Thursday, December 27, 2012

Out of my hands

Just back from submitting my application for my Indian tourist visa. In approximately and exactly 7-10 days I will know if they'll let me in the country.  It's out of my hands now!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Not a stick man portrait

Do you have talent? I don't. I am spectacularly talentless, especially when it comes to real artistry. Lucky for me, I have friends, very good and special friends. This one friend in particular, Cecilia, is also a very talented artist. You see this sketch here on the left? She DREW that! Like, with her hands! Hmmm, maybe just one hand. Unless she's ambidextrous and I don't know about it. Possible. 

Cecilia and I met at work sometime around the year 2000. She has told me that we met in one of the many training sessions we had to attend. Typically, I have no memory of this (this will come as no surprise to some other friends.) However, at some point we started having lunch together, then she started sending me doughnuts through our internal mail service, followed by cans of V8, half of a chocolate bar and before you knew it we were doing things outside of work too. Mostly drinking a lot of wine and eating a lot of french fries and cheese cake.

Where the last 12, nearly 13 years have gone, I don't quite know, but Cecilia has certainly been a part of my small circle of friends that whole time. We don't see each other as often anymore. Life is like that.  We don't work together anymore, she's moved out to Mars (a.k.a. Île Bizard), she's had two kids ... The point is that we're still friends and even though we're not a part of each other's every day life, I think on the occasions that we do meet up, we're able to spend quality time together. That's important for me.

A few months ago (maybe it was only a few weeks but when your friend lives on Mars you automatically think everything was a few months past) Cecilia asked me to send her a favourite picture of myself. After sending her this picture, she muttered back to me that it needed to be a picture of my face.(Sheesh, how was I supposed to know?!)  I emailed her back another picture and promptly forgot all about it.

Last week I received her Christmas card, along with a picture of her kids. Admittedly, I was disappointed not to see a reworked comical collage of some kind using the picture I'd sent, seen here to the right. (Also I had hoped her annual year in review letter would be enclosed but it wasn't and have since been told she emails that out in January. I think she's making me wait on purpose.)

Last night we had our Christmas get together and Cecilia presented me with this beautiful (and I mean the drawing itself, not the subject) picture you see at the top of this post. I was floored - I mean look at it! It's incredible! I was also so touched that I promptly burst into tears in the middle of the restaurant.  So I've been wide awake for awhile now thinking about friends and what they mean to me, and why, and lots of other end of year thoughts.  Nothing much to tell you that I can put into words just yet other than Cecilia is a great artist, a true friend and a very special person in my life. I appreciate the thought and time that went into this gift but more than all that, I am thankful for her.  Cecilia, thank you.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Winter, how you try my patience

Winter arrived yesterday with a snow storm. Then it warmed up and rained. And of course, after that it got cold again and snowed. Because winter, you know, is like that. Mean.

This morning I went over to the parking lot to pick up the key for the community car and found that the lock box was frozen solid.  I could turn my key but couldn't remove the metal plate to get to the keys.  I tried the second lock box and the same thing happened. Feeling very MacGyver-ish, despite it being 8am, on a Saturday morning, standing on ice, in the blowing snow - I found a pen in my purse and tried to scrape away some of the ice that was holding the plate in. Five minutes later, now with my nose running and freezing all at the same time, I gave up and decided to go home and get one of those really sharp utility knives. Back with my knife, I started scraping again, broke a few blades off, pushed the next one up, and then scraped too hard because the whole blade thing fell out of the knife and when I tried to put it back in, put the blade in the wrong slot and then couldn't get it out to move it up or down in the shaft. At this point I called the community car service and explained what was going on and how it was impossible for me to get the car back in time, if I ever did manage to get in the lock box to the key. The agent was able to change my reservation time and car. Phew! But would I be able to get to a key?

Question for you, my audience - sensing my frustration yet?  Oh, it was there. Believe you me.

Back home for my back up utility knife and back to the parking lot. More scraping, more blades, more trying to open the lock boxes. NOTHING. NADA. I gave up and tried calling the car service again, only to get stuck on hold as I was walking over to a second (further) car location and then my phone DIED. Don't know if it's because my phone is old or because it was cold and the cold drained the battery really fast or maybe a combination of the two but now I had to turn around to walk home to plug in my phone to call the car service again. (And there was much heavy sighing.)

Naturally by this time I was all out of what little patience I had to start with. Now with my phone plugged in, I was able to call the car service again, get stuck on hold for 15 minutes and finally speak with another agent (so I got to repeat the whole story again, lucky me!) who cancelled my reservation at the first location and added one to the second location (about a 10 minute walk away). 

You'd think by this point the story would be finished, right? WRONG!

Now that I get to a lock box that opens (!), when I put the key into the car door, it was a bit sticky and guess what? The key wouldn't go all the way in! HA! Yes, there was ICE IN IT!  What a surprise, I know.  So, I opened the door from the passenger's side and got it unlocked that way. (Much more heavy sighing.)  Don't forget I still had to brush the snow from the car and scrape the ice off all the windows. A further 10 minutes was spent doing that and finally by 9:15am - a full hour and a quarter after leaving my house - I was on my way to do my groceries. A very quick shop, return home to drop off the bags and then I zipped back to the parking lot and was able to drop off the car with 10 minutes to spare before my 10am return time. Finally, a horribly cold walk back home, into the wind and blowing snow and finally, time for breakfast.

I can certainly say I earned it today.

On my way out to dinner soon. Hopefully public transportation won't try my patience as much as winter has already today.


Monday, December 17, 2012


Five weeks today I will be on my way to India. I'm taking the long route, which includes 2 nights in Zurich to get a much needed dose of BFF and all the hilarity that includes, before arriving in Hyderabad 'round about Friday, January 25.

Five weeks, people!

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

In need of inspiration?

Do you need some inspiration to do something you've never done? To get back to something you haven't done in a while? To push yourself a little harder? A little further? Is there something you want to check off your "bucket list"?

If so, I highly recommend reading Wild, by Cheryl Strayed.

Maybe you need to let go of the past. Maybe you need to accept yourself for who you are. Maybe ... I dunno ... you want to prepare for a long distance hike.

For me it reminded me of what it felt like to finish (yes, FINISH) my first (yes, I did more than one!) TRIATHLON and how it felt like to finish (yes, FINISH) my second (!) TRIATHLON, and how I want that feeling again and I will make sure it happens again. For the record, FINISHING a triathlon felt like I was/am, to quote Cheryl (apologies to my parents for this language), "a hard-ass mother f***ing Amazonian queen."

Take the inspiration you need from Cheryl's story. And that's all I'm going to say about it.

Monday, December 03, 2012

For Rent

Ooops ... pressed the wrong button a few days ago and deleted the post about my condo.

Here's a link to the ad for my condo on craigslist.

And the one on kijiji.

If you know anybody, please forward the information on to them. I'm open to discussion about the dates (earlier in January, if necessary) and always willing to answer questions.