Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Toasting you all!

I am staying in tonight and cleaning and relaxing with a nice mug of tea. It's not even 9pm and already I'm in my pyjamas. I worked today until 2pm, but I'm tired nonetheless. Although I do like to see the New Year in with friends, the first of January is more important to me. I'm having some family and friends over tomorrow for dinner. Hence tonight I will also be prepping for that.

My birthday went extremely well although it's all a blur for me - and not just because I was drunk. I organized tapas and wine for about 30 friends at a low-key bar. I had been to that bar a few years back but had never gone there since. When I called and asked them if they could prepare tapas for 30 people (which took up 2/3 of their space) they agreed to do so, told me that children were welcome there, and that I didn't need to give a credit card number in advance.

I was kind of nervous that it would all happen but when my parents and I arrived on Sunday, two tables of 15 were set and waiting. I wish I could have had more people as I really wanted to celebrate the friends in my life., but budget, space, and timing only allowed for so many. I was so happy that some of my friends got to meet others - I had a group of four girls from high school and various groups from more recent locales such as work - and that all my friends got to meet both my parents and my brother and sister-in-law and my two nieces. Most people seemed to have fun although I was too busy running from person to person and checking to see that everyone had enough to eat, drink, etc.

One of my friends brought her 10 year-old daughter who amused my little nieces all night. She was a godsend. Meanwhile, my 73 year-old father was doing shots with my friends. He was disappointed that the bar had fire regulations about him setting his fingers on fire for the flaming Statue of Liberty [if you haven't done that, it's when you stick a finger in your shot, set your finger on fire, and then drink your shot and blow out the flame before it burns your finger. A friend of mine from Rochester taught my dad that years ago and he's loved it ever since]. My mum tried to chat with as many people as possible.

I think what made me the happiest was hearing my sister-in-law say that she was so happy and relaxed as the kids were off playing with my friend's daughter, and she could sit and relax with a glass of wine.

The waitstaff were so terrific as well. They were very efficient and very good natured about the noise from our table. I also followed the April/Sue guide to entertaining which is a system my friend and I came up with years ago. It's where you admit to the waitstaff at the beginning of the night that you'll be too drunk to calculate the tip and ask them to just factor it in for you. That way all the worry about 'do I tip on the tax?' and whatnot is taken care of, and I have never had waitstaff try to rip me off in any way. And sure enough, by the end of the night, it was so much easier for me to just hand over a credit card for a completed total. My dad good naturedly chipped in as well for many of the drinks.

All in all it was a fantastic evening for me to have been surrounded by some of the most important people in my life. I wish my oldest brother had been there as well but he had to work that day (he lives out of town), but I saw him over Christmas at least.

Here's to all of you and wishing you the best for 2009! May you be surrounded by those you love.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

Christmas comes but once a year, leave a message - I'm not here.

Here's where I'll be...

25: Christmas - Parents
26: Boxing Day - Entire family
27: Relax
28: Turn 40, cry, get over it, throw party for small group of friends
29: Day off work. Sleep
30: Back to work!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy smiles

Recently I have seen so many examples of random kindness and consideration. Several times I've seen people offer a seat to someone elderly on the subway. And the times the offer hasn't been taken the person has very graciously declined with something along the lines of: "Thank you so much but I'm getting off next stop."

I had a guy slam into me as he raced for the subway (I was exiting) and he immediately apologized, and also held my shoulders to steady me and to make sure I was okay. I was simultaneously apologizing because the collision had in fact been my fault. I had thought I'd forgotten my purse on the subway and stopped dead in my tracks and turned around.

A guy was pushing through the crowd to get to a subway and the whole time was saying, "Excuse me - I'm so sorry but I have to catch this train". Often you just kept some idiot barreling through a crowd of people.

In the grocery store, 3 times when I said "excuse me" to people whose carts were blocking the aisle I've received immediate apologies and movement.

Today there were two cars stuck on my street - opposite sides of the road, each had been trying to come down laneways which had not been cleared from the recent snowfall. One guy who lived next tot he lane was already out shovelling the cars out, and a mother and her two kids (older kids - probably 8 and 10) who had been on their way to go tobogganing stopped, and then I was coming back from shopping and stopped too. In no time at all we had the cars pushed out of the snow and onto the street. The girl held their dog, and her brother helped push. He was great. He kept saying, "This is SO COOL". I think it's awesome that the mum had her children stop to help. As for the people in the cars, once on the street they both took the time to express thanks and gratitude to those of us who had pushed. As for the guy on my street who had sort of been coordinating us and shovelling, he was saying, "Oh this is so great that people stopped. With the extra bodies pushing it's so easy"

Yes, I'm feeling all happy about people right now.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

My annual gift

My annual tradition is going to be sharing with you my favourite safe[r] sex link. This year the winner is from Australia, and is a plain language approach to hot and dirty sex. It's titled "Sex Pigs". I so wish the straight community would have the same upfront attitudes to dealing with sex and more specifically, with HIV.

The group is People Living with HIV/AIDS, and their website is:

The booklet contains many gems, and I have personally never read a more touching description of fisting. Not my thing, but then I'm not the target market of this pamphlet. Here's an excerpt from that section:

“I’ll be gentle,” Steve told me when I was finally ready
to submit myself to be fisted for the first time. “You are
so gonna love this,” he whispered. “I still remember my
first time. It was in New York with a butch daddy who I
was just hot for. He really knew what he was doing.”

Sex Pigs. Read it. Live it. Love it.

Note, I am serious about this post. I'm not mocking of laughing at the pamphlet at all. I think we need more safe sex pamphlets written for people who actually like sex.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


Does this work? I mean, does this sort of email actually get responses? 'cause this guy was a "favorite" of 15 women [I had to click on the profile]. I take it as sweet whenever anyone makes the effort to contact me, but I'm at a loss here. He's hot, and he does look like fun, but my lord. Nothing in this relates to anything in my profile. Except that I'm female. Yet he took the time to email.

im single fun man no problems lookn for same xcept a female

Sunday, December 07, 2008

It's Christmas time

Such a fun game - Christmas with the Sproutifarts

I can't remember who gave the original link to the sprouts game. Maybe IDV or Tickers? anyhow, this is the update.

put these games in my mind with his recent bat the Penguin game.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

almost twenty years ago

I can't believe it's been almost 20 years since 14 women were gunned down at Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal. My heart breaks for their senseless deaths, and also for the fact that domestic violence is still so prevalent. Yet, I will focus today on all the rights I do have as a single woman (including the vote!) and celebrate that bit by bit, I believe that real progress is being made.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

good ol' western media

I heard about this story from a friend of mine who has family (Christians) in Mumbai. She mentioned how the Muslim community in Mumbai was so upset by the attacks that they refused to bury the dead attackers in the Muslim cemetery. That's pretty huge. I read nothing about that over in Canada. I guess that would interfere with the view that all Muslims are fanatics and want to kill and destroy all non-Muslims. So bigger philosophical issues aside - as in, is it really okay for any religious community to deny proper burial to members of their faith? - this goes a long way to different faiths uniting together. But no mention in the press here. [I did a quick Google and it was mentioned in Scotland] Not to mention the Indian nanny who rescued the two year-old she looked after, after his parents were shot to death. India shows how human love can negate religious differences.

Muslim organisations deny burial to slain terrorists

Prachi Wagh, Mayuresh Konnur
Tuesday, December 02, 2008 8:27 AM (Mumbai, Pune)

A grieving Mumbai mourns the dead. At least 179 Indians and foreign nationals were gunned down in cold blood in a terrorist attack that has raised controversy and several questions.

And now questions are being raised over the fate of those nine men who unleashed the carnage and were gunned by the security forces.

Muslim organisations in Mumbai have decided that Muslim cemeteries in Mumbai, where unclaimed bodies are usually buried, will not open its doors for the last rites of these urban jehadis.

"The killing of innocents is against Islam. They are bringing shame to 25
crore Muslims of India. These men are not Muslims. Why should we give them place anywhere? There is no place for them in our hearts and in our cemeteries," said Hamid Abdul Razzak, president, Dawat-e-islami.

Unprecedented events demand an unprecedented response. And this time the community has gone beyond merely condemning terrorism. It's shutting its doors on those who claim to act in their name.

Determined to deny the terrorists the martyrdom they seek, Muslim organisations have written to senior Mumbai police officials as well.

"The cemetery should not allow the police to bury the nine dead terrorists in their premises," said Ibrahim Tai, president, Muslim Council Trust.

As Mumbai reels from last week's attack, there's anger, outrage and a lot of soul searching. Among this is a community determined to keep out the prodigals.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Oh boy oh boy oh boy

Tomorrow is Forced Fun Day at work. I think they are terming it team building. It's offsite and they have some sort of scavenger hunt type thing planned. In all honesty, it looks like the organizers have gone to a lot of effort and I applaud them for that, but I would really prefer to just do my job and go home. I don't think I'm in the minority either as we have received several "You must attend" emails. And of course, being government, there will be no alcohol. Ah well, I hope to be pleasantly surprised.

Even if the day is a disaster, I have booked a facial right after Fun Day. Now that should be good. Today was snatch&ass waxing which as usual was 5 minutes of hell but so worth the result. Tomorrow is the facial. Thursday is mani/pedi time. Friday is a friend's birthday dinner. I need to focus on those events and keep on smiling.

I also think I'll try to use work phrases that I normally loathe. My most hated phrase ever from a previous employer is "No one likes change except a wet baby!" Parroting mindless management pep-talk always makes me smile.

What hated work phrases do you have?

Monday, December 01, 2008

Back to my geek roots

After flirting with my party girl slut side, I am returning to geekdom. Meaning I am staying in and watching DVDs. Shunning anywhere with loud music.

Plus I have a new geek side - I have ventured into comic book stores.

Yes, I am now a 'graphic novel' buyer.

When I was going out with Rob, I had started to read his copy of V for Vendetta. I got about a third of the way through. Then we broke up. I thought about that damn book for ages after. I figured that I would just borrow it from him at some point and read the ending. That was when I didn't realize that he didn't want to remain friends. Among other issues with that last part, I began to wonder how I would ever find out the ending of the book. Finally, I broke down and went and bought a copy.

In doing so, I had to venture into one of Toronto's comic book stores. I had always avoided those places like the plague. I never wanted to mingle with the clientèle. I mean, even though it had been truly charming to hear Rob's enthusiasm about various storylines and genres, he was hot and had a personality - I still had the sense that most of those people were all like the creepy dudes I knew back in high school who used to doodle dragons and shit all over their books during class.

Honestly, I was way more comfortable walking into porn stores. I entered the store and the whole time was praying that I wouldn't run in to anyone I knew. I couldn't bear the thought of having to talk to the staff. I ended up grabbing V for Vendetta and a few of Buffy Season Eight. Then I got the hell out of there.

That was the beginning of my long fall into my recent obsession with graphic novels. [part II at some point later]