Dec 29, 2010

A Concert To Remember

On July 30th, 2003, I was lucky enough to attend one of the greatest, if not THE greatest concert, since Woodstock back in 1969.  

I was a part of the Molson Canadian Rocks for Toronto concert, or otherwise lovingly known as SARSStock.  This was a gathering of half a million people on a former military base in the North end of Toronto.  People who wanted to hear amazing music and support a good cause all came together on this scorching Summer day.

Because of the SARS pandemic alert issued by the WHO,  tourism in Toronto was WAY down.  And that's no good right?  So a concert to help boost the city's poor tourist numbers (and wallets) was put together very quickly, with the help of the members of The Rolling Stones.  Apparently they love our city, what with their tour rehearsals, arrests and trials being held out here, why wouldn't they?  They headlined the show, Dan Aykroyd hosted it and a number of amazing bands played.  Want to hear my experience of it?  You got it.

My sister, my friend John (he of the Tony Danza fame) and I arrived fairly early, around 11AM.  We were able to choose a good location.  Close enough to the stage to kind of see what was going on, but just far enough away that we were off to the side of a jumbo-tron, which helped us to see better the darker it became.

It was hot folks.  And when I say hot I mean I mean holy depths of hell hot.  It was a balmy 35 degrees (for those of you who like the fahrenheit, it was 95), but with the blasting sun and no shade around whatsoever, it felt more like 40.  

Look at all the people.

And another look.

People were THIS CLOSE to each other.  Brutal in the heat.

But despite the heat and the cramped conditions, the day was awesome.  Everyone was happy to be there, performers and concert-goers alike, and the vibe was like nothing I can describe.  HALF A MILLION PEOPLE yelling and happy is a GREAT thing.  I was squished and hot, and I didn't care...I was having a blast.  

The bathroom situation though, wasn't so hot.  I could see port-a-pottys in the distance.  The far distance. And to manoeuvre through all those people to get there....no thanks.  My brilliant plan was to not drink too much water, and keep the food intake to a minimum.  Fucking kids right?  If I did that today I would be close to death within minutes.  I need to be a fully functioning bathroom user, food eater and water drinker to get through my day.  I cannot break from this, or I will DIE.  For real.

The concert opened in the afternoon with the Have Love Will Travel Revue (Dan Aykroyd and Jim Belushi!),  Sam Roberts, Kathleen Edwards, La Chicane, The Tea Party, The Flaming Lips, Sass Jordan, The Isley Brothers and Blue Rodeo.  Later in the afternoon Justin Timberlake, The Guess Who, Rush, AC/DC and the Stones all took the stage.  The highlights for me were definitely Sam Roberts, The Flaming Lips, Blue Rodeo, The Guess Who, AC/DC and the Stones.  I remember that when the Guess Who took the stage, helicopters started flying overhead, and the sun was just starting to go down.  The first few notes of a song started playing and ALL 500,000 people were flashing the peace sign.  I handed my camera to a girl that was sitting on someone's shoulders and no lie...EVERYONE was flashing the peace sign.  It was a beautiful sight, and definitely one of the more magical moments of the show.  



I left feeling like I had been a part of something HUGE.  Something I would most likely never be a part of again.  I also left feeling sick from the lack of food, no water and all that sun.  I dry heaved into a half full bag of rice cakes on the subway, on the way home.  But I was smiling while I did it.  

My sister and I didn't make it home that night until almost 2AM.  We were bone tired, sore, dirty and HAPPY.  I was supposed to work the next morning (or in this case, later that morning), but I had to call in sick.  I had sunstroke, and I needed to nourish my poor body back to health.  When I got home that night and finally went to the washroom after not going for a full 15 hours, my pee was BROWN.  Think about that, because I am not going to elaborate.  Ok, maybe I will.  THICK AND BROWN.  Delicious, I know.  When I had a chance to study my war wounds from the previous day, I found that I was caked with dirt from head to toe.  Dirt mixed with sweat mixed with more dirt and sweat.  I found dirt in places where I am not sure how it even got there.  Dirt was caked in the creases of my elbows and in the corners of my eyes.  Needless to say, a shower was much needed and much appreciated.

Even with all the dirt, and gross pee and sweat, I would do it again in a heartbeat.  Not quite like the 1969 Woodstock, but it's as close as I will get.  And it was amazing.

Dec 27, 2010

100 Things I Love: 2...Warm and Cozy


















Happy Stuff

I know I am late, but I just wanted to say Happy Holidays to everyone!  I figured it was better late then never right?

I hope everyone is happy and healthy this holiday season.  I am both, which is always a good thing! I always seem to get sick at this time of year on account of being run down.  I always say 'yes' to so many things earlier on in the season and then they all start to pile up.  Not that I am complaining...too much.  

After my sisters' work Christmas party, I rushed home, worked all week, and rushed back to my parents house in time for Christmas Eve.  Gah.  Seriously, travelling by bus on Christmas Eve?  I must be mental.  But we made it in time for my sister to pick us up so we could go and eat some Chinese food.  YUM! Always a tradition in my family to eat Chinese food at some point during the holidays.  And after that, it was another busy weekend ahead.  Christmas night was nice: my sister made dinner while I built a fire.  A bottle of wine was consumed and much lying around like glutinous pigs was enjoyed by all.

It is now Monday night.  I am sitting on my couch, wrapped in a cozy blanket,  FINALLY relaxing after almost an entire month of running here and there and everywhere.  Needless to say, I am content.


Happy Holidays!

Dec 21, 2010

The Party Committee Who Stole My Christmas Fun...AKA The Party Grinch

As she does every year, my beautiful sister invited me to her work Christmas party.  Since I chose not to attend mine this year, I was looking forward to hers.  It's a chance to get all dressed up, drink fancy drinks, and take your heels off to dance the night away.  Right?  No.  See photo evidence below:

 Before the night really got underway.  Smiles!

No.  No fun.

We got dressed up all pretty, got our hair did and all that kind of stuff, only to attend a barn dance.  You heard me.  A barn dance.  

The party was in a swanky hotel, the room was gorgeous.  Everyone looked lovely and ready to have a great night.  Dinner was served, it was all good.  Drinks were being consumed by all, even though they were a whopping $7 a drink, and they were PRE-MIXED.  Uh no.  No way.  If I have to pay $7 for a tiny drink, I want to be able to see exactly how much, or how little, alcohol you are putting into it.  Needless to say, the seven dollar cranberry juice was healthy and tasty, but not worth the price.  Give me the alcohol part too, then maybe.  Sigh.

Also, my sister 'neglected' to tell me that there was going to be karaoke at this company Christmas party.  The reason why she neglected to tell me this is because she knew I wouldn't come.  Because I don't like karaoke.  It's one thing to sit in a room with a few friends and drunkenly butcher some songs all  in good fun, but it's another thing to subject a large group of people to your horrible, terrifying version of Love Shack.  The DJ being 80-years-old, was having a great time.  Whenever someone didn't feel like taking the reigns to torture us all with a sexified Christmas song, the DJ stepped up and sang us a few diddies of his own.  While he sat behind his 1989 computer monitor/ DJ booth.  Every song that my sister requested, (which were current, popular songs), he did not have.  His version of 'current' was the Spice Girls' If You Wanna Be My Lover.  Good lord, where was my Christmas miracle?

All in all, the company at our table was good.  We all were feeling the same sense of disdain and wastefulness and were hamming it up for each others' benefits.  I am glad that I got to spend some quality time with my sister though, who I love, even if it was at a barn dance. 

I texted Dave at one point in the night to let him know how it was all going down.  He called me a Toronto snob.  I disagree.  I am more of a 'wont-wear-heels-unless-I-have-to' kind of snob.  If I had known it was going to be a hoedown, I wouldn't have bothered to break these babies in.

Dec 20, 2010

As Promised

So...without further ado, here are some of the pictures from my birthday celebration. 

 
I am a little shy, as it's the beginning of the night.

Presents were accepted.

Cake was enjoyed by all.

Good friends were there to love.

I believe this is when the drinks began to catch up with us.

Go away.  Thanks.

This day started crazy and ended crazy.  Let me tell you.  I made sure to wake up SUPER early so that I could get my house clean, as I was expecting an over night guest.  My friend Shaun, from my last post, if you remember.  And whenever I am expecting people, I get a little anxious and worried that everything is not perfect.  Again with the OCD, I know.  I just want people to feel comfortable, OK!!?? 

So Dave and I get up early and we clean the entire apartment from top to bottom.  The tree is up, there is extra food in the fridge and we are ready.  At this point I am being made aware from those pesky weather people on t.v, of a huge snowstorm that is supposed to hit Toronto later that night and continue on through the next day.  I am texting my friend and asking him if he still feels like driving all that way if a huge storm was on it's way.  No answer for hours.  Finally when I am REALLY starting to panic, he answers that yeah, it's not worth it to drive that far.  Cool.  I completely understand.  What I don't understand is WHY THE UNIVERSE HATES ME.  Three seconds after I get that text from Shaun (which I was disappointed over but hey, his safety is more important) my phone vibrates again.  I read that another one of my good friends isn't able to make it because they aren't feeling well.  And then half a second after that text, I get another from another good friend saying the same thing.  Sigh.  Now, I have never been one to get upset about that kind of thing, but Universe, did you have to have PERFECT TIMING and send them all at once?  What a shit parade.

But other then all my friends bailing on me not being able to make it, it was a fun night.  I shared my celebration with an old friend who is also turning 31 (on Christmas Day! Blows!), hence the candles that say we are 62, and it was a lot of fun. 

The real craziness though, started when we were on the bus, on the way home.  It was almost 2AM and everyone on the bus was subdued and pretty quiet.  I was looking through all the pictures I took that night and I came upon one of Dave taking a bite of cake.  The picture struck me as hilarious.  So I laughed.  Like a hyena.  On a quiet bus.  And the more I thought about how hard and obnoxiously I was laughing, the harder and louder I would laugh.  Man, sometimes you just have laugh attacks and you can't stop.  That's why it's called an attack.  So all in all it was a good night.  Presents, cake, drinks, friends, and laugh attacks.  What more could you ask for?

Oh and that storm?  It never came.  Bastard.


Dec 10, 2010

Crazy Fun Weekend

This weekend marks the second of my crazy December weekends.  But what a fun one it will be!! We are all going out to celebrate my birthday on Saturday (it's on the 22nd for anyone feeling extra generous this holiday season), and I ACTUALLY created a Facebook event for it this year.  Yes, me.  Not only did I create a birthday event for MYSELF, but I did it on Facebook.  Shoot me now.  

My good friend Shaun is also coming over to hang out and crash at my place this weekend.  I have promised a fantastic breakfast on Sunday morning because last time we hung out and he slept over, he spent an hour standing outside my bedroom, knocking and trying to wake me up while I quietly locked the door and prayed he would go away.  Poor guy just wanted to go for a cup of coffee, I just wanted to die in my own bed.  Of course that was the Saturday night where a bottle of Crown was consumed, multicolored shots in test tubes were downed with colorful abandon, and girls painted in silver stood frozen in strange poses (of which Shaun poked one in the stomach.  I can't recall if she broke her pose or not).  And I locked my door on my friend I was supposed to be entertaining.  

Good lord.  So I owe him a better time.  OR...I can create a replay of the last time and and say I am reliving a fond memory?  We'll see.

I hope you all have a great weekend!  Don't worry, many pictures will follow of this night of my 31st birthday celebration!

Dec 6, 2010

Snow Watch 2010...is Over

This is what I woke up to this morning....


I took this while walking to work this morning.  It was snowing gently, and my boots were making crunching noises in the snow, and I was grinning like a fool.  Unfortunately it won't stay like this all Winter.  It will get a million degrees colder, and that gently falling snow will be blowing so hard that it stings your face.  And this is all ok, albeit a bit of an annoyance...this is Canada, and we are known for our winters!

On another exciting note, Dave and I put up our tree tomorrow. If you have any idea how excited I am at all to do this, then please know that when I mentioned it (for the thousandth time) to Dave this evening I also ran over to the radio, turned it on, and proceeded to dance a full song version of Feliz Navidad, to the point where I couldn't stop laughing at my own ridiculousness.  It's a pretty repetitive song, but my dance moves were varied and brilliant folks.

On another, absolutely non-holiday note....

Dave and I were eating dinner tonight when he found something unsatisfactory in his food.  Now, let me just say that the amount of time Dave spends quietly inspecting his plate is annoying endearing.  I am always saying things such as, "Oh Dave, there is nothing there", or "Just leave it! It's SUPPOSED to be there!".  

So today he spent eons trying to disengage a speck of something from an egg yolk that belonged in the egg yolk.  He laboured over this thing for what felt like the entire dinner .  Of course I rolled my eyes, who wouldn't?  OCD ANYONE!!!??? I can say that because I love him and I have tons of  no OCD myself.

The part that made me laugh though? As he was clearing the dishes he looks solemnly down at his plate, sighs and says,

"The kicker is that I spent so much time picking that speck out and placing it off to the side, and I still ate it by accident".

And you LIVED to tell the story??? UNHEARD of!!!

Dec 2, 2010

December

I love December.  It is both relaxing and insane.  I am not sure why my social calendar becomes jam-packed in December only, but I do love that it does.  All I have to do is remember to breathe, and not look at the month as a whole or I will begin to question when I will have a chance to blink and that WILL drive me insane! 

My good friend C was smart when she called me on a hot day in August and asked me if I was busy at the start of the holiday season.  Of course in August, I had no plans for the beginning of December, so I accepted her offer of a weekend visit at her cozy abode, trimming the tree and sipping hot cocoa with the kiddies.  Who can say no to that?  But I tell you, she is a smart cookie for nabbing me then.  

On top of that big day where some say a dude named Jesus was born, it is also my birthday three days before the big C.  And because all of my friends are awesome, they feel the need to treat me extra special on and around my birthday so a party (or three) is thrown and I am made to feel like the most important girl in the world.  Or maybe it is just pity....hey, I will take their pity party any day, just show me the free drinks!

But the part of this month that I love the most is when the winds change to the cold, biting winds of Winter.  The kind of cold where you don't think you are going to survive the trek home and the only thing keeping you alive is the thought of the warm glow of lights in an open window.  A cup of hot tea made for you by someone you love.  Knowing that there is a warm place for you to sleep, snuggled in the depths of your blankets where for 8 hours your sleeping brain believes that you never have to leave your comfortable nest.  

As I have said before, I become akin to a hibernating bear in the Winter, and December is my busy foraging time before holing up in a corner of my comfortable couch for January and February (and March, and April, and the beginning of May...).  A time to visit and socialize and get it all out before my body begins to slow down for the season.  To eat fattening foods (oh butter how I love you!) and pile on the sweaters and long-johns.  To wait for the warmer winds of Spring.  

What does December look like for you?

Nov 25, 2010

Frost

I am sitting at my kitchen table with cold feet and fingers.  It is the epitome of a Fall day out there; it is cold and wet.  It's nice to sit inside and gaze out the window at the rain.  To know that I am warm and dry, and happy and healthy.  

That warmth definitely eluded me earlier today when I rode my bike home from work.  Let's just say a super hot, almost scalding shower was the only thing to knock the chill out of my bones.  The first hot shower of the season.  There will be many more.

The other day I had such a longing for Winter.  I know I am strange.  I was daydreaming and thinking of the first snowfall and how even after 30 years, it is still so magical to me.  It's odd, but when it gets cold enough to snow, I begin patiently waiting.  Always on alert for the first snowflakes to fall, always looking for them outside the window.  And when they do finally come, it is still the one day, every year, when I believe in magic and fairy tales.  It is always the most beautiful thing in the world to me.  I hope that never changes.  It makes me sad for people who can't see past what the rest of Winter means (to them, freezing temperatures, icy roads, storms, frozen toes).  It's a shame to miss out on something so quiet and wonderful. To be able to see the beauty in something so simple, yet so full of magic, is a miracle.


Nov 24, 2010

Snow Patrol

video

It's around this time every year that I keep my eye to the sky for snow.  I love it so much that when it does first snow, I am giddy.  Like a little kid waiting for Santa.  So I am constantly checking the weather report, constantly staring out the window, waiting to see some flakes.  Sometimes my eyes trick me into seeing them when they are not there.  

So when I woke up very early for no reason on Sunday morning, I went downstairs to feed the critters and I glanced out the window and it was SNOWING.  Not a blizzard mind you, but real snow all the same.  Now it has snowed once before here in Toronto, a few weeks ago, but that didn't stick to the ground either.  Believe me when I say a video will be posted of it for real snowing, and sticking to the ground. 

The days are getting colder, darker, and shorter, so it will only be a matter of time.  You may want to mute the video a bit.  I move the camera around and it makes a lot of noise.  So does my nose, because I keep sniffing.  Sorry about that.   Enjoy!

P.S- I think I need my windows cleaned.  Any takers?

Nov 22, 2010

A Beautiful Mind


Dave from Kato Kaka on Vimeo.

I recorded Dave playing the piano this morning.  He had no idea I was filming, so he was getting into it and playing his own lovely music. making it up as he went, without feeling like he was performing for an audience.  I love when he plays like this: so heartfelt, so beautiful.  It's like it just pours out of him.  And this makes me love him even more than I think is possible sometimes. 

Nov 19, 2010

TLC

 We are now up to date folks! This is me, in the present.  No more updates, you have to live with yours truly, in the flesh.  Enjoy!

Last weekend I woke up and felt like spending some money. After drinking a little too much the night before, waking up hung over and eating some bacon (a cure for EVERYTHING), I felt like exploring the world and being frivolous with my wallet (to an extent of course, I am not rich!).  

I had all these ideas in mind: to finally buy a rug for our family room, some art for the walls perhaps?  Change up our bathroom a little?  Buy a new set of dishes, something I have been wanting to do for a very long time? Hmmm.  So off we went with coffees at our lips and plenty of water to hold off the shakes of being a little too old to indulge with such reckless abandon.

Once we had walked here and there, and wandered around some stores (oh the Christmas cheer! Already!), fatigue began to set in.  My happy shopping bubble quickly began to deflate and everything I wanted when I set out seemed to become such a burden to even think about, never mind seek out.  Our bouncy walk had become more of a slow shuffle, and all I could think of was consuming a good meal, having a shower, and going to sleep.  And that's when a great idea struck...

Why not update our bedding and create a cozy nest to spend the next six months of winter holed up in?  This was more exciting than any fancy art or shag rug combined!  So with as much gusto as we could summon, we began to pick out new sheets, a soft comforter, pillows, a memory foam mattress cover, and a luxuriously soft throw to complete the look and coziness of it all.

We assembled our new/old bed and told each other we couldn't wait to go to sleep that night, something that had been lost as of late, as our bed (and room) lacks a comfy vibe to it.  I believe that where you sleep is a very important place to invest some money and time in making it warm and inviting, a place you want to go every night, a place where a restful, restorative sleep is found.  Important to starting your day off right, right?

I think we achieved that with our little investment.  And investment it was, that shit ain't cheap!  The night ended with a delicious dinner in a fancy restaurant (high rollers!).  A half litre of wine and an espresso later, and I was ready to test out the lovely cocoon we have created.  

Night night, dear readers!

 I think Pandorah likes it!

Nov 17, 2010

Playing Catch Up: 8

September 24, 2010

A few weeks ago, I experienced terror in a way that I haven't since I was a kid first playing Nightmare.  Anyone remember that board game?  One of the first interactive games where you popped a video in your VCR (anyone remember VCRs?) which consisted of a scary gatekeeper-vampire-werewolf-type person who led you through the game and made you say and do certain things to win.  I DID NOT WANT TO PLAY.  Why? Because I thought the scary person on the other side of the screen could SEE ME.  That if I didn't do what he said he would somehow...punish me.  By creeping into my room at night and showing me the maggots under his hood? I don't know.  But it terrified me.

But I digress, as usual.  The incident in question from a few weeks ago is WAY scarier, and only because I am old now and can't take that kind of shock to my heart.  I thought I was going to die from the panic.  

Dave and I were fast asleep.  It was three in the morning and not a creature was stirring.  I was yanked out of a dead sleep, which, if you have never been woken up in that way, you are lucky.  It's no good.  It leaves you feeling weird, and no one's heart should beat that fast.   I laid there trying to figure out what it was that woke me up so horribly when I heard it:  piano music coming from somewhere close.  At three in the morning.  Now, keep in mind that I was still slightly asleep and thought that my mind was playing tricks on me.  But then it continued, and as my brain woke up a little bit more, I realized that there was indeed a piano playing.  At first I thought someone was listening to music somewhere.  Why in God's name they would be playing it that loudly at that time of the morning is beyond me, but I do live in a crackhead area.  Who knows what a person who is agitated and paranoid will do in the middle of the night, right?

But then I realized it did not sound like music coming from a radio, but more like PLAYING.  Someone playing the piano.  I thought to myself "Ok neighbour, I get that you like to play the piano, but REALLY?" before my brain kicked in again and reminded me that my neighbours have school age children so it most likely wasn't them.  And then, the realization:  THE PIANO PLAYING WAS COMING FROM INSIDE MY HOUSE.  Once I figured this out, it was like my brain met with the rest of my body.  A huge WHOOSH of realization that woke me up completely.  As in, my body is standing at attention: all 1,300,000 nerve endings are NOT at ease.

Someone was playing the piano downstairs.  Never mind thoughts of ghostly beings in flowing, white, old-fashioned dress; enter serial killer stage left.  The kind of serial killer who's calling card was to play a person's piano before slashing their throat.  My entire body froze. My eyes tried to see through the floor, in order to try and understand what was going on below.  I gently and as quietly as I could, tried to wake up Dave.  This only happened when I squeezed his side in a pincher grip, all the while breathing "DAVE!" out of the corner of my mouth. He finally woke up.  I whisper-breathed, "Someone is in our house, playing the piano".

Now usually it takes Dave a good long 30 minutes to pull himself out of bed in the mornings.  This time? He was up and running in a matter of SECONDS.  He ran down the stairs.  Hmm...not my first choice in handling the situation.  I mean, who RUNS towards their death?  Apparently Dave does.  I heard the music go away.  He came back up the stairs to tell me that one of our cats had pushed the self-playing button on his piano.  PIANOS HAVE THOSE?  Oh my goodness, I thought we were DEAD when it was the freaking cat all along.

Moral of the story: turn off your piano before you go to sleep at night.  And any other thing that plays music or makes a sound.  Because when your cat has a vendetta towards you, they know just how to take you out.

Playing Catch Up: 7

August 3rd, 2010

I have been sort of bummed lately.  I have been missing the days when money that I made was, you know, MY OWN.  Screw you University and your call of knowledge and books.  What did you teach me, other than skipping class?  And now I have to be this super responsible ADULT (barf) who pays her student loans on time.  And now, I never have any money to do anything FUN.

So even though I am a super anal stupid ADULT when it comes to paying back all my shit, no one ever said I was super anal about paying my rent when my landlords were out of town!  HA! That's just crazy talk isn' t it!!???

Our landlord told us that he was leaving the country for two weeks.  He told us this right on the day when I got paid.  The day when I was feeling like I needed a little retail therapy.  So, my mind started turning.  In circles.  And then I smelled a funny smell and I remembered that that was what you intelligent folks call 'thinking'.  Ah yes, it's been a while.  I guess University was good for something.

Anyhow, my brain began doing it's thing and that thing was to tell me that:

1.  My landlord is out of the country for two weeks.

2.  I just got paid.

3.  There is the rent check for the month sitting on my coffee table.

4.  My landlord is out of the country for two weeks.

So I spent some of my damn rent money.  On SKINNY JEANS.  And a handbag.  So there!  Sometimes I am not so responsible.  Sometimes I am spontaneous and throw caution to the wind.  It feels good to be back.  I used to do crazy shit all the time.  Although I guess it doesn't truly count because I didn't have any real responsibilities then.  Sigh.  I guess I will know I am a bonafide irresponsible woman if I decide to have children and one day spend all their college tuition on a new set of boobs. Yeah! Spring Break! Am I right?

So there you go.  I am insane.  I spent my freaking rent money!! AHHH!  What the hell was I thinking?? What if they come back before I get paid in two weeks and demand the money?  I am a horrible person! I need to be stopped!  What was I thinking?

Do you think it would make it all better if I showed them the new mop I bought?  Mops are responsible!

Nov 15, 2010

Playing Catch Up: 6

July 29th, 2010

Yesterday I had the worst day.  Well, not really the worst day, that was just me being dramatic.  I think I woke up on the wrong side of the bed though, and I left the house with a frown on my face and darkness in my heart.  

This feeling carried on with me throughout the day, to the point where everyone was annoying me.  I am rational enough to realize that it most likely was not that people were being overly annoying, but that I was overly annoyed.  I was snappy, bite-y, and overall just wanted to go home.  But home was a far ways away, as I was attending an opera that evening that my good friend was involved in.  Tea and pajamas, you eluded me for a few more hours, but it's ok...I eventually made it home to you.

So off we went to the opera, which I was actually looking forward to.  It was a tiny ray of light in my vast oubliette of a day.  But then I started feeling sick people.  And when I feel that way, the last thing I want to do is sit in a theater with a bunch of strangers and fidget around and take deep breaths in order to keep my gorge down below the barf line.  Or my lunch from exiting the trap door.  Sorry, it had to be said.

But once the show began, all my troubles seemed to melt away.  I had never been to an opera before, and I was transfixed.  It was phenomenal.  The actors, the singing, the theater...it was exactly what my body and mind needed to heal from my horrible (self-induced) day.  

"Music speaks what cannot be expressed, soothes the mind and gives it rest, heals the heart and makes it whole, flows from heaven to the soul."  -Unknown

And it did.

Nov 14, 2010

Playing Catch Up: 5

July 25th, 2010

It's no secret that I suffer from a touch of claustrophobia.  Ok fine.  I am bat shit crazy when it comes to it.  I can't even THINK about a situation where there is a possibility that I might not be able to leave.  Movie theatres, office meetings, anything like that.  I have to take a few deep breaths and tell myself that I CAN leave.  Nothing is keeping me there against my will.  And usually that gets me through the mounting panic. And this is coming from the girl who used to CHOOSE to sleep half under the bed at her best friend's house when we were teenagers.  Maybe it was all the drugs I was doing at the time; made me feel like burrowing into a dark hole or something.  Anyway, most of the people in my life are not new to the fact that Katherine needs to sit in the aisle seat.  Or near the door, or at the back.  I realize that everyone thinks I am weird, but they need to believe me when I say I am planning ahead and avoiding catastrophe.  

So when I had to attend a wake on Thursday and found myself against a wall, in a pew with five people barricading me in, I made it clear that I could not sit there.  Quietly, so it was ok.  Everyone was talking amongst themselves, it was fine.  We were free to come and go.  And go I did, right outside for a bit of fresh air.

I knew a prayer service was being held, so I wrangled my way into the back pew, right on the aisle.  You know, just in case panic were to set in and I would have to quietly let myself out (keep in mind I have NEVER had a panic attack, and I truly believe I never will.  It's just the IDEA of it that freaks me out).  So when my uncle came in right as the service was starting, saw me and asked me to scoot over, I quietly shook my head no.  Smiling all big and pretty of course, and letting him know I would be happy to let him by me if he wanted to sit on the other side of me.  He laughed and asked me again to move over.  And this is when I saw myself through someone else's eyes: a girl with rain frizzy hair, a bit damp looking from the humidity, wide-eyed and frantically shaking her head from side to side, explaining quickly and with rising panic that I can't move over I AM SUPER CLAUSTROPHOBIC WOULD YOU LIKE TO SIT ON THE OTHER SIDE OF ME? BY THE WAY MY MOTHER IS OVER THERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO GO AND SIT WITH HER?  

Holy shit.  Relax Princess.  Move over, take a deep breath, and work through your issue.  Sorry about that Uncle J.  Let's call the situation 'The Mind of A Crazy Creative Being', and leave it at that?

Playing Catch Up: 4

 July 24th, 2010

Dave and I finally slept in our bed last night for the first time in three weeks.  After a long day at work we tidied up our living room and what a miracle it was to see the floor.  For weeks there has been a mattress, a bedroll, blankets, pillows, books, video game controllers, and who knows what else strewn all over the place.  It was a nice sight to see it clean.  I also think it was fate that we pulled all the stuff off the floor when we did and slept in our own bed because right before we were going up the stairs a house centipede (AKA Gaggillipede) scurried across the floor and into a box of DVDs.  If you have read anything on this blog then you will understand that these things freak me out to no end.  I will spare you a picture because they are creepy. 

Update:

We have since spread ourselves all over the floor again.  Having awoken simultaneously at 3 o'clock in the morning two nights ago, sweating to death and all that lovely stuff, it was an unspoken decision to set things up in the middle of the night once again.  It has been hot, rainy and humid.  So sleeping on the floor it is.  It's ok. It's very hippie chic.


Today was spent sleeping in until 2PM, drinking coffee, playing Marvel vs. Capcom 2 (and getting my ass kicked), tidying up the mess I let go all week because I was too stressed to care, and taking a long, cold shower.  Tonight will consist of old episodes of Beverly Hills, 90210, a delicious salmon dinner, and watching Pet Semetary.  All on the floor, mind you.

Nov 11, 2010

Playing Catch Up: 3

You know the drill by now!

July 18, 2010

So...does anyone else feel like 2010 has sucked major balls?  I mean, I know that it is only July and we have 4 and a half months of the year left, but really.  Where has it gone?  When did it pass me by?  In a year or two from now (hopefully BETTER years than this one) I will look back and be all "WTF 2010?  You sucked".  Oh well.  I AM pretty happy about the fact that I have my health.  And that everyone I know is still here and healthy and happy. 

Seriously though, so far the only major awesomeness for 2010 is the big t.v.  2010: The Year of the T.V.  

Has a nice ring to it.


Isn't it beautiful?  See what channel it's on fellas?  That's right!

Playing Catch Up: 2

In a continuation of keeping you all up-to-date with my life over the past few months, here is another one from the Summer:

July 17th, 2010

I have been feeling better today, despite my heavy head this morning.  I felt like I had been hit with a ton of bricks when I woke up.  Sheesh.  Stress anyone?  I have a whole lot of it for sale!

So in order to try and de-stress a little bit, I am doing my best to not think about money.  Also, even though it feels like the hounds of hell are breathing their rancid breath all over this city, I am making myself soup for lunch.  Soup always makes me happy.

I also have a date with Dave tonight for some two-player action (perverts) in Resident Evil 5.  I love that we just bought a gigantic t.v.  I love that my hours were reduced and I can't pay for it anymore.  Ha!  Just kidding about not being able to pay for it, Future Shop!  Even though I am still unsure of where the $400 in extra costs came from?  Your bill is misleading.  A-holes.

So, enjoy everyone.  Enjoy your soup and televisions and whatever the hell else makes you happy today!

Nov 10, 2010

Playing Catch Up

Hello everyone!  I am back.  Refreshed and ready to write.  Sorry for my long absence, but sometimes people need to disappear and take care of things.  Sound mysterious?  Picture me cackling maniacally right now, and you will have your answer.

The next few posts are going to be things that I wrote over the few months that I was gone.  Playing catch up, if you will.

I am going to label them with the date I wrote them on, until I am all caught up to current me.  Cool?

Here is the first:

July 13, 2010

I have to say that the past two days have been a little hairy.  We were told at work that our hours were being reduced, so that instead of 40 hours a week, we would go down to 30.  At first I was stoked, thinking "Sweet! A day off.  I can spend that time doing what I want, getting in tune with myself".  But, no.  Not going to work that way.  Instead, we do not get a day off, we only get shortened days.  Great.  So not only am I having to budget for a big pay cut while Dave is already not working (he was laid off from this same place), but I can't even get a part time job because I still have to be at work everyday.  Sigh.  Oh well.  Things could be much, much worse and I know that.  At least I rode the wave of optimism for a whole day right? Ha.  If you know me at all, believe me when I say that that in itself is a miracle.

I have been going through my old journals and laughing out loud at some of the things I wrote.  Here is an excerpt from one of them:

"July 13th, 2003

You know what I have been listening to a lot lately?  People's laughter.  I like the sound of it.  I listen to see if it is meaningful laughter, or if it is forced or fake.  I am told all the time that my laugh sounds fake.  I guess most of the time it is.  I have an odd sense of humour and I don't really find stupid things funny.  But I do know that it's been a long time since I laughed so hard that my stomach hurt.  I find that I surround myself with people who share the same sense of humour as I do, therefore I am always laughing with my friends.  But not lately.  Now that I am here, I don't have any friends who can make me laugh the way John or Linda can.  It's not necessarily a bad thing or anything.  Now I listen to others' laughter to see if they are really enjoying their laugh, or if they are just faking it, like most people do".

Don't mind me.  I was a ray of sunshine then.  I just had to give up my lovely apartment in Kingston and move home with my parents to finish university through correspondence.  I ran out of loan money, was starving, and couldn't find a job.  Hence, the happy post.  I was 23 and thought I knew everything.  

Man, don't we all when we're 23?

Nov 9, 2010

A Long Hiatus

But I may be returning soon.

Apr 9, 2010

Love To You All

Hey everyone! I am sure some may have noticed that I have been a bit absent on this here blog as of late, and I wanted to apologize for that.  I am sorry that I have not been writing much and I apologize for not keeping up to date on your own blogs as well.

Having said that, I am taking a bit of a leave of absence from my blog.  I am not gone forever, by any means, just for a little while. 

If anyone wishes to drop me a line, you can contact me at pandorah7@gmail.com.

Thanks for the ride so far, and I will see you soon!

xoxox

Apr 6, 2010

The Tony Danza Debacle

Hello there everyone.  I am alive!  I did not join the circus nor did I fall in with a band of gypsies, contrary to what my father might think.  I wish I was a gypsy.  I would be cursing the shit out of everyone and everything.  I already do that, I know, but what weight does it carry when I am just an ordinary woman?  Sigh.  Screw my parents for not giving me away to a travelling hippie camp or something when I was born.

So, not to beat around the bush or anything but I have a very good friend named John.   John is the type of friend that is there for life.  You know like when gangsters say that they are 'in it' for life?  I believe them when they say that, but I bet gangsters have never dealt with my poop shute during a bout of lactose intolerance.  John has many times, because he is a good friend like that.  One you want on your team because he makes you laugh so hard you feel like you can't breath.  Or, you feel like you need to poop.  Whatever happens first.

Anyway, John.  Let me tell you a little story that solidified a friendship that was already destined for greatness.  I mean really, we pee on the phone together.  If that isn't great, I don't know what is.

A year ago I went down to John's 'hood to hang out.  His 'hood looks different from mine.  Where I nod at the working ladies on the corner every night, the ladies in his neighbourhood don't need to work because their men do it for them.  And they do it very well.  So even though we have our choice of rich people malls, we decide to head to the much loved and favoured Value Village.  Just to browse the aisles for any old man vests that still smell like vanilla smoke from a wooden pipe.  What? You don't do that?  We do.  So while we are perusing the wonderful selection of high-waisted pants circa 1981, John spots a picture in a frame from over 3000 meters away.  He bolts for it as if it is the hottest commodity to come our way since cheesecake and pizza, and I find it hard to believe that ANYTHING is better than cheesecake.  He comes back my way proudly waving a picture that I am sure he still holds so dear to his little heart.  It is a picture of Tony Danza.  In a frame.  It is signed by the Who's The Boss? legend, and it's inscription reads,  "The gang at the Scratch Cafe- wish I was there with you.  My best, Tony Danza".  I have never seen anyone so ecstatic in my entire life.  I mean I understood why.  He was holding a SIGNED picture of Tony Danza.  I know right?  Amazing.

John decides he needs this particular photo to grace the walls of his non-existent kitchen.  You know, for when he gets one of those one day.  I am curious, so I ask him if he will name his kitchen The Scratch Cafe?  He looks at me with disdain and rolls his eyes.  Because a picture of Tony Danza makes MUCH more sense when it comes to kitchens.  So we march up to the counter and ask how much it is.  The girl at the register unceremoniously rips off the back of the frame and tells us around her wad of gum that it costs twelve dollars.  Woah.  That seems a bit steep, even for us high rollers.  John begins to look like a caged bird.  A little anxious.  I tell him I will buy it for him if he can't afford that extreme amount.  He asks how much it would cost without the frame.  The girl blinks once and says "Twelve bucks".  And then she asks who the guy is.  John and I both gasp and our hands whip to our hearts.  "What?  You don't know who TONY DANZA is?  You know, Who's The Boss?  Eh-oh, oh-eh?".  We pump our fists in the air.  She just shrugs and blows a bubble.  It pops, along with John's view of a decent world, where people live in happiness and harmony.  

So he decides he needs to think about it.  He wants to go and drive around and waste twelve dollars in gas to have a good think session.  But he does not want anyone else to see the photo while he is gone, and perhaps engage in a bidding war over it.  So he goes and hides it behind a wall, in the old ladies' sewing section of the store.  Behind a wall people.  Because he knows if an old lady were to find it, there is no way she would be mobile enough to take down the wall to get to it.  He is a thinker like that.

So we drive around, and I convince him to let me buy it for him, as a house-warming present for his non-existent house.  He is so happy that I take a picture of him holding the framed photo, proudly displaying it for all to see.  I am a great friend I know.  I hope he knows that's all he is getting.  Even when he one day actually buys a house, I will gently lead him to his kitchen that will NOT be called The Scratch Cafe, and I will point at my priceless gift and remind him of the trials and tribulations we went through to obtain it.  Or, maybe I will frame the photo I took of the photo, and give that to him instead.  

I am a thinker LIKE THAT.

Mar 26, 2010

The Story of Me: Part 3

I have been struggling with whether or not I should put this out in the open for some time now. What I am about to write is about me, only a different me. One that is so far removed from myself today, something for which I am very grateful. I always want to tell the truth on my blog. I want to write and not hold back. This blog is for me: to remind me of where I have come from, what I have gone through, and what I will experience until my time here on this earth is up. I write about the funny stories of my past and present, but I also write about deeper, sometimes darker times in my life. This story details the darkest. Read Part 1 here, and Part 2 here.

Back to high school.  Back to insecurity and anxiety, and feeling like I was always on the periphery.  I decided that I didn't care: not about how anyone looked at me, or about what anyone thought of me.  I was doing this for me. 

After enrolling I got a call from the principal asking my mother and I to come to a meeting with him that week.  We went, not knowing what it was for.  We soon found out that because I had been expelled from the school almost FOUR years ago, I had a lot of paperwork to sign.  Paperwork that made me promise super sweet with a cherry on top that I would be good, and not ruin my teacher's lives.  GAWD.  So much for a clean slate right?

It was the first day and we were all supposed to find our names on big lists on the wall, to see which class was our homeroom.  My name was not on any of the lists.  They forgot to enroll me.  And if that wasn't deterring me at all, they kept telling me to come back the next day and they would have a spot for me, but they didn't.  For an entire week.  Was someone trying to tell me something?  Because I was not feeling accepted with open arms back to high school, when it was already one of the hardest decisions I had made at the time. 

It was the next week that I was finally placed into a class.  The class was already under way when I knocked on the door, explaining that I belonged there.  There was no desk fo me so I had to go and ask another teacher if she had an extra one, which I had to drag into the other room.  With EVERYONE staring at me.  So much for not feeling insecure.  Since my high school career had ben all over the place up to that point, I was in grade 10, 11, 12, and OAC classes.  Grade 10.  When I was almost 19-years-old.  Grade 10 where everyone is 14 or 15.  Sweet Jesus.  The worst part of this was that I was in my little brother's grade 10 math class.  I would ask him questions all the time and some of the other kids caught on and asked him if I was his girlfriend.  Seriously, this was not okay.

But, it wasn't all bad.  A lot of the same teacher's who told me I would end up in jail or dead were still there, and it was nice to show them that I hadn't given up.  It was a struggle.  It was hard to get back into the abnormal normalcy of high school, and at times it was embarrassing.  But I was on the honour roll.  I put my head down and ignored everything and worked my ass off.  I also met a great guy that I spent close to three years of my life with.  It was because of him that I learned what relationships SHOULD be like, and how people SHOULD treat each other.  He was my first glimpse of what the word 'healthy' meant when it comes to people being together, and I am forever grateful to him for that.  Of course with many things that come into being when two people are young, it ended.  But nicely.  Normally.  And we are still friends today.  So going back to high school wasn't a total write-off.  I was with good people, I made the honour roll and I got a scholarship to university.  Of which I got accepted to every single one I applied to.  Looks like I wasn't a write-off either, and it boosted my confidence to know that I pulled it off.

The rest is history.  I took a loooong time to finish university (5 years to complete a 3 year degree program), but I didn't care.  Figuring it took me 7 years to get through high school, I believe I came out ahead.  And really, what was the rush?  This has become my motto in life.  There is never any rush.  For anything. 

I graduated and I moved to a wonderful, vibrant city that I love.  I have a nice apartment and I like to eat, so it's nice that I can.  I have my family and friends and that is the most important thing in this world to me.  I am with an amazing person who I love with every fiber of my being and there is no rushing, only lots of love and respect, and laughing. 

I think I turned out alright.  I have learned a lot about life, and I have made mistakes and fixed them to the best of my ability.  What excites me to no end is that I have so much more to learn.

Mar 25, 2010

"You're SOO Weird!"

Yesterday I commented to a friend that I think Weird Al Yankovic is a god.  Here is just one more reason why this is the truth:


Wordless Wednesday: Update On Thursday

Scroll down a bit or click here to go to the post to read what actually happened in the picture.  Copyboy and Ally were the ones that came close by guessing that I looked 'concerned'!

Enjoy!

Mar 24, 2010

Tagged!

So I know I promised no more pictures of me (sigh) but Lisa over at The Domestication of A Party Girl (you should probably go and visit her because she is actually amazing) has made me 'it' in a fun photo tag game!

The rules are:

1.  Go into your first photo file and pick the 10th photo in it.
2.  Tell the story behind the photo.
3.  Tag five other people to do likewise.

So, here goes!


This was taken in Blackpool, England, at a fun place called Pleasure Beach.  A friend and I backpacked across the Northern part of England, and we both knew that Blackpool was a must see on our trip.  It has a roller coaster called The Big One.  Why? Because it was really, really BIG.  This was taken in the morning, right before we had gone on any rides and learned that British folk don't actually have any standards when it comes to ride safety.  Ha!  I am kidding.  But seriously, their rides are WAY scarier than our rides, due to lack of harnesses and speed limits.  Right after this picture was taken, I went on a easy ride and needed a shot of whiskey afterwards.  Which I gladly took.  And added a few more friends to the first in my bloodstream.  Liquid courage, huzzah!

Now I must tag 5 other folks in the game.  Here are my picks:





and last but certainly not least, Josh over at The Technical Parent

Tag! You're it!

Wordless Wednesday


So I decided to jump on the Wordless Wednesday boat.  Sue me.  Oh shit, you can?  Errr....I take that back then! Please don't sue me!

What do you think is going on in this picture?  I will let you know if you are right!  And that's enough pictures of me for a loooooong time.

UPDATE:  So I promised that I would tell everyone what is actually going on in this picture.  Dave had just bought me a Macbook Pro and I was fiddling around with all of it's applications.  There is one called 'Photobooth' where you press a button, it counts down from 3, and then it snaps your picture.  So, I clicked on the button, it began the countdown...and then I heard a scary noise outside the door that literally scared the crap out of me.  My image was captured right at the moment when my head whipped around and a loud gasp escaped my lips.

And there you have.  I was scared shitless in this photo.

Mar 23, 2010

A Picture, So It Happened


Me at 16.  Just so you guys have a visual of the problem child that was me.  Yep.  See? I really did have a shaved head (for some of you who's favourite line is"a picture or it never happened".  Right Ian?

Look at that fake smile.  I was such a jackass.  All my parents wanted was a nice school picture of their child, and this is what they got (taken when I attended alternative school).  In my grandmother's sweater, mind you.

Enjoy!

Be A Good Person. Or Something.

Back in 2005, I had to bear losing a family member.  I am not going to go into how I felt about that because obviously it was awful and hard, and I was sad.  Without sounding like a heartless wench, I am going to talk about something that happened to ME at the funeral.  Hate me yet?  Because I am going to whine.  WHINE!

As usual with dear old me, I am going to inject a little background into this post explaining a few things.  Yes, I just said 'inject'.  I am going straight to hell.

I spent almost my entire school career going to a Catholic school.  My parents are not particularly Catholic, they just thought it would teach us some discipline.  Huh.  Or NOT.  As we have all seen in this social experiment they call their middle child.  Did I win the prize mom?  Dad....?

Anyway, even though I went to a Catholic school, I did not ever abide by the religion.  Not because I find anything wrong with it, I just live by a complicated and ancient adage which states one thing only:  BE A GOOD PERSON.  I try to do this whenever I can.  We all know I strayed when I was younger and I learned from that.  Sometimes I stray now, but nobody is perfect.  Especially the middle child.  We are allowed a little leeway when it comes to the straying, we would turn to dust without it.

So even though I do not practice any religious customs, I am still very familiar with those in the Catholic religion.  I mean, I used to recite an entire Mass under my breath in a nasally voice along with the priest, in order to make my friends laugh.  Oh crap, did I just admit that?  I mean I NEVER did that!  I knew how long my kilt was supposed to be in high school, we were made to get on our knees in front of the principal if he noticed they were too short on his hallway prowls.  To prove that it touched the ground people.  Jeez.

But I digress.  What I am trying to say is that I know the rules.  I know how to dress appropriately in a church.  I have stopped taking the Eucharist, being a non-practicing Catholic, but I remember how to, more so than most things in this life.  So I decided that in order to please my more Catholic family members, I would not be selfish this one time and practice the Mass the way I was always taught to.  By standing when I should, praying when I should, and taking in the body of Christ.  It was hard, I know, but I did it.

It was the Summer time and it was hot.  One of the hottest Summer's I can remember.  So I was wearing a black dress that bared my shoulders.  I made sure to suffer through the heat and cover myself with an old lady shawl.  None of my tattoos were sneaking cameos, I was not wailing too loudly.  I was sitting in a row with my siblings and significant others, and I was the only person in that row partaking in the Mass. To please my family.  

The priest doing the funeral Mass was one of those old school cranky models, the kind that find their strength in religious indignation, only happy to see a person crumble under their booming voice declaring that we are all going to HELL! And if you do not live your life as a Catholic and a Catholic only, well he felt sorry for you and he would twitter his fingers and leer at you from above when you are in HELL.  

When it came time to receive the Eucharist, I stood in line and patiently waited my turn.  My sister, who was also plainly in this man's view and who was NOT being an active participant in the entire  Mass (that a-hole, she is super hot and wraps everyone around her finger, even priests), was ahead of me.  She demurely held her hands out to Father Hell and Damnation, and he gently placed the little disk of bread on her palms.  She whispered an 'Amen' and it was my turn.  I stepped forward and held my hands out just like I had a thousand times before.  The priest was busy retrieving another piece of bread from the bowl.  He looked up, holding the piece of Jesus's body up in the air....and then he LOOKED at me.  Like, as in, up and down.  In disgust.  Telling me with his eyes he believed me to be a heathen and a succubus.  A messenger of Satan and all that is from HELL.  And then he walked away from me, COMPLETELY SHAFTING me of my desire to please my family.  Sigh.

What did I do?  What did he see on my face?  Was he there that day when I was 12-years-old and was waiting for a friend's dad in church, and I was REALLY hungry so I went and stole the tupperware container full of the body of Christ and I ate it all?  Yes, they keep that kind of stuff in tupperware.  What were you expecting, a golden chalice blessed with the holiest waters of the holy?  

Hmm...perhaps my admitting that does not place a favourable light on my person.  How did Father Hell and Damnation SEE this?  Perhaps he was right in turning me away.  Maybe he saw the devil in my eyes, or maybe I would have burst into flames when I placed the wafer on my tongue.  There WAS that one time that I walked into a church and stuck my fingers into the aspersory (the bowl that holds the holy water), and you know what happened?  Sparks flew from my fingers as soon as I touched it.  I am not shitting you.  My brother saw it too.

Who knew my mother had her very own Rosemary's baby?

Mar 22, 2010

The Story of Me: Part 2

I have been struggling with whether or not I should put this out in the open for some time now.  What I am about to write is about me, only a different me.  One that is so far removed from myself today, something for which I am very grateful.  I always want to tell the truth on my blog.  I want to write and not hold back.  This blog is for me: to remind me of where I have come from, what I have gone through, and what I will experience until my time here on this earth is up.  I write about the funny stories of my past and present, but I also write about deeper, sometimes darker times in my life.  This story details the darkest.  Read Part 1 of the story here. 

And home we went.  It's crazy how big an impression that city made on me.  I would eventually go back there when I went to University.  It was my first choice school and it was a hard one to get into, but I did it.  My way.

I had procured a kitten while living in our little apartment on Park Street.  He came with me.  Sonic was his name.  I think it was good for me to have a little responsibility in my life.  I continued to do drugs for a while under my parents roof.  Believe me when I say that they had no clue.  When you do it as much as I did, for as long as I did, it becomes a normal part of your daily life.  They thought I was weird, sure, but never on any drugs.  At least, that's what I thought.

I was spending my days reading, sleeping, and laying up in my dark bedroom.  This went on for a few months before my parents told me that I either had to go back to school, or get a job.  I agreed that I would go back to school but only on one condition: I choose the type of school I attended.  No more regular classroom for me.  I hated it.  So we began doing research into alternative schools.  I went to an interview at one school, and the guy who ran it was an asshole.  I needed a nurturing soul not a drill seargant.  Not for me.  My mom set up a meeting at an alternative school named Genesis.  We were about to meet the two teachers that worked there when I got cold feet.  I told my mom I didn't think I could do it.  I couldn't go back.  Not after all that time.  I was scared.  She looked me straight in the eye, squared her shoulders and said, "That's fine. When we get home you can pack your clothes and leave".  I had never seen her so serious in my life.  It scared me even more.  She knew I didn't want to go back out there.  I was just a kid.  Later when I was in my 20s, my mom told me that was one of the hardest things she had to say to me at the time.  Because she knew she was taking a gamble.  She knew that it could go either way with me; that I would have taken her up on it and she would lose me again.  Possibly for good this time.  Her little girl.  Mom 1, Kato 0.

I attended Genesis for almost 2 years, until I was 17.  In that time I met a friend named M, who also attended the school.  M was my age and had a daughter who was a year old.  She had been living on the streets for a long time, heavy into drugs when she became pregnant.  She instantly moved back home to have the baby.  When I met her she was a beautiful young lady, with a secure head on her shoulders.  I knew I would learn a lot from her.  She was far away from that girl who slept on sidewalks, and I was amazed at her inner strength and what an absolute wonderful mother she was to her daughter.  I started spending a few days at a time at her house, as it was closer to the school then my parents house, which was an hour's drive away.  Eventually I 'lived' at her house from Monday to Friday, visiting my own family on weekends.  I lived that way on and off for a year or so.  It was cleansing.  It helped me to repair my relationship with my folks.  I stopped doing drugs.  I ripped the heavy blankets off of my bedroom window, and I let that sun shine in until I was blinded by it.  I wanted to start over.  Seeing the strength that M had, I knew I could do it too.  She helped me see that anyone can change, any way they want to. 

After two years at Genesis, I knew my time there was done.  I had grown enough to know that I could make it somewhere else.  Beside's, the school I went to was only supposed to be for a few months, a time for a person to get back on their feet and move on, and I had been there for 2 years!  I dropped out again and continued my studies from home, but it was a slow process.  I got a full time job as a nanny to three kids, which humbled me and made me grow up a little bit more.  I worked with that family for a little over a year when I decided, at 18-years-old, it was time to take another stab at high school.  'Normal' high school.  My worst nightmare.

End of part 2