Friday, July 30, 2010

This is it!

This is the last post before I move and don't have internet for a couple of days! I've got almost everything packed except my computer (duh) and I've conscripted slave labour for tomorrow in the form of my friends. I even have a van reserved, so it's all set. All I need to do now is make sure I can get a key from my landlady. (Slightly important detail!)

The girls came over for girls' night last night and we had some barbecued chicken fajitas, which were truly divine. Then we took my brother's dogs for a walk and packed and washed dishes and all those boring things, but it's funny how they're not really boring when you're with the right people. It's so much easier to do them when you've got good company, and the girls are about the best company around.

Yesterday and today has been clean, clean, clean for me. My mother has an eye infection and so she's been seeing her doctor and going to special units in the hospital and such to get something done about it, so while she's gone I have to do the stuff I would normally do AND all of her stuff. My brother, on the other hand, normally does nothing and still does nothing. It seems a little unjust, to say the least.

For those who don't know, my brother and I are like oil and water. He's the unemployed high school dropout with a criminal record. I'm the Ph.D student who teaches classes at the university and reads Harry Potter and knits in her spare time.

Somehow, I think I can deal with being his exact opposite.

When I was little (he's 3 years my senior), he used to tell me that our mother loved him more than me. When I was a child, I was naive enough to believe it, and so I grew up hating him. Now I've come to realize that he's jealous of me, even though I'm not entirely sure why. I dislike him for entirely different reasons now, not the least of which is that it's really hard to love someone who refuses to show emotion.

I guess I just thought I'd clean the skeletons out of my closet, since everything else I own has already been packed!

See you in August!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

There's nothing like working up a good sweat!

So I tried out a new gym tonight. My friend has a membership and apparently they have "bring a friend for free" Tuesdays, so I gave it a go. I really enjoyed it, actually, because it's so much more straightforward than a normal gym, since there's someone there to actually explain everything. I'm allowed two more free Tuesdays before I sign up, so we'll see how it goes!

Since I'm moving on Saturday, I've been packing and packing and packing. In fact, I get together once a week with some of my girlfriends for what we call "girls' night" and this week's get-together is them coming over, having dinner with me, and then helping me pack all my crap. Today I got through the clothes, some books, my office supplies and old school binders, and my scanner. It's amazing how many boxes it takes. You really have no idea until you start trying to pack your life into them...

My friend is getting married in October and I'm making her wedding cake, which I'm thoroughly excited about. At least I think I'm making it. I e-mailed her ages ago for the go-ahead and she hasn't answered. I think she thinks that if she asks me to make it, she's inconveniencing me. It's the kind of thing she'd think because she's just so sweet. But at this point, her not answering me is what's inconveniencing me, because if I'm making this cake I need to start ordering supplies ASAP, because what she wants isn't stuff you can buy in a regular cake supplies shop. She's away until Friday, and then back home. Saturday is moving day, but Sunday morning, I'll tell you--I'm going to on her like white on rice. That wedding is most certainly not going to be ruined on my account!

I need my beauty sleep. That workout tuckered me out (in a good way).

Monday, July 26, 2010

Summertime and the livin' is easy...

Today was a good day. I figured out a bunch of the stuff I'd been stressing out about with regards to my new house, but I also got to spend all evening at my friend's pool with a bunch of her family. It turns out one of her cousins does henna and she decided to do it for anyone who wanted one, so when I've got my arm out of plastic wrap, I'll be sure to take a picture and post it. ;)

I also realized today that I'm an exceptionally good "Canadian". I'm the Canadian that doesn't say rude or descriminatory remarks to other people because I just consider it awful. I'm the one who doesn't instantly stereotype people, most especially out loud. I'm the one who takes her rights as God-given and expects everyone to do what they can to protect both their own rights and those of the people around them.

My friend's boyfriend is not that Canadian. And in a shockingly blatant way.

Maybe I'm just too strict a Canadian, but I feel really unhappy when he calls Christianity a "freakish cult" (even though I'm not religious myself). I feel embarrassed when he hears about a gang-related stabbing and immediately asks if the suspects were Somalian. And I feel flat-out irritated when he's sitting next to his girlfriend at the picnic table, eating his supper, and he asks her to leave her own dinner and go inside to get him a beer. Christians, Somalians and women weren't second-class citizens, last time I checked.

Her boyfriend aside, today was splendid. I even got to try her Grandma's famous meatballs (which, I might add, are most certainly famous for a reason).

On the "to do" list for tomorrow: buy my friend the birthday coffee I promised him...or at least make a date!

Friday, July 23, 2010

I think the word is "packrat"?

So while we're clearing out this storage locker, I'm finding all sorts of things that my mother has kept for years. Among them? Grocery receipts for small purchases made 7 years ago, the owner's manual for a VCR (yes, a VCR) that we haven't had for years, and one of those hooked rug things that my mother did when she was a teenager but never figured out how to "finish". The worst part of all is that when I looked through my boxes, I started feeling nervous that I was heading down the same road...

I'm moving a week from tomorrow, which is unbelievably exciting, but also a little stressful, because I have to have my affairs in order. A few friends are coming to help move and I've rented a van for Saturday, so it's not like I can just be late. On the plus side, I'm going to get a pretty awesome workout moving, and I get to see some of my friends that I really don't see often enough.

It just hit me last night that I'm leaving Ecko (my cat) behind. My new landlady asked that we not bring pets, which I think is fair, and besides, Ecko's never been away from her sister (my Mom's cat, Bu) and I think it would be mean for me to take her but not her sister. And my landlady would have lots of reasons not to want Bu in her house (including, but not limited to her tendency to relieve herself in random places and stratch/chew/climb everything in sight). So I'll be visiting really, really often to see my baby, because I'm just going to miss her like mad.

I'm into knitting at the moment. It comes and goes, but right now it's on the climb. I'm not entirely sure what I'm knitting, but I just like the calmness you feel when you get into the rhythm of something simple and repetitive for hours at a time and have something pretty to show for it when you're done. It's my de-stresser. I'm knitting something with grey yarn...maybe a scarf? Maybe a dishcloth? Who knows.

My sunburn is still peeling and I've got another pool party tomorrow. The horror! I have a feeling I'll suffer for it afterwards, but it will be so worth it to see everyone.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Today I was going through some boxes from our storage locker and found some things that reminded me of a friend I used to have. In fact, we used to be very best friends for quite a few years. It's amazing how things can change over the course of only months.

A lot of things happened and we drifted apart until I just started feeling like I didn't mean anything to her anymore. I don't know now if it was true or if it was just my insecurities surfacing, but the fact of the matter is that I cut off communication with her and she didn't really seem to notice for a long time. I took that to be a sign that I'd done the right thing.

But when I was going through the boxes today, I came across letters and cards and notes she'd written to me for birthdays, Christmas, and just for the heck of it. And the person who wrote them didn't sound selfish and ungrateful of my love. She sounded deeply affectionate and grateful for our amazing friendship. Maybe we had one and maybe we didn't. And maybe the regret I'm feeling now is over something that was real, or maybe I'm just getting reminiscent about something that only ever existed in my mind.

The fact of the matter is that I miss her, or at least the friendship I thought we used to have. Someone once told me that we rarely regret the things we do, but we often regret the things we don't. I do regret not calling her. I regret not reaching out and just telling her how I felt, instead of totally cutting her off. I regret turning the other way when I'd see her brother at the supermarket because I just didn't want to have to think about her.

It's been about 6 years since I spoke to her. I don't know where she is now, but I know where her family is. If I wanted to reconnect, the only thing I could do is give her mother a call. Maybe I will.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Wales, May-June 2010

Let's talk about killjoys

Several members of my family (and some friends) are total killjoys. I'm not sure if I'm just the kind of person who attracts them or something, but I've decided that I really, really dislike them.

Sometimes I'll have a great idea, or I'll start planning a huge project or just plain dream big and then one of my killjoy friends will come along and deflate me. For instance, when I mentioned that I'd like to open a bakery (because for those who don't know me, I'm actually an excellent cook and baker), the reactions I got fell into two categories. There were the really nice ones who know how to be supportive and kind about ideas, like my aunt. She was like, "You'd do SO WELL at that. You've got the skill, the passion--go for it!" Then there were the people like my mother, who was like, "Really? You want to open a business? You know that's really hard, right? And it takes loads of money, and you might do really badly and then lose all your life's savings." Gee, thanks, Mom. I'll just jump right on opening that bakery tomorrow...

What I don't get is why these people who care about you can't just support you. What joy do they derive from deflating you? What kind of favour do they think they're doing you by encouraging you to do nothing but lead a mundane, boring life where you take you risks? Do they think they'll be the cool ones if you fail and they were right? Or do they just think we're not capable of growing and learning and making mistakes on our own?

In any case, it makes you wonder... What would have happened to Michael Jordan if he'd taken the skeptics seriously and decided not to train at basketball? Would we even know who Björk is if she'd listened to everyone who told her she'd never actually get out of Iceland? Where would JK Rowling be if she'd stopped sending her manuscript to publishers after the first 10 rejections?

At the end of the day, I'd rather be more like Michael Jordan, Björk or JKR than like the people who tell me not to go for it. Why should people choose anything less for themselves?

Somewhere I Belong...

I got so sick and tired of having to back up my blog with WordPress that I just decided to get a Blogspot blog. So far, I'm not regretting it!

This is officially the first post of what I hope will be many. I don't know who is going to read my blog (if anyone), but sometimes you just need to get it out, so here it is. I'll be ranting, rejoicing and reflecting, sometimes all in the same post. Sounds like fun, doesn't it? ;)

Right now, I'm super excited about one thing in particular: I'm moving out of my mother's house. I know that sounds horrible and ungrateful to say, but I'm 26 years old and I've never had the chance to move out until now and I just want to do it. I need my space, I need to grow up, and I need to get away from seeing my family every single day before they just cease to become special to me. At the moment, they're looking less and less special every day, and that's not a good thing (if you ask me).

So I've got this apartment (well, a house, actually) that I'll be renting come August 1st. It's absolutely beautiful and I'm in love. And the location is right on the major bus route in my town, as well as in a nice, quiet neighbourhood. Plus, the landlady is about the coolest you could ask for. I really can't go wrong. I move in on July 31st and have already reserved the van, conscripted moving help (my friends are wonderful) and paid my first month's rent.

In other news, I'm happy as a clown that this heat wave is over! If you'd spoken to me a week ago, I would have told you that I hate my hometown because it was 40-odd degrees all week... Now we've got a comfortable 20-25 degrees every day and I'm just loving it. (PS: We do Celcius here and I have no idea what that is in Fahrenheit.)

Lunch is calling me. <3