead, he comes out with Jay and Silent Bob Take on Canada, eh?

    Wednesday, November 17, 2004

    I'm totally jealous.

    Kat has a blog and it's really good. And pink. And cute.

    And my blog still looks like my original site, even though I keep meaning to get around to redesigning AND I never post anything interesting. Yes, I realize that I'm making this all about me. Me me me, that's all we ever hear about in this blog.

    God, I need to write again.

    Good work, Kat!
    Last night I went to an AIMS (Assoc. of Internet Marketing and Sales) event at which I learned a very little bit.

    On the happy side, I got to see two of my friends that work in the industry and have a great talk. (Which reminds me, I have a conversation to finish with one of them...)

    Then I walked to class -- from Second City at one end of downtown to UofT at the other end -- for more web stuff. And I discovered that I did REALLY well on my test! 97% baby!

    After that, I walked to Alex's place and we had a nice long hug and it felt so great just to talk and hug.

    Today, one of my old Infinaut buddies came in to work with me. It's been great to work with him again. Sometimes it can be really difficult to find a competent developer who understands (a) quality, (b) deadlines and (c) responsibility.

    And tomorrow I'll get to work with my cousin! I've got a project that I need some admin help with and she's going to do all the dirty work for me. I'm so glad! It'll be nice to see her again. It's weird: you live in the same city and you never see even your own family!

    And finally, I'm going to see Kevin Smith at Roy Thompson Hall tomorrow night. Should be interesting!

    Monday, November 15, 2004

    Stupid computer.
    It hates me. Won't log onto my network. Stupid stupid stupid.

    Of course, there are 3 other computers in this house, so that's how I'm posting here while my computer sits there like a stupid.

    ~looks over at it crossly~

    I wish I knew how to fix computers. Well, here I go online to try to figure it out with online help...

    On a positive note, I think I made the best smoothie of all time for dinner. Mmmm.
    I tried an experiment on my walk to work today. I walked on the left side of the sidewalk. Then I looked off to into the distance, pretending to be fully engrossed in whatever was happening over there.

    People who were walking the other way, coming towards me, refused to change to the other side of the sidewalk. They saw that they were going to bump into me, that I was not paying attention, and they still would not move to the other side of sidewalk.

    Isn't that strange?
    There's no LAW that you walk on the same side that you drive on. And yet, it seems that there is. In fact, people are quite adamant about it.

    Sunday, November 14, 2004

    Sunday used to be a day of rest. Now, it's a day of cleaning.

    And now my back hurts from cleaning the encrusted food from the wall.

    I'm off to meet Alex for dinner.

    * * *

    Back from dinner now. Spring Rolls is a pretty good restaurant. I love asian food so much. Although I must say that the curried Pad Thai was a little disappointing. The best curried pad thai in the city can be found at the Friendly Thai. Without a doubt.

    My mom picked me up and dropped me at home with a bunch of things that she'd brought me from their house, including my warm winter jacket. I'm very sad that I'll be needing it soon. I do NOT like cold weather. Why do I live in Canada?

    I'm still looking for the perfect boots so that I can:
    a) walk to work in comfort
    b) wear all my skirts
    c) be a cute Fall girl (I think it's going to take more than the perfect boots for that one).

    Did I mention that I saw Edge of Reason, the new Bridget Jones movie?
    Well, I did.

    It was cute. But anyone thinking that it might closely resemble the book will be sorely disappointed. It's funny and true to the spirit of the book, but really quite different. The best part was, of course, the second round of the ridiculous fight between the two men in Bridget's life. Fantastic.

    I'm also reading a really great book: Lovely Bones. Sad and moving and after only starting it this morning, I'm already a quarter of the way through. Read the reviews on the Chapters site for a pretty accurate summary of the book; or not, if you want to be surprised. Recommeneded either way.

    Friday, November 12, 2004

    Busy week, but I finally got home at a normal time!

    And now I'm off to meet a bunch of friends at a surprise party.

    Work is starting to level out at only 10-hours per day, which is a nice change. And generally less stressful.

    I guess one can only take so much stress before it becomes the norm.

    However, I did manage to have dinner with Jess this week, which was great! And this weekend I'm going to see Edge Of Reason, the new Bridget Jones flick. Should be a good weekend. Maybe at some stage I'll even find time to clean my apartment and do laundry! How exciting!

    Wednesday, November 10, 2004

    Had super-yummy dinner with Jess at HoSu, a Japanese/Korean place at Yonge and Eg. I had such a craving for a dragon roll. And spicy scallop maki.

    We met in Indigo so I got to take a peek at the latest Cosmo. It's such a bad, bad magazine. Guilty pleasure.

    And now off to bed...

    Monday, November 08, 2004

    Supposed to be reading my booooorrrrrring textbook and studying. But I thought I'd take a PRE-study break to report that we had our first snowflakes of the year in Toronto today.

    Of course, I didn't see them. But I was assured that they were out there. I wasn't too skeptical, since I did have to walk home through the brutal cold.

    Had a meeting with someone today who's off to Paris next week. She said "I don't really like hot weather." HUH? What else IS there??

    The good side to the cold weather is that it made me jog home (in my inappropriate work attire) so that I got home faster so that I could check my email and write my blog in time to start studying by the time I would have gotten home otherwise.

    Good excuse.
    Honestly, I don't know another person who's as good at procrastinating as I am. I'm stellar. A true professional. I think I should teach a course.

    Raye told me today about her Myers-Briggs testing that she did this summer (MB is a personality type indicator). An INTJ commonly becomes unglued when the outside world seems overwhelming and anticipates the worst. These feelings are often dealt with by overdoing sensual pleasures such as overeating.

    Hm. Good thing I don't do THAT.
    ~hides Reece PB cup pkg behind back~

    Raye also notes that there are suggestions on how to return to "equilibrium":
  • time alone to recharge
  • lightening of usual schedule
  • avoidance of advice-giving individuals

    • Exam is tomorrow, so time is scarce. However, I AM alone right now. Will use this as an excuse to make my roommates go away later.
    • As "usual schedule" includes working late, and I'm already here working at home, the only way to "lighten" is to turn on more lamps. Or perhaps candles as I lie in the bath pretending I can read through my closed eyelids.
    • Do not talk to my mom. (Mom, I'm just kidding.)
  • Sunday, November 07, 2004

    Yesterday I fell asleep in the Second Cup, reading my Online Strategy textbook. It's THAT good.

    I'd even just had a latte. I thought coffee was supposed to keep you awake. Well, not me, apparently. I sat down on the comfy couch and, 2 dreadfully boring paragraphs later, my eyes were rolling back into my head, my chin resting on my chest.

    Too cool.

    Once I woke up, I figured I wasn't getting a lot of studying done for my exam on Tuesday, so I might as well get up and do something. So I wandered up to Chinatown and did some shopping. Avocado and asian pears. MMMmmm.

    And I talked myself out of buying some ridiculously cheap shoes and did some gourmet shoppinig in Kensington Market. A french stick and some nice cheeses to take with me to Sarah's for dinner.

    Sarah made mussels and had edamame. We marvelled that edamame is actually good for you. I mean, how many yummy things are actually good for you?

    Sharon brought veggies and yummy dip.
    We drank wine and talked about all our stupid work lives.
    And watched Weezer videos.

    And then it was time to go. So Sharon and I walked and chatted all the way to the Yonge and Bloor subway station (maybe a 1/2-hour walk?). What a beautiful night - perfect autumn weather.

    And today I continue with my sad efforts to study.
    Needless to say, I wandered around Zellers for a couple of hours and called Jen.

    Ya, I'm a pretty good procrastinator.

    And now I'd say it's about time for dinner. So I don't need to crack the books just yet...

    Saturday, November 06, 2004

    Alex and I went to the ROM last night. We discovered that many of the exhibits are the same as they were when we went to visit in elementary school. A little disappointing. But free on Fridays.

    And at least I got to show and tell him my NZ fairy penguin story. He seemed to like it.

    Today I'll putter around, read some of my online marketing strategy book (I hope), go for breakfast, drink some coffee and then go to Sarah's for dinner tonight.

    Tuesday, November 02, 2004

    Back from my Web Strategy class - always an interesting diversion.

    It'd be great if I could find the time to read more than a chapter of my textbook before my test next week. Of course, that might necessitate me never blogging again. And never writing another personal email. Could be a problem for me.

    Well, one step at a time, I guess.

    Monday, November 01, 2004

    Drinking a yummy strawberry banana orange yogurt smoothie - my specialty. The only other smoothie I've ever tasted that came close to mine was the one I had in Boston. that one came close, I'll admit. But right now, I feel the goodness flooding into me.

    Another 12-hour day, but I spoke with my boss about how we can reduce my hours. So we're working on it at least.

    At least I got home in time to do some laundry. I was in desperate need: tomorrow I wouldn't have had any socks left. Although I suppose that's a good reason to buy MORE socks. If I had time to shop, I mean.

    I got a lovely email from my friends Andrea in Germany and Jaap in Holland. They were both worried about me and tried to remind me that life is beautiful and shouldn't be so full of stress.

    However, I did discover today that stess makes people forgetful. So that's why I'm such a tard lately. At least now I have an excuse.

    Oh. Gotta go get my laundry...

    Sunday, October 31, 2004

    After a minor freak-out on Alex (who graciously knows how to handle an obsessing, panicked Cathy) I am feeling better.

    Of course, it is Sunday, and I've had two days to relax a little. Actually, I only had one day of real relaxation, since yesterday was go-go-go.

    Saturday, morning I got up as usual to go to my usability class, which was really interesting and where I met some really nice people. I TTC'd my way home for an hour and a half (goodness, sometimes it would be nice to have a car!) so I could eat and stuff my costume into a bag before TTCing to Tree's place. We chatted and drank some much-needed wine before putting on our costumes and doing our hair and make up.

    My coworker had lent me an old costume of hers to wear. It was the cutest space-girl costume I've ever seen! I wish I were creative enough to make stuff like that!

    Picture me walking down the street to the subway in my silver lame with pink piping Jetson-esque dress with a puffy pink shiny wide collar, matching silver boots and silver wrap, silver makeup, glitter-faced and pig-tailed... walking beside a Lord of the Rings extra with an aluminum-foil sword and medieval braids. People couldn't stop staring.

    The best was Alex's costume: a devil-face with a "Vote bush" t-shirt. It was GREAT.

    We went off to my friend Tanya's Halloween engagement party.
    More wine.
    Saw two guys that I'd been involved with in the past. Weird.

    And today I got to go for dim sum with Alex. I always like taking people for their first dim sum experience. It's such a different way to eat, and of course it takes some getting used to. I don't think that Alex will be fighting to go back soon.

    But then we went shopping and I bought some cool pants at Guess, one of my favourite stores. I decided that I would celebrate my raise with a new pair of pants. I don't have a whole lot of work clothes... funny how your notion of clothing variety changes when you don't have to carry it all on your back.

    We went for coffee and talked about work stuff and I started to panic about going back to work tomorrow. I just went quiet. Walked home. And freaked out.

    Alex patted me on the back and smoothed my hair and said soothing words and we talked about what I already know to be true in my head and heart but don't know how to bring about in the real world. And finally, somehow, we talked of other things and I felt better. He is good at hugging, I have concluded. It is one of my favourite things about him.

    And now I'm here at home, knowing that I should be reading my Web Strategy textbook, but preferring to geek out a little and just being selfish, knowing I deserve it.

    Saturday, October 30, 2004

    I noticed a ridiculous story in Humber's campus paper, etCetera, about the "Flue epidemic". They're using scare tactics to get everyone to get a flu shot. Don't these people realize that not everyone SHOULD get a flu shot? Why don't they report THAT?

    I get so tired with people writing these ridiculous stories.
    Today I'm doing a Usability course at Humber College through DigitalEve Toronto and I'm finding it so interesting and useful. I think it's even better than the really expensive Web Strategy course that I'm taking at UofT.

    Although I think that I'd like to be able to SLEEP someday soon, I'm still happy that I came in today to this course. Sometimes I just like using my brain. Sadly, I can't help thinking about all the other things that I should be doing (ie: working on my UofT course assignment/reading, laundry and general housekeeping, cooking, spending time with friends...)

    Friday, October 29, 2004

    Poor Jimmy doesn't work at BMW anymore. I wondered why he was coming home so late that I didn't even notice he came home at all (except for the toilet seat being up, but I don't freak out about that kind of thing like some people).

    So he's not working and since energy is neither created nor detroyed, I'm taking over his share.

    I can't remember if I reported that I got a promotion.
    Well, if I didn't report it before, I'm doing it now! Yay for being Managing Editor!

    Except that I can't take on the new position full-time until some of my higher-profile projects are done. That means I'll be a project manager until at least January. Which would be OK, except that I've got sitemares up the wazoo.

    I was just telling someone that I realized that I've been talking about my job a lot. It's a very North-American thing to do, I noticed while I was in Australia. And now I realize it I talk about my job because I don't really DO much else. It is my life right now.

    And I think that's why I'm so crabby; although I like my job, essentially, it's all there is to life right now and so, when something goes wrong (as it invariably does) it's harder to shake off as unimportant.

    It's taken over my mind and I'm having trouble sleeping. I keep thinking of all those things I've forgotten to do, or how I should approach this or that problem, or deal with that difficult client. It's not healthy.

    I want to get to a point of zen - where the motivation to do things right doesn't cause stress. Where I can see beyond the immediate rush and details and have that perspective on what is really important.

    Thursday, October 28, 2004

    Going to play indoor soccer tonight. Yay!

    Then home to prepare for early meeting tomorrow. BOO!

    Crazy days here. So busy I think I might lose my mind.
    I'll be fine. It's good practice for facing things unprepared. Yes. There's the bright side: it's improving one of my weaknesses.


    Wednesday, October 27, 2004

    Well, I'm still working my bum off. Still doing 12-hour days. Still going to class on Tuesday nights.

    This is the first night I've been home at a normal time. I celebrated by taking a long hot bath. In a candle-lit bathroom. With Sade playing. Magik.

    A coworker sent me a stress quiz and it turns out I'm stressed.

    ~shocked silence~

    And that I'm taking it out on other people.
    That's the worst part, really. I don't like that person I become when I'm overworked and frustrated and have no patience.

    However, I'm really glad that I went to visit Raye in Sudbury last weekend. She's so great to talk to. We just talked talked talked all weekend. And saw Ladder 49, which is a bad movie that you should only see with someone as willing to laugh at it as Raye.

    And I read a lot on the 5-hr bus ride to the Big Nickel. I finished my book of short stories by women travellers and started on an inspiring book called Me to We. It's all about returning to a community approach to life, where people help each other. I'm really quite jaded by our consumerist society lately.

    I need some time to live life.

    Sunday, October 24, 2004

    Hi my name is Cathy and I left myself signed in on Alex's computer... yes i know I usually hyperlink on people's names but let me save you the trouble of clicking...

    Alex is the best, ever and he is so good and I like him more than smoothies.

    And now here is a funny picture:

    I can't imagine what context that picture was taken in.

    Thank you this is all.

    Alex.. whoops i mean Cathy.

    Wednesday, October 20, 2004

    Crappy days, full of work and people being mean to me for no reason. Also people being nice to me of course. I do like my job, it's just really really difficult right now.

    At least I didn't work 12 hours today.

    Tuesday, October 19, 2004

    Sitting in class today. Very interesting.

    The best part is often the people that you meet.
    Part of our group project is to analyze the Lonely Planet website. How exciting!
    I'm going to Sudbury to visit Raye this weekend! How exciting!

    It means that I have to leave work early on Friday, since the bus only goes to Sudbury once a day. So I have a bit of an extra long weekend... although I'll only be spending it in the bus. But maybe at least I won't be spending it being stressed out.

    Monday, October 18, 2004

    What a wonderfully relaxing weekend.

    I had dinner and watched a cheesey cute movie with a great friend, I read, I drank tea, I cleaned my apartment and did the laundry (yay for clean sheets!), I had dinner with my mom and aunt, I hung out with Alex and watched TV, I slept in, I read magazines at Chapters, I talked to my sister on the phone, I even managed to unpack a box of stuff.

    It's amazing what one can do when they don't have internet access.

    Thursday, October 14, 2004

    Sometimes I wonder if the contractor I work with is just looking for ways to upset me. If not, then it brings up the question: what would he do if he was trying to piss me off?

    I've been going through some of my old portfolio of work. I realize that, of late, the best writing that I've done has been extremely personal and not something that I would feel comfortable sharing in a professional setting. I suppose I might want to think about building a more recent professional portfolio.

    I think I've said/written that about 20 times over the past two years that I've been running this site. Personal initiatives always seem to get pushed to the side, it seems. It's a labour of love, this thing. And someday - SOMEDAY! - I will spend the time I need to make it what I really want it to be. I will implement my grand vision. However, I might need to be chronically unemployed to find the time to make it happen.

    (Who am I kidding? I was the MOST busy when I was "unemployed". It was just a more fun type of busy.)

    I'm thinking longingly of my unemployment at this stage. Working 12-hours a day for weeks upon weeks is starting to wear on me. I noticed myself close to tears today as I tried to handle yet another disappointment.

    This is not me.
    I am a happy girl.
    I don't tear up at the drop of a hat (or deadline, as the case may be).
    I am NOT cranky. OK, Alex, maybe I'm a bit cranky sometimes. But very very infrequently. Most of the time I'm a bucket of sunshine.


    Wednesday, October 13, 2004

    I started my new course last night at UofT: Strategies for a Web Presence. So far, it's really interesting and should be helpful for my job.

    The job, on the otherhand, is taking up huge amounts of my time at the moment. Another 12-hour day today.

    And now I'm sitting here with my rooibos tea, nursing a migraine that developed today, thinking, "why am I doing this?"

    Well, I like parts of it. I just really really dislike the one part of it that was dumped on me a couple of weeks ago that keeps sucking up all of my time.

    And why is that, when you have the least amount of time to deal with it, everything goes wrong? No one does what you need them to do, especially not on their own, everyone screws up everything, miscommunications abound? I know why, I suppose. It's because I don't have time to follow-up on everything like I usually do. Or to proofread absolutely everything I write so that I am absolutely crystal clear and there is no room for interpretation.

    But I wonder, why can't I cut a break?
    One coworker said it today, "Well, your karma's bound to turn around. You're due for something good."

    I hope she's right.

    PS: while the Karma-police are at it, can they throw in some time for laundry and unpacking? Thanks.

    Monday, October 11, 2004

    Well, I'm back from Ottawa, unpacking. Unpacking stuff my parent's brought from home. Lovely thanksgiving. And now, back to work. Sigh.

    Sunday, October 10, 2004

    Staying with Will and Lisa in Ottawa for Thanksgiving weekend, he brought out some old Liberty magazines he'd found from 1957.

    One of the hot topics discussed was "Should you help your wife with the household chores?"

    One man wrote, "I ain't no hen-pecked chore horse" and that men should "belt your wife to show her who's boss in the house."

    Interesting that this was a p.c. enough topic to discuss in a consumer magazine. Several articles discussed women's place in the home. I suddenly had a nightmare vision of having to stay home all day, cleaning. Even the cooking part would get old real quick.

    Mom also read me an article: "how to talk about sex with your date." It recommended responses to men's racy talk ("they consider this part of their seduction ritual" apparently). It gave an example of one man's "sex talk": "Women go wild for my profile. For example Suzy..." The lady's response was appropriately demure: "Well, I know Suzy and she's NOT that kind of girl and, frankly, neither am I!"

    Shocking sex talk, to be sure. But he respected her after that.

    Friday, October 08, 2004

    Went for a lovely dinner last night with a coworker. He and his partner made an amazing dinner. Of course, I ate so much I felt sick. And then they gave me some to take home!

    I really miss cooking. I need to do it more often.
    Clearly, it was not going to start this week as I didn't get home "on time" even once.

    But, on the somewhat-satisifed side, I am managing to keep a gazillion projects under control.

    I know from experience, if I have to do another week like this one, I will become a nasty, depressed girl.

    This Thanksgiving, I am giving thanks for long weekends.

    Wednesday, October 06, 2004

    Is it already that time again? Time for my daily blog (OK, "daily"... I try at least!)

    It seems like a few minutes ago that I last wrote. And I was about to write a similar thing.

    I swore I'd never again be one of those people who work until they have to walk home in the dark - always the last in the office, with everyone telling them they should go home. A sad state of affairs that that's what my week has been like.

    And it all has to do with one project in an otherwise happy existence.

    Actually, it all has to with my inability to shrug off the perceived importance of this project. I mean, how many times have I told other people to really think hard about how important their work is... is anyone going to die? are babies going to suffer? is anyone going to bed hungry because I couldn't get my project plan out on time?


    And yet I have the drive inside me to continually ensure that I do the best job that I can do; that I not let anyone down, even when others let me down. To succeed, even when (especially when?) it's impossible.

    As I walked home tonight, I considered the twinkling lights of the city and the chirping crickets in the foliage and tried to fathom the number of organisms alive right now who really couldn't care less about a stupid web site or an irresponsible contractor. They're all out there, quietly living their lives in blissful ignorance of my so-called "emergencies".

    And now I sit, tapping away on my computer, listening to George Michael croon "Kissing a Fool" (one of my faves), thinking I need to sing more often. I'm pretty sure no one asks George why the files aren't uploaded yet or even thinks of inconveniencing him by missing their deadlines.

    Lucky George.

    Tuesday, October 05, 2004

    You know, when you work late, there really isn't much time for LIFE.

    Good thing I actually like what I do for the most part. And I managed to have a lovely walk home in the dark, listening to Norah Jones on my MP3 player.

    Monday, October 04, 2004

    Over the weekend, I was going through all of my stuff that I have stored at my parents' house, and I came across shoe boxes full of old letters.

    "Dear Spanks," one read from the summer after first-year university, "I miss you!" Dave, of course, had cut out Batman characters and had put together a thoroughly dirty anagram for me.

    One from Raye and Scott, as they spent the summer together up in Sudbury, working on the Northern Lights music festival. Writing such warm and wonderful messages to me as to make me smile and tear-up all at once.

    One from Tanya, about finally breaking up with her boyfriend. One from Chris, my boyfriend at the time, talking excitedly about my upcoming birthday and with "you're so pretty" scrawled on the inside lip of the envelope.

    One from Evelyn, so sad and lonely in Toronto for the summer. Desperately wanting someone to come and visit her. Missing me.

    A whole shoe box dedicated to letters from Heather. Talking about Tigh-Na-Mara, the resort where she used to work and her boyfriends and wanna-be boyfriends, about school and about New Kids on the Block, from time to time.

    It made my heart ache for those years of love and loyalty. I remembered it all with such fondness that I almost felt that I was there, reliving the feelings. The fullness of my heart when I was with my friends. The outright love for the human race.

    Tuesday, September 28, 2004

    Big day.

    Big, messed up emergency project.

    No time for lunch or other projects or contract signing. Just fighting fires. Kind of an adrenalin rush though, I suppose.

    Then off to my Wired Woman seminar "My Career, My Business". It was interesting. I wonder if I will find the courage to be an entrepreneur. I find that I am slowly but surely developing my confidence. I don't doubt that I have the talent and intelligence, but I surely doubt my self confidence. Given that, I worry that it would be too much of the things I don't enjoy. And so, I continue to hone myself and learn from other incredibly intelligent people in the 9-5 office world.

    And lament my lack of freedom.

    Sunday, September 26, 2004

    Sometimes all it takes a really good talk to make it all better.

    I was feeling really restless and then I got together with Karen, a girl I met in Melbourne, who's now just finishing her travels and happened to be in Toronto.

    We shopped and had a lovely dinner together and talked, talked, talked. It was great. Sharing the feelings that you have post-travel... it's just amazing to have someone who really understands.

    We agreed that we want to continue living life in a similar way, treating each day as a new adventure. But our friends haven't had the same experience and they don't understand that drive. We're no longer content to sit at home and watch TV (at least, not regularly). At the end of it all, we're thinking about all the new and exciting things we could be experiencing. It's frustrating, because I don't want to lose this feeling, and yet I feel it seeping away.

    We were both talking about our next trips that we want to do. We both want to go back to New Zealand. And we both want to go to Europe.

    After dinner, since she had to go visit her gran, I went to the movies and saw "Forgotten" which was scary, and then hung and popped into another theatre to see "First Daughter" which was cheesey but cute. Everyone wore way too much makeup.

    It was good to have some alone time. I think I really needed it.
    And today I'm off to Word on the Street.

    Thursday, September 23, 2004

    When I was a kid, I always thought that it would be really cool to have glasses or braces or a cast. I never had any of those things. But I pretended.

    Since then, I have experienced braces. They were a big disappointment, let me tell you! Although, I don't regret it a bit. I have beautiful teeth.

    And I can now tell you that having these two wrist splints on is highly overrated. Nothing is easy with these things. Plus, my wrists ache.


    Stupid wrists.

    Tuesday, September 21, 2004

    Sometimes I really like a good argument.

    And other times, I just wanna veg out with David Gray and a good book. Like now.

    Monday, September 20, 2004

    How many of Canada's top ten films have you seen?

    I've only seen:
    THE SWEET HEREAFTER (1997) Atom Egoyan
    DEAD RINGERS (1988) David Cronenberg

    I'm wondering why Cronenberg's eXistenZ isn't on the list. I liked it. I guess most people didn't. And what about Men With Brooms? I didn't see it, but I suppose it's not exactly the artsy film that this list espouses.

    Sunday, September 19, 2004

    Saw the movie Hero last night. Such a beautiful film. Probably a little melodramatic, but I don't think such a film could be made any other way.

    I don't know what's wrong with me these days, but I've been an emotional mess. Crying (or wanting to) at the drop of a hat. My hormones have gone crazy.

    I was watching a comedy show at Alex's house and they were using a monkey as part of the skits and I finally couldn't take it anymore. My heart was ripping in half for the poor animal.

    In Chapters, before the movie, I was reading The Dance by Oriah Mountain Dreamer. I was captivated by the cover: "What if the question is not why am i so infrequently the person I really want to be, but why do i so infrequently want to be the person I really am?" Tears welled in my eyes and I began walking around in a daze. I didn't know how to explain it to Alex and I'm sure he thinks I'm a freak (although he is endlessly endulgent with me). I was just so suddenly and so completely affected by the words.

    It is small wonder, then, that this movie also affected me with its beauty.

    I feel that there is a place inside my chest that is like a soft sponge, engorged to the choking point with emotion. At times it becomes too much for my chest to hold, and the sponge, squeezed, causes eruptions of emotion. Eruptions that I feel ill-equipped and ill-inclined to explain.

    It's been an odd weekend.

    On a lighter note, Alex got a new apartment and it's perfect and I'm jealous of and happy for him. It's right in the fashion district downtown (where I used to live and work) - a happening, artsy spot in which I'll be happy to take advantage of in my frequent visits.

    I also bought another Jack Johnson CD as well as a David Gray CD. Listening to David Gray now. A contented smile is creeping across my face as the fiery sun sets outside the window behind me.

    Friday, September 17, 2004

    Well, I've really done it now: I've got hairline fractures on at least one of my wrists and possibly on both. Way to go. So much for living life with passion. Now it's all about living life with the sexy wrist splints.

    The doc gave me the option of getting a cast, but said the splints might be good enough as long as I'm careful. Careful? ME?

    I guess I won't be playing Ultimate again anytime soon.

    And then I tell my account director at work about it and he sends me this:


    On the positive side, Sarah discovered the errant end-table tag that DW added to my code that broke my homepage and travel pages. YAY Sarah!
    So I screwed up my homepage and my travel section. Honestly, I don't know what I did that made it screw up. Hence, I'm not sure how to fix it. The few things that I've had time to try didn't work. And I'm a busy girl, so I haven't had the time that I need to just take a look at the table structure and see if it's that. Only, I didn't change the table structure, so it should be fine, theoretically. However, obviously I did something and I will fix it. Just be patient.

    Wednesday, September 15, 2004

    In line with my "live life with passion" mantra, I played Ultimate Frisbee last night. And perhaps I had a little too much passion.

    After an unglamorous fall to my ass, catching myself snow-boarding-wipe-out-style on the heels of my hands, I was possibly a little dazed to realize how much I'd actually hurt myself.

    So now I sit typing awkwardly with my ultra-sexy wrist splint.
    I'm off for x-rays tomorrow morning. I hope it wasn't my last Ultimate game, cause it was super fun! (If, by fun, I mean exhausting to the extreme for someone who hasn't exercised in about a xillion years.) Aside from the outstanding exercise, I met some great people!

    Tuesday, September 14, 2004

    I read an editorial in eye magazine on the weekend about the ridiculous notion of objectivity and bias in the media. It points out the lengths that journalists and news agencies will go to in order to preserve a facade of objectivity.
    "Clinging relentlessly to a misguided idea of what constitutes objectivity, political reporters in the mainstream are forever hesitant to point out patent absurdities. Instead, they strive for balance, a he-said/she-said structure that isn't often satisfactory: if a White House press briefing told reporters that the White House was in fact black, the reporters doing stand-ups outside the clearly white building would quote colour experts and lay out the 'sharply divided opinion' on the subject."
    Ridiculous of course. But then I considered that it might be a little dangerous to go against the White House.

    However, the he-said/she-said is getting on my nerves. Case in point, this story:
    "A Dutch professor became the first recipient of a new Swedish science prize in the field of medical education research, the awarding body said Monday."
    Now, why can't they just write about the FACT that a Dutch professor (Dutch clearly being the most intelligent people in the world) won this award? Why are they reporting that someone SAID that he won? Are they so afraid that they might be wrong? Are they saying that the REAL piece of news here is that an awarding body made an announcement?

    Don't get me wrong: I'm not saying that this journalist is any way at fault. Even had they written a different teaser paragraph, I know their editor would have rewritten it this way. I remember the formula writing that I learned in first-year newspaper reporting. I remember Joyce drilling this formula into my head and then understanding why it was that I found news stories to be so unimaginative.

    Sometimes I'm really glad that I'm not in journalism.

    Monday, September 13, 2004

    This morning I read a story about the trend in school cafeterias : stocking them with organic food.

    The story <Diet: no more mystery meat!> talks about how wonderful it is that there are more options than pizza and candy in the cafeteria.

    The problem is, it seems to tout organic food as if it is the only healthy alternative to grease or sugar. I can see the importance of stocking cafeterias with more healthy food. But why organic?

    "'Organic' doesn't necessarily mean 'healthy,' and pigging out on natural foods won't help your waistline. But organic programs such as the one in Lincoln Elementary have successfully gotten children to eat more fruits and vegetables, which will help improve their health in the long run."

    While this is true, and while organic food can have many additional benefits for the environment, I object to the basic assumption that this article makes: that organic food is the only healthy alternative to greasy food. It doesn't even mention what "organic" means. The truth is that often "organic" doesn't mean much at all. And if getting healthful foods in school cafeterias is a cost issue, then perhaps we should first focus on cheaper healthful foods, since often (but not always) organic producers charge more for similar products.

    I think we should first focus on providing accessible healthy food options for cafeterias (organic or otherwise) and reduce the bad eating habits of our children and then worry about improving that offering with well-chosen organic products.

    Sunday, September 12, 2004

    So I got curious about why I'm feeling flabby. And I looked it up on my favourite thing, the web:

    As a 150-lb (actually, I'm not sure about my weight, but it's a round number that's close enough to what I weigh), 5-foot-7-inch woman, my BMI is 23.5. Just barely in the "normal" range.

    Doing light activity, I should eat approximately 1600 calories per day to maintain my weight (calculated at The Beehive).

    Let's look at what I ate yesterday (I'm getting most of this information from CalorieCounter):

    4 slices bread : 280 calories
    butter 2 Tbsp: 200
    cheese (1 oz): 114
    orange juice (1cup): 107
    tea with sugar/milk: 35

    Jet Fuel Coffee (2 cups of 1% milk?): 204

    1 Grilled cheese sandwich (butter,cheese,bread): 300 (or more)
    Deep n Delicious Cake (1/2 the cake, ugh): 800

    Total: approx 2050 calories

    Then, let's look at what I burned (I'm looking at Cool Nurse for info):

    Walking 2mph (probably not even, as we were at the Cabbagetown Festival and we were sauntering) = 3.3/min = 390 calories

    Watching TV = 145/hr? OK, seriously, this is no more strenuous than simply existing, so they MUST be talking about your basal metabolic rate and that's already taken into account in one's daily caloric intake. I mean, later in the page it says "sitting at rest = 1.6/hr". So I'm not counting this.

    That means that I took in (and stored) 60 calories extra yesterday. It's as easy as that. And that's quite a normal food day for me (OK, eating half the cake is not normal. But if I hadn't eaten that, I'd have eaten something else). In fact, most days I'd say that I eat/drink much more than that (especially if I've gone out for drinks with a friend). But say I ate 100 calories too much every day (not tough to do). That means that I would gain 1 pound every month. (Info on calories-to-pounds). That's over 10 pounds a year!

    Even if it had been a higher activity day, like if I'd played on my beach volleyball team for 100 minutes (and let's not kid ourselves that 6 people on the court is much exercise), I'd still have only burned 350 calories. Stll, better than nothing. And it means that I could eat an extra grilled cheese sandwich.

    In this exercise of figuring out what I eat and exercise and all that, I've discovered that I'm not so bad, really. However, that's likely because I think about it from time to time and know something about it since my mom is a dietitian and drilled it into me as I was growing up.

    But there are people who really think they're not overweight or unhealthy and they don't really pay much attention to what they eat or what they do in a day. Or maybe they do, but they have false ideas about what's good and bad for them. And that's how most of our population has gotten to be overweight. And that's how our healthcare system has become so overburdened.

    Honestly, the number one reason/risk for healthcare problems is obesity. And I resent that I have to pay for people who abuse themselves, even in the face of so much public information on the subject. Same with smokers.

    Genetic predisposition? Ya, I'm sorry for us: I have that problem too. I'm likely to develop diabetes as I get older. However, if I take care of myself now, the chances of this diminish.

    I know I'm not perfect, but this is why I need to think about what I eat and how much I exercise. So that someday I will not be sitting in a hospital with a tube down my nose and an IV in my veins thinking "Dammit, I wish I'd taken better care of myself."

    You don't have to be a neurotic person to care about your weight.

    Now, take this exellent quiz and see what you actually know about weight loss. I thought I knew a lot, but some answers completely shocked me.

    Saturday, September 11, 2004

    Taking a cue from Princess Top of the Woods, I would like to report that my name, in Dutch, means a group of fruit trees or orchard.
    Went out to see a band (actually, a couple bands, but only one was really worth mentioning) at the Horseshoe last night. Jen and I went to school with two guys from the band Lifted and, since Jen is in town from Calgary, we decided to have a sisters-night-out to see this band for the first time.

    Honestly, I didn't even know that my friend, Bill, from high school was even in the band until I saw him outside. It was a total double-take as he looks so different now! The last time I saw him I think I was in second-year university. I remember that he used to date my friend Anita. He was on my bus in high school. I remember that he came to visit me in the hospital when I was in grade 11 and had nearly died. He and his friend Chris nearly killed me with laughter.

    And suddenly, there he is looking like Mr. Rocker outside the Horseshoe. And of course, he is so talented. In fact, the whole band was just amazing. Kind of Our-Lady-Peace-esque. They had real stage presence and outstanding songs.

    I think about how much talent is out there and how little I actually get to hear any of it cause it never gets on the radio. What a shame. Talent is such a precious thing and we really don't do enough in Canada to support our artists.

    Immediately afterwards, I went to the CHUM City Festival Schmooze, where Alex was working. He gave me a wristband so that we could go have a look at the party. Typically all the "BIG" stars had left. But it still strikes me that, even though the Toronto Film Festival is supposed to be about the indie films, it's still the big Hollywood stars that everyone wants to catch a glimpse of. I'm pretty sure that none of the people watching the red carpet even recognized most of the Canadian talent.

    It's a sad truth: real artists are not properly appreciated. Their art is not supported because it's cheaper and easier to go with whatever is marketed best. We get spoon-fed whatever artist has the right connections. And art suddenly becomes so vanilla.

    I want to make a point to support the arts more. I think it's an important mark of our civilization. And maybe if I do that, someday someone will support me to live my life expressing my talent and I can just write all day long.

    Friday, September 10, 2004

    Ohmygosh. Sarah made a cake. Even the picture of it makes my mouth water. Sarah is such an amazing baker. She made me the absolute BEST cheesecake for my 27th birthday. It was one of those "I want to put it all in my mouth right now cause it's so yummy, but I have to eat it slowly so I can savour and also I'm sad for when it's gone."

    Maybe I can find a way to make sure that Sarah makes me a cake every week and then all I do that week is just eat it. Mmmm.

    And no sharing.

    Thursday, September 09, 2004

    Testing New Blogger Functionality

    So Blogger suddeny has all this new functionality. You can send my posts to
    a friend via email. I can email a post to publish on my site. It's crazy.
    How do they manage to offer this for free? I'm pretty sure I should take
    better advantage of what they have to offer; they make it all so easy!

    No, they don't make me say this. I just tell people when I really like
    something. Just like President's Choice Financial. Seriously, if you don't
    have an account there already, what are you waiting for??


    Just had my first Ultimate Frisbee practice. It was awesome. That's not to say that I was awesome, but it was great fun. I learned three basic throws, the basic rules of the game, and some of the players on the team.

    I'm playing with my roommate, James, and his company. They need girls and so, there I am. I figured it would be great exercise... and it will be for sure!

    First game: Tuesday!
    Conversation at work: that Canadians are more receptive to UK accents than Americans.

    Supporting point: in American movies, people with accents are usually bad guys.

    I brought up Arnold Schwarzenegger and they dismissed me: he can't help it. What about Pierce Brosnan? Well, he was James Bond and that's a British-related film. Mike Myers as Austin Powers? Based on James Bond. "And, on the other hand, he has really bad teeth."

    Do you have an example of an American movie that uses a character who has an accent who is NOT the bad guy?

    Wednesday, September 08, 2004

    Went out for dinner with my mom and Jen and Kendra at the Queen Mother Cafe. I had yummy Laotian food. Mom tried with varying degress of unsuccess to eat with chopsticks.

    It was a nice dinner, but far too short.

    Tuesday, September 07, 2004

    In case you've read my Sept. 2nd blog about the wedding and were really concerned that I didn't think that Heather looked lovely, I will confirm it:
    Heather looked like the quintessential magazine-style beautiful bride. Absolutely like a princess. Perfect.
    I just thought that it was a forgone conclusion that she looked lovely. But now you know.

    Monday, September 06, 2004

    Sitting at home drinking tea in front of my computer - I really do feel that it's a home now. I have my computer hooked up to the internet, with my things surrounding me. I'm geeking out.

    Sure, things aren't perfect.
  • I'm still unpacking and cleaning as I go.
  • I still don't know how to do my laundry here in this building.
  • The 24-hour Dominion was closed so I couldn't buy my breakfast this morning.
  • My computer speakers are still missing a power source, so I can't listen to music on them yet.
  • It's a beautiful holiday Monday outside and I'm inside, on my computer, on the phone, fixing my bike and putting together my bookcase INSIDE

    All in all, I suppose I'm doing well. I'm really trying to update my website a little. I'm synching all the changes I've made in the past year with all my files on my computer. I'm downloading all the pictures that people have sent me that I haven't been able to put up yet. Finishing up vacation draft blogs. I'm working on it. Promise.

    Updates first. Redesign later.
  • Saturday, September 04, 2004

    Just back from Bala where Alex was playing in a Battle of the Bands at The Kee. And what an ordeal!

    We'd reserved a rental car and I was picking it up after work at Fairview Mall, just a quick bus ride away from my work.

    "Sorry, your license has expired."

    Ya, on my birthday, my license expired. Oops.
    Since Alex has neither license nor credit card, he couldn't rent either.

    All his friends/bandmates had already left for Bala. I tried calling a couple of friends to see if there cars were for rent for the evening. No such luck.

    So we had to get to a Ministry of Transportation Office QUICK. Hm. Government office open past 5:30pm on a Friday? And how to find out which might be open? Well, we needed internet access. Think we could find internet access in a mall in metro Toronto? It wasn't looking good. Finally, we begged a guy at a video games store who chucked a kid off a game of Doom, or something similarly important, who promptly snarked, "You just lost a customer, dude."

    Whatever. Like he was ever going to do anything but play that game at the store every day after school.

    Found the MTO office online. Can't renew your license online. Dammit. But the only office open past 6pm on a Friday is in Mississauga. Well, now you know.

    So, off to find a cab. Think we can find a cab outside the mall? Not a chance.

    Off to Sheppard, the major road nearby. No cabs. To the gas station to find a phone book/phone booth in which to call a cab. A taxi happens to be filling up and while Alex finds rental car agency numbers in the book, I grab the cabby and instruct him on where I need to go.

    We're off.

    About 45 minutres later (7pm), we arrive at the MTO office at Square One, Mississauga. And it's humungous line. So many people. At least an hour long.

    Matt calls. I explain the situation and ask to use his car. But he's got appointments to see houses the next day. Fine, we can give him the rental vehicle that we organized on the taxi ride over. And then, like the hero he is, he's on the way over to meet us, while I continue to wait and try to get into the office before it closes.

    Alex asks how long it takes to get to Mississauga from Guelph.
    "An hour," I say.
    Alex looks stunned. "I might not make it," he says.

    Alex takes off to go get our backpacks out of the waiting taxi and pay the nice driver. He also makes some calls to the organizers of the band competition, telling them our sob story, and begging them to put his band on last. They say, "We'll see what we can do."

    I continue to wait in line and finally, finally make it to the front where it takes me approximately 2 minutes to renew my licence.

    Time Check: 7:55pm
    We organize our stuff for Matt. There won't be time for us to drive him to the rental agency. When Matt arrives, I give him $40 for the cab, the rental reservation number and directions to the location. We show him where to get a cab and he shows me to his car. I'm so panicked, I sit in the driver's seat, looking around, confused.

    "Cath," Matt says calmly, a smile on his face. "It's a manual transmission. Remember when you taught me how to drive manual?"

    Um, yes. Of course. But I still manage to rev the engine before taking off out of the mall parking lot. Matt must've been worried.

    Alex navigated and I drove a moderate high speed the whole way (getting a speeding ticket is the LAST thing I need), only almost killing us once. On the way, we get a call from Tanya, telling us that, had she been home she would've let us use her car. What a gem!

    We're racing north up the highway when we get a call telling us that The Free Press is on last. Sighs all around. We will make it. We even have time to check into our hotel in Gravenhurst and stop at McDonald's for dinner, even though I have brought snacks.

    I remember I was so proud of myself for remembering to bring healthy snacks for the leisurely albeit traffic-jammed drive north. It seems so long ago.

    We arrive finally at the venue sometime after 11pm. We were supposed to be there around 7pm. I pay the $5 cover and enter, Alex taking the back door reserved for the "talent". I see the band and tell them that I left Alex behind; I figure I'm the important one here. I'm going to be there new drummer. No one seems really excited by this prospect.

    We listen to the bands and finally they go on and do a rockin' show.
    We hold our breath for the results.

    And, while it would make for a really great story to say that they won, I can only sadly report that they didn't make the top three. They did, however, put on a great show, and some other talented bands won the cash and bragging rights.

    Alex and I won the award for adventure. What a team.

    Thursday, September 02, 2004


    Day 1: arrive in Calgary in time to go to bed. Note that Mom has negotiated for Baby-Cath to sleep in Jen's comfy bed, while Jen sleeps on an air mattress on the floor.

    Day 2: Jen's soccer game. Sunny with chilly wind. Return to Jen's house before packing/leaving for Deadman's Flats, where we check into our motel and manage to squeeze in a hike at Johnston's Canyon. It rains.

    Day 3: Up early for a big breakfast at the Husky next door before driving to Lake Louise to hike to the Plain of Six Glaciers. More rain.

    Day 4: Check out of motel and drive to Jasper, which is somehow out of the clouds. We hike Wilcox Pass, visit the Athabasca Glacier and look around the visitor centre. Stay overnight in Field, BC at a lovely guest house. Eat buffalo burgers for dinner (which could possibly explain some GI distress for most of us). Rain, rain, rain.

    Day 5: Up early in order to get to Lake O'Hara for the 8:30am bus into the park. Start our hike to Lake Oesa and Yukness Ledge right away, with socks on my hands to keep them warm. It is cold. But as we round Lake O'Hara and start to push upward, we start to warm up. On the way down, it starts to rain again, and I slip on a rock and fall on my face/shins. The last 15 minutes of the hike are pretty wet, but the worst of it comes when we're done, so we're pretty happy. I pay for coffee in Lake Louise before heading "home" to Jen's place in Calgary. Everyone has warming showers and we watch the Olympics all night.

    Day 6: Jen goes to work, while the rest of us drive to >Drumheller to the Royal Tyrell Museum. Outstanding museum; definitely not enough time to spend there. I learned so much! I love museums when I have the time to spend. Back to Calgary to go to dinner at my dad's cousin's place.

    Day 7: Pack up and head for the airport. So long, Calgary! Arrive >>Victoria. Heather's mom Marlene picks us up at the airport and almost immediately starts crying. It's a portentious beginning. We check into the Strathcona, our home for the next 3 days and go for lunch with Mar, Aunt Joan and June (Heather's dad's aunts who are an absolute RIOT!). On to Marlene and Greg's place for a BBQ, see Heather and Steve (and Kevin, Heather's brother), talk, check out Heather's dress, shoes and jewlery, make place cards and centre pieces and stuff my face full of yummy food.

    Day 8: Go get some Blendz coffee (a good coffee chain in Victoria, but almost as prolific as Charbucks) and make a manicure appointment and get my jewlery cleaned. Wow, does it look shiny after being cleaned. I had no idea it had so much crap on it! Meet Heather for her manicure at a fancy spa. Meet up with Steve and Paul (my wedding boyfriend) for lunch. Head out for my manicure. Walk around Victoria in some much-needed alone-time. I stumbled on a little market there and got to talking to some artists who had lived in New Zealand for 3 years. They sparked my craving for adventure again. I think I need to go there again. I bought a lovely hand-made book from them for Alex, since I was pretty crappy on his birthday. I love wandering through artisan markets. Too bad most people sell stuff that you can't USE. Meet up for the wedding rehearsal. Giggle a lot. Drive out to the most lovely setting for a rehearsal dinner, at a friend of Steve's family. Reminisce with Heather about when we she used to live in Alliston. Drink water as I do NOT want a migraine. Stay overnight at the Swans hotel.

    Day 9: Heather's wedding. Wake up at 6am because a previous guest had set the alarm at that time. Curse them. Wake up with Heather at 7am or something. Get ready and to the hair dresser for 9am. Get hair done (unsatisfactorily, in my opinion). Taxi ride to the spa where Heather gets her make up done professionally and the rest of us just muddle around on our own faces.

    Back to the Swans for some food and to get into our dresses. Toni (maid of honour) ties Heather into her dress while I strap on her shoes and Heidi (the third bridesmaid) takes photos of the melee. Enter Marlene and Greg and flower lady with bouquets. Exit hotel in order to meet horse and carriage who are, well, late. Later (much later) we arrive at the Parliament Buildings in our horse-drawn carriage, having waved at all the tourists along the way. Photos.

    Panic moment: Heather's dress gets grease all down the front from the horse carriage wheel. Keep taking photos while Marlene and Greg find a dry cleaner who is open and can try to fix it. Off to the dry cleaner. No charge for the quick fix!

    More photos at the beach. Off to Laurel Point for the ceremony.

    Panic moment: Heather announces to me that the cake is ugly and that Marlene has asked the kitchen staff to "do something with it."

    Walk down the aisle (the musicians have thankfully decided to play music while I walk, but not while the others walk, they are apparently retarded). Heather enters, vows, misty eyes, laughing, rings, kissing, signing and it's all over. So strange how all the preparation leads to that moment and it's over in, well, a moment.

    More photos. Hor d'oeuvres and punch and talking to my parents about my day and laughing about my funny hair-do and too-big dress. The sun comes out and I can sit and relax (maybe too much) before the dinner.

    It's funny being part of a wedding party. You're suddenly important. And yet, I didn't DO anything except try to be there for Heather. Her dad made a speech and 5 other people made speeches about Steve. And the yummy food kept on coming. Steve made a speech to thank everyone for coming.

    Panic moment: the topiaries crash to the ground. All the men rush to right them.
    Panic moment: Heather feels sick. Her uncle goes and gets her some antacid and throat lozenges.

    Finally, the food stops coming and it's time for the ceremonial cutting of the cake and then the dancing.

    Panic moment: I run dead-on into a glass wall. No real reason, except that I thought it was the door. Smash! I bounce off and look in confusion, not understanding what force-field could have thrown me. I'm pretending I'm fine, but then my nose starts gushing blood and I run to the bathroom, embarassed and in some serious pain. The blood stops eventually and I rejoin the dancing. Some guy breaks his knee and the dancing stops, although Steve and Heather have already retired to their complimentary suite for the evening. There's a bit of an ordeal, but the ambulance comes and the party breaks up. The Best Man walks me "home" to the Strathcona where I painfully pick out the hundreds of hairpins from my complicated, cemented coiffure. Sleep.

    Day 10: More Blendz coffee and off to the airport with Marlene and Greg who then give us slices of the apparently ugly but delicious wedding cake before we check into our flight.

    Panic moment: we discover that we're flying stand-by out of Vancouver, although no one told us this when I bought the tickets. Also, Cara, the foodservice provider for the airline is on strike, so they can't promise us food. We do get a meal. But we're seated right by the toilets. Ew.

    And that's the adventure.
    So tired I feel sick. My eyes don't want to open.

    That'll show me to stay up past my bedtime! Whenever Raye comes to town, my life gets turned upside-down.

    Last night, she had tickets for Urinetown, so I went to that instead of my last game of beach volleyball (I know, I'm a bad person). Urinetown closes on Sept. 4th, so if you were thinking of going to see it (and you should), hurry.

    Great show!
    Then, of course, we had to go for dessert afterwards at the Marchè where we decided we have to go to New York to see my boyfriend in his musical before it closes. Sadly, tickets for this Sunday were sold out. But Alex was a good enough sport to actually look it up for me.

    Then we had to find our way home (to my new apartment!) where my roommate was actually home. We ended up talking, as we do, and suddenly it was 1am. And then it was 7am and time to get up. After a long string of nights of not getting enough sleep and having migraines, I'm starting to feel a wee bit burnt out.

    More coffee.
    ~runs to the coffee machine~

    Wednesday, September 01, 2004

    Personal update:

  • Raye is in town!
  • I'm being offered a full-time contract at work!
  • I took an Amerge tablet and my migraine went away! (Well, you would wait too if your medication cost $20/pill and you only had 3 left.)
  • I finally put together my Jerker desk and set up my beloved computer
  • my nose is healing (that's another story that will come with the whole vacation update...)
  • Tuesday, August 31, 2004

    I'm back from my vacation in Calgary and Victoria. Battered and bruised, but back.

    It'll take me about a thousand years to get through all my piles of email, so if you're waiting for a response, you might have to wait a little longer.

    More details on the vacation to come...

    Friday, August 20, 2004

    1/2 an hour left before vacation!

    As usual, I'm in a bit of a panic. Finished moving to the new place last night. Then started packing for the trip. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I am a horrible packer!

    I suppose as long as I remember the bridesmaid dress and the shoes, I should be fine.

    I am a tired bunny.
    Let's go, 4pm!

    Thursday, August 19, 2004

    Forgot to set my alarm. Duh.
    But still managed to get to work on time with luggage in tow.

    Tonight I leave my keys with Old Roommate's Parents and take my last bundle of crap to the new place.

    And then begin packing for my vacation.
    And sleep in my own, comfy sweet bed. I can't wait.
    Wednesday night beach volleyball update:
    Two of our guys couldn't make it, which meant that we had equal number of guys and girls on the court. We also managed to lose a couple of games (at least, I think we lost 2). Although the guys were really quite frustrated (not used to losing, um, ever) I had a lot of fun. I actually got to touch the ball a lot more and got a lot more exercise out of it and I think I did better than I normally do.

    It was hot and sweaty (well, that was only me, cause I'm just hot and sweaty in general) and then it downpoured. I love being out in the rain.

    Tuesday, August 17, 2004

    Three more sleeps until vacation!
    Picked up my bridesmaid's dress last night. I tried it on to make sure the alterations were OK and it fits well and the seamstress was ooooohing and aaaaaahing over how lovely it is.

    And then charged me $115 for the alterations!
    ~Shocked silence.~

    I supposed I shouldn't be so surprised. Kat told me about one person who paid $300 to have their wedding dress altered. Still, that's a wedding dress. I had no idea getting my dress altered was going to cost that much. Shows how much I get stuff altered.

    But at least it's done and I won't be scrambling at the last minute, in a panic the night before I have to leave (although that wouldn't be unusual for me).

    And Sarah helped me move another car load of things to the new apartment. She absolutely loved how huge it is. I'm kind of excited about the new place!

    Monday, August 16, 2004

    I am reading a fantastic book : "My life is a wedgie" by Gretel Killeen.

    Sure, it's meant for younger people, but so is Harry Potter. It's a guilty pleasure. Where else could I read such flagrant overuse of the words "bum" and "bored" and "snot"?

    Those are my kind of books. Good for a giggle.
    It's amazing what one can do in a weekend.

    This was the thought I had on sunday morning when I discovered a plastic hollow penis in my purse when I went for a subway token. I tried to cover it up quickly before the old lady standing quietly next to me peeked in and looked at me disapprovingly.

    No, I don't generally carry around plastic, surprisingly realistic male appendages in my bag. Saturday night was Katrina's stagette party.

    It was an absolute RIOT!
    I arrived at midnight, having been moving up until 10:30pm. All the other girls were three sheets to the wind. I was... well, not.

    On our way to Vince Carter's bar, Kat walked across three lanes of traffic to talk to the cops on horse back and charm them into having her picture taken with them. Instead of saying "cheese" she shouts, her eyes at half-mast, a sloppy grin on her face: "I'm horny for big horse cock!" (Think of the google hits that's going to get me.)

    She wore a life-saver-covered top with the words "Suck for a Buck" scrawled across the back. She complained (probably about 600 times) that she'd showed up in the cutest white outfit. "Cathy, honestly, it was so nice. And they made me change into this."

    And then, of course, was the plastic "cup" she was made to drink from.
    Which ended up in my purse. Of course.

    I also managed to clean my new apartment with my new roommate, Jimmy, who warned that James is a bit messy. It's OK, James warned me that Jimmy is a bit of a goof. Jimmy also started to complain about how their old roommate, Tom, used to cook and make it smell in the apartment. (Shades of current roommate conflict. Panic.) "I don't cook," he says proudly. And then he said maybe I can help him with girl advice. This should be interesting.

    I also went home to celebrate Matt's birthday. I got him a kick-ass quick-dry maroon zippered golf shirt (which of course he loved and looks good in). I got my belated birthday present from my mom : a Panasonic MP3 player! I'm so excited I might pee my pants!

    Only 4 more sleeps until vacation.