Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Commuters

I think I should be a hermit.

Sometimes I really, really f'n hate people. Wait... sometimes I really, really hate morning commuters (specifically those that ride the subway). That's more accurate.

My morning commute started off grim. I stood around in the rain waiting for a GO train that was 15 minutes late. So, of course, when it did come, everybody and their mother crammed themselves in like sardines. Which means I spent my morning ride (normally a nice, quiet time for me to read), standing on the stairs, doing a balancing act and trying not to fall into the man in front of me.

So, fine. I made it through that ride. Then I walked down to the subway platform only to find it was also crammed full of people. Which means there was something going on with the subway.
Delightful. At this point, I'm kinda grumpy... but not too bad... trying to roll with it.

Crammed myself on to the subway. Stood and waited for my stop to come up. (Entire subway is still crammed at this point). Thought I would be polite, so let everyone else around me off first. Which means - as I made my way to the doors to exit the subway, I was met with a gigantic crowd of people trying to get on. And, it was at this point that the subway doors started closing. So what did the lovely Torontonians do?

They charged me.

I kid you not. They friggin' charged me! Grown men and women were so afraid of having to wait 1 to 2 mintues for the next subway to come, that they actually, physically tried to run me over. One woman literally took her forearm and shoved me as hard as she could so I would get out of her way. I guess she didn't realize that I was TRYING TO EXIT THE TRAIN and thus, get out of her way.

Seriously. Some people make me fear humanity.

So that was my lovely morning commute. And that's why I'm considering moving far, far away from people. I may find some remote island to buy. Only you, dear reader, are welcome to join me. And that's cause I like your smile.

Monday, September 29, 2008

All on my own

My husband is out of town for the week at a work conference. He’s the cook in the family. And I ran out of cereal yesterday morning. I’m about to enter a full-on state of panic.

It’s sort of funny what happens to me when hubby’s not around. I mean, I consider myself an independent woman. And we can be apart from each other and not whine and moan about it like one of those annoying couples that has become one entity. Yet, I slightly fall apart when he goes away. I have issues falling asleep without him next to me (what can I say, I’m used to my hot water bottle). I suddenly find my little house scary at night time. And, if he’s gone too long, I border on malnutrition. (There will be no food whatsoever being prepared that could be considered a traditional meal. At all.)

All joking aside, I really miss my pookie when he’s gone. So, thankfully, he’s only gone until the end of the week. When he gets back, I’ll be ready with a big hug.

And an empty stomach.

One fine night

Monday morning. 8:49am. And I'm still recovering from Saturday night - one of the most fun weddings ever.

I've come to realize that as much as I love to rock out until 2 in the morning to various gems such as "Livin' on a Prayer" and "Rock you like a hurricane", I really, really pay for it afterwards.

Yesterday, I spent the day going from my bed to the couch, only facing the cursed daylight to get my greasy Harvey's lunch and equally as greasy thai takeaway for dinner.

But, as I look back on the photos from the night of my friends and I with giant grins on our faces, I really can't help but think it was all worth it. A night where good friends demonstrated their love for each other in front of everyone. Where brothers gave heartfelt speeches. Where a loving father and daughter, and a mother and a son, danced together. And a night where my friends and I laughed and danced and joked and were simply... happy.

Yep... the Monday morning bags under my eyes are totally worth it.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

On writing (part two)

I've been thinking a lot about writing lately. I write every day as a copywriter in advertising. And I write my blog pretty often. But I haven't accomplished what I really want to as a writer yet.

What I mean is, I haven't written a story from start to finish. I haven't written the screenplay I know is inside me (even though I have no idea how to write a screenplay). I haven't written that novel that makes you laugh and cry. I haven't written my collection of essays.

And even though I do find it difficult to fit personal writing into my daily schedule of work, working out, running errands and not neglecting my husband, I know if I really, really wanted to, I would find that time to write.

So, what's holding me back?

I think there's a large part of me that suffers from what a lot of "creative" people suffer from. It's the whole self-doubt thing. What if I'm really not good? What if my writing sucks and nobody ever wants to read it? It's too embarrassing to have someone else read my work... it's personal. It's part of me.

I remember reading a collection of letters between Canadian author Carol Shields and her friend. Shields discussed her nervousness about her work and her worry that she wasn't any good. This was coming from a respected, already published author. I guess it never goes away.

Anyway, I'm doing my best to overcome it. I feel it will be a long journey, though.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Stress and the City

I read in the paper this morning that Canada is the 3rd most stressed out country in the world. That's kinda sad, isn't it? Only the Portugese and Americans are more stressed than us Canucks in the whole entire world.

It's also somewhat surprising, considering our tendency towards an easy-going, polite nature. (Of course, I think that's one of those generalizations about Canadians that just ain't true, but that's neither here nor there.)

So, to get my fellow Canadian readers into a relaxed state of mind, I offer you this collection of thoughts:

"Nothing is permanent in this wicked world - not even our troubles." ~Charlie Chaplin

"Sometimes the cure for restlessness is rest." ~Colleen Wainwright

"Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is a nobler art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of nonessentials." ~Lin Yutang

"There is no need to go to India or anywhere else to find peace. You will find that deep place of silence right in your room, your garden or even your bathtub." ~Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Monday, September 22, 2008

So fab

Monday morning. I'm back from my fabulous weekend, feeling good.

Just call me high-rollin' Hez. Why? Well, that would be because Momsie and I went for a day of pampering at a very "posh" spa. As we sat around in our robes and slippers, waiting our turn to be molded into jelly, we nervously eyed the other spa patrons, wondering if they could tell that we were 'burbs people. We came to the conclusion that they couldn't tell we weren't one of them. And so we gave in to fully enjoy our massages and facials.

Afterwards, we went to Lee Restaurant and had The. Best. Meal. Of. Our. Lives. This is a restaurant for people who love food. Again - very swanky and "Toronto".

And now, I'm feeling very posh and fabulous and swanky. (And quite a bit poorer). But it was so worth it.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Time for a change

Seems like absolutely everybody hates the new Facebook. Which makes me wonder why... Is it because it's really difficult to navigate? Or is it just that people generally fear change?

Over the past year, I've gone through a whole boat load of change at work. And I'll admit, my initial reaction was to freak out. I hated change. It made me paranoid. And I didn't like a shift in my happy little world I had made for myself.

Then I came to realize that with each change, things got better. It wasn't so hard to take. We pulled together at work and not only got through the period of change, we all came out happier. We couldn't believe how much better things actually could be.

I know the new Facebook is a different situation. And I do find it rather annoying, too. But I'm giving change a chance.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

WWMD?

Hubby was teasing me last night. I was going on about how great M., our intern-turned-junior writer, has been doing at our agency - and I made the mistake of confessing that I think I've had a somewhat significant role in her success. Then, when I asked hubster what his thoughts were on a project I'm working on right now, he said "Hon, just ask yourself: What Would M. Do?"

All kidding aside, M. has been doing great because she's very talented. No doubt about that. On the other hand, I think back to the kind of guidance I had as an intern/junior, and I don't think I had the same kind of creative attention that M. is getting now. I mean - I didn't have anyone telling me to work harder, keep pushing the ideas and keep thinking (thus, making the end result stronger). I didn't have the opportunity to get involved in brainstorms on major client work - and have my actual written headlines/copy presented to the client. I didn't have the opportunity to "own" a job (that was bigger than writing a buckslip) so I could feel proud of what I had accomplished.

That's not to say that I didn't have a great experience at my first agency. I did. I absolutely LOVED the people. And I learned from the writers I worked with. Definitely. It just took a lot longer for me to get where M. seems to be already.

I'm proud of M. I'm happy for her. I want to see her grow and develop and have a great career. At the same time, (at the risk of sounding like I'm conceited or bragging), I'm happy with what I've been able to do for her. So, I'm kinda proud of myself, too.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

If the shoe fits


I had an interesting discussion with my Mumsie this morning (after our morning run - which was lovely, even in the cold morning air!) Our discussion was about shoes. A very popular topic, as shoes are one of those things that women go absolutely nuts about.

Mom is a shoe girl. She loves shoes. And, as she told me this morning, if she were 20-something again, she would have gone crazy at the Nine West store she visited with her sister this past weekend. "The heels were all beautiful! To die for, I tell you" Mumsie exclaimed.

And, even though I could see the excitement in her smile as she discussed those gorgeous pumps, I couldn't get into the discussion. I'm really not a shoe girl. They just don't do it for me.

Don't get me wrong, I like a nice pair of shoes to complete the outfit... but comfort usually wins out for me. And, as my hubby so embarrassingly put it one day, that means most of my shoes are "sensible". (Hubby was actually complimenting me with this statement).

It all comes down to what makes you happy in life. I don't begrudge any women being shoe-crazy. If that's your thing - go for it! Buy those Jimmy Choo's! Life is too short to not feel fabulous, right?

After all, it's the little things that matter most. So go on. Get out there and find your shoe.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The clothes make the man

I hate my wardrobe. Seriously. Hate it. (I'm not trying to be dramatic here. Just telling it like it is).

This morning, I tried on 4 top/pant combinations before finally settling on something that I thought made me look less-than-frumpy. However, I happened to catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror once I was just about at the office... and I looked full-on frump. Like, dishevelled. Already.

So, I started my day off feeling kinda blah at how shite everything seems to look on me lately.

Since I've felt this way for a good 3 months (or more) now, and since I'm all about being "solution-oriented", I figured the answer would be to go shopping and get myself some new things to wear. So I did. I got myself 4 new tops and one pair of shoes a few weeks ago. Which cost close to $250. Ack!

Anyway, they're nice. And I feel good wearing them. But with only 4 new items, I've got to space them out so I don't reveal all my new "looks" at once and then spend the rest of the fall/winter being embarrassed that I wear the same few shirts to work week after week.

Sigh. The things I must deal with in life. Woe is me. Woe is me.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Everybody's a writer

Okay, this shit just makes me angry.

Apparently, Lauren Conrad, "star" (I use that term very loosely) of the reality show "The Hills" has recently signed on to write a series of young adult fiction.

And now, My Rant About Why This Is The Stupidest Thing I've Ever Heard:
  1. Lauren Conrad is a young, 20-something privileged chick who's only claim to fame is being on a reality show that should really be called "Pretty white kids spending Daddy's money". This does NOT make her an excellent candidate to be publishing books.
  2. Qualified, talented writers try for years and years and years to get published, while dealing with little-to-no income because very few authors are rich (unless they become huge, which is hard in the literature world). And suddenly, someone just HANDS a deal to this girl to write not just a book, but a series of books!
  3. Living in "The Hills" has very little to do with reality for young adults, despite the category that her TV show falls into. So - the fact that someone completely out of touch with real young adults is about to write books for them just baffles me.
  4. Writing for youth is acutally even HARDER than just writing for a general audience. Everyone thinks they can do it, but only really talented people actually have the ability to write something relevent to young adults that isn't absolutely riddled with clich├ęs.

Sigh.

Friday at long last

Friday!!

It's rainy. But still... it's Friday.

Not much going on in the life of Hez today. Went out last night. Drank a little too much wine. Discussed the meaning of “eschew”. And listened to a co-worker try to explain eBay to another co-worker for approximately 45 mintues.

On to the weekend. Enjoy it, everyone.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Funny stuff

I woke up thinking today was Friday. Got into work, still thought it was Friday. Looked at my daytimer, was shocked and dismayed that it's actually only Thursday. I'm recovering now though. Thursday ain't so bad. (Not as good as Friday, mind you. But still not, so bad).

Anyway - so for this lovely Thursday morning, I thought another installment of funny Simpsons quotes were in order. (These never, ever get old). Enjoy!


Call this an unfair generalization if you must, but old people are no good at everything. ~Moe

Homer: Aw, twenty dollars! I wanted a peanut!
Homer's Brain: Twenty dollars can buy many peanuts!
Homer: Explain how!
Homer's Brain: Money can be exchanged for goods and services!
Homer: Woo-hoo!

Uh, no, they're saying “Boo-urns, Boo-urns". ~Smithers

I'll keep it short and sweet - Family. Religion. Friendship. These are the three demons you must slay if you wish to succeed in business. ~Mr. Burns

…And the fluffy kitten played with that ball of string all through the night. On a lighter note, a Kwik-E-Mart clerk was brutally murdered last night. ~Kent Brockman

“Thank the Lord”? That sounded like a prayer. A prayer in a public school. God has no place within these walls, just like facts don't have a place within an organized religion. ~Superintendent Chalmers

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Fun with photoshop

I'd like to take a moment and show you what people at ad agencies do when they're not busy.

But first, I must introduce you to the creative team at my current place of employment. (Clockwise from the top: Tall writer, happy art director, gangster art director, gang-sign-flashing writer.)
(We were at an "offsite" which is code for: drink lots of booze and act crazy).

Next, let me introduce you to German pop sensation, Tokio Hotel:

And finally, how we spend our down time at work...

(Click on the pic for a lovely close-up!!)

Monday, September 8, 2008

To the Admirals

I have this group of friends. Whenever I refer to them I call them "the hockey guys and their wives". It sounds very
"Mystery, Alaska" or "Slap Shot" when it's put that simply. You can almost picture a bunch of unshaved, brute men and their puck bunny wives following them around.

It's really not like that. (Even if the boys would like to think so).

On the surface, they are the typical "hockey boys". They make crude jokes. They play hockey and then immediately drink copious amounts of beer afterwards. They like having the girls around, but you can tell they prefer those "just the boys" moments. They still do keg stands at parties - even though many of them are in their 30s.

But then you really get to know them. And you discover that they're just really cool guys. They're loyal friends (many have known each other since they were in high school). They come together and show support when something big is happening in one of their lives. Many of them are brothers. Supportive, caring brothers who are protective and proud of each other.

And on top of that, they're really fun. They like having a good time and don't take themselves too seriously. And even as the group changes and you see less of them - especially the guys that are new fathers - there will always be hockey that brings them together.

So, every once in a while (I don't like to overstay my welcome in "boy time"), I go watch them play. Not because I absolutely love to watch hockey - but because I just like being around them. I like listening to their jokes and catching up with what's going on with them.

To me, those Admirals are pretty amazing. (Unshaven or not).

Friday, September 5, 2008

Age

My 30th birthday is 5 months away.

I really don't have any strong feelings one way or another about turning 30. But I am pretty damn excited for some kind of a blowout. (Which can be quite problematic, actually.) I tend to build things up (like birthdays) and get all excited only to find out that not many people care as much as I do about me turning another year older. Naturally so.

Anyway - so if it doesn't turn out to be a big blowout, I hopefully won't be let down. I'll probably be too sauced up to remember. Haha. (Kidding, Mom).

Actually, if I were rich, my dream 30th would be to take a bunch of people with me on a trip to Ireland. All my friends. Me. A pub in Ireland. It would be incredible. The culture there pretty much ensures you're going to have a fantastic time. We could be singing Danny Boy at the top of our lungs, drinking REAL Irish beer, talking to the locals. Bliss.

It's fun to daydream.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Shame

Things I'm slightly embarrassed to admit, but will admit anyway:
  • I picked up yet another "fluff" book yesterday. Couldn't help it. It called to me from the shelf at the bookstore, with it's brightly coloured jacket, characteristic of all good chick-lit.
  • I'm kinda bummed about missing the "new 90210" premiere.
  • After admitting to a close co-worker that I don't want to be seen as too much of a "party-er" at work, he started calling me "OD", for "Office Drunk".
  • I've already started planning Christmas holiday stuff with the families. It's September 3rd.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Back to school

In honour of the back to school buzz going around right now, I offer my dear readers this little quote for the day:

"Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils" ~ Louis Hector Berlioz

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A bun in the teenage oven

While listening to the news this morning, I heard that republican presidential candidate John McCain's running mate, Sarah Palin, has a 17 year old daughter. That's not really newsworthy. But then I heard that she's 5 months pregnant. Now that's news.

The family has assured the general public that's she's keeping the baby (papa, don't preach!) and that she'll marry the father of the child. Poor, poor 17 year old.

Now, I may be wrong in assuming that she probably doesn't want a kid and a wedding at 17 years old. But if she's anything like I was at 17 (or any 17 year old girl I know), she so doesn't want to become a grown-up so quick.

The first thing I thought was "there are 2 lives that will definitely never be the same". No prom, no dating, no living the student life at university, no being a DINK (which I so love).

I guess that's the price you pay when you're a republican's daughter. Well, if you're a republican's daughter who hasn't quite figured out birth control yet.