Saturday, September 22, 2007

The best day ever

What a great day! Sure, Saturdays are almost always good but today, TODAY was outstanding:

7:30 am - Anne arrives and helps me to create and even start implementing my financial plan. I have been procrastinating on this for years! Finally, I'm almost sorted thanks to Anne's most excellent help.

9:30 am - We take a break to do brunch at Grapefruit Moon. I tried a new dish - Huevos Rancheros...yum! My friend Julia was working - another perk.

11 am - Back to the plan says Anne. I received my action items and after Anne left, I headed to the CIBC to sort out more bleh banking stuff on my quest to have my investments in order.

Insert enjoyable miscellany - goofing off on computer, chatting with Avital (I got a sneak peak at the act she is preparing for Nuit Blanche), laundry and bed-making, such et such.

3:30 pm - Meet Garth at the Wheat Sheaf for a nice afternoon beverage.

4 pm - Climbing with Tasha. OK this is actually a post about a freakin' awesome climbing day disguised as a post about lots of things. So today I redid the bitchy purple 5.7 to see if was easier. It was actually still hard, but I made it. Tasha did too - and that was her big goal for today. Yay Tasha! Then there was a yellow 5.9 just beside it with very small grips. I decided to try it out, never thinking it was in the realm of the doable for today, and woo hoo I made to the top! This is not to say I was very graceful... but damn I made it! (Climbing difficulty ranges from 5.4 to 5.12 at my gym so 5.9 is getting there) Incidentally, both the 5.7 and the 5.9 I did today were climbs that Harry could not finish last week. I know it won't last long since Harry is just starting out, but I'm still savouring it for a moment right now! FYI I have wounded a muscle in my ass but I'm sure I will survive!

7 pm - Meet Daniel and Terri to go to Jewish New Year dinner at Daniel's parents', Alan and Jinks. I did not fast today (since I was climbing) but I think I will next year. I want to experience that moment of food and drink after the fast. I met even more of Daniel's family and enjoyed a delicious 'fast break' after sun down. (sidenote: Is this where the word 'breakfast' comes from? You are techinically breaking a fast from the night I suppose.) There were unending sweet and savoury dishes including babka - my favourite dessert of the evening, and herring in sour cream which I really enjoyed. I also tried fresh figs for the first time and loved them. Daniel's family and family friends were all so friendly and interesting, and what a small world - a woman from my office arrived for the celebration! Shana Tova!

12 pm - Arrive home and finish this very blog update. I also checked Facebook and realized I've been invited to a Pie Throwing party tomorrow at 5 pm! Crazy! How can I resist?

12:15 pm - Fall asleep while trying to finish a chapter of 'The Glass Castle' by Jeannette Walls.

Goodnight. If my dreams are good I will blog them tomorrow. ;) If you frowned upon my flip-flop between present and past tense, just know it was intentional and likely won't be repeated.

Friday, September 21, 2007

The most wonderful time of the year

I am seriously getting a racing heart from excitement over the coming festivities. Here are some of the pics that got me going. This was the first annual Hallowe'en partay Harry and I co-hosted back in 2005. If you:
  • Reside in another city, especially a far one

  • Are off traveling to gain worldly experiences

  • Are antisocial

  • Don't like either me or Harry

  • Have done something to make either me or Harry not like you

Then you will be sorely missing out! Last year we had a fire thrower performer guy and this year it gets even better. Some of our decor from last year was so cool that Harry left it up all year! Our partay is Friday, October 26th for all who can attend...

Sidenote: The name of the sheep in Harry's costume was Princess. She took a lot of abuse that night. In fact let's just say she did not make to Hallowe'en 2006. We imagined taking her back to the store and trying to return her by saying "You sold us a bleeder!"

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Good Climbs

OK so I'm really sorry but all I want to say anything about is climbing! I choose not to order my thoughts and I choose to use bullet points.

  • I climbed yesterday with Harry and Darren (Bodhi) too. Followed up today with Tasha. Twice in a row although very taxing has been VERY fruitful in terms of improvements.
  • Arggh. Too much to say. Too tired to type.
  • Major breakthroughs: I'm climbing 5.7s now and can make it up the 60 foot climbs (These are pretty freakin' long climbs. Sweaty.) I made it up the first one yesterday with Harry - yay!
  • There's this one purple bitch of a climb with really bitchy little grips. Tasha and I feel that it is the hardest 5.7. Yesterday in front of Darren I toiled pathetically. It was poor. I trash talked myself a lot: Denise get your freakin' right leg up and STAND! You are in front of Darren and Harry!! Fucking do it. DO IT now. STAND! But I couldn't do it yesterday. Today Tasha tried it and she could not do it yet. THEN! Then I tried it again tonight and YAAAAYYY... I did it! I stood. Quite easily too. And I felt it in my ass and legs. (This is a good sign.)
  • After the above I did a 60 foot 5.7 - faster than ever with far less resting/thinking. (I'm a big rester/thinker usually.)
  • Darren is the perfect Bodhi. I love his climbing. He has such grace and flow. You have to see Darren climb. :)
  • Every time I go I make new friends. They are really nice people, these climber people. Soon I'll have a posse to climb with every night if I wish. And I could see it going that way. Addiction alert. Today I was fantasizing about not having a job and how much fun it would be to climb every day.
  • I'm so getting hot body. Look out.
  • The guys who work there are kinda too cool, y'know? But tonight Daniel (my original instructor) was super nice to me. He said anytime I come he will belay me. Can you believe it? Even Jamie aka 'king of the assholes' is nicer. I think since I brought Harry. He was impressed with that Harry. Hmmmph.
  • This is the first time I've been into something physical. I always had to drag myself to the gym. With climbing I think about it and get excited!!
  • I'm changing!!!



Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Dirty Pirate Talk...

So today is officially Talk Like A Pirate Day! Since it is after hours, I thought this would be a good time to school you on some little known pirate terms that I found on the ol' urban dictionary...

Pirate Fuck or similarly Pirate Eye


OK I'm too tired to go to sleep right now and posting this sort of crap seems like a great idea. I laughed quite hard at the example sentence for 'Skullfuck'.

I'm really into pirates lately. Pirates and stars!!!


Sunday, September 16, 2007

Tasha Rocks

I went climbing with my new friend Tasha yesterday. She freakin' rocks as a climbing partner. I realized that for me at least, the belayer affects the climber's climb. She was helpful, motivating, funny... and I knew that whenever I made a monkey move she was watching so she would immediately tighten me up. (I like a tight belay.) Then the ride down was slow and smooth. I could tell that she was treating my life as a precious commodity.

Mary (first ever climbing buddy) is a great like this too. Did you know she would get a sore hand from holding on so tightly to the lifeline? She has been on vacation and sick so we haven't climbed in a few weeks. She will be astounded with my progress for real.

Now I've gotten to the top of several 5.7s and have gained so much confidence and agility. My climbing speed is probably the most noteworthy improvement - I used to deliberate ad nauseum and could not prompt myself forward if I didn't know what I was getting into. ie I was afraid to reach for something unknown, afraid to stand in a space where both hands and both feet were not securely gripping or planted. Now I just freakin' stand up and if it turns out there is nothing good to grab, I sit back down... but in a higher space.

I'm sure there are lessons for life here but I'm opting for brunch with Daniel.


PS Please stop what you are doing and come climbing with me. I am addicted and need to share my addiction with YOU.

TIFF comes to a close

TIFF is finished for another year. I'm really happy with this year's experience and Heather is largely to thank. She has exceptional RAM and I joked recently: Others have IMDB, I have Heather! We were both happy with the selection of movies: The only one we weren't too jazzed about was The Stone Angel.

Below is my rack-and-stack: The first two were clear favourites. The seventh was the clear loser. All the others were really enjoyable and it was hard to rack-and-stack them. How do you compare a foreign hermaphrodite movie with an exciting cars-exploding law firm drama? I would recommend that you watch 1 through 7 when you get the chance.

For specific plot summaries, see my links here. Below are just thoughts and ramblings...

1. Rendition - Great film that was hard to watch (as it should be given the subject matter). This gets number 1 because it will raise social consciousness and may make a difference to something important. It is this potential that makes film truly exciting for me.

2. Juno - So freakin' clever. The writing was amazing and the laughs felt as natural as breathing while watching this movie. Great music too. See this!!! I will say that the writing was a bit Dawson's Creek. You know, where the characters, although teenagers or nail technicians, are somehow more clever and emotionally intelligent than you or anyone you know... Well I loved Dawson's Creek. Again - see this!!

3. The Jane Austen Book Club - Girl movie of the year! This film really hits the spot emotionally. Whoever wrote it gets it when it comes to what motivates people and how real life happens. Given the plot, it could have been so horribly bad, but the writing, acting and directing made it work. I empathized with characters - wounder and woundee alike!

4. Breakfast with Scot - Pretty much ties with number 3. Great premise and characters. Funny and touching. Breaks downs barriers on several different fronts.

5. XXY - Foreign hermaphrodite movie. The heroine was powerful - owning the seaside in her rubber boots. In some scenes, the dialogue left us missing something. Plot or character development issues. Ie if someone is depicted as an asshole but you have never seem him do anything asshole-like, and then later he does something REALLY assholey... the audience can get confused.

6. Michael Clayton - George Clooney clooning. He is the hero. He avoids the car bombs. He uncovers the stuff the bad guys are covering. The main female character's humanity (weakness, insecurity, inexperience) is fully revealed while the hero, although facing several personal challenges cloons on behind an emotional veil. Still very good. I love when people take a stand. The audience loved this too - we all cheered at certain times. Coolio when a film gets you fired up.

7. Then She Found Me - Colin Firth was supercute and the years have not been kind to Helen Hunt. (So damn unfair!) Again, this movie was reality based which I loved. Whoever wrote it understood the imperfection of the humans. Several plot turns had the audience shocked and dismayed while I thought to myself - Are you all REALLY shocked? This is how life is when you're not in a movie. Not for the faint of heart. I ranked it low and I don't know why. It was a tempo issue. Like I couldn't pick up the beat or something. In this case the plot and writing were great so I blame the directing ...

8. The Stone Angel - Bleh. Two people who saw this said how the main character is not very likeable. Good acting but with a huge tempo issue. It just didn't pull me in on any front. Flat as the Canadian prairies of Margaret Laurence's storytelling.

So there you have it. This September has been such a sparkler for me. I know September is built to be amazing but this year has been over the top. October promises to be equally exciting! Stay tuned.

Friday, September 14, 2007


I work at Northwater - a privately owned Canadian investment management firm of about 100 people. We are located on the top (47th Floor) of the Bay-Wellington tower of Brookfield Place (formerly BCE Place).

It gets quiet up here at 8:59 pm on a Friday night. In fact, with the exception of the cleaner who just mopped in, I'm all alone. There is a stunning 360 degree view of Toronto and the lake. I know Toronto is a-buzz but from here it seems peaceful and still. Tonight I got into the zone with something I'm working on - don't you love that feeling? Actual unfettered (well minimally fettered I suppose) productivity.

  • This week someone said 'Thanks you really lifted me up!' and someone else said 'Thanks for the feedback! You've made my day!'. I've decided that given the whole monkeybrain, meat suit random arbitrarity (arbitrocity?) of it all, being a good person day to day and making the whole mill-about better for everybody milling about in your space is a big deal. What else is there at the end of the day? (Some love that expression, some hate it, I know)
  • It got dark really early and it was a bit rainy too. Garth and I were saying how it feels like summer has left us. Yes, September and October are my favourites with so much excitement, but there is some sadness that tags along. I'm feeling it now. I am going to some artist party with Andrea, her sister and friends... but I really feel like being cozy and staying in. Must not! Must adventure like crazy art pirate...
  • Jenny's baby. It's a boy! She told me this week that the ultrasound person said 'Your son is holding his penis right now.' Nice. Isn't it funny that while still in the mom's belly, the tiny human is fiddling with THAT part of the meat suit? It's fun! If I had one I'd be fiddling with it right now too.
  • I had my orientation at OISE this week. Right. Well I'm going to suspend judgement and let it unfold. I will say that the program chair, Marilyn Laiken seems amazing. Her kindness, warmth, wisdom and general wonderful energy are encouraging and inspiring.
  • Went climbing with Neil and his friend from university. She can already do a one-armed push-up (actually four with each arm!)!!! Sidebar: I made a bet that I will be able to do this by Aug 1st 2008. If I do this AND shave my head like GI Jane, I will receive quite a bit of cash from coworkers. If you would like to witness this event, I'll forward you the sign-up sheet. ;) (If you're wondering - no, I'm not kidding! There is a signup sheet.)

Well now it is 9:30 pm and I ate bran buds for dinner while blogging. Big weekend coming up... Last film of the festival, climbing, brunch, shopping engagement... hope you have a good one too!


Saturday, September 08, 2007

Everybody wants something...

...they'll never give up.
Everybody wants something, they'll take your money and never give up.
Everybody face up to the facts as they are,
Dedication is hard but, you'll be somebody and you will go far.
Everybody wants something, they'll never give up.
Everybody wants something, they'll take your money and never give up.

- The Zit Remedy

Well it is TIFF time in Toronto and I'm lovin' it up. Yesterday Elizabeth and I scouted the red carpet at Queen and John for a short time to get in the spirit. My celebrity money shot? A dose of nostalgia... check out the then and now... (then above, now below) I don't know his name on the show or in real life but even a quick google would cost seconds of my life I'll never get back.

Today Heather, Prachi and I saw Rendition as planned. This film was starful: Reese Witherspoon, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Meryl Streep did a fine job. The director, Gavin Hood, was not there for Q&A because his pregnant wife (twins) went into labour. (Well actually she is American so maybe she went into 'labor'.) This was a surprise since she is not due until the end of September. He said to tell us the only thing that would keep him from the 'birth' of this film was the birth of his children.

As we left the theatre and began to cross the street, a car slowed. We thought these were visitors asking for directions. Instead a woman said 'We have tickets to the next film and can't go... Can you use them?' Of course we can and thanks again universe.

The film was Michael Clayton with George Clooney. Now I am missing some chemical in my female monkeybrain because for some reason I don't like George Clooney. Like at all. Oh well. The movie was very good - although not nearly as high on our list as Rendition. This movie seemed more of a pleaser for guys. Such a hero that Michael Clayton was - and don't get me started on the weakness of the female characters. Heather and I both really enjoyed the performance of Tom Wilkinson. Check him out as Arthur.

When the film ended I again tried to head home and was again diverted. This time there was some excitement over a red carpet. The next film, Battle in Seattle, was coming up and several stars were arriving. I decided to snap some pics. It was pretty calm except for when Charlize Theron was walking the carpet. We're talking about grown men everywhere running, snapping, pleading: 'Charlize...CHARLIZE...Can I have your autograph???!!!' I nearly got scared for my John Fluevogs for a moment! As you'll see below, I snapped Charlize, her boyfriend and the director of the film, Stuart Townsend, Woody Harrelson, and Andre Benjamin. Well stay tuned for more fun... Tomorrow has two more films and who knows what adventures.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The Meaning of Life

This is the first of many in my new monkeybrain series. Philosophers enjoy. This is fucked up.

So at the heart of it all is energy. We've all got a piece of that action. Then we've got this monkeybrain which we don't fully know how to operate. We are further limited in our (in)ability to perceive dimensions. We get three of them plus time (unless there are any ants or bees reading my blog). Time is a partial. Meaning we can see it when we're in it and after it has passed but not when it's still ahead of us.

Then there is the meat suit. We carry the energy and the monkeybrain around in the meat suit.

We all (billions of us!) live on a big round rock with a bunch of other creatures that have energy, monkeybrains and meat suits. Some of them we eat. Yum.

We know about some other stuff way out there... stars, planets, our universe (expanding at an increasing rate!!!), other universes... stars, matter, anti-matter, dark matter... (This can overload the monkeybrain so be careful here.)

Each night we sleep to build and rebuild the meat suit and the monkeybrain gets all charged up with energy so we dream. Then we wake up and do the mill-about:
  • The monkey brain perceives what's what and gives/receives signals to/from environment and the meat suit. It's all about the chemicals. Happy, sad, excited, curious, impatient, driven, lonely... all chemicals in the monkeybrain. We seek out situations that give us good chemicals and avoid situations that give us bad chemicals.
  • We primp, preen, stuff and fluff the meat suit and buy things to cover it and decorate it. Cute shoes. I love what you've done with your hair!
  • Most of us are professionally employed, so we generally sit around and use the monkeybrain for stuff of little to moderate consequence: The left brain sequences and the right brain looks at the big picture and puts it together.
  • We are designed to enjoy (ie gooooood chemicals in the monkeybrain) joining certain parts of our meat suit with certain parts of other meat suits. We think an awful lot about rubbing up parts. Can't help it! They fit so perfectly and this is, of course, how we keep the whole game going.
  • We like to spend time with humans who give us good chemicals. This usually means that they have a meat suit we like or that their monkeybrain works a lot like ours. This is comforting.
  • When we really like another human we enter an agreement. It says: I really like your mb and ms and energy. I promise to help you feed your ms, and to give you good chemicals in your mb. I also promise to never rub my ms up against anyones except yours!
  • All the rubbing creates new humans and we are designed to like them even though they look and act like science experiments gone bad and are a ton of work to grow to full size. It's worth it! They are smooth and new and we like it. Just about as much as we dislike wrinkled and old.
  • We all play along and keep the whole game going... but somehow those damn chemicals are never quite right. We just keep trying for the good ones! Even people with beautiful meat suits who can rub them against anyone they want can't get that monkeybrain any peace. (ie Owen Wilson)... We make and break agreements with other humans. We travel all around in our meat suits. Some of us even try to get at the energy part. What is it???

The biggest joke is that there isn't a human among us who knows wtf we are supposed to be doing here!!! We feed the meat suit, do the rub, make more of us, use the monkeybrain (hoping yours doesn't go on the fritz like mine did!) and seek out the good chemicals. We aren't sure what exactly is left when you strip away the chemicals, the monkeybrain and the meat suit.

Yet somehow deep down we feel the energy. We know we are connected to every other bit of energy and to something big. We just freakin' know it.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Colin Firth I Am Ready!

Well this year I am doing it right. Thanks to my friend Heather's coaching, I have managed to stay on top of all the deadlines, lotteries, queues, firstborn signaways etc. and now have tickets to seven films in TIFF. Here's where I'll be (when I'm not stalking Colin Firth):

Sat 8-Sep

Sun 9-Sep

Breakfast with Scot
Sun 9-Sep

The Jane Austen Book Club
Mon 10-Sep

Mon 10-Sep

The Stone Angel
Wed 12-Sep

Then She Found Me
Sat 15-Sep

I will add my comments / reviews after the fact. Bye!


PS These fims seem very vanilla when I look at them now. I blame Heather as she does not like to see foreign films on account of the subtitles. And because she is the only other person to blame besides myself.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Happy New Year

OK so I am finally removing 387 pictures from my digital camera. Foldering, naming, remembering, forgetting, rotating, cringing, deleting, such-and-suching. This is all part of the D New Year. For me, September and October are the months of renewal and starting fresh. I love the rustling, the crispness, back-to-school, Hallowe'en, Oktoberfest and of course Thanksgiving (such a great holiday). So, I'm organizing and getting stoked for the year to come by for starters, organizing photos! Being as self-obsessed and captivated with my own countenance as the next guy, I have been known to take some pictures of myself. Thought I would share. Now if you are tempted to comment that you do NOT do this or you HATE pictures of yourself, then just stop and let me believe it is normal:

This was taken at MJ's wedding in June 2007. I really like it. The lighting was good and the curtain was wispy:

This one is disturbing yet artsy. Just taken on Saturday morning (September 1st, 2007) to capture the birth of September, one of my favourite months. September 1st evening turned out quite strange and unsettling so maybe this photo was foreshadowing:

Finally, the ethereal. (Also part of the September 1st look-ahead...) Looking forward to a sparkling, learning, doing, journey of a year:

I have some longer blogs-in-process (including the wedding blog - hold your horses Jennifer! It's coming...). This is just eye candy...of me... for me.

A few years back I read an article about a study of apes who, like crazy humans, enjoy looking at pictures of each other. In fact, they were willing to trade in bananas for pictures of the most popular apes in the group. They didn't want to view photos of the less popular apes as much. I can't find the article now so you'll have to trust me.

Which photo (if any) would you trade tasty bananas for?


Added 9/16: Needing to add a little note to myself about how freakin' exciting and amazing Sept 1st turned out to be. What an amazing gift - to be alive and groovin' out in this exact moment and space in time. YAY!!! A champagne supernova all for me :)

Geared Up

On Friday (August 31st) I purchased my shoes and harness for climbing. The shoes, like most things in life, represent a balance. In this case the tension lies between choosing a size that is marginally comfortable and buying them as teeny tiny small as possible so you can create a solid platform for standing on beer bottle caps and such and such. (Experienced climbers brag like this: "I wear a size 13 and my climbing shoes are a 9!" This is too much pain and disfigurement for me.) I initially bought my shoes too large (common error - been buying shoes for walking all my life...) and then immediately course corrected, returned them and bought the right size.

The hard cores who work there approved and the woman even said they were cute. YES!!! Cute climbing shoes! Take a look at my fancay new purchases:

I went to the gym to try them out but Garth would not attend and Darren/Bodhi was not there either so I was out of luck.... or was I? I was so stoked to try my stuff that after watching amazing sprite climbers for a while I found these newerbie (meaning even more newbie than me!) women who only had three in their partay and literally forced one of them to be my climbing partner. She was spent and was thus content (accidently typed 'cuntent' first. lol.) to belay me. YES! I made some more breakthroughs, made a butt of myself in various ways I shall not describe and then finally met Garth at Riff-Raff's.

Good freakin' times.