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.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Definitely South of the border

When I read this in the September edition of Vanity Fair, I thought it was a joke. It's not.

p. 238 "...to the town of Kennesaw (Georgia), where local law makes gun ownership mandatory." Apparently, some people say, "An armed society is a polite society."

Well, sure, I could see how that would work. I know I'd be a wee bit scared to not pick up after Sparky when he takes a shit on the neighbour's lawn for fear that it would drive Mr. Smith postal causing him to shoot Sparky or me...or both!

But, do we really need to have everybody packing heat to create a 'polite' society. Come on, can't we all just get along...?

Judgement call

When you're 25-years-old, is it wrong to eat Lucky Charms...

...for dinner?
The cereal is whole grain...it's just served with a side of colourful yummy sugar shapes.

Lucky's got webisodes (...better name than netshow?)

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

I do too know what Beta is

I read about the Mindset list in today's Star and then came upon the one for my graduating year, although because I grew up in Ontario (past home of OAC) I was born in 1979, not 1980. Remember, I'm going to be 20 and six soon.

There were plenty of American references I couldn't relate to, but aside from those there were several points I took exception to. Since I have a glass half empty kind of attitude, those are the ones I will highlight.

1. The people starting college this fall across the nation were born in 1980.
12. Atari pre-dates them, as do vinyl albums. -We had Atari and vinyl albums!
13. The expression "you sound like a broken record" means nothing to them. -See above
14. They have never owned a record player. -Did too! We had more than one and I used to have story books that came with records so you could follow along. Some of those records were like a red transparent plastic. I wonder if we still have any of those...?
15. They have likely never played Pac Man, and have never heard of "Pong." -Never played Pac Man, pfft. Our Atari also had a game where we had to jump on pieces of floating ice and avoid the polar bear, anyone know what that was called?
18. They may never have heard of an 8-track, and chances are they've never heard or seen one. -I totally listened to my parents 8-tracks. I used to put on the big black headphones with the long spiral cord and listen to songs like "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree" (I know, my parents had bad taste in music) and walk around in circles in the living room until I got dizzy and fell down. I have pictures of me wearing said headphones, but alas no scanner. Sucks for you.
21. They have always had an answering machine. -Personally? Nope
24. There have always been VCR's, but they have no idea what Beta is. -We had a Beta. My favourite movie was "Mac and Me," I was sad when we got a VHS and I could no longer watch the little alien.
25. They cannot fathom what it was like not having a remote control. -Our first TV, a big fake wood thing that was popular in the early '80s, didn't have a remote. I think my parents used us.
27. Roller-skating has always meant in-line for them. -Wrong. I had white rollerskates with big red wheels and even went to a rollerskating party once!
36. They don't know who Mork was, or where he was from. -I know who Mork is, but where was he from again?
40. Michael Jackson has always been white. -He was black on the Thriller album cover. We had that album. What was with the cat?

42. McDonalds never came in Styrofoam containers. -It did too

Pregnancy info

I remembered to send myself the address for Carly's blog.
This week her food must haves include buttermilk and honey mustard & onion pretzel pieces - sorry C and Baby, that's icky!

Monday, September 26, 2005

For the geeks

The Pickering Public Library now uses Linux on all its public computers...

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Flip fun

I wanna be a flipper.

In June I discovered the TLC show Property Ladder, where regular people buy a run down house, establish a budget and renovation timeline (which are always wrong) and then flip it for a handsome profit. I was enthralled and wanted to do it too. I'm not so sure the same profit margins would exsist in the GTA though...Maybe I don't really wanna be a flipper, but rather would just like to make $125,000 after two months work.

Recently, I found Flip this House, which follows a company that not only sells real estate but also flips. It's a little less fun since they typically know what they're doing so there is no calling them stupid for thinking they can renovate in four weeks a four-bedroom house that needs a lot of work and they only arrive on the job site at noon, which is what happens on Property Ladder.

Anyway, they're both fun shows and they fill the renovation void left by Trading Spaces, which I am so over.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Bloggin' bout Baby

I've meaning to write about this subject for-ever but there were always other things to post so tada: the post about my knocked up friend.

First of all. OMG, baby clothes are sooo cute. I felt like such the grown up to be out with Carly earlier this week looking at baby stuff (note to self: bunnies, dogs and airplanes). Since she is my first friend to bring life into this world, her baby is getting more attention and will get more presents than any future friend's spawn will. That's just the way things go. She is the first, and for satisfying my innate curiousity about all things pregnancy she will be showered in presents (maybe showered is too strong a word...for sure there will be more than one).

For nearly 20 weeks (I was one of the first people to know, yeah! And thank you Eric and Carly for making Baby so I got the balloon ride), I've been asking her almost daily how she is doing, if she can feel the baby move, what the baby moving feels like (poke). I asked her about morning sickness, food cravings and well, you get the picture. I'm been annoying, but also interested. Can't help it, apparently I'm fascinated by the miracle of life. Fascinated by the thought that there is a person growing inside my friend. I know it sounds like I'm eight and I'm all "there's a baby in Carly's tummy" but hello, there is A BABY INSIDE CARLY. A little person with a head and arms and legs. See, look:

I can't wait till Baby starts kicking....Let's see, what could I say to Carly to facilitate the need for me to drop by her house.
  • (first one is easy) I have to return your book
  • I need to borrow your book again
  • I'm gonna return your book
  • Want a present?
  • I want to feel Baby kick
  • I want to see imprint of Baby's foot through your stomach
  • Let me feel Baby kick!

Note: Carly has a pregnancy blog but I don't know the address so I will link to it tomorrow. C, hope it was ok I used Baby's picture...

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

No free Prius for me

Today my mom got her third job offer in six days, and the winning company is: Toyota. It was her first choice so I'm happy for her.

However, always one to see how things affect me, I just realized all those times I entered the PC Mastercard contest in the hopes of winning a Prius (and free groceries for a year) were all for naught as I am no longer eligible. If my name gets pulled, I'm gonna cry.

The employee discount better be damn good...

Big news

My big brother Brian (who turned 30 Monday - happy belated birthday) is getting married! I knew something was up when he, Shauna (bride) and Ashley (her daughter) called on speakerphone. Congratulations you three!

I'm very happy for them. I'm gonna have a sister-in-law...I'm gonna be an aunt. How very adult. Guess I'm going to P.E.I in June or July. Yet. Another. Trip.

Countdown to London and Paris Pantin

I leave in 23 days on the trip I've been planning for two and a half years and a little of the shine is off of it. Apparently I'm not staying in Paris but rather a placed called Pantin. I haven't a clue where that is in relation to Paris, but to me it looks like I'm staying in, say, Mississauga when I want to visit downtown Toronto. (Red star=Pantin hotel, black star with Paris over it=Paris, duh.)

Secondly, there has been a flight let down. I thought I'd be on the same flight as the girl I met on the Contiki message board, but it turns out her flight leaves an hour after mine. Isn't it logical to think people going on the same tour, leaving from the same airport would be on the same flight? I think so. (To get back to the her leaving ONE HOUR after me: why does Air Canada need a 6:15 p.m. flight, a 7:15 p.m. flight, a 8:15 p.m. flight and a 10:30 p.m. flight from Toronto to Heathrow in one evening? Couldn't it just use two big planes several hours apart?) Had I been given a choice I would have picked flight #4 so I could go to work that day, get a drive to the airport, not deal with rush hour traffic and not arrive in London at 7:30 in the morning when I can't check into the hotel until 2 p.m.!

OK. Rant over.

I know what you're thinking:
You: "Stop complaining bitch. You just got back from Vancouver and now you're off to Europe. You have NOTHING to complain about."
Me: "But my tour cost a lot so it should go exactly as I want it to."
Me: "Hey, where'd you go?"

Damn Blogger maintenance this WHOLE post was done and I clicked on publish and it went away. Luckily, I have a memory like an elephant...Wonder where that saying comes from?

Model employee

It's hard for me to believe what I'm about to write so I wanted to write it as proof it actually happened.
It is 4:38 p.m. and every other person in the newsroom left the office by 2:45 p.m. (including my boss), but I am still here. Nearly 2 hours later. Damn I'm a good little worker. Granted, this isn't really me working, but work was done while I sat here all by myself.

Where did they all go, you ask? Was I left behind as some sort of punishment?
They're golfing at the annual editorial tournament, which I participated in last year and decided golfing wasn't really my thang unless it was the mini variety.

Seriously, what am I still doing here?

Sad news

Apparently police believe a body found in north Durham is that of missing 25-year-old Alicia Ross .

York police are holding a press conference at 2 p.m. to give an update on the case.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Is it true?

Have no clue is this is correct or not: heard today that shoes are hung over wires to indicate areas where -- come close so I can whisper -- drugs can be bought.
Yes? No? Should I know this...?

These shoes are located over the alley behind the hostel at 1018 Granville St. at Nelson Street in downtown Vancouver.

(P.S. The last of my Vancouver pics can now be found on Flickr - click on downtown Vancouver skyline below if ya wanna check em out. I'm done uploading now, honest.)

Tiny cars rule!

A couple (fed up with being happy when gas hits a low of 99.9 cents/litre), noticing my cute and tiny Chevy Aveo, were curious as to how fuel efficient she is. When the husband heard I can get more than 600 km on my 45 litre tank he turned to his wife and said, "we've got to get a smaller car."

She's more than just a pretty package.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Time marches on

It's that time of year again...With my *gulp* 26th birthday just three weeks away I was greeted this week with the usual question, 'so, what do you want for your birthday?' Don't get me wrong - I love presents. That people want to commemorate the day I came into this world by showering me with items I really, really want but could live without is great. Makes me feel all warm and tingly inside. But. But I'm not really feeling celebratey this year. Granted, I do want seasons 5, 6, and 7 of Buffy, but faced with some quarter-life angst, what I really want is to:
  • be 20 again
  • know what I want to be when I grow up
  • lose that eight pounds my trainer keeps bugging me about
  • not be allergic to animals so I can have something to keep me company when if I'm an old maid
  • know what I want

I will, however, settle for - and appreciate greatly - something pretty or gift certificates to complete the Buffy collection.

It is possible this post is just the side effect of my coming down off a sugar high. No, it's a freak out about turning 26. (To all of my 26 and 26 plus friends: 26 is not old, it's just a number I appear to be having some difficulty dealing with). At least there will be cake and then, Paris.

Pics, photos, and images

Originally uploaded by

To see my vacation through pics click on downtown Vancouver skyline.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

New meanings

Coffee (n): the person upon whom one coughs.

The Washington Post published the winning submissions to its yearly contest, in which readers are asked to supply alternative meanings for commons words. Here are some others:

Esplanade: (v): to attempt an explanation while drunk
Willy-nilly (adj): impotent
Testicle (n): a humourous question on an exam

For the full list click here (or find it on the Post's site and then tell me where it is...)

Michael Moore disses the CBC

Moore doesn't want his Academy Award-winning movie, Bowling for Columbine, to air on the CBC tomorrow because of the month-long lock out.

In the statement on his website, he says:
"CBC has locked out its union workers, an action that is abhorrent to all who believe in the rights of people to collectively bargain. Why the great and honorable CBC is behaving like an American corporation is beyond me."

Now that, is an insult. Back to the bargaining table, I say.

Maybe we're not so different after all...?

Our neighbours to the south might just be more sensible than I thought: a poll released Thursday found eight in 10 Americans think people who drive SUVs should switch to more fuel effiencient vehicles. I'm kinda shocked by the poll and feel as though I should apologize for some of the negative thoughts I've had about the American people...or at least eight out of 10 of them.

The poll also found:
  • Almost seven in 10 want the government to establish price controls on gasoline and want more spending on subway, rail and bus systems.
  • Just over seven in 10 want to give tax cuts to companies to develop wind, solar and hydrogen energy.
  • Just over eight in 10 want higher fuel efficiency required for cars, trucks and SUVs
  • Slightly more than half favor giving tax cuts to energy companies to explore for more oil. (What? Wait a sec. Apology revoked. We should cut consumption of oil, not look for more to solve the problem. Negative thoughts have returned based on the following excerpt from the AP story)

Almost six in 10 now say exploring for new sources of energy is more important than protecting the environment. People were evenly split on that question in 2002. Half now support drilling for oil and gas in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska -- up from 42 percent who felt that way in March.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Sleepy head

Decided I have insomnia after four straight nights of lying (laying?) in bed for a minimum of an hour and a half before falling asleep (constant thoughts run through my head as I lie awake). Am super tired right now but do ya think I'll be able to fall fast asleep when I put my pretty little head on the pillow? Probably not...unless drugs are involved.

Wikipedia says:
Some traditional remedies for insomnia have included drinking warm milk before bedtime...avoiding mentally stimulating activities in the evening hours; and paradoxically, making sure to get up early in the morning and to retire to bed at a reasonable hour.

Do you think watching episodes of season 1 of Angel on DVD or the season premiere of Girlmore Girls count as "mentally stimulating activities"? Pretty sure my blogging and surfing don't...

Extreme annoyance

The Extreme Fitness 'feedback' section on its website doesn't work so I'm gonna get out my frustration here.

I 'won' a three-month membership back in March, found out in a phone call and when I returned said phone call the dude never called me back. No biggie, I had like seven months left on a membership at another gym I'd already paid for anyway. Fast forward to August and another dude from EF calls to tell me about my win. After some phone tag we set up a time for me to see the gym. Time is cancelled due to hectic/erratic rowing schedule; can't reschedule until after Vancouver (ahhh, happy memories...). Monday night I finally make it in to claim my winning. They make me wait 10 minutes -- that's ok, it's not like I told dude #2 I had a limited amount of time as I was working or that I had to be at a council meeting in 13 minutes. Dude #3 comes to finally greet me. He's all friendly-like with his 'welcome to the gym. Do you currently train?' (Does, uh, going once in the past month count?) Then the detail every other dude until now has left out: it's three months free of a 12-month-membership. Then as if nothing has changed he attempts to lead me into the land-o-buffpeople. Seeing as I have about 11 meetings left before I gots to be somewhere, I cut to the chase. Exactly how much is your membership? Oh, they're $49, $59 and $69 a month. To which I reply by bolting. Some prize -- $450 for a one-year-membership. My current one only cost $300 and that was for 13 months!

Since the feedback section doesn't work, I'll have to use the *gasp* phone to complain...or hope this rant was enough to let me forget my disappointment about the sham that I thought was me finally winning something.

Good day

  • mom got her first job offer after being laid off April 30 (yeah!)
  • didn't get into a horrible accident on the 401 on my way home from Oakville (thank you minivan driver who went into the shoulder on the eastbound 401 near the DVP so I wouldn't end up in your backseat)
  • became the self-proclaimed "Queen of Grammar" (C, it's gone to my head...)
  • didn't have to go to the office today -- and got a brownie and chocolate danish at the training workshop (mmmmmm, chocolatey goodness)
  • new season of Survivor starts in 10 minutes (k, I was pushing it with these last few, but three is not long enough for a list)

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Countdown to Europe

One month (cause I so need another vacation...)

Vancouver vacation - Day 6

  • forgot to post this pic I took Thursday night of downtown Van from Lonsdale Quay - I know it's blurry

  • walked around (central library - pic below - it has a roof top garden, although it's not open to the public, and free internet) and finally tried a hot chocolate at Blendz (it wasn't that good and it cost $4 for a small). The Canadian chain is everywhere (as are Starbucks) but it's damn hard to find a Tims and there are no Second Cups. Not One!

  • checked out (see hostel below), took public transit (love that most buses are electric, like streetcars) to the airport (only 40 minutes) and flew back to T.O. (that pic is somewhere over the B.C. interior...sadly, no pic of mountains)

Vancouver vacation - Day 5

Thursday (almost done)

  • went back to Granville Island (for a cupcake) and the beaches cause I didn't get a pic of the Inukshuk before...

  • went shopping with Shelly - David's girlfriend. I have no pics of this...she bought me a nice purse, thank you :-)
  • went to the Vancouver Art Gallery after and saw beautiful Emily Carr paintings, as well as the Rodin exhibit (I think The Thinker's head is too small...I mean, come on, it's almost as big as his shoulder. Guys with shoulders that big don't think...)

  • this is a reflection of the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver (was feeling creative...)

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Vancouver vacation - Day 4

(Getting tired of writing about it so I'll basically let the pics speak for themselves)

  • there was a park next door that was also very nice

  • went to historic gastown home of the steam clock (those are cobblestone streets)
  • went out for dinner with my brother and then down to Sunset Beach Park/English Beach Park (right next to one another) and saw a most beautiful sunset.

Vancouver vacation - Day 3


  • walked to Stanley Park where I decided to check out the aquarium first. I don't think this guy would survive in the wild, looks at those teeny tiny fins and that big blubbery body.
    He's in the air. Do you see him?
    These are sooo cute.

I know - too many aquarium pictures but I took like 30 so this is the abbreviated set.

  • explored the rest of North America's largest urban park - that's right it is slightly bigger than NYC's Central Park.

  • the weirdest thing I saw was these young raccoons following people around...that's not natural.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Vancouver vacation - Day 2

  • walked down Granville Street to Granville Island (more yummy food and wonderful views of the city)
  • took the seabus to meet David at Lonsdale Quay, then it was on to Deep Cove in North Vancouver (pretty, isn't it?)
  • stopped at Lighthouse Park where we encountered a sign I'd never seen before. It was quite the jaunt to the lighthouse (wasn't really worth it - the lighthouses on the East Coast are much nicer).
  • our last sightseeing stop for the day was Horseshoe Bay where we rented a boat and attempted to view some sea lions. We didn't, but it was still worthwhile.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Vancouver vacation - Day 1

Sunday (it was raining so we took to the car)

  • went for a drive to see the beautiful (and pricey) real estate of the north shore. Apparently British Properties in West Vancouver has the highest average real estate price in all of Canada. They've got some damn fine views too.
  • went partially up Cypress Mountain to get a better view of downtown Vancouver, Stanley Park and water
  • went to Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver - home of yummy food and cute old people dancing
  • checked into the hostel
  • walked around downtown for a bit

  • went to the other suspension bridge in Lynn Canyon - this one's free!

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Beautiful British Columbia

Deep Cove in North Vancouver.
Of all the beautiful places I saw, this was the most beautiful. (Also allowed me to test the stitch feature on my camera - I love it.) More photos to come...I'm having a lazy day after six days of walking, sightseeing, etc.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Blogging from Van

It's absolutely gorgeous here - I've decided to stay. Just kidding. Tons of photos will be uploaded on the weekend when I'm back in T.O.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Saint Catharine

Recently paid a visit to St. Catharines (does it have a nickname?) and as I attempted to make my way back to the QEW from downtown it dawned on me I didn't know which way to go on Hwy 406. Opted for south, which I realized was wrong a moment too late. Got off at the next exit only to find I couldn't find the north on-ramp. I drove aimlessly around until spotting a Tim Hortons. I can find help (and a bathroom) there, I thought. The mention of the highway name was greeted with looks of confusion from the staff - apparently they didn't know it existed, let alone how to help me. In walks the Good Samaritan lady. She said she would take that way home and I could follow her! Moments later I was heading the right way with my faith restored in human kindness, at least for the time being.

Thank you Good Samaritan Lady.


This guy drove by us last Saturday on the 401 westbound on his way to experience Hurricane Katrina in Gulfport, Mississippi. I wondered where he was going...


Regarding my last post: I spoke too soon when blaming all the death, chaos and current situation in the southern United States, specifically New Orleans, on the hurricane.

It's not Katrina's fault alone the levees broke, it's not her fault people were left to wait and wait and wait and wait for water, food and to be rescued. The destruction she caused should have been a surprise to NO ONE. The damage could have been mitigated. The government should have been prepared. I found an excellent series published by a Louisiana newspaper on how vulnerable the state was to major damage from a hurricane. Don't know when it was written, but I'm pretty sure the Times-Picayune staff wouldn't have had time to whip it up this week. Haven't read it all yet (it's five parts and so long), but in part 1 this section just jumped right out at me:

If enough water from Lake Pontchartrain topped the levee system along its south shore, the result would be apocalyptic. Vast areas would be submerged for days or weeks until engineers dynamited the levees to let the water escape. Some places on the east bank of Orleans and Jefferson parishes are as low as 10 feet below sea level. Adding a 20-foot storm surge from a Category 4 or 5 storm would mean 30 feet of standing water. Whoever remained in the city would be at grave risk.
According to the American Red Cross, a likely death toll would be between 25,000 and 100,000 people, dwarfing estimated death tolls for other natural disasters and all but the most nightmarish potential terrorist attacks. Tens of thousands more would be stranded on rooftops and high ground, awaiting rescue that could take days or longer. They would face thirst, hunger and exposure to toxic chemicals

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Katrina the Bitch

I'm obsessed with news coverage of the aftermath of the hurricane, although less so than my mother who has been watching CNN 12 hours a day (I might be watching more TV coverage if CBC journalists weren't locked out). In addition to coverage from my trusty Star and from the online New York Times, I've also been reading this breaking newslog from New Orleans.

How long do you think it'll be before someone names their daughter Katrina again...? (At least in the southern U.S.)

Wondering what to be when you grow up?

The Canadian government is here to help. They have career quizes and other helpful tools to help you figure out what you really want to be. In addition to telling you jobs you might be suited for, it also lists positions available in that area right now. You might find it useful, even though it didn't help me...unless anyone thinks I should be a:
  • purchasing agent or officer
  • Chinese medical practitioner
  • naturopath
  • homeopath
  • acupuncturist
  • mortgage broker

Anyone? Come on, I could totally be a healer? My actual career was very far down on the list -- behind various teaching positions, nurse and astrologer...I'm screwed.