Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Good One!

Today I did my first (unassisted) chin up! AND I tried two 5.10bs! Yay post climbing euphoria!


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

New Arrival!

My new bed is arriving any hour now!  I have cleared (and dusted) a space for it!!!


Sunday, January 20, 2008

Another Dream

Couldn't neglect to mention another interesting dream I had last night.

You know those classic anxiety dreams about writing a test for which you've not studied or leaving for a trip when you haven't packed?  I had a great variation on that last night...

I dreamt that I was invited to play the role of Maria in a production of The Sound of Music.  I arrived at the theatre and to my surprise - it was the night of the production and a huge audience was already assembled in their seats.

Unfortunately, I had no costume (ironic given my 2007 Hallowe'en costumes!) so clearly the logical priority was to cut one haphazardly from material and pretty much wrap it around myself.  I had never met the cast, seen the script or reviewed my lines.  The organizer quickly brought me to the front and suddenly I was on the stage with several other actors.  I had no idea what part of the play we were at (clearly not the beginning of the movie - otherwise I could have unleashed my 'the hills are alive' number with reasonable ease and excellent enthusiasm.  I stood there stupidly and someone tried to feed me my line.  I just looked at everyone incredulously.  I didn't even get to any singing!

Now we get to the part I'm proud of.  Someone tried to imply that I was unprepared, didn't know my lines etc.  I fought back!  I started telling everyone off, dropping rapid fire f bombs like this:  "I'M FUCKING UNPREPARED??? ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?  WHO THE FUCK PUTS ON A PLAY WITHOUT EVER HAVING MET THE PERSON PLAYING THE FUCKING LEAD?  WHY THE FUCK HAVE WE NEVER REHEARSED?  WHAT IS THIS FUCKING AUDIENCE DOING HERE WHEN I DON'T EVEN HAVE A FUCKING COSTUME??  YOU GUYS ARE FUCKED UP!!!"

Isn't that awesome?  I let it all out.  That never happens in real life!  Yay me.


Stupid Dream People Union

So when it comes to dreaming, I've always considered myself to be a lucky duck.  Remembering dreams, vivid details, clever story lines, good sex ... etc. can't complain.  

My claim to dream fame though, has been the rare occasions when I realize WHILE dreaming that I AM dreaming, yet I don't wake up.  This tends to happen when I have gotten a lot of sleep (ie 9 hrs +) and no alarm wakes me.  In these instances, I always do one or more of three things:

1) Fly / swoop / push through walls.  I also like to 'liberate' others in my dream by telling them "This is my dream... you can fly too."  Then it turns into a big flying and swooping fest and everyone is happy.  I also push through walls and jump off really high things just to experience freedom from the usual waking constraints imposed by gravity, matter, etc.  This is cool.

2) Sex.  I walk up to some random dream person (male, female, old, young, hot, heinous - doesn't seem to matter) and say "This is my dream.  Have sex with me."  It seems to be a matter of instant gratification rather than an attempt to find the most attractive partner.

3) Smoking.  Many of you who have known me for years know I used to be an avid smoker (almost a pack a day at the beginning of university).  When I realize I'm dreaming I also like to smoke a cigarette or ten and tell bystanders "I can do this because I'm dreaming."  I remember one time I even took a lit cigarette and put it out in my hand just to bring the fact home for them.


Lately I haven't really thought much about the flying or the smoking and have gone straight for the goods - instant sexual gratification oh yeah!  This is how I was alerted to trouble.  A few weeks ago I realized I was dreaming and walked up to a random Indian man in a convenience store.  I used my usual pick-up line "This is my dream.  Let's have sex."  Dammit ... this guy would NOT do it!!!!  He didn't really give a reason and it wasn't an altercation or anything.  It just was not happening.

Upon waking reflection I became worried - was this dream proof that I am not actually in control of all the variables?  Or did those dream people get sick of being violated by me and decide to unionize?


Last night I was in the middle of a not so pleasant dream of which I can't exactly recall the plot but the stakes were high and it was rushy and scary - I was driving resources to some big factory and arrived at the factory entrance - not sure where to go or what to do.  Inside, there was a receptionist type woman off to the side at a workstation thingy surrounded by intimidating machines, dark spaces, conveyor belts etc.  All of a sudden I said to myself  "This situation I preposterous - I would never be here doing this.  Clearly, this is a dream."  The minute I had the realization I knew I was right.  I walked over to the woman at her workstation.  She was facing her computer and her back was to me.

I don't know what I intended to say or do exactly but I do know that I did NOT plan to make her have sex with me.  I think I was going to tell her it was my dream and she needn't work anymore at whatever she was doing since the whole dark scary factory was an illusion.  Well as I approached her, she turned around suddenly - Instead of a normal human face, she had the face of a robot or horror movie hockey-mask thing.  Smooth plastic with holes and a face shape.  It scared the CRAP OUT OF ME and I immediately woke up!!!


I'm seriously not amused.  I have enough trouble with real life people and problems.  I have to compromise, be reasonably considerate, think long term, "let it unfold", suck it up, make the best of things that are "not perfect"... you get it.  I don't want any freakin' hassles from these dream people.  No scaring.  No prudes.  No questions.  Just do whatever the hell I want, when and how I want it.  Fuckers.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Why not now?

I always think about writing stories / movies etc. but never do it. Then I see some clever plotch of culture like Juno or Superbad or whatever and I wish I wrote something even just for laughs. So I decided to get started. Problem is I'm at Garth's place and he has no computer so I'm using this tiny coffee table computer of Mike Reid's (called an Eee PC) - the size of a paperback. So, like, it's not that easy to type on this thing. Clearly not the right time to make a cultural plotch. Ahhh so it goes.

PS - Did you catch the part about Garth not having a computer??? This is proof positive that ANYTHING can happen.

Off to run on a hamster wheel so that I can make my meat suit stronger and less bouncy and so that I can release chemicals that make me feel good in the monkeybrain and so that I can eat more morning muesli pitabreak pitas which both the suit and the brain LOVE.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


More! More!

Good News:
I got an A in the first course of my Masters.  Yay!  I'm a permanerd.
Yesterday I met a wiener dog named Milo. 
I slept in until 10:40 am this morning without waking up.  I did not think this was possible for me anymore.
Daniel and I had our first wellness check-in of 2008. 
I saw a good movie called Sunshine.  I love science fiction.  My favourite movies involve viruses or the sun dying or something hitting it or whatever.  I'm obsessed with impending doomsday when the SHTF (Shit hits the fan)

Bad News:
I ate a Chef Boyardee product today - mini ravioli (CB = Fatbody)
My next course is 'Innovative Models for Community Development".  While I was doing the readings this afternoon my monkeybrain seriously formulated this thought (and several variations): "Why I am reading this?  I don't give a shit about developing the community.  I need to take care of myself!"  You go monkeybrain!!!  That's the spirit of survival talking! (Or maybe it was the mini ravioli talking.)
I have coughed 12 times since I started writing this.  Make that 15 times.
I have a bad feeling about everybody.
I'm not tired yet and I need need need to get up early and go into work.  That never works.


The Year of the Rat

Well a few weeks into 2008, here's the early read:

2008 - The Year of the Rat


The year of the chronic cough.
The year of Hot Body February.
The year of questionable ethics.  Sketchtastic.
The year of the big-girl bed.  (Goodbye stupid crappy futon!  My new mattress arrives on January 22nd and it is the same one the Queen sleeps on when she visits the Royal York)
The year of Narrow Closed. (vs. Wide Open*)
The year of the 5.10
The year I get prepared for when the shit hits the fan.

Bleh.  This does not look so good.  I'll have to work on it.

*Wide Open refers firstly to a local bar where I occasionally attend 2-for-1 drinks on Monday night.  Wide Open also refers to my tendency to say things that are socially inappropriate and thus make others uncomfortable.  Hence the year of Narrow Closed means not attending that bar very much (no good comes of it) and also generally applying a careful screen on what I say.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

2007: Year in Review

I got ebola-typhus strain D just before Christmas. That's why I did not share any fun or frustrated stories about Christmas shopping, Christmas events, red wine capers et cetera. I've been meaning to post my 2007 Year In Review (a big summary with reflections, life lessons, pics, links, poetry etc...) but I think procrastination and intimidation about a Year In Review are preventing me from writing anything at all. We can't have that - so here goes something.

2007 Year In Review


I lived in the Annex (Toront0 - Bloor and Bathurst hood) in a house with two roomies - Avital (there from the beginning) and Andrea (replaced Debbie in October) who also works with me at Northwater. Winter 2007 seemed to drag on forever and I got quite blue by the end of it I remember. I slipped and froze and cursed my way to subway in all kinds of weather and developed a serious disdain for winter in Toronto. When spring came, I was truly gleeful and loved walking in the neighbourhood filled with beautiful old houses and stunning gardens. I enjoyed Markham, Wells and Kendal streets as they came to life with the springtime. We added a barbeque and a patio set to the deck and really enjoyed it this spring an summer. I also tried my hand at gardening (flowers only) with some success and lots of learning. When Andrea moved in, the place got a major facelift since she had some nice furniture. 2007 didn't see much change in my own digs - I still slept on a futon surrounded by more Ikea than anyone wants to wake up to! I spent a lot of time at Garth's place (King and Bathurst) and it still proved to be the only place where I really full-body relax.


I worked at Bay and Wellington, at a small Canadian owned fund of funds. I had started there in July 2006 so I was there for the whole of 2007. Overall it was a great year - learning new skills, accomplishing goals, building relationships. I got an amazing new boss in January 2007 and started working with a great project team that was formed around the same time. These relationships have been very good and I don't forget for a second how important they are for overall job wellbeing. My 'honeymoon' with this company has not ended. Their culture and values are a great fit for me and I'm stoked about learning and doing even more. 2007 specifically included the Blueprinting systems conversion project, several process improvement projects and a big focus on collaboration tools. I learned a lot about MOSS 2007 and I see this tool as a huge complement to my Six Sigma / process improvement knowledge. In February 2007 I visited the Cayman Islands with two coworkers. In May 2007 I visited our New York office for the first time. One last thing - I got a 'promotion' to be a co-head (we do that) of our Business Process Optimization area of IT in 2007! Yay!


I made huge leaps in this area! In January 2007 I took a course at Ryerson in video production. It facilitated the purchase of my first camera and the creation of my first few film projects. (A montage between breastfeeding and the ocean, a narrated story about Dee-Dee, and a documentary about sexuality of women.) In September 2007 I started a Master of Education in Adult Education and Community Development at OISE University of Toronto. Looking through the courses, my heart raced with excitement - there were so many things I was interested in (a stark contrast from my undergrad in Business Administration.) I completed my first course in Organizational Democracy and absolutely loved it. It was a very cool course and the instructor was a knowledgeable, chilled, insightful British woman whom I found very interesting and effective. My first paper was on the impact of collaboration tools on organizational structure and power. As you can see, I had great crossover between work and school which felt great. Everything I learned could be immediately discussed and applied in a work environment that is so open to new thinking. I am a big ideas person and I love to surround myself with creative people who are building something. Specifically, ideas that were big for me in 2007 were:
  • Collaboration - social networks, collaboration tools, group dynamics, processes that facilitate innovation.
  • Innovative ways to connect corporations and communities.
  • Social investment, 'the social economy' and a lot of big picture thinking about how the world needs new models for choosing how we use our resources. The same way the medical profession is shifting from a sickness to a wellness model, we need to shift our spending to get in front of the drivers of environmental and social problems.
  • Community/cultural development through the arts (ie film, narrative, poetry, fine arts)
  • Wellness - the wheel was still big for me as a mental model and an approach to continuous improvement in my own life
  • Different models for social interaction - I noticed many of my discussions surrounded different approaches to community, relationships, having and raising children. Lots of questioning of marriage, the nuclear family etc. I think I'm ready to start a cult in 2008!
  • Astronomy and physics came into the picture a bit and I seem to have cultivated this big picture lens where I look a lot at us humans like I'm sitting in an observatory above the planet. While I feel the richness of my own human experience (instincts, emotions, ego, intellect, spirit) yet I did some pretty big picture reflecting in 2007 and felt myself in this space and time as a tiny, insignificant speck on infinity. Cool!


Audrey and Hector were both fairly healthy in 2007 although my mum had a horrible bug that lasted several months and her back went out about three times. As my parents approach their seventies their age is constantly apparent. My mum is obese, immobile and very unhealthy and I worry a lot about the future. In 2007 I got her a membership to Curves which she has really enjoyed. When she is not sick and her back is not out, she goes three times a week. Still, it doesn't seem to be getting her there in terms of improvement / weight loss. My dad retired in 2006 so he was off all of 2007. He participated in many activities - cards, bowling, Qi Gong etc.) The big turmoil for our little family was when Winston started limping. The vet indicated that the ligament in his knee was damaged. We restricted his jumping and he has improved a lot but it was extremely stressful for about a month as we thought he may need to be put to sleep. He now doesn't limp but it is hard on my family because my dad has to carry him up / down / out and my mom has not been able to do it because of her poor health. My cousin Carl moved with his family to the Yukon. It was hard on my aunt since it was also the year my cousin had a baby (her first grandchild) named Isaac. Over Christmas, it was nice to spend time with Garth's family who adopted me years ago!


2007 was pretty exciting for travel:

  • New York: (I love New York!) First was our 30th birthday girls trip with Heather, Shawna and Melanie. I then went for work (visit to the New York office) and my friend Jennifer's bachelorette party in Spring 2007. I liked it so much I decided to visit again in October to see my friend Mic who lives with roommate Anthony in the East Village. In November I went a fourth time to cheer on Gillian in the NYC Marathon. I learned a lot about New York (one of my 2007 goals) and also got to keep up great friendships with Gillian, Mic, Anthony and Chetan.
  • Cayman: In February 2007 I visited Cayman with Benita and Shauna from work for a process improvement project with an administrator. I really enjoyed it professionally and therapeutically - I had a horrible sinus cold and the minute I breathed in the humid ocean air I felt better. I visited Stingray City and got to feed squid to tame stingrays. Our guide on Captain Marvin's boat had a 'girlfriend' stingray named Emily who followed him around and gave him kisses. I also got a grown-up watch while on Cayman which is sporty yet has some fun bling. I love it!
  • San Diego: My friend Laurie and I met for a warm vacation in San Diego, CA in March 2007. I was dying for sun and to catch up with my dear friend who now lives in Oregon. We had a great time together - first we stayed at a famous hotel called the Del Coronado (in Coronado) where I really enjoyed morning yoga on the beach with soldiers from the military beach running by. Then we headed to La Valencia hotel in La Jolla. This was my absolute favourite and I would highly recommend a visit.
  • San Francisco: In August I returned to the Bay Area for my friend Jennifer's wedding to David in Atherton (close to Palo Alto) and got to see many old friends from my time at GE in San Rafael. I stayed with my new friend Mic whom I had met during Jennifer's bachelorette party. We had a great time together and the wedding was lovely. I wrote a blog about it but didn't yet publish it. I'm thinking of doing it for their one year anniversary at this rate! My friend Maya also took me over the bridge into SF where I got to stomp around Fillmore Street, go to the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf and even pop my head into Godzila Sushi.

Arts and Creativity

I mentioned above that in 2007 my aspirations around film became reality - I took a course, bought a camera and dove in! My first projects, though poorly done technically, were journeys in writing, casting, filming, editing... and involved many friends and coworkers. Very fun, funny and enriching for all involved. In October 2007 I bought a Mac Book Pro and some serious software - Final Cut Studio. (Richy!) I was really inspired by Mic's roommate Anthony and his Greatest Living Writers Project. I'm sad to report that I haven't used the stuff yet - but it is coming.

I have an interest in crafts with cloth on canvas. In 2007, I bought fabrics from Queen West, several canvases, fabric scissors, glue, brushes for the glue... And then I put them in a box cuz it was summer! I'm happy about the progress here since it has been on my mind ever since I bought this cool piece from an art show in 2005.

My Hallowe'en costume this year was a truly creative endeavor. I was Maria Von Trapp and did four costume changes - The postulant, the fraulein, the bride and naughty nun Maria after dark. The pictures taken at the Hallowe'en party with the actual movie playing behind me will transform into some creative project (or blackmail material when I go into politics!).

I completed some poetry as part of a charity auction. While the offering of poems started out as a joke, they turned out well and were more significant than I thought they would be: The first was a poem for a book that was commissioned as part of a 50th birthday tribute for a fairly famous (in Toronto) Jewish business person. The second was a haiku based poem for a couple recently married. Funny to write haiku about people you don't know and an event you did not attend. I felt like I knew them by the end! Finally I made an 'epic' poem to be given as a birthday present to a daughter of one of my coworkers. The poem was written to complement some art (6 pictures) that had children, fairies, forests etc.


I continued volunteer facilitation of a youth program at FoodShare in Toronto. In total, Daniel and I ran the program (developed when I did the wellness certificate at Centennial) three times. I helped by facilitating several workshops and organizing subject matter experts in communication, career and financial planning. Anne (a Toronto Finance professor) and I had so much fun with the financial workshops that we ran them for another charitable organization with great success. These 2007 experiences in community development largely inspired my statement of purpose in my masters application.

Physical / Athletics

Well let's not put it off any longer... 2007 was the year I met climbing! Woo hoo! What a great year for physical development. Climbing is that, and so much more. I view myself as strong now. I have experienced for the first time, that rush of getting better at something, feeling strong, and having a reason to exercise. Climbing trumps eating, drinking, sleeping (f$&!ing)! For anyone who knows about my body image issues of the past - this transformation is not insignficant. I also found 2007 was not so focused on scales and calories - what a blessing to lift that pressure and focus more on what I want to do with my body! Since I blog about this all the time, I don't think I need to say much more! Climbing = happy. A lot of this started with my fixation on doing a one-armed push-up like GI Jane! Now I can at least do a male push-up and I can do a plank for 1 minute. This is hard! In late 2007 I also started to run around the track at the U of T Athletic Centre. This one is harder to keep up, especially when I hate hauling my ass around in winter. Cardio took second fiddle in 2007.

Friends / Social

I spent my time with some great people:

  • Garth and his people
  • Harry (working together, climbing together... good year)
  • Daniel (huge blessing in 2007 - as "wellness buddy" and fab friend)
  • Heather, Shawna, Mel - we've come a long way and I'm proud of us!!! Ava was born in June 2006 so she was hanging with the girls all year 2007
  • Avital and Andrea - great roomies!

There are some friends (Chantelle, Jen, Maya...) that I didn't keep in great touch with in 2007 but I hope to get back in a groove in 2008.

Anyway, I'm off to brunch with HP, Elizabeth and Andrea... yum!

Happy New Year 2008!