Friday, 31 January 2014

I Want Stocks

My family has never shied away from the stock market - even though at one point there was a lot invested in Norton which then totally tanked. However, it was something that my parents dealt with, with our financial adviser. Well, Mike has decided to venture into it all himself. He already owns some real estate and probably other investments, so it makes sense for him to diversify. It is also pretty exciting. Mike is a bit of an emotional investor so started off with companies he connected with, Twitter and Tesla. Now he is branching further out as he gets more of the hang of using the app on his phone that does his trading. He is using Questrade, which I hope to get soon and start using too. I haven't mentioned it yet on Always Standing, but I did visit the site a couple of weeks ago to check out how it worked, the fees, etc. Well, they must have attached a cookie or something because now every time I visit Always Standing Questrade is being advertised. The internet is creepy sometimes.

Thursday, 30 January 2014


I thought I was losing my mind
I was - It is gone now

Mental breakdown
Too many tears

From my dad
From work
From depression

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Where Is My Shirt?

My morning routine is not well organized, in fact it is not organized at all. I never do things in the same order and often I don't even do the same things - for example I don't have a bath every morning. However, lately I have been putting my shirt in the kitchen (either on the kitchen table or stove) then I put it on right before I leave. This is because one of the last things I like to do before I go is brush my teeth and if I get toothpaste on my tank top it doesn't matter because I am covering it with a shirt. Well, you can see where this story is going, I forgot to put on my shirt today. I got to work, unzipped my winter coat and saw that I was just wearing a tank top, more like a camisole, it was skimpy and lacy. It wouldn't have been work appropriate in the summer let alone in the winter. I spent the day wrapped in a big pashmina scarf that I had with me but it wasn't good. I am losing my mind!

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

A Lot Of People Get It Wrong

In honour of the fact that it's Bell Talk Day I thought I would post a link to this really well written article that I read the other day about depression. Firstly, the article is written by a guy which is a side of depression that isn't widely discussed - I loved when Movember added Men's Mental Health to its mandate. Secondly, it tackles some pretty big myths. Read 5 Facts Everyone Gets Wrong About Depression by Mark Hill on - HERE.

Monday, 27 January 2014

Big Changes

--------- from a poster
Thank you to Erin AH for sharing this with me.

"Making a big life change is pretty scary.
But, know what's even scarier?

Sunday, 26 January 2014

He Knows Me Well

Sunday Mornin' Coming Down - A post about my Dad each Sunday, named after a song that he loved.

This is the last gift I got from my father. (Mom told me the story quickly and it was a month ago.) So, I gather, after my parents finished the cruise they took in the fall, they were in a Duty Free shop. My dad found a big section of the tiny sample-size bottles of alcohol. He went through and picked out a selection for Mike, Jason, and I for Christmas.

He got me Smirnoff Vodka in two different flavours, Orange and Citrus (Lemon, I guess.)

Dad always had a bunch of these little bottles of various types around, Mum considers it one of his collections but I don't think it was really an official one. Unlike Dad, I actually like to drink it. So, last night at Kristen's Birthday party I took them in my purse and enjoyed them in some Coke Zero. (Yes, that is a strange mix choice but it worked.)

In a creepy turn of events, these ended up being presents from 'beyond the grave.' Mom remembered the selections Dad had picked for each of us and wrapped them up for Christmas, 'From Dad,' even though he had died just less than a month before. From what I can remember of Christmas, which was quite a blur, Mike and I each also got a metal water bottle that Dad had specifically picked out for us in the Fall. Also, Aunty Laura told me that the pajama's that Santa gave me were very similar to the ones that my Dad was looking at in Costco back in September when he was shopping with her. Dad often got me pajamas, at various times in the year when I needed them, and he always did a good job picking them out. But I guess nice fuzzy black ones I got at Christmas will be the last pair from him. I think I will wear them tonight, see if their coziness makes me feel any better.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

So Tiny

Don't worry, I wasn't going to keep all of Caterday so depressing. So here is something cute:

Jason with Rasta!
In the office.
Photo by Me


An interesting take on Caterday, I recently read a really good article (on Buzzfeed) about the reasons a catcall isn't a compliment.

"Catcalls are directives — Turn around! Come talk to me! Let me see that smile!— which assume at their most basic level an ownership of the woman being catcalled. These aren’t innocuous or playful requests; they are symptoms of entitlement, and messages that women don’t deserve control over their own bodies."

Written by Arianna Rebolini, you can read the full list/article HERE.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Follow By Email

Look Left! You can follow Always Standing by email. Mom does this with her blog, so I have added the feature as well. I don't know what it will do for stats (Google Analytics) since it would mean people read it in their email and not on the site, or maybe it just sends a notification when a new post comes up and then you still have to come here to read it. Either way, sign up! Like all notification email things, I am sure that it has an unsubscribe if it gets annoying. Especially since I am trying to post everyday. Though getting it emailed may expose those days when I do multiple posts and back date them. (Shhh, you didn't hear that.)

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Things To Like

Being buzzed, sitting in the back of a cab
Watching the city blur by

When a fart rolls up the front
Until you think about it, then it's just gross

Cool water out of a metal container
Fresh water scooped in hands from a faucet

The sound of crunching snow under boots 
Until nose hairs stand on end, from the cold

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Where Did The Week Go?

So, I still haven't sent out an email to get the whole Friends Update started. But I do like Teri, ERin, and my mom's suggestions for questions. So I will be incorporating those too.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Found It Yesterday!

Item Lost: My January Metropass (worth $118)
Time Lost: Friday December 20
Last Place I Remember: On my desk at home
Place Found: In the little red leather pouch that I use to keep my chapstick in, in my purse

So I keep finding things that I lose in my purse. I am glad that I can stop using tokens and will at least get the last 11 days of the month on this pass.

Monday, 20 January 2014

19 Things Only Geminis Understand

------------------ from Buzzfeed
Note: I am a Gemini, a lot of these are true for me.

1. You can get SUPER SUPER excited about ANY idea, so long as it’s not more than a few seconds old.

2. You will strike up conversations with just about anybody, you can’t help it, you want to know everyone’s story. You will strike up conversations with just about anybody, you can't help it, you want to know everyone's story.

3. Though sometimes, you can get on too much of a roll while chatting.

4. You want to hang out with everyone, but you sometimes forget that’s not humanly possible.

5. Being home sick on a weekend is just the worst thing that could ever happen to you.

6. You’re obsessively curious about everything, so your Google search history is… fun. You’re not creepy, you just want to know all the things. You’re also a little creepy.

7. You’ve bought a ton of daily deals that you’ve never used.

8. Your room is a mess because everything you own is in the last place you were standing right before you lost interest in it.

9. You’re very eager to start text and Gchat conversations, but you’re not really good at remembering to end them.

10. You’re so excited to hang out that you frequently over-schedule yourself.

11. You have started and then abandoned at least 3 blogs.

12. There are two very different sides to you, and sometimes it can freak people out.

13. On the one hand, you approach a party with the same level of dedication that some people approach their PhDs.

14. But the other side of you is seriously focused and ready to take on that 40 page report or really get serious about updating their twitter.

15. Just when everyone thinks that you’re having a good time, you can just as quickly want to go home.

16. Your friends may sometimes think you’re unsympathetic to their problems because you have a hard time not seeing both sides of the story. You just really want to understand where everyone is coming from.

17. But you’re the person everyone calls whenever they want to take an impromptu trip to anywhere. Which means it’s sometimes super difficult for you to get anything done.

18. Because you’re so fickle, online dating is perfect for you and terrible for the people trying to date you.

19. But even though you may seem hot and cold, you’re really just two halves of the same person, which means you can be a good fit for everybody!

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Action Movies

Sunday Mornin' Coming Down - A post about my Dad each Sunday, named after a song that he loved.

I missed my dad a lot this week. I keep hearing radio commercials for Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, an action movie that is in theaters right now. It is the most recent movie featuring the Jack Ryan character created by Tom Clancy. It is the fifth in the Jack Ryan film series. Chris Pine stars and is the fourth actor to play Ryan, following Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, and Ben Affleck. Dad liked Tom Clancy, he even read a few of the novels. I am sad that he is going to miss this one.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Kitten Tomorrow

Mom is coming to Toronto tomorrow because we are going to James' shower. She is having a little girl and I am so excited for all the pink. Everyone has boys (Taylor, Kiyomi, Kristen's sister, Jason's sister has 3). So happy for James and her husband and looking forward to seeing lots of tiny girly baby clothes tomorrow.

I know that it is Caterday but tomorrow Mom is also bringing Rasta! So, I will get some good pictures of him, hopefully introduce him to Two and report back next Saturday.

Friday, 17 January 2014

I Just Feel Like It

Tonight I want to write. Fiction. Just a short piece that maybe I can lengthen later.

There are so many other things that I should be doing instead:
- applying for jobs
- sweeping the living room
- putting away laundry
- cleaning the kitchen
- working out

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Strawberry Shots

----------------------  from Facebook
I want to try these! I would probably make them as Strawberry Daiquiri since it is a waste of tequila to put it in jello. Kristen is having a birthday soon and wants to have a couple of people over for a pot-luck - I think I will bring these!
Though, I bet it is like most things on the internet and it looks way easier and prettier than reality.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Questions For Friends

So I had been planning for Wednesdays to be posts with updates about my friends - who are all doing amazing things with their lives and I find that sometimes I slack off with graduation, marriage, baby, and job change congratulations on Always Standing.

Anyway, I haven't started to prepare for doing this yet. However, I plan to email people a list of questions so that I can use their answers to form the posts each week. I would gather the most interesting facts to share to let everyone catch up on what the person has done lately.

Here are some ideas for questions I could ask:
- Current city.
- Current job.
- Dream job.
- Family/relationship status.
- Recent achievement that you are proud of.
- Where was the last great trip taken? When? With who?
- Event in 2014 you are most looking forward to.

Any other ideas for what I could add to my 'friend survey' before I send it out to people?

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

The New Kitten

Mom got a kitten. I thought she was going to foster one so as to not make such a large/long commitment but she went online, found some that were 'free to a good home' and fell for this guy. I can't wait to meet him! He is about 8 weeks old, so we are saying his birthday is November 19. He is pretty skinny at this point. You can see more pictures and read about him on my Mom's Blog.

Monday, 13 January 2014

This Is True

"Did you know? Canada is 50% the letter A."

-------- from Stats Canada: Satire on a National Scale, the very amusing book Kristen gave me for Christmas.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

The Last Texts From My Dad

Sunday Mornin' Coming Down - A post about my Dad each Sunday, named after a song that he loved.

Dad was never very good with cell phones and he never got the hang of texting. His phone didn't have a full keyboard so that did make it more difficult. I need to delete a bunch of cell phone conversations and pictures from my own cell, since it is old and doesn't have much storage space. I thought I would put the last texts I got from him up on Always Standing so that I keep a copy. These were sent in October (about a month before he died.) I think it was during the time him and Mom came to Toronto to help Jason and I paint our bedroom. I worked during the day.

Punctuation, spacing, etc. remains intact.
Me: Can you come get me.? Text me when you get here.
Dad: Ok leave in     ten mins. Dad
Dad: Gmm
Dad: Gmm

Saturday, 11 January 2014

"Izz Back"

Two has returned! She was staying with Mom for the last month and a half - see Mom's post about it HERE. She is still in the 'ignoring you, who are you again?' stage. She hasn't been sleeping on the bed, coming to sit with us, greeting us in the door, or coming when she is called. She is a bit nicer to Jason, than she is to me and she did let me brush her for a bit today. However, in general we are still in her bad books for some reason and she doesn't want to have anything to do with us.

Friday, 10 January 2014

A Commute Comparison

Monday's commute to work on the TTC:
- wake up late, the snooze button is my friend
- feeling tired and sad
- dreading returning to work after the holidays
- look all over the house for pieces of clothes, that may or may not be clean
- outfit feels uncomfortable and unattractive
- grab a few grapes on my way out the door
- so insanely cold outside; feet, fingers, and face freeze
- have to walk slow because the ice on the sidewalk is terrible
- unable to find my metropass in my purse
(kind streetcar driver lets me on anyway)
- continued frantic search for metropass proves fruitless
- not enough change to pay the fare when I transfer to the bus
- an attempt to break a $20 bill at McDonalds fails due to their lack of change
- wait forever for a Dufferin bus, many come but there isn't room
- crowded bus arrives and I have to squeeze in
(kind bus drive lets me on after only paying $2.25 instead of $3)
- bus and/or crowd of people smell awful
- floor of bus is covered in water and slush; bus is warm, making me sweat
- had to bring second pair of socks for the commute home, feet are soaked
- high school students talk incessantly, about nothing
(I do get a seat after the mass exit at Dufferin Station)
- sitting on a sideways seat squished between two people
- purse and lunchbag on my lap, the bulk is adding to the heating and sweating
- bus is announced to short turn at Queen
- scramble for phone to text my boss that I might be late due to the short walk
(the walk up the hill to work ends up being fast, nice, and refreshing)
- forgot to wear the new watch I got for Christmas
- hat hair
- dress shoes kept at work are in worse shape than I remembered
- fan in the office is making a loud and distracting noise but is on too high a shelf for me to reach
(when I get my computer turned out, I find out that I did arrive in time, a couple minutes to spare actually)

Friday's commute to work on the TTC:
- wake up after hitting the snooze button a couple of times
- feeling refreshed, healthy, and awake
- a basic but cute outfit can be made from the pile of clean laundry piled on my desk
- enjoy some canned peaches
- warm but still softly snowing outside
- a light sprinkle of snow of the roads and sidewalk that has yet to turn to slush
- streetcar arrives moments after I get to the stop
- a TTC token in my pocket, replaced by a transfer on the streetcar
- streetcar is clean and travels down St. Clair West quickly
- someone walks by and I catch a brief scent of nice perfume/cologne 
- I daydream but still manage to catch my proper stop and get off without issue
(miss a mostly empty bus that passes me as I approach the stop)
- a quick transfer with no waiting, a bus comes quickly and I can get on
- after a few stops I am able to walk to the back of the bus and stand out of the way
- the bus nearly empties at Dufferin Station, I get a seat and few people get on
- bus driver negotiates the busy street smoothly, the bus is quiet 
- a double seat to myself, I can see people walking dogs out of the window
- lots of squirrels in the big park
- the driver opens the back doors for me just as I reach them
- walking to my building I pass some nice infrastructure projects we have been working on and they look good
- run into the building's superintendents, have a nice walk-and-talk
- watch Jason gave me says I'm 15 minutes early
Needless to say, I had a good commute today!

Thursday, 9 January 2014

The Trick Is To Be Regular

I have decided that in order to meet my goal of posting every day in 2014, then it would be best to have some 'regular features' on a Always Standing. I have had these things before, for instance: Salad Club became a Thursday feature for a little while, and whenever I go away themes pop up naturally.

The one's I am thinking about right now are:
Mid-Week Update - I was thinking that I mention friends off and on Always Standing and I could provide some little updates about what people are up to, where they are now, etc. I don't have 52 friends, so this can't last weekly for the whole year, but could get me started for the first few months.
Caterday - A post about, or from the perspective of Two every Saturday. Or maybe just a picture of her being adorable, she is pretty easy to take pictures of because she is adorable all the time!
Sunday Mornin' Coming Down - A post about my Dad each Sunday, named after a song that he loved.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Not Every Day In 2013

Reviewing my New Years Resolution from 2013 about blogging and I did not fulfill it. I had decided pretty early on that instead of trying to blog every single day in 2013, I would do 6 days a week and allow myself to skip one day. Well that would mean about 312 posts last year, and if you look on the left-hand side, I only did 234. It was a big improvement from the previous few years, but it still isn't up to pre-2010 standards and I have yet to ever have a year that Always Standing has more than 365 posts. If you look at the breakdown, like all resolutions, I start strong and then have a weak June and off and on weak months after that.

So, I am trying again - My resolution then is to BLOG EVERY DAY IN 2014 so that the number beside it reads at least 365 by this time next year. And again, this will hopefully, up my readership, mean more comments, improve my writing, and better document my life. (A reread of last year's post and it says "document this amazing year that I plan to have" and this time I am not going to make near as bold a statement.)

Speaking of blogging...
Remember to regularly check out the two blogs listed in My Links:
- Mom's Travel Blog - She recently did a great post reflecting about her first year of blogging and I really agree that it becomes more about doing it for yourself than for others - however, I am still the type of writer that lives for the comments. Unless she is travelling and using vicarious travelling as a daily diary, then mom is posting a little more than once a week.
- Steph's Photo Blog - She has always been good and seems to be getting better and better! With Stephanie Beach Photography taking off the way it is, I was worried that Steph's blog would become less personal, but it hasn't. She posts about once a week, a combination of client shots and personal ones.

Also, check out the funny writings of my GeoConnections' Girls:
They don't quite post enough or consistently enough to show up on My Links yet, but when they do bring something to the internet it is always amazing!
- Generic Blonde Musings - ERin's blog started back in the summer and follows her life back in Edmonton. She spent a couple of years in Ottawa but has moved back west again.
- Whispering Swede Nothings - Anne's blog to document her time in Sweden as she works on her Masters. She has always had the funnest posts, even previously on her personal blog. Also Sweden seems crazy. It looks like Anne is posting about twice a month or so.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Chilled By The Wind

In true Canadian fashion, I am going to talk about the weather. My social media has been filled with pictures and comments about the crazy snow and ice in Southern Ontario for the past few days. Even though I was talking about how cold it is here less than a month ago, I thought I would post this report from The Weather Network:
There is also a Wind Chill Alert that has been issued by Environment Canada:
Extreme wind chills from minus 30 to minus 40 today and tonight. Frigid and strong westerly winds are producing widespread dangerous wind chills of minus 30 to minus 40 today and tonight. Extreme caution is advised for people heading outdoors. Exposed skin may freeze in less than 5 minutes. Moreover, it is also suggested to help prevent freezing of pipes in buildings, one could turn on the lowest tap in the house and let it run as a pencil-thin stream or fast drip while keeping indoor temperatures a little warmer at night. Wind chills will improve slowly on Wednesday as temperatures rise slowly and winds finally begin to ease.

Puncuation Matters

----------- from Monica, found in a magazine in a plane

Let's eat Grandma
Let's eat, Grandma
Commas save lives.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Resolutions For 2014

This year I am going to try to take better care of....
My Body
(exercise, eat better, moisturize, etc.)
My Apartment
(keep it tidy, organize the kitchen, clean etc.)
My Boyfriend
(listen, more massages, cook, etc.)

Sunday, 5 January 2014

New Years Eve Is Now

Since work starts tomorrow, tonight feels like a less intense New Years Eve. I won't be staying up until midnight but I have started to think about my resolutions. Being away from the office for the last two weeks has been a nice break from responsibility. Today we had to go grocery shopping and it was one of the larger trips we have had. The power outage, time spent at The Cottage over the holidays and our recent trip to Ottawa has meant there was no food in the house. I am feeling ready to move forward and start 2014, last year had some terrible moments. I don't want to dwell on them so instead I will list some great things about 2013.

2013 Included:
- Jason moving in
- Kristen & Noah's Wedding
- Huge birthday weekend at The Cottage
- Stampede!