Category: GFM

Hello, it’s me.

My host sent me an email in early January to remind me that my domain for this blog was expiring. It was a nice reminder that I had a blog, but it was also a reminder that I had a blog and wasn’t actually… blogging.

awkward

I honestly spent a lot of time thinking about whether or not to renew this domain. I haven’t posted regularly in a few years. I hadn’t written at all in 2016 yet. And people keep telling me blogging is dead. That no one blogs anymore and even if they do blog, no one is reading them. So why bother?

Good question. But I’ve always liked the idea of having an easy way to self-publish and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to ditch the posts I’ve collected here.

Clearly I decided to renew after all, because you’re reading this (All two of you! Hi, Mom!). I’m going to get back into this blogging business slowly. So I’m starting off with a currently to catch you up!

Currently…

watching:

Lots of basketball. A little bit of baseball. And Big Brother Canada. Yes, it’s awful. Oh, well.

reading:

New Moon. Wait, stop. It’s for a good cause, I promise. My friends and I didn’t suffer enough when we recapped Twilight back in October… Someone thought it would be a good idea to recap New Moon, so… welcome to my hell. Or better yet, check out 31 Days of New Moon over one the Snark Squad website.

I’ve also been reading the Black Widow graphic novels by Edmondson and Noto. They are excellent.

listening:

Basically this song by Walk Off The Earth on repeat:

making:

A lot of my spare time lately has been spent developing two new websites. And a few other projects for a returning client. It’s been all work and no fun. But I genuinely enjoy building these things. I’m getting nothing but sexual harassment from my day job, so I’m delving deep into the things that are restorative to my mental health and that’s building and designing.

feeling:

I’m feeling okay. My day job is just not what I want to be doing with my life, so I’m trying to squeeze every last second out of my time spent away from work. I am tired of winter. I am tired of my job. I’m tired of a bunch of things that I can’t really control. It seems like the closer to being done with all of this, the slower time is going. I’m trying to stay focused on the light at the end of this long, long tunnel. We’re getting there.

planning:

What I’m going to do once my contract at work is up. It is going to be so good, you guys.

loving:

Reading and BookTube. I’ve been watching a lot of my amazing friends creating some awesome content. Their videos are making me want to read more, which is something I’ve not been doing a lot of lately.

What have you been up to lately?

Sometimes, I write things elsewhere

I think one of the reasons why I’ve kept a blog of some form or another for the last eighteen years is because I like to write. It’s a pretty selfish endeavour. When I studied journalism at school, I always toyed with the idea of making a career out of writing.

But then life happened, and writing became more of a tool I stuck in my toolbox along with my ability to develop strategic media plans and wrestle vendors.

I do still enjoy writing. I like to use it as a creative outlet. A lot of the stuff I write never sees the light of day. A lot of it is rubbish. Most of it is self-indulgent.

Snark Squad!

But then, sometimes, I get asked to recap a horrible teen drama from my youth. And I jump at the chance. So go see my writing published elsewhere. This week, I’m recapping an episode of the OC over on the Snark Squad site. Check it out.

 

Monday, Currently.

Oh, hey, remember that I used to blog? I just did. Gearing up for another week, I figured I’d take a few moments to record what’s current in my life right now (see also: a quick update on the world of GFM).

Currently

watching:

Just finished watching my beloved Raptors getting swept in the first round of playoffs last night, so I can tell you what I won’t be watching. Otherwise, it’s Agents of SHIELD and Blacklist, all the way.

reading:

The Saga Series. Fantastic artwork, captivating story. I highly recommend it.

listening:

Walk Off The Earth has a new album coming out soon and I’m obsessed with their new single ‘Rule the World’.

Hozier’s Take Me To Church, because, well… I just feel it in my bones.

And Riptide by Vance Joy, still. Always.

making:

I’m not, actually. I’m feeling a bit creativity-starved. I need to figure out what to be getting my hands dirty with. Not a euphemism.

feeling:

Pretty good, actually. After being so sick through the winter, I’m feeling better and getting stronger everyday. It’s an awesome feeling.

planning:

A birthday brunch for next weekend. Have fallen down the Pinterest rabbit hole a few times with that one. I’m also pumped for spring cleaning and getting some projects done around the house. We’re coming up on six years of being in this house… So it’s about time to get some home renos on again.

loving:

Work right now, it makes such a difference having great bosses. The hope of spring weather on the horizon. Feeling better. …Would it be too cheesy to say ‘life in general’? Cuz, yeah, that.

What’s current in your life right now?

Things I Love About October

October

It’s October 1st and I can’t believe how much October love I’ve seen today. Autumn is by far my favourite season and September and October are by far my favourite months. Here are some of the things I love about October:

  • Leaves changing colour: When I lived in Australia, I didn’t get to see the same colour change in the leaves in the Autumn (plus, October isn’t Autumn in Oz). I love the colours of autumn, especially the oranges and reds of October.
  • Cooler temperatures: I love sweater and scarf weather, and while I’m not a huge fan of the frigid winter temperatures, I love the cooler, cozier weather of October.
  • Saturday trips to the country: Nothing beats a trip to the farm markets, apple orchards or pumpkin patches in October. I love buying harvest produce, going apple picking or choosing the perfect pumpkin. As a kid, my parents would take us out for walks in the fields, tractor rides and to play in hay bale mazes. Not going to lie, I still love doing all of those things.
  • Thanksgiving: Canadian Thanksgiving falls in October. It’s one of my favourite holidays, because it’s not as chaotic as Christmas, not as busy as Easter and is the first long weekend after things go ‘back to normal’ after summer. When my brothers and I were in college and uni, it was also the first weekend when we’d all be home from school. Oh, and there’s always pie.
  • Halloween: I love the fun of Halloween; decorating, carving pumpkins, going to Halloween parties and handing out candy to trick-o-treaters. Not to mention scary movie marathons and the Simpsons’ Tree House of Horror specials.

Do you love October? What are your favourite things about this time of year?

Remembering a friend on WSPD

Green balloon

In high school, I didn’t have a specific clique that I belonged to. I was on the athletic council, had geek friends, art kid friends, drama and music friends. But I felt most at home with the outcasts.  The group of friends that were self-proclaimed misfits, the ones that didn’t really fit into any of the stereotypical boxes our high school hierarchy tried to fit them into.

These people were odd, but they were genuine, kind, smart and creative. There was always someone around to talk to, and we had gotten pretty good at being supportive, while trying to leave out any form of judgement. It was easy to just be yourself around them and that was a safe, comforting thing when someone was fighting through the ups and downs of high school.

Today, I’m thinking about one of my friends from this group in particular. He was thin and lanky in high school. I remember noticing him because I thought his taste in music was odd. Techno. Techno of all kinds, but he had a certain love for French techno. He always wore these huge headphones and was happy to share them with anyone that would give his favourite music a try. He was a fringe art kid in high school. Creative, artistic and he had an excellent eye for photography. His sense of humour offbeat, he was a bit goofy.  He was a kind soul, even though people weren’t always kind to him, because he was different.

I last saw him in person a few years ago at a friend’s wedding.  Still thin and lanky, but it suited him. He looked comfortable in his skin. He seemed happy and was just as kind and genuine as I’d remembered.

A few weeks ago, when I read the message that he’d gone missing, I felt an ache in my heart. When I heard he’d passed away, my heart broke.

It was once again a reminder that so many people suffer in silence.  Even if someone seems happy and comfortable and settled, that doesn’t mean they’re not suffering. It doesn’t mean that they’re okay.

My heart breaks that someone who seemed so happy and was kind and such a great friend was hurting so intensely. That he felt he had no one to go to, that he felt it wasn’t going to get better.

I wish I’d told him that it does get better, that he is loved and even if he didn’t believe it, there were people who would’ve dropped anything to help him fight. I  would’ve, even though we hadn’t been as close as we used to be. That no matter what, he was never alone.

I tried writing about this sooner, but to be honest, the emotions were too raw. I needed some time to get my head around it. To work through the guilt and anger and frustration that the world has once again lost a beautiful human being to the epidemic that is depression and suicide.

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. Suicide is never easy to talk about, there is still a huge stigma attached to it. But the World Health Organization says that more than 800,000 people commit suicide each year. That’s about one person every 40 seconds. It’s an epidemic. So we need to keep talking about it.

 

 Suicide Prevention Resources:

Canadian Association for the Prevention of Suicide
National Council for Suicide Prevention
The Trevor Project
International Association for Suicide Prevention

 
photo credit: h.koppdelaney via photopin cc

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.

 

 

 

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…)