Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Let's get this party started!


Fall is definitely in the air. I'm just as cold today as yesterday. The wind sure hits hard. I'm sad that summer is over. I'm such a summer person. I suppose one could call me anti-winter. It's just not my type of season. I know I always say this, but when I get older, I want to move to a warmer climate. I used to say Florida, but people keep warming me about hurricane season, so I guess I'll pick somewhere else. My pysiotheraphist says Arizona is nice and toasty hot. We'll see what the future holds. It's impossible to predict, but I do see warmer days in my golden years. I also see myself counting my pennies and keeping my hair colour naturally grey and cut in a short, chic bob.

Last night I watched a lot of TV. I saw an Oprah episode on pill addiction. Watching a family of addicts made me very sad. There was a mother who fed her son pills and her other daughter was left to fend for herself at just fifteen years old. Both mother and son agreed to go into treatment, which was encouraging. Though shows of such topics are heartbreaking, hearing about the addictions of others is eye-opening. It also helps me appreciate the fact that I don't have those same demons. Next I watched two episodes of Dr. Oz. Both shows focused on getting healthy in different forms. Pretty well all of Dr. Oz's shows relate to living healthy, but he does cover broad topics. Yesterday he talked about hidden bacteria throughout our households. It was a bit scary to learn about the parasites and bugs that lurked in bedroom sets and TV controllers. It's better to be aware than it is to be oblivious to certain dangers, right? Since my high cholesterol has been in the forefront of my brain lately, I can't help but remember that it's good I know about it. Think of how harmful it would be to not know I even have an issue. Knowledge is power - even if that knowledge is hard to accept.

Tonight the Observer and I are going to see Pink in concert. I learned that he bought the tickets in June. Being a huge Pink fan, I have looked forward to tonight for months. I can't believe the day is finally here! I'm so excited. I know I will be screaming with all of the other fans. Pink has a positive, funky style. Her tunes make me want to dance. In less than six hours, I'll be seeing her live.

As Pink would say, let's get this party started!

- OCG

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tomorrow is a new day..


It's VERY windy outside. I find it very cold again too. I have been drinking too much coffee. This afternoon, it caught up to me in a very wet way. I hate when that happens. I was waiting for the elevator when my bladder gave way...yuck! I am tired, cold and cranky. I couldn't sleep very well last night. Everything is harder to handle without enough rest. I did go to the St. Lawrence Market to buy mushrooms, but it was a quick trip. I didn't really enjoy it -probably because I had to pee. A full bladder makes concentrating on anything difficult. I was cold too.

On the upside, the attendant who helped me out was very sweet and accommodating. A nice person makes everything better. Tomorrow is a new day and the Observer and I get to see Pink.

- OCG

Monday, September 28, 2009

Living it up for the camera...


It's raining outside tonight. Luckily, it's not raining too heavily, but enough to make it still feel damp and cold. I'm wearing my red wind breaker and I still feel like I have the chills. I think I feel the beginning of goosebumps on my arms. That's been happening more often now, which tells me summer is gone. I made it to my friend's birthday lunch. The Observer was patiently waiting. He didn't know many people, but was his friendly self. I appreciated him meeting my friends and waiting for me. I think the Observer was mad that I didn't eat, but he understood. Most of the guests were leaving as we arrived, but one friend did stick around. After lunch, the Observer and I went to Union Station. My head was in a fog and I kept getting lost. Again the Observer was sweet. We went to Second Cup and had a heart-to-heart chat. Every day should end this way.

My cousin's wedding on Saturday was a lot of fun. Though I wasn't really feeling like going, I was glad I did. My twin brother, my sister-in-law, his girlfriend, and the Observer couldn't make it. I was sorry they missed such a fun evening. The ceremony and reception were all located in the same building, which was very convenient. The only awkward part was that there were three hours to kill between the wedding and reception. Everyone stood, chatted and had cocktails and seafood. My family all had sore feet from standing for so long. I was grateful for my wheelchair. I probably could have made money selling my seat. I spent a long time chatting with my sister and uncle. Catching up with family members I don't often see is important.

When it was time for the reception, my older brother and I sat together. We rearranged the table place cards to make this happen. The entire wedding decor had a fall them with orange table clothes, leaf setting plans and an apple inside each person's place setting. I liked that idea - very practical and fall - like. We started with a fruity salad that had a gross pink dressing. There were strawberries, mangoes and croutons in the salad making it colourful. The salad would have been better with a vinaigrette dressing, but it wasn't my wedding. I had vegetarian pasta made with cheese and sweet potato with broccoli and potatoes on the side. The portion was huge. I loved it though. The meat entrees were either chicken stuffed with cheese and spinach or a generous piece of beef. I was glad I picked the vegetarian pasta. Cheese isn't the best food for me to eat with my cholesterol, but sometimes I need to just live and enjoy. I sat with my cousin who is in his early twenties. He's sweet, kind and funny. My cousin is gay and he brought a female friend as his date, which confused the older generation. Isn't my cousin allowed to have female friends? People are weird...

My oldest brother is reserved. Like me, he's not a big dancer and likes to socialize one-on-one at big events. Like the Observer, my brother's wife is very social and loves to dance and enjoy the party. Just to tease his wife, my brother posed for pictures of himself looking like the life of the party. We took pictures of him grinning from ear-to-ear, dancing on the dance floor, spinning tunes behind the DJ booth and laughing. It was hilarious.
I haven't seen any of the infamous candid shots yet, but I can't wait! Hopefully my sister-in-law will see the humor in the pictures. Every picture tells a story - or in this case - a joke.

- OCG

Sunday, September 27, 2009

50% of the weekend...


My weekend at home was mostly as fun, relaxing and special as always. On Friday, the Observer and I met at a burger joint. I bought a salad with seeds, chickpeas, tomatoes, apples and salsa and took it with me to the burger place. Though expensive, the salad was yummy. I would get it again. The pita bread was yummy that came with it. I was glad to see the Observer. He was touched when I introduced him as my boyfriend to my neighbour. I usually refer to him as "my friend". Mom and I did get in an argument when I got home. I understand that her worry for me was the cause of our bickering. The underlying cause of most of our fights is our closeness and concern for each other. I love my Mom so dearly but sometimes our tightness causes tension. Mom thinks my high cholesterol will cause me to restrict my eating. While my history makes her thinking logical, I hope she trusts me. Mom was quite confrontational and naggey on Friday night. Being that I was exhausted, I was in no mood so I fought right back. We hurt each other. I went to bed early and called the Observer. He listened with his professional ear and provided just the support I needed. How does he always know just what to say? I hung up and cried myself to sleep. Sometimes crying can be cleansing.

In the morning, I quickly showered and Dad took me for a second round of cholesterol tests. The line up was huge, but they took us right away. I guess Dad had connections. I came home and Mom and I had a heart to heart. We're OK. I had a nap and got ready for my cousin's wedding. I didn't feel like going, but I ended up having a great time. I'll save the wedding details for tomorrow. I've got to meet friends for a birthday lunch. I'm late... For now, happy Sunday!

- OCG

I'm grateful for...



* Fall coming and bringing all the pretty colours


* The crunchy sound of orange, green and red leaves


* Pumpkins and squashes at the market


* Apple season


* Being able to tape my shows


* The Observer's patience


* Being invited to friends' birthdays

* The show Three's Company

* Coffee (always!)

* My family

* That people ask when I'm free to get together

* The smell of toast and coffee for breakfast

* A hot cup of raspberry herbal tea

* The song Funhouse by Pink

* Next Wednesday's Pink concert

* Concerts shared with the Observer because we laugh all the time

* Fridays -

OCG

Friday, September 25, 2009

Taking on the weekend...


This morning is a chilly one. Maybe I've just caught a chill. Whatever the cause, I'm chilly. I feel like another cup of coffee. It's that old "second cup" urge. My sleep was middle of the road - not top notch, but not horrible either. I opened my eyes and knew that if I let myself fall asleep again, waking up would be very rough. Do you ever feel that way? There are chills going through me right now. I watched the season premier of Greys Anatomy last night. I taped it, but didn't realise it was two hours. I watched the second part first and then rewind my tape and watched the first half. I was able to piece the story together well. A few parts got me chocked up, but that's normal when I watch it. Grey's Anatomy sure pulls on the heartstrings. I think that's why it's so popular. The humor in the show can be sarcastic and there are steamy parts, which keep the show from getting too serious. I'm looking forward to next week's show. I need to remember to set my VCR. I guess most people have personal video recorders (PVRs) now. I may be old school, but I'm OK with that.

My clothes are all packed up for a weekend at home. I'm meeting the Observer for a quick bite at a plaza near my parents' house. I'm looking forward to seeing him. It will be short, but sweet. He won't be coming to my cousin's wedding tomorrow. I'm a bit sad, but I understand. When we can't drive, what can we do? I'm hoping my favourite uncle from PEI makes the trip. He usually comes to all his nieces or nephews' wedding. It wouldn't be fair to be selective and I'm glad my uncle isn't. He's gentle, soft spoken and has the kindest eyes. Whenever I see my uncle, I have this big urge to hug him. I wish he lived closer.

Early tomorrow morning, I'm going to get my cholesterol rechecked after fasting. I'm anxious to get it done. It will probably still be high, but at least my doctor can decide how to proceed. Dad will take me for the blood test this time.

I'm still cold. It's not even October...I need to toughen up and get healthy blood flowing through my veins, but enough of that talk. I'm going to go take on the day. Well, the weekend...

Have a good one!

- OCG

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Last of summer days...


I had a major headache last night. I was tired and cranky. Even so, I was happy to see the Observer at the mall. Venting felt therapeutic. The Observer is always such an attentive, supportive listener. I'm very lucky. We went to the music store and spent a while chatting at Second Cup. My decaf coffee with soy milk tasted delicious. It was just what I needed. Lou Lou Lemon is an athletic store near Second Cup and there were this signs including "Hey You! Ya You! You're Hot!," "Your Bum Looks Fantastic" and "Beauty Comes In ALL Sizes." The Observer was intent on taking pictures of the signs with his cell phone. He spent a long time trying to get the "perfect" picture. He made me laugh. I could tell he was pleased with the end result.



This morning was sunny, breezy, and beautiful. I had to take advantage of the beautiful weather. Who knows how many days like it are left to enjoy, right? It's so sad but true. I went to the St. Lawrence Market. My first stop was St. Urbain bagels where I picked up bagels for Mom and Dad. Next I bought myself a portobello mushroom and some mini cucumbers. The cucumbers were so cute. I went to Future Bakery and bought Mom and Dad a loaf of dark rye bread. My trip wouldn't be complete without stopping for a coffee at my favourite little shop. The woman always recognizes me. She's so sweet. I loved my coffee. By the time I finished, my bladder was full, so I had to rush home. Construction blocked me but the workers kindly offered to move their car. They were accommodating. The men thanked me for waiting. I thanked them back.

I came home and watched Dr. Oz on tape. His new show is good. I always learn something new.
My cousin is getting married on Saturday. I don't know what to wear to the wedding. It's not the hardest decision in the world. I'm trying to decide between a black dress and a blouse with black pants. What do you think?

- OCG

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Good things...


The air is a bit humid and sticky today. I woke up all twisted up in bed. I don't know if I looked like a pretzel, but I sure felt like one. My mission after breakfast was to call a friend who just went to Italy. We hadn't talked for a bit, so I was anxious to hear about her European adventures. The house where she stayed wasn't accessible, so she couldn't go far. That must have sucked to travel such a distance and not be able to explore. My friend kept asking about my summer. All that really happened was my sister's wedding. Though uneventful, it was still a great summer.



Last night I was very grumpy. I was tired and my body ached. I told the Observer and he told me to cheer up. I got upset. Just the day before, he was feeling sorry for himself and I listened. We all have the right to feel sorry for ourselves now and then. It's hard to know what to say to the person who is down in the dumps. Maybe it's best to listen. I apologized and he played me a remark of a song from Alvan and The Chipmunks. The Observer knows how to cheer me up. I also heard the tune Funhouse by Pink which always makes me smile. A week from today the Observer and I will be at the concert. I can't wait!



Yesterday's Oprah show featured a woman whose husband shot her face off. Though inspiring, her story broke my heart. She admitted considering taking her husband back after he is released from prison "because she is all he has." Her comment made me sad. The second segment of Oprah was on a mermaid girl born with a rare condition where her legs looked like mermaid fins. I've seen a documentary on her on TLC. She's feisty, funny and full of life. I had to laugh when she let it slip to Oprah that her parents were divorcing. Judging by the looks on their faces, it didn't seem as though they wanted this news announced on national TV. Obviously, their extroverted daughter had come to terms with it.



Next I was the second half of Oprah's show on the 1960s. The cast of Jersey Boys did a number. When they sang Walk Like A Man, I loved it The night the Observer and I saw that show was one I won't soon forget.



My spirits are better today. I dealt with a grumpy attendant, but that's just who she is. She won't change. In a store line-up this morning, a woman with a baby sweetly helped me sort out my change. The woman's baby was wailing, but she stayed very focused on helping me. I was touched. Fall is here and it's started off on a good note. Whenever I'm down, I'm going to think of where I'll be a week from now. As Pink says, "Let's get this party started!"



- OCG

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The sweet 1960's and the great now...


After my urgent needs got looked after last night, I headed to the library. Knowing I had overdue materials, I was prepared to pay a fine. I knew the librarian behind the counter. The fine was so small that he kindly waived it. I appreciated that. I felt like I needed a decaf coffee with soy milk. It's becoming my nightly spurge. I went to the most local Timothy's and was outnumbered by same sex male couples. I do live in the gay village, so I wasn't surprised. The lady behind the counter was so engrossed in what she was saying that it took her a bit to notice me. When she did, she was super sweet and helpful. She used up all my change to lighten my load. She spent a long time sifting through my purse, which I really appreciated. My coffee hit the spot and I enjoyed listening to the colourful conversations around me. Once home, I watched The Dr. Oz Show on getting healthy and an Oprah episode showcasing the 1960s. Mom told me to watch it because I love that era. I had to go to bed before the the episode finished, but I loved how the audience was dressed and that the shows Leave It To Beaver and Andy Griffith were mentioned - two of my favourites. I can't wait to watch the rest of the episode today.

In bed later on, I tried to watch Top Chef: Las Vegas last night, but I feel asleep. This has been happening every night. Oddly, I'm very sleepy today. You'd think I wouldn't be after all that rest. I just can't wake up. It's a bit odd. My attendants have been good to me, so that's a blessing. This morning I had a refreshing shower and worked with a top notch attendants. I'm always happy about that. I'm tired, but life's still good. As much as I love the idea of the 1960's, I'm glad I wasn't born during that time. People in coffee shops wouldn't be as comfortable helping me organize my change. Similarly, librarians probably would waive late fees because people with disabilities wouldn't commonly be seen in public places. I was born at the right time.

- OCG

Monday, September 21, 2009

Got to pee!


It's rainy outside. I haven't done much today. I woke up with a craving for fruit. Well, an apple to be truthful. It took me forever to decide which drugstore to stop by. Decisions and me do not mix well. I take forever. Everything is like a deliberation - even deciding which fruit to buy. Is that funny or sad? Maybe both? I finally decided to buy an apple and a peach. The peach was an unplanned purchase, but they just looked so big, juicy and fresh sitting in the bins. I ate my peach for lunch. It tasted fresh and juicy. I talked to Mom and the Observer a few times today. Mom tried to reassure me about the whole cholesterol stuff. I am getting used to the fact that I have high cholesterol. I don't like it, but who would?

The Observer is sad and frustrated today. He is going through hazels with his attendants. I can empathize. It's not easy letting all sorts of people into your life, especially when you have no control over who they are. I know he'll be OK. Hopefully the Observer knows that I have his back and that I am on his side.

Last night I watched the animated movie Flushed Away with Hugh Jack man and Kate Winslett. It was a super cute story. I loved both of their characters, particularly their accents. Are they both English?

I think nature is calling...I have to go home with a full bladder in the rain...wish me luck! * It's later....I rushed home and used the washroom. On the way, a guy on the street stopped to say i was "very pretty and did I want a coffee?" I quickly said thanks and no. Why do strangers often say I'm pretty? Maybe they feel sorry for me or think I need a confidence booster. Who knows...I'll I can do is say "Thank you."

- OCG

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The peace of one...


There is this funky lady in my building. She is strong like an ox. Though she can't physically speak, she communicates well. Just by looking at her, it's clear that she's smart. I like her. Yesterday her husband died. I feel awful for her. Never having children, they provided constant companionship to each other. She will be so lonely at first. That said, I know the funky lady in my building will rebound. She's lived her whole life rebounding from her challenges, so this will be no different. My heart goes out to the funky lady in my building. Life isn't fair. We all know that, but sometimes we live this harsh reality.



Yesterday's trip to Union Station was OK. Seeing my friends was nice. They were waiting. I was hungry and craving a vegetarian sub as I usually do at Union Station. Being that dinner involved two others, I kept this quiet and agreed to go to Casey's, a restaurant across the street. Caseys is OK, but I just wanted a sub. Sometimes it's good for me to bend. We had to wait for a table and that made me grumpy. I ordered the Asian Chicken Salad. Salad always takes me forever to eat. When my friends had to wait for me, I almost said, "A sub would have been faster," but held my tongue. It's not always polite to say what we're thinking...

I wanted a decaf coffee and my friends wanted dessert. Back at Union, we got what we craved and made our way to our usual table. My friends kept wanting to hold my coffee, saying it would spill, but I insisted on carrying it myself. I am of the firm belief that, if we can do something, we should. We sat and chatted about love, men and getting older. When I felt tired, I said "I best be going." It's rare that I'm the first to make an exit among friends, but I was losing steam. They understood I think.

I made the chilly trip home and anxiously called the Observer who had been out to dinner for a friend's birthday. He seemed to enjoy himself. Mom sounded exhausted, but it was still reassuring to hear her voice. I watched Over The Hedge. It's been years since I have seen it. The movie is cute. I love when the turtle loses his shell and we see the crack in his bum. That's my favourite part.

I went to bed and watched an interview with a cute pro football player who is set to play Terry Fox in a upcoming movie. Football doesn't hold my attention, but cute players do. I must have fallen asleep, because I can't remember watching much.

This morning I had a long talk with Mom. I called her as I felt the need to catch up. I enjoyed our chat. Hanging up, I decided to grab a coffee at Timothy's like yesterday. The almond hazelnut blend was just as good as the day before. The same person served me. Coming into my building, one of my attendants smiled at me and asked, "How was your second cup of coffee today?" I must be quite predictable.

The Observer is at a park with a friend today. Though his friend means well, he can be a lot to handle, so I opted out. The park where they are meeting is beautiful. I would love to visit with just the Observer. I like my one on one time. I don't mind groups, but there's nothing like quality time. Today I'm spending the day with myself. Sometimes I can be a lot to handle too. If I get out of hand today, I'll tell myself to chill out.

- OCG

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Same same but different...




The Observer and I explored town last night. It's the end of the Toronto Film Festival (TIFF). The Observer LOVES any type of movies and since I don't live far from them, we thought we would see what we could find. It was pretty windy outside. Luckily, I put a jacket on, but I was worried about the Observer who didn't have one. He was driven crazy when I kept asking if he was cold. I think he was. We went to The Varsity, but all the film festival movies were sold out. There were a few that sounded good - including Love and Other Impossible Pursuits, My Year Without Sex and Same Same But Different. My best friend taught in Japan for a year, so she told me that "same same, but different is a popular expression in Japanese culture. Upon goggling the phrase, I have found the following definitions:

1. Used a lot in Thailand, especially in an attempts to sell something but can mean just about anything depending on what the user is trying to achieve.

Q "Is this a real rolex?"
A " Yes Sir, same same but different."

2. Title of the amazing song featured in the 2008 Bollywood film "Bombay to Bangkok". Also used to describe subtle nuances.

Ally: Is it just me, or does this room stink like mildew too? Lauren: It's same same but different! Lauren and Ally: We are same same but different, we are same same but different.

3. Pertaining to the nature of lady-boys in Thailand.

It sounds like "Same, same, but different", is more of a phrase from Thailand, not Japan. My friend travelled to Thailand too, so this makes sense.

Coincidentally, the same friend called last night as soon as the Observer and I got home. Rarely do I pick up the phone, but I was glad we got to chat. I miss my friend. She's doing well. I told her about my high cholesterol. She said to "Look after myself." I am, but it's always good to be reminded.

After hanging up, the Observer and I went to Starbucks. I enjoyed my second store bought coffee of the day with soy milk. There was a guy who showed the Observer a picture of a porn star and said it was his sister. Some sister, huh? After getting in just before eleven ' o clock, I was too late to talk to Mom. Hopefully we'll chat today. I miss her.


The air feels crisp. I am reminded that fall isn't too far away. Actually, I think it officially begins in a day or two. It's funny to think about, because where was summer? We had a day or two of heat, but nothing like our usual summers. I'm wearing purple corduroys today. I like them, but the only shirt that really matches with them is white. Thankfully I have lots of those. Needing deodorant, I went to the drugstore and bought two types of the same brand as it was a deal. Next I went to Timothys for a hazelnut almond coffee in a quiet area. The shop wasn't busy. Sitting there looking out the window was relaxing. My deodorant was similar, but not identical. Store bought coffee is coffee, but tastes stronger than home brewed coffee. One could say both the deodorant and coffee I bought were, "same same but different."

I'm meeting two friends at Union Station soon. One is my best friend while the other is an acquaintance I don't often see. It should be fun. Both friends are special, even though I am clearly closer to my best friend. I suppose one could say they are, "same same but different" in the English Canadian context.

- OCG

Friday, September 18, 2009

Counting my blessings...


The Observer took a day for himself yesterday. He had been through a rough night and wasn't in any state to go to work. He sounded sad in the morning, but better by night-time, so that made me happy. A rough night often makes the next day rough too. I felt bad for him. Sometimes things just plain suck. All we can do is wait for the slump to pass. Thankfully, it sounds like his did.

Today is sunny and beautiful outside. We've been so lucky. This is the summer we have been waiting for. After a good sleep and shower, I was still feeling pretty low over the cholesterol news. Until I get the blood work repeated, it's going to be difficult for me not to think about it I went out this morning. I really needed a second cup of coffee after my breakfast. I had my sights set on buying a coffee from the same shop I went to from a cappiuncuno at the St. Lawrence Market last week. It was busy there, so I went to Second Cup beside the market. Since I was on my second cup of coffee for the day, I suppose this was a fitting choice. The barista who made my coffee did an excellent job. She mixed in the soy milk so that it was smooth and frothy. The barista must have been French. When she set the coffee down in front of me, she said, "Voila!" I had to smile.

I'm discouraged. I try so hard to be healthy. Do you think I try too hard? I heard that, the more we focus on a problem, the bigger it becomes. Maybe I need to try to relax a little. I'll look after myself, but I won't go crazy. Life is for enjoying, living and having fun. Today is now. Who knows what tomorrow will bring, so why waste right now? Maybe I am unlucky in the genetic department, but I am blessed in so many other ways. I can't overlook all the amazing people in my life and all the opportunities I have been blessed with.

Tonight the Observer is coming over. I'm glad. I had delicious coffee today. I'm well rested, clean and I have the good fortune of a visit from my wonderful boyfriend.

- OCG

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Mushrooms, bad news and good people...


Yesterday I had a portabello mushroom craving. I had to get one. I couldn't stop thinking about the meaty, yummy, white and brown fungus. The St. Lawrence Market has delicious portabellos for a good price. Later on, I had an appointment with three psyiotherapy students. I knew time would be tight, but I had to get my portabello mushroom. Rushing to the market, I picked up my meaty plate of presliced fungus and hurried home. I saw three young people hanging around outside and wondered if they were the physio students. Less than five minutes later, the buzzer rang and sure enough, the young people from the lobby were at my doorstep. I wasn't late, but I did feel bad about making them wait. We all recognized each other and laughed. They were sweet and inquisitive. I enjoyed talking to them, but lost things to say when I started to feel hungry and hot. When they left, I ate my mushroom and had some diet Kool-aid. I felt better, but not for long....

I called Mom and she told me that my blood work showed I have high cholesterol. I am shocked and worried. I don't want to inherit Mom's heart problems. I try to eat healthy and I see a dietitian regularly. I'm not sure what more I can do. Since I am only twenty seven years old, I am concerned. My first priority will continue to be my health. Sometimes we just get unlucky, but it is important to control health risks when we can. My cholesterol was not done with me fasting, so I'm going to have it repeated. I'm not expecting a huge change, but at least I am getting it checked out.

The Observer came. Being that I was so upset, his company was such a comfort. He listened, and that's what I needed. We watched the new Dr. Oz Show and Oprah's special on Micheal Jackson. The Observer got choked up at the end of Oprah. I did too. We went to Starbucks. I was so preoccupied with my high cholesterol news that I almost got run over by a car.

Today a vendor at the St. Lawrence Market gave me a free jar of sugar free jam. At the grocery store, a guy put my bread close to the cash register and another insisted on paying for it. Life is full of goodness. I need to enjoy it while I'm here...

- OCG

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Groovy and rude...


Remember how I mentioned that my phone fell in the toilet last night and that my attendant made a huge deal about having to fish it out? Well, the same attendant must be having serious issues. Today she is grumpy again. At lunch-time, the attendant helped me out. As she was standing me up so I could transfer, she commented that my "gum chewing was driving her crazy." How rude was that??????? I wanted to say, "Your breathing is driving me crazy witch, but then I would have been rude. I've never like this attendant. Today is a prime example of why I dislike her as much as I do. SHE drives me crazy everyday, but I don't say so. It's rude. Most people know this. I guess my attendant doesn't, even though at her age, she ought to. I know her bad mood and grumpiness isn't about me. I'm trying hard not to let her remark ruin my day. Just because my attendant is having a bad day doesn't mean I must....she makes my blood boil.

It's cool out today. I'm wearing my white, green, blue and beige stripped pants. Dad picked them out at Christmas-time for years ago. They are groovy. My pants remind me of Dad and maybe that's why I like them.

I went to the drugstore in Cabbage town this morning. It's a quaint little patch in the city. My usual drugstore ran out of Comet and I needed some. The guy who served me was kind. He could teach my attendant a thing or two about manners. I wanted to say to her, "Maybe if you wear my groovy pants, they will loosen you up." However, my pants are too small for her big bottom. Now I'm being rude...

- OCG

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Home and today...


My visit home feels like a long time ago, even though I got back yesterday. As always, seeing my family was great. Time fly too quickly. I made it home for a quick chat with all of my siblings and berry crisp topped with vanilla ice cream. Everyone was happy and talkative. I forgot to ask my brother about his new house, but he didn't seem offended when I finally asked as we said goodbye. He and his wife seem happy. My sister showed me her wedding album. It looks like a yearbook. The pictures are beautiful. My favourites are the ones of my sister with my Dad and the adorable flower girls. My sister showed me pictures from her honeymoon, which was a walking tour of Spain. The photos looked like they were taken in Rome. Most images were rustic and simple and made me want to travel. Even a blue painted door looked like something special. I loved seeing their pictures. Their trip looked like a physical and spiritual journey.

I couldn't sleep that night. I always struggle to sleep at my parents' house. It must be the change of scenery and feeling like a guest. I watched a Newsworld documentary called One Hundred And Twenty Seconds That Changed The World, never before seen footage from September 11th. As you can imagine, it was gripping, devastating and surreal. There was running, towers falling, people jumping from the sky and colours everywhere. I didn't want to watch, but I couldn't stop. I'm glad I did. I neglected to mention the anniversary of 9/11 this past Friday. Watching the documentary made me recall that day. It seems long ago, but not far away. Our world is different, but there is still heartache and tragedy. There always will be...I lay ed thinking about what I watched.

Yesterday I spent the morning drinking coffee and reading People. It's one of my favourite activities when visiting home. Mom made me eggs for breakfast. I showered sand felt more refreshed. Showers always make lack of sleep more bearable, don't they? Mom made a cheese and tomato sandwich, a yummy salad with pecans and a yogurt berry parfait for lunch. Her food is simple, but so delicious. Everything tastes better at home. After lunch, Mom took me for routine blood work. I flinched before the needle poked me and relaxed immediately after. Anticipation is the worst. We came home and watched TV. Mom had to work. I was worried she'd be too tired. She started the day walking the dog, followed by a workout, made me breakfast, cleaned, helped me shower, showered herself, made lunch, took me for blood work and got me ready to leave all before her job. What a super Mom.

I went to an appointment that did my soul good. Sometimes it's good to talk, even if I think I have nothing to say. I was tired when I got to my apartment. I kept wondering if Mom made it through her day. She called on her way home to say that her day was nicely paced. I was relieved.

The Observer wasn't feeling well last night. As soon as I heard his voice, I could tell he wasn't himself. He went to his parents, which is the best place to be when feeling under the weather. He seems better today. He made impromptu plans to visit me tomorrow. When he told me, I got worried because I have pysio students coming to interview me in the evening. I wasn't sure if I'd have time for everything. I operate best with a plan and suck at rolling with the punches. I need to work on being more spontaneous. Life isn't scripted and we miss out if we are too rigid. I had a long day today. I went to the market and bought vegetables and a chocolate poppyseed danish, went to an appointment in my old neighbourhood, came home and dropped my cordless phone in the toilet while answering the call of nature. The attendant who fished out my phone made a big fuss. She is rude and rigid. I had to laugh. I hope never to turn out as persnickety as she is. If I do, I hope I will have the chance to roll up my sleeve and dig out a soiled phone. The experience has to be humbling, and a little messy, but good for the character.

- OCG

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Quotes from reccent movies...

I love that you get cold when it's 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you're looking at me like I'm nuts. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it's not because I'm lonely, and it's not because it's New Year's Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.
- When Harry Met Sally

I think all we can aspire to in this situation is a little bit of grace.

I'd like to make love, and then I'd like you to go. Because I need to stay here and if you make it hard for me, I may cry so hard I'll never stop.

Never let a person make you feel guilty for your anger with God.

It's never too late to become what you might have been.

I'm thinking that sometimes you just have to make the decision to be happy. Just decide. Things aren't ever what you hoped they'd be. Not ever, for anybody. The only thing that separates one kind of person from another is there are some who stay angry about it and there are some who... accept what comes their way.

Away From Her

In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations, the new needs friends. Last night, I experienced something new, an extraordinary meal from a singularly unexpected source. To say that both the meal and its maker have challenged my preconceptions about fine cooking is a gross understatement. They have rocked me to my core. In the past, I have made no secret of my disdain for Chef Gusteau's famous motto: Anyone can cook. But I realize, only now do I truly understand what he meant. Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere. It is difficult to imagine more humble origins than those of the genius now cooking at Gusteau's, who is, in this critic's opinion, nothing less than the finest chef in France. I will be returning to Gusteau's soon, hungry for more.

- Ratatouille -

Freezing, flea market and family...


The Observer visited last night. The weather was pleasant. We debated over seeing a movie. None corresponded with our timing. After spending some quality time catching up, it took us a while to decide on our plans. I'm an indecisive girl at the best of times anyway. Since I drive myself crazy, I know I drive him nuts. Thankfully, the Observer is one of the best natured guys I know. He did admit that I annoyed him. I appreciated his honesty. Before we left my apartment, he said he was "a little hungry." It had been a while since the Observer had eaten lunch, so I wasn't surprised. We went down to the theater near the market to check out the movie theater and then I suggested going to Pizzaville, the Observer's favourite chain restaurant. The pizza joint was in the opposite direction, so we had a bit of a distance to travel. The Observer was mad at me. I wouldn't listen to him telling me he wasn't hungry. We got to Pizzaville. The guy who sold us pizza and pop was very helpful. I was freezing. I drank a diet Dr. Pepper, which made me colder. I enjoyed the music in the pizza shop and couldn't resist dancing to Isn't She Lovely? by Stevie Wonder. The Observer couldn't stop laughing. I'm glad. Hanging out with him made for an awesome night.



You would think I would have slept better last night as it's been a while since I have had top notch rest. Not so. It took me a bit to warm up under my covers. I watched Mansbridge: One On One, which was an in depth interview with Robert Fowler, the UN ambassador I mentioned who was help captive by Al Queda tourists. Next I watched Chopped, a new show where three chefs compete for the best dish using three ingredients. One of the ingredients was Jicama, a vegetable that is said to taste like an apple. I've been dying to try Jicama. I need to find out where it's sold. I watched Top Chef. I was happy to catch the first episode of the new season. It's an addicting series. I caught bits of the movie Message In A Bottle and Dora The Explorer, but thought I best try to sleep.



Today is beautiful. I went to the flea market for the first time. There was all sorts of furniture, cups and old memorabilia to check out. I saw a few chairs I liked and a ceramic bowl to add to Mom's collection. I didn't buy anything, except a Starbucks coffee from down the street. It was small and quiet with friendly service. I'm going home later today for two medical appointments tomorrow. Mom is mad that I'll miss most of a family dinner tonight, but she didn't confirm plans with me. I'll still see everyone and I have enjoyed my quiet day of flying solo. I love days of exploring as much as I do seeing loved ones. If I can have the best of both worlds, why not?

- OCG

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A night of movie watching...


Last night I watched No Reservations and Ratatouille. Both films were fun and involved food. Abagail Breslin was not the cute character she usually plays. She was slightly stubborn. Her role was to play a little girl whose mother was killed in a care accident. Given such tragedy, I guess it made sense that she was slightly difficult. Breslin went to live with her aunt (Catherine Zeta Jones), a top notch chef who knew little about child rearing. Watching Breslin struggle to adapt to her new home and life without a mother did pull on the heartstrings. A romance developed between Catherine Zeta Jones and a handsome Italian chef which added a mature edge. The film showed how food can be reassuring when we are living in uncertain times. Catherine Zeta Jones seems to exude class and style in anything she does. I heard on a radio show that any woman who shares a magazine cover with her ends up overshadowed by her attractiveness. I would have to agree.



By the time I watched Ratatouille, I was tired and grumpy. I wasn't in the mood to listen, watch, talk or do much of anything. My lack of sleep had caught up to me. Dad and the Observer called. I tried to conceal my grumpiness, but I think they knew I wasn't all that happy. Ratatouille seemed cute, but I think I would appreciate it more if I watched it when I have more energy. The voice of Remy, the main character, was a mystery that plagued me the entire film. I am curious as to how long it will be before the actor's voice comes to me. It's a twenty-something, popular funny man. That much I know. Don't tell me! The answer my friend is blowing in the dwindling summer breeze. The guy's name will blow my way. I just have to be patient.

- OCG

Friday, September 11, 2009

Coffee loaded...


There is a thunderstorm brewing in my belly. I can hear and feel it. I don't mind. At least I am having success. Yesterday was rough, but it was worth it. I am my usual self today. Guess where I went this morning? Where do I LOVE going on Friday mornings? If you guessed the St. Lawrence Market, you're either really smart, or you know me well. (Maybe both). It's freezing outside. There is a chilly breeze and the sky is gray and overcast. I was very cold during my drive to the market. I was so relieved that I changed my mind about wearing a skirt today. I would have turned into an icicle.

I wasn't really in the mood for buying anything, but I did feel like warming up. I went to an Italian coffee stand and bought a cappuccino. It turned out to be just what I needed. The cappuccino was warm, frothy and smooth. Drinking it felt like someone wrapped his or her arms around me for a warm hug. Usually, I'm not a big cappuccino drinker, but I'm glad I had one today. The woman who made it for me wasn't super friendly, but I was satisfied with my drink. I have had three coffees today. On an average day, I usually only drink two. Not having slept well last night, I think my body and mind needed an extra buzz. When I made it home from the library at around eight thirty last night, I had a headache. I knew by the mild pain behind my eyes that I was experiencing caffeine withdrawal. I asked my attendant to make me a "weaker than usual coffee". She did and my headache magically disappeared. Oh, the magic of coffee! The good thing was that my headache disappeared, but the bad part was that the caffeine kept me up into the wee hours of the night.

I watched Property Virgins on HGTV, Frasier, and Three's Company. Frasier was a funny episode about Martin Krane, the elderly father, dating a much younger woman. Three's Company made me laugh. John Ritter plays a room-mate who appears to be gay to his landlord so that living with two twenty-something women will seem socially acceptable. Watching John Ritter fake being gay was pretty funny. I recognized the theme song lyrics. (Come and Knock On Our Door. We've been waiting for you....) from an old episode of Full House. Three's Company must have been a classic show when its theme song gets featured in another sitcom.

I woke up this morning all twisted up like a pretzel. I couldn't wait to get out of bed. My attendant greeted me by talking about how she bought a knock-off Coach Purse. I'm not big on purses or fashion, so I wasn't all that interested to hear about her Coach Purse. All I could think about was how my legs were contorted and that I just wanted to get out of bed. Trying my best to listen, my attendant must have sensed my impatience. She said I didn't look like I slept well. I told her that I was uncomfortable, so that got both her and myself moving.


Sometimes all we can do is tell it like it is - and drink coffee when it's the only cure for a particular headache.

- OCG

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A day turned OK....


I saw my physiotherapist for the first time in months last night. He's been in Twain and Arizona this summer. Seeing him did my body and mind good. He was impressed with my ability to use my exercise pole. Since I've been practising, I knew I had gained flexibility. My physiotherapist and I always have great talks about life and growing. He has a new girlfriend and seems totally in love. Single since we met six years ago, I am so happy he has found love. Due to the slightly professional manner we maintain with each other, I didn't want to press my physiotherapist for two many juicy relationship details. I hope he knows how happy I am for him. My physiotherapist is an amazing guy and he deserves an amazing lady. I don't think I would be the same physically or emotionally without my physiotherapist's support.



I watched the second half of the documentary on Robert Fowler last night - the UN ambassador who was held prisoner by Al Quada for nine months. He talked about being allowed to call home and hearing his own voice on his family's answering machine. He laughed and said he left a message for his wife. How odd would that feel to leave the message and receive it? When his wife wasn't home, he was permitted to text her. Hearing this cracked me up. Imagine being held captive in some remote dessert and being allowed to text? It seems contradictory. Robert Fowler discussed telling his wife that he probably wouldn't make it home alive and how she convinced him that he must. People we love talk us through our darkest hours. I was happy Robert Fowler survived to tell about his ordeal. He mentioned sending his wife an "SMS." Is this the same as a text message? I'm not very technologically savvy.

I am freezing. There are huge goosebumps creeping up my arms. The hairs on my arms are sticking straight up. I have some funky chill action going on. I think there must be some heavy duty air conditioning turned on. If not, I have some serious issues with my internal thermostat. Being cold makes it hard to focus on much of anything...chills are distracting.

I could be cold because I am wearing another sleeveless top and Capri pants. Making the most of my summer wardrobe sounds like a smart idea, but it doesn't feel smart when doing so involves freezing. The weather was gorgeous again today, but I probably would have enjoyed it more had I worn heavier clothing. Another reason that I could be cold is because I have loaded up on laxatives these last few days. Thankfully, I finally had success today. I broke out the Kleen Prep and purple Kool-aid yesterday and today. I thought it would work by only drinking one liter yesterday, but I didn't get any results. I suppose doctors give instructions for reasons. I feel bad for taking futile dosages of medication, but all I can do is learn from my mistake and move on.

Trying to drink the two liters this morning proved difficult. After the first liter, I started to feel queasy. I had a sweet attendant who stayed in my apartment and cheered me on. I don't think I could have drank all the Kleen Prep without the encouragement of my attendant. Sometimes all we need is someone to believe in us. I hope my attendant knows how much I appreciated her compassion. I said "Thank you," but it didn't seem like enough. The next attendant who came to my rescue was just as sweet. I lucked out...Unfortunately, I was soon reminded that not all attendants are top notch. Last year I reported one attendant for being lazy and rude. While her conduct and work ethic did improve, the attendant gave me the silent treatment for five months. My punishment for reporting her was not having to listen to her. The same attendant is being investigated for poor conduct again. She is slipping back into her old ways, so I am glad her boss is onto her. Maybe I'll have four more months of silent treatment. Night-time will be quiet.




I went to market today. After my yucky morning, I needed to get out there in the land of regular, healthy people. I bought a new kind of mustard from a famous store for me. It's fig flavoured. I bet it would taste yummy with fish or ham. For myself, I bought two red peppers, one yellow, and one orange. My fridge looks colourful now. Colour makes me happy...so does a healthy dose of bell pepper. I have only felt like toast today, but hopefully I'll be in pepper spirits tomorrow...

- OCG

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

TV, chatter and breezes...




There's more sunshine today! I'm wearing capri pants again but pink instead of green. People say it's hot, but I don't think so. Outside feels just right. I went to the grocery store for coffee and bread and it was warm with a refreshing breeze. Who could ask for better weather?

Late in the afternoon yesterday, I came home and had a full bladder. I asked my attendants for emergency help. A worker who I don't enjoy seeing snapped at another worker right in front of me and everyone in the building lobby. The whole exchange embarrassed me. It was awkward. If the woman is rude to her co-worker, imagine how she treats her own family! I have never respected her and after witnessing that rudeness, I respect the woman less. I got help, which is what matters. Feeling relief, I called one of my best friends. She's not one of those people I can say just a few words to and hang up. My friend is a talker. I don't think she was in a very good mood. Her voice had an edge. My friend had just returned from a weekend of visiting her grandmother, so maybe she was tired. I know this week is her vacation and she wanted to get together, but I can't. I am disappointed, but life gets busy. We made plans to meet up the following weekend. My friend always suggests that I come to visit her. She lives in a very inaccessible, remote area. Getting to her nighbourhood means taking three buses. It's a trek and we end going to a Thai restaurant that serves bad food. I love seeing my friend, but I like meeting half way. Next week we are meeting closer to my parents' house, which is okay. After our long chat, my ear was tired. I love my friend, but boy, can she talk!



I watched this documentary on Newsworld yesterday about Robert Fowler, a Canadian UN Ambassador who was held hostage by Al Queda. Peter Mansbridge interviewed the peacekeeper. He talked about being pushed under truck boards and sat on by terrorists while having no idea where he was going or who captured him. The documentary was both eerie and captivating. I didn't want to keep watching, but I couldn't turn away. The second part airs tonight. I will be watching it. Next I saw a documentary called School Of Secrets about a high school nature program where teenage girls were sexually abused by their teacher. I've seen School Of Secrets before. It's disturbing because many people of authority sensed that improprieties were happening but failed to act on their intuitions. When we ignore intuition, a heavy price often gets paid.



I watched Three's Company on TV tropolis. The network must have recently added that show. I haven't seen many episodes, but I've heard good things, so I may start tuning in. Suzanne Sommers seems a bit airy fairy with her plugging of hormone usage, but she is a good actress. John Ritter was a talented comedian who left a lasting impression in the comedy world. I am interested to see John's early work.



It was getting late and I must have been tired, because I can't remember what I watched next. I must have fallen asleep. Speaking of sleep, Mom told me today that she is having trouble getting proper rest. Hopefully, Mom has sweet dreams tonight. She is always hot, so I am sending breezy thoughts her way. I suppose we can all use breezy thoughts any time of year. Happy breezes to you!

- OCG

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Looking back on Labour Day...




Well, summer is officially over. The end of this chapter makes me a bit sad. Speaking of sad, today is back-to-school for students. I'm not one. Part of me wishes I was, but not a big part. Starting fresh is liberating, and a bit scary. Someday I might go back to school. I just have to decide what to take. I guess I will know when the time is right. There are so many choices. Options can be both a blessing and a curse. We're finally getting summer type weather, which I find kind of funny. Weather has it's own timing, right? I'm wearing Capri pants. I thought I best wear them while I could. Who knows what the weather will be like tomorrow....

I missed a doctor's appointment today. My stomach has been stubborn to respond to my usual ways. On the wise medical advice of my mother, I decided to stay home and work out my internal kinks. So far, I've had mediocre success. I am a little disappointed that I had to change my plans.



On the upside, I really enjoyed the past weekend. The wedding the Observer and I went to was beautiful. Both the bride and groom were glowing with happiness inside and out. We should all be so lucky on our wedding day. According to the Observer, the groom was so overcome with emotion that he didn't notice my absence at his ceremony. Thinking the groom would was a little self-indulgent on my end, but I didn't want to hurt his feelings. He's a five star friend.



The bride looking elegant and classy. A smile seemed permanently planted on her face. When I got to the reception, I was greeted with a big hug from the groom's parents. Seeing them made very emotional. I found the Observer sitting at the hotel bar with the rest of the groomsmen. He looked happy and relaxed. I loved his blue suit. The other groomsmen kept calling the Observer "Bruno" and making fun of him. They were making me laugh. The Observer is so easy to make fun of, because he lets jokes roll right off his back.



At the reception, I sat with wives and co-workers of the groomsmen. Everyone was friendly, especially two ladies. The Observer played up being the goof of the night, and served as the butt of many jokes. He is such a good sport. The wedding wouldn't have been the same without his easy-going nature. The food was delicious. We started with cream of broccoli soup and these amazing olive bread rolls. I ate three. I'm not a big fan of cream soups, but I was so hungry, it tasted yummy. The main course was an eggplant casserole with corn salsa. I loved it. I was glad I chose the vegetarian meal. The other meal was prime rib with Yorkshire pudding. I like Yorkshire pudding, but not prime ride. For dessert, we had an assortment of mango and berry sherbets in a beautiful chocolate cup. The sherbet was yummy, but the cup was tough to break. To stop myself from crying during speeches, I focused on breaking the cup into pieces. The distraction worked and I felt like I accomplished something. The bread and groom were very emotional along with their parents. It was amazing.



The Observer came to hang out with me. I was happy to see him. He's a big dancer and wheeled right into a circle of guests. I couldn't stop laughing. The guy knows how to party. I'm not a big dancer. I suppose that's where my shyness surfaces. I enjoy watching the Observer. I left shortly after dinner and went back to my parents' house. I slept like a baby. I spent Sunday hanging out with Dad and reading People magazine. Mom worked all day, but came home and made us fish and apple cake. I was glad to see her, if only for a little bit. Once back home, I watched When Harry Met Sally. The film was upbeat and showed the differences between males and females clearly. I can understand why it's considered a classic film. When Harry Met Sally will lift my spirits whenever I watch it, as every classic film should.



Being Labour Day yesterday, the Observer had the day off, so he came to see me. We took awhile deciding what to do, but decided on dinner at the Pickle Barrel. Having filled up on cookies sweetly sent by the Observer's Mom, I had salad topped with salsa and garlic bread. Our waitress wasn't the best, so that ruined our dinner. The Observer had a milkshake which filled me up. He barely ate his pasta. On the way home, we saw an older man sitting in a police car. I overheard that he got lost. Hopefully he found his way. The Observer treated me to a diet Coke and a coffee from Starbucks. I was spoiled. The Starbucks server thought I wanted a misto, which is made of half and coffee half milk. All I really wanted was a decaf with a little bit of soy milk. The Observer took back my coffee, but they still got my order wrong. Oh well, it was a night of poor service, but good company. If it had to be the last weekend of summer, I'm glad I spent it with my family and good friends.

- OCG