Thursday, May 31, 2007

Missing - free time!

Looking for employment is a full time job in itself! Compound that with playing tour guide to a visiting cousin, trying to complete about 100 odd jobs around the house AND watching season 3 of Buffy.... well.... my days are just packed full to the brim!

It's only Wednesday and already this week has been super hectic! Highlights include playing personal photographer the same visiting cousin who insisted she didn't get enough camera time at the wee one's communion. So went over to their place on Monday night where the kids and her got dressed up and I took a whole bunch of shots. The hardest part of that gig was getting Captain to shut up while I was taking the pics! She just CANNOT stop talking! I will not take responsibility if she has her mouth wide open in all of the shots!

Played tour guide all of Tuesday as I showed Captain the sights and sounds of downtown T Dot. Had to condend with much "Can we sit down now? When do we get to shop? Are we there yet?" along the way - alarming when its coming from a 32 yr old! Still, she seemed to have a good time and that was the purpose so I'll pass on the minor inconvenient details!

Passed my "charge" onto the aunt at the GO station at 5:15 and enjoyed the rest of the evening hanging with Brooksy and his gal at the ballgame where the Yankees were in town. Jays beat the Yanks 3-2 and the defining moment of the game was watching Aaron Hill catch Yankee pitcher Andy Pettitte napping and steal home right under his nose!

Started today off bright and early with an interview for what sounds like a totally amazing postion with a Not for Profit organization. The recruiters I interviewed with seemed impressed with my experience and hopefully I'll hear back on a second interview with reps from the company.

Picked up Captain and took her to dinner on the Danforth where we met up with Trippy. Had an amazing tapas meal at Embrujo Flamenco that included Mejillones Con Queso - grilled mussels with parmesan, Pinchos Morunos - spicy pork kebabs and Avestruz - grilled ostrich in wine! If you're looking for something new with out-of-this-world food, try this place!

Must finally hit the sac now - after all tomorrow is another soul searching, job hunting, chore filled day!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Discoveries on Yonge Street

The weekend rolled by sooner than I expected and thankfully full of plans for moi. Started things off with a dinner-and-show at the Heron Barn Theatre in Pickering. It was a lovely setting for an "old time" concept - an old barn converted into a restaurant and tea room with a little theatre upstairs. My aunt originated the idea as a "Girl's Nite Out" for just a few of us, but a couple of the fellas wanted it, so it ended up being a nice big group of 15.

Spent a great part of Saturday poking around the many used book stores on Yonge Street. I was fortunate enough to find some real deals and added 4 new members to my book kingdom that is fast expanding down in the basement. Am in dire need of more shelving space now!

In the course of the afternoon, I stumbled upon a DE-Lightful little store that's choc-a-block full of lovely old furniture, paintings, frames, mirrors and all sorts of other household knick nacks that the store owners are literally giving away in a liqudation sale. Have plans to go back there on Thursday with me mum and see if we can find some stuff for the house.

Later met up with H, C, Andrew and Carolyn at one of our fav city beer spots - Volo. They'd spent the morning pic-a-nicing on Toronto Island. The Chad graced us with his presence for a wee bit and wrapped up the day at the Diesel Theatre where Bethums joined us to see one of 'Drew's friend's perform stand up there.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Happy B'day Queen Vicky

May 2-4 Weekend - long weekend in Canada, birthday celebrations for Queen Vic AND the "official" start to summer. Never mind the teensy detail that the calendar says that summer begins in June. We're too impatient to wait another month! The temps are soaring, the skies are clear and blue, the gardens are tilled and ready..... and Dairy Queen has a new "summer special" out - its time!

Sadly did not see Shrek on Friday as planned. Kids were unavailable, and so was the rest of everyone. Felt v looser like and went and rented videos - and ended up buying 2 as well. Friday night thus = video night.

Much work to be done on Saturday as dust bunnies run rampant all over house. 1.5 hrs of furious vacuuming later, they have been partially eradicated. In true resilient bunny style they will return - damn!

Went over to Menace's place Sattyday afternoon to help her out with preparations for party to celebrate Andrew and Carolyn's baby - due out in October, their moving to NJ and their upcoming nuptials. Lots of reasons to celebrate in short! Wore very new outfit - part of the NixPix Spring line. Hair behaved exceedingly well. No pics available - take my word for it; I looked good!

Met many of Andrew and Carolyn's friends at the party. Most of who are married, married with babies or about to be married with babies. Must say, thankfully not the "Smug Married" kind a la Bridget Jones' Diary, but still weird and awkward at times to be among this unknown and strange species.

Menace drove me home on Sunday and the poor girl spent part of the afternoon chatting with my parents. Rather, we all sat in the living room and then my dad proceeded to monopolize the conversation and spoke for 45 mins straight about ...... something...... It is times like these that I wish I was an orphan.

Plan for today - start watching Buffy DVDs. Menace loaned me seasons 1 and 2. With my current rate of TV watching, I should be done with all 8 seasons by next week!

Boy, do I REALLY need a job!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

My Everyday Companions

Another question I get asked a lot since getting back is "What do you do everyday, now that you're home?"

Well, I spend an average of 5 hours each day surfing job sites and sending out resumes and in the balance time - I read!

Well why not? I DID come home from my adventures with 43 books in my bag so might as well get cracking with reading 'em all!

Some books I have read since I got home:

  • Stuart McLean's Stories from the Vinyl Cafe - for a touch of Canadia!
  • The Joy Luck Club - Amy Tan
  • The Five People You Meet in Heaven - Mitch Ablom
  • The Ex- Factor - Andrea Semple
  • A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
  • Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason - Helen Fielding

And, currently reading - The Pakistani Bride by Bapsi Sidhwa

Friday, May 18, 2007

Tiresome Day

Ok. So maybe starting the day off with 2 slices of left-over pizza for brekkers is NOT the way to loose 10 lbs. In my defense, I had to wake up at 8 am (early for the unemployed) and haul ass over to our old condo to supervise the plumber guy who was there to fix the shower. When one is woken up earlier than normal, one tends to get unreasonably hungry and there was no time for cereal or anything HEALTHY. It was pizza or starve.

The morning was a COMPLETE WASTE as it consisted of me sitting on the tenant's couch and watching plumber guy walk in and out of washroom, and in and out of condo trying to figure out how to get at a pesky pipe.

Plumber guy finally realised that the only way pesky pipe was coming out was if he was to bore a hole in the ceiling of the unit below. Of course when he went to inform owners of unit below of said activity, owner's son nearly fainted and called his daddy post haste. Not too sure why he got that look of terror on his face though - its not like plumber guy wanted to bore a hole in HIM!

Daddy in turn also freaks out and says "hell no" to any boring of walls/ ceilings in spite of being informed that all costs will be covered by us. Apparently all the units are interconnected and there's no other way to get to pesky pipe. By this point, I nearly want to take someone's head off, but manage to contain myself and in best mature, adult voice and fashion inform Daddy that if we do not get his consent, I would like to have it in writing that we will not be responsible for any damage caused to his unit resulting from water seeping from above. And in case of damage, he - Daddy Dear - will be responsible for the costs of fixing both units.

Anyway, long story short - nothing .... nothing got done after 3.5 hours of plumber guy running in and out of shower and condo and Daddy Dear running around wailing that the walls of Jericho would collapse and the condo manager trying to keep me from taking a hammer to his silly little head!

Now of course the tenants are being complete dinks over the entire issue and wanting to withhold rent etc etc. There's a perfectly working second washroom they can use in the interim - but no, they want to make a scene about something ... anything... without looking at reason. My dad refuses to let me talk to the SOB, but at the same time is getting completely stressed over something that he has no control over! See... this is why everyone else in my family has high BP problems! My philosophy is - if you can't control it - don't freak out. Somehow my parents skipped that chapter in the self help book of life.

So, now they're both freaking.... and will probably give themselves a cardiac attack before long.

Me, I think I'm going to raid the 'fridge.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

New Season Resolutions

aWho says you can't make resolutions in the Spring? I think its the perfect time in fact. People are more likely to make more rational and realistic choices on a sunny afternoon sipping an ice tea than on a freezing winter night after 3 bottles of wine!

So here goes:
  • MUST LOOSE 10 LBS - this is non negotiable. I lost about 6 lbs when in India with all the walking around and climbing hills and 1000s of steps to get to temples etc. If I can do it on holiday when I'm not even trying, surely I can do it at home ??
  • MUST get drivers license - must must must.
  • Work on garden more
  • Clean out closet; Donate clothes that I haven't worn in 2 years. Accept that I will never ever fit into them again.
  • Buy closet organizer and install order in there.
  • Do NOT buy any more shoes/ clothes until above 2 points have been done.
  • Visit another province - even if just for a day or two.
  • Volunteer - at least 1 day a week until I find a job.
  • Finish writing my report for OISE - get certification as Adult Trainer.

Good Luck to me!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

My Travel Companions

To answer an oft asked question re my recent travels - "Weren't you lonely?" - I'd say...
"No, I had my thoughts, my dreams.... and my books!"

Being on so many planes, trains and all sorts of automobiles travelling from city to city, country to country, I had an amazing amount of time to indulge in my very favourite of passtimes - reading. I certainly didn't plan it, but somehow all the books that I read over the 4 months of my travels somehow connected back to me and my life at that point in time.

In Scotland I read Night of Rain and of Stars and Circle of Friends both by Maeve Binchy. The former was the story of a group of people - all travellers - who's chance meeting in a small Greek cafe impacted the course of their lives. In London, Ajit loaned me Holy Cow author Sarah MacDonald's true storyof the 3 years she lived in India exploring India's religions and peoples in her quest to better understand who she is.

In Bombay, I raided Sanch's bookcase and besides catching up on my fav Enid Blytons, Chalet Schools and Agatha Christies, I also read Vikram Seth's A Suitable Boy the story of 4 interconnected families who's lives are complicated by marriage, babies, culture, politics and the occassional communal riot or two. Set in the era of a newly indepentant India, the book mesmerised me and kept me company right though my Rajasthani adventures.

After that, I moved on to Love in the Time of Cholera a masterpiece by Gabriel Garcia Marquez that made me understand that love is indeed timeless and ageless. My next read was Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time a funny, sad and very touching story of an autistic boy trying to make sense of his world that is suddenly turned up-side-down by the death of the neighbour's dog.

I re read R. K Narayan's Malgudi Days and laughed and cried for the simplicity yet complexity of the characters and their stories. Amitav Ghosh's The Hungry Tide and The Glass Palace both took me to places in India I rarely thought about, and situations I previously hardly gave heed to.

And finally, I took with me to Japan Suketu Metha's Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found a birthday present from my cousin Ritchie. I lost myself in the pages as the author explored Bombay - her streets, her politics, her underworld, her highs and her lows. I was both thrilled and repulsed by the author's findings about the city. It seemed so bleak and outlook for so wonderful a place. In the end I understood, as hopefully the author wanted - that to have a true love affair with this city, one must be prepared for all the ups and downs that every relationship has to offer. And I did.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Bollocky Bollocks!

Just back from downtown where I had an interview with the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation this morning. Analysis: Good, but not as good as the CNIB interview on Friday.

Was terribly intimidated by one of the interviwers - scarry looking gal who was a cross 'tween Cruella De Ville and the chick from "Devil wears Prada" and she had the warmth and personality of the Snow Queen!

Suffice to say, my answers were not top notch, but at least I didn't blubber and get tongue paralysis like I have done on a past interview! ;)

Spent morning wandering around downtown. Last night's rain had made everything look fresher and the grass smelled just peachy. Walked up Yonge street and bought a few summer "essentials" namely:
  • 1 pair of the (cutiest) chocolate brown sneakers with baby pink laces
  • 1 pair black ballet slippers -with ribbon bows
  • 3 cotton tank tops - grape, turquoise and steel grey
  • 1 white cotton button down shirt
  • 1 black sheer top with asymetrical neck
  • 1 navy and grey stripped v neck cross over top

All this combined with previous purchase from last week - 1. Military green polo neck and 2. off white crop top - make me totally prepared to take on summer. Job or not!

Monday, May 14, 2007

The family and the city

In honour of coz Captain who's visiting from Bombay, I organized a family "day at the ball park" this past Sunday. All the moms were quite thrilled when presented with a rose and a lovely tote bag at the gates by the staff in celebration of "Mother's day".

The Jays took on the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, and we cheered them along all the way! Even though the Jays lost, we were in too high sprits to be brought down. After the game, we hopped across the road to see my cousin's new condo and on the way out bumped into 3rd baseman Troy Glaus! The kids were thrilled and my aunt thought he was "quite nice looking"

Met up with my bro who works at the TD Tower. He took a bunch of us up to the roof and from 56 stories high we had a wonderful view of Toronto. Not as high as the CN Tower, but it sure beats the $22 price tag for the elevator ride up! 

Finished the day with a fish 'n chips meal at Fionn McCools on the Esplanade followed by desserts from DQ's and we were all back home just in time to catch Desperate Housewives! Now THAT'S a well planned day - if I say it myself! ;)

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Finding the Silver Lining

One advantage to being unemployed is that on a bright sunny beautiful spring day like today, instead of being cooped up in a boring office like most of everyone I know, I was actually able to go out and meet up with a friend for lunch on Gerrard St - Little India - and simply "catch up".

Paul and I meandered our way through a $6.99 buffet lunch - making sure we tried ALL 18 featured dishes, then wandered around the area nibbling on kulfi (Indian icecream) and even stopped to pick up some bargain Hindi movie DVDs for a mere $3.99 a piece!

We were not quite done with playing catch up, so we both hopped onto the street car and rode it all the way in to Queen's Park and then slowly made our way up University to Bloor drinking in the freshly green trees and smiling, nodding tulips all along the way.

Picked up a copy of The Ex Factor by Andrea Semple on a whim and got quite lost in it on the subway ride home. In the genre of chit lit the likes of the Shopaholic books, this one too is a easy breazy read and actually makes me laugh about some of the things I've been experiencing lately! So hurrah for fluff factor books!

The storm clouds are moving in again and by the heaviness in the air we're in for a stormy night. Hope tomorrow dawns nice and clear as I have an interview with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) and I'm really really hoping they like me coz the position is a terrific one!

*fingers crossed*

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Pub Crawlin'

For someone who's entire day is made up of sitting at the comp and job surfing, ironically I've had little or no time to keep updating the blog! Still, its not like anything exciting happens every day at home. Thankfully, this past weekend generated enough excitement to keep me happy for the next few days at least! 

Started off with a visit to my ol' stomping grounds - York U where I used to work aeons ago! After a quick round of catch up with the staff, Menace, Beer Baron, Brooksy and myself took off to see Spidey 3. A tad disappointing really - the lines were choppy. the character development weak and there was about 30 mins that belonged more in an episode of "Days of Our Lives" than in a Sam Raimi movie! Still, the action sequences were pretty awesome and the animation on "Venom" was amazing! 

Saturday was of course the much anticipated and awaited "12 Hour Pub Crawl - 2007 Edition". This year's route started at noon at Ciros at Bloor and Landsdowne and took us east on Bloor street where we finally wound up at midnight at the Green Room at bloor and bathurst.

I decided it was the perfect occassion to launch my new look - Spring wear and got rave reviews all day long.

The Beer Baron went for the "I make this look good.... and easy" look:

And N countered with the "I make this look better" look!

Along the way beer was drunk, jokes were made, friends met up, more beer was drunk and good time were had by all! My "barely legal" brother Big Indian who just turned 19 last Sunday joined us for a short time at the Vic. Over 12 hours, 6 pubs, 27 participants representing 8 countries and MANY pints of beer later we can safely say that Pub Crawl Spring 07 was one of the best ones yet!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Analyze this will ya...??

Exerpts from last night's dream sequence:

I'm on the farm (Ex's parents' place) and its a nice sunny day in the country. It seems that we're out on the lawn having lunch on picnic tables. Then I realise that my table is drifting away from the other tables and the bench I'm on is doing a jig trying to get me off. Everyone else keeps eating as if dancing tables were a dime a dozen in those parts.

The scene shifts to the corn field and in true horror movie style, the skies have darkened, there is a menacing wind swirling around me and the occassional lightening bolt streaks across the heavens. And I'm running... and running... not sure from what - perhaps the picnic bench?

Scene III
London Heathrow Airport - Terminal 4. I need to get to terminal 2, but I somehow landup at another Tube station. I go to the booth to speak with the transit guys, but they're all speaking different languages and I cannot make them understand what I want. Time is ticking away and if I don't get back to the airport soon....I'll miss my flight! An old lady tries to help me, but the evil Tube worker guy beats her over the head and locks her in a cupboard!

Scene IV
I'm part of the cast of "Fraiser" (I *think* I was Ross)
Daphane and Mr. Crane are standing outside a store signing people up for a "therapy treasure hunt" that Niles and Fraser have created. It's supposed to bring fighting people together over the course of the hunt. Fraiser and Niles begin to fight themselves and Daphane signs them up too. Then a big German Sheppard dog ran up and peed on Fraiser's leg. Note: Ross didn't actually have anything to do with the scene - she was just there so that I could be there ... to view all this. I think.

Scene V
Well not really a scene - I wake up coz the dog reminded me that I needed to go to the washroom!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

New Look

Woke up this morning and just felt like doing something different.

So started off my "life transformation" with changing the look of my blog. I feel this new look is way lighter and more in tune with me. I like it!

I can't seem to change the second "Links" to say "Fav Blogs" - anyone know how?

Yesterday's pre- screening seemed to have gone off well. I had to write an essay type answer on whether I was for or against the decriminalization of marijuana usage - and I totally pulled that one out of my a**!!! They said they'll let me know in 2 weeks if I've made it to the second round for the interview.

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