Wednesday, December 31, 2003
Lost Together
I didn't feel like writing a post yesterday, and I think it's far too early in the day to be posting one now. I keep feeling like I should be writing something really profound and deep today...something to mark the end of the year with. Reflections to look back upon a year from now so I can think "wow...I remember that". Unfortunately, I'm not feeling all that profound at the moment, so I will try and keep this short and sweet.

The truth of the matter is that this past year has been one of the longest and hardest I can remember. I suffered heart wrenching losses and only in the last 2 - 3 months have felt strong enough to hold my head high again. They say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, and if that be the case I must be a Juggernaut. I feel good about things today, about myself, my life, and the people I have chosen to surround myself with (and even more importantly, the people who have chosen to surround their lives with *me*). I ran a range of emotions over the last six months that would dizzy most, and I have come out of it remarkably well all things considered. I have taken stock of things, and have learned to be humble and grateul. I am a work in progress and accept that however good I feel today may change next week, but that I will bounce back again. Not every day can be a good day, and if we didn't have those bad days what measure would we have to know when it's good again? It's the downs that help us appreciate and work for those ups. And as a work in progress I know that as far as I have come, I have even farther to go. And in my struggles I will learn to appreciate and empathize with the struggles of others; we are all doing our best in life to get by, grow, prosper, live, love and laugh. Who am I to judge when I know all too well the sting of judgement from others?

Tonight I will gather with my Gang of Friends again, and celebrate 15 years of friendship and love. If it's one thing I have learned this year it's that these are my truest of friends. Others have come and gone and broken my heart, but these are the ones who have never left. I am incredibly aware of how hard it is to hold onto friends, let alone such a large group for so many years. We have a bond that I will not allow to be broken by conflict, time, or distance. This is my extended family and they have fed my soul and made me rich in ways I never dreamed possible. These are the people I know have my back.

This year has been one of evolution in terms of friendships. I have realized that my oldest and dearest friends are just that for a reason. And while I have had to watch one my closest and most influential friendships dissolve, breaking my heart beyond words, I have had a most wonderful and new friendship enter into my life which helped ease the pain. Princess Blondie and her boyfriend Bruno have made me believe in friendship again, when I was beginning to think I would never love and trust again. I hope they know just how very much they mean to me.

At one of my lowest times this year I decided to join the world of blogging. My blog has had a profound and unexpected impact on my life. It has opened my heart and mind, and brought people into my life I might otherwise never have met. The banter, conversations, debates and laughs have been a welcome addition to my daily routine. I have a very humble blog with few readers, but there are those who have stepped forward and interacted with me and made it a deeply fulfilling experience. K-Dogg, si, Smooth, Geoff, Gil, Lorien, Havdala, Dave, Solomon and Oren are just a few of the people who have made me realize that an online friendship can hold just as much meaning as those 'in real life'. Thank you one and all for lending me an ear and offering friendship and support; you renewed my faith in online friendships after an incident that nearly had me lose my faith in strangers. I hope that I will continue to make you laugh and maybe educate a little along the way. Love and tolerance can start with us.

I am glad this year is over, and I am happy to look to 2004 with fresh eyes. I am seeing the world in a different light these days, and so I have to believe next year will be a fabulous one (hell, anything will be an improvement over this past one! lol). My journey continues, and I invite you to share it here on my blog.
For a little end of the year fun I suggest you check out a list Dave has compiled of links about the year in review (lists include 'the Best and the Worst', funniest stories, pictures, top albums, etc...). It's pretty cool, have a peek.

I wish everyone a safe and Happy New Year. All the best to you and remember to take the time to share the joy and to remember that we are all in this together. Dare to dream, and be brave enough to act on it.

"And if we're lost, then we are lost together" - Blue Rodeo

Monday, December 29, 2003
oh my
Is it just me or is the world going a little crazy right now?? There's gas explosions, mudslides, earthquakes and more earthquakes. And then there's all the social, economic and political fallout that comes with such events.

As I mentioned in my last post, the Iranian Government has declined Israel's offer of assistance after a devasting earthquake struck a few days ago. Being the persistant souls that Israelis are, they are trying to find other means to get the help to the people who need it, doing their best to circumvent the government who would rather see their own people die than take help from those infidel Jews. All this has launched a large debate in the blogging world with folks having very divided feelings on the matter. Some say that if possible, the help should go to the Iranians despite the refusal of help. Others (more scarred from years of anti-semitism) say that it suits them just fine if they decide not to accept the help. It was offered, they turned it down. For views on the debate I would start with Meryl; she has links to the rest of the bloggers who are registering their feelings on the matter.

I myself am feeling very divided. On one hand I absolutely feel that people are people, and these poor folks have no say in the fact that their government is deciding for them whether or not they get the extra assistance. On the other, I can't help but think that if the situation were reversed, Iran wouldn't even offer the help, and in fact would cheer at Israel's loss. The jury is still out for me, but the fact that I'm reading a book that is doing nothing to help my opinion of Muslims (and it's written by one!) isn't swaying me in as positive a direction as I'd like. Again, the question is....would Iran offer the help? No. They don't even acknowledge Israel's existence. Did Israel offer? Yes they did. And they would do it again.

Meanwhile I am trying to enjoy the laziness of this week. I skipped out of work early and I have my friend from out of town dropping in again tonight, so I have a nice cream-of-turkey stew on the stove (can ya tell there was leftover turkey I'm trying to get rid of??). Overall, I'm just going to ride out the rest of the year in as content a manner as I can. Food and friends helps. :-)
Oh, and I saw The Last Samurai on Saturday. I highly recommend it, it's an excellent film.

Saturday, December 27, 2003
pout and you WILL get your way!
I had a nice time last night. First, I lit the eighth and final candle for Chanukah, as the holiday drew to a close. And what a wonderful Chanukah it was. I was shown just what a difference friends can make in your life.
After that Lucky came *back* to my place (after having been over earlier) and we ordered pizza and watched Pirates of the Caribbean. We had a nice evening together curled up on the couch. :-)

This morning meant the last of my Chanukah presents from Princess Blondie and Bruno. I received a fabulous Fa kit, complete with a bar of soap, liquid body wash and a shower puff for lathering up the soap. Divine!! This stuff smells fabulous. One last time...thank you to my neighbours across the hall for all the love they have shown me over the holidays!!

Today has been a pretty lazy day...only now am I feeling like I am awake, and the day is nearly over. It's almost 8pm and I haven't gotten out of my pajamas yet!! I think a lazy day was in order after the craziness of the holidays. I hope you all had a terrific week.

Before I go I'd just like to send my thoughts and prayers out to the people of Iran after the tragic earthquake that has hit their region. I'd also like to point out to everyone that Iran (a predominately Muslim country) has taken help from every country who has offered it...except Israel. They refused the help because it was coming from Jews. Can you believe that? I'm pretty sure all those mothers digging through the rubble with their bare hands wouldn't care WHO the help came from as long as their child was saved; too bad the government has seen fit to spit in Israel's eye. (it's also interesting to note that President Bush has hurried to help Iran, a country he had labelled as one of the axis of evil not so long ago)
For moving (if not disturbing) pictures of the aftermath and struggle in Iran go here. (link via Lorien)

Friday, December 26, 2003
a little good and a little bad = life.
Ok, I will start by acknowledging the tragedy in Israel yesterday, and then I wish to finish this post on a positive note. I refused to let terrorism be in a post of mine on Christmas Day; they would not ruin a wonderful day with my family. But I will also not let it go without it being brought to everyone's attention. While some of us were celebrating Christmas and Chanukah with our family and friends, a Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up at a bustop near Tel Aviv, killing four people (ages 19 - 21) and wounding more than 20 (please remember that wounding doesn't mean a scratch, it can mean a limb lost or shrapnel such as bolts and nails, a favourite tactic of bombers, for maximum damage). I was late for dinner with my family as I had to get online to find out if everyone I love in Israel is safe and sound. What can I say? It took away from my day, and for that I am angry. There is little else I can add to this, in terms of comments; it isn't the first time and it won't be the last. I guess I should be grateful he didn't manage to get on the bus like he attempted to. Last night I lit my Chanukah candle for those lives lost. Tonight I will do the same.

Moving right along, I am into basking in the afterglow of the festivities now; I am taking some quiet time to read, relax, and do whatever I want. I got another cute little present from Princess Blondie for Chanukah. Bless her keeping this up for 8 days, she must be happy we're nearing the end. lol. Today she left me mints again, only this time they say Mazel Tov. Yes, Mazel Tov indeed... for having survived these holidays!! lol
I also went up to the cemetery to see my friend Shane, and lit a candle for him. It was nice, I like to stop by as often as I can.
And now I am unwinding and reading a book I got yesterday, and I am LOVING it. Lovin' it, lovin' it. It's by Irshad Manji and it's called The Trouble with Islam : A Wake-up Call for Honesty and Change, and I highly recommend it. Be sure to check out her site for more information: Muslim Refusenik. She deals openly and honestly about Islam and it's troubles, and challenges the beliefs she was raised with (much to the anger of many a Muslim). A fantastic and eye opening read. I haven't been able to put it down, and I'm sure I'll have it read by the end of the weekend.

As a nice surprise, Lucky dropped by to see me, since he was passing through the area. I was happy to see him AND his adorable dog, Madra. She's a bullmastiff, and is only 10 months old (but let's make no mistake here, that makes her bigger than most dogs. lol). He didn't get to stay long though, so now I'm in a bit of a pout. :-( His puppy-girl was tired of being on the road and wanted to go home. I think we all know what that's like. :-)

What about everyone else? How has the holiday stress been treating you? I hope you have all to recovered and have begun making plans for New Year's Eve. And what about resolutions? What have you guys decided on for resolutions?

(an end note: it has come to my attention that someone had found my page by typing "I am stewing in my hatred for you" into Google. Disturbingly, I am ranked 10th for that result, though I take great solice in the fact that another blog I read, A Small Victory, was ranked number 7. Hahaha!! Of course this begs the obvious question...just what was this person looking for and why?? THAT is the troubling part. I'm sorry to hear you're stewing, my friend; you must learn to let go. It's not good to stew. :-)

Thursday, December 25, 2003
spread the joy!
These holidays have been pretty wonderful this year, I must say. It started off with Princess Blondie and Bruno giving me a Chanukah gift everyday. I can't thank them for doing what no else has; they helped me celebrate Chanukah. Today I received an exciting assortment of goodies including candy and lip gloss! Woot woot! Perfect for me, as always..thank you. They have made this the best Chanukah ever. *grin*

Yesterday was a pretty exciting day too. My parents had decided to give my grandma her present early, so we did. My 83 year old grandma got herself a brand new boat! She lives on a lake up north and loves nothing more than this boat should be just what she wanted. I think I have seen my grandmother cry maybe less than 5 times in my life, but yesterday was too much for her and she broke down. It was awesome. I'll post pictures up tomorrow, with a little more on the story behind it all. It's too great to just gloss over right now.

My mom also could not contain herself and gave me her present as well. She was right, it was something I had wanted for a long time. It a Black and Decker Food Saver. I'm sure you all think this is pretty nuts, but I cannot WAIT to use it. You can take food and put it in a custom sized bag and vacuum seal it!!! Eeek!! I can freeze all kinds of goods; seal up cookies, sugar, bulk candy...anything! Stuff I wanna pack and not have leak all over luggage! Joy! The possibilities are endless. Alright, laugh if you will but *I* am excited. :-D

After all this early gift giving and dinner we do what my family always does....we played cards. In my family, the game of euchre is not just a game, it's a blood sport. Much like this morning...I got up early and went over to have breakfast with my parents and grandma. My dad makes killer waffles, so we enjoyed a Christmas breakfast together consisting of waffles, bacon, orange juice and coffee. Oh and did I mention cards? Sure we had a million other things to get a turkey ready, but we just couldn't help ourselves, we HAD to play some cards. lol.

Now I am home and getting ready for the day's festivities. I have a few presents left to wrap, and then I'm good to go. My family eats dinner at lunchtime instead of suppertime like most families do. We just prefer to eat the heavy meal earlier in the day, and then work it off with lots of card playing. Should be a pretty good day. :-)

And with that I bow out for now. I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a continued Happy Chanukah! Also, be sure to stop by and see si's visit to a Christmas themed park in California. She put up pics, including one of her beside a giant Chanukiyah just for me!!!! *beaming* I LOVE YOU, SI!!! That was awesome of you!! See that folks? Can ya just FEEL love?? Yes indeedy, Catholics and Jews CAN be friends! Let this be a lesson to you all. :-)

Wednesday, December 24, 2003
ma solituda
It's nearly 5am and I am wide awake. I had an incredibly rough night; as wonderful as my mother's dinner was, I came home and promptly threw it all up (being sick is such a barrel of fun, ain't it??). Drat. So I called to tell her that her dinner was a lot better going down than coming up. LOL! I'm a great daughter, not everyone shares such details.

The Chanukah fairies across the hall have been busy again, and I woke up to find Matzo Ball and Soup Mix wrapped up and on my doorstep this morning. Seems fitting considering what my stomach had been doing all night. LOL. However did they know?? Coz Princess Blondie and Bruno *rock*, that's how. :-D The mold was broken after these two were made, I'm tells ya. :-*

Anyway, today I am taking my grandma to the doctor's office; I have to pick her up at 7:15am. I get the feeling it's going to be a very long day. LOL. Up at 5am means I'll be ready for a nap by Noon. But hey! It's Christmas Eve! I like the feeling that will be in the air when I am out and about in my travels today; no not the feeling of stress and shopping anger. The age ole "holiday spirit". For example, the other day when I was driving to work I saw someone in the car next to me wearing a Santa hat. While driving! It was hilarious! :-)

So I if anyone is still bothering to read blogs at this busy time, I wish you all a Merry Chistmas Eve, and a Happy Chanukah!

Tuesday, December 23, 2003
juice me up, baby!
Well, I got sent home from work early yesterday coz I wasn't feeling well. It wasn't so much for my benefit as for the benefit of my co-workers; no one wants my cooties. So on my way home I stopped at the grocery store and got some orange juice and Scooby-Doo cereal. When I came home I curled up with a letter from my friend in England, and a movie. I fought the good fight, and battled off a fever. Huzzah!

Today I woke up feeling a bit on the cruddy side, and I was told I could stay home again from work today (twist my rubber arm!)... IF I agreed to go get the flu shot. Booooo!! I tried to plead that you can't get the shot when you're sick, but I'm not really feeling that bad, truth be told, so I agreed. I am very anti-flu shot and VERY anti-needle, but I decided to do it coz I love my grandma, and I don't wanna ever make her sick. I don't think she could handle a severe bout of the flu anymore. So despite my fear of needles, I sucked it up and got the shot. And ya know what? I am stunned to admit it didn't hurt!! LOL Now mind you, the last time I got the shot (3 years ago) I felt fine on the day I got it, but wanted to pretty much curl up and die the day or so afterwards. Let's hope that doesn't happen again.

After my flu shot I managed to do a little shopping and finish up everyone I needed to get presents for. I think. I'm sure I missed someone, but I got the majors covered, so I think I'm good. Whew. Now I can do a little wrapping and get it under control.

I'm home now, sipping on a juice I made up; carrots, celery, ginger, and apple (with a little lemon and a little lime juice). This is supposed to be good for a cold. We'll see. (note to self: don't put too much ginger in. yow, it's got bite!)
Tonight I am supposed to meet with my friend Corey for his birthday (yes, he's Canadian), but I don't think I'm going to be up for it. That sucks. What should I get him for his birthday? Any suggestions? I'm the worst, I have no idea. Maybe I'll just take him out to dinner when I'm feeling better.

And last but certainly not least my fifth Chanukah gift from my beloved friends and neighbours, Princess Blondie and Bruno; today I opened my door to find cookies to go in the cookie jar I got yesterday. Bruno and I share a special love for maple leaf cookies, that Princess Blondie just cannot understand. lol. You guys continue to make me so happy this season, thank you so much. :-)
Hope everyone is keeping safe and sound. Don't stress! And for those celebrating, tonight we light the fifth candle.

Monday, December 22, 2003
neighbourly hijinx
I know I know, you're all probably sick and tired of hearing about how wonderful my neighbours are. *snore* Well maybe if they weren't so darn nice to me this wouldn't be such an issue for you, my audience. The fact of the matter is I have Princess Blondie and Bruno "the big Italian Chanukah fairy" living across the hall from me, so I have been showered in love and gifts. This morning I put my face right up to the crack of their door and in a low demonic voice, asked if they were awake yet (it was around 8:15am. heh). Princess Blondie opens the door to find me standing there (with my friend visiting from out of town) as I was heading out to work. "Hold on a sec!!" she says as she shuts the door to retrieve my present. She and Bruno feverishly gathered up my present and then she opened up the door again to present me with a beautiful cookie jar. *grin* You see, everytime I go over to their place I stick my hand in their cookie jar and fish out some cookies. Now I have a jar of my own! Hurray! Thank you again guys, you have been making my day with all this thoughtfulness. ((hugs))

Yesterday was a busy day for me. I met up with "the girls" to do a present exchange at the Golden Griddle. A little breakfast and a little fun to start off the day. Amusingly, we were all absolutely exhausted from being up the night before together at our gathering, and could barely keep our eyes open. I scored nicely, as both my friends gave me awesome dvds; Pirates of the Caribbean and Fight Club. Wheee!! I am so excited!
After that my old chum came in from out of town and we dropped her boyfriend off at the airport and then we went to my parents place for dinner. We were both pretty tired so we went back to my place and went to bed *really* early. I was in bed by 9:50pm, and that's only coz I made myself stay up that late. I was ready for bed hours before that.

Anyway, today is a new day. The temperatures here in Toronto are going to reach an incredible 6C (42.8F) which I guess is kinda nice, but there is NO SNOW here!! Damnit, where's my snow???? *pout* I like dee snow. }:-)
When I checked the news this morning I saw that the American government has raised the terrorist alert to "orange". This annoyed me on behalf of the American population. I just don't understand why they do this all the time...every holiday they scare the general public by saying something *might* happen, and that everyone should be aware. What the hell are you supposed to do with that kind of information?? Is that just to cover their asses so that if something *does* happen they can say they warned you?? (coz as time marches on, it's come to light that they knew of a possible threat of hijackers before 9/11, but nobody said anything. so is this there way of saying something just in case?) I dunno what to say anymore. I guess we cross our fingers, hope everything turns out okay, and keep our eyes open. But try not to let it ruin your holidays...these are special times. :-) When I light my fourth candle tonight, I will send "stay safe vibes" to all my American buddies, south of the border. And just remember, Israel thwarts suicide bombers nearly everyday. Be thankful. That was the 40th suicide bomber stopped since the bombing on October 4th.

Sunday, December 21, 2003
How do I love Princess Blondie and Bruno? Let me count the ways...
I'm just wondering if life gets much better than this. I have people in my life right now that have a way of making me feel SO damn loved. Princess Blondie and her boyfriend Bruno have been playing nicky nicky nine doors every morning now, leaving a little Chanukah present for me to find when I open the door. It's just about the sweetest thing I have ever had anyone do for me (day after day! lol). It amuses me to think of how fast they must move in order to knock on my door and then get back into their apartment before I get to the door. This time I was given a wonderful little day to day calendar called "A Little Joy, A Little Oy". It's awesome!! *sigh* {I love you guys!!! Thank you so much!!!} This has been the bestest Chanukah ever, thanks to them. :-)

And like I doesn't get much better than this. Last night I gathered with my friends and had an awesome time. I have tried a few times now to explain the great love and bond I have with this large group of friends, but words don't seem to do justice in describing how I feel. I guess the best way is to say that when I gather with them I feel like I've come home. We are *so* comfortable with each other, as our bond runs 15 years deep, and I wouldn't trade it for the world. I come alive when I am with these people....and I remember who I am and where I've been.
Since it was a potluck we all brought some food to contribute to the evening, which always makes it fun. And like any family gathering, we are all in the kitchen getting the food ready and setting the table. I love it. And we all pitch in cleaning up with shifts rotating between playing cards, and cleaning up. We laughed, we played cards, we drank, and we exchanged gifts. Everybody got to go home with a present in hand, a belly full of laughs and food, and a song in their hearts. This morning I am feel extremely tired, but very happy.

Today I am meeting with a select group of girls from the same friends from last night, in order to exchange more gifts. We just can't get enough it would seem. lol. So we're meeting for pancakes and coffee. Good, I could use a little caffeine.
And THEN I have a friend coming in from out of town to stay overnight with me. She's part of my 20 year friendship alumni. Not too many of those!! Gotta hang on tight to keep them that long. *wink*
I hope everyone has been having a great weekend. Tonight I light the third candle. :-)

Saturday, December 20, 2003
and the hits just keep on comin'!
I am having a wonderful weekend, and it's only Saturday morning. Last night I went out with some friends to celebrate a birthday. Always fun. And last night I lit the first candle on my Chanukiyah. I am in love with my Chanukiyah because it was hand made by my friend; he works with metal and I think he does beautiful work. When he and his wife moved to England this year he gave it me before he left. I will love and treasure it always. Isn't it stunning?? *sigh*

A few minutes ago there was a knock at my apartment door. I wonder what Princess Blondie is up to this morning, I think to myself as I walk to the door (maybe she was looking for toilet paper, she had just texted my phone looking for some. LOL!!). When I opened my door I found a gift at my doorstep. With a grin growing from ear to ear, yet again, I snatched it up and ran into my apartment. I opened it up to find the Coca-Cola logo, in Hebrew, in a frame so I can hang it up. *GRIN* She is genius!! Our hours together watching Survivor have tipped her off to my love for Coke, and she managed to tie it into something Hebrew for me for a Chanukah present. This girl seriously wants me to cry or something; she is just being too sweet to me. I cannot believe how thoughtful she is.... wow. This here is a friend I'm not letting go of, she is one in a million. THANK YOU AGAIN!!!! mwah!!! :'-) (I have hung it in my kitchen until I can find somewhere better for it)

My day can only get better from here. Well except that I am about to go into work for a few hours if you can imagine. Blah. But no problem, I have a great night ahead of me. I am getting together with my Gang of Friends for a huge potlock dinner. I can't wait. I love these people so much, they are like family to me. This will definitely be one of the highlights for the holidays. My god, do I have the best friends ever or what?? I am SO grateful. I will gather with my friends, eat tons of food, swap presents, play cards and laugh the night away. Today, my heart sings. :-D

Friday, December 19, 2003
Chag Sameach
Okay, do we all know who Princess Blondie is? My friend and neighbour across the hall? Well let me just tell you how much I adore this girl (as if I haven't before). Today as I was leaving my apartment I found a present taped to my door. My darling neighbour had taped Chanukah mints to the lock on my door!! How sweet is this girl??? THANK YOU, PRINCESS BLONDIE!!

The timing couldn't be better because I have just *not* been able to get into the holiday spirit. I have one foot in the world of Christmas, and one foot in the world of Chanukah, and sometimes it can be a little tough. But when I found those mints this morning I had a smile on my face that went from ear to ear. It was about the sweetest thing ever to have someone acknowledge Chanukah to me in a world swirling with Christmas music and maniacal shoppers. THAT is what friends are all about. Mwah!! Now I'm am finally excited about the holidays!!!

So yes, I'd like to extend a Happy Chanukah to all my Jewish readers. May you and your families celebrate great joy and love together over the next 8 days (in other words, stuff yourself with plenty of latkes and sufganiot!). Chag Sameach and Shabbat Shalom! And if you are getting tired and frustrated over the holidays (family has a way of doing that), you may toss sufganiot at various politicians. Give it a try, you'll feel better. (thanks to Imshin for the link)
And for those who are interested you may find out more about Chanukah here, and here (it begins at sunset tonight).

Thursday, December 18, 2003
today's lesson
My day started off okay, and then a chain of events lead to what one would classify as a "bad day". Nothing big, but it's the kind of stuff that if you are not in the right state of mind when it comes, can really set you off. Events that I could normally handle somehow seemed like the biggest deal in the world, and I was ready to go postal.
It seemed like a simple assignment.....get 18 cans of spray paint from a particular store. Due to the quantities, I might be forced to travel to 2 or more, and buy the stores out. I shan't bore you with the details, but let's just say the staff in the first store were less than helpful. In fact, I'd go so far as to say they were ANTI-helpful. I walked out of that store empty handed and fuming. I drove to the next location and was met by similarly helpful staff. I really started stewing in my anger and had visions of running up and down the aisles with my arms out, knocking everything off the shelves just to get someone's attention. Maybe THEN they could help me find what I was looking for. I eventually found what I was looking for withOUT the help of the staff. I paid, I left.

Anyway, long story short, I got back to work in a notably worse mood than when I left (rush hour traffic really helped heighten my elated mood). I left work positively stewing (my boss would NOT let me leave until I had calmed down, as I tend to drive like a homicidal maniac when I'm mad) and the rush hour traffic was now worse than ever. My mood was growing. The drive home from work is about 35 minutes. Plenty of time to think about how pissed off I am. It starts off that I'm pissed off at the stupid sales people in the store, to being pissed off at all the friends who ever let me down or stabbed me in the back, to pretty much being pissed off at the whole world. I planned to order pizza, forget shopping tonight as planned, and aim for a long night of tv viewing. I was in a bad mood, and I didn't wanna be around people, and I sure as hell did NOT want to be out shopping.

When I arrived home I opened my mailbox...and what did I see? A cheque? Made out to ME?? Who is this from??
My landlord had written me cheque for $100; apparently it's interest on my deposit. WOO HOO!!! I cheered. I needed a break today, and I found it in my mailbox when I got home. Who'da thunk it?
Wow....sometimes you just never know you're gonna get a break....and often it comes just when you need it. Gotta keep the faith, baby!

On a parting note, let us have a moment of silence for the retirement of a fine Israeli invention. It seems that after 50 years of service, the Uzi, a submachine gun named after it's creator, is being phased out. It was a staple in the Israeli army, and a national icon. There's more info on it here if you are interested.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003
Middle Earth
Nerds around the world united yesterday for one great cause: the viewing of all three Lord of the Rings movies. It was a geekfest extravaganza that started with the purchase of the tickets a month ago. Then yesterday my friends and I skipped out of work and were at the theatre for 12:15pm (the movies started at 2pm). Hopped up on sugar and free Coke refills, it was a true test of our bladders, our love of the movies, and of our attention span. (for a reporter's blow-by-blow description check out his report here)

Like many others I had packed my own simply HAD to if you expected to survive nearly twelve hours in the movie theatre. I took a quick stop to Wal-Mart before meeting up with my friends, stocking up on the beef jerky, water, Crispy Minis (mini cheesy rice cakes. so good!!), and wet naps. This was added to my bag of Doritos, and Halloween candy that I was bringing from home. I figured that if caffeine won't carry us, perhaps sugar highs will.

In the end it wasn't nearly as difficult to sit through all three movies as I thought it would be. Admittedly, it was getting tough in the final hour or so, but that's to be expected. I really enjoyed the extra footage included in the first two, that previously could only be found on the dvd; the footage really added to the movie. In terms of stamina through the movie, we all had our ways of dealing with sitting in one place for extended periods of time; some of us were fidgety, some stretched, and others actually got up and walked around at the back of the theatre. Some stood through portions of the film. Hey, ya did what ya had was a looong day.

Of course if you know anything about these films, you know that they are about 3 - 3.5 hours long (with the added footage). This begs the question...just how many times DOES one have to break for the washroom given that Coke refills are free (and most of us bought a jumbo cup)? Well, for me (a "frequent pee-er") it meant a well timed washroom break about an hour before the end of the film, in the first two movies. I had seen the first two before, so I was fairly confident I could time my exit so that I would not miss too much (and I can get to the bathroom and back in record time, what with having so much practice and all). This timing was important because it would mean that when the movie ends I would not be in the super long line up desperate to relieve myself of my wares. We were alloted 25 minutes of break time between movies, so there wasn't a whole lot of time to go to the washroom and then grab some food. So. By making that trip an hour before, I avoided the lineups in the bathroom right after the movie ends (always a nightmare for we women) and then just before the start of the next movie I would go visit the little girl's room *again* (it's been an hour and a half now since my last trip) and had the joy of avoiding the lineups because everyone had already gone there first. Genius? I think so.

The fans were great, as we were all brought together for the same geeky reason. We laughed, we talked, we had a great time. We applauded, we cheered, and we booed. It's always great to see a film like this with like-minded people.
And we were rewarded for our efforts and dedication with a Lord of the Rings collectible. The theatre handed out a gift consisting of a strip of film, one cell from each movie. It's in this sort of...frame, I guess you'd call it. You can have a look at it here. Pretty cool hunh? Maybe I'll sell it on eBay like everyone else. Or maybe if one of you can give me a *really* good reason why I should give it to you, I will. Tis the season! Drop me an e-mail if you like.

Overall, it was yet another awesome day out with my friends. I love them, they are the bestest, and there isn't anyone else I'd rather be with for 12 hours of movie fun! mwah!! :-*

(and a Mazal Tov goes out to my geek friend Will....he told us yesterday that he and his wife are expecting their first child. hurray!!)

Monday, December 15, 2003
finding reasons to be jolly
Raise your hand if you're sick and tired of seeing Saddam's mouth being inspected with a flashlight and tongue depressor!

Oy, it's getting old. But ya know what? There are worse things to have to watch repeatedly on the news. This one makes everyone a little happy, I think. Well.....almost everyone. Allow me to highlight my own personal reasons for being happy that Saddam is now out of the picture and forced to face the world for what he's done; I am happy because in the first Gulf War in 1991, Saddam and his soldiers fired no less than 39 scud missiles into Israel. Afterall, if your missiles can't reach America, why not hit one of her allies? Indeed, the Palestinians cheered as the scuds flew over the West Bank and into Tel Aviv, destroying buildings and lives upon impact. And do you know what Israel did? Israel did *nothing*. Israel was asked by the United States to stay out of the war and not retaliate against the attacks, for fear it would complicate things if Israel got involved. Afterall, that war was supposed to be between Kuwait, the U.S., and Iraq. So Israel did as asked and held it's fire. So thanks to his actions during the first Gulf War, I have 39 reasons for smiling because of Saddam's capture. He will never attack Israel again.

One more reason I am happy that he was captured involves the fact that Saddam has been known to not only support Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, but help fund the terrorism Yasser's groups inflict upon Israelis (namely suicide bombers). Saddam would give money towards the planning and building of the groups who made the bombs, AND he would donate money to the families of the suicide bombers, as a reward for their great sacrifice. Thank you SO much Saddam, for making life terrifying for millions of Israelis, as well as of millions of Iraqis. Good riddance.

The problem people are having is understanding the significance of his capture; they need to understand how it will, or will not, effect them personally. Until you make something personal, you can't fully grasp the gravity of a situation. For some people this capture means religious and personal freedom like they have never known before. For others it will mean a step closer to packing up and leaving after serving in a long difficult war. For me it became that much more personal when a family I love very dearly moved to Israel last September. And when the Gulf War began in March they were terrified as they were told to seal off a room and prepare for war. It became VERY fucking personal for me then. And I was never so happy as to hear that not one single scud was fired in Israel's direction this time. And I will be very happy if it never happens again.

My rant ends here.... thank you for listening. Let's move onto something a little lighter. :-)
I just returned home from doing some shopping. I friggin' hate last minute holiday shopping, I really do. I have no patience, and I don't even like shopping on a good day. Put me in a hot winter coat in an even hotter shopping mall with crowds....and you have one short tempered girlie on your hands. So I try my best to make quick work of it. I managed to tackle quite a few on my list, but it's going to take another round to get it finished. I had better be able to finish this soon, coz one more Christmas carol and I might commit murder.

Tomorrow, however, is going to be a glorious day. Me and my geek friends are pulling an all time geek day; we are watching all three Lord of the Rings movies, back to back, in the theatre. It's a 12 hour movie marathon, and I can't wait!! Eeeek!!!! Meryl is getting in on the action anyone else? (or am I the only geek? *gulp*)
So anyway, I won't be around much tomorrow..I'm sure you can find other ways to amuse yourself.
Try this (via Jill): Mr. Picassohead.

Sunday, December 14, 2003
a new (red) dawn
"HO. LEE. CRAP!!!"
That was my reaction to the news this morning. My routine in the morning is that I get up and go straight to my computer, and onto to make sure the world is more or less in one piece, as I left it when I went to bed. For me this can often be a scary experience since most of my worldly interests are in the middle east and because they are 7 hours ahead of me, much of their day is over when my day is just beginning. This means that if something happened there in the morning, it's old news by the time I finally hear about it. There have been many times I have woken up only to find out about yet another bombing in Israel; not a great way to start the day.
But I digress.

When I first went on and saw the *huge* headline "We got him" I had no idea who they were talking about. The picture beside it obviously didn't help since Saddam looks like a crazed caveman. Upon reading just who it was they captured I found a large grin growing from ear to ear. I could NOT be happier for the Iraqi people. It has been an incredibly tough road for them, and I hope to God this brings them some sense of relief and closure.
I have never really spoken about my views on this whole Iraq issue for a wide variety of reasons, but I will say this much: while I don't believe the ends justifies the means, I hope that this is the beginning of something positive. What I think doesn't really matter because the situation is what it is. What's done is done, and now we all must make the most of it. Things have become such a horrific mess over there that it's nice that something positive has come out of it. I hope the Iraqis sleep a little better tonight because of this news. May tomorrow be a new and better day.
And I don't know about you but I can only imagine how much Bush is patting himself on the back for this. His re-election was in grave danger...until now. He just got himself re-elected with this little victory, now didn't he?

I leave you with a link.....forget the footage you will see over and over again for the next few days of Saddam during his medical exam ...where the real happiness comes from is in the cheers of the Iraqi press at the conference announcing his capture. Go watch it, and tell me you don't feel a sense of relief for these people. (thanks to Imshin for the should read her post about all this. it made me giggle in a devilish way)
More links to various reactions, including those of Iraqis, and interestingly, Palestinians, can be found here: The Command Post.

Anyway, moving right along. I'm sure we will all be sick of the Saddam topic as we are beat over the head with it for the next week (or months). Hey, at least it's a break from the Michael Jackson hoopla.

Yesterday was a pretty good day for me. I went and joined a birthday party for my friend's 2 year old daughter. It was a bizarre day as I sat around with a bunch of friends I have know for 10+ years......many of them now married with children. At one point I turned to my friend and said "If you had told me 10 years ago THIS is how it would be...I would never have believed you". She laughed and agreed. Part of what made it so bizarre is that the couples were all shuffled from what they had been all those years ago; my friend's ex-boyfriend was there with his fiance and baby. Their relationship dissolved long ago, yet here they were together and now friends, and with their respective spouses at the party (and their children playing together!!). It seriously melts my brain when I think about it too much. These are the people with who I partied and drank with all those years ago, and here we are going ga-ga over babies. I guess this is growing up. *grin*
I get to play the best role at these events. I am photographer and "Auntie" to all the kids. I adore my friends kids so I take pics all day. And I get to play with them and have fun....and then go home to the quiet sanctity of my own home. LOL! I'm telling you, I have it made.
All in all it was a fantastic time, and great to catch up with some old friends. Really truly great to see them again.

On my way home I called up another friend of mine, Karen, and invited her up to my place for dinner and a movie. I haven't had the chance to really sit down alone with her and talk for quite some time now, and I was in no mood for going out to any of the other parties I was invited to. She too was trying to get out of a party, so we got to use each other as an excuse. Perfect!
We ordered a pizza and talked for hours. We both seem to be in a very simliar "funk" this past week. A strange mix of emotions....resentment/frustration/sadness/anger/apathy/grumpy/directionless. I found some consolation in the fact that she had been feeling very much the same (isn't that the basis of every good friendship? that you find someone who feels the same way you do?). We talked at great length about the evolution of friendships in the last 6 months, and about where we thought we were going in life. We agreed that friendships have taken an increasingly important role in our lives, and that we have come to value them more and more. She has found that her friends have taken on a larger role now that her parents have moved to the east coast, and I found that I have learned, through personal crisis, just who my true friends are, and that I was surprised at who was and who wasn't in the end. It has shaken me up, and I am concerned that I am not as good a judge of character as I might have once believed. How could I have trusted so much in someone, heart and soul, only to have them walk away like that?? Seriously, it makes you wonder what the hell you were thinking.

Eventually we decided to put a movie on and just check out of the dramatic conversation. I think we both felt way better for finally talking about it and finding we were in similar boats, but it was time to cut loose and forget about it. End the night on a positive note. And this is where we made or final error for the evening. Has anyone else seen the film Basic? Let me first preface this rant by saying I will watch almost any movie and think it's good. I'm pretty easy going, and it takes a lot for me to hate a film; I can find good in almost any pile of crap. This film, was not only bad, it was so annoying that it made me angry. It made me want to hunt down the writer and director and ask them what the hell they were doing. Ya know what I like in a good movie? A twist...a little surprise thrown into the mix at the end. Ya know what I hate in a movie? FIVE OR MORE twists. Seriously, you mislead me enough times and I'm just not gonna give a shit anymore. I couldn't even tell you *what* the movie was about by the end of it, and at no point did I find it even a little bit clever. I felt like a sucker for having watched it. (I am not alone in the confusion of this movie. feel free to read the IMDb message board for the movie) I must find some way to pay Princess Blondie back for this....she's the one who loaned that dvd to me.

No matter! Because tonight is a very exciting night. Tonight is the 2 hour finale of Survivor. Princess Blondie, BRUNO, and I will curl up in front of the tv and watch, with glee, as the event unfolds. I can't wait, it's gonna be great.
Meantime, I have a lot of homework to catch up on, I am WAY too behind in my class.

Oh, and I just got off the phone with a friend...he told me to look out my window (I hadn't yet, coz my blinds are closed). IT SNOWED LAST NIGHT!!! FINALLY!!!!!! And it looks like it might even stay (our first few snowfalls always end up melting away). Hurray for snow!!!!!!!!!!!! I am sooooo excited. I must go out and play. THEN maybe do some homework. *wink*

Saturday, December 13, 2003
tis the season for parties
Yesterday felt like one of the longest days ever. Ever have one of those? It just feels like it goes on and on and on. It started with me taking my grandmother to a doctor's appointment. She lives 2 hours north of here, but she comes down to the city for appointments with specialists. We spent a total of three hours in the doctors office, mostly waiting around and being moved from one waiting room to another (welcome to the Canadian Healthcare System!). This made for a very long day, and an exhausting one for my grandma. And as much as I love and adore her (and I truly do) she can really try my patience in a situation like that. Anyway, we got her set up for cataract surgery in the new year, so she's happy.

After that Princess Blondie and her boyfriend BRUNO and I had chinese food for dinner (thanks guys!!) and we watched Survivor; they couldn't watch it with me on Thursday as is our usual routine, so I taped it so we could watch it together on Friday night instead. :-D We had a total blast, I love spending time with these kids. After watching Survivor we collectively went to Blockbuster to rent a movie to round out the evenings events. We rented the movie Wrong Turn, which wasn't the scariest movie by any means, but you wouldn't know that from watching Princess Blondie freak out. LOL. Bless that girl, I love watching a scary movie with her.....these films were made for people just like her. She jumps at every little thing, it's great.
Good time had by all!

So today I am going to a birthday party for a 2 year old; my best friend from highschool is throwing a party for her two year old, so I'm gonna go and play Auntie and take lots of pics. Should be a blast, we had fun at the birthday party last year. How old do I feel when I'm going to parties for my friends KIDS?? Yikes.

After that I have a house warming party I have been invited to...and I'm not sure if I wanna go or not. Seems like I have nothing better to do tonight (there's a family dinner that I am NOT going to tonight...I despise my dad's side of the family) so I might go to the house warming. However, there's gonna be not one, but TWO ex-boyfriends there (one of them being the host) and am I *really* in the mood for that? I mean we're all friends and everything, but I dunno....
*sigh* We'll see how I feel later. Maybe the birthday party will tucker me out. lol! A group of two year olds running around all afternoon?? I feel tired just thinking about it. We'll see......

Thursday, December 11, 2003
canary in a coalmine
Do I know how to start the day off right or what?! I got up this morning and went off to the diagnostic centre up the street for an ultrasound. there any better feeling than having cold goop squeezed onto your tummy, followed by having a rock hard transducer jammed into my ribs?? And that's saying nothing of the lovely paper gown I was parading around in. LOL.
Anyway, seems all is fine (*big surprise*) and the doctors still don't know why I have a stomach pain that occasionally puts me in the hospital when it gets really bad. We were looking at my gallbladder this time, as we have before, but found nothing. I was actually pulling for it to be the gallbladder; while I'm not excited by the idea of having problems with my gallbladder, I would like to have a name for my pain. But sadly, all these years later, I still do not. :-/

Moving right along to last night's events (I know si is snooping for details here. lol!). What can I say? We had a great time. :-D I made us a very tasty dinner, if I do say so myself. And Lucky was brave enough to meet my neighbour across the hall, Princess Blondie. And after dinner we curled up on the couch and watched Finding Nemo. How cute was that movie!?
So yeah, we had a fun evening. Hell, I think I might even see this guy a THIRD time, everyone!! This may very well be a new dating record for me; not many guys entertain me long enough to make it to the third date. Hmph. Must be something about this guy, hunh? *wink* Maybe if Lucky is feeling brave he will say a word or two in the comments....heh.

And now I am going to eat because I was forced to starve for 12 hours before this ultrasound. After that I'm gonna lounge a bit and then head out for a haircut. This makes me very happy.

Know what DOESN'T make me happy? Hearing news about mafia-style attempts at assassination in Israel. Seems one tough guy tried to kill another tough guy by blowing him up. Of course they missed the intended target and killed 3 and injured 33 others. Nice job! As if Israelis don't have enough to worry about, now they gotta worry about bombings from their own side? Idiots. Stop fighting amongst each other....there are bigger issues to contend with.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003
feel good time
I went on a cleaning rampage last night. It started off as a little bit of tidying so I don't frighten Lucky off on what is only our second date, but it turned into me getting very into what I was doing and actually (*gasp*) enjoying the cleaning. I have a special love affair with cleaning products. And I simply *love* the happiness I get from a clean home. I just kinda wander from room to room admiring my clean apartment. It's ridiculous, but I figure it's a healthy obsession. There are worse things to be obsessed how many steps you take, or washing your hands fifty times a day.

I'm not sure what I was thinking by inviting Lucky over for dinner as a second date... I don't wanna mislead the chap into thinking I'm some kinda Kitchen Goddess. I mean I like cooking alright, but I don't make dinner every night. lol. I have always maintained that I would make meals more often if it was more than just me, coz eating alone sucks. As much as I enjoy living alone, I find meals become more of an obstacle or chore. It's sad but true. But when I have company over I get very excited about making food. :-D

Work is seriously impairing my ability to focus on the fun night ahead. I still have some things I want to do at home before he comes over, but I have this pesky meeting with a buyer this afternoon, so it's kinda important that I stick around for that. LOL. Who the hell invented this whole concept of work, anyway??
And my landlord called me to tell me he has a new door knob he wants to install (it's a long story, but Princess Blondie got a new door knob last night coz hers broke, so apparently my landlord feels the need to have mine match since I'm across the hall. weirdo). I said tonight is SO not the night for that. How romantic would it be to have dinner with the landlord installing a new knob on my front door?? LOL Good for a story later, not good for a date.

Should be an interesting evening..... *wink*

Tuesday, December 09, 2003
Okay, first of all I would like to draw attention to a website called Israel 21C, a site that "focuses beyond the conflict". It's a fantastic site that shows how life is in Israel, with everything from human interest stories, to stories about the tv shows there (like the Israeli version of Sesame Street that teaches that Israelis and Arabs can be friends. Or their version of "Big Brother", known in Israel as "Project Y"), to stories about Israel's contributions to the advances in the medical world. I highly recommend this site for those wanting to see Israel in a different light...a light other than the war torn country it is portrayed as in the media. I have put a permanent link to it in my sidebar as well. Please, show it a little support and go visit!

Now then, on with what's going on in my little world (for those still interested! lol). My mood is considerably better today. Princess Blondie and I went out after work yesterday and did a little shopping. It was nice. :-) A little sistah time is always good for the soul. Bitching about life and spending some money really seems to do the trick. LOL. We are a pair of women that are easily made happy.

After our outing we went back to her apartment and had dinner with her boyfriend BRUNO. I say BRUNO in capital letters because in prior entries I have posted I often referred to him as Princess Blondie's "beau". He expressed to me recently that he felt somewhat slighted when reading my blog and found that he had no real name. LOL. I told him that from time to time I had called him Uno, but if he felt like I was leaving him out too much I would start calling him by his name. That name again: BRUNO. Got it? lol
Anyway, BRUNO made a wonderful chicken chowder in the crock pot, and it was deeeelicious!! Hear that ladies? A man who likes to make food! How sweet is that?? Yeah too bad, he's taken, so you can forget about him. :-P THANKS FOR THE DINNER, BRUNO!! It was tasty!

As for me....I am going to try my hand at dinner as well. I have invited Lucky over for dinner tomorrow night, so I'm going to do my best not to poison him. That would make for a lousy second date, now wouldn't it? lol're a brave man!
I think just to be sure the date goes well, I'll include potatoes on the menu...I hear dem Irish like da potaties! :-P (I oughtta know!) Any other suggestions?

In local news, there was an incident at the Uptown theatre yesterday. The Uptown was an old theatre built in Toronto in 1920, originally used for stage shows, but later used as a cinema, and a mainstay for the Toronto Film Festival (the second largest film festival, I might add!). It was a gorgeous old theatre, and I am particularly sad that it was set for demolition as I saw the very last film shown there; it was the last night of the Toronto Film Festival in September, and also my birthday. It made it a doubly special occasion, and the audience in the theatre that night was very somber as we knew this would be the last film ever shown in that theatre.
Anyway, despite attempts to stop it from being demolished, demolition began and yesterday a terrible accident took place on site; a wall from the Uptown collapsed and killed one man, and injured 15 others, many of them children. The wall fell through the roof of a school next door, caving it in, and trapping many. I was stunned when I clicked on yesterday and found it splashed across the main page. The families of the victims are in my thougts and prayers today; it's a sad accident that didn't need to happen. An investigation is of course underway.

In other news there was a murder overnight, just down the street from me. When I drove by this morning on my way to work there were police cars *everywhere* and they had the whole street taped off. I had to take an alternate route around it. Oh the drama! I feel terrible for this family as well....this will make for rough holidays this season for them. It seems that a 17 year old boy stabbed his father (or some other relation in the family, they aren't specifying at this time). They found the man dead on the sidewalk. *sigh* So sad.

It's stuff like this, right in my own neighbourhood, that helps to remind me that life isn't so bad.

Monday, December 08, 2003
the storm within
I am in some strange emotional state today. Absolutely everything is making me cry (and no, it's not PMS, thank you very much!). I've been trying to figure out just what the problem is, and I don' think I know for sure. I think part of it has to do with last weeks events; I finally had time to stop and process it over the weekend, and it's bothering me. And with that, I am sad that it has shown once again that I can no longer rely on someone whom I believed was a friend once upon a time.

And I think this simple little date I went on has me examining a few things in my life. This is the first time in a very long time where someone has piqued my interest enough to have me wonder "what if"? I'm not explaining it very well, but I guess my point is that when new doors open others must close. And between this and the crisis last week, the door has been closed and now sealed on an old friendship. And without full closure on the matter, I'm having a hard time letting go.

For some reason this is has me now reflecting on my trip to Israel in June. The trip, without going into detail (to protect the other parties involved) didn't go very well. I have a sea of regrets and have more bad memories of it than good. This makes me deeply sad. And now I am worried that the trip will leave a sour taste in my mouth for a country that I love very much.
I was speaking online to a good friend of mine in Israel, and telling him about how badly I want to go back and do the trip right. And about how one of my greatest regrets was not taking the time to see him when I was there (we have talked online and on the phone for a year now). He was instrumental in helping me deal with my friend moving there, and I would love the opportunity to finally meet him.
So now I am a little on the bitter side that I wasted opportunities while I was there. I am angry that I have mixed feelings about Israel, and I am most of all angry that I cannot financially afford to go back and make it right for myself. They say that money doesn't make the world go round, but it's sure stopping me from going around the world. I am dying to go back to israel, but it's just not in the cards....not for a very long while.

Maybe I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed and I'm feeling sorry for myself. Pity parties are an easy trap to fall into, so I had better pull myself together. Princess Blondie has been an angel and offered to do girlie stuff to help me chill out a bit, so we might do something after work. And Lucky has been a sweet fella, checkin' up on me and sending me an e-mail that brought a smile to my miserable face. He's a good lad.

And hey, I'm glad you're all excited about me going on a date! LOL! Almost as excited as my mom....I think she was resolved to having a spinster for a daughter; 40 cats, but no children. No pressure on Lucky and I at! *wink*
*grin* You don't always get what you want....sometimes you get what you need. :-)

Sunday, December 07, 2003
the circle of life
I don't know about you, but I find it can be mighty hard to keep the faith that things will work out when you are in the middle of a crisis. This past week has been an intensely emotional one for me, as most of you know and have been reading. And as is the case with any crisis you really start to see who your friends are, which can sometimes be a painful lesson on one hand, but a wonderful one on the other.

And at the end of the week when I felt like all I wanted to do was crawl into a cave and disappear for a while I got a text message from my friend in England; the day after the funeral my friend had her baby boy. Just as one life drew to an end another began. I was so happy to get some good news that I actually cried....and I don't think I have ever cried happy tears at the news of a birth before. lol. But I was grateful that mother and son were well, and the timing couldn't have been better. (a big hug and mazel tov to the family!)

Then came Saturday. I spent the day doing absolutely nothing and just enjoying the slow pace of a day off. In the evening, I went out on a date. As I said, I'm not much of a keener when it comes to dating, but I found a fellow who has intrigued me. We met up and had a wonderful night filled with good food at Alice Fazooli's (the poor waitress was forced to listen to me go on and on about how good my food was), and then some fun and frolic at Playdium (an arcade of sorts), and finished off with a movie (Timeline). All I can say is that I had an awesome time....I can't remember when I've had so much fun on a date; it's been a long time, kiddies. lol. Who'da thunk it possible?? *grin*

Stay tuned, I might just give the Irish lad another date.....whattya say Lucky? :-P
(and once my arm has recovered, prepare to have your ass whipped again in another rousing round of air hockey)

In the meantime I am going to round out my weekend with more time well spent among my friends; 6 of us are heading out to stuff our faces with sushi. MMMMMMM!!!! A perfect end to a most excellent weekend. :-D

Saturday, December 06, 2003
This will be the last I talk of this funeral. I don't want to wallow in it any's time to close the book and begin the healing. The funeral was more difficult than I expected, and I am most certainly glad it is over. Every time I attend a family funeral I lose yet another piece of myself. I mourn for the person that has left us and for that lost piece that I will never gain back. As I stated, I have a very small family, so each loss hits us hard.
Going to back to my hometown fills me with an odd assortment of feelings, most not altogether good. I am in no hurry to return there for the next funeral.
I would like once again to thank you all for your fabulous words of support. When others let me down this week you were there for me. Your words and sentiments touched me deeply. Thank you very much. Toda Raba.
Let us close this chapter and move on.

In Israeli news, it seems that a Canadian is being held and interrogated in Israel. This Canadian is a Palestinian-born immigrant who had been trained by Hamas in the Gaza strip. His intention was to carry out terrorist attacks in Canada against Jewish and Israeli targets. This has me more than a little concerned. One of the (many) differences between attacking Jews in Canada and attacking Jews in Israel is that we are certainly not prepared for such a thing. We live under this false sense of security believing we won't be a target, that it won't happen here. Oh no? The fact that we are unprepared for such an event makes us a very easy target indeed. It's much harder to protect the second largest country in the world with a population of 30 million than it is a tiny country with a population of 6 million. We cannot implement the same measures Israel does, and this leaves us very vulnerable to an attack. I have a decidely uncomfortable feeling about this situation since Toronto has one of the largest Jewish populations outside of Israel. Our targets are obvious and not at all protected. How do I know I wouldn't be attacked leaving my Hebrew class on a Tueday night?
This has been a very interesting eye opener for Canada....but will anything change? We shall see. Right now there is bickering about mistreatment of this prisoner. I'm trying to muster sympathy......but I'm having a hard time.

Moving on then, I'm trying to find a way to pull myself out of this grumpy mood I'm in. I have had the worst sleep this week, with it really hitting it's climax last night/this morning. I have had nothing but nightmares all night, filling me with great anxiety today. I have to keep telling myself they were only dreams.....
And I have a date tonight. Take note coz this doesn't happen too often. LOL. The lucky chap has been doing his homework and reading this blog all week. I'll test him tonight. }:-) I feel a bit guilty that our first date comes on the tail of a craptacularly bad week for me, and I hope I can pull a good mood off for him. Wouldn't exactly be fair if I was moping, now would it? It's ok, I think this will be just the distraction I need. :-)

Thursday, December 04, 2003
crimson & clover
The funeral is today.
I couldn't really sleep so now I'm just trying to kill some time before I leave. I'm really anxious about this funeral for some reason; it's odd since I've been to so many. *sigh*
I just want this day over with.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003
make love not war
I just want to remind everyone, especially those who believe it's not possible, that there ARE Palestinians that DO want peace and ARE doing something to promote that. In this article: A Palestinian alerts IDF to bomb threat.
Good for him, I wish I could personally thank him. If only more Palestinians felt compelled to step forward.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003
Family Portrait
I think it would be best if I don't post anymore until after the funeral. I'll only blab about nonsense and whine and complain, so it's probably better if I kept it to myself, hm? I have just spent an hour going through a large box of old pictures trying to find a few to take to the funeral. This is quite possibly one of the worst ideas I've ever come up with. Bah. Nice job, now I'm so depressed I could throw myself off a cliff. lol. Too many pictures of people I've lost. :-(

Anyway, I'd like to thank those who have shown me some lovin'. I think deep down I was hoping to see some from someone who once had a pretty amazing way of comforting me...but instead I got it from complete strangers. I really should have known better than to have secretly hoped or counted on that person, and I really should have trusted more in you guys. I am eternally grateful that you had such kinds words to offer.

Funeral is on Thursday, and then maybe after that I can get back to my usual happy broadcasting. ;-)

"All the fear has left me now
I'm not frightened anymore
It's my heart that pounds beneath my flesh
it's my mouth that pushes out this breath
and if I shed a tear I won't cage it
I won't fear love
and if I feel a rage I won't deny it
I won't fear love
Peace in the struggle
to find peace
comfort on the way
to comfort
and if I shed a tear I won't cage it
I won't fear love
and if I feel a rage I won't deny it
I won't fear love"
- Sarah McLachlan

happiness is an option
Okay I'm really starting to annoy myself. All I'm doing is crying, and this isn't exactly productive. I think I'm just being overly dramatic because I've only had 1.5 hours of sleep. However, if I can't think of anything intelligent to say/post soon, I may suspend my blogging for the rest of the week.
Meanwhile I am going to go to work to try and get my mind off all this.
At least it snowed overnight. :-)

mr. sandman...bring me a dream...
It's after 4am and I can't sleep. I've been tossing and turning all friggin night, and have finally decided to just get up. This really sucks. I even took half a sleeping pill to try and stop thinking about funeral arrangements and to get some rest, but my brain refuses to shut off.
And then I come on here and read all the wonderfully kind comments you guys left for me, and I start crying all over again. LOL. You guys are the sweetest, thank you very much.

Truly, I am a sight to behold right now. When I got up I decided I was hungry so on my way to my computer I grabbed a bag of baby carrots (these babies are already peeled!). So here I am sitting in my t-shirt and panties, sobbing and munching on carrots. ROFL!! VERY attractive indeed.

Oh, and I called my grandmother to check up on her. She sounded terrible on the phone and it was obvious she had been crying. She's trying to sound strong but she's clearly a mess. I asked (several times) if she wanted me to come up and keep her company, but she said no she wanted "to be stomp around and be misery all by herself". :-( I'm not happy with that answer, but what can I say? She's a stubborn woman, and I sure don't wanna drive 2 hours up there just to have her be livid with me for interferring. I tend to respect her wishes, as I know everyone grieves differently. Hell, I prefer to be alone too (or do I?).


I'm gonna go watch some tv. Thanks again you guys, your words mean the world to me right now. ((HUGS))

UPDATE: it's just after 5:30am, and I have eaten about half a pound of baby carrots and a *giant* bowl of chocolate pudding. I'd say the grieving process is going swimmingly, wouldn't you?? lol And who programs these early morning tv shows??? I can find nothing but infomercials and religious programs. Perhaps if I keep watching them they will bore me to sleep. lol.

UPDATE #2: 6am. Screw going back to sleep, I've found Martha Stewart, and she and some chap are teaching me how to make a tasty halibut dish. Man alive, does it look good!
(I just looked up this episode in the tv guide and the synopsis is this: 'A man searches for a Ukrainian woman who saved his grandfather from Nazis; baked brie.' ROFL!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Hmph. Just now I suddenly felt bad for laughing at a time when I should be (and am) sad. Life sucks that way sometimes.

Monday, December 01, 2003
take the long way home
I just got a call from my mother; we have a funeral to go to this week. We have lost another member of my already dwindling family. I am sad and have a very heavy heart.....and I am dreading going back home. The only reason I ever go back to my "home town" is for funerals, which unfortunately tends to be a few times a year (my family isn't of the strongest stock it would seem). I get the creeps when I go back there now, and it takes it's toll on me for days.

Mostly I am worried about my grandmother. She is apparently taking it quite badly, and my mother and I have been discussing if one of us should drive up to her (she lives 2 hours north of us). The answer would seem like an obvious yes, but my grandma is a tough old bat, and likes to grieve privately. I'll call her in a bit to check on her and see if she wants me to go up.

Meantime I think I'll go have myself a little cry.

(remember my little rant about how it'd be nice to have a best friend to lean on? Yeah, now would be one of those times. :-( Oh well. Props to my friend Melra for trying to cheer me up when she called and found me unhappy. I think we'll just chock this up as one of those things I don't really talk about. sorry bud, sometimes that's just the way I am.)

Now is the time on Sprockets, when we DANCE!
Yesterday Princess Blondie and I went to a dance performance in a little tiny theatre in downtown Toronto (in the Distillery Historic District). We went to see a dance group called Aurora Dance perform, as a friend of Princess Blondie's had choreographed some of the work that would be shown. It is for this reason that I went, as it is normally NOT my cup of tea. I also thought it would be something new to experience on a lovely Sunday afternoon; why not, right?

Now.....I don't pretend to know much about dance, because I certainly don't. I had attempted dance lessons as a child, but as my mother later reviewed, I had the grace of an elephant. And I had no idea exactly what kind of dance I'd be going to see, but I'm game for anything once.

First of all, this was a really cool area of Toronto that I had never spent any time in before. It was an area closed off to cars where you just sort of walked up and down these cobble streets and saw galleries and studios and little quaint shops. Cool stuff. To me, the trip was worth it for that alone.
Then we headed up into the building that had the theatre, which was also pretty nifty. All these old warehouses and distilleries had been turned into useful living/working spaces, like large lofts. The theatre we went into was small, with only 4 rows of seating (I would guess about 100 in total, maybe a bit more). This made for an interesting environment for a theatre because you sat only about 10 - 15 feet (3 - 4.5 meters) away from the performers. You could hear their breathing and see every ripple of their clothing. It was an odd experience, actually. Am I supposed to be able to hear their barefeet squeak as they turn and dance, I thought? lol

Anyway, I'm not sure I have the appreciation of the art to really give it the full review it deserves, but from my standpoint it was still a fascinating show. You can't help but be impressed by the incredible shape these dancers are in...athletes, to be sure. Hard sinewy bodies that made me just stare in awe of their very well defined muscles. They have worked very hard to get where they are, and for that I have great respect. And they even managed to make running around and throwing themselves on the ground (and rolling) look kinda artistic (like I said, this isn't normally my thing. lol).

What can I saw, I had a VERY busy and interesting weekend.
And now the week begins again, and it's off to a rough start. I seem to be painfully clumsy today...dropping stuff left and right. And more forgetful than usual if that's even possible. I got on the highway this morning, heading to work, when I forgot the chili I said I was bringing into work for lunch. Wouldn't be such a big deal if it was just for me, but I said I'd feed everyone (there's lots of chili) so there's more than just my mouth to feed. So I had to turn around and go back home to get it. It's safe to say I was quite late for work this morning.

Snow is forecasted for today and I couldn't be more excited. I want a blizzard. A BIG ONE. I love it when we get big storms, it's so exciting. It was snowing a bit this morning, but it was just kinda blowing around and melting...not much is actually staying on the ground. I want lots of it! Big piles of it!
Come on I DARE YA TO SNOW!!!!!!!! bwah ha ha!!!!