Friday, February 24, 2006

One more sleep (if you can call it that) until my ski vacation!

We're off to the airport at 5am tomorrow. Ugh. And then we'll be in Calgary.

It'll be nice to see Jen. It'll be nice to hang out with Matt, too, as I don't get to see him much. And so my mom doesn't feel that I don't like her if she reads this, I should point out that I've been on 3 vacations in a year WITH my mom (last ski vacation, the Netherlands and St. Maartin). I'm really happy she'll be there to ski with since she and I are about the same calibre: mediocre and happy about it.

This year, we'll be trying out some new places: Fernie, Kimberly, possibly Castle Mountain. I think we'll be returning to some old favourites as well: Sunshine and Kicking Horse.

I have two worries:
  1. I've only been out skiing once this year so I could suck
  2. I've been having trouble with my back so just one wrong move could wreck everything

But no matter what happens, I'm sure I'll have fun reading and writing and being out in the gorgeous Rockies.

Luckily, Jaap is staying at my place for a couple of days so he can water my plants in my absence and drink my milk before it goes bad.

He might still be there when I get back, but he might have finally figured out what he wants to do next and might be gone. It was weird saying goodbye to him today; not knowing if I will see him again. I have a feeling that I will see him, though. He's a good friend and a fantastic travelling companion, so maybe we will travel together again. Plus, he has a very cute dad who knows how to use Messenger.;)

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Skate Ensemble 2006

Skate Ensemble 2006
Originally uploaded by webgoddesscathy.
Sarah, Jaap and I went skating last night at Nathan Phillips Square.

It's kind of a Toronto institution, and even though it's hardly the Rideau Canal, it's the only fun thing I could think to do in Toronto in the winter. I mean, since Jaap missed our winter festival, there's not a whole lot going on.

However, he might go to the Sugarbush Maple Syrup Festival in Stouffville next week. That would be a truly Canadian activity for him!
To see the other photos from our skate outing (unfortunately, there are no photos of my amazing backwards skating abilities!) click here.
Canadians and their Olympic hockey.

There are several guys here who have been watching the game from the auditorium downstairs - we've been broadcasting the game this afternoon for all of our tenants. There's one guy who has his computer set to a blog that gives him updates as they happen.

Every once in a while someone calls out the score.

"Nothing-Nothing at the start of the third period."
"1-0 - Russia scored."
"Oh no!"
"Don't' worry, it's early yet"
"2-0 - it's over."

And now it is over and we're going home.
Why am I so sad? I don't even watch hockey, generally.

But there's something about Canadians that gets all tied up in Olympic hockey fever.

You know, today we won 3 medals in speed skating, a medal in cross-country skiing and our men were guaranteed a medal in curling. And all I can think about is that our hockey team is going home.

Monday, February 20, 2006

OMG, Margaret Atwood just passed by my desk!

The excitement never ends at MaRS.
(In equally exiting news, I just ate two free yummy blueberry danishes for lunch.)

I hope someday, someone will be as excited about being in close proximity to me.

Is it worthwhile, I wonder, to have done the hard work required to get myself to that level of notoriety? Does she notice or care that people get slightly star-struck by her?

If I were to be a "star" I would certainly want it to be on the terms by which she has accomplished Canadian stardom. She's done it soley on brains and talent. It must feel good to be so validated in something you're passionate about. To have mastered a craft so completely that you can pretty much do it forever and have it open doors to other things that you've always wanted to do...

Maybe it is all worth it afterall.

* * *

Turns out that Margaret Atwood is an inventor and was actually using the MaRS Business Resource Centre!

I hope she finds our services to be useful. I'm sure she knows a lot of people who are willing to help her out, since she is well connected. Most of the non-famous inventors who come to us find that this is where MaRS offers the most value: networking opportunities.

I certainly don't begrudge her the advantage: take it where you can get it! I hope that other Canadian inventors are inspired by her story. I love that her idea came from something so simple as a need that she had to fill. I suspect that there is a story brewing here for the MaRS Portal.

Every day I think that I made the right choice to come here - I am learning so much. Perhaps one day I, too, will be inspired to bring my idea to the MaRS Business Resource Centre. I'm just waiting for the idea.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Of course I chose one of the coldest days to finally get out on the slopes.

My mom and I managed to get out to Mount St. Louis Moonstone yesterday.

We brushed off all our equipment and put on every last piece of warmth. Mom finally bought her battery-heated ski boots and wanted to try them out before we go to Calgary on our ski vacation. At least her feet were warm and comfortable.

And I remembered how to ski - a miracle! The lesson that I took last year at Sunshine came back to me.

And my back that has been killing me for the past couple of weeks didn't act up too badly. It's a little stiff, but I can't tell whether it's from the skiing or the run I went for on Thursday night.

I think I'm in good shape for our ski trip out west. And excited!

Now I'm doing my laundry and cleaning house for my guest who arrives tomorrow. Jaap is returning to Toronto! It's probably a good time anyway, since Alex will be busy the entire week and it will at least keep my mind off the fact that I've only seen him for a 1.5 hours in the past week and that I won't see him at all for the next two. Strange for a couple who live in the same city.

OK, I need to get back to the cleaning and cooking to take my mind off the stupidity of my personal life. Blogging about it just makes me sad.

Anyone have any good ideas for things to do with my guest in Toronto next week?

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Beef has been given a bad rap for a long time. But today I was pleasantly surprised to find that my ultra-yummy Beef Sukiyaki dinner from Bento Nouveau is actually lower in calories, fat and sugar than the salmon and chicken teriyaki.

I was really surprised. I usually choose chicken or fish because I think it has less fat.

Has beef really become that much more lean than other meats, due to pressure from health nuts (and those legitimately concerned about cholesterol, etc)? Or was there just less meat in total in the beef version? (Although I saw the salmon and it looked SMALL).

Still, I'm quite happy about the nutritional value of my meal today. I think it was actually better than the soup deal at Tim Hortens (mostly due to the 300-calorie apple fritter that I love so much or that super-yummy fatmobile, the cream cheese danish).

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

I feel unproductive. How does one get back to feeling organized and productive? I think I need a motivation course.

I was feeling crappy last night, but I found a friend to hang out with on V-day afterall. It was an unexpected treat!

I had lunch with Jane today and we had, as always, a great talk.

I've found another friend to hang out with tonight as well. Perhaps if I stay busy I'll start to feel more energetic.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Word of the day:

n. public display of rejection: when your valentine takes you somewhere lovely only to break your heart in front of strangers.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Skating on the Rideau Canal in Ottawa is about as romantic a tradition as one can get in a count

That's where I was yesterday - skating in the sunny winter afternoon. Skating badly, but skating nonetheless. I even learned how to skate backwards... sort of.

So tonight, for my Valentine's date, Alex and I are going skating in Toronto. Very exciting!

Even though it's a lot of driving to go to Ottawa for the weekend, it's always worth it. Jaap has been staying with my brother in Ottawa for a week or so now, so I got to see him, which was nice. And of course I got to catch up with Will.

But the nicest surprise was visiting my cousin Jason and his patner Krystal and their two kids, Balin and Durin. I am totally in love; Balin is the most energetic loving little kid! He showed me his toys and we played Mr Potato Head and lots of pretend. He loved having someone to play with and covered me in kisses. I now totally want a baby. Sigh. OK, maybe not a baby exactly, but a three-year-old would be nice.

I guess for now I'll have to make do with a boyfriend. It's almost the same thing ;)

Thursday, February 09, 2006

It's finally winter.

Flakes of snow blowing around, icy sidewalks, sharp winds blowing down your jacket.

And I chose today to go for a walk with Sarah?

It was wonderful.

I bundled up, wearing my big ski jacket and I twirled the big, soft scarf my friend crocheted for me around my neck and face about three times. I even put away the fleece gloves in favour of the Christmas fleece mitts. If I'd just worn my heavy duty winter hiking boots, I would have been fine.

But no, I decided to wear my regular nice brown shoes because they went with my brown cords. I know: ridiculous! And I paid for it with cold toes.

But we warmed up at Sarah's after a two-hour urban hike and she made a yummy, healthy dinner for us.

And I'm sure it seemed like I hadn't spoken to anyone in days because such a stream of verbal diarrhea poured from my mouth that I feared I wouldn't ever stop.

I love to talk and I actually don't get much chance. I mean, what with sitting in front of a computer all day, my extremely talkative boyfriend and sitting in front of the computer many nights, I don't really have much opportunity.

That's why it was really great to talk to my friend Raye earlier this week, even though she's having a bit of a rough time and did most of the talking. It felt good to just be there for her.

I must admit, I'm rather bad about staying in touch with my friends sometimes. I don't like that. I love my friends and want to be more communicative and active with them. With many people, however, I'm usually the one who makes all the effort and it starts to wear on me after a while. But it's worth it - friends make life worth it.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The TTC never fails to surprise me with their lack of ability to respond to a crisis.

This morning, after hearing on the radio that the subway was closed from York Mills to Bloor, I figured I'd have to take one of the "shuttle" buses that were running down Yonge St.

Now, it should be known that there are ALWAYS buses running down Yonge Street.

So I watched as bus after bus passed by without even stopping because they were too full. Good times. Strike one.

So I walked down to Eglinton Station, thinking to catch a bus across Eglinton and get on the University line. I enter Eglinton and hear a subway running down below. Interesting - why wasn't there any signage letting people know that the subway was running again? Strike two.

So I go down to the subway platform. After 10 minutes, an empty subway train passes the packed platform. Five minutes later, another train stops, packed at the doors, and in the middle of the car, jackasses leisurely reading their paper with 5 body lengths between them and the next person. We wouldn't want them to catch a cold by touching the person next to them, now, would we?

Denied. Wait for the next train.

The next train is also full, but by now people need to get on ANY train and don't care if they need to body surf to do it. Caught near the doors, I am carried along by the push from behind into the car. People inside shoot me dirty looks. Because apparently they're too precious to stand in the middle. They need to be closer to the door so that they can get out 20 stops down the road. Grr.

Strike three, four, five?

Seriously, the TTC knows exactly how much traffic they have at that time of the morning. Surely, they could have made a little better effort at getting people to work. This is their JOB and people depend on them for it.

To be fair, it's not just the TTC that upsets me, it's the people. It's the prim little middle manager in the centre of the car, standing arm's length away from the next person, who lives in Richmond Hill in a huge house, got on at Finch station and whose taxes don't even pay for him to use MY transit system but who will readily deny me access if it means his suit won't get wrinkled.

Jerk. Get off my train or start paying for it.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Day One of my vow not to eat pastries: miserable failure.

Pastries eaten: 3.

Number of backs that feel better after eating said pastries, despite this being the convincing reason for such indulgence: 0

Must get back to remedy-producing drawing-board.

Number of smiles produced in past 10 minutes by smelling my yellow roses: 2

Must peace-keeping flowers still smell so sweet? Would prefer holding valiant passionate grudge instead of having insides turned to girly mush by oldest trick in the book.
I am old.

Well, I mean, let's check the symptoms:

  • tired all the time
  • wrinkles (I saw them all around my eyes today, why did I look so closely?)
  • forget everything (I hope I left my cell phone at work)
  • walking hunched over with small, limpy steps

    Clearly I am old.

    I was running on the treadmill on Saturday and suddenly my back just screamed "I'M DONE - STOP!" and just... well, freaked out. I can barely walk or sleep or sit. Very uncomfortable.

    So that lady hobbling down the road at a meter per hour? Ya, that's probably me.
  • Friday, February 03, 2006

    "You have cool taste in music."

    That's what he said. And I will remember it. I fairly glowed with pleasure.

    Coming from such a snob, it's no wonder that I should feel so affected a seemingly innocent, careless sort of comment. But these words were not given lightly. And so I do not take them lightly.

    There are people out there, notably my friend Scott of RaptorBlog fame, who do not agree with the assessment.

    I do believe his diatribe including the phrase, "you have the WORST taste in music" has stuck with me for about 10 years. My ever-so-eloquent come-back ("in YOUR opinion" - god, I embarass myself) was a feeble attempt to cover up my injured pride.

    However, the recent compliment did include a qualifier: it is the most chilled-out cool music collection on record. Touché.

    And I can't get enough. Even now, I praise internet radio and especially radioAmbient for its ability to satiate my appetite.

    To be honest, I can't find a radio station that has quite my collection mix in rotation. And so I continue to collect oddities from LimeWire. I suspect it will soon be time to start up my own internet radio show.

    Ha, right. Right after I finally find the spare time for that long-awaited redesign...
    Based on a recommendation from Deespot, I checked out my site on Sitening.

    I got a 70 out of 100.
    Not great.

    However, not too bad when you consider what Deespot reported - he also got 70 and that's considered "average". Now, I would like to point out that I'm no longer working as either a developer or in a technical capacity and he is a technical lead or something cool like that.

    So that leads me to feel not as bad.
    Although I'll be taking a look at this report and making some adjustments in the nearish future.

    I mean, for goddessakes, isn't it important that my personal site rank well in the search engines? ;)
    Seriously, what will people do if they can't find my genuis in their search results?