Thursday, September 28, 2006

There's nothing I dislike more than jargon or corporatese.


Who likes that stuff? Who got up one day and thought, "I should speak and write in a manner that no one will actually understand so that I can pretend I know what a lot of big words mean" ?

Seriously, people!
I know you know someone who communicates this way.

They say things like "co-location of target communities of science, business and capital—communities energized and engaged by catalytic programs and services and structured networks" and think that people are bobbing their heads emphatically because they understand and agree -- instead of just to hide the fact that they nodded off.

Whatever happened to short, concise sentences? To meaningful, straightforward words?

They've been lost - buried by the suits who believe that "Taurus excreta cerebrum vincit" (bullshit baffles brains).

And now for those who have one of these people at work:

Just press "enter" and you'll be able to contribute to the stupid corporatese conversations coming soon to a boardroom near you.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I'm experiencing an exceptional frequency of coincidences today.

Nothing earth shattering, just, you know, I'm hungry and food shows up. Or I'm talking about someone I haven't thought about in months, thinking I should reconnect and they email me about 5 minutes later.

Finally, I'm updating a Post-Doc Application from the Royal Society on our website. And someone sends me a notice that the complete archive of the UK Royal Society's journals, which stretches back over 300 years, has been put on-line, and that, until December 2006 access to this remarkable collection of almost 60,000 articles will be free of charge.

Obviously, this needs to go on our website. And my browser is already there, just waiting to download their logo to post with the story that I'm about to put up. Seriously, the last time I've been to the Royal Society's website? Probably when I started working here.

Weird stuff.

Anyway, if you think our excitement over the Royal Society's free downloads, consider some of the amazing things you can access:

Today I'm wearing a pair of pants that I haven't worn since before I went to Australia. That's about three and a half years since I was fit enough to wear these sexy pants!

Even better, I got a better-than-average "you look nice today" from Alex, who asked, "oh my gosh, are you MY girlfriend?"

Nothing like something like that to make you feel good.

Cycling certainly has advantages that make the sweating on the way to work worthwhile.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Alex is home from Europe tomorrow!

I guess I've had enough of a quiet house. Although I'm not quite ready for the TV to go back on.

But right about now I'm really wishing I had someone who would take out the recycling for me...
Just had my first experience of cycling home in the rain. Ew.

You know, so many times, I've left my bike at work thinking it was supposed to rain and then I got home and was mad cuz it DIDN'T rain. This time, I thought, "for sure it's not going to rain, I'll be fine."

Of course, it didn't just rain, it POURED.

It was cold cold cold and stung and I regretted choosing a dress today (even though it's my new favourite cute brown dress with white polka dots).

But, you know, it could have been worse.

At least I'm home now and can warm up with maybe a hot chocolate after I eat my late dinner of MaRS potato salad. And I can cuddle up in the cozy blanket that Alex bought me for Christmas two years ago while I work on the report that I have to write tonight.

While I ignore the tasks that I had set aside for me to do tonight so I can write a report for work. Boo, but yay for cozy things like flannel PJs and steaming mugs of cocoa.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Decided to go home with my mom, sort of last-minute last night. She'd been in Toronto to go fabric shopping.

I decided on some curtain material for our master bedroom, bought most of the material and I'm waiting til Alex gets home to buy the rest. He SAYS he doesn't care, but he does.

Anyway, he's still in Europe now (Amsterdam, actually) and I just wanted to get away from the house for a bit. I think he comes home tomorrow. He was in Austria for work and stayed a couple of extra days and decided to go to Amsterdam. I can't figure that out. Why wouldn't he go somewhere closer? I mean, he's only there for a couple of days (Saturday, Sunday). He's spending most of his time on a train. And when Prague and Budapest are so close by? Why would he do that?

It's a mystery. (Actually, I'm pretty sure I know why, although I think he will deny it if we ask...)

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Burning Man - Serpent Mother

Burning Man - Serpent Mother
Originally uploaded by loupiote.
Have you heard of Burning Man?

"...people make the journey to the Black Rock Desert for one week out of the year to be part of an experimental community, which challenges its members to express themselves and rely on themselves to a degree that is not normally encountered in one's day-to-day life. The result of this experiment is Black Rock City, home to the Burning Man event."

Sounds like something I aspire to go be a part of someday. I think I'll add this to my list of things to do before I die.

It's funny that I heard about this event via the recently launched (by moi!) MaRS Blog. It's not something that I would have thought I would find in a MaRS Blog.

It's just one more example of how amazed I get at the diversity of interesting things going on around MaRS and in the minds of the brilliant people who work there.

Monday, September 18, 2006

You know, the most frustrating thing about the internet is that there's just so MUCH of it.

I love it but I hate that I can't get to it all. It would suck every living second out of me if I were to spend time with every interesting thread that I picked up.

Take today's emails, for example.

IgoUgo sends me their annual hall of fame announcement - basically a list of all the outstanding members of their travel community. I've taken to ignoring their emails, because there's only so much I can read.

But, for some reason, I opened it thinking, "I wonder what kind of person wins these awards?" (And I thought that maybe one of them could inspire me with an idea for my next big trip.)

And what I found was not what I expected. I thought I would find young punk hard-nosed adventure travellers who'd make me feel bad that I hadn't done that mountain or seen that temple. But no. These are people of all ages. Who love all types of travelling.

I followed a couple of the intriguing profiles: Idler, HobWahid, SamePenny. I read a few of their journeys. I wanted to read more. I wanted to contribute to MY journal.

But of course that would mean that I will definitely NOT get to bed at a reasonable time like I'd planned because I'm still sick.

And then, in my landscaping newsletter, I was educated about mosquito magnets. I had no idea these gadgets existed! Again, I wanted to do more research.

And then Tree emails me about this KILLER teak patio set on Craiglist, which I'm totally in love with but realized that, no matter what a great deal it is, it's STILL way too big for my backyard. I SO wanted to do a search for other patio furniture that people might be selling off. Or for that wardrobe that I really need...

But seriously, I can't. There's just too much. And I have to take the garbage out and get to bed.

Never mind all the friend's blogs that I'd like to read. I finally managed to read about Raye's secret admirer, for goddessakes! What kind of friend AM I? I managed to leave a comment (what do you think of my theory?) and wanted to keep going through all the posts, finding out what's going on in Raye's life right now and comment on all of it, but I had to stop.

I love that I work on the web, but I really wish I had more time for it.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Evening #1 of the week without Alex.

Alex has headed out to Austria. He's pretty unhappy that
a) he has to fly at all b/c he hates flying
b) he's flying economy with Air Canada who apparently does NOT understand additional baggage needs
c) that he has a 5-hr layover in Frankfurt
d) he has to take a baby-plane to the little town he has to get to for the event he's working on over there.

Today, I saw "The Last Kiss" with my friends Sarah and Tanya. I really liked it. It was sad. I get very upset about movies that depict cheating men. Because I don't need any more reasons to think badly of the opposite sex. I want to believe in them as a race. I want to believe they're all like my brothers and my dad. I do. But they keep proving me wrong. At least there was hope at the end of this one. It did make me think about how much one has to work at a relationship. No matter how tough I think I am, I need to be better/more.

On Saturday night, Alex and I saw "Bon Cop, Bad Cop" - that Canadian French/English movie that's causing a lot of stir. Honestly? Don't see the big deal. I think Alex said it best when he said the movie had an identity crisis. It doesn't know whether it's a thriller, a comedy, an action movie or a political piece. It had some good moments, but it was a real mixed bag.

I biked around as much as I could this weekend, which makes me feel good. As well as being my sole source of exercise and saving me on gym fees, biking has saved me a lot on transit fees. And I've noticed that in some cases, I can actually get there faster than by taking the TTC.

Alex and I managed to spend most of Saturday together, which was nice, even though it was mostly doing errands for him so that he can leave on the aforementioned trip to Austria.

It was the most time I've spent with him since last weekend when we went to the Cabbagetown festival. I think I spoke to him for a total of an hour the whole rest of the week. Stupid work!

We did manage to get to aforementioned so-so movie on Saturday, and eat at one of our favourite spots: HoSu.

We also stumbled upon an open house in our neighbourhood. We guessed how much it would list at (we thought just under a 1/2-million). Turns out it's listed at $859K. Wow. It was a nice place, don't get me wrong. All newly reno'd. But even if I had the money, I certainly wouldn't spend it on THAT place. I felt even better about our house after that. Although we still have so much to do on it.

Which brings me to:

I made a list of the things I want to accomplish this week.

It ranges from small stuff like getting a haircut and doing some groceries to a big goal of planning out the next year of house work (and by "work" I mean reno's). That should be a lot of thinking. If anyone has an idea of HOW to plan this all out, please let me know.

I've got plans of seeing a couple of friends as well. I love being social.

But for now, I'm off to bask in a a full bed all to myself - hopefully to sleep enough to be able enjoy this partner-less week.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Spending all night working.

You'd think it was horrible. Such a sad story, right? Especially since I'm STILL sick.

But no, I am munching on my mom's spice cookies, drinking hot chocolate in my flannel PJs while Jack Johnson plays in the otherwise quiet house.

I am suddenly transported back to that Audi, driving around with Jaap in New Zealand.

My head bobs to the groove. A smile creeps its way into my face.

The monotonous work continues, almost unnoticed.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Under the category of "Little-Known Fun Stuff to Do" is the Toronto Trails Festival.

Seriously, who wants to go do some light hiking in Toronto?

I'm very happy with myself that I put a reminder in my calendar from last year (when I actually found it AFTER the event had already passed - BOO!).

I hope to do at least one of the hikes to see what it's like this year. I'm hoping that I'll stop feeling so crappy so that I can enjoy it too.

Right about now I feel like trash. Throat, head, stomach... all conspiring against me. Ugh.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Toronto Film Festival 2006

Toronto Film Festival 2006
Originally uploaded by amnesic_kid.
Managed to get to a film festival movie last night for free! I really do love going to at least one every year.

This year it was "The Pleasure of Your Company".

I knew nothing about the film before I arrived. I invited my favourite film festival buddy, Sarah. She knew nothing about the film, either. And we both loved it!

Great comedic timing, the awkwardness was palpable, and I actually laughed out loud, which is unusual for me (Alex will attest to that). Apparently, it was low budget, but it totally didn't seem like it. It was very well done.

Yes, it was romantically cheesey ridiculous. Don't expect anything less. But you will laugh. Try not to read anything else about it before you go see it.

After the showing, we were interviewed by Starz TV about the movie. If you subscribe, you might get to see my famous TV appearance!

I found that the Q&A session that followed the movie was almost better. The director/writer and Jason Biggs were actually even funnier in person. Congrats to them on getting me to laugh!

Inline skating at Ashbridges Bay

Mom and I went inline skating yesterday at The Beach, starting at Ashbridges Bay. It was the first time I've actually explored the trails in that area and it was a perfect spot (especially if you have a car or live nearby).

Gorgeous weather, some smooth trails, it hardly seemed like we were in Toronto at all. We felt like we were on vacation. Wondered why we don't do stuff like this more often.

Actually, the Martin Goodman Trail was great until we decided to check out Tommy Thompson park. I'll tell you, that's a definite skip for next time. Not so pretty, really. And the path is pretty rough.

My legs are pretty sore and I'm even more convinced that I need to get new inline skates. I have the gift certificate to get them, I just haven't found the right pair for the right price.
Logan Movers: the moving company that cheated me

Judging by the number of emails and comments on our blogs, CityRat and I reckon that we have cost Logan Movers thousands of dollars in lost revenue.

Read up on the saga:

A couple of people have worked together to figure out what we can do to legally ensure that they can't hurt other people this way. Keep your receipt or invoice from Logan Movers and email me to find out what you can do!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

I am so done with rain. It meant that I wasn't really able to get out and bike ride or walk and visit people, like I'd wanted to.

On the other hand, I suppose I got some work accomplished around the house. And I watched some pointless TV. Let me tell you, The Dukes of Hazzard is NOT a good movie.

I did manage to get Alex to come for a walk with me as long as there was the promise of Dairy Queen on the other end.

At least there are always Georgia Mud Fudge Blizzards.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

So, I had so much stuff to do that I'm not even getting through my list. However, holy crap, my banister is looking SO good! Not completely done yet, but pretty close! So excited that it will be done soon and I can just sit there and admire it. Oh and I WILL sit there and admire, dammmit.

Plus, I managed to get Alex's stinky duvet over to the dry clearners. Thursday I will have a pretty, almost new bed cover!

Sadly, all of my outdoor activities were cancelled due to copious amounts of rain. However, it meant that I was able to concentrate on the banister and not feel bad about being inside.

And I was able to work on Anita's website, which I feel pretty good about.

Nothing I love more than being productive.

And now we're debating whether or not we can go out tonight since we MAY need to wake up early to get to Bala where The Free Press is supposed to be playing tomorrow. I like going out, but no one's happy when I haven't slept.

Friday, September 01, 2006

So, one big project out of the way. Mostly.

And another big project - the weekend - on deck. Haven't had many recommendations from people. SERIOUSLY, where ARE you when I need help?

I have made a commitment to myself: be positive.

Sounds easy. But, damn, it is not easy when you keep getting stood up, when house problems keep creeping up, when projects at work are behind schedule and lack resources.

So I must remember to figure out how to just BE HAPPY. No matter what happens.

New matra. Stay positive. Let's see how this works.