Canadian Down Under

Thursday, June 30, 2005


I love rollercoasters - but unfortunately I haven't been on any in a while. But this morning I found a pretty fab substitute.

Now, I've talked about the Manly ferry that I take to work everyday - but I've never really mentioned the Jet Cat before. I love the ferry rides, but they are half an hour long whereas the Jet Cat is only a 15 minute ride - so although I've never really enjoyed the Jet Cat (can't sit outside...) as much, the last little while that extra 15 minutes of sleep has been worth the extra $2 per trip. (I try to be fiscally responsible, but it just doesn't work...)

And you know, although I say I've never been a real fan of the Jet Cat, I have actually enjoyed a few trips over the last couple of weeks. Why? you may ask. Well with the winter weather moving in, the strong ocean swells have made for some pretty good trips.

Last week I was a little late heading in for work and ended up on a Jet Cat that was jampacked with school kids - probably 8-10 year olds. Teachers were with them and they were pretty well behaved (read: quiet) until the skipper came over the PA system announcing that we were about to go through some big swells and that everyone was required to stay seated for the duration of the journey. A ripple of excitement seem to run through the school kids - which was in direct contrast to jaded nonchalance of us regular commuters.

As we went past the heads (where the ocean entry to the Harbour is, and where the ocean swells are at their strongest) it turned into a pretty rough ride. It felt like the waves were just tossing the catamaran Jet Cat we were on at will. Us regular commuters remained pretty much unaffected - some even continuing to drink their coffees and read their papers through it all, that was until the kids started screaming.

Now they weren't 'bad' screams - more like squeals of excitement. You know the sound kids make on amusement park rides? Kind of like that.

And the best part of it all? Looking up in reaction to the noise, I noticed that all us jaded commuters had smiles on our faces. Smiles of enjoyment. It seems the kids' very vocal response to the ride somehow allowed us to express our own enjoyment - even if a bit more muted.....

So, on that day, the Jet Cat started to win me over - and today, it completely won me over. Today was another stormy, rocky day on the water and coming home on the Jet Cat it was 'up and down' through the swells. I was watching out the window and I saw this big wave coming and I just thought: this is going to be a good one. "

I braced for it.

It hit us.

It rocked the boat and we came down the other side like you would from the top of a rollercoaster. From the mid-air suspended feeling at the top to the hurtling downward ride it was amazing. Made me laugh out loud like all rollercoasters do (I don't scream, I laugh - which is probably why I love them so much!) Even the guy in front of me was laughing.

Here's hoping for more stormy weather!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Reason to be Thankful I'm Single

Now normally I do lists - but not this time. Just read the post entitled "Would You " by Angry Little Lady , a Canuck living in the States.

Talk about taking the whole ebay thing a little too far!!

Yeah me!!!!!!

Can't tell you what it's all about yet - will on Friday - but in the meantime:

Yeah me!!!!

Monday, June 27, 2005

The Rules

You know - I really hate that book. ( Click here for an entire website devoted to this crap...)

The first time I ever heard of it, I was given it as a present when I'd gotten dumped. Not just your regular dumping either - dumped so bad I had trouble getting out of bed in the morning, trouble looking myself in the eye in the mirror kind of dumped. (I may be exaggerating a little, but only a little...) Not really the ideal gift - and not as funny as my friend thought it might be.

What's brought this up all of a sudden? Well, two things:

  1. A fellow Canuck mentioned it on her website. And
  2. A man. Or more specifically, what to do about a man.
Now, if I remember the book correctly, it basically it gives you a list of rules to live by in order to entrap/snare/marry (choose whichever verb best suits...) a man. The whole premise is offensive to me, yet.... all my friends are now married and I'm still single, so it's got me thinking... maybe I should give the book more than a passing glance...

And then I shake my head and say no I can't. But what I do need is advice. I think my problem is I'm too honest and don't play games. Kind of rules out dating...... or successful dating.

So what am I going on about? Well, let's see. (Should I tell or should I not??) The long and short of it is, there's this guy whom I met a little while ago. He lives far away, but we've been communicating via email. Seems that when I make my trip back home in August, he wants to come see me - which is cool, but that's not the problem. It's the email thing that's bugging me.

Now when he got back he emailed right away - seemed almost the moment he got off the plane. A few days later he emailed again and we emailed back and forth. The conversations themselves are good - it's the whole timing thing. He always takes a day or two to answer, but my style with email is when I get a message I answer right away. I think that may be sending the wrong message. I've started to wait a day or so before answering on the advice of a friend (she said answering right away made me seem desperate - but isn't it just polite??) even if does makes me mental (I really do think its rude).

But now I'm confused. It took him just about a week to write me last time. Now - he's an adult and has lots of stuff on - like work, recovery from shoulder surgery and sport teams commitments. I have no problem with that - he still seems keen enough in his messages and he's still planning on coming to visit. But now what? Should I wait a week before writing back? Should I just do what's normal for me? or what?

Should I read "The Rules" and do what they tell me?

Or should I just get a life and find something far more important to worry about....

Sigh.... Being single is not all its cracked up to be....

Sunday, June 26, 2005

I've done it

I've finally saved all my CD's to my laptop! I started last weekend - tried to do them all in the one day, but discovered I had far more than I thought....- so have been saving a few each evening when home and spent the current rainy weekend saving the rest.

I was inspired to do this after my friend from TO came out for a visit and showed me how her mp3 player works. Seems like the perfect thing for my commuting listening needs - but even more importantly - how cool would it be to have a small little thing like an mp3 player on the long flight home this August? No need for those bulky CD cases in my carry-on luggage (and for me they are bulky because I can never decide ahead of time what CD's I might like to listen to... or how many I might like to listen to - and then there's always the problem that I'll have a favourite song on one CD - but not like the rest of the songs on the CD so I'll waste a whole CD slot for just one song.... )

Yes, I'm neurotic, but music is the one thing I can't travel without. In every other aspect I can travel light - I don't usually pack too many clothes, I only have the most basic of toiletries (soap, shampoo, conditioner and toothbrush and toothpaste - I only ever wear eyeliner, mascara and the occasional lipstick (3 pieces of cosmetics at most!!) and that's only when in full makeup mode...) and a pair of sandals and a pair of running shoes usually does me. But music? Well - it's generally the 'as much as I can carry' rule.

mp3 player sounds perfect for me doesn't it? Yup, I agree. Only one problem... it's technology. And new (at least for me!) technology at that. I had enough problems with buying a computer - and I had actually used one of those before!!

So anyway, I've been on line and kind of found out some information. I even went to an electronics store to check out they're offerings, but I left without making any headway into a making a purchase.

There's too many options. I saw one for $70, a mini iPod for $300 and a Creative zen (I think that was the name...) for $400. I like the Creative one best - just for looks - but I don't think that's the right kind of reasoning when purchasing technology (mind you - it seems to have worked on my laptop...)

What's a good price? What should I be buying?

Why does this seem so hard?

Am I the only techno-phobe out there?? (maybe cyber-space isn't the right place to be asking that question..)

Sigh. I suppose I'll just have to go put myself into the hands of some techie salesperson and hope for the best.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Air India

I try to keep up with what's going on back home on a fairly regular basis. One of the key news items in the last week is the commemorative events happening regarding Air India's crash and the resulting death of hundreds of Canadians. While reading, I came across this article which brought it all back. Although this article deals mostly with a critique of the Canadian government and its perceived inaction (of which I will not express an opinion on here) it is written about an Indian family that perished in the crash, by the best friend of the eldest boy, Sanjay.

Now, Sanjay was a few years older than me - my brother knew him quite well - but was not someone I knew very well myself. However, his sister Surekha was a different story, she was a friend of mine.

In public school (kindergarten to Grade 6) there were the four of us: Michelle, Jenny, Surekha and myself. Michelle and I were best friends in the foursome while Jenny and Surekha were the other pair of best friends. I have pictures of birthday parties with all four of us in attendance, dressed in pretty party dresses which in no way reflected the rambunctious little girls we were back in those days.

I don't remember Surekha's parents very well, but I do remember what car her Dad drove: a Dodge Dart - almost the exact same model as my mom's. How do I know this? Why do I remember? Well, I can remember hiding out and hiding cigarettes when seeing that car in the distance - only to discover as Surekha's Dad drove by, that I had needlessly thrown away my contraband. Not only was he far less scarier than my mother - he never would have told on me.

But by the end of Grade 6 the four of us were separated. Michelle and I went to the same school but Jenny and Surekha followed different paths. In my opinion, Michelle and I were lucky - because with the exception of a small jaunt at a different school for me - she and I managed to stay together until graduation.

Not so for Jenny and Surekha. Different high schools meant a different circle of friends and they slowly drifted apart. That is until just before the Air India trip. I don't know why, but just before she went on the family vacation Surekha reached out to Jenny one last time. They got to catch up, heal old rifts, reminisce about old times - and without knowing it - say goodbye.

I ran into Jenny not so long ago and she told me about their last visit. I don't remember her words exactly, but she was so glad that she'd had the chance to see her before she died. Her death was so unexpected - and although I hadn't seen her for many years - was deeply felt by all of us who went to school with her - and by the community at large. The Sakhawalkers had long been part of the neighbourhood and their absence was deeply felt.

I don't know really what I'm trying to accomplish here tonight, but I felt the need to write something a little more personal than the article I found - maybe as Sanjay's best friend it is still too painful to write something too sentimental. All I know is I hear the politicians talk, I hear them quote numbers, I hear the talk about terrorist activity - but to me it will always be about Surekha and her family and the other families like them.

My heart breaks for the relatives who have searched for justice and felt it has been denied. The only comfort I can offer is that these people are not forgotten. They are remembered not only by their relatives and in the media, but also by the friends and communities that were left behind.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Running in the Rain

I love it! Usually..... but tonight was a whole new experience.

Now for those of you who don't read this blog regularly, I've been moaning about the fact that I'm unfit (read: fat but I'm trying to be nice to myself...) When the truth is, I just haven't been exercising as much as I used to. (Isn't amazing how much time you have for exercise when you don't work? Man - work is such a pain!)

Seriously though I used to be quite active, but what with working long hours, hurting my back last year and serious laziness, I've been slacking off a little lately. Pilates has gotten my back into shape - and I quite enjoy the classes - but it's not really enough to compensate for my love of chocolate. I've been trying to motivate myself to get out there running again, but I've found excuse after excuse not to. It's amazing how just thinking of going for a run could make my back twinge....

Tonight was different. On the ferry ride home I told myself that tonight was the night. I mentally prepared myself, got home and got into my running gear and headed straight back out the door. (You know, when I finally decide something - there's no stopping me!)

It was a nice coolish evening - perfect for a run and I started out full of pep. The first few drops of rain even served to invigorate me more. (I've heard running in the rain is actually easier on you - something about the electrolytes in the air or something...) Anyway, I kept going, enjoying my little run.

Then the heavens opened.

I've run in the rain before - downpours even - but never a deluge like this one! I had water running underneath my shirt, underneath my sports bra and even running on the inside of my underwear! My shoes turned into miniature swimming pools. It was raining so hard I kept wiping my eyes to see where I was going.

But I kept going.

Why? Well, truthfully, it wasn't too cold - and the fact is I couldn't have gotten any wetter. But I gotta say - I sure picked one helluva night to start running again....

As I ran past one of the hotels - a group of tourists shouted out encouragement and sympathy. The funny thing is, they probably figured that anyone running in that stuff had to be a pretty dedicated athlete. Truth is, I'm not a dedicated athlete, more like a stubborn fool!

Ah well, I've been through the worst now - no reason not to continue....

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Nights Like These

I start every day off with the best of intentions: I'm going to head to work early, spend no time on the internet, work hard, get all those annoying little 'to-do' items done, eat healthy, exercise, practice guitar and write just a little bit every evening.

Man, I'm just tired writing about the things I plan to do each day... never mind actually doing them!!

So today started just the same. I made it to work in decent time (not early) but the effort of getting there required me to surf the internet for a good half hour or so. I actually did a fair amount of work - but having not had enough to eat at breakfast, lunch didn't really hit the spot, so soft toffee was a basic requirement today. From there it was all down hill. A work function in the evening meant no dinner, no exercise and now, no guitar.


Cause it's late and I've probably had too much to drink to really gain any benefit from practicing.

In my defense - I managed to drink less than everyone else and not embarrass myself (though my pool playing was atrocious) and I went home in decent time. Just enough time to do a little blogging.

Felt so guilty about missing out on everything else, that I've forced myself to write. Mind you, mildly inebriated is probably not the best mind frame for writing...

So now you know why sometimes I don' t write. I do set myself a daily goal for writing, but sometimes living life just gets in the way. That's okay though - better than when I had all the time in the world to write and nothing to write about because I was doing absolutely nothing and lacked any and all inspiration.

Suppose I should apologise for the drivel. But hey - in blogging you get the good and the bad. Today it's not either - just a little mediocrity to balance it all out.

Hopefully tomorrow I'll actually have something interesting to say.... but I'm making no promises.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

This is the most amazing thing I've ever heard

I read this today on the CNN website ( and I was just amazed:

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) -- Police say three lions rescued a
12-year-old girl kidnapped by men who wanted to force her into marriage, chasing
off her abductors and guarding her until police and relatives tracked her down
in a remote corner of Ethiopia.

The men had held the girl for seven days, repeatedly beating her, before the lions chased them away and guarded her for half a day before her family and police found her, Sgt.
Wondimu Wedajo said Tuesday by telephone from the provincial capital of Bita
Genet, some 560 kilometers (348 miles) west of the capital, Addis Ababa.

"They stood guard until we found her and then they just left her like a
gift and went back into the forest," Wondimu said, adding he did not know
whether the lions were male or female.

News of the June 9 rescue was slow to filter out from Kefa Zone in southwestern Ethiopia.

"If the lions had not come to her rescue then it could have been much worse. Often these
young girls are raped and severely beaten to force them to accept the marriage,"
he said. "Everyone ... thinks this is some kind of miracle, because normally the
lions would attack people," Wondimu said.

Stuart Williams, a wildlife expert with the rural development ministry, said that it was likely that the young girl was saved because she was crying from the trauma of her attack.

"A young girl whimpering could be mistaken for the mewing sound from a
lion cub, which in turn could explain why they (the lions) didn't eat her,"Williams said. "Otherwise they probably would have done." The girl, the youngest of four brothers and sisters, was "shocked and terrified" and had to be treated for the cuts from her beatings, Wondimu said.

He said that police had caught four of the men, but were still looking for three others.

In Ethiopia, kidnapping has long been part of the marriage custom, a tradition of sorrow and violence whose origins are murky.

The United Nations estimates that more than 70 percent of marriages in Ethiopia are by
abduction, practiced in rural areas where the majority of the country's 71 million people live.

Ethiopia's lions, famous for their large black manes, are the country's national symbol and adorn statues and the local currency. Former emperor Haile Selassie kept a pride in the royal palace in Addis Ababa.

Despite their integral place in Ethiopia culture, their numbers have been falling, according to experts, as farmers encroach on bush land.

Hunters also kill the animals for their skins, which can fetch $1,000, despite a recent crackdown against illegal animal trading across the country. Williams said that at most only 1,000 Ethiopian lions remain in the wild.

The basic story of what happened to the girl is horrific - as are similar stories recounting the barbaric treatment of women in some non-industrialized (for lack of a better term) nations -but it is just amazing that wild animals came to her rescue. Imagine them simply standing guard until her rescuers arrived? Imagine!

Just goes to show there is so much we still have to learn about the world around us and basic instincts that we all possess - animals and humans. Reminds me of how my mom's dogs have always stood guard outside sleeping grandchildren's bedrooms and have even kept watched over unrelated sleeping infants - only stirring to notify my mom if any baby started to cry. This from dogs that were not raised in household with children - yet still they knew.

Hopefully the girl in the article above recovers quickly from her ordeal.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

PIlates is Fun

Especially when you have a really cute instructor!

Looks like I'll be going Tuesday nights from now on instead of Wednesdays!!

I wonder if I'll ever grow up...

Monday, June 20, 2005

What Rhymes with Banker?

Spanker? Tanker? Canker?

No, no, that's not it... Oh, I know, its: WANKER.

So, how well do you think my new boss and I are getting along?

I love that I went through 4 years of undergraduate study, 3 years work experience, 2 years of Masters studies followed by almost 5 years in an investment bank to have some dufus walk by and look at my computer screen over my shoulder and ask "how's that coming? almost done? need some help?"

Piss off.

I didn't say it out loud.


Saturday, June 18, 2005


Seems all I do recently is go to movies or watch TV.... Life is good!

Just saw Batman begins and gotta say I loved it. Except for the last line with Katie Holmes. (Don't read this if you haven't seen it) where she turns away Bruce Wayne because he's not 'the same person' he used to be - implying he still needed to be something better.

Yeah right. Some girl is going to turn away a good-looking, buff, gazillionaire after he 'saves' the people of his city from evil because he's 'not quite as good as he used to be'. How dumb is that?

Talk about perpetuating the myth that women expect/want the impossible!

Friday, June 17, 2005

It just seems wrong....

I am in wool socks, flannel trackies, two shirts and a very warm sweatshirt. This all after just driving home from a friend's place with the car heater on full, in my suede/lambskin jacket and mentally wishing I had gloves.

It's June.

Yeah, yeah it's winter here, but I still think in North American seasons and it just seems wrong to be that cold in the month of June.

I may even have to turn on the heat in my flat.

I'm sure that the stuff I read before moving here never suggested it could be that cold.....

Thursday, June 16, 2005

I think I've finally found it!

I don't want to jinx myself or anything, but I'm pretty excited about it so I just have to share...

(Please, please, please - let there be no one from my work who reads this blog...)

I went on two job interviews today. The first one was an internal job - which seemed to go pretty well. Five other people were being interviewed as well, so its a long shot of sorts. Aside from that - it would be an okay job, the manager seems like a nice guy but it might not be overwhelmingly stimulating.

The second one - totally different story. Never been to an interview before where basically we talked very little of the job and almost nothing of my resume. Instead, for over an hour, we talked about workstyles, basic values and what was important to us in life. Strange topics really for an interview, but as a result, I so very much liked my interviewer - in the sense that I think I would really, really like working for her. She was bright and articulate, yet seemed to have a balanced perspective of the work/life balance - but actually meant it as opposed to giving it lip service.

For the first time ever I came out of an interview really wanting the job. I mean, I thought jobs were okay before - but this one I want. It seems like the right environment for me - but even better - it seems like the right job for me. I feel the same way about this job that I felt about moving to Australia. I can't explain it - but its definitely right.

Either tomorrow or Monday I'll find out if I made it to the next round.

Wish me luck!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Confessions of a TV Junkie

I love tv. The junkier the better (with the exception of Big Brother - that stuff is too trashy even for me... two contestants on Australian big brother apparently had sex last week. That's just whacked )

My new favourite show (now that American Idol is over... Sigh - I know Bo had yellow teeth - but really, he was SO much better....) is Medium. I love the mystic/psychic/fiction genre!! and they do it so well on the show.

But best this week was Oprah and Super Nanny. I sooooo love the Super Nanny. It's so preposterous that kids could ever get that bad though isn't it?

Actually, my Mom makes Super Nanny look soft.... I never woulda dared!

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Mr. & Mrs. Smith

I didn't want to like it. Just out of principle, I didn't want to like it.

I wanted there to be no chemistry. I wanted Brad to come off as an asshole. I'm not really sure why I wanted that to happen . I think I just wanted it that way as retribution for his marriage not working - I mean the guy got married without ever really thinking it would last. Huh??? Isn't marriage suppose to be for life? Isn't that what the vows say? (obviously I've never been married, otherwise I might know the answer to that question). So for that reason - not simply because the marriage failed - but because he went into it believing it would fail, I wanted his movie to fail. To have some commercial failure to accompany his current life failures.

I'm a little harsh aren't I? hard to believe I wasn't raised by a strict Catholic with that kind of thinking, but then I was raised two parents that believed it was until death do you part. Mind you, they are parted now - but that is because one of them died....

(I really am a sick fucker sometimes... I actually think that last comment is funny - just not sure how well that's translating via the blog...)

Anyway - back to the movie. It's not going to win any academy awards, the premise is preposterous - but it was ENTERTAINING. Silly, funny (Brad Pitt is really great at the one-liners) entertainment. I mean - I wouldn't pay to see it twice - but I don't regret the money I spent.

Who knew? Maybe I'm not as unforgiving as I think I am...

Still not convinced they're a couple, but maybe I'm just being naive.

Monday, June 13, 2005

I'm an Adult Now

I hate bugs. Of any kind. But what I hate even more than bugs is killing bugs. I just can't bring myself to do it.

Usually when I I move in with a new flat mate, I'm upfront about my inability to deal with the creepy crawlies and work out some kind of deal whereby they deal with any bugs, spiders or cockroaches (in Sydney - they're everywhere!) I'm so pathetic about it, it isn't even funny. I once even called a flat mate when she was at the pub to come home and deal with a creepy crawlie I had trapped. (It was a miracle I had trapped it to begin with....) In my own defense, it turned out to be a scorpion, so although I agree that I'm a baby, at least I was a baby for a good reason that time....

All of that changed last night.

I was in the bathroom putting some stuff away when a movement on the counter across the room caught my eye. My heart dropped. I figured anything that big that moved that quick would have to be a cockroach - probably the most dreaded of all creepy crawlies.... I've done my best to keep things clean - no food scraps or crumbs around - and I live in a pretty modern/clean apartment block -but Sydney is so cockroach infested that it was really only a matter of time...

However, on closer inspection, I realised it was just a beetle of sorts (at least I think it was..) which made me feel a little less anxious - but then I realised it still needed to be dealt with - and the problem now is - I live alone, so I needed to deal with it myself.


Out came the shoe and wads of toilet paper. Although I had a little high-pitched squeak happening inside my head - within 30 minutes the deed was done. Okay, okay, 30 minutes is pretty lame, but I managed. So I guess it's official: I'm an adult now.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Je suis un chef extraordinaire

Now I've talked about my stupendous cooking skills before in Fine Dining , but I have reached whole new depths with my experience in the kitchen last night...

I went to go visit a friend in Newcastle this weekend and arrived just in time for dinner preparation. Great time to arrive really because its a great way to catch up - hanging out in the kitchen, sipping some wine and talking while the food's cooking.

Now most of my friends know that I'm crap in the kitchen - so although I always offer to help - generally they decline. Makes us all happy. I can offer assistance and pretend to want to help and I don't seem like a complete lazy slob, yet I end up just hanging out sipping wine and conversing, and my friends don't have to worry about inedible food or accidents in the kitchen and they're kept company while cooking. Last night that didn't happen - I forgot this friend didn't know what a disaster I am in the kitchen...

So I offered to help - and damn if she didn't take me up on it. And although she gave me a rather minor task (opening a can of kidney beans) disaster struck. How is it that a can with a pull tab can be so dangerous? Who knew that a can lid could be so sharp? Who knew that a slashed hand could hurt that much? Or bleed that much?

Not to worry though - no stitches. Just some compression, bandages and tape. Didn't even completely get me out of kitchen duty either (health care professionals are not put off by a little blood in their food apparently...) still had to rinse the rice, but I somehow managed that without further injury.

I don't think cooking classes are anywhere in my immediate future....

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Welcome to Toronto!!

Just reserved my tickets for a trip home at the end of August. Wasn’t really part of the original plan. Had been thinking that if I was going anywhere I might go to England and catch up with some of my old travel friends and maybe meet up with my brother and potentially meet his girlfriend, but I had a change of heart.

First off – though I’m loathe to admit it – my Mom has been pretty keen about me coming home for the summer and that was playing on my mind. On top of that, my good friends back home were expressing their disappointment that I might not show this summer. Add to that being a little homesick in the early part of this year and I started thinking how maybe a little summer Canada style might be in order. I just couldn’t fathom not seeing cottage country for another full year so I half promised myself that if I was still feeling a little blue, I would dig deep into the wallet and buy a ticket home.

I didn’t tell anybody though. Didn’t want any additional pressure – and especially didn’t want to get my Mom’s hopes up. By mid-April I was still pondering the idea, but the real clincher came from my best friend. In a conversation around the time of my birthday, she mentioned how disappointed her three girls were that they wouldn’t be going up to the cottage. I told her that they could go up without me – but apparently her girls didn’t think it would be the same if I wasn’t there.

I was sunk. Luckily my brother has decided to head home this summer with the girlfriend – so it’ll be a dual purpose trip – and I can claim to friends that I coming home for ‘family reasons’ so they don’t think I’m a soft hearted wuss…..

So I have been thinking of home a lot lately – kind of wondering whether I really should be going home, when on my way to visit a friend in Newcastle, I passed this sign:

Welcome to Toronto.

I think someone’s trying to tell me something….

Friday, June 10, 2005

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

What is it with yoga studios and mirrors?

(FYI - I think I may be on a week long rant about yoga classes, so bear with me.....)

You know, one of the reasons I go to classes is to get in shape but I find it very discouraging to go to classes where I have to spend over an hour looking at myself in a mirror while exercising. It's not motivating. It just makes me think things like:

"I could have sworn my hips weren't that big in my mirror at home"
"how come I don't have rolls of fat but still look huge compared to every other female in this room?"
"how come I don't have rolls of fat but still look huge compared to every other male in this room?"

I've even gone so far as to compare how much spare mat is on either side of my hips compared to how much spare mat other people have. I know, I know - I'm crazy.... obsessive... need help....typically female? The truth is, I'm not overweight - in fact, although I'm not the skinniest I've ever been, I'm fit and fairly lean, but the thing is I'm what you call an hour-glass shape. It's supposed to be the ideal shape, but that's bullshit. Skinny's where its at.

Anyway, I digress....

So about the mirrors. I've solved the problem for the yoga class - I'm never going back. But on my last visit to the Pilates studio I noticed they'd done some upgrades to the room. It used to be that half the class was in front of mirrors while the other half wasn't - but now over 3/4 of the class has mirrors. The horror!!! My usual spot was no longer a sanctuary from my reflection - I'm now either going to have to suck it up and deal with it, cram myself in a corner of the room, or try to find a new Pilates class with no mirrors. Sigh.... what a pain.

I still don't get it though. Why all the mirrors?

I can't be the only one that feels this way....

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Bikram's Yoga

also known as 90 minutes of sheer hell...

Now I have friends who have done 'hot' yoga before - even my brother swears by it - so when a friend phoned me today asking if I wanted to try a beginners class I was all for it. As explained to me - it's basically a normal yoga class - but done in a room with a temperature of 37 degress Celcius. It's supposed to help you stretch and help you sweat out your toxins at the same time.

Now before I go on - I just want to state for the record that I am happiest when exercise is a regular part of my life - and actually quite like to go to classes. I've done yoga before and right now I try to go to Pilates at least twice a week. So I figured that my liking Bikram's was almost a foregone conclusions considering the previous statement and the fact that my friends had given rousing endorsements.

Man, was I wrong.

How hideous is it to be in a class that smells, is so hot its almost hard to breathe and sweat literally drips down your body. Too hideous for words. And having an instructor that continually says things like "put a smile on your face and it'll make it better. I promise." Man, I wanted to smack her.

Thank God I have a dodgy back and the stretches were actually causing me pain rather than helping - which was surprising considering I do Pilates pretty regularly - so I could stop doing the exercises and just lie on the mat.

Lie on the mat and continue to sweat that is...

I think I would have been my own personal swimming pool had I continued to actually do the yoga exercises.
Makes my skin crawl just thinking about it. Needless to say I shouldn't have bought the "as many classes as you can do in 10 days pass" seeing as I've just completed the one and only Bikram class I'm ever going to do in my lifetime...

Don't think Bikram's yoga is giving me the inner peace it's suppose to eh?

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Want to increase your site traffic?

Write about McDonald's commercials. You wouldn't believe the jump in numbers I had!!

I can only imagine what would have happened if I wrote about porn....

Monday, June 06, 2005

"I hate you"

Australian men and their pick up lines.....

No joke, this is what some guy said to me last night Saturday night when I was out. I was taken a little aback - and just a tad unnerved. The guys we were with told me it was a compliment (?) and that really I should be flattered. But really, how aggressive can you get? In my books declaring hatred is not complimentary....

Now, on first hearing this you'd think I'd done something to deserve it. According to my friend, I may have provoked it (although I don't really agree) but never did I do anything to deserve it. But hey, I'll let you be the judge.

So we were out at this pub - been there for a while - talking to the same group of guys when this other guy - with no connection to any of the others - comes over and joins our group. I noticed he was talking to my friend at one point, but didn't talk to him myself (I thought he was kind of creepy...) Later on we were taking pictures - or more accurately I was taking some pictures of my friend and the group we were with - and creepy guy kept trying to be part of it. So I kind of waved him out of the picture - I didn't know who he was and he wasn't part of our group so why would I take his picture???

Anyway, I thought no more of it and when he came over and asked me to dance I figured he wasn't harbouring any grudges.... Mind you, I said no to the dance - partly because I was talking to someone else at the time, but mostly because his method of asking me to dance was to grab my hand and start to drag me across the bar towards the dance floor.

I said 'thanks' - as in 'no thanks' - so I wasn't exactly rude when I said no....

A little while later he was sitting across the table from me and staring at me (extremely creepy) and I was avoiding his gaze when all of sudden he shouts at me "I don't like you." Surprised I looked up - not truly believing he was talking to me - but based on the nasty glare he was giving me, I realised he was indeed talking to me. So I answered "Don't worry, the feeling is mutual" because I didn't really want to jump into an argument, but didn't think I could just not respond. Next thing I know he shouts "In fact, I hate you."


Obviously charm school is not a priority for Australian men....

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Wow - your voice is so sexy

Actually, it's called laryngitis, For the last five days, I've basically had no voice. Any time I've tried to talk, people (male and female) have said my voice is drop dead sexy. I gotta tell you, after five days - sexy is not the adjective I'd use, annoying seems more appropriate.....

I couldn't have picked a better time to lose my voice - I mean it's not like I had a friend visiting from Canada or anything, or stuff going on at work, or a few social engagements going on....

I was told that the best thing for laryngitis is to rest your voice. Meaning - not speak. Obviously giving me laryngitis is God's way of playing a joke... Too much other serious shit going on in the world so he needed a little laughter somewhere. Not only are you supposed to rest your voice, but you're supposed to rest in general. Did I mention I had friend visiting from Canada? Instead of more rest than usual, I actually ended up with less rest than usual - more like no rest if I was honest.

Since Thursday, my schedule's gone like this:
- Pick my friend up at the airport.
- Show her around my neighbourhood.
- Go out to dinner with American boys from Airlie beach (more on that later)
- Do a pub tour of Manly
- Go to bed about 6 am (seems the American liked the voice well enough to keep me up all night talking...)
- Call in sick to work (I'm sure calling in sick for two days after my boss gets fired is a good thing...)
- Send my friend to Sydney
- Get a few hours sleep
- Meet my friend in Sydney and go to the Opera House
- Go out for dinner
- Go out for more drinks
- Get up early and go for breakfast
- Go to the markets
- Drive to the mountains and go hiking
- Drive back and go out for dinner
- Do a second tour of the pubs in Manly
- Get in at 4 am
- Get up at 6 am to take friend to the airport
- 8 am get back and collapse

Status of voice since Thursday:
Thursday - start to lose voice
Friday - no voice
Saturday morning - little bit of voice
Saturday evening - no voice
Sunday morning - no voice

Now? It's starting to come back - but that's because I've been hibernating and basically haven't spoken all day.

I think I'm too old for this shit.... Mind you - it was great to have someone from home come visit... And even though my voice has been destroyed and work is in the crapper, it was so worth it.

Sorry - I'm kind of rambling today - seems that even though I've been sleeping all day, it hasn't quite restored me back to full mental function... but felt a need to reach to the outside world. Blogging a good choice if you're not supposed to talk...

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

As the Bank Turns....

Seems I no longer have a boss. (It's still a secret but I'm pretty sure nobody from the bank is reading my blog... At least I hope not!)

I feel badly for him - he's a good guy. And a smart guy - so he should be okay in the long run.

Which leaves WIIFM. (what's in it for me) or maybe it should be WDTLM (where does that leave me?)

Who knows - but hopefully still employed - at least in the short term...