Friday, March 23, 2007

Calgary - mountains, here we come!

So here we are (my mom and I), safely in Calgary with Jen. We're off to Fernie tonight so we'll have our first day on the mountain tomorrow. Very exciting! Hopefully, it won't rain on us.

I have a new haircut - also very exciting!

Likely won't be able to post for the rest of the week - try to live without me!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Blog til you drop

It has been a day of blogging, blogging, blogging (professionally speaking).

I knew that I was training for something when I start up It was for this job.

I remember back in Journalism school when I decided that journalism wasn't for me. I hated journalism. I thought I hated writing. I was JAY-ded.

And then I found this. This writing without being a journalist thing.
And I fell in love. In love with writing. Again.

And I just did it. For fun. OK, sometimes it was forced, but mostly it was fun. And I decided that I wanted to get back into this somehow.

And now here I am. Blogging and editing a blog about innovation for a living (among other web-related festivities and the occasional boring political/administrative stuff).

Can you imagine?
Think about when you were a kid thinking about what you wanted to do when you grew up. Think about what you're doing now and how you feel about it. Now imagine that you actually managed to DO that childhood dream. And that the dream was actually as good as what you'd imagined (except for the fan-adoration and never-ending ice cream of course).

That's a charmed life, for sure.

OK, yes, I'm hopped up on a London Fog right now and it's giving me an extra edge of bliss. Yes, there are cookies in my immediate future to look forward to. And yes, I'm about to take off on a skiing vacation in the Rockies.

But I still think this moment is really this good.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Originally uploaded by Megapixel Eyes.
I'm so ready to go to bed now.

All day I've been feeling just sick with tired. I feel like I've got sand beneath my eyelids.

Even my London Fog today didn't cut it. Sigh.

What kind of a day am I having when a London Fog doesn't even help?

Problem is, I was doing all kinds of stuff last night trying to prepare for my trip (one more sleep!). So I was all wound up by the time I went to bed... which was late anyway.

Then someone decides that they need to talk to me at 3:30am. Grr. Then they wake up at 5:30am and SIT ON THE BED to put on their socks!? Someone wasn't so concerned about waking me up.

And then I had to get up at 6:30am anyway to go to an event about Second Life. Very interesting... I'm into so many social Web things but virtual life with avatars hasn't really appealed to me. I think I just enjoy real life so much that I can't imagine why I'd WANT to spend more time online instead. I can't see the benefit. But I'm learning about it nonetheless.

As every good WebGoddess should.

And off I go to sleep. To sleep, perchance to dream...

Wait lines can suck my @&$!

I had one of my best experiences I've ever had with the Ontario health system yesterday.

So, apparently I'm getting old and when I hurt my shoulder in some mysterious way about 2 months ago, skiing (NO, I didn't wipe out!), it didn't just "get better" like my body used to do.

Anyway, I finally broke down and asked my doctor to take a look at it. He gave me a quick assessment and wrote a requisition to get an xray and ultrasound.

I groaned inwardly because the last time I did that (I think it was when I broke both my wrists during ultimate frisbee, and NO, I am NOT accident prone!) I waited forever.

This time I was prepared. I made my appointment and asked how long it would probably take. I added onto their estimate and told everyone at work I'd be at least 2 hours. I brought sizeable reading material with me. Hey, I had to edit anyway, so I figured that I could do it the old-fashioned way: on paper.

And then what happened?
I walked there, gave them my requisition form and health card, sat down for about maybe 5 minutes (possibly less) and was called in before I got to the second paragraph of my reading material.

That's fine. I thought I'd just get into the horrible hospital gown and then get into it.

But no sooner had I slipped into the hot little number than the ultrasound guy was poking around for me. Then, turn your arm this way, hold your hand here, and, bam, I was done.

He walked me to the xray guy.
I sat down while the xray guy looked at the form and two seconds later: "Follow me."

I did. I stood here, there, this way, that way, held my breath when he told me to.

And done.

That was it. I was back at work in a half hour! Without my editing done, but with time left over to visit Starbucks.

What could be better?

Monday, March 19, 2007

Brunch with Raye

Raye was in town this weekend from Halifax.

Saturday, an emergency took her to see one of her friends outside the city... her friend lost his partner and child all in one day. In childbirth. Such a very sad story. I cannot imagine how that would feel.

Talking to Raye and her friend Jodi over yummy crepes at the Marché was far too short, however. Isn't that the way it usually is, though? One's time with friends never seems enough.

That, coupled with a partner planning session, yoga and the long walk downtown from my house (although an hour and a half doesn't feel so long when the sun is shining and there are such interesting things to look at) took up most of my Sunday.

What was left of the weekend was taken up with household chores and errands. Sounds boring, I guess, but I always love that feeling of accomplishment.

I make lists.

There's a lot of comfort in lists. I love that moment when I can check something off or cross it out. And the motivation I get from even writing the items out on a sheet of lined paper or in my task list is immeasurable.

New on my list is to read The Mastery of Love, a gift from Raye. A gift from Raye, I might add, on her birthday.

It's been a while since I read a self-help book (I think the last one was Getting to Yes or else Me to We) and I think I'm ready for the inspiration. This one is about the "misplaced expectations about love that permeate most relationships." It should help supplement the kinds of things that my counsellor is trying to help me with.

(Question about counselling, actually: how much advice should a counsellor give? Are they meant to be impartial? I thought they were but am feeling lately that mine is not. Is there a situation in which it would be OK for a counsellor NOT to be impartial?)

Interestingly, counselling was another item on my list, once upon a time. It was an actionable way of dealing with something that I really couldn't seem to make inroads on.

But part of what Raye and Jodi and I talked about yesterday was about those things that happen that can't just be an item on a list. Those tragedies, those gutting moments that can't be fixed. What does one do when something like that happens?

This book I've started to read suggests that there is so much more than tragedy that really shouldn't BE an actionable item. That we pretend and force things so much that should really just be left to develop without interference. It goes against my understanding and belief in the internal locus of control. So I'm struggling with it.

I'll keep you updated.
It's on my list.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Chocolate Heaven

There's a new cafe open just near me on the Danforth.

Chocolate Heaven.

Chocolate AND coffee in a small, independent cute spot around the corner. I wanted it to be so fantastic.

The dark chocolate truffle I had was fantastic. The decaf latte... was not very hot and not as strong as I'd have liked. A little disappointing.

But you know? I'm willing to give it another try. Next time I'll try the decaf cappuccino instead. And maybe I can ask them if they make London Fogs. Who knows?

But I'm very excited about the proximity and the cuteness and the quiet. I sat down and read a whole section of the paper. It was great.

The treats in there could be the death of me, if I let them. But sometimes, one really needs a chocolate heaven...

Friday, March 16, 2007

TTC and congestion

rest those weary westbound wings
Originally uploaded by ronestar.
You know, I've been reading a lot about the proposed congestion charge for Toronto and its tie into the public transportation efficiency debate. If you've heard but not read the pros and cons, here's some suggested reading:

I thought that I had an opinion about all of this. Reading some of these guys, I'm starting to change my mind.

I thought for sure that congestion charging was the way to go. But the Torontoist article made me think about it differently. Maybe we're not ready for charging like that. I think he's right -- there are a lot of other things that we may have to fix before we go down that road.

We should be focusing on the LRT system plan that just came out instead of focussing on charging for downtown congestion? I absolutely agree that we need to get cars out of downtown. But I didn't think about all of the factors that go into actually making that happen.

Yes, we have the technology and, OK, it will take some bureaucracy money to make it happen. And that's fine. But I never thought about how the suburbs' policies affect us in the downtown.

It's a complicated situation. And I really want to know more about it - I think we should ALL become more educated about it.

I'm more glad than ever that I live pretty close to where I work. I really believe that this is the way to go, and I'm sorry if this isn't the case for you, it's just what I believe in right now.

But maybe there will come a time when this isn't possible. I wonder how I will feel then.

Side Note:
I'm thinking that Contested Streets might be another of those documentaries about environmental/social issues that I love so much. (Like "Who Killed the Electric Car?" and "An Inconvenient Truth").

bands make me tired
Originally uploaded by *Shasha*.
Last night I went to see the Free Press at Hollywoods and it was a good show, only now I am FEELING it. I'm glad I went. The band has made some good changes to their songs. They're still working on the SHOW aspect of their show, but it was a nice time. And I got to talk to Sara (AKA "Shasha" of Flickr fame).

But I am such a baby about sleep.

I drank extra tea last night to stay awake and I was fine. But the falling asleep part was NOT so fine. The waking up part was NOT so fine.

The keeping my eyes open this afternoon part? Also not so fine.

How do people do this?

Dear Friends

Originally uploaded by ourcommon.
I just had a moment of profound gratitude for my friends. And I wanted to send an email out to all of them to let them know that I was really happy that I know them and that they're with me.

I just wanted to hug them.
But I'm at work in front of my computer.
So this is my virtual hug -- although no less felt in my heart.

I hope you know that this is directed at you when you read this. Because you mean very much to me.

And thank you for being so great. I wish I told you that more. You are what life is all about.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


So, let's all hold our collective gasps, but I am negative.

Ya, it's true and you can stop smirking behind your hand. I see you.

It's OK, I know. But I also know that I need to work on it. The toughest part is knowing HOW to work on it.

Raye told me that I wasn't allowed to write one negative thing about my house without saying lots of positive things.

Maybe that's the way I should approach this issue in general. Maybe one becomes positive just by saying positive things when one has a negative thought.

Now, here's the problem (and yes, I'm navel-gazing, so shut up): negative thoughts can also be beneficial. They help you figure out when something needs fixing. They prevent you from settling for sub-par. They motivate you to do make things better. They can make you see the downfalls or holes in a strategy. They keep you REAL, humble and always striving.

But of course there are limits.

My negativity makes me realize the following about myself (ie: I'm about to be negative about my negativity):

  • I complain. A LOT.
  • I am never satisfied.
  • Good is good. But bad overshadows it.
  • I always expect the worst.
  • I want the best and expect others to strive for it. When they don't, I'm disappointed in them.
  • I literally believe it take years to build up a reputation. And a second to destroy it. Seriously.
  • I actually unconsciously ENJOY the bad.

How can anyone enjoy bad things, even unconsciously? It's complicated, but it happens far too often. And since it's unconscious, it's even harder to fix.

So my main focus lately has been: how do I prevent myself from unconsciously trying to cause myself this pain that I unconsciously love so much?

  • When I think bad thoughts, remind myself: you love pain. You're doing this BECAUSE you enjoy it. You weirdo!;)
  • When I think bad thoughts, think good thoughts. Out loud. In my head. Whatever. Mad about the dishes? OK. But we are both happily, gainfully employed as well as active in something we're passionate about. And that's why we're too busy to do the dishes right now.
  • When I get negative, just observe my negativity. Note it. And move on. Hopefully in a more positive direction.

Any other suggestions?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Worst london fog

Worst London Fog of all time.

Not enough vanilla.
Ruins it every time.

I even told her there wasn't enough vanilla in it and she SAID she added some. I felt I couldn't complain twice or she might spit in it, so I just said "yes" when she asked if it was better. She's probably laughing at the stupid customer who imagined her drink tasted better after she put it in a new cup.

$3.18 down the drain. What a rip.

This, after having the best London Fog Of ALL Time on Sunday (creamy, sweet and spicy). What a disappointment. Different Starbucks, different drink.

Has blogging peaked?

Mark Evans, a blog network exec, recently posted about the peaking of blogs. And Maggie Fox, who recently guest-blogged for me, corporately speaking, blogged about an article in the Atlantic Monthly about the hype and impending death of social media.

I find it interesting how easy it is for people to blog now. Seriously, join Facebook or Yahoo 360 or even MSN Spaces and you can just DO It.

And yet, I know first hand how hard it is to do well.

I'm not saying that I'm a great blogger. As bloggers go, I'm not exceptional. I don't follow some of the important rules. Like, my posts aren't exactly on-topic. I'm all over the place. But my goal is different from many other blogs. IE: I don't really have one. OK, I do. I want to talk about myself and things I'm interested in. Quite selfish. And I don't really expect to get traffic out of it and become famous. I do it because I like to write.

But aside from actually getting myself to write and be inpired in my writing, I do know how hard it is for OTHER people to write a good blog as well. It's what I do in my job every day. Edit blog posts. Coach people in how to make their blog posts better. It's a real knack.

I, like Mark Evans, would actually be quite satisfied if blogging is peaking and it coolness factor starts to wain. Because I don't think it will affect me. I just like to write. The end.

And I may feel less guilty when there's less that I feel obligated to read. (Sorry!)

Monday, March 05, 2007


Goodness, do I ever had a list of to-do's.

  • buy fix-up stuff for the bathtub
  • call insurance company
  • call for physiotheraphy appointment
  • do yoga (getting my back in shape for my ski trip)
  • put out garbage
  • do mountain of dishes
  • put away laundry
  • find birth certificate for passport renewal
  • check investments
  • call for IKEA kitchen designer
  • finish my counselling reading
  • launder all sheets
  • defrag my computer
  • tidy basement
  • paint below thermostat (that's why you never paint AROUND thermostats!)
  • eat, sleep, etc
  • manage through this busy time at work

... and still manage to make sure that I remember all of everyone else's to-do's as well.

Sometimes it gets a little overwhelming.

BUT, I'm very excited that my friend is coming to visit me and much of this stuff is to make sure the one time she sees my house, it's perfect... or as perfect as it can be without a major renovation, anyway.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Happy Social Cathy

I had such a nice day yesterday. I hung out with my friend Sara at the Eaton Centre.

We ate Dairy Queen and shopped a little and went to Starbucks and just talked and talked.

It's really interesting that one can find so much to say to another person. We talked about jobs and life goals and even politics and I realized partway through that I don't usually like talking about politics. But it was the WAY we talked about it that made it interesting.

No one was shoving their opinions down my throat or pretending they knew something they didn't or trying to argue with me. It was just a really interesting discussion.

Of course, a nice venti London Fog to go with it never hurts.

I wonder sometimes why something so simple is so entertaining for me. I guess it just goes to prove that I love to talk. And talk. And talk.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Me at Nathan Phillips Square

Tonight I went skating at Nathan Phillips Square with my mom. It was totally awesome fun. I don't know why I don't go more often. I suppose it's cause it's really only fun when you're with someone else.

Hence why I think the last time I went skating at Nathan Phillips was around this time last year with Sarah and Jaap.

It's great because it's essentially free (assuming you have skates) and it's exercise and one of the few things you can do outside in the winter and LIKE.

We skated for over an hour before our hunger got the better of us and we toddled off to our favourite thai restaurant, Salad King, for yummy islamic noodles. Mm!

And managed to get in some second-hand book and video shopping (or browsing in my case). I just LOVE second-hand bookstores. I could spend forever in them. Problem is, I have books, but not enough time to read them all. Well, I don't have enough GOOD books. I keep thinking if I don't keep GOOD books around, then I'll break down and read the boring books that I think I SHOULD read. It's not really working out well, to be honest.

But I still like to look at what's out there that I can get for a good deal. If you know anything about me, you know that I hate paying full price for anything. It's a congenital condition.

As is my desire to exercise and DO. I talked about that tonight with my mom -- about how I'm most happy when I'm busy being productive or active or both.

And tonight? I was both. And that equals happy.

stock market

Originally uploaded by GMT+09:00.
I don't know if I'm right for this stock market stuff.

I mean, it's kind of exciting. And I feel pretty cool that I'm doing it, even thought I don't do the research part of it.

I just read MoneySense and do the "couch potato". I'm quite happy with the choices that I made with my RRSP money.

But then I checked today and, what with the stock market downturn, I've already lost a couple hundred dollars! Depressing. Good thing the government doesn't look at what a good investor (or not) you are when they're determining your tax deductions.

I must remember that these funds are in there for the long term. And a little blip right now really won't matter when I'm taking them out for my retirement.

I think I should just ban myself from looking at it until next year.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Grilled Cheese Magic

Felt like crap today at work. Tired, achy, miserable.

Didn't go home though. I stayed since I had a counselling appointment after work anyway. And then it started to SNOW. Like crazy. Like it knew how many months we'd been without it and was trying to make up for it.

So I got on the subway and up to Eglinton and waited for the bus to take me across to my doctor's office.

And waited. And waited.
I had been early, but I waited over 20 minutes at rush hour for any eastbound bus to arrive at the station. NOTHING.

Fine. Walk to my doctor's office and actually get there late, but before any eastbound bus passes me.

Had a very difficult counselling appointment. In case you didn't know (and you probably do, so no smart ass remarks) I like to play the victim and I do it all the time. Even when I'm looking for it, I apparently am still doing it an not noticing.


Anyway, jump back on a westbound bus. SO lucky I caught one pretty much right away. Got to the station. Waited for over an HOUR for my bus to come. I kept waiting, thinking it was going to come any minute now and it would probably come as soon as I left to try another route. And the bus is the way to get me closest to my door without having to walk through a lot of bad weather.

In my dress that I freakishly decided to wear today.

I finally gave up. Clearly the bus was not coming for us.

I went into the subway and got to the platform just as a southbound train was leaving the station. Awesome.

Wait. Read my book. Wait.

Train arrives. And train continues south without stopping at all. Grr.

Wait. Read my book. Wait. Toes are at least unthawing. I'm sort of able to feel them again. This is good - better than waiting for the bus. Except that now I'm sure that the bus has come and gone while I've been down here waiting.

Finally, train arrives, I get on, I transfer, get out at my station. I walk through the knee-deep snow and stupid wind with pellets of snow whipping my cheeks. Get home to see my walkway piled high with more snow.

Of course.

I climb the mountain to my deck and open the door, welcoming the rush of warm air. And realize that all of the lights have been on all day, lighting the way for the dust mites.

I change my clothes, adding layers upon layers and slippers.
I start making myself food, as I am hungry after trying to get home for the past 2+ hours. Realize that I'd like some pleasant noise in the background.

Can't coax the TV to make a sound. There's picture, and if I were a lip reader, I'd be golden. But silence.

OK. Fine. Be that way.
But I WILL be hopping mad and you will TAKE it!

I manage to get the grilled cheese into the sandwich maker that we never use. And it finally clicks off to tell me it's ready. I take it out. I bite in.

Grilled cheese magic.

The night is saved.