Tuesday, November 27, 2007


You know the times in your life when you are so stressed out you cease to function? Brain activity slows, decisions are hard to make, you feel sick in the pit of your stomach all the time, your limbs feel weak and trembly, and you would like to cry, but you can't even work up the conviction for that?

Yes, well, I'm not quite there, but I'm pretty damn close. Must close off some of my outstanding responsibilities before I collapse. And no more new ones!!! At least not for a while.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Lots of fun

The weekend in TO was lots of fun. Friday night we went down to the Reservoir to listen to Big Rude Jake perform (although it was in another incarnation - they still played some classic Big Rude Jake songs, along with a few old standards). Drinks were remarkably expensive, so I stopped at one, and I lindy hopped around the tiny dance floor with Ben and Yves multiple times (trying not to run over the one or two stand and grope couples). The music was very good, and Ben was kind enough to gift me with all three of the CDs available for sale. I've been listening to them ever since, and they are very enjoyable indeed.

The Saturday classes were perhaps a bit too easy, although Joel and Alison had a very interesting approach to teaching the Balboa basic, which made it entertaining. The dance scene in Toronto is a little weird to me, since they sell alcohol and other drinks - it meant that many of the men stood around with drinks in their hands when they weren't dancing, making them effectively very hard to ask to dance. Strange. But I had many good dances with interesting partners, and was surprised on many occasions, which is definitely the point of going and dancing in another city - it's nice to expand my follow horizions once in a while.

Sunday classes were more challenging, but all doable, and I'm looking forward to trying out some of the variations I can do autonomously on the Ottawa dance floor. I'm also looking forward to trying to teach some of my guy friends a few of the moves - that way I'll have someone to do them with.

We lucked out and had amazing food for our entire stay in Toronto. We stuffed ourselves silly at Saturday lunch at a Japanese/Korean restaurant (I think we got special treatment and extra food because Mi-Young spoke to the waitress in Korean), and then had fabulous Thai food at a little restaurant near Ben's place. Sunday lunch was goat roti - very tasty, though I ended up taking half of mine home and having it for lunch on Monday.

I mostly succeeded in suppressing my instinct to feel responsible (and therefore anxious) for how much Yves and Mi-Young were enjoying the weekend. It was great to see Ben again too - he has a nice apartment now, in a great location and very quiet, plus we all met his cat Sage for the first time. She may only be 8 months old, but she's huge already, and a very determined laser-pointer chaser. Ah, I remember when my two were that young :-)

Friday, November 16, 2007

Off to TO

Dance, dance, dance!

just got to get through the many hours of driving, and the weekend will be glorious! (if exhausting)

I'll be back to tell you how much fun it was next week :-)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

How Sensible!

Congrats to the Ottawa City Council!

They are reopening the intersection of Albion Rd and Leitrim to North/South traffic. Of course, it's too late to do me much good - now that Karen no longer lives south of the city I'm vastly less likely to need to go through that intersection - but I'm still pleased that common sense has finally reigned supreme.

Keeping that intersection closed punishes the people who live in that neighbourhood - it makes their businesses and homes harder to access. There's not really any reason to go through that intersection if you aren't going to the immediate neighbourhood - for going downtown there are far better routes (like the airport parkway).


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Own Your _Own_ Decisions!

I'm just saying. You have to figure out what things in life you get to decide, and take charge of those. But don't get caught up making your decisions based on what you think other people are going to / have decided about their own lives. You shouldn't be deciding for them based on your assumptions about what they feel.

It's an easy thing to do - to cut off possibilities because you think "that other person surely doesn't want to do x." But it isn't the right thing to do.

After all, how will you know unless you ask them?

Friday, November 09, 2007

Out of My Shell

Anyway, I'd like to be. I spend quite a lot of time reading various opinion pieces on the economy, and on government and so on. I'd like to think that I'm taking enough of that information in to have something to say.

So, my current take?

Cutting the GST is not an effective tax choice. What our society needs right now is more saving, not more spending. Don't reduce the disincentive to spend - give me more power to save, by cutting income taxes.

And while we're on the topic of income taxes, start using them to build infrastructure for future economic health. We need fast and effective communication and transportation channels across the country, and I'm suspicious that fleets of heavy trucks are not the solution over the long term. Even if they were, we'd need to invest in maintaining/improving our highway system.

Finally, where's the communication? I don't just want to hear about the government's final decisions, handed down to me in the form of a throne speech, or a budget. Give me some frank talk that proves that you the government understand the choices you're making, that you have weighed all sides of any given topic before making decisions on how to address it.

And another thing - attack ads are disgusting. Period. I don't care which party you are. Talk to me about the issues. Prove to me you have a brain, a policy group worth listening to, and a plan for running my country.

Of course I'm hearing a lot more Conservative attack ads at the moment, since they're bombarding my radio station with their stupid "It's difficult to make priorities" advertisement. Guess they really thought there would be an election this fall, huh.

If you're willing to take a 3 second clip out of context, every person on this planet could be made to look stupid, indecisive, obstructive, or any other negative quality you cared to portray. Much easier to tear someone down in 3 seconds than to do the other thing.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Or not

Woke up this morning to a remarkable lack of warmth... stupid furnace. None of the obvious things are wrong - light switch controlling power to the furnace is still on, circuit breaker still on, gas still coming into the house... couldn't find the pilot light to check it (though I'm informed by my work colleagues that if I'd taken the panel off the furnace I'd have found it easily enough).

Of course, if it is as simple as the pilot light going off, I'll have to be upset at the service company, since I asked them whether there was anything else I could check. We'll see - they're supposed to be out between noon and 2pm.

I want to be warm!