Category: stuff (page 1 of 2)


I wish I was the kind of person who could cry freely, who could weep and wail and teat at her hair and clothing and let it all out. And once it was all out, it would be like after a summer thunderstorm, cleansed and fresh and ready to move on.

Instead, I suppress because I have the background that I have; repressed. I hold it in, push it down. A few tears might leak out, a few sobs or cries. But no more. It leaves me feeling worse, with a headache and scratchy dry eyes.

I really wish I could cry.

These can all fuck off now.


Everything that makes me small and mean is taking up too much space in my head tonight. I would like them gone.

Did it!

Feeling quite proud of this.


2013 Retrospective

plot twist


I’m going to look at 2013 as the year of the plot twist, and move on. I’m not saying that life went wrong, but it certainly had an unexpected detour. I thank my beloved, my family and my friends for all the times they talked me off the ledge by reminding me that I have both mad skills, intelligence and the support of the people around me.

I like this representation of my year, a mosaic of all of the daily photos. Going by this, 2013 wasn’t as bad as all that.

2013 collagesm

Click to embiggen.

I’m sick, aka NaBloPoMo cop out

Well, I didn’t post yesterday, so I guess I don’t win the non-existent prize for blogging every day this month.


I just didn’t feel like it, between having some virus or another, getting a headache from the fumes from the bathtub refinishing and being in the grips of what is likely just the monthly hormone imbalance. I spent most of yesterday and today curled up on the couch knitting and watching Doctor Who.

I watched the 50th anniversay special. I’m not sure yet if I liked it or not; I’m going to have to watch it again and weigh in later. First impressions:

  • they gave John Hurt all the good lines
  • the only thing that is stopping Clara from being my least favourite companion of the reboot is the fact that she’s (now) a teacher with a motorcycle
  • I kinda want Rose back. And I really want River back.
  • Is it just me, or did the portrayal of Elizabeth the First seem a tad, well, messy and all over the place?
  • Feeling a bit let down by how the previous doctors where integrated.
Can’t wait for the Christmas special with Peter Capaldi. I’ve seen him in Neverwhere and Torchwood, and while I’m sure the teenage fangirls would disagree with me, I think he’s going to bring something interesting to the role.
In other news, it snowed here today which made me happy, and made me like a little kid jumping and skipping around the living room. I like snow.


I am going to attempt to do the following eleven twelve thirteen things tomorrow. I am telling you in the hopes that by telling you, I will be more inclined to do the following eleven twelve thirteen things. The word accountability keeps floating through my head here, but I cannot for the life of me put it in a sentence that makes sense in this context. It’s been a day.

  • put on the Fitbit that has been in the charging station since August.
  • track my food.
  • go for a swim (taking off the Fitbit first).
  • meet Nancy for lunch.
  • write the three blog posts I’ve been meaning to write for weeks.
  • update LinkedIn profile.
  • contact brewers for interviews.
  • finish Molly’s sock monkey hat
  • finish Yukon piece for memoir writing group.
  • take two Pantone project photos
  • have a really good cup of tea while reading a book. Hopefully the book will be really good too.
  • do this week’s online programming course assignment (almost forgot that one).
  • work on nephew’s website (and that one)

I could start some/all of that today, but it’s 5:30 and I have a busy night of knitting and watching Lost Girl planned for after dinner.

Summer list, 2013 edition.

Draft clean-up day, part 3: I started writing this June 26th. 

Last year, I read an article on Lifehacker about creating a summer manifesto. It seemed like a good idea, a way to perhaps not forget those few dozen cool things I want to do before they become like so many of my good intentions, filed under Hey, I forgot about that! 

And it worked. the only thing I didn’t do is go to a drive-in movie, so it’s back on this year’s version. Other things are back on it, just because they were awesome the first time around.

A List of Shit I Want To Do This Summer So I Don’t Forget, 2013 edition.

Make Shit

  • Knit the Nennir cowl. Small enough to be transportable, complex enough that I won’t get bored.
  • Knit some socks. Ankle socks for some instant gratification and knee socks because after summer comes fall. After fall, comes winter. And winter means cold feet and legs.
  • Get out the Flora soft circuit microcontrollers and maybe make this colour changing scarf
  • Dust off the sewing machine. Why pay $20 for knitting project bags when I can make my own?

Learn Shit

  • Learn how to do a proper crossover and jump on roller skates, finally. Learn and remember the rule changes, the ones that were put in place in January.
  • Update HTML, CSS and javascript skills. I’ve learned that knowing enough to teach 14-year-olds is not necessarily the same as knowing enough to actually program something.
  • Learn Ruby on Rails if time permits.
  • Learn about beer. While I am not sure just how practical it is in the long run, making beer part of my future career plans, I do want to learn more about it, to appreciate the flavours more and to make my own.

Read Shit

  • Read more books for fun this summer. I still have some to get through from this list, plus I’m finding I keep reaching for more books in the Culture series from the late Iain Banks. I’m currently 3 books behind in my 2013 reading challenge on Goodreads (4 books/month), but I hope to more than make that up when I’m away at the cottage for a week.
  • Try reading more non-fiction. Usually non-fiction makes me zone out, but I am hopeful that Tasting Beer by Randy Mosher will be an exception.
  • Read outside. In the park. On a dock at a northern lake. In a hammock. On a blanket in the park. In bed. Just read.

Do Shit

  • Be more active. Walk, swim or hit the gym around four times a week.
  • Picnic.
  • Stay in better contact with friends. Call them. Meet local ones on a patio somewhere.
  • Go skating! Practice stopping and turning. And not falling. (See first point under Learn Shit)
  • Write. Write new things. Edit some older things.
  • Cook hot dogs over a campfire.
  • Experiment with beer and food.
  • Do the Pantone Project on Instagram. I got the postcards a few weeks ago, and have yet to take even one.
  • Eat more fresh and local. Go to farmer’s markets and roadside fruit stands.
  • Go swimming. And even more importantly, don’t care about how I look.
  • Journal more. Wriitng by hand only hurts because I don’t do enough of it.

Go Places

  • Go to a drive-in. The one near where I grew up is still open.
  • Go to Manitoulin Island, Tyson Lake, Port Dover. Watch the sunlight sparkle on the water and ignore everything else.
  • Spend a day on Toronto Island by myself.
  • Go on directionless road trips with Keith whenever possible.
  • Visit Moreland House finally, rather than just driving past it.

Chill the Fuck Out and/or  Do Sweet Fuck All

  • Go offline for a week minimum.
  • Drink a cold libation on a patio and people watch.
  • Blow some soap bubbles. Wave sparklers around after dark.
  • Turn off everything and watch a thunderstorm should the opportunity arise.
  • Watch a sunset.
  • Spend time with Keith.

stuff and crap

So, I was told on May 3rd that the school would not be renewing my contract after 12 years of teaching there.

Just imagine the initial reaction. The stress kept me awake for days.

A week later and there is a light at the end of the tunnel that is not an oncoming train. While I was completely blindsided by this, I’ve come to realize that the change is going to be interesting. And wild. And fun. And awkward. And hard. And occasionally stressful. I am smart, capable and have an affinity with technology. Opportunities abound.

I am humbled by the support that has been offered by friends and colleagues, and by Keith. I am fortunate beyond measure.


I *finally* have the final class M motorcycle license. Thankfully, this one doesn’t expire.


Last night’s writing class was based on scent as memory trigger. I buried my nose in a old paperback and wrote:

It is the smell of summer nights, reading by flashlight in a tent or a cabin. It is the smell of winter days, home, sick, with nothing to do but read upstairs while Mum watched her stories downstairs. It is the smell of Chur-Lee Lodge, of being enveloped by the old mushy and musty sofa by the bookcase while listening to the rain drum on the roof then drip past the windows.

I know now why old paperbacks smell the way they do*, that the chemicals used to make paper breaks it down after time, makes it powdery so that you pick up traces of every page you turn, absorbing them through your skin to carry with you always.

* Why Do Old Books Smell?


There is no rhyme or reason to my thought process today. Maybe I should go have a nap before heading out to derby later.

In my bag

In my Timbuk2 bag (which I love), I have:

  • about 30 sheets of paper. 20 are response forms for the school's new Acceptable Use Policy, 6 are sketches for a Lilypad Arduino project and 4 contain the instructions for a knitted shark I am making my nephew for Christmas, at his request. There is also an envelope from East Toronto Hospital informing me that my mammogram appointment is on October 26th and reminding me not to miss it. I missed it. I keep the envelope to remind me to reschedule. I haven't yet.
  • iPad 2 with Logitech Ultrathin keyboard and Bamboo stylus. I keep all this expensive tech in a neoprene sleeve I got at the dollar store for, well, a dollar.
  • Moleskine unlined journal and 2 Sharpie pens. Not all writing should be digital.
  • school keys on leopard spotted lanyard
  • five, count 'em, five USB keys with a total of 20gb storage. No idea what's on any of 'em. My favourite is the Darth Vader one. Quel surprise.
  • November TTC Metropass. The bike has been put away so yay, I get to take the bus for the next five months.
  • Pendant I made at a 3D printing workshop.
  • Sleeping cat shaped pill box with Aleve & Advil & Tylenol.
  • Burt's Bee's Pomegranate Lip Balm
  • change purse with mostly US change in it, left over from Mastodon Weekend
  • Black leather men's wallet.
  • pouch with the Olio lens in it for the iPhone
  • 68 cents worth of coins and two candy wrappers that were floating around the bottom
  • reading glasses
  • demo cd from former student. No one sings Frank Sinatra like she does.
  • iPhone cover in shape of cassette tape. Usually iPhone is in it, but I was using to take photo. Duh.
  • Skullcandy earbuds. Because I am taking the bus again.


So a lot of things happened today.

Laini Taylor’s new book, Days of Blood and Starlight, is out today. It’s the sequel to Daughter of Smoke and Bone which starts with the line, “Once upon a time an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well”. I loved the first one, which had twists in it that actually surprised me and a way with language that pulled me in. Hoping the second does as well.
Full Tilt Poker is back open for business, and my balance is there waiting for me. I played a few sit and go’s (lost) and then played the .10/.25 Rush poker where I cleared $50 after about an hour. Aces held up three out of three times, kings twice. Poker gods are fucking with me, I can feel it.
Of course, there’s the big election in south of me. As a Canadian, of course I’m concerned about the direction our biggest trading partner will be going, but have been so inundated with American TV, Twitter feeds and Facebook blather that I find I’ve gone all whatever today. I am now watching This Hour Has 22 Minutes‘ special called America Votes, Canada Watches. One sketch in and I’m already snickering.
I knitted a bit today too. I saw a quick little knitting pattern and felt strangely compelled to make it:
Yep. I spend money regularly to get a moustache removed, then spend time and yarn to make one.
My plan for the rest of the night may or may not include reading, a bubble bath, a Moscow Mule, knitting, curling up in the fetal position with a hot water bottle clutched to my midsection, or a combination thereof.
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