Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Wine Bomb

D and I checked out this fabulous date night place last night.


The best kept secret in Parkdale.

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Muddle

There are so many thoughts and stories I WANT to share...and yet, I'm not quite in the headspace to articulate them properly yet.

Inspriation always seems to come when I got hands full of groceries or house keys or lets face it, a nice cold G&T.

And yet, there's never a laptop nearby when the feeling strikes.

I do carry around notebooks. But sometimes I feel like THAT STUFF just ends up sounding like a dramatic drunken ramble, regardless of whether I've been sipping any of the devil's poison.

I have talked about feeling inspired by typing. And I suppose this is very 'uncreative' in a way but hey, we've all seen Carrie on Sex and the City. That girl's not hunting down her Moleskin.

I think maybe that's the voice I hear in my head. Not Carrie's voice, but a version of that voice that is less "oh-who-should-i-love-today" and more "which-patio-has-the-best-sun-for-reflection-and-of-course-alcohol".

But it's that same vein. That starting out with a very self depricating tone (oh I suck why don't I write more) and ending on the 'learning' note, (wow, REAL lime DOES taste better in G&Ts) to give the reader just that little bit of insight into my grey anatomy.

In no way am I directly comparing my writing to SATC, just more the VOICE that narrates the program. That voice that you hear at the beginning and JUST KNOW in the end will teach you a valuable lesson without you realising it.

Like a magician discovering the card you picked.

Sometimes I'm not even sure where the post will end up. It starts one place and I just hope, eventually, it ends up somewhere that makes sense. Or at least that make people think. And since my Gemini mind is thinking of 10 different things at a time, I'm just happy if there are a few people out there who feel the slight satisfaction of the end of a story when I'm done.

I don't always know where it will end. But maybe that's the beauty of writing, specifically a blog. That stream of consciousness that you allow people to hear you brain fart as it's flowing out of your fingers.

And in the end, if you can score a pair of Prada shoes the way Carrie does, well then, you're doing alright.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me

It has been the best two days I've had in awhile.

I was treated to dinner at my favorite Toronto restaurant. Can you say views of CN Tower and sunset all at once???

I hit the spa for my usual pampering - just a mani-pedi so I can save the facial for next month - and had a lunch BBQ on our sunny rooftop.

I got to spend the day with family. My sister, bro-in-law and the Mellow came over. I got to entertain in my house, use our BBQ, sit on our patio and drink lots of wine. Oh and also become quite verklempt over a card that 'Marshall' got for me. That perhaps was everyone else's highlight.

I'm actually off today to see more family. Spend more time with little buddies and enjoy more verklempt moments.

Although there was no norebang or Belfast pub or Turin restaurant, it actually is turning out to be one of my favorite birthdays. You can really only thank people for that.

And FB has allowed for so many more people to help make me feel special on the one day of the year that's ALL ABOUT ME.

Plus, this video made me laugh. Small town living leads to creative - and crazy - minds.

An average day in the V house

(I hope you can see this without logging in.)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Some Vids

A few videos circulated at work.

A bit ridiculous but the kid was cute...

Only in a man's head...

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Cultural Differences

I think I may have been out of the North America too long because when I saw this commercial, I was certain it must have been 11:33 on a Saturday night and I was about to watch SNL on Global TV.

Something was building...

I've just watched this commercial again and can't tell you if it gets funnier after the second line because I can't stop myself from laughing ALL THE WAY THROUGH THE REST.

People, really, is this how far we're come in advertising? One step away from a SNL skit?

MasterCard, here is another priceless.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

To the Mothers In My Family

This year is quite a special Mother's Day because we've added two new mothers to the mix. Both my sisters joined the special land of motherhood this past fall and will look at this day a lot differently than they have in the past.

In honour of all the mothers in my family, I thought I would write a few words about what each one has taught me.

My father's mother has taught me not only how to make a great pie or some super canned jam and chili sauce, but also how to stay young. Surround yourself with young people, journey around the world as though you're 25 and always be the last one to leave the kegger.

My mother's mother has taught me the importance of honest hard work. As a teacher when not many women were out in the workforce, she spent tireless hours educating children, just like me, to go out into the world and conquer. And always with a smile on her face and a positive outlook on life.

D's mom has taught me patience. Patience with your children. Patience with your spouse. Patience with yourself, even if you're a distracting Gemini. That life - and the universe - sometimes has a way of making it all go your way, if only you have the patience to let it.

D's sister L has taught the me the importance of fun in parenting. Laughing and playing with her children, engaging them, asking them questions, teaching the interaction skills that will benefit them well into their older years.

My sister C has taught me the beauty of chaos. Watching her navigate through the first few months of her son Marshmellow's life has been extraordinary. It takes great courage to put aside your conventions, to shift your way of thinking and to simply give in to the amazing world of the schedules of babies - or lack there of.

My sister H has taught me the importance of going with your gut. Her heart stopper Stan-The-Man went through a period of intense spitting up that turned into projectile vomiting. Through all the doctors 'let's wait and sees' and the concerned family's 'don't worry, babies spit up' she was insistent that something was seriously wrong. She was right. A simple operation to fix the problem and he's no longer losing weight but becoming the next potential football player in the family.

My own mother has taught me the importance of self worth and acceptance. That you can be anything you want to be. An astronaut, a surgeon, even a duck if that's what you so choose. That the world is out there for you to go and get, all you have to do is reach out. That being a mother is about helping, nurturing, guiding and then letting go, no matter how it breaks your own heart to see your child take off and fly. Perhaps halfway around the world even.

To all the mothers in my family - and all the mothers I know around the world - I wish you a very Happy Mother's Day.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Good Vibes

We've had some new exciting news in the A-D team. I've shared with many people personally but thought it does need a spot here as well.

I've recently taking a job as a technical writer and could not be more excited about this opportunity. I will be able to flex my writing muscle in this new way, mostly in writing, but also in the creation of a product, which is also exciting for me.

In an effort not to dooce myself, I won't be writing about it here. Just wanted you to know the next phase of the re-entry plan seems to be coming together.

I also wanted to share some wonderful words my good high school friend K shared with me. Her and I used to swing on swings at Lion's Park in the early years of high school, talking about boys and thinking about our futures.

"It is soooo nice to have you back in the province. Isn't it crazy how some of our most cherished friends are those who knew us before boyfriends, husbands, kids...before half of our adventures even existed...I guess it's because we all fell in love with those innocent, fun, kind and caring little minds of each other...and our lives since have just sweetened the deal."

I'm so lucky to have such great friends.


Speaking of good friends, here's a shout out to E, Tyeger's mom, in the hopes that the new addition gives her one more weekend before his/her arrival :)

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Beer Goggles and Nostalgia

We've all had a 'beer goggles' moment, one where something just looked SO DAMN GOOD that you leapt in feet first or lips first, in awe of your chance encounter with some kind of greatness.

I ended up clicking on an ad link in Facebook today about teaching in Korea and I was quite impressed by the video for its 'beer goggles' way of presenting Sparkling Korea.

Sparkling Korea

For most of you who don't know, Sparkling Korea is actually Korea Tourism's slogan for the place. It was quite a funny inside joke of all us teachers about how 'Sparkling' the place could be. The cities had their own slogans, usually with really ridiculous adjectives placed in front of the town's name. Unfortunately none come to mind however when I saw this video, I thought for sure the makers could work for Korea Tourism.

A few things they are correct - you CAN save $1000 a month and YOU DO get a bonus when you leave. You can also stress for the duration of your contract about getting paid and also about getting that bonus but in the end, it will be paid to you.

You can PLAN to travel during your time in Korea however since Koreans work about 10 hours a day and don't get any time off, PLANNING will really be all you'll find the time or energy to do.

I hate to be tongue and cheek or appear negative about the place - I've already established that in the end there WERE so many amazing things about it override anything bad about it but I must just say this.

I want to go to the Korea THIS guy talks about. Oh, and if you notice in the video, he has some VERY REPUTABLE teachers singing his praises, at a party he seems to be hosting, where they're all kinda at the 6th drink stage of 'I love you man, you're the best, this is the best, Korea's the best, oh god man, gotta barf'.

I'd still like to go there.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

I Hear Ya

You may know I'm a bit of a Facebook addict, although I can't say I know anyone who has tried it that doesn't check it on a regular basis.

I was never someone who got into any other communities - ie MySpace Bebo etc - and I've always said (to the chagrin of my friends who must LISTEN to my ramble) that Facebook was just..well..easy. It' all about interface, sir.

Although I'd like to pretend in my fairy tale word that I am VERY web savvy, I'm certain I don't know everything there is to know about it. Then again who does?

My excitement today, however, stems from comments made by an ACTUAL web geek.

And I'm glad because this means I'm not a crazy person talking out of my ass - at least, not when it come to Facebook.

Read it and weep...or cheer...whichever, just read.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

New Digs

Right now I'm sitting at a computer in my HOME OFFICE.

Yes, that's right I have HOME. A nice, 3 story HOME that is ALL MINE. Well, I share it with D but he's easy to share with.

Over the past 6 days I've enjoyed relaxing on MY OWN couch, staring out the construction from MY OWN window and getting in some exercising running up and down the 3 FLIGHTS OF STAIRS in the space which I now call my own.

D and I fell luckily into this place which a friend of ours owns and is kindly renting to us. It's given me a whole new outlook on things. Just having your own space has never seemed so important.

I guess it feels like almost 2 years since I've had my own space. We had a great place in Korea - huge 3 bedroom, great for parties - but, in hindsight, it was hard for me to feel completely at home there because I knew I would be leaving.

The Belfast rentals always felt instantly like home. I suppose since Ireland is very much Western like Canada, it didn't take much.

But now, I walk out my front door, turn the corner and there's the CN Tower. Standing their in its awesome state, like it was erected just for me.

I feel right at home and yet like I'm in a completely different city, like I'm seeing Toronto in this whole new light. And it makes me feel great. Because I worried that if we came back here, we would lose sight of just how far we've come.

I'm starting to realise that's not really possible. No city street or landmark or recurring street busker can take away from how I've learned to look at the world.

And I guess that's the difference. It hasn't changed but HOW I LOOK AT has.

It's like a whole new city. Except this time, I GET A ROOFTOP PATIO WITH A BBQ.

See when the sun comes out.