Thursday, January 31, 2008
The good news is that we're set for Saturday - I got us tickets to see The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at the Elgin, a musical that I've wanted to see since I first read about it a couple years ago while researching things to do in NYC. We're having dinner prior and he's picking the restaurant, which isn't a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but it's significant because I've always been the one to choose the destination when we dine out together. In times past, when I asked him if he had any preference, he'd just defer to me, and I'd throw the ball back into his court by giving him a shortlist. I wonder what he'll come up with...?
Sunday, January 27, 2008
From the backcover: What if, hidden in an old attic chest, Jane Austen's memoirs were discovered after hundreds of years? What if those pages revealed the untold story of a life-changing love affair?
It was a quick and easy read of Austen's fictional romance interwoven with the writing of Sense and Sensibility. I'm by no means a hard-core Janeite, but James does a good job of creating characters in Austen's society that supposedly inspire many of those that come to life in her books, including a Mr. Morton that is so clearly the pompous Mr. Collins in Pride and Prejudice.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Perhaps I should rewind a bit: I called him up Wednesday night and to say that we should do something Saturday night. I emailed the next day to suggest sushi and a movie and he replied yesterday to say that he had to take a raincheck because of the get-together. I wrote back and suggested Sunday and he never replied so I thought, forget it, I'm banging my head against the wall because he has the habit of not responding sometimes and I don't like being left hanging. (I know, I could have called instead of going the passive-aggressive email route, but who really calls anybody anymore?)
So, I got a call tonight about 6:45 - he wanted to know what I was up to and if I still wanted to have dinner since his friends had disbanded without dinner and his brother wasn't going to be home. I said I was just going to make something but we could still have dinner if he wanted to.
About an hour later, he was at my door and we headed off for sushi. I'd sent S a text to say that wL and I were still on - she knew that I was getting rather frustrated with him - and she wrote back to say that I should be sure to have the talk otherwise it would nag me forever...and she's right of course.
We get to the restaurant, and clever girl that I am (heh) with the sneaky investigative skills, I brought up the Thirty-Two Questions on Love in Letters of a Portuguese Nun and asked him a few questions from the list, including #13: in love what is the greatest crime, to be refused or not have dared to ask? I didn't ask it in so many words, but you get the idea. His answers were all very interesting and telling...I found out for example that in 3 of his 4 relationships, it was more of a slow-burn situation in that he laid his cards out on the table straight away, and the girls took about a year to come around to his way of thinking - I will come back to this later.
We paid up the bill and he drove me home and we carried on with our easy conversation even as we were parked on my driveway for another 10 minutes or so before I decided it was now or never. I told him I wanted to ask him something and prefaced it all by saying that it may very well be awkward, but I wanted to know if he thought that there could be anything between us beyond friendship.
So he paused for a bit and said, among other things that he was open to the idea of a relationship between us. Turns out that he'd had a crush on me for about a year when we first met 5 years ago. Why he never said anything, I don't know, but I will certainly ask when next we talk, because if this works out, it would again follow his pattern, only he never declared himself upfront and it took me 5 years to come around to the idea of us together. As a random aside, I've always thought that he had beautiful hands...I noticed them when we first met.
He himself had been thinking about the idea of an "us" for awhile now too, and his reservations were around religion, as he's Christian, goes to Church and teaches Sunday school, and I'm completely ambivalent about being baptised Anglican. Now, he's never been particularly vocal about his faith, and it's only in the last 6 months or so that I was aware of how important religion was to him. In one of my earlier probes, I had asked him what his dealbreakers were and while he hadn't said religion, he did say that it was a preference...so he brought that up tonight.
We sat there for another hour or so in honest, open conversation. The infuriating part was his answer about what being "open" meant because he kept talking about the reservation he had - essentially, he didn't want to be unfair or hurt me if it turned out that his Christianity, or rather, my "just be a good person" school of religion became an issue. To which I answered, "It seems like you're closing the door without even opening it to see what's on the other side." He stopped, thought, and said, "You're right." Of course I am.
So. What does this all mean? It means that neither of knows what will happen but we're going to spend more time together and see what happens. We jokingly laid out some ground rules - in regards to phone time (there was a girl he dated who complained that he didn't care because they didn't talk on the phoen all the time) I told him we're not in high school anymore so I don't expect us to talk every night on the phone - in fact, I'd probably be the one to say, I gotta go, I need my beauty sleep - but I did expect that he replied to my text messages. If things work out and there's a happily ever after for us, yay. If not, well that's fine too.
The good-bye was the really funny part, and I'm rather embarassed to admit how awkward it was, because we were both sitting in our seats and staring at each other, probably wondering if we should kiss, and laughing nervously because it's suddenly weird, and then he opens his arms and I lean in for an awkward hug and then we said goodnight and I went into the house, all happy and glow-y, I'm sure, because I looked in the hall mirror. :)
I've decided that the first thing we'll do when next we see each other is to get the first kiss out of the way immediately so as to avoid another awkward goodnight.
I waited about 15 minutes before being shown into a room to have the "before" pictures taken for the record. This is my second time around with braces. Back in high school, I had the clear porcelain ones but this time, since we're just correcting the bottom front teeth which have inexplicably crowded, I've got a mouthful of the old-school metal ones.
The big difference in the experience this time is I left with a serious loot bag of orthodontic goodies! In the bag, I found the usual paraphenelia: a couple packs of orthodontic wax and toothbrushes, floss threaders, expandable(?!) floss, sugarless gum, toothpaste and a few travelling brushes. The new addition was a product called Gishy Goo - I am not kidding, that is what it's called - which is a "sillicone bracket relief aid" packaged in a double-barrelled syringe. It's essentially a newfangled substitute for orthodontic wax which comes in 5 colours, including blue, green, red and yellow. I chose the latter since it's the least technicolour of the bunch. I got a t-shirt too, which will be perfect for the gym.
I'd forgotten what it felt like to have braces - I could feel the wire doing its job as soon as it was fastened into the brackets because there was a tightness that was new, yet not completely foreign to me. My gums are a bit sore now and I'm speaking with a bit of a lisp thanks to the new hardware, but it's only for about 8 months. I hope.
Monday, January 21, 2008
The letters in question were first published anonymously by Claude Barbin in Paris in 1669 and are believed by most scholars to be fiction written by Gabriel-Joseph de La Vergne, comte de Guilleragues.
Myriam Cyr argues that the passionate love letters, of which there are 5, are authentic in her thoroughly-researched history of the forbidden love affair between Mariana Alcoforado, a Franciscan nun who lived in a convent in Beja, Portugal and a French officer, Noel Bouton Chamilly in the mid-17th century.
Having finished the book, I'm not entirely convinced that they're real, despite Cyr's many endnotes and references. I will be the first to admit that I can be rather cynical, but I'd like to think that my jaded lens is tempered by a deep rose shade. Despite this, the love letters are just over-the-top in their desperate love and yearning.
The end of the book includes Thirty-Two Questions on Love, which are attributed to the Marquis de Sourdis, ca 1664 for the salon of the Marquise de Sable. #13 in particular struck a chord:
In love what is the greatest crime, to be refused or not have dared to ask?
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Long story short, I was inspired by the fresh, graphic quality of the print and had it in mind for my own. It’s silly to say that, among other things, I’ve been focused on finding a suitable shower curtain.
I know what you're thinking. I’m a freak. Because I know how ridiculous it is that I’m not moving for another 6+months yet I’m anxious to find the right shower curtain. I know I have issues. But it’s the little hit of instant gratification that satisfies…it’s a small enough buy that I won’t stress about it too much if it turns out I made the wrong decision (which I didn’t.) Besides, it’s also small size-wise so won’t take up much storage space until I move.
I found this at Urban Barn today and after some consideration, decided it was perfect:
I look at it and see the Tree of Knowledge, or the Tree of Life, in slumber as it were, with its’ vast canopy of leaves and deep roots - you can't see the roots, but I know they're there. It’s bold and graphic and symbolic and it’s perfect.
I spied this sunburst mirror at Dexterity, which I love and would hang above my bed…I will need to double-check whether it’s the right scale:
Incidentally, the T-Table and Crystal Stool are on sale at Quasi Modo and I’m wondering whether to pick it up now or hold off…what to do? The sale is on until the end of the month so I do have a little time to consider…
The first work week back this year was slow since much of the office was still on holiday so I spent one of my lunch hours at DeBoer’s College Park location. It was here that I saw this bench/glass-topped X-base combo. I’m not keen on the clear glass top – I don’t want to see people’s laps or feet when I’m eating – but if it was maybe black glass, I might be OK with it, although I’m weary of fingerprints.
Browsing online, I came across a number of other options, including this one at Furniture Toronto:
Today, while browsing along Queen West, I stopped in at Industrial Storm for the first time and was mightily-impressed with what I saw. Among the great finds is this bamboo-topped, stainless-steel base wonder:
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
So what did we do in class today? Well, we covered the usual administrative, introduce-yourself-and-tell-the-class-what-you'd-like-to-get-out-of-this-course in the beginning, and then we got into drafting floorplans and elevations in a very basic fashion. We closed the class with a decorating personality quiz just for fun, which is what took F-O-R-E-V-E-R. I think I was noticably annoyed, which is terrible of me, I know.
According to the results, I'm an extrovert first and a romantic second. Design ideas that apeal to extroverts include:
- dramatic rooms that are "staged" for impact
- well-defined conversation areas in which one seat has the dominant position
- rectangular dining tables with a "host" seat at one end
- mirrors - they provide a means of getting self-approval
- a bedroom with a king-size bed and an unusal headboard
- warm colours
- spotlighted accessories
- dramatic room lighting
- accessories like trophies, and awards, things that show achivement or interest
- anything that's unusual, thought provoking, or a conversation stimulant
- candles and candlelight
- floral prints
- delicate fabrics
- colour schemes that are drawn from nature, pastels
- rattan and wicker
- memorabilia, nostalgic accessories
- traditional styling
- hooked rugs
- frills, flounces, curved lines
- four-poster beds, canopies
I can see how some of these fit me...but others, not at all. We're supposed to come to the next class prepared with pictures of our favourite room(s) and she'll analyze whether they match our personalities.
One week down, 13 more to go...maybe.
*ESL - English as a Second Language.
Monday, January 14, 2008
It's Nokia BH-701, a Bluetooth hands-free headset that can be worn as a necklace. You just pull the ring from the easy on/off clasp, hook it over your ear, and press the button to start talking. Pretty, non?
It's set in Toronto and is about 4 friends who are second-generation Canadians, one of whom, Tuyen, is a Vietnamese-lesbian-starving artist that I identified with - not so much the lesbian or starving artist part, but the part in which she describes growing up "Western" and having to act as an interpreter for her parents (See Ch. 5).
My mother's English is fair, but she will still, to this day, ask me to impersonate her if there's something she doesn't want to have to deal with by phone with, say the bank or the cable company, and I always feel a slight twinge of guilt because there's a part of me that thinks the person on the other end will see me as a fraud. This feeling is amplified when I hear the recorded message about how the call may be recorded or monitored for training purposes - I wonder if they file all the calls away from a particular customer and then go back and review them at a later date because if they do, they'd hear that one day my mother had clear, unaccented English and on another, not. Ridiculous, I know, but I still wonder.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
So, I decided it'd be more fun to make dinner instead because we'd spend more time together and it'd be kinda fun and domestic-like to go to the grocery together.
Fast-forward to about 1:30 this afternoon, he responds to my text message to say that he was going to watch 27 Dresses with a girl friend but that he'd be home around 4pm...so I'm second-guessing myself as to whether it's wise to say anything today because what if he's actually interested in her? What if I've been reading into things - which may well be the case - and he's actually interested in her as more than a friend? I know her, and I've always thought that there was actually something between her and his brother. Whatever the case, I was losing my nerve.
We go to the grocer and back and we're in my kitchen prepping and in my brain, there's an internal struggle going on as to what to say.
Instead of being direct, which is what I would have preferred, I said, "Hey, are you interested in anyone right now because I know someone who's interested in you."
Lame. Lame. Lame.
So he says something like, "No, I'm not interested in anyone right now. Is this someone I know, or is it like a blind set-up, like someone was looking through your pictures and saw me?"
I can't even remember what I said but it was dumb. What do I do now??
At least I know that he's not interested in anyone - if he was being honest. But why wouldn't he be honest? Here I am, just like a girl, over-analysing. But what now?
Strike one for my first attempt in finding out once and for all what's up between he and I.
Here's what I found in potential candidates:
1. Dandielions Dream creates art prints for children which may be customized and I like the idea of these two prints together, with the blue owls swapped out for pink owls. My first instinct was to have the text read "Sweet Dreams - E. M." but now I don't know...Perhaps "Dream Big - E. M."? Or no name at all but some other touchy-feely text?
2. Gorjuss features this pretty girl with her long, flow-y black hair in many of her prints. I love the purple scheme and how carefree and sweet she looks in this one:
3. I like this collection of 4 seasonal prints at Belle & Boo called My Favourite Spot in... they're at once carefree but bittersweet, too:
4. Yumi Yumi's Sitting Pretty is sweet and there's a Buy 3 Prints Get 1 Free sale going on, so I'm almost tempted to get the 3 other 5x5 owl prints just to take advantage. I love Sitting Still too, particularly in Brown.
5. Finally, meArtDesign's Swirly Bird in Pink because it's pink and it's pretty:
Birds, you may have noticed, are very-well represented in my sampling of prints and it's not that I favour birds particularly, but that the artists who sell their work on Etsy do. Anyway, they're pretty and I think they'd be pretty in a little girl's room.
What do you think?
Friday, January 11, 2008
Clockwise, left to right: Stone Stool, Loop Candelabra, Lily Table Lamp, T-Tables, Louis Ghost Chair, Coral Candleholders, Noguchi Table
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Brian Gluckstein who, along with Candice Olson of Divine Design and Steven Sabados (one of the original Designer Guys), first got me hooked on interior design with their appearances on Cityline Home Day back in my high school days;
The Designer Guys, the trio of designers who aren't as good as the original duo but they'll do;
Sarah Richardson, who I first discovered on Room Service and continue to appreciate on Design Inc. See also Sarah's House and the episode in which she renovates the basement - a prettier powder room you never did see;
And finally, Lynda Reeves the president of House and Home Media which publishes Canadian House and Home.
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
I love how the colourful flourishes seem to fall into the simply scripted text and I've been imagining how I could use this in my space...and I'm thinking that it'll be perfect hung above the desk in my den...
I also came across this print by Gina Triplett called Born which is beautiful and familiar in theme, non? Perhaps in the den as well, although they're not the same dimensions so I'll have to figure something out. Good thing they're open editions so there's no rush for me to decide.
Meanwhile, I've been thinking about what to give my little niece, who, according to my sister, is a poop and fart machine. How charming. T's decorated EMC's room in girly pinks and purples so I was thinking that perhaps Sarajo Frieden's Twenty Birds would be a perfect addition:
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
As you can see from the floorplan, S&C's upholstered headboard which stands over 5' tall is central to this scheme.
It's currently balanced on either side by the sparkly ball lamps atop Ikea's Hemnes 3-drawer dresser in white. If it turns out that I'm not able to source a storage bed sans headboard, I'll need the storage.
I'm not sure whether to split Mucha's 4 flowers so that there are 2 above each of the dressers, or keep them all together so that when I'm sitting on the couch facing my bedroom with the sliding door open, there'll be something of interest to look at.
Finally, in the corner, my lovely, super-comfy occasional chair, with maybe a slim endtable on a small area rug to define the corner area.
Monday, January 07, 2008
Just when I think I've settled on a scheme and have begun to source the pieces to make that image in my mind a reality, I'm inspired by something I see while browsing the shops, in a magazine or online and then I'm back to square one, re-imagining the space.
I spent most of the weekend thinking about the upholstered headboard I saw at Visitor Parking Saturday afternoon and trying to find a solution for the boxspring/platform/storage bed problem. While trying to find a solution, I came across this desk, which I think would be perfect for my den - at least for now.
Saturday, January 05, 2008
Mid-Century Modern at Klaus by nienkamper
I've recently come to admire the style known as Mid-Century Modern and if I were to design a space with a Mid-Century Modern flavour, I'd want it to include Pierre Paulin's Globe and Tulip Chairs which I am happy to report are as comfortable as they are cool and stylish.
And here, the playful, uber-modern Come A Little Bit Closer Bench which retails in the 5 figures(!) If you hadn't already noticed, those are marbles and the "seats" float above the marbles so you can move "a little bit closer" to the object of your affection. Fun, non?
Visitor Parking, my new favourite store
From the outside looking in, this shop is tiny but it's actually much larger than you'd expect and it's filled with fantastic gems, including this upholstered headboard by the original Designer Guys, Steven Sabados and Chris Hyndman. It's surprisingly affordable and its wing-back style will be perfect for snuggling into on the nights I tuck myself into bed with a good book. It's tall too, so it won't look stumpy given my 10' ceilings. The one thing I'm going to need is a boxspring (which I don't have) or some kind of platform on which to place my mattress if I forgo the boxspring.
For night tables, I'm rather partial to the sparkle and glamour of mirrored furniture like this one below, although the metal pedestal tables in the photo above look pretty good too.
Visitor Parking also has an amazing collection of tempered glass tables including the charmingly named Get Straight and Get Bent:
But my favourite is the more sharply-angled Nip and Tuck,
Woven art at Modern Weave
...which would look pretty fantastic with Emma Gardner's Limited Edition Bamboo Blossom, a work of art that I saw up close and personal at Modern Weave. According to the helpful sales associate, Emma Gardner was on-site for the store's grand opening last fall - how cool is that?
While there, I also came across this groovy, textured specimen which can be done in many different designs and custom colours:
Et finalement, Trianon
I have been a long-time admirer of the fabulous finds at Trianon, which I imagine would be ideal if ever I wanted to design a boudoir or inject some fun into an otherwise serious room. Consider these feathered pendants:
Incidentally, the occasional chair I redeemed for arrived today...
Friday, January 04, 2008
Maybe you think I'm being overly dramatic, but I had been going to S since I graduated from university - a 6 year relationship that I hoped was just on a break for the past year while she tended to her baby boy. Having tried 2 other stylists while she's been away with very mixed results, I'm wary of auditioning a new stylist because I just don't have the patience for the new candidate to get to know my thick, straight, Asian hair.
After 6 years, S knew my hair so well that even when it was growing out, it looked great because she knew just where to snip the inner layers so that my thick hair didn't grow out like a triangle at the ends. This last cut isn't growing out well and for a girl who prides herself on having great hair (despite the grays, but that's what colour's for, right?) it's distrubing and frustrating. What am I going to do?!?!
This is a sad, sad day.
Thursday, January 03, 2008
I used to consume books - I'd get so caught up in a title that I'd lose track of time and read into the wee hours of the morning - but somehow, without me realizing how it happened, I stopped. So I'm going to start again....the first step is to bring a book with me to work. I'll still read my paper on the subway ride in, but on my way home, I'll read a book instead of doing the crossword which, on good days, I finish before I get to the terminus and have to while the rest of the ride away by doing the crossword which is hardly a challenge.
The second thing I've decided to do is to start taking the stairs up to my floor first thing in the morning. I'm pretty good about taking the stairs throughout the work day - I walk the 1 flight up and down for my caffeine fix, the 4 flights up and down to heat my lunch, and however many others required to get to my meetings on other floors. Yet, I always take the elevator up first thing in the morning - save for that one time I got to work late and there was a mass of people waiting for the elevators so I hiked it up and was all winded from the effort (those stairs are STEEP!) I figured this is the least I can do in the way of exercise everyday - if only to assuage the guilt I feel on the days I lack the will to work out.
Finally, and most importantly, I will take the bull by the horns and find out once and for all what it is between wL and I. The status quo is becoming rather unacceptable and I have nothing to lose but my pride if all there is between us is friendship...but if there's more...well. We'll just have to see. I've played the scenario over many times in my mind and I'm still not quite sure how to go about it. The timing never seems right when we're together, but then, what would make it the right time? I should just make my move. Now I just need to work up the courage...
Tuesday, January 01, 2008
The whimsical crystal moon below at the Roseland Gallery on Queen West can be yours for the low low price of C$14,780(!!)