Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The past couple of days have seen me undergoing some real adjustments and soul searching in terms of my living arrangements.

My boyfriend, Alex, and I have been living together for just over three weeks now. One of those weeks, I was away on vacation. And at first it was kind of like a really long sleepover. Now, real life has stepped in. We're starting to figure out this whole roommate situation.

I tell you: it's hard.

I'm sure it would be a little easier if there were multiple rooms in my jr-1 bedroom apartment. But there's just the living room/kitchen, the bedroom and the bathroom.

Little things like when one does the dishes and whether the TV is on and what you watch become a really big deal. Because you can't escape from these things - even though I try.

I'm one of those people who really enjoy my quiet time.

You might have read about how much joy I take in my quiet coffee-drinking, book-reading weekend mornings. I also use the quiet as a way to unwind after work, after walking the hour-long smoggy, sweaty, honk- and siren-filled path back home. I like to do my yoga tape and take deep breaths and get calm. This is my routine.

Now, I get home and someone's there. And the TV is playing a brainless bounty-hunter show very loudly. The air conditioner roars out its chill. A cacophony of sound hits me. I am immediately uncomfortable.

I try hanging out in my bedroom but the TV is still distracting me. It is only about five feet away on the other side of the wall.

I try working on my computer, hoping that it will keep my mind off of the noise. Often this is the case - I can usually work on my computer, oblivious to everything else going on around me.

No deal.
Besides, the air conditioner is now giving me goosebumps.

I draw myself a bath. Yes, on the hottest, most humid day of the year, I am drawing a bath to warm up. But also to drown out the sound and be able to concentrate on my book. It works for a while and my shoulders start to drop away from my ears.

But as soon as I turn off the water, the TV drowns away my calm oasis. I yell to please turn it down, but of course he cannot hear me. It is too late anyway, the moment has passed and I am irritated.

Conversation is not welcomed. Quiet is not to be found.
Desperate screaming is soon to be had.

Of course, I know that no one is being unreasonable. Alex is just doing what he normally does. I understand wanting to do that. I also want to do what I do.

I realize that life will never be the same.

Gone are the days of selfishness, when I just cleaned up after myself and did what I want to do, when I wanted to do it. Gone are my routines that I cherish, because they interfere with someone else's routines.

It's a hard adjustment.
I suppose this is why it's best to marry when you're young: you haven't yet become set in your ways. You don't have such cherished routines.

And I suppose I know that what we will likely do is create new cherished routines together.

Living together, even when you love someone, is difficult. I know this from talking to my brother this weekend at his BBQ. Of course he loves his fiance. But that doesn't mean they don't argue about cleaning responsibilities and money and plans.

Just now we are figuring out how to live together without irritating the other, because we know it's possible. It just means change and compromise and unending patience.

I guess I'll just have to grow some patience.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

First of all, let's just get it straight that I love the Georgia Mud Fudge Blizzard at DQ.

As many of you know, I used to work at the Dairy Queen when I was in high school. Wow, sometimes that job really sucked. BUT, I did learn an appreciation of the soft serve. And, you know what? I think it also taught me how to be clean.

Anyway, I'd been thinking about having this blizzard all day.

I woke up early - well, 8:30am on a weekend is early enough - and got some business out of the way. (I've been working on some updates to my friend Anita's website.) Of course, I sipped my coffee while I agonized for a couple of hours.

I made some breakfast - my standard bacon n egger bagelwich.

I ate it because I really didn't want to give in to the blizzard craving. I grabbed my book and my magazine and walked to the park with my water bottle for an afternoon in the sun.

It was a gorgeous day - not too hot, but warm enough to wear one of my favourite summer dresses.

I finished my book and read the entire magazine (Wish - although I think I don't like it as much as I liked LouLou, my Canadian shopping magazine.

All the kids were out playing soccer and baseball, older folks were walking their dogs and some young parents were out playing frisbee while their baby dozed in its stroller.

And after watching a few birds play around in the bird bath, I figured it was time to go. On the way home, I passed the library and I realized it was the perfect time to pick up a new book. So I picked up Away by Jane Urquhart. I've never read anything by her before, so I wanted to see what she's like.

But by the time I got out of the library, my stomach was almost literally itching for that blizzard. So I broke down and bought one. I wasn't dissappointed - the pecans are the best part, but the brownie chunks and the chocolate fudge mixed in? Mm! - even though the ice milk melted a little too quickly for my liking.

And I thought: what a nice day.

And then I had to go home because I have to do some laundry and some cleaning and make some rhubarb crisp (another favourite thing). And my apartment is quiet. Blissfully quiet. Except for the hum of my computer and the occasional bird chirp.

Oh crap, and there go the sirens. Toronto's just so peaceful, isn't it?

Friday, May 26, 2006

I've discovered my new favourite band, Pilate.

For all those who'd already discovered them, thanks for telling me about them. Geez.

Thanks to Alex, my music guru. He usually knows what I like; he also introduced me to Keane and David Gray.

And I realized that I should put up a new list on the WebGoddessCathy MSN Space with my favourite bands. So I did. And I'll keep adding to it.

Maybe I should add that page to my navigation. But the design is so MSN, I feel like a sell-out. Who am I kidding? I AM a sell-out.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

I feel like crap.

It seems that everyone else has been sick, so I guess it's my turn.
At least I didn't feel this crappy yesterday, so I was able to do my walking club (which was a nice long walk this time) and go to beach volleyball (we only lost one game out of seven!).

Unfortunately, the pub we went to afterwards was very busy and we waited 1.5hrs for our food, meaning I didn't get home until late. When I did finally get home, I was so tired I didn't know what to do with myself.

And so I slept in a little this morning, seriously considering whether or not to go into work at all. In the end, I decided I had a few things that I really should do today and so here I am. Although, I did break down and take the TTC instead of walking. It's a decadence these days for me to take public transport to work - it means I can wear a skirt and can read my book on the way and drag my feet as I get ready in the morning.

Besides, today is supposed to be the day that we celebrate Alex's birthday. I can't be sick for that!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Friends in Halifax Harbour

I have put up some photos of my trip to Nova Scotia!

You can check out a slideshow of some of them on my MSN Space which I just created.

I'll be uploading more photos up on my site and adding some commentary soon!

It's always a bit sad when a vacation ends. It was so great to hang out with Raye and see a bit of her new home. Halifax is totally a place I could live.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

We're back from our Nova Scotian southwest cost road trip, with a Dairy Queen blizzard in my belly and warm pjs on so I can watch my final movie with Raye in comfort.

It was a GREAT trip!

We had a great B&B in Lunenburg called the Bluenose Lodge. It was beautiful!

We had dinner at the Fish Factory, which someone had assured us got the freshest fish. I had the most expensive seafood dinner on the menu. The lobster tail, the shrimp and the haddock were all fantastic. The salmon was gross.

We walked across the street for cheesecake before walking back to the B&B for a great sleep.

Next morning (Saturday) we had a huge breakfast. 3 choices: french toast (Raye), Bacon and eggs (which I'd had at least 3 times already that week) and something called "skillet." Naturally, I had the mystery dish. Turns out that it's a big messed up omlette. YUM!

We took out walking tour through the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, the old town of Lunenburg.

Then on to Kejimkujik Seaside Adjunct National Park for a kick ass 8km hike. Totally recommended - we saw seals and gorgeous rocky coast. And ate one of those famous maritime oatcakes from LaHave bakery. YUM! Too sweet for a cracker, not sweet enough for a cookie. Like oatey graham crackers.

Then on to the Churchill Mansion near Yarmouth. Totally haunted. Totally weird cool place!

We went to the Yarmouth Lightstation for sunset and then on to Ruggers for a scallop and haddock dinner and the BEST cheesecake! Fantastic night!

Today we went to Digby, decided that it would take WAY too long to get down the Digby neck, what with negotiating ferry times etc., and back up again if we wanted to do a hike or whale watching or ANYTHING and still do the other things we wanted to do and get back to Halifax tonight. So we ate lunch (seafood chowder) and grabbed a hot drink at the fantastic Hungry Hollow Cafe before heading off to Anapolis Royal.

Walking tour of historic Annapolis Royal - gorgeous!
Toured around Port Royal, a heritage site nearby. Drove to Delap's Cove and did a short hike around to the Bay of Fundy and nice little waterfall.

Drove to Wolfville where we went for another walk around their little park. Nice little town, actually. But we were ready to go home.

So onward to Halifax (and Dairy Queen).
Tomorrow, I wake EARLY for my flight.


Friday, May 19, 2006

Day Six and Seven in Halifax

Yesterday, I read my Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants book (it's actually Raye's book, so I need to finish it before I leave) and watched two of her movies: Wimbledon (seriously, don't bother) and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (pretty cool, but not exactly high art).

Refreshed, I managed to finally get out the door in time to get to the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia - they're open late on Thursdays - and see the Maud Lewis exhibit. She was a very well-known Nova Scotian folk artist who painted almost every inch of her 9.5x10-ft house. The house is preserved within the gallery. That's all I really wanted to see.

I also stayed to listen to a jazz band play in the atrium for their Art After Hours event. It was great - but I almost forgot that I had tickets to another friend's dinner-theatre show: Cape Breton Idle. It was an old friend from university. The show was pretty good, the food was pretty good.

But you know, I keep hearing about how friendly people are here, but I just don't see it. I find people at least as unfriendly as Toronto.

I walked home, walking another couple to their destination on my way home because they were a little lost. I just stopped and asked if they needed help and they happened to be going my way. Ha! I'm already a tour guide!

When I got home, poor Raye wasn't feeling well, but managed to get in the last 2 episodes of Lost, Season One. Seriously, that is a friggin great show. CREEPY. But I'm starting to be able to call it.

So now I'm getting ready for the day. I'll call my friend Sarah, who was in the show last night and we'll meet up for coffee. I'll stop by the grocery store on my way home and pick up snacks. Then Raye will be home around 2pm and we'll embark on our big long-weekend road trip! If you want to know our plans for where we're going, have a look here: http://halifaxmay2006.pbwiki.com/roadtrip.

Happy long weekend!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Alex called me today.

He is good. I think I don't write that often enough.

The problem is that I write a LOT when I'm upset. It helps me to work stuff out. It helps me get stuff off my chest. Even when I'm vague about it.

The problem is, I can't always write clearly about things because... well, some people don't want to hear about it (hi Family). But more importantly, it's private between Alex and I. He didn't ask me to have a blog and he certainly didn't ask me to talk about him on it. It's not fair that I broadcast our relationship in that way. Most stuff is a bit vague and I try not to write about him if I can help it.

Unfortunately, that usually means I can refrain when I'm happy, or at lesst content. Of course, it follows that I mostly write about him when I'm unhappy.

It doesn't give a very clear or fair picture of how things are with us.

And, obviously, this is my blog and I will give you my side of the story and you can be sure that it is biased because I am undoubtedly perfect in my own eyes. ;)

It's not true, of course. I was just talking to Raye about that this evening. There are plenty of things about me that are less than perfect.

Sometimes - most of the time - I am afraid and that makes me build barriers and that's a difficult thing for a person who loves you to deal with. I can't imagine how Alex manages to continue to love me. It takes a lot of dedication, loyalty and well - he's just stubborn. I'm lucky to have him.

I find myself truly missing him while I'm here - wanting him to be here to share my days, away from any pressure, stress, deadlines. And, honestly, the thing I want most is a big hug or to walk down the street holding hands or to sit in the park together. Is that sappy? I hope so - it would be a big step forward for me if it is.
Day Five in Halifax

Did you know that the Halifax Citadel is the number one most-visited historical tourist spot in Canada? True story.

Today, I joined the ranks.

I was there for the changing of the guard and a free tour and a movie and I talked to the School Master who was excellent and I spoke with the off-duty guards. Actually, one of the off-duty guards was very cute and spoke very knowledgeably. The other one was clearly nervous and broke the spell for me that they weren't really soldiers. It was kind of darling. He must be a new recruit.

I should really upload a photo of this while I'm writing about it, but I forgot to bring my cord. I'll ask Raye if she has one later...

Anyway, for a 3D tour of the
And if you want to know more about the events going on at the Citadel, have a look here: www.regimental.com.

Now that I'm seeing it, I wonder if maybe I shouldn't have waited to go for a Ghost Walk there. I'm sure that would have been interesting.

I spent 2 hours there and could have spent more, actually. They have a very good museum in there. It's interesting that they had such an elaborate, expensive defense system that took so long to build and it never had to defend itself once. It only saw action as a training ground and holding cells for prisoners of war, apparently.

A worthwhile place to visit if you ever get to Halifax.

I also found another pretty worthy coffee shop in the nearby Barrington Place pedestrian mall: Sam's Macchiato. Not as good as Cafe Ristretto, but definitely worth a go.

Number of Lost episodes watched: 5.
Number left to go: 2
I'm so excited to see what happens!

Amount of chocolate eaten: sickening.
Day Four in Halifax

I'm upset because this computer just erased my post. Grr.

That means this will be shorter.

I managed to get my butt out the door to drink decaf latte and write in my journal down at Cafe Ristretto. Mm, fanstastic coffee. And of course I love writing more than almost anything.

Made pizza for dinner. With goat cheese, naturally.

Saw Evita at the Neptune Theatre. I actually think it was better than the Toronto production I saw not too long ago.

Watched more episodes of Lost. Can't get enough of it.

Pretty good for a rain day.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Just finished Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.


There's something going on that she's not telling us. I hate that. Means I must wait for the next book. Grr.

Monday, May 15, 2006

I'm sitting on a warm, slightly sloping rock just off the path in Point Pleasant Park, enjoying the sunshine and in fact wishing I had worn something a little cooler than jeans and a tshirt.

I'm sitting there, quietly reading The Coast, Halifax's free weekly entertainment magazine.

And the thing is, the dogs keep coming up to check me out.

They sneak up and put their nose on my arm or their head in my lap. Just nudging in but not really looking for petting, but just, you know, checking me out. They sniff and poke around a bit but they don't really DO anything. Nor do they seem to be looking for anything in particular. And when their owners call - and I mean, the path is kinda far from this rock, so they've already strayed from their owners to get to me - they just sort of ignore them.

This is really weird.

I don't even like dogs.
But they're lovin me today.

Do I smell like dog pee? Or a fire hydrant?
Do I look like a bowl of dog food?

When I realize they're not moving off, I awkwardly pat them on the head.

"Hi" I say quietly, "Um, it's time to go back to your mommy now."

And they call them and they continue to ignore them and just sort of stand beside me on my rock. With The Coast between us, flapping a little in the breeze.

Another awkward pat. "Ah, go get 'er, boy!"
I don't know what to say: I've never watched Lassie. And the Littlest Hobo was smarter than this.

Miss Owner is getting a little exasperated as she moves down the trail. She assures me the dog doesn't bite.

Clearly, or he probably would've bit me already for my retarded dog-patting efforts.

I continue to try to encourage the dog to go catch up. He appears confused. Someone is definitely calling its name. Although, it's clear to me this dog doesn't understand English: my directions have met deaf ears.

A couple of false starts and he finally, reluctantly carries on after his owner.

Friggen dogs. I don't smell THAT bad, do I?
Day 3 in Halifax

Hours slept: 9 (holy crap)

Now I'm drinking my decaf earl grey tea and reading Harry Potter before I actually make it out the door, so we'll see what I actually accomplish today.

I'll be meeting up with Raye at 4pm to go with her to see a new apartment. She's decided to move out of Rez afterall, even though it's going to be more expensive.

So maybe I'll be able to walk out to Point Pleasant, a HUGE park near St. Mary's. It is, afterall, supposed to go up to 19 degrees and be sunny today, while tomorrow is a big rain day.

So off I go to finish my tea.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Day Two in Halifax

Hours slept: 7 (woke up at 1pm; you do the math)
Episodes of Lost watched: 4 (including one before going to bed last night)
Cups of amazing decaf latte: 1 (Cafe Ristretto might have the best coffee so far this year)
Hours walking in the sunshine around Halifax with Raye: 2.5
Dollars spent on a fantastic smoothie at Pete's Frootique, a Halifax institution: 5
Number of stars given to Poseiden, seen at the local IMAX theatre: 3 (it was entertaining)
Migraine tablets taken after a night on the town: 0
Ideas for what I'll do tomorrow when Raye is at work: 400
Number that will probably get accomplished: 2

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Day One in Halifax

Episodes of Lost watched: 8
Episodes of Lost loved: 9 (it's all about the anticipation!)
Episodes of Lost left to watch: 16
Dairy Queen Blizzards eaten: 1
Clothing items bought: 2
Conversations with Raye: 100
Pages of Harry Potter read: 19

I'm a little tired. Listening to the Swordfish album, finishing up my drink, offering advice to Raye as she gets ready to go out.

She's already let me borrow her necklace for the evening. I'm really going to try not to drink too much on our one night out so that I don't get a migraine. I have only remembered to bring ONE migraine tablet. Yes, I know: I've already chastised myself.

So far, this has been great. Halifax is cute. Seeing Raye is even better.

Don't tell Alex I miss him. He doesn't read this blog anyway.

Friday, May 12, 2006

This morning, on the way to work, I saw a girl walk down Wellesley and literally throw two full newspapers on the ground just as she was passing a garbage bin.

I was so shocked. I mean, who DOES that?

So, I picked up the newspapers, saying something snotty out loud that I'm sure she didn't hear and stuffed them in the bin, throwing a dirty look at her retreating back.

I was so close to tapping her on the shoulder and telling her:
"Excuse me, please don't threw garbage on the ground in my city. That's disgusting."

Yes, I said my city. I live here. Maybe she does too.
I, on the other hand, take pride in my city and don't believe I live in a giant garbage dump.

I think I'm my mother's daughter that way: she is well-known for picking up garbage on her daily runs. She could tell you ridiculous stories about the weird stuff she has found at the side of the road.

Stop being lazy. Stop ruining the landscape for everyone. STOP THE LITTER!
I realize that I've forgotten to write about the other "exciting" things from the past week.

Last Friday, I went out for party party party with some former coworkers as they're leaving for greener pastures as well! Looks like I started an exodus. Oops.

It was nice to see everyone again. They're such a great group of people - I hope we don't lose contact.

Then I had to hurry over to another bon voyage party for a friend who's moving to Vancouver. She's going to work on sustainable developments for the Olympic Village. How exciting!

But I found out that she and her long-term boyfriend are breaking up to avoid the long-distance relationship. So, a bittersweet story, all in all.

Then Alex and I ended up at MaRS at 1am or so to pick up boxes for his move.

The moving day, I've written about. It was tough going, those first few days. I'm sure they were for Alex too. I'm sure he was freaking out. I'm not the easiest person to get along with. I'm pretty anal.

But things have been better, as noted in my last post. I think it's going to be OK. As several people have said: if we can make it through moving and living in a jr-1-bdrm apartment, we can make it through anything. Although I hear that renos are even more stressful.

Wednesday marked a couple of firsts:

  1. the MaRS walking club - I've started up a walking group for the whole building and we had 8 people out on our fist day! We walked about 3km during lunch, enjoying the sunshine, Queen's Park and the UofT campus.
  2. beach volleyball at Ashbridges Bay Park - It was pretty cold out in the beaches, but I had so much fun it was ridiculous. Even though someone decided we should be "intermediate" rather than "recreational" I'd say our skill level remains decidedly "recreational". Except mine, of course. I totally carry the team.;)
I came home a little late from work last night to find a clean, orderly apartment!

And there was Alex sitting on the couch, as pleased as anything. It was so cute. Hugs, all around.

Somehow, he'd managed to put his old, broken TV out to the trash all by himself. That thing weighed about 700 pounds.

The new TV is perched on its milk crate platform, awaiting Rogers to come restore cable access to our abode. I nearly choked when I found out how much PVR cable is. But, what do I care if I don't have to pay for it?

So I packed.
OI, do I ever HATE packing!

Of course, it got me all stressed out. By the time I finally sat down to work on Anita's site, it was late and I was exhausted. My brain was just not functioning.

So I made the tough decision: the updates would have to wait until I got back from vacation. Sigh. I hate disappointing people.

Alex tried to reassure me about the trip so that I could get to sleep: he reminded me that whether I forgot something or not, I could always buy it there. At worst, he could Fedex me anything I really needed.

He's good for me.

And finally I dropped off to sleep, only to awake early, my stomach butterflies already up and at 'em. Grr.

I'm web-checked in, I've printed the Airport Express schedule, and I've already sent out all my vacation notices. No worries, right?

So why won't my blood pressure calm the hell down?

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

I bought a new phone!

I'm actually renewing my contract with Telus and I got a big phone credit so I only paid $50 for it.

So now I have to get rid of my welfare phone that I got dirt cheap when I got back from Australia two years ago. It was pretty crappy, but I feel kind of sad about letting it go. I pride myself on being able to make do with "bare minimum" technology. I am my father's daughter.

But it's supposed to have a better battery and reception and it's a flip-phone which prevents random call-answering, accidental dialing, and general deterioration of the key pad.

So, there it is. A new phone.

And a new family phone plan as soon as Alex makes the switch. It will be cheaper for both of us, so it's smart. But all this sharing is a little scary.
This morning, Alex and I went to the lawyer to talk about the contract between us for the house. Since I'm on the title and the mortgage, I thought it was important that we protect him from the possibility of sneaky-me selling the house out from under him and running away to some exotic country.

Sounds like me, afterall.

I had called a couple different lawyers. They were all priced similarly, although some were a little more expensive. And then I talked to Max Cohen, a lawyer that my real estate agent's office uses all the time.

I immediately felt a connection. I chose him based on our conversation that day.

And I wasn't wrong.

This morning, after getting all the particulars out of the way for our "in-trust" agreement, he offered us some counselling. He said, "Buying a house is a very stressful thing. A reno is even more stressful. But it's just a house. Don't let your relationship suffer for it - it is, afterall, just a place you live. There will be others."

It was exactly what we needed this morning.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Met up with Sara, girlfriend of the lead singer of The Free Press (not Sarah with an 'h'), at The Free Times Cafe. We had some dinner and chatted... she is totally in the same headspace as me. Must come from having a boyfriend in a band.

Then, two of the guys from the band did an accoustic set there. It was great. I really enjoyed it.

I also enjoyed the performer after them, who had a violinist play with him. It was his first ever gig and he did really well.

It's times like that - those intimate artsy stages - when I wish I had a talent to share with such a supportive crowd.

They really were wonderful: many came up and thanked JD and Len and told them how wonderful they were. It was a proud moment.
Last night, Alex bought a new fancy TV. It's very nice and I'm sure he got a decent price for it.

He asked me for advice on it, but it's a hard thing for me to give advice on for two reasons:

  1. I don't care about TV. A small, slightly staticy picture is still fine for the amount that I watch. I know that this is NOT ok for the addicted TV watchers of the world. It would hurt their eyesight.

  2. I don't know his finances. I don't know how much he owes, how much he has, what else he wants to buy.

Monday, May 08, 2006

A couple of announcements:

  1. Alex is all moved in. It went pretty smoothly, but my little apartment is really packed full of stuff. We've both been living on our own for a while, so it's going to take some getting used to, this roommate stuff.
  2. We "celebrated" our 2-year anniversary yesterday. To celebrate, I got a foot massage and he got a back massage and he told me about how he was going to buy me flowers or a card but he saved money by just telling me about it - it's the thought that counts afterall. He knew I would be happy that he saved the money. That made me laugh.
  3. Tickets for the June Radiohead show are sold out. I had made myself a note to buy them on Saturday, but I was helping Alex move. And now they're all gone. Sad story.
  4. I'm going on vacation on Friday!

Not really an announcement, but I started reading Harry Potter on the weekend, The Half-Blood Prince. So far, pretty good. I love reading. Especially when I do it on Sunday mornings with my decaf coffee when it's still and quiet. It makes me feel so calm.

Friday, May 05, 2006

The house down the street from ours just sold for over $15k more than ours!

I'm so excited that we got a good deal on our house!

It's cuter and Team CathyAlex hasn't even STARTED their beautification project yet!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Tonight at MaRS we have musicians playing instruments in our Atrium that I've never heard of before. Their music is floating over to me here at my desk and literally giving me goosebumps.

They are practicing for soundaXis, a sound, achitecture and accoustics festival that will be holding events here at MaRS between June 1-11.

What a fascinating place this can be.

We had bacon, eggs, fried potatoes and croissants for breakfast. A full roast beef dinner for lunch. Cookies and granola bars arrived for us just as the place empties out.

I will get fat.
But perhaps it will be with a smile on my face.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Do you know how long it's been since I talked to Heather?

Well, it's been an embarassingly long time.

We finally caught up last night. And did it ever feel good to talk. It's odd -- what with her living out in Vancouver and us not actually communicating much -- it's surprising that we would connect again so easily.

It's just so easy talking to her. She seems to GET it. And that's a really nice feeling.

I guess she reads my blog and says that I seem to always be doing something. I suppose she's right:

  • Monday, I visited Anita and went for a nice long walk and ate leftovers from her boyfriend's birthday party.
  • Last night, I walked home and set aside for Iris (see my last post) and talking to Heather.
  • Tonight, I'm getting together with Jess and making her dinner (I say "making" but I will likely be serving the latest MaRS-special.
  • Tomorrow night, I'm going to see a documentary that's part of HotDocs, the Toronto documentary festival, with Sarah and Sharon
  • Friday I have 2 parties to go to: one bon voyage party for a beach vball friend and one YAY-new-job party for a former coworker.
  • The weekend, I suspect, will be dedicated to helping Alex move into my apartment.


But I LIKE being busy. When I'm NOT busy, I make myself busy. Then I don't feel lonely or bored. I feel exciting and productive.

This is the me that I like.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


Blue Iris in the Rain
Originally uploaded by birdyboo.
I finally watched the movie Iris.

I suppose that it was good timing for me.

I have been feeling pretty down lately; preoccupied with negative feelings.

Iris is about a novelist who succumbs to Alzheimer's. It was tragically sad, but at the same time quite beautiful because it was also about the love that she had in her life.

Her husband, John, is just about the dearest doddering old fool you can imagine. Even at her worst, he loves her and cares for her with such gentleness, even while he himself is quite a mess, that it just breaks your heart. It is painful to watch the woman he loves remove herself from the world. But it warmed my heart just watching how he stood by her the whole time, wanting to do what she would have wanted, trying to make her difficult days bearable.

I'm sure it's very difficult to find someone with such stubborn loyalty.

I realize that perhaps that is what I have in my life now and I should feel quite lucky to have discovered this rarity.

I believe that I have been expecting more than this. I have been looking for happiness in a person or in love.

In fact, Iris muses that people mistakenly search for this: for happiness to be brought to them by someone or something.

It seems that I should have learned my lesson years ago: the only true happiness is discovered within myself.

When I travelled for such a long time, I remembered myself. The true Cathy. Because I was on my own and had no one to depend on but me. I did the things I wanted and I talked to whomever pleased me and I felt so real. I had a genuine interest in the people that I met and I treasured everything I learned and experienced. I loved who I was then. I loved the joy I took in every day and every moment.

But it was because all my moments were lived for me - not selfishly, but individually. I felt free.

As Iris says, "There is only one freedom of any importance, freedom of the mind."

Perhaps it's time I gained my mental freedom and remembered who I am again.