When you live in the suburbs…

The Hell MouthLast summer, a hell mouth opened up in our dining room. To get the problem fixed, we had to coordinate our condo corporation and our insurance company, so it took an entire year to get the problem dealt with. In order to close the hell mouth, the contractor had to pull the kitchen, rip up all of the floors on the main level, set up abatement machines and tents to manage the asbestos tiles in some of the floor, and use some pretty intense mould killers (Buffy wasn’t available). So, we moved to a cute little rental house in the suburbs.

And man, has it been weird.

Like… When you live in the suburbs, your neighbours knock on your door.  A lot. At first, I thought it was because they were nosy. But after observing them for four weeks, I’ve come to discover it’s because they’re kind of a community. So they want to be sure you’re not an axe murderer.

When you live in the suburbs, you own a lot of cars. Sometimes, there seems to be more cars than people attached to a house.  And you drive absolutely everywhere, because you’re living a good twenty-five minute walk to any form of public transit.

There is no such thing as a quick walk with the dog or a quiet afternoon on your porch reading a book. Because your neighbours will interrupt you. They will stop you on the street for small talk, or lean over their fence and ask you what you’re reading.

SuburbiaWhen you live in the suburbs, you’re a million miles away from things like coffee shops, pubs, restaurants and going out at night means you’re either leaving early or paying a lot of money for a cab ride home.

People don’t seem to be as territorial about their space as they are in the city.  Neighbours have no trouble invading your space, borrowing your driveway to park their cars or enjoying a cigarette in your garden.

People feel completely safe leaving their doors open. I don’t mean unlocked, I mean wide open. All day and even at night.

It’s really quiet at night. Like, it’s practically silent. And on weekends, people disappear to cottages and the neighbourhood becomes a ghost town.

I guess I can see how suburbia would be appealing to someone.  But me? I cannot wait to get back to my own home, in my own neighbourhood, where neighbours just wave or nod at each other, the sound of sirens, traffic and loud parties lull you to sleep at night, and you lock your door even when you’re running to the mailbox or putting out the rubbish.

 

 

 

How to Survive a Toxic Boss

I’ve been pretty lucky thus far in my career to work for some pretty amazing people.  Most of my experiences with managers and bosses have been positive, many of them remained mentors long after I was no longer their employee.  But not all bosses are fantastic.  Some are odd.  Some are in the wrong profession.  And some are just absolute assholes.  They’re the kind of boss that doesn’t understand what leadership is about, have no clue how to foster a healthy and cohesive working environment, are unpredictable and unstable, and use bullying and fear tactics to keep control over their staff.  If you happen to be one of the many people that have to face working for a terrible boss, I have good news; you don’t have to let your bad boss invade your whole life.  I know this, because I am a Toxic Boss Survivor.  Here are some of my own personal survival tips for dealing with a toxic boss. (more…)

July BarkBox Review

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you’re probably well aware of how ridiculous I am about my dog. She’s the love of my life (Sorry, hun), and I honestly think bringing her home was one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. I do, admitedly, spoil her rotten, so when I first heard about BarkBox, I had to try it out. (more…)

5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Buying a Condo

Home Sweet Home Just over five years ago, we bought our first home. We chose a townhouse condo, and we figured it was perfect. Two stories, four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a gas fireplace. It was tucked away from the busy main street, but close to highway access. It was on the lower end of our budget; a decision we made purposefully in order to be able to afford the upgrades we wanted to do (Redo the floors upstairs, reno the kitchen, update the bathrooms). We’d be responsible for tending to the backyard, but the front lawn and other landscaping came included with our condo fees.  Past-me figured we were making a safe venture into first-time home ownership.  Man, was Past-me naive.  (more…)

Siblings

Siblings

Yesterday I went out to get bagels at my favourite bagel shop.  There used to be a lot more of them around, they are a franchise.  But they never had the franchisey feel.  Growing up, on Sunday mornings, usually after church, we would go to our local bagel place and we’d either eat in or get a dozen takeaway ones for Sunday brunch.  Our local one closed years ago and the closest one to my house is actually in another town.  But the nostalgia has me heading out there every so often for bagels. (more…)

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