Sunday, July 30, 2006

Well, the party was a totally fun! Lots of people came by. There was a steady stream that started with my parents at 11:30am (who helped me finish up a few things - thank you!) and ending with Alex's degenerate band members at 1am ;)

Thanks to all who came by - I loved taking everyone through the house on tours, even though it was ungodly hot. The air con hasn't been decided on yet, but with the Home Depot gift certificates, we're definitely going to get a ceiling fan soon, which should help a LOT!

We also got lots of wine, an IKEA gift certificate and a few really thoughtful unique gifts and food (homemade hummous and pesto-cheese spread). Thank you to everyone for the gifts - we really appreciate it!

I don't think I sat down all night. Having a small house means that the guests were spread out over the night, which was fantastic because I got to talk to more people, but it also meant that I needed to clean up some space for the next round every time. Actually, my mom and Alex's mom also helped in that regard (thanks again!). I'll tell you, the meeting of the families was a little weird, but seemed to go OK.

So now I'm very very tired and faced with a ginormous clean-up job. But that's OK. I had a wonderful time and now I can relax in our home!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

After work last night, I came straight home and started working.

  • I planted my front garden and watered it.
  • I drilled holes in my planters (yay Cathy figured out the drill!) and planted those too.
  • I mowed the lawn and swept the sidewalk.
  • I cleared the deck of all boxes and recycling and whatever. Stowed it UNDER the deck.
  • I cleaned up the basement, sweeping and moving heavy boxes by myself.
  • I put down and vaccuumed a rug in the basement.
  • I swept the main floor.
  • I vaccuumed the stairs and upstairs.
  • I cleaned the kitchen - a huge thing, actually, since it had all kinds of things on it.
  • I left Alex's dishes for him to do.
  • I did laundry.
  • I brought all sorts of unsightly crap to the basement.
  • I cleaned the bathroom.
I'm really quite proud of myself.
There are still more things that I want to get done today. But if they don't, I won't worry too much. Instead, I shall try to enjoy the company of my friends and family and not try to belabour that I did EVERYTHING.

I will figure out how to NOT be bitter about this.

My house looks pretty!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Just fell asleep on the patio on my lunch. I am tired today!

Last night was our first MaRS Social Committee event. Did I mention that I'm sort of leading the Social Committee? Well, I set up the committee and everyone else on the committee leads an event of their choice.

Last night was Shakespeare in the Park. We saw A Comedy of Errors which was funny, but really not one of Willy's best. Nor one of CanStage's, to be honest.

I've gone to see the plays for the last 3 years and I found their Taming of the Shrew and The Tempest to be far superior. But perhaps a bit more weighty. This one was full of slapstick and predictable mistaken identities. I had high hopes from the NOW magazine review. But the Kid Koala scratch was barely noticeable and the only Gautier-esque costume, I thought, was the one worn by the Madame (who actually was one of the better actresses).

A bit disappointing, but no deterrent - I will continue to go to these shows and seek out other outdoor theatres in the city.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

I'm in the middle of an RFP process for a new content management system (professionally, not personally).

And I can't believe how unprofessional some respondents have been.

One company in particular was snotty to me on the phone when I first contacted them about the opportunity. They acted like I would be lucky if they deigned to participate Then, after I sent out the RFP they wrote to me telling me that they would not participate because they didn't meet our technical requirements but that if we wanted to UPGRADE our systems so that they would match with their SUPERIOR product, please call them.

Strange. Because I'd done my research and knew they did meet our requirements. So I wrote back that I respected if they decided not to go after our business but that my research had uncovered that they met our requirements as laid out in the RFP. I also ask that they please let me know if my understanding of their product was incorrect.

He wrote back that he'd spoken with a developer and I was correct - they DID meet our requirements. All stop.

So, I responded, does this mean that you will participate?

No response.

OK, I figured they were embarassed by their own ignorance about their product and decided they had blown their chances anyway. Fine. That's one less proposal to review.

So, I didn't blink when they didn't send in their Intention to Respond.

But today, the original deadline for proposal submissions, I get an email with the guy's proposal. It doesn't answer/address all of the questions and it uses incorrect English with ridiculous numbers of spelling mistakes in the little text that they do have.

Why would you submit something like that?

Complete garbage.
Bike Thieving

Someone who understood how upset I was about my bike getting stolen sent me this link to a video of how easy it is to steal a bike.

The sad part is that no one cared. Granted, the video is shot in New York, where bike thievery is legendary. But it made me wonder how many times I've walked obliviously past someone stealing a bike.

It also made me wonder what the hell I'd do if I saw someone trying to steal a bike. Call 911?

Say, "hey, dude, stop it" ?

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

My first birthday cake of my 2006 birthday. This one was done by the pastry chef at En Ville and brought in by Allen in honour of the THREE ladies who have their birthday on this exact day here at MaRS.

Flourless chocolate cake with Lindt chocolate icing and strawberries.


Hence, the small amount of crumbs left over.
I've joined a gardening-for-newbies newsletter and it comes every day, which is a bit much, but it's good for me to learn a lot of stuff more quickly.

Today I learned two things:

1. No fertilizing flowers during the hottest days of summer. Just water.

2. I should be planting some basil, oregano, sage and thyme around this time since it will sprout quickly and hang on until fall.

So add that to my list of desires: herb garden seeds.
So here it is: my birthday.

I started out not really excited, even forgetting that the next day was my birthday. I was more worried about getting the house ready for Saturday... at least to the point where I wouldn't be embarassed to have people over.

I'm still worried, because the place is still a construction zone.

And then, this morning, I woke up a zillion times thinking about what I'd wear and do to make today special. Finally, I got up to answer the call of nature, even though I was dead tired. Seriously, I feel a bit sick. But I feel like a child with butterflies in my stomach. THIS is how you're supposed to feel on your birthday.

So I wake up and come downstairs to see that Alex has set up my birthday present: a new monitor. There was anything wrong with my old monitor, but this one is a flat screen, so I'm sure it's much better. It certainly takes up less space on the desk. I know nothing about monitors, to be honest. But Alex does.

So, as my birthday dawns, grey and rainy, I type my birthday message, viewing it on my birthday present.

I intend to treat myself today.

I will wear a pretty skirt. I will go to Starbucks for breakfast. There will be some sort of surprise for me at work - I know that Allen will take care of that. I will get myself a manicure and pedicure after work. And I will eat out for free at Casey's tonight (they do a free bday dinner).

And then I will come home and continue to work on my house.

I thought of another thing that I could really use for my birthday or house warming: MAID SERVICE!

Friday, July 21, 2006

What I want for my birthday:
  • manicure and pedicure
  • actually, day at the spa would be even better (check out deals at
  • there's this really nice Victoria's Secret perfume that the wife of a guy in Alex's band wears. It smells pretty close to the Body Shop strawberry (my fave - discontinued)
  • theatre - I'm going to Shakespeare in the Park the day after my birthday, which is nice. But I also like the Stratford Festival, the Shaw Festival and small theatre stuff in Toronto.
  • programmable thermostat - something fancy so I can program it to be cooler when I'm not around during the day, but that can have a pre-set "I'm home during the week" override setting.
  • IKEA gift certificate
  • Home Depot gift certificate
  • gardening book - Gaia's Garden (or something about natural gardening) or Gardening for Canadian Dummies, or something pretty simple for me to figure out what to plant and how to keep it looking good.
  • gardening magazine subscription - Canadian please!
  • Home decor and renovation magazines - again, Canadian mags only!
  • plants that will look nice outside my house - I don't know which ones, since I know nothing about gardening. That's what the reading material is for. I'm sure you know better than I do.
  • deck furniture? I'd really like to have something that can stay outside and is not going to look all crappy in a week.

Am I greedy?

But I figure, if people are going to buy me things, it might as well be stuff I like or need. Right?
I'm trying to come up with a birthday wish list and so I've been looking for a wish list service.

Froogle (by Google) - crap because they only allow you to add things/products that you can find within their special search. This special search only contains products from particular vendors. I guess they're the ones who've paid to be included. Boo!

The Things I Want - not bad, because you can add items from wherever. Problem is, you have install their software in your browser and I'm a little unhappy about doing that.

Is there wish list web-based software that will allow me to update my own wishlist with items from wherever I want by just adding a link?

Does this exist already and I just can't find it, or is this an opportunity for some enterprising tech nerd?

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

My new boyfriend

My new boyfriend
Originally uploaded by webgoddesscathy.
Max and I hung out at his mom and dad's pad this weekend.

This kid is 11 weeks old - can you believe it? He's so healthy and a pretty happy baby. He was happy with me as long as he could see his mom and dad nearby.

I'm not usually much of a baby person, but seriously, lately I've been having the sad wishful feelings whenever someone talks about their cute kids.

I know we're not ready; I know it's not the right time. But I sort of wish we were.

For now, the house and Alex are enough baby for me.
What a weekend!

Friday, my bike was stolen from outside my workplace. I was so shocked and sad. I guess they just snipped my lock and took it. VERY sad story. I wanted to cry.

That night, Sara (with no 'h') came over again to help me with house stuff. We went to Canadian Tire first to buy more spray-on rust paint for the deck railng. TASK: FINISHED

Saturday, I went to Scott and Kat's house to meet Max, their new baby. He's totally awesome! The little guy has personality!

On the way home, I stopped in at a great high-end shoe outlet to see if I can get sandals that won't wreck my feet. And I stopped at the Etobicoke IKEA to take back some stuff and I even managed to restrain myself and buy only ONE other thing!

Back at home, Alex and I accomplished a few house tasks (mowing the lawn, washing the dishes, etc) before heading out to Oshawa to sleep at his mom's air conditioned house. I told his mom my sad bike story and she gave me one of the bikes in her garage. YAY!

Sunday, we were off to Keswick to visit with my friend Evelyn and her family. Her kids Claire and Jude are so perfect it's almost sickening. I even got to swim in their pool and they made a nice BBQ dinner for us.

Then it was back to Toronto so I could pack an overnight bag, pick my dad up at the airport and drive him home. Slept overnight there and drove in to work Monday morning with my mom's car.

WHEW - I'm exhausted from the weekend. Time for some relaxing work!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Exciting news! Heather had her baby!

Almost equally exciting is that I found out about the news while checking my email via my cell phone! Yes, I was on the phone with Telus yesterday, trying to figure out how to reduce my cell phone bill when they offered me this SPARK plan (which is a whole bunch of bells and whistles including web, email, text messaging, MSN messaging) for free for two months!

Well, of course I got it for Alex, since he uses that stuff. And then I realized that it also includes the voice mail and caller ID that I currently pay $7 for and decided I might as well get that free for two months while I'm trying out a bunch of features that I probably will never use again.

So I'm an exciting member of the Tech Geek Community now!

And Heather is a mother.
Kind of dwarfs everything, doesn't it?

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

I'm feeling so great!

Yesterday, I was a bit down in the dumps about how little I got accomplished on the weekend. I was frustrated about the construction zone that I called "home."

Then, Sara (with no 'h') came to help me out again!

We set up the back bedroom so that you can actually MOVE in it. Total relief, because now I can actually get at my clothes and move the crap out of the hallway. Yay.

Then she sanded part of the banister while I taped the upstairs hallway. Then we painted. Team Cathy Sara is a smokin painting team! We got the whole first coat DONE and I even got a second coat of the trim.

Tonight we'll finish the second coat and get some other projects out of the way.

Nothing I like more than getting something accomplished!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Well, leave it to Alex and I to focus on a low-priority item to eat up our Sunday.

We bought a BBQ.
It's a Thermos, 3-burner, 36,000 BTUs, cast-iron grill that we got at Canadian Tire.

We got a pretty good price, plus I got to use my Canadian Tire christmas coupon to help pay for it.

So we bought all the necessary accessories. A cleaning brush. Some utensils, including a basting brush. And then then propane tank. All said and done, it cost over $300, but at least we'll have a BBQ for our house warming party.

By the way, on that score, we've figured out the best day is July 29th. It's a Saturday. So I'll try to send out an evite soon. Please plan to drop by that day/evening!

It's a combination birthday/house-warming party, actually. It'll be only 3 days after my, uh, 25th birthday. Actually, I'm not at all shy about the fact that I'll be 31. I think I'm going to try a redo of my 30th birthday, which was a bit of a debacle.

Anyway, I didn't manage to get the hallway/stairway painted, like I'd planned this weekend. I did manage to get the bannister stripped. I also got a few more of Alex's boxes unpacked. And I got lots of groceries.

I just need to get most of this big stuff done before the house warming, so people don't feel like they're stepping into a war zone.

I get so anxious about it all. I just have to focus on the next task so I don't get overwhelmed. And I have to stop being bitter about doing most of the work - I'm choosing to do that work. But I just can't stand living in the clutter and the filth. I want a nice clean house sometime soon.

So the next question: do I replace the gutters myself? Or do I get a professional to do it?

Saturday, July 08, 2006

OK, I think this was day 1000 of stripping the bannister. I had a moment - a very happy moment - when I thought I was done. And then I saw the last third under the stairs that still had to be done.

I tried to palm sander that my neighbour lent me last night. (I must reiterate that he is amazing.) Unfortunately, suck city.

I have a tiny piece left to do. And then Alex left again, afer having finally put on the phone jack plate and I suddenly felt the injustice and refused to continue. Instead, I made myself a hotdog and sat down to watch some HGTV.

I started dreaming out maybe getting on one of those shows and having someone else do all of this work. They seem to be able to all these amazing things in a weekend. Why the hell is it taking me weeks and weeks just to get painted and unpacked?

Seriously, those design shows should come HERE - we'd be great subjects!
There is a dishwasher sitting on the sidewalk on my street. It looks brand new. Is it for the house that's just been renovated and sold for too much?

I can't tell.

I want it.
I can't imagine someone would just leave a dishwasher on the sidewalk that they weren't trying to give away. On the other hand, what is it doing there? Why hasn't anyone taken it yet? Who do I ask about that? Do I really want it?

So many questions.
I wish I knew more about owning a home.

I mean, I had to learn all about the wonderful world of waste disposal last Monday night. I had no idea. And even though I thought I understood the instructions on the city website, I still had a mix up with the green bin. Oh well, next time I will be perfect.

But seriously, I could have almost NO actual garbage, as you can recycle almost EVERYTHING here! It's awesome.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

I love summer in Toronto. There's always so much going on for free!

This is of course, just a sampling. There will also be several Shakespeare in the Park performances (can't wait) and more community festivals, like Taste of the Danforth.

I love being a part of it!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Turns out that I not only work myself like a dog, I'm also into torturing family members.

Mom and Dad have just left after a day of subjecting them to the drudgery that is my life at the moment. Yikes, I do feel bad. Originally, the plan was to hang out and do it all together - good family yardwork fun!

Then Alex and I realized that it's not often that we get a car at our disposal and decided that we really needed to get that bathroom storage unit so that we can stop stepping around all the crap in the bathroom and finally USE it.

So that's done. My mom and I picked it up and I will assemble it before bed. That's the goal. And we picked up some soil from the Crappy Tire Garden Centre so that I can actually plant something in the planters that I just bought from IKEA.

Meanwhile, my dad weeded my garden, raked up the garbage, mowed the lawns, pruned trees.

Good times for all.

We topped it all off with a trip to Dairy Queen. That fixes everything, don't you think?
Almost 2am on Sunday night. Finally checking my email again.

I finished painting the bottom floor at about 1am. Cleaned up, etc.

I had the goal of finishing this up today. Problem is, Alex and I went to Starbucks this morning and then had the amazing idea to go to IKEA today to pick some things out in case I could then get my parents to drive the stuff we need home when they come to visit tomorrow.

So it ended up being a huge ordeal of a day and we didn't get home until 10:30pm. I was quite upset with myself for doing almost zero work on the house. I suppose I'd done about a quarter of one wall in the morning before Alex woke up. I wasn't feeling good about that at all.

The other problem is that, the day before (Saturday), I didn't get much done either. I woke up and started painting immediately. Once Alex got up, I went out to do some errands, which included going to Starbucks and the grocery store and the bank.

I got back and painted until Alex's family arrived. They got the post-move-in tour before they took us out for some greek food. By the time we got back from our late lunch, it was 6pm. Time to go to Edgefest - Keane was playing! I love Keane.

Sadly, we missed half of their set and it poured. Our Lady Peace was on after them and they were pretty brutal. I actually think they're not bad in their recorded stuff, but their lead singer, Raine, is just not a good singer. Ugh.

We went out for Dairy Queen with friends who also went to the concert and came back to our place to give them the quick tour. And then it was time for bed, pretty much. Although I did end up emptying 3 more boxes before getting there.

Even so, I just HADN'T accomplished what I'd wanted to.

So I just had to finish the downstairs today. And so here I am at 2am.

Tired. Sleeping time.
Because I have to get up early to start painting the stairway. Good times.