Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Today's recap


  • worked from home. Was supposed to do ~14 peer evaluations and 1 self evaluation for annual performance reviews. Instead still managed to be constantly interrupted by people from work needing information, having questions, needing issues resolved, etc. Only got two peer reviews done. Well, at least I know I'm needed! Will be putting serious effort in over the weekend.
  • doing 24 hour urine collection for some kind of test my doctor wants to have run. Have you ever done one of these? Basically you get this huge plastic receptacle with a big handle on it and one big opening that you close with a lid between bathroom visits. I have to say I find it very awkward. This is one of those situations in which a penis would really come in handy! LOL I honestly don't know how an old or infirm woman would be able to use this thing. I hope to God that I don't spill the day's collection on myself in the middle of the night when my bladder is bursting. LOL
  • Maybe I'm compensating for the vat of urine in my bathroom, but I got a lot of cleaning done tonight in my apartment. I installed the lamps on my bookcases, wired and hung a large mounted poster in my living room, and swept, swiffed, and mopped my entire apartment. And did the dishes! The place looks a lot better, and I feel as though a dark cloud is no longer hanging over my head. Surprising how good most women are at being miserable when they feel their home is not up to spec!
  • Time for bed now .... G'night!!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Bush draws laughs when he asks about Galveston's Splash Day

Too funny ... I found this through Kevin's website:

Bush draws laughs when he asks about Galveston's Splash Day _ now a gay event

GALVESTON, Texas President Bush made a splash with his audience in Galveston, Texas, when he asked whether the area still hosts "Splash Day."

The annual beach party that dates to the 1950s does live on -- but now as an unofficial gay and lesbian event.In town to speak about Social Security, Bush told the crowd that he asked the mayor of Galveston: "Do you still have Splash Day?"The crowd laughed. Bush added: "You have to be a baby boomer to know what I'm talking about." The crowd laughed again.Splash Day once marked the end of school and the beginning of summertime fun. The city backed off from it many years ago when it turned a little too wild. It later became a party day for gays and lesbians.Drawing another round of laughter, Bush said: "I'm not saying whether I came or not on Splash Day. I'm just saying, 'Do you have Splash Day?'"


Gay in Real Life

My wonderful friend Kevin from work has been working very hard on this website in his spare time - An extended quote from the website (I'm sure they wouldn't mind!):

Tony observed, with his dry sense of humor, that 'Gay In Real Life' spells GIRL. And wouldn't it be nice to have a T-Shirt that told everyone?
We thought, 'How cool would that be, a T-Shirt that tells everyone that I actually am Gay. In real life!' But then we thought about it some more. It was more than just a cool slogan on a t-shirt. We thought, why does it matter if someone is gay or not? Why is there a distinction placed on someone who's out rather than not.

We realized it was much more. Just the fact that you could say someone is Gay In Real Life, and that it actually meant something, told us we were really talking about a powerful idea. The idea that each of us, individually, has the ability to influence society, to promote diversity and tolerance. We believe that we're not alone, that others out there must feel the same way.

And it's about respecting diversity within our community. Whether its sexual orientation, gender, race, abilities, we all need to lead by example and demonstrate tolerance and acceptance. We need to challenge intolerance whenever and wherever we find it. From homophobia in the workplace, to racist and sexist jokes, its our obligation to stand up and name it. Let the person who made the comment or joke know it was offensive and why.

My buddy Kevin is one of favourite people ever. He is unfailingly courteous, has loads of integrity, and is so much fun!!! I always love chatting with him. It must be hard sometimes to be open about his sexual orientation (particularly in the workplace), but he has so much integrity and courage, and people respect him a great deal as a result. I really admire his efforts to make GIRL a way to promote tolerance, diversity, and respect (boy, aren't those qualities desperately needed in the world today????). Kudos, Kevin darlin'!!!

Monday, April 25, 2005

Adventures in Subway Riding

Don't get me wrong - I love public transit. I consider myself fortunate to have a job and to be able to live along a subway route that will get me to work quickly, safely, and with minimal impact to the environment.

That said, subway rides home from work can be colourful sometimes. If it's busy, and the conductor has missed his stress management classes, every stop can be: "Do not lean against the doors. Use all available doors. The next train will be just as busy, so use all available doors. Do NOT lean against the doors!!! DO - NOT - LEAN AGAINST THE DOORS!!!!!" You can tell the guy's ready to jump out of his skin with irritation and thinking every swear word you know and a few more ...

Can the ride home be more irritating? I learned tonight that yes, it can. The conductor was a woman, and she would call out the names of the next subway stops in an annoying singsong voice. Like nails on a chalkboard ...

Sunday, April 24, 2005

"Gilmore Girls" Quote of the Day

Rory: You're happy.
Lorelai: Yeah.
Rory: Did you do something slutty?
Lorelai: I'm not that happy.

Back from the creepy basement ...

Yes, it was very, very creepy - but the only rats, poltergeists, and Hannibal-style serial killers were in my imagination, so there's no need to contact Dr. Simpson for my dental records or anything! :->


Going to the creepy basement ...

Okay, as part of Project Apartment Overhaul, I'll be putting a lot of stuff in my storage closet downstairs in the creepy basement of my building. Don't just take my word for it - my buddy Ryan even said it reminded him of a horror film! :-> So if I go missing, look for me there first ... LOL

This morning I was eating my breakfast of Chicken a la King soup mixed with leftover brown rice (desperately need to go grocery shopping) when I decided I would check out the website of a buddy of mine from my last job. Scott (or Scoopie, as he used to be called at work for some reason) makes me laugh - he's this very quiet guy at work who doesn't say much until you scratch the surface just a bit and see this person with a passion for cars, technotoys, and style. (He is without a doubt one of the best-dressed guys I know for his salary range - and probably a couple of higher ones as well!). He's a total sweetheart. Anyway, his last post made me laugh out loud:

I've put up a special page just for Samantha's birthday and the road trip to Nashville North... I didn't get her a card... come to think of it, I didn't even get her a drink at the bar, so this is my way of making it up. If you'll notice, I somehow snuck in a picture of me with every girl on the bus.. And you'd do the same if it was your website, so shut up.
Anyway, if you'd like to check out more of Scott's website, go to!

Friday, April 22, 2005

"Gilmore Girls" Quote of the Day

Emily: A good education is the most important thing aside from family.
Lorelai: And pie.(long silence).It was a joke, Mom.

Bonus Quote:

(Rory is talking to her mother about her first day at her private high school)

Rory: Yeah, they kept calling me Mary.
Lorelai: You're kidding me. Wow, I can't believe they still say that.
Rory: Why? What does it mean?
Lorelai: Mary, like Virgin Mary. It means they think you look like a goody-goody.
Rory: You're kidding.
Lorelai: No.
Rory: Well, what would they have called me if they thought I looked like a slut?
LORELAI: Well, they might have added a Magdalene to it.
Rory: Wow, biblical insults. This is an advanced school.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Another busy weekend ahead

My apartment is slowly getting into shape, but seeing as I put an ad in this Sunday's Renters News for a roommate, a lot has to get done in the next couple of days (e.g., putting everything back that was moved for the painting, getting rid of some furniture, trying again to install my air conditioner (there must be a way to make it fit!!!!), reorganizing my closets, clearing out the guest room, cleaning the floors, cleaning the windows (weather permitting) ....)

On top of that, I have a lot of "work work" to do this weekend ... Annual peer reviews and a self-assessment in particular (I never have enough uninterrupted time at work to get these done, and they can be really hard!!!!).

I'm also supposed to go out for dinner and dancing with some of my FabFemme friends and their friends on Saturday ... Pretty sure I'm not going to get all this stuff done!!! LOL

A remarkable little girl

Young crusader for homeless a hit on Bay St.

A 9-year-old girl from Winnipeg who has raised $350,000 through her Ladybug Foundation to help the homeless got a standing ovation and brought some seasoned business leaders to the brink of tears in a 30-minute speech and video presentation at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel this afternoon.

Hannah Taylor is the youngest guest speaker ever invited by the 130-year-old Empire Club of Canada but her size is the only small thing about her. The blonde, pig-tailed girl spoke with eloquence and humour as 170 people listened to and watched her stories of befriending the homeless across the country, giving them hugs and showing that “they are people just like you and me.”

In video clips, homeless people talked of the amazing girl and how no one, except her, seemed to care about their fate.

With her mother, Colleen, sitting at the head table and her father, Bruce, in the audience, Hannah showed a clip featuring a homeless man named Rick.

“I told him I care about him and I always will,” she said in her speech, adding that she’s not afraid of them.

They’re just people with old clothes who sometimes smell, but they’re people with real feelings, she said.

Business leaders were impressed. "From the mouth of a child often comes the real message,” said William White, president of IBK Capital Corp. “Sometimes we forget what’s important."

"I was really taken with how articulate she is. Probably, I’ll remember this lunch way more than the others I’ve attended," said White, who added that he’s been coming to the Empire Club for 36 years.

Hannah’s story started becoming public when the Winnipeg Free Press featured her on the front page and a television network told her story last year.

Today, the Toronto Star featured her on the front page and media across the country phoned today for interview requests, according to Stephen Hewitt, spokesperson for the Empire Club.

In the past year or so, Hannah and her mother have made about 1,000 Ladybug jars (“Lady bugs are good luck”) that they deliver to people in Winnipeg, asking them to fill them with money for the homeless.

Outside the ballroom, where she spoke today, more jars were there to be filled for Toronto’s homeless.

“Wow!” exclaimed a choked-up Charles Coffey, executive vice-president of government affairs for the RBC Financial Group, after the speech as the crowd sat silent. “Who says bankers don’t cry?”

“As we search for leadership in this country, we see it in the words and the mind of a 9-year-old,” Coffey said to the crowd. “She gets it.”

Before Hannah spoke, Hartley T. Richardson, president and CEO of James Richardson & Sons Ltd. in Winnipeg, touted her as having “a rare combination of emotional and intellectual intelligence.”

Bart Mindszenthy, president of the Empire Club, said he couldn’t resist bringing the girl in to speak when he saw her story a year ago, though he admits it was a risk.

“I didn’t know how it would go over,” Mindszenthy said. “The Empire Club ..... Bay Street ..... Toronto ..... You wonder. But this happened to be delivered by a unique 9-year-old. Would we have gotten the same reaction if there was a 35-year-old? I don’t think so. Would a homeless person have drawn (an audience)? No. It takes a special person to get that kind of message out.”

Although Hannah read from a script, her wit was apparent after her prepared speech.

Earlier, Mindszenthy had received a raspberry from some in the crowd who were offended when he said that the occasion was unique because in the crowd were “people from 90 to 9.”

Hannah used that moment at the end, when she said she would continue to help the homeless “even when I’m 90.”

The crowd broke up.

“I knew you would like that,” she quipped.

from today's Toronto Star

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Eine kleine fun!

Thanks to my friend Karen:

Get the Drunk Home
Try this and see how far you can keep this drunk man up.
Hysterical....Good luck! ... You just move you mouse left to right (no clicking) to keep him walking in a straight line. The object of the game is to keep him walking, without falling over, by using your mouse from left to right or right to left - you can't see your mouse which makes it more difficult. Apparently the record is 82 meters! And it's in German!

Speaking of songs that get me

Remember the song "19" by Paul Hardcastle, back in the '80s? It never fails to give me goosebumps ... (I wonder what songs they will produce years from now about the Iraq War ...) I've put my "favourite" (because I find it so powerful) line in bold (see below)


In 1965 Vietnam seemed like just another foreign war,
but it wasn't.
It was different in many ways, as so were those that did the fighting.
In World War II the average age of the combat soldier was 26...
In Vietnam he was 19.
In inininininin Vietnam he was 19.

(TV announcer's voice)
The shooting and fighting of the past two weeks continued today
25 miles west of Saigon
I really wasn't sure what was going on (Vet's Voice)

Nininini Nineteen, 19, Ni-nineteen 19

In Vietnam the combat soldier typically served a twelve month tour of duty but
was exposed to hostile fire almost everyday
Ninininininininininin 19 nininininninin 19

Hundreds of Thousands of men who saw heavy combat in Vietnam were arrested since discharge Their arrest rate is almost twice that of non-veterans of the same age.
There are no accurate figures of how many of these men have been incarcerated.
But, a Veterans Administration study concludes that the greater of Vets
exposure to combat could more likely affect his chances of being arrested or convicted.

This is one legacy of the Vietnam War

(Singing Girls)
All those who remember the war
They won't forget what they've seen..
Destruction of men in their prime
whose average was 19
War, War
Dededede-Destruction, wa-wa-War, wa-War, War
War, War

After World War II the Men came home together on troop ships, but the Vietnam
Vet often arrived home within 48 hours of jungle combat
Perhaps the most dramatic difference between World War II and Vietnam was
coming home.. .none of them received a hero's welcome
None of them received a heroes welcome, none of them, none of them
Nenene Nenene None of them, none of them, none of them (etc...)
None of them received a hero's welcome
None of them received a hero's welcome

According to a Veteran's Administration study
Half of the Vietnam combat veterans suffered from what Psychiatrists call
Many vets complain of alienation, rage, or guilt
Some succumb to suicidal thoughts
Eight to Ten years after coming home almost eight-hundred-thousand men are
still fighting the Vietnam War

(Singing Girls)

Nininininininininin Nineteen, 19, Ni-nineteen 19
Nininininininininin Nineteen, 19, Ni-nineteen 19

(Soldiers Voice)
When we came back it was different.. Everybody wants to know "How'd it
happened to those guys over there
There's gotta be something wrong somewhere
We did what we had to do
There's gotta be something wrong somewhere
People wanted us to be ashamed of what it made us
Dad had no idea what he went to fight and he is now
All we want to do is come home
All we want to do is come home
What did we do it for
All we want to do is come home
Was it worth it?

If you're thinking about having children ...

... could I possibly suggest the names Ryan, or Isabelle, or Bina? These are the names of some amazing friends of mine who took time out of their busy schedules to help me sort out my new furniture situation. I would have been a weeping, bruised mess without their help ... LOL But instead my place is well on its way to looking fabulous!!!

I have really won the friendship lottery with these folks.



I'm sensitive ... and I'd like to stay that way

Today I was sitting at my desk, and for a brief period of time, I could actually work and listen to some music without being interrupted. A song came on that I hadn't heard in a long time - "I'm Sensitive" by Jewel. It just really got my attention, in part because there is so much truth in the lyrics, and because of the pure/innocent quality to her voice in this song. Here are the lyrics:

"I'm Sensitive"

I was thinking that I might fly today
Just to disprove all the things you say
It doesn't take a talent to be mean
Your words can crush things that are unseen
So please be careful with me, I'm sensitive
And I'd like to stay that way.
You always tell me that is impossible
To be respected and be a girl
Why's it gotta be so complicated?
Why you gotta tell me if I'm hated?
So please be careful with me, I'm sensitive
And I'd like to stay that way.
I was thinking that it might do some good
If we robbed the cynics and took all their food
That way what they believe will have taken place
And we can give it to people who have some faith
So please be careful with me, I'm sensitive
And I'd like to stay that way.
I have this theory that if we're told we're bad
Then that's the only idea we'll ever have
But maybe if we are surrounded in beauty
Someday we will become what we see
'Cause anyone can start a conflict
it's harder yet to disregard it
I'd rather see the world from another angle
We are everyday angels
Be careful with me 'cause I'd like to stay that way

Saturday, April 16, 2005

"Gilmore Girls" Quote of the Day

Rory: I'll tell all the ladies what a stud you are.
Michel: I believe that memo has already been sent.

Friday, April 15, 2005

"Gilmore Girls" Quote of the Day

Lorelai: Michel, the phone.
Michel: Mm-hmm. It rings.
Lorelai: Can you answer it?
Michel: No. People are particularly stupid today. I can't talk to any more of them.
Lorelai: You know who's really nice to talk to? The people at the unemployment agency.
Michel: Independence Inn. Michel speaking.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Home Decor Angst, Part II

Painting update: I took a couple of days off recently to finish painting my apartment, and on Monday I slathered on the last bit of paint onto my bedroom wall (Did angels sing at that moment? I could have sworn I heard something like that!!!! LOL). My living room is a wonderful yellow (rich, fresh, with a hint of green), my bedroom is two tones of blue (one wall a warm denim colour, the others the blue much like a summer sky), and the extra bedroom is a warm teal/wedgewood colour. I'm probably a little biased, but I think the colours look terrific.

From there I immediately launched into the second phase of home improvement - furniture. I bought some extra seating for my living room, and am currently obsessing about which bookcases and storage I should buy. I'm desperate to have storage with proper doors so I can put things out of sight and so I can limit the cleaning/dusting I have to do (with two cats, this is a priority!). I've been haunting Ikea looking at one of their lines of storage, and I think it'll look great in my apartment (especially with the black doors and the glass doors). I just have to figure out how much of it I actually need, how much storage would look right in the space that I have, and how much I can afford. I need to start looking for a roommate again (to help pay for all this! LOL), but I need to have some storage first to help tidy things up around here. (After moving stuff around for the painting, my apartment is looking a tad disorganized!)

Sometimes I just shake my head at the *things* we accumulate ... small kitchen appliances, for example, are a challenge for me. I have an electric mixer, a food processor, a large crockpot, an electric grill, and a blender. I'm embarrassed to admit how little I use them. But maybe that's because they are currently stored in my linen closet by the bedrooms because I don't have enough storage space in my kitchen? LOL So what is one to do? Give away/sell appliances I want to use but don't? Or try to make the space more functional so that I will use them?

Another challenge is books. I am a veritable bibliophile. I have thick biographies on Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Harry Truman, and Lord Mountbatten. I have large books on the Ottoman Empire, Polish culture, Eastern and Southern Asia, democracy, forest ecology, conservation biology, the history of military submarines during the Cold War. I don't know when I am going to have the time to read them (it would be easier if they were lighter so I could carry them on the subway and read them to and from work), but I want to read them. In fact, when I bought them, I'm sure I realized that I wouldn't read them right away (perhaps not for years) - but I wanted them as placeholders, as resources I could have available to me should I ever have an opportunity to read them.

Do these things we accumulate really make us happy? I'm not sure, but I'm not ready to throw them out either! So bookcases and storage it is ... :)

Anyway, this conundrum should keep me fully occupied all weekend! :)



One of the things I haven't written about is some relatively new friendships that I've made in the past year (particularly in the last couple of months).

When I moved to Toronto, I joined a social club for women. It was sometimes disappointing, but I had the opportunity to meet some wonderful people there, and some of us decided recently to form our own social network, called the "FebFemmes" (Fabulous Females Network of Toronto). While we're all different, we're united by the common goal of developing a fun and supportive network of female friends, as well as our shared values of mutual respect and positive attitude. Our little network had quite a rocky start, but I really am excited and hopeful about the relationships we are going to build and the cool stuff we'll do, particularly over the summer!!!

Here's a picture of the five of us below, hanging out at La Vecchia to celebrate the March/April birthdays! Don't they look like a great group of quality people????? :) I'm sure you'll read much more about them going forward ...

The FabFemmes: Sonia, Karen, Maria, me, and Aviva! Posted by Hello

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Cat's preaching from mosque keeps community awake

I was looking for some online advice about how to handle one of my cats, who has been waking me up multiple times many nights lately, and I found this article. Too funny!!!

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

" Gilmore Girls" Quote of the Day

Rory: It’s me. I just wanted to let you know that this is the last weekend I spend sitting around like an idiot hoping you’ll call, okay? I’m not going to be that girl. From now on, I want a plan. I mean, a real plan with a time and a place, and I’m tired of hearing ‘Let’s hook up later.’ What does that mean anyway? What’s later? How do I set my watch to later? Later doesn’t cut it anymore, got it? And, yeah, you know, maybe I am spoiled. But guess what? I like being spoiled. I plan to go on being spoiled. And if that doesn't sound like something that you can or want to do, then fine. I'm sure you'll find another girl who doesn't mind sitting around cleaning her keyboard on a Friday night hoping you’ll call, but it’s not going to be me. Oh, yeah, this is a message for Jess.
(From "Face-Off")

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

" Gilmore Girls" Quote of the Day

Luke: Shouldn’t we give thanks first?
Jess: Thanks for what?
Luke: Well, that we’re not Native Americans who got their land stolen in exchange for smallpox infested blankets.
Lorelai: Amen.
(From "A Deep Fried Korean Thanksgiving")

Saturday, April 02, 2005

It's April 2nd and it's ... snowing???

I rushed out this morning to the hardware store for some more paint for my apartment, and thought the rain looked a little ... puffy. But when I stopped at a pharmacy for some Epsom salts, I couldn't deny it any more - it was snowing!!!

Now I'm sitting at my kitchen table, looking at the snow blowing outside ... How can I work under these conditions??? Today's a day to pull the drapes, burrow under the covers, and read a good book!


Friday, April 01, 2005

Chase Sunsets

One day I got a comment on this blog from someone I had never even met. Her name is Bethany, and she is from somewhere in the American midwest. Her comment was really sweet and provided some helpful decorating tips (I think my post had been about being in paint chip purgatory or something). She has a great little personal blog too - She has great quotes from "Sex and the City", or she talks about her friends or her thoughts, and she has some great pics as well (I particularly enjoyed the collage she posted on March 17th).

I think it's pretty neat that this blog allowed me to come in contact with someone like Bethany. She lives so far away, and is about 10 years younger than myself, but she has such a maturity and is so cool - and I think we share many of the same values (when she wrote on March 29th that her friend Tracy is such "a quality person", I knew she was a kindred spirit!!!). Well, that's one of the miracles of the modern technological age, I guess!

Anyway, go check out her site - but don't forget to come back!!!



Fun at work

Yesterday a new guy moved into a cubicle in my team's work area. He was recently shuffled from our Marketing group to another team on my floor. Today we noticed that he left his laptop unattended for long periods of time without locking the console. It didn't take too long before mischief got the best of me, and I started sending e-mails from his computer (which of course would make it seem as though he was sending the e-mails). They were all the same:

Dear Tony,

I think you're groovy!



You should have seen Tony come whipping around the corner to see what the hell was behind that e-mail!!!! LOL

I think I sent four - five people these e-mails. Then I went to Julio, his new manager, and confirmed that Jim now worked for him. I asked him if he liked practical jokes, and sure enough, he did. So I told him what I'd been doing and why, and suggested that I send Julio a similar message from Jim's workstation ...

It's all in the name of encouraging tighter security in the office ... and of course that's why I've had this big grin on my face whenever I think about it ...