Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Toronto Coffee Shops

I have only recently become addicted to coffee. Yes, to the point of headaches on days that I don't have it. I am limiting myself to only one cup a day but the mornings that I have it and have it early and much much better than the days I forget. In honour of this new adult habit - it isn't something I'm proud of but coffee is something that I associate with grown-ups - I am going to show you the impressive numbers for coffee shops in this city.

Toronto has the following number of each different brand of coffee shop:
249 - Tim Horton's
151 - Starbucks
83 - Second Cup
63 - Coffee Tim
48 - Timothy's
41 - Country Style

For comparison, Paris, Ontario has:
2 - Tim Horton's

These numbers are from an article by a local Toronto paper - The Grid.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Joke Of The Day

--- from Twitter

Wanna hear a pizza joke? Never mind, its too cheesy...

Monday, 27 February 2012

I Wouldn't!!

----- from Facebook

I have not yet seen The Vow, the movie that this poster is referring to, however I agree with the statement wholeheartedly!(Also of note, The Vow was filmed in Liberty Village!!)

Where It Should Go

I have NO money at the moment, but when I do, this is where it needs to go:
- To Kristen (for rent, hydro, cable/phone/internet)
- To Teri (for previous snowboard trip)
- To Noah (for Oscar pool)
- To The Other Christine (for future snowboard trip)
- Get glasses
- Oil change for The Toy
- Pay of credit cards x2
- Get Two fixed
- New phone
- New laptop
I think the last two are just wishful thinking and won't be done for a while. Maybe I should get started on my taxes so as to have some extra money.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Not Really A Blog

So J told me that he decided to start 'blogging' and by this he meant writing for The Huffington Post, which really is not a blog at all. (This is a blog.) Anyway, apart from being really jealous, I am also very proud. The article (Rob Ford, TTC, Employment Law) is good, it is interesting and I look forward to reading more that go up. Read it HERE. Oh, and the day after it was posted the article got featured on the front page and listed as the top story. Congrats!

Monday, 20 February 2012

Faking It

From Woman's World:
"Research proves that forcing an upbeat attitude - say, by smiling and laughing more - triggers a physiological response, increasing the production of feel-good neurotransmitters and suppressing stress hormones, so you actually feel brighter."

More credibly, from The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin:
"Although we presume that we act because of the way we feel, in fact we often feel because of the way we act. For example, studies show that even an artificially induced smile brings about happier emotions. The philosopher and psychologist William James explained, 'Action seems to follow feeling, but really action and feeling go together, and by regulating the action, which is under the more direct control of the will, we can indirectly regulate the feeling, which is not.'Advice from every quarter, ancient and contemporary, backs up the observation that to change our feelings, we should change our actions."

So, PMS has compounded onto my usual February struggles leaving me super exhausted and emotional. I'm going to keep working hard on keeping myself healthy but I really just want this month to be over. Going to fake it until I feel it!

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Weekend At Blue

I'm spending the weekend up at Blue Mountain with Teri and some friends. I'm looking forward to snowboarding and just hanging out. Want to know some Blue Mountain facts? (Sadly they were not given in metric.)

Winter Facilities
- 251 acres of skiable terrain
- Additional 50 acres, presently closed for future development
- 35 skiing/snowboarding trails
- Approximately 1,482 feet above sea level (top elevation)
- 720 foot vertical
- 2 1/2 miles wide
- Longest run - 4,000’ (3/4 of a mile)
- 14 lifts
- Lift Capacity of 21,690 skiers per hour

- Largest snowmaking system in Canada
- 13,000 gallons per minute
-1 ft. acre of snow/16 min
- 94% snowmaking coverage, 236 acres
- Full capacity at all temperatures below –6oC

Snowmaking System:
- 32 miles of steel pipe buried beneath the frost line
- Four 5,000 CFM air compressors at 150 PSI
- Twelve l,000 U S GPM water-pumps
- Three reservoirs with 45,000,000 gallon capacity in total
- 455 snow guns including:
--- 420 HKD Fixed Tall Tower guns
--- 10 Mobile Tower Guns
--- 25 Sled Mounted Guns
- 180 guns can be operated at one time
- 3 km of water pipeline from Georgian Bay

Grooming Equipment:
- 6 Bombardiers MP (Micro Processor)
- 1 “HPG” Pipe Grinder half pipe grooming attachment.
- 1 Winch Cat Groomer
- Every trail is groomed nightly
- Unique double pass-angled raking system

It is going to to be a good weekend!

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Fuck February

I have realised that February has pretty much always been an awful month for me. Some really horrible things have happened to me during various Februaries.
- I have nearly been fired, twice
- I have actually been fired, once

- My Grandma died a few years ago in February, I think

- Binx died last February

- I nearly failed an entire semester of my undergrad
- I went through two horrible breakups

- On two separate occasions in previous Februaries I have been suicidal

Basically it is the month when my depression has the tendency to be at its worst, which has lead to disastrous situations in my academic, work, social, and love life. I really want to get through this month without anything getting messed up.

This February has the potential to be a bit of a perfect storm for depression for the following reasons:
- I have been eating badly for a few months
- I have been out of shape for many months
- I am only just out of my last bought of serious depression
- I am no longer seeing my councillor through Ryerson
- I am adjusting to life not being a student
- My work is very busy with lots of projects on the go
- My parents are away and I miss them
- I have no money and it is stressing me out
- It is damp, cold, dark, and grey

However, I will not let it win this time. I am going to fight my hardest and my smartest this month so that the depression stays away. Here's how:
- I'm very careful about always properly taking my medication
- My friends and family are amazingly supportive
- I'm in a new relationship that I'm really excited about
- I have started to use a 'sun lamp' every morning
- Two is at a really fun stage, crazy and a bit cuddly
- I have been watching my sleep schedule carefully, getting at least 7hrs
- The CAMH CBT group is going well
- I am going to the gym regularly
- I have restarted the Curves diet and am working at eating well
- Rrunuv Bayit is tidy, Kristen is a huge help in this
- I quit Tim Hortons to focus on keeping everything else on track
- My loan is coming soon
- I'm trying to be honest and forthcoming with everyone
(Please consider this post to be me working towards that last point.)


I received an email that opened with the following:
"Thanks for the update, you're great work Christine."
(I think/hope that it was missing a verb.)

Monday, 13 February 2012

Cleaning At Rrunuv Bayit

Two Helps Kristen And I Tidy The Apartment
Photo by Me

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Book List 2012

I'm not going to give myself a time limit, but I do want to move through the following list quickly!! Canadian authors are identified.


- My Future Listography: All I hope to do in lists by Lisa Nola. Gift from Erin AH.
- Mind Over Mood: Change How You Feel by Changing the Way You Think by Dennis Greenberger & Christine A. Padesky. Purchased from gift cards from Uncle M and Aunt E, my cousins, and Kristen's Mom.

- When Parents Text: So Much Said... So Little Understood by Lauren Kaelin & Sophia Fraioli. Gift from Kristen.
- Bossypants by Tina Fey. Gift from Teri.
- How Shakespeare Changed Everything by Stephen Marche (CanLit). A gift from Kristen.
- Various Positions by Martha Schabas (CanLit). Gift from the WOTS office.

- A Life of Pi by Yann Martel (CanLit). Gift from Uncle Simon.
- A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare: 1599 by James Shapiro. Gift from Mom and Dad.
- The Happiness Project: Or, Why I spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean my Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun by Gretchen Rubin. Purchased from gift cards from Uncle M and Aunt E, my cousins, and Kristen's Mom.
- Ruska: The Novel of Russia by Edward Rutherford. Borrowed from a friend.

TO READ (51):
- Sarum: The Novel of England by Edward Rutherford. To be borrowed from the library.
- London: A Novel by Edward Rutherford. To be borrowed from the library.
- Social Media 101 by Chris brogan. To be borrowed from Kristen.
- Idoru by William Gibson (CanLit). Gift from Uncle Simon.
- Making Pictures: Vision, Imagination, Skills & Techniques in Photography by Julian Calder. A gift from a family friend, written by his son.
- C'mon Papa: Dispatches from a Dad in the Dark by Ryan Knighton (CanLit). Prize won at WOTS 2010.
- Left Neglected by Lisa Genova. Gift from Aunt Dan.
- Fruit: A Novel About a Boy and his Nipples by Brian Francis (CanLit). Purchased on sale.
- Bridge at your Fingertips by Amalya Kearse. Stolen from Dad.
- The History of Love by Nicole Krauss. To be borrowed from Kristen.
- Buzzmarketing: Get People to Talk About Your Stuff by Mark Hughes. To be borrowed from Kristen.
- The Worse Thing She Ever Did by Alice Kuipers (CanLit). To be borrowed from Kristen.
- The Fictional Career Change of Jim Kearns by David Munro (CanLit). To be borrowed from Kristen.
- Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey (CanLit). Gift from WOTS office.
- Nicholas and Alexandra by Robert K. Massie. To be borrowed by Kristen.
- Peter the Great by Robert K. Massie. To be borrowed from the library.
- The Romanovs by Robert K. Massie. To be borrowed from the library.
- Mr. Playboy: Hugh Hefner and the American Dream by Stephen Watts. To be borrowed from Kristen.
- The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown. To be borrowed from Kristen.
- Quiver by Holly Luhning (CanLit). Gift from WOTS office.
- The Age of Persuasion: How Marketing Ate Our Culture by Terry O'Reilly & Mike Tennant (CanLit). To be borrowed from Kristen.
- Pop: The Genius of Andy Warhol by Tony Scherman & David Dalton. To be borrowed from Kristen.
- The Fallback Plan by Leigh Stein. To be borrowed from Kristen.
- Once Every Never by Lesley Livingston (CanLit). Gift from WOTS office.
- Writers [on Writing] edited by the New York Times. To be borrowed from Kristen.
- A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. Gift from Uncle Simon and Aunt Dan.
- The Fine Art Of Small Talk: How to Start a Conversation, Keep It Going, Build Networking Skills -- and Leave a Positive Impression! by Debra Fine. To be borrowed from Kristen.
- The Daily Coyote: A Story of Love, Survival and Trust in the Wilds of Wyoming by Shreve Stockton. Gift from Mom and Dad.
- The Withdrawal Method by Pasha Malla (CanLit). To be borrowed from Kristen.
- The Cat's Cradle by Michael Ondaatje (CanLit). Gift from Teri.
- The Tower, the Zoo and the Tortoise by Julia Stuart. To be borrowed from Kristen.- The Brain that Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science by Norman Doidge (CanLit). To be borrowed from Kristen.
- Earthgirl (Advanced Reading Copy, uncorrected proof) by Jennifer Cowan (CanLit). Gift from university Fiction Workshop instructor.
- A Guidebook to Contemporary Architecture in Toronto by Margaret and Phil Goodfellow (CanLit). To be borrowed from Kristen.
- A Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (CanLit). To be borrowed from the library.
- Weight by Jeanette Winterson. To be borrowed from Kristen.
- The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. To be borrowed from Kristen.
- 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. To be borrowed from the library.
- A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby. To be borrowed from Kristen.
- The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. To be borrowed from Kristen.
- Jpod by Douglas Coupland (CanLit). To be borrowed from the library.
- Microserfs by Douglas Coupland (CanLit). To be borrowed from Kristen.
- Eleanor Rigby by Douglas Coupland (CanLit). To be borrowed from Kristen.
- How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. To be borrowed from the library.
- The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas. To be borrowed from Kristen.
- Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi. To be borrowed from Kristen.
- Canon EOS Digital Rebel: Digital Field Guide by Charlotte K. Lowrie. Gift from Uncle M.
- The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga. To be borrowed from Kristen.
- The Story of Jane Doe: A Book About Rape by Jane Doe. To be borrowed from Kristen.
- The Everything Guide to Social Media by John K. Waters. Gift from Noah.
- Writer's Gym by Eliza Clark (CanLit). To be borrowed from Kristen.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Bell Let’s Talk 2012

More and more companies are choosing to support Canadian mental health (see previous post about RBC). I meant to blog about Bell Let’s Talk last year but didn't get to it in time. Well, today's the day for 2012!

Join the conversation to support Canadian mental health!
Bell Let’s Talk Day is February 8 – Bell will donate 5¢ to mental health for every text and long distance call made by Bell customers on February 8 – 2011 total to beat is $3,303,961.80. The Bell Let’s Talk mental health initiative is a five-year, $50-million charitable program based on four action pillars: anti-stigma, care and access, research, and workplace best practices. With
Bell Let’s Talk Day as its anti-stigma centrepiece, Bell’s initiative is providing significant funding for leading mental health hospitals and grassroots organizations, driving new workplace initiatives across corporate Canada, and supporting new research – including a world-first research announcement planned for February.

“At least 1 in 5 Canadians will suffer from mental illness in their lifetimes, but the unfortunate reality is that most won’t seek treatment because of the continuing stigma around the disease. Bell Let’s Talk Day sends the message to those who struggle with mental illness that Canadians want to listen and we want to help,” said George Cope, President and CEO of Bell Canada and BCE. “Mental illness is clearly one of the most pervasive yet underfunded health challenges facing Canadians today, touching each of us directly in some way and costing our economy at least $51 billion each year in lost productivity and opportunity,” said Mary Deacon, Chair of the Bell Let’s Talk mental health initiative.

Since I am not a Bell customer I was happy to learn that the campaign is also connected to Twitter:
Bell is also encouraging Canadians to follow the campaign on Twitter at @Bell_LetsTalk and join in retweeting the Bell Let’s Talk Day message on February 8. For each such retweet, Bell will donate an additional 5 cents. Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund 2012.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

It's Official

I have a boyfriend.

Monday, 6 February 2012


----- from a flyer

People in trouble use the word "mayday," derived from the French word "m'aidez" which means "help me." The French had more planes in the air in the early 1900s than other countries. Eventually the word was Anglicized and everyone started using it.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Must Haves & Can't Stands

I have had some requests to talk more about eHarmony and my dating life. This isn't super exciting but I thought I would share with you one of my favourite parts of the site: The Must Haves & Can't Stands. It isn't even that this stage of the "guided communication" is particularly helpful, though at times it is, it is more that I love how they summarize an often very abstract idea with a short little, well written, sentence. You get to pick 10 of each from a list of probably 50. Here are mine.

Must Haves:

- Intellect. I must have a partner who is bright and can share my understanding of the world as well as enjoy discussing important issues.
- Sense of Humor. I must have someone who is sharp and can enjoy the humorous side of life.
- Chemistry. I must feel deeply in love with and attracted to my partner.
- Strong Character. I must have a partner who is honest and strong enough to do the right thing.
- Curiosity. I must have a partner who is hungry for new information and knowledge and who strives to learn as much as possible.
- Adaptability. I must have a partner who is able to adapt to life's surprises.
- Conflict Resolver. I must have a partner who will work to resolve rather than win arguments or conflicts within our relationship.
- Autonomy. I must have a partner who will give me space to be my own person.
- Exciting. I must have someone who isn't afraid to take a risk and who sees life as an adventure.
- Passionate. I must have someone who is willing to explore our sexual desires with passion and understanding.

Can't Stands:

- Victim Mentality. While everyone has times of self-pity, I can't stand someone who continually sees himself/herself as a victim.
- Mean Spirited. I can't stand someone who has a devious nature and is mean to others.
- Rude. I can't stand someone who is belittling, impatient or hateful to people in any situation.
- Cheating. I can't stand someone who takes advantage of people.
- Childishness. I can't stand someone who is not emotionally mature.
- Dependence. I can't stand someone who bases their happiness on me.
- Lying. I can't stand someone who lies to anyone-especially to me.
- Judgmental. I can't stand someone who finds fault with everyone and everything.
- Hypochondriac. I can't stand someone who has a general disposition of sickness and is constantly treating the symptoms of their supposed illness.
- Infidelity. I can't stand someone who engages in sex outside a committed relationship.

As you can see from the lists I tend to pick things that are objective and fairly abstract. The list to choose from contains a wide range of options, everything from wanting someone to accept stepchildren as their own to hating the use of illegal drugs. Obviously if either of those shows up I wouldn't be a very good match.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

A List Of Random Updates

- I banged my leg into a radiator at Rrunuv Bayit and now have a goose egg on my thigh

- Two has decided it is fun to turn my bedroom into a big game of Minesweeper by climbing up on my bookshelf, pulling the push pins out of my bulletin board, and then scattering them all over the floor

- Kristen's recent birthday somehow meant two carrot cakes, one with nuts and, later on, one without

- My parents and grandparents were supposed to be spending the next two months in France by my grandpa hurt himself so they are spending a bit more time in England while he heals

- I joined a new/different gym closer to work

- Dave is in Toronto for a couple of weeks doing a waste audit for work but we are on opposite schedules so won't be able to hang out very much

- Thus far, I have been to one restaurant for Winterlicious this year and it was amazing