Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I just witnessed history

Barack Obama has won the election!!
Barack Obama has won the election!!
Barack Obama has won the election!!

Do you think he'd be willing to come up here and sort us out?  I'm sure we could entice him with free health care, Timbits for the kiddies and his&hers toques.

Let's all celebrate by going to Target!!

Now for the fun times - Quebec is just about to announce a provincial election.  Zut alors.

a proud Canadian

So far Barack Obama is winning the US presidential election.   He is on point to become the first half-black president of the United States of America.

This is too scary.  I can't help but keep watching... kinda like what I did during the recent federal election where my homeboy Stevie Harps is still da man of the land.  Can't our sovereign do something about him?  I should ask her.  Hey Lizzie -  you should see what's going on in the Dominion... enough to make you miss your afternoon cuppa!  

I have arrived...

... and I'm gonna take this city by storm!  That's right folks, I have left the T-Dot and I'm currently settling into my new life in La Belle Province.  The moving experience was nothing short of a comedy of errors and true colours.  Despite all the shenanigans, I made it here in one dishevelled piece!  Now all I have to do is unpack my life and find a job.  Sounds easy enough, eh?

One thing I've noticed about this place is the lack of tension in the air.  In Toronto everyone's trying to one-up themselves - the latest cars, fashions, events, blah, blah, blah.  Here, people don't give a blank about that sort of thing.  I'm sure there are those that do but I vow not to become one of those people.  

Looks like a beautiful day outside!  I'm going to take a walk and find that grocery store that keeps eluding me.

Be back later with the results of the US election.  

God (or equivalent) be with us all.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

playing gritball

I have been overrun with germs.  Being sick, especially when I've got to move my life in the next few days and tie up a million loose ends.  However, in the midst of moving, I've been cleaning out the clutter - figuratively and literally - and it's really refreshing!   I finally will have the opportunity to make a fresh start... a real fresh start.

Now I will attempt to decongest my sinuses, suppress my coughs and go to bed.  More must be done tomorrow!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

fire sale

I wish I had thought of this AGES ago!  When Christiane used to live here she would sometimes hock her CDs & DVDs whenever she needed some quick cash.  I never thought that I would part with my CD collection but these are desperate times.  I guess this would be a better solution than becoming a pole dancer. 

I'm also seriously considering a fire sale next weekend.  Bree & Blanka are coming to visit so hey - what better way to spend time with yours truly than at a fire sale?

Wow.  It's come down to this.  Still, I have to believe that I'll look back on this and laugh.

When that day comes, I'll be sure to let you know.  As for today, it's just not funny.

Friday, October 17, 2008


I've never known a time in my life where I've felt so helpless.  Every faint glimmer of hope seems to be failing around me.  Just when I think I'm making progress, something happens to 86 that noise.  

A few days ago I went to the Baptist church on the corner to offer up a prayer to the powers that be.  I'm not a regular church goer by no means but I am indeed spiritual.  It was actually quite nice to sit in the church and have a few moments to clear my head.  

Right now I feel defeated.  I just want a better life for myself.  Knowing that the people who share the same DNA strands choose not to help is very disconcerting.  Family, eh?  Whatever.  That word means nothing to me.  Just because you're 'family' doesn't mean squat.  It does hurt  knowing they don't care.  So now I will stop caring about them.

I'm supposed to move in the next few weeks.  How I'm going to pull that off only heaven knows. I'm off to the church for round 2 of Conversations with God.  I need a miracle right now.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

just like Diddy...

... I want to hide under my blankets cowering in fear.  Tonight is a sad night in this great country of ours.  There's a good bunch of you all who thought it would be a good idea to keep the James Bond-lookin, penny-pinchin', war-mongerin' right wing fool in power. Shame befall you all!

Maybe you all like the $1200 you get from Stevie Harps.  Is it the broken income trust promise that gave you the inkling that you don't mind his antics?  Betcha it's the uncanny impression they do on Air Farce.  Either way, there's a third of you all out there who just don't give a hoot about those who don't have as much cheddar as you do.   

One day your cheddar will melt.  What will you do then?  Will you look to your steely-eyed leader for help?  You can look but he won't be there - he'll be long gone.  Our economy is in the sewer.  Tonight's results tell me that you thirds don't really mind that this all stinks.

I will go to bed tonight with mixed emotions.  I feel sadness over this election result.  Tomorrow I will wake up with a pillock for a PM but with some of his government cheese in my bank account!  Drinks on Stevie H!

Friday, October 10, 2008

domo arigato, благодарность and dankon to all!

Thanksgiving is finally here... a time where loved ones gather to share in the bounty that is the fall harvest and give thanks for something-or-other whilst shoveling copious amounts of fat-free turkey into their mouths.  Ah, what a glorious time of year!

Lucky Athena is heading home for some free eats, free laundry and family drama - lucky me.   I haven't been home in 6 months but there is a very good reason for that - my hometown is about as exciting as watching the Leafs attempt to make it to the playoffs.  It's the kind of place that rolls up the sidewalks in mid-afternoon and there's still some store owners who don't open on Sundays even after the government passed the Sunday-shopping law several years ago.  My only source of amusement is the local mall where I can watch my hometown's finest residents in all their glory.  Call me a Toronto snob but it's so country back there - so much that when I go home I don't really dress up because I don't want to waste good clothes.  I usually pack tracksuits, sweats and if I have to go out, a nice pair of jeans & sneaks.  

I plan to tell my folks about my pending move to La Belle Province as well.  I know they'll freak but so what?  It's my life (don't you forget....) and this is the best thing for me.

Oh yeah - I came up with a BRILLIANT plan to start my own political party.  I call it "The Singleton Party of Canada" or "Bloc célibataire du Canada".  This party will represent singletons across this great land of ours who are just tryin' to get a nut.  All the other leaders are too focused on seniors, children and families and they just announced that the feds are bailing out mortgages!  This is discrimination against singletons everywhere!  I can't get the $1200 child credit unless I claim my teddy bears.  I also can't claim fees I pay to play sports because it's only for people with kids 16 & younger.  No blanking fair.  Why won't they bail out student loans?  Isn't that why the feds took them over in 2000 because the banks were losing too much dough?  

I'm sure there'll be another election in the next year or so.  Watch for me, Athena Titanides debating with the best of them.  Vive le Bloc célibataire!!

Now I must pack to go home.  Hope I have enough clean trackies.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

pimpin' may be the answer...

Not only did Rogers cut off my PVR, they have cut off my long-distance service.  I can't even call my mother.  


At this point I could consider being a mule for the Colombian pharmaceutical sales industry, an escort or I could just win the lottery.  I have made any and all attempts at getting a job, to which I have to sit here and wait till something comes through.  


something's very wrong

I had a sneaky feeling that there was something wrong.  I wasn't sure what it was but I knew I'd find out soon enough.

Wanna know what's wrong?  Rogers has cut off my PVR, extra channels and my cell phone.  Now I have to watch TV the old-fashioned way.  Those mothercluckers... what next - my Internet?  My land line?  They have taken away my joie de vivre!!!

My situation has now taken a turn for the worse.  My blankhead landlord wants to evict me even though I put in 60 days notice to move out.  

Where's my bailout??  Does anyone care what happens to me??

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

if I had 700 billion dollars...

If you haven't heard about the USA's bright-bulb idea to give $700 billion dollars to investors who blanked everything up, get out from under your rock and check out this funny funny stuff!

How much is 700 billion dollars?  According to Global News, it can buy every team in the NFL 20 times over.  Is that even fathomable?  Where in the name of everything green & good do you come up with 700 billion dollars?  Do you just print more money?  Stamp out a few extra pennies?  

While watching the news this morning, I knew I had to say something on my blog.  These people are pooing themselves because the deal got struck down.  Heavens to Betsy, what will we do?  Are we going to have to let Carmelita and Julio go?  Are we going to have to sell our weekend estate in the Hamptons?  How will I fill up my Maybach and my son's Saleen?  Boo blanking hoo.

Remember the guy in France who screwed over his company to the tune of a couple of billion euros some time ago?  I have to say, that was kinda funny.  All this time this unsuspecting bloke is siphoning money from everyone & their mother and nobody notices until it's too late.  Talk about an HR issue!  I think our hero is in jail now feasting on bread & water.  So let me be so bold as to ask this: why aren't the fools who buggered up the US economy on the hook for it like the France guy?  It's like rewarding poor performance.  If there is enough cheddar to bail out the markets, where was that same chunk of change to fix New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina?  The USA would indeed be the richest nation on earth since that money could be used to bail out the millions of people in debt and improve their way of life.  No personal debt = more money to spend in the economy = happy days!

Then again, why should I care about what's going on with our neighbours to the south?  I'm a proud Canadian.  I don't even think Canada even has 700 billion dollars to its name.  In light of the upcoming election, can you imagine if my buddy Steve announced that he would give 70 billion dollars to Bay Street?  I'd be hopping mad to say the least!!  Both Wall Street and Bay Street are going on about how this is the end and our way of life is going to pot.

Do they really know what that's like?  Somehow I don't think so.  I would invite the suits on Bay Street to live a day in my life.  How would they deal with bill collectors ringing down their CrackBerries?  What kind of investments would they make with a net worth of 82 cents?  How would they buy an Armani suit with $400 a month of government cheese?

My point is this - it may seem dismal that the markets are all over the place and people's investments are all buggered up but at least they have money to save.  They have money to put away for a rainy day.  Think about those people like myself who are struggling each moment of each day just to survive.  The sky already fell on my head so now these folks have a chance to experience that crashing sensation - even if only for a moment.

It's payday today so I'm off to get myself something to eat.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

three days ago

Three days ago I had a charity event to attend.  Thinking I could get there early, I left 10 minutes early to get there in time to schmooze a bit and stuff my face with free food.  When I got to the station, there was this rather surly man shooing people away from the subway entrance saying that the subway was closed.  Oh, bother.  I overheard various explanations from passers-by: shooting at Eglinton Station, signals out, another rush hour jumper.  So I headed to the street to catch a shuttle bus.

There were people EVERYWHERE on the street.  I saw tons of southbound shuttle buses but no northbound ones.  Odd?  Not for the TTC.  I should note here that I have approximately $2.82 to my name and I had to use most of that to get on some form of public transit. I waited and waited and watched as all these shuttle buses came and went.  Aargh!

I kicked the bus and I liked it, blank it all.  Is this seriously where my tax dollars go?  I struck up a conversation with this friendly bloke named Raj.  He had to get to Finch so we both decided that on pain of death, we were getting on the next shuttle.  Of course, no luck.  People were being generally unpleasant the moment the bus doors opened, thus further reaffirming my hatred for the general population.  The bus doors closed and drove off in a cloud of carbon emissions on its way to disappoint more people.

Raj caught the attention of 2 women in a car heading northbound.  They asked him what was going on and he told them about the busted subway.  Then Raj asked them where they were going and they said Eglinton.  Raj looks at me as if to say, do you wanna ride?  The women offered to drive us to Eglinton.  Sure, I got in car with 3 complete strangers.  I did have my phone on me and my trusty mini-bottle of Lysol just in case someone wanted their eyes disinfected.  

Out of all this, I find out that Raj is some big cheese at a credit union and could possibly hook me up with job à Montréal.  I don't care what anyone says, that's Providence at work.  He gave me his business card and told me to contact him since he's pretty much the man at this credit union.  I'm freaking out by this point - what are the chances?!

We arrived at Eglinton and Raj & I thank the 2 women profusely for their act of kindness.  I also saw that Raj did get on a bus to Finch after all that.  

So what, you say?  So this - there are still good people in this world.  These 2 women took a chance and helped out 2 total strangers who were just trying to get from point A to B.  If the subway hadn't broken down, I would've never met Raj.  Sure enough, there is a job at the credit union in Montreal that Raj could totally hook me up with.  

Here's to Providence - it might have just changed my life forever.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Tonight I witnessed an incredible display of sheer bollocks.  I work with a volunteer group a few times a month and we have a senior member who will be leaving in the next few weeks.  This person stood up in front of the group and said her peace - she had her reasons for leaving but she wanted to clear the air before her departure.  I watched the remaining group members' reactions to the things this person had to say (I adore people watching... it's not only great fun, it's cheap fun!).  Instead of just politely acknowledging her views and saying adieu, people began to tell her that it's okay, we don't think less of you for saying your piece, blah, blah, blah.

I'm so glad I have this blog because I can say my piece so nyah to you all!  This person had the bollocks to let the group know just what she felt.  Whether or not the rest of the group agrees with it is irrelevant - we should've just said thanks for letting us know and moved on with what we needed to do.  Did we?  Oh no.  I then witnessed another great spectacle - one group member who I'll call Toolbox says to the person's face that we don't think less of you and how could you say such a thing?  When the person left, he was the first one to say all kinds of smack.  Are you blanking kidding me?!  What does that say about Toolbox's character and integrity?  Not a blanking thing, that's for damn sure.  

Toolbox then went on to question my expertise in my field.  Good thing I can hide when I'm getting vexed about something.  I don't question the crap he does so what the blank?!  I'm confident I don't speak ancient Aramaic because tonight, it seemed like whatever suggestion I made, Toolbox was the first one to say no to it.  The things I wanted to discuss weren't out of the ordinary for what I do in my field so he needed to shut his yap and let me explain myself.  Nothing vexes me more than when people assume that Athena is an idiot.  Got news for ya - I'm not an idiot.  I know what I'm talking about when I open up my piehole.  Obviously Toolbox's life experience stems from playing The Sims in his parent's basement that he calls home but hey, that's his cross to bear, you know what I mean?

Either way, tonight was pure jokes.  It just further reaffirms that there are some mothercluckers out there that have the IQ of a toilet paper roll but somehow, they get through life... they get the hookups, the perks and those who have some semblance of complex cognitive thought processes get left behind to pick up the mothercluckers' scraps.  No way, I say!   Athena will stand for no sort of this nonsense!  Up with people!

May the Force be with us all.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

existentially speaking

It's almost midnight, the moon is high in the sky and I've just ordered a huge pizza.  I had no idea that it would take me almost an hour to find a pizza joint in Toronto that will deliver at this hour.  What the blank is up with this city??  Don't they understand my cravings when the moon is high in the sky?  Have they no concept of my tendencies to stuff my face for comfort?

For the last two days I've been feeling lost... like I have no clue where my life is going and if I make a step in one direction I might 86 another opportunity... therefore I stay put and wait to see where the chips fall.  I hate this feeling.  I'm sure you all know the score by now - I'm tired of thinking about money all the time.  I don't know what it's like to not have to worry about money.  Will that day ever come for me?  Or am I destined for destitution?

Dr Phil has just published a book about the seven worst days of one's life.  So here are the days, according to Athena:

Loss -- the day that I have lost myself

Fear -- the day that I realized every choice I made up until this point was dictated by other people's expectations, not based on my own goals and desires

Adaptability Breakdown -- the day that the pressures of balancing phone calls from bill collectors have become way too overwhelming and I realized that I am in way over my head

Physical Health -- the day that my body revolts against itself because of illness, trauma, or disease as a direct result of worrying about money

Mental Health -- the day that the mind breaks down over constant worrying about lack of money

Addiction -- the day that addiction to fried food and chocolate takes over and my backside swells to catastrophic proportions

[my personal favourite] Existential Crisis -- the day that I lost the purpose, compass, and connection to meaning in life and have no answer to the question "Why?"

Ain't Dr. Phil great?  I can say I've had all these days.  As I write this, today has become tomorrow... or has tomorrow become today?  I don't really know.  

Can't wait for the pizza to get here.  I'll just eat my sorrows away for the time being.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

my new friend Leroy

What a week!  I've been all over the place.  Definitely a change from spending hours on end denting my couch.

So I wake up this morning to a lovely rainy day in Toronto to find a greenish bug on my window screen.  I should preface this by saying I don't like bugs of any sort.  This one, however, peaked my interest.  There's a hole in my screen so this bug must've crawled through it.  Trouble is that this bug hasn't moved all day long.  I did watch him unload a bug-sized dump... impressive.

I ate breakfast, had a shower and this bug hasn't moved at all.  I figured he'd come to stay with me so I named him Leroy after Encyclopedia Brown (if you remember those books you are my new hero).  I've been checking on Leroy for most of the day.  I think he's hurt - looks like his leg is stuck but hang on (just ran to the window) - he's making some progress towards the hole in the window screen!  I think his leg is broken though - ouch.

I tried helping Leroy to freedom by rattling the screen a bit.  Each time I do that he shakes his head to let me know he's still hangin' in there.  I feel a little helpless right now... should I help Leroy out of my window into the wild?  He might end up on the windshield of a Audi A4 only to be washed off by some disgruntled gas station attendant.  

For some strange reason, Leroy is bringing me comfort.  I'm really not sure why that is but I'm sure he was sent to tell me to hang in there.  Forces bigger than me are at work to set me free. 

Perhaps I'll try to help Leroy out now.  Back in a sec.

All right kids, Leroy has been liberated!  I took out one of his antennas in the process... oops.  Plus I don't think he flew away.  For all you entomologists out there, I was not involved in any cruelty towards bugs - I just wanted to help my new friend Leroy out!

Goodbye, Leroy.  You were a comfort to me today.  May you grow back your leg and your antenna you lost in the emancipation process.  May you begin again in the grass underneath my window.

Monday, September 8, 2008

life update

What a weekend!   I volunteered at a very lame TIFF event and got rained on at at Big Brothers & Big Sisters fundraiser.  I've been volunteering at TIFF for the last 5 years and this year will be the last year I do this tomfoolery.   For such a high-profile event, the logistics are atrocious.  How hard is it to put together a 2 hour showcase?  The event started late, the talent looked like they'd rather do laundry and they had this court-jester entertaining the crowd while they got themselves together.  At least I got some free stuff out of it so it wasn't a total wash.

I have, however, decided that when I move I want to join a dragon boat team!  I love sports and I love being active; best of all I love being on a sports team.  I don't just want to work out - I want to train for something.  Going to the gym is great & all however if you don't have a goal in mind other than weight loss it's kinda pointless.  As much as I like going to the gym to watch the juice pigs pick up the stick insects, it's time to move on to something else.

The relocation continues - I'm still looking for jobs and places.  I think I'll find a place before I find a job so now I'll have to decide if I go before I find work.  Christiane's recruiter says I'll have a better chance of finding work if I'm actually there.  I don't know what I'm going to do just yet so for now we'll just roll with it.   

Words can't describe the excitement I feel about moving.  I finally can have a real life - a life that I choose for me and not for anyone else.  Only 54 days left!

And that's all I have to say about that.  For now, at least.

Friday, September 5, 2008

untitled thoughts

I'm sitting here watching Maury and man, I've seen it all.  Get this - woman is dating man, man cheats on her with woman's 18 yr old daughter, daughter gets pregnant and woman dumps man for cheating.  After all this, the baby is (say what?) NOT the man's.  Good gravy.  Now there's a story where a man has a secret to tell a woman and of course, turns out he's cheating on her with her much thinner and younger sister.  If you've ever seen the Maury show, you know 100% of the time when someone has a 'secret' to tell it's always cheating.  If I got a call from the Maury show telling me that my man has a 'secret', I'd go straight to him and say, what's up & tell me now, cuff him upside the head then scarf the free trip to New York.  You know you would do the same thing!

These days I've been mad busy!  It feels good to be busy... I've spent enough time making a dent in my couch. My volunteer work is really going to take off next week however I like what I do and it feels rewarding to do some good in the world.  I may not be making money, but at least it's better than nothing.  Christiane is going to check out 4 apartments for me starting on Sunday and I've got some great leads on jobs.  I can start to see the light - it's been a long time coming.

I just wish Bree & Jazz felt the same.  It hurts me knowing that they're 'concerned'... why?  When they come over to hang out, I've either got no money to do anything, no food to feed them or a combination of both.  I can never go on holiday with them because I'm always broke.  Is that any way to live life - skivving off your friends all the time?  Not for me it isn't.  I want to have fun; hell, right now I can't even afford to go out on a date.  This is not the life I had in mind for myself - living hand to mouth, bill collectors ringing down my phone like a 1-900 number... I can't help but wonder if that's what they want for me just so I can stay.  I don't think so however... oh, I dunno.  

Bree & Jazz, if you're reading this, please know that life is constantly evolving and I'm evolving with it.  I've wanted to make a fresh start for months now and finally it's now my time to shine.  I will miss you both like going outlet shopping in America!  The good times aren't over - they're only beginning!  We've all got our lives to lead and for the first time in my life, I can finally have a life.  

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

times a-changin'

I can't remember the last time I felt this excited.  As of today, I have 60 days left in Toronto!!!

(happy dance happy dance happy dance happy dance happy dance happy dance happy dance)

Yes, folks, in the next 2 months I'm going to pack up my life and move to another province in search of a better life.  Kinda reminds me of those cartoon characters from back in the day... you know, the ones with the handkerchief tied to the end of a stick slung over the shoulder... okay, so you might not get it but oh well.  

I spent most of the long weekend checking out jobs and apartments.  I've got a few good leads so far, so here's hoping.  

The one thing that's really floored me about all of this is the fact that there was something inside of me that kept saying, "Why bother?" every time I would look through the Toronto job boards.  Now I realize it was my gut Wilbur telling me that my time in Toronto was up yet I refused to listen as I thought my place was here because I was destined to be here.  Boy, was I wrong on that one!  

How empowering is it to finally realize I am in control of my life.  I do what feels right.  I do as I please.  Sure, I will lend an ear to the kind advice of my dear friends and selected family however at the end of the day I will do as I see fit.  WOOT!

Crazy how life can change for the better when you will it to be so.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

passin' me by

Eleven years ago Diana, Princess of Wales passed away.  I was at a party in my 2nd year of university. The jam was in full swing until someone walked in and said, "Princess Diana is dead."  Everyone ran to the nearest TV and sure enough, it was all over the news - Diana died in a car accident.  Just like that.  A few minutes passed and everyone started going back to their dorms... partying just seemed meaningless at that moment.  I went back to my room and watched the news for hours.  In that moment it seemed like life would never be the same.

My life was never really the same after that, naturally.  I graduated, moved on to other things and eventually I find myself here in what feels like the same place.  I don't want to be in this place anymore.   I want to have a proper life.  I want to experience new & exciting things at the ripe old age of 31.  I want to start all over.  Guess what??  I have decided to do so.  I'm going to leave the Big Smoke and head to Upper Canada.  I'm going to leave Ontario and start fresh.

I got the idea from Christiane almost a week ago.  We've been chatting about the cost of living up there and what life would be like in general... then it hit me.  I could just go.  I could finally make a life for myself.  The thought initially scared me so I had to take a day or two to think about it.  I chatted with Blanka about it and she told me that if there was a time to do this it would be now as I don't have anything keeping me here in Toronto.   I honestly don't want to be in Toronto anymore.  I feel like I don't belong here - like no matter what I do I just can't seem to find where I fit in.

Jazz nearly made me cry when I told her.  She wants me to move in with her by the lake however I don't want to do that.  That's not where I want to be.  Bree is more diplomatic - she thinks I should just stay in Toronto and keep beating this dead horse I call my life.  I'm tired of trying.  I want life to stop passing me by and that's exactly what is happening the longer I stay in this town.  Both Bree & Jazz are shocked to hear that I don't want to live here anymore because Athena = Toronto.   I'm sure that equation would have been true awhile ago but not anymore.  I have to do right by me.  I have to keep a roof over my head and food in my belly and I could best do that elsewhere.  Bree & Jazz are looking out me... I know this, yet I'm looking out for me as well.   I'll still be a phone call away just like I am now.  Sometimes I feel like a mainstay - a constant: for as long as the sun rises each morning, Athena will live & love Toronto. Hark!  She has changed her mind.    The sun will continue to rise each morning... now we'll all just have to watch it from a different place.

Hard to believe September begins in a few hours.  This summer was, well, interesting to say the least.  Even the leaves are beginning to change!  Fall means change.  Fall means fall fashions.  Fall means mid-season sales.  Fall now means pack up and head east!  Whoo hoo!

(I'm really excited about moving... REALLY excited)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

govern yourself accordingly

I got a letter in the mail this afternoon from guess who - a bill collector!  I've gotten letters like this before but this one in particular stuck out because at the end of the letter, it read, "Govern yourself accordingly.  What in the hell does that mean... govern yourself accordingly?

Does my lack of income conclude my inability to govern myself?  Do those with incomes have this ability?  Who are they to comment on how I'm struggling to take care of myself?  Am I being painted with an overgeneralized brush? 

A few minutes ago, I came home from the gym after an embarrassing encounter. I give the buddy behind the desk my membership card and he told me my account is being suspended because I owe over $200 on my membership.   I nearly burst into tears right then & there - instead, I told him I would call Customer Service to straighten it out.  All I wanted to do was thirty minutes of cardio - now I'll have to find another way to get in shape... for free.

This whole episode is now hitting me really hard and I'm feeling defeated.  The fight in me is nearly gone.  I don't think anyone understands that I'm in this alone - no one has really come forward to offer me financial help.  Should I even expect it?  I don't, to be honest - people have their own lives and issues to worry about.

I spoke with Christiane and she suggested moving away from Toronto to get a fresh start.  I am considering a move to Montreal where the cost of living is significantly lower than here.  I am also considering just packing up and leaving everything behind to live with my uncle.  The positive in all of this is that I do have options.  If only I didn't feel so torn all the time.

Now I'll just enjoy my Sleepytime tea and wind down for the evening.  Tomorrow is another day... another 24 hours in which I go blindly, hoping the stars will give me a break.  

Sunday, August 24, 2008

paying for parties

Last night I traveled 89.3 kilometres to attend a stag & doe for a couple I've known for awhile.  Jasmine was kind enough to drive me there and she even bought me dinner!  What a trooper.  Before I go any further, I want to give props to Jazz & Briony - they've been so great at trying to keep my spirits up.  Muchas gracias, mi amigas!

I should really set up this scenario so you can get the full picture.  I went to university with the groom and didn't really get to know him until after graduation.  The bride... well, I think I've spoken 3 sentences to her total.  She's an acquaintance at best.  There's a huge group of university folks that all hang out and over the last few years the group has slowly grown apart.  People have gotten together, married and most of all, they tend to stick to the ones closest to them.  I know there's nothing wrong with that as I have totally grown closer to Bree & Jazz and I'd rather hang out with people I'm close to instead of acquaintances that used to be somewhat tight but not really.

Once I met up with Jazz at the kiss & ride in North York, we set out to drive around the lake to this shindig.  Driving out of Toronto is always an amusing experience for me.  One minute you're in civilization and the next you're surrounded by corn.  I asked Jazz if she would mind stopping so we could scarf a couple fresh ears of corn but she was having none of it.  Too bad - it's almost harvest time!   It felt like we were driving forever but eventually we stopped at McPigs for some eats.  I had a feeling this event wasn't going to be 'catered' in any real fashion so we thought it best to eat processed crap.  Yum!  We got back in the car and drove to this little hamlet with an arena in the middle of it.  It reminded me of a B-rated horror movie... two girls drive up to this sketchy building only to have the masked dude with the machete hack them to pieces.  I didn't want to get out of the car because we were so early and then we'd have to deal with the family whom we'd never met.

We walk in and paid our $10 entry fee.  Keep in mind this is the same group of people who think $10 cover at a bar where you can't wear jeans is scandalous.  There was a bucket of spirits & door prizes prominently displayed and various games were set up on one side of the activity room.  Drinks were 1 for $3 and 3 for $10.  

Here's where I started to get uncomfortable. I had all the money I owned in my wallet and let me tell you, it was a struggle to part with it.  My friend Blanka says if she were me, she'd have a hard time paying for someone else's wedding; especially since there's a slim chance I'll actually be invited to the wedding.  Blanka is absolutely right.  People were actually asking for donations for the couple.  Donations?!  They're not exactly covered in flies.  Cha.  

I wonder who got the idea for the concept of a function like this.  I've been to engagement parties before but stag & does and jack & jills are nothing but a cash grab.  Why should friends and loved ones be expected to help pay for the wedding?  No one says you have to have all the traditional frills & lace so why bother?  If I'm not invited to witness the nuptial, I shouldn't be pressured into donating my hard-earned government cheese to the happy couple.  Pay for your own cake!

Last night wasn't a total wash as I did have an intriguing conversation with my buddy Cristiano who is undoubtedly the biggest chick magnet I've ever known.  Okay, so I'll admit to having a crush on him some years back only for him to tell me he only saw me as a friend (story of my love life).  We were chatting about my singleton status and I told him that right now, I'm not really looking as I have bigger fish to fry (food & shelter for a start).  Call me crazy but I could have sworn that Mr. Contarini was flirting with me!  Maybe I still have game.  Sort of.  That conversation will have to take up another blog post.

In all, I had an OK time.  I wanted to just go home and watch the Olympics which has now sadly come to an end so I'll have to find something else to occupy my days.  There's another cash grab coming up next month however I am likely not going to attend.  For one thing, it's yet again about 80 km away and I don't know if I can hitch a ride with anyone.   Lately I have begun to become very selfish so of course, I'm thinking, would you do that for me?  Likely not.

Friday, August 22, 2008

en eaux calmes

Briony has been in town for the last few days and it's been nice to kick back and have a few laughs.   Hard to believe that summer is almost over.  Where has the time gone?  Do I have anything to show for it?  I've got a lovely tattoo and a new outlook on life.  If I haven't said it before, I'll say it again: I can do anything in this life.

Lately I've been thinking about next steps or what I'm going to do in the event of a worst case scenario.  I've narrowed it down to leaving the country to live with my uncle.  There I can relax, write and contemplate moving back to Canada to do something or other.  Quite possibly, I've run my course here.  After that farce of an interview with that messed-up multinational, I'm further convinced my calling is not in the corporate world.   As it happens I must provide for myself in some fashion but how without comprising what I feel is best for me?  I know now that I am not bound by tradition.  Normal doesn't exist.  I wasn't meant to lead a normal, traditional life.

Right now I would love nothing more for the next phase of my life to start.   I'm done with my current situation.  I'm tired of bill collectors, government cheese and wondering where my next meal is coming from.  Knowing that I can do anything is quite daunting.  As much as I want to run away (guess I lost the fight or flight battle), something is provoking me to stay.  For now, I'll stay... for now.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

a lovely day

The sky is blue, the sun is out and it's unusually green in Toronto today.  A cool breeze gently caressed my face as I was walking home from the subway station after an entertaining experience in the heart of the Financial District.

All morning I kept thinking this interview is taking away from me watching the Olympics.  This particular job opportunity just isn't for me at this point in time since I'm pretty confident it's not what I want to do with my life.  My gut feeling about this is not good.  Around 10:30am I had it in mind to call my headhunter to say, forget it, I'm not going but I decided to just deal and go anyway.  As luck would have it, my headhunter gave me the wrong address and I ended up 10 minutes late for my interview.  Oops. 

I met with a very HR-looking woman named Marissa.  She gave me a limp fish handshake and escorted me through the office to a central meeting room.  On our way to the meeting room, the most unusual feeling came over me.  I was surrounded by cubes as far as the eye could see.  Each cube was an eerie ecru colour and the people I did see sat at their portable desks expressionless - some with headsets, others hunched over Excel spreadsheets.  I wanted to run far, far away from this bland environment.  There was no semblance of life or individuality in that office.  I tried my best to hide a shudder from Marissa, who was the typical HR person... cold and unfeeling with a fake smile on her face.

Marissa invited me to have a seat and we're off!  First came a barrage of questions about my work history.  I could tell she was curious about my apparent 'job hopping' but she didn't let it slip - smart woman.  Next she asked me what my headhunter had told me about the role and after I responded, she said it was completely off.  To put it plainly, this multinational's HR structure is imploding and they needed someone to clean up their mess.   Wonderful.  I have this peeve about working for companies that decide to restructure for the 'good' of the business only to realize they've blanked the whole thing up.   

Keep in mind I'm a person who is very observant of body language.  The way Marissa was dressed looked to me like she was a person who ordinarily isn't cold & unfeeling but she had to be in her role.  She did seem to relax a bit towards the end of the interview however not before she proceeded to tell me that she didn't think I was qualified enough to be the department beeyatch but I would be more suited to be an HR serf.   I had to contain myself from laughing out loud so I did the next best thing - I went in for the big Highlight of the Night save.  I made reference to a potential HRIS role she had discussed earlier in this farce of an interview and mentioned that I would be [somewhat] interested in a role of that nature.  She perked up immediately to say that she could tell that I was more of an HR techie.  In the end, she told me she would talk to Her Excellence Senior Manager about the next steps in the hiring process.

As I left, I couldn't help the hilarity of what I just experienced.  Here was Athena, the antithesis of corporate life, rubbing shoulders with Bay Street's finest.  To further my own amusement, I decided to take a stroll through the underground shops.   There I saw the city's best dressed finance folk walking around on their lunch breaks, stealing intimate moments with their BlackBerries and smartphones.  Groups of men were chatting about nothing in particular  and I even overheard two women cackling about how Olympic athletes should get real jobs like the ones they have.  Uh-huh.  I'm sure these women got great pleasure out of being someone's girl Friday for a big dirty multinational which gives them bigger swords... in the grand scheme of things, it's  just a job.  If that defines them, so be it.  They probably complain about it amongst themselves in order to make themselves feel better about their station in life.

An a-ha moment happened before that foolish interview even began.  Walking through the cubes gave me a vision of my book.  I want to tell a story - the story of Athena Titanides' epic journey through the corporate jungles of Toronto.  These cubes would make the perfect backdrop.  It's an image that's been burned into my mind and I'm optimistic I can make this story a reality.  I've had some very controversial adventures throughout my career that have brought me to this broke-ass point.  I'm going to do this.  I'm going to tell my story!

I am also getting fed up with Dalton & Stephen.  Dalton keeps taking money away that Stephen gives me!  Clearly they don't give a hoot but this is getting insane.  Bill collectors are calling talking about I give preferential treatment to other bills...?  Too bad buying FOOD is a small priority in my book.  And for the nth time, ain't nobody helping my blanking self out!  

All in all, it's been a lovely day. 

Monday, August 18, 2008

beans for breakfast

Just in case you were wondering, I have indeed eaten beans for breakfast.  Last year while in England, I was introduced to a local dish called beans on toast.   It is what it is - canned beans with spices on toast.   I've been adventurous enough to try it with eggs and cheese and it really is delicious!  Better still, beans are cheap at No Frills.  Worry not for I won't go down the cat food road... at least not yet.

While watching the Olympics (it's really all I do these days), I heard an interesting piece of information about Canada's athletes - those who enter to compete at the Olympic Games receive an annual grant of $18,000 to assist with living and training expenses.   According to Statistics Canada, the poverty threshold for a 1-person household living in an urban area of 500,000+ is $17,219.  Sickening, isn't it? It gets better.  Good ol' Stevie H will give you a maximum of $17, 145 if you're out of work like me.  So what, you ask?  Our athletes live in quasi-poverty.  No wonder they're slathered in corporate logos!  Running shoes ain't cheap!

An idea came to me while I was watching this report on CBC.  If Olympic athletes are receiving the same amount of cash as the unemployed, why not start a program for the unemployed to be trained as Olympic athletes?  Think of it as an athletic draft.  Government assistance recipients would have to report to a training camp to determine if they are indeed athletically inclined and if so, proceed to train for their identified Olympic sport.  As a nation, we would draw from a previously untapped talent pool that no one has yet to pee in, increase the number of participants in sport and ultimately increase Canada's medal count in future international sporting events.  We can prove to the world that we have a plethora of elite athletes at our disposal.

If such a program existed, I would certainly sign up.  There is no limit to what one can accomplish in a lifetime.  Besides, I don't just have to get a job until I'm 65.  I can do anything.  Really!  

I do plan to start my own training program after the Olympics.  I've been so inspired to get back into the level of activity I had about 40 pounds ago.  I'm not doing it just to lose weight but it's something that I truly enjoy.  

On an end note, I've got a job interview tomorrow afternoon with a big dirty multinational.  My recruiter set this up for me - a shot at at 2-3 month stint as a department beeyatch.  I'm going to go to the interview however I do have mixed feelings about it.  I could certainly use the money - better it come from the private sector than the public one.  All the same, I don't enjoy being a bottom feeder as I know I'm not one in general.  I have worked for some well-known places as a algae collector and I don't know if I want to go down that road again.  I will get this job if it is meant to be.  If I don't get it I won't be heartbroken because I'll still have an opportunity to figure out what I'm meant to do in this life.

Friday, August 15, 2008

from atop my soapbox

I must take a break from my frequent musings about life to stand up for the Canadian Olympic team.  Put simply, leave them be!  What is the matter with the blasted Canadian media??  Medals will come to those who wait!  Does it really matter that countries like Togo and Uzbekistan have medals and we don't?  Absolutely not!!  Torontonians have been waiting for over 40 YEARS (that's a generation, by the way) for the Leafs to win the Stanley Cup and people don't whine half as much about that!

 The ones that have been getting the most heat are the Canadian swimmers.  Having broken over 20 national records and coming out of nowhere to reach an Olympic final is an amazing achievement!  It burns my cookies to hear the media talk about "that's not good enough".  I pose this challenge to those naysayers - if you think you can do better, I'd love to see your backside throw on a LZR Racer suit and tear it up in a pool against the likes of Michael Phelps.   Do you even know what it feels like to better your personal best?  It's not about others did or where you place in the world.  It's all about overcoming your own personal obstacles.  

To the feds - show the athletes the money!  Let Canada be the first country whose athletes do not have to panhandle the private sector in order to realize their Olympic dreams. Canadian athletes have no business being sponsored by Rona or Visa because the feds should pony up more funds for amateur sport.  Sports in this country aren't cheap - I know this firsthand as I had to give up figure skating as a child because my family couldn't afford it anymore.  Unless you have been an athlete yourself, you don't know what it's like to pursue your sport or the sacrifices you must make in order to achieve to achieve your goals.I'm sure it's embarrassing not to have anything to brag about at the G8 summit other than our ice hockey program  but if you want to maintain the biggest sword of them all, pay up.   After all, you get what you pay for, right?  Own The Podium should also go for summer athletes.  You've got 4 years to get it right for London 2012.  As part of the Commonwealth, we gotta represent in England!  Tax deductions for families who got kiddies in sport is great and all however there's no financial support for talented athletes beyond the grassroots level.  This explains why Canada has the most soccer participants at the grassroots level in the world and our best player, Owen Hargreaves, left Canada to pursue a career in Europe.  Why's that?  There wasn't anywhere for him to go.  Now he's a card-carrying citizen of the United Kingdom and plays for Manchester United.  What if Wayne Gretzky buggered off to the former CCCP to play hockey because there were no elite development leagues?  

To the remaining athletes in Beijing - heed the wise words of Marnie McBean.  Canada is not China.  Canada is not USA.  Canada is Canada.  You represent a strong, proud and peaceful nation.  It is an honour to participate in the Olympic Games and you are part of a chosen few.  Do not yield to reporters who ask you where are the medals.  Ask them where their RTNDA Edward R. Murrow Awards are and why they haven't won any yet.  You are in Beijing as a result of hard work, dedication, copious amounts of training and the support of loved ones.  No matter your result in your chosen event, stand tall and be proud to be a Canadian Olympian - no one can take that away from you.

I'll be staying up until all hours watching our Canadian team for the remaining days of the Summer Olympics.  I certainly won't be among those asking where the medals are.  I wish that guy who was on YouTube yelling "Leave Britney alone!" could back me up here: "Leave the Canadian athletes alone!"

BTW... Hey China - you need to hook up Toronto with one of those rockets to make the rain go away.  After all, we gave you the contract to make our Olympic gear - it's the least you can do!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Right now I feel an incredible amount of fear.  Everything is scaring me today.  It's not like being spooked at a haunted house but more like a sense of hesitation.  

I have some bill collectors to call but I don't want to because I have to tell them that I can't make any payment arrangements as my current net worth stands at seventy-nine cents.   Then I would endure a barrage of "can't anyone help you out?"  No, dammit.  I'm tired of people asking me that.

My Facebook horoscope says that 'now is the time'.  Time for what?  What is it that I'm supposed to do right now?  I think I have an idea but I'm not sure.  Why?  I'm scared of going down that path in case it's the wrong one.   It's almost as if I've pressed the pause button for an extended period of time.  Why do I feel like this right now?

I have chosen the wrong path before.  I remember thinking, what have I done?  The only way I can describe it is like this - I was driving on a highway and all of a sudden, I veered off the road into a field where my car stalls.  I get out and I'm surrounded by cows... they're all looking at me as if to say, what are you doing here?  This is our turf.  I get back in the car and say to myself, Self, how did I get there?  How did I come to veer off the road?

Do I really know what I'm doing?  Is it possible that I've known all along where I want my life to go?  Am I alone in thinking this?  Lucky for me I'm not.  I chatted with my dear friend Briony last night while watching the Olympics and she told me she's not sure about her path either.  Briony wants to run away.  I told her we should just go.  Of course, this may not do any good for either of us however it would be kinda nice to just forget about real life for a little while.  

Once the runaway is over, my reality will always be there.  Am I just a 'fraidy cat?  Why don't I have the spine to just do it?  As I sit here, I'm slowly beginning to think that not only am I afraid of failure, I'm afraid of success.  No one knows failure like Athena Titanides.  Just once I would like to know what success is.  

There's only one person who stands in my way.  Me.  Go on Athena with your bad self!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

my life's calling went straight to voice mail

I've been watching the Olympics for hours on end and I do enjoy it. These athletes are inspiring to me and I love hearing about their journeys to their respective Olympic moments.  On the other hand, I am envious of them.  Not only is their body fat percentage 1/1000 of what mine is they appear to have chosen a calling - a life's purpose.

I, nonetheless, haven't a blanking clue as to what I'm supposed to do with my life.  

Am I destined to be a jack of all trades?  Should I just take one of those career tests (I did one in high school and it said I should be a cop or a FBI agent) and be done with it?  Every day I wake up and wonder about what it is that I am to do with myself.  What kind of contribution will I make to this world?

I search the job boards daily to see if my calling is there.  I have applied to a few places and have even been called in for interviews.  Most recently I was turned down for a role that I thought was 'the one' for me.  I did feel disappointed as it would have been an excellent opportunity yet I now know that the reason why I wasn't successful is that there is something else out there that I'm meant to do.  BUT WHAT????

Perhaps I could do an inventory of things I enjoy and things I don't.  I enjoy reading, writing, sports, food and shopping (not necessarily in that order).  I don't enjoy the traditional nature of work.  Yes, this indeed sounds odd coming from a recipient of Harper's cheese.  At my last job I felt restricted.  I was losing my identity as a woman.  I was just a human being going to work, enduring an 8 hour colonoscopy from my boss in order to pay bills.  To me, this is an asinine institution.  Why does it even exist?  I can only imagine how many scores of thousands of people out there who felt (and continue to feel) like I did.  I was a hamster on a wheel with no end in sight.  I work, get paid, pay my bills, have little or lint left over until the next paycheque and the wheel continues all over again.  I can positively say this is NOT the life I want for myself.

I had some doubts about my future in my current field.  I didn't want to pursue it any further but I continued on fearing that I couldn't make a change and do something else.  Who says I can't make a change?  Friends?  Family?  Societal pressures?  I finally came to the realization that I was pursuing an HR career to satisfy others and not myself.   Those days are over.  I'm tired of living up to a so-called standard.  I don't have to get a job day in and day out and become a drone.   If that works for you, all the power to you.  It just isn't for me.   Who is to say my calling is something completely different than the supposed norm?  When that epiphanic moment struck me, I felt a sense of release I'd never felt before.  

My friend Christiane says that money will always come when you need it.  My fed cheddar does come at some pretty odd times but in the end, it does come.  I need to be prepared for when it does come to an end a few months from now.  I guess my biggest question is, can one be truly at peace with their life's calling and still scrape out a living?  Or do we just ignore the call altogether?

Now that I think about it, I've been ignoring the call.  My line has been disconnected altogether.  I am certain that I'll have another epiphanic moment when I finally answer the call - I'm used to sitting by the phone anyway.  

Sunday, August 10, 2008

my human stain

Last Monday I got this notion in my head to do something special to celebrate 08/08/08.  I'm not sure how the idea of a tattoo came about but it did.  That's right kids, I decided to get a tattoo on 08/08/08. 

Of course, I had no prior knowledge of anything having to do with tattoos - that's why I love Google.  I ran a search for tattoo studios in south central Toronto (I don't like deviating from the subway line).  I figured if I found a place that had done tattoos for celebrities I would be in good hands - yet another example of my warped state of mind.  Yonge Street Tattoos was just the place.  Their website looked pretty reputable and lucky for me, they had a celebrity gallery that included the likes of Justin Timberlake, Marcus Camby and Damon Stoudamire.  I know I ain't no baller but I can fake the funk if need be!

I was always leery of getting a tattoo as I do get bored VERY easily and I knew if I got something superficial I would get tired of it and want it gone after a year or two.  Plus I didn't want some big Sistine Chapel painting all over my body or a tramp stamp - on some people it looks great (e.g. David Beckham) and on others it looks a little too pedestrian for my own personal tastes.   I knew my tattoo had to be simple in nature, incorporate my favourite colour (blue, in case you were wondering) and hold meaning for me.  Better yet, I had to pick a spot on my body that would be conducive to time and gravity. 

Next was to find something that I could live with for the rest of my days.   I thought about my name, a star, or an Aries symbol.  Yet again I turned to my trusted friend Google for ideas.  I wanted a symbol to remind me of these times - how I've learned so much about myself; how I've become more spiritually inclined despite my lack of employment and sudden financial downturn... then there it was.   An infinity symbol.

The infinity symbol I finally chose resembles an inverted '8'.   This symbol is representative of my astrological sign and my favourite/lucky number.  What better way to celebrate 08/08/08 with a human stain?

Off I went to Yonge Street Tattoos to book my appointment.  The facility was a lot more professional than I pictured in my head.   Artwork from various artists adorned the walls and 102.1 The Edge was playing in the background.  Truth be told I was expecting all kinds of skid rows all up in there however I was pleasantly surprised.   People of all shapes, colours & sizes were either browsing artwork samples or waiting for their scheduled appointments.  Once I arrived, I had an impromptu consultant and I put down a deposit.  As I left, I thought, good God, I'm really doing this.

The more I thought about it, the more I kept coming back to the same thought: why not?  I am not bound by anyone or anything as I once thought to be.  It won't change who I am - if anything, this tattoo is like a scar by choice.   I already have a ton of scars so why not add another in cornflower blue?  It'll be refreshing to know that my tattoo won't be a reminder of some sort of pain I endured - it'll be a reminder of the pain I survived.

My tattoo appointment was scheduled for 7:45pm.  I had no idea that Yonge Street Tattoos ran on IST (Island Standard Time) as I didn't actually get called until almost 8:30.  Oh well - someone must've got some kind of mural on themselves ahead of me.  My artist came to meet me and she was very friendly & pleasant.  I entered a room where was a rather beefy looking chap getting a testament to "Sadie" on his forearm.  Holy crap.  Once the heard the "zzzzzz" sound that reminded me of a dentist's drill, I started freaking out.  My artist explained the entire process and she let me pick out the tattoo colour (after all, this is a lifetime commitment).  She did a test stencil at first and once I approved it, she fired up that drill-looking contraption and my human stain began to take shape.

People always ask if tattoos hurt.  From the looks and sounds of their equipment, it's enough to make people lose control of their bowels.  However, it didn't really hurt - it was more annoying.  The needle used to apply the tattoo is not like a medical needle that penetrates through the skin to the muscle - it stays near the surface.  

Twenty minutes and countless deep breaths later, my tattoo was complete.  My artist explained aftercare procedures, bandaged me up and sent me on my merry way.  When I got home I felt so proud of myself because on that day I overcame a fear.  I never thought I could get a tattoo because I was afraid of it.  Boo to that!  I did it.  I got over that fear and best of all, I made a decision that will affect me for the rest of my natural days.  I can do anything in this life!  

Friday, August 8, 2008

eight, eight, eight

The opening ceremonies for the Olympics were amazing!  Yes, I actually got out of bed at 7am this morning to watch it live on CBC.  When I was a kid, I loved watching the Olympics.  I marveled at the fact that these teeny-tiny nations would proudly march into the Olympic stadium with so much pride for their country and passion for their sport.  I especially love the countries where the lone athlete is holding the flag and a couple of coaches are walking behind.  Yet, the Olympic dream is the same no matter where you go.  Every athlete, regardless of where they come from or what kind of reindeer games their leaders are up to, wants to compete in good faith.  You can't beat that.  

Best of all, the opening ceremonies officially started at 8:08pm on 08/08/08.  The Chinese believe the number 8 is a very auspicious number as it symbolizes prosperity and wealth.  My lucky number is 8 and my numerology life path number is 8.  Last year after 07/07/07 I was looking forward to this very day in hopes that this day would change my life forever.  Something would happen to set me on the correct path.

Did that happen?  Well, sort of.

In some ways, I am already changed.  These last few months have opened my eyes to who I really am and what I'm looking for out of life.  As a teenager, I knew that I wasn't going to lead a 'normal' life... you know, graduate from university, work for 30+ years at a fly job and head out to greener pastures.  I just knew that I would make a living doing something different.  Living off Harper's cheddar is certainly different but why is it I just know that this is temporary?  My gut is telling me there are things out there for me - things that have yet to be discovered; hopefully by the time the cheese runs out.  Then I'm really screwed.

Either way, I felt lucky today.  I have faith that my broke self will be broke no longer.  I'll find my life's calling.  Wouldn't it be funny if my life's calling was writing blogs?  I wouldn't mind at all - I do enjoy it!  

On the other hand, there are astrologers out there who feel that the number eight represents destruction.  My finances are a pile of rubble.  Job prospects are few & far between.  I don't think my life can be any more destroyed - scratch that because I could be living in Iraq and that would kinda suck.

Everything does happen for a reason.  I'm going to look back on these times and say to myself, Self, I made it through.  

It too shall pass.   

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


I actually ran into a celebrity today - no word of a lie!  I almost ran headfirst into Leo Rautins!!  For those of you who are wondering who the blank Leo Rautins is, let me enlighten you.  He is the head coach for the national men's basketball team and he's an analyst for the Toronto Raptors.  Pretty cool, eh?  Wizzes on those who don't think it's cool.  Running into Leo Rautins is right up there with meeting Lenny Wilkens!  Now there's a basketball legend.  He even remembered my name after we met!  

Remember that chunk of Harper cheese I was supposed to get today?  Well, I did get it but only a fraction.  Turns out Dalton wasn't too keen on the fact that Stephen was hooking me up so Stephen had to take some of my cheese just to make Dalton happy.  Cha.  Why can't we all just share & share alike?  Coincidentally I did end up getting my big dirty bucket of chicken.  My apartment still has a hint of KFC in the air but that's OK.  It's like that lingering smell you get after you spray a wack of Febreze... either way, I find it soothing.  I'm sure once my life settles down somewhat I will wean myself off the KFCrack.  For now, along with chocolate, it'll do.  

So now I've got to do some juggling around with this little bit 'o government cheddar.   Food is still priority.  On pain of bill collector harassment, I will buy groceries.  Ain't no one gonna stop me from feeding my growing addiction to food!  I may be broke but I'll be fed!

As my computer is chock full of all kinds of malware, I had to break down and buy antivirus software.  In my mind, this is OK.  I need my computer to send out job applications and communicate to the world in some fashion... last thing I want to do is send out an application full of all kinds of crap.  Can you imagine?  It's actually happened to me before - some wingnut sent me an attachment infected with a worm and it nearly crashed my hard drive.  Needless to say, the wingnut was not considered further from the role.

I had all kinds of issues installing the software then finally, the stars aligned to make it work.  It's been scanning for a few hours now and so far there are 898 infected files on my computer.  Isn't that foul?!  As of this minute my computer is on lockdown.  No more sketchy downloads!  No more "Click here to find out more"!  As if this is taking this long.  Blast.  I wish my chair had a cushion - it's going to be a long evening.

With that said, I want to also voice my rant for the day - if that sodding woman is actually guilty of killing that poor 7-year-old girl, well... I can't even say it.  What is wrong with people today?  I can't stand watching the news anymore because it's all shooting this, stabbing that and rain, rain, rain.  Behave yourselves out there!  

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

days go by...

I completely forgot today is Tuesday.  How funny is that?  I'm sure I had a holiday of sorts yesterday but it wasn't until a little while ago when I came to the stark realization that tomorrow is in fact Wednesday.  Where have the days gone? 

Today was a day that felt like any other day.  My friend Christiane is in the same boat as me and she says that since she stopped working, the days just seem to melt into one another.  This is indeed true.  If I didn't have a calendar, I would only know that yesterday was a holiday because there was hardly any traffic on the roads and there were a few stores closed.  

I can't wait for tomorrow.  I have things to do, places to be and best of all, I get a payment from Stephen Harper and his band of merry men!  I'm totally running out of food and I cannot wait to get some groceries.  For those of you who don't know, I get a big kick out of food.  Food isn't just something you concoct for the purpose of filling your stomach (that's what Kraft Dinner is for).  It's about flavours and colours and creating something new.  Cooking actually calms me down if I'm feeling stressed out.   I love to check out cookbooks and try different recipes.  See, I grew up in a house where we ate the same thing day in and day out except for when we threw these crazy dinner parties trying to act like high society.   Since leaving home, I realized there were other foods out there and I wanted to try them all!  Nowadays, I am feeling a big hungry.   Not hungry because  I haven't eaten in a few hours but because I couldn't afford food.  Come tomorrow, I'm gonna shop for food like chicks buy shoes.  Only one more sleep!

Perhaps the time has come for me to find work.  I'm running out of ways to amuse myself all day long, especially with a lack of cheddar.  Now that I think about it, if I had gone to the gym more often, I could have a rock-solid body right now.  Then again, no one would see it because it's been raining all the sodding time!  I went to the gym yesterday and it was packed, much to my amusement.  The cardio machines were maxed out and there were plenty of juice pigs to chuckle at.  That's it.  I have decided to get my parts to the gym more than once a week!  Why?  It gives me something to do!

While I was at the gym I met up with my former personal trainer Tyler.  We exchanged pleasantries then I embarrassingly confessed that I had gained all the weight he helped me to lose about 6 months ago.  He wasn't mad (guess he's heard that before) and asked me if everything was ok.  I said not really and I can't help it if plenteous amounts of KFC, chocolate almonds and red wine make me feel better.  He chuckled and he told me something that stuck in my mind. He said to remember these 2 things:
  1. Learn how to distinguish between a wish and a burning desire
  2. If you feel like you've made a mistake, learn from it.  This way the mistake turns into a learning experience to help you grow.
I didn't think Tyler had it in him!  I told him thank you for the wise words and made my way into the cardio area.

I had to think about what Tyler said whilst churning away on the elliptical machine.  There have been things that I've wished for in my life and there have also been things that have definitely been burning desires (okay, those desires too - I ain't gonna lie).   My burning desires are my dreams.  Who says I have to put my dreams aside?  No way.  I'm not gonna say what my dreams are just yet - I'm waiting to see if they come true or not.

Till then, today is on the brink of going down in history.  Was today a landmark day?  I'm sure it was for some people.  It was just another day for me.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

gettin' my domestic on

Who knew that keeping house could be so invigorating??!?!  It felt great to scrub the blank out of my bathtub this afternoon.  I was sweating after I was finished!  So I said to myself, Self, why stop there?  Let's continue the endorphin rush!  I swept and mopped and disinfected my entire apartment.  I gotta do this more often!  Listen kids, endorphins are my new drug of choice.  Best of all, it's FREE!

Of course when you're Molly Maid for a day, you get awful hungry.  I spent $1.60 on 4 Parmesan buns which now reduces my net worth to fifteen cents.  Did I ever feel like Jesus when I made a big dirty plate of spaghetti, meatballs & garlic bread for dinner.  I thought about making an apple brown betty for dessert (why do they call it brown betty?  Was betty brown to begin with?) but no, I just didn't feel like it.  What would happen to me if I couldn't cook?  I'd starve.  There's just no other way to put it.

Now that my apartment is so fresh and so clean clean, I can put my feet up, maybe treat myself to a self-administered foot massage and watch football (American, that is).  Yes, you read correctly.  Football - of the NFL persuasion.  I really do like watching it!   In case you were wondering, it's Colts vs. Redskins.  Colts had an onside kickoff and the Redskins scored in 3 plays that took 77 seconds.  Redskins are up by 7 in the 1st quarter.  

If only I had a beer, some hot wings with blue cheese sauce and a pair of balls to scratch.  

Saturday, August 2, 2008

I enjoy being a girl

Being a girl is just so much fun.  We get gifts every month!  Mine is a doozie.  Every month I turn into the spawn of Satan incarnate.  I breathe fire and will vanquish those who dare to cross my path.  I feel like fire and brimstone at this very moment.  As much as it would be cool to hang out someone, I know I wouldn't be any good company.  Right now I just want to be left alone.

These rage blackouts started several months ago.  Back then I would just cry at anything & everything.  Now I just need peace.  Kinda hard when you've got no food, no money and annoying neighbours.  I don't expect anyone to understand me when I'm in this state... hell, I don't expect anything from anyone.  Athena will take care of herself - she always has so why should anything change now?

There's nothing else for me to say at this time.  I'm going to find some way to amuse myself for the rest of the afternoon.

Friday, August 1, 2008

I've got plans for the long weekend

For the first time in 140 days, no bill collector has called me looking for blood from a stone. Happy days!  Let's celebrate!  I'll do that in my imagination - no tengo dineros!

Before I go any further, I want to pay my respects to the poor soul who lost his life on a Greyhound bus by some maniac out west.  I've never known any Canadian who could be that cruel as to cut off a total stranger's head and throw it on the ground.  What a devastating thing to happen.  I'm sure no one's going to want to take Greyhound ever again - I know I wouldn't.

On to more lighter topics.  It's Friday night of a long weekend for those of us in Ontario.  Got plans?  Me?  Heh heh heh. I'm doing what I do best these days - sweet nothing.  I can't afford to do anything anyways.  Most (if not all) of my friends are doing something-or-other with their significant others.  Maybe they all think I've got plans.   It's happened to me before... I sit at home in front of the TV whilst the world lives it up around me and people call me up to say, didn't you have plans?  I thought you were going to _______ or hang out with _________.   I guess all those supposed plans just cancel themselves out so I'm left sitting here spending quality time with my PVR.

I'm sure you've come to the conclusion that I think about stuff alot, eh?  I wonder if I'd still feel lonely if I was employed.  When I was working, I still felt quite lonely. I'm not one to hit up the clubs or those dating sites that everyone seems to be having so much success with (I got all of their rubbish - great).  Am I looking for friends or a boyfriend to call my own?  A bit of both, if I may be so bold as to answer my own question.  I'd love to have a boyfriend.  Why not?  I like to think I've got a lot to offer - intriguing personality, killer curves and a mind that just won't quit.  No, I'm not a narcissist... someone's gotta toot my horn!

Truth be told, if I met someone right now I'd run for the hills.  "Hi, I'm Athena and I'm collecting government cheese.  I have a toonie in my bank account.  Wanna go out for some air sometime?"  Sounds like someone you'd take home to the folks right quick!  Maybe I just want someone who'll be there for me.  Someone who thinks the sun shines out of my backside.  Someone I can share my feelings with.  Someone who knows how to operate telephonic devices.  Someone who doesn't get "busy".   Are you out there?  Do you even exist?  In my dreams, maybe.  Rob James-Collier, you just don't know!  Once you go Canadian, you'll never cross the pond again!

There's those that say I should learn to love myself first before I can love anyone else.  This is very true however no one loves Athena like Athena.  Athena is sick & tired of being all things to Athena when the rest of the world is "busy".  I wonder if I'll ever find what I'm looking for. To top it off, nowadays I don't feel like I fit in anywhere.  Right now I feel like I don't belong with anyone or anything except here in my apartment in the company of my stuffed polar bear Bill.  I spend lots of time with Bill because he's never "busy" and he listens to me.  

I do have issues I need to work out for myself.  Who doesn't these days?  I'm trying my best to work through my issues on my own.  I read all kinds of books on the topic, actually... reminds me of something one of my exes told me: "Athena, you won't find life's answers in a book."  He knew how much I loved to read - hell, I still do.  Reading is cheap entertainment and the library isn't too far away.  S'pose I could just read all weekend.  I've got 4 books on the go and I could have them all done by holiday Monday.  

A-ha!  I just came up with some weekend plans. WOOT, WOOT!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

no money, mo' problems

I finally got my backside to the gym today.  All I did was 20 minutes of cardio & some abs but man, I feel like a rock star!  I've got endorphins runnin' all through me.  I really need to go there more often - not just for the obvious benefits but for the sheer amusement!  Between the untrimmed hedges in the ladies' changeroom to the juice pigs working out 1 muscle group to the dexters working up the courage to pick up some unsuspecting chick on the elliptical trainer, it's pure entertainment.  In case you were wondering, I love to people watch.  You can find out so much about a person just by observing their mannerisms.  Good times!

Saturday's Lotto 6/49 jackpot is $36 million dollars.  Betcha ten pennies you got yourself a ticket, eh?  I sure as hell did!  The way I see it, it's just more government cheese but more refined; I'm currently receiving Velveeta whereas now I have a chance to dine on fine French brie with crudités.  Sometimes I catch myself daydreaming about what would it be like to be $36 million dollars richer than I am now.   (cue the dream sequence)

What would you do with $36 million other than the given (pay off bills, etc etc etc)?  I'd pee my pants then pass out.  After I come to and clean myself up, I'd go out for dinner.  The thought of all that dough is quite daunting, now that I think about it.  I'm sure all kinds of characters would come out of the woodwork looking for a hookup - not gonna happen!  They can crawl right back where they came from.

Do we see the lottery as a means to escape the humdrum of our daily lives?  I've seen executives making six figures play the lottery.  What the blank, eh?   That's sheer greediness in my opinion.  Maybe they could use the winnings to import their latest nanny from God-knows where and buy that house in the Hamptons just to be part of that 'crowd'.  Cha.  The Hamptons and places like it are for later - all they are is a big swordfight to see which person has the biggest, widest... property.  We all dream about how our lives would be so much easier with all that dough.  We wouldn't have to worry about finances ever again.  Our kids would never have to worry about finances ever again.   We could do all the things we always dreamed of doing.  Would it be easier, though?  Biggie said "mo' money, mo' problems".  Somehow I do believe that's true.

A few years back this guy in Nebraska won $314 million in the Powerball lottery.  He was head of a contracting firm and had a decent life.  After electing a $170 million cash payout, he ended up with $114 million after taxes.  Next came what would make a great reality TV show - wife left him, DUIs, lawsuits... all kinds of tomfoolery!  For the record, if your backside has $114 million, why are you getting arrested for DUIs?!   Call a blanking cab - not like you can't afford it!  Shame befall you!!!  I don't think this guy's life got any better after he won the cash.  Poor soul.  That's gonna be one heck of a fight for his estate after he kicks the heavenly bucket.

If I won $36 million, this is what I'd do with it (just in case you were curious)
  1. Pay off my $40K debt
  2. Go out for dinner
  3. Plan a ridonkulous shopping spree with me & the girls
  4. Buy a Wii, Wii Fit and Guitar Hero
  5. Buy a home (not a house but a place where I really call it my home)
  6. Invest - my $$$ will work for me so I won't have to work for my money
  7. Travel the world
  8. Continue my blog
I'm sure I'd do more but I can't think of anything immediately right now.  What about my family?  Not sure.  Cruel as this might sound, I'd have a hard time giving them cash when they refused to help me in my time of need.  Just because we share the same DNA does not obligate me to do anything.  Go ahead and call me a selfish beeyatch but right now, this is my time to be selfish!  I've never been truly selfish in my life.  Actually, it's kinda fun.  

I'm sure my life would be totally different with a fat bank account.  I'd have an entirely new set of issues to deal with.  Isn't that what makes life what it is - life?  Granted, I could live like I've never lived before. I could see the world.  I could experience new cultures and traditions.  I could even buy myself a date or two.  

In case you were wondering about my big decision, I've decided to spend the Velveeta on food.  I was all set to save it for rent then I remembered how I lost 30 pounds 6 years ago because I couldn't afford to buy food.  As much as I probably should lose the weight, I don't want to experience that starvation EVER again.  At least I could get a few of this blasted bill collectors off my back.  I'm praying to have a bill collector-free day just once... where no one would ask me when to expect payment... when the clock strikes when-I-have-it o'clock is when you can expect payment.  Grr!

In 48 hours I'll know whether I'm going to be a rich beeyatch or still broke as a joke.  Good luck to all of you who bought tickets but know this - that's my money!!  Get your own sandwich!!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

decisions, decisions

My day started around 11am this morning.   Can you believe it?  I haven't slept in that late in years!  I didn't even party it up last night!

So I start looking over my financial picture and then it hits me - in the next few days, I have a big decision to make.  Once I get my next chunk of government cheese I can either pay rent for August on time or spend some of that money to buy groceries and pay my rent late.  What's it gonna be, Athena?  Food or shelter?

Never did it cross my mind that I would ever have to make a choice like this.  My first inclination was to pay rent so it would be on time for the 1st time in 4 months however despite all these shenanigans, my rent does eventually get paid.  Besides, it's not like I don't have food... I do but I just don't know how long it will be able to sustain me since these days I'm eating myself out of house & home.  It's a good thing I know how to cook because if I didn't, I'd be in big trouble.

What about using that money to buy food?  That's always an option.  Of course it's important to sustain myself and stay somewhat healthy.  I could stand to lose a few pounds so technically I could just buy a few heads of romaine lettuce and have myself a party.  I could even pay a few bills off with that money.

Back in the winter I saw this commercial about this family having to decide to either pay the heating bill or buy food.  That's unfathomable to me at this point.  I'm sure they didn't elect to be in that predicament.  Maybe in my case I chose this path.  Maybe this path was inevitable because I needed time to figure myself out.  While I figure myself out (which is still an ongoing project), I have to come to a decision.

Food or shelter.  Shelter or food.  Can I have both?  Truth be told, I'm not all that sure.  I feel like this decision is a test to see if I have indeed 'grown up' at all throughout this whole ordeal.  Is there a right or wrong option here?  Would I be wrong to choose shelter over food?  Better yet, would I be foolish to choose food over shelter?

As you can tell, I have no idea what I'm going to do.   The long weekend is coming up and guess who's got a date with her PVR?  Yes, that would be me.   The Caribana parade is on Saturday and as much as I would love to get some saltfish & bake, I might have to just make it myself.   

Hey world, if you were me, what would you do?  Would you pick food or shelter?  I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I got my own back

This morning I woke up from a lovely dream where I was having a torrid love affair with Rob James-Collier (Google him and you'll see what I mean) to rays of sunshine streaming through my window.  I thought to myself, it's gonna be a great day.  Things are going to change for me today.  A paradigm is already in motion.   I even had lunch with a good friend this afternoon and worked on my tan!

Of course, what was waiting for me at home but 3 messages from bill collectors.  Had I known I was going to spend all afternoon gallivanting all over creation for these fools I would've stayed in bed desperately trying to recreate my dream affair with Rob.  This is getting insane.  For a brief second I found myself feeling hopeless without anyone to turn to.  Did I really create this hole for myself?  Even if I had stayed in my job to endure further picomanaging, I'd still be in this situation - at least that's what I keep telling myself.

Am I really alone in this time in my life?  Do I have someone to truly depend on?  Does anyone for that matter?  Does anyone truly look out for one another?  What does it really mean to 'help' someone out?  When you say to someone, "I got your back" is that really true?   See, I don't think so.  At the end of the day, I got my own back.  Athena feeds, clothes, shelters and amuses Athena.  These days I really feel like the world just doesn't give a blank.

I guess I could say I've got higher power looking out for me.  I'm certainly not a Bible thumper nor do I have a tambourine to sing gospel at all hours on Sunday morning.  I do believe there is a higher power out there that looks out for us all.  Some people call it Buddha, God, Shiva, Zeus... either way it is what it is to each individual.  I do wish I had the means to really explore my own spirituality - I could add that to my list of "Things To Do During The Day When You're Bored Outside Your Mind".  Either way, it is nice knowing that I'm not totally alone.  Hey - if I believed in the Jedi religion, I could say the Force will always be with me.  Okay, so maybe not.  I'm not a total dexter despite my love for all things Star Wars.

Where's my family in all this?  I'm still trying to figure that out for myself.  Sure, we share the same DNA but really, that's about it.  I can say on pain of being struck by the divine that I have been the glue holding my family together.  When in doubt, call Athena and she'll put aside her own needs for her family because that's what families do, right?  Not mine.  Every member of the Titanides family has their own back, of which they turned on me one by one in my time of need.  That hurt like nobody's business.   I could be whoring myself for my next fix of crack rock and they wouldn't blink an eye because it won't affect them unless someone finds out about it.  Oh well.  At least I now know that Athena Titanides is her own family.   Athena's got her own back.

By now I would've gone absolutely mad if I didn't have my friends around me to offer their support or just a few laughs to take my mind off my dismal existence.  I don't expect anything from them other than their friendship.  It's nice to call them up from time to time and just chat about The Bachelorette or what's on sale at Eaton Centre this week.  We all have our cross to bear and it is what it is to each of us.   It's comforting to know that my friends understand this and together we can all get our own backs.   Having said that, I now know who my REAL friends are.  I may not have a ton of friends but the ones I do have are true.  You know I gots love for my crew!!

I read the most interesting book called "Yes I Can" by Devon Harris, a member of the 1988 Jamaican bobsled team.  Everyone knows how the Jamaican bobsled team faced so much stink at the Calgary Winter Olympics because people thought they didn't belong.  In the end, they didn't win a medal but they won the world's respect.   You won't find me sliding down a hill anytime soon but I'll be here working my parts off to make my life better for myself.  Yes I can! Yes I will!  

This is why I rock.

Monday, July 28, 2008

my sneaky feelings are always right

Lately I've noticed that my gut feelings have been spot on.  I never used to trust my gut - I would always go with the decision that I thought was the best one or the one I really wanted to come to pass.  Within the last year or so I've learned to trust my gut feeling.  Call it women's intuition or something more poetic... I call my gut Wilbur.

Wilbur and I have a wonderful relationship.  We grow together as life moves on.  These days you can't miss Wilbur - he's the first thing you see when I walk by.  He brings me comfort during my monthly rage blackouts and sage advice when I'm faced with a particular situation.  Wilbur is my shelter from the storm of life (sniffle).

Most people don't pay too much attention to their intuition.  I do believe we all have it to an extent.  For me, it's like a feeling that something just isn't right.  Most of the time it's indescribable but it's there.  

A few years back I went out with this guy to a jam at a club downtown.  I had a sneaky feeling it wasn't going to be a good evening but I went ahead with it anyway.  When he came to pick me up he looked almost green - mostly because I towered over him in my 3" stilettos.  We get to the club and it was jumpin' jumpin'!  I met up with some friends and immediately proceeded to the dance floor.  After a few songs, I found my date in a corner nursing a Molson Canadian.  I asked him if he was having a good time and he said no (the audacity!) because he just saw his ex with her new man and he still wasn't quite over it and asked to go home.  I was full & ready to tell him check ya later but of course, he left his car keys in my apartment.  Blast!  We had been at the club for a grand total of 30 minutes.  Had I listened to my gut I would've either just gone to this jam myself or left him to his own devices.

Remembering that fateful evening is making me snicker right now because I went on to date this poor soul.  Yet again, I didn't have a good feeling about the relationship but silly Athena went ahead with it anyway.  Of course, it all ended in heartbreak.  He broke up with me then wanted me back and I told him no blankin' way.  For once I heeded the advice of my gut!

These days my gut and I find ourselves by ourselves.  We're ok for the most part.  We're still unemployed & we're still benefactors of government cheese.  I trust my gut more than ever these days.  It's one of the few constants in my life at the moment.  No matter where I end up, Wilbur will always be there to comfort me.  Now all he & I have to do is shape ourselves up!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

cumulonimbus clouds

Last year I was considering moving to England.  I always enjoyed traveling there - the sights, the shopping, the food... why not?  I wouldn't have to deal with snow anymore and rain doesn't pile up all over the sidewalk.  After much consideration, I decided against it.  My home and my path are here in Toronto.  I'd miss the seasons way too much.  It is commonly known that a lot of rain falls in England and I'm here to tell you it's true.  The last time I was there it rained 4 times in 7 days & that's not counting the intermittent hailstorms and fleeting moments of sunshine.  

Then again, I'm getting a great taste of jolly ol' England right about now.   What the blank is up with all this rain?  I'm very confident I'm developing Seasonal Affective Disorder since the beginning of July.  Oh, don't be all weird about it - we all are a few Timbits short of a Snack Pack in our own way.

As I'm staring out the window, I can see this massive cumulonimbus cloud.  These are the clouds that make up thunderstorms, which is something else we've been getting a lot of lately.  It's quite a view, I must say.  It looks very majestic from here - like there's supposed to be some deity that lives within the cloud itself.  A few hours ago there was a thundershower but now it's sunny - thank the deities that exist for that.

This is not just about the weather as I'm sure you can check out The Weather Network for that.  It's more about how I feel about rain.  As a child, I was terrified of lightning & thunderstorms. Every time it happened,  I would run into my parents' bedroom with my fake Care Bear in tow. At one point they considered taking me to a child psychologist because my fear was so intense but once I started to display gifted reading talents at school they figured I would grow out of it. I don't know that I really have because to this day they still make me nervous.  As for the gifted stuff, well, maybe.  I'm no Doogie Howser but I'm also not an idiot (contrary to previous employers' beliefs).

On my 19th birthday, I had a high school track & field (I think they've changed the name to athletics) meet.  The sky looked quite threatening by the time we got there however I did remember to pack my rain gear just in case.  By the time I ran the 100m final it had started raining and better still, it was around 3-5 degrees Celsius.  My next event was the 100m hurdles. Keep in mind all I'm wearing is this skimpy tank top & running shorts in my school's colours.  I get to the starting line and take a look at the track before me - covered in 3cm of snow.  Yes folks, snow.  After that meet, I developed pneumonia for 3 weeks. My coach was livid because I was also on the 4x100m relay team and couldn't train but hey, it's not my fault that I had liquid in my lungs, right?  I tried going back to school but I passed out in math class so they sent me home.  That's when my abhorrence for rain began.  Actually, it might have been when a boy in my grade 8 class threw a nightcrawler in my face... shudder.

Rain is so dreary, wet and miserable.  Rain makes my hair all messed up and that bugs me.  Rain makes the worms crawl out of the sidewalk.  Rain cancels outdoor events and forces the masses to fashion rain coverings out of just about anything as they run for shelter.  Since I have so much time on my hands, I've done some thinking about this type of precipitation and you know what?  It's really not so bad after all - as long as I'm indoors, of course.

Without rain, the city would look like tundra.  Trees would look like cans of smashed apples.  Flowers wouldn't bloom, etc, etc.  So really, it's a temporary crappy situation essential to make things better.  It's raining in my life right now.  I have to believe that once the rain stops, my life will begin to bloom again.