Tag Archive | Toronto

A year in the life….

Wow. It’s been nearly a year since I last posted.

But it’s been a good year. The Cipralex continues to do its good work — I only wish I’d known about it sooner. Stuff still happens, but I handle it so much more easily now. It’s a kind of feedback loop: the calmer I am, the better things go, and the better things go, the calmer I am. And so on.

Ballantine books. Just a sample...

Ballantine books. Just a sample…

I’ve also been spending many fun weekends hunting around in antique markets and used bookstores with a childhood friend whom I’ll call “The Falcon” here for his uncanny ability to zero in on the exact books we’re looking for (Ballantine WWII history editions) from 500 paces. It’s really spooky. We take turns driving, and spend the day on our various routes around Southern and Southwestern Ontario. Book dealers and model shops have gotten to know us, as have the staff at our favourite Vietnamese restaurant in Kitchener. Mmm. Noodles.

Many happy returnsss of the day.

Many happy returnsss of the day.

Boyd, my beloved ball python, is nearly three years old now, and almost four feet long. He recently escaped (my fault — I left his cage door open overnight) but was recovered safely the next morning from his hiding spot in my hall closet.
Sophie the cat is now 18 and a half and slowing down considerably. It’s hard having an aging pet, and sometimes the yowling and clingy behaviour get on my nerves, but we have both found solace in a) anti-anxiety medication and b) her little grooming comb. Grooming is calming for both the groomer and the groomee, and this is how we get along.

I did two levels of improv classes at Second City here in Toronto in order to tackle my lifelong stage fright (yup, it works!), filled in on my pub quiz team for a guy who was overseas for six months, saw a lot of good shows at the Art Gallery of Ontario (the David Bowie one was my favourite — I saw it twice), and visited the Butterfly Conservatory in Cambridge.

Her Majesty.

Her Majesty.

I swam a whole lot in my friend Ann’s pool, drank more of her excellent G&Ts, saw some excellent films and some not-so-excellent ones (yes to The Theory of Everything; HELL NO to Boyhood), read lots of good books, got hooked on Game of Thrones, did quite a lot of work for good new clients, and spent much less time dealing with the crappy ones.

This is five minutes from where I live. Seriously.

This is five minutes from where I live. Seriously.

Ate lots of sushi and Ethiopian and Korean food, went for countless long walks on my beloved Don Valley trail, rode my bike a bit, did NOT get sick over Christmas for the first time in years, and just generally had a pretty decent year.

…and that, really, is that.

Life is good. More later. Hopefully not a year later this time. 🙂
~ AG

The cure for “Urgent!”

As an Aspergian, I have until now found freelancing/working from home to be an almost ideal way to earn a living: no office cliques, no need for small talk at the cooler, no having to paint fake eyes onto my glasses and pretend to be awake at meetings.

However, I’m realizing that it does have its downside: very little job security (meaning one always leaps at any project that is offered), and no vacations, benefits, sick days or (increasingly) days off at all.

La vie freelance...

La vie freelance…

This year has been particularly gruelling, and over the last two weeks (that period known as “The Christmas Holidays” in a former life) it’s finally reached critical mass.

Here is what I wrote this afternoon about the experience — plus a lovely gallery of photos (if I do say so myself) at the end, showing how I blew off some steam yesterday & (at least temporarily) restored what’s left of my sanity.

Frequent readers will note that I often “share” entries between my two blogs, copying the text and re-inserting each photo. However, in the interest of not spending any more time than necessary at this computer, I’m taking a shortcut and simply providing the link (again, here).

Back to the Space Channel’s “Star Trek: The Next Generation” marathon I go!

–Asparagus Girl

Celebrity City

“I sense you’re feeling a bit burned out.”

Please adjust your focus

A wise friend of mine once said, when I was lamenting about living in a big city, that one of the paths to happiness was simply to learn to open your eyes and appreciate being right where you are.

This looks like a Group of Seven painting — clouds in a pond.

And it so happens that about 10 minutes from where I am is a little piece of urban paradise called the Don Valley/Beechwood Trails. It goes along the Don River here in Toronto, where I live, and is a huge swath of reclaimed land that is used by cyclists and walkers and dog enthusiasts alike.

For me, there is nothing, and I mean NOTHING, more soothing at the end of a long day than to put on my shoes and head down to the trail. I’ve seen foxes, rabbits, herons, and beavers — just to name a few — and it would take me till the end of Eternity to photograph and name all the plants I see.

Typically, I head out for a “short, brisk” walk, and stop to take just one photo (usually of an interesting plant), and that turns into two, and that quickly turns into dozens.

Such was the case last night; and as I have not updated my blog in a while (summer being my super-busy season with work), I thought, ‘what better way to reassure you, my loyal readers, that I am in fact still alive, than to share some of these pictures with you?’

So, without further ado, here is a sampling of some of the things I see on my evening constitutionals. All were taken with just my iPhone camera.

Look for the black crested night heron, and watch out for the nettles — so pretty, until you touch them….

I hope you enjoy looking as much as I did.

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