Thursday, July 31, 2008


vi-o-la-tion: (noun) a breach, infringement, or transgression, as of a law, rule, promise, etc.

Okay, so I'm sure everyone and their uncle has heard about this and I'm sure we all share the same feelings of horror and shock and disbelief.

And I know it's being considered completely random, as I'm sure it was. But I've been taking buses for many years - a bus being the most convenient and economic choice for going to Parry Sound - and I never really stopped to think that there is no security. No one checks luggage. No one scans luggage. No metal detectors. No assigned seats. It's a free-for-all, really. Buy your ticket, show up for any departure time that leads to your destination and off you go.

It never occurred to me to think about the lack of security or potential for danger. And to be honest, I kind of liked not thinking about it. I liked the idea of taking a safe, friendly, open means of transportation to my safe, friendly, open home town. Even if no one ever gets hurt ever again on any bus ever in Canada, I will forever feel just a bit nervous, a bit more on edge, every time I board a bus. And that makes me sad.

My heart goes out to the family of the victim. I can't even imagine what they must be going through. So horrible, so sad.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Between the past and the future

face-book: (noun) a publication for an organization, such as a school or business, which helps members identify each other; also, an online version of this, with profiles including a picture, name, birthdate, interests, etc. ***I love that there is a dictionary definition for this word***

While my infatuation with Facebook has started to wane, I do find there are things that still fascinate me with the site. Most recently, it has been the advent of profiles of my little cousins (i.e. children of my first cousins) and our subsequent "friendships". Two things have profoundly struck me from this.

1 - These are kids whose diapers I used to change. Kids that I played Thomas the Tank Engine with. Kids whose hands I held while they toddled along, figuring out how to walk. Kids who now post pictures of themselves in twisty gymnastics poses and graduate grade eight and get jobs and it makes me feel old. I'm not old, not by far, but this make me feel old.

2 - The next generation of children cannot spell. I would say it's atrocious if I didn't find it so damn frightening. Sure, they've got all the LOLs and OMGs and ROFLs down no problemo. But they don't know "your" from "you're" and they miss letters and spell names differently from picture to picture. C'mon! When you make a typo on Facebook, a little red squiggly line appears under it so you know it's wrong!

So I feel old, but I feel smart, but I also feel afraid, as this is the generation that will one day lead this fine country and be in charge of me in my geriatric days. I can see us all now rocking out in The OMG Home for Hipster Seniors - LOL!

Monday, July 28, 2008

A fork in the road?

cri-sis: (noun) a stage in a sequence of events at which the trend of all future events, esp. for better or for worse, is determined; turning point.

I had a moment of crisis yesterday. Well, two moments if you count my inability to find the Dominion along College St., as I was convinced it was at College & Grace and only after wandering up and down Grace St. did I decide I should perhaps move a little further west and - much to my delight - discovered the Dominion at College and Crawford. I suck at geography. Always have. Always will. I don't think Mr. Jamieson ever did forgive me for carrying on with history.


Back to the crisis. As I didn't have my iPod with me on this shopping trip (by choice, as I do enjoy listening to the sounds of the city from time to time) I found myself becoming rather introspective and trying to figure out what it is I should do next. This thought stream sprang from the fact that it was Sunday and I was facing another work week at a job I'd rather never return to, which led to contemplating the various drastic things I could do to keep from returning to said job.

As I was saying...

I began to truly, honestly, seriously consider packing it all in and laying down roots somewhere else. Where? Well, Halifax popped into my head, if only because I know a few people out there. Kitchener also came up, as I have family there I could stay with while getting established. La belle province came and went as fast as one can say "parlez-vous Francais?" (non) and even - shudder - the possibility of returning to the Parry Sound-Muskoka political riding-area-place-thing. But of course (of course) none of this is because I want to pull up shop and plop down somewhere else and restart my life. It's because I think I've done a pretty damn good job of getting myself established in Toronto. I've got good livin', I pay my bills on time and pay down my loans and still have a bit left for some fun times, I'm well-educated and happy with my schooling (yes, despite my grumblings about York U., I don't regret it). No, the whole idea of moving came from the fact that I would rather uproot myself and cram all my belongings in the back of a Discount rental cube van than go back to my job.

Of course, once I was back home I thought things through a little more clearly and (of course) came to the logical conclusion that all I have to do is stick it out and keep looking and trying and striving to make it better. Because I've been here long enough now and I've come too far to just walk away because of one bad decision I made. And considering the abundance of bad decisions I have made and survived, I know I can get through this one too.

And remember when I said I had that feeling, like something was going to happen? Well, slowly but surely, that is coming true because things are they affect me has yet to become clear but it's happening. Giddy up.

Monday, July 21, 2008

I'm a regular Professor Trelawney

in-tu-i-tion: (noun) direct perception of truth, fact, etc., independent of any reasoning process; immediate apprehension.

I feel great today. Really, really great. Super great. Awesome great. Totally great.

Why? Not really sure.

But it's like some weight has been lifted. I feel buoyed. I feel energetic. I feel reinvigorated. I feel re-energized. Which is strange because there has been no physical, measurable change in my life to warrant this newfound joy. I say this is strange because there are certain situations in my life that are causing me a great deal of grief and irritation and general unpleasantness.

I also feel like something is going to happen. You know that feeling you get, that you can't really describe and isn't menstrual cramps or indigestion but this weird, flip-floppy stomach feeling that something - something - is going to happen? And it could be big or small, it could be directly beneficial or tacitly worthwhile, it could affect just you or you and everyone else - but it's something. And it's coming. And it has nothing to do with Cloverfield.

I feel almost vomitty in excitement and anticipation. I guess I'm mostly sure why I feel so good, but I don't know what it is that's going to happen.

Really, I'm not trying to be Jo-Jo's Psychic Alliance here or anything. Nor do I think it's just a high-pressure system bringing in a thunderstorm. All I know is I feel happy and optimistic and even a little giddy. And I feel that a li'l sumpin'-sumpin' is comin'.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

iWant Redux

want: (verb) to feel inclined; wish; like.
want: (noun) the state of being without something desired or needed; need.

"What do you want?"

Such a simple question. Only four little words, after all. Monosyllabic at that. So innocent, so unassuming.

Yet so fully loaded.

I used to think (and still do think, as a matter of fact) that what I want is actually pretty simple because I don't want a huge house or fancy cars or several yearly exotic vacations or lots of material things (notable exception: books, cause I'm a nerd). That's not to say that if I were to come into all these things at some point in my life I would turn them down. It's more so that I don't strive for these things. I don't feel the need to have all that stuff to feel fulfilled and content.

So what do I want? I want structure. I want fulfillment. I want challenges. I want new opportunities to learn from. I want good people. I want laughter. I want optimism. That's not a daunting list, is it? That's not asking too much, right? Maybe that's why we strive for the material things in life. It's so much easier to buy a new SUV than it is to figure out how to get and maintain a positive emotional state.

Thing is, a lot of what I want I can control. I can choose to be optimistic. I can choose to fill my life with people I like and care about and who make me laugh. I can choose to live my a set of rules or a structure that works for my particular needs. That's the easy part, the individucal personal stuff. It's the other stuff that just gets so effing hard. I know what I not only want but need professionally and I know that I need to make a change, but right now I think it would just be easier to go buy a Vespa and call it a day. I know what I want from the relationships in my life but if the other person doesn't want the same thing, do I really just walk away? I also understand that life really is about compromise and I'm getting better at not compromising myself for the sake of others but that doesn't make it any easier when it comes to deciding what's best.

From all of this, the one thing I have learned is something I not only want, but need: to relax, to let go, to channel my inner Pisces and just be a free spirit. So often I create obstacles that don't exist and then use them as a reason to not pursue things. I get this from my mother; I don't fault her but I know that I need to work on this.

And maybe that's what I need to do to really get at what I want.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Da na na na na na na na

ex-cite-ment: (noun) an excited state or condition.

I am going to see The Dark Knight tonight. At midnight. In IMAX. (On IMAX? At IMAX?)


That is all.

Friday, July 11, 2008


out-rage: (noun) a powerful feeling of resentment or anger aroused by something perceived as an injury, insult, or injustice.

So, kids, do we know what today is? On the count of three...1...2...3...the iPhone comes to Canada today!

Um, so ... yeah?

The iPhone is here. Nay, not just the iPhone but the 3G iPhone that has had Apple-holics salivating for weeks and Apple-phobes wondering WTF. No matter which side of the fence you stand on, chances are you've heard all the media hubbub about Rogers not giving fair data plan rates and requiring you to sign a 3-year contract to get the phone. There's even a petition about it to force Rogers to change their tune. And they did - kinda - when they offered a $30/month data plan rate if you sign up before the end of August. In my office, there has been no end of bitching about Rogers monopolistic, price-gouging ways and I've heard ample whining from many corners about how unfair it all is (hmph!) and other countries get better deals (foot stomp) and this sucks (arms crossed)!

For me, I've got two minds about this. First: it's a phone. If you want one, you can get one. If you don't like the prices, get something else.

Second: I wonder how different society might be if we expressed this kind outrage and indignation about, say, child poverty or homelessness or gun violence or all the jobs being cut in Ontario right now. Imagine what might be accomplished if people decided that things needed to change, that we need more affordable housing or some real anti-gun legislation or that the economy of the province really needs to be looked at. When GM closed plants in Oshawa, there were blockades by workers and that got some media attention...but then a judge ordered them to go home and that was it. But iPhone is everywhere.

Now, I'm not trying to say Rogers is right in what they're doing with iPhone rates and contracts or trying to take an overly-political stance on various issues. Really, all I'm trying to say is that if we can get so worked up over a piece of electronics that will be upgrades within the year (if not six months) anyways, why can't we get more worked up about major issues that affect people every day? Is it because an individual doesnt want to have to personally sign a 3-year phone contract (the nerve!) but said individual has never been shot and can pay rent each month, so those issues aren't as relevant? Or are we too jaded with politicians and NGOs and not-for-profit groups that we don't think things can change? Or do we not know enough? Or do we just not care enough?

I can also freely admit that maybe I don't do enough to change the "bigger things" going on in society right now, but I also don't really care about data rates in Zimbabwe. I'm sure Zimbabweans don't particularly care either. But if customer outrage made Rogers change their rates (and this is the company that bought SkyDome, once considered an albatross [and maybe still considered so...]) so it's possible to make the big guys listen to the little guys. If people can get that angry over a phone, what else can we get angry about?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A better balance

bal-ance: (noun) a state of equilibrium or equipoise; equal distribution of weight, amount, etc.

I made a somewhat disheartening discovery this morning: I seem to be losing by transit-balance ability.

I never really thought this would happen. I just figured riding transit was like riding a bike and that you never really forgot how to juggle coffee, a book, a gym bag and an iPod while standing perfectly upright on a constantly lurching streetcar. But my abilities are slipping, due to the fact I almost took out some woman standing beside me when the streetcar jerked forward and I was neither holding the vertical bar (that's for rookies anyways) nor bracing myself with my feet (my standard).

Transit-balancing is an art, though, and something I have been working on all my years in Toronto. Now that I am at a job that doesn't require transit travel, I'm just not using those skills I've worked so hard to hone and it's showing. The paradox, of course, is that I relish being able to walk to most (if not all) destinations, personal and professional, as I tend to dislike transit in general and the TTC specifically. But there will always be those occasions when I must board the streetcar or subway or *shudder* bus and I'd rather not wipe out once aboard.

So now when I am forced to ride "the better way", I will channel the memories of smugly walking to the back of the streetcar and wedging myself among the throngs of passengers clinging desperately to any available handhold, knowing that I have the superhuman ability (work with me here) to plant my feet securely and withstand all jerking and lurching while calmly reading my book and drinking my coffee while deftly selecting whichever song I please on my iPod and staring pitifully, from behind my sunglasses, at those poor riders who have yet to fully develop their transit-balancing skills.

Yes, I was once there and I will be there again. I will not only get these skills back, but develop them to new levels and make all other transit riders envious of my abilities.

Or something like that.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Pity party for one

frus-tra-tion: (noun) a feeling of dissatisfaction, often accompanied by anxiety or depression, resulting from unfulfilled needs or unresolved problems.

I am presently going through another of my self-pity-yet-optimistic phases. Blah. I can't help but get caught up in all these people I know getting engaged or married, buying houses or condos, getting new jobs - and I can't help but wonder where I went wrong.

Of course I never did go wrong, not by any sense of the term, but I can't help feeling that way. It's a dangerous game to play, the "What-If?" game and I find myself playing it more and more. But no matter how many times I ask myself "What if...?" I know the answer and the answer is not what would work for me. Which is why I made the decisions I made when I made them. And I am not that hard off in life at all.

Sheesh - but all this discontent and questioning and wondering and "what-if?"-ing comes from disliking my current job. Isn't that how it always seems to work? One area of your life goes awry and, slowly but surely, everything else goes downhill? No? It's just me? Well, then...

Thing is, I'm okay to keep renting for awhile longer; I've got plans to start saving and I've just got to put those plans into action. Maybe I'm a little wistful for a wedding, but I'm sure it will come in good time and to someone who I should be marrying. As for work...I know I've just got to keep looking and being positive and all that Oprah-like thinking.

Doesn't make it any easier though.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Yay Canada! Boo work!

dread: (verb) to be reluctant to do, meet, or experience.

So today is a doubly great day as it is both Canada Day - Happy 141st Birthday Canada! - and the first day of free agency in the NHL. Oh how I love them both!

And while all that is fine and good, with Canada Day falling on a Tuesday, that means a middlish-of-the-week holiday. I do so very much love not being at work but unfortunately I have "Sunday night syndrome" in which I am in utter dread of returning to work. I. Don't. Want. To.

It's bad enough to go through it every Sunday night. Adding another day to the mix just sucks.