Sunday, February 26, 2012

My darling friend Katy wrote a wonderful blog post earlier this evening. Quite frankly, her transformation of late has been quite impressive.

Let's see. As for me *shuffles papers* it says here, no, wait, not that page. The one with... oh, here it is. It says here that I've gotten precisely *reads*... "nothing" done. Yes, nothing. That feels about right. Time to rewrite this list to include about 80 instances of scratching my butt or burping.

At any rate, I'm not as graceful as Katy, so I'll just say it: I'm not sorry. So there. Here's what's been happening.

I met a new friend through one of my online dating sites. He's an Italian exchange student who is in Canada to work on his doctorate and wanted to make some friends while he is here. I've spent the last seven weekends with him, and this coming weekend will be our last. Just today, we went downtown for a poutine. On Friday, we'll be going to a Raptors game. When he came here, he had a list of his own that he wanted to accomplish. We crossed most of his stuff off of his list together. The only thing we didn't get to do was go canoeing, but that's only because I hadn't met him when it was still warm. We have been dating, but we both know that it's not going to continue after he leaves. We both want different things, and are headed in different directions. I'm really grateful for the time I've been able to spend with him, though. I've never dated with an end-date in mind, or lived as spontaneously as I have been with him, or helped someone learn how to speak English (even if I was a poor teacher).

I just realized I lied. Not about the Italian; he really does exist. I did complete a thing. I had a dinner party in my new apartment - Number 24: Host a Dinner Party. I'd started hanging out with my stepmom's friends more often, in an attempt to complete Number 47. It was the middle of winter, and I made chili (which could have used more spice). We ended up chatting (as usual) and drinking way too much wine (also as usual) way into the evening. It was quite lovely. And they brought me lovely house-warming gifts.

As for work, I've recently applied for a permanent version of the same job I have right now at the same place I am right now. The big change this would mean for me is a few hundred extra a week and benefits (which means I can use my dental/prescription/emergency reserves for something else). Plus, the security of it being permanent. I'm quite nervous about it. The group I work for has to perform everything competitively; they can't just give me the job. It all sounds fair, until it's you in this position. Then it's all "this is a waste of resources! You're just going to hire me anyways... right?" I've been studying lately. The studying never seems to end. It will be nice when I finally have a desk I can really call my own.

I still find it a little funny when I think of myself in high school, doodling in the margins of my horribly beaten notebook, and writing notes to friends about how I'm never going to work in a cubicle, because I'm an artist, man. Now, I just want the cubicle, so that I can spend my time outside of it not worrying about if I can enjoy it or not. I guess that high school girl still exists (lord knows here awful eating habits do), and I take comfort in the fact that I don't find office humour funny. I almost snapped on a guy last week starting a sentence with "have you seen that Dilbert where..."

There's hope for me yet.

I do plan on revamping my list, though. There's a lot of things that need to be removed and replaced, and I'm still only at 72 items right now! I took an oil painting class that I'm going to add retroactively to the list (is that cheating?), and I think I'm going to add "explore my square whatsits" to my list, given that I'm in the city now. Any other suggestions? Please leave them in the comments!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Thing 16 - My own place

Well, it's official. I moved into my own place this past Saturday. Immediately after I was finished moving in, I felt ill. My parents had been sick for the past week, and I told my body it just wasn't going to happen, so it didn't. As soon as it knew it was okay to get sick, it did. Instead of unpacking and tidying on Sunday, I went to walmart and grabbed a couple of things sick people need (soup, juice, tylenol) and then I spent the rest of the day in bed with a cup of tea and a copy of James and the Giant Peach. It was glorious, in its own right. By the way, it should be noted that walmart is not busy on a Sunday morning. Normally, I'm nervous driving a cart through there, but not this time.

I thought I was going to feel sad and lonely immediately after everyone left. Granted, I've only been here a couple of days, but I haven't felt anything remotely close to that. Sometimes, when I'm dozing off or waking up, I make an effort to imagine I'm back in my bed at my parents' house, in the same room with all my things, as I'd slept so many times before. My feelings when I do this are entirely neutral; there's no gnawing desire to go back, no twinge of regret. After I've pulled myself out of it, I find myself smiling, and then rolling over in my soft sheets.

Having lived in the country, I was slightly worried that the sounds of the city would bother me, particularly being so close to a major road. There's always traffic, sirens occur frequently, and some of my neighbours enjoy music. The sounds here don't bother me, because I know they're not aimed at me. When I hear something, I don't have to stop and make sure someone isn't talking to me, or that someone's come home, or pulled in the driveway. I ignore these sounds, and they ignore me. I listened to some music a little bit when I got home yesterday, but for the most part, it's been about peace and quiet.

It's not quite a home yet, but it'll get there.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Things 5, 6, 13, and 28

Funnily enough, I thought I was setting aside my list, (“life gets in the way,” I tell myself.) in order to get all ready for finding a job and moving into my own place. I ended up accomplishing a lot on my list while doing this.

5. Clean out my closet – I can honestly say I haven’t done this in years. Between the last entry and this one, you’re all probably thinking I’m a disgusting slob at this point. Oh well. I can’t change what you think. Anyways, I’ve cleaned it out now, and found a dead mouse in the process (sorry, but it is a country house. Which I guess makes him a country mouse. One who will no longer be visiting his cousin, the city mouse). I named him Mr. Tumnus and buried him. In my garbage can. I didn’t want to say a prayer for him, as I was unsure of his denomination, and I don’t like to be disrespectful. Seriously, though, get the hell outta my closet.

6. Donate 2 full bags of closing & related goods to Goodwill – Easily finished. I got rid of a lot of books and shoes as well as clothing.

13. Get my passport – I completed this so that I could go on a shopping trip to Erie with my stepmother. We had a lot of fun. This would still be on the list, if it weren’t for that trip. I'm quite happy I have it now, though. My mom lives in Niagara Falls, and now I'll be able to go on little jaunts with her. This is especially good, because the pizza and wings on the US side are super tasty.

28. Write a proper resume for my company – Well, this has been accomplished, but I’m not certain I’ll need that resume anymore. I’m not actually with that company anymore (I am, in a VERY roundabout way). Basically, a proper resume is about 4 pages long (as opposed to the average 2 pages I would normally write for other companies), and is much more detailed than most HR departments need or want. However, because it’s so detailed, it makes my other resumes really easy to tweak for whatever I’m applying for. I have all the phrasing I need in there, and can just copy and paste what I need into the other resume. To be honest, if there’s anything I think people could take away from my sporadically updated blog, it’s that I have NEVER regretted spending more time working on my resumes or cover letters.

Anyways, that’s all the news that’s fit to print. The next entry you read will probably be posting from the comfort of my own living room. I’m really looking forward to it.

Thing 16 - Move Out of My Parent's House

The past year or so has felt rather awkward in my house. There’s been a definite shift in my attitude towards the building I live in. For example, there was a time when I gave a shit about the way the house was decorated. In the past year or so, I’ve genuinely stopped caring about the state of our house. I say “our” house, but it’s not mine, it’s my parent’s (dad and stepmom).

Recently, my parents have had a major reconstruction of our kitchen. The house is an old farmhouse, so the walls aren’t even straight. It had to be a complete overhaul and was going to take a lot of time. My parents spoke with our contractor, went down to various stores, chose paint, chose cupboards, and chose tiles, etc. They made all the designing decisions and set all the dates for construction. I wasn’t involved, and didn’t want to be. A while later, prior to the demo of the kitchen, my friend and her mother came over for tea and this conversation happened:

Her mum: What kind of lighting are you going to have put in?

Me: I don’t know.

Her mum: You don’t know? Well, what are the cupboards like?

Me: I really don’t know.

Her mum, in an angry tone: Well, why not? It’s your house, too!

Me, trying to end the conversation: No, it’s not my house. It’s their house.

Perhaps I should have cared more about the decisions being made for my parent’s future kitchen, at least to be polite. Polite to my parents, that is. This particular woman spends a good deal of time feeling indignant; nothing other people do pleases her. Besides, I could sort of already guess what they had planned. My stepmother and I have never agreed on d├ęcor. She likes yellow, cornflower blue, and Monet; I like sage green, khaki, and African masks. No matter what, we were not going to agree. We don’t have to, because it’s not my house. I didn’t have an opinion on the kitchen, although I have to admit they did a great job. It looks really nice.

Most people post pics of their own accomplishments in their blog. I post pics of someone else's hard work.

At the ripe old age of 29, I’ve finally gone and done it. I’ve signed a lease for an apartment. I think I’ve been ready to move out for awhile, but it’s difficult to sign a one year lease when you’re fresh out of college (for the second time) and have only gotten 6 months of work at a time. I have a job with a year’s contract.

Part of me thinks I should have moved out sooner. Taken on some debt, struggled with nutrition, worn socks several times in a row, that sort of thing. The truth is that the first time I lived on my own, it didn’t go very well. It was my third and fourth year in university, and I was horribly depressed at the time. Several lows in my life occurred while I was living in my own, including having to quit my job and cancel a new year’s party with friends from high school, so that I could go home for some therapy. My apartment was an absolute pigsty. At one point I had spilled an almost full two liter bottle of soda on the floor and didn’t clean it up for days. I went on Paxil, which worked wonders on the weeks that I remembered to take it. Basically, I was really awful at taking care of myself. My guess is that – aside from finances – I hadn’t thought much about moving out because I’m worried a bit about myself. I think I always will be a little worried, in the back of my mind.

Granted, I’m not the same person now as I was then. I’m excited to move out. I’m excited about decorating my place the way I want, taking 20 minute showers if I want, watching what I want, staying up late, and just having some Peace and Quiet in my life. I’m really excited because I’ll be a short drive away from my workplace, and the place is cheap and clean. I’m excited about cooking! Sure, I’ll make mistakes, but I’ll be able to use spices! Spices! Spices that weren’t even allowed to cross the threshold of my parent’s house! Ginger! And if I want, I can just have a cup of tea and microwave popcorn for supper. I’ll be mad with power and turn up the heat and walk around nude whenever I please. Sometimes, I’ll play music and sometimes I won’t. Sometimes, I’ll have people over, and sometimes I’ll just build a fort for myself in the living room with blankets and eat cookies and read all Saturday and ignore my phone. Sometimes, I’ll do the crossword puzzle in the paper, and put all the wrong words in, on purpose. Mad with power.

I think it’s safe to say I’m excited about the apartment, and I’m probably going to be okay.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Things 10, 11, 63, 72, and 25.

10 - Convert my cds to MP3s. This one took me several weeks of just sitting at the computer, inserting one cd, waiting for it to be copied by my iTunes to my huge external hard drive (that was a big purchase for me, but well worth it. I could have gone with a much smaller one, though. My computer is backed up on it, all my photos are on there, and now my music and I've used about 12% of the dang thing). Anyways, there was a bit of a hiccup about 50 albums in, when I realized (well, it was pointed out to me by Colleen), that my cds were being put into the music folder on my computer's hard drive, not on the shiny new one I'd purchased just for it. Transferring all that to the other HD was a chore of it's own - it set me back a whole evening! - but I was able to remedy the situation and move on. At first, I had a general rule - what I had copied needed to be from an album, not from a mix I had burned, since they were mostly singles I could redownload at any time (an exception was made for the CD I burned of Chris Walla's stuff. I had downloaded it directly from his sight, and it was scarce). After that, I moved on to load some of my stepmother's music (Lobo, Abba, and some others. Cheesy, but fun), and some of my father's (Duane Eddy, Buddy Holly, and lots of doo-wop and surf music). Then, I plugged in my old computer, fought with it for an afternoon, and grabbed some of the music files off of there (there were a few that are a bit rarer and would be a real pain in the ass to DL again). As it stands now, I have 4622 songs on my iTunes.

11 - Purchase an iPod Classic. This one has been modified slightly. I had originally wanted an iPod Classic because they have a large compacity (160 gb), and I wanted to make sure I could get all my music on there. After lurking in some forums and chatting with Colleen (there's that name again. I'm beginning to think she has some strange mind control powers over me), I decided to get a 64 gb iPod Touch. I shouldn't have been worried about getting all my music on there. Not only does my music fit on there perfectly comfortably, but now I have Angry Birds and the Sims 3 on there. I have been accomplishing very little lately.

63 - I completed this item some time ago. Katrina Onstad is a writer from Toronto that I really enjoy. She's written for the Atlantic, Chatelaine, and the Toronto Star, as well as having released a novel "How Happy to be." Prior to that, I saw her holding her own as a guest critic on a little film critique show with Geoff Pevere and Richard Crouse (lovely people and fantastic critics). Anyways, I hadn't seen anything from her (one of her last articles was about moving to Italy, so I knew why), so I thought I'd look her up. She has an email address on her website, so I sent her a quick fan email. I would copy/paste it here, but it's rather personal, and I'd like to keep it to myself. She replied to it within the day! Among other things, she said it was great to receive my email, and she really appreciated it. It was such a delight to receive a reply. I've printed it out and I may have to frame it for my place when I move out.

72 - I saw Death Cab play live this past weekend at Molson Amphitheatre. My heart nearly exploded. Even just the idea of sharing a space with those four men was amazing, but they played music for me! Partway through the show, Chris Walla, Jason McGerr, and Nick Harmer left the stage, and Ben Gibbard sang "I Will Follow You into the Dark" and I nearly fell for him. I had to say, "Ben, you know this can never work. You're married to Zooey Deschanel and my heart belong to Chris." I think he was hurt, but understood. Sigh. Seriously, though, Chris Walla is a god.

25 - Meet Someone I met over Twitter in person - Right before I shut off my phone at the concert, I had tweeted something about seeing Death Cab. I shut off the phone and enjoyed myself. I turned my phone on after we got back into the car and were driving down Lakeshore Blvd, when I see I've been replied to on Twitter:

@donovanfeuring: @kidamy Maybe I'll see you there, tough guy.

Goddammit! Not only is he someone I met through twitter, but he's one of my favourites and I JUST MISSED HIM. We were in the same place at the same time. I am so disappointed.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Thing 21 - Remove 30 books from my collection

Without getting into too much detail, I have a lot of books. Also, I'm a slow reader; I probably have more books than I'll be consuming in the next ten years. The bookshelves in my room are full, with two full rows on half of the shelves. The shelves are flexing under the weight. It's all a little pathetic.

In addition to those, I have a good number of boxes in the basement marked simply "Amy's Books." I'd like to move out of my parents place soon, and I don't want to leave a bunch of crap for them to sort through when I'm gone, so I went through 6 of the book boxes today. Here's a couple of pictures of the stacks I got rid of.

It's 70 books in total, and they're now sitting with the piles of things the Salvation Army is picking up on June 28th, so I think it's safe to consider this Thing complete. :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Thing #45 - Watch all the American Film Institute Top 100 that I haven't seen

In 1998, the American Film Institute released a Top 100 American Films list. Being a movie fan and former student, I've seen a good amount of these already. In 2007, they released a revamped list, swapping out a few titles for others (they removed "All Quiet on the Western Front," which was a silly move in my opinion. Even when it was there, it was too far down on the list.) I've decided to watch all of the films on both the original list and the new one that I have not seen yet. If I've seen most or important parts of a film, it doesn't count. I've seen a great deal of "North by Northwest" and "Tootsie," but I've never sat and watched either of them.

I've gone through both lists, and I have my work cut out for me. The total is at approximately 80 films. Some of these will be a treat ("Duck Soup," "The Wild Bunch"), others will certainly feel like a chore ("Doctor Zhivago"). I'm going to try to intersperse them so that I don't do a bunch I've been dreading in one weekend and want to kill myself. On the plus side, I've already endured "Citizen Kane."

Here's the list. The films in BOLD are those I've already seen.

1. "Citizen Kane," 1941
2. "Casablanca," 1942
3. "The Godfather," 1972
4. "Gone With the Wind," 1939
5. "Lawrence of Arabia," 1962
6. "The Wizard of Oz," 1939
7. "The Graduate," 1967
8. "On the Waterfront," 1954
9. "Schindler's List," 1993
10. "Singin' in the Rain," 1952
11. "It's a Wonderful Life," 1946
12. "Sunset Boulevard," 1950
13. "The Bridge on the River Kwai," 1957
14. "Some Like it Hot," 1959
15. "Star Wars," 1977
16. "All About Eve," 1950
17. "The African Queen," 1951
18. "Psycho," 1960
19. "Chinatown," 1974
20. "One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest," 1975
21. "The Grapes of Wrath," 1940
22. "2001: A Space Odyssey," 1968
23. "The Maltese Falcon," 1941
24. "Raging Bull," 1980
25. "E.T. - The Extra-Terrestrial," 1982
26. "Dr. Strangelove," 1964
27. "Bonnie and Clyde," 1967
28. "Apocalypse Now," 1979
29. "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," 1939
30. "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre," 1948
31. "Annie Hall," 1977
32. "The Godfather Part II," 1974
33. "High Noon," 1952
34. "To Kill a Mockingbird," 1962
35. "It Happened One Night," 1934
36. "Midnight Cowboy," 1969
37. "The Best Years of Our Lives," 1946
38. "Double Indemnity," 1944
39. "Doctor Zhivago," 1965
40. "North by Northwest," 1959
41. "West Side Story," 1961
42. "Rear Window," 1954
43. "King Kong," 1933
44. "The Birth of a Nation," 1915
45. "A Streetcar Named Desire," 1951
46. "A Clockwork Orange," 1971
47. "Taxi Driver," 1976
48. "Jaws," 1975
49. "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," 1937
50. "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," 1969
51. "The Philadelphia Story," 1940
52. "From Here to Eternity," 1953
53. "Amadeus," 1984
54. "All Quiet on the Western Front," 1930
55. "The Sound of Music," 1965
56. "M*A*S*H," 1970
57. "The Third Man," 1949
58. "Fantasia," 1940
59. "Rebel Without a Cause," 1955
"Raiders of the Lost Ark," 1981
61. "Vertigo
," 1958
62. "Tootsie," 1982
63. "Stagecoach," 1939
64. "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," 1977
65. "The Silence of the Lambs," 1991
66. "Network," 1976
67. "The Manchurian Candidate," 1962
68. "An American in Paris," 1951
69. "Shane," 1953
70. "The French Connection," 1971
71. "Forrest Gump," 1994
72. "Ben-Hur," 1959
73. "Wuthering Heights," 1939
74. "The Gold Rush," 1925
75. "Dances With Wolves," 1990
76. "City Lights," 1931
77. "American Graffiti," 1973
78. "Rocky," 1976
79. "The Deer Hunter," 1978
80. "The Wild Bunch," 1969
81. "Modern Times," 1936
82. "Giant," 1956
83. "Platoon," 1986
84. "Fargo," 1996
85. "Duck Soup," 1933
86. "Mutiny on the Bounty," 1935
87. "Frankenstein," 1931
88. "Easy Rider," 1969
89. "Patton," 1970
90. "The Jazz Singer," 1927
91. "My Fair Lady," 1964
92. "A Place in the Sun," 1951
93. "The Apartment," 1960
94. "Goodfellas," 1990
95. "Pulp Fiction," 1994
96. "The Searchers," 1956
97. "Bringing Up Baby," 1938
98. "Unforgiven," 1992
99. "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner," 1967
100. "Yankee Doodle Dandy," 1942

2007 Removals: Doctor Zhivago, Birth of a Nation, From Here to Eternity, Amadeus, All Quiet on the Western Front, The Third Man, Fantasia, Rebel Without a Cause, Stagecoach, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Manchurian Candidate, An American in Paris, Wuthering Heights, Dances with Wolves, Giant, Fargo, Mutiny on the Bounty, Frankenstein, Patton, The Jazz Singer, My Fair Lady, A Place in the Sun, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

2007 Additions:

The Lord of the Rings: the Fellowship of the Ring

Saving Private Ryan


The Sixth Sense

The General



Sullivan's Travels


Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

The Shawshank Redemption

In the Heat of the Night

All the President's Men



A Night at the Opera

12 Angry Men

Swing Time

Sophie's Choice

The Last Picture Show

Do the Right Thing

Blade Runner

Toy Story