Monday, July 31, 2006

Things That You Think About On A Long Drive

Or so I thought on our way home yesterday:

1. That I probably shouldn't have had that one last glass of wine at the awesomely cool Tribeca Grand hotel bar because it made me very cranky.

2. Why do many people no longer use the passing lane as, well, a passing lane and insist upon driving in it therefore slowing traffic down to a halt?

3. New York City is so large that it's even hard to imagine when you've driven pretty much from one end to the other. And you can walk for hours and still be in a part that's considered downtown. And there's so much to see and to do that even though you've walked through Soho, the East Village, Greenwich Village, the Upper East Side, Alphabet City, a small part of Brooklyn, and the Financial District, you've barely scratched the surface.

4. Silence is good. As well as the "mix tapes" from a friend in Ireland. How fun is music by people you've never heard of?

5. You should really be driving a hybrid car but that doesn't stop you from giving obnoxious Hummers the finger—even if your mother did teach you to be polite.

6. Running around Brooklyn in high heels, playing "find the person" and sliding down a slide really seemed like a good idea at the time. Honestly, it did.

7. The border people are much nicer on the Canadian side.

8. Travelling truly messes up your sense of days. We got home on Sunday night and watched our usual shows but we both had to keep reminding ourselves that it was Entourage night and not Brotherhood night.

9. I wish I had a camera for all of the cool things I saw on the side of the road.

10. There is a limit to the amount of junk food one can eat.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

NYC - Day 4

The wedding was phenomenal. The weather—still hot—the city—still looming—Brooklyn, absolutely smashing, and I cannot believe I am still awake.

The giant blister on my foot atests to what a great f*cking day it's been.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Day 2 - NYC

There is no relief from the unrelenting heat in NYC. We drip the moment we step outside and smog-filled humidity has a hard time pumping oxygen into my scarred lungs.

Isn't amazing how so many people live in such a small place? We walked through the Lower East Side tenement museum today. The apartment looked so much like our own apartment in TO - the same walls, the same windows between the doors.

Then we took a cab to the MOMA because my work badge got us free admission. There's a fascinating DaDa exhibit going on at the moment. Then we walked around 5th Ave (we went in some stores - but only for the air conditioning.

We meet our friends for dinner at the Oyster bar in Grand Central station, something I had never done before - truly amazing even my $30 fish was a wee, wee bit dry, it was still awesome food and service.

But I think I need to come to NYC in the fall with some female friends and shop because I am missing all the shoes - my one birthday treat to myself (well that and Jackson).

And we missed the free exhibit at the NYPL, but I am hoping we can squeeze it in tomorrow before the wedding.

Walked past the Empire State and the flat iron buildings. And saw at least three Mies van der Roew (sp) chairs that I have been coveting for years in the MOMA. Aren't Clooney et al making an 0cean's 12?

Day 2 - New York Hotties

There is no relief from the unrelenting heat in NYC. We drip the moment we step outside and smog-filled humidity has a hard time pumping oxygen into my scarred lungs.

Isn't amazing how so many people live in such a small place? We walked through the Lower East Side Tenement Museum today. The apartment looked so much like our own apartment in TO - the same walls, the same windows between the doors.

Then we took a cab to the MOMA because my work badge got us free admission. There's a fascinating DaDa exhibit going on at the moment. Then we walked around 5th Ave (we went in some stores - but only for the air conditioning.

We meet our friends for dinner at the Oyster bar in Grand Central station, something I had never done before - truly amazing even my $30 fish was a wee, wee bit dry, it was still awesome food and service.

But I think I need to come to NYC in the fall with some female friends and shop because I am missing all the shoes - my one birthday treat to myself (well that and Jackson).

And we missed the free exhibit at the NYPL, but I am hoping we can squeeze it in tomorrow before the wedding.

Walked past the Empire State and the flat iron buildings. And saw at least three Mies van der Roew (sp) chairs that I have been coveting for years in the MOMA. Aren't Clooney et al making an 0cean's 12?

Perhaps they can swap some furniture as their next heist and donate it to the ragdoll needs to renovate her house and will make mad deals with any one willing to capitolize on her mad skills.


Kick it! We saw "a" Paul's Boutique today as well.

Okay off to bed. Must rest my 30 - 40 blocks walking legs.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

On The Road And In The City

We ate breakfast in Scranton. Can you believe it? I was this-close to my dream of eventually being on "The Office."

The giant map of NYC sucked us in and we got wicked lost. The best part? It didn't end up a full-on fight.

Our hotel is steps away from Ground Zero. We walked by and I can help but think of it as grave yard to some extent.

Then we spent 4 hours walking around. We had dinner at the mac & cheese place I read about on Tara's site (holler!

This city is amazing. It's sweltering. You sweat just by stepping one beat down the road.

I love that we drove though. I thought a lot about Kerouac and the long trips they made. Damn I love a good road trip. Last night we stayed in rub-down motel off hiway 81 - there was a bug in the bed.


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

I Was Born Today

It's such a strange thought to think of my mother in labour, pressing me out into the world, as if she or I had any choice in the matter. Birthdays generally make me more sad than jubilant, for the most part because they make me think of losing my mother, and now as this year I pass the her fatal age (last year I turned the age she was when she had the accident), it's kind of hard to even think about getting older.

I think there's some psychological breakdown when you lose a parent at a youngish age (I was 14). They become suspended in time for you, of course, but you also have a hard time imagining yourself getting past that age. You simply assume your life is going to end somewhere around that time too. It's not logical and maybe it's a product of a sort of grief. Who knows.

But I've had a lovely birthday so far (starting yesterday): my work colleagues got me a gorgeous cake and a cute little present, I got a nice card from my father and stepmother, I'm having brunch with my friend Tina and tonight we're going to NYC.

And now the year starts again—a kind of new year revolution for me: what do I want to accomplish this year? A first draft of one of my novels, finish the house, be an extra in a movie, read lots, write more, and most of all, be healthy.

#50 - I Was a Child of Holocaust Survivors

Bernice Eisenstein's book is important, there's no doubt about that, and it's got that charming, graphic novel style that reads more like a series of memories than a pure narrative. Her illustrations are charming and I liked learning more about life in Toronto for her Jewish immigrant parents. Especially reading about Kensington Market thirty or forty years ago.

But, and isn't there always a but, I wasn't blown away by it as I probably should have been, and I might put that down to the fact that I'm not entirely convinced I like graphic novels.

But perhaps I'm just reading the wrong ones?

And, well, I might as well give up my Summer Reading challenge—it's totally gone to pot. And Page A Day? Well, I'm doing a bit better—I'm at 82 (double spaced) and am hoping to break a hundred by mid-August. Now that's not too bad!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Blackberry Birthday

It's now moments from birthday and I have now discovered how to use my new Blackberry to blog. I just finished watching Underwold: Evolution, and am blissfully on the couch in the company of John Cusack & Diane Lane.

Only hours to NYC.

Oh, and the grossest health-related crap yet: I have ecoli in my pee.

Yes, you read that correctly.


The Green Butt Is Best

I'd really like to buy a pair of Del Forte Denim jeans, especially after reading this interview where owner/designer Tierra Del Forte explains that it takes two-thirds of a pound of pesticides to make one pair of jeans. But I doubt they'd have sizes that would fit my rather ample behind...

Thursday, July 20, 2006

The Office & The Work Boyfriend

I've been obsessed, ob-sessed, with NBC's The Office. I've been Faux-voing all of the episodes each week, as well, I've been watching the webisodes (brilliant I say, brilliant) and have re-played, analyzed and re-watched the Pam and Jim kiss about a million times (well, three). And I'm wondering why I'm so overwhelmingly enthralled by the show? I know it's because the environment is just so much like my day-to-day job (not the people, just the idea of the job) that I find so much humour in how ridiculous life can be at Dunder-Mifflin.

And then at the cottage this weekend, I kept referencing The Office wherever I possibly could. We were sitting around at the dinner table talking about movies and I mentioned Desert Island (My five movies? It's so hard to choose because it's not only movies that you like but movies you can watch over and over again. I picked The Godfather II, Badlands, Tully, Underworld [I know!] and Unforgiven). In the end, that sort of spiraled into a discussion of other movies, but no one at the table got how funny it was that Jim's girlfriend picked Legally Blonde as her first movie (and not a bad choice by my estimation, but still...).

Absolutely stunned by the BBC version and delighted by the Christmas episodes, the American show resonates perhaps more because I relate so much to the Pam/Jim storyline. Long before my present job, before I went to graduate school and found a love for all things online, I worked as a receptionist at a big financial company here in Toronto. It was my first job out of university. It was awful. But I had a work boyfriend, not unlike Jim, and he was awesome—the very first instance of my abuse of work email, and most certainly not the real boyfriend I had at the time (who, by chance, also worked there). And I miss him to this day.

It was that stereotypical best-friend, eat lunch together every day, know more about them than you do most of your girlfriends that kept me going through that awful job where everyone got my name wrong, commented on my girlie voice and basically hit on me non-stop from nine-to-five. And then when I went to the big fancy media company, I brought the idea of the work boyfriend with me, and wanted that same experience. Alas, there were fun work boyfriends at the new place but no one that actually grabbed my heart and made me wish for things I had no right to think about.

But it kept me going: I had crushes, I mean, as a girl obsessed with chicklit and happy endings, of course I had crushes. And as the job got worse, and as unhappy as I was, it kept me going. If Trip Fontaine (the nickname for one of the massive crushes), talked to me, well, I glowed. If the other boy I fancied dropped by my office and chatted for a minute, I blushed for hours. And lately, I've been mulling over a chicklit story in my head and have kept coming back to the idea of how work boyfriends came into existence and how to spin it into a story that someone other than me would like to read.

For the majority of my adult life, from my mid-twenties to my now-married state, I've been involved with my RRHB. Now, let's take for granted the fact that I love him dearly, or else I wouldn't have married him. Still eight, nine years is a long, long time to be with someone and there are only so many Ethan Hawke movies one can watch before her eyes start to wander and her heart aches just to prove she's still, well, a girl.

So, I crave the quasi excitement of a crush, of something that makes me feel attractive no matter how bad I look or how much weight I've gained or how bad my skin is from the meds. Oddly enough, there are no suitable work boyfriends where I am currently, but that's okay because I'm still going on the old ones, thinking of how nice it would be to run into them again or wondering what they're doing. But without that daily dose of work boyfriend-ness, I find that maybe I've grown out of the work boyfriend stage? I mean, I've entered non-stop adulthood at this new job. I mean the signs are everywhere: I listen to CBC in the morning, I find myself craving good literature online (what?) and I forget everything if it's not written down. Should I mourn the passing and just accept that real life means growing out of my adolescent style crushes?

But I'll forever miss the work boyfriend drive-by, the butterflies from when he stops by your office (now cubicle, sniff), the fun, flirty emails—it all just makes the time go by so much faster at work. Hence, The Office, and why it's the epitome of my life these days, and why I'll obsessively wait to see what happens to Pam and Jim, perhaps mistaking them, ever so slightly for real people, ones that I see everyday.

Okay so 'fess up? What are your desert island movies?

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Ever Have One Of Those Days?

Where everything seems to go wrong? I called Sears today to see about the whole brand-new washer that doesn't work issue—and they were rude and completely and utterly unhelpful. Quite possibly the worst customer service experience I've ever had. So not only do we have to pay to fix the lemon of a washer, we might not even be able to return now—even if it doesn't WORK.

Yesterday, I put some cranberry juice in a glass and carried it, with my dinner, into the TV room to watch Coronation Street. The bottom fell out of the glass. Cranberry juice all over the floor. Forty minutes later of mopping up, mopping down and wiping up, my feet were still sticky. And the reason for the cranberry juice? I'm pretty sure I have a UTI from either the meds or the disease, but that will be confirmed today by the super-fancy disease doctor (I hope).

Today, I found out that a package I was sending to the US via FedEx couldn't go because I needed to fill out different paperwork. That package? Has now disappeared into the ether—no one knows where it is. Apparently, a driver picked it up and brought it to Customer Service. Which is where? Well, that's anyone's guess. I've been on the phone all morning with FedEx and Kinkos, where I dropped it off, and no one can find it.

And today I have to go see the super-fancy disease doctor, I'm hoping all of the crappy-ass crazy things that are happening don't translate to my visit with him because it could take hours anyway as he'll be so behind by the time I get there at 4 PM.

What do you guys to do cheer yourself up when the entire day seems to be working against you?

EDITED TO ADD: I just checked my bank statement and noticed that I've got a whopping $0.44 to my name until payday? How did that get so out of control on top of everything else?

EDITED TO ADD TO ADD: That I've just found out that my RRHB has to work on the eve of my birthday. So instead of working during the day, he's got to work at night, which means no birthday dinner for me.

Now, I'm just trying not to cry because it's been kind of an annoying day and I can't even see the humour in it. Oh wait.

No, still not funny.




EDITED TO ADD TO ADD TO ADD: That my own personal suffering and utter sense of being totally self-involved today does nothing to downplay how serious and troubling the events are in the Middle East.

Okay, I'm now going to end the longest blog post ever and stop feeling sorry for myself.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Good, The Bad, The Totally Frustrating

Another busy weekend, well, Sunday anyway, I spent much of yesterday just reading and trying not to fall totally asleep because of the heat. At least I finished Until I Find You and have now started Of Human Bondage. As well as trying to get started on my two new abridgments.

Annnywaaay. So my lovely and generous aunt and uncle had bought us a brand new washer and dryer a while back, when we first bought the house. They've essentially been in storage because we didn't want to hook them up in the gross old basement but now that it'll be a lot longer until our main floor is renovated, I was very tired of spending two hours waiting for the old dryer to finish. Today, my RRHB hooked them all up, after spending yesterday and today re-wiring and re-tubing the basement. My father-in-law came to help him cart around the appliances, which was very sweet of him. They're shiny. They're brand new. All good, right?


The washer doesn't work. We keep getting some sort of electrical error F11, and I should have known anything called Elite would have problems. So, it's brand new, the box has never been opened, but it's been in storage for the past 18 months. What does that mean? Oh, the warranty has expired (of course) and we have to pay to get it fixed. Isn't that awesome?

Oh, and we can't return it either, because it's been too long, so no matter what we do, we're screwed.

And I'm so tired of annoying "customer service" people who are so condescending and absolutely assholey saying things like, "That's a lesson learned the hard way."

Really? Really farkwit? And you think that's helping me?

Sears sucks ass.

Urban Wildlife

When we got home later on Friday night after seeing Pirates, my RRHB was outside in the backyard for a minute, when he shouted, "Come here and look at this! It's an animal with a long, thin tail!"

I told him it was probably a small raccoon and to leave the damn thing alone. But ever-curious, he snapped open his tool case, found his mega-flashlight, and went back outside to shine a light on our grape vine. What did we find? A Virginia Opossum. They are North America's only marsupial. Also, they like to eat fruit and berries, hence the grape vine, and I certainly hope he feasted well that night, because I have no idea what we're going to do with the wealth of grapes we've got this season.

Much, much more exciting than a raccoon!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

TRH Movie - Pirates of the Caribbean 2

Whee pirates! Whee Jack Sparrow! Whee big stunts! Whee silly ending! Whee fun summer movie. But the biggest opening of all time? Really?

#49 - Until I Find You

After almost three weeks of reading (among other things), I've finally finished John Irving's latest novel, Until I Find You. It's quite a tome, not only in length but in scope as well, as it tells the life story of Jack Burns, a successful actor and rather unhappy person, from age of about four until he's in his late 30s.

Much of the story of Jack's life is defined by what's missing, namely, his father, and the first half of the book roughly deals with this absence from his mother's point of view. But once Alice, a tattoo artist, dies, Jack goes about finding the truth about his life and his father, and not suprisingly, it's quite different from the tales she told him when he was small.

I'm not ashamed to admit how much I adore John Irving's writing. I count The Cider House Rules and A Prayer for Owen Meany among my all-time favourite novels. I've had more than one drunken bar argument over the fact that I believe that Irving might just be one of the greatest American writers alive. That's a lot of expectations to bring to his books, for sure. Of the latest novels, A Widow for One Year and The Fourth Hand, I wasn't as impressed, likening them to more the idea of midlife crisis on the page rather than the great books I know Irving is capable of writing. But in finding them weak, maybe, like so many books, it just wasn't the right time to read them. Who knows. And so when it came to read the over 800 pages of Until I Find You, I almost couldn't do it. What if it was more of the Fourth Hand Irving vs. the Owen Meany Irving?

Granted, it's the longest book I've read in forever, Until I Find You, pretty much held my interest to the end. I know Irving went on ad nauseam about how autobiographical the novel was, about how he plumed the depths of his own life in the writing of this book, and that turned some people off. But I find that was where the novel was excruciatingly human because Jack Burns, while preternaturally gorgeous, excessively talented, and utterly miserable, he's always a man searching for that essence of himself, that little bit of something that's going to explain why he's here or what he's supposed to be doing. And even though the novel could have been shorter, I didn't begrudge him the length, and I didn't even mind that he told and retold the same stories (each with differing perspectives because of Jack's age).

And not unlike Joan Clark's An Audience of Chairs, I found the ending so utterly satisfying that it was worth the weeks upon weeks of reading to get to. All in all, I think Irving absolutely deserves drunken defenses and consistent recommendations, and judging by what little I heard of his next novel last year at Harbourfront, I'm glad to see him find a bit more comfort with his words, because I, for one, couldn't tell that he'd written the last sentence first.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

#48 - What Was She Thinking (Notes On A Scandal)

Zoƫ Heller's totally engrossing novel about a teacher who has an illicit affair with a student and then ends up living with a spinster friend of hers (who narrates/writes the story) was a perfect summer read. I know, again, it's not on my Summer Reading challenge, but it was given to me by a friend and I wanted to finish it so I could give it back. And just to update, my own Summer Reading has stalled at page 593 of Until I Find You (not that I'm not enjoying it but, please, it's 820 pages long, I've got hundreds and hundreds still to go).

Annnywaaay. What Was She Thinking. I love how Heller choose to tell the story—it's kind of an old-school narrative in the sense that Sheba's (said teacher having the affair) life story is told entirely by Barbara, the aging spinster who has saved her from utter desolation. I wish I could remember the name of the narrative convention, but suffice it to say, I found it fascinating that Barbara's own relationship (read: obsession) with Sheba somewhat echoes the younger woman's own illicit affair (read: obsession) with 16-year-old Steven. And what's even more smart, is how echoes of Barbara's own instability creep into what she feels is the "true" account of Sheba's actions.

One of my favourite passages, in which Barbara tries to psychoanalyze a fellow teacher, reads:

There are certain people in whom you can detect the seeds of madness—seeds that have remained dormant only because the people in question have lived relatively comfortable, middle-class lives. They function perfectly well in the world, but you can imagine, given a nasty parent, or a prolonged bout of unemployment, how their potential for craziness might have been realised—how their seeds might have sprouted little green shoots of weirdness, or even, with the right sort of antinurture, blossomed into full-blown lunacy.
Barbara might just as well be describing herself, her own quiet, staid middle-class life as a teacher challenged by the unconvincingly, beautiful and deeply troubled Sheba, whose friendship has allowed her own seeds to sprout into a strange kind of voyeur who brings us this story.

Of course, it doesn't end well, affairs between teachers and students rarely do (unless you're Pacey), but what's great about What Was She Thinking is that you never, ever truly know what Sheba was thinking, you only get Barbara's interpretation of her actions, her words and her affair. All in all, it's a quick, yet still absolutely satisfying read. Oh, and I think the casting for the movie is totally spot on.

TRH Movie - You, Me and Dupree

So I went to a screening of You, Me and Dupree last night. Coasting off the glow of The Break-up and wondering how The Lake House even got made, I thought maybe, just maybe, this film might be a bit of funbadness. Boy, was I wrong. And, I should have known better.

First off, not a single person I knew wanted to go with me. Not one. And the one person I did find to go had to bail at the last minute because she had too much work to do—work was a better option than this movie. After seeing it, I can wholeheartedly agree.

I'm going to try not to include any spoilers, not that there's anything to spoil in this damn film anyway, you can pretty much judge what's going to happen from the trailer, but there are a couple of 'twists' on the genre that they attempt, which fall flat no matter how you look at it.

So, Molly (Kate Hudson) and Carl (Matt Dillon) are getting married in Hawaii. Oh, they are frolicking the beach. They are making gushy lovey faces at each other in the hotel room. They're annoyed that a super-awesome Seth Rogan interrupts them to declare a "Dupree (Owen Wilson) emergency." Apparently, the affable, lovable lunkhead landed on the wrong island. Oops. Yawn.

As Dupree sees that his best buddy, well into his thirties, I'll add, has made the move from eternal fret boy to responsible adult, he kind of mourns the end to their freewheeling days of bachelorhood. This mode, quasi-hippie, no job, just 'liven' life' is Dupree's standard of living, which shortly gets on the stereotypical Molly's nerves. Never in my life am I so disappointed in Hollywood as when it portrays marriage in the staid terms that it does: Molly gets upset at a boy's night of them watching sports (whatever); Annie (Seth Rogan's character's wife) refuses to let him stay out past 9 PM; in fact, not a single woman in this film is something other than a 'type'. Double yawn.

After the usual antics (Dupree has sex in their living room with a Mormon librarian, just him, an expensive leather couch and some butter, and then sets the house afire), the tables turn and it's Molly who wants duper around. Of course, Carl gets jealous, and assumes that Dupree's after his wife. This is the plot people. In the end, the grand blessing of dipper's giant heart ends up making everyone happy. Triple yawn.

Everyone else in the theatre laughed. And granted, I cracked a smile a couple of Owen Wilson's prat falls, but the spice of a movie like Wedding Crashers just isn't here because there's nothing new. And despite my old-man crush on Michael Douglas (love him for some reason, I can't explain it), I feel bad that he's relegated to these silly roles. In the end, I'm still dying to see a good, no, make that great, summer movie, and Superman Returns sure as hell wasn't it either.

#47 - I Capture The Castle

Dodie Smith's I Capture the Castle, originally published in 1948, tells the story of Cassandra Mortmain, whose very eccentric family lives in a rundown castle (of the book's title) in rural England. Now, I know this book isn't on my summer reading challenge, and I read it for different reasons which I'll explain once the plans are fully set in motion (new project, very much fun), suffice it to say that I enjoyed this book immensely. I think it's because Cassandra, who is the book's narrator and main character, tells the story with such an immediacy (oh, how she swoons) that I got sucked right in and, despite the fact that it took me so long to finish, enjoyed every word.

Oh, and I watched the movie a while back when I was recovering from my hip surgery. It was on TMN and I have to say that I also enjoyed it a great deal (although I didn't remember that I had seen the movie until I was halfway through the book...). Mainly, the movie will have a soft spot in my heart because of Romola Garai, who will forever be Katey Miller from Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, quite possibly the best fun-bad movie I've seen in ages. Cuba!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Too Fast...

Things have been moving at a breakneck speed:

1. I got two more book contracts from Sterling. Am very excited to be starting.

2. Have seen a lot of movies (Superman Returns, You, Me and Dupree, (oh boy), as well as a host of others)

3. Have finished one book and am in the process of being almost-finished Until I Find You—my thoughts on both are not complete (are they ever)

4. Am seeing the Super-Fancy Disease doctor on Tuesday. Fingers crossed.

5. I bought a red dress for a wedding we're going to at the end of the month. The size that usually fits? It's too big! And even though I haven't lost an ounce with my 'ragdoll aerobics', I'm feeling great and am up to 37 minutes of exercise at least 3 times a week. Oh, and I sweat, a lot. Isn't that fun? I forgot how much fun that is...

/quick update. Am too tired not to use pretentious internet conventions.

Friday, July 07, 2006

I Saw The Signs

But I didn't necessarily open up my eyes, hence the three signs I really should have stayed in bed today:

1. I broke my office chair. That's right. I sat down too hard on my chair this morning and snapped off one of the roller balls. Yet another sign that I need to kick the exercise routine up a notch.

2. I dropped my favourite chicken soup bowl on the kitchen floor. Magically, it's fine. My toes however...

3. Are another story as it landed on them and I tripped more than once today going up the stairs.

Oh and just when we were so pleased that we'll be out of town for the final World Cup game, the Grand Prix started in the city today. I can hear the cars whizzing around the track from my house. So much for peace and quiet.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


There's a very good reason why my neighbourhood is quiet tonight. And I'm listening to Edith Piaf to celebrate. Vive le France!

The Drug That Keeps On Giving

Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I don't want to complain too much about how awful it is to have to take prednisone, considering that it's probably saved my life (in combination with the other disease meds) at least three times in the last (has it really been that long?) fifteen years. But I'm very frustrated with taking only 5 mgs of the damn drug and still having these side effects: pimples, lots of pimples; huge (and I mean huuugggeee) appetite, and not for good foods, but for bad thinks like chips and candy and muffins and donuts and anything else that contains terrible ingredients like sugar, white flour and oil; and "water" weight to the tune of about fifteen pounds (I'm just sayin' it's water to make myself feel better).

But, on the plus side, I've got so much more energy now that I don't even feel like the same person I was even three months ago. I can now go all day long and do a whole bunch of things, include my "exercises," and not want to collapse on the bed in total and utter exhaustion by the end of the day.

So I'm blessed that drugs even exist because they save me from the Wegener's every day. But I'm also cursed because the treatments are always so much harder than the disease. I can see the fat, cottage cheese on my legs; I can hear my inner voice telling me not to eat that last Timbit; and I can see the roll of chubb on my hips that makes all my clothes look that little bit more awkward than they did with my usual roll of chubb.

And in 3 solid weeks of exercise, I've lost and gained the same 2-5 pounds. However, I'm still 3 solid weeks away from my 6 week goal of trying to get in some sort of shape, so I'm ever-hopeful that in two weeks, the super-fancy disease doctor will kindly let me stop taking the prednisone, so I can at least make some sort of attempt to curb my diet along with my good choices of making my body move every day.

It's all a battle, isn't it?

Oh, and I've decided my song for this summer is "I'm Always In Love" by Wilco. It's the perfect summer song. Now you? What's your perfect summer song?

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


Rush home. Rush to the cottage. Clean 10 years of mouse poop up. Throw out years of crap. Rush into town. Buy eggs at a roadside stand in Mamora. Eat a dripping ice cream cone. Rush back to the cottage. Clean up more mouse poop. Discover my grandfather's Second World War helmet. Rescue it from the dust-ridden closet. Rush the vacuum around. Rush it around again. Throw out more furniture. Toss out some really old bathroom products. Jump in the lake. Play cards. Drink a beer. Rush back to the city (no traffic!). See Superman Returns (eh, more on that later). Rush to the hairdresser. Now to the hospital for bloodletting. Then back home to clean the house, after leaving a spotless cottage. At some point, will it start feeling like a vacation?

Got only 150 pages read of Until I Find You. Am very, very behind in my summer reading.

My Boy is Ten

My friend Heather took this photo a couple of weekends ago. We went for a walk in the woods. It was a bit cold at first, neither my boy nor ...