Monday, December 29, 2008

Pooped



Christmas is over and this time of year makes me sad and tired. Which really sucks. The holiday was a total whirlwind. The weather made it even worse. Tuesday night I raced around in the snow to try and get the rest of the stuff for the next day so I could leave the city right at one. My brother broke his leg two weeks before and needed us to get the rest of his gifts. So that was my job the Tuesday night.

Christmas was so much fun of course with all the family and my nieces were just adorable. Wouldn't go to bed of course so Santa couldn't come until really late. And then we were all up early the next day. Which led to a really tiring day and one that ended just in time. My sister and I vegged out on Boxing Day and I came home the next day to do mountains of laundry and put everything away.

This week I'm off and I'm taking a few days to just lay around and get some stuff done around the house that I've been wanting to do. Like clean out closets and put stuff away. We're supposed to get another walloping of snow this week so that should be big fun (haha). I have a house party on New Years and then it's back to work next week. People can understand why I'm always so exhausted in the new year.

This time always makes me sad but more so this year. I feel like this year has been full of disappointments in all aspects of my life. Everyone always gives me a hard time about my decisions and what I do with my life so this year I decided it was time to put myself out there, do things that take me out of my comfort zone and just live a little. That worked out well. I was "rejected" in so many areas...my art, my work, my personal life, everything. It was just so hard to take month after month and this past month is no exception. It's like no matter how hard I try I just can't seem to get past this rut. So this year I'm just doing my own thing and playing to the beat of my own drum. I'm so tired of getting my hopes up and then having them dashed. If something good happens, something good happens but I'm afraid I'm not going to go looking for it. Sad really, but it's so much easier to protect myself than get hurt so much.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

It's beginning to look...


....like a white hot mess out there! Yikes! I'm going to need a fat man in a sleigh pulled by reindeer to get to London!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

New Favourite



This is by far the best show I have seen in a while. Go download it. Really. You won't be disappointed.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Tagged

I'm stealing this from Jen's blog...

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper...there's something to be said for piles of presents wrapped up all pretty under the tree. And I love finding cute paper to do it in.
2. Real tree or Artificial? None. I don't have a tree...but the house I spend Christmas at has an artificial one!
3. When do you put up the tree? November 30...my sister's birthday.
4. When do you take the tree down? Shortly after New Year's...
5. Do you like eggnog? Ew. No.
6. Favorite gift received as a child? There are so many...but ones I still have are the Cabbage Patch Dolls and my first doll...aptly named Holly. She's one of the old fashioned ones that her eyes open and close when she's lying down. I think the best part of this gift is watching my niece's face when she figured out her eyes open and close when you lay her down.
7. Hardest person to buy for? I think I fret too much over what to buy people...so that makes it hard...I always end up getting good gifts though.
8. Easiest person to buy for? My nieces...of course!
9. Do you have a nativity scene? No.
10. Mail or email Christmas cards. Mail. I like to make my cards so I try to get some out every year. Last year I had no time so I sent out "hello spring" cards.
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? I don't think there was one! Oh wait, I was broken up with shortly before Christmas...so maybe that counts!
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? White Christmas
13. When do you start shopping? Sometime around mid November
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Nope
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Breakfast, cinammon buns and tea.
16 color lights on tree? white
17. Favorite Christmas song? Oh Holy Night or Angels we have heard on high
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Travel, I live away from family
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? Absolutely...and I can't ever forget the ninth reindeer Rudolph, or my niece has a fit.
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? star
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas morning
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Grouchy people or idiots who are so wrapped up in themselves they don't realize there are other people out in the world.
23. Favorite ornament theme or color? Red and white. But I like all kinds of colours...
24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Uh, Turkey...is there anything else? Oh and Tortierre...yum!
25. What do you want for Christmas this year? To spend time with family and friends!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Busy

I always find that December just kind of slips by you and suddenly it's Christmas and we're into a new year! This is true for this year yet again. Lots of stuff on the go. Lots of adventures. Lots of time spent doing things that normally result in me getting sick after Christmas.

I've been at my sister's for a few days taking care of the kids. And by kids I mean my two nieces and their new puppy. My brother in law surprised my sister with a trip to Vegas for four days to celebrate her 40th birthday and their 15th wedding anniversary. However, they went and got a puppy the week before so I am left to deal with him. And let me tell you, I love my cat even more after this week.

Don't get me wrong, he is abso-freaking-lutely adorable and I just love him, but getting up in the middle of the night to let him out to pee sucks ass. And he whines. And he pees on the carpet. And he needs lots of exercise. And I have plans tomorrow to write an exam and take the girls to the movies but I have to get up, get him organized, get him to my mom's (with the girls) and then go write my exam. Thankfully he had re-discovered his raw hide bone this evening and is entertaining himself with that.

Which brings me to the exam...sigh...what can I say...I hate writing exams. I really wish this could have been one of those "write an essay on this" kind of finals. Rather than a "you have three hours to write two essay, several short answer questions and several multiple choice questions". Oh and by the way...what should we study? Oh everything. Now, considering this course is on government you would think that I would be ok with it, nope, because it's not just on government it's on theories of government. Theories of organizational behaviour. History of how policies came to be. Descriptions of a bunch of old dudes who had ideas about stuff. Big fun I tell you.

Added to that, I am stressing about my mark. And I've resorted to that thing where you sit and torture yourself by saying "ok if I get this mark on the exam I'll end up with this mark in the class" and to make it even worse (like it could get worse...) I haven't gotten the mark back on my last paper. So I'm sitting here doing all these equations...if I got this mark on the paper and then this mark on the exam then I end up with this mark overall. A mark I can live with, but still, it's stressful.

Thankfully I only have four more weeks until the next session starts. I'm starting to seriously reconsider why I decided to do this...but then I remember I did it so I could actually open up the possibility of a job outside of communications. Maybe I need to revisit the "Lesley + Sugar Daddy = no worries" equation.

We'll see how that pans out. For now, back to memorizing old dudes' theories on management.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Confessions of a weirdo

There's a scene in the Sex and the City movie where Carrie tells Mr. Big that she loves the smell of old books. She goes to the public library and takes out old books and reads them because she loves the smell of them.

I can understand that.

Except it's not just old books. It's new textbooks. New notebooks. Libraries...all of it. And I was reminded of this tonight when I went to the Windsor Law Library. (Big disappointment by the way, I was looking for some materials to write my paper on the rule of law, the constitution and why they're important to public administration...yawn!)

It's probably why I love going back to Western to Weldon Library to go through all the old stacks. I love the smell of the books.

There's something magical about the smell of books. The smell of libraries. It gets me every time I'm in them. It's like some secret place that holds all this knowledge.

When I was a kid, I fell in love with a part of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn where Francie says she wanted to go through every book in the library. I know how she felt. I want to drink in all the knowledge that's in those pages that smell so glorious.

Ok, enough from the crazy girl, she's off to finish her Human Rights paper and start on her Public Administration paper.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Dexter Update




Seeing as Dexter has been with us for a month I guess it's time for an update. He's gotten bigger over the last few weeks and having a cat has taught me so many new and interesting things. Like how to avoid having a cat come flying at you while walking up stairs in the dark (that's not really a fun trick of his) or how claws feel when you're being used as a climbing post. Or just how great it feels to have lower jaws of a teething cat clench your chin.

I am no longer a vet virgin as we travelled to the vet for a booster shot and worm medicine (which has made his tummy very happy) at which time we saw the coolest cat walking around (it was the size of a small dog!).

Dexter has grown a bit but that hasn't stopped him from thinking he's still a baby. He still loves to chase his tail, jump around the table legs and climb up on your lap for a cuddle. We gave him the run of the house last week and he has proven himself a master at entertaining himself all day while we're gone.

He likes to eat people food and sit in the bathtub watching the water drip. He has this weird thing about being in the bathroom with you and walking along the tub while you're in the shower. He has tried to boot it out the door when we come in but he doesn't know what to do with himself once he gets out there.

And of course he likes to tell US what's going on especially when he wants to be fed. That's his normal morning chorus of "feed me Seymour". Oh and he prefers wet food not dry in the morning.

Yes he's a character but we love him. I wouldn't trade this crazy little furball flying squirrel for anything.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

File this under "you've got to be kidding me"

I'm still in love with my car but I've lost a lot of love for the whole process which has been a total and utter pain in the ass. I can understand completely why so many people were unhappy every time I went in to the dealership I purchased from.

It started the day I was on the lot and was looking at the cars. You would think that I would have run that day but I didn't. I really wanted this car and I was willing to put up with it. Who knew how much crap I would put up with. The saleswoman came running out to me when I was out looking at cars. I made a couple of comments about the 2009 Hybrid and the saleswoman was telling me the 2008 was the exact same car...uh no, but thanks. So she says to me...where did you hear all this information? Um, the Detroit Auto Show, in GM's press materials? Still didn't believe me. And her whole attitude was really not going far enough to keep me on the lot. It speaks volumes about how much I really wanted this car.

I went in the next day to order the car. She had a whole pile of information, did she read it? No. Did she have the information I wanted? No. One of the things that really ticked me off was that I wanted the Titanium leather interior but she just wrote down leather interior which lead to the factory just picking the colour for me. Why would this upset me? I paid an extra $1500 for this option for starters.

A couple days later I got a beautiful thank you card for the order...with my name spelled wrong. Which, ok, I can kind of understand if you spell my name wrong if I just say it to you, but it was on my order and she had to look at the address on the order and the name was right above it. Added to that, if you're going to go to the trouble of sending out a thank you card, at least go to the trouble to spell my freaking name right. It's called customer service, look into it.

After about two months I sent her an email asking about the status of my car. Turns out, she didn't have any info. I had to go through a contact at GM with the order number. They found the car. Suddenly, an hour later, she found the car.

Weeks went by and it was time to do the paperwork. I had to do all the leg work for the licencing, the ownership, the insurance, the lease termination etc. I didn't have time for that. Added to that, the saleswoman had little to no interest in doing anything but giving me exasperated emails and phone calls in answer to my concerns. She had absolutely no interest in helping me out or making this easy. I had to beg to be accomodated on the Saturday morning.

I finally got to the point where I just decided enough was enough, I'll just get the car and get it over with. There was a woman in the dealership crying hysterically over the difficulties getting her car. I picked up my car and left. Done. No more worries, no more hassles.

Except not really. She had spelled my name wrong again on the owners manual package so I see that every day. Then I got in my car three days later and realized I had the wrong colour leather interior. I got the cashmere instead of the titanium. Added to that, I wanted the sun roof but didn't get it either.

I know it sounds awful that I'm so nitpicky but this is not a little purchase. To me, this is an expensive luxury item. I invested six months of research on it. I worked hard to get it and I got really excited about it. This was important to me. The fact that there was so little interest in making me happy really spoke volumes about the customer service.

So when the customer service call came in to me that night I unleashed. Not yelling and screaming, just outlined what I was unhappy about and how awful I felt and how I would NEVER recommend Saturn of London to anyone in the future EVER.

Three days later my saleswoman called me to "clear up a few things". Just that alone really ticked me off. So I called her back and let her spin for a bit. She gave me all these excuses and made me feel bad for complaining. And when I pointed out what she did wrong, she insisted I was wrong that she hadn't done anything wrong. You can imagine how upset this made me. To say to me "well I didn't spell your name wrong all the time" and all of the other items really just put me off. So I finally cut her off and just told her flat out, her phone call was making it worse, her sales tactics were apalling and she was ridiculous to think that it would be ok to call me up and pretend to apologize and then make me feel bad for expressing how I felt. She didn't like that either.

The whole situation really left me with a bad taste in my mouth. I love my car. I am very happy with it, but I consider that GM's work, not hers. What she did and what happened at the dealership was just disgusting and I am going to be very careful in the future.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Polarizing

I have spent the last year and a half watching the U.S. political race with baited breath. I was never really a "fan" of Obama and I wondered if it would be a case of people not wanting to vote for him for the racial issues. As things went along my "he's the lesser of two evils" became "maybe this is change to believe in".

Being in Canada, it's easy for us to say we don't have an interest in the election but we do in fact have a very vested interest in it. The U.S. economy affects us, the war affects us and the impact the U.S. has in the world affects us.

But more than the election, more than change, more than anything else, what really moved me yesterday was the sheer volume of people who voted. My biggest thing in elections is voting. It bothers me that more people don't exercise their right to vote. To see so many people voting for the first time and really believing they needed to be there made me so proud. For the first time in a very long time (if not ever) people believed their vote made a difference, that they needed to be there to share in history, that they needed to be a part of change. Watching the lines of voters just made me believe that people can work to change, people can stand up, people believe.

It will be interesting to see how the next four years play out. How he handles the change the U.S. (and possibly the world) needs will be fascinating to watch. I'm proud to be alive in this time. I'm proud of my U.S. neighbours. I'm proud to be a part of history.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE


That sound you hear? Is me all giddy about my new wheels. It has been three months (well, really, four years of hell with the previous vehicle) to get here but I love it. More and more every day. And it's like I'm a proud momma or something but every time someone compliments me on it, I get all proud and loving!

When I registered with OnStar yesterday they asked me one thing I loved and I said the heated seats. But really, I love the whole thing. I love the engine, I love the colour, I love the interior, I love the exterior, I love the satelitte radio, I love the fact it has it's OWN FREAKING PHONE NUMBER! and I love that it sends me emails to tell me it's doing well. Love love love this car.

What a ride though. I ordered it back in August and it has been nothing but trouble from the get go. The salesperson was not the most pleasant and was actually borderline insulting. I mean, I was buying a $40,000 car and she treated me like I was stealing from them. I had to beg to find out when it would arrive, if it was built yet etc. Added to that, when it did come in, it was a big inconvenience for them to have me come in to get it. I couldn't get here on Thursday or Friday as we had originally agreed due to the other events going on so when I asked for a Saturday appointment they were not at all accomodating.

Added to that, I had to do all the work throughout. I had to call about my lease termination for my last car, I had to deal with GMAC for my payment information, I had to call the insurance company...the list goes on...I had to do all the work. Again, for a car this price, you would think that they would have done a bit more ass kissing and a little less of the "you're putting us out" attitude. I suppose I should have expected it though. The three times I have been in the dealership someone was in there unhappy. Including yesterday with the woman hysterical in tears telling them they could keep their car she didn't want it anymore since it was such a hassle.

I know people who have had additional problems with that dealership and I can guarantee that I won't be going back. Not that I want to be all spoiled and pissy but considering the treatment I got when I bought my little $12000 tin can, this should have been a little easier and not felt like I was hurting them. Especially with the economy the way it is and the fact that I brought that business from an economy that was hurting for this business more.

Sigh....

The good things though...my insurance is actually $120 less a year in this car than it was in my five year old pop can. XM radio, which makes me laugh because I always make a new car CD for my new car and this time I started an iPod playlist but then realized, I have XM radio! So many good things. I'm excited to take it on the highway now because it's safer and drives better. I just love it. I haven't been this happy in a really long time and I'm liking it!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Anniversary


Today marks my third anniversary of my move to Windsor. What's fitting about today is that we celebrated a milestone on the project I work on with a major announcement organized by yours truly.

For the past three weeks I have been completely immersed in this announcement plan. Putting it together, writing the news release, writing the backgrounder, writing the speaking notes, organizing the event details right down to how we would symbolize the completion (no ribbon, just trucks driving down a roadway...it was cool, trust me).

It's fitting because this project has dominated my three years on the project. From the ups and downs of the announcements on this project to the ups and downs of the issues. Kind of like my three years there. Three years of learning, challenges, opportunities and a great deal of growth.

I'm not the same person I was three years ago. I believe I've gotten stronger from the learning experiences. Not just workwise, but also personally as well. It's been three years well spent.

So happy anniversary to me. And here's to more great success!

Monday, October 27, 2008

A fool and her gold



I got some new vanity plates to go with my brand spanking new car. I know, I know...a fool and his gold are soon parted. But I figured, it was worth it! Besides, my plates on the front of my car are slowly losing the paint to chipping. I need new plates anyway so I spent the extra money to get the vanity ones.

AND, I live in Windsor and this is vanity plate central! I need to fit in!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

smelling dafeet

This week I "smelled dafeet". That's a joke that comes from a book I loved in high school about dirty socks signifying smelling defeat.

I saw the writing on the wall as it related to my courses. I decided to drop my microeconomics course.

It was a hard decision but one I had to make. I didn't do well on the first assignment and I was struggling with the material. Added to that I have an assignment due in the class in two weeks and I was struggling to understand the question. I figured it would be better to drop out of the class with my academic standing intact.

A lot of people told me they were surprised I took on so much and I would like to publicly admit they were right. Although, when I took on the courses I didn't think about the very big announcement we're making at work next week and the added work on an assignment I agreed to help with.

It was more than I can handle so I'm staying in the two courses.

The great thing though is that my degree credits from Fanshawe can be put forward to a replacement course that I wouldn't have to take. Yay for that.

Now I just have to get through three more assignments and the final exams.

Friday, October 17, 2008

New Addition



Introducing Dexter. Our new addition to the house.

He's a bit of a brat. Likes to cause trouble. But he's funny and absolutely cute so we forgive him. Even when he's chewing my computer cord.

However, when he's really cute is when he's doing the unexpected. Like walking along the edge of the bathtub when one of us is in the shower (and falling in the tub with the water running with me or falling in the toilet with my roommate). Last night was especially hilarious when he discovered he could crawl UP my pyjama bottom legs and eventually got stuck. Or when he thought my skirt was a toy and he crawled underneath it and jumped up and down on my legs to bat at the thing. Personally I think the cutest is when he goes under the sheets and acts all crazy and then pops his head out all "what, I wasn't doing anything".

Now if we could just get through to him that he does his business in the litter box it would be a good thing!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Idle Pursuits

One of my favourite websites to visit is Television Without Pity. I discovered it way back in 1999 when I was covering reception for one of my old jobs before I went back to school.

At the time, I was looking for a way to catch up on what happened on Third Watch. The site had recaps and went by the name Mighty Big TV at that time. I loved it because it was snarky, had lots of great wit and of course filled me in on what I might have missed.

(Did I mention I'm kind of a tv junkie?)

Lately though, I noticed there was a bit of a change. All of these recappers popped up who are not who I thought they were. There weren't so many comments in the recaps like before from the regulars Sars, Wing Chun and the rest of them. I was a little disappointed and thought maybe they were taking a back seat.

After all, it was on TWoP where I hooked up with a bunch of online forum posters who got a little out of hand and were known as the bad bunch by the moderators. They shut us down a few times in order to get rid of us from the boards. I figured that we weren't the only wild bunch that caused problems and they had finally taken a step back from the site.

I was wrong.

I did a little bit more digging today looking for what was going on and finally stumbled upon this: from the founders that showed me what had happened way back in March (I'm always the last to know) and it made me sad. I really liked what they did with the site. And frankly, I'll miss the great Glarkware t-shirts that carp on the shows they made fun of.

TWoP...you'll never be the same...and that makes me sad!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Before you know it

Time seems to slip by me....

I had three days off this week. Three days I shouldn't have taken seeing as I was spending a great deal of them emailing and doing work stuff. I was all excited because I was coming up to my cousin's to look after their son and house and dog. I thought...this is awesome, I can catch up on all my homework! Except not.

Wednesday I slept most of the day as I got here at 11:30 on Tuesday night and then was up again at 3 to drive someone to Barrie to meet up with his hunting buddies. I came home and went right back to bed. Yesterday I did manage to get some work done but I didn't realize that four hours is not a lot of time when you're reading.

Today we're off to Barrie to drop a bed off at my sister's and to visit with her. Traffic I am sure is going to be a nightmare seeing as that's cottage country (or the entrance TO cottage country) and since this is traditionally the weekend everyone goes up to close their cottages...I'm sure the highway will be packed. Tomorrow we're headed back to Windsor.

I've had a good time this week. I am in love with their dog Bauer who is a big lopey golden retriever who just wants to love everyone. I'm not kidding either. He sits right beside me on the couch and rests his head on my lap like he's a lap dog. He is most definitely not a lap dog. But he's cute, so he's getting a pass.

Here's hoping I can get through the worst of the homework--the microeconomics homework...because that's the one that's stumping me!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Awesome

So you think this family band was awesome?
Well I've got news for you...

We're making a run for the title...

...however, if we could sing on key, we might not have to drink to numb the pain...

Saturday, September 27, 2008

This way or that way

Yesterday, at the office, one of my female coworkers brought me this brochure and invited me on a trip with her and a few other people I know. She said "it's a really good opportunity, you should come with us".

Now I know what you're thinking...cult! But it wasn't.

It's an 8 day fabric market tour of Beijing. All inclusive, the total cost includes your flight, accomodations, food, and transportation to all these fabric markets and various other tourist areas of Beijing. Total cost with taxes and fees: $3500.

I kind of went "yelp" at that point. That's a lot of money. She tried to sell me on the whole "well it's all paid for and look at what you get" which was totally worth it.

My problem is this, I just paid about $4000 for tuition and books. Added to that I have to save for a down payment on a car I'm getting in a few weeks and I know I'm going to have another $300-500 for books in January. I'm also trying to save for a house should I be in a different living situation (read: new city) in six months to a year. So you can imagine why I'm on the fence about this one.

I really want to go. But I know that even if I did suck it up and spend the money, it's not just the $3500. I am a total sucker for pretty things so I know I would be buying fabric and purses and clothes and other cute stuff. Then I'd also buy souveniers etc. And then I'd come back and have to buy scrapbook supplies to actually scrapbook the whole tour and we're looking at about $6000 to $8000.

Once a lifetime sure...then there's the lifetime to pay it off that's left!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Change is good



This is what happens when you finally get fed up. This is what happens when you reach the point where you just want to do something to make yourself feel better. This is what happens when you say to your hairdresser "cut it, I don't care". (This is also what happens when you have such a good hairdresser that you can trust them when you say that). This is what happens at the end of a week that started with a full moon.

I could go into details about what made this week suck so much. I could sit and go through every little detail. But that would be pointless. Suffice to say that every little thing contributed to feeling like I was ready to explode. God bless my sister who put up with my venting about everything including a dent in my car door, my tea spilling, and the loss of a prime parking spot this week. Yes, it really was that bad.

When I break, I do so under immense weight of every little thing. And this summer has been full of them. The poor IT help desk person who had to read my email on Friday basically telling them how useless they are (and really, it was deserved since I had to go through several layers of bureaucracy just to have someone removed from an email distribution list). It was one of those weeks where everyone needed to take a step back and see the bigger picture.

Which resulted in me finally saying enough is enough with my hair and going in and cutting it all off. I wanted to grow it out a bit, see what it looked like, see if it would be fun to have long glorious hair. But in the end, it only resulted in pony tails, buns on top of the head, and tangles. My hair dresser was so happy when I showed him the photo I liked and said "cut it off, cut it all off, I trust you, make it look good". I think he was happier than I was when it was done!

Change is good. Change works. Change makes you feel better.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

TAG, I'm it

I've been tagged by Jen and since I can never say no to a "dare" (or other things for that matter) I have to do it...so here goes:

The rules:

A) People who have been tagged must write their answers on their blogs & replace any question that they dislike with a new question.

B) Tag 8 people to do this quiz.

1.How many songs are on your iPod?

I think about 1700. I've been bad lately. Normally I download the weekly free tune and end up downloading a few other songs that get stuck in my head. The last three weeks my iPod has been sitting in the player rather than in my purse. I think losing it for a few days really screwed with me.

2. What music would you want played at your funeral?

I'll change this one to What would you want people to say at your funeral?

There's so many songs that I absolutely love and they would all be so sullen and sad that it would be hard to think about it (or decide for that matter) so instead I'll say what I want people to say or really think at my funeral. And that would be that I hope people would say that I lived my life. That I had a good life. That it was full of love and laughter. That they admired my choices and my independence and my sense of adventure. And that they would move forward trying to give as much as I have to others.

3.What magazines do you have subscriptions to?

O magazine and O at home, Creating Keepsakes, and these two cake decorating magazines that are actually cool.

4. What is your favorite scent?

Freshly cut grass and new babies.

5. If you had a million dollars that you could only spend on yourself, what would you do with it?

I'd travel and take others with me. Believe it or not, Disney would be my first trip. I know it's not really the rules to spend it on taking others with me but that IS spending it on me. Because you can't really do something fun without someone to enjoy it with. And I'd like to have my friends and family with me. Besides, that's happiness to me, sharing happiness with others.

6. What is your theme song?

If it feels good do it by Sloan. Actually, anything by Sloan because their sound is totally me.

7. Do you trust easily?

Sadly yes. And it's always the wrong people. The good news is, I trust about five people and get burned by four but end up with one really great person to show for it, so that's alright. Besides, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger right?

8. Do you generally think before you act, or act before you think?

Always always always think before I act. Sometimes too long. Which is a downfall in some instances. There's nothing wrong with just doing. (Or just thinking for that matter.)

9.Is there anything that has made you unhappy these days?

Yes. Lots. Things that I won't get in to. Things that I did allude to in my last blog. But again, what doesn't kill you...

10. Do you have a good body-image?

Yes and no. I beat myself up in moments of black here and there. But for the most part my attitude is this: if they only like me for what I look like, then they aren't worth my time.

11. Is being tagged fun?

It's a good prompt, but I don't know enough people most of the time for these things. It's kind of like those forwards that make you send an email to 1200 people or you'll die in the street from a pumpkin falling from the sky...

12. What websites do you visit daily?

My regular blogs, newspapers, news sites, and some other funny gossipy sites to balance it all out. Facebook of course...but only to see what's new with everyone. The great thing about Facebook is that I have reconnected with piles of people that I lost track of after school and reconnecting with them has meant more to me than I can really explain.

13. What have you been seriously addicted to lately?

Felicity on DVD. And scrabble on the computer.

14. What kind of person do you think the person who tagged you is?

Strong, caring, trusting, friendly, incredibly smart. She's one of those people who I met with others that burned me and it was a good thing that I trusted her. Her prescence in my life has meant more to me than anything. I turn to her for advice, laughs, escape and fun. She is definitely a kindred spirit.

15. What’s the last song that got stuck in your head? Change this one too, what's the last thing that got stuck in your head?

It's Peanut from Jeff Dunham...and it's the "search your feelings Jef-fa-fa" stupid thing!!!

16.What’s your favorite item of clothing?

Flannel pyjamas. Or my penguin slip on slippers that I bought at Target last Christmas.

17. Do you think Rice Crispies are yummy?

Mixed with marshmallows and butter and cooled in a pan cut into squares...when I was a kid I would eat them with sugar on them (the cereal with milk) or with Bananas. Yummy.

18. What would you do if you see saw $100 lying on the ground?

Try to find the owner. That still seems like a lot of money to me and it's wrong to keep it. I couldn't live with myself if I kept it. It would just feel wrong.

19. What items could you not go without during the day?

The internet, my car, my phone, food and my glasses. And my people.

20. What should you be doing right now?

Taking a shower and then doing my homework...instead I'm typing, talking to my cousin and procrastinating.

Ok so who to tag...well, I know no one...at least anyone who blogs who HASN'T been tagged so instead I'll say Sara and .Chris, but only because I'd want to see what Sara says and because Chris needs a jump start to blog

Sunday, September 07, 2008

"God has a book"

Ah the polka dot dress...but I'll get to that in a minute.

God has a book is the term my cousin used on me yesterday morning after I confessed my deep dark secret from Friday night to her. I wasn't going to confess my deep dark secret because I was ashamed of myself. It related to the night before and I was pretty embarassed, ashamed and mad at myself for what happened.

You see, it was my friend's wedding the night before and I had done something that was completely unexpected, threw me right off guard and embarassed the crap right out of me. Thankfully, I had some really great people around me who understood, got me through it, and helped me see past it.

It's been a rough couple of weeks. Month really. There's been drama. And I tried to avoid the drama by staying out of it. Sadly, that brought the intense drama on. And dragged a large group of people into the drama. Making it a case of hard core drama. The result of which was that I had to move. Now, I could have moved into my own place. But with things the way they are (school, not sure how long I'm staying here, lots of other stuff going on) I really didn't want to sign a lease or buy a property. So after a long discussion with my cousin, I decided to move into her place. It's great really, she has a townhouse and she's on nights two weeks at a time. Not to mention that she's single and has a really great attitude to help me through stuff. Which I'll get to in a minute.

Suffice to say that the drama has had me stressed for a good three weeks. To the point where I'm waking up in the middle of the night with really strange dreams that sort of feed off of my deep dark fears, previous stress and stuff that happened at various points in my life. Not that I want to be a victim here, just that I'm having a hard time getting back on my equal footing and I really want to walk out of this nightmare soon.

So we get to Friday. Now, my friend that was getting married has been joking with me about setting me up with one of her husband's coworkers. He seems really nice. And I met him and thought he was cute. However, he's spoken for in the sense that he's not really ready to date anyone "exclusively". Added to that, I've just gotten back into a place where I was ready to date and had been interested in someone else. He ended up sitting behind me at the wedding and listening to him talk to another person there made me seriously think whether or not I wanted to spend time with him (I won't get into it, I just really didn't like his "attitude").

Fast forward to the reception. I went with a friend of mine who worked with both myself and my friend that was getting married. We had joked about going to the wedding together and I loved that she was able to drive the two hours to join me. I really wanted to have someone to go with since I knew no one of note (outside of the bridal party and seeing as the only person I really "knew" was the bride, it was a moot point as she would be busy). And I'm not one of those "high maintenance" guests...I just like to know someone...it's a comfort level thing.

Anyways...my big deep dark secret that embarassed me...I had an anxiety attack as we sat down at our table. And it was a nuclear reactor meltdown sized attack. One like I haven't had in about six years. One like I've had at times in my life that made me wonder if I'm actually going to be able to "live" my life in a normal sense. I mention this because these types of anxiety attacks really upset me and take me to a dark place that I don't like.

So how did it happen. I'm not really sure although I kind of know some of the triggers. I made a joke to my friend about spelling my name wrong and her sister in law was standing there. Then, when walking the receiving line, one of the members made a BIG deal about setting me up with a few single men at the party (which is one of my achilles heel things...I really don't like being set up...especially in that situation, when you're standing in the receiving line, trying to be polite and EVERYONE can hear her making a big deal about you being single and ALONE!) We went and sat down at our table and we were right by the buffet. It was extremely hot in the room and I had been drinking. All triggers...well, it was one drink on an empty stomach...and I don't drink.

It started. I started to get hot, flustered, faint, sick to my stomach. I normally can talk myself out of these things but none of my tricks was working. I got up to use the ladies room and seemed to have collected myself. Sadly, when I got back to the table, the waves hit me again. My friend noticed and high tailed me out of there (god bless her). We were sitting out in the lobby and the bride came out to see me. All. of. the. bridal. party. followed. And her sister in law made a big deal out of my comment about my name being spelled wrong. You can imagine what I was going through internally.

So my friend high tailed me out of that location as well. We went up to the hotel room, changed and decided to get some air. We thought maybe if I was out of the dress, away from the situation and not thinking about it I would calm down and feel better.

Not so much.

I started feeling like I had let my friend down, that I let my date down, that she had driven all this way to go and I had made her leave. That people would notice. That people would wonder. All of these stupid little things I shouldn't have been worrying about but I was. My friend saw just how bad these things get for me when I had to have her pull her car over so I could get some "air".

I wasn't going to tell anyone but then had to confess to my sister. If I hide it, it makes it worse. My cousin happened to see the conversation we were having (by MSN) and I had to confess to her. We ended up talking for a couple of hours about it which is where the "God has a book" comment came in. She really made me see that this is something I have to get through to be the person I'm meant to be.

People don't really understand it until they see it happening. And they realize just how forceful it is. And then they understand how hard it is for me to stop it. Now that one was a bad one, and I haven't had one of those in about six years...not since I was 'involved' with a guy I really wanted a future with and got a little scared about the situation. I can only think of my therapist and her reaction the next day when she said "Good, you survived, now you can move on!" Uh, not so much...

My friend (the bride) called me today to chat and was so great about it. It proved to me that my worries about how I acted and what I did were really for naught. But still, in the moment, I can't really think that way and it's hard to dig myself out of the situation that I'm in.

I don't know if it's going to happen again. I don't know if it will be that bad. What I do know is that I will get through it. I have to get through it. I have to move past it. I have to get stronger. These things aren't happening as often as they were when I was younger (imagine an entire year of university suffering daily with this thing) but they do take me off guard when they do happen. Thankfully I have great people around me who help me see past the dark stuff and bring me back into the light. Which is why I don't want to hide it, or be ashamed of it. The more people who know, the more people who can help me stop being afraid of who I'm meant to be.

As for the polka dot dress...well, it was everything I hoped it would be. Made me feel really happy to wear. I looked great. I felt great (when I wasn't all anxious) and I enjoyed the time I did spend at my friend's wedding.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Fogeyville

Back when I decided to apply to University again I figured it would be easy. You just fill out an application, send them a big fat payment and boom, you wait until they say "WELCOME".

Not so much.

The last time I applied to University I was 18, had the help of an awesome guidance counselor and the internet as we know it today didn't exist. You waited until you got your big fat package from the school and then you sent back the reply letter accepting their offer. For me, someone with a last name starting with R, I watched everyone else above me getting all their letters and when I finally got mine, I was pretty excited.

You see, here in Canada it's not like television where you get a letter in the mail telling you you got in. Here we get the letter, another letter explaining the process, a fancy booklet about life at the school and any other information they feel necessary to help you accept their offer.

Enter the internet. I have registered for my full year of courses without getting accepted to the school yet. I have registered online and have been privy to lots of information for weeks now. And yesterday, I went in and checked out my profile and saw that I was listed as an undergraduate student. Then when I got home I found my package welcoming me to the school on the kitchen counter. (We had a hilarious moment where I jumped up and down screaming I GOT IN!!)

Except, it's not as easy as that...you see, on the letter it says I have to accept the offer by September 1. Which is Monday. I can apparently do this through the internet. But going into the site they link to doesn't show anything. So I tool around the site a bit and see NOTHING. Then I can go into the Ontario University Application Centre to accept it and find...NOTHING.

Am I really this old that I can't figure this stuff out? Or is it supposed to be this hard???

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Recovering

It may seem as if for every step you take in a forward direction you slip back a few steps as well, but appearances can be deceptive. If you could see life from a higher perspective you would realize that even your backward steps are taking you forward. Keep moving.

~Sally Brompton, CANCER, August 26, 2008

It's been a very crazy week and a half with a lot of unexpected events occurring. I can't say that it's been good to go through them, but it's been good to come out of them. Or rather, good to be on this side of them. But today, after charging another $1400 on my already smoking credit card for my next semester's worth of courses, I was this close to a little bit of a breakdown. Then I read my horoscope and had my little saving grace for the day. Let's hope that it's true and that this is the start of something good.

Friday, August 22, 2008

True North

You know you're Canadian when you spend a Friday night in August (80 F weather no less) in a hockey arena in capris and sandals. That's where we spent our night tonight, watching my 17 year old cousin try out for Stratford.

But the really funny part was watching his after game snack...a whole bowl of instant chocolate pudding. Nicely done.

Friday, August 15, 2008

My sanity, myself

It's been that kind of a week.

Every night I've thought about going to bed early but then something goes on that stresses me and then I end up not sleeping. And then of course it's been the kind of week where everything that could happen/go wrong, did at about 4:10 each day. Added to that, I had three days of appointments at 5:30 that I HAD to be at.

Today I was stressed because I couldn't find my iPod. I knew I had it on the weekend. I knew I had it on Monday. But from there, couldn't figure out where it might have gone. I had a panic that it had fallen out of my purse somewhere between work, the mall, work, the chiropractor, home, the mailbox. I went through my entire day Monday. Where I went, when I got out of my car, what I wore, what I did, where I went...went through my car, stopped at the chiropractor and then made a mental list of all the places I would have to go to check for it. In the end, it was under my desk at work. Phew.

Also today, I ended up getting a call from Ryerson asking about my transcripts from high school. Thank goodness I had left those at work. I had faxed them to the school three weeks ago but apparently that wasn't enough. And getting through to anyone in the department is as difficult as you can imagine. Added to that, getting through to anyone at my former high school proved to be just as difficult. Finally someone called me back and told me to send them directly to her. I'm glad she called me because she was going to cancel my application. As she put it "I was serious" (she had noticed I had registered for three courses). Transcripts sent by Purolator, problem solved.

Once you factor in the craziness of several media calls, a couple of negative stories we had to respond to, several requests for further information on other charts/documents/materials, a press release on a project, and some follow up and you can imagine why my body and mind is exhausted tonight.

I don't know how anyone has the energy to go out drinking and dancing on Friday nights...

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Happy



Happiness is a polka dot dress from Laura. At least that's what I'm going with this week.

I had to get something to wear to a friend's wedding and knowing my luck, I knew it was going to be horrible trying to find something. I wanted to look good but not out of place. And of course, I hate trying on clothes because I am way too hard on myself.

Enter, Vaughn Mills on Sunday. We walked in the doors, walked around the corner and voila, my dress was on a mannequin in the window. I went in and discovered only one size 12 on the rack. I was a little scared because my luck couldn't be THAT good. In fact, it really was. I loved the dress from the moment I pulled it on. So cute and so flattering.

Every time I have pulled it out to show it to someone, I swear I fall in love with it more! I want to wear it all the time! I can't wait to wear it to the wedding!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Paradise

I'm leaving what I call "paradise" today for another kind of paradise tonight. I've spent a week at my cousin's place just lounging, hanging out and doing close to nothing. She has a pool, a hot tub, and loves to be the hostess. Which I am not just sucking up, I swear! Staying with her and her family is fun because it's a different kind of life. The kind where teenage boys run in and out asking for food, clean clothes, money, rides to parties and the like. The kind where her husband is in and out needing clean clothes, food, and directions. The kind where the phone rings non stop and my cousin has about two hours to herself in the afternoon (which she spends trimming plants and cleaning up the backyard no less).

We have still managed to have fun. We have lounged by the pool. We have gotten some sun (hilariously enough I have a tan except for the burn right at the edge of my bikini top line where the sunscreen DIDN'T hit) and we've had a really great week together. She's kind of like a big sister in that she just welcomes me into her home and we spend the time laughing and just enjoying each other. It's been really nice.

Tonight it's off to my friends' place in Toronto for two days with them. I haven't been up to their place since last December. Annette and Mary are the kind of friends every girl needs. The kind that you can sit and laugh with, who can make fun of you without it being bad, and who will talk about everything under the sun and still make sense. I've missed hanging out with them. Who knows what adventures we'll get into in the big city but I'm looking forward to it all the same.

Like I said, paradise. In more ways than one.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Eight Days a Week

Lots going on the last couple of days. I'm on "vacation" which is basically me taking the week of overtime I had left from the long days back in May and June. My plans changed quite quickly last week and I ended up staying with my cousin for a few days before heading off to Toronto to visit friends.

A sample of one of the cards

The rest of the weekend went well. I managed to finish about 25 cards or so. And had a nice visit with my sisters. My younger sister and I had really not been speaking very much to each other over the last two years due to some things that were said and we salvaged our relationship. As I left her on Sunday I told her what has been on my mind the last year or so...that I've missed having her in my life.

Clown in a Volkswagon--AKA my sister trying to pack her stuff

Monday my cousin and I just vegged by the pool and talked. It was really nice to do that. Sometimes you need to recharge a bit in that way and that was the perfect way to do it. We went to see my 14 year old cousin play baseball except he didn't really play...just ten minutes of the game. His two friends who came with us ended up taking about 200 photos on my camera of everything BUT Derek playing baseball.

Derek, Jordan and Josh finally getting to try out Bungee Jumping

Yesterday it was Canada's Wonderland. Which was funny in itself. We had four 14 year old boys and at that age, they are pretty funny. They think they're pretty big men but really they're still just boys. I'm kind of like the fun aunt along for the ride. I was the only adult with a cell phone so they thought it was pretty cool they could send me text messages. It really came in handy when we needed to know where they were once they took off on us in the morning. After one ride, Donna and I were ready to stay on solid ground (something happens to your equilibrium as you get older, I swear!) so we ended up following them around, holding bags, and waiting at exits for them. It was actually a nice day.

The four boys

Today I finally took the plunge and put a deposit down on my car. I had talked to a dealer in Windsor about it but I ended up going in the Saturn dealership here to talk with them. I put the deposit down on it and it should come in in November. I picked out a ruby red 2009 Vue hybrid. It was an easy decision but also a hard one. Had to really do some research, look at what I really wanted, what I really didn't want and what I would want for the next few years. Now with the changes to leasing I had to make a different kind of decision. I'm pretty excited about my new baby!!! Then it was on to the hospital for Derek's MRI and now we're just awaiting the arrival of Derek's older brother Kevin, home from Italy.

Tomorrow we'll await the arrival of Kevin's luggage. Lovely that his trip had lost luggage to bookend it.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Day One

My two sisters and I are at a scrapbooking retreat for the weekend. It's called Younique Retreat and I'm officially in love. Aside from having a whole table to yourself and not having to clean up at the end of the day (something hard core croppers will understand), we're fed all our meals which are borderline gourmet and we have everything done for us. Imagine staying at a really nice hotel and being able to just play all weekend long. Added to that, there's a hot tub, shopping and other cool things to do.

I've finished six cards so far and I've got another six almost completed. I went to bed at 2 a.m. last night and could not fall asleep thinking about more creativity that I wanted to do today. This is going to be so much fun.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Words to that effect

My last post seems to have confused a few people. What I was trying to express was that feeling that a lot of women get when they turn another year older. Wanting to hold onto our youth, wanting to not have to be one year older. That sort of thing. I was trying to express that I wasn't ashamed to be another year older because of all of the ways that I have grown in the years of my life. How I have triumphed over adversity if you will. Come through the rough to where I am today.

For some odd reason, certain people like to take credit for who I am just for the sheer excuse that they were a part of my life at some time. What they fail to realize is what role they played in this turmoil and how much of the drama and problems in my life were a direct result of their actions. I had to survive what they forced me to take on.

Something that these individuals don't realize is that who I am today is because of ME. Because of my strength and courage that I had to find deep down inside. Because I had to take these lemons and make lemonade, if you will. I find it completely odd that someone would try to see how their role that they fail to take responsibility for is a credit to me. I can assure you, it's not.

I have some really fantastic people in my life. Individuals along my road who have supported me, guided me, assisted me in any way they could to get me to where I am today. My gratitude and love for them is something I try to share every day. I do this by sharing my life with them. By telling them how much I care.

But by feeling this way I am labeled as angry, full of hate, less than what I claim to be because I have moved on and I have grown up from those moments in my life and choose not to continue to have that drama in my life. Unfortunately for me, these individuals continue to choose to remind me of those moments, of their actions that led to those moments, and accuse me of being less than I am for not allowing them to take this "credit" for their role in my life before.

Saying that you respect my decisions is one thing. Constantly harassing and stalking me to the point where I have to take this type of action is another. I really don't know how many times I can say "leave me alone" but it's starting to get old. Maybe one day these people will actually walk the talk and finally respect my wishes.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Hello 33!

The past week I've been saying that I was turning another age than 33 today. I was going to be 29, 25, 28 or 19 (who was I kidding???). But then this morning as I was driving in to work I realized I don't want to be any age than what I am.

I thought about every single good age I could think about and at each and every age something was going on. Something that caused some kind of drama or strife or complication. Each year seemed to have something that wasn't ideal.

Which is why I want to be 33. I think about it this way...my life is pretty much on track. I'm my own person. I make my own decisions (sometimes with influence...). I make good money, I have a great job that I love and I have great friends and family around me to keep me grounded. I'm finally in a place financially that I like and I'm ready for the next step. I can stand up for myself. I can defend my actions. I'm not afraid to be who I am. And I have the freedom to choose.

I also realize that I wouldn't be the person that I am today if I hadn't had the strife and drama that I had. I wouldn't have learned the lessons that I learned. And I wouldn't have become the person I am without the steps I had to go through before. Each one of those years contributed to the experiences that made me who I am. Which is why I'm ok with being another year older, another year wiser and another year me.

I wouldn't trade any one of the 33 years that I've had to be one year younger or one decade younger. Unless I could be the person I am today back then. But then maybe I would have done things differently and things wouldn't be the way they are today.

If only it was this easy to reach this conclusion when the grey hairs pop up in the mirror in the morning....

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Love



Some days this cartoon just makes me laugh...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Don't want to be right

It might be wrong that I'm totally loving this.

I told myself no more mini albums for a while. That I wanted to actually scrapbook a few real photos and pages. But then I see that on Ali's blog and want to make a mini book. Which I'm actually going to do for a few more gifts (babies, weddings, all that mini-book goodness) but still, I wanted to get out of the mini book madness for a while and just do some cards and regular pages.

So excited for CHA this week. Can't wait to see what new trends are coming out.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Crazy Talk

When I didn't get the job a week ago I decided to do something different. No, not take off to Italy to paint for six months different. More like get another degree different. I applied to Ryerson for their Public Administration and Governance program which pretty much cements me in Government FOR-EV-ER and also helps me get a better job a.k.a open up the door to other possibilities.

Except, the reason they need you to work with a guidance counselor to apply to university is because it's hard. Seriously. This was crazy. I had to go through this big long application process. Then on the Ryerson web site it said I had to fill out a supplementary application. Then it said I had to register with OUAC (Ontario University Application Centre) which I had just done.

Once I had all my questions answered I was told that I could register online beginning July 14. So for the last week I have tried to figure out how my distance education course load would be. Four courses per semester or not. If I wanted the certificate in one year it would have to be that way. Then today I discovered that they offer summer intersession. Meaning I could get all eight by next June without killing myself in the process.

So I spent about an hour trying to register online. Which you think would be easy. Nuh-uh. First I had to find the registration page, then I had to find the courses, then I had to choose them in my cart. And of course, because so many other people were registering, I would get an error message about three out of the four times I tried. Then, I would have to go back to the original page and try to find the courses AGAIN. Once I had my three courses, I tried to go and checkout. Which took me to another screen. That screen asked for my student ID number. Had to go through my emails and hunt that down. That took a while since that required going into a separate page and logging into another page at the university and registering there. Finally, I had it all...tried to check out...and nothing.

After I gave up for an hour I went back in. Success. I was able to get the courses through to my profile which then said....I didn't have the security access for that. I would have to add that in my folder on my online profile. Except, there was no way to do this or SEARCH FOR IT.

I had to keep going back in and adding the courses to my cart again and again and again some more. I swear I'm the only one registered in the course seeing as how many times I registered. Finally, a light went on. I read the FINE PRINT at the side of the screen that you don't see unless you go into the help section that said "If you have not registered for any courses prior to April 1, 2008, you are not able to register for courses online, you must do so in person or by mail."

I mean seriously. Could they not have put this RIGHT ON THE FRONT OF THE CONTINUING EDUCATION PAGE IN LARGE RED PRINT FOR THOSE OF US WHO DON'T KNOW WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON? Added to that, if I knew that was the case, I would have filled out the online form LAST WEEK and mailed it so that they got it today.

I just hope that I get in the courses.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Outdoor Glass 2 : Lesley 0

I'm home alone with the dog for a few days while my aunt and uncle visit with their kids in Toronto. I'm always worried about things breaking or going wrong because I'm not the home owner and I always feel uber guilty about anything and everything.

The other night I was watering the plants on the back deck and this big blue glass lantern blew over on the deck and hit the brick wall and broke at the top. Of course I felt like a total tool because a) it broke and b) I wasn't able to catch it.

Yesterday Bauer, my cousin's golden retriever came for a "visit" while my cousin and her son and husband went to a party around the corner. Benny wasn't pleased. He has a bit of a dominance problem so the two of them went at it. I was worried about them breaking somethingin the house but every time I put them outside they would stop fighting. They finally got over themselves and nothing happened.

Then this morning came....the patio table was fine when I let Benny out this morning but when I came up from the basement (I was getting ready for the retreat I'm going on in a few weeks) I looked outside and voila...patio table shattered into a bajillion pieces. I had no idea that thing could break into that many pieces. So after spending about an hour cleaning it up (I still have to go out and get the rest of the little pieces in the cracks of the deck out) I decided that maybe I should quit while I'm ahead and make sure I don't touch anything else.

I still have to water the flowers again tomorrow...hopefully I won't kill any of them.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

A dog's life

Bauer, my cousin's golden retriever is coming for a visit today. Let's hope this perks Benny up a bit. He's a strange dog. Has serious separation anxiety with his "people". I'm wondering if it's a poodle trait (he's a cocker poodle cross) or if it's just a dog trait. This morning while vacuuming I noticed a spot on the living room carpet from his "anxiety". Not to mention the whole not eating for a day thing on Wednesday and the constant downer mentality. Cheer up beast!

I went to get my NEXUS card last night. That was hilarious. And I'm not just talking about the actual photo (which is horrible by the way...sigh...). I was asked if I had ever been arrested. Except the noise in the trailer made it sound like "a resident". So I kept saying "yes, in Windsor and London". She looked at me like I was nuts. No wonder...no I've never been arrested.

Made a little stop at The Scrapbook Zone. I'm looking for something to hold my scraps but can't seem to find what I'm looking for. So I'm going to make do with what I have. I did pick up some cool Heidi Swapp stuff I want to try. I'm actually in the mood to create which hasn't happened in a while. Also went to Ikea to get another shelf piece. I have the ivar shelving unit and I bought another side and two cabinet doors. This way I have all my craft (and my aunt's scrap stuff she WILL use eventually--she's coming over to the dark side whether she likes it or not) stuff organized in one place.

I have to get organized for my weekend retreat with my sisters in two weeks. We're going to this bed and breakfast type place that specializes in crafters. It's a whole weekend of creating. I know what I'm going to work on...believe it or not, Christmas cards and a few little ornament things I thought about when I was opening all my Maya Road stuff. Can't wait to work on those.

I had hoped to get to the gym this morning but after cleaning and organizing some other stuff (I like to do that stuff when I'm home alone) until 11 p.m. last night I decided to sleep in. And my gym is only open until noon on Saturday and Sunday. So instead I'm taking a day off. I did something to upset my tailbone the other day at the gym so sitting on the bike and walking on the treadmill have been a little uncomfortable. Add the sitting on the weight machines to that and it's sheer torture. So break it is! I managed to get there three times this week so I'm doing pretty good. We'll see what the scale has to say. My extra five pounds last week someone ended up BACK on the scale but I'm blaming the water weight from working out on that. My clothes are still fitting the way they were last week so we're good.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

My body hates me

I wake up to a nice round number on the scale and of course, my body fights back. I went to the gym yesterday and last night I spent several hours tossing and turning because my knees and elbows were hurting from my workout.

Then of course today, my body decides to fight back at the diet I've been rocking. It's not like I'm eating anything weird, I've cut out sugar, flour, certain dairy products and other bad for you stuff like caffeine and alcohol. Instead I eat protein with all meals that consist of fruits and vegetables rather than really heavy starchy foods and fatty carbohydrates.

For some odd reason though, my body doesn't handle soy milk all that well. So what happens is I get really bad abdominal pain. As my coworker said to me, you must have been feeling rough because you ran out of here so fast this morning. (I left work sick). So now it's back to milk instead of soy milk and also adding a few other wheat products in to sort of level it off. Lots of fruits and vegetables too.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Silver Lining

Last week I drove up to Toronto for an interview. The interview was for a temporary promotion to cover a maternity leave. I knew I didn't really have the amount of experience for the job level outside of my project, but thought with my experience on this project it might just be enough. I waited all week to find out what was going on. The interview itself was really intense and I spent several days going over what was said, what I didn't say etc.

Yesterday my director called to tell me I didn't get the job. He seemed kind of sad to give me the news. I appreciated that he called me and explained to me what was going on. Basically, the lack of experience is what killed it for me. We talked a lot about what he wanted to see from me and how he wanted to help me advance in my career. He's worried that I'm going to become pigeon holed in communications and he sees that there is more for me with my skills and talent. Not really something a lot of managers are able to tell their employees. I was pretty grateful that he took the time to explain his reasoning to me and also let me know how to improve. I was also able to ask some questions about a previous manager I had had issues with and see if he had any feelings about my performance during that time. It was good to find out that he thought I was doing a great job and had no questions about my ability to perform in my role.

I was disappointed of course. I haven't heard the whole "not enough experience" thing in a while. And I completely understand in this case. I wanted the job to get the experience but a part of me also didn't want the job just for the B-S that goes a long with it. Lots of people you have to keep happy, lots of overtime, lots of stress, lots of what ifs and of course the added element of fear if you fail. While I'm sure I could have done it, I just wasn't ready in my long term path to take on that responsibility especially if something went wrong.

So instead of getting down about it, I decided to contact Ryerson University in Toronto and see about some public policy and administration courses. I talked to my director about it in the past and he thought it was a good idea. So I decided to just bite the bullet and find out. I can get a certificate in public policy through distance education. It's just the whole "buckling down" and doing it part. If I can get in, I can start in the fall and work my way through the eight or nine classes I have to take. I'm also going to look into Business Administration courses at the University here too. It can only help.

Today it's just cleaning up, cleaning out, organizing and working on some other projects to get out of the way. Being away from home the last few weekends and being involved in other projects the other weekends has left me with a bit of a creative mess and now I'm working on putting it all back together.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Non-stop weekend

This year Canada Day is on a Tuesday so that means a day off sort of in the middle of the week. So what I did was take Monday and Wednesday off. Monday so I could stay here in London and Wednesday so I could see my niece play baseball.

I ventured out to the scrapbook store on Saturday so I could stock up on some cardstock. I've running low on double sheets (I like to use it as my "base" on my layouts and then put the patterned paper on top) and needed to get a few. Also picked up a few other things to play with as well. I'm looking forward to seeing all the new stuff at CHA later in July.

Also took the girls to see WALL-E. GREAT movie. Loved every minute of it. I was laughing so hard at the Pixar short at the beginning of the movie and my niece looked at me and shook her head. That's the thing I love about those movies....that they incorporate good stuff for adults too. But the message was good and my nieces are quite impressionable.

The bad part about the weekend is that we have had overcast or cloudy days every day. Friday night we had a big storm so that meant a little moppet in bed with me at 4 am because she was scared. Saturday night was another 4 am visit but this time for a stuffy nose. Which was dealt with (my sister and her husband took a weekend away for themselves...much needed in a busy marriage and parenting schedule!)

I had a nice visit with a new person on Saturday night and for all my worry about what to talk about and what to say...that wasn't really a worry. We had a great conversation and I'm looking forward to seeing him again. I love getting to know a new person but I hate the worry and shyness and wondering if you've said the right thing or not. He might be joining me at the fireworks on Tuesday night.

Today, with more grey skies, we're probably taking a trip over to this clothing store to check it out (my sister went on Friday and found some neat stuff) and also to get some Canada Day stuff to decorate bikes for the big parade. Hopefully it will clear up a bit so we can take a dip in the pool. Otherwise we'll be hanging out so I can read one of my new books (Ecoholic and My Sister's Keeper) and just hang out and chill out.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Uncertain

I had an interview in Toronto today and it reminded me of writing my final exams in high school and university. You know the stuff, you know you know the stuff yet a part of you is still scared about what will be asked. Or how it will be asked. And then of course there's the moments afterwards where you think about what you said and what you wrote (yes this interview had a written portion) and you wonder if you did the right thing/said the right thing.

I wasn't really worried about the interview until I listened to the first question. All I could think about was "get your points" which in my world, is how these interviews work. It's all based on what words you use in your answer instead of just experience/past behaviours. I just hope they didn't see my nervousness. Or maybe that's a good thing.

The written part was equally as stressful. It wasn't really clear in the question whether or not A or B happened. So I had to write a plan A and a plan B in order to answer the question. That took me the full hour so I was freaking out on the way home that I didn't really get to explaining what specific/unique tools I would use and why. I just said the tools and that was it. Hopefully it was a given in the other areas of the plan I drafted.

I spent the entire four hour ride home (yes, it really was four hours from Toronto to London because of backups on the QEW) worrying and wondering and then I pulled off the highway and saw this big beautiful rainbow over the roadway and told myself there was nothing I could do about it now. And when I got to my cousin's house, she told me I was going to get a letter (there was a thread on my jacket--didn't know that old wives tale...). So I'm going to stop stressing about it and just continue what I do.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Good day

Today? Was a good day. For those who know me, and know what I do, you can do a little google search and see what I'm talking about. For those who don't, email me and I'll tell you what it was.

Today was one of those stand on your feet for 8 hours of a 12 hour day kind of day and because I was dressed up, my legs and feet are a little sore. But that's ok because it was worth it.

Tomorrow will be another good day that I will look forward to the end of. But the best part of the day will be the visit to the office of my manager with her new baby for a little welcome baby luncheon. Can't wait to see everyone together, can't wait for everyone to see her and the babe, and can't wait to just spend some time together enjoying things outside of work.

The best day will be Saturday though. That day will include a nice morning sleeping in!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Changes. Rest. Love.

This week has been challenging. Three fourteen hour days that started at 6 a.m. and then a drive through Michigan to come home for the weekend. I also had to have a difficult discussion with my director that reminded me that while I can think things through (and sometimes over think them) I tend to not really be able to express my thoughts in words (something that is surprising since I'm technically a "writer" in my job). He understood though and we were able to have a very interesting discussion about some things. I like that I can talk to my director like that and with all the stress this week, even with everything going on, we were able to express our displeasure at other stuff effectively and still be on a professional level. If that makes sense. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I really love my job and it's been great since last August. Even with all the challenges, I am very fortunate.

The hard part about all the long days this week was the lack of sleep. Monday night we had a huge storm so the pressure outside caused my head to go crazy and I woke up at 4 a.m. with a massive headache that just wouldn't abate no matter what I did. Tuesday I ended up really sleepy. Then Tuesday and Wednesday night's meetings caused me to go home tired, but I ended up laying awake thinking about work causing lack of sleep. I took yesterday afternoon off but had to make a few runs to a couple of stores in Michigan so crossing both border crossings (Detroit and Sarnia) was frustrating. I was able to sleep a bit this morning (even though I had one monster crawl into bed with me at 4:45 a.m.) which was much nicer than having to drag myself out of bed at 6 a.m.

Now I'm spending time with my lovees. My youngest niece always manages to make me laugh with the thoughts that go through her head. Last night she was explaining what song she was going to have in her "cellaphone" when she gets big (my phone ring is Rihanna's Umbrella) and also this morning when my sister talked about wanting to win the lottery she said then they could buy the White House and live in it. My sister explained to her she has to be president to live there, my neice, undeterred, answered "but you already are president".

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Saturday

The phone rang this morning at 9:51. I didn't answer it. I was still dozing and trying to decide if I wanted to get up. Frankly, I could have spent the entire day in bed but I decided I should be productive.

Our air conditioning has been broken this week and it was ok at the beginning of the week when it was cool and rainy. But we hit a record high on Friday which meant that Thursday began to get hot and humid. Not pleasant when you're looking at broken A/C.

Reliance was supposed to come out on Wednesday but signals got crossed and they couldn't make it. So when I called them Wednesday night, their systems were down and they had to wait to reschedule us. As is the case with almost anything anymore, the call centre they have is somewhere in India/Pakistan so they called back at 1 a.m. My aunt dealt with them and we rescheduled. Except, the service guy didn't really get that 1:30 meant 1:30 not 12 pm. So my aunt came home and spent the rest of the afternoon screaming at the customer service people because they refused to do anything about it. When I came home from the movies at 9:30 an emergency technician was just leaving--they had ordered the wrong part at the beginning of the week. You can imagine what we were both like by 10 pm. It got fixed yesterday so by 9 pm last night the house was a little bit cooler. I sleep with a big fan on me. It kind of reminded me of my apartment in London with the heat and the inability to sleep.

So now I have to get some work done. I have some cleaning to do and also an album to make for my friend Jill who wants one for her new nephew. I have three meetings at night this week and since we're down two people, that means 14 hour days for most of the week. I'm going home next weekend for my mom's birthday and I'm really looking forward to taking my nieces to see Kung Fu Panda. Not rest for the wicked though as we have more activities at work for the next two weeks after that. Which is why it's good I didn't spend the day in bed.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Detoxify

Ok so detox is going alright so far. It's been a stressful few days at work and not having caffeine has definitely hit me hard. Monday was extra stressful and I got the lovely withdrawal headache somewhere around 10 a.m. That was really pleasant...except not.

Other than the caffeine withdrawal and the intense desire to have bread, it's going well. If I can remember to drink my lake full of water, I'd be laughing. I'm having trouble choking that back down. Added to that, the waking up at all hours of the night as a result of the water is not pleasant.

What I don't get though, is how it is that your body gets all weird when you're taking OUT the things that are bad for you. Like fats and caffeine and alcohol and sugar and white flour. Why is it that your body gets all wrangy on you? That part I don't understand.

Today though, I woke up with lots of energy. A by product of the detoxification process. My body isn't sluggish from all the extra stuff. Finding stuff to eat though is kind of difficult. I miss my mid-morning yogurt. And my lunches that used to be easy to prepare. Now it's tuna. Or cottage cheese. Or cottage cheese and tuna. Today I broke down and just had another bowl of high protein cereal and soy milk. I'm hoping it gets a little easier as I get into next week.

I was going to do this for seven days but decided to do the full 10. That should clean out my system quite well and when I'm done I can start to re-add some of the good stuff. Like yogurts and fat free milk. I'll take it easy on the caffeine and go back to drinking green tea and this new white tea I bought. Fingers crossed.

Tomorrow will be hard though...we're finally going to see Sex and the City and I adore movie popcorn. I think I should be ok though. I'll have my trusty bottle of water.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Detox

I woke up this morning and decided the time was right to do a little body detox. No sugar, no flour, no caffeine, limited dairy (plain yogurt in smoothies and some cottage cheese) and balancing all meals with protein good carbs and healthy fats.

So far, I have survived the day with a full stomach. It wasn't easy though. I am seriously craving some caffeine and had to load up on the water to make me forget about my cans of diet coke sitting idly in the garage.

This is good though. I'm trying desperately to get back into my summer clothes from last year. I told myself no new clothes until I lost some weight. The winter foods just crept up on me and no amount of gym or weight watching has been cutting it. I know that I had to pull out the big guns this time and I am determined. I think the little bits of things that creep into your diet are what is killing it for me. Which is why I have said goodbye to my extra large steeped teas, my cans of diet coke, my breads, my pastas, and my sugars. Now it's all whole foods and good vegetables.

Lord help me.

Added to this, I'm trying to detox other behaviours as well. As in, stopping old habits and moving into some new ones. My sister has been bugging me about her new neighbour who is single. And I will admit publicly that after talking to him, it's nice to have someone new to talk to. Someone to look forward to talk to. Granted, he lives in London and I live in Windsor...but still, having another single person around is nice when I go visit. And it's not something I would have done before. I actually find myself looking forward to talking to him.

Knowing my luck I'll go back there in two weeks and he'll be married.

Also trying to detox the negative behaviours that influence my life. Not listening to the trivial complaints of others, trying to push negativity out of my life, trying to think positive things in everything that I do. Instead of "wow I hate that" it's "well, I may not like it, but let's give it a try".

We'll see how I'm doing in two days when the lack of caffeine hits me.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Nice piece


This would be the piece of art I designed for the Luxe Design Team search. I didn't make the team but I ended up with a pretty sweet piece of artwork. It's sitting at the front door for now while I figure out where I want to hang it. Which means I have been showered with compliments and a few discreet requests for one for themselves. Personally, I think it's pretty awesome...but that's just me.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Lipo would be easier

I swear I have no luck when it comes to Yoga. I think I should just give up now.

Two years ago when I joined the local gym I started going to the yoga classes. The first one I went to was ok but I was kind of on the fence. Decided to stick with it and went to the second one. Hated it. I ended up in a power yoga class and the downward dogs were killing me. To the point where I think my wrists were seriously considering divorcing my arms.

I again, decided to stick with it and the third class was awesome. I loved the teacher. She was a sub from a studio in town and was just fantastic. I loved the way she spoke to us, loved that she kept the talk to a minimum and also worked the room to make sure we were all in positions that challenged us but still didn't hurt.

I ended up in another power yoga class and then gave up. (I'm a quitter, what can I say?)

I decided to try it again after rekindling my desire to do yoga with a few at home videos. They were helpful and I liked doing it again. The class I'm in now is alright. I really don't like all the talk that the teacher does. She has to explain everything. To the point where she explains OTHER yoga moves that we aren't doing. It's making me crazy. Added to that, the moves she does in these classes kill my knees. We do it on a cement floor and the mats don't help at all.

Sigh...I'll stick it out though. We'll see how far I get. I might break down and join the Pilates Classes at that studio in town.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Waking when it's over

Last weekend my body must have known what was going to happen this week. It must have said to itself, this week is going to be tough, so lets get as much sleep as possible.

You see, I had big plans last weekend to get a whole lot of stuff done. I wanted to clean up my little "studio" area in the basement, I wanted to clean out my closet, I wanted to go shopping, I wanted to do a lot of stuff. Instead, I slept until about 10 each morning (well, I got up to let the dog out at 7 both mornings and then went to bed) and then went back to bed for a nap in the afternoon. I didn't get my stuff cleaned up. I didn't go shopping. I did get my closet cleaned out, but there wasn't much to do.

Then Monday came. We had a really big day at work on Thursday. Like national news kind of day. Well, actually, it was a national news day. So that meant I was at work until after midnight on Tuesday. At work until after nine on Wednesday and at work until after six on Thursday. And being at work that late doesn't mean I go home and sleep. Nope, it means I go home and lay awake thinking "did I change the font on that one fact sheet"? "Did I make sure I included all of the other edits?" "What if there are changes?" "Did the whole thing line up?" Or on Wednesday night I think about getting to the venue on time, what I should bring with me, what did I leave at the office, should I email my boss at 3 a.m., does she have her blackberry with her in her bedroom so it will wake her up when she's eight months pregnant?

The day went really well on Thursday and lots of really important people were quite pleased with us. And when I got home on Thursday, I was going to take a nap before Grey's and Lost but ended up not able to sleep AGAIN. After Lost, I knew it would be a struggle again so I took something. The six hours of sleep was much nicer than the four or three I had gotten the rest of the week.

But of course, this fatigue hit me yesterday when I had big plans to take the afternoon off and do something fun. That something fun was getting lost in Kent County. I decided to stop at this neat stamping store in Chatham on my way up to London. They gave me directions to Future Shop and then to the highway. Stupid me, thinking if I just followed the county roads east, I would reconnect with the highway without having to go backwards. Yup, you guessed it. I ended up going north west and spent about an hour travelling in a big huge circle. No, I don't have a map or GPS and I'm wondering why...

I finally got here around 3:25. Too late to pick the girls up at school which they love but early enough to get them from the bus which I love. My sister and I had a nice evening together and today we're going to celebrate National Scrapbook Day at Michaels. Big fun. I had an excellent night of sleep last night for the first time in a week or so and I'm really looking forward to just enjoying my weekend and doing fun stuff. Glad that the mess is over but sure it will all start up again soon.

Maybe I should buy a map or something this weekend...