Thursday, 31 May 2012

Is He On eHarmony?

This morning I got the following email from Kristen:

To: Me
From: Kristen
Subject: I want you to date this guy

He is hot and has cool party tricks:

Agreed! I don't know if Kristen noticed that he was Ukrainian, which in my mind makes him hotter, but might pose a language barrier or issue in terms of long-distance. Also, yes, I am back on eHarmony again.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Event Planning

I have not posted in almost a week!! I have been really busy. We have an event at work that is happening in about a week. (If you live in, or near, Toronto - you should come!! I won't be able to hang out or even talk much, but the event should be good.)

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Feeling The Love

I am spending the last half hour of my birthday trying to reply to the various greetings that have arrived during the day. You know - I am feeling the love, even the Facebook love, I'm enjoying it. Facebook definitely is the method of choice for Happy Birthday notes, Twitter cannot compare. A few birthday wishes in person and over email; a bunch of text messages; minimal tweets; a ton of Facebook wall posts; and a very special voicemail on my cellphone from my brother, who remembered! I did actually get one card in the mail, from my Aunty Laura, who strongly believes in the post. Interestingly, I had two messages on the landline but neither were about my turning 28 today. Apparently, the house phone was not the communication method of choice today. Times are a-changing.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Two Reviews

Last weekend (May 12 - 13) I went to The Cottage to visit my parents. They were just returning from the US and I needed to bring the cat - so taking the GO train halfway wasn't going to work out very well. It was finally time for me to try out car sharing!! I had just finished signing up for ZipCar that week so the timing was perfect. (Note: I will also be joining AutoShare shortly so will have access to the two main car sharing companies in Toronto. I think there will be a benefit to having the two memberships as it looks like the companies are better at different things. I'll keep you posted.) I rented the Mazda 3 hatchback because I wanted lots of truck space. I really wanted to get the Mini but decided to save doing that until later. Here are my thoughts:


I loved the entire car sharing processes! My mom has been trying to get me involved in this type of program for years and I always resisted. As I learned more about it my reasons for resistance became less and less logical. At the moment the only thing that annoys me is the large ZipCar logo that is on the side of the car (I am fine with the cute little one that is on the back/trunk.) However, the big logo is on the passenger side, so as the driver I rarely see it and pretend that it isn't there. This is seriously my only complaint about ZipCar, and it is a very lame one.

It isn't cheap to use this, but it is quite affordable and I would say a better deal than renting a car. I obviously was taking a long trip so was booking for a full day. The cost per day is slightly higher than what I would pay to rent a car but when you factor in that gas is included it is a great deal. It is also way easier than renting a car. From start to finish it was easy to understand and use the system of booking a car. I used the internet, phone app, and phone call at various times throughout my reservation and each one was efficient and user friendly. The reason I ended up calling in and using the app is that I extended my reservation so that I could bring the car back later. There really is only positive things to say about the whole thing. I completely recommend being a ZipCar member if you live in Toronto!

Mazda 3 Hatchback

I hated the car! This isn't really related to ZipCar, since the car was new, clean, and had very low mileage. It was just a terrible car. I picked it because I have driven Taylor's 'normal' Mazda 3 and loved it. (It goes zoomzoom.) The hatchback version is totally different. It had no pep and felt sluggish whenever I tried to accelerate. The sight-lines were terrible, I had huge blind spots to the point that it was scary to drive because I could not see what was happening around me. I have loved all other Mazdas that I have driven but I have never hated a car like I hated driving that one.

Final thoughts -- I can't want to use ZipCar again! However, I will never book a Mazda 3 Hatchback again.

Monday, 21 May 2012


I have always said that "I am honest to a fault." I think this statement pretty accurately depicts the paradox that is unflinching honesty. Tonight, while reading, I found a description that I think describes my situation perfectly.

"She was one of those people who are irrevocably, incurably honest and therefore both inflexible and vulnerable at the same time."
-- from "Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books" by Azar Nafisi

Thursday, 17 May 2012

A Better Email

I was very happy to find the following in my inbox yesterday:

From: Ryerson
To: Me
Sent: Wednesday, May 16, 2012 8:07 PM 
Subject: Eligibility to Graduate 

Dear Christine: 

On behalf of the Ryerson Community, we are pleased to extend our congratulations on your successful completion of all courses required to graduate with a Master of Arts - Literature of Modernity at the Spring 2012 Convocation. 

An official letter which includes your Convocation tickets has been sent to your mailing address. After you receive the official letter of eligibility and your Convocation tickets, you must confirm whether or not you will be attending the convocation ceremony by going to the RSVP website.

Again, congratulations on your success and we look forward to seeing you at convocation. 
The Office of Curriculum Advising, Ryerson University

This is MUCH better than the one I got 8 months ago in September. I knew early in September that my thesis was not finished and I would need to stay on at Ryerson for another semester to continue to work on it, however I had applied to graduate min-summer so they still reviewed the file. Even though I knew that I wasn't going to be graduating with the rest of my class in October, it was still pretty rough to read this email:

From: Ryerson 
To: Me
Sent: Wednesday, September 28, 2011 2:18 PM 
Subject: Application to Graduate 

Dear Christine: 

Your academic record has been carefully reviewed by the Office of Curriculum Advising. 

We regret to inform you that you did not meet Ryerson's graduation requirements as set out by Senate. You are therefore not eligible to graduate with a Master of Arts - Literature of Modernity at the Fall 2011 Convocation. 

 A formal copy of this email message has been mailed to your address. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your eligibility to graduate, please contact us immediately. We would like to assure you that your application was given every consideration, but recognize that we may have been unaware of all the factors concerning your academic record. 

We wish you every success in fulfilling the outstanding requirements. Please also remember that in order to be considered for graduation at the Spring 2012 Convocation, you must submit a new application to graduate between November 1st, 2011 and February 27th, 2012. 

The Office of Curriculum Advising, Ryerson University 

I am so glad to be finished with my Masters. It was a pretty awful year and a half for me; I barely made it through alive (literally). One of the many embarrassing things about taking an extra semester is that I am graduating when  NO ONE ELSE in my program is. I had assumed that I would have convocation with the following year's class, this coming October. However, I will be alone at the June ceremony, which means people from my department have to come to 'hood me'. I'm sure this is a pain for them, but I am very glad to be going through this final process to be completely done!

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

East Side!

Teri and I have just scraped the service of planning our July trip - but it is already getting both of us excited. We need to squeeze it into the middle of the month, between her trip with Greg to Europe and Mike & Aimee's wedding. It has turned into a road trip on the east side of the US, instead of a road trip on the west coast which would have involved a flight and rental car - trying to save some money. This is the rough outline of our route:

The main focus will be Boston and Washington - two major American cities that neither Teri nor I have been to. Both are supposed to be amazing and we will have to compare them Chicago, a city we both love.

We realized that the trip could take us through NYC and we are thinking of maybe staying there for a night. I have never been in the summer, and just love New York. It might also be good to visit The Hamptons for a day at the beach, see The Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, and do something in Baltimore (what do you do in Baltimore?) We also don't know the route we want to take home yet either. It can't be too long of a trip and we really are trying to keep the cost down, probably doing cheap motels on the road and hostels in the cities. Can't wait to work further on the planning; planning is one of the best parts of traveling!

Friday, 11 May 2012

Too Much Twitter?

I have it set up that my Tweets get posted as Facebook updates.

After telling Teri something that she had already read about on Facebook:
Teri: "Yeah, I saw that on your Twitter. Seriously, you are filling up my Facebook with all your status updates. There are so many! Sometimes I think I am on your page looking at your wall but then realize that I'm on my home page and you have just filled it up that much."
I have to agree that hate it when people post too many Facebook status updates, however the culture for Twitter is quite different. I have actually deleted people from Facebook because I found them updating too often. Now maybe people will do that to me. These two social media sites link together easily but their social cultures are not that compatible. 

Thursday, 10 May 2012

ANTM Live!

It was much anticipated - from advertisements online and on the TTC - and this past weekend, America's Next Top Model,  Live! Toronto finally came! For the month or two leading up to the event, despite following them on Twitter, signing up for newsletter style updates, and seriously exploring the website, neither Kristen nor I could figure out what the event was. Of course we bought tickets and went anyways.  Here is a run down of our experience :
-Because Word On The Street is part of Tourism Toronto, Kristen had a discount code so that we could save a bit of money on tickets.
-Given two options we paid a bit more for the VIP admission over the regular one
-Part of the appeal of the VIP admission was a swag bag, which according to the website, was to include a Pandora bracelet. Upon arrival at the event we discovered that this was an error on the part of the event company through a misunderstanding with the company.
-In general the event was not run very well. They had multiple stages but none of the scheduled shows ran on time, with one exception - the Main Stage show.
-The Main Stage show was awesome!! There were dancers that were incredible and a bunch of the contestants from the ANTM All-Stars season.
-Kristen bought sandals and I got a hair straightener - both were so much cheaper than having bought them out in the 'real world'
-We actually met some of the ANTM All-Stars and got their autographs. Kristen took some pictures so that we could send them to Taylor and her sister - who also watch the show.
-Browsed a lot of jewelry.
-It was determined that it was like a festival, trade-show, thing. Basically Word On The Street but for models.
We hope to go again next time it is in town - even though we don't fully understand the event.

Monday, 7 May 2012

J Got Off The Pot

It was a really busy weekend! Many things happened over the last couple of days. Sadly, one of them was that on Sunday afternoon J broke up with me. It was quite sudden and I did not see it coming. I feel like it was a brave move on his part. I think there were some good things about us as a couple but we were far from being a perfect match. I am finding myself glad that he had the strength to note this and end things. While I enjoyed J alot, I had been struggling to picture how we were going to work long term - a worry that I tended to ignore. I don't know if he worried about that as well, but more importantly the present wasn't working for him. As always, it is a bit sad when things like this are over, but I'm resilient and find myself taking it all in stride.

After the breakup I noticed that it had occurred just one day before our 'official' 3 month anniversary. I felt like I knew that was an important milestone. I now struggle to find any statistics to back that feeling up. For example, I know at one point I saw a chart of divorce rates by length of marriage and there were real spikes at certain times, like 7 years, or 11 or something, and then around the point when children would have left the home but again I can't find any of that information now either. Well, I think I have determined that my feelings around the relevance of 3 months of dating comes from the movie Waiting with Ryan Reynolds:
Monty: What's going on with you and Amy? So how long have you two been...
Dean: Three months.
Monty: Shit or get off the pot time. Are you gonna talk to her or hope you're never forced to make an actual decision? 
Dean: I'm going with option "B". 
Monty: That's my boy. 
In the movie the situation is a little different, I think they had been dating for three months and needed to decide it they were going to make the move to being 'boyfriend and girlfriend' or something. Basically I need to stop basing my relationship knowledge on low-budget comedies from 2005, no matter how hot the lead actor is. (See image.) Live and learn. Live and learn.

Testing - Testing - 1 - 2 - 3

This is my first attempt posting to Always Standing from my phone!  I downloaded the Blogger app a couple of months ago but never got around to using it. It looks as though I can add links and pictures - but I'll figure that out later. For now just being able to write a general post will be nice. My laptop is so messed up that I hate using it at home and work is so busy, I would never be able to post from there, even during lunch break there isn't really time. Hopefully this will allow for a few more posts a month.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

A Moody Boyfriend For Two

As I have mentioned before, Kristen and I have determined that Two speaks with a French accent. It was perfect that Anna sent me the video below. I love it. I want Two to date this adorable morose cat. Anna thought it was hilarious, and it reminded her of me, because the man speaking the French is not very good and has a terrible accent. I, of course, thought it sounded fine and find the clip hilarious for other reasons. Have a look:

Thursday, 3 May 2012

A Poem To My Readers

Should I write you a poem?
Or sing you a song?
Need to write something
So, you'll just read along

This blog is a gateway
Great way to reach friends
It is so easy to do
No need to find pens

Can't think of what to write
Original content is so hard
Stealing shit from Twitter
And none of it's avant-guard

When the ideas do flow
It's hard to find the time
To sit and write them down
But at least today they rhyme

I am really trying to write
And know I should post every day
Just please stay to read it

And don't ever go away

-- Christine Sweeton, 2012

Wednesday, 2 May 2012


----- from Twitter

Grammar: The difference between knowing your shit and knowing you're shit.