Wednesday, July 29, 2009

One very cool thing about today

I was walking to the bus stop (didn't cycle; air was too brown & soupy) this morning, and I noticed a guy nearby who seemed to be pointing his camera phone at me. I started to give him a dirty look but - just above my head on the railing was a gorgeous red-tailed hawk. I must've made an involuntary noise, and the hawk flew off - but just to the top of a light standard nearby.

How do I know what kind of bird it was? I asked the fellow with the camera - he said it's a hawk. Then we both continued on our way to our respective destinations and only then did I think I should've asked him to email me the photo he took of the hawk - gah!

Came home after work and checked our bird book and there, on the front of our book was my hawk, and on Page 54 in the Birds of Prey section, it says it's a red-tailed hawk. How cool is that? I have never seen one that close before.

Here's another very, very cool thing. Charlie's been playing the piano for me; in fact, he's playing right now. But just after dinner, he was going right to town playing a groovy tune I've never heard him play before. It was ridiculously awesome. I can say it in my blog: that child is seriously talented.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I don't enjoy having thoughts of doom

I've been trying to cut down my Cipralex intake. My regular dose is 5mg, which is half what most people take, apparently. Why? I'm tired of the weird electrical current feeling I get at times when I'm very relaxed - like when I yawn, or when I wake up in the morning. The dry-as-the-Sahara-desert mouth is not much fun when I'm cycling. I hate the weight gain. Plus the narcolepsy-like fatigue that hits from time to time - what I mean is that when I get this fatigue, I can fall asleep in about one minute, like I've just given myself a bonk on the head, and boom, I'm out.

I started cutting back a few weeks ago, seeing what a Saturday morning was like without the Friday night dose. Good results - I could stay awake and had extra energy.

Then I started dropping Tuesdays from the regimen, as well as Fridays.

Then a few days ago, I started cutting the 10mg pills into quarters, which means I've been taking 2.5mg per day.

Last night when I was falling asleep, I idly started to plan and wonder how my husband and son would cope if I died. Tonight, when I was packing up my stuff at work to get ready to go home, I idly thought, ah, my desk is a bit messy; it'll be such a pain if someone has to clean it up if I get hit by a car or die of a heart attack on the way home.

These are not dramatic thoughts; they just drift into my head. And I've been this way, to varying degrees, as long as I can remember. However, since about 1998, it's been worse; again, to varying degrees. I remember going into my son's room to check on him as he slept, I'd start thinking about all the things that could have happened to him that day (but didn't happen!), and I'd soon be sobbing. Or I'd idly - usually as I try to fall asleep - try to plan how we'd cope if something happened to my husband.

It's not a nice way to live. And before I started taking the Cipralex (which was for anxiety), this kind of thing was just part of life, and I only really noticed it by its absence.

Anyway, I still truly dislike the side effects I'm getting from Cipralex, but until I can get to see my doctor (which will be awhile, since she's moving), I think I'm going to go back to my regular 5mg dose, because on Cipralex, I don't have these thoughts.

PS: Got home from work, hub's making dinner and I'm sitting in the dining room, watching Charlie on the balcony. Suddenly FLASH-BOOM! FLASH-BOOM! Two explosions. I yell at Charlie to get inside - as does my husband. We all wait a minute or so, then go out to see what it was - various neighbours are out on the balcony too. I come inside to sit with Charlie who has his fingers in his ears. FLASH-BOOM! Again!

Only this time, we can see that there's smoke coming from one of the hydro wires, and there's a tree branch leaning on it.

Not sure what/why, but we called 9II, the police & fire folks came, and th-th-that's all folks.

Weird, eh?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

I do, I do, I do, I do, I do

Right now, my husband and Charlie are in the kitchen making lentil soup, with carrots, onions, garlic, bacon, thyme, diced tomatoes and soon, a bay leaf! Since my computer is in the dining room, I can see them and - better yet - smell this delicious concoction. Gawd, it's so heavenly, I could pass out.

Earlier this week, my husband made his amazing mspicy arugula pasta salad; and on another day this week, he made his famous potato salad. Oh yes, and he also made his ambrosiatic guacamole as well.

Oops, I can't forget to mention that he and Charlie also made his famous delicious, moist, wonderfully delicious (did I say delicious? why yes it is!) carrot cake.

I chose well.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Charlie's taking piano lessons. I have the sweet task of sitting with him to guide and monitor his practicing. So far, so good. He wants to do his own thing at the piano, but he's got a good teacher, and he seems to like her, though he's only had two lessons.

I want him to love his lessons. He's supremely musical, and loves to play. A half hour of practicing just flies by, which is a lot for a five-year-old - 10 minutes is suggested.

I loved my piano lessons as a kid. And my first teacher was a good one; in fact, I still have her notes - for every single one of my lessons from her - and I'm using the early ones to come up with exercises for Charlie - they're still extremely useful. She used to give me a star when I had a good lesson when it was clear to her that I'd practiced. I got a lot of them :o)

After a certain point, I more or less outgrew my first teacher, and was lucky enough to get an exceptional teacher who also became a friend. She was so very musical, and seemed to genuinely like us teenagers; my lesson would usually overlap with that of a guy from my high school who was studying the same grade. That way we could listen to each other's progress. Another thing we (my younger brother took lessons from her too) all loved about her was she had us play our favourite stuff for her, not just the curriculum pieces.

Then, once I got to university, I took lessons from a teacher at the faculty of music. I only took them for a year, but she was also great, most notably expanding my musical palate to include Scriabin and Scarlatti, and helping me be able to play longer without my back hurting.

I could go on and on about all three of my teachers, but I will mention their names because none of them should go unthanked. So, I thank the three piano teachers of my life: Marge Patterson, Winifred Anderson, and Mary Jo Carrabré.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Made me reach for my inhaler, I was lawling so hard

I'm up at 12:19 am after a long weekend up north; I should get to sleep so I can wake up on time for work, but I am unable to tear my eyes away from this website, called Awkward Family Photos.

I actually made it this far.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The hug-me tree is back!

I've been passing this decorated old dead tree for years, and then suddenly it was gone. Apparently knocked down by a car.

Elicser, a Toronto artist who's been painting this groovy landmark for ages, and had it rescued. He even had a vigil for it after it got knocked over. Here's more on the story. And more. And even put it up in the ROM. Nice, and very cool, since he got to paint a mural around it, but does such a thing belong in the ROM? Maybe the AGO. But seeing it on the street is what always made me smile.

Then, I'm pretty sure I saw a papier maché version of it briefly (yes I did). Then it was gone again.

But this morning, there it was, in the very same spot, secure in a sturdy metal base. So I hopped off my bike and took a pic of it, since I have my camera today for the company picnic (we staffers were instructed to bring our cameras to participate in a game event to track down stuff gone missing). Unfortunately, I didn't bring my camera cables, so can't load the photo til I get home tonight. My beloved bike's in the photo too, to the right of the hug-me tree :o)

It made me so happy to see that tree back where it belongs.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Too much input

I'm taking a vow of... not sure how to phrase it.

I'm reading too much on the computer. It feels like it's affecting my work. Know how it goes?

Oh, I have to check the financial news to see if it affects any of my projects. Oh, I see there's an interesting article on parenting a shy child. I'll just take a quick peek. Oh, check that out, there's a link to another article on 40-something-working-mothers of 5-year-old boys. Better have a look.

As a long-time readaholic, I've always read - compulsively - whatever's in front of me. My grandmother's Mr. Bubble box on the bathtub ledge. Niacin, thiamin, riboflavin on the cereal box. And the internet is just too damn easy; there's endless stuff to read and look at, and whatever you think of, it's there.

See what I mean?

Friday, July 10, 2009

Better than Brangelina

Yesterday at work we were starstruck!

G00GLE, oh yes, that Google, visited our office. We might actually even do some work with them. Oh yes. Workin' with Google. I'm not even going to pretend I wasn't impressed.

The three young women who gave the presentation were smart, fun, solid and totally cool.

But all that aside, we were positively atingle when they gave out

a) Google pens

b) Google notebooks (very nice ones; once I figure out how to load a photo on my father in law's computer, I'll post mine)

c) Warm cookies (no joke)

d) Google stickie notes.

They had us at the pens.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Good grief, Schwarzenegger has his own Rae Days!

Check it out: Arnold's stolen Bob Rae's idea!

"With California on the verge of issuing IOUs, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger moved to conserve cash Wednesday by ordering state workers to take a third day of unpaid furlough each month.

The executive order signed by Schwarzenegger will reinstate "Furlough Fridays," requiring more than 200,000 state workers to take unpaid leaves on the first three Fridays of each month."

Saved the province a bunch of dough, as I'm sure it will California. But ultimately didn't turn out too good for Bob Rae, eh. Or us, since Mike Harris came next. Ugh.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

O Canada

What a FUN DAY!!!

This morning, Charlie and I went to the Science Centre, and stayed til after 4. We saw EVERYTHING, and even had a picnic on the park grounds behind it. We have a family membership there, and it's money well spent, I tell you. We put paper fish up the air thingie, we saw a 14-foot python, we saw fish, we played on a zillion different games and activities, we had pizza, we got rained on in the rainforest, we hid in the cold, dark cave, and then bought a Canadian flag and Maple Syrup lollies at the gift shop.

I actually woke up around 6:30, thinking I had to get up to go to work. Nothing is better than realizing it's a holiday, rolling over and going back to sleep.

My hub's making his famous potato salad (oooooh, bliss, makes me love him so much), and lo and behold it's been a gorgeous day, not the horrid rainfest we were expecting.

Later, we're watching fireworks from the balcony.

Happy Canada Day.

Okay, Kim, I dare you not to get chills at this one: