Saturday, December 31, 2005

We're getting ready to go out, Raye, her friend Tanya, and I.

It's New Year's Eve. We're having drinks, talking about girly things, putting on makeup, doing our hair.

And of course, we needed to take a picture to just say hi to everyone, and Happy New Year's!

They're off to the Docks and I'm off to a Carribbean Christmas NYE house party with Alex. Although I am feeling the pull of the dance floor as we listen to Lust for Life here in my apartment.

That's what the chocolate martinis do to you.

May the dawn of 2006 put joy in your shoes.

Friday, December 30, 2005

I'm always decidedly UNeager for the holidays to end.

Tomorrow I'll return to the city to prepare for the NYE festivities. It makes me a little sad, even though I'm feeling extremely unhealthy about laying around the woodstove, reading my book and my magazine, eating far too much chocolate, breathing in too much cigarette smoke, watching a movie or two and really just not moving around very much.

This morning I ate a grapefruit just to feel better about myself. I will endeavour to get back on the treadmill when I return to the city to work off the holiday extravegances.

Christmas highlights:

1 Thai cooking class
2 pairs of mitts
3 gift cards
4 pairs of socks

...and a day at the spa.

Actually, the highlights were giving out my presents to others. They all worked out pretty well. Especially the chicken slippers I gave to my dad. My mom, however, seems to have adopted them while my dad favours the second, more boring pair I gave him.

There's no accounting for taste.

And there's no accounting for one's lack of motivation to return to the real world. You'd think I'd be tired of family and too much chocolate and too little movement. But I'm strangely dreading the trip back to the intricate balance of relationships, careers and financial decisions.

However, I am somewhat heartened by the strong belief that there are many changes in store for me in 2006.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Christmas has begun!

Last night I had Christmas with Alex. He was so thoughtful with his gifts - they all had a theme of "keeping Cathy warm."

Fuzzy pyjamas, warm softest socks, gorgeous leather gloves. And Lindors - they might not keep me warm, but I love them more than anything.

I was so excited for him to open my presents: jeans, a shirt, a year's subscription to Canadian Musician, 2 Pilates DVDs, and Glenfiddich Solera Reserve 15-year old scotch (from St. Maarten, naturally).

And now I'm just waiting for Matt to come pick me up and take me home to the farm.

YAY Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Well, the holidays are here and it's just another excuse for me to procrastinate.

Apparently, I need an entire night to wrap a couple of presents and get my baking organized to give out.

Suddenly I realized that I had not made ANYTHING appropriate for my Logan Movers co-conspriator, CityRat as he is allergic to anything with any type of milk solid in it whatsoever. I assume that means butter as well.

I could have been more organized and thoughtful and created a masterpiece for him. On second thought, my baking isn't really all that, so he should probably be thankful he doesn't have to pretend to enjoy it.

Next year I will leave myself more time and create more variety. I will also think about presents that must be sent via Canada Post earlier and do those first. Instead of thinking about sending them the night before they're meant to be there.

Next year I will put up my garland myself instead of waiting for the braun to help me.

On the other hand, I can think about all the things I DID do:
  • baking, even though some people don't even want it, it's the thought that counts
  • christmas presents - good ones - even though some won't get there in time
  • christmas tree - pretty!
  • donated to the Salvation Army - you should too!

    Merry Christmas - be sure to enjoy it!
  • Tuesday, December 20, 2005

    Seriously, have you been to yet?

    I was looking for some non-sweet options for my Christmas "baking" and clicked on their special Christmas section and found all sorts of gifts: soup in a jar, cookie batter in a jar, mixed spiced nuts, holiday caramel corn.

    I read all the reviews on each recipe I was interested in, which saves me a lot of pre-testing work.

    I saved all the good ones to my recipe box so that, tomorrow, when I go to work, I can log in, decide which to make, create a grocery list automatically, print it and buy the ingredients. (I just happen to work across the street from the Great Canadian Superstore - my favourite store if I don't go to the Bulk Barn.) Then, I can print out the nutritional information for each item, so that everyone will know exactly what they're getting. Mom would be proud!

    And THEN, Betty Crocker has this cool christmas cookie-decorating e-card ad. So I had to play with that too.

    I mean, why use any other site?
    I don't work for these guys, I promise you. But when I like something, I really like it.

    Sunday, December 18, 2005

    Christmas tree 2005

    Christmas tree 2005
    Originally uploaded by webgoddesscathy.
    Merry Christmas!

    It was a Christmasy weekeend.

    Friday night, Alex and I decorated my tree. Click on the link to see Alex helping. We didn't manage to get my gorgeous dollar-store garland with lights up as we had to get to a little Free Press Fan Christmas party.

    Saturday, I shopped for Christmas presents until the stores had closed their doors. I got some great deals and fantastic finds!

    My feet sore, I dropped into bed.

    Sunday, I did some of my Christmas baking at Sarah's house. She is a baking goddess. I was able to give her the Christmas present that I've been excited about since the One of a Kind Show. (Check out the CD labels at and jewelry at Propaganda.)

    After making myself sick, licking the chocolate out of the bowl, I got myself home to create yet another Christmas baking masterpiece.

    And all the while, listening to Christmas carols on traditional radio (97.3 Easy Rock) or Internet Radio (did you know you can choose Motown Christmas?).

    Giddyup jingle horse!

    Thursday, December 15, 2005

    Dateline: Holy crap, BIG NEWS -

    The Matt and Kendra Show is ready for their close-up! The guest columnists have their own site set up to keep you up to date as they plan their wedding. Don't miss a second of the action!

    And be sure to make smart-ass comments. They like it.
    There is a particular stillness to a snowfall.

    It's as if all the sound has been sucked out of the world, absorbed by the soft flakes falling to the ground.

    You try to listen for them, like you can hear rain. But there is no splatter or hiss. It's like trying to hear feathers as they land at your feet.

    And yet all other sound is dulled. Even in the city, everyone cocoons in their warm houses, watching everything turn white.

    It is a little bit of magic.

    Monday, December 12, 2005

    Well, there goes day one back in the grind.

  • over 250 emails in the inbox
  • Of course, everyone commented on how dark I was
  • no less than 3 meetings
  • already at least two missed deadlines
  • -12 degrees Celsius
  • approx 3 new projects on my desk

    Still, it could have been worse. I was very happy at how competently everyone managed everything while I was away.
  • Sunday, December 11, 2005

    St. Maarten - Baie Rouge

    St. Maarten - Baie Rouge
    Originally uploaded by webgoddesscathy.
    Yesterday, I was here.

    Battling the waves of Baie Rouge.

    I only cared that I wore enough sunblock and that I didn't get sucked out in the undertow.

    Today I haven't left my apartment because I'm afraid of the snow.

    I've also struggled to get my St. Maarten photos up on the web and make CDs for Jen and Mom before real life begins again tomorrow and all my free time is sucked up into the vortex.

    To see the rest of my St. Maarten photos with comments and explanations, click here. To see them as a backwards slideshow, click here
    Sarah just sent me this fun Christmas site. Go if you want to get in the Christmas spirit!
    After dispersing the sand in my hair from Baie Rouge onto my comfy bed here in Toronto, I woke up still feeling the rise and fall of the waves.

    My equilibrium is still bracing itself against the next swell.

    And it will come... tomorrow is Monday afterall.

    Friday, December 09, 2005

    I love St. Maarten. I don't want to leave.

    Tomorrow is our last day and then we say goodbye to the paradise island. The beaches are beautiful, the people are so nice, the food is great, there's so much to do!

    We've been hanging out on the beach at 25-28 degrees celcius every day.

    And at home I know it is cold. And I'll be coming home Saturday night/Sunday morning.

    Sigh. Who really wants to live in Canada? Who wants to go back to work?

    Results of poll: only one day cloudy and we are all tanned.

    Saturday, December 03, 2005

    And off I go to St. Maarten!

    Quick poll:
    How dark will I be when I get back?
    a) black
    b) I'll finally realize that the sun is bad and wear sunblock
    c) it'll be cloudy the whole time, jerk

    Friday, December 02, 2005

    Ha ha. Funny thing.

    I got home tonight (home, meaning my parents' house) and my dad mentioned something about Matt and Kendra's wedding site. And Jaap emailed me about my "new site."

    And I was wondering what the hell they were talking about.

    So let's pretend for a second that my homepage was never overwritten by stupid blogger (never by genius me, of course). And that you've never seen the very first demo that was just for Kendra and Matt to look at for functionality...

    And if you never saw it - then forget I wrote this.

    Thursday, December 01, 2005

    Two more sleeps til St. Maarten.

    I just bought a book to take with me. I had Alex review my packing. And I just remembered that I need American money.

    I hope I have remembered everything else. I am a terrible packer. I was freaking out until Alex got here and now I am calm. Mostly.

    Yay for calm boys.
    Something weird is going on with Blogger and the new section that I'm trying to set up for Matt and Kendra's wedding site. Of course, this has nothing to do with my incompetence whatsoever. It is clearly Blogger's failure.

    I love being perfect.

    * * * *

    OK, I fixed it. Genius.

    But it's still a secret to everyone but the special couple - they obviously have to see it and make some decisions before anyone else will have the privilege. Stay tuned for more...

    Tuesday, November 29, 2005

    Kendra and mini-Kendra

    Kendra and mini-Kendra
    Originally uploaded by webgoddesscathy.
    Kendra is marrying my brother. It's official.

    She had her very first bodice fitting in my apartment tonight with my aunt Jane the seamstress and Mini-Kendra, the body double.

    They're all going to be very good close if the dress is going to turn out perfect.

    It's so easy to get caught up in wedding fever.

    It looks like so much fun: shopping for the perfect pretty dress, having everyone pay attention to you, figuring out how exactly you will do your hair in a year from now, people offering to help you do everything.

    All because of a ring and a ceremony.

    All the same, I'm pretty excited for them.

    And Kendra is, too. She went shopping today with my mom and aunt Jane to look at fabric. I met them for dinner and I thought Kendra might burst when she showed me the swatch she'd picked out.

    I've agreed to do a wedding site for the happy couple, so stay tuned for details. It'll have more of this type of posting on it - just following them along to their big day. Basically, The Kendra and Matt Show.

    Fun times!

    Monday, November 28, 2005

    A very interesting response to my question about relationships. Thank you to all who had some wisdom to share.

    I suppose that I often work too hard at everything instead of letting it BE. In so doing, I take some of the enjoyment out of it.

    It's amazing how many time you can relearn a lesson. While travelling, I learned that going with the flow was really the best way. Worrying only ever made me unhappy with where I was.

    Maybe a relationship is like that. And life in general.

    Less thinking, more enjoying?

    Thursday, November 24, 2005

    I had a rare but great night out with my old roomies Ev and Anita.

    We of course talked about relationships. And they had an interesting point.

    You see, I've always been told that relationships are a lot of work.

    But they said that if a relationship is too much work, it's probably not right.

    So, who's right?
    Relationships: a lot of work or not?
    And what's "too much"?
    Holy crap, I hate cold! Our first snow of the season and you'd think I'd never been through it before. I'm a-quiver with bitterness.

    No wonder I get fat during the winter: I never want to go outside!

    I'm not kidding: if I could huddle inside my apartment for the whole winter, I would totally do it.

    I mean, as long as people would bring me decaf lattes from time to time...

    Monday, November 21, 2005

    Well, apparently I'm not as retarded with my money as I thought!

    I finally met with a financial planner tonight. And I seem to be doing OK.

    She says that I'm very frugal (thanks Dad!) and I have no debts and have gone in the right direction. Plus, I apparently look young!

    So, now I have this money and these sort-of plans for life. And a decision to make about what to do with my money.

    Her advice was pretty good - not just the "where to invest" stuff, either.

    And next week Alex will be meeting her too, just to go over his situation and see where we stand together.

    How cute. Our first couple-venture.

    Sunday, November 20, 2005

    I always find it interesting to check out my site statistics.

    I mean, I'm not selling anything, so I don't look at them a huge amount. Don't get me wrong, I really ENJOY seeing the number of people who visit my site. I find it ultimately flattering. I cannot imagine that 500 unique visitors drop by every month. That seems a lot, when I really feel that I haven't been at my best in the past year.

    I mean, let's be honest: I'm whiney and not very scandlous lately. So what's the draw? I guess it's gotta be that people just wanna stay up to date on what's happening in my oh-so-exciting life.

    I get a lot of people finding my site via

    And someone found my site by searching "pee her pants" - I couldn't figure that one out. But I went to and put that in and sure enough, up came my site as the #1 result. How very strange. I must pee my pants a lot. Or talk about others who pee their pants.

    Honestly, I think there are people who deserve this honour far more than I do. There are whole websites on the topic that come up below mine, for goddessakes!

    But I do get traffic from people who search for "bad toronto movers". YAY! Number 15 in Yahoo! If I can warn one more person off of Logan Movers, I will feel that I've had some justice. Scammers.

    It's a beautiful day outside and I can't seem to get myself off the couch.

    I am bound to my book. I can't stop turning pages. "Wicked" is a fascinating book.

    So the plan to get me outside is the promise of a nice decaf latte where I can settle down and read.

    I had a fantastic day yesterday shopping with my brother. He is far and away my favourite person to shop for/with. We started out by going to see a teeny tiny townhouse condo. Cute, but very small - too small even for me. We took a look through some other nearby condo developments before having a nice coffee with Alex and chatting about financial woes. Always a favourite topic in my family.

    And then it was shop, shop, shop. By the end of the day, we were tired. I made a lasagne while he watched the Leaf game. I think it might be the first time anyone's watched TV here in my apartment.

    We ate the last of the cinnabons that Alex had brought me the night before... Actually, it was very sweet. Alex and I were going to go to the movies and decided to eat in. Alex brought me the best dinner I could imagine: cinnabons and a decaf latte. He loves me.

    And we saw "Walk the line," based on the bio of Johnny Cash. Great flick. Seriously, go see it.

    All in all, it's been a good weekend. Now, if I could only get myself outside. The decaf latte calls...

    Thursday, November 17, 2005

    Matching cleavage

    Matching cleavage
    Originally uploaded by webgoddesscathy.
    For some reason, I couldn't remember how much fun my 30th birthday had been. And then I remembered I had uploaded all these pictures to my Flickr account.

    It really was great.

    Raye took me out, Jess took me out, my workmates took me out, my friends wine and dined me.

    My mom took me to Dairy Queen and for Thai food. My favourites! I went home to the farm and chillaxed there. I got tickets to a musical.

    I bought myself a massage and a movie.

    It was good.

    But some year, I'm doing it up BIG.

    For more pictures of my 30th birthday, click here.

    I'm not really sure what happened, but things are pretty damn OK right now.

    I've got a lot of good things happening.

  • I'm going on vacation! St. Maarten holiday, here I come!

  • I have a lot of good things going on, professionally.

  • I love my apartment, but I finally got a housing posting that I was interested in going to look at!

  • I've started cooking a bit

  • I've been exercising a bit

  • My friends are good

  • I'm getting my financial crap in order

  • I have a date with my boyfriend tomorrow

  • Christmas is coming!

    Holy crap, could things be better?

    OK, yes, I could have bought my tickets 2 days ago when they were $30 cheaper. And maybe my client meeting could have gone a little better today. However, these were outside my realm of control.

    We'll see how well I can control client-crazy-factor tomorrow.
  • Wednesday, November 16, 2005

    I am feeling better today.

    I had an upsetting talk with Alex last night in which he basically told me to stop thinking such dark thoughts, that it can only lead to a downward spiral.

    So I tried.
    I work up early. I made sure to think good thoughts. I took deep breaths in the shower. I got into work late, vanilla latte in hand, and still took lunch (NamSan - yummy Japanese).

    I laughed. I went to meetings relaxed.
    I went home at 5pm.

    I went up to the exercise room in my building and I ran!
    There was no one there. I grooved to the New Pornographers while I sweated. And then I came back down and did my back care yoga.

    Yay for exercise!
    Yay for better days! (I listened to the Goo Goo Dolls song lyrics too.)
    I've been in a bad mood lately and that needs to change.

    Any suggestions? (Besides "cheer up"?)

    Sunday, November 13, 2005

    It seems impossible, but somehow I managed to spend almost $300 on not a whole lot this week.

    I'm careful with my money, so when I can spend that much on very little, it's easy to see how others can spend so much more.

    People were asking me last night how I managed to pay off my loans so quickly. And I said that I lived off of $30k for over a year. They wondered how I could do it.

    Well, I did it by not buying coffee. By not eating out very often. By not buying new clothes. By not having cable. By having cheap at-home vacations. By making my christmas presents for some people and just reducing my budget and being more creative for others. It's amazing how the little things add up.

    I don't deny myself the things I like, but I'm realistic about what I can afford on a daily basis and what becomes a luxury.

    When something becomes a luxury, you really enjoy it. When it's an everyday extravagance, I find you lose the sense of how special it is.

    By that theory, then, shouldn't I be MORE happy the less I have?
    I am craving gourmet food.

    A mixed greens salad with roasted portabella mushrooms, roasted red peppers, goat cheese and a perfect balsamic vinaigrette.

    Lamb chops with garlic and rosemary. Or sea bass with a wasabi beurre blanc. Perhaps some seared scallops. Yes, definitely seared scallops so big you need to cut them in half to fit them in your mouth.

    And I forgot to start with garlicky escargots in a phyllo pastry.

    To finish, molten chocolate cake with homemade vanilla bean ice cream. Or creme brulee with a perfectly bruleed top that cracks under just the right amount of pressure from my spoon.

    Just to be clear, this craving will not be satiated by eating yet another disappointing bagel.

    Why, oh why have I stopped cooking??

    Saturday, November 12, 2005

    Saturdays can be so nice.

    Wake up, read. Eat some fruit. Read.

    Log into your computer and chat with long-distance friend over messenger.

    Clean bathroom. Sort of.

    Get a call from round-the-corner friend because she's "in the neighbourhood" walking her dog.

    Check out my apartment before going for coffee. Decaf vanilla latte.

    Walk through crunchy bright leaves, sit on church bench under the big tree and talk.

    Drop off friend round the corner and continue on to buy bagels at the bakery.

    Stop off at condo show centre and pick up brochure to read while eating (almost) perfect bagel.

    View another condo show room.

    Get ready to go out to downtown mate's birthday.
    Flip through magazine, inspiring fashion envy while eating another bagel.

    Consider walking to the birthday party as it's really nice out, but decide it would take over 2 hours and my feet would hurt before the night even began.

    Consider it for tomorrow instead.

    Friday, November 11, 2005

    Just got back from Alex's show.

    They had a pretty good show at the Horseshoe and what made it even better was that I got to have dinner with Scott and Kat. They're so great. They seem so happy and it really gives me a lot of hope.

    Of course, they're very excited about being pregnant.
    (Again, it seems that everyone's getting married, buying houses and having babies these days.)

    I really don't get together with them enough.

    And then Mike was able to join us at the Horseshoe and he had an animated story or two to tell, as usual! We've been friends since university (me, Scott, Mike). We've all changed somewhat but I can honestly say we have all become better people. Even though I totally loved us then, we're so way better now.

    Funny, I always thought it went downhill from university.

    But here I am, totally in love, living in a cute apartment with a decent job and a packed social calendar that doesn't involve drinking myself into oblivion.

    Who knew?

    Tuesday, November 08, 2005

    Oh the sweet, sweet joy of working only a 7.5-hour day.
    Of leaving the office when the sun is still out.
    Of laughing a little.

    But, I tell ya, it's damn tough work dealing with a grumpy boyfriend when you are yourself extremely grumpy.

    What DOES one do in such situations?

    Telling them that they're grumpy does not help. That's for sure. I should know; I also HATE that.

    Going for yummy coffee and chatting doesn't help either. That would totally help me, although I might prefer a good book, magazine or my journal.

    Hugging helped. A little.

    But sleep is the only solution. For cranky babies there's really no substitute. Except maybe playing your favourite song really loud and dancing around your apartment.

    Monday, November 07, 2005

    What do you do when you have a ridiculous client who makes your life miserable?

    I know I'm supposed to focus on the positive, on solutions, and make changes to improve things and not let the small stuff bother me.

    Right. I've read all the self-help books our society is be addicted to.

    So, how do you make all that happen beyond just knowing it to be the correct course of action?

    I know I'm supposed to be somehow be perfect at all times, but seriously, the next person who says "talk is cheap" is getting a sharp object in an uncomfortable orifice. Unless they actually have walked in my shoes and know that I'm not doing everything I can to try to make things better.

    Hey, guess what? You're right, I'm a failure because I can't seem to change my life at this particular moment. You're right, I can't seem to prevent a project from hell from taking over my every waking moment. You're right, I can't choose a new path because I can't give up on the dreams to which this path was supposed to lead me. And you're right: I did choose this path so now I have to deal with it. I'm dealing with it, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.

    I'm sure you're shocked to find out that I'm not perfect afterall. Don't worry, maybe it's a temporary chemical imbalance.

    Sunday, November 06, 2005

    Today I ate poutine for lunch.

    Remind me never to do that again.
    When did I get old?

    When did I start going to Home Depot on the weekend and begging out of going dancing because I was too tired?

    When did work become the highlight and panic of my life? When did I start scouring housing postings, looking for a financial planner and setting up investment accounts? I go home and talk about RRSPs and taxes with my dad. I complain about my back and migraines and worry that I'm losing my most fertile years while I wait for marriage.

    I tell you that I don't want it.
    I do not want this life.

    I want new clothes and a cool haircut. I want to hang out in coffee shops and read controversial novels and listen to the latest local bands. I want to do yoga and get my nails done and have hot dates where I get butterflies in my stomach and dream about kissing him. I want to go dancing until 2 in the morning and roll out of bed at 1pm the next morning to a shower, greasy breakfast and coffee and feel completly refreshed. I want to giggle over the latest Cosmo magazine with my friends as we eat chocolate ice cream and doritos with abandon.

    I want to not worry about my future.

    Tuesday, November 01, 2005

    Today I recieved the following email from Laura. It's a sad story, but it makes me really happy that I did something to try to prevent Logan Movers from scamming others. If you missed it, you can read my post about my horrific moving experience here.

    While I didn't prevent the whole scam, it could have been worse for her. Here is the sad, unedited email from Laura:

    * * *
    Hi Cathy,

    I am very upset that I didn't find your site until now, however, I am so
    thankful for finding it when I did or all might have been lost.

    Today my roomie and I used Logan Movers to move out of our apartment. When
    we spoke to Gary, the owner and completely useless moron, on Sunday, he
    confirmed our move along with the agreement of 15 days storage until our new
    apartment was ready. My first warning sign of to how utterly unprofessional
    this company is should have been when I called 3 times yesterday to
    reconfirm the address and each phone call proceeded with an "I'll call you
    back" and "who are you again?" until I finally got a confirmation for a pick
    up at 9:30am Tuesday morn.

    9:30am came and movers...finally at 11:30am they arrive without a
    dolly, ramp or anything to secure our stuff. My roomie calls me in a panic
    that she has a bad feeling about these guys and them being responsable for
    our stored possessions for 15 days and also stressing out because the new
    tenant was moving in at noon (as we were told it shouldn't take more than an
    hour and a half to move our stuff out).

    When she asked the movers about the location of the storage and insurance
    about the moving, neither of them had any idea as to where they were taking
    it or if they even had insurance but to talk to the boss. I immediately
    googled them (thank god for technology) and that is when I found your site.
    Thank you so much or who knows what would have happened to my stuff in the
    next 2 weeks! Not only did I find your site, but tons of other complaints
    and warnings against these scammers! I quickly arranged for storage with a
    reputable company so now they had to move our things to the storage location
    (adding another $150 dollars to my quoted price of $200 for the move one way
    and free storage)

    As I am doing this, they are moving my apartment (it is one bedroom worth of
    small furniture)...again they told me 1 and a half hours max 2 hours for the
    move. 4 hours later my stuff is in the truck!! After also being helped by
    the lovely professional movers that the new tenant had hired who felt sorry
    for my roomate who was in hysterical tears after having to experience hours
    with the useless, rude and unprofessional Logan Movers. The nice movers also
    told her that after they had been in business for 14 years they had never
    seen such a pathetic move in their life and this move should have taken an

    So now we are packed and off to storage, with my roomate almost
    hyperventilating from stress and the moving truck keeps stalling on the
    streets (how seems as if they will do anything to take up
    more time) Upon arriving, they refuse to remove the stuff from the truck
    until she pays them $400!! What! We were quoted at 45/hour X 2 hours with
    travel time! Where the hell r they getting $400 from even at 45/hour it
    would have cost with travel it should have been about $250 max! My roomie
    was so emotionally and physically drained (oh, did I mention as well that
    she had to move half the stuff out of the truck and into storage along with
    another wonderful man who worked at the reputable storage company who saw
    how these vultures were treating another human being) that she gave him the
    money to be done with it. Oh, and before I forget, she also realized that
    thye had broken my wardrobe, 2 mirrors and couch leg.

    To sum it all up, for anyone who reads this DO NOT, FOR ANY REASON, USE,
    ENDORSE OR RECOMMEND LOGAN MOVERS! They are despicable, unprofessional,
    rude, abrasive thugs whose owner will get what is coming to him. I am filing
    this letter to every consumer watch, newspaper in Toronto and to anyone who
    will listen to help and bring these guys down. Word of mouth is a powerful
    thing and from what I ahev read, their list of complaints is growing faster
    than their customer. Maybe part of this is my fault for not fully
    researching their credentials prior and for actually having a little faith
    in mankind!

    I also want to say a big THANK YOU to all the beautiful, honest people who
    helped us today and to Cathy for making this site and preventing me from
    storing my stuff with this slime! Karma is a great thing...what goes around,
    comes around. You give kindness, you get kindness. For LOGAN MOVERS,I don't
    even want to think about what karma will give back to you!!


    Saturday, October 29, 2005

    As I sat drinking my tea this morning, reading about NOW Magazine's Best of Toronto's activists, I started to think about, selfishly, me.

    What was I planning to do today? Clean my apartment? Maybe work on some financial stuff that I've been meaning to get to, get a haircut, talk to my boyfriend, create another posting for my timeshare.

    Me, my, mine.

    When's the last time I did anything for someone else? For this city I live in and my neighbours who share it with me? When's the last time I actually felt that these cohabitants were actually my neighbours?

    Reading about the best Toronto activists, I felt a little small.

    Yes, I'm busy. I'm busy working for me. I'm working on my career, my voice, my apartment, my financial future.

    Where's the inspiration? Where's my commitment to the human race, or just to improving life in the place I live? (Think global, act local, afterall.)

    My parents have always been involved. They've coached soccer and hockey teams, even running the organizations, providing the recreational opportunities that are so important in keeping kids engaged and motivated instead of seeking their sense of belonging in more destructive ways. They've been involved with their church, with charity organizations, donating their time and money quite selflessly.

    Haven't I learned from them?

    Perhaps this is why I feel so uninspired by life right now. It's difficult to feel the purpose of an existence when it consists of so many historically unimportant elements, when it touches so few.

    I think it might be time to contribute to something larger than myself, so that I can begin to look at life as a shared existence and adventure instead of a solo slog.

    Tuesday, October 25, 2005

    Another day of rain.

    It's getting downright depressing. I haven't been able to ride my bike home from work yet. I think my bike's been there over a week!

    I think the lack of exercise is starting to get to me.

    I long for the sunshine.

    I really quite loathe cold weather. I am just NOT a cute fall girl. I don't look that great in turtlenecks, the fleece doesn't fly in the office and I feel bulky in layers.

    Fall. Quite the fashion dilemma.

    Sunday, October 23, 2005

    Lake O'Hara

    Lake O'Hara
    Originally uploaded by webgoddesscathy.
    I've added even more photos to my Calgary photo set on, so you can check them out.

    These include photos from our hike around Lake O'Hara in Yoho National Park. It was a gorgeous spot, but damn, it was cold. I suppose that's what you get when you hike in the higher elevations of the Rocky Mountains.

    Remind me next time to go prepared with better hiking clothes. You'll see my glamourous hiking outfits later in the set. Oi.

    On second thought, maybe don't look at them. They'll totally shatter my image as a fashionista.

    I can just hear LouLou magazine (my fluff mag of choice) shuddering in their designer ensemble.

    Friday, October 21, 2005

    Friday night at home in my quiet apartment.

    I luxuriate in it.

    I pull on my yoga pants and a cozy sweater and curl up on my orange couch. God, I love my couch. I turn on David Gray. Damn, I love David Gray. I read the grocery store flier - a guilty pleasure - and a letter from my mom while I sing. I talk to an old friend. I catch up on news of my terribly exciting friend.

    My stomach flutters with excitement when I realize that I don't HAVE to do ANYTHING.

    Goosebumps rise in expectation of the glorious decadence of it all. My shoulders fall and my satisfied breath fills my lungs and belly.

    Eyelids lowered, I listen to the hum of the refridgerator as my spine tingles.

    I will make myself some tea and life will be complete.

    Wednesday, October 19, 2005

    Skipping stones

    Skipping stones
    Originally uploaded by webgoddesscathy.
    I was just thinking of the Labour Day Weekend when Jaap, Alex and I went to Sarah's cottage in Washago. (Click here for more photos from that weekend.)

    Remember the summer?
    Remember when it was warm and sunny and you wanted to cram as much fun in as possible?

    Somehow summer never seems to last long enough.

    I could have stayed in this moment.

    But no matter how great this picture looks, it never tells you the subtext. Or maybe the stone-throwing competition does, afterall.

    Today might have been stressful. I might have woken up anxious. But there are good things too.

    I've finally settled my timeshare situation. I finally looked into my investments situation. I have started doing yoga again. And my relationship with Alex has never been stronger.

    Who needs sunshine and lazy days by the water? Er...

    Tuesday, October 18, 2005

    Bloemenveiling - the flower auction in Aalsmeer

    Originally uploaded by webgoddesscathy.
    Tonight I sat down and added another batch of Holland photos to

    I'm sad to discover that it's not as great as I originally thought. I'm going to have to change some things in how I've organized my Holland photos.

    However, I thought I'd share with you this photo. It's a bit of colour in an otherwise dreary day today.

    I was at work late, trying to do a maintenance budget that my boss has been bugging me about. As if I don't have a jillion other things to do. But I stayed and did it.

    And them I came home and finally did my Back Care Yoga tape. It felt good. So I thought, why not celebrate with some warm two-bite brownies with vanilla ice cream while I listen to that stupid choir tape and work on my website?

    And so it unfolded.

    If you'd like to see more photos of the Bloemenveiling (the flower auction in Aalsmeer, Netherlands), you should click here.

    Monday, October 17, 2005

    I am grumpy.

    Choir night.

    I suck. Plus, I can't read Latin! Who reads Latin? Who are these nerds who just KNOW how to speak Latin?! Was this a prerequisite for joining a choir?

    Clearly not, as I somehow snuck in.

    Dona nobis pacem.
    Ya, take THAT!

    Also, I would really like to just stay home/stay up and geek out, stress-free on my computer and website.

    I need some down time.

    Sunday, October 16, 2005

    Today I went to look at townhouse-style condos out in King West (Liberty Village). Wow, are they ever building a lot out there right now.

    It's kind of cool, because it's a bit of an old factory district that's being slowly refurbished and a lot of interactive companies have set up shop there. So it's up-and-coming. But there's a not a lot there yet. And what is there can get a bit scary.

    Of course, I'm a total scaredy-baby.

    However, even a condo is almost outside my reach there.
    Why does real estate in Toronto cost so much? Very depressing.

    And then I visited my friend Steph in Aurora to see her and her new(ish) baby, Charlotte. I finally delivered her baby quilt to her. She loved it - YAY, all that work was worth it! - and we had a nice chat about real estate. It's so much cheaper to live outside the city.


    But my life would be so different. And I would need to buy a car.

    I refuse!

    So I think that means I have to buy a cheap-ass condo. So a-looking I will go...

    Saturday, October 15, 2005

    I curse that I cannot sleep in.

    Staying up late becomes an impossibility, because I cannot make up the time the next morning.

    Once the sun's up, I'm up.

    It's very, very sad. And makes me feel old.

    So today I'm going shopping to make myself feel not-old. Because I have a rental car and can go anywhere I want! Yay! (yawn)

    Thursday, October 13, 2005

    Zaanse Schans

    Originally uploaded by webgoddesscathy.
    I love Honestly. I just put up a new batch of my Holland photos in about a half hour.

    Check out how cool I am wih my klompen. It's called elephantitis of the feet. This is a big draw of Zaanse Schans - an outdoor museum near Amsterdam. People love to try on the big wooden shoes.

    Of course it was a bit touristy, but at least I get to blog about a photo and everyone immediately understand where I am.

    Jan also took me into the working windmills there and we saw them making oil and paint. Very exciting.

    Although the windmill master was decided less talkative than the one that Mom and I talked to at Kinderdijk.

    Follow the link to see other photos at Zaanse Schans.
    Tonight I had dinner with Jane.

    It's so tough to listen to your friends being taken advantage of. You always want the best for the people you love. So it hurts me when I hear when they're not being treated right. It makes me feel very protective.

    I don't understant how people can be so oblivious to the fact that they are making another human being unhappy. I really don't believe that they know and don't care. I refuse to believe that a human being is just that horrible.

    Although, last night at Bigger than Jesus, they were talking about just that: that guy you know who goes through completely unhappy.

    More than that, they were talking about how not to be THAT guy. And the choice that we make every day not to talk to THAT guy so that he will never know that a friendly voice is on the other side of his tunnel vision.

    And more than that, it is really not a show that my dad would probably like. The creator might like that thought. But I suspect, more than anything, he really just wants people to talk about it. To wonder. To be alive. To not throw out religion because they don't believe in a particular story that may or may not be true. In the end, it doesn't really matter whether it was true - what matters is what we're doing now.

    And right now, I want to save my friends from the big bad wolves of the world. My mom wants to save her sister and her friends.

    But we can't.
    All we can do is love unconditionally and give them the knowledge that you believe that they will work it out all on their own.

    Is that what my personal jesus does? Leaves it up to me because he believes I will work it out? Maybe that's why I am strong enough to actually work it out.

    Maybe that's the gift I need to give to those I love the most: the gift of doing nothing.

    Tuesday, October 11, 2005

    Wilcox Pass

    Wilcox Pass
    Originally uploaded by webgoddesscathy.
    I was just going through my photos from last year's trip to Calgary and I discovered this one. Dad makes a pretty good thoughtful model. Wilcox Pass and the Athabasca Glacier make a pretty spectacular backdrop.

    Click on it and you can check out some of my other photos from that trip and leave comments or watch a slideshow and all sorts of cool things. I'm testing out and realize that it's likely the coolest thing I've used in a long time.

    I could possibly be the last blogger on the planet to discover it.

    Well, that's what a WebGoddess gets when she doesn't have time to stay home and geek out. Bad Cathy. I guess I should be thankful that I'm too sick to do anything else tonight.

    Monday, October 10, 2005

    Thanksgiving: a time to give thanks.

    I am thankful for my family, with whom I just spent a thoroughly lazy long weekend.

    I am thankful that I have a good life here in Toronto and that I'm finally happy with it. That I love my apartment and my boyfriend and that I have good friends and a job that could be a whole lot worse.

    I'm thankful that Matt is going to marry Kendra because I love them both and I think that they make each other happy.

    I'm thankful that I'm starting to grow up and realize what's really important in life... and what isn't.

    I'm thankful that I'm still young enough to be curious about the world, embrace adventure, learn new things every day and know that my future holds unfathomable promise.

    Friday, October 07, 2005

    Today I got to go for my favourite Congee Star lunch: BBQ Pork Noodle Soup.

    And then I went home just a little bit early because I wasn't feeling well. I'm so glad that I did. I just hung out in my apartment with my soft christmas blanket around me, drinking rooibus tea, listening to Norah Jones and doing a little much-needed personal business.

    My mom is on the way to pick me up.
    Maybe I'll read and watch movies and eat apple pie all weekend with my brother will. Maybe Dad will have the woodstove going.

    Whatever happens, I know it will not be stressful.

    Eventually, I will forget about that email that I forgot to send at work. And the documents that I should have completed. And the meeting that I haven't set up yet.

    And everything will be back in perspective and maybe I won't be sick anymore.

    I can't wait.

    Thursday, October 06, 2005

    I don't know what's going on. I'm so tired!

    I feel like sleeping for about 2 days straight. With someone to bring me tea and smooth my hair.

    Riding my bike to and from work has been a real challenge. I thought it would get me feeling more energetic. Not even swing dancing class really woke me up.

    Shockingly, laundry and apartment cleaning and making apple crisp didn't jazz me right up.

    I don't even want to eat. Not even chocolate. I must be sick.

    Monday, October 03, 2005

    I am so tired. It's not even late and I can't keep my eyes open.

    Even today at 5pm, I was finishing up a meeting and had figure out how I was not going to close my eyes.

    Goodness, what is wrong with me?

    Also, I suck at choir. I hate the beginning when I have no idea what to sing. I feel like such a loser. Plus, I have no friends there so I feel like an even more ginormous loser.

    It's humbling to say the least.
    Do I need to feel more humble?

    Saturday, October 01, 2005

    It's been a great day at my parents' farm. I came home for my mom's birthday.

    I slept in. Dad made breakfast and we ate out in the sunshine. My dad and I were talking financials when Marlene (Heather's mom) drove up the driveway to surprise my mom.

    We talked and worked on our quilt and then went to Dairy Queen for a Georgia Mud Fudge Blizzards.

    I made my mom a banana butterscotch cheesecake and took her out for a seafood dinner.

    Then dad brought out the loot for her: new quilting paraphenalia. You know you're a nerd when that excites you. We're already planning our next quilt.

    And tomorrow? Back to Toronto to have dinner with Mr. Cathy and then go to the David Gray concert. I can't wait!

    Thursday, September 29, 2005

    Sometimes the most simple things take forever.

    Like my St. Maarten timeshare page.

    I have been meaning to do that page FOREVER. And for some reason, it kept getting put off. Too many other things to do, of course.

    But when I got down to it, it only took me an hour.

    However, I would like to point out that there are about seven hundred other things I didn't do in that hour that still remain on my list:

  • more holland/aus/nz/calgary travel photos
  • put up the picture of Kendra's ring
  • talk about my nice night with Alex last night
  • sleeping (I feel sick, I'm so tired)
  • work on my review rebuttal document
  • pack to go to my parents' tomorrow

    Because sometimes you've just got to do that thing that isn't getting done.

  • Monday, September 26, 2005

    Ohmygosh, I feel sick.

    I think I nearly passed out at work today.

    One minute, I felt totally normal, writing an email at my desk, having just eaten my favourite lunch: BBQ pork noodle soup at Congee Star. The next minute, the room swam and I nearly fell over.


    And now I just feel really crappy. Maybe I'm getting sick. Unfortunately, I can't stay home as I have a big launch party to go to and I have no sick days left, apparently. Not sure how that happened, as I believed that I had only been away twice all year. However, I'm sure my boss tracked it VERY carefully.

    Sunday, September 25, 2005

    I am super emotional today.

    Alex and I had such a nice weekend together and I'm sitting here thinking how sad I am that I'll only see him again on Wednesday and even then he'll be playing at Healey's and I won't have much opportunity to talk to him.

    Maybe my brother's engagement is making me all relationship-crazy.

    But, no. It's not just that.

    Someone told me last night that when Alex looks at me his whole body changes - softens - and he gets this funny half-smile, no matter whether he's sitting beside me or across the bar.

    He'll hate that I'm writing this. He thinks I make him out to sound like a wuss.

    I think I make him out to sound in love with me. And I'm OK with that.
    Things that make for a great weekend:

  • having movie night at your friend's house and eating lots of bad food
  • spending time with your boyfriend
  • greasy-spoon breakfasts
  • long walks to a different part of town
  • finding out your brother has just gotten engaged!
  • shopping for a pair of jeans and finding 2 pairs on sale that look really good
  • finding a really great sexy shirt that you can wear with a bra
  • having your boyfriend tell you how cute you look in your new outfit
  • seeing your boyfriend's band open for a pretty great band, and playing almost better than that band
  • going out to a party until 4am with the rock band
  • making new friends
  • going to Word on the street and getting magazines for free or for $1
  • eating Dairy Queen for dinner
  • coming home to a cute, quiet, mostly clean apartment
  • finding out you have a cold bottle of lemon-flavoured mineral water in your fridge

    What makes it crappy:
  • remembering that you have to go to work tomorrow
  • knowing you won't get to spend that much time with your boyfriend for a really long time
  • working on your peformance review for the rest of the night
  • Thanks to "anonymous" commenter, who sent me the Joel-on-Software post, which talks about the negative effect that performance reviews have on, well, performance.

    And I wonder: if it's been proven many times over that "...people who expect to receive a reward for completing a task or for doing that task successfully simply do not perform as well as those who expect no reward at all.." (Harvard Business Review Sept/Oct 93), then why do we keep the review system?

    I don't understand how that's possible, actually, since I think that if I have a reward at the end, I usually try harder. I mean, that obviously depends on whether I place any value on the reward offered, of course.

    But if I thought: damn, if I do this right, I'll have an extra week of vacation, I'd definitely work harder at it.

    I mean, sure, I work pretty hard on almost everything. But sometimes there are things that have to take a higher priority and the thing that would get me a reward would surely become the highest priority, wouldn't it? I'd be stupid NOT to prioritize it.

    So I don't understand that Harvard stat. I have a hard time believing it.

    Maybe it's because managers generally reward behaviours/tasks that their employees don't like doing or aren't good at. And maybe employees DON'T get rewarded for the things they actually LIKE doing and therefore, do a better job at?

    Skewed statistic, anyway.

    And I don't agree that performance reviews are ALWAYS bad. Some sort of review system is necessary to keep people on track; to help them understand what's important to the boss or their company and to help the boss/company understand what's important to the employee. Both sides tend to lose sight of this if it isn't refreshed in their memories every once in a while. It can give them renewed vigour in their pursuits of their goals.

    But I certainly don't think that a once-a-year meeting is exactly the best format for this system. I think people need to have consistent monitoring and be told when they do something if it's not on the right track. Don't tell me six months later, when all I can do is look back on it and cringe.

    Performance enhancement should be ongoing and never a surprise at the end of the year. You should know exactly what was expected of you and whether or not you achieved it before you even go in that room.

    Your boss should know what it was/is that the employee wanted to achieve and the reward that they were shooting for and it should not be a hard decision as to whether they get that agreed reward.

    I don't understand how, with all of the books out there on the subject, reviews can be so far off the mark from what they're supposed to be! Doesn't everyone know by now that objectives are supposed to be:
    1. specific
    2. measurable
    3. achievable
    4. relevent or realistic (depending on which book you read)
    5. time-based

    And doesn't everyone know that these objectives are supposed to be reviewed frequently and possibly changed if necessary?

    If it were actually done this way, maybe reviews actually WOULD have a positive effect instead of being that dreaded meeting when employers and employees end up in a battle (ahem - I mean, "negotiation") and someone always ends up feeling cheated.

    Thursday, September 22, 2005

    I'm now doing something I really hate: I'm reading one of those books about negotiation.


    I see all those suits on the TTC reading those things and I think: LOSERS! Can't they find something INTERESTING to read? What about REAL literature? What about improving yourself by educating yourself about the earth and its people?

    You know, I can just think of so many other more intriguing books to read. I mean, I have a whole shelf of them that I can't seem to get to. And then there are the magazines: Explore, Travel Abroad, Outpost, Scientific American...

    I'm really quite shocked that I'm spending my precious reading time on this.

    But let me tell you, quite ashamedly, that it is totally worth it. I think, every once in a while, you need to read something like this. Especially when you get to the point when you start wondering if the entire world is insane you are the only intelligent being left. Or when you realize that you're probably going to throw your computer, your phone, or your client out the window if it so much as LOOKS at you the wrong way.

    This is when you know you've had too much.
    You need some perspective.

    So I had to figure out, even if I'm not doing anything wrong per se, what exactly I could be doing more right.

    Enter boring negotiation book.

    So I'm reading and thinking, "Ya, I make that mistake," and that, "Uh-huh, they TOTALLY react that way when I say that!" And basically just realizing that your life could be made a whole lot easier if you just manipulated people better.

    Once you get over the shame of this thought, you might actually open your mind up in the next situation and "look down from your balcony onto the problem" and "step to their side" and "reframe" so you can "build a golden bridge" and possibly even decide to "use power to educate" instead of escalate.

    I hate it.
    But maybe tomorrow I will make different decision about how upset I'll get over yet another proposal revision.

    Wednesday, September 21, 2005

    It's funny how performance reviews can bring you down.

    They're meant to improve performance.
    But when's the last time you actually thought: "Wow, I'm so glad I know how much everyone hates my work! I'm going to try so much harder NOW! Who cares about those recruiters who keep calling with offers of more money - I want to try to please THESE critics."

    Does anyone really need to hear anything bad about themselves or their work at their review? I mean, certainly, if you are clueless and you totally suck at your job, but they just can't fire you, then of course they should try to help you stop sucking. Usually, however, these slackers are really not interested in improving. They're just fine going on their merry sucking way. They have a job that they don't work hard at and they get paid. It's perfect.

    These are the people who read and live by Read it. You will be converted, I hope.

    The thing is, I am NOT a slacker. If someone actually told me that I could do something better when I was doing it, instead of saving everything up until the moment they could blind-side me with it, I would probably try to change what I was doing.

    And yet, if I were a slacker, perhaps I would not be expected to do everything in the entire universe and be perfect at it.

    Actually, come to think of it, I at least "meet expectations" in everything, am "better than expectations" on many other aspects and even "far exceed expectations" on some other, very special, occasions.

    So why wouldn't I be strongly rewarded for that?
    I could be a slacker and still be "rewarded" the same.

    This weekend I will likely spend a lot of time putting together a case for myself on why I deserve more than the generic "you're OK" reward package. Yes, I said it, I will do it on my precious weekend.

    And why?

    Because I just spent an 11.5-hour day at work and didn't have time to gather these facts, stats and write them up in a persuading manner, using all the right non-confrontation language.

    Sometimes I wonder if perhaps I wouldn't be better suited to running a hostel in some obscure corner of the country where I could read my books, update my website, go for bike rides in the sunshine and make yummy healthy dinners instead of eating a chocolate bar beside my designer's desk at 8pm.

    Sunday, September 18, 2005

    It was pick up soccer at Eglinton park today as I sat at a picnic table with my lemon mineral water and hair magazine.

    They were Spanish, it seemed, all of them. Oh, and did they like to talk!

    One, in the red shorts was quite good. Most of them were not. But it was nice to watch as I felt my eyes starting to droop. One can only keep an interest in a hair magazine for so long, you understand.

    The sun was past its zenith and a breeze had found its way to us there on the pitch. A lazy way to spend an sweet September afternoon, watching soccer at the park.

    My laundry done, my letters posted, my errands run.
    Just time to nurse yet another migraine.

    I swear it shall be the death of me... or someone else.
    I've managed to get in a couple of Toronto Film Festival flicks this year.

    Thursday, I saw Linda Linda Linda with Sarah. It was a great, fun movie and sent me home, humming the tune. I find Japanese movies so delightfully awkward. They're not afraid to just point the camera at a shy girl hanging her head, mumbling "mm".

    Tonight I saw House of Sand.

    What a fantastic film.
    The Brazilian director, Andrucha Waddington, was there to answer questions. It was a fascinating road to that movie - years in the making. And you can see that it was made with a lot of care.

    A quick synopsis, if you don't care to read it at the TIFF website, is that it's about 3 generations of women trapped in the unhospitable sand dunes of Brazil.

    What's touched me about the film was the theme.

    The main character spends years desperately trying to get back to civilization. One day, when her chance has escaped for the second time, she suddenly comes to an acceptance of her lot and finds contentedness.

    After about 60 years in relative isolation from the world, she's told that man has landed on the moon. Incredulous, she asks what they found there.

    "Nothing. Sand."

    One can spend a lifetime trying to be somewhere else, looking for something better or different - or just anything other than where they are and who they're with. And even if they reach that goal, it is often not any better than what they left behind.

    It doesn't matter whether you have new clothes, make that promotion or record, or even if you know what's going on in the world.

    None of these things are useful in the true sense. One could (and people do) live quite blissfully without them. In fact, one could argue, more blissfully.

    All you need is a simple life with people who love you.

    Why have I been chasing something more?

    Monday, September 12, 2005

    Choir has started up again and I decided to give it another go.

    I know I don't have a lot of time, but I figure it's something that I've always wanted to do/be better at, so why not?

    The first time around was very difficult for me, not being able to read music. But this time, I know what I'm in for. I'm prepared. I know I have to get that tape and practice outside of rehearsal.

    And then one day I'll turn into a magical Diva and everyone will adore me and pay me heaps of money to listen to me sing. At least, that's what I always dreamt when I was a child.

    It's unfortunate that time spent on such things is just another day taken out of the week when I could be doing OTHER things. There never seems to be enough time.

  • I was thinking of taking a course.
  • And then there's my quilt(s).
  • And reading.
  • And bike riding adventures with friends.
  • And Alex's band nights.
  • Walking Tree's dog.
  • Paying bills.
  • Updating my website.
  • Finishing my Australia photoalbum/scrapbook.
  • Installing my new cheap harddrive (160 Gb for $60!)
  • Yoga.
  • Decorating my apartment.
  • Selling my timeshare for this December.

    Where does it end?
    And WHEN will I have time to prepare for my performance evaluation that's coming up? Who wants to volunteer to prepare me for that one?!
  • Sunday, September 11, 2005

    This weekend I went to visit my grandmother in Wallaceburg.

    Although she can't see or hear very well, she's doing pretty damn good for being over 90. I was able to work on my quilt with my mom and my grandma seemed pretty interested in it, even though she probably couldn't see it very well. She seemed pretty proud that I was doing it. She used to do them herself until her eyes started to fail.

    She talked about her routine every day and about how she runs out of things to do and sits in her chair, waiting for the next thing to do. I wonder how it feels.

    I offered to help her do the dishes, for example, but she didn't want help. I think it was because otherwise she wouldn't have anything to do.

    She can't go outside because the heat bothers her. And when you can't see or hear well, there's not a whole lot that you can do. She knows where everything is in her kitchen and can find it by feel. She sees shapes and she can hear when it's very quiet and you're talkig very loud.

    So she dozes in her chair a lot. She doesn't sleep well at night.

    I looked around at all the pictures of her and my grandfather and I felt really sad that he's no longer around. I know it was difficult on her to take care of him, but I wonder how she feels now about him being gone. I was afraid to ask.

    I did ask her about how she met my grandpa and about her family and she seemed happy to talk about them.

    And it made me realize that, somewhere in there is a girl who once met a cute guy with big ears at a dance and thought, hey maybe he's the one. Somewhere in there is the young woman who left her entire family behind to move to a new country where her and her husband could buy and work their own farm... far away from everyone she knew.

    I wish I had known that girl - what she once dreamed about, how she felt on her wedding day.

    I wish I had asked how she feels about the life that led to this conclusion. But one doesn't know how such a question will be recieved. Or whether one really wants to know the answer.

    Wednesday, September 07, 2005

    I am about to be a huge loser and tell you about my amazing night: Day One Without Jaap.

    I biked to work and after work rode to meet Anita. We went for a 2-hour bike ride in Mount Pleasant Cemetary. I was still home by 8pm.

    So I started cleaning. Laundry in the washer. Bathroom. Done. Laundry in the dryer. Delicates in the sink and hanging on the drying rack. Kitchen. Done. Bedroom. Done.

    Now I'm sitting on my exerflex ball, my bills paid, blogging and eating the tomato-cucumber salad that uses up all of my parents' veggies that were otherwise going to go bad.

    After this, I'm giving myself a manicure becuase I ate off each and every one of my fingernails today.

    Day One and I've already done Everything.

    Productive. But let me tell you, it can only get worse. I'm totally going to miss him.

    Tuesday, September 06, 2005

    Jaap's last night in Toronto was a little bit of toronto-cathy majik.

    We walked up to Dufflet's to have some yummy treats before embarking on our Northern Ravines & Gardens Discovery Walk. We finished in the dark and walked home.

    Unfortunately some crazy guy walked up to me on the sidewalk and randomly screamed at me, scaring the crap out of me. Weird.

    We went on to Dairy Queen. As usual. I used my buy-one-get-one-free coupon for blizzards. We're Dutch. We love deals.

    And then we went to AlleyCatz to listen to the live swing band. I even danced a song. I've decided that I want to start going to class again. I love dancing, even though I suck at it.

    I will miss Jaap - now who will I hang out with?!
    He leaves tomorrow for St. John's and who knows when he'll be back.

    Monday, September 05, 2005

    Skipping stones
    Originally uploaded by webgoddesscathy.

    Ontario is synonymous with the cottage-weekend.

    Sadly, I've never been one to experience it - I've never had a cottage. This weekend, I rented a car and took a bunch of my friends up north for the long weekend.

    Sarah, Jaap, Alex and I drove to Bala on Friday to catch Alex's band playing in the battle of the bands at The Kee.

    Of course, the most horrible band won, as is wont to happen in battles. I do NOT know why they keep entering. The hopes of winning compromises their sense.

    After the show, we got lost before winding our way to Washago and Mill Island, where her dad has a lovely cottage.

    We canoed, walked the town, went on adventure drives, ate a lot and read our books in the sunshine. It was great.

    On our way home, we decided to go by way of Midland (not exactly on the way). I thought maybe I could show Jaap the Martyr Shrine, St. Marie-Among-the-Hurons, Wye Marsh. Well, all of the above are quite expensive undertakings. Even the church is $3 for each person. I was surprised by that. I know, they need to keep up the buildings... maybe we should have gone on, but I really couldn't say that it was actually worth it. I can't remember anymore. I was there when I was something like 8 years old.

    We ate lunch and continued on to Tiny Beach Road and skirted Georgian Bay all the way down to Wasaga. What a great beach that is. Too bad about the people. And the tacky. Really, too bad.

    We stopped in at my parents' house for a quick hello before heading off for some Alliston Dairy Queen and then home before the horrible long weekend traffic.

    We even managed to go for a walk over to Theresa's house and have some tea over her Newfoundland pictures.

    I love my friends.
    I love the summer.

    I don't want it to end.

    Wednesday, August 31, 2005

    Tonight the Blue Jays lost.


    But at least the best fans were sitting in the second row along the foul line, section 113. Jaap enjoyed his first visit to the SkyDome, aside from the fake grass. The fake grass really bothered him. Poor baby.

    We had a good time though. He helped our friend Rhonda move today and they came together to the game. Rhonda got some last-minute tickets for free and was able to sit with us.

    We made our own fun as I tried the 2-finger-whistle and nearly passed out from the effort.

    And now off to bed and the boring part of my life where migraines lurk...

    Tuesday, August 30, 2005

    Today was the first day for my first employee. I am a real manager again.

    I tried for so long to get some help, campaigning so that I could work normal hours and yet still accomplish the bare minimum. Finally, after a full proposal, I got approval. I wrote up job descriptions, read endless resumes, interviewed.

    And today? I spent all my time making sure she was OK, teaching her things, explaining processes and feeling I wasn't able to do the things I should be doing.
    So when does it get easier?

    Yes, I know that training takes time. I know it takes patience and I understand that it's an art form.

    But can you blame me for wanting to just say "Hi - do that"?
    And then it's done magically, perfectly.

    Friday, August 26, 2005

    I am confrontational lately.


    Why do I feel so defensive and angry? I need to figure this out so that I can make it better because I'm spinning my wheels.

    I think I feel like I can't talk about the issues that I'm upset about. That's a major frustration. I feel like everything is SO hard. Why can't anything just be easy? Why do I always have to try; why can't OTHER people try?

    Why can't I forget about things that I can't talk about so that I can at least be content?

    Thursday, August 25, 2005

    I went to The Free Press CD release last night at the Horseshoe. A lot of people came out for the show, which was great to see. They sold quite a number of CDs, which is great, because they are POOR!

    I'm sure it was a bit of a weird show for Alex, being so soon after his dad's funeral. He did well, although he was really quiet.

    Of course I'm tired now.

    I'm really looking forward to the weekend so I can relax and sleep.

    Sunday, August 21, 2005

    Its really strange when something horrible happens and then life goes on as normal.

    Alex's dad died on Friday. He was diagnosed with lung cancer earlier this year and will be laid to rest on Tuesday. When something like that happens, it sort of changes your perspective on the importance of everything.

    Jaap and I had plans for a roadtrip, as I wrote last time. I wasn't sure at first if we should go. But, as Alex said, me not going wasn't going to change anything; life doesn't just stop when something like this happens.

    And so we went.

    And we CELEBRATED life. We stayed arrived 1.5 hours late in Niagara-on-the-Lake, to our gorgeous bed and breakfast, Amazing Grapes. Norman and Marilyn were so friendly, I almost felt like I was saying goodbye to my parents as I pulled out of their driveway the next morning, armed with the map that Marily had highighted for us.

    We walked around Niagara-on-the-Lake for a bit, buying the requisite fudge and browsing the shops. We rented bikes at Zoom ($20/day for amazing bikes - we got a deal!) and rode out along the Niagara Parkway to Queenston, stopping to look out over the river and at several wineries along the way. I totally recommend Lailey for the quality of their wines, but Jackson Triggs is bigger, much more commercial and hosts evening concerts - Quartetto Gelato was playing on Saturday but we had other plans.

    After a nice dinner at the Olde Angel Inn, we drove the scenic route to Guelph to sleep at Matt and Kendra's house.

    I woke up today and wandered downstairs to be greeted by Kittimer Kazoom (their cat) who demanded my attention for about 45 minutes. Gratefully given. We sat out on Matt's deck, enjoying the bright sunshine, reading and checking out their beautiful garden until hunger took over and Jaap took advantage of the Matt-Special: chocolate sprinkles toast (hagelslag). A little piece of Dutch heaven, I guess.

    Then we were off to Elora to check out the Gorge conservation area.

    While this is a beautiful place, it's really not worth it unless you get IN the water and do some tubing! If you want to be sure to get a tube, be early! We waited in line for a while until we decided to go for a walk along the top of the gorge. By the time we got back down and had something to eat, people were already done with their tubes and bringing them back.

    We got in the water at probably 3:30pm and didn't leave until 6:30pm. Still, for $20/ea including all equipment (life vest, helmet and a registration bracelet) it was worth it!

    We found our way into the town of Elora, which is a really cute town, and mowed down on some really great, greasy pizza at New Orleans pizza. And then it was great tunes all the way home, congratulating ourselves on such a great weekend.

    This weekend was what life is about. Living. Doing. Experiencing.
    Live life with passion. Because it will end too soon.

    Thursday, August 18, 2005

    Well, Dave has left and it's sad because I won't see him again for a long time. It was so great to see him - we had a lot of great talks about life. And we had a nice picnic at my work yesterday in the gorgeous sunshine.

    But now Jaap is back.
    I made thai food for dinner tonight as we planned our weekend!

    I'm really excited: we're renting a car and going to Niagara-on-the-Lake and then to Guelph to stay with my brother and on to Elora Gorge.


    Too bad the weather is supposed to suck. BOO Canada!

    Monday, August 15, 2005

    I had a lovely weekend with Jaap at a wedding at Sandbanks National Park. We stayed at an amazing bed and breakfast in Bloomfield. We visited the sand dunes and sat, chatting about life in the gorgeous weather. Then we went back to the B&B to clean up and I got to put on my pretty dress and wear make up. I love feeling pretty.

    The wedding ceremony was at the beach as the sun was going down. The bridesmaids walked down the aisle to reggae music, their bare feet padding through the sand. The vows were beautiful and so touching. I cried.

    Then we drove back to Toronto to meet up with Dave who's visiting from Japan. It's so great to see him. I love having him around once a year.

    Too bad he loves Japan and I can't convince him to come "home" for good.

    I had the day off to spend with him, which was fantastic. But I'm back to work tomorrow. At least we have plans afterwards, so I have something to look forward to.

    I love my boyfriends!

    Thursday, August 11, 2005

    Having Jaap visit is so nice!

    It's great to have a built-in friend to do fun things with. Every night we do something interesting. (At least I think it's interesting.)

  • Monday night, we played volleyball in the beaches.
  • Tuesday night, we went rollerblading/biking in Sunnybrook park (actually, we went as far as we could on the Don Valley trail, but it gets a bit bumpy in places.) Then we went for a swim at my apartment.
  • Last night, I made a nice salmon dinner for us and then we met Sarah and friends downtown for her pre-Scotland travels

    On the weekend, we he came to my Grand Bend family reunion. I was worried he'd be bored, but he got along really well with everyone and got to sit on the beach and play water frisbee with everyone, so it worked out. He probably got a little bored.

    Having him around makes me want to travel.
    The fun part of my life right now, the part that makes me want to get out of bed in the morning, is the stuff that we do after work.

    Of course, it's frustrating for him that I have to work during the day. He gets bored because he has no one to hang out with. Living with me is cheap, but he doesn't get to meet a lot of other travellers that way.

    So then I think about taking time off to travel to the places that he would really like to do the things that we would BOTH really like. I get all excited and suddenly, all the extreme stresses of my job seem far away.

    I'm tired of stress.
    My body is tired of stress.

    I need to get away.
  • Saturday, August 06, 2005

    I "talked" to Jaap's friend, Hylke this morning on MSN Messenger and he asked me how I like living in Toronto. I thought about it and realized that I like it very much.

    Toronto in the summer is so great. There's always so much to do.

    Sometimes I just wish I took more time to do it.

    I also want to thank all the lovely people who were so sweet and supportive when I mentioned that I was sad.

    Everyone gets sad sometimes. It just helps the good times to feel all that much better, I guess. It's really nice to be reminded that people love you, though. So thank you.

    Things ARE good.

    Friday, August 05, 2005

    It was a good day.

    Jaap and I went for a walk around downtown - Ryerson, Chinatown, Kensington and University of Toronto before heading off to Taste of the Danforth.

    It was SO busy with people lining up in ginormous lines to pay $3 for a stick of souvlaki. We had gyros and cheesecake and walked around, stopping to listen to a couple Greek bands.

    Tomorrow, we're off to Grand Bend.

    Thursday, August 04, 2005

    Several exciting things to report:
  • I have a couch!
  • My couch is pretty!
  • Alex came for a surprise visit!
  • I have installed StatCounter on my site (Re-invigorate punked out on me)
  • Jaap is arriving in Toronto and staying with me tonight!
  • Tired. So tired.

    I went to see The Free Press at Healey's last night. It was great - they were great - and I was really proud. But of course it meant I went to bed super late and got up early for work.

    I thought about breaking my rule and doing a really personal post. But I think it doesn't belong here. Perhaps it belongs in the journal I keep beside my bed - my pen has been aching for use.

    I guess I should just say that I've been sad. I don't like being sad.

    But I should never underestimate the value of a good, straightforward talk with someone who really listens.

    I mean, if you're sad, what do you really have to lose by talking about it? It can only get better...

    Monday, August 01, 2005

    I had a lovely weekend!

  • Friday night, my birthday party
  • Saturday, hang out with boyfriend and shop
  • Saturay night, fun bachelorette
  • Sunday, visit from my mom (bday presents!), dairy queen and home to the farm
  • Monday, more bonding time with mom and back to Toronto for Thai food and window shopping

    I got tickets to Annie Get Your Gun opening at Massey Hall soon!

    I got a beautiful silk scarf and all sorts of amazing skin products (NOT because I'm old, though!) and I got an awesome book called 1,000 Places To See Before You Die. I can't wait to get inspired for my next big adventure!

    Birthdays are great - and mine isn't even OVER!
  • Saturday, July 30, 2005

    Oi. Birthday parties.

    Good to see all the wonderful amazing people. Good to chat (although didn't get to spend NEARLY enough time with some people). Great food. Cute cards. Funny pictures.


    I love the Rivoli.
    I don't like pretentious clubs.
    I do like to dance.

    I don't like hangovers.

    Thursday, July 28, 2005

    I had such a nice birthday dinner with Jessica tonight.

    She came over to see my apartment - she was my first guest when I hadn't even moved in fully yet. It looks so much better now. I was proud! We went out to have a look at my outdoor pool and I finally got a tag for it - only $2! Now I can go out for a leisurely swim on those hot days that JUST left Toronto. (I have great timing.)

    We went for a walk down to Davisville station and then I walked back up Mount Pleasant. I really do love where I live. It is perfect.

    Jess gave me a good idea for how to decorate my last remaining bare wall. I want to take close-up photos of nature - very colourful ones - frame them as 4x6 and put a line of them across the upper 1/4 of the wall. It's gonna be COOL!

    But that's after I manage to get a couple of other things crossed off my to-do list.

    One of which is getting my bad-self to Jacob to buy a dress for my friend Tan's wedding. Apparently they are having a big sale. Yay for me!

    Another to-do is eating brownies and ice cream before I go to bed.

    Tuesday, July 26, 2005

    I turned 30 today.

    My workmates took me out for my free lunch, which was really nice. They are a great bunch of people and made me feel so special. I got invites to go out for a drink or over for dinner this evening... just thinking about them makes me wanna give them all a big hug.

    I can't wait til I get together with everyone at my "surprise" birthday party at the Rivoli on Friday. It will be so nice to have all of my favourite people in one place. What a wonderful way to spend an evening. I think I will drink chocolate martinis.

    Sunday, July 24, 2005

    I am eating some seriously yummy bread.

    I bought it last night at My Market Bakery on Baldwin St. in Kensington Market. Although I quite love Kensington (and the Moon Beam Cafe decaf iced latte that I finally got to try), I find it a little expensive compared to the Chinese markets about 5 seconds away. You really need to know your prices.

    However, this bread is AMAZING! Some sort of wholegrain deal with a crusty outside and magically moist and soft inside.

    Of course, it helps that I'm eating it with garlic-basil infused olive oil. Mmm!

    Last night I went on a gourmet expedition and brought Alex some olive and roasted red pepper sourdough with jalapeno havarti. No surprise that he liked it.

    I got myself some really expensive aged Gouda at the cheese shop. And some grape tomatoes. And perfect strawberries for dessert. What a lovely summer meal.

    Then we went to see Kid Koala perform (for free!) at the Harbourfront Centre as part of the Dim Sum Chinese festival held there this weekend. If you've never heard of this guy (I'll admit I was a sketchy on his details) then you have GOT to check him out! He's a turntablist and, if asked, I would have said I wasn't into it.

    I am a changed woman.

    He was so amazing! My jaw literally dropped (yep, they call me slack-jawed Cathy) at some of the stuff he was doing. Anyone who doesn't think that this is real musical talent really has to see one of these shows and understand what's going on there. I'd wager that a turntable is the most difficult instrument to master. I couldn't believe the stuff he made it do!

    In short, I was glad we went.

    In other news, I FINALLY checked out the Distillery District for the International Circus Festival.

    This meant 2 things:
    1. I got to see some pretty cool performers
    2. I got to try out Balzac's coffee again!

    Since I'm cutting down my coffee intake, I had to really hold out for the whole rest of the day, just to partake. It was hot and strong - just like I like it. FINALLY!

    I also managed to try some of Soma Chocolate's freshly churned lemon ice gelato ("artisan gelato churned everyday in our chocolate lab" - seriously, what does that really matter?). (No, I didn't try the chocolate - I had priorities!) The lemon ice was tart and refreshing and expensive and it's now making my mouth water just thinking about it. Did you know that the secret of good gelato is that it's very dense and flavourful? Anyway, I guess that's why it costs more than a whole 2-litre tub of Chapman's ice cream.

    And if you've held on throughout all this talk of food, I think it's fair to say that you're rather interested in me and deserve to know the BIGGEST news of the weekend: I BOUGHT A COUCH!

    My good friend and style aficionado, Anita, had recommended the place she got her couch to me. She got a custom-made futon couch that's gorgeous for really cheap. So I finally got around to paying them a visit.

    And now I, too, will have a custom-made pull-out loveseat for my darling apartment! I'm so excited!

    I'm a little nervous about the fabric I picked - it should be interesting to see how it will look with my green walls and blue kitchen chairs. But I got it all, plus delivery, for $560! Damn I love it when I'm a good shopper!

    Now, this place is a little out of the way, but it's so worth it. If you need a couch, pay Tony a visit at Liberty Home Furnishings - 2906 Dundas Street West. It's so cool, they don't even have a website.

    Thursday, July 21, 2005

    Just got back from rollerblading (rather, inline skating) with Anita. Totally awesome.

    I need to do this stuff more often.

    Sometimes I don't feel like I really take advantage of all the things that Toronto has to offer. The path from Queen's Quay out to the west is fantastic!

    We stopped to watch the rowers and dragon boaters for a long time, just chatting away. It was such a gorgeous evening, and even though we were in the "middle" of the city, it all seemed so far away. I feel great.
    I'm trying to wean myself off caffeine in preparation for a doctor-recommended detox diet. It's been two weeks and it's giving me migraines.

    Addiction is a very sad thing.

    Even sadder is the fact that I actually FEEL crappy. I don't have that little bit of relaxation when I have my first cup of coffee in the morning. Even though I know coffee does not relax me, I FEEL that I am more relaxed when I have it. Much like any type of regular smoker. It is the psychological aspect that I'm addicted to.

    However, I'm persevering.

    Monday, July 18, 2005

    Thank you Raye, for my very first 30th-birthday celebration. Yummy Thai food and Much Ado About Nothing in High Park, girly conversations out on the patio at the Kiwi bar nearby. Could it have been MORE of my favourite things?

    And now she'll be off to Halifax for the year. Boo!
    But at least I get to visit her there - Yay!

    Thursday, July 14, 2005

    Something is wrong with me. I feel like something is missing. And yet, I feel like there is way too much going on and am horribly anxious.

    My mind is spinning.
    Sometimes I wish I could just walk over to my friend's house and hang out and laugh and feel comfortable.

    Since that's not possible, I'll just try to think of what I really like to do - what would make me feel better and go do it. Like Raye would.

    Wednesday, July 13, 2005

    I totally love Boston, even when I'm just there on business.

    We flew in last night, staying at a ratty Howard Johnson near Fenway (not recommended), only to wake up early for a meeting with our client.

    I suppose the meeting went better than I expected, although there's a lot of work ahead of me. No surprise, I suppose.

    We discovered a really great eco-transportation service (totally recommended) that uses hybrid vehicles. I wish they had this service in Toronto!

    And we ate a pretty good restuarant for lunch, Stephanie's. I had a very satisfying cup of clam chowder and an amazing seared-tuna salad. Mmm!

    Of course, Air Canada then delayed our flight, so I sat in the airport writing up meeting notes and then had a very interesting conversation with the Account Director about my professional life. I love conversations with genuinely smart people. They're quite inspiring.

    And now I'm back in the over-heated city, over-tired and a bit lonely.

    * * *

    Dear Raye: I like you. Thanks for the talk!

    Sometimes, I just really need to talk.

    Saturday, July 09, 2005

    Outside, it is a gorgeous summer day with the Toronto Street Festival raging outside my door. And where am I?

    And I spent the day with my parents making a cute little table, putting up a curtain rod, making curtains and then, after they left, cleaning, putting together a shoe rack and unwrapping my full-lenth mirror.

    I'm pretty excited about the bright new curtains and my newly intalled air conditioner!

    I even got to feed my parents at my new cute table!

    And now Sarah is on her way to being the first person to see my place. Lucky girl!