Friday, February 8, 2013

Nothing New

I haven't been writing....oops.
What I have been doing is working, like a dog, and it's super busy right now.
What can I tell you?

I changed offices (within my office). My new office is smaller but it's nice. It's away in a corner
but not in a corner-office type of way. Last night I stayed at work, cleaning it up, and cleaning out my 'old' office, which is the next one over. There was a lot of debris--design is like that.
Samples, drawings, files. A lot to throw out.

I had a cold/flu that I'm still getting over. I was off sick for two days last week and it was depressing, especially with how busy it's been. I still did work from home on both days but on the Wednesday I slept most of the time.

I watched the Superbowl with my mom, even though the Patriots weren't playing. I rooted for the 49ers as I felt the same way as one of the announcers, who so succinctly put it "I'm sick of all this Ray Lewis stuff."  My mom left to go home before half-time and I'm ashamed to admit I fell asleep during that black out in the New Orleans stadium. I blame my cold.

It's snowing to beat the band outside right now. There is actually snow on the window 'ledge' on my condo outside, and the ledge is really just some brick.  The pigeons are flying around, playing in the flakes. It has not stopped snowing all day. Like most of my office, I'm working from home today, and our network is slow as molasses. I'm on my second (large) cup of coffee in my New York mug.

I took up spinning as a helper to get me back into shape. I'm still running, slowly building up strength.
Spinning is tough but I like it. Mike and I rented bikes in Key West and I loved being on a bike again,
just not sure I'd want to bike around this city--way too many cars, and way too high a potential for accidents. Spinning gives me time on the bike, there is loud music, they bark instructions through a head-set, and turn the lights down low. It's great.
I'm also doing weights again, and stretching, and planking. Running's given me endurance, but strength I do not have.  On that note, now that my neuro gave me the green light on the running, I've been back at it. Loving it. Especially loving not feeling guilty like I did when I was running and not supposed to...what can you do. No races though. Just loving running alone and running against myself. Lots of thinking while I run.

It's February, I'm sure you've noticed. I'm glad. Jan in Can is not fun, and even though I managed to miss two weeks of it, it was still dark and freezing and depressing. I'm glad it's over.
February is nice and short, my sister has a birthday and we usually do it up, there's the Family Day long weekend which is a nice little holiday, and there is Valentines. Mike is back (he arrived at 6 this morning, giving new meaning to the song "I Drove All Night", really, because he did, and he managed to get out of New England prior to the dumping of snow they're supposed to get starting today).  So...lots to do in February.

Art classes. That's what I got my niece for Christmas, and so far, I've taken her there almost every Saturday (except the first one, I was away).  The classes are held at the AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario) and she loves them. I wish they were more instructional (they are taking a 'fun' approach, which, for the amount of money I paid for them, is a little....whack) but my niece is happy.
The classes are 2 hours and I've been bringing her, then walking to the nearest Starbucks, getting a coffee, then coming back and reading a book. Electronically. More about that in the next paragraph.

I bought an iPad. I caved to technology. It's ironic, because I have not jumped on the hardware bandwagon (the iPhone is a work thing, I was very lucky to get the new one), and so this is the first electronic I have bought. (I don't even have a flat screen TV. For real).  So the iPad. The real reason I wanted one was because of the library book dilemma (ie, the bedbugs found in Toronto libraries and books. I know. I'll give you a minute with that).  So I am now connected to the Toronto Public Library via my iPad and I have more reading on the go right now than I can reasonably handle. I've been staying up late, trying to keep up.  I've read an ebook by Alexander McCall Smith (ebookette really), called 'The Perils of Morning Coffee' which I loved. Waiting for me to read them right now are Cheryl Strayed's "Torch", Laura Hillebrand's "Unbroken", and another McCall Smith book is on hold--his new one, "The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds".  I also read a memoir by the best friend of writer Caroline Knapp (deceased, her book was "Drinking; A Love Story" which I love, and I couldn't believe she died so young).  Her friend's book is titled "Let's Take the Long Way Home" and it talks about their friendship, which started because they were both independent, like-minded women with dogs and drinking problems.  The book was very average, I have to say, but I read it anyway. It had some great quotes in it (one of them was that, in the author's view, your forties are a time of life when you really live in the moment for some reason. I'm really looking forward to that, I am).  It was also an emotional read after Knapp gets her lung cancer diagnosis.  Another type of grief we don't explore alot in society; how you grieve when a close friend dies, when you're both not yet old.

And I'm reading them all electronically. I swore I would never 'cross over' but now that I have, I can't imagine why I didn't want to...I carry the iPad with me everywhere, and I always have a book to read in case I have to wait for something. I love it.

In "real" book form I finished reading Michael Bryant's "28 Seconds" which is his memoir about his role in the death of a cyclist in downtown Toronto in 2009.  He was the former Attorney General of Ontario, my own former MPP in the riding of St. Paul's when I lived on Bathurst, and he struck and killed a cyclist in his car, after the cyclist had become very aggressive with him and tried to attack him in his car.  I remembered the case at the time and thought, God, what bad bad luck, and I remembered Toronto's cycling 'community' of bike couriers and riders getting very upset about the whole thing, without even thinking of what it must have been like to be in that car, to have an accident like that, to have your whole life turned upside down. Is it a Pulitzer-prize type book? No. But it made for interesting reading. It was also a good read in the sense of a reminder: the reminder that we do not, as much as we delude ourselves that we do, control our own lives, our destinies.
They are set out for us, and we have to adapt as they reveal themselves. After this tragic event, his younger brother died in 2011, the day after my dad, I was sad to read. The book also reminded me that my story is one that needs to be told too. And it will haunt me til I write it, as Truman Capote once said. I've been thinking about that a lot lately.

So, Mike is here, and he brought me my Christmas/anniversary gift (how did I plan this? Our wedding anniversary is so close to Christmas that the two have been combined...Hmm). It's a beautiful, Dijon-yellow Le Crueset oven-to-table dish. The kind you make beef bourginon in.
It's official, in case anyone was wondering. I'm domesticated. True, I still don't own a toaster or kettle, but clearly I've 'crossed over'. Mike bought it in an outlet in Florida while we were travelling. Odd thing is, the yellow dishes were all on a further discount, which was ironic, and lucky, as I love yellow. The saleswoman explained that the most popular colour for the cookware now is Carribean Blue, which is gorgeous, but 40 % off is 40 % off. Yellow it is.

So that's the update.
And it's still snowing...

Happy Snowday Friday! 

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