Category Archives: Life Stuff

And They Said It Would Never Last

My parents have been married forty-two years today. Forty-two years! And that doesn’t even include the years when they were just dating. Can you imagine? The upper limits of my attention span are often tested when I’m in a conversation that’s longer than forty-two minutes, much less forty-two years. 😉  I know they tried providing me with good, strong, make-a-commitment-forever-and-ever-type genes, but I like to say that I’ve held off tying the knot so I don’t have to spend too much time with the one I love^…especially not forty-two years with the one I love! Anyway.

My parents still hold hands in the mall. They still call each other when they’re just running up to the store to get milk and will be home in, like, five freaking minutes. They still fix coffee for each other in the morning. They still leave little notes for each other on the bathroom mirror, just because, and my dad still goes and gets gas for my mom when her car’s on “empty”. They couldn’t wait for me to turn 18 so I could go off to university and leave them the heck alone. And even after forty-two years of marriage, my mom still digs deep inside the recesses of her kitchen cabinets to pull out the champagne flutes they used at their rehearsal dinner forty-two years and a day ago, so they can use them at their anniversary dinner.

This is not to say that they don’t argue — every couple does — and if they didn’t, I’d probably stare at them as if they were true freaks from another planet. But the bottom line is that my parents actually still like and respect each other, and are still very much in love. Here’s wishing them an amazing anniversary filled with lots of love from the people whose lives they enrich by just being the amazing people they are.

Happy 42nd Anniversary Mom and Dad!

^ likely excuse 😉

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101 Things in 1,001 Days

List: [list] -noun. A series of names or other items written or printed together in a meaningful grouping or sequence so as to constitute a record.

If you’re anything like me, you love to make lists. Grocery lists**, lists of things to pack, everyday to-do lists, lists of movies to see, books to read, lists of things about yourself, and lists of things you’ve already done just so you can cross things off said list.

The original idea of the “101 things in 1,001 days” apparently began a while ago and continues at DayZeroProject.com but, since we all know I’m not necessarily an early-adopter^, I sat back and waited for a while just to make sure the thing took hold. 😉  Apparently, it did. So, after much brooding and thinking and mulling and deliberating and reasoning, here’s my list of the 101 things I plan to accomplish in the next 1,001 days. If I start today, I should complete the list by.

So, after much thinking and pondering and mulling and reasoning and excogitating, I’ve come up with my list. Let the crossing off begin! 

Note: I’ve been working on this list for a while and just so happened to do some of the things on the list before I published it. And because I’m the master of this domain, I say they count. 🙂

  1. Make a personal book of recipes
  2. Write a letter to myself to open in ten years
  3. Watch the sunrise and sunset in the same day
  4. Sleep under the stars
  5. See the Northern Lights
  6. Join a book club Joined a foodie book club at Nicholas Hoare
  7. Go to a showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show at midnight
  8. Go to SXSW
  9. Send a secret to PostSecret
  10. Take a hot air balloon ride
  11. Watch a meteor shower
  12. Go on a picnic
  13. Buy a bicycle — and ride it!
  14. Start my own business — I haz ideas!
  15. Finish Infinite Jest
  16. Make a bucket list
  17. Try colouring my hair brown
  18. Complete a half marathon
  19. Do meditation once a week
  20. Go snowshoeing
  21. Find out my blood type (I think it’s A-, but not I’m not + :-))
  22. Build and sleep inside a blanket fort
  23. Start doing yoga
  24. Buy new furniture (dining room table and sofa)
  25. Go to the Texas State Fair and eat a fried Twinkie
  26. Start recycling
  27. Start playing tennis again
  28. Drive across Canada
  29. Learn to sew a button
  30. Delete my MySpace account
  31. Visit an apple orchard
  32. Visit the wineries in Prince Edward County
  33. Go dogsledding
  34. Take a multi-vitamin everyday
  35. Find and meet with a financial advisor
  36. Create my will
  37. Balance my chequebook everyday
  38. Adopt a cat or a dog
  39. Ride the Polar Express
  40. Learn to play Hearts and Texas Hold ‘Em
  41. Watch “What the Bleep Do We Know” in its entirety
  42. Grow an herb garden
  43. Go to cooking school for a week
  44. Finish watching every season of “Lost
  45. Watch at least one full season of “The Simpsons
  46. Spend a weekend at Le Scandinave
  47. Get nominated for the Junior League Board of Directors Nominated as the Communications Director for 2010-11
  48. Skate down the Rideau Canal***
  49. Watch “Roots
  50. Publish an article in a travel publication
  51. Finish knitting the scarf I started in July 2009
  52. See A Prairie Home Companion live
  53. Watch the complete AFI Top 100 Movies
  54. See the McMichael Canadian Art Collection
  55. Eat at The Doctors House, Splendido, and Harbourd Room
  56. Clear out the 765 emails in my Gmail inbox Completed February 22, 2010! I deleted more than 1,600 emails from my inbox! W00t!
  57. Figure out if I should keep or sell my condo in Houston
  58. Go up the CN Tower
  59. Read a book written by someone with whom I disagree (which shouldn’t be very hard)
  60. Fly on the new Boeing 787 (cannot. wait.)
  61. See the Tragically Hip live
  62. Move my blog over to WordPress.org
  63. Hike four Ontario trails
  64. Attend the BlogHer Conference
  65. Find a plane spotting group in Toronto
  66. Try Ethiopian food Ate at Ethiopian House in Toronto with my Yelp friends. Let’s just say I won’t be going back. Ahem.
  67. Set up the 1TB external hard drive I’ve had for six months
  68. Put together a first aid kit for my (newly paid off) car
  69. Play golf at Pebble Beach
  70. Become a docent at an art gallery
  71. Complete a Berlitz French course
  72. See a play at the Stratford Festival
  73. Go to High Park
  74. Frame all the unframed things I have lying around my house
  75. Actually finish the Flickr “365-Day Challenge”, rather than starting it and finishing it after 45 days. Ahem.
  76. See contemporary dance at the Winch at least six times
  77. Start taking hip-hop dance classes again
  78. Participate in NaBloPoMo twice a yar
  79. Try out roller derby
  80. Provide school supplies for an underprivileged family
  81.  Buy a MacBookPro, because I’m really tired of double-clicking 🙂
  82. Get rid of my landline
  83. Fly a kite
  84. Go camping in an actual tent and not what I like to call “Hyatt” camping
  85. Learn how to use my Canon DSLR I’ve had for two years rather than just shooting on Auto
  86. Go see a sport I’ve never seen before (I’m looking at you, soccer)
  87. Write down ten things for which I’m thankful everyday
  88. Begin the courses towards becoming a master sommelier
  89. Get my eyes checked
  90. Eat dim sum…and dim some more!
  91. Watch 26 movies that begin with a letter in the alphabet
  92. Travel to: Asia (Angkor Wot, Thailand, Hanoi, China); Canada (Banff, Halifax, Winnipeg); Chile and Argentina
  93. Backup my computer
  94. Skate at Harbourfront Centre
  95. Complete my digital afterlife
  96. Build a snowman****
  97. Stop swearing for a whole month
  98. See a baseball game at Wrigley Field
  99. Make a key lime pie
  100. Try to make heads or tails of Canadian Parliament and their constant proroguing. 😉

 

^ although I’m not necessarily a late-adopter either; to wit, I have three close friends who don’t even have Facebook pages. Also, they drive horses and buggies. 🙂
** I ❤ the Grocery app on my iPhone. No more losing my arm in my purse looking for a pen and paper!
*** Completion which requires actual cold weather and not this hovering-right-above-freezing all winter. The skateway is actually closed because it’s not cold enough!
**** See above. This task also requires snow and we haven’t had any snow this year. In fact, Vancouver’s having to *ship it* in for the Olympics. Global warming, indeed.

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How Do I Do This Again?

They say everybody needs a little time away.  In my case, I needed about six weeks away. As it turns out, blogging had become somewhat of a chore for me — something I felt I had to do, and not something I wanted to do — and we all know what that means. What does it mean? It means that I don’t like to feel forced into things and, when I am, I turn into Miss Uncharming Grumpypants — someone none of you deserves to meet. 🙂

I didn’t just sit around fretting about my lack of blogging, though — I was super busy during those six weeks! I traveled to both New York City and Houston, was nominated to serve as the Communications Chair on the board of directors of the Junior League of Toronto, had my first Canadian hospital experience when my blood pressure skyrocketed over 200 and I nearly had a stroke (where’s my walker, anyway?), ate rabbit and Ethiopian food for the first time, joined a foodie book club, bought some new URLs for some super secret exciting projects on which I’m working, wondered when the snowpocalypse was coming (FYI: to date, it still hasn’t), and saw Rent at the Mirvish. Busy indeed! There’s just no such thing as rest for the wicked.

I realized this weekend that I’d blogged every month in 2009 and just could not bring myself to break that streak in 2010. I’m happy to say that I’ve been storing up a motherlode of adventures to share with you during my time away and am back with a vengeance…and, of course, bringing sexy back with me. Fire up your laptops, everyone — you now have my permission to officially take your laptops off simmer!

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Turn Your Laptop To Simmer

I’ve been blogging fairly consistently since January, which means I’m exhausted from the non-stop publishing of the most mundane things about my life — nearly twelve entire months of talking about my adventures in Canada has, frankly, worn me out.  Therefore, in the interest of my readers, but mostly my own, I’ve decided to take a blogging mini-break. 

So, put your laptops on simmer and I’ll see you all again very soon.

xo.

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Defiance, Redefined (Day 20)

Someone recently told me  that I reminded them of “the stork and the frog” cartoon. I just stared at them blankly having zero idea to what they were referring. They explained it to me and, of course, I nearly burned out my keyboard looking up the reference. But you know what? I think they were right. 

Most of the time, of course, I’m the princess-by-day-always-minding-my-manners-girlie-girl kinda girl, but when it’s required, I can scrap with the best of them. That’s not to say that sometimes I don’t want to give up, because I do. On occasion (many, in fact), the thought of being a pool girl in Antigua doesn’t sound too shabby at all. Then I come hurtling back into reality and think “oh, uh uh. Never — but never — give up, girlfriend”.

And just like the frog in the cartoon, I never, ever will1.

 
 

1 As evidenced by this  blog post that is *totally* phoned in. I am about to pass out from having to work all day, play all night, and write NaBloPoMo posts, too. I want to quit so badly, but I just will. not. do. it! The bright side? Only ten. more. days.

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The Digital Afterlife (Day 19)

We all have a digital footprint. If you have a Facebook page; an email address (or eight); photos on Flickr or Picasa; a blog (or three); are on LinkedIn or FriendFeed; or have signed up for any number of sites that you’ll visit only once, etc., etc., etc., then a digital footprint you have. Even 20 years ago, digital footprints were unknown. It didn’t matter what annoyed you at work that day or how your S.O.1 pissed you off by not doing the dishes, primarily because you wouldn’t run home and post it on your Facebook page or blog about it. Rather, you probably wrote about it in your journal that, once you kissed and made up, was promptly burned.

Way back before the earth cooled, some serious geniuses at the University of Minnesota created a hierarchical system called the gopher protocol (and for whose university mascot the system is named). One of the first true “indexing” systems, a gopher would organize and display files in a structural way, similar to a file folder as we know them today. Fast forward a few years, and, of course, thanksbe to Al Gore, the interweb was invented and rocked our world as we knew it. Today, once something is posted online, it’s there for eternity, or for as long as Google spiders are in existence2. When I’m tipsy tired, but write a blog post anyway, I can change the wording the next day, but the spiders would have already picked up the original file where it could be retrieved at any point. This is what the smrt geeks of the world unite and discuss — how to index the multitudinous profusion of content on the web.

The point of that Web 101 intro was not to educate you on how synapse A attaches to synapse B, but to ask the rhetorical, and very relevant, question of what happens to online content when someone dies or becomes incapacitated? Where does it go and how is it managed? NPR’s All Things Considered did a story in May about disputes that can arise over online assets and, since hearing that show, I’ve given some serious thought to my digital afterlife. How exactly *will* my “online estate” be handled upon my expiration? No one knows my passwords but big brother and me. No one has a clue about the overabundance of profiles I’ve established, how to access my online bank accounts, or what to do with my 15 email addresses. But mostly, what happens to my blog? Does it just live in infamy as it exists on any given day or would my family want to take it down? What would *I* want to happen to it once I’ve gone? Who would you want to have as your digital executors? Basically, how do you protect your online assets?

It’s an interesting conversation and one that probably isn’t yet considered very often when estate planning. The legal community is not necessarily on the cutting edge of technology3 and probably therefore doesn’t yet include online assets when creating wills, trusts, etc. Maybe they are, but I just haven’t heard about it — I’ll have to get my people4 to look into this, post haste. After doing some some cursory research, I found a few .coms who provide online estate planning, not surprisingly. The largest of these looks to be Legacy Locker5, a repository for digital property who you pay to manage your online assets in your absence. Your family members show proof of death and your wishes are their command — Aunt Sarah receives the password to close down your Facebook page; Mom and Dad receive the passwords to your bank accounts; and friend Cindyloowho gets the big prize…rights to manage your blog!

Oddly, Legacy Locker will even go so far as to create an “online memorial” for you. Online tombstone, anyone?!

 

1Significant Other
2 So pretty much for eternity.
3 I have a good friend who’s an attorney with a very large Houston firm and I understand that they still use LotusNotes. LotusNotes! And I thought my company was out of touch for using Outlook 2003.
4 By which I mean me.
5 I’m in no way endorsing Legacy Locker, as I have no idea who they are other than the top return when I searched Google for “online estate planning”. I saw another one called “Private Matters” which just made me think of adult diapers. Right?!

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