Friday, April 30, 2004

Some days are so full, I forget where it all started....

I dropped by my old workplace and said hello to my former boss who asked me where I'd been.

"How long have you been gone?" he asked.

Then I joined everyone at the going-away lunch for a guy I hired so many years ago. He's now married, owns a house and, I just found out, has a kid on the way. Did I mention that my friend Tanya called me last night to tell me that her and her fiance have just bought a house in the Beaches?

On my way to an afternoon coffee with my friend Scott, I run into Joe... an original co-worker, almost like a brother to me, really. He tells me that he and his partner have split up, and that he's moving back home with his mom, but that he still sees his child... I'm trying not to think about how much younger Joe is... I suddenly feel that I'm not old at all.

And then, there I am, talking to Scott in the coffee shop about his upcoming wedding, my new job, his honeymoon. It's great. But it's weird. Everyone's either married or getting married, or having babies or buying houses.

I'm just excited to have a regular job. I'm thinking I might sublet from a uni student for the summer because I don't have enough money for first and last month's rent.

"It doesn't make us better than you," Scott says. "We just chose a different path."
Different, indeed.

And then I'm off to George Brown College to register for and attend my Marketing Strategies course. The teacher is eccentric and talks more than I do. Which is a feat, I can assure you. I meet a really interesting Finnish girl in my class and we talk about advertising leaflets and I choose my business for which I'm going to create a marketing plan: a hostel. How very adventurous of me. I'm excited about it; I'm excited about being a student again. I'm excited about the appointments that I've just made to look at summer sublets that I've found in the paper while waiting for class to begin.

After class, I rush off to meet Sarah at HotDocs. We watch "Arna's Children", an Israeli/Dutch documentary that shows me what a sheltered life I live; what a lucky, carefree childhood I had. I cannot imagine living in a place where people I love die as a matter of course. Where one speaks of dying or killing or suiciding as easily as, say, a bad haircut. They discuss whether it is better to die or to surrender. These are the choices they must make. Tomorrow I will choose whether to where jeans or black pants; whether to wear my hair up or down.

But somehow, I ended up walking home to this lovely 3-bdrm townhouse in the middle of the suburbs at 1:30am, just to pat the purring cat who came running to greet me as I opened the front door.

And only now, when I open up the laptop to tell of my amazing day, do I remember that they sent my contract this morning! I allow myself to feel happy and thankful that this is my reality.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

WebGoddessCathy: Now in new and improved "employed" flavour!
So yesterday I read about a drug that's recently been discovered to help control Restless Leg Syndrome. And I got all excited, because my mom suffers from this affliction.

So I started looking around the Web for information so I could send the article to my mom.

And I discovered that it was actually quite difficult to find this article. The company who makes the drug, Eli Lilly, doesn't even have it on their site! And I got a little embarrassed because I actually help make that site! Nor does Amarin/Valeant, the company who's marketing the drug, have this information on their site! I can't believe it!

But I also realized that this information isn't really front-page-newsworthy. It's not really NEWS that those with Restless Leg Syndrome can used the drugs used by Parkinson's disease sufferers. It's just new that they've recently proved the alternate usage of Peroglide. Big deal. And now I got all excited for nothing.

I had hoped that they had solved my mom's problem.
Now THAT would be news!

Monday, April 26, 2004

It was a great weekend.

On Saturday, I woke up, made myself a pot of tea and read my book, checked my emails and looked at job postings. I talked to my dad on the phone about my taxes. I went for a bike ride around Aurora. Cooled down on the front lawn by reading my book, "Shopaholic Takes Manhattan".

Mom came over on Saturday night. We went out for dinner: Purple Pig ribs! MMMmmmm!

Then we came back to the house for a glass of nice wine and watched Almost Famous before going to bed.

Woke up and had a leisurely morning, drinking coffee and tea and eating boiled egg toasts. Then we set off in the rain for the Cancer Ride n Stride event. Me, Matt and Mom ran/walked 5k in the rain! But I won a t-shirt and raised $140! Thanks to all those who supported me!!

We went shopping for dry clothes before going for a bit of dinner and then driving home. It was such a lovely weekend.
I just got a very interesting email from a friend living oceans away. It was an answer to the perplexing "where do I see myself in five years" question that I don't seem able to answer clearly. In the end, it doesn't really matter how I answer it. I don't have to get upset that I can't form a complete picture of what five years from now looks like. I just have to figure out what's important to me...

"Is seeing the world and living out your dreams to the max more important than what the boss thinks or what your friends drive or spend on a suit or furniture?... the happiest people from what I found always tend to be the ones who stay focused on what is most important to them..."
Coming home is a bit weird for me due to my perception of what others expect of me. Which is, of course, directly related to what I expect of myself. I have to stay focussed, however.

I do know what I like:
  • people
  • learning
  • organizing
  • communicating
  • feeling that I'm contributing to the world
  • working towards being the best person I can be

    And THAT's what I'll be doing in five years.
    What do you want to be doing?
  • Friday, April 23, 2004

    So I just checked my referrers. I get people coming to my site due to links on Sarah and Sharon's sites and even one from Vulgaria, which is nice.

    What I'm sad about is that this photo is by FAR the most popular thing on my site.

    Well, if I can't be famous, at least my cleavage can be. However, I hope people are putting it into context and looking at the blog entry that links to that photo...

    Also, I was inspired today (by Sophie Kinsella's Shopaholic Takes Manhattan) and sat in the warm early spring sunshine on the back porch and wrote pages and pages... and pages... of stuff. I would like to put it up in my journal except:
    a) it's not done yet
    b) my journal is so behind that I fear to start up 2004
    c) I feel there are so many other things I should be doing instead (getting a job, doing my Cdn/Aus taxes, exercising, redesigning my site, writing my novel...)
    d) I'm lazy??

    Or perhaps I'm feeling shy and worry it's not good enough? I've had a little bit of criticism lately that makes me feel a bit less open with what I write. Perhaps I should be a little less personal? It's a bit of a worry when I realize that potential employers could come to my website and learn everything about me that they never wanted to know.

    It's tough to stay real when you consider having that kind of audience.

    Apparently, the cat that I'm taking care of while house-sitting here has no such qualms. He seems to be trying to have an intimate relationship with my roller blade box and sandals (sitting on top). I suspect they might smell of Mao. I believe the cat is a little lonely. She keeps following me around like a lost puppy, getting under my feet as I try to go up and down the stairs, getting excited as I move from room to room and rubbing her bum up against my leg whenever possible. Poor thing. (I'm referring to me.)

    Thursday, April 22, 2004

    Why is it that you never realize the stupid things that you've said in an interview until afterwards when you can't go back casually and say, "Oh ya, by the way, I totally didn't mean the bit about how I have no idea where I'll be in 5 years" and how, what you meant to say was something brilliant that you thought up on the Go ride home.

    Wednesday, April 21, 2004

    Sadly, I have a headache. And a sore belly. Could someone feel sorry for me and make it all better now? Thanks.
    You know it's going to be a good day when you're awoken by a call from Australia.

    Yes, that's RIGHT. Australia called.

    I can't believe how busy I've been today. I misguidedly believed that I could have a day to relax and do nothing. I think I have enough work for a hundred years. Perhaps I need to stop and do some yoga just to give myself some much-needed perspective.

    I discovered that Jennifer's site is back up in a non-personal way. It's so weird that I don't hear from her anymore. I remember a time when we were so close. It's kind of sad.

    Have I mentioned that I'm in LOVE with my mobile?
    Welcome to the new century, for goddessakes!

    Tuesday, April 20, 2004

    I am content living in the 'burbs.

    Quite content.
    What a weird feeling.

    I have everything I want here. It's a big, clean, quiet house with cable TV, Internet, a cat, a bike and hiking trails, laundry, a dishwasher and a HUGE bathtub! It's a 20-minute walk to the GO Station which gets me into the city in about an hour and costs less than $6.

    I have all the amenities nearby, it's closer to my parents' house. There's lots of food for me to eat (perhaps too much).

    I'm feeling the stress wash out of my body.

    Monday, April 19, 2004

    Dear Andy,

    You are a bitch!

    (Don't you hate it when people "forget" about plans you've made? Andy is totally fired.)

    But thanks for putting up the photo gallery of my welcome home party. Check it out!

    Sunday, April 18, 2004

    What wonderful day! Home show, a walk with Theresa, seeing my breath condense in the air as I breathed out (did everyone pretend that they were smoking when they were a kid?), dinner and fantastic VQA wine, great conversation, lovely house, a nice email from David... off to bed a little tipsy.

    Saturday, April 17, 2004

    Tree and I are at the National Home Show. We just got our photos taken at the HP Pavilion on a HARLEY! I, of course, was her bitch!

    Friday, April 16, 2004

    I cannot stop listening to "My Immortal" by Evanescence. Is that cheesey?

    But now I'm home alone and just realized that I can sing "Come What May" at the top of my lungs.

    Life is good.
    Well, all in all, it's been a good day.

    Meteorological Status: The sun is shining; it's about 13 degrees.

    Gastronomical Status: I had a lovely lunch with my friend Scott. Although I can still taste the garlic from last night's Greek dinner with Alex.

    Employment Status: Finishing my bank temp job today. Picked up a contract writing job for the weekend!

    Financial Status: Picking up my cheque after work tonight. Whew!

    Habitation Satus: Going to house/cat-sit in Aurora this weekend.

    Social Status: Plans just fell through. Anyone wanna do anything? Call me! OK, good... now I'm going to the movies.

    Thursday, April 15, 2004

    I told it to dance.
    And then I died.
    Bonny, the maintenance guy here (I think) just told me I bare a resemblance to Céline Dion.

    Let's compare, shall we?

    Here's me at my welcome-home party:

    And here's Celine (at MuchMusic, not my welcome-home party):

    Perhaps if I pastied up my face, slapped on more makeup, lost a few hundred pounds.... No, I STILL would not look anything like her.
    I am a real admin assistant: I just filed my nails at my desk. Next thing you know, I'll be applying lipstick with a mini-mirror.
    Thinking of taking a Marketing course this month and going after my OMDP Business Management Certificate. I already have my Leadership certification and I thought it was quite useful. Though perhaps a bit too easy. Any suggestions on a better course/program to take?
    If you arrive at Union Station at the right time, it's like you've arrived in New York at rush hour. Wall-to-wall bodies move en masse down the hall to BCE Place. Dressed in suits, most of us, some trying to weave through the crowd, in a hurry to some early-morning meeting. I'm going to let them in on a secret: you're not going anywhere.

    In the words of Jack Johnson "Slow down everyone you're moving too fast. Frames can't catch you when you're moving like that."

    Wednesday, April 14, 2004

    Ya, I don't think I got up to go for lunch today. I probably should at least go for a walk, even though I bring my lunch and eat it at my desk.

    My mom is picking me up from "work" today. She's bringing me a bunch of things that I forgot at home. Like a warm coat. I always feel a bit like a child when I need my mommy to come bring me things.

    Last night, I helped Tree make lasagne for our DINE (Divas In New Eateries) meeting tonight (who are we kidding? it's just a dinner party).

    Then Alex came over and took me out for a hot apple cider at the Second Cup. Sigh. I've missed the Second Cup. Although I probably should have tried one of the new maple concoctions instead of the cider. I mean, it's not even mulled anymore!

    But it was nice to talk to Alex, even though I was pretty tired.

    I've been having some trouble sleeping. Clearly, I need to drink more.

    And then Jan emails me that he's taking off on a 4-day sailing trip in the Whitsundays aboard the Pegasus. I'm so jealous! Of course, I must look on the bright side... I mean, ya, I'm back in Toronto and he's there sailing in the islands, snorkelling and diving. BUT, he has no money and I... um, have no money. Crap.

    Tuesday, April 13, 2004

    Another day, another $100 for doing very little aside from answering a few phone calls and surfing the Web. Sometimes temp jobs are good...

    Unfortunately, the lady that I'm covering for showed up in the office this morning, wondering what I was doing there. I guess she's done grieving. Or not, cause she went back home again. So she may or may not be back next week. If I were her, I'd just let me fill in for her for another week.

    All in all, it would be a good day except that it's raining and the rain is COLD. And it's been raining since last night, when I walked all the way from work (at Union Station) to Sarah's house (in Little Italy).

    Sarah's so good. She made a yummy dinner - I helped - and we had nice red wine and watched a really funny British show that she had on DVD ("Coupling"). We talked about life and work and friends and the past year. And she didn't even tell me to shut up!

    She has even prettier hair than I remember and looks really fit after running her big race. I'm feeling quite unfit and really need to do something active! I'm trying to get a bunch of people together to do the Ride n Stride with me later this month. Getting out in the non-rainy fresh air should be good for me. Sadly, I've hurt my hamstring and I probably can't run or do yoga until it's healed, but maybe I'll be OK to roller blade.

    Monday, April 12, 2004

    Well, I'm happy to report that my grandmother is feeling better. My family and I spent the weekend visiting her in the hospital.

    I'm not sure how, but the Easter Bunny managed to find us all the way at her house! And I think the Easter Bunny doesn't like Matt, because he's the only one who didn't get a Kinder Surprise. It's probably because the Easter Bunny is a Sens fan (Ottawa lost on Saturday night, I hear).

    Now I'm enjoying my first day at my new temping job at the bank. It's weird to be wearing nice clothes again instead of a bikini/sarong or jeans. I can't even wear any cleavage-bearing tops! Goodness, what WILL I do?!

    Thursday, April 08, 2004

    Sometimes I love Toronto.

    I was thinking this last night as I walked near Yonge and Eglinton on my way "home" to Theresa's. I could see my breath in the crisp cold night, hear my heels clicking down the quiet street. I was just returning from a lovely night of amazing food and fantastic theatre, all in the company of a great friend and I was on my way to stay with yet another great friend. It all seemed to slip on like a soft leather glove. The bright lights of the city twinkling through the trees against the dark starry sky... this is my Toronto.

    And today, I walked down the street, grabbed myself a mobile phone (cell phone, cell phone, WHEN did I start calling it a mobile?), jumped on the subway to the GoTransit station where I hopped on a train to Burlington. Easy as pie.

    Now my brother and I are watching the Leaf's game together (ahem - you see how well I'm watching?). He is reminding me how much I love hockey. Sadly, I found out that Hoglund doesn't play anymore...
    Just saw Hairspray (just the preview, it actually only opens tomorrow night) and it was a RIOT!

    Totally loved it. Funny, good music, beautiful, kitschy. A little rough around the edges in some spots, but it should polish up with practice.

    And I have another job. Yes, two jobs. The second is a temporary job (2 weeks) with a bank, doing admin for their World Markets division. Should be interesting to wear business clothes again...

    Wednesday, April 07, 2004

    Tonight I'm meeting up with Jane to see Hairspray. Very excited!

    Plus, the weather in Toronto is looking up. It's about 4 degrees. Well, at least it's not in the negatives. However, I'm still wearing lots of wool sweaters.

    Can you hear that? That's the sound of me frowning, unhappy about the wool sweaters.

    But at least I have a Web contract now, working for SharpMedia on a very cool indie music project. It's only part-time, so I'm still looking, but it'll be good to get some money in my pocket, after the bank-emptying ordeal that was Australia. I betcha they're not wearing wool sweaters in Australia...

    Tuesday, April 06, 2004

    I have created an Ofoto gallery for my Rotorua NZ rafting photos. However, sadly you have to INVITE everyone to the gallery manually. So, if you didn't receive an invite, let me know. I'll put the good photos up on this site soon, anyway. (And by "soon" I mean it could take a year.)

    UPDATE: Photos can now be found in my Flickr account. Click here for the rafting photos.

    You'll be happy to know that I'm not feeling as horrible as yesterday. NeoCitran does work.

    Today I will actually go outside. I will brave the elements and the subway (mmmm, Eglinton subway station has a Cinnabon, I forgot that Cinnabon is one of the best things about Canada until Tree brought one home last night!) and suffer myself to wear several layers of sweaters and meet up with an old colleague in a really great part of town for coffee.

    Then I'll look at getting a mobile phone so that people can actually get a hold of me... I know that there are millions of people out there just waiting with baited breath for me to get a phone so that they can offer me a job...

    ps: I would like to thank Theresa and Josh for having yummy tea at their house. And I just met the GroceryGateway man, so I now have milk for my vanilla tea.
    "Food is a delicious lie that makes us believe that heaven is here on earth."

    Monday, April 05, 2004

    I am sick.

    I have a migraine and I'm pretty sure I have the flu again. I am very sad about this. Jaap, of course, believes that it is because I miss him.

    The good news is that I don't have to do anything today but geek-out on Theresa's computer. And internet access on her computer is fast and unlimited. I love Canada!

    Well, let me rephrase: I love Canadian Internet access.
    Unfortunately, today it is -3 degrees and feels like -12 with the windchill, etc. Nasty! At least it's sunny and I'm inside.

    Theresa's house is just beautiful! It's at Yonge and Eglinton, a lovely part of the city. I'm sitting in a sun-filled room attached to "my room", looking out the huge window at swaying pine trees. Quite relaxing.

    However, I'm quite sure that I have a fever because I'm boiling hot and the temperature gauge beside me reads 20 degrees. Well, it's better than being cold, I guess.

    At least it didn't hit me yesterday, so I could enjoy an AMAZING shopping trip with Matt and Kendra. I managed to get Matt to buy the most amazing jeans and shirts at Guess. I love Guess. What a good look for him. I'm a GOOD shopper!

    Now off to find a job...

    Sunday, April 04, 2004


  • there is ice on the picnic table in Alex's backyard
  • I have a migraine and might vomit; the good news is that my Amerge medication might be working; the bad news is that it makes me sick
  • Staying at Alex's. Off shopping with Matt tomorrow. Then staying with Tree tomorrow night. I've been shopping and to the movies and dinner with Raye today, which was nice. Then webgeeking tonight because I had so many emails to catch up on.

    It's been grey and rainy all day, but it was SUCH a great day that it doesn't matter. Although I wish there were more hours in the day so that I could spend as much time with friends as I want AND keep in touch with all my other friends online AND do all the things that I want to do (like update my website, among a zillion other things)...

    Time springs forward tonight... or already has, I guess. We're in daylight savings time now. I forgot about this. I hope Matt remembers when he thinks about meeting me at the mall tomorrow. I really really need a mobile. And an apartment. And a job. Or else a sugar-daddy...

    Saturday, April 03, 2004

    Just quickly, I'm off to shop with Raye. My party last night was GREAT!! But now I'm hung over, but at least I'm going shopping and then MORE shopping tomorrow with my brother, Matt. YAY! I loved seeing my friends, it was so nice!

    Thursday, April 01, 2004

    Back from Ottawa.

    Back to the dreary grey that is Everett. AND it's raining. Ugh.

    Oh well! I'm off to visit Ev today and see her new baby, Jude. Should be fun!

    Tomorrow is my welcome home party in Toronto. I can't wait to see everyone! Just have to try on all my clothes to see what fits, pack, and get everything out to Toronto.

    Almost got a new phone last night. Turns out the one from Australia doesn't work here at all. Sad story. But I'll be getting a new one soon.