Sunday, December 31, 2006

Came home from Christmas at my parents' place last night to a house full of wonderful changes:

  • the cove molding was done
  • pictures had been put up
  • there was a HEPA filter in our room
  • the wardrobe had handles on it
  • the wardrobe had its lights installed
  • the place was clean

    It was so nice to come home to. What a surprise!

    And that's not even my Christmas present, apparently.

    We have yet to have our private Christmas here at our house. And we certainly won't be doing that tonight. Tonight, Alex is playing at the Madison and we figured that since he'd be playing, we wouldn't have much together-time, so instead I'm going to visit my friends in Oakville for NYE!

    It's going to be a nice dinner and a good movie and I'm very excited. My dad and I were talking about this phenomenon on the way home last night: we just aren't interested in going to a noisy bar to drink our faces off. We're really just interested in a nice evening with friends and loved ones.

    Sounds cheesey, but this fits my bill.

    Happy New Year!
    Hope you celebrate in a way that fits your bill too.
  • Saturday, December 30, 2006

    Found a whole stack of my old journals from years back. They pretty much start at the beginning of university. I'm taking my counsellor's advice and reading through my history as it really happened, instead of how my flawed memory recollects it.

    Interesting to see the similarities between what's happening in my life now and what happened years ago. Interesting also to see the changes.

    I have grown up and take more responsibility for myself and my needs. I say "more" because I have not totally grown out of my infantile desire for someone else to be in control. To be responsible for decisions that I'm afraid to make on my own and bear the consequences of.

    If such decisions turn out badly, at least I can convince myself I wasn't the total reason for failure.

    Clever little sub-conscious I have, wouldn't you say?

    Ya, I know: I'm working on it.
    Discovered a new sci-fi tv series: Firefly. We got the series DVD from my brother, Matt, for Christmas. It's weird: a wild-west space show. With great characters and dialogue and stories.

    And yet, it didn't make it past season one.
    Wonder why?

    Anyway, we're watching it and I'm totally addicted.
    Sad story that they didn't continue it.

    You know, TV can be really great when you're trying to not think about things that really matter.

    Thursday, December 28, 2006

    Setting up a new computer is just tonnes of fun.

    Download that before you can upload this just so that you can download it again. Get a license key, find the password for such and such.

    Even though we got my parents a Dell, and it's easIER, it's still not easy. And being the resident "computer person" means that I get to do it. Too bad I'm more "web" and less "computer".

    Just makes me realize how little I know.
    But I'm learning.

    Monday, December 25, 2006

    Christmas YAY!

    We took until about 5pm tonight to open our presents. As usual. I got ski poles and a leather storage bench for my front room and a flower box and CDs and some thermal underwear and a Bingo scratch ticket on which I won $6!

    Awesome Christmas. I love being home with family.
    I don't want it to end.

    Friday, December 22, 2006

    Nature, Improved by Science

    Nature, Improved by Science
    Originally uploaded by klareralt.
    Remember when this used to happen?

    When there wasn't RAIN on December 22nd?

    When the snow used to be up past your knees when you went out to get the Christmas tree?

    Looks like we've knocked too many down, cuz it's beginning to look a lot like a Global Warming Christmas.

    I'm trying to look on the bright side: at least i can still ride my bike (as long as it's not pouring rain) so I can continue to reduce my impact on the earth in my small way.

    And since I didn't knock down a tree (it's just my sad little artificial guy again this year) I wanted to look at this one and just pretend for a couple minutes that I'm lying in the snow, it's creaking in my ears, looking up at the beautiful tree and clear night sky.

    Try it, maybe it'll help you get in the spirit too.
    Christmas Cathy Style
    Christmas Cathy Style
    Originally uploaded by webgoddesscathy.
    Last night was our company Christmas party. What a blast! It was at the Academy of Spherical Arts (a fantastic pool hall/event facility in Liberty Village) and, aside from really bad swordfish (all dried out), the evening was a great success!

    Santa even came and read out some holiday wishes from all of us to our CEO. We love her and she got all embarrassed.

    I stayed late, finishing off all the open bottles of wine, with two others after everyone else had left. We talked about the company - what's going on now, the history and the future.

    It was great - I got a lot of fantastic feedback from everyone that they had a good time, which is all I need to feel really good about the whole thing.

    Too bad I suck at sleeping and still woke up early, despite thinking I'd just sleep in after going to bed so late. Oi, I wish I had normal sleeping abilities.

    So now I await Raye's arrival from Halifax so we can go out for a nice gossipy dinner and then head to my place for much needed sleep. My brother will arrive to sleep at my place tonight as well and then he'll drive us to grandma's house for our first stop on the family Christmas circuit. Fun!

    PS: today I am wearing my pretty new brown boots (which I bought on SALE!).

    Monday, December 18, 2006

    It's been an interesting day on the web. Check out the things that I've checked out today:

    • - very cool social music site. Listen to music and it learns what you like and creates a profile that you can share with people who have similar music tastes and makes recommendations on what else you’d like. You can connect what you’ve played to your blog so that it has a recommended songlist updated automatically. Nice. But I couldn't get it to work for some reason. Maybe because I'm on a Mac.
    • MyBlogLog - find out who's reading your blog (not just what part of the country they're from, but WHO these people really are) by having them join a social community where they can meet each other. I mean, they obviously have something in common if they're all reading your blog, right? It's better than setting up an entirely separate blog through MySpace or MSN Live Spaces or whatever, just to have the community aspect of it. Although, I've done that too, but that's mostly because I'm a geek and want to try everything out. ;)
    • Sacha Chua's website - tech evangelist - I met her at a CATA WIT event that I organized last week. Very interesting girl - I didn't know that a tech evangelist is just someone who's really excited about tech and tries to match people with the right technology for their lives.
    • - I already knew about this social events calendar, but Sacha reminded me about it. And so I visited again and was impressed by the interesting events that are happening in Toronto in the next while. I love events. As long as they're not expensive.
    • ZeroFootPrint - they're going to be at GreenCamp in February. I love their site with enviro events, marketplace, blog and news, plus they have a TONNE of Canadian advisors.

    Saturday, December 16, 2006

    What a day!
    Lots of shopping with my mom, dad and my brother Matt at Yorkdale shopping mall.

    My feet hurt!

    But there are lots of good presents in the hands of the right people now. YAY!

    And I've made lots of decisions about the presents I'm giving. Double YAY!

    And I'm going to decorate my Xmas tree tomorrow and do Christmas baking with Sarah!

    Could things get better?

    Friday, December 15, 2006

    Had a LOVELY dinner with my friend Jane last night. I haven't talked to her in months. So it was nice to catch up. We just talked, talked, talked. At the greek restaurant, at my house, over tea.

    It was great.

    She gave me a nice gift card for Sephoria. So now I get to go pamper myself and buy either make up that doesn't irritate the excema around my eyes (good times, I'll tell ya) or yummy smelling things. Love Sephoria.

    I also gave my counsellor a gift card from Starbucks. I notice that he drinks it too, so I thought it would be a nice thing.

    Have gift cards totally saved us from gifts that we hate, or WHAT?!
    However, to be fair, I do really enjoy spending a lot of time and care picking out just the right sweater... And opening that surprise? well, there's just nothing like it.

    Thursday, December 14, 2006

    Sleep: I need you.

    Please come visit me at work in my cubicle and we'll curl up under my desk.

    Wednesday, December 13, 2006

    I had a lovely dinner with my friend, Jess, and her boyfriend. They're so cute together; it makes me so happy to see them so happy.

    Tomorrow night I'm having dinner with my friend Jane. I'm excited to see her - I haven't talked to her in months. Weird how that happens.

    I love that Christmas can bring people together who haven't seen each other in while. I guess while that's happening, it also makes things more busy. Hence, why I missed my friend Tree's Christmas party last weekend. But at least I finally got to drop off my gift for the baby. I can't believe it took me so long!

    It appears that I won't have Christmas with Alex until he comes over to my family's house on Christmas night. Our Christmas in our own house might end up being closer to New Years. Which is OK since I don't really know what to get him anyway.

    Speaking of the importance of friendships, I've had two really nice comments this week: one person said that I make everything more fun at work. And another girl said thank you to me for all my support and said that she'd learned a lot from me.

    Isn't that the nicest thing?

    Tuesday, December 12, 2006

    Christmas certainly does make everything more busy.

    At work, I did some online shopping on my lunch hour. Then hurried up to get all my work done in time to go to a tenant Christmas party at which I won a PRIZE! (A mug and a book, so I'm not freaking out, but this IS the second time I've won a draw in the past while. Chanceuse!)

    After tutoring tonight, I came right home and continued my christmas baking. I actually made 3 things tonight. And cleaned up afterwards.

    Pretty impressive!
    But that's why I'm still up at 11:30pm -- past my bedtime!

    Tomorrow night I have a Christmas get-together with a friend of mine. Hence, the baking frenzy.

    I have really felt Christmas sneak up on me.

    I don't seem to have a lot of time for Christmas shopping. I think it's because I missed the One of a Kind Show, where I often buy my best gifts. Sad. And then the homemade back-up gifts take time and I just have been too busy to get my act together!

    Too bad, I absolutely LOVE Christmas. I love Christmas shopping. I love Christmas decorating. But I haven't managed to put the lights on the tree yet. All I've got up is my wreath on my door.

    Since when did Cathy become Christmas-dysfunctional?

    Sunday, December 10, 2006

    I had a bit of a meltdown today.

    I'm not really certain what happened.

    It could have had something to do with the fact that I got home late and didn't sleep well and then woke up to my parents calling from the airport -- ohygosh, I had forgotten to pick them up! They'd been calling since about 2am and it was 7:30am. I rushed to the airport, feeling pretty sick about it.

    I didn't get much sleep, but after hearing about their awesome trip (I'll try to get up a photo album of their photos soon), they went on home and I had breakfast made for me (yay!) and I took a 2-hour nap. I felt a little better and the doors were being weather-stripped when I came back down. (YAY!)

    I sat down to do bills. And suddenly I realized that there were all sorts of weird things going on. I hadn't paid them on time, or hadn't paid enough, or couldn't figure out how much was owed or why two amounts didn't jive...

    And I cried.

    Thinking about it now, I'm still getting emotional about it and I don't know why. Bill paying should not be an emotional issue. It's not like I don't have the money to pay (that would be emotional). It's not like I'm avoiding it, running from creditors, or anything like that.

    I just feel like everything's very complicated and I got overwhelmed.

    Saturday, December 09, 2006

    Last night, I went on a date. It was nice.

    I got picked up from work. We drove to the Beach (southeast Toronto) and tried a new restaurant: Green Eggplant on Queen East, which is a family-style Italian restaurant that's so new I can't find it on the web yet. I really liked it (especially the baba ganoush!). It was laid back, very clean and comfortable and not too loud, outstanding service with reasonable prices and serving sizes. My lobster-giant prawn angel hair pasta was amazing too.

    We talked. We laughed. It was like a date when you're thinking, "I'd like to see this guy again" only he's already your boyfriend.

    Then we went to the movies -- arriving a bit early so we could relax and read some movie magazines and chat. We saw Stranger than Fiction and I totally loved it. It was so different and Will Ferrell, whom I normally quite dislike in movies. He played a good straight character.

    And then we came home.
    I sat in my dark kitchen for a bit, just enjoying the dark and the quiet before going to bed and realized that I really like the dark and the quiet very much. I get a very strong sense of calm from them.

    Maybe that's why I like my weekend mornings.

    I always wake up first. I make my decaf coffee. I sip and read or write or type. I plan my day.

    I speak to no one.

    And I love the luxuriousness of it.

    Is it odd that I really enjoy quiet simple moments so much? Perhaps that's why I'm having difficulty adjusting to having another intrude on my silence and stillness.

    Wednesday, December 06, 2006

    Quite the day... quite a LONG day.

    Managing suppliers on deliverables, researching contracts and budgets, updating the blog, organizing an event, attending the Global CONNECT conference at MaRS.

    I got home at 10pm. I'll be up tomorrow morning when Alex wakes up at 5:30am because I suck at sleeping. Off to the counselor I'll go and then start it all over again.


    Good thing I love my work.

    Tuesday, December 05, 2006

    Night on the town

    Night on the town
    Originally uploaded by webgoddesscathy.
    Do you know what you look like when you insulate your vermiculite-ridden attic?

    Well, you might think it would be something like this, but these are the party clothes I wore out that night.

    I totally picked up.

    My favourite band, Keane, has done a "cover" of Bootylicious called "Dirrtylicious". Funny.

    Check it out on their myspace site:
    OK, here's the thing: I hate it when people lie to me.

    The problem with this situation is that often, you don't actually KNOW when they're lying to you. Sure, there are times when you catch them in a lie and then it's easy.

    Black and white.

    They lied.

    When you have no proof that what they're saying is false and you just have a feeling, which may be a very strong feeling because the circumstances seem very suspicious, it becomes more difficult.

    You can't come out and call them a liar. Because there's a chance, however small, that they may be telling the truth and that the truth, as they say, is actually stranger than fiction.

    And if you DO come out and call them a liar with no proof, you're either:
    a) crazy paranoid
    b) an asshole
    c) very intuitive/smart

    It all depends on whether you're right or not. And as I said, this is difficult when you have no proof.

    So what do you do?

    Well, I question the crazy circumstances and ask if there's something they're not telling me, without flat-out calling them a liar. Which doesn't work so well, because they still have grounds to call me crazy/paranoid or an asshole. And they're all defensive and of course they're not going to suddenly admit to the truth. And now they can accuse you of not trusting them (in a righteous manner).

    So, there's no benefit to this approach.
    I'm looking for a new approach.

    Now, keep in mind, I generally trust people that I know unless they have in the past shown themselves to lie. I myself lie quite a bit (keep that in mind when you're reading me - how do you really know that what I say is true?).

    I don't actually believe that I'm untrusting. I think I have a healthy suspicion of suspicious circumstances, is all. Those who have proven themselves trustworthy, I trust.

    Those who haven't... well, what does one do?

    Monday, December 04, 2006

    My mom gave me some soup on the weekend, when I drove them to the airport. I am eating it now and I think I'm going to freak out - it is the best soup I've ever had.

    Some sort of thai curried chicken and vegetable soup.

    Last Friday - World AIDS day - my colleagues and I made a donation to the Stephen Lewis Foundation as part of the Give a Day to AIDS campaign.

    We donated $9,295 altogether.

    I hope you managed to get your company on board too.
    It is done.

    I conquered the attic.

    Saturday, I dropped my mom and dad off at the airport and off they went to stay in my timeshare in St. Martin. I took the car and went to Home Depot and bought a crap-load of 9.5inch, 31-R pink insulation for the attic.

    Got it home and moved the furniture in our bedroom away from the closet's attic trap-door. Nick, my brother-in-law, arrived in time to help us get one thing down the stairs. Nick is awesome - I am just so thankful that he came, it was SO nice of him!

    He also brought gifts of respirators, Tyvek coveralls and gloves. Best of all, he helped us. He helped me figure out how to put the respirator on safely. I got taped into my suit, put up my hood and strapped on the face mask. I have a photo - or he does - somewhere.

    I climbed up through that tiny opening, put down boards across the joists so that I could walk/crawl across them without causing the ceiling to sag and raked out the hills of vermiculite. I immediately saw the dust-vapour rising. The hatch closed and all I had was the light of a lamp and a flashlight. Creepy.

    And you can't stand up straight in my attic. So I crab-walked for the next 3 hours over 2x8s, laying down insulation in near-darkness in an asbestos-filled attic.

    What was I thinking?

    It got hot FAST. I was soaked. I had to stop to catch my breath a lot. I swore a LOT. I almost cried.

    But I got it DONE.

    I am strong, I am invincible - I am WOMAN!

    Friday, December 01, 2006

    I am in love with Starbucks' London Fogs.

    Seriously, I cannot get enough of them. I am an addict. It's quite disgusting.

    On the positive side, it becomes a lot easier to decide what to get me for Christmas: Starbucks cards! Note that I have added this to my Christmas Wish List.

    I've been struggling with how to write about this - I feel like anything I say will not be enough.

    This week, after my trip to Ottawa on the weekend, my brother Will sent out an email to my family inviting them to come together one weekend in the new year and help me with some of my house projects.

    The email was just titled "help Cath" and when I read it I just wanted to cry because I was so touched by it.

    I'm almost overwhelmed that they would do this for me.

    Certainly, there are many things that need to be done on my house. And goodness knows that I've been busy the past couple of weeks/months and that, in many cases, I just really have no idea where to start on certain tasks. And I'm bad about starting something in the absence of a second person to motivate or support or even just confirm my idea of what I'm doing.

    I started thinking about how lucky I am to have such an amazing family. I have always been aware of this, but I felt so warm inside suddenly, to know that I had people I could turn to and depend on for support.

    I have been feeling like I ask them for too much, lately. I don't have a car and have to bum rides off of everyone, for one thing. I ask my dad for gardening help and my mom for sewing assistance. And they have never complained to me about it.

    And now this - I feel that I don't deserve it. But I am tearfully about happy about it, nonetheless. And I hope that there is something, someday that I can do that will express to all of them how much I appreciate it.