Monday, December 26, 2005
Any creative energy I have had, I needed for the last couple pushes to promote titles for work.
I love my job and I love the buzz that the autumn brings. I know I am among the lucky who can say they really do enjoy their jobs.
I also know that there comes a point when you need to be able to turn off so you can then be a better employee when you get back.
I'm not back into the office until the 3rd of January. And so my brain is now in hibernation until that time.
I have a lot of exciting things I'm hoping to achieve in the new year. I won't go about calling the resolutions, just simply turning over new leaves.
I do hope everyone is enjoying this festive time. Happy Holidays to you all.
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Since I was born I am so lucky to have been surrounded by such love and laughter.
If there is any example of how to do it, I nominate my parents for the 'best couple of the year' award.
I can only hope I live by their example. I can only hope I am has fun loving and in love as they are after 30 years.
Ma & Pa - you rock
50 hours from now, my mother will be en route to my house from Chicago.
Internet, how excited am I!?!?!??!?!!
Thursday, November 24, 2005
Someday Kid, if you're lucky, you will have a little brother or sister.
I'm so lucky I have THREE. Two little sisters and a little brother, who is the littlest.
When your little, you may tend to argue and disagree a bit and there may event be pulling of hair although you'll be the big brother so it wouldn't really be fair to beat your little sisters or brothers up. If you continue, however, to act like your mom as you are right now (so I hear mister candies-need-to-be-organised-before-eaten) you will be a great big brother.
You will also have fun moments. Keeping each other company on long road trips in the car playing the license plate game or the alphabet game with countries then animals then food then..well, anything..because road trips can be long and if your dad is anything like my dad there is no stopping to go pee..ever...you should be okay because girl bladders tend to be worse but I feel for your little siblings if they're sisters.
There will be Christmas traditions, birthday must-dos, anniversary celebrations - I would suggest not forgetting your parents anniversary as it tends to be a big deal - although you will probably not get into as much trouble as many of your friends because between me and you, your mom is pretty cool about that kind of thing. Just don't forget her birthday.
When you grow up, (yes, someday you will be MUCH bigger than you are now and you will have to do thing all for yourself and let me tell you, it can suck sometimes so don't go rushing yourself to become a big boy, even if you're dying for a big boy bed, just milk it a little longer) you will start to appreciate each other so much more than you can imagine.
Suddenly, the fact that you all share the same DNA and that one day you will together care for the parents that for so many years have cared for you will fill you with this intense wholeness, indescribable with words.
Being the oldest, you will be protective. Boys are usually more protective however I'm a girl and I'm pretty protective. And bossy. And kinda a control freak. But enough about me.
There will be grown up events that will happen. All of a sudden, people will graduate from school, buy a house, get married, even have a little Kid of their own - not necessarily in this order but it will all happen.
When my oldest younger sister got engaged, I was half expecting it but I was still so so so so excited. I also didn't find out until about 6 days after they were engaged because I was lying on a beach in Tunisia and didn't leave a number where anyone could reach me. This is never a good idea and I for one am usually quite good at 'checking in'. It's just better to be that kind of person, Kid, so then if anything were to go wrong, people could call the police right away because 'A would never not leave a number'. Again, digressing.
I got a shock this morning that I really wasn't prepared for.
My youngest younger sister left a frantic message at 5am.
Of course I thought the worst. You will, Kid, you will totally think something absolutely terrible has happened, especially if you're miles away AND if you're the oldest. You're definitely the oldest but not sure if that mom of yours will let you go miles away, at least not for very long and maybe only if it's Paris because then she'll have a great place to visit.
I'm just going to come out and say it.
My youngest younger sister is engaged.
You may not have seen it Kid, mostly because you're too little to probably understand big people movies but let's pretend you HAVE seen the Father of the Bride.
And you know that part, again Kid, pretending that you do know that part, where the daughter tells the father that she's getting married and he sees her talking as a 6 year old girl?
I guess that was the first thing I saw. My 6 year old sister telling me she's engaged.
I had thought about what I would feel when C got engaged, if only because she had been talking about it before she even met K.
I had not thought about this. I had not really prepared.
I'm so so so so happy she's in love. I can't wait to meet her dreamy P.
But I tell you T, if he breaks her heart, I'll break him...all..of..him. (Kid, that sounds very Arnnie Swartz or Die Hard or Lethal Weapon or something but I have looked at this sentence for a long time and feel that is the only way I can truly express myself today.)
And that, Kid, is what happens when you're the biggest. And you thought closing the cupboards that Daddy leaves open was a chore. Just wait.
Congratulations to the sweetest littlest sister a girl could have. Can't wait to see it on video. What a great way to capture it.
Sunday, November 20, 2005
About 20 years on and I still hate leaving the party.
As I struggled this morning to pull myself up out of bed after only rolling into it about 4am, I cursed myself and contemplated my dilemma.
Why is it I'm the last to leave? Why can I not just give a big wave to the all nighters and say cheerio and good night?
It's funny to think that just over a year ago I was slightly distraught by the lack of social life I was able to have, not knowing anyone in this city. Last night, we had 3 invitations to various parties in various parts of the city - all quite important and unmissable.
The first was a wedding - er, well the reception as the couple had gone off and eloped.
The second, a house warming party for my dear German friend who, because of the ridiculous high price of home ownership in Germany, had bought her first home in her early 40s. This was also a 'not to be missed' party as she had done some extraordinary DIY and changed the look of the place by knocking out a wall.
The third was to be a bar appearance, one last hurrah for another Australian friend who is heading back down under after 3 years here in Belfast.
We didn't make it to the wedding - it was an early start and quite out of the centre and well, we had napped in the afternoon, leaving us little time to get ready and out by 730.
We managed to get to the house party an hour late - 9pm - but then, isn't that what you do at these types of things? It was a very civilised, adult evening, one that for a change D and I were actually the younger of the group there.
Lovely conversation and admiration of the house and about 3 hours later, we had exhausted ourselves of anything else to say or do.
But we were in a odd position as we needed to get a text detailing our next location before we could leave. It came by 1230, we called a cab in a mad dash to get to the bar before last orders at 1am.
We managed it alright and, despite the sea of people we had to wade through, we managed to find the rowdy bunch, who had actually been karaoking it up all evening (if only i knew THAT..)
We were having so much fun that by the time they kicked us out of the bar by 2am, I was ready to keep on going with the group.
D was slightly stunned when I suggested that instead of walking back to our house 5 min away, we should continue on with the group, struggle to find a cab and possbily get stuck in a house until the wee hours, if only because the cabs are difficult to come by after 3am.
But no, I was adamant. We were going to continue partying with the gang. And so off we went. Back to a house with a tiny living room (which, by the way, describes most of the homes here) jammed ourselves in and scavaged around for any alcohol that had been left lying around.
Happy as larry (as they say) with the some gin and tonic I found, I chatted away to strangers becoming 'best friends ever' instantly in the way only an entire evening of alcohol can achieve.
This was the life, I was thinking. I'm never leaving.
Except I finished my drink and D had indulged me for 2 hours more at this point so it was time to go.
It was 4 in the morning. And I still didn't want to go.
There was dancing. Singing. Falling down. Passing out. We would be missing it all.
I wonder if I will ever be able to say goodbye when things are going strong.
I guess I'll leave that up to my liver.
Friday, November 18, 2005
How can I even call myself that when my last post just bounced you off to another site?
Very very very very bad.
Does it count that I'm F-ING INCREDIBLY BUSY MY EYES ARE GOING TO POP OUT OF MY HEAD blogger? Does that give me any points?
Bad bad blogger.
Sunday, November 06, 2005
It was not because the poster was annoynmous - it was because many moons ago, D and I used to 'hang' with these crazy animals...
The night that was described sounded like many a night spent with them.
Glad to hear not much has changed.
Congrats Jake and Linda! Can't wait to catch up in April!!:)
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
I never realised it was so NORTH AMERICAN until I travel abroad and realised no one else really celebrates like we do.
Perhaps it is our self confidence in our beliefs that allows us not to be superstitious about ghosts and goblins. Or perhaps it's just another reason to spend money, including that every commerical savy Hallmark card.
At work over this past couple of weeks, I was getting the old 'oh ya, is't Hallowe'en' and then this knowing nod from the person that I have learned to understand means:
'I am simply placating your American sized ego but really think you are most ridiculous and juvenile for partaking in such a trival holiday'
I realise that I am not American but it seems anyone that comes from a continent that is not Europe or Asia is American and therefore, I have given up adding the NORTH bit every time someone mentions those AMERICAN ways. Please people, you must choose your battles.
The holiday did sort of come and go without much excitement. For some reason, trick or treating has not caught on here. Drunken parties dressed up as Elvis? Well, really, I'm sure that caught on in about 6 seconds and yes I did see some interesting characters when I was out on Saturday night.
But the whole buying loads of sweets to hand out to little goblins or witches or harry potters is not a 'thing' they do.
However, celebrating the holiday is starting to catch on in Belfast. And I'm all for supporting a culture that's 'learning' about our CRAZY OUT OF THIS WORLD American holidays.
But I had to put my foot down when a lady a work told me she had trick or treaters on SATURDAY NIGHT. WHAT?? DID I HEAR THAT RIGHT??
SATURDAY NIGHT??? OCTOBER 29???
Kudos to the parents who gave up their Saturday to go door to door but uh HELLO ?@?? If you're going to partake, you MUST do it right.
Hallowe'een is OCOTBER 31. Not the Saturday before. Not the Saturday after. Not when-ever-my-keen-parent-ass-feels-like-it. OCTOBER 31.
Can I tell you what would have greeted any cute little ghost that appeared at my door on Saturday night?
The same thing that appeared at my new neighbour's door Sunday morning when, in her own words, she thought the drilling at 9 AM ON SUNDAY MORNING was started at a reasonable hour.
A grumpy, tired, half asleep, angry banchee in her pjs.
Except of course on Saturday, I was probably drunk.
People of Belfast: Embrace the holiday, don't change it.
Thursday, October 13, 2005
When I was a reporter, sometimes I would have killed to be able to make up quotes for people. To put words into their mouths, saying what they wanted to say but just more elegantly than they ever spoke to me in person.
Now, with the job of compiling press releases, I find myself at a loss to write good words of someone else.
There it is. A clean slate to work with. All I need to do is write them down. And I can't think of anything more interesting to say then 'we are very pleased to be bringing you..' or 'we'd like to thank...'
What happened to me? Where did all my words go? Where is that person who used to go out, talk to people, listen to their words, write them down and then imagine better quotes that would make the story sound more poetic?
Careful what you wish for, I guess.
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
I am often asked what I most miss from home. Until recently, I never really had an answer because family and friends is an obvious one and besides them what else could possibly matter?
In an effort to be able to make conversation, however, I decided that the weather would be one thing. Sounds strange to be missing the minus 40C weather but really, its the extremes. I love the hot summer much more BECAUSE of the minus 40C weather and if I don't have the minus 40C weather, how can I look forward to the steamy summer? And there certainly isn't anything steamy about the summer here unless you count the mist and rain as steamy....am I STILL talking about the weather?
After that question is answered - and if the person has not backed away slowly - he/she will tend to ask what food I miss.
The only thing I really can't get here that I can get in Canada?
Kraft Dinner. KD. Crap Dinner.
Whatever you want to call it, I crave it. The comfort food factor of macaroni and processed cheese BUT not just ANY processed cheese, because I've tried that American Macaroni and cheese crap and it's just that..crap.
And so imagine my glee, when out of the blue, I get a parcel with SIX BOXES OF THE STUFF!!?!!?!?!? D was suprised my head didn't explode.
I could tell the distinctive writing anywhere (I won't NOW get into dissing my sister C's handwriting because SHE SENT ME A BOX OF GOLD!) and I beamed from ear to ear, giddy as a 16 year old on a first date.
Thoughts raced through my mind: I was having it for dinner. I was going to save it and have it for lunch. How the hell was I going to stare at 6 boxes in my cupboard and not eat them all at once?
I made the first box with such care last night. Worried that I might wreck one of the most expensive boxes of KD I'd ever had, D pointed out that if a first university student could figure out how to make it, I certainly shouldn't have that much trouble.
Dinner was divine. Lunch will be even sweeter.
C - thank you SO SO MUCH for spending 4 times the amount on shipping to get me six boxes of the golden stuff. Getting letters and presents from home is one of the best parts of living far away but getting presents that have been well thought out is even sweeter. Thank you so much. You made me so happy. Who knew all it took was good old KD?
Thank the universe for simple pleasures.
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Here was one of the first entries I ever wrote. I still believe this is true, for those of you who are pondering the idea of starting again. I had a lot of support but I had a lot of these too:
Ah the cynics. You have to wonder why it is they think it won't happen. I think deep down they really want you to fail. They disguise it mostly with suggestions as to what you can do or bring up a lot of 'what if' scenarios - like they actually care.
But deep down, they don't want to think this will be THAT easy.I'm not expecting it to be a walk in the park but I'm being intelligent enough to know what I will risk and what my limits are. I would say so far the hardest part has been the cynics. This is something I'm so excited about. I've never felt more focussed on something extra-ciricular in my life. But I must remember that not everyone is going to be excited for me. Some won't care. Some will be green with envy - I know that feeling cause I've been there.
Some may simply be bothered by the fact that beginning this adventure really was so doable. I guess it's easier to think that it's impossible to do something then to come to the realization that all you had to do was try.
I'm glad I listened to my mom (see first post)
After a few weeks of adjustment, he is getting himself nicely settled in.
What I am missing, can I say, is my grocery man.
I am spoiled, internet, I really am.
I get home from work, I go to the gym, I maybe prepare the salad but for the most part, after I shower and get into my pjs, I have my dinner made for me.
When D worked from home on Canadian hours, it meant I could call him in the morning, decide what we were going to eat for dinner and he would be away to fetch it for me, if only because if he didn't leave in the morning, he wouldn't leave the house at all that day so REALLY he was securing his own sanity..but I digress.
Now that he is a standard 9-5ver, I am left with the job of picking up any items we do not have at home before the shops close.
Which leads me to:
THINGS I MISS ABOUT MY TORONTO HOME
1 - I could finish work at 11pm and still get to a grocery store 5 minutes from my house.
2 - I could get all my groceries on a Saturdy OR a Sunday and they would all fit in my NORMAL SIZED FRIDGE and NORMAL SIZED FREEZER
3 - Definitely Thanksgiving as I was dreaming of pumpkin pie and some good old NFL
I'm not sure what other people like ourselves do in Belfast. Perhaps I'll have to find a grocery-man-for-hire.
Although, he probably shuts at 5:30 and doesn't work Sundays.
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
It was a medical organisation that was making a formal statement that woman who choose to delay pregnancy until after 35 are putting themselves and their unborn babies at risk.
The first shot in the tv story was male doctor going on passionately about how women need to understand the risks they are taking if they are having children over 35.
Read: We realise that now 51% of the population are actually getting educated and into the workforce and might actually become the dominant sex in the next 20 years so we need to figure out a way to keep them barefoot and pregnant.
You laugh, thinking I'm a crazy bra burning feminist but as Reese Witherspoon said, 'my grandma did not fight for what she fought for, just so you can start telling women it's fun to be stupid.'
Woman - and perhaps society in general - seem to quickly forget that less than 100 years ago, we couldn't vote and most of our grandmothers were actually barefoot and pregnant so let's not kid ourselves that the time when we, like children, were better seen then heard, was so far in the past.
But I digress. As usual, I'm not meaning to make a political statement, only simply write about an experience so...
When I heard the good male doctor, my first thought was if the medical industry can manage to figure out how to help a man get - and keep - it up, surely we can invest in giving woman more options.
And what is this crap about defying mother nature? Again, I bring the male example into the equation. Surely someone had a plan when they forced men to stop having boners. Doesn't mean we didn't do research to change that!
I'm also trying to figure out if I'm just being a Peter Pan, wanting my cake and eating it too, wanting to continue to move all over the world and then SOMEDAY have kids. It's not like I'm looking for a partner, albeit a passively willing one. I've got one of those.
What I don't have it seems is time to do all the things I want to do.
And perhaps that's what made my blood boil, more than being a bra burning feminist, it's just another fact staring me in the face that there really isn't enough time to do everything I want to do.
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Walking. Driving. Eating. Drunk.
Always it seems in a place that I'm not able to clearly get them down.
I've decided when I get home tonight, in between clearing emails and preparing for meetings in Dublin at the end of the week, I will also write out some entries.
Then, while I'm flitting around the country, all I'll have to do is try to get to a place that has internet and wham! my thoughts will be live.
The busyness brings back my creativity but it also can prevent me from finding the time to get it all down.
It also prevents me from remembering that I've left my tea to stew a bit too long in the kitchen and that ... oh wait ... I just did it again.
Off to have some builders brew.
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
(Old in both senses of the word as she too has entered her 30th year..ooooo)
I finally got into my email this morning and wrote an email, all apologetic as it was NOT MY FAULT that my provider decided to have crappy service for 4 DAYS STRAIGHT and not let us know what the problem was.
And it was only right now, this afternoon, that I went DUH sometimes THIS is what a blog is for.
My friend A-M has been in my life since high school. She was the girl I would spend many hours on the phone, contemplating life and how it was that the two of us could make a difference.
She was also the one who had a 'cool mom', you know, those moms that seem to let all the friends do the coolest things?
One of THE COOLEST things she did was let A-M paint her room white and have her friends make comments all over the walls.
Talk about expression.
Go to A-M house and you wouldn't want to be left out by NOT signing the wall.
It was such a mini-rebellion. A way for us teenagers to express ourselves, leave our mark, all in permanent ink. I vaguely remember what I wrote but I can imagine besides my typical 'Life is a tragedy for those who feel and a comedy for those who think', I'm sure I put a heart around my name and another boys...now, if I could only remember who I was in love with at that time...
They have since moved from that house and I'm not sure what became of all those walls. I'm sure knowing A-M, she's scrapbooked pictures of it somewhere.
But I will always remember the freedom of A-M's house.
That and belting out drunken versions River Boat Fantasy at TLO's cottage.
Happy 29th Birthday on 12 September A-M
May this year bring you as much joy and excitement as the last decade has:)
Monday, September 12, 2005
I wandered the streets near the city hall in Belfast on Saturday night, happy as Larry, taking in the sounds of the Last night of the Proms.
It was only when Noel Thompson, the commentator told the crowd that there was no need to panic but the buses had stopped going I thought huh? uh why?
For those of you who may be following the news over here, Belfast erupted in riots on Saturday night, albeit only in certain parts of the town which left this Canadian totally oblivious to any sort of danger that was going on.
I am unable to get to my email (which is a completely CANADIAN ISSUE eh hem hello canada.com!!) but am completely happy and safe. I don't know what type of media coverage is happening, if any outside of Ireland and the UK but thought since the media can blow a lot out of proportion, I would state for the record here that the craic is still good in jolly old Belfast.
And I did get the bus to work today.
Monday, September 05, 2005
I read one comment that said something like:
"The first 2 days of Hurricane Katrina was a natural disaster. The next 5 days have been a man made disaster."
The sadness, heartache and anger is incomprehensive. If I feel this way, miles across the ocean, how are people actually living through it?
The Fug ladies have done a great job at compiling a list of places where we can all help.
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Have a few stories to share but after giving myself a mild concussion (read: a little bump on the head but we're talking in hypochondriac language here) my head has been fuzzy since we got on our plane home.
Will be back soon.
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Well mister, you've made it. Welcome to single digits. Gone are the days of defining your age by months, although I do think some moms continue to use "he's 18 months" instead of "he's one and half" but not being a mom myself I don't quite get it.
You certainly have made some milestones in this year, first being that you lit up the Bannon-House world when you FINALLY decided to arrive.
I remember waiting anxiously to hear the news. A little part of me thinks my blog willed you to come to be. Perhaps I'm overstating but at least I can live in the fantasy world until you're old enough to talk to me about it.
You are definitley one of the cutest kids in this world - my whole office agrees. There are some kids that you think, aw, he's cute. But no, you are adorable! cheek pinchable! face kissable! You definitely got it going on.
There is still a debate as to who you look like but here, let me help clear it up. When your laughing, you look like your mom. When you're serious, you look like your dad. Joker mom. Serious dad. I would have thought it would be the other way around...
You have probably mastered the dancing you were showing me a couple of months ago. And I'm guessing by the way you were eyeing up the walking 1-and-a-half-year-old Jordan, you are probably booting around the house.
It must be a bit weird without mom around all the time because she's working but I'm sure Grandpa Bannon won't work her to the bone. He knows how much she loves playing with you!
I'm not sure if you poor mom has been able to resolve the sitter situation but hopefully you've got somewhere fun to go during the day, other kids to watch and interact with. Just don't come home swearing. Or with any girls. I'm certain you won't have a problem picking any up but just because you're 1 now doesn't mean you can be out galavanting after nap time.
There is one thing you must relish on this day and that's the cake. It's a right of passage to get your birthday cake all over your face..and hands..and arms...and legs...and toes. Remind mom to take pictures. THIS I gotta see.
If I can pass on anything to you about today, it is to make it all about you. Someday, when you get older, life will start to take over on every other day of the year. Your birthday is the one day you can be completely selfish and think only of you. Never work on your birthday, even if you have to call in sick. Even if you only get 10 vacation days a year, use one for this day. It will be one of the best 'you' traditions you could ever start.
I rushed to get a card out to you last week. One thing you will learn about Aunt A's memory is that it comes and goes. I bought the card a month ago, holding onto it so I could write you a letter to arrive with your card, only to find time was running out and the postman was not going to get it to you in time if I didn't send it EXACTLY AT THAT MOMENT. I do hope you got it.
What I wish is that I could watch the cake-devouring, present-opening, Tyeger-smiling event in person. It's hard when you make choices that keep you far away from people you would love to hang with every day.
Maybe I can get a job as your in-house nanny? There are enough rooms now in the house that we wouldn't have to fight over them. Okay, you can have first pick cause you're the kid.
Way to go on this milestone. I know you won't really remember it but it's probably just as important to mom and dad as the day you were born. And every year will become more important than the last.
So try not to roll your eyes too much when mom brings out the cake for you 16 birthday. I'm sure every year she will remember back to today with the image of cake spread all over and you smile spread further.
I know I will.
Monday, August 22, 2005
Thursday, August 18, 2005
When Rachel and Ross starting dating, so did D and I. It was, of course, our 'university years' which were filled with much drama but isn't that what university is about? Basically and extension of high school except with no parents to surpervise so the drama becomes more drunk induced and later at night.
When Chandler said "How about we move into together and you understand what I'm talking about", it sort of fell in line with when D and I decided after 5 years it was time to take the plunge.
And it always seemed I had a little bit of competitive Monica in me - when travelling, we had to play Gin Rummy without keeping score because I didn't like the thought of losing. I'm easy going with Trivial Pursuit, all else, I'm pretty much a do or die player.
When Monica and Ross had their dream come true on Dick Clark's Rocking New Year's Eve Special, I could see my siblings and I lighting up at the chance to preform a dance routine on live television - those who have seen the home vidoes know what I'm talking about.
And it was during the drama of "I love Ross, I hate Ross, I love Ross, I hate Ross" that a D saying came about.
When Rachel got her new job at Calvin Klein working with that guy Mark, Ross becomes his insecure self and decides to send her a singing telegram reminding her, 'It's nice to have a boyfriend'.
And since that episode, when D does something sweet or asks if need him to do something sweet, he occassionally will sing the line and put me in stiches.
The thing is the other night, I realised that as funny as the line is, it's actually true.
Women: we DO NOT like things blamed on PMS. It is insulting. It is degrading. It's like saying we're less then men.
Women: there are times when the hormones HAVE taken over, when all the primrose oil and valiumn in the world won't make a difference. We're are pissed. We're emotional. We cry. We want to scream because that..*sniff*...margarine tub...*sniff*...lid JUST WON'T CLOSE!!! *sigh*
Men: the best thing you can do is to sympathise when we are annoyed that one sock is longer than the other and give us a big hug to let us know how frustrated you would be in that situation. we need you to never hold these moments against us, because what's even more frustrating than feeling this way is knowing that you just can't seem to control it and we hate that we're falling apart because we can't decide if we want green beans or broccoli for dinner.
Men: It doesn't make any sense to us either
On Tuesday night when I came home ready to kill all that exists, D simply opened his big arms, wrapped them around my sillyness and gave me hugs and kisses.
He didn't antagonise me. He didn't mention it the next day. He didn't even mention the Friends jingle. He was just there.
It only came to me in the middle of the night, as the hormones were beginning to hibernate for another month, that yes, it REALLY IS nice to have a boyfriend.
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Perfect posts to erase the previous rant from yesterday.
As I sit at my machine, they are lost. Fallen out of my head.
Must learn to write in the book that on my beside table instead of being so lazy and thinking to myself, 'oh forget it, i'll remember this in the morning'
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
I hate this time of the month. It's always the same - two or three days until the beginning of my friend's visit.
And see, Internet, I don't even give to flying f**ks whether or not I've given you too much information.
I am the grumpiest, frumpiest, most easily-irritated, most unmotivated, annoying human being on the planet.
Just hoping all the ladies in the land can sympathise.
Fingers crossed I'll back when the demons leave.
Aren't you glad you stopped by today?
For more uplifting words go here or here or here or hell, just go here.
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
I clicked on it instantly thinking it would be fantastic to see just exactly what we might be on a life list. As I started reading, I became so competitive, I had to stop.
"Why can't I put all that down?" I thought.
So will book mark it and leave it for another day.
I have made a similar list. A list to do before your 30.
That actually scares me even more because I wrote the list when I graduated in 1999 (eek) and didn't expect the bit 3-0 to creep up on me so quickly.
It's packed away in a box, somewhere in D's parent's garage. It's never been looked at, except for the time two of D's asshole friends thought it would be really funny to start going through boxes of stuff in the spare bedroom I let them sleep in. I had just moved in a few weeks before and the usual Saturday night crowd - which I adored partying with - had all crashed at D's..well, it had become ours *sigh*
And not only did they find it but thought it would be funny to start asking me questions like:
"So, A, when do you want to have (insert item here) finished by?"
This was when I realised why it had taken so long for D to ask me to move in. He socialised with 6 year olds.
One of them, P, had become a dear friend of mine, albeit a 6-year-old friend, and I was so hurt that the felt it was okay to go rummaging through stuff in a room that was kindly given to them.
Didn't help that said friend left us high and dry as we moved out of the house to go on our European adventure. He has since been forgiven but I have not felt that sense of betrayal since.
But so this list still sits hidden away in a box. Next time I'm home, I'll dig it out and try not to cry at all the things I have no accomplished on my list and add all the fantastic things I never wrote on the list.
Monday, August 08, 2005
After starting Friday off being annoyed that the clump of phelgm in my throat from smoking cigarettes with my visitors for A WHOLE WEEK, I think my body has recovered and is ready to take on the world.
Thing I accomplished this weekend:
I did ALL THE LAUNDRY! - this never happens on the weekend. It enevitably spills over the Monday /Tuesday
I read - working for a publisher you would think this happens a lot. But it doesn't
I talked to my mom FOR TWO HOURS - this is what happens when you usual weekly conversation doesn't happen for a couple of weeks. I can't WAIT for her to be done her job on Friday. There are some great things happening for her, I just hope they don't happen too soon so she might be able to take a crazy flight to visit me!
I slept - a lot. a alot. a lot. nuff said
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
You will now join company with 'The Kid', to whom I try to write to, although not as frequently as I should. Your arrival has reminded me I need to more often.
You are most likely wondering who I am.
You've met your goofy dad. You've met your sweet mom. You've met the rest of our crazy family, including your granny - who's head about exploded with excitement into the days leading up to the arrival, your granted - who, from past experience, is an expert at wretching open sliding doors to a hospital emergency room if you find yourself in your parents arms having convulsion within the first year of your life. (I digress but please don't do that to your parents. I'd did it four times and it was SO NOT COOL for them. Me, I don't even remember)
You've no doubt met your uncle, who specifically requested you come with a padded baby suit so that he would never have to worry while babysitting.
You've definitely met your aunt, who in between saving the world from their own unhealthy ways, will no doubt babysit on many occasions.
You have also met your great grandma, who is so happy she can't even speak about you without gushing or crying. This also goes for your great grandpa, although he has done a bit better job at the no-crying bit.
You have not, however met me but I am your middle-name sake.
When your dad told me, after a day of golfing, bbq and a few wee tipples, that if his first born child was a girl he was going to name her Norah A, the first thing I said was:
'Is that because you like the name A?'
He looked at me:
'No,' he smiled and just waited to watch my reaction. 'You've always been there for us.'
Gulp. Sniff Sniff.
I don't know if I'll ever be able to describe the honor that it was to think that if a little girl came into their lives, she would have something the same as me. So much so that I didn't believe him.
But here you are, over two weeks old, named Little Norah A. And I got to speak to your dad the day after you were born! Someday you will laugh at the thought that he still decided to answer the phone even though he was naked brushing his teeth.
He has lost so many of his senses to eternal glee after your birth that he suddenly became what we all become 'A parent who doesn't get embarassed'. I realise now that it's because all other things must have ceased to become important the moment he looked into your eyes.
You'll soon learn that your dad is a bit of a joker but he has such a soft heart, he'd never use his humor to hurt anyone. He has a laugh that fills the room and a cheeky smile that keeps him out of trouble. Someday you must master this smile as it will help to keep you out of trouble with him, although I don't know if you're going to be allowed to leave the house until your 30 so not sure how much trouble you'll actually get in. He is the most honest down to earth person I know. He is someone who will always stand in your corner, no matter what.
Your mom has the kindest heart. She is caring and gentle and she managed to bring out all the best in your dad for all these years. She will play with you and laugh with you and definitely give you fantastic hugs when you are feeling low. She tried very hard to get you here so please remember that when you're 15 rolling your eyes at her because she wants to give you a kiss goodbye before she drops you off at school.
You are the first generation after my generation on my father's side of the family. That's a lot of words that sound like a mouthful but its meaning is simple. You are very special.
Not just to your mom and dad and the rest of the gang above but especially to me.
You are the beginning of exciting years to come. You will learn all about air bands and human pyramids. You will enjoy bbqs and golf games and swimming and lots and lots of laughter.
You have helped to create a whole knew level of friendship amongst the cousins in our family. You have single-handedly made all the old people in our family beam so much I can hear it in their voices over the phone.
You have brought life to all of us.
I can't wait to meet you but until then, Little Miss Norah A, sleep for your mom, smile for your dad and always remember you are loved beyond the ocean.
Your Aunt A
Friday, July 15, 2005
I would attempt to avoid smoking cigarettes EVERY AGAIN. I can't say I've been successful however, I've stopped by packs when I go drinking so that's a start.
I also decided I would train for the Belfast marathon, which happens in April/May. I have since decided that perhaps I should try and do the half marathon but the whole motivation was really to try and keep me from smoking and hopefully I can keep that in my head.
I have been going to the gym for over a year now, not to only look good but more to feel good. I am at a loss if I haven't been active in 3 days.
I also decided to become a pamper girl. 'Take care of your skin and it will take care of you'. Perhaps it sounds decadent but I think it's a small cost to pay for a little enjoyment. Some people spend hundreds of dollars on holidays to the sun. I just need to go to the spa for a facial, manicure and pedicure and I feel refreshed.
The best thing to come out of all of my pamperness was my birthday money purchase of this fantastic product, Dermatologica. I never thought I would be excited to spend my money on skin care products, however, it's like a daily treat to yourself.
For years I had kinda patchy oily problem skin. It never really bothered me that much but only once I had a facial did I realise how my face could REALLY look.
I've actually stopped wearing any foundation because this stuff has made my skin look all one tone anyway.
I love the way it makes my skin feel, like it's breathing on its own. I love the moisturiser that is not oily. The toner spray that disperses in light drops evening across my face. The smell of clean. Not to mention the feel of no blackheads.
This may all go down the toilet if I ever decided to rough it in another country however for now, I'm enjoying the year of me.
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
I had a weekend and 3 days off, this being the last day of my 5 day weekend.
I will go back to work for 2 days and then have 2 days off.
You would think I would have had time for my brain to create something at least half interesting to write about.
Am I in a rut? I don't know.
I'm not overworked at the minute. I don't have anything sucking my creativity away - in a good way.
I guess if you declare yourself a writer then sometimes the pressure to write must be unbearable.
I predominantly work in the publishing industry now and I suppose, by standards, I wouldn't consider myself on the writing end of the scale.
Being in promotion is creative. Being promotion for books is fantastic as it does combine two of my strongest joys.
Does this mean then that the blog has no purpose anymore? Was I blogging because I had no outlet? And now I have an outlet on a daily basis and don't need it anymore?
Since we moved into our new pad in April, I have not written once in my diary. I had gotten into a great habit of an every day entry.
Perhaps I need to get back to this and then I will get back to blogging.
I love reading other people's blogs about their daily lives, going on about dinners or events or eating chocolate or doing laundry.
Why do I think I don't have the potential to comment just as interestingly as they do?
Have I pigeoned holed myself in to this blog actually being about travelling and adventure? Perhaps I realise that I'm not acutally doing much of either right now.
Friday, July 08, 2005
As the helicpoter camera panned across the Thames, a commuter train was running to take people home. Not even 12 hours after the disaster that struck the city and the people of London were taking their city back.
They didn't panic. The emergency teams reacted so quickly. All the emergency prepardness exercises that have been going on for the past couple of years have paid off.
Dear Terrorists: This is what London is about. They have been down this road before and NO ONE not even you will stop all their little engines that could.
Thursday, July 07, 2005
As I have given myself a break from the gym until Saturday, I don't really have anything else to do in the evening. Plus, as little tv as I watch, I do think I was going through withdrawls after all the visiting.
There I something to be said for just vegging.
As D works away in his home office until 10 or 11, I am free to choose what I want to watch. Who knew have the remote control could feel so liberating?
I did find D's limit, however, last night. As I scrolled through the new feature on NTL which allows you to watch any movie at ANY TIME, he popped his head back into the room.
'What are you doing?'
A - blank stare - 'Just looking'
'Hey, no watching movies without me.'
A - laugh laugh laugh 'And why not?'
'We're not spending £3 just because you're bored'.
Oh, I see, only spending money when we are BOTH bored.
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
to D's sisters L and S, for hanging out, catching up and of course, sitting in the sun....
to little B and tiny L for being so cute and full of energy.....
to J and Z for showing up after a romantic ring-getting dinner, for providing the wine, staying up late even though you both had to work so early, for the great conversation......
to my T.Dot friends for dropping everything mid-week to spend time with an old pal....
to J and L, the beautiful couple who's fairytale wedding was more than inspiring and who's smiles made me smile for many days after....
to E and the Tyeger - little man, you are cuter than you know. it's almost harder to write to you now that we've met but I'm sure i've got a few more words of wisdom to share. your mom is such a super lady. not sure what i would do without her. it's weird to think that we can get together and everything is exactly as it was when we were 16.....
to TLO for preparing to get married so that we could all have a great excuse to surprise you for your bachelorette and for understanding why i couldn't be there on your special day....
to my Grandma N for hosting a girl-generation evening at her house. so nice to reconnect with older relatives, expecially when you get to have your mom there...
to my mom for being home every sunday when I call so that when we see each other in person, it feels like we have always been hanging out, for giving me the best quality time with you, for all the laughter and for helping me find a dress WITH STRAPS......
to my dad who continues to be the life of the party, for remembering to bring us CDs of the band's latest music, for still giving the best guy hugs in the world.......
to my sister C who amongst her boxes and first-home-buying stress managed to spare moments for sister time, for letting me eat her bagels, for letting me crash on her couch, for letting me swim in her pool, for letting me host her here in Belfast in 4 weeks time!!....
to my Grandma P for always having food ready when i arrive, for still holding onto that N. Irish accent, for staying up late partying, for hugs....
to my cousins, one who will be a dad very soon, one who's flashy car was the hit of the party, one who will be off on her own adventure soon, for pulling together for the human pyramid picture we are always talking about....
to Canadian karma for giving me such great Canada day vibes, wonderful sun and a spectacular holiday....
now, off to battle jet lag....
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
She is also a huge nerd for have labeled inboxes on her home desk that say 'c to pay', 'c to file', 'k to pay', 'k to file'...like she's running a little empire from her studio flat.
Hangovers must come from cigarettes because I have never felt better each morning since I arrived.
That the air conditioning is totally deiciving and I am glad I only packed summer dresses to wear for the next two 30 degrees sorching weeks.
Holiday suck when they go by quickly but this one is going at the perfect rate.
Sunday, June 19, 2005
Something about the way it makes you feel when you are sitting in the backyard of a familiar home, amongst family, with the yellow circle beating its light down on you.
You don't really realise how much you miss it until you are able to sit in front of it. Feel you skin burn with the red sensation of a summer 'tan'. Feel the warmth in the air, not simply in the sun.
I lived for over 20 years of this being my summer. I have only lived without it for a full summer and I feel like I've stopped breathing.
If you were to take a survey today and asked me where I wanted to be, I have to say it is not where I am currently paying rent.
I can only hope that in two weeks time I will have put into perspecitve all that is Canada and stop worshiping it.
For today, it is a place for me, full of red and white flags, that holds not only all that is dear, but all that is me.
Friday, June 17, 2005
I'm nervous we'll arrive late for our flight.
I'm giddy about the prospect of putting on my bikini tomorrow afternoon. (who ever thought you could actually be giddy about being in your bathing suit?)
I'm nervous about reading at one of my oldest friend's weddings.
I tired of being at my desk.
I'm worried I will forget something.
I'm so so happy that I will soon be home.
Monday, June 13, 2005
a) give my body a rest from all the creative festivities I have partaken in this past spring
b) give my wallet a rest so that I can spend away again once I arrive back home
c) continue to experiment with my biological make up as it facinates me the way we can be our own science experiments
I weaned myself off tea and it took a whole week. I decided I didn't want something to have that control over me again and so, I no longer intake caffeine.
This is quite big.
I have been drinking Tim Horton's coffee since the age of 15. This could explain why I'm so short and hyper.
In university, I graduated to Starbucks, probably thinking in some annoying early-twenties-self-absorbed way that I need to become more distingued as I got older and but ultimately, only made the money in my wallet disappear faster.
When 2 grande Starbucks a day finally caught up with my stomach, I switched to tea.
I didn't realize that I had become so dependant on tea until last week.
And so, I think I must now end my love affair with the drug. It's been a wild ride, filled with double-quadruples and grande lattes. But there is a time for everything to end.
Thank goodness for decaf earl grey tea.
Now, if I could only stick to my birthday resolution of no smoking...
Saturday, June 11, 2005
This may also get me writing again every day.
Someone made an interesting point to me about working in creative industries that if your day job includes creativity, you may have less of it to devote to your creative hobbies.
This is actually true.
I have often wondered myself why I have struggled on occasion recently to write daily here when this is something that I have been doing ever since I could pick up a pen.
My work was being published when I was 16 in a newspaper where I worked as paid reporter. Not only was I writing news articles, I was writing two weekly columns.
Writing does just come to me sometimes and I feel a bit lost when words don't flow out the end of my fingers.
I realise, however, I am actually in the luckiest situation. They always say if you do what you love you will ultimately succeed. I have always tried to live by this, which I why I left the Coulda Woulda Shoulda world of my life and job in Toronto and moved abroad to find out what is it that I really wanted to be when I grew up?
They're paying me for it now. I get to be creative all day long and I get paid for it.
That's why sadly, this blog is sometimes neglected. It's only now, after surfacing from the spring title launches and book signings and media chatting that I am actually able to step back and take five minutes to actually write something...anything.
I suppose not being able to be creative independently of work might be a casulty of doing the job you love.
I don't walk into bookshops now and think, all, lovely shop, I'll just wander around. My brain actually turns on. I'm constantly scanning the covers, watching the placements, checking out the publishers.
Any yet, it is still throughly enjoyable. It's a strange feeling to know you're working and to actually not mind.
One of my colleagues and I have quite a bit in common and so we share nights out on occasion out of work. But we ultimately find, we end up talking about work. Coming up with strategies. Exchanging ideas, information. I always feel I'm the one with the most questions and steering the subject around work but at the end, she always admits to enjoying work chats herself.
I don't like to write too much about work on this blog because I feel I want this to be a personal space for me, not to mention I'm not interested in being dooced.
But I did want to write about what has been happening to my creative process. That I do still feel I am intensely creative. It just seems that not, perhaps, in the way I was when I worked in an office filing paper.
On another note, Mosaic Minds is going through a restructure and are looking for new columnists. If you've got some creativity you need to unleash, check it out.
Friday, June 10, 2005
Wednesday, June 01, 2005
This will be the first time I have had a proper holiday at home.
It will be a whirlwind.
I hope it doesn't go too fast.
It's taken long enough to even get close.
I am SO EXCITED!!!!!
Congrats to my friends L and S on the news that a little O.M.C has been born. A couple of weeks early and a labour that was shorter than an episode of the OC, L seems to already be settling in well as a super mom.
L helped to mold my interest in event planning and real marketing. She also was such a kind soul and a great asset to my career growth.
She also throws great BBQs, even though her liquor cabinet got a bit sparse by 4 am.
Guys - so happy for you. Can't wait to meet him.
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
I found this astrology report was sent to me free from www.birthdayalarm.com.
It explains a lot...and is a bit eerie how accurate it is:
Section 1: The Inner You: Your Real MotivationYou are, in many ways, an eternal child. Your mind is bright, alert, curious, flexible, playful, and always eager for new experiences - and your attention span is often quite brief. You grasp ideas quickly and once your initial curiosity has been satisfied, you want to go on to something else. You crave frequent change, variety, meeting new situations and people.
Section 2: Mental Interests and AbilitiesYour mind operates in a very deliberate and methodical manner and you dislike being rushed or forced to give an opinion before you have thoroughly ruminated and digested an idea. You are also difficult to influence once your mind is made up.
So I'm pretty much a stubborn dreamer who likes to make my own decisions and never wants to grow up.
Fitting that I'm closing in on the decade that is supposidly "the new 20s".
Friday, May 13, 2005
I have forgotten what my boyfriend looks like - eight more sleeps, eight more sleeps
I have forgotten what an empty email inbox looks like - 300 messages is that much is it?
I have so much to remember that I've forgotten things in order to make space for new things to forget.
Friday, April 29, 2005
I am about to walk out the door now because I truly think my brain has turned off.
Just had this conversation.
(A picks up the phone)
AnyOldOne: Hi A? Yes I'm just calling *problem**problem**problem*
A: Ah yes, no worries, I will get that sorted for you by the end of today
AOO: It is the end of today.
A: Oh. I guess I won't then
A: Uhhh...have a nice long weekend?
D's been gone 8 hours and already I've lost it.
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
I love my job. I relish the challenge of the stress that comes along with deadlines. I even love the stress. I admit it. I'm perhaps a stress junkie.
I don't, however, like to be at the mercy of people, who, in my mind have not had the foresight to really THINK about the important components of running a courier company. If I didn't care how quickly it got there, I'D SEND IT IN THE POST!!!!
A lot of the time, my job relies on things being delivered. It also involves on things being delivered OVERNIGHT or within hours, something that perhaps my spoiled North American working self is quite used to.
Not so much used to the Irish delivery systems. Not so great to endure the kind of stress that comes purely at the hands of a delivery person.
Calling all courier entreprenuers: There IS a market here. If you could promise companies what Fedex and UPS promise for people in Ireland, you would make bucketloads.
(I would also like a cut of your fortune for pointing you in the right direction. I'll know who you are just by your 9am guarantee so don't think you can hide.)
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
I woke to realise that it was partly true - my stomach was in aches and pains although it was probably to do with the Pilates and Abs Blast classes instead of a child growing inside.
When I relayed the story to girl at work, she promptly told me:
"That means someone's going to die."
A bit taken aback, I laughed it off and realised I could attribute this to ANYONE in the world as at ANY GIVEN MOMENT someone is sadly passing.
It was only after I got home, however, that I realised my dream perhaps has actually predicted a death close to my home.
I have killed the fern I was supposed to be tending.
I walked past it last night, the pathetic leaves drooping, the stems at the bottom pulling themselves away from the roots.
Who knew you could OVER water a plant?
I did have one last ditch effort on Sunday where i mixed up some MiracleGro in water in the hopes of a miraculous revival...smiliar to the chest pads doctors use..CLEAR!
Alas, it was not to be. That plant is on a suicide mission.
The sad part is, I'm not really sure what to do next.
How do you unwater a plant?
Mental note to self: When you have children, be sure not to overwater them.
Monday, April 25, 2005
But now, it's old to me. It's like one day just seems to slip into the next and I can't really remember if it's April or December because the weather certainly doesn't give me any indication.
I hate to complain about the weather. It is such a trivial, inconsequential component. One that we can't control, so what is the point in talking about it.
I'm happy my mood will soon be lifted.
The excitement is building for a surprise visit by a truly cool Canadian travelling chick to Belfast.
Our friend A.K. not only saved my lonely, anti-girlie girl butt on a booze cruise in Corfu, Greece, she also put me up in her bed in Edinburgh for the festival AND made Leeds a pit stop on her final trek around England before jetting off back to Canada.
Also Ms. A.K. only stayed for a couple of months when she got back there.
She was off again to Australia this time and came back only last September after getting accepted into a PR course.
Finished her year - and finished being a student - she is off on a bit of a UK adventure and has decided to stop off and see us in Belfast!!!!
And, if that's not enough, we'll have visitors from Leeds again the weekend after she leaves. So nice that friends just can't keep themselves away. Especially in light of my current weather mood.
But with the good comes the bad, almost like a metaphor for the weather over here. Equally cold and hot all in the same week.
D is off to North America for THREE WEEKS!! Can everyone hear me now?? THREE WEEKS!!
Please see: Things I'm accepting about Me post.
I'm independant and not a needy person. But I just get bored. REALLY EASILY.
So, as happy as I am for the arrival of some old familiar girlie faces, I am sad for the days to come as it means Mr. D is off jet setting.
So happy that his mind is being challenged. Although, will miss him terribly.
Sunday, April 24, 2005
I stopped her mid sentence.
"Mom, sorry, there's a parade going by my window".
She was as giddy as I was. I quickly opened the window to allow the music to float up into our fourth floor apartment.
I knew it took us both back to a time when I was little and she was, well, probably about my age, perhaps a bit older.
We would have been standing along a road - in small-town-Ontario-anywhere - waiting to see the Ingersoll Pipe Band in the parade, march past us. And there, at the back with all the drummers - the renegade musicians - would be my dad'; his brow furrowed in concentration, altering only slightly to give us all a wink and a half smile.
The sound of a pipe band is such a lovely noise to me. To me, it was community. People of all kinds getting together locally to watch the musical procession. Togetherness really.
About 2 minutes later, there was another sound. One of chanting, of angry, drunk men shouting in song, words unreconisable to anyone but themselves.
"Oh, what's that chanting?" My mom said, thinking perhaps it was part of the parade.
"Oh it's must be the other side," I said, "Angry about the parades."
It was sad to think that a sound I related so much with togetherness really does not actually have the same effect in this part of the world.
D overheard the commotion and came into the room where I was looking out the window.
"Those guys," I said to him. "What are they fighting about down there."
"Oh," he smiled, "There's a football game today and INSERT TEAM HERE won. INSERT OTHER TEAM must have bumped into some opposing fans."
Cops were breaking up the commotion. I wasn't relaying all of this to my mother as I did not want to un-nerve her. It's one thing for me to get used to living in a place where drunken idiots pick fights with each other. It's another thing to hear it over the phone.
I told my mom what D said. She laughed.
"Your father just said that. How is it that your father would know that?"
Perhaps there is one thing that is universal.
Sunday, April 17, 2005
So, I'm really crap (AGAIN...ix-nay on the wearing-say) at updating lately and have realised that the least I could have done was update on 15 April to say a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my most avid reader (probably only reader) your mom.
She has now - as my mother liked to point out - entered her 30th year.
Which just goes to show two things, little man.
1 - I really need to get a grip and a schedule but mostly that I need your help to continue smiling and laughing all day as this helps me to feel not so bad that not only am I not there to celebrate with her but that I totally dissed her in the blog world, oh-bad-friend-that-I-am.
2 - Parents will get their revenge in the end. Like I'm not going to be able to call my 29th birthday the first day of my '30th year'. Thanks mom. But hey, they do clean our bums so we should let a few things go eh Mr. T?
Keep laughing. I'll see you soon.
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
As I approach 30, I begin to think about the personality traits I have that I don't think I can ever change.
It's not about giving up, more about letting go.
I am so competitive - The only board game I can play without getting agressive and red faced is Trivial Pursuit, and that's because it feels less like a game and more like a 'joint learning experience'.
I am crap at being alone - I need about 30 minutes alone time a day. This can be easily achieved on my walk to work and on the bus. I can go for about 5 waking hours not speaking to another human being but after that, I just start speaking to myself. After a day, I start reinventing my childhood imaginary friend Jenny. Although, she never really talked that much, just listened to all my wisdom. (With you're imaginary friends, you are always right)
I am a non-conformist who hates breaking the rules - I was a goody goody as a child, rarely got in trouble, always was saying sorry and was deathly afraid of police officers.
I hate, however, having to WANT to do things 'because everyone else WANTS TO DO THEM' ie, get a marketing degree if I want to work in marketing, buy a house because I'm over the age of 25, get married because I've been with my partner for more than 5 years. Have a baby because my clock is ticking.
My mother always said I was fiercly independent when it came to decisions. I will do these things IF I want to and WHEN I want to.
I can only go shopping ALONE for about 2 hours max - This is perhaps my 'alone' time. I'm a bit selfish, I'm sorry, but I have trouble getting excited about other people's clothes. Heck, I can't even get excited about my own clothes. I just keep thinking, 'that 20 quid could go a long way in Greece...'
I can get excited about a boy you met or a job interview you went on or some gossip you have about that bitchy girl in high school but how great you look in that skirt? Five words really: Yeah, great, can we go?
I just don't find this an enjoyable social outing. I find this more a mission-impossible-style event. Need an outfit. Scour the shops. Get the goods. Get out. As. fast. as. you. can.
I have trouble being wrong - It rarely happens, however, so really, this one doesn't really need to be analysed.
I'm a Gemini who has two sides to every story - This must be why I loved debating politics in my early twenties. I could see both sides because, hey, us twins can really never decide what we want.
I will always over analyse - And myself is no exception to this rule. I have a keen curiosity about the human spirit.
And an intense desire to truly understand each facet of society.
Out of all these revelations, there is the one I'm most happy with:
I'm comfortable with me - I must admit, I can't remember a time being uncomfortable with me.
I'm glad some things never change.
Sunday, April 03, 2005
Trip after trip after trip.
Ready to sleep by 4:30
The arrival of a friend with a van sparks a bit more speed but conversation tends to take over.
And then the realisation that the last ice hockey game of the season is on in Belfast.
A mad rush to find out who wants to go. A dash to the box office to buy 6 tickets, a mental scramble to finish cleaning the old kitchen, eat chinese food amongst boxes and bags in our new apartment and frantically tidy ourselves up for a night out.
Livening up at the game and the glee of realizing they have gin and tonics NOT just beer, although at the last 4 games you've suffered through with lager.
Party party at the dance bar later, where you wait anxiously at the bottom of the stairs for the top bar to open so you can make a mad dash to get a seat. Happy days when you're one of the first and find ample room for all 6.
Dance, laugh, sing, drink, shout over the music and stumble home, stopping by the chinese place again for fries and gravy.
Chat, laugh at the new place with friends waiting for cabs and finally drag your feet into the two bedrooms to make up the beds you ignored while busy getting ready for a night out.
Crash into your pillow, fall asleep with deep deep dreams of nothingness.
Wake up, head fuzzy, throat sore from the smoke and the yelling, body aching from the multiple trips from old tiny place to new spacious place.
Finally, after boys take off to watch the grand prix, you sit with a cup of tea in your hand in your new window sill, looking down on the world below in quiet and peaceful tranquility.
Gazing around the apartment with a drunk smile sliding across your face, you scrunch your eyebrowns in confused horror.
Am I now owner of all those plants?
Wednesday, March 30, 2005
My first night in residence was like a grown up slumber party. Over excited and adrenaline pumped teenagers huddling together in common rooms. Except instead of Coke and chocolate to send our sugar levels soaring, it was fruit juice and vodka...or wine...or beer.
And so it then became home. Living amongst your peers brings you so close to people that you can't help but exclaim to all of them, at every moment, of every day, 'we'll be friends forever'.
It felt like home.
It's only once March hits and you don't find your roomates anal retentiveness all that cute or her habit of bringing back men all that sassy. It ceases to be a place of comfort and becomes one to be escaped.
And so, I decided to move in with those chosen from the house who I felt most comfortable with. It ended up being one girl, ET. We had the smallest one bedroom apartment, one in which people were taking bets on how long we would last.
But there was such joy. We each had our own little couches, to watch the Golden Girls, fuzzy, on our small tv. The channels, when changed, needed to be done so with a wrench, as the dial was broken.
We had wax-covered wine bottles, a coffee table filled with girly magazines and a fridge with nailpolish. We had a one bedroom with beds 1 foot apart.
It felt like home.
But, our unit expanded to three and so we needed to find another place to live.
A year after ET and I had jumped up and down in the smallest apartment in Toronto with giddy girl glee, we were saying goodbye to our little place and look for a large, perhaps more sophisticated pad. We were in third year univeristy now.
A two bedroom with a dining room was found. In hindsight, we may have gotten the shaft as our 'addition' got the largest room and ET slept behind a curtain.
But we had a great view. And it felt like home.
Until, of course, we were ready to head onto four year and realised that we needed a new place because, well, ET and the curtain and well, I was getting used to this moving-annualy-thing now.
And this is when I fell in love. Three level modern apartment with four entrances and a working fireplace. Gorgeous and out of our price range, we quickly signed the lease and got ready for a year of poverty....and of course, open fires.
It definitely felt like home.
But university sends people everywhere and after graduation, I was off to St. Catharines to begin my career as a reporter. Time to spend quality time with my grandma.
It felt like home. No, really like home as for the first time in 4 years, someone was making sure I ate dinner and waited up until I got home.
Ah, but the life of a journalist never stops. Except when your internship ends and they don't hire you on because they have no spots. Great.
Worked out well that D's sister in Oakville, S, was looking for a roomate. A good rate. Someone who had become family. And close enough to Toronto that I was bound to find a good job.
How like home did this feel? So much. Like living with my own sister, except minus the fights. S and I invented popcorn and the West Wing and made sure to give back as we volunteered weekly for the Girl Guides.
But the city was calling. After a year there, I had found a travel editor gig for a website and needed to be in the centre of it all. So, time to pack again.
A new roomie, a new section of town and a new type of lifestyle. The largest room I had had in a Toronto apartment. And the love of my sister's kitty.
It was home - old style.
Ah, but finally love had come calling and D and I decided it was time. After about 5 years, yes, we were finally ready to share a bathroom...and a bed.
Of course, you think us two love birds could settle? HA. HA HA HA.
A year later we were off. We found our cute little pad, with our tiny fridge, think carpets and cheap tv, spent a few months at a time in it and headed back to the Canadian cold a 14 months later.
It felt like home - England style.
Although didn't last long..
So once we got to Belfast, I really imagined being in our little flat for awhile. I really imagined that, for the first time in 10 years, I would be in a house longer than a year.
I even wrote an article for Mosaic Minds about my new 'home'.
But good luck has touched us with its magic wand. And so, we need more space. 2 bedroom here we come.
It was to good to be true Internet. My entire adult life has been spent moving house...every year.
I used to get angry, exasperated, blame people, blame the universere.
WHY? WHY? WHY? How could this happen to me?
Now I'm not so bothered.
It will always feel like home, no matter where it is.
Just as long as I have somewhere else to go in 365 days...
Friday, March 25, 2005
Over here, you get a long Easter break. There is no school 'March' or 'Spring' break. There is 'Easter Break'. This perhaps comes from the religious influence however, not going down that road so I will digress.
I remember feeling happy last year. We both had jobs. Had a lovely, new, centrally located flat that we could relax in for FOUR DAYS.
But I have to admit, I was also feeling a bit cheated. Or perhaps I felt more like I WAS CHEATING.
People wait for the Easter long weekend all year. (That and the 12th of July holiday as it is also two days off but again, not getting into it. DIGRESSING MORE!)
But here I was, two weeks into a new adventure of work and adjustment and I was getting an ill-deserved break.
I have so many friends back home who I knew deserved a four day weekend off more than I did. I had just spent four months, mooching off D's parents and catching up with friends and relatives. Oh and why was I catching up? Because I had to endure a YEAR OF FLITTING FROM EUROPEAN COUNTRY TO EUROPEAN COUNTRY. Tough life. Tell me about it.
Which is what made the guilt of having this four day holiday in my perfect little flat with the balcony in the perfect little bohemian city with actually, and I can't admit this often, the perfect sunny bright weather.
What did I do to deserve this? Nothing really. Except perhaps risk some stuff. But once you risk, every subsequent risk seems less daunting.
This year, I feel a bit more deserving. I don't feel guilty telling people that I have four days off.
Over the past six months, I have been on trains, taxis, planes, buses - getting me all over Ireland and the UK, from conference to launch event. I have loved MANY MINUTES of it. But it is work travel. And since I have travelled as a backpacker, I feel I do have the expertise to say, between the choice of doing it cheap and free to choose my own timeline and doing it hotel style, by myself, WORKING, I'd take the backpack with the red & white flag any day.
I have talked with spectacular authors with high expectations, journalists with chips on their shoulders, desperate artists with too much time on their hands and dedicated yet overworked booksellers who are lucky to remember their staff members names let alone the title of a publishers latest book.
I have had quite a ride. A wonderfully surreal and deserving journey.
And finally, I smile to think, that this year, I deserve my four days off.
I really do.
And I know by the time Tuesday afternoon hits, I'll already be thinking about the review copy list for our April title and the venue dates and locations for our May title and what is happening with those fiction titles we released in March because both had different audiences and I'm curious to find out how successful we've been in our approach and....
Who am I kidding? It's Friday. And I'm still thinking about it.
Saturday, March 19, 2005
Internet at home. Sa-weet.
I DEFNITIELY have no excuse now.
Except that I'm a bit tired and want to nap.
Quantity will bring quality. Yes, it will.
But sleep right now will bring happiness.
Thursday, March 10, 2005
When I was a much regular blogger - (when perhaps I didn't have a job that was fufilling or friends to socilize with - although, not to suggest those who do blog regularly do not have those things; only simply that I am too weak and disorganised and distracted to pull it all together) - I used to contemplate a lot.
What would be. What is. What could be. When would it be.
Now, I'm just living in it. Living it. Loving it.
I wish I could somehow make a transition more effectively from 'nomadic-travelling-girl' to 'career-city-girl' in blogging zone. It's like I feel my words only have their place if I'm off on some adventure.
I used to hate my career city girl life before. Loathe. Loathe. Loathe.
Now, I can't get enough of it. So much so, I really begin to second guess myself on the kid thing.
Part me bounces off on occasion to 'when we move to Asia' or 'when we relocate to Kenya', as if, this is just a pit stop. As if, this is not the life I am so digging right now.
Sometimes, I feel like I have so much time ahead of me. Still slipping by in my 20s (barely), I feel like this is just a chapter in my life that will eventually close, allowing me to get back to the backpacking, free living lifestyle I had fallen in love with.
But most of the time, I'm so focussed on my job and my life in Belfast, that I'm not even thinking about moving on. About challenging myself again.
Because I already feel challenged. Except, in a stable environment.
I gotta tell ya, never thought THAT would happen.
I remember having an honest conversation with E (mother to The Kid) about being terrified that what if I never found happiness being one place? What if my Gemini life had left me destined to always look for the greener grass? Always want to uproot and find a new home?
So far, so good, Belfast. And thanks for the D thing. It has made a world of difference.
Tuesday, March 08, 2005
It has been YEARS, however, since I've been praying to that same god, without a drop of alcohol to blame it on.
Sunday night I went to bed, refreshed from a long weekend in Dublin.
Monday morning I woke up with a power drill touring my intestines.
I spent the day in bed and in the bathroom, only finally waking up about 7:30 to eat some toast.
What made it even more pathetic - or sweet, depending on how you look at it - was that D ended up returning home from work around 11:30 with the same ailment.
Sharing the bed and alternating turns at the toliet. It must be love...right?
Finally getting my feet back, I'm only just feeling better NOW after I had some homemade soup.
Someone asked if a bottle of whiskey was involved. I will say, I wish it was. At least then, it would have been worthwhile.
Thursday, February 24, 2005
Quality will come with time. But I need to continue writing regularly if I'm going to write at all.
And so today, I have a question for all your horkers and spitters of the world.
What is it about slurping up a loogy in your mouth, pursing your lip muscles into a round shape and throwing it with your tounge out into the wide air to land on places where people walk?
Some people question smokers and ask why they think the world is their ashtray.
At least cigarettes can be picked up.
At least cigarettes are not gooey and sticky and wet.
Let's try and keep our personal liquids to ourselves. We don't pee in the streets. Keep your goobers in your mouth.
Friday, February 04, 2005
I found my peace
You can not describe in words the way a good pair of jeans feels.
There is some eurphoric satisfaction in putting on a pair of jeans that make you feel whole.
My most productive days are in jeans. Good jeans. The ones that make you feel as though you are not even wearing clothes.
Work wear now includes casual Fridays. I am most productive when I am in my jeans. Do employers not realise this?
I am not much of a shopper, for those of you who know me, you may already know this.
I enjoy buying things if they are on sale and if I can justify them more than a night out in Prague.
When I put my mind to purchasing an item that requires more than a bargain, I will shop around.
As I read in Glamour this week, I am actually more like a guy shopper. Infrequent shopping for high quality items. Long research process.
I started at the Gap. The King of Jeans. I was highly disappointed, which made the search all that more labourous. If I could not find a pair of jeans that I loved at the epicentre of jeans, where would they be found?
I ventured off to the less expensive jeans shops but not the Biways or Walmarts of shops. I found some that I could have loved but there was not pure unadulterated passion so I moved on.
In the UK, there is a store called Next. It is my favourite shop because it is colour coded. Someone must have done their market research on shopper like myself.
Every aisle you venture down is specific to colours. Reds. Greens. Blues.
Perfect for the person who subconscioulsy buys the same colour...all...the...time.
I had assumed I would have to pay at least 50 quid (50 pounds) for a pair of solid jeans. I only went to check them out because a lady at work said she found a maternity pair for 20 quid.
I took 5 pairs into the changeroom with me, pleasantly surprised they were all under 35 quid.
It was only after the sales lady suggested a pair that someone had handed back to her. "here", she said "what about these?".
I can say that I was a bit desperate as I had a hen 'do' to go to on Friday night and wanted to look a bit stylish.
When you're a shopper like me, you tend to have zero new clothes and need an updated 'everything' for your wardrobe.
I tried them on.
You know the waist bit? The part which you can never decide whether or not to go fully low cut and let your pudge hang out or to granny-it-up with the high cut over the belly jeans?
This pair was the first that seemed to have the perfect compromise. My gut was not hanging over and yet I didn't feel like I was wearing granny pants when I had them on.
They were the perfect colour - a dark sophisticated denim that you could actually pull off if you were going for a casual work event with a splash of fun-night-out-ness.
I couldn't believe it. I had found a perfect pair of jeans, after searching for a good pair for 3 weeks.
The price tag sealed the deal. 21.99. Someone was peeking down on me.
When I went to the counter, prepared to pay the full amount, I was presently surprised when the cashier said 15.99.
Being the novice shopper and pathetically honest person that I am, I couldn't help but blurt out "oh, are they on sale?"
She looked at me with a grin.
"Uh, I don't know," she said. "I just ring them in. But the less I know, the better."
Yes, what WAS I THINKING? Who points out that they are getting an item with a 1/4 of the price off?
"oh," I laughed embarrassingly, "yes, I guess you're right. where do I sign?"
I walked out of the store triumphant. The quintessential bargain shopper was willing to pay top dollar for a pair of jeans that made her feel like a billion bucks.
Not only did I love them, they were a third of the price I had expected to pay when I decided to buy myself a wicked ass pair of jeans.
If only I could wear them every day.
Thursday, February 03, 2005
Reasons why I am a "lazy git".
1 - Because instead of taking 10 minutes at night to write a blog, I plop in front of the tube and watch episodes of Friends that I have seen a gazillion times but continue to howl each time I see them.
2 - Because if I missed the "saturday-morning-house-clean" because I'm away with work, I don't actually make up the time, I just wait until the next saturday.
3 - Because I got to bed before midnight and can't drag my ass up before 8 am.
4 - Because I am happy to use the excuse that because D is on the computer, I must take full advantage of having the remote control to myself.
5 - Because even though the gym is closer than the bus stop, I still can only manage 4 times a week, averaging 6 hours. Way to go, fitness freak.
6 - Because I used to be good at writing letters, sending cards and emails but now I'm crap.
7 - Because I have 85 emails in my inbox!! who has that in PERSONAL email? And what exactly am I keeping it for?
8 - Because I've just spent this entire entry giving you excuses for why I haven't written, and in the end, have not really written anything that interesting.
Wednesday, January 26, 2005
My first little sis C got popped the question atop of the Navy Pier ferris wheel on the 27th of December. Her dreamy boy K was quite good at keeping it a surprise (NOT doing it on Christmas Day) while also making her the happiest little event planner in the whole wide world!
I can say that I could see her smile across the miles when she told me after we got back from our holiday in Tunisia. A holiday that almost cost me hearing it straight from her!
It was only by chance that I called my dad on New Year's Day from Africa (at a VERY EXPENSIVE AMOUNT) just to say hello and let my family know where I was staying.
(yes, I realize that since I knew where we were staying 4 months ago, it would have been wise to email them then to avoid panic and worry while I was away but procrastination is definitely a friend of mine)
The only thing my dad said in our 2 minute conversation besides "Happy New Year" and "No, everything is fine" was "Have you talked to your sister?"
My suspicions were aroused and all I could do as the time ticked on was shout out "Get her to call me! I'm at the Sahara Beach hotel in Tunisia. Love you." Click. Bye bye.
Little did I know there are about 50 Sarhara Beach hotels in Tunisia. Well, if you know what to do if you ever want to disappear...
The first thing I did was call her when we finally got back to Belfast. Lucky thing as I already had a couple of congrats emails in my inbox so checking email at the airport would have been disasterous.
What was so sweet about the whole thing (besides the fact I was so excited beaming ear to ear) was that she contained herself for OVER A WEEK! to tell the world, just to make sure that I WOULDN'T find out.
There are many words I want to say and write to her and the world about this whole event but I think they are best saved for the likes of hen nights and wedding speeches.
What I can say is that this is bringing our tight knit family to a whole new level. It's so wonderful to be able to get excited about an event, like we would when we would go on family holidays to Disney World.
Considering it's over a year away, looks like we'll have lots of time to get giddy about it!
That was just the preamble to what I really wanted to post today. In this Meet-the-Parents/Meet-the-Fockers world, I thought you could all appreciate the email that my mom sent my sister in regards to her opinions on the venue short list.
(The names of the venues have been removed but I have placed descriptions that should explain well enough)
(Old-movie-theatre-turned-event-venue) is really neat. Mom says "I LOVE the Art Deco look and this would be a really cool place for the wedding and the reception". Dad says, "very nice dear" Mom's first choice. Dad doesn't care.
(Fancy-golf-course-venue) is pretty. Dad loves golf courses. Dad's first choice. Mom doesn't care.
(Formal-classic-venue) is very...grand that is. Mom says " I love the classic look... very elegant" Dad says "very nice dear." Mom's 2nd choice. Dad doesn't care.
(Fancy-hotel-on-the-water-venue) Dad says "great to have hotel at reception". Mom says boring. Dad's 2nd choice. Mom's last choice.
(Castle-princess-wedding-venue). Mom says "lah dee dah. Will there be tourists in the pictures? Dad says "very nice dear" Mom's 3rd choice. Dad doesn't care.
(Waterside-corporate-event-type-venue)Atlantis. Mom says "there's a lot of water". Dad says "very nice dear". Mom's 5th choice. Dad doesn't care.
Dad goes for convenience and services. Mom goes for unique and elegant. Either way, you can't go wrong with any of the above.
Hope this helps. We'll be there even if it's at (Main-train-station-venue)!....hey did you look into that one?
Tuesday, January 25, 2005
While out at our anniversary dinner last Friday night, D dropped his fork in the middle of eating his steak (massive and perfectly cooked, I might add).
He looked at me, quickly picked it up and placed it back down on the table.
I laughed, turning to get the server's attention, and said, "Here, I'll get you another one."
He looked at me...stunned.
"No, what do you mean?" he said anxiously. "3 second rule".
I gasped "Not in a restaurant!"
I grabbed the fork out of his hand and did an awful mom-like-tsk-tsk and politely asked the server for another.
And it dawned on me, that the floor in our house was probably 10 times dirtier then the one in the restaurant but I would never have flinched if he'd picked it up at home and kept eating with it.
And it also occured to me that the only reason I was shocked was because it was IN PUBLIC, not in the confines of our dining room and NOT because of the disgusting-ness of germs that are on ANY floor.
We're so posh.