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… is what I said today to some 70 + items I’ve been holding on to for the last few years …

I have spent some time today on myself, which is nice, for a change. I got up at roughly 10, cleaned and threw out a bunch of stuff (I can’t believe how much junk I have managed to accumulate in the 8 months I have lived here), hid my dirty dishes because I just hate doing them, vacuumed, changed my bed up and got it smelling all nice and sleepy, got all done up and tanned, went for a bike ride, rode in to work and made a silly hat for Lori, snagged a sweet outdoor settee for any new place I might have, rode around for about another hour (randomly – just to see if I still have a biker’s stamina), got some groceries, came home, walked Biggs, came home, read on the porch for about an hour in the sun (thank goodness it’s finally back!), spent some time on the computer, and now I am headed out for a run.

How was that for a run-on sentence? I’m having a great day, and I’m a bit sad it’s almost over! Now I am headed out for an evening run, sans Biggs, who always manages to trip me and make me break stride, poor guy! I love him to pieces, but I do wish he was one of those dogs who trots gently alongside his jogging mistress, instead of one who insists on darting hither and thither, stopping suddenly when something catches his nose, or taking off suddenly after any random cat/dog/bird/person with whom we cross paths.

I am on my first day of FOUR (that’s right, I was wrong, earlier, when I said three) days off… anyone want to take me out of town for a few days? I’m game! If I don’t head out of town, let’s see if I can not go crazy!

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Ok, I haven’t been posting my tasks lately, so I thought I’d share a couple of the ones that I have gotten done this week.

1) I wrote 5 postcards to 5 people I haven’t been in great touch with, but who mean the world to me. Now I just have to mail them… I’ll try to do that today.

2) I threw out 7 pieces of clothing (well, actually, they became Bigg’s new bed) that I haven’t worn in ages.

3) Sorted all of my old paperwork, essays, and projects into appropriate binders and labelled them.

4) Invented a new dish*

5) Found a house to possibly move in to (doing a tour of it tomorrow)

6) Got all trained up as a manager, performed an open and a close all on my lonesome

7) Downloaded new music to listen to on my ipod (481 songs!) which has been needed for quite a while

Today’s Task is to “Change something in the house”. I’ll also be making a silly hat for a woman at work – it’s her last day, and one of her catch-phrases has been “you could wear this as a hat” – so I plan to force her to wear it during her shift tonight.

Cheers!

C

* Christa’s Orzo Extraordinaire

One small bag of orzo

One litre chicken stock

One tomato (actually, I wish I had used two)

Green onion

Red pepper

Broccoli

Basil, Thyme, Oregano, and salt to taste

Boil orzo in chicken stock until slightly under-cooked. At the same, fry chopped tomatoes in a non-stick pan. Add Orzo to fried tomatoes. Throw in remaining vegetables. Season to taste, cover and stir occasionally until brocolli has reached desired tenderness. Enjoy!

Today’s task is to say ten (TEN!) things I do that I don’t like, or flaws I see in myself… this is going to be rough!

1) I’m  a know-it-all. I always have to be right. I’m constantly telling people useless facts which I find fun, but I wonder if it isn’t actually really annoying.

2) I do things in spurts. This really annoys me. For an entire week, I will be gung-ho on something, but I can never seem to keep the momentum going. Take this blog, for instance. I don’t know if it’s because I get distracted by newer things that come up, or because I get bored… or… I just suck at keeping things going long-term.

3) I’m afraid of relationships. I don’t like to admit it, but I was really badly burned in a relationship and it’s left me in this weirdly dependent/fearful state. I’m trying my best to get over it, and it’s taken a long, long time (going on nine months now), but I think I’m almost there.

4) I don’t like myself when I can’t get motivated. If I spend the day sitting at home in my jammies, watching TV or even reading a good book, I can never see it as a “day off”. It’s just a day wasted.

5) I can’t relax. This one is tied into #4 and it just dawned on me as I was typing it. I don’t know why I can’t just take a day off. I think to truly enjoy a day of nothing, I would need to do it right and plan to have a luxurious bath, a great meal, a fantastic book, etc. Not just randomly do things like shower when I can’t stand being unshowered any more.

6) I brag. I HATE it when I catch myself bragging. Sometimes I’m not sure if it’s just that I have a healthy amount of pride – after all, it isn’t good when people are super shy and unsure of themselves – but sometimes there is a voice in my head yelling “Just stop talking! SHUT IT DOWN!”

7) I don’t like to be hugged (usually). This sometimes makes me feel cold or emotionless. Emily knows I don’t like to be hugged and she will sometimes hug everyone in a group and skip me, and that makes me feel weird, too. I especially don’t like to be hugged by women I don’t know very well, or the “caught ya!” kind of hug that some people do by coming up from behind. I hate to be hugged when I am in the middle of a sentence or project – it feels like a rude interruption (if you want to be dramatic, find another way). People who are currently allowed to hug me are: family, close friends. Maybe I should work on this. Or maybe I should just accept that I am not a huggy person.

8 ) I pick at myself. I don’t mean this as in “I am very critical of myself”, I mean that I literally pick at myself. I can’t leave a hangnail alone. When I was in Europe I destroyed my feet by running around in horrible, horrible shoes (second hand and too small – what was I thinking? Invest in some new shoes, dammit!), and ever since, where the blisters formed calluses, they have peeled. And I sit there and help them along. It’s disgusting at the time, and it leaves me with gross, peely hands and feet. Eeeew. I hate it.

9) I spend too much time at my computer. Not just browsing the internet or Facebooking, necessarily; I don’t watch TV or rent movies, so this is where I watch all of the programs/videos I actually do enjoy. I do any freelance/volunteer work (when I have it) on my computer. I use Skype to talk to friends because I really don’t enjoy talking on the phone, and it can be expensive. I Photoshop. I update my iPod. And there is also the Facebook aspect, this blog… etc. Biggs just gives up on me and goes to bed, rousing himself when I go into the kitchen to scavenge for food. When I moved into my current house, I was too lazy to hook up my internet right away, and it was strangely liberating. I didn’t sit at the computer for hours, because there was no point. I found myself occasionally watching TV, even. But at the same time, my brain was always calculating just how many emails were probably piling up, what could have happened with my friends that I didn’t know about, and which episodes I was missing of my favourite TV series.

10) I’ve become a city dwelling homebody. I used to love love love love love the outdoors. My mom couldn’t keep me inside. I’d bugger off with the instructions to “be home by dinner”. I could spend the entire day walking around with my dog – to the horse park, to the river, up the beacon hill to look down at the city, all the way down the railroad tracks to Kamloops lake to pick up rocks, chase the seagulls and scavenge around the old TB hospital (people call it an asylum, too?). Now I don’t do anything remotely resembling that. I give myself a million excuses, such as “well, if I had a car, I could take the dog and head to the hills for a hike, or take a day trip to Banff, or go shopping, camping, to a lake… etc.” It is harder without a car, but… I also blame Alberta. Calgary, specifically. “There aren’t any mountains or lakes here. I hate it – it’s so dry and flat“. I feel clumped in to the city. I feel like everything natural is far, far away, and it would take too much effort to get there. I feel like the sky is pushing down on my head all of the time because there are no mountains to give it perspective. Sometimes I have dreams that I am on a city bus, and suddenly I am lost, in the mountains, but it’s ok, because I have been looking forward to a good hike, anyway. But the reality is that it takes $9 just for me and the dog to take city transit somewhere and back, and city busses don’t run to the really rocky parts. I want to run, climb, swim, touch rocks and trees and feel glaciers melting again. I miss that heartbeat a lot…. But I do love some things about the big city, too.

1) I won First Prize for piano playing at a recital and got my name engraved on the trophy that got passed around from winner to winner.

2) I got up to my White level in swimming

3) I taught myself to draw with perspective and appropriate shading – that one’s served me well

4) I saved my allowance and did random chores for money until I had enough to buy my first dog – also, I talked my dad (with a lot of help from my mom) into letting me have a dog

5) I painted Looney Tunes characters on my family’s TV room walls, and although slightly warped, they looked decent enough that we didn’t have to paint over them in order to sell the house.

This is harder than it looks. I don’t know how some people can do it every day!

I think I have to get rid of the task pages and just focus on doing what I can, here, because it takes up waaaaay too much time to update everything, and then I get frustrated and don’t want to do any posting at all.

Today was my first day as a Sales Leader at my job. It was an interesting change of pace, and I really had to focus on being extra friendly to the customers, which, if you know me, you know is not my forte. But it was nice and I left with a smile on my face, so it must have done me some good. I wore my new, pointy shoes, and my feet about died, but they didn’t blister, so I think everything will be fine.

Today I am going to tell you five friends who nurture me. These are people who support me, no matter what; people who are great to have in my life:

1) My Mumsy. Of course my Mumsy. Always my Mumsy. I can’t think of a single time during my life when she wasn’t there, rooting for me 100%. I have never, ever loved anyone more, and I never will. I don’t need to say alot about her and I, because I have never felt such a kindredship with anyone in my life.

2) My Granny. The same goes for her, although she had to do it from a distance. This woman forgave me through two generations of understanding for the young, crazy things I did, and never once doubted me. I can hear pride in her voice when she writes to me, and nothing in the world is more special to me than her handwriting, no matter how much she hates it as it gets shakier. To me that is absolutely precious.

3) Neil. Neil has never had any responsibility towards me, but from the moment he came into my life, Neil has cheered just as hard as my Mum, and I love him for it. Neil is another father to me, and I am his daughter, in that we are so proud of each other, because I am proud of him, too. He is a gracious, generous, and wonderful man. I am lucky that Neil came into my life.

4) My Dad. Until recently, I wouldn’t have put him in here. I didn’t really know that he was rooting for me, because he was doing it quietly, and in absentia. I am just getting to know him, but I am starting to learn that he is pretty wonderful, too. I wish I had known him more when I was younger. I wish he had pushed and fought for me. But he’s doing that now, and everything’s not quite patched up – it’s still awkward at times – but he is starting to learn to express his love, and it’s pretty great.

5) My girls. Becca, who is probably as close to a sister as I could ever get. We were happy together, sad together, depressed together, crazy and fun together. Becca is my family away from family, the one person who I have been able to tell absolutely everything to. We’ve had rough patches and smooth patches, and sometimes they didn’t overlap, but I miss her all of the time. I’m glad she moved for the reasons she did, but I wish she was still close by to me. Emily. I never thought I could be such great friends with a girl, never mind a girl who is so much younger than me. But this girl is a great friend, and wise, and sometimes very dramatic. She is one of the first girls I’ve known who truly like me for me, without having to change anything… maybe because she is so much like me. Whitney, too, because she’s been just fantastic about accepting me the way I am. These three, together, are teaching me to allow myself to be more expressive, more vibrant, and more Christa around other people. I’ve got a way to go, but wow, is it ever fun to “come out of the closet”, so to speak!

So there you go! I have this sneaky suspicion that I am probably forgetting someone, but these are the first five to pop into my head.

And I’m not going to curse my return to blogging by spending too much time doing this! Adios, amigos!

All of these things that I’ve held onto since the time I was at least 15. Photos, sketchbooks… all of these things that I have showed to very few people over the years… or, if I have showed them something, it was really only to share a part of it with them. And so I am currently throwing out anything that I haven’t wanted to share.

A couple of nights ago I went through my photo albums with a friend, and tonight I RAZED them. This means that I am not taking the time to think “hmmm… do I want to keep this?”. I have NEVER EVER thrown out this much paper. The other day I also went through my old paperwork, essays, school assignments, notes… pretty much everything. I am a whirlwind who is likely to give you a papercut.

Some of it is hard, some of it easy. Some of the photos bring such bad memories that I have NO IDEA why I’ve kept them. And the sketchbooks…. that’s like showing someone the rocks you managed to cross and the places you slipped on the way across the river… they were good to hold onto for a time, but now, it’s just looking way, way back.

As such, I have no time at the moment to blog. I also have laundry on the go! Ciao!

Was pink with purple sponge painting. I did it myself, and my Mum told me that someone who had visited our house had said for me to get in touch with her when I was old enough, about a job. I was so dang proud. Looking back on it, it was probably pretty horrendous, but I loved it. I’d sit in that room and make “illegal” copies of songs from the radio on my ghetto-blaster. Illegal, because I was pretty sure that I wasn’t allowed to listen to that kind of music. One of the first songs I remember recording was “Maggie”. Even today, I’m not sure of the name of the song… “Oh Maggie, I couldn’t have tried … any-moooooore… You led me away from home, just to save you from being alone”… I imagined it as an illicit affair between an older woman and a young, teenage boy. To this day when it comes on the radio I remember that room, and I can’t think of another meaning for the song.

So… this huge thing came into my periscope yesterday. I was just travelling along, happily oblivious (or not so oblivious) to my ever-sinking  financial equation, when….

A friend asked me if I would like to live with them.

They’re an engaged couple, they are both hard-working, both quiet but fun… a lot like me…. they would be great, great  great roomates. I am apparently at the top of their list of people to live with.

So this, of course, resulted in me doing my loyalty/change dance.

Here’s the breakdown on my breakdance:

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Pros:

1) They love animals, and Biggs will have people around more often (they have cats and a snake)

2) I won’t be moving into someone’s house – they’re currently looking to move, so we’d all be moving together.

3) My rent would be cut in half, and I could afford to put that extra money towards student loans… that’s a pretty big chunk of change, actually. Not to mention halving the internet bill… etc.

4) They need to live on buslines that go to my work

5) It’d be a bit closer to downtown

6) It’d be a change – change usually spurs me on

7) I’d have people around more often, which, I think, would be healthier for me, too – not just the dog

8) I could get rid of a ton of stuff that I would no longer need… the microwave, chairs, etc. I could move with just my books, my computer, and my dog.

9) I’d have windows. Doesn’t sound like a lot, but it is… I haven’t had windows in 4 years… not ones that let in a lot of light, anyways… not ones I can look out of… I think it’d be a big difference.

Cons:

1) Biggs will have to get along with the cats – I’m more unsure of them getting along with him.

2) I’d have to move… that’s a pain in the behind

3) I would feel badly about moving out when Wendy and Jerry rely (I don’t know how much) on my rent… but that’s silly, right?

4) I’d lose some privacy

5) I’d have to get rid of a lot of stuff!!!

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Any thoughts?

There are going to be two posts this morning, because I have a lot swirling in my head.

Five Simple Pleasures in my life:

1) Waking up and saying “goodmorningbaby”. This invariably results in a series of yawns, stretching, face-licking, and tail wagging from my hairy counterpart.

2) Hot hot hot hot hot wings and lemon juice. I don’t know if there is anyone else out there who loves this, but it may be one of God’s greatest inventions. Try it. Go to a pub on a ten-cent wings night (or, at Donegal’s, they also have a one-cent ribs night which is just about as good and a whole heck of a lot cheaper); you won’t regret it. And, if the wings are so spicy that the sauce fumes make your eyes water, you’re in good shape.

3) Getting text messages. I am not, like some of my texty friends, an uber-texter. On an eventful day, I will send out more than 3, but I have never exceeded the allotted number on my monthly plan, I’ve not even come close. Not even to the half-way mark. Once or twice, I have had to empty my inbox because it’s full, and that is usually a big surprise to me; I usually delete them to get rid of the evidence. But, when I do get a text, I just love knowing that someone was thinking about me. It makes my day. One of my favourite things in the world is that Emily texts me most mornings to say “Hey, I can pick you up today” at eight o’clock. It’s one of the most adorable things in the world, and I actually like the text more than the ride. She loves me!

4) Unintentional learning. This is different than reading a book of strange facts, which I do frequently (right now it’s Brain Fuel, which is good, but makes assumptions on your previous knowledge – they can be pretty technical, but it’s good) – it’s the moments when you have a friend say “I love the smell of rain”, which someone counters with “That’s ozone”, and then another pipes in, “No, it’s the wet dirt”… and then you just have to go and google it. Well, you do, if you’re anything like me. I Google everything. I actually don’t know how humans existed without it! It’s bacteria, by the way. Google it and see. Or skip a step and go herehttp://science.howstuffworks.com/question479.htm. You won’t regret it. Oh, but don’t just Google your ailments – there’s a lot of hocus pocus out there. See a doctor. For example, lima beans won’t  help your cancer, although the internet is full of information that say they can. I learned that in Brain Fuel.

5) Ok, so Biggs comes up twice. The way he cocks his head when you talk to him. Apparently I do it too, when I don’t understand what someone is saying. I don’t know if he does it because I did, or I do because he does, or we both just do what we do when we do it… but it’s adorable when he does it. When I ask him to find something, he cocks his head, thinks for a second, and then he’s off to grab the item. My favourite things to say are “Bigsby, where’s _____?”, “Biggs, you wanna go ____?”, and “Hey, what do you ____?” . Nothing beats it.

Standby task : Determine which percentage of my life I typically give to the following:

Spirituality : 5% – that that includes this blog

Excercise : 5% – which includes the amount of physical activity I get at work. I need to start walking/riding to work again now that the weather is improving.

Play: 15%

Work : 45%

Friends and family : 20%

Adventure and romance :10% – mostly because this gets lumped in pretty often to play and friends.

Are they even? No

Why or why not? Partly, I tell myself that it’s because I need to work to exist. The real truth is probably that with more time devoted to working smart instead of hard – for example, getting a part-time job that paid more – would allow me to have more time to devote to other things.

Which areas do I wish were a priority? I don’t know if I wish that any of them were specifically a priority right now. If I had a job that I was more proud of, I know that it would become a greater priority. I also often don’t feel that I have a “real” family – by which I mean that I don’t have one immediately in my life at the moment. This too, would be different if I lived closer to my parents, or if I were ready to start a family of my own. And again, I have felt that these need to wait until my work life is more settled. I do place a very large importance on work for my happiness, and it’s been some time since I have been satisfied with my work… maybe I should be looking at improving other areas instead of remaining so… unsettled.

Do I need to balance them more effectively? From that last rant, I’d have to say “yes”.

Standby task : Think of a way to capture part of the experience of one of those ten lives I wrote about, and make plans to do it.

Standby task : Think of ten tiny changes I could make, numbered in importance from one to ten : resolve to make one change this week