Friday, December 31, 2004

all is well that ends well

Lot's has happened. My family returned to relative harmony, sick brother feels better, little brother back to his sweet self for the most part. A bit of turmoil hit which I suppose put things into more perspective (like we needed more perspective with the asian tragedy). My grandfather died somewhat unexpectedly. He was 75. We took the 4 hour drive to go to the funeral. I only seem to go there when there are funerals. It has been a hard couple of days and perhaps at a later date I will go into details. These are the kinds of moments that bring everything on a collision course - the moment where everything changes in different ways for everyone. I just don't have it in me right now. I happen to be sitting at home alone on New Years Eve. Isn't that what I had hoped to do? Funny how things work out.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

normal insane

Christmas 2004 is almost over. I will be thrilled to have the planet return to its normal insane self.

Today I went to see Kinsey, the movie about the sex researcher. It was a good one and Liam Neisen is hot and the story is very interesting.

It has gotten cold here, luckily I didn't leave the house today (again). Surely that will get old fast. I ate so much today I am disgusting. I did that with a stomach that has already been off since I got home. Very smart. I think it is because I generally eat more when I am here and I am not used to it.

I have spent a little time while I have been here thinking about what my plans are for next year. I am keeping an open mind, but the idea of spending a few months in Australia is not out of the question. Neither is the idea of moving to FL. I am scared of so many things, but people don't tend to regret trying something new, rather they often regret not doing something (thanks Mom). I need to think about this more clearly later, but in the meantime I should start next month paying only my minimum loan payments and bank the rest so that I can continue them even if I am away.

My mother also recommended to me that I stop limiting myself to only dating Jewish MOTHER... I wasn't actually doing it for her. It is something that has always been important to me. Funny enough, I always get the feeling that I am going to end up with a non-Jewish guy despite my effort. Who knows... I got a little upset with my Mom saying, "I don't want my boyfriend to be Christmas crazy or have a cross over his bed". She had a good point when she reminded me that chances are I wouldn't find a guy for me that was like that and vice versa. We wouldn't be each other's "thing". Regardless, I am going to do what is right for me, whatever that may be.

Friday, December 24, 2004

not hot

So far it has been part relaxing, part the best and fastest way to bring out the worst in me. One brother is sick and irritable, the other particularly obnoxious (it is so rare for me to say anything negative about the baby of the family, so it must be bad). Basically, all of the things that are wrong with me and the world are magnified. Combine that with a lack of nicotine and you have a 2 year old in a 30 year old's body - temper tantrums are so not hot in someone my age.

I went to a party last night and it just wasn't fun. I couldn't wait to get out of there. It couldn't be that the party just must be me, right? I don't think that is true in reality, but that is how the last 2 days have been going.

Monday, December 20, 2004

lots of thingies

Just getting the last few things packed and ready to go. I have so many cables and cords to take with me now that I have the ibook and ipod. I also have the cell and charger, camera and connector thingy. I practically need a separate bag for that shit, not to mention my cosmetics... I have learned to go light on the luggage. I used to pack almost everything I own, but now I limit it to 3 or 4 pairs of pants, several tops, boots, sneakers, and casual shoes. I pack a lot of the dirty clothes I have and the first thing I do when I get home is put on a wash. I guess it will be another step to adulthood when I pre-wash and pack all my clean clothes (meaning when I have my own washer/dryer).

They are calling for snow just in time for the ride to the airport - I hope it isn't too bad and there aren't big delays. This time of year is pretty bad for that. I can't wait to see my family!

I will still post over vacation. Until then...

Sunday, December 19, 2004

New Years Bliss

Being virtually the only single person in my entire group of friends has just bitten me in the ass once again. I decided to come back for New Years from my trip home because, for the first year in a long time, nothing much seemed to be going on there. I am not a fan of the New Year, and I figured I would just do something casual here. The Aussie and my old roomate said, not to worry, we will figure out something casual to do by the time you get back. I just spoke to my other old roommate and mentioned that vague plan when she said, oh, well do you want to come to Jack and Lana's with us? Apparently the Aussie couple was planning to do that as well all along. Well, I immediately felt like jumping off my balcony. That is a group of couples that do couple things. I can not stand it. They are all nice people but it is my worst nightmare.

I had a fit and then decided to cancel my plans home and go south or to London last minute, only when I was investigating the possibility, I realized that in my recent break-in, they had stolen my passport. Those plans are out of the question. Now I am tossing around the idea of telling people here that I am staying home for New Years but coming back anyway and just staying here by myself. The only problem with that is I would have to make up a story about my night, rather than admit to watching movies alone, when everyone and their dog asks the obligatory question, "what did you do for New Years?". I could go to this party that a friend of mine is throwing at a club, but then they all have their signifiacnt others with them. I could still go, and at 11:58, sneak out or go to the washroom to avoid the moment of watching everyone else kiss, desperately looking relaxed at being kissless, or grabbing a couple and kissing them both, all the while laughing my good-natured single laugh. This is pathetic and horrible and desperate. Even worse, this is nothing of the sorrow, the real sorrow that is out there in the world and I have no right to wallow in this shallow pool. What the fuck should I do???? I need to figure this out, and fast.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

fear of flying

Tonight I stayed home and watched the movie, "Seducing Doctor Lewis". It was a cute story line - French with English subtitles. I also bought the movie, "Secret Lives of Dentists" which was 6.99, so I could watch it on the plane on my notebook. I cleaned, rearranged some furniture, weeded some songs out of my itunes, and watered the plants. It feels good to be doing the spring cleaning thing - or winter cleaning... Part of me is looking forward to going home. It is nice to be with my family, but I will miss my apartment and my balcony. I will miss smoking whenever I want. I will miss the quiet. I look forward to some home cooking, and seeing my friends and the new baby. I am happy not to be working. My brother has mono, so I can keep him company and help nurse him back to health - poor guy.

In the past, when I was preparing to go away, the chief concern for me was getting there. Since I was 8 years old I had an extreme fear of flying. At that time my parents brought me to my first therapist because I adamantly refused to go to Florida on our family vacation. The fear was likely related to the death of entire family that lived down the street from me. They had 2 kids close to my age that went to my school. They were killed in the Air India bombing back in 1983. I don't remember an explicit connection, but it was around the same time that this fear presented. It went through phases where it was more manageable, but in my late teens and early twenties, it got pretty bad. I actually took the train for 2 days once rather than fly a couple of hours, not to mention the number of times I just didn't go away. I took medication, I tried drinking, but nothing did the trick. It started to extend to other areas. I was afraid in cars, at first on highways and at night, and then it was just in general. I was terrified of the subway and streetcar. It was really quite immobilizing. There was a period of about 8 years where my life got progressively smaller. Of course this was reflected in my social and romantic life too, and just in the general quality of my life.

I decided to see a therapist. The first one I saw in my late teens should have called himself a pharmacologist (or better still, a drug dealer). Sadly, his practice is alive and well, in pediatric psychiatry no less. I know this because I have crossed paths with him professionally since - no surprise that he didn't recognize me.

Several years later I tried again, and this time I met Dr. Cognitive Therapy. His sessions involved listening to a tape of his voice conducting progressive relaxation bullshit while he sat behind his desk, typing on his computer - clearly an expert in the therapuetic relationship.

Finally, I was referred to a psychodynamic psychotherapist. I will refer to him as my therapist. His motto is, "you do what you do". He doesn't give advice, because he says he doesn't have all of the answers. Slowly I have grown to respect him because he doesn't pretend to know, even when it would be easier. This was very frustrating in the beginning, especially because I thought I wanted someone to take care of me and tell me what to do. Sometimes in the beginning it felt like we weren't doing anything at all.

If I don't talk, he generally doesn't either - a little disconcerting to say the least until you get used to it. I have been seeing him for 6 years. You might think that is a long time, and maybe even too long, but I have come to realize that all of my fears were just the outward reflections of some fundamental issues. I talk about my reactions to life and try to understand myself in a variety of ways and contexts. Slowly, the fears decreased, changed, or just subtly fell away altogether. This is not a dramatic process.

Not only am I not having weeks of anxiety in preparation for my trip, but I have flown to several exciting and exotic destinations in the past few years. I am finding an appreciation for life, but most importantly, I am figuring out how to be comfortable in my skin - my real skin. I am not yet there, but I have come to the realization that I am a mixture of intensity and passion, something I was never comfortable with. Now that I have gotten past many of the distracters I am starting to appreciate rather than suppress the life inside me. Good and bad, messy, and confusing. I would not trade that for the perfection that used to torment me.

My fear if flying was just that: a fear of soaring, of oozing, of loving it all too much.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

crotch queen

I just got waxed by the Crotch Queen. I am so thrilled that I discovered her. Since Beauty Bar went out of business unexpectedly, my friends and I were left scrambling. She was amazing. It didn't hurt much at all. So far it is looking a little red and angry but tomorrow it will be better.

On to the next topic, as much as the intricacies of my thoughts might make for good poetry or prose (or blogging), I am not oblivious enough to be of interest as a character. I think that oblivious people are the ones we crave to watch - like the guy who picks his nose in the middle of the library. How can you not stare and wonder what it is that allows him to be so much himself...

writing is when i was five years old

Just looked up "writing" on the googlism site - came back with some interesting pieces:

writing is good for your health *writers write
writing is good medicine
writing is a social act
writing is done on deadline
writing is for you
writing is murder
writing is easy
writing is different
writing is expected?
writing is used to teach and extend word identification skills
writing is therapy
writing is like house painting
writing is a mothefucker
writing is an art
writing is a sensation
writing is an ideologically constrained set of practices
writing is when i was five years old
writing is rewriting
writing is histrionic
writing is an aid to memory
writing is the breath of life
writing is in their blood
writing is finding moments of truth
writing is not enough
writing is never a waste of time
writing is a mess
writing is just the beginning
writing is a winding road
writing is just part of the process
writing is expressionistic
writing is not the result of obedience to prescriptive rules
writing is to inform the reader of something; the style should further that purpose
writing is on the wall
writing is to demonstrate the result of your research process or inquiry
writing is 'real mccoy'
writing is a craft
writing is the business of proof
writing is life itself
writing is an emotional activity
writing is a matter of degrees
writing is a process
writing is an act of free choice?

Tuesday, December 14, 2004


The bag I was holding in my hand twisted and seized in the winter wind, like a sick baby desperate for a comfortable position. My helpless hands were at the mercy of the wind. All of this in a flash, wondering why wind makes me anxious.

Today I am thankful for avoiding serious injury. I was boiling water for pasta when I decided to get the A/C adapter for my notebook from the box on the top cupboard above the stove. I pulled up a stool and reached for the box. There was a smaller box on top of it that I didn't see. As it fell toward me I dropped the big box. It fell onto the handle of the pot and in a split second I jumped away in time to avoid a potful of boiling water. Everything fell in the right place. Either someone was watching over me or I am a lucky girl.

Monday, December 13, 2004

hoof and mouth disease

Maybe this is a sign that I am growing up. Not only did I answer the phone when the lawyer called tonight, but I actually got the nerve up to tell him that I didn't want to go out again. It was really tough, especially when he talked for a half hour before he asked me out again, which was the in I was waiting for. It was hard to say but he seemed fine with it - he took it like a mensch. I didn't feel relieved right away but I am starting to now.

I went out for lunch with my boss and colleagues, which was nice - good food. I didn't hear what my colleagues were talking about at one point until someone mentioned a camera cell phone. I said that camera phones were - and I think the exact word was, "crap", only to then see that my boss was holding out her camera phone to show my colleagues. Nice. I didn't even really bother to attempt a recovery on that one - I figured it would only draw attention.

Finishing up work things, dating things, and shopping. That is what this week is about for me. Let's add trying not to put my foot in my mouth...again.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

another day at the market

So on Saturday I went on my second date with the lawyer. He suggested we spend the afternoon walking around a market, which I thought was a great idea. As we walked there, he asked me if I wanted to go up to his office to see the view. I didn't want to but also didn't want to hurt his feelings. I can not understand why anyone would want to go to their office unless they had to. I could even understand it if we had been dating for a little while, but after one coffee...well I don't think it would come as a big shock that I am not feeling it. If I was I would have probably been happy to see his "view". Another one bites the dust. I would really like to meet one that intrigues me, makes me excited. The decision maker was when I compared him to my friend Evan who has professed his feelings for me on a number of occasions, who would be considered a great catch by many. However great it would be if I could, I don't have feelings for him in that way. That being said, I realize that I would choose Evan over the lawyer. Enough said.

On another not, I am getting to the point where I would like to stop smoking altogether. I am smoking less and less and I just think it doesn't become me. It will be easy to do when I am home for the holidays. We will see.

Thursday, December 09, 2004


Tonight was mega TV night. I had the girls and the Aussie over to watch all of the shows. To top off the night, Canada is one step closer to instituting gay marriage. I am proud to live in country that is making this move.

When my friends started to arrive this evening, the lawyer called. He asked if this was a bad time to talk and I told him I had friends over. He continued to talk...and talk....and talk. I had to tell him that I was being rude to my guests and then he continued to talk. I have to tell you this just didn't help the situation. I am not looking forward to this second date - at all. I keep thinking that I must be a complete bitch, but I can't help how I feel. It just happens. Dana told me that I just need to get to the point where I can tell him to shut up - that comfort level. The way I see it is that no one should be with someone who wants to tell them to shut up, so early on at least. I am reacting to his personality traits and he deserves to date someone who doesn't have that reaction - especially after only one date. The lawyer was trying to tell me he had a computer program that he thought I would like. He said he could bring home his notebook and that I could connect my computer to his and get this program that I have never heard of. Now I can hear anyone who reads that saying, "but that is so nice". I am not ready to make any connection with him at all. All this connecting of his and mine???? All the while my friends are sitting in my apartment and I am trying to hang up with this guy that I met only ONCE for a COFFEE!!! It is just too much. He gave me his "private" work number, and told me I "wouldn't even have to go through his secretary to get to him - hahaha" - The same secretary he complained of being so insubordinate (in all fairness to the lawyer, he didn't use those words, but that is how it sounded, which is the equivalent to how impressive it is to treat wait staff poorly).

Today I exchanged a few emails with Michael, the old boyfriend. Sadly I enjoy every single word that he writes. In reality I know this is going nowhere, but I guess that is the kind of feeling I am holding out for with someone else. It has happened before so it can happen again.

This weekend I want to do some shopping, I have a party on Saturday night, and I need to finish off my paper. All in all it is a pretty good weekend. I am so happy I did most of my paper and can get out and do other things without that in the back of my mind.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Happy Chanukah

It is the wind that makes the winter so bad - the relentless wind. Even on the coldest day, if there was no wind, it would be ok. It is nail-polish remover in a hangnail. Today I was home from work sick. I have a headache much like the wind, it is relentless. It went away for a bit this afternoon, but now it is back. Hopefully if I go to sleep it will be gone when I wake up. I am not sure why I have it, but I hope it goes away.

I spoke to the lawyer last night and the conversation went from mediocre to not bad. I miss talking to someone when I don't want to hang up. I miss conversations that feel like minutes but last for hours. I want to meet someone that I look forward to seeing and who is worth making time for. The lawyer is a really nice guy, but I don't get that from him - at least not so far. I will go out with him again, but the holidays come at a good time, because if I don't want to see him after that, at least I don't have to deal with it right away. Maybe it will just fade over the 2 weeks.

I should really go to my ballet class tomorrow night. I have no excuses and I know I will be happy I went. It is just so hard to be motivated in this weather. Maybe I will pack my bag before I go to sleep. Right now - gotta go.

Sunday, December 05, 2004


Another Sunday rolls around and I am getting ready to finish watching a tv movie in bed. I spent the day writing and doing laundry. It feels good to start the week on the right foot although it doesn't make me love Sundays any more. It is cold and dry out, but tomorrow it is supposed to snow. I got a not so great draft of my paper written, so I hope I won't have to spend all of next weekend writing. I would like to go shopping for Chanukah gifts and get ready to go home. I am looking forward to it. It feels like something different, but I am not sure why. As I wrote that sentence, I got a bad feeling about it. I hope nothing bad will happen. I guess it could just as easily be good, right? That is all, the movie is on and I am going to watch it.


the looker

Isn't it strange that when you least expect it, you have a great time. Well, I wasn't actually referring to the date I had this afternoon, although I have to tell you that my instincts about the lawyer were wrong. He was actually cooler in person than I expected. He was even kind of cute. He may not be my perfect guy, but I would try another date.

In the meantime, on my way home I heard someone calling my name and it was my Aussie friend in the pub at the end of my street. I went in for a few minutes and met his work friends. One of them was very good looking. Later on I was going to the Aussie's and my old roomate's (they are together) for dinner. I went early to hang out while the aussie was still out with his friends. The boys came back to hang out there for some drinks and it turns out the looker was as funny and nice as he was cute. I don't think we are a good match, but I am thrilled that I actually have the capacity to feel like that about a guy. That sounds strange, I am sure, but I have gone on so many dates (most blind) in the last few years, and even with the guys who got past the first 3, there has been a lack of attraction. I forgot that it existed, or perhaps thought that it was one of those feelings you got when you were younger and idealistic. Basically I assumed it was a deficit in me rather than them. Tonight was just enough to let me know that it is still there - still something that I think I need and deserve. i don't need to try to fit into a space, or force myself to get used to someone. There is more out there for me than that.

That was part of the night - I guess the part that set the tone, but the most fun was after they left. I set the ipod up to the stereo and we danced! Yes, danced. All night long. Basically the guys watched except for a few songs they couldn't resist. The Aussie spent a full hour, manually flashing the lights for us. I haven't had that much fun in a long time.

Saturday, December 04, 2004


I am waiting for my date to show up so I thought I would say a few words. I am trying to keep an open mind with this, but when it comes to me, my intuition sometimes overriddes all. I won't say anything else about it and I will update later. My exciting news is that I got an ipod mini. I already have over 600 songs on it - I think I am in love. I always had an affinity to the old Ally McBeal theme song notion - in fact was annoyed that they used it in the show because I felt like it was my idea. Now I can have a constant soundtrack to my life. This soundtrack is much more flexible than my 10 song MP3 player alotted me. Very exciting! I want to bring it out on my date, but perhaps that might be construed as borderline anti-social....

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Gotta go, my friend is coming over

I am sitting on my balcony smoking, writing, and watching the re-run of the first episode of Friends through my balcony door. It was a good one. Nostalgia always makes me sing that song, "Those were the days my friend, we thought they'd never end"... I don't even know where it is from.

I got an email from an old boyfriend recently, after 8 years. He found me somehow and wrote me one of those, "Is the same Rachel I used to know from..." It was such a shock to see his name in my inbox. I was terrified to open it. Since the initial catching up, we have just written back and forth periodically. He still makes me laugh. I feel like nothing has changed, yet everything has. Part of me misses him still. Isn't that crazy, after this long? I think the problem is that we didn't break up because it wasn't working, it was just that he was going away to school and we were too young to try to work it out to stay together or try to end up in the same place. I am glad it worked out the way it did, but I guess I still have this ideal notion of him.

Meanwhile, I am trying to make an effort to go out, agree to set-ups etc... Looking for a Jewish guy further limits the selection. I am going on a date this weekend with the funny lawyer. I am trying not to pre-judge, but the funny lawyer doesn't seem so funny on the phone. Even more discouraging, in my blind date experience, I find that things are always better on the phone than they are in person. When you factor in the nose hair, the short stature, premature intimacy, or any small but paramount detail I can focus on, there is always something that let's the air out of the baloon. We will see...

Monday, November 29, 2004

Little Super

When I got home from work I was sitting on my balcony and having a cigarette when I noticed a pain somewhere in my lungs or my rib. It could have been anything really - even a muscle. It is gone now, but at that moment I had a fear that I had gone too far. I am 30 years old and I keep forgetting I am not so young and invincible anymore. I was wondering if perhaps I had already done irreparable damage. I wonder, if I went to the doctor, came clean about the "casual" smoking, and asked for a complete lung exam, and if I got a clean bill of health, would I then want to quit at that moment? Starting from scratch would be a motivator. Maybe I should try it...

My apartment was broken into a few weeks ago and I have since built up the security level in my apartment. Tonight when I got home I found out that two more apartments in the building were broken into this weekend. That was disconcerting. I guess my biggest fear is that it will happen again, but when I am home. That is terrifying. I once new a girl who lived in this city (several years older than I) who was raped and murdered in her own apartment, one city block from where I now live. That was many years ago, but the horror and reality of that situation has stuck with me. These are the times when I can understand why some American's join those crazy gun associations.

I have the sweetest tiny Philipino super and he has been so nice to me. Tonight he came up to put a chain lock on my door (as an added protection with the 2 deadbolts). He tried to tell me that I wasn't allowed to pay him for it like I did when he came up to do some other work for me, and that it was a "Chanukah" gift. He also wished me a Happy New Year on Rosh Hashanah. I asked him how he knows so much about the Jewish holidays. He told me that when he first moved to this country he had worked for a Jewish man who was very good to him. He is such a great guy. It is people in my building like the Little Super that keep me here - it makes things feel safer and nice. If I didn't have that I may have decided to leave and break the bank to live somewhere that had better security.

It is time for me to go to bed, but I am starving! That is what happens to me when I eat salad for dinner.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Good morning sunshine

This morning I woke up and was inspired to make myself french toast, one of my favourites growing up. My Mom makes the best, by far. I have no idea how I managed to do it, but it turned out gross. I actually couldn't even eat it. How I could screw this up, I do not know. I have made it before, so I am mystified. Maybe when My Mom made it she didn't use heavy duty high fiber bread... I think back then we ate white. I assume it must be that, because, although I am no Nigella Lawson, I do know my way around a kitchen.

I just heard on the news that there was a huge mine explosion in China. I hope everyone is rescued. What a stark contrast to the reality in my apartment and what it must be there - and so many other places.

Today I have to keep reading and perhaps start writing my paper. I would prefer to have a manicure, do a few errands, and go to the grocery store. It is difficult when some of the temptations are necessities of life (no, not the manicure). I really do need to go grocery shopping, so I may have to find a way to fit that in.

I just realized something. It is Sunday. Usually I hate Sundays. I get a horrible 'sunday' feeling in my stomach and generally feel down. I have felt like this since I can remember - back in grade school. I am pleased to say I feel pretty good today. Let's not question it too much - just enjoy.

A friend of mine is setting me up with this guy she has never met but her friend (who I have never met) and my friend talked and they think that we would get along. I wasn't sure if this was a good enough connection, but since I know I need to get out there more often, I said yes. All I knew going into this is that he is a funny lawyer. So the funny lawyer and I had our first conversation last week. I was exhausted, so perhaps I wasn't my most receptive, but he did tell long lawyerly stories. I still think he sounds nice and has potential. We tried to make plans but I said I was busy for the weekend and he said he was away on business for most of the coming week. He said to call him if I find time last minute on the weekend and I said that I didn't expect that would happen. He then called me on the weekend and I was busy (as I said I would be)_ and didn't get a chance to call him back. I called him later in the week to say that I hope his trial went well etc... but he wasn't home (I left a msg). He hasn't called me back yet. We will see....

Let's start at the very beginning

A very good place to start - ok enough with the Sound of Music, but I am excited to start this new blog, despite the fact that I just spent my Saturday night reading research for hours for a paper I am writing. My life is changing in so many ways that I am sure it is bound to be reflected in my social life eventually. It seems that as I move out of my twenties I have discovered a greater sense of freedom and independence, perhaps more than I want. You see, at the same time that I am becoming more financially sound, my closet better stocked, my apartment filled with adult things, it is becoming clearer that there is something missing. I am old enough to know that having someone in my life won't complete me in the concrete and perfect sense of the word, but I am ready to take it on - the incredible with the complicated.

I love to write, yet I haven't got it all figured out yet. I write for school and some basic technical writing for work, but in terms of the writing that I love, I still think there is a veil hanging over it for me and I am working on a way to come out from under it. There is the possibility that there is no veil and that this is it, but I have a sense that there is, and that if it is no longer in the way, I will be able to speak. I will finally be able to communicate all that I capture. I think this is a good place to start.