Wednesday, December 29, 2010


I'm quite literally waiting on a phone call about kittens. Perhaps the foster mom for my hopefully-future-kitties-to-be is on vacation.

You know when things feel stagnant? And not stagnant like nothing is happening, but the kind where things are on the verge of happening and the potential for awesomeness is lingering in the air and you have nothing to do but wait for an undisclosed amount of time to see what happens? Yeah.

Kittens are one thing. The apartment downstairs is another. Our landlady is interested in having a property manager, and we're interested in paying less rent. So we've been going back and forth and our current offer of $75 less rent per month in exchange for property management is on the table. Basically, the Dude would fix small stuff for free and only charge our landlady for materials. He'd handle the garbage, shovelling, cleaning of common areas, and handle complaints from the other tenants. He'd oversee major repair issues and generally be available when needed.

Seeing as our landlady is good about paying for things, but does not enjoy coming out to the property and asks the Dude to handle these things and winds up paying him for his labour costs, this would be a deal for her. But we'll see what sort of conclusion she comes to.

And this is how I'm spending my Christmas vacation. When I was a kid or a teenager, I'd spend it hanging out with friends, watching new movies, playing with new toys or gadgets and/or glued to video games. Now I'm trying to plan a move. And of course, I'm trying to get kitties. The irritations and privileges of adult life rolled into one holiday vacation time.

I haven't been to any Boxing Day sales (Or should I say Boxing Week). That was a standby when I was a teenager. Generally speaking, I don't enjoy shopping as much as I used to, at least not in malls. The crowds fill me with dread. I can't help but remember when I was working in fast food when I was younger and had to work the week after Christmas. It's enough to give you a twisted knot in your stomach just thinking about going into a melee like that voluntarily.

Before I go, I have a picture of my ring, a better picture than the blurry Photobooth one I posted a couple months ago when I first got engaged. One of my aunts wanted a photo of it because she wouldn't see me this Christmas, and so the Dude took a good one. This ring has a story to it, which I'll tell soon.

'Tis a handy thing, having a photographer in the house.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Time out

I'm home, and glad of it. Not that I don't enjoy visiting relatives, because I do, but damn if there's just no place like your own digs. We came home to a bit of a mess, but it was still a comforting sight. And sure, the neighbours had cranked up the heat to 25 C, and we felt the familiar chill as we entered our own uninsulated portion of the house to an uninspiring 15 C, but home is home.

We've been negotiating rent and responsibilities with the landlord over the holidays, so that might result in a happier living space. But even though we're still stuck in this frosty abode for awhile yet, there's nothing like having your home base back. And now that we are back 'n cozy, it's time for kittens. I haven't been able to shut up about kittens. I just don't feel 100% without feline companionship. I've set things in motion to begin an adoption, so hopefully within a couple weeks, I should have kitties, kitties, kitties. Well, two kitties.

I could talk about the actual visit back to ye olde hometown, but it was largely uneventful. The holidays are so often a whirlwind of activity and scheduling. Though I enjoyed all the visits, it would be hard to recount them without making it sound like a laundry list. I answered a lot of questions about my wedding. Mostly they were, "Where is it?" "When is it?" and, "Is there a nearby hotel?" I had answers for all three handy.

I actually fell asleep most of yesterday at the Dude's dad's place. I had an allergy pill (or two) that knocked me out, but I think I really required a mental break. Extended socialization drains me of energy.

In fact, I have written all I can, and I've been staring at the screen unable to write much of substance for some time. Off to unwind and shut off all communication.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

And so it begins, the great odyssey to our hometown to see three different family units, plus other shorter visits. Thankfully we'll have access to a car. I love being in a car with the Dude. He's a good driver, and relaxed. We're so rarely in a car together that it's actually kind of a novelty.

But for any of it to begin, we have to take the bus, which is of course the least humane way to travel during the holiday season. Or any season, but mostly Christmas eve because everyone is loaded with holiday paraphernalia, is anxious because they're worried about getting a seat, and uncomfortable because they've been in line in the cold forever. Plus, while many love this time of year, it also can bring out the worst in people.

So yeah, not totally jazzing on taking the bus. But we're leaving in five minutes, Christmas will be here any second pretty much, and so one must suck it up and make the trek. After all, we have three consecutive turkey dinners to attend. Something tells me I'll get plenty of sleep.

Merry Christmas, readership!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Oil, Energy and Collapse

I tried to fall asleep last night by watching a documentary. I like documentaries, but if I'm not wide awake for them, I can sometimes fall asleep. Processing information while lying down in cozy bed can make for sleepiness. So the Dude and I threw on Collapse. He fell asleep. Lord knows how, because I found the information too riveting and horrible to fall asleep for many hours.

Okay, so this guy named Michael Ruppert is this former cop with a glowing record, who blew the whistle on the CIA selling cocaine back in the late '70s. He resigned and became an investigative journalist. The documentary is about him and his life and what he knows, but mostly about what he knows and how it's pretty much ruined his health and life.

So here's a rundown that should scare the crap out of anyone who's reasonable: We run entirely on fossil fuels (no surprise there) and we hit peak oil already, some time ago. So that means more than half of it is gone (Saudi Arabia has resorted to offshore drilling. That being the hardest, most expensive route to drilling oil, and since the country won't release how much they have in their reserves, it's safe to assume their main wells are dry). The world's population has spiked and consumption has increased. That means that the demand is now and will forever be higher than the supply... until it runs out. Which is going to be in my generation's lifetime.

There is no replacement energy source. Everything to generate every other energy source requires oil, to either build, produce or maintain. So if there is no oil to use for energy and there is no energy to build, produce or maintain other energy, then what? No, seriously, then what?

Also consider that all fields in industrial farms are ploughed with oil-consuming vehicles, are fertilized with oil byproduct chemicals (because by only growing the same crops each year-- corn-- you drain the soil of its nutrients, and chemicals are the easiest way to keep the soil fertile), and most are for corn fields to produce ethanol, and that it takes more oil energy to make ethanol than how much ethanol it actually produces... yeah.

So where does our food come from when the oil runs out? Think about that.

Also, no more plastics. No more maintenance for modern day technology that we rely on, like cell phone towers. No more oil to make materials required for more computers, cars of any kind, phones. No more oil products to build, say, nuclear power plants as a source of alternative energy.

All money used to be based on gold. How much gold was there? Well, money represented the amount of gold there was. Then money started to represent other resources, like oil. Well, as the world's supply gets used up, money stops being worth as much, doesn't it? Because it won't represent anything anymore. Money is just paper without something tangible to back it up and make it worth something. And one could get into how interest and banking further dilutes the worth of money, but let me get to my point.

The world is going to change. It doesn't look anything like it did 30 years ago, and it's going to look completely different 30 years from now in the opposite direction. We've been on an upward incline for decades, and now that the money-maker is drying up, we've begun our downward decline, and with a huge population that still needs to eat. Remember what I said about food?

Michael Ruppert predicted the 2008 crash, and has been speaking and trying to warn the government for years. No one's listened because there was still money to be made for men who will be dead by the time we run out of the black stuff.

We need a renewable energy source, and we need it yesterday. We need clean materials to build and create what we've grown to depend on. We need them soon. To be honest, I can see why this man has dedicated his life to this cause, to the detriment of his health.

Take a moment and consider what you'll do (note, not what you would do, but what you will do, because it's imminent in our future) without oil. Consider that it's responsible for your computer, cell phone, electricity, clothes, and most of what's in the grocery store. If that doesn't instill a sense of fear in your heart, I want to know what you're taking so I can have some too.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas shopping

Okay, so Christmas is pretty much happening any second and I'm sort of in denial about it. No, not really, but I only have to buy one gift. One gift! And I'm not going out to do it.

I bought my aunt a Christmas ornament. We mail each other presents each year. I was going to go out and get her a Swarovski ornament for her tree, but then realized that (a) there's an online store and (b) they would ship it to her with greater speed and less muss and fuss, without me having to stand in line at the post office during the holiday season.

The Dude and I are getting each other kittens (yay!) in the new year for Christmas. It's going to be a somewhat pricey endeavour, hence the allocation of Christmas monies for the cause.

I made bracelets for the Dude's mom and stepmom. And we did a corny Christmas photo shoot for framing as a secondary gift-type thing.

My brother is all that's left. He wants toiletries or other such practical things. Easy enough. But I keep avoiding the task. It's the only gift that involved me doing anything outside the house. I keep thinking how cold and unpleasant it is out there and then I put it off. What the hell is that about? I mean, other than the obvious fact that working from home has made me grown soft.

I'm beginning to see why people who work from home get dressed. I never do, and I think it's the snuggly pyjama feeling that keeps me indoors so much, now combined with an aversion to the cold and slush. Getting dressed means you're serious about doing something with your day. Staying in PJs means fuck it.

In past years when I had more to buy, I'd go out and get everything done in one shot after careful planning about what I'd buy and where. I'd come home with a sense of accomplishment. Thanks to reduced Christmas shopping needs and the internet, that's just not happening this year.

I have a few days left to make it happen. I'll get it done. I have to, otherwise I'm a bad sister.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A step up by going down

I have a problem with moving. And by that I mean I move constantly. I've mentioned this before, probably when I moved the last time, in 2009, to this place. I keep finding a reason to pack 'er up and hit the dusty trail. Usually it's neighbour related, combined with some other issue.

For example, in the Village, they raised my rent, and I had a showdown with a neighbour in the laundry room. Guy was commandeering all four washes and four dryers for himself, and was planning on four more loads. Wouldn't let me use one. That's not why I moved, really, but it was awkward running into him on the elevator. More so because I lived on the second floor and had no business taking the elevator.

In Parkdale my neighbours were trash. C-word screaming, delinquent teenage daughter raising, smoking in the halls trash. And I just started working at home and didn't have enough space.

In Christie Pitts, The neighbour downstairs smoked in the house, and we shared air vents. So we were smelling it whenever we were home. The Dude, trying to quit the cancer sticks, was being driven out of his mind. Plus it was too cold, and then too hot, and too expensive.

Where we are now, there's the opera singer. It's also got temperature issues and the ladies downstairs act like they own the whole building, and yet neglect the duties that come with it, such as taking out the garbage.

What's all this got to do with anything? Well, they've moving out in the spring, presumably back to Australia, as they're selling off all their belongings. We've been offered dibs on their place. Why both move downstairs? Well, there's a few large bonuses.

1. The temperature is normal downstairs. When it says 21 C, it's really 21 degrees. Upstairs it's 17, but down there it's all gravy.

2. They have a yard. We have a deck that is too small for more than three people, but they have a real, honest-to-God yard. A yard in Toronto is like the promised land. We could plant vegetables and have people out for a barbeque. You can tell it jazzes me because I made two religious allusions and I'm sort of a heathen.

3. Two bedrooms. There's a bathroom, kitchen, bedroom and living room on the ground floor, and in the basement there's another living space and a bedroom. I could finally have a proper office. We'd have more space for our at-home work.

4. There's a door going to the laundry room. No more going outside in January in -14 weather. Actually, I beg the Dude to do that for me, but I wouldn't have to anymore.

5. A real kitchen. We're making do in a box of a half-assed attempt at a kitchen, where the room gets so cold the butter may as well be in the fridge, and there's no space to contain non-perishables or small appliances. There's storage, and space and counters downstairs. We could live like real people.

6. The bedroom is bigger. Things are a little squeezed in this place. It'd be nice to have more room, as the Dude's stuff is kind of everywhere 'cause it's got nowhere else to go.

And the cost? $200 more a month, $100 more a piece. Sounds like a no-brainer, doesn't it? Yes and no. By the time we move in and till the wedding, we'll have paid $1,400 more in rent. It's not like we can't use that right now. Also, we'd pay 20% more in utilities, which will be an extra $50 every two months. Again, not helpful when you're trying to save.

Ah, life. I'm a "bargain shopper" as it were. I don't buy into extravagance. Even when I spoil myself, I look for deals and scale back. I'm the same with my home life. I've never splurged on an apartment. This is barely a splurge either, this downstairs place, it's just better.

And the move would be ridiculous. Just call a buddy or two and move things downstairs at our leisure. Done. No truck, no loads of boxes, no deadlines, no driving around the city or worrying about stuff breaking.

This probably isn't the time to be frugal. This could be a chance at a life-changing upgrade.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas cards

I'm doing Christmas cards. In years past it was so easy. Now it's a lengthy process. It's not just the gathering of addresses either, though that has been a task of the ages (as I broke my hard drive and lost my entire address book). I write personal messages in each one. I don't enjoy only signing my name and then sending it off. I don't like the cards to speak for me. If I'm sending someone mail, surely I have got something of my own to say. But this task has grown since the Dude entered my life in a serious fashion. And now since his family will be my family, I'm sending cards to his loved ones, too.

Now, he's not leaving it all to me. He gathered all the addresses for me, bought the stamps and mailed them out. He's on his way out soon to buy some more, because 24 wasn't enough to get all our families and social circle covered. What do you get when two people from Catholic families get engaged? Gigantic Christmas card lists. And an even bigger guest list for the wedding. Dear me. But we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.

Last year I made my own. So I had to get particular about who I sent them to because I had roughly a dozen of them. Then people were bummed out not to get a card, so I had to nix that idea this year, and forevermore until I can find the time to handcraft about 30+ cards. One thing that generally spurns me on to send them at all is that people really seem to genuinely enjoy the cards. I get comments on it all the time.

And I think that says a lot about a few things in general:

One, people love getting cheerful things in the mail. Two, people feel special when you make things personal, and Three, no one ever gets handwritten anything anymore. No one sends letters. And I think that's what got me going in the first place. And what kills me is how much my penmanship has suffered. I didn't really learn to type till I was 14, and didn't have a computer in my house till I was 15. I wrote everything. And I think most people have gotten out of the habit of handwriting. One more reason it's so important to try.

If there's any time to revive old cherished forms of communication and to go out of your way to do something a little special, Christmas is the time. I never want to feel too busy to do it. I don't think I will. It makes me really happy.

Monday, December 13, 2010


I've been thinking about Christmas. I had some really nice ones when I was a kid. No sob stories here. Some people hate Christmas because of bad holiday memories from their childhood. I had a lot of fun.

My parents always warned me not to expect too much. I think perhaps when I was very young there may have been lots of presents. When I was 8, our family finances underwent some changes. Single parent households aren't typically rolling in money, but job loss can stretch things tighter.

But I never noticed fewer presents, really. I mean, there were fewer, technically, but I think what made the difference was my brother and I didn't feel our holiday was lacking. We had traditions. There was my father's family, over 20 people, packing into my grandma and granpa's post-war six-room house's living room. Exactly seven places to sit. Get up to go to the bathroom and you lost your spot. Those were fun Christmas eves.

There was Christmas eve before bed, my brother and I doing our pyjama race to see who could open their Christmas eve present first. There was waking up to a stocking in our beds and the rule of waiting till 7:00 to wake up Mom. There were always new movies and the yearly debate and squabble over which one we'd watch first.

Then breakfast. Then Grammy and Poppie's for dinner and more presents. Mom had a rule that we were only to get clothes, as they were needed. So we weren't wild over them, because kids never see the value in clothes, but we loved our family. Our closest cousins would be there and we'd play and swap stories.

Leading up to Christmas, my mom and I would go to one of her friend's for baking all kinds of holiday goodies that we'd stick in the freezer and bring out as needed: cookies, squares, cake, chocolate...

Things changed when we got older. Grammy passed. Then Grandpa five years later, and a year later my mother, and a year after that, Grandma. A lot of families fall apart after so many deaths, particularly when those deaths were of people who were like glue. But life marched on and Christmas evolved, not without sadness, but you find joy in the holidays where you can if you try.

And with the new Christmas locations to go to, different schedules and new significant others, things started to get sticky. My father played turf war over Christmas, which was needless to say a bad time for all. Did it with Thanksgiving, too. Any holidays you wished to include others or expand your repertoire of activities and visits he took as a personal affront. It doesn't make sense, so explaining it would be pointless, at least for today. So for a few years, Christmas was very unpleasant.

In the years we've been estranged, things have again grown into something cheerful and festive. And with a fiancee I've been with for four years, there's been some dividing up of holiday time to make sure we see everyone. And everyone does this. As you age, Christmas stops being about the presents and starts being about who you spend time with. I know a number of people my age still get presents, but that's dwindled for me for many years now and has almost reached nil.

There's a couple people I do exchanges with, but there's no actual "Christmas morning" type of thing in my life anymore. That part of my life has come to a close. And when I thought of how this year would be, waking up at my mother-in-law-to-be's house and eating breakfast, drinking coffee and being with the man I'm going to marry, I felt good.

And then we'll go to my aunt's (One of many aunts I always mention) for Christmas dinner and see about 25 of my relatives there. And then the next morning, it's off to the lake to see the Dude's dad and step mom. And there'll be questions about the wedding that I'll have answers to, and we'll eat festive things and sleep in and be cozy with warm drinks.

And I can look back on my mom and thank her for always making Christmas about family and tradition and the experience, and not the gifts. And traditions are important. Last year when my brother came up to spend Christmas with us after Jerry died, I laid a stocking out on his bed like our mom used to do when we were kids. In all honesty, I did it more for me than for me. You do little things to keep what and who matters alive how you can and where you can.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Type B Bride

Maybe I'm missing something, but so far planning a wedding isn't consuming too much of my time or stressing me out whatsoever. Venue's booked, dress bought, bridesmaid dresses selected, and I've got recommendations for cake and flower vendors that I'll probably go with because they sound in my price range and I've heard/seen good things. I've picked out the centrepieces and place settings I want.

I'm not on any message boards, I'm not going to any bridal shows, I'm not getting a wedding planner, I'm not on the phone all day. As soon as I see something I like that's reasonably priced, I choose it.

I have to wonder again, though, about the power of autonomy. I'm doing most of this stuff myself and on the fly (With the Dude, too, of course, for anything not pertaining to ladies fashion) and only informing people of my choices after I've made my decision, not running anything by anyone else at any time. I don't need to ask permission, I don't feel unsure, I haven't been planning or banking on this day since I was a zygote.

Is that why this feels so matter-of-fact? Does most of the stress usually come from being a perfectionist or a people pleaser? Because I'm neither of those things. I'll cut corners if it doesn't matter. I'll say no if I think it needs to happen. Colour me Type B personality. Which is so weird because in several areas of life I am rather neurotic.

Like money. It will grate at me like an itch I can't reach if I'm in my overdraft even a few dollars. If I think I may not be able to pay my credit card balance in full, I will lose sleep. I'll start walking long and foolhardy distances to avoid paying for subway tokens, and not leave the house to prevent myself from needing to spend extra money. And you'd think planning a wedding, requiring lots of monies, would send such a person as me into a nervous fit. And yet here we are.

I love watching bridal drama and meltdowns on TV: the ones who fret over their dress and can't choose even after trying on about 25, the ones who cry because they want a waffle station and it's not in the budget, or the ones who are desperate to make an entrance and think they need fireworks, dove releases and smoke machines at varying intervals.

People are nutty, some more so than others, and I don't think weddings make otherwise normal people crazy. I think they only bring out what is naturally there. For example, if at any time you think any specific day in your adult years must be 100% about you and only you, then you are probably slightly unhinged in the mental department because that's not sensible or even possible because of the unalterable fact that other people do, in fact, exist.

But it's not as though I don't have some concerns. I do. I don't have a relationship with my father, and I plan to walk myself down the aisle, as I don't care to put on a facade on what is supposed a sincere and solemn moment in my life. I don't feel it'd be appropriate, and traditions can be discarded if they don't apply. I don't wish to have to explain myself for this, but I know I will have to, and be as vague or misleading about my reasons as possible.

Another concern is the guest list. In the hope of inviting everyone who matters to us, we can't afford to issue out plus-one invites to people who are single (as in not married, engaged or cohabiting, or at the very least in a serious and long-term relationship). That would add at least an extra 20 people, forcing us to remove actual friends from attending to make way for strangers.

Also, with 18 children to invite, and seeing as inviting some and not others would not sit well with many, we're not inviting any. 18 is the size of an industrial daycare, and again, even at a reduced cost for children, it would still mean not inviting adults we really care about. Not to mention, that many children or even half that many with all or most under the age of 8 would be too much chaos.

So I'm worried that people will bring plus-ones or children anyway. Because some people do that. And of course, like all brides before me, I'm preparing myself to handle calling those who do not respond to the invitation. And if everyone else's wedding is anything to go by, I'll be doing lots of that, I'm sure.

It doesn't feel like the Dude and I have been engaged two months. I suppose time really does fly.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

C'est expensive

Toronto is an expensive place to exist. Mostly due to rent and housing prices. You don't appreciate this sort of thing when you're in high school, or even when you're in college. I moved away for college, and I was shocked by rent costs in my GTA apartments. Living with roommates cost me over $400 a month.

Oh, but living with a roommate in actual Toronto was $675 a month. And then living alone was-- never mind. I once found a charming one-bedroom for $750 in the west end, a convenient two-minute walk on either end from halfway houses and a needle exchange. And I'm not being sarcastic calling this art deco place charming. It was an adorable nook of a place.

But I saw a filthy homeless ass, there were drug dealers lurking in the shadows, decrepit locals hanging outside of dingy bars, dog feces on the sidewalks and I felt very ill at ease being out past 10:00 p.m. It was the neighbourhood that was the problem, specifically the southeast end of Parkdale. Shortly before we moved out, a neighbour was shot in the leg with a shotgun. I never really regretted leaving. They say it's up-and-coming, and I'm sure it is. But I wasn't prepared to invest more of my time and sanity to wait it out.

The Dude and I fantasize about home ownership. First thing's first, of course: the wedding. We have a good handle on how we're going to pay for a decent one without going into debt. A home, though, is another beast entirely. Here we pay for rent and 1/3 of the gas and hydro bill. Home ownership means you pay 100% of all the utilities. Something breaks, it's your problem, so you need an emergency fund. You also need monies for property taxes.

And a nice Toronto home that's not soaked in cat urine or out in non-Toronto need-a-carland? Starting around $400,000 in neighbourhoods that aren't so great yet. Once they are great, toss on another 100 to 150 grand.

Condos then, yes? A two-bedroom not in a horrible area, you're looking at $250,000 minimum. But maybe only 700 square feet. And don't forget the condo fees. *Sigh*

On top of everything, the Dude is a freelancer. So only my income will really matter when pre-approving us for a mortgage, as I'm the one with the reliable job, 'cause that's how banks like to do things and they're the ones in charge.

There was a time a home cost a person a year's salary. Now they cost many, many year's salary. How is that reasonable? Well, I suppose I do get it. There's only so much land, and way more people than ever. Demand, demand, demand.

And this, my friends, is the sort of blog post you get when the writer can't fall asleep and watches a couple hours of Property Virgins on HGTV.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


I'm 28, and one year closer to 30. Despite the name of this blog, I don't fear 30. It'll be kinda neat in a way. I think I've spent my 20s pretty well. I've had a ton of apartments, some relationships, travel experiences. I've made and nurtured friendships and developed some hobbies. I've also done a lot of reflection on my past, as well. I've learned a lot about myself.

Basically I feel like I've made good use of my time.

My 28th birthday was exactly the sort of evening I love. It was entirely about sharing time with my friends and eating delicious food. When I was younger I used to despair over who I wasn't and what I wasn't doing. I didn't "go out". I wasn't a drinker, I never went to concerts, I didn't have a wide circle of party pals.

Turns out I don't like concerts. I really don't. I'll go to the odd one if it's easy, or if the act is truly impressive or someone really wants me to go. But I like quieter settings. I like being able to make out the lyrics to music. I need to be able to sit down. Concerts just rub me the wrong way and they always have. To be honest, they bore me. And try explaining that to most people. I enjoy music as a human being, but I never have the urge to go out of my way to experience it in more authentic and personal ways.

And drinking? I get sick from alcohol really easily. After a few drinks, I'm drunk. Anything beyond that sends me to toilet town and my night is over. So I have to nurse my drinks and turn people down who shout, "SHOTS!" or who think they're doing me a favour by placing a drink in front of me. Which of course makes nobody popular with anyone.

As for a wide circle of friends, I'm picky. I'm just plain picky. I suck at small talk and I really want to know someone if I'm going to spend time with them. I have a knack, if you want to call it that, for getting people to get super personal with me with total ease. That's where I go, and that's where people go with me pretty much all the time. I enjoy it. But you only have so much energy to nurture so many friendships. I also wonder if anyone ever regrets telling me certain things, because sometimes what I hear is pretty out there, and then never wants to see me again.

So my birthday had my friends, dear friends who I love. A couple were missing, but most of the people I really value were there. We drank, but not to excess. There actually was no music playing. Our conversation and laughter would have drowned it out anyway. And we stayed in and played Scruples, and philosophized over bizarre topics most people wouldn't touch.

They're my kind of people. This is my kind of life. The closer I get to 30, the happier I am, and the more comfortable I am with who I am. I wouldn't be a younger me for anything.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


This will be my last post about Mexico. After this, I'll have covered everything. Ah, the hanging on mentally to a vacation. Escapism at its finest.

My favourite excursion was Tulum. There are some really spiffy ruins there. Now, the Dude and I didn't know this, but we could have taken the Collectivo for $6 and then paid another $6 for admission to this place. $12 each would have been awesome. But we got a bus and a guided tour. Educational and fascinating as it was, it was $33 more expensive a piece. Live and learn.

But shaking off the finances of it all, there were sights that were picturesque.

A photo barely does it justice. It was like existing inside a postcard.

My favourite part, though, was the beach.

All my life I've wanted to go swimming in warm aqua waters with amazing waves. I used to get wildly jazzed over white caps at the beach when I was a kid. But the water was always a little chilly and Ontario is not known for its sparkling water. Even Picton Beach, one of the nicest around the province with its white sand dunes, isn't amazing, just much better than its neighbours, which don't set the bar too high.

Am I a little down on Ontario lakes? Can't help it. They're large and they look nice on property, but cold, polluted water full of seaweed doesn't beg to be swam in.

So you can imagine my excitement-- no, my euphoria when I saw this:

My heart skipped a beat.
This was what I'd been hoping for.

The beach at the resort had lovely water that wasn't too cold, and was clear enough to see shimmering schools of fish passing through. But there were large man-made rocks further out to break the waves and keep the waters calm. So while it was relaxing, it wasn't dream-fulfilling.

But Tulum? Tulum was it. The water was warmer than at the resort, the waves were unbroken and full, and the sand? My god, it was soft and silky on my feet. I ran into the water and was hit by the warmest wave I'd ever felt, and it soaked me. I've been enchanted by various natural locations before and touched by villages or cities or forests. But this was like falling in love for the first time.

Some people have big dreams. I suppose I do too, but I also have a number of small ones and swimming at this beach was quite literally a dream come true. I threw myself into the waves. Some overtook me, others sucked me under and all thrilled me and filled me with joy.

Me getting hit by a delicious wave.
The woman in front followed me around and fed off my enthusiasm.

The Dude had a hard time getting a video or photo without her in it.

In the end, I still don't think I got enough time there. When the Dude said we had to go, I regressed into a child and begged for five more minutes. When that was up, I had to suck it up and go, or we'd miss our bus.

I think I was only out there for 30 minutes, but it felt like 10. I'll never forget that beach. I'll be back. I don't care if I'm old as fuck, I'll be back.