Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Trick or Treat?

Trick or Treat?
Originally uploaded by webgoddesscathy.
My first trick or treaters JUST came by. I had to go out and take a photo of them at the neighbour's house, I was so excited!

My neighbour really decorates his place up for the event. It looks great!

I'm a total natural at this trick-or-treating business.

Thanks to Sara for helping me do Halloween.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Friday night, I went to Sara's birthday party at NOW Lounge.

It was great - what a nice spot for a party. She had Mandippal Jandu play first. He's so great. What a beautiful voice.

Then, of course, the Free Press came on and performed a set of Sara's favourite songs. I have to tell you, I'm loving their song, "Struggle" as long as they leave out all the blah, blah, blah at the end (another wife calls it "wanking").

Anyway, it was a good set. Alex was all excited about his new drum set that he'd spontaneousy bought that day.

Later, they were fooling around with some songs, everyone playing different instruments and I tried to get Alex to sing, but he wouldn't do it. I guess he's a little shy. I suspect he doesn't like to do anything if it's not done perfectly. Too bad, I love it when he sings.

It was a late, late night for me. And everyone was WAY more drunk than I was. And I think we all know how much fun that can be after a while. I nearly punched out one of the guys in the band for trying to pick a fight with me in the PizzaPizza. It was that bad.

Instead, in typical fashion, I just shut up, rather than cause a scene. Not worth it. I'm sure he doesn't even remember and here I am, being all bitter about it.

Anyway, at home, I was asleep for about two hours when I woke up with bladder pain and decided to get to the hospital. Alex came with me. It took a couple of hours but he was at least able to sleep most of the time. I was in too much pain.

In the end, they sent me home with a prescription for antibiotics, although not entirely sure what was wrong.

A bit worrying, I'll be honest.

But I've been taking it mostly easy all weekend. Sleeping and watching TV yesterday. Only getting up to make dinner. It was BORING. Goddessakes, I hate sitting around.

So today I got up with a bit more in the way of plans on my mind. We were going to clean the house because it was a disaster. I'd been busy and sick, so not able to do anything. Plus, I was kind of on strike to see if it would happen if I didn't do it.

So I announced the plan to Alex.
I managed to get him to:
  • do the dishes
  • mow the lawn
  • intall a light
  • put up the curtain rod

    This is very good news.

    In between bouts of pretty serious nausea, I was able to do all the laundry, including all the bedding, make breakfast, sweep, clean the bathroom, rake the leaves and weed the garden AND make indian food for dinner.

    I'm very proud of myself.

    I'm so tempted to talk about the things that I'd WANTED to get done today that I didn't. Unfortunately, I made a promise to Raye the last time she was here. I'm going to try not to do that. I suppose that this is kind of cheating, but in my defense, the challenge was to start in November.

    I have to do something to keep myself more positive. I have not been myself lately. I am trying to figure out how to get Happy-Cathy back.

    I'm working on it.

    Happy birthday, Sara!
  • Thursday, October 26, 2006

    I've been doing literacy training for the past two nights. You know, learning how to teach others to read and write.

    It's something I've been thinking about doing for a long time, so I finally signed on with a group near my house.

    First step is the training and we're learning interesting things about different types of learning styles.

    Interesting thing is, even though there is a lot of research on the subject, I was discussing it with colleagues and they brought up a point I was trying to suppress in my own mind: aren't we just giving people excuses?

    I mean, how hard is it to learn to read and write? How do we know they're not just lazy or don't want to learn?

    My training discusses these questions.
    But it can be hard to overcome your own biases.

    These thoughts have made me realize how I have a hard time understanding that other people just THINK DIFFERENTLY than I do. And at times, I just want to tell them they're wrong -- that my way is clearly better and they should just DO it. That they're just being lazy or stupid or inefficient.

    This is something huge that I have to overcome. I like to pretend that I'm very open minded about different strokes for different folks. It's the enlightened way, afterall. But I really do have to realize that I make unconscious judgements about this kind of thing all the time.

    I'm striving to remain aware, at least. It's the first step to making a change.

    I'm not the most patient person, but I have to learn to be patient with myself in this. Attitudes are not altered overnight.

    Wednesday, October 25, 2006

    The wedding

    Originally uploaded by webgoddesscathy.
    The first of many wedding photos to be posted, i suspect.

    I love this one. Taken by my cousin, Chris, of me putting on my brother Will's boutonniere.

    You can click to view a few more wedding photos (with me and my dress!) that I've uploaded to my Flickr account.

    Otherwise, I recommend you view Chris' online album. He has some gorgeous ones! And you can see the ceremony, the signing of documents, the kiss, the speeches, the dancing, the ties around the heads.

    Check it out here: http://www.imagestation.com/album/pictures.html?id=2100322101

    Tuesday, October 24, 2006


    Originally uploaded by ronestar.
    Pictures from Sharon's birthday on Sept 29th at Pogue Mahone's are up!

    You can visit Sharon's Flickr account to see the rest. There are one or two of me and a lot of other friends.

    I always love meeting up with Sharon and of course Sarah. (You did know that, given the chance, Sarah WILL stick her tongue out at you?) But it was even better to see a bunch of other friends that I haven't seen in a VERY long time (years, some of them).

    My favourite part of the night was when my old rez friend Derek says, "Cathy, you are aging really well. Like, not at all. You look the same or better than in university."

    Yay for good genes and decent haircuts!

    Monday, October 23, 2006

    There was an interesting event at MaRS on the weekend: Alphabet City: Garbage Town Hall.

    You can get some context about the event from this article, written in UofT's The Varsity:
    Fixing Toronto's trash dilemma.

    Now, I was at a wedding over the weekend, but this is something that interests me. I really DO want to know what's happening to our garbage.

    Sadly, when I went to "www.readingt.readingcities.com" there was a blog error and I can't read the proceedings.

    I find it odd that so many people are so blase about their trash. They don't even think about it. It goes much further than just junk mail or boxes or apple cores. I think it has a lot to do with our rampant consumerism.

    Think about it: if you need to buy that cooler phone or that nicer couch, then you're going to throw out that old one. Now, this is perfectly fine if your phone or your couch is broken. Not so fine when it's because the new one is just cooler.

    We think: I can afford that.
    We think we can afford it because we've saved up a couple hundred bucks.

    But we're not being charged for the disposal of the old one - for the resources that we are putting out of commission just to consume another. (To be clear: I realize the taxes we pay taxes are for just this sort of thing. I don't think this blanket tax system sufficiently forces us to consider the impact of our actions.)

    I strongly believe that the government should make "disposal of the old" a factor in our consumer behaviour. There are many ways to accomplish it (taxes, polluter-pays, incentives, etc).

    But it's not popular. So what politician who wants to be elected (or re-elected) will impose such measures?

    It's a sad story that can only be fixed by tax payers asking for the penalty. And how many people are going to ask to pay more?

    Discouraging situation.

    I'd like to know what this guy suggested as the answer in this talk. Or someday, we'll be drowning our neighbours and inevitably ourselves, in our own greed.
    Well, the Matt and Kendra Show is over.


    I am left with a serious migraine, but it was damn good fun!

    I got a lot of compliments on my dress, at least, so I worried for nothing about it being too big and not nice.

    Sad that it's over, actually. It was so nice seeing all my family together. Although I didn't get to talk to everyone nearly as much as I'd have liked. And I didn't even get to talk to some people at all!

    I was happy about my cheap car rental. I was not so happy about the double bed hotel room that Alex and I ended up with. But all in all, it was a great time.

    Pictures to follow soon, I hope!

    Monday, October 16, 2006

    This weekend, my sister arrived from Calgary.

    My mom picked her up at the airport and they came over to my place on Saturday afternoon. I had made some apple crisp for us in case we wanted a snack. Turns out we wanted a snack and it was a very yummy batch of apple crisp. Mm!

    Then we went shopping at Yorkdale mall. Shopped at all the stores that Jen doesn't have in Calgary. I bought a couple of things at H&M. We got my mom to get a few cool pieces, too.

    We stayed til past closing before taking the subway back to the Danforth where we went for Thai food.

    We went back to my house and drank lots of wine and talked until the wee hours of the morning.

    Next morning, we got ready and went downtown to shop again. And I showed them my workplace. And we ate indian food. YUM!

    Then they had to get home.
    It was a totally fun girl weekend.

    Wednesday, October 11, 2006

    Paying bills.

    I know; this sounds like it should be a lot of fun.

    In fact, I actually used to like it. I felt competent, responsible, efficient.

    I had a system.

    Step one: recieve a bill (paper or electronic)
    Step two: go online, post date the payment
    Step three: forget about bill

    I'm sure you can see why this might be enjoyable.

    It was simple. Tidy.

    Now I have a bill tracking spreadsheet.
    Now I have to create complicated spreadsheets to figure out how much I owe and how much my significantly more consumerist partner owes for each bill.
    Now I have to send emails with invoices to him about how much he owes.
    Now I have note due dates and put reminders in my calendar so that I can remind him to pay when the deadline looms.
    Now I have to pay again when he's missed the deadline and tell him to pay me instead. And then make sure he pays.
    Now I have to worry about balancing nagging with actually getting bills paid on time.
    Now I have touch a bill multiple times - increasing the amount of time I have to analyze spreadsheets and totals and checking email trails.

    I ask you: does this sound FUN?

    It is not.

    But what is the answer?

    How do I stop being the responsible boring adult who sits at home at night infront of her computer, contemplating bills and getting angry that I'm forced to do it to maintain my credit rating?

    Friday, October 06, 2006

    Yesterday I met Stephen Lewis.

    He shook my hand and I thought about all the interesting places he's been and all of the really wonderful, life changing things he's done. I was really humbled by it.

    He talked about the Give a Day to World AIDS campaign and MaRS announced that we, as a company, are giving a days' pay to combat the AIDS pandemic this year. And we're coming up with ideas on how we can encourage other companies in our building to do the same.

    It's a really good company I work for.
    They do good stuff.

    December 1 is World AIDS Day. Why not challenge your colleagues to join the effort? Then you can work for a company that you're proud of, too.
    Yesterday I met Stephen Lewis.

    He shook my hand and I thought about all the interesting places he's been and all of the really wonderful, life changing things he's done. I was really humbled by it.

    He talked about the Give a Day to World AIDS campaign and MaRS announced that we, as a company, are giving a days' pay to combat the AIDS pandemic this year. And we're coming up with ideas on how we can encourage other companies in our building to do the same.

    It's a really good company I work for.
    They do good stuff.

    December 1 is World AIDS Day. Why not challenge your colleagues to join the effort? Then you can work for a company that you're proud of, too.
    Friday nights in a quiet, empty office are somehow soothing.

    I'm flying across my keyboard: editing and approving blogs, testing new software, writing emails to my graphic designer, creating homepage design specs, sending meeting requests to usability contractors, finishing reading my emails.

    I'm feeling good about getting stuff done.

    The fans are humming. My keyboard is clicking. They are the only sounds in the office.

    It's time to go home and face the many things that need to get done there. It will be as quiet there as it is here, I know, but somehow it won't be as special.

    Thursday, October 05, 2006

    House Update
    1. I have bought curtain material.
      White curtain material.
      And blackout material.
      Very exciting.

      The plan was to add some embellishment to the curtains - some ribbon or silk edging. That is, until Alex became unsure of what he wanted. And now he thinks that maybe the OLD curtains might be OK afterall...

      In that case, I will use the blackout material for reinforcing the darkness of the old curtains. And I'll use the white material to make a duvet cover.


    2. I bought new curtain rod supports.
      Somehow, my old ones got lost in the move. I'm sure there in an un-opened box somewhere.

    3. I bought a programmable thermostat. Only $50 at Home Depot and I can program the weekend separate from the weekdays AND program a "special" day setting. Basically, I can be cheaper about my energy bill. PLUS, I get a $15 rebate for buying an energy-conscious gadget for my house! Now all I need to do is install it.

    4. I have a new door threshold to keep out the cold winter. Boring. But smart. Again, installation necessary.

    5. I am a new member of AutoShare! So now I can book a car for a couple of hours whenever I want and go to Home Depot to pick up some insulation or eavestroughs or whatever.

    6. I am designing my new PAX wardrobe using the online PAX Planner Tool. I love useful online tools. When I'm done, I'm gonna my AutoShare car and go pick it up!

    I love getting things done. I love that my new house is starting feel a little like MINE. Of course, there is much to do. But I guess the winter may be a good time to do it? Or at least to plan it.
    Is having a relationship a little like having a child?

    I mean, you have to teach them discipline - how to treat you.
    You have to be consistent.
    You have to punish when they do something wrong or they won't know not to do it again.
    You have to lay out your expectations - give them a schedule of chores or whatever.

    I'm wondering if perhaps I am fighting in vain against this concept. I have been hanging on to the ideal that it is a completely equal partnership in which both members understand what is needed and just DO IT.

    But what if one of you does not know what is needed?

    Doesn't it fall to the other to help them see and understand and even to train them to supply it without asking?

    Perhaps I give too much credit and expected too much.

    Wednesday, October 04, 2006

    I've been on a bit of a shopping spree lately, having been under the bad influence of Sara.

    She has a car at the moment and so we drove out to Vaugn Mills shopping centre to, well, shop.

    While there, I had another of my favourite beverage from Starbucks, the London Fog. Earl Grey tea, steamed milk, vanilla. Only, the problem with this off-menu item is that not everyone makes it exactly the same way. This time, there wasn't enough vanilla. I had the courage to say something and the guy added more and told me to come back if it wasn't right! I'm constantly impressed with Starbucks.

    (Except for when they took away the maple oat scone and replaced it with a cheap-ass version. But that's another story that I think I've blogged about before. Sigh.)

    And then I bought really cheap things at Old Navy and had a grand ol' time.

    I am really unhappy with my clothes lately and wanting to buy everything. Also, with my haircut (did I talk about that yet?) I feel a bit like a boy.

    I need to stop shopping. But I also want to look pretty.