Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Moving Blog

I suspect my posts will be about nothing but my moving concerns and panic attacks. I'll try not to get overly obsessive about the little details. Ha! That's who I am. I can't help but be overly obsessive about small details. When I first started to write stories I would spend hours on a paragraph obsessing about words and word order and punctuation. I was like a poet! Fortunately, I was forced to venture further from the word on the page so I could complete a story. However, at some point you still have to obsess about the small details. There may be a lesson in there somewhere as in: if you get caught up in the details you won't see the larger picture.

...but what do I do with 200 books sitting in the middle of our living room? Who will want these books? There are weathered and worn looking student copies of Shakespeare's plays, volumes of short stories bound under a common theme, D's Malcolm X collection and his JFK conspiracy books.
Then there are odd little pockets of obscure topics from books I collected while researching my thesis. What do I do with a collection of VHS tapes? They're bulky, worn and don't come with commentaries like a dvd. Plus, they're even a strangers collection of titles (again research and then there was the walmart bin I couldn't say no to) such as Child's Play 3, Nell and the Devil Bat.

I will find homes for these things whether it's a second hand bookstore or the shelves of Value Village.

In other news...
I'm caring for redjane's kitty redFred while she rides the surf in Hawaii. I tried to blog while I was visiting redFred, but couldn't figure out redjane's computer so I just played some solitaire while redFred purred on the bed. He's such a sweet kitty. He just loves being around me and only wants attention. He purrs constantly. He reminds me of one of the cast of characters in the house, Rupert. They're both tabbies too. Anyway, redFred is quite the character and since I saw him last, he's learned to use his voice a lot more. He's quite chirpy and didn't hesitate to come out and see me this time. He use to be quite shy and it would take a lot of coaxing to get him to come out and visit me, but now he's right out there and rubbing against his post and ready for a brushing. He didn't really care for me on the bosu ball. I think the added height freaked him out a little so I'll wait until he's settled down on the couch before attempting anything else on the bosu.

Our cast of characters here at home have no idea what they're in for. West Jet is the only airline that will permit pets in the cabin. I read somewhere that they do have pressurized cargo now, but there is no way in hell I'm putting our cats in cargo...been there done that and won't do it again. Can you imagine putting our 18 year old frail little Svetlana in cargo with suitcases? No way. So, West Jet will allow pets in the cabin (yay!) but you can only have one pet per person and only 4 kennels are allowed on any one flight. Hmm...two people and three cats. Again, I'm not sending one cat to cargo while the others fly with D. and I. As I said to my sister that's like Sophie's choice. So we're trying to find a third person who is willing to fly out with us at our expense (of course). There's more to this as well. The existing carriers we do have are too large for in cabin transportation. West Jet has specific measurements for the carriers that we need to abide by and a maximum weight as well. This is a small detail, but I need to sort it out as soon as possible. I'll start with the kennels and then once our tickets are booked we'll buy one for our third mystery person. I'll give that person Gigi to carry since she's only a kitten and the lightest.

Just talking about this reminds me that I need to get going and look for a deal on those kennels as well as get back to packing. I've made a lot of headway this week. September will be extra busy with lots of catering so I need to get as much done as possible this week. Time for a list...

Saturday, August 26, 2006


Well, it's official we're moving west to a whole other whovillian province with lots of rain, big trees and mountains. D.'s job is giving us the opportunity to be closer to where we've always wanted to be. It did all happen quite suddenly. At first we thought we'd just be moving in house (as in upstairs) after my sister moved west, or maybe moving to a new location in town. However, it finally became clear that D. was going to relocate within the company to the west location.

Even though he told me it was something he was interested in I never took it too seriously because I didn't want to get my hopes up or think about it too much being busy with my life here. I was trying to keep focused on what I wanted to do while living here. So when D. came home one day and told me the move was going to happen, it did come as a surpise and a shock. My immediate reaction was excitement and anxiety. Finally, we could go and knew where we'd be moving to, but oh my god we'd be moving far away to a whole new town!

The timing seems about right. Last spring I decided to give myself until this September to see how I was making out writing, filming and story editing. I had decided that I would re-examine at this time and determine if we should stay put or set a new goal that would involve looking across the country for any opportunities. True, my goals have not been to move location to work at LV in another part of the country, but LV will transfer me which saves me having to panic looking for a job. I am grateful to be working for LV right now. At least I know I'm in a good company that treats it's employees well.

Yesterday and today, we painted for the sale of the house. All our belongings have been shuffled into the center of our two main rooms so that we could paint. I hope I don't have to paint anything again for a long time. With luck our new place will have all the colours we like. That could happen right?

Again, I can't believe the amount of stuff we have. There's not much point of going into it since I've already blogged that one.

Two days ago one of my horoscopes said that the next 6 weeks were going to be overloaded with the amount of things I would have to do and that I'd be running around like crazy. Sometimes, just sometimes, those things seem to be dead on.

I realize now that there's people I have yet to speak to about the move. It was hard telling my mom since both my sister and I are moving west in the same year now. I started this post yesterday but didn't want to publish it until I told my stepdad. We'll be a ferry ride away from him in no time. I'm looking forward to that. My brother was pretty upset, but I know I'll see him as much as ever. I still want to travel to NB to camp and do my favorite running route.

That reminds me...
there's a whole new set of running paths to explore, trails to discover and races to conquer. Just one more thing to look forward to.

There's much to miss from here as well. When I left the we(s)t coast seven years ago I took a few things that reminded me of what the place meant to me. Now, I'll be taking those things home. I think I'll try and return them to where I found them. I've been thinking about what I should take from here. What will suggest this place to me when I'm thousands of kilometers away?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Sift, Sort, Separate

We've begun to pack only labeling the boxes what's in them. We've affixed no address labels since that's up in the air. Boxes are piling up in our mud room (vestibule for those that have never heard of a mud room). I've started to sift through my belongings as has D., and we've sorted our things into what we want to keep (that goes in a box), what we want to yard sale, bookstore sale etc (those things stay in the apartment until they get moved or sold), what is donated clothing (a charity is picking up at the end of the month), what is recycling (the bins are overflowing) and what is garbage (I'm ashamed of the amount of landfill I'm creating this year and vow to stop unecessarily accumulate garbage. No more trips to Ikea and Winners!). The end result should be a minimalist looking apartment for open house viewing once sis puts the house on the market.

I've become ruthless in my separating of what is valuable to me and what is not. Sentimentality out the window. I can't cart around miles of possessions that I've kept around because I couldn't bear parting with this stuff. I've yet to go through my wool stash. (Knitters out there let me know if you want any wool. I will ship it to you -- julia?) Valuable is the cotton wool. Unvaluable is the wool wool. Since becoming vegan I've not been able to knit with wool. Valuable are my film books. Unvaluable are the endless pocket novels and copies of hardcovers that I've read and will probably never open again. I should look into library donation as well. Valuable is our tiny dvd collection of about 15 or so dvds. Unvaluable the endless stacks of videos. I've sorted a pile of videos to watch since I figure once i've watched them I really have no use for them. Valuable are the family photos. Unvaluable are the odd pictures of landscape shots or poorly lit cat photos and garden images that are meaningless now. Valuable are the clothes I actually wear. Unvaluable are the clothes I haven't worn in years but keep around because there might be an occasion to. Still I have this deep urge to chuck have of what I deem "valuable" as well. It's like what they say about traveling "take half the stuff and twice the money." I may need to bulk up the recycling and landfill piles.

I'm open to advice from those of you who have recently moved. I have moved many many times in my life (somewhere around 20 times) so I'm pretty good at the sift, sort and separate, but as I age I see that I move less frequently. I stayed in Victoria for five years and that was my longest stint in one place until now. D. and I have been in this apartment for 7 years on September 2nd so...I've somehow gotten use to living with more stuff.

Hmm, I need to make a note to revisit this posting at least once a month to remind me to stop accumulating.

Monday, August 21, 2006


This link in the local free paper recognizes Roberto Ariganello for his involvement in the Toronto film community. His death came as quite a shock and I didn't post anything earlier because I wasn't quite sure what to say and I guess I'm still not sure what I can say. My personal connection to Roberto was during the making of my film "from Human Resources" for LIFT's Poetry Projections program that coupled poets with filmmakers to create a silent film that the poet would read live during the screening. As the executive director of LIFT, Roberto headed the project and was nothing but enthusiastic about the process. He was very encouraging about any experimental techniques I wanted to try and was open to all of my ideas about what the film should include. He took the time to watch my footage and discuss it. He went over my ideas about the process and brought his own experience to the discussion to help me through any difficulties I was having. He also took the time to introduce me to all that LIFT has to offer. He made sure workshops were available to the filmmakers that related to the project we were working on. As a result, I found a new passion for filmmaking and saw that the possibilities were endless and the important thing was to follow that passion and see it through.
My sympathies are with his family and close friends.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

3 days free!

True, I did just come back from vacation, but it's been a long week of working and getting over my cold that still lingers (I believe today will be the last day of it!). I don't go back to work until Wednesday and that suits me just fine. I'll have time to get beyond my one day of getting laundry and cleaning done. D. has already done the cleaning so I'm well ahead of the game now. What an exciting life I lead.

Last night it was catering in the long sleeves and long pants in humid weather again. Whew. The house we were in had no air except for the bedroom where we were fortunately given access to to change and leave our stuff in. It was a cocktail party, a small celebration for a wedding. Two men had married that morning and used the party to announce it to their friends. It was a really nice party actually and the people were great. The downside were the stairs we had to keep running up and down to get from the kitchen to the backyard. Fortunately the rain had stopped permitting all those people to congregate outside as opposed to the inside sauna.
On my way home I got lost going from Davis whoville to Forest whohill. There's a weird little jog via a park and I missed it and ended up on the wrong road, biking through the dark empty streets of Forest whohill until I finally found a road I recognized and stuck to it. My map wasn't helping me any. I was better off with my instincts. Forsest whohill is so quiet at 11 at night on a Saturday. There are no people on the streets or sounds from the houses. It's a poorly lit neighbourhood so it's not pedestrian friendly. People light their trees from the ground or their front entrance if they want to show that off, but street lights are few and far between. It's a little eerie with the trees lit so they are shadowed above. It's very Halloween. I know there must have been a catered party somewhere in one of those homes, but it seemed dead silent last night. Then I crossed the "border" into the regular old city at just the edge of the Annex. Cars, lights and people come from everywhere. As I drove along Davenwhoport, I heard a live reggae band coming from somewhere between where I was and St. Clair. Once I hit Bloor it was like arriving in New York with all the activity and noise. Quite a change.
Finally I reached home and D. had pizza waiting for me. Yummy. We had peppers and zucchini from our garden on it and the sauce was made with tomatoes from the garden. It was incredible.

I slept in until 9 am this morning. Woo hooville! Gigi woke me running around the room with her paper ball she carried from some corner of the house. She trots around with it in her mouth until she finds a suitable playing spot to bat it around. This morning she figured the bedroom would be the best spot. Then, she ran out of steam with that game and went for my feet and that kept her busy for some time. Prima showed up and then Svetlana finally appeared. There's no staying in bed once those three get the circus going.

So now I'm going to do some gardening and then sort through my old books since it's time to start packing up some things. We're moving soon. Sis is putting the house on the market and we need to make the place look sparse and partially furnished, unlived in but not too empty. Strange what you need to do to sell a house. Sis and a friend fixed up the laundry room and we're having fun making it look all Martha Stewart monoculture. Fun, fun, fun.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Marathon by the Sea pics

Here we go. I am no where in this photo, but I like the picture because it gives you an idea of the amount of people running and walking. It's a little bleached out because D. had the camera on the wrong setting. No biggie though since we've still got the picture.

I like this one because it actually looks like I might be running. Many of the pictures I have I look like I'm walking. I know it doesn't really matter. Oh, i also like this one because I'm going up hill which is really hard for me since I'm so so slow on up hills. I feel fine on hills, but am just slow. This hill approaches the Reversing Falls Bridge for those who know the terrain. I have to say that this year that hill felt easier than last year so I suppose that's progress. More hill training in the future(ugh!).

My medal that is given to you when you cross the finish. It's a nice touch and I have this memento of the race.

photos from the great N.B. vacation

This is my brother's dog, Little Joe. He goes everywhere with us and loves walks. I tried to pose him next to one of the mini fir trees along the road.

D. and my brother out on one of our early morning walks.

That little speck is my mom in the boat, rowing along the lake.

Our campfire at night.

We spent every day at Queen's lake. It's quite huge. We took the boat out one day to another part of the lake that is inaccesible by any other means and the beach is beautiful on that side. There are no other tracks on the beach except for moose.

D. dives off the rock.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

I'm back! Run Vegan Run part 3

I wonder if you noticed my absence. I did go on vacation. I did run a 1/2 marathon in my hometown and I did it all with a cold. Oh well, at least I was on vacation.

We left on Sunday, picked up my mom in Montreal and drove on, across the border and stopped in Bangor, Maine ("Vacationland" as it says on the license plates. Did I see that correctly?). In the early morning hours I rose and D. drove me 8 km away from our hotel and I ran back. Part of the route went through the older part of Bangor which is really lovely with big old Victorian style homes and brownstones. It's also fairly hilly but we managed to map out a route that saved me from too much strain on the running muscles. We were staying near the Bangor mall so I had a smooth run past there and back to the hotel up the hill. (We stayed near the mall because I had ordered running shoes from JC Penny and had them delivered to that store avoiding the shipping charges and paying almost half price for my shoes! Bonus).

Back at the hotel I was really looking forward to the continental breakfast included since I figured I could at least eat toast and there would be margarine, peanut butter and jam, right? Wrong! Coffee? I shuddered when I tasted it. The orange juice was served in those small Dixie cups on a tray that looked like medication was being doled out from the service window. The juice tasted funny. Cereal, jam, bread, etc etc all contained "high fructose". This is an ingredient I've never encountered becaue I don't typically buy grocery store cereals. The raisin bran was the least offensive in terms of nutritional value and sugars. It still wasn't great though. I had rice dream with me to put on the cereal. D. seemed to think they might have soy milk, but it was clear that wasn't ever going to occur in this place. I could eat the bagels, but the margarine was country time or something that contained whey. Peanut butter? Doesn't exist. I forgot about the peanut allergy problem. Jam, okay, jam was happening. More high fructose. Oh well. I need to better prepare in the future.

I did notice that I was feeling a little achey and had a bit of a scratchy throat. D. went out to get zinc lozenges while I was on my run because the Rite Aid opens at some early morning hour. It was too late though by the next morning I was sick.

We did make good time from Bangor to Saint John. My brother was ready to go to the camp when we arrived and we were at his place and out the door within an hour. We dropped our rental car in Fredericton Junction at his girlfriend's house and packed their two 4 x 4 trucks and headed to the camp. You really need a 4 x 4 because some of the road you wouldn't believe. The main road is just dirt logging road and then you turn off onto a pretty good stretch. Then you hang a left and begin the bumpy ride to my brother's camp. Much of it you wouldn't drive down if you didn't know where it went. You have to drive through a swamp and a brook. Then there's the boulders all over the road that you can only drive up on because the passage is so narrow there's no way around them. I love the drive. The first time he drove us out there I was a little freaked out by the roads, but now it's like coming home.

By five we had pitched our tent and settled in for our week at the camp. We had a quick dinner and I turned in early since I wasn't feeling well. That night we had a huge thunderous storm that kept swirling around us and I swear it made a point of stopping directly above the tent to send out the loudest crashes of thunder.

As usual out there, the morning was clear, sunny and gorgeous. We spent our days going to the lake (we're the only people out there) and swimming, taking the boat around for a tour (mom tried to show us how to row but it was a sad attempt by my brother and I as she tried to direct us from the shore. She rowed easily around the lake by herself), and going for long walks along the roads, through the woods and along the chop line looking for deer, mooose etc. (the chop line is the property behind my brother's camp that he cleared to open up the space. The moose and deer use it alot. One morning my brother walked out around 8 am and saw two bucks just standing about 10 feet from him. They didn't move or anything. He came back to our tent to get us but the deer were gone. On one night I was woken by loud crunching in the brush and I think I even heard chewing like brush tops being torn away. For certain it was a moose. It was so loud it had to be a moose by the time I put my extra layer of clothes on (chilly nights), got up the courage to go out and unzipped the tent, the moose had moved too far from sight, even with the near full moon. When D. and I got back in the tent we could hear it moving again but further away. The next morning we checked out the tracks and sure enough a moose had paid us a visit. I think the same moose used the main trail to the lake since we saw more fresh tracks there that day. I think that was also the night the coyotes came quite close. It was the loudest I had heard them ever. They made the loons on the lake freak out and they went into a big tizzy over something. I also heard a big splash in the lake that night. It may have been our moose.

We did finally see a deer and a couple of bunnies. At dusk we go out at least once and putt along the logging road in the truck. One person drives while the others stand up in the back looking over the roof for a better view. I drove since I was feeling too sick to risk being cold in the back and it gave my brother a chance to ride in the back and enjoy (he'd also had a few beers so it worked out best for all). I was pretty nervous driving through the brook and along some of that road, but I am proud to say we made out fine. We drove all over the place and it wasn't until we were on our way back to camp that we spotted the deer on the main road and a few feet from the deer was a bunny. The deer darted into the woods of course and the bunny froze on the road (of course). My brother's chihuahua barked and flipped at the sight of the bunny, suituably scaring the bunny into the bushes.

I was feeling pretty low with very little appetite. I was in bed early, missing all the starry nights. I did go in the lake every day because I just couldn't say no to that. It's too wonderful to plunge into the lake and then float on the surface. My cold was running its course and this did concern me since I had no energy to do the running I needed to do before the race. By Friday I went for a 20 minute run anyway and I felt okay. D. ran with me (he hates running so god bless him for that) since I'd rather not run the logging roads alone. Silly fear really, but you never know. My appetite did start to come back and I tried to eat as much as I could. I felt ill prepared for Sunday's run.

Saturday we packed and went back to Saint John. I rested as much as possible and had a good pasta dinner courtesy of, you guessed it, D. We got up at 5:45 and were out the door by 6:45. I was at the Aquatic center and changed by 7:15. I really had no idea how I would do and my only plan was to run to finish and do my best even if it meant I would have to walk the final kilometers. The first 20 minutes of the run were my toughest ever. My breath wasn't as it should be and I was still coughing. I kept going trying to keep my pace. By the half way mark I knew I could do it and that gave me more inspiration to keep going. I drank water and kept moving. I had some really tough moments, but my family was there, meeting me along the way and encouraging me. It was awesome. I love that about the marathon by the sea. The route is so accesible for people to follow along. Just past the half way I saw my friend T. who ran the race last year. She was with a group from Hampton at the water station handing out gatorade and water. The best part was she was dressed as the Cat in the Hat. It was brilliant. I hugged her and said hello and that's all we had time for. I at least took my time to say hi to her. I always wish we had more time to see each other, but...so little time...

My brother slowed the truck along the way and told me about some guy ahead that he wanted me to pass. This motivated me and when I saw the man he described up ahead I went for it and passed him. I couldn't catch the pace bunny, but I finished. The last stretch up the harbour bridge (a long sloping incline) just about did me in but I crossed the finish line in 2:03. Phew! I am so proud to have completed you have no idea. Next run? I'm not sure. The full marathon beckons, but I don't know if I have the time to train for that distance. Do I? I'll think about it.

Post race, i stopped at the food tent and had an orange and bulked up on a plate of food for my family to enjoy. I had a massage and we headed to my brother's house to pack before getting back on the road. I was so sad to leave. I really have a great time with him. I wish it was longer. Maybe next year when I go back for the run. Maybe the full marathon? Also, next year I'll run first and then go to the camp. Why didn't I think of that sooner?

I'll post a few photos soon.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Vacation time Vacation mail.

Vacation wasn't even on our agenda this year. Knowing that we would be moving this year (possibly to a new location) we decided that vacation was out and we'd use that time for moving. Then I started a new job that requires me to be available all the time (it's not catering after all) so I didn't even consider time away as an option. However, it's all become possible. I was able to book the time from work and D. just happened to book a car in May or sometime when the rates were low (just in case) so we're about to load up the car and drive to N.B. We'll camp for a few days and then I'll run the Marathon by the Sea and then we'll head back home. I won't be blogging so much, but you're all use to that.

I created an automated email vacation response message earlier than needed because I barely check my email now (apologies to those whom I have not responded to, but here's my blog). Of course I'm on lots of lists for my various interests (some of which are listed on my sidebar) and when messages from these lists enter my Inbox my automated message goes out, which in turn generates an automated message from the newsletter address or whatever letting me know that I can't respond or it doesn't appreciate an email to that address etc. So there's this little communication going on between addresses with no people tending to them at all. Somehow I find this comforting to know my email goes on with out me. It no longer needs me. I may start doing all my emails this way, generating new autmated responses such as, "Hi (please fill in your name here), it was so nice to hear from you. I am well , thanks for asking. I am very busy as always. How are you and your (significant other and/or family and/or cat(s))? We'll talk soon." So if you get one of these it doesn't mean I don't care.