Thursday, June 29, 2006

Oh my gosh. I am moved in my house!

The boxes tower over me from every direction, but several hours ago, Alex and I stood in the kitchen with all of our things around us and I suddenly started crying. I couldn't believe that I was in MY house. OUR house. My god. Holy crap.

This house is mine.

And now begins the real work.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

I decided to take the day off to pack (I actually stayed up super late last night packing and completed most of it this morning) and do some more painting before we move in.

Painted the upstairs bedrooms Jalapeno Pepper. Interesting shade of green. It certainly pops next to the lilac colour that the previous owner favoured (insert gag).

My friend Sara (with no 'h') helped me paint, which was a total godsend as we were able to get 2 coats in both rooms! However, we didn't have any white to finish the other 2 walls in the bedrooms so that they won't be OVERWHELMINGLY diarrhea colour. That will have to wait until after we move in.

We got some plastic over all of the reno refuse in the back before the downpour started so that it wouldn't become a sopping mess or float away before we had a chance to dispose of it.

Painting can be such total fun but it's all the prep and clean-up work that kind of spoils it. Too bad - it's a pleasant mindless activity otherwise.

I'm finishing up my final packing and I actually think I'm going to be OK. Alex, on the other hand, I cannot speak for. You'd never have known that I would be so calm this morning, though. I began the typical Cathy-panic that goes with every move. Alex was typically very good at calming me down.

The big day has arrived and I must turn off my computer so that I can pack it up too. Exciting - tomorrow night I'll be sleeping in my own house!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Busy days.


  • close on the house 4:30pm, complete with more faxes and emails and phone calls and close calls
  • 6:05pm meet with and receive keys from lawyer
  • Walk to new house
  • 8pm Alex and his friend, Mike, arrive with ceramic tile remover tool.
  • remove as much broken tile from the kitchen as possible without the benefit of a receptacle
  • lock up house around midnight after not being able to find a Home Depot that's open late
  • in bed at 1am


  • up at 6am
  • get crap together to bring to the house
  • 8am, arrive at the house to let the flooring guy, Ed, in
  • 8:15am, get Ed to drive me and the tile removing tool back to the Home Depot
  • 9:15am, back at the house, start stripping the banister
  • 1pm, fall asleep for 20 minutes while Ed is nailing in the subfloor.
  • 1:30pm help Ed remove a layer of plywood and peel-and-stick from the back room so that the hardwood will lie flat when installed.
  • 2:30pm continue stripping banister
  • More banister stripping
  • 5pm, Alex arrives home from work, drives to Home Depot for more supplies
  • 6pm, eat Dairy Queen Georgia Mud Fudge Blizzard
  • 6:05pm, Cathy and Alex buy whipper snipper from neighbourhood garage sale for $20
  • 6:15pm, Alex takes our first yard tool to the jungle around our fence
  • 7:30pm, Alex goes to his band rehearsal space to load up the van for their show the next day. Cathy continues to strip the banister and sing to the radio.
  • 10:30pm, getting worried, Alex is not back
  • 11:30pm, Alex returns and removes the carpet from 2 of 4 spots in the house in prep for carpet installation the next day. He ran into Pride Weekend traffic.
  • 1:30am, bed


  • Wake up at 7am - late!
  • Rush around, trying to get all the necessary things together
  • 9am arrive at the house
  • 9:05am, resume banister stripping (the bane of my existence)
  • 10am, carpet installers arrive and banister stripping ends
  • 10:10am, yardwork begins
  • Pick up garbage from the lawn
  • Borrow the neighbour's mower, mow my lawn for the first time!
  • Sweep the porch
  • Alex's family arrives - suprise! - from Oshawa. Give them the tour.
  • Walk with Alex's nieces to get pizza for the carpet and hardwood floor guys.
  • Eat pizza and talk about what we want to do with the house with family.
  • 4pm, thank the family for coming and apologize that Alex isn't home yet.
  • Weed the garden - do I know what's a weed and what's not?
  • 7pm, Alex arrives back from his show, Ed leaves without taking all of the reno trash with him in the van.
  • Alex and Cathy clean up and walk over to say hello to neighbours. Get stuck at the neighbours, talking about their renovations and our plans.
  • 9:30pm, finally leave.
  • 10:00pm check out paint colours online and call in our paint order to my mom
  • 11:15pm bed


  • go to work
  • mom and Alex paint
  • 6pm, arrive at the house with dinner for all
  • go to home depot for supplies
  • tape the ceiling, kitchen cupboards, baseboards
  • paint the upper reaches of the staircase, perched precariously on a ridiculous ladder
  • 10pm return stair-ladder to Home Depot
  • 10:30pm return to apartment, mom drives home - thanks Mom!
  • Cathy packs
  • 11:15pm bed


  • 7am wake up
  • meetings all day
  • 5pm leave work with boxes; pick up more boxes on way home
  • pack, pack, pack until I sleep

I think we all know my thoughts on packing.

Friday, June 23, 2006

I am officially a home-owner!
The day is here. Closing Time.

The Cheques are off. The Documents are signed. The faxes are sent.

It's incredible how this all came together. I was a little apprehensive, but this morning, it just all happened. Bang bang bang done.

Now all I'm waiting for are the keys.

Holy crap.

And then I will unlock the door and step into my house.

And tear up the floors. But that's another story.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Big Day - lawyer day.

Unfortunately, when I asked the lawyer two days ago what I had to bring to this meeting, he said "nothing."

This morning I find out that I have to being The Cheques.

That has resulted in a LOT of last-minute running around to make sure that the money that was to be in my account by tomorrow morning is in my account by 2:30pm today.

All the stars have finally aligned except one.

Is this normal? Closing day is tomorrow. Why do I have to give the lawyer The Cheque tonight? And why didn't he tell me this earlier?

I'm sure he figured that I had all of this organized ages ago, because I'm such an organized person. I wish. This has been by far the messiest financial transaction that I've ever embarked on.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

2 more sleeps until I am a home owner!

And could things be going less smoothly? NO!

I don't know what happened. I forgot one thing: how long it takes for investments to become liquid and transfer into my regular bank account.

It all came upon me so fast.

I've spent the last couple of days working on financials and lawyers and all sorts of house crap. Tonight I desperately called out to a few friends, just to have someone to talk me down. And they did.

Don't worry, if I didn't call you, it's not that I don't like you. I just didn't make it that far in my contact list. If your name is high up in the alphabet, its likely I called you.

And you know what? I love my friends. They are good people. They are smart and they know me and they know what I need to hear.

Seriously, even those of you who didn't talk me down tonight - I thought about all of you as I was walking home. I thought about how much better I feel knowing that all of you are out there. That I have people that I can call when my partner is also a little overwhelmed and not up to the task of soothing my panic-stricken state.

It happens every time I move, I suppose. The panic, I mean. Only this time, it's MY HOUSE, for goddessakes. And a crap-load of money. Amd the prospect of owning with another human being. Trusting them with my life. The stakes are higher. The payoff higher, sure, but the consequences too.

It's a big step, all of this.
It's turning my stomach inside out more than any roller coaster ever could.

But I took a big step: I started packing. I took home boxes and filled them with books from my shelves. I sorted - I took the ones I don't want to the used bookstore and sold some. The rest I will drop off at the library tomorrow so that thousands of people will share these words and love the library like I do.

Now, if you know me, you know I hate packing. I hate the mess, the disorder. I have problems just throwing stuff in a box. But I promised myself that I'd start earlier this time, and I am.

Baby steps.
I'm going to make it.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Feeling kinda crappy?

Walk to your local park as the sun heads down the sky, as the heat is stripped from the air. Hear the children on the creaking swings, shrieking on the teeter totter. Watch the boys throwing the ball around, snatching it effortlessly with their fingertips, loping up and down the field. The dogs chase each other, delirious in the freedom of no leashes, splashing through the fountains, racing after a hastily thrown ball.

Trust me. Instant smile.
I found another new artist that I like: Andrea Revel. Canadian. Totally my kind of music.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

I watched "A River Runs Through It" tonight and something in the movie touched me:

Reverend Maclean says that we all say to ourselves:

"'We are willing help, but what, if anything, is needed?' For it is true we can seldom help those closest to us. Either we don't know what part of ourselves to give or, more often than not, the part we have to give is not wanted. And so it those we live with and should know who elude us. But we can still love them - we can love completely without complete understanding."

Is that much like asking to "be granted the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and to have the wisdom to know the difference" ?
I've been doing some work on my website this weekend (my travel section has been revamped and I've added a new section my trip to Nova Scotia in May). I just NOW realized that Flickr isn't everything I thought it was.

I can't actually put all my photos on there. They start to disappear after I have 200 up. So all this time, I've been happily uploading photos and they just disappear when I upload new ones. Well, this sucks.

Maybe there is a way around this, but I'm very sad at the moment because it means a HUGE amount of work is ahead of me if I want to get all my photos back onto my site.

Flickr is totally fired. What a piece of crap.
Last night, Sarah and I went to see a movie at Cinematheque Ontario, Love Streams.

I must say, although a night out with Sarah is always fantastic, it was likely the worst movie that I've ever paid money to see. I just didn't get it. And the best part was when I was waiting for the streetcar and a couple asked me if I'd seen the movie too.

"Did you hate it as much as I did?"

I try to keep an open mind about things. I do. I told the man that I figured that there was something I was missing; some sort of underlying principle that I wasn't aware of that would make everything make sense.

He laughed. "That's what they want you to think. It's like the Emperor's New Clothes. They want you to believe there's something wrong with you, not the film. They need to maintain the snooty artiste reputation of the film. But no," he said, "It's not you. It was the movie."

But I was determined to do some reading about the movie, since Cinematheque usually chooses quality artsy movies.

I'm really confused by this review of the film. And actually, all of these reviews as well.

This NY Times review tells it well, I think.

The explanation of love as a stream - a stream that never ends - is one that I can reflect on and have been thinking about lately. But other than that, and the well-played Jim the dog, I was left confused.

I just didn't get it.

Maybe it was a really great, border-breaking film for its time? I don't understand the context. If you have any idea what makes this a film that people rave about, let me know.

Friday, June 16, 2006

So there are people out there who are busier than I am (well, actually, I don't actually believe that anyone is busier than anyone else unless one of those people is just sitting there doing absolutely nothing when another is, I don't know, meditating or something)...

Anyway, there are a lot of busy people out there who also blog about things that are important to them. And, like me, they also find it a challenge to blog about ALL of the things that are important to them.

Interesting post. Interesting idea: personal blog assistants. Read it.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Last night, Alex's band, The Free Press had fantastic show at Revival.

The band was totally charming, engaging and together. It was a rocking night for them. Even though everything went wrong that could go wrong (guitar strings breaking, mikes falling, guitars plugged into light dimmers) the band played on and played BETTER for it. They were totally in the zone.

I also really like Red Light Riot and Mandippal Jandu.

The other bands were a bit out of my taste range, which is much like saying that urine is an acquired taste.

However, it was free, it was a great venue and the three bands were amazing!

Great night out, although I didn't get home until late, late, late and woke up early, early, early. Thus it is past my bedtime. I'm off...
I helped produce an interesting event today for the launch of Women in Technology's Toronto Chapter launch: Sharing What it Takes to Advance in your Career

The women on the panel were amazing ladies:
Smart. Confident. Driven. Witty.

I suppose I've heard similar words of advice in other events that I've been to, but I just needed a refresher -- some incentive.

  • choose jobs that scare you; that's where you'll learn the most
  • choose lofty goals; even if you only get halfway there, you're better off than if you'd chosen a modest goal
  • diversify yourself (don't get pigeon-holed)
  • network; you're always in sales - selling yourself
  • be confident and bold in your choices and others will follow
  • surround yourself with smart people, that way it doesn't matter how much you know
  • choose positions that get you somewhere - preferably somewhere closer to changing the world
  • don't be afraid to make mistakes; mistakes are the best opportunity to learn

I've been feeling a little comfortable - I need to push some personal boundaries. I need to get motivated again.

Women often feel that they need to be better, more educated, more of an expert, in order to be just as good as any guy in a job. In reality, it's the confidence that matters.

Dear god, I'm in trouble.
Earlier this week, I had dinner with my university roommates, one of whom I rarely see because she lives in Keswick, and it takes a little longer than I'd like to walk there. (For those of you who don't know where Keswick is, click here.)

Anyway, me and Anita got together with Ev and her kids for dinner.

I gotta tell ya, I got more than a little emotional.

Her kids are five and two and they're blond and adorable and smart and mischievous and fun. And I totally got all teary watching them and colouring in their colouring book at the table and talking to Ev about her family.

"Cath," she said in her wise way, "Your body is trying to tell you something."

Maybe. Maybe it really does want a baby. Or maybe it just wants her life, with its beautiful simplicity and focus on the stuff that's really important.

I really do want to thank the people who commented in my blogs lately. It's been really super helpful. I really do feel like I've lost my way sometimes.

I'm normally so motivated/driven and it feels weird to have no where to really direct that energy right now. Well, I'm directing it in a direction that it doesn't wanna go, I suppose.

Anyway, people all around me are having babies and taking care of their kids and I just feel an ache in my chest because I know that I could do it. I know it's hard and the thought of motherhood really scares the crap out of me, but it's something I know I want... someday.

I know that now is not the time. But, I still feel the pull when cute kids sit on their parents' laps and ask the most ridiculous questions and smile with abandon and feel completely safe just because mommy and daddy are nearby.

But I continue to try to reroute this misguided instinct. I continue to try to make my life into something that deserves something that wonderful to happen to it. And those efforts take me in all sorts of unexpected directions.

I hope that this is me growing and learning and not me stagnating.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Weekends are so strange lately.

My life is so different on the weekends, it becomes a very introspective time. Much like the cherished time I spent travelling.

Alex's band, The Free Press, had a show at the Rivoli as part of the North By Northeast music festival. It was a late, late show, playing after Fairfield, a band fronted by former Big Wreck artists.

I don't know if you remember Big Wreck, but they were an awesome band. A pretty tough act to follow. Sadly, it was not their best show and Alex was understandably upset.

He started talking about his dream. And said that he doesn't believe that anyone who's not IN this industry would understand his passion for his music career.

Of course I don't like to be told that I don't understand. I suppose I wouldn't mind if someone said "You don't understand what it's like to have cancer" or "have a baby" or "be Prime Minister" because they're right. I mean, I've had my brush with death but I didn't know it and didn't have to live with the knowledge that I was probably about to die. I've experienced pain, but have never created another human being nor had it fight to get out of my body through a very tiny opening. And I've lead projects and groups, but I've never been in a position in which every answer is the wrong one and is furthermore criticized openly by almost everyone in an entire country, plus a few foreigners.

But I have dreams, I protested in my head, don't I?

I panicked when I had trouble thinking about what I really want. It took some time. Some tearful moments of soul searching.

And I suddenly realized that many of the dreams I once had have been put on hold, forgotten or deliberately trashed.

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a performer. I didn't know what, exactly, but I wanted to be on stage. I would have been good at it, whatever it was. I guess I liked acting, although singing was great too but I just didn't have the training in it to do it well enough.

But I realized that this was a ridiculous dream. The road was hard and the end result, even if I did "make it", probably wasn't something that I really wanted anyway. Long hours, mean people, difficulties fitting in your family life.

Fine. So I focussed on something more... responsible. I was going to be a writer. I love writing. I wrote reams and reams of stuff when I was in my teens. I loved writing stories. I still have everything in binders, stashed somewhere in my bookcase, or under my bed at my parents' house.

And then I went to school and realized how many great writers there are. And that writing for a living is not what I thought it would be. Journalism was about business and manipulation and marketing, not about learning and rarely about telling a story.

So I didn't want to do it anymore.

Then I fell in love with the web and it was good. It didn't disappoint. And I did a good job and got promoted and learned and was interested and excited. But I'm not content to just be good. I want to be great. I don't think I've hit "great" yet.

So that is a dream: be great. Develop some "great" Web feature.

But I still love writing. Sometimes. When I feel it.

I don't think I want to do it for a living - although if someone would pay me to write what I write, then fantastic. But I don't think that's going to happen. So that leaves the question: what am I going to write to achieve my dream? A book? I wonder what it would be about. And who would read it.

But my soul cries out for it. Quietly. Because it is also plagued by self-doubt. And when I'm doubting that I CAN do something, I pretend that I don't WANT to do it.

I also want to travel. As I wrote in a comment in my last blog, I want to suck all their is to learn out of the land and its people, and that's not something you can do on a vacation. I want to live another life for a while to know what it's like. I want experience to teach me and change me.

But I made a decision to put aside my extensive travel dreams in order to achieve another, more important goal, which is a family. Of course, this is one goal I cannot achieve on my own, although I believe I'm doing the right things to make it possible.

So don't tell me that I don't understand dreams.
Maybe I'm just a little less passionate and a lot less stubborn. Maybe I give up too easily or I'm afraid of not finishing so I don't want to start. Maybe there is something out of my control that is preventing me from realizing my dream.

Of course I have dreams.
They are dead all around me.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

I just realized what a complete mess my site is. Broken links. Unfinished travel pieces. Ugh.

I sat down to do ONE SMALL THING.

It turned into about a hundred big projects. And here I am, geeking out after I just made fun of people who spend too much time on the Web.

I'm not done. Not by a long shot. In fact, I'm hating my site more than ever. I want to redo everything. But it's bedtime. And I really don't have the time to redo my website right now.

Unless there was a very cold, rainy long weekend coming up that no one told me about and all of my stuff decided to pack itself?

Friday, June 09, 2006

You've probably heard of speed dating? If you haven't, watch Hitch (that Will Smith romantic comedy that came out) or I can just describe it in less words than I've already used: talk to someone for 5 minutes, bell rings, rotate to the next person, repeat.

But have you heard of SpeedGeeking?

It's a type of unconference.

I found it when looking up the meaning of the word "unconference" (another of those "podcast" words that means something a lot more simple than it would seem: a conference driven by participants. AKA: a meeting? Why do geeks need to keep making up new words? And these so-called social networkers think they're all about open communication!?)

So, speedgeeking.
Now, I'm going to teach all of you non-tech-geeks (including myself, apparently, because I just read about this) something REALLY useful, so pay attention!

It's another way of meeting other geeks, naturally. And you also find out about the new nerdy ideas and projects that they're working on. It's supposed to focus on technology that's being used for social change, but I'm sure it's just any software that's mildly interesting. And really, though it's supposed to be about things that you're developing, if they don't have enough demo'ers, then you can demo something that you just, well, LIKE.

There are 2 sides to the groups: geekers (demo'ers) and participants (listeners/viewers).

I almost wish that I were nerdy enough to have something to demo.
I just can't figure out where most people find the time!

I find it odd that people in my industry - and I do love the Web - spend so much time on it. They build sites that no one really goes to. They post and post and post... about marketing and what's cool and what's happening and they make up new words.

And I really wonder why.
I mean, I suppose I'm a hypocrite because I blog too and that's maybe kind of nerdy and one might ask what the point is. But I've always had a journal and it's really no different. (OK, it's a little different because I still write the more personal stuff in my offline journal.)

But why has this sector become so hot, so saturated with the ultra-hip? And WHY, when all of this is supposed to democratize the Web, are we making up new words for things that can already be easily described?

I'll tell you why: we want to seem like we're better than everyone else because we're "in on it."

I salute people who are excited by these social technologies, as I salute anyone who's passionate about anything. I wonder if they've ever really thought about whether this is a worthwhile endeavour. If this is all about marketing, then I quit. But if this is just a fun hobby, then let's stop all this ridiculous hype.

Do quilters have the same cheerleading section and media coverage?
When they make money off of their creations, these artists and crafters, is anyone thinking that they're geniuses? Their quilting bees and conferences aren't so publicized. When a quilter makes a career of it, no one gets all crazy and says "ohmygosh, they discovered a new way of making a quilt, this is going to revolutionize bed coverings for generations to come!"

I mean: do they?

Admittedly, Web2.0 (another stupid term defined in an earlier post) is not the same thing. This is about communication, not linens. Still. This sense of self-importance is a bit much to take. It's just people doing their job.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

I've recently experienced several situations that exemplify the difference between entrepreneurial and collaborative personalities and attitudes.

They don't have to be opposing dispositions.
The company I work for is supposed to be both collaborative and entrepreneurial, attempting to merge the characteristics of both into the leaders and companies we support.

In the past, I have found that I am not one to exemplify the entrepreneurial spirit. I'm not certain exactly why that is. Perhaps I'm risk-averse or lack the confidence. But I don't think it's just that. I'm also not the best networker, self-promoter, nor do I really have the drive to do it.

So I suppose that I've thought that the this was a difficult quality to cultivate.

However, recently, I have been overwhelmed with the number of people in my life who espouse entrepreneurial characteristics. And I have found these same people to lack a collaborative attitude.

They seem to be very individual and attack problems on a "I can solve it, just leave me to it" kind of way.

I'm finding it frustrating, to be honest.
I'm a very collaborative type of person. I suppose that I've always thought this was easy. Turns out that it is not.

It is certainly difficult to collaborate with people who do not have the appropriate skills, do not want to share, or who simply let you down at every turn. How does one continue to collaborate with such people?


Explain what is bothering you and how it can be improved and wait while they get upset and/or deny that they have done anything wrong?
So, how was my birth of the AntiChrist day? (6-6-06)

I was sick. Very not feeling well.

But otherwise uneventful.

I'm looking at replacing my rollerblades with a comfortable version. Ya, they make them in non-feet-detroying flavours now! So I got a gift certificate to get some but had to leave the store after about 10 minutes due to overwhelming illness.

Spent the rest of the night sitting very still, sipping water.
Wishing I hadn't eaten that lukewarm chicken. Ugh.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Rainy days are fantastic excuses to stay inside and do all those things you've been meaning to do. OK, yes, they're otherwise known as chores. But I honestly feel a sense of calm creeping over me now that the bathroom and floors are clean, the dishes done, the groceries put away.

I've finished my LouLou (disappointing issue to tell you the truth - I think magazine quality really falters in the warm months) and I've read a couple chapters of my book "Away".

I haven't turned on the TV. I've just listened to the rain falling on my window (and less-romantically, on my air conditioner). The quiet is good.

I managed to get myself out of the house because I needed milk in order to make myself my precious coffee. So I picked up a bunch of things at the same time.

Grocery shopping such a different experience when you have the leisure to wander and consider new products and linger by the bakery, smelling the fresh bread and cakes coming out of the oven.

I also allowed myself to get distracted by the dresses in Le Chateau as well as the jewlery kiosk before stopping at the bagel shop for this week's stash of bagels: Cinnamon raisin and pumpernickel sesame.

And now I believe it may be time to make myself a smoothie before heading out to see a movie on my Saturday night. (I'm just itching to see XMen!)

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The latest update to Anita's website is done. Her music section has been redone.

There's another page to add to the section, but that will wait for tomorrow, because it is time for BED!

I had a nice walk, dinner and chat with Sara, one of the band girlfriends. Sometimes, when I talk to her, it's like we're the same person. I guess band girlfriends are usually in relationships with the same kind of guy and so they also tend to have similarities in their personalities.

I have got to stop going out for dinner though. I'm becoming Alex (I suspect that Alex doesn't eat at home at all).
Last night, when Alex and I got home from beach volleyball and after-vball eats at Betty's (which has totally gone downhill, let me tell you), the TV did not go on.

Compromise lives.

I scrubbed the beach sand from my feet and settled down to do some yoga while Alex tapped away contentedly on his computer.

It was quiet.

I could hear my deep breathing as I twisted in all directions.

I went to bed relaxed.

I thanked him for not turning on the TV. He said he knew I liked it better when it wasn't on. We hugged. Happy ever after.


Small things make a big difference.