Monday, April 30, 2007

Good things

Originally uploaded by Carootje1.
The second best thing happened to me today: free Starbucks London Fog.

It was for a meeting, though, so it meant I couldn't just close my eyes and enjoy. I had to concentrate. Plus, it wasn't the most well-made London Fog I've had.

The best thing happened yesterday. On the sunny Sunday in Oshawa with my boyfriend: free Starbucks for all!

First: did you know that they have drive thru Starbucks? Well, they do. In Oshawa. And I thought I would never use one.

Well, there I was in our rental car in Oshawa, ordering through my window. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. Driving up to the window and ordering again. Then my payment wouldn't go through.

And so? Free Starbucks! Yay!

It was a really good day. My boyfriend was really nice and I talked to his mom a lot and it was just nice. And today he went to Mexico. Sad. I don't often miss peopel when they're gone for a short time -- the independence in me, I guess. But I think that, this time, I might actually miss him already.

Although I would settle for more London Fogs...

PS: third best thing that happened: Sarah found me chocolate brown 400 thread count percale queen sized sheets for the master bedroom at Winners for cheap! And put them on hold for me. She is a good person. And I'm going to have new yummy sheets!

PSS: fourth best thing that happened: I went to a wine tasting event at work for free and found a fantastic reisling from Stratus. And there was yummy sheep's milk cheese on tasty bread with tomato-pear sauce and walnuts. Taste sensation! And then I got a free cab ride home! I am a lucky girl. I think I've used up all my "good things" karma for a long time.

Friday, April 27, 2007

About literature

I was editing a blog post for work, and posting a comment for another post, when I came across an interesting environmental blog. I wanted to find out more about his background (just to see whether this was someone who actually knew what he was talking about). And, in his bio, he wrote about literature:

"I could easily have made a career as an academic in English as English has always been my best subject but I just could not see the point of studying something that should essentially be a recreation. Literature is written to entertain. If it does not do that it is a failure. So if you have to study it to get its message, you are not treating as it was meant to be treated and are in any case studying something that is irrelevant by its own standards. It is true that literature may sometimes embody useful philosophical insights but that is essentially incidental and also rare."

I remembered going into journalism because I wanted to write about the many subjects that interest me. And then I remembered hating journalism because I wasn't allowed to just write about it in a way that was interesting. I had to write in a very PARTICULAR way that was formulaic and creatively draining. It took away all of my passion for writing and I decided that I could never make it as a writer if I had to write like that.

And so I went into technology.
And wrote for myself. For recreation. For the love of it.

And now I'm so happy about everything that I've done.

I don't regret taking journalism anymore, because it taught me a lot about how to teach others (who don't love writing) to write something worthwhile. And it gave me a certain credibility as an editor.

I don't regret getting away from journalism and going into web development because I learned a lot about the web and technology in general. And it exposed me to management positions and projects in a subject area that I'm interested in (sciences).

I don't regret any of the career choices I've made because they all got me to where I am right now, which is a very good place to be. A place where I use all of my talents every day. Where I do something that I pretty much dreamed of doing since I was a teenager.

My recreation, my passion, has now become my job.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Hot Docs

HotDocsI managed to see two documentaries at HotDocs this year with my most ardent movie-going friend, Sarah: Thin Ice and Lovable.

They were both really good. Actually, I also saw "The Fighting Cholitas" at the same time as "Thin Ice", since they were both quite short and had very similar themes of the empowerment of women in sport (although, can you consider WWE-style wrestling a sport?).

I really enjoyed Lovable, even though there was less of a real story line there. There were so many people who were very open and honest about their fear of dying alone. And yet there were those who professed not to be all that unhappy with their aloneness.

It was strange, watching that documentary; I actually identified with much of what those women were looking for. And yet I'm in a relationship. I wonder if perhaps part of the reason why some of us are alone is due to our misconceptions about what a relationship should be.

Are we searching for something that's not realistic? Do we get disappointed and fed up with all of those dates and relationships that just don't measure up to our fantasy? Has society fed us an ideal of what we should have that we continually compare ourselves to instead of looking at what we really want and being OK with it, even though it's different?

I don't feel alone, really. Much like many of the women in the film, I have a plethora of supportive, loving relationships that just aren't THAT ONE relationship. And I'm one of those women they talked about who constantly complains about her ONE relationship. Perhaps the relationship just doesn't measure up to my misconstrued notion of what it should be.

I'm an independent girl: I quite like being alone. But maybe I just feel like I shouldn't. I feel like I SHOULD delight in being around my partner as much as possible. But that's not how it works out in reality. So does that mean it's broken? Or is it just that I don't really like being around anyone all the time and I should stop trying to force it?

I love events like HotDocs that bring interesting thoughts to my life.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

I am the destroyer!

Earlier today, I wore a brown and white polka dot dress to a wedding shower at a very nice Inn and played fun games and won prizes and ate a lot. Like civilized people do.

Tonight, I had a hammer and chisel in my hands and decimated a brick wall of my height to a mere hump that barely reaches my knees.

I feel powerful.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Thoughts on Cookies

Molasses-Spice cookies
Originally uploaded by ilmungo.
Last night I made cookies.

Well, to be truly honest, I didn't actually complete the cookies. But I made the batter, rolled them out, put the fancy concoction inside, rolled them up and put the whole package in the fridge to chill out.

There's something so very comforting about making cookies that has nothing to do with their sweetness, but has everything to do with the activity of your mind and attentiveness to exact measurements, multitasking the mixing and chopping of various ingredients and creative substitutions. It's about being busy without being stessed. And, for me, it's about the selflessness: knowing that I am doing this for someone else because I never make cookies for myself. The joy of picking the right cookie for the right person and having the right ingredients on hand to make it work.

It's about the TV on in the background, playing Grey's Anatomy so I can watch while doing something productive.

It's the perfect activity for the end of a bad day, when things have not gone your way. When you find yourself alone in your house, again, surrounded by worry, and knowing the worrying cannot do any good. When you don't need companionship so much as a focus. When you want to feel like you can do something that matters. Something special.

Cookies matter.

When you don't expect them, and someone shows up with some homemade cookies. Yes, cookies made by their own hands. And they smell like vanilla and sugar and have "I really tried" written all over them. Then cookies matter. Because they can make you smile.

Even if you don't like cookies, you will have one.
Because that's how much they matter.

And that's what it made me feel last night. I put this together with some of that and mixed like they told me to. And spread like I was supposed to and did everything right and, there, it was done (or, as I said, chilling out).

Wouldn't it be nice if you could just do that all the time? If you could just do this and that, just do everything you can right, according to a recipe that someone has taken the time to write out, and, there, it's done.

But it doesn't happen like that, does it?

Sometimes I don't end up with cookies.
Sometimes I end up with a mess of burnt dough.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Got home last night, late again, and ate my dinner of turkey soup in a quiet, dark house while watching my little piece of personal decadance: House.

OK, yes, I still love House. And yes, I know it's basically the same show every time.

But what I'm liking right now is the sexual chemistry between Dr. Chase and Dr. Cameron. I love that I don't even really know their first names. I like that they're not huggy/kissy. There's a distance there between them, a restraint, which makes the tender moments all that much more titillating.

Just a simple shot of him touching her wrist by the coffee machine is enough.

No, I don't particularly love the characters themselves. I'm not dying over his accent nor attracted to his blonde, blue-eyed boy look.

I just think the story works. It's a good break from the in-your-face sex of every other show.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Still sick

Last night, I slept.

this is notable because I have not been sleeping lately. Not well, at least. Fitful starts and stops, punctuated by medication-taking, nose blowing and water drinking, yes.

But sleep? Not so much.

Feeling sorry for myself.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Stupid microwave, stupid stores

So, of course my microwave decides to break on the weekend.

My family is over, helping me with home improvements and pfft! There it goes.

Sadly, it's not the microwave's fault. I've had it since I was in university, so I really can't blame it for just shutting down for no apparent reason. In electronics years, it's about two hundred years old. I guess it was time.

But then I thought I'd like to get a replacement microwave. I decide it's time to get that over-the-range model that I've been eyeing as a space-saving measure for my cute little kitchen.

So off I go to Home Depot. Did you know that Home Depot only carries stainless steel models of any appliance in stock? And floor models, especially the one that's perfect for you, are usually discontinued and come without all of their parts or the instruction manual. The next shipment? In a month.

OK, so off I go to peruse the other stores. Did you know that no one keeps anything in stock? They all told me to go home and shop online. How silly I was to think that I would be able to take one home TODAY?!

Silly Cathy.

So turn to my computer and shop. Find what I want at Sears. Decide, YES, I can get a car on the weekend to pick that up. Rent the car. Order the appliance... and they finally tell me the earliest I can get it is the end of May.


So now what do I do? Is there anywhere on the planet that actually sells over the range microwaves that I can take home today or even next weekend?

Or do I order and wait for the day when they decide they can let me take one home?

Was it always this way? Have I just become part of the "Now Generation," impatient for my needs to be fulfilled? Or is it reasonable that I could expect to have a microwave in my hands in the near future?

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Tough times

I have been so sick lately and things have been pretty rough. I'm getting through it with the help of some antihistamine and my family has come once again this weekend to help with reno jobs.

I love having them here.

They help me get my mind off of difficult things and remind me how lucky I am. I really do appreciate my family. Because of them, I know that I want to have something of my own like this one day in the future. The marriage, the kids. I look forward to it.

But one thing at a time. First, get through this flu thing. Then worry about "forever".

Friday, April 13, 2007

My Life Number

***Your Life Path Number is 1***

Your purpose in life is to lead others.

You have great drive and determination. Nothing is going to stand in your way.
You seek out challenges and the spotlight. You'll take all the work - and all the glory.

Status and success are important to you. You demand the best from everyone and everything.

In love, you tend to take a protective role. You enjoy being the provider in relationships.

You expect others to be like you, and as a result, you are often disappointed.
A little selfish and vain, you always put yourself first.

Remember, everyone already knows you're great - you don't need to remind them!

What Is Your Life Path Number?

* * *

Interesting little thing memed from Raye. Some of this is very much like me, actually. Challenges, drive, determination. OK, maybe the selfish part too. Interesting. Raye's turned out well also, I thought. You can see hers on Facebook only.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Oh, I feel so sick.

I so rarely take a sick day. But today I just couldn't do it. I don't even want to get up. I made it down to the couch, but I know I should eat, but can't seem to make myself any food. My stomach keeps rebelling.


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

First bike ride of the year

Bicycle Silhouette
Originally uploaded by stop.down.
My bike has been calling out to me to ride it.

Finally, this morning, I wheeled it off my deck and onto the street. The poor rusty chain didn't really want to change gears so much, but I coaxed it into place.

My legs are no longer used to the ride. But that will change.

By this summer, I'll be going everywhere with my open-air wheels and my legs won't even notice the hills.

It was nice to catch up on my reading on the TTC over the winter, but the time has come to get rid of that hibernation fat and brave the crazy streets. So far, I've only had one brush with death out there, but I'm hungry for more.

However I'm not looking forward to my uphill ride home tonight...

Monday, April 09, 2007

blueberry pie

What does it mean when you eat an entire half of a homemade blueberry pie within 24 hours?

I'll tell ya: it means that you love your mom's blueberry pie.

My counsellor is big on thinking that everything means something about your sub-conscious, and so I thought maybe it meant that I was trying to fill a void in my emotional life. ~grins~ I love making fun of my counsellor and self-help in general. But the problem is that they're mostly right.


So, reading my book this morning (a gift from Raye) I'm reading about loving myself. All of myself. Every part. Basically workshipping myself. Closing my eyes when I eat, because it's like an offering to myself.

And you know, I don't think that I closed my eyes when I ate that blueberry pie.

So, tonight, when I meet Sarah at Starbucks and drink my London Fog, I am going to close my eyes. Enjoy my offering to myself.

I'm salivating now.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

House Beautifying Weekend

I would like to say that I have the nicest family on the planet.

Seriously, they all came over this Easter weekend and helped me with a yucky reno job on my laundry room that we weren't even able to finish so they don't even have that satisfaction.

Unfortunately, the cosmos were against us and everything that could go wrong, went wrong. Our original plan was off, so we had to spend a lot of time replanning. Then I had to go buy new supplies. Then we found out we'd gotten the wrong thing AFTER Home Depot had already closed. Then my sewing machine broke... grrr!

However, we did get some great stuff accomplished. The laundry room is CLEAN. We reinforced a floor joist that the home inspector had recommended we reinforce. There's an extra support in place and the heating duct has been moved. We designed my curtains and cut everything out and even almost finished the first curtain panel before the sewing machine betrayed me.

We ate a lot.
We watched the Leaf game.
Some of us had Starbucks.
I had fun (I don't know about them).

And they may be coming back next weekend to finish the job.

I'm so lucky to have them. I wish I could say thank you more.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Good Friday

Watching some kids out the window - they're on their roller blades.

I'm thinking that's where I'd like to be. On my way to Starbucks on my rollerblades. Or in my shoes, really. I'm not that picky.

But I'm waiting for my brother to show up. He said he'd be here already, so I don't want to start anything or go anywhere.

I managed to get a lot of laundry done this morning which was good because my laundry facilities could be out of service for some time after this weekend.

The plan is to clean up the laundry room so that I don't have to hate doing down there so much.

Other items to accomplish if time:
- put back up closet shelf in master bedroom
- put up ceiling fan in master bdrm
- fix plumbing/pipe issue in bsmt bathroom
- make white curtains
- hopefully some recommendations on what to do with my dying plants
- bsmt shelves

We'll see how far we get. Today, in order to clean up the laundry room tomorrow with the rest of the family, I'll probably just take off the laundry room door and move the machines out of the way. And then wait for the festivities to begin.

I'm a little bored right now and hating TV. I'm itching to DO something - get out of the house.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

A girly day

I woke up to have a girly day today.

Right now guys are convinced that means I'm talking about my period. But no, I mean one of those days when you wake up and you can't find anything in your closet that looks good. And it's partly because your clothes are not cool and partly because you feel fat in them. And partly because your hair looks stupid.

Unfortunately, I had a dream that my brother noticed I got a haircut and proceeded to tell me that the hairdresser wasn't very good at her job: she should have told me that this wouldn't be a good cut for me.

Ya, OK, I don't really care a huge amount about my hair in general (it grows back and it's probably not the worst thing ever), but clearly I'm having an "I'm less than a goddess" day.

I will get over it. Without the false compliments.

I'm just having one of THOSE days.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


I think I'm having trouble adjusting back to this timezone. I can't seem to fall asleep at the right time. And then I wake up at the normal early time so that I can get to work. And I drag my butt through the day, through the endless meetings and emails.

Of course there are nice things to look forward to: nice lunches with friends, Starbucks London Fogs, editing.

But maybe it's that I feel so behind in everything, not having caught up yet after my vacation. I'm feeling a little rushed on everything. Pressed for time. Like I'm juggling too many balls. And I'm afraid one is going to drop.

That is probably keeping me from sleeping well. Which is keeping me from being the most productive I could be, which starts the cycle all over again.

On the other hand, I do feel generally happy.
At least I'm busy -- I hate being idle.

  • I had my neighbour over to evaluate my laundry room in preparation for House Beautifying Day this weekend. He was so wonderfully helpful in advising me on the small reno projects my family and I can do this weekend. I bought all the supplies I need and now we just need to make it happen. Exciting.
  • I had a nice dinner with my mom and our friend Marlene.
  • I'm almost caught up on my personal emails.
  • I posted my vacation photos.
  • I've paid my bills.
  • I've made progress on some good projects.
  • I'm reading. And writing. Just as I love to do.
  • The house is clean. The dishes are done (not by me!).

So, really, things are good.

And I just need to remind myself of that when I have to wake up extra early tomorrow morning to go to my counselling appointment, which I am dreading with all my being.

As long as I get my London Fog first, I should be well enough armed...

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Ski Trip 2007

Ski Trip 2007
Originally uploaded by webgoddesscathy.
Well, I'm back from my ski vacation.

I'll tell you, as difficult as I thought it would be to come back, it was even harder than I imagined.

It's not that I hate Toronto. I don't. I like much of my life here: my friends, my family, my job, my house.

But I had a great vacation and the freedom, beauty, activity and bonding that I experienced there is difficult to peel myself away from.

Is it strange that I have the most fun travelling with members of my family? It seems sometimes that they are the ones who enjoy doing the same things as I do. We all realized that we're very lucky to have this relationship. Although it makes it difficult that we're kind of scattered around the country.

I'm so glad Jen lives in Calgary, or I may never have gotten into the sport this actively. I can't believe how much I've improved since I first started going out there for our annual skiathon. As you can see by the sign, we're black-diamond skiers now! We're really quite proud of ourselves!

We got rained out in Fernie, BC, but managed to get fantastic conditions everywhere else we went: Kicking Horse in Golden, BC, Lake Louise (where we got FREE passes!) and Sunshine in Banff, AB.

By the last day of nonstop skiing, we were tired.

Tired, but sad to leave.

And now here I am in Toronto, putting my photos on the internet (Facebook users can see them for now here, but those not on Facebook can check them out on my Yahoo 360 space by clicking here), cleaning out my luggage and doing laundry.

It's so tempting to change my life right now and just do something totally different with less responsibility, more adventure.

I'm SO craving a change.