Friday, January 30, 2009

PIP, pip and all that jazz!

Pretty in Pink is on AMC right now! I still love this movie - after all these years and after having seen it dozens of times.

[Ohhhh, Andrew Mcarthy just asked Molly to the prom!]

Well, I dropped the big assignment off at school this morning! Yay! I'm going to celebrate by watching Revolutionary Road with J this afternoon. (Y'know, 'coz it's so uplifting and all.)

Hope you're having a wonderful day! Talk soon, friends. xo

Thursday, January 29, 2009

"Thinking man's show."

I once dated a man who said CSI was a "thinking man's show". Of course, we're no longer together and I mean no disrespect to him (he's a sweetheart) but I really find CSI quite silly. I've never seen an episode in its entirety but from the little snippets I've seen, I have that impression. Still, some people seem to love it.

It makes me chuckle when I think about all the dusting and 'forensics' that take place, and the pensive looks that the overly attractive detectives have on their faces.

Meme (aka another way to distract myself)

Right now, there's a '25 Random Things About Me' meme that's going around Facebook. I was tagged by several people so I decided to partake in the fun.

[Of course, this has nothing to do with wanting to procrastinate on my assignment but everything to do with self-exploration, being reflective and sharing with others.] ;)

Here's my list of 25 Random Things About Me:

1. I have what might be considered a maniacal fear of raccoons and anything from the rodentia family. The thought of capybaras and chinchillas is torture.

2. I have an acute sense of smell to the point where it seems that I can sense the moment something becomes airborne. While this might be revered in the animal kingdom, it’s a bitch around those with acute flatulence.

3. I took organ lessons for 8 years.

4. I pray every night before bed but hate going to church and do not follow a particular religion.

5. I can do a dead ringer of Marvin the Martian. I thought it was so good that I once entered a radio contest to be the emcee for a WWF wrestling match. My entry was a telephone recording of me doing the Marvin voice while introducing said wrestling match.

6. I love rocks and crystals and believe in their energy.

7. I am a fanatic about the superstition of knocking on wood.

8. The grossest things I’ve ever eaten are pigeon and balut (for those of you who aren’t familiar with balut – it’s basically a hard-boiled egg with a partially developed chick surrounded by embryonic fluid).

9. I’m a pescatarian.

10. I’ve been engaged three times.

11. One of my grandpas died from a gunshot wound sustained at a poker game.

12. I hate planning things or following lists. (Thank goodness my wedding only involved making sure the sun was shining, hopping in a car, picking wildflowers and exchanging vows on a mountainside.)

13. I cleared out a large armoire of my clothes and filled it only with handmade papers which are in nice piles and color coordinated. (I am addicted to paper.)

14. A friend once fell asleep while I was talking to her on the phone. She claimed it was because my voice was so ‘soothing’. (Riiight)

15. I hate math and am not mathematically inclined but received a gold medal in the subject during high school.

16. I almost failed grade 11 because I skipped over 60 classes to hang out with an ex-boyfriend (a B-boy dancer).

17. If I could go back in time, I would have gone into either journalism or graphic design.

18. I am fascinated by ‘little people’ (midgets/dwarves) and trans-gendered individuals.

19. I love mail and postal paraphernalia. One of my prized possessions is a Scandinavian coin purse that looks like a letter.

20. If ever I strike it rich, I’m going to splurge on: Japanese toilets/bathrooms, a customized ventriloquist doll and homes in NYC, Japan and Paris.

21. I love collecting ephemera including vintage magazines, books, diaries, documents and have over 300 old photographs and letters (of each).

22. One of my goals in life is to have a book published.

23. My favorite genre for movies is horror.

24. I adore handwritten letters, beautiful penmanship, old suitcases and fountain pens.

25. My husband and daughter are my two favorite people.

Hunkering down

I'll be spending most of the day finishing my big assignment which is due tomorrow. I can't believe the week is almost up. I'll be glad when this thing is finally done and out of my hands.

Hope you have a happy and productive day. xo

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

On my list of things to read...

A review by Michael J. Mazza:

'Charles Bukowski's novel "Post Office" is the first-person account of Henry Chinaski, a hard-drinking gambler and womanizer who goes to work for the United States Postal Service in Los Angeles. The story follows his experiences at the post office, weaving them together with his accounts of romantic affairs, sexual encounters, drinking, and gambling. Chinaski's life is full of encounters with various unsavory, tragic, or ridiculous characters.

"Post Office" is the ultimate "I hate this job" story. It's also an intriguing, and highly unflattering look at a quintessential American institution. Bukowski's prose style is crude, rude, and raw; often very funny, sometimes shocking, and sometimes poignant. But always highly readable. Bukowski effectively evokes a vision of a mind-numbing, soul-killing workplace that is ruled by a petty bureaucracy.

On one level, "Post Office" seems to have much in common with a classic "social protest" novel like Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle," which also portrays the suffering and degradation experienced by the working person. But ultimately, "Post Office" seems like another species of novel altogether. Bukowski tells his story in a matter-of-fact style; he doesn't seem to care about offending or impressing anyone, and seems to offer no social agenda. He just tells it like it is. A fascinating book by an author who, I increasingly believe, is truly in a class all his own.'

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Mail ♥

Oh, my...I just received a box full of ephemeral goodness that I can't wait to sift through! Think: cancelled stamps on tattered envelopes, gorgeous penmanship, vintage cards, chicken-scratched love letters and old documents - the joy!

(Oh, my goodness! I'm all giddy! I feel like a child on Christmas day! Wheeeee!)

Ahem but FIRST, back to the looming school assignment.

M u s t...b a c k...t o...i t...

M u s t...

Welcome to ProcrastiNation

I like to travel there often. It's a nice place where there are big fluffy pillows, computer screens that never close, letters written at any given time, naps taken, movies watched, blogs relished, shiny objects catch people's eyes, magazines and books flipped through, loads of laundry finally done, dishes washed at odd hours, closets suddenly reorganized and cleaned, drives for coffee and useless items taken, televisions turned off-and-on, phone calls made, photographs snapped, crafts projects in progress, cookies baked, luxurious baths drawn, woolgathering done, and blog posts created.

It's a really lovely place. I tend to get lost there but the adventures are always welcome. :)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Male Order

I don't know whether to laugh or slap someone.

Back at it

What a great weekend! Dinner with B on Saturday was such a treat. We all went down to The Real Jerk and stuffed ourselves silly. I love the vibe there and the food is oh, so delicious. To top it all off, H & I shared a red velvet cupcake and a vanilla bean cupcake which we picked up on the way home.

Yesterday, J thought it would be fun for the three of us to go to a local flea market. I had visions of tattered old books and magazines, stacks of black and white photographs, and oodles of tacky knick-knacks running through my head. Instead, what we saw were little make-shift stalls of bootleg DVDs, dozens of racks of cheap (tacky) clothing, a 'shop' full of swords and knives and the most heartbreaking little pet store which makes me sad just thinking about it. (H couldn't believe her eyes. It was painful for her to see the animals cooped up in their little glass showcases.) We didn't last long there yet, it was enough to give us all headaches.

To wipe the experience from our minds, J suggested a drive through Roncesvalles where we might come upon some decent vintage shops. Mrs. Huizenga and Hawk Eyes, both on Roncessvalles Avenue and just a few doors down from each other, were exactly what the doctor ordered. Each store had lovely pieces from the past, carefully chosen and beautifully displayed - from books and magazines to stylish clothing, and cool chairs to retro dressers and shelves. My absolute favorite was a gorgeous icebox at Hawk Eyes which had a beautiful picture on the front of it and marble shelves inside. There were also many children's items reminiscent of days gone by when chalkboards and tea sets provided hours of fun. We followed this up with lunch at Tinto's for some comforting carrot-ginger soup, vegan nachos, salad and a berry smoothie (which we all shared).

Now, I'm back at it - working on my assignment and trying to make sense of it all. In some ways, it feels like I'm translating in another language.

You may hear from me again (several times, in fact!), when my better judgment leaves me for something more frivolous and carefree. See you soon. Have a wonderful day, friends. xo

Saturday, January 24, 2009

This is me today

Can you tell what I'm working on today? I've started transcribing my interview and felt like it was an audio version of Groundhog Day as it seemed I was going in circles. (I guess my mother was right, I sound like a broken record - a phrase I often heard when I was a child!).

Thank goodness, J's dear friend, B, is in town right now and staying with us. We'll be having dinner with him tonight (just in time for a much needed reprieve!).

He's such a sweetheart. Since he arrived, J has been fighting to get B to allow him to do things for him! We won't see too much of him this weekend since he's attending a program that he's reporting on but he's managed to squeeze in time for dinner (which he insists on treating us to but we won't let him!). He's so thoughtful and generous. There may be an arm-wrestle this evening or a rumble of sorts to settle things. However they decide to duke it out, I'll be sitting back, eating my greasy dumplings, fried plantain and roti while sipping on a nice cold (stiff) beverage as I soak it all in. Ahh...I can't wait!

Daydreaming + Lollygagging

I know I should be transcribing (okay, maybe not at this hour) but it's so much fun daydreaming and lollygagging.

[If only we were being graded on that...I'd definitely get an A+!] :)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

If I am to do this, then I need to do that

Tomorrow afternoon, we'll be doing our 45 - 60 minute recording with an assigned partner for a huge assignment due next Friday. We'll also be creating a transcript of the interview and doing a thorough analysis of it.

I'm nervous about it since the process involves completing the interview by following a prescribed framework and particular assessment model while still being fluid and genuine. Also, it's worth a significant part of our course grade.

Interviewing is an art in and of itself - not something you can really rehearse for plus, you have absolutely no idea what the person will be bringing to the table or how things will progress. It really requires knowing the steps well, thinking on your feet and also knowing when to use a particular dimension of the model.

The nice thing is that we get the week off to complete the assignment in the location of our choice! I'm thinking: comfy sweatpants, endless cups of free coffee and tea, a warm blanket, fluffy pillows at my back with my trusty Mac in tow. :)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Playing hooky

These are a couple of shots I took during the Presidential Inauguration which was televised in the student lounge today. By the time Obama was ready to be sworn in, the room was packed. It was great to see so many people come together and celebrate this special day.

[Today, I felt hopeful and inspired.]

A new beginning

I hope we can somehow watch the inauguration in class today. If not, I may have to sneak off to watch it somewhere and celebrate.

Spaced out

I can't seem to tear myself away from the absolutely horrible movie I'm watching. I'm getting annoyed by the terrible acting and disgusted by the ridiculous dialogue. Why does this happen?!

[Argh!!! Stop it Kevin Costner!!! STOP!!!]

Okay, I'm done. Time for bed. G'night.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

On my bedside table

Love Letters: Leonard Woolf & Trekkie Ritchie Parsons 1941 - 1968 (by Judith Adamson)

I can't wait to curl up with this book!

'This collection of letters documents the relationship between Leonard Woolf, the writer best known as the husband of Virginia Woolf and publisher of the Hogarth Press, and Trekkie Parsons, a painter and book designer more than 20 years his junior. The correspondence lasts from the beginning of their friendship in 1941, the year Virginia Woolf died, until Leonard's death in 1968. Throughout most of that time, Woolf and Parsons were involved intimately and designed rather unusual living arrangements with shared or neighboring houses, where Ian Parsons, Trekkie's husband and Woolf's colleague, joined them.

The letters are sporadic, since Woolf and Trekkie spent as much time as possible together, and they often seem to continue conversations that occurred off the page, making the letters difficult to read. The letters are unedited, though Adamson (English, Dawson Coll., Montreal) has added footnotes to help the reader navigate through their social circles. She also provides headnotes and an introduction.

Woolf's letters are startlingly romantic and moving, and the letters reveal the development of the couple's intimacy. They also show Woolf and Trekkie sharing their professional and artistic concerns and dealing with the minutiae of daily life. These very personal letters, mostly kept private until Trekkie died in 1995, will be of greatest interest to those fascinated by the Woolfs and anything Bloomsbury.'

(Paolina Taglienti, Long Island Univ., Brooklyn, NY Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information)

Prank call

Remember that old prank call about the fridge? It went something like this:

{Ring, ring}

"Hi, is your fridge running?"
"Well, you better catch it!"


I wish I could answer the same. (Sigh) After the power outage the other night, something strange happened to our fridge. It's not working properly and is currently at room temperature. We tried unplugging it, in hopes that it would reset itself (also, upon the advisement of others) but nothing. As a result, we've had to throw out tons of food and try to remove the overpowering smell of thawed shrimps and fish that's lingering. (Nasty)

Luckily, it didn't deter our plans for making the best platter of nachos last night. We used blue corn chips and smothered them with black beans, onions, delicious guac, pineapple salsa and - the crowning glory! - creamy soy sour cream! Mmm! They were almost as tasty as the nachos from The V-Spot (in Brooklyn) that we still dream about.

[Now, if I could only replicate the Cafe Caramel from Gorilla Coffee this morning...]

Have a lovely day, friends. Talk soon. xo

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A special friend recently lost her child. My heart and deepest sympathy go out to her and her family.

I just wanted to take a moment to honor those who have gone through their own incredible losses and their departed loved ones.

Feel Script

Feelings don't have to be limited to the counselling world. Look at this beautiful font called, Feel Script, that I found on Veer:
Here are some other (script) fonts that I like:
{Kitti Casual}
{Mouse Script}

I'd love to be able to do handlettering like the above...some day.

[These and other beautiful typefaces, illustrations, stock photography and unique merchandise are available at Veer.]

Friday, January 16, 2009

For shame

Dear Friend,

How are you? I hope this finds you well and in good spirits.

I am writing to apologize and express the shame I'm feeling about having missed your special event, (I can barely bring myself to admit it but...) National Letter Writing Week (aka Universal Letter-Writing Week) which, as you know, occurred from January 8 - 14 (according to The Society of Friendship and Goodwill and other reliable sources).

I had so many grandiose plans for you, National Letter Writing Week! I was going to create handmade envelopes with my little person, set aside time for fun (and exciting!) letter-writing activities, talk about my favorite pieces of postal ephemera (to anyone who would listen!), discuss postal history with my family (I can hear them breathing a sigh of relief) and of course, write letters.

[How will you ever forgive me?]

Please know that on a subconscious level I did celebrate by:

- spreading the word about the oldest post office in Toronto (which is also a museum) and in fact, took one of my fellow classmates to see it (and promised a few others a future visit)
- enlightening others about the joys of letter-writing (through lively banter and a discussion about my letter-writing habits!)
- mailing several packages to my Swap Bot partners (for various swaps with 'letter and writing' themes)
- communicating with pen-pals
- opening a new calligraphy set
- swooning over stationery and writing paraphernalia

I guess I should also mention that when I visited the museum for the first time, I rejoiced (at the lovely ephemera, quill pens and fully operating post office on-site) and was even more delighted when my coin purse AND wallet were photographed by the museum's curator. It was an honor, to say the least! (For those of you who aren't aware, my coin purse and wallet resemble a letter and an envelope!). So you see, though my efforts were purely instinctual and subconscious, I was in fact paying homage to your event.

Having said that, I hope you'll forgive me for not publicly announcing the event and let me make it up to you during the National Card & Writing Month, April 1 - May 10, as noted by Chase's Calendar of Events and the United States Postal Service.

Thank you for your time and happy snails. xo

Yours always,


Hitting the books

We have a big test on Monday. Time to study.

Let there be light

Yay! The lights are back on! We were without power since 10 pm last night. It was kind of nice because we lit several candles and all cozied up under the covers. Luckily, the gas fireplace was still working so we cranked it up, shut our bedroom doors and stayed nice and warm.

It looks like we weren't the only ones affected.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Talking on the phone

When I was younger, I spent hours talking on the phone. The calls often went late into the night (despite having just seen the person or having spent the whole day with them). It didn't matter. We'd talk about who knows what and sometimes, we'd even sit on the phone while watching the same television programs offering the occasional comment or two.

These days, my calls are few and far between. I'd rather send a nice letter or an email (though, there are a few people I do try to touch base with more often than not).

Last night, I talked for almost 3 hours on the phone with a really special person that I'd spent a large part of my life with during University and the years that followed. She was my one of my closest friends (my BFF, in fact!) and the only person that I ever seemed to truly connect with in terms of humour and level of comfort. We could rely on each other for so many things - whether it be to spend an hour or two at a pool hall or going for drinks, sharing very intimate details about our lives, being supportive during trying times, laughing for hours on end or being brutally honest (no matter what). It was a significant friendship and the kind that could never be duplicated with another.

As with many relationships in one's life, it changed...for many different reasons. We went out into the world, experienced life, and perhaps, needed time to grow into our own skin and (maybe) in order to do that, grew away from each other. Whatever the case may be, we found ourselves back in touch - mainly through cards and emails and occasional meetings throughout the years. And then, last night, we found ourselves on the phone...just like old times.

It was a great feeling and after so many years, it was like there was never any distance between us. I realized how much I missed her - her laugh, her wonderful sense of humour and just HER - and I hung up the phone with a smile. Of course, our lives look very different from those formative years of adulthood but underneath it all, our kindred souls are still the same.

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.

- Marcel Proust

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

They cheer

Today, I felt really tired - both physically and mentally. Throughout the day (during class), there's a lot of introspection and self-reflection that goes on by virtue of practicing on one another. Of course, one of the best ways to learn in this field is to experience each process first-hand which we're getting plenty of practice at. It can be exhausting and at times, it's left me feeling a bit vulnerable (naked, even). Of course, this could also be due to the fact that I'm too stubborn to go to bed early. :)

The day felt really long and all I wanted to do was run out of class at the end of the day and just be in my own world. You know, the world where ephemera and paper are plentiful; people blog and write letters all day; the sound of shutters and lenses retracting fill the air; travel is cheap and accessible to all; teleporting is real; delicious meals miraculously appear (oh, wait...this already happens for me!); wonderful music plays in the background; the mailbox is always full of surprises; movies play for free 24-7; lattes and fresh cupcakes await; and friends and family are near, safe and well. And now, I'll go reverie.

Good night, all. Sleep tight. xo

Coffee time

Just enjoying breakfast and a cup of coffee. I'm almost down to the last grinds of "Jamaican Me Crazy" coffee blend. :( It's so delicious. I wonder where Santa got it from.

Hope you have a wonderful day. Stay awake and happy. xo

Monday, January 12, 2009

Pumping iron

Exciting news - I just found out that full time students get a free membership to the athletic facilities where I go to school! Yay!

Round Two

Oh my goodness, have I completely missed the weekend? :) Kidding, of course!

To backtrack, we actually had a big assignment due by noon on Friday so on Thursday night, I propped myself up on some pillows, placed my computer on my lap and turned on my old school cassette recorder. I listened to myself perform an assessment - cringing at the sound of my voice and thinking of all of the possible things I could have done better every step of the way! I found myself having to stop and rewind over and over (and over!) again so that I could adequately critique myself (in execution and in delivery) which was the basis of the assignment.

[It's always interesting to hear one's own voice, isn't it? I've always thought I sounded so someone else.]

After handing in my assignment on Friday morning, I had the whole weekend to relax and enjoy myself. (Ahhh.) It actually felt like I had earned my weekend which was a great feeling. There were times in the past (during previous employment), when it felt as though the weekend came around to save me from my work (as a kind of solace for enduring work which wasn't fulfilling) and not as a reward for a week of hard work and a job well done but rather, for hanging in one more week. (Having said that, it didn't interfere with my ability to enjoy the weekend any less!) ;)

It was such a pleasant weekend. There was a trip to IKEA, movies watched, games played, lots of family time enjoyed, emails answered, blogs read (my favorites, of course!), letters written, nice meals shared and several cups of coffee savored. :)

And today? It was a nice start to Round 2. Oh sure, there was still a lot of confusion and anxiety but it didn't feel unmanageable. And yes, my hands were still shaking when I had to present in front of the class but I need the practice. The best part of all? Feeling supported and in the company of those just like me. (Oh yeah, that and going to the Oldest Post Office in Toronto over lunch but...more about that later!).

Hope you had a lovely weekend and a nice start to the week! Talk soon. xo

Friday, January 9, 2009

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Balancing act

It was a much better day today. In fact, I would say it was 100 times better than yesterday in terms of mood and confidence. For starters, when it was time to do mock assessments with our triad from yesterday, one of our members had to attend to something so they weren't present. (Oh, did I mention that the professor of the class was part of my group? I guess it might have explained a lot!) Immediately, I felt a sense of relief (no disrespect to the professor, of course...just a childhood aversion to authority, perhaps!). Also, I made sure to study the steps involved in the assessment process last night and even practiced various scenarios with my husband(thanks, Love!).

Later on in the day, after learning more about the assessment process and watching examples (a video, as well as live role play), we were matched up with two new people. This time, I felt more confident about the process and my abilities to carry it out. The feedback I received was very positive which was a great feeling (and truth be told, the reassurance I needed).

Of course, there will be moments throughout the program where I'll feel as insecure and discouraged as I did yesterday. The key is balancing those negatives with positives. As I learn and familiarize myself with the different processes, policies, approaches and methods, my confidence will grow. Add to that the practical applications through group work and one-on-one mock sessions, I'll have ample opportunity to develop and refine my skills.

Anyway, here I am talking about school when I should actually be doing homework!

I hope you had a lovely day...wherever you are. Talk soon. xo

My assessment

This was me at the end of yesterday. It was a challenging day. Thinking on your feet, maintaining appropriate eye contact, being genuine (but not transparent), not inferring, paraphrasing (but not using feelings), allowing the person you're speaking with to open up being mindful of the framework that was being used and following the steps...these were not easy tasks to balance during our practice sessions yesterday. My husband likened it to acting. (I felt it was more like stand-up comedy but without a funny comedian). It was a bit painful being out of my element and also, a bit discouraging. Of course, as with anything you challenge yourself with, there will be times that are uncomfortable.

So, that was me at the end of the day. Time to go. Today will be better. I'm hopeful. See you soon. xo

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Can we talk?

I'm happy to report that Day 1 went well! The format of the class is workshop style so we all sat in a circle and engaged in lots of group activities and partnering which is a big component of the program. I really enjoyed it and it almost felt like I was at a retreat of some sort.

More to report later. Right now, I need to get out the door! Hope you have a lovely day. xo

Monday, January 5, 2009

First day of school

Here I go.

I hope I get a seat on the subway so I can journal...I suspect there will be a couple of runs made to Starbucks today...I think this may be the end of late nights watching movies, reading blogs into the wee hours and bidding on Ebay auctions.

Can't wait to see how this day unfolds! :) Have a wonderful day! See you soon. xo

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Kickin' it old school

As some of you might already know, I'll be returning to school tomorrow as a full time student. It's a big decision but one that not only J & H have been fully supportive of but one that I'm happy to make.

For years now, I've been plugging away at various jobs, mostly at post-secondary institutions, where the benefits have been great, the pay fairly decent and the work...extremely unfulfilling. In my quest to find my true calling, I have toyed with the idea of many different professions - some of which I'd even taken courses in or actually tried working in. In doing so, what I've created was an arsenal of experiences and information that, coincidentally, happened to be the makings of a perfect vocation - Career Counselling - which is what I've decided to pursue. Part of my inspiration was a result of my own wonderful dealings with a fantastic Counsellor which I'm very thankful for.

Sure, it isn't the artsy and creative field that I may have (and continue to) dream of but it's something that I have a strong background in through my combination of education (Family Studies degree & Counselling certificate) and experience (both personal and professional) plus it's something that I want to do. The specialized training that I'll be receiving will be the last thing to tie it all together.

The groups I would most like to work with are women, particularly single parents, and newcomers. My hope is to be able to help others achieve their own goals, find their places in the world and in doing so, find peace within themselves.

This decision is not without a bit of irony. In the two plus years since I arrived here in Toronto, I've secured a dozen jobs - some of which I juggled (however briefly) three at a time. The constant changes were, of course, a manifestation of something larger - dissatisfaction, boredom, displeasure and at times, embarrassment. I struggled with the idea of wanting to do more than glorified office work yet felt the pressure of keeping benefits. Also, without knowing exactly what it was I wanted, I kept searching for something more fulfilling or at least, which paid more. Luckily, this pattern will finally change.

[On a side note - I do have to say that being able to secure constant employment isn't without merit. I can write a mean cover letter and perform well in almost any interview. Hopefully, I'll be able to transfer some of those skills to my clients!]

In previous years, staying with office jobs was necessary as a single parent. I don't regret those days entirely as they provided me with the stability I needed and allowed me to take care of what I needed to. It also introduced me to some very special people who have impacted my life in many ways and for that I am grateful. a different time. A moment that I've readied myself for and that, surprisingly, I am well-equipped for. What I've surmised throughout all of these years is that experience has been the best education for me - in whatever shape or form it presented itself. And because of this, I think I'll make a fine Career Counsellor one day.

[Now, if I can only get through the next 12 months...] :)

She's Gone

If I didn't like this song, I might be gone, too. The video is boring but hilariously so. For such a feeling song, the actions in the video are very aloof and not very emotive. Still, watch it. It's pretty entertaining. Darryl Hall looks a bit like Ziggy Stardust in his black silk robe and strappy heels.

Hope you're having a nice afternoon!

Yesterday afternoon

Here are a couple of pictures I took at Dundas Square yesterday afternoon.

For the complete story, please see the Toronto Star.

Update: Package received

Once again, J & I are up late. The little person is at a sleepover so we had a nice evening to ourselves which involved takeout from Fresh and two movies - The Dark Knight and Die Hard - both of which we've seen several times. (Currently, I have AMC on in the background with a crazy old space movie playing. I believe the aliens will begin their probing soon! Yarg!) As promised, I wanted to post about the package I received on Friday.

With some of the money I was given for Christmas, I decided to treat myself to more ephemera. As you may have read on a previous post, I've been trolling Ebay and Etsy looking for old journals, diaries and letters. I was fortunate to find an auction of letters belonging to a young man dated from the 1940's - 1960's. What a gold mine! I spend quite a few hours throughout the day sifting through the letters - reading about the adventures of friends (one of which led a very active and flamboyant lifestyle while another reported on his attempts at dating) and the juxtaposition of his grandmother's letters advising him to keep proper acquaintances and to study hard. It was interesting to get perspectives on life during those times through the jobs this man kept and the accompanying salaries, the letters he received as a reservist in the army and the graphic design of the cards and stationery he'd received. It was a wonderful read, as well as visually pleasing - all of it! - and I was sorry when I'd read the final letter in the lot. (Regrettably, I did not bid on the second lot of letters belonging to this man since I had not yet received the first lot and wasn't certain whether or not the letters would even be interesting. Sigh.)

Something to look forward to, however, is a diary that my husband purchased as one of my Christmas gifts which hasn't yet arrived. (Isn't he wonderful?!) It belonged to an Illinois housewife from 1919. I can't wait to read it! I hope there are some juicy bits. ;)

So, I think it's time for bed. J is cheering in the background. Luckily, he was able to salvage all his files and bookmarks including almost 100 scans. Something weird happened to his computer earlier today which caused it to keep shutting down.

Good night, all. Sleep tight. Talk soon. xo

Friday, January 2, 2009

Mail goodness

I just received the most amazing package today! I'll post most about it later. Just on my way out with the little person in search of a sock monkey but had to share the mail goodness with you! Hope you're having a nice day. xo

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Hello 2009 and...Welcome

There's always something so promising about the start of a new year - the possibilities around the corner, the surprises in store, the experiences to be had, the new people to meet, anticipating the arrival of tiny feet (no, not from me), the many letters to write (and receive) and the numerous things to be created. It's all very exciting and I'm ready to see what 2009 will bring.

Don't get me wrong, there were many amazing things that happened in 2008 - visiting Japan and meeting Megumi, Isshin & J's little friends, H's special birthday weekend with T, spending time in the woods with B+I+L+K, the World Washi Summit, NYC and meeting more of J's wonderful friends. (Of course, there were many other lovely things that happened which aren't being noted here such as spending time with family, being visited by old friends, feeling inspired through things I'd read or seen and of course, exploring the world through various camera lenses.) So, before ringing in the New Year, I wanted to bid a fond farewell to 2008 and share some of the highlights with you...