Monthly Archives: September 2008


Oh, dear! It’s been two weeks!

The Toronto International Film Festival has come and gone, and I haven’t finished my story yet…

Feels like my life is on fast-foward… Where do I find pause and play?


So it’s Saturday (part 1: Lights!)

Toronto, first Saturday of September. International Film Festival going on. It amuses me to try calculate how many Hollywood stars are currently within 500 meters from me at this moment. Now, I myself haven’t seen anyone famous, at least not that I noticed. But there’s a chance they might have seen and even noticed me. And the only extraordinary thing I was doing was being perfectly ordinary. Here’s my story.

It started like any other Saturday. Except that it was the first Saturday in my new home, and also the first Saturday of the new academic year. I had a long list of things to do. You see, this week I adopted a new 9-5 dissertation schedule Monday through Friday (one of those new year resolutions for the new academic year). This meant that every silly thing that I would otherwise have squeezed in here and there during the week got filed as a “Saturday” thing to do. One is always so disciplined and so determined in the first week of the new year.

Morning was spent doing house chores. Cleaning, laundry, dishes, etc. General home organizational things — new home, remember. Got to get used to one’s new territory. By the time I left for lunch & errands, it was already almost 3pm. Since I’d just done my laundry and left things to air dry, I walked out of the house wearing, you know, the kind of clothes you only dare to wear because everything you like is in the laundry. But I was out on a mission: many places to go and very little time in to spend in each. In my subconscious I thought I’d be moving so fast I’d be almost invisible — who cares about what you wearing when they can’t even see you? So I put on my bike helmet, got on my bike, and off I went.

Stop number zero: Lunch: warm grilled chicken salada at Aroma Café. Had been looking forward to it all week. As I munch my lunch, I consider my list of errands. New locker at Hart House requires locker things: shower-rack and things to go on the shower rack (shampoo, conditioner, soap, loofa); plus a smaller plastic container with those suction things to stick to the locker door, and to be filled with comb, hairstyling products, deodorant, body lotion and other such things. Plus flip-flops. (I used to have a locker at Hart House for years, so I really knew what I needed to make it work for me). 

How convenient that there is a Dollarama roughly across the street from Cosmetic World on Yonge — ah, I’ve got tons of back to school stuff to get from Dollarama. And while I’m over there, I might as well stop at the Bay, to get a new bottle of that perfume I like. And some of that seamless underwear I bought last time — could really use a couple of extra pairs of those. Let’s see what else? Pedicure? Doubt I’ll have time. Desperately need one though. The last aesthetician was really good, but she doesn’t work Saturdays. But I’ll think about that tomorrow. Let’s start with what I’ve got here.

But where to start? My itinerary was such that the Bay had to be either the first or the last stop.  Strategically speaking, it made sense to start with the Bay for many reasons. I needed to buy two things: perfume and underwear (ready for seduction!). In both cases, I knew exactly what I wanted and where to get it. They were both small items that would occupy virtually no space in my huge backpack. If I went there first, I could be in and out in 30 minutes or less, put the purchase in my backpack and go my way. But if I went there last, what with shower-racks, hair-products and just being tired, I’d just probably not make it there at all, or run the risk of being very grumpy, ridiculous, or both.

The decision therefore had been made: we were going to the Bay first. Now on to Action!

Stay tuned for the next episode in this extra-ordinary trilogy…

So it’s September

Hi, there.

The last time you heard from me I had just made a decision, after months of agonising. The decision, remember, was to finish my doctorate, and to stay in Toronto until I did so.

Well, that was a hard decision to implement, which is why you haven’t heard from me in over a month. In the last five weeks:

1. I did a lot of apartment-hunting, which reminded why it was that I never did rent an apartment in Toronto in all these 6 years (subletted once, but that doesn’t really count);

2. I went to Montreal twice, in order to keep my sanity;

3. In the period of ten days, I managed to apply for a job, get through the whole interviewing process, receive an offer, accept it, and later decline it — all within ten days;

4. I learned a lot about accounting;

5. I moved for the fifth time in two years. The previous record of seven moves in two years is still intact, although I start to lose count of what counts as a move and what doesn’t (staying somewhere for a couple weeks while you look for your own place — does that come into the equation?);

6. I was forced to confront my past decisions and life priorities and all that jazz, and found it all very enlightening. I think I am currently several years, maybe a decade, more mature than two months ago (not older, mind you. If anything, I’m acting younger and younger as months go by. Part of the whole maturing thing).

7. In particular, it’s been less than a week since my last move. But it definitely feels more like a year. Partly because a lot of things have happened. Partly because I have managed to implement so many little changes in behaviour that I do feel like a different person. And then there is the change of pace that comes with a new academic year + the change of routine that comes with living at a different place + the change in temperature that made days like today feel like summer was a thing of the past = feeling that more than just a week has gone by.

So I have a lot to write to you about. Hardly know where to start. Maybe most recent thing first, just to practice the whole timing thing (I’ve realized my sense of timing is in general very poor, and have decided to work on it). So let me tell you how my day today was (or maybe I should say yesterday, given that it is now past midnight. Oh well. Saturday, Sept 6, which still feels like today but no longer is. Very emblematic of my life, actually. Sigh. Maybe I should leave it for what feels like tomorrow but actually is today, that is, Sunday, Sept 7th. Another sigh. I think I need some sleep — it has been a long day, an even longer week, and an even longer parenthesis. Sleep wins.).