Friday, January 28, 2005

Last night, Sarah and I went to the Me to We seminar, put on by Craig and Mark Kielburger, in association with the Learning Annex.

It was good, although targeted at younger people since their organization, Free the Children, is targeted at mobilizing young people to become leaders in global citizenship.

However, it renewed the inspiration the movement had for me when I read the book. And what did I do today?

Clicked on the Hunger Site. Come on, you can do it too. All you have to do is click the button every day (or even just today) and you will feed people who need it.

Let me know if you do it.
It will make me feel good to know that I even made one small difference today.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

I know, I keep talking about food.

But, when you get home from gym at 9pm and eat infront of your computer while you blog, you really can't help yourself.

And right now I'm helping myself to some celery and peanut butter. MMMMmmm!

OK, to be honest, it has nothing to do with the celery. The celery is really just a delivery mechanism for the peanut butter. It's for those times when I really crave the peanut butter and I want to pretend I'm eating something healthy.

I think I've been doing quite well on the health front - I think I might have actually lost some weight. I went home and tried on some pants that didn't fit me when I got back from Australia last March and suddenly they were slipping over the hips again! How exciting!

It might not be that I'm healthy exactly - not, at least, all the time - but that in general I try to take the healthy choice, that I try not to overindulge very often and when I do want the decadence, then I don't eat that AND the other regular stuff.

And, then there's the 1/2-hour walk to work every day. I suppose that has a little to do with it.

Probably a little less to do with the chocolate that I keep eating. Not to mention peanut butter dinners. Mmmm.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Ohmygosh, I think I mentioned my mom's beef and barley soup in my last post, but I wasn't eating it at the time and I might have under-emphasized its impact.

Seriously, this is some yummy soup.

I was very happy to come home to an empty, quiet apartment (dishes CLEAN in the dishwasher!) to discover a margarine container in the fridge filled with rich, homemade goodness that I'd forgotten my mom had sent home with me.

So, not only was I able to make it to the gym for a magnificent run that made me feel so alive, I am also chowing down on something wholesome for once.

(I don't wanna talk about the Clods that are sitting on my counter over there...)

Sunday, January 23, 2005

I had a lovely weekend at home!
I was quite sick but I'm feeling much better, although my throat still hurts.

I ate well, of course, as my mom made all my favourites: homemade fries, apple pie, squash buns and beef/barley soup. Mm!

We went shopping for a couch and new carpet for their living room, even in the middle of a -35C blizzard! It was great - I think we found a couch they really like that's located in their town, even. I can't remember if I've mentioned this here before, but it's really quite important to try to shop local. Support your community by supporting the local small businesses. It's the best thing for the economy and the environment.

I'm very excited for their new room that will be coming to life in February! They live in an old farmhouse and probably redo one major thing per year. It's starting to look really great!

And it's just so peaceful there. I sat by the woodstove and read my Alternatives magazine. Great magazine; you should read it.

Sadly, I didn't want to come back to Toronto.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

I had dinner with my friend Anita tonight. It was nice. We went for really yummy Thai food where I found my new favourite soup of all time.

We talked about life, love and websites.
Then we went to her house to talk more about her redesign that I'm going to do. It's going to be a lovely website I'm sure! Can't wait to find time to fit that into my schedule!

And I'm sick and have a headache -- probably a migraine.
And no migraine medication. WHY aren't there online docs who will just prescribe me what I need?!

OK, Ms. Complainy-pants is putting herself to bed now.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Lots to report; where do I start?

Well, I had a bone scan done today. My wrists are not healing well and the doctor wants to rule out any misbehaving. I'm sure I'm fine, but for those who've never had a bone scan done before, here's what you can expect.

Step 1: go in, have a nice soft-spoken man poke you with a needle.
Step 2: place hands (or other body part as the case may be for you) on the "scanner".
Step 3: wait 1.5 minutes for the scan.
Step 4: go out and drink your face off for 2 hours (I had coffees and shopped at the conveniently-situated Winners next door). Buying too much is optional (although some would disagree).
Step 5: pee a lot.
Step 5: go back, place purchases to the side, and wait for 3 more scans of said body part.
Step 6: I forgot to mention as step pre-1: don't stay up watching Sexy Spies ("Alias") or you'll really need the coffee you're drinking.

I didn't go to choir practice last night because I was sick. I'm having coughing problems again, much like I had when I was in Melbourne last Christmas. (Speaking of which, I just got a lovely email from David who is heat-soaked at the moment, the bastard.) Anyway, although I couldn't make it to practice, I found out that the choir is going to Prague in August 2006 to perform for 3 weeks and if I stick with the choir, then I'll be going too! How exciting is THAT?! Assuming, of course, that I can get rid of this annoying throat thing.

I was supposed to go to the gym tonight as part of my 3-week pass, but I couldn't make it happen.

  • too sick
  • too tired (from aforementioned Sexy Spies)
  • too much laundry to do

    So, instead I walked home through the ridiculously cold. Have I mentioned how damn COLD it is in Canada? Seriously, who thought that people should live in -33C weather? I'm just glad that I don't live in Ottawa or Quebec where I'm sure it is worse. Although my mom just reminded me that Winterlude is coming up in Ottawa, so I'm sure to freeze my butt off up there in a couple of weeks. At least they try to convince you that winter is fun over there. Here in Toronto we just shiver and swear silently (or audibly if you're on the TTC).

    Then, I got to come home to my messy house (I haven't been home much lately and I refuse to play maid this time, although I did put out the garbage as it was overflowing and smelling of rotting food) and turn on my computer to catch up on emails.

    Newsletter from Raye! Leave it to her to compare the tsunami with Brad-and-Jennifer! Raye has a knack.
  • Sunday, January 16, 2005

    After the noise of everyday life, I really cherish the silence of my apartment.

    No music, no voices.

    Only the click of the heater and the slight moan of the wind against the windows.

    Sometimes I fantasize that I am alone in the world. It sends a chill up my spine and loosens the knot in between my shoulders.

    I am sick.

    I'm supposed to go to choir practice tomorrow, but I'm having coughing fits and feel like crap.

    I spent the whole weekend geeking out on the couch, watching Sexy Spies (you might know it as "Alias"). Great show. I'm totally addicted. Watched the entire second season plus a bit of the third all this weekend. Whew - total marathon!

    Also managed to get out for a steak dinner later than most people ever go out for dinner. The Keg is always open. And they have fantastic escargot sauce.

    Saturday, January 15, 2005

    Went to the Women's Health Matters Forum and Expo yesterday.

    I went to two really interesting seminars: one about the media's coverage of women's health issues and one about relationships.

    What I got out of the media panel discussion was that conventional media's hands are tied by the conventions of their medium. In TV and radio's case, it's about the milisecond sound-bite. Similarly, in newsprint, it's brevity, although it does offer a little more depth. Magazines, my specialty and personal love, often offer even more, but even so they can't be everything to everyone. They still need to deliver information that is palatable to the consumer, meaning a low reading level and an even lower understanding of science and medecine. Which is all very frustrating for the many women who crave indepth intelligent coverage and discussion of somewhat complicated health issues.

    All the media figures pointed to the internet as a great source for this type of information. I was so proud of what I do, since I know that the information my company does is written by people who actually understand the issues, not just a regular journalist who happens upon a convincing press release.

    I feel even more the importance of what I do: leading the direction of about 90% of Canada's online health information.

    Tuesday, January 11, 2005

    So last night I decided to try something new.

    I joined the Ryerson Choir. My friend Tree has been a member for a while now and she invited me to come out.

    So I thought, well, I love to sing, and she assured me it wasn't that hard... why not?

    I recruited my friend Jessica, who also loves singing. I figured, great, at least I won't be a rookie on my own.

    So we get there, and the choir master, made us sing in front of everyone. I thought I would die. I'm sure you're thinking "but if you're joining a choir, clearly you must like singing in front of people." But think about it. A choir means many people's voices are smooshed together so no one can tell which one is you.

    There was no hiding in this room.
    Do the scale, do it right, or "you're fired!"

    So I'm feeling some butterflies smashing into my ribcage. Perhaps a few birds fluttering up against my heart and pecking my lungs out. Nothing serious. A drop of sweat trickles down my temple.

    Jess sings.
    God, she is GOOD. Damnit. She's been in a choir before.

    I sing.
    Oh, was that me? Is there an animal living down there? The high notes stick in my throat. OH god, oh god.

    And then he tells me to go sit with the sopranos.
    The sopranos, for goddessakes!

    I buy the music book and sit between Tree and Jess (also sopranos, damn them). The piano starts.

    They sing. I site there with my mouth hanging open.
    I can't read music!
    They're all reading music!

    Crap. It's all over for me, I'm thinking. They're going to kick me out unless I produce some sound.

    So I make a sound. And quickly stop as it reaches my ear. Ooooh, not good. Did that croak come out my MY mouth?

    I learn to mouth the words.

    Next week: Mouth the words with passion.

    Monday, January 10, 2005

    Had a lovely ski trip with my mom on the weekend at Hockley Valley.

    I think I'm going to buy my own second-hand equipment. Otherwise, this skiing thing gets bloody expensive!!

    I also bought my tickets to Calgary for April 1st for my big family ski trip. All the airlines (JetsGo, WestJet and Tango) are having these great sales on now, so we got pretty good flight prices. Very very excited about my cool ski vacation!

    Saturday, January 08, 2005

    Last night I went with a couple of my colleagues to a night of salsa dancing at Lula Lounge. It was awesome! For $10, you get a lesson, a night of dancing and a great live band.

    Even though it was my first night of dancing, I had fun trying out my new steps and trying trying trying to FEEL the music and just move to it. It's tough work!

    Of course there were people who really knew how to dance. But there were a lot of beginners. I even got asked to dance by a bunch of guys, which was great fun. No matter how much I sucked, I still had fun.

    I can't wait to learn more!

    Thursday, January 06, 2005

    You know, I just realized that I didn't have any olliebollen over the holidays! My uncle even came over and we had a big discussion ABOUT olliebollen and what a fantastically non-healthy Dutch treat it is. And still, NO olliebollen.

    Other disappointments of the holidays:
  • didn't get to see all of my friends.
  • not enough singing christmas carols.
  • didn't get to watch A Christmas Carol
  • didn't get to over-decorate our family christmas tree. Had to settle for doing it to my own.

    But all in all, I did get to do the most important thing: open presents. ;)
    No, honestly, spend time with my family. And do a lot of nothing.
  • Oh crap.
    My site is down AGAIN. Remind me that I should really change hosting providers. Remember my previous post on hosting providers? Yes, well, don't use GoWebServer. Or, if you do, go for the good package so that they treat you like a human being who needs up-time.

    On the happy side, the computer-geek at work (part of my contract specifies that I'm not allowed to mention anyone's name specifically) came home with me to fix my computer (actually, my network card). And he did! However, I was sad to discover that it was the easiest, stupidest problem I could think of... the cable wasn't in right.


    How to fix network card problems:
    Step 1: check that it's plugged in properly.
    Step 2: check that your brain is in the ON position.

    So now I'm doing laundry and eating Pillsbury crescent rolls to celebrate.
    Celebration of champions.

    Tuesday, January 04, 2005

    I have discovered how I can help.

    I am helping organize When Music Speaks, a benefit concert for the tsunami victims.

    Alex started organizing it, thinking it would be a small affair and it has snowballed, thanks to the help and enthusiasm of friends.

    It feels good to do something good. Something that could be a BIG something good. It feels good to be able to make something important happen.

    Sunday, January 02, 2005

    Last day of the blessed Christmas holidays.

    Yesterday, I went to a New Year's Day eating extravaganza at Alex's sister's place. Lovely place, really nice people, way too much good food. I even played Trivial Pursuit Pop Culture edition. And knew some answers.


    And, best of all, I got to play Barbies with a 5-year-old cutie pants.

    Today, one last chance to spend my holidays frivolously.

    * * *

    Ohmygosh, the best part of today was where I realized that today is Monday and I don't have to work tomorrow! However, tomorrow is still NOT going to be another frivolous day of watching the "What Not to Wear" marathon (although is that REALLY frivolous? I picked up a lot of great tips).

    * * *

    Ohmygosh, the worst part of today was about 2 seconds ago when I randomly checked my work email and calendar and discovered that I might be supposed to go to work tomorrow. And Alex had me convinced that it was a day off... so I checked the Ontario Public Holidays and found out that New Year's Day is an official holiday and since that was on the weekend, shouldn't we then have Monday off?

    Saturday, January 01, 2005

    Happy New Year to all my friends and family!

    May we all fulfill at least one more dream in our journey this year. May we live for the happiness of each other.