Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Computer trouble

I have to post it because it makes me laugh - I want to post it in my office and just tap it when someone shows up with a silly question. You should do the same.

This is from the great webcomic xkcd (though I admit it's often too 'techie' for me to get, even when I follow the above flow chart).

Monday, September 28, 2009

Project #1 – What I miss about Toronto (second installment)

iv) Friends
When I first moved to Toronto, I didn't know a soul apart from the aunt and uncle I was staying with (in Mississauga, of all places). This, paired with the fact that networking is not exactly my forte, meant my first few weeks in the Big Smoke were quite lonely. I was fairly miserable, to be quite honest, and I hated the city as a result.

But slowly my quiet brand of fun and sparkling wit infiltrated the minds and hearts of those around me. I moved into the city proper with some great folks and forged some solid, amazing friendships that continue to flourish eight years later. I am thankful that they are the type of friendships that don't falter much through long lulls, and I have a feeling we'll be able to pick up where we left off when we do have to opportunity to get together.

Stay in touch. I miss you.

v) Ease of Getting Around
There were many, many times the TTC let me down - usually when I was in a hurry or trying to get to a Christmas party during a snowstorm (bbrrrrrr) or realized I was stranded in the wee hours after the subway shut down. Yet I remained fairly constant in my TTC fandom despite these setbacks, for the simple reason that I could get anywhere in the city with (usually) minimal effort or expense.

Toronto is also a very walkable city. From my home I could easily walk to multiple grocery stores, liquor stores, restaurants, libraries, parks and shopping. Coupled with the TTC I rarely felt the lack of a vehicle. I grew up outside a small town in Nova Scotia, where we had to drive for anything and everything. This caused me to feel rather trapped growing up, and is likely a contributing factor to the almost complete lack of friendships that have lasted from that detached era. Moving to a non-vechicle-focussed life was freeing.

I now find myself in a semi-car dependant situation - though it is far from a complete reversion, thankfully. I can still walk to work, to groceries, etc etc., but Halifax just feels like a driving city. I've already driven more in four months than I did over eight years in Toronto. And with the prospect of buying a house looming in the Spring, this will likely only increase.

vi) Recycling
Halifax doesn't recycle. It's gross.

There is a recycling program in place, but it is so convaluted and irrational that it is practically useless. So no one uses it.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

To Read

I always have a 'to read' list going - often on scraps of paper that get forgotten or misplaced. So I've decided to keep a running list here, which is posted at the bottom of the page. I will remove things as I read them, and will comment here on whether or not it was a worthwhile venture.

I am certainly open to recommendations, if you've got them.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Project #1 – What I Miss About Toronto (first installment)

Just to clarify, these are in no particular order. I am actually drawing them out of a hat (though it's less of a hat, more of a desk drawer)

i) The Toronto Public Library
My neighborhood in Toronto had two fabulous libraries (one of them a Carnegie!) within easy walking distance: Riverdale Branch and Pape/Carlaw. And not only did I have access to the literary bounty within their walls, but to the entire TPL system - a world of information ordered to my doorstep. The website meant I had thousands (tens of thousands!) of books at my easy disposal - but DVDs and CDs as well. I went years without paying a movie rental fee, and the extensive catalogue of music meant I was able to sample many great bands I'd heard of but not enough to committ to a CD purchase. Free! Thank you, TPL for giving me Mother Mother, Great Lake Swimmers, Diableros, Luke Doucet, Golden Dogs . . .

* I have yet to get a Halifax library card, and they are not making it easy. This does not bode well for our relationship.

ii) The Prince Edward Viaduct
More specifically, that moment of the TTC ride home where you emerge from the tunnel darkness into the fleeting, floating space above the Don Valley. Many a sour post-work attitude was spoiled by that hit of sunshine and freedom, especially when I imagined the frustrated faces of the Parkway drivers as I flew overhead.

iii) Food and Drink: the LCBO magazine
The free LCBO magazine. I regret not keeping more copies when I moved. There were always great recipe ideas and interesting articles, and I eagerly awaited each new edition That's why I went to the LCBO so often, dontchaknow.

The Maritimes has the 'Occasions' publication, but it is a poor substitute.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Project #2 – What I Don’t Miss About Toronto

I did mention that what Toronto and I have is a ‘love-hate’ relationship. We didn’t always get along, didn’t always see eye to eye. Sometimes one of us was just a little too crowded, a little too smelly, or a little too controlling for the comfort of the other.

I give you Project #2: the things I am glad to have left behind.

Project #1 – What I Miss About Toronto

I have recently returned to Nova Scotia after almost eight years in Toronto. Eight years (!!) was certainly longer than I anticipated at the outset (especially considering I hated Toronto at first), and longer than I’ve lived anywhere since I left my parent’s home. I found that as I settled into the city time just flew by.

As time passed, Toronto and I developed a sort of love-hate relationship with one another. Thankfully, the love won out on most occasions and the City and I were able to work our way through the rough patches. Toronto just had so much to offer – especially to someone of my small-town origin but big-city dreams – there was no point fighting it for long.

That said, I am not sorry about my recent repatriation to the East Coast. I feel it was bound to happen eventually – I am a salty girl. Also, I love beer and fish cakes (and waves, samphire greens, tide pools, and my family). It turned into a whirlwind move where everything tumbled into place at the last minute, and I don’t regret it (hopefully I can still make this statement a year from now).

I did have my reservations, of course. Halifax looks painfully, depressingly small when viewed from the bustle of Toronto. I have embraced my new ‘city’ to the best of my ability. So much so that I don’t find I yearn for my Toronto life and its hullabaloo nearly as much as I had anticipated. Weird, huh?

But there are things that I miss, of course. And so I give you Project #1: trying to express some of the things I do miss about Toronto. Some of these are pretty obvious and boring, admittedly, but hopefully not all of them.

Thanks for your time, Toronto. I have no intention of forgetting our time together.

The birth of makeworkproject

Yes, I have started a blog. Does this mean I am slowly becoming the kind of person I scoff at? A ‘blogger’ (a group I had always brushed with one sweeping stroke of neediness, attention-whoring, pretention and self-indulgence) was certainly not something I thought I would ever identify myself as. I may as well buy skinny jeans, take a modern dance class, or wear teetering heels on cobblestone streets. But obviously this (at least the blog part) has changed.

Blogs slowly started creeping into my internet ‘favourites’ list about a year ago, with my mild stalking of a local craft shop. I have recently discovered that blogs now make up the majority of my bookmarks, as I am inspired and awed by like-minded individuals in crafting, track the thoughts of compatriots in my occupational field, and drool over gorgeous food porn.

There are still many things I dislike about the whole blogging trend – the bad poetry, prose and other demonstrations of ‘superior’ writing skills, the assumption that everyone in the webiverse will want to read your musings, or the documentation of every miniscule (non-)event in your life. Ugh. Not that there is anything wrong with that, exactly – but I will continue to roll my eyes in your general direction, silly bloggers.

That said, I make no claims that makeworkproject will be any less irrelevant or self-indulgent. I will be upfront about this from the get-go. This is for me. An outlet. It is a project to make me work (look – the name!) and to get me writing again. It will also document other projects I am working on – sewing, cooking, being ridiculous, etc. For my benefit (I honestly don’t think anyone else will be interested in reading makeworkproject).

Also, there will be random tidbits of information you couldn’t possibly care less about.

There – now I’m rolling my eyes at myself.