Catching up

It’s a little late to do a weekend recap, but that’s not really going to stop me…
 
On Friday night I went with a friend and got a pedicure.  Can’t say I was totally thrilled with the service… it was kind of a quick and dirty thing, but I tried a new nailpolish… China Glaze.  It’s very nice and comes in some pretty awesome colors.  I didn’t catch the name of mine but I can only describe it as Neon Coral… after that we went and had a veggie burger at our fave spot and then I took the train/bus home.  I have to say, I feel so much more relaxed in my day to day life since I don’t drive as much.  Hopping on the train to get home after a long work day and a fun evening out was awesome.  I was so tired by that point that I was standing in the corner of the train with my eyes closed… pretty hard to do that in the drivers seat of a car…
 
On Saturday the fluffball got me up nice and early, which was fine because we had to get the house in tip top shape for our company.  My mom came over for the first time since the day I moved and I wanted the place to be spotless.  The funny thing is, it’s always spotless now.  Moving there has given me a renewed sense of pride and respect for my house (which disappeared some time ago in the old house) and I like to tidy and putter again!  After a quick tour we headed off to Ikea to look for some new furniture for my mom’s new place.  I grabbed a few little odds and ends and then it was back home to visit.  While we were sitting in the dining room, it occured to me that I hated my sofa… the back cushions were all discolored and wobbly from misuse (thanks to a certain someone that used to declare on a regular basis that he hated the sofa and therefore wasn’t going to take care of it).  So we took off the back cushions and used my collection of toss cushions to line the back of the sofa.  Sunday I went to Homesense and picked out a couple more to fill in and now my sofa is way more comfy, almost brand new looking and there’s no remnants of the olden days.  I even took the old cushion covers and cut the nice part of the fabric out and used it to line the cat bed… so his bed matches the sofa now 😉
 
This weekend my dad comes!  I’m so excited!  I haven’t seen him since April of last year and my head wasn’t in a great place then… We have no big plans except the family bbq on Saturday at my sister’s house and he wants to go to Golf Town.  We might also go out to Granville Island on Saturday morning and there’s a little hole in the wall restaurant that we went to together about 8 years ago that he wants to revisit… Three days of rest and relaxation and quality time.  Can’t wait!  I feel a little bad for my dad tho cause he lives in a house on a lake, miles from town… I live near the corner of one of Vancouver’s busiest intersections… his place is pitch black when the sun goes down… my place has a street light that shines right into the house.  I’ve decided that he’ll be happiest sleeping in the living room… furthest away from the street and has blackout drapes… the only thing is that the kitty has a bad habit of walking around the house at night meowing really loud… and there’s almost nothing I can do to make him stop… maybe I should give my dad earplugs 😉
 
Here’s a picture of the ‘new’ sofa…
 
 
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Thursday

GOOD MORNING!
 
It’s (was) a beautiful morning in Vancouver!  I got up at 6:45am and my prisms in the living room window (why yes, I am trying to be a hippy!) were casting gorgeous vivid rainbows all over the walls!  Mr Fluffypants was curled on the bed in a beam of warm sunlight… What a lovely way to wake up!
 
It’s not as gorgeous now… it’s overcast but about 20 degrees (68F) and it’s not raining.  Summer might be trying to bust in… I keep reading about heatwaves in other places and people trying to cope with sleeping in the heat and hydrating enough… and it seems weird to me until I remember that it’s 3/4 of the way through June and it’s been shit weather here until yesterday.
 
So, for all you cat people out there, I have a question.  As you know, Mr. Fluffypants used to be an indoor/outdoor cat.  He had free reign to come and go as he pleased and he was usually pretty happy.  Then we moved to the new apartment and he got his tummy sickness… then he recovered and he seemed pretty happy.  We played, he ate and drank and used the litter box… He seemed to be a bit whinier than he ever was before but nothing too serious.
 
NOW??  He’s the biggest crybaby EVER!  Seriously… he meows and cries and carries on… he paws at me constantly if I’m not standing up or moving around… If the pawing doesn’t work, he tries biting… He’s still eating and drinking and using the litter box and doing all his happy cat stuff, but the crying is getting to me…
 
Having never had a cat before, I’m not sure… is it just that he’s a loud and needy cat?  Are there cats out there that are just really loud and chatty?  For five years I barely heard him meow and now he doesn’t stop meowing…It does seem a bit worse since I fixed the windows and now we can open them so he can smell outside…
 
Nothing else really exciting going on… I’m investigating a volunteer opportunity that has been on my mind for a while now (well years really), but until I find out the details, you’ll all just have to wait and see 😉

Ranty Rant

 
So a couple of you wanted to know what my big rant was that I decided not to post the other day.
 
Basically the people in my building are pigs.  They throw plastic bags and fast food wrappers into the recycling… and old lamps… Instead of putting the newsprint in the newsprint bags, they crumple it up and throw it on the floor.  This type of assinine behavior makes me crazy… partly because it’s slovenly and partly because they’re doing it knowing that once a week our landlord comes and cleans it all up.
 
A coworker of mine was listening to me rant and rave about this and told me that I’d have to ‘get used to’ that type of behavior because it’s the ‘landlords job’ to take care of it.  I mentioned that whenever I’m in that area, I tidy up the recycling and put the garbage in the garbage etc… partly because it embarasses me that people are such idiots and partly because the entire building is my home and I don’t particularily like going down to do laundry and finding a weeks worth of detritus in the recycling bins.
 
The rant was that I was being told to ‘get used to being complacent’ because now that I lived in an apartment building, there was no need to worry aobut that type of thing… I think that is a disgusting attitude.  While I’m not going to get bent out of shape if I don’t clean it up one time, and I don’t think it’s expected of me, I ask you this… if we all decided to be complacent in our lives because we expected someone else to take care of it… of us, then what would our world and our lives look like?
 
In other apartment news, on Saturday morning my normally kind of loud upstairs neighbour (the one that plays his music and his guitar loud enough to hear down the block) seemingly had a mental break and was jumping up and down on the floor, slamming doors and screaming obscenities… He’s done this before… about a handful of times but this time was actually frightening… it sounded like he was going to come through the floor and the screaming was angry and violent.  So I called my landlord and asked if there was something I should know about him… like did he have bipolar disorder or was he a serial killer… the landlord went and had a talk with him and I got this shoved under my door a few hours later.  You can’t really tell, but it’s actually a photocopy of a note.  The last line was added on in pen, but the rest of it is a copy… kind of offputting that this guy has what seems to be a stack of ‘I’m Sorry’ notes to hand out when his behavior gets to be too much…
 

Some things just don’t translate…

So instead of the big ranty rant I was going to write, I’ll tell you about my weekend and show you pictures instead.
 
His Royal Catness allowed me to sleep in on Saturday.  Partly because we had to be up whining and fooling around for an hour at 3am…
It was a LOUSY weather day out, so I stayed in my jammies and tottled from the sofa to the bed and back again until 3pm when I had a shower and boarded a bus bound for downtown. My friend picked me up and we went out for dinner and then to her studio to work on our art projects.  Mine is all done (I think) and waiting to come home and find a place on the walls of the fabulous new pad!
 
On Sunday, Sam and I went out for brunch… what was supposed to be an hour close to my house turned into three hours miles and miles away from my house with an accidental bridge crossing thrown in for good measure!  When we were all done, Sam dropped me off in a little shopping district near his house and I poked around for a while before I hopped on a bus to go home.  I put that in there because those of you who know me in  the real world know that until about two months ago, I was VERY anti-bus… not interested, had a car thank you very much… but now, I love the bus and I take it everywhere I can!
 
While at the little shopping district, I found a great big white serving bowl on clearance at Homesense.  It ws $10 and perfect to plant a succulent garden in.  I contemplated doing this myself, but then with the cost of the dirt, moss, tools, plants and the fact that I’m not exactly all that talented when it comes to gardening, I took the bowl to a little flower shop and twenty minutes later had a work of art to call my own.
 
After heaving the 40lb bowl of wet dirt home on the bus, I decided to do some ‘home improvements’ before I took a shower and got some stuff done off my list of things to do before Dad gets here. 
 
So I screwed the seats to the dining chairs (finally) so we don’t have an accident… hung a huge painting up in the entrance in order to hide the electrical panel, oiled the small table in the entry way and then went outside and painted and stained an antique chair that my Grandpa gave me.  I don’t recommend spray painting when it’s windy out… there’s spray paint on my glasses… whoops!
The chair used to be in pieces, with pieces missing and the entire thing was coated in many many layers of very old oil paint… so many layers of thick old paint that the carving on the back rest was almost invisible… So my grandpa stripped that part of the chair, made replacement pieces for the parts missing and then I spray painted the body black and the back rest was stained to match the chairs in the dining room.  It’s now a gorgeous little chair sitting in my bedroom.  It belonged to my Great Grandparents, where it lived in a cabin on a lake for years… My grandpa was going to throw it away as he wasn’t interested in stripping all the paint off the turned spindles… I spotted it in his workshop at Easter and now it’s got a new life in my home.
 
Other than that, I spent some sofa time and some knitting time and then went to bed early…
 
Tonight is grocery shopping and laundry.

Apparently my Dining Room is ‘sophisticated’.
 

 

Water

I was reading a blog that had writing prompts this morning… just to see if I could find something to inspire me.  I found a prompt to write about ice cream memories from my childhood.  The first memory that popped into my mind was walking to Dairy Queen with my Grandma in the summer time to get a Peanut Buster Parfait.  Sounds like a good memory, right?  Well, in part yes, but the actual overwhelming memory is being quite young and it being VERY hot outside. I can distincly remember that I was parched (altho not knowing how to define that feeling at the time) and my feet were hot and swollen…
This is actually a feeling that I remember very well from many times in my childhood.  Being hot, thirsty and miserable.  Hating how the heat from the asphalt uncomfortably warmed my ankles and calves. Hating how uncomfortable I was. I also remember that whenever we would ask for a drink, often the answer was ‘wait till we get home’.
 
I don’t remember water being as big a deal in my childhood (23 years ago) as it is now. 
 
When we were in school we had to ask permission to go get a drink of water at the water fountain in the hallway (in HIGH SCHOOL!).  No food or drink was allowed in the classrooms.  When I cashiered (about 13 years ago) we weren’t allowed to have a bottle of water at our tills, even tho we would chat for hours with the customers and there was never an opportunity to take a quick break.
 
Now children are sent to school with water bottles.  They keep them at their desks.  Cashiers keep water bottles at their stations.  Everyone has a re-usable water bottle and for the most part, of the people that I know, they guard it with their lives. My sister and her hub and I were driving home from a family outting and when I realized I forgot my water bottle, she made her hub turn us around and go back for it because as she said ‘I couldn’t live without mine… I presumed you were the same’.
 
I always have my water bottle with me now.  I have one on my desk and one in my house and then one I take with me if I’m going somewhere other than my office or my house. 
 
I hardly ever get ‘thirsty’ now.  Drinking water all day is just a habit now… I don’t think it’s healthy to ‘get thirsty’… I know it’s not good for me.  The other day I was out shopping with Sam and all of a sudden I was THIRSTY… like in a panic, burst into tears, find me a drink of water right this second or I’m going to freak the fuck out, thirsty.  Good thing for me we were in a store that sold water, and we went and grabbed some straight away.  I don’t know why I get into a panic like that… it’s probably not rational…
 
So that got me to thinking… as I sat in a bubble bath this weekend because it was FREEZING in my house… I should have brought my water bottle in here… nothing more refreshing than drinking ice cold water in a hot bubble bath… I wonder if people in countries with no free flowing, cold, drinkable water get that same panicky feeling I get, or if they’re so used to being thirsty that they don’t even recognize it.
I wondered how it could be that I can turn my tap on and let the water run into the drain until it’s ice cold, but millions of people can’t get a drink when they want it…. and then the horror hit me.  I’m sitting in a bathtub full of DRINKABLE water.  I’m soaking myself in 70 gallons (GALLONS) of clean, fresh drinking water.  I can tell you, I jumped out of that bathtub like someone dropped a hair dryer in…
 
It reminded me that I take a lot of things for granted… I screach and scream as if I’m ‘dying of thirst’ when my beloved water bottle isn’t inches from my hands… never for a second thinking that had I been born somewhere else… I would be one of 783 MILLION people that don’t have access to clean drinking water.
 
As I was looking for statistics, I came across an organization called Drop in The Bucket.  I poked around a bit and will do more research about how I can help, but in the meantime, I bought a new glass water bottle.  All the profit from these particular bottles will be directly used to provide clean water to schools in Uganda and South Sudan.  They’re limited edition so if you want one, go to this here website.
 

Who are you?

I think I like who I am now… who I’ve become.
 
I used to be what I can only assume was obnoxious.  I was REALLY loud and the life of the party… I wanted everyone to like me and I saw no reason why they shouldn’t.
I never had an opinion on anything.  Did I like this food or that food?  I always liked everything… I never knew that it was okay to decide one day that you weren’t so fond of X.
I was also scared a lot… scared that I was going to do something or say something and embarass myself.  Scared that someone important to me wouldn’t like me anymore.
Scared of the dark.  Of Spiders.  Of dryer lint and potatoes and balloons. Of heights and bridges. It’s a wonder I ever went outside!
 
 
The me now is much more powerful than the younger me.  I don’t want to say that my childhood wasn’t supportive, because it was, but I feel like the me that I became was powered entirely from within.  One day I decided that I didn’t like something.  And that was okay.  I realized that if someone doesn’t like me, that’s not the end of the world.  I discovered that a fight isn’t the end of a solid relationship.  I discovered that it’s okay to express my opinion… and that it’s okay to not express my opinion.  I realized that if someone wants to talk about something and I don’t want to participate, I dont’ have to.  For many years, choosing not to engage in a conversation was not accepted.  Usually these conversations were about how flawed we (me and my sister) were, or how we weren’t conducting our lives the way some members of our family thought we should.  And choosing not to discuss personal details of our lives got scathing insults and the whole thing usually ended in tears.
Now… NOW!  Just try and make me talk about something I don’t want to.  I feel that as I grew into myself, I found a voice.  One who’s primary responsibility is to stand up for and protect me.  As a person that will share 99.9% of everything about me with you, this voice is the one that holds on to that tiny percentage… and no amount of shaming, or cajoling or insulting will get me to give that away.
 
I enjoy who I am now…

What your house does at night (or Why I’m not scared of my Living Room anymore)

All my life I’ve been afraid of my house at night time.  Well, let me clarify.  I believed that once you turned the television off and all the lights off and retreated to your bedroom, it was not appropriate to go anywhere in the house again until morning except your bedroom and the bathroom. 
What happened in your house at night… whatever parties the furniture threw and however drunk the ottoman got were none of your concern and certainly you weren’t invited.  That makes it sound funny, but in truth, for 33 years I’ve always remembered being scared of my house at night time.  Even if at some point I had to get up super early for work or a trip, I would make sure to use as little of the house as possible, lest I ‘interrupted’ something… (I’m fully aware I sound like a mental patient).
 
Well it occurred to me at 3am this morning (when the cat had a little fit and needed to have cuddles while he was sitting on his cat scratcher in the living room and NO WHERE ELSE!) that I’m not scared of my house.  I can go anywhere in the whole place at any time of the day or night and feel safe and comfortable.  I tried to think of reasons this might be and I came up with a few.  First, I’ve never lived somewhere that there’s a door to the outside and then a door to my apartment.  That means it’s twice as difficult for naredowells to get into my house.  Racoons can’t climb through the windows either, which is a bonus…
Reason #2 is that all the people in my building are wonderful.  Everyone is friendly and while they mostly seem to keep to themselves, there’s an air of common care.
Reason #3 is that the energy in my house feels comfortable.  It’s a safe, friendly, warm (even tho there’s no heat right now and it’s freezing!) place to be and there’s truly nothing to be scared of.  It’s bigger, which means that there’s less dark corners because everything is so much more spread out…
 
Anyway, it’s a nice feeling to not be afraid of your house… and while I’ll still respect the furniture’s personal time and I don’t expect to be invited to the parties, I feel that my whole house is mine at any hour… And the ottoman is in the bedroom now… getting drunk is no longer an option!