Sunday, March 23, 2008

Optimism regained! Is it Spring or the antidepressants?

I have definitely noticed a shift in my outlook lately. I'm not sure if it is the sunshine or the celexa, or some combination, but I don't care. My mind does not automatically spiral to the negative. My job has become bearable, dare I say enjoyable? The things that sent me into a violent fit of tears and rage I can now laugh at. The fact that I work on a reality TV show that is totally incongruous to my values just seems kind of funny and absurd these days. Funny in a self deprecating, I don't take myself too seriously, sort of way.

I also noticed that my inherent laziness is not taking over completely as it had over the past few months. Perhaps because I am not disinterested in living anymore? I'm getting chores done, shopping for groceries, doing my job at work and am enjoying it.

I never lost interest in food, in the intellectual sense, but when I was down and out I just wasn't getting into the whole sensual aspect of creating food for myself and the ones that I love. No more! Last night I cooked a pretty good meal which I had planned - this is unusual for me because I'm usually opening the cupboard and winging it. I still did make some winging it substitutions because I wanted to use what was already in the fridge.

My friend from University visited with her boyfriend. They are both vegetarian and so I decided to serve fish. This week the first magazine of my subscription to Gourmet Magazine arrived in the mail (April '08). It was a delightful surprise as I had forgotten that I signed up for a subscription. I chose two recipes for Black Cod with Olives and Potatoes in Parchment served with Sauteed Dandelion Greens as well as a Baked Ricotta from "Sunday Suppers at Lucques" by Suzanne Goin. I only had to buy the fish and potatoes as I had everything else on hand when you take the substitutions into consideration.

The parchment packages made for a particularly enjoyable presentation. A lot of flare for not a lot of work! Also, everything was moist and delicious. I totally should have taken a photo but I wasn't thinking about the blog at the time. Oh well, I guess I will learn.

Monday, March 17, 2008

The mountain of hand washing

I hate the mountain of hand washing that had accumulated over the last few months. I mean, about a third of my wardrobe has been out of commission for over half of the year. Well folks...I took matters into my own hands...but not exactly. I actually took it out of my hands...

I ordered some items from this website call laundry alternatives. A "Wonder Wash" which is basically a glorified cannister with a hand crank. It looks a bit like R2 d2. The jury is still out on whether this is labour saving our more labour intensive. But your hands don't get as pruny.

The second item that I ordered was a laundry spinner. Imagine a salad spinner about 5 times the size of a regular salad spinner, but now add a fairly impressive motor. Brilliant! The worst thing about hand washing was wringing the stuff out anyway...then the dripping...and the days it took to dry. And yes, I do know about the trick of rolling the wet clothing in a towel and squeezing out the moisture. Actually, I usually stepped on it as I found that to be pretty effective, but not so anymore! Now I can spin the heaviest knitwear and it is dry the next day!!!

I can't believe I am about to hit "publish post".

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Spadina Street Cars

I remain perplexed by the two different approaches to boarding the Spadina streetcar that TTC passengers seem to silently and unanimously agree upon. There are distinct rules; if you are entering at the front of the vehicle the same rules do not apply at the rear.

At the front of the streetcar it is all about chaos. People just cluster around the entrance and hope for the best. If you are waiting to get on here you can expect to be pushed, jostled and even shoved. Usually it is a little old 4'10'' woman who is doing the shoving. It takes up to 4 streetcars to get on, if you don't enjoy shoving your way on.

In stark contrast to this is the method of entering the streetcar at the rear. It is all orderliness and precision (almost - see next paragraph). Usually two lines form, single file thank you very much, and curve to accommodate the seemingly endless line of the people. Seriously, the lineup can go as far as the exit on the farthest end of Spadina station. And this lineup, though it does appear daunting, is much more efficient a way of getting on the streetcar. I know because I used to be one of the jokers at the front entrance. Now I know that within two streetcars, not four, I will be comfortably seated at the back and either reading or knitting.

The one exception is that sometimes people with lack of foresight line up for the rear entrance of the streetcar and do not curve the line where they should. Instead, they just keep lining up until they hit the wall where the stairs to the subway platform are. This means that they block the entrance to/exit from the subway platform. This really annoys me because I think "where do you think this line can go from here?". Anyway, perhaps I should post some photos to support my irritation at this.

Some mornings I would like to be like the kindergarten teacher and teach these commuters how to form a line, single file. I've almost done it, I swear, except that I know that people would think that I'm crazy. Really, I would only do it because I care. That, and the whole two methods of entering the streetcar really, really annoy me!