What's in my head

This is the home of your average girl in her early 30s making her way in the big city...Not really. I have thoughts. Now I have somewhere to put them.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

To serve and protect

Toronto's finest were out in full force last night. As I walked north along Yonge Street from Queen I couldn't help but notice the men (and women) in blue. They were everywhere. Cops on foot. Cops in cars. Cops on pretty horses. They were on the sidewalk, in the street and manning the video surveillance truck...And not just Toronto cops. Reinforcements had been brought in from Waterloo, Hamilton and the OPP was even there guarding a Tim Hortons. I had two thoughts: "WTF is going on?" and "I feel very protected." I can't remember the last time I was in the area after the mall closed (oh, wait. Yes I do...it was February, there was a band...) so I thought maybe this was normal Friday night procedure in TO during the summer. But then as I continued north pass Gerrard it finally dawned on me. Duh! It's Caribana weekend.

The streets and sidewalks were filled with people and our cops were ready. Boy, were they ready. I didn't see any incidents but I was happy to know at least one police officer was making sure those driving up and down Yonge were safely belted into their vehicles...

Je suis Acadienne

Thursday marked the 250th anniversary of the signing of the declaration for the deportation of 10,000-15,000 Acadians (the number differs from account to account) from Acadie (present day Nova Scotia). It also marked the first observance of the "Day of Commemoration of the Great Upheaval" in Canada, as set out in an apology issued by Governor General Adrienne Clarkson in 2003 on behalf of the British government for the displacement of the Acadians. Many died or were exiled (a community thrives in Louisiana), while others hid and their ancestors now live in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick.

The CBC has a good Acadian information site and there are lots of other sites and articles available online.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Becky's back

My summer reading this year has been all about the shopaholic. I started reading Confessions of a Shopaholic in May and before I knew it I had read Shopaholic Takes Manhatten and Shopaholic Ties the Knot. They're very light and quick reading (perfect for the summer). They're also very funny and entertaining. I recommend the series to anyone who hasn't discovered Becky yet. I started Shopaholic & Sister this week and I'm kinda sad that I'm almost done since it's the last book in the series...(yes, that's a little pathetic but it's better than being sad about TV, right?)

The funny thing is I've lost my Shopaholic gene since reading the series. I've only bought $28 worth of clothes in the past two months and well, that's not normal for me...


Who goes from being engaged to Marilyn Manson to being wooed by Al Pacino? Apparently Rose McGowan does. Aside from the weirdness of this bit of celebrity gossip, Al's old! He's got 34 years on Rose. Ick!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

I row good

I arrived at the boat house tonight for my fourth rowing class (third on the water) and what does the instructor do - she puts me and fellow rookie Ellen in a two for some sculling. Gulp! We were hesitant and well, quite frankly, a little scared. Ellen had visions of us ending up in the water, I had visions of us getting stuck in the middle of the lake.
Neither vision came to light. We rocked. Ellen made sure we didn't hit any boats, the shore or that plane. I kept us in time (1-2-3-row)...It was great working with just one other person instead of seven, and to not have the coxsain critiquing you. We mastered those choppy waters and didn't encounter any bodies...

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Does the world really need this?

Cockroach hall of fame...?
PLANO, Texas (AP) - The Cockroach Hall of Fame Museum - an aging collection of the despised insects dressed in tiny outfits - isn't much to see. But the creepy exhibit draws curiosity-seekers from across the country.

"What's interesting is that people are afraid of seeing cockroaches running across their kitchen at night, but their guard drops when they see them wearing a tutu or a bikini," said grinning exterminator Michael Bohdan, the hall's cheery "curator."

Although his exhibit of dead bugs is featured in off-the-wall tourist site listings, he advises potential visitors against travelling long distances to see the museum, located in a strip mall. After all, this isn't the Smithsonian...


Saturday, July 16, 2005

Watch me soar

Originally uploaded by danielle6.

So my hang gliding is old news but I'm posting my experience anyway because it's my blog and I can do whatever I want.

After my hot air balloon ride I was looking for something a little more adventerous, something riskier. I remembered there was a hang gliding school in Pickering so I set up a tandem flight. I wasn't nervous the day before, I was sure the chance of thunderstorms would postpone things and give me time to calm my nerves. I was wrong. At 10 a.m. I made the call and got the answer I wasn't looking for: my flight would go ahead as scheduled. I felt the nerves in my stomach tighten and I wondered why I had decided to do this. But I couldn't back out, I had already told everyone I was going to do this.

"Breathe" by Michelle Branch was playing when I started the car. It made me think of the episode of Sex and the City where Carrie is doing the trapeze and she can't get the catch. When she finally did it that song was playing, remember that calmed me (judge later, read now). A short while later I pulled onto the sprawling property. There was no turning back.

I met Dave, the instructor/pilot, and my first question flew out of my mouth "how long have you been doing this for?" "Two weeks," he replied. I wasn't amused. This was no laughing matter. He led me back into the club house and I began firing questions at him. The more questions I asked, the more comfortable I felt. Then came the scary part: the waiver. High Perspectives was not responsible for any injuries "up to and including death." Don't panic I thought.

Dave showed me the hang glider, then James helped me get into my harness and helmet. It felt a little lose, I asked him to tighten it - I wouldn't feel safe until there was chaffing. Dave and I rolled the glider to the top of the of the small hill where we would hitch to the tow line. He clipped himself on first and then attached me to the glider and to him - he had the parachute. I laid down on the ground, suspended from the glider. Any last bit of nerves I had faded away as I hung there, securely in place. I was ready to go. Dave gave the signal to James and away we went, sharply upwards into the smoggy sky.

It all happened so fast I don't remember exactly how it felt or how we ended up at 1,000 feet. We gained height before letting go of the tow ropes and then we were free, flying high above the green fields and patches of trees. Dave pointed out our shadow all those many feet below us on the ground and a hawk flying several hundred feet below us (we made it to 1,300 feet).

I could feel the wind blowing over me and I couldn't stop smiling as we flew freely through the sky. I never wanted to return to the ground. But after 25 minutes it was time to land. Dave brought us around to where we had taken off and lowered us so quickly I couldn't figure out how he was doing it. We had just enough time for me to ask if the landing was bumpy and him to tell me to lift my feet before my face was just inches from the grass. I was flying no more.

Dave helped me stand up and the earth felt strange under my feet. I wanted to go again. I felt happy and confident and exhilirated. Now when I see birds flying a smile creeps across my face as I remember what is was like to be soaring in the sky.

Tsk, tsk

My MP was absent nine times during the 38th session of Parliament. Ottawa's only a four hour drive John...
Despite that he did manage to speak nearly 78,000 words.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Only in the South

The 10th anniversary of the Redneck Games took place yesterday (damn, I missed it!) in Georgia. Events included bobbin' for pigs feet, the armpit serende and the butt crack competition.
Pictures can be found here.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Oyeh painting!

Still no power tools for me at the Habitat build, only a roller...which I broke. Oops.

I did such a good job painting and telling other...I mean helping other people that my crew leader asked if I wanted to be promoted to an orange shirt the next time I come out. This means I would be in charge of seven or eight people as we set out to finish homes that people are actually expected to live in. Scary thought!

Don't worry Habitat partner families, I said no...I don't look good in orange anyway.

Oh and there was no heat stroke today, but I am still exhausted.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Oh, the memories

My first job out of university was in this tiny city (I wonder if anyone I knew wrote the story?). It wasn't the greatest of jobs but it did allow me the opportunity to meet Joe Thornton (I just love meeting cocky hockey players). Funny story...I thought his brother was him so I started interviewing the brother and he said, "maybe Joe should answer those questions." I was so embarrassed, the guys back at the office teased me for days.

And then there was the time I blacked out at the hospital and was wheeled down to the emergency room by the PR woman...Oh, the memories.

Row, row, row the boat

It's not quite as exciting as hang gliding or even hot air ballooning but I'd been wanting to try it for two years so this week I started a learn-to-row program. At the first class I learned rowing looks a lot easier on TV than it really us...and that was before they even let us in a boat (only dock side rowing for night one). Feeling oh so not confident, us newbies were set free on the open water tonight (picturesque Lake Scugog). As we made our way out into the lake I couldn't help noticing I sucked. I just couldn't get into the rhythm...at one point I was actually singled out for my poor 'rowing.' But after some personalized instruction I was doing soooo much better and then it was fun...hardwork but still fun.

I must remember next time to keep my socks on...damn the mosquitoes, my feet are itchy. They must be attracted to all the goose poop around the lake...

Sunday, July 03, 2005

I wanna be rich

I want my own island with a pretty cottage/summer home on it. This one looks nice. Or maybe my own castle...

I went on a little day trip to Gananoque to see the beauty that is the Thousand Islands. It was a day jam packed with uneventful goodness: the weather was amazing; I won a whopping $7.50 at the charity casino (on my last quarter...woohoo); I got some sun; and technically I left the country. It was a good day, although I must add I was surprised to see the familiarity of an Island Beach Co store down by the waterfront complete with tons of tacky Anne souvenirs.
Not much else to say but I do have some pretty pictures.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Let there be cake!

Happy Birthday Canada!
Today our great nation is 138 years young.

...that is all for today.