Category: me (page 2 of 2)

Thoughts from laundry day

I would swear to you that I turn my clothes right-side-out when I take them off and put them in the hamper. And yet, every laundry day I find myself taking all of my inside-out clothing from the dryer and turning it right-side-out properly before putting it in the dryer. I could easily shave three minutes, maybe four, from my total laundry time if I ever in fact did what I keep thinking I do anyway.
File under mysteries of laundry.

Not only did I gap and put my bras in the washer, I also gapped and put them in the dryer. Now whatever one I put on is going to be slightly too tight for the first hour or two that I wear them, and I will subconsciously feel like I have put on slightly more weight than I think I have. That feeling will not fade, and even after it has slightly stretched back to being just-right, I will be slightly pissy and slightly depressed all day.
File under mysteries of women.

After a decade of marriage, I should either ask my beloved why it is that on any given laundry day, his portion is at most 25% of mine, or just stop wondering how he can go through a whole week using fewer pairs of socks & underwear than I.
File under mysteries of men.

I fold his shirts differently than mine. His way is slightly faster and I could easily shave three minutes, maybe four, from my total laundry time. But I like how mine get folded, showing the printing/icon/cartoon on the front of the tshirts and I secretly think his way is kind of sloppy and I hate that crease running down the middle you end up with. He likes how his gets folded for some reason that makes sense to him. So there it stands.
File under mysteries of marriage.

Where the hell is that other sock? I know I had matched pairs of socks when I put them into the washer. I checked the washer thoroughly, even that weird icky gap under the drain gasket. I checked the dryer thoroughly, even that fuzzy gap by the lint trap. And yet, I do not have matched pairs of socks now.
File under mysteries of the universe.

Ten things I have done that you (probably) haven’t

I should be doing about 4 other things. Instead, posts by John Scalzi and Brad Willis have me thinking up ten things cool enough to put on this list without borrowing some from my friend Juliette.

This could be tough.

  1. saw a fatal motorcycle when I was young, and took up motorcycling anyway.
  2. motorcycled from Toronto to Alaska and back. 5 weeks, 15,000 kms.
  3. made out with a well-known film star in a stalled elevator.
  4. played with a trio of 6-week-old bengal tigers.
  5. have only broken two bones in my body, both doing mundane every-day tasks (walking down stairs, walking down a hill).
  6. watched someone die.

    Holy FSM, this is harder than I thought. Mostly because I don’t ever talk about a lot of the things that would fall into this list.

  7. done a polar bear plunge in a northern lake in February while listening to wolves howl in the distance.
  8. drank beer with Kris Holden-Reid, my tv crush, who play Dyson on Lost Girl, my guilty tv pleasure. I was nervous about talking to him until I realized he’s never seen me as naked as I’ve seen him.
  9. coasted a car with a seized engine down a major bridge at 3am.
  10. joined roller derby at 50.

FUNemployment, Day 120

Oh hey! How are you?

Yeah, I know, it’s been a while. 92 days to be exact. No, I didn’t actually count the days; I used a website. I’m not that bored.

What have I been doing in the last three months?

Well, I did not accomplish much on my Summer List. I didn’t skate very much, actually twice if I’m honest about it. The first thing I did while unemployed was gain weight which made the knee hurt. And I was afraid to go to practices for reasons that only exist in my head. I didn’t learn Ruby on Rails or brush up all that much on HTML5, CSS or Javascript. I didn’t go to a drive-in. I didn’t do anything on my Pantone Project other than take one photograph with a red tomato. I joined the HackLab but haven’t been even once, afraid to go for reasons that again, only exist in my head. I did start the Flora Chameleon Scarf, but put it away when it didn’t work after the 12th try, to trouble shoot another time. I didn’t write anything of consequence other than a few half-finished entries in my journal. If only writing/blogging in my head counted…then I would have written tonnes!

I didn’t get to a drive-in or eat a hot dog over a campfire or go to Manitoulin Island or Port Dover. Keith was quite busy this summer and we did not get away even for a weekend trip. We did travel together to Owen Sound as Keith was working up there for a week, and I did get to see Moreland Place and its neighbour, Inglis Falls. I quite like Owen Sound; it’s pretty and has a great used bookstore beside a great coffee shop down the street from a great yarn store.

Inglis Falls, Owen Sound

Inglis Falls, Owen Sound

Moreland Place, Owen Sound

Moreland Place, Owen Sound

We did get out on some day trips together, Keith and I. We explored different parts of the city on long walks, went out of town now and then, and spent a day at the Art Gallery of Ontario taking in the Ai Wei Wei and David Bowie exhibits (both were brilliant). We took a day and went to the US of A, where we were surprised with a friendly US customs border guard, delighted by the change in perspective by being on the American side of Niagara for the first time, intrigued by the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright at Greycliff Estate on Lake Erie, satisfied by wings at Duff’s, and amazed at the work being done to restore Buffalo’s Central Terminal.

Road trip to Niagara Falls and Buffalo.

Road trip to Niagara Falls and Buffalo.

I did get out on the motorcycle a bit more, mostly back up to Tyson Lake, once in August, and again in October for Canadian Thanksgiving. I’m getting good at making a 4 hour highway drive last close to 8 hours on a motorbike. The August trip was a solo, read-reflect-and-write trip, where all I really did was read, drink beer and goof off. Thanksgiving was all about family, and I loved spending time with everyone. Highlights were watching my niece and nephew play hockey, and having Keith ride up to Parry Sound to join me for the 6-hour ride home on a clear and wonderful fall day.

Solo vacation

Tyson Lake, August. Solo time spent sitting around, drinking good beer and watching nature do what it does.

Thanksgiving with the family

Tyson Lake, October. Thanksgiving with the family

I also spent a lot of time making jam and bread, soups and stews for the freezer, and knitting like crazy.

from top: beret that I'm not sure I'll wear, cowl with art-deco wave pattern, cowl with stranded colourwork (frogged) and cowl with overly-intricate Irish cables.

From top: beret that I’m not sure I’ll wear, cowl with art-deco wave pattern, cowl with stranded colour work (frogged) and cowl with overly-intricate Irish cables. There’s more projects, but these were the prettiest.

I also volunteered at Toronto Mini Maker Faire, which was an amazing show-and-tell of Maker culture, and Cask Days. More on Cask Days later; know that it was beyond fun.

I think most of the time over the last 3 months has been spent trying to process my unemployed state. And to figure out what I’m going to next.

This is where I have to thank the fates for Keith. He has been incredibly supportive in his quiet, laid-back way. He seemed too quiet and laid-back in my panicky, oh-my-freaking-gods-what-the-the-hell-am-I-going-to-do moments, but I realized that he is like this because he trusts, he knows that I’ve got this (or will eventually). He is not rushing me to go out and find a job, any job, that might not suit me. Employment Insurance makes sure that the bills are covered, and between that, the settlement and Keith, I find that I actually have time to plan my next steps for the first time in my life.

Plan A: Brewmaster
Yes, you read right. Brewmaster. It started with a conversation with Keith:

“so what do you think I should be when I grow up?” I asked jokingly.
“Brewmaster Goodale has a nice ring to it,” was his reply.

And so the seed was planted. I’m putting together some research to present to Second Career in the hopes that I might be eligible to have my tuition and expenses covered for the Brewmaster and Brewery Operations course at Niagara College. I’ve gotten my high school and college transcripts, have emailed the admissions department to find out what I need to do, and have subsequently signed up for a grade 12 biology course, bought a one gallon kit to start making my own beer, and started a beer blog (, and no, it’s not quite ready yet) to act as a portfolio. I’m making contacts with brewers, teachers and beer sommeliers in different programs to investigate the growth of the craft beer industry and job opportunities within it.

I am realistic about this. I really want this, but know there is about  25% chance that I can get all the ducks in a row and make it happen. I’m not sure if I can get a student loan if the Second Career doesn’t pan out, and I know I can’t go there on my own dime as I am just not keen on dipping into my retirement investment at this age in order to pay for tuition and boarding. At the very worst, I don’t get into the program, but I will still have the contacts and plan on furthering my beer education through the Cicerone program or something similar.

Because beer is delicious. And beer people are wonderful.

Plan B:
Of course I have a Plan B. What’s the good of doing all this work for a 25% chance at Plan A without a fallback plan? There was a time I would have set all my energies to Plan A, but to quote Danny Glover’s character in Lethal Weapon, I am too old for that shit.

I have checked with Employment Ontario, and can apply for Ontario Self Employment Benefit and go back to running my own business again. I think I would focus on contract work in desktop publishing or web development at larger business as well as working with small business this time. We’ll see how that goes.

Plan C:
Get a job. I’ve been conducting a steady job search since IE started as that is a condition of the payment, and have been sending out 10-15 resumes a week. I have had a few interviews, but nothing that panned out into a second one. While my skill-set and education doesn’t look that great on paper (too general, nothing specific and in-depth), I am not discounting the chance that I might find a fabulous job that fits my skill-set at a fabulous place that fits my values and temperament. hey, it could happen. It did before, just when I was least expecting it.

There you have it. Three months of activity in 1200+ words. I feel…lighter. Writing only really counts if I commit words to paper or screen. Otherwise it’s just thinking, and I think too much as it is anyway. Going to aim for at least once a week, and perhaps try the NaBloPoNo. Maybe even NaNoWriMo since it’s not like writing an hour a day can interfere with work these days!



Draft clean up day, part 4. This is a lot of odd little drafts and some more recent bits. I could give them their own post, but after 3 updates today, I think it’s time to concatenate ’em all and just get ‘er done.

Went with Keith last week as he headed out to a car wrecker in Stoney Creek to look for a less rusty hood for the car. It was in an open area covered with concrete, metal and glinting glass, and the day was crazy hot. I stood by the compound, looking at the wrecks and wondered about them. There’s a story for every one of them…somebody chose them and drove them home proudly from the car dealer, smelling the new car smell. Sports cars might have babies conceived in them; minivans carried the babies and families later. There might have fights or laughter, bouts of road rage, or singing loud to a favourite song on a road trip. The cars were outgrown, damaged, crashed, unrepairable, and now they are abandoned here, waiting for recycling in the hot sunshine that tastes of metal and oil.


I headed to Ottawa on the weekend for a derby thing. While that was fun, the best part of the weekend was catching up with Karen, a friend of the family’s. We agreed that it must have been 25 years since we’ve seen each other, but it felt like less, much less. She gave me a place to crash, fed me, and, having read about the tentative beer-as-career idea on Facebook, bought some interesting beers for me to taste and try. We talked, we drank, we talked some more, we called my brother to taunt him a little bit, and generally hung out. It makes me want to do it again soon.


Speaking of derby, I saw this shirt while I was there. Love the feline riff on the Black Flag logo – want!


Been thinking that my lifestyle has been a bit sedentary so far this summer and that I should get back into using the FitBit and tracking calorie input and output again. Stepped on the scales to get a current benchmark point…apparently I have gained 8lbs since leaving the school.

There are a lot of words I said upon seeing that, but it was mostly one word used as noun, verb, adjective and adverb. It starts with the letter f, if you need a hint.

*WSOGMM = Whole Sort of General Mish Mash.


Written Friday, November 16…am catching up on my NaBloPoMo after my weekend away and a crazy start to the work week.


Before I was obsessed with boys, I was obsessed with music. And when I was in high school, I think grade 10 or so, I wanted to learn how to make music.

And I mean really wanted it.

The object of my affection was the guitar. I'm not sure what triggered it, if it was a classmate or crush that knew how to play it, or if it was something I'd heard at a party, but I craved it enough to ask my father for lessons.

This story is not going to make my dad look good. It paints him as stubborn, autocratic in a very man-of-the-household-what-I-say-goes way, maybe uncaring or unloving. He was none of those things. Well except stubborn. He had enough of that to pass a big chunk to me and still have plenty left over.

This story does not make me look good either. I come across as passive yet stubborn, nervous, painfully uncomfortable with confrontation, and willing to abandon a passion at the first roadblock. I was all of those things.

Not sure how I worded my request, but I do remember it was after dinner and we were in the rec room. My hand were shaking and I was scared. Not scared of my dad per se, but sometimes his reactions could be unpredictable. He worked hard at the phone companyand at home, was the only wage earner and the only driver. I knew that I was asking him to not only to find something extra in the budget but give up some of his limited free time to take me to and from lessons. I still wanted it even if it meant balogna sandwiches and inconveniencing a tired man. I screwed up my courage and asked.

And he looked at me and said that learning music was a good idea. His grandmother, his mother and sisters had all learned to play the piano and he was all for it. Oh what joy!

Until the next sentence – he'd look for piano lessons in town.

I reiterated that I wanted to play the guitar.

No, piano was good enough for his mother, it would be good enough for me.


Piano, or nothing.

We stared at each other for one of those moments that feels like an eternity but is really about 2 seconds. I saw his jaw clench and het got that look in his eye, the one I was afraid of. He did not like to be defied (well, who does, really). I broke first.

Fine, I said. Nothing.

And turned back to the tv as if I was ok with it. Conversation over.

Being a teenage girl, I blamed my dad for my anger, hurt and disappointment. But as I grew up, I knew where the fault lay. I wasn't smart or quick enough at the time to say, sure Dad, let's try it, and later manoever to the more reasonable priced, portable and lovely guitar. I was too fearful to defy my father even in something as small as this. I was too stubborn to pursue another avenue, to get a friend to teach me, to work more hours part time and save up for one of my own.

I'd said nothing, and nothing it would be. My stubbornness said a big ole fuck you, cutting of my nose to spite my face.

The guitar changed from an object of desire to a symbol of my own failings. I began to hate it, asking people not to bring it out at parties, sneering at it's kumbaya campfire reputation, deriding acoustic singer/songwriters as being insufferable shoe-gazers.

The only insufferable one was me.

An opportunity came up a few years ago to learn a string instument at school with the younger grades; I chose cello. While I liked the instrument and the sound, I was never really drawn to it. After an epiphany, I gave it back and went out and bought a guitar, a tawny Yamaha acoustic that makes me smile and think “that's MINE” with a bit of wonder everytime I see it.

I was doing well with it, learning by video and practicing every other day. But then I broke my knee and the momentum stopped. I've had Keith and Chuck both offer to help me learn, but a degree of stubborn pride wouldn't let me accept their help. And yet, I can sit in with the grade 7's, having no problem at all watching 12-year-olds quickly pass me and then watch me fumbling with slightly smug looks.

Someday I'll understand myself better. But at least I'll know how to play the guitar when I do.


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.


I didn’t go out yesterday with the intention of going lingerie shopping. To be honest, I rarely go out with the intention of lingerie shopping. I equate it with going to the dentist or buying shoes; aggravating, uncomfortable, a little soul-sucking but necessary. I can never find exactly what I want, and when on the rare occasion I find something close to what I want and find it in my size, well, it never fits me or looks quite the way I think it should. I tend to stick with what works with little deviation over the last decade or two. My underwear drawer is filled with black cotton thongs (don’t judge, they’re the best undies for motorcycling in as they prevent monkey-butt) and one or two black cotton bras that I replace only when the underwire has finally had enough, snaps and tries to pierce the flesh it’s supposed to support, usually in the middle of a class or a crowd for some reason.

I didn’t use to have such a utilitarian view on underthings. There’s another dresser drawer that contains memories I can’t bear to get rid of; a corset or two, garters & stockings, a leather bra from Northbound. There’s also a pink leopard print push-up bra that I bought on an impulse but have only worn twice, as it’s certainly not an everyday kind of bra according to my middle-aged WASP sensibilities.

“my middle-aged WASP sensibilities”. What the hell? I cannot believe I just wrote that. When the fuck did that happen? When did I turn into my mother? Probably around the time I let myself become bored and unhappy, I guess.

But I digress.

While walking to the car from Best Buy yesterday, I noticed that La Senza (Canada’s version of Victoria’s Secret) had big 50% off signs plastered all over its window so I ducked in on impulse while Keith went on to Home Depot. I walked out a half-hour later with a big grin on my face, clutching one of their large shopping bags filled with tissue-wrapped lovelies.

What happened between entering and leaving the store was neither aggravating or soul-sucking. I went in with no idea of what I wanted, and so was not disappointed when I didn’t find it. Everything in the store fits me now, a glorious side-effect of having to lose weight so I can walk pain-free.

I went a little nuts. I believe the word I’m looking for is binge. And there is nothing in the bag that’s black; lots of purple and blue and red and jungle prints and stripes. There’s cotton, but there’s lace and ribbons too. I did something I have never done, and went a little matchy-matchy.

I know they’re not going to look how I want them to look – I don’t inhabit anything close to a supermodel’s body after all and have about another 20lbs to go before I even get back what I think of as my body. And I know they’re not going to be as mindlessly comfortable as the black cotton. There’s no one going to see them and take delight in them but me.

But fuck it. I really like how they make me feel.

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