Monday, January 26, 2009

Everybody dance!

The Brighton Port Authority - Toe Jam

Sunday, January 11, 2009


  • A world economy that completely depends on continuous growth in a finite world can't be good. Can it?

  • I have none of these so-called core muscles. The only things that keep me upright are my spine and sheer force of will. Quit telling me to strengthen my core!

  • Choose-something-from-your-cubicle gift exchanges at work are fun, but at the end of the day you're left with a used coffee mug filled with breath mints and an old issue of People.

  • I always forget Suriname is in South America and, instead, think it's in Africa. Half a million Surinamese are not impressed, I'm sure.

  • When did I let "need" creep in and substitute "want" in my vocabulary? I do not need the following things:

    • a haircut because I think my hair is doing wonky things

    • more groceries when the overflowing shelves of my kitchen do not inspire me

    • a new camera, just because my old one broke

    • a beer after a tough day at work

    (Okay, maybe that last one.)

  • I think everyone should read "Lullabies for Little Criminals" by Heather O'Neill. It's an amazing book that will break your heart, but in a good way.

  • Even though I live in an apartment, I can completely sympathize with homeowners who are tired of shoveling all the snow we've had this winter. I mean, when I'm trying to sleep until noon, and the building managers start with the scraping and the shoveling at TEN? How annoying!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Hi ho

I've been dreading this day for a week. Today was the first day back to work after a delicious, restful TWO WEEK holiday! Work makes me sad and stressed and tired and for sixteen whole days I didn't have to worry about it at all. Instead I slept and read and ate and drank and talked and slept some more. And then ate more. Oh, and I don't think I really stopped drinking.

Nevertheless, I managed to haul my ass out of bed this morning (after pressing snooze a mere 5 times!) and I walked through the freezing cold to face reality — unless I want to sell my body on the streets, I need to work. Sigh.

But (surprise) it wasn't that bad! I got to chat with people I haven't seen in a while and hear about their family drama and falling-down Christmas trees. And what made it all worth while is that I got to have the following two conversations.

Conversation #1

The scene: Nat and her friend Brett are discussing what they did on their summer Christmas vacation.

Brett: I saw Doubt during the holidays. It's a pretty good film. You can tell it's been adapted from a play because it's very dialogue-oriented, but the pacing was good.

Nat: I saw Marley and Me. It was light but it sure made me cry. A lot. Not that that's tough to do.

Brett: But you're a cat person!

Nat: That's why I was crying. When Owen gave Jen a puppy I was thinking, "A dog? Noooooo! Think of the cats! Think! Of! The! Cats!

Brett: Sounds terrifying.

Nat: It was.

Conversation #2

And then there was this double-entendre-laden conversation about our upcoming bonuses, which brings us full circle back to the title of today's post. Some days I think I'm pretty clever.

Nat: "Pay For Performance"? Sounds...interesting.

Steve: I don't think it means what you're thinking.

Nat: Too bad. Betchya I'd make around...$1.50!

Steve: Oh, at least. I'd probably owe someone some change.

Nat: Don't sell yourself short. I imagine you'd get at least 98¢.

Steve: Hey now — quit exaggerating.

Nat: Okay, then. 93¢.

Steve: Maybe.

(What makes these conversations even better is that they both happened over our internal online, for-work-only chat program. This means that they are recorded and stored FOREVER! Or however long companies store techie stuff.)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Who knew?

A friend on Facebook tagged me to do this meme and I thought I'd bring it over to the blogosphere. After all, someone out there may have made a New Year's resolution to read more wallowy blogs with too many cat pictures, and they're going to need a fast way to get to know me. So welcome, new friends! Here are

25 Miscellaneous Facts about Nat
  1. Lucy, my cat, used to be owned by a woman who had 6 other cats. Then the woman killed herself.

  2. My grandma taught me how to knit 2 years ago but I'm only able to knit flat, rectangular things like dishcloths or scarves.

  3. I hate touching or tasting food off of new wooden spoons. The feel of the rough wood makes me cringe and shudder. Once they've been broken in and are nice and smooth, they're fine though.

  4. The only radio station I listen to is CBC Radio 1.

  5. One of my favourite bits on CBC Radio 1 is the National Research Council's official time signal, "where the beginning of the long dash followed by 10 seconds of silence indicates exactly twelve o'clock noon." I don't set my clocks to it, I just enjoy that my country actually airs this.

  6. I'm a wonderful procrastinator. Almost every paper I ever wrote for university was done the night before it was due. I'm convinced that I could have received quite good marks if only I had tried harder.

  7. I went to university full time for 7 years and then took 2 additional classes the following year.

  8. I only have bachelor degrees.

  9. I have terra cotta-coloured walls in my living room and bedroom.

  10. I had my first burger from McDonalds this October. I was part of my friend's wedding party and we were between photos and the reception. We were all very hungry at the time and it was delicious.

  11. I don't have a favourite colour. Who can choose with so many lovely ones out there?

  12. Earlier this week I bought a Holga camera on the internet and I CAN'T WAIT until it arrives!

  13. I love Clean Sheet Night, especially when the sheets were hung to dry on the clothesline strung across my courtyard.

  14. I'm a sucker for Shopper's Drug Mart and I could spend hundreds of dollars there on potions and lotions and whatnot. It's dangerous that I live two blocks away from one.

  15. I sleep until something external wakes me up. I seem to be missing an internal clock or that mechanism that says, "Okay, you've had enough sleep. Time to get up!" I have slept for 14 or more hours in one night. I didn't mean to - it's just that nothing woke me up!

  16. I really dislike being by myself.

  17. When I was very little, I wanted to grow up and be a cat. I still don't really know what I want to be when I grow up.

  18. I love the smell of old dusty basements, musty books, and dimly-lit garages. If it hasn't seen the light of day in decades, I'll probably swoon at the scent.

  19. I usually only clean my apartment when I know people are coming over, which sometimes isn't very frequent.

  20. Despite point #19, I don't mind washing dishes.

  21. Daisies are my favourite flower.

  22. I have no patience for people who constantly trash the city in which they live. Either move or learn to love it!

  23. I haven't rented a movie in almost 3 years.

  24. I've had a headache since I was 5 years old. Every. Day.

  25. I love when it's super cold outside and that first breath of air kind of makes my lungs feel like they're collapsing and for a second I can't breathe. Just for fun, I went out about an hour ago and inhaled deeply. Here's a snapshot of the conditions in which I survived:
-45°C with the windchill? Motherfucker!

I think I'm also supposed to tag people but I don't want to put that kind of pressure on anyone. If you read this and want to do one of your own, yay! If not, meh.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Conversation with my grandma - What a painful movie!

Grandma: We should go see a movie while I'm in town.

Nat: Sure! What do you want to see?

Grandma: Not that movie with that Smith man. Oh I don't like him!

Nat: How about Doubt with Meryl Steep and Philip Seymour Hoffman?

Grandma: [looking confused] Gout? I don't think I want to see that. It doesn't sound very good.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Everything's going to get lighter

I know that I tend to wallow here so here are reasons why 2008 didn't totally suck.
  • My sister and her boyfriend broke up. That's not the great part - he was a nice guy and she was talking about moving in with him. No, the great part was that in her grief, she turned to me for comfort and advice and someone to talk to. I'm fairly certain that's never happened before. I adore my sister but neither of us talk much with each other about our feelings. Her sadness brought us closer.

  • I joined 2 musical groups! I forgot how great I feel when I get to make music with other people. I joined a singing group that was putting on an autumn fundraiser. It was delicious. I got to experience that whole-body-vibration thing that happens when I loudly sing one note in a powerful and interesting chord. I was sad when it was over, but I also joined an adult concert band that practices once a week for 10 months of the year. Even though the loudest tenor saxophone player in the world sits directly behind me, even though the oboe player beside me assured me that he wasn't "a sex maniac or anything" when he offered to drive me home, and even though we have 1 French horn and 6 tubas, I love it. One week I was contemplating not going because I had a crappy day at work and I was tired and grouchy and my temples had their own pulse. Despite my resolve to ditch, I went anyway and on my way home I discovered that I was humming "Chimes of Liberty" [sound warning], headache-free and with a big goofy grin.

  • My mom continued to be wonderful. She is quite simply my favourite person in the world. She makes me laugh and cry and she loves me. This year she took me on endless trips to the grocery store to get heavy things that I didn't want to walk to get. She ate sushi and East Indian and Thai with me. She treated me to a glorious day at the spa with a manicure and pedicure and facial. When she ate meals I prepared for her, she made me feel like the greatest gourmet chef that ever was. She raved about the photographs I took, and showed up to my band Christmas concert. My mom, she is awesome.

  • I made some fantastic friends. A lot of times it takes a while to become good friends with people, but these new friends and I clicked right away. How can I NOT instantly love the coolest person I've ever met? How can I have a slow get-to-know-you period with someone who drunkenly confesses dark secrets to me the first time we go out for drinks and then introduces me to their whole gang of friends who instantly welcome me? And anyone who greets me at the door with a large glass of red wine and a cheerful "Hola!" is aces in my book. I have been lonely a lot this past year but you, my new friends, have made my heart warm.

  • I decided to not apply for a job with my company as a trainer in Winnipeg. On the surface, it seemed ideal. I have been so lonely and unhappy the last while here. I dislike my current job and would love to be in the Learning Services department. I already have friends and family living in that city, and I even know some of the people that work in our Winnipeg location. However, as I contemplated leaving I realized how much I have here. Not only did I have some fabulous new friends, but I have so many amazing people that I've been friends with for years. We may not see each other often but I know I can count on them for anything. I may not like my job, but the group of people I work with are awfully fun. This is home and it comforted me to realize that.

  • I received 3 mix CDs in the mail from someone I've never met! I love mix CDs! I also discovered a whack of new and new-to-me music that made me smile and dance and sing (sound warning for all links).

Here's to more non-suckiness for all of us in 2009!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Let's take a cup of kindness

Happy New Year to you all!

My resolution? Guess!

Yeah, that's right - more blogging.

How about you? Any resolutions?