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Showing posts from September, 2010

I Need To Make Note of This

Two weeks ago, I felt a seed of panic that I was beginning to "settle" into my life here in Toronto in that negative sense, that way that I don't want to ever "settle." I love feeling content and confident that this is where I am supposed to be. But then I kept thinking, Please don't let me be here in five years. What if I stop here? Stop growing, thinking, dreaming, changing? I like this place. But I don't want to be here forever.

This week, I feel a growing sense of confidence that I have just tipped the marble onto the track. There are conversations and opportunities and random encouraging moments that have me excited again. Excited for the future, excited for the present, excited for potential.

(months of indoctrinating myself by setting this as my wallpaper are finally paying off)

Stay tuned for upcoming plans to unfold.
Right here.
On the internet.

Music For My Mood

When C. whines at me, I consistently say, "Oh, is that Mr. Grumpypants talking? You know I don't talk with Mr. Grumpypants."

I feel the need to say this to myself tonight.

Even baking didn't cure the blues. Chocolate Zucchini are mediocre. And it is my own fault. (Why do I think that I can modify recipes I've never before attempted?)

For the first time all week, I stuck my earphones in and turned my iPod on. It is unusual that I would go this long without music, and it was half intentional. Musical therapy seems to be the thing I needed tonight. And these songs that hit the right spots.

(each link is to a live performance)

Generation Spent - Charlie Winston

I don't wanna be a victim of this culture
More prey for a people to dispose of
Anytime I try and come to some conclusion
I'm only faced with confusion, confusion

City - Sara Bareilles

Here in these deep city lights
Girl could get lost tonight
I'm finding every reason to be gone
Nothing here to hold on…

Sharing Some Lubter

Although it may seem that way, Nadine is not the only person I have (interesting) conversations with. Here are some quotes from other friends that have me pondering and/or laughing:

(on dating & social events)
Conversation with someone you're not interested in is more boring than silence.

(on a certain musician)
It's like a cup of hot cocoa for my ears.

(laughing over an obscure TV reference)
I'm glad we could share that lubter. (pause as we realize what was said) By which I mean, love and laughter.

(no explanation needed)
I'm not intellectually stimulating. I'm hot.

(same friend, to a third friend)
I want to give a speech at your wedding. I may or may not be sloshed.
(she won't be)

(on getting together with another friend “to process life”)
Dual processing. I'm gonna call you Intel.

(relevant to all sorts of situations)
You cannot be convinced of something against your own will; you won't change your mind unless you want to change your mind.

Friend: Remember when …

One Dollar Drinks

One Dollar Drinks CH
Originally uploaded by bethaf. Would YOU pay 1.00 for a Sprite from this machine?

Photos & Mirrors

Today was a wildly successful photo adventure with the vivacious Shelly. It was the first time I'd pulled out  my SLR since moving to Toronto, and a great warm-up for my photo shoot with a friend and her fiance on Thanksgiving weekend!

I've uploaded my top pics onto Flickr, but I would also like to pause for a second and share some thoughts on these self portraits. In each one, I'm intentionally difficult to see, incomplete. I think this captures a profound insight into identity and self.

Photo #1 There is so much going on here that it's difficult to pick the pieces apart. Can you tell what is reflection and what is "real"? There is place, clothing, colour,'s so rich! And that's the reality of life. I exist in chaos. Beautiful, overlapping, complex chaos.

Photo #2 Here you can see my reflection quite clearly. But you know what? It's such a small section of mirror, one part of a larger mosaic. You can only see part of my face and one han…

A Little More Honesty

I have not neglected my promise to continue thinking about honesty. In fact, it feels like it's all I think about these days. It fills up the cracks and rare quiet moments, pops up as I walk to work and home again, comes up in almost every conversation, and even rears its head in dreams.

I have followed my thoughts on honesty down rabbit trails and into rabbit holes of alternate universes and possible conversations and through the threads of movies, novels, poems and song.

I've covered so much ground that I forgot where I started or what context this question exploded out of. So I went back and reminded myself, and am ready to write down a small portion of the ever-expanding cloud diagram that exists only in my mind.

I wish there were a way to show you how convoluted all these thoughts have been, and just how difficult it has been to pin them down. For the sake of coherency and readability, this entry will stick to the thoughts directly related to honesty and the internet…

Good TV Returns. Sarcasm Never Left. (Round 13)

Nadine & I spent a little time watching TV this week. And a little more time talking. Here are the gems. (And here's the rabbit hole, if you're new.)

On hypothetically having a baby this year:
her: Would you start charging me two thirds of the rent?
me: Maybe. Depends how loud it makes my life. You know, you could just wait til our lease is up and get your own place. Have the baby sometime after July. 
her: Tell me when I can get pregnant. I need to know!

On saving sex for marriage (not hypothetically):
her: One of the advantages of waiting for marriage is that you KNOW when your first time will be, so your legs WILL be shaved.

At the end of my facebook story -
her: Did you defriend her?
me: No.
her: Oh. (disappointed)

On The Situation:
me: He DOES ooze charisma. And probably other things. (pause) Pheromones.
her: STDs.

her: You shouldn't ruin Modern Family with serious conversation.

her: I have a pumpkin pie problem.

her: Is it wrong to eat M&Ms while watching The Biggest Loser?


A Bucket List: 5 Big Dreams

On Sunday, someone I just met asked me what the #1 thing on my Bucket List is. I wasn't sure how to answer. Then it was expanded to Top 5, and I immediately knew the Top 2. I hesitated before sharing #3, because who knows how it comes across; we're socialized against that sort of thing. Thankfully, the conversation got diverted.

Anyway, I've been thinking about it over the past couple days, and thought I'd share the completed Top 5 list. Subject to change over the course of my life.

1. Live overseas for at least a year. (the US of A doesn't count)
2. Publish some sort of book. (self publishing doesn't count)
3. Say "I Do." (get married, folks.)
4. Become fluent in a foreign language & use it for work/life on a regular basis. (hopefully tied to #1!)

5. Go back to school. (someday, for something)

Let me know if you want to be a part of adventures 1, 2 or 4! Adventure 5 is kind of a solo-affair, and adventure 3 isn't an open invite. Although i…

Kids. Saying Things. Disagreeing With Me.

Yesterday, G had a friend over after school. They were trying to tie a rope around me, trapping my legs and tripping me. They were pulling, tugging, generally hanging off me.
me: Oh, careful! You're pulling on my pants a bit too much. You don't want them to fall down!
B: Why not?
me: Then you'll see my underwear. You don't want to see that.
B: Yeah, I do!
G: Yeah, we do!
me:(hiding my face so they can't see me laughing)
Clearly, I misunderstood how 7 year-olds think.

Today, C & I are sitting on the couch for a cuddle.
C: What's this? (pointing at the outside of his ankle joint)
me: That's your ankle bone!
C: No, it's not.
me: It's not?
C: No, it's a rambunctious!

Autumn Audibles

As these brisk autumn mornings roll around, I am throwing out some new music love!

I've been thinking about if and how my listening preferences change seasonally. This would be an interesting scientific study. If anyone knows anyone doing this type of research, volunteer me.

I also wonder about themes or threads that find their way into my mixes. What umbrella would you put this one under? Tell me!

Stillness is the Move - The Dirty Projectors
Change of Seasons - Sweet Thing
On The Subject of Our Past Selves - The Seedy Seeds
Things Will Never Be The Same Again - JJ
The Wanting Comes In Waves - The Decemberists
Things I Never Needed - Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
The Feeling - The Breaking Lakes
New Inheritors - Wintersleep
Heard It On the Radio (cover) - The Bird and the Bee
Big Jet Plane - Angus and Julia Stone

Today Was Near Perfect

I am tempted to say that traffic wrecked my day. It didn't, because that is blameshifting. I did find myself in a foul mood after my drive back to Toronto took twice as long as expected, but before that hiccup, I had a stupendous day.

Here is an outline.
Slept in for an hour. (Feels weird to celebrate an 8am wake-up.)Went to the Farmers' Market.Went to Red Brick Cafe.Had a fantastic whirlwind conversation over doughnuts & drinks with Jay and Michelle. Subpoints about Jay & Michelle:
- Jay & Michelle and I went to the same high-school church group for 2 years. Jay doesn't remember this. (He does remember me from the elementary school we both went to.)
- At this youth group, Michelle and I joked about starting a hip-hop band called The I-O Oreos. As in "inside out" oreos. Because we were both white on the outside but black on the inside. I don't know why I remember this.
- Jay & Michelle just returned from 5 months in Central America. They just went.…

Internet Dating & Other Wonders (round 12)

This week, Nadine and I have been like ships in the night. The conversations we've had have been few but as great as always. However, most of the funny things she's said have been veto-d from blog publication. I've added a few quotes from the vault to plump things up.

her: "Oh. I don't think we're allowed to watch this show."
(Two and a Half Men, for those who care. And no, we're not allowed. House Rule #2.)

her: "The difference between a roommate and a brother is that a roommate throws the pillows on the couch, and a brother throws the pillows at your face."

(on internet-stalking fueled romance)
her: "It’s not like researching which vacuum cleaner to buy."

her: "I wanna be rejected! I'm going to pretend there's no boy in my's too complicated if there is."

her: "E-harmony is free this weekend. You should try it..."
(when I read this back to her tonight, she said, "I sound so cruel!")


Life Happens TOO Quickly

I am making lists and lists of things to blog and things to think about and conversations to have.
I am not used to being internet-free for 11 hours a day.

(deep breath)

For tonight, I would just like to note a few effects of my new job.
I eat like a fiend. I am physically tuckered out every day.I need to go shoe & coat shopping.Pretty sure it's because I walk the boys to and from school...
Three days a week, I walk 8.4 km. Two days a week, it's a measly 5.4 km.

It's The Little Moments

This afternoon, G asked me to play darts with him. This is the first time he's asked me to interact with him in a significant way, and it completely made my day.

After a complete meltdown of epic tantrum proportions, C calmed down enough that I could leave. But first, he tried to give me a goodbye kiss with a mouthful of banana. I laughed and pushed him away before he succeeded in getting banana mush on my mouth. Attempt number two coincided with a cough - a gust of lovely toddler breath and a near-licking. On the third try, we got our kiss.

Three year-olds are so adorable.
And so gross.

Letters to Strangers

Two facts about me:

1. I am a people-watcher.
2. I am an introvert.

I've decided to combine these two "strengths" into a new blog I call Open Letters from Beth.

It's pretty self explanatory.

Two related thoughts:

My last "specialty blog" was a collection of lists. All lists, all the time. Eventually it died. I have a feeling the new one will too, but hopefully not for awhile. Until then, I hope it entertains you all.

It is fascinating to go back and read old blog entries. It's like finding a journal I'd forgotten about. Reading my old lists made me happy. And kept me up past my self-imposed curfew.

It's The Thought - Right?

For what it's worth, I sat down at my computer around 7:30 this evening with two goals in mind.

a. Write an overdue email.
b. Write a blog entry to follow-up Monday's post.

In between a. and b. were 4 hours of time well-wasted in conversation, clicking, and calculating (settling the roommate tab).

The only thing I've written of the intended blog entry is the title, and it's not that creative. But, dear readers, I'm at least thinking about the things I said I would think about, and we all know that it's the thought that counts. Or so they say.

In my thoughts, I have one sentence confidently composed:

I don't think I want to be honest.

Hello Cupcake, Hello "Pottery Wheel"... (Round 11)

Do I need to keep intro-ing these posts?
World, meet my roommate.
Nadine, please keep amusing us.

Her:(stomach growl) That’s my stomach. It’s saying, “Hello cupcake, I’m a sweet potato!”

(on kids)
Her: That’s why God makes them cute. So we don’t kill them.

Her: Hugs are magical.
Friend: Yes. The more you eat, the more you toot.
Me: Um, can you live here all the time?Her: His handwriting is really girly. Good for him!
Her: My one regret in life is that I never saw my grandmother do pot. Although I think she would have gone for the brownies instead of smoking it.

(on college memories)
Her: I was going to say, "Oh, my childhood!" but I was 20.
(on sex education & that birthing video)
Her: I didn't know what I was watching. I had no idea it was a birth. I thought it was a pottery wheel.

Tick, Tock

If ever you come visit my parents' house, one of the first things you will probably notice (it's been a consistent trend thus far) is that there are multiple clocks in each room.

My maternal grandfather was an avid clock collector. By avid, I estimate that he owned over 500 clocks of all shapes and sizes when he died. The best of the clocks were then divided among the children, and the rest were sold.

The inundation of clocks served to make my mother an even more avid chronomentrophiliac (lover of clocks), and we have added even more to the ones she inherited. I'm a fan of antiques, and antique clocks - even greater.

Now the goodness is slowly trickling its way down, and I am the owner of one small but adorable clock. I still have to get the hang of it - winding every day & adjusting the speed to keep an accurate hour. Some people can't handle it, but falling asleep to a ticking clock brings back happy childhood memories.

To paraphrase a Lifehouse song, the ticking …


(these are thoughts with no conclusion)

Last month, I was scrolling through my blog looking for entries related to a specific experience/time frame. It turned out that there were no such entries, which surprised me. Then I started looking for other key moments and topics, and I stumbled upon a profound realization:

I don't blog about the difficult things in my life. 

When I do mention them, it's all vague generalities or cryptic anecdotes. I may refer to feeling overwhelmed or thinking a lot about serious things (see my entry on hope from earlier this summer), but rarely, if ever, do I explain the specific situations or dilemmas that bring me to these places.

The "tricky factor" that I think has become an excuse for avoidance is the issue of respecting other peoples' privacy. My life is never just my life. Situations almost always involve more than one person, but rather than wrestling through those murky waters, I've been sitting on the beach, high and d…

The Birds, The Bees, The Benefits of Jogging

Now that I'm working, I don't get to spend 10 hour days with Nadine. I miss it. But thankfully, a 10 minute conversation is just as likely to yield incredible quotes. (Here are last week's goodies.)

me:(in full melodramatic mode) AH! My room is a disaster. Why is it such a mess? And why is my life so chaotic?
her: I don't know. These questions are too deep for me.
me: And why don't the boys want to date me?
her:(without missing a beat) Because your room's a mess.

her: Oh, clothing, why am I not wearing you?

her: I still don't really understand the birds and the bees... I will not teach my children about the birds and the bees, that's for sure.

her: If I’m going through the pain of childbirth, it’s not going to be because of artificial insemination.

her: My children will be toilet trained by the age of...six months.

her: My pants fit better already since I started jogging!
me: Impossible.
her: No, they do.
me: Nadine, you've gone jogging twice.
her: I know.

Album Artwork

Here's the photo I'd like to make into the cover of my compilation album.Thanks Amelia, for sending those photos during moving week! You're a true friend :) (does that make up for my "public sassing" in the last post?)

This photo was taken at Miss Cora's Kitchen in Kensington Market. I will go back there. Anytime anyone wants to take me.