Monday, August 27, 2012

my better self

so now that there's been a photoset of the new place, how is the new self doing?

aside from doing a lot of long early-morning walks, that is.

as evidenced by my lack of blogging lately, i have a hard time figuring out what to write these days. i'm keenly aware of the amount of eyes on this thing lately, and so i'm being more cautious than ever in what i put out for public consumption. funny how i'm finally learning to have a filter, uh, how many years on now? ha ha.

but otherwise, i'm attempting to keep my schedule filled with plenty of gym time and crossfit, hangs with friends, kitchen projects, tending to my apartment (i keep it bizarrely clean), and making sure i've got plans to get out into the world and do things. case in point: i volunteered with west side beef at the toronto underground market on saturday night, and it was a blast. really super glad i decided to do it, especially given that it was a snap decision on my part.

so, that's a small portion of what i'm doing to stay busy and minimize my amount of alone time. i'm glad to have people around these days -- it's much more fun than moping around by my lonesome. weekends probably give me the strangest feelings; it's fine and normal during the week - when i'm at work all day and in the gym most evenings - but on the weekends there's this total sense of "...huh, okay, what now?" i mean, really, there's nothing like spending a weekend home alone to make you realize just how empty that space is. and i feel kind of weird about that. but, natural progression of things, i suppose.

oh yeah, and i'm spending too much money on random things. bleeding cash to outfit my new apartment is one thing -- blowing my credit card limit on cute panties and makeup and dvds and booze is another. sigh.

other than that, there's not a whole lot to write about right now -- but trust me, so much of my life is all surreal and wonderful and terrifying and fun as hell right now. i have no idea how this keeps happening to me but i hope it doesn't stop.

[ music | florence + the machine, "shake it out" ]

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

home sweet home

this is going to be a blog post entirely made up of apartment photos and boring commentary. you have been warned.

here is my home!

those are all shots of the main/living room (and clearly there's an atomic bomb going off outside, but whatever).  since i got the last couple pieces of furniture yesterday (the liquor cabinet/shelf and the bar table in the corner), it's basically done.  i'll likely be looking into wall decor next, but there was a weird blurb in the lease about how i'm not allowed to mount things on the wall, so i'm not sure how hard and fast that rule is. i would die to get a cool wall decal like this one, but i don't want to get evicted or anything. we'll see.

living room, north view. got the couch at the brick, built the little laptop desk and chair out of kits from ikea (ditto on the coffee table). i'm still not entirely convinced on the stability of the desk - it wobbles madly - but i will place my foolhardy trust in cheap swedish furniture.

living room, looking towards the kitchen. good space. would have loved a bigger kitchen, but in toronto, large kitchens - like large bathrooms - are incredibly rare.  still, this will definitely do.

the kitchen, the epicenter of wherever i live. (this photo is a little older -- the liquor on top of the fridge has since been moved to its own cabinet) everything in its right place. and yes, that is magnetic poetry (the rock & roll set, obviously) all over the fridge.

living room, looking towards the front hallway.  the rug really ties the room together, man.  (it's actually one of my late grandmother's creations, passed down to me when she died last winter.)

living room, south view. yes, that's the infamous/ridiculous television i was so proud of buying (this one here). it was sort of a dumb decision, i guess, given that i've only watched tv maybe three times in the last couple of weeks, but i really mostly bought it for hockey season. (which might not happen this year, i know, i know. please do not remind me again or i will cry messy girl tears.) the little bar table and stool next to it as well as the end table to the left are all from ikea. i went a little nuts at ikea. two trips (so far)!

slightly-more-than-closet-sized bathroom. i'm a little bit in love with the shower curtain (scored at kitchen stuff plus), but the rest of it is pretty standard. i keep debating buying a space saver shelving unit like this one (because there is absolutely no storage in the bathroom other than the medicine cabinet, and the lease says i'm not allowed to install wall-attached shelving), but i'm wary about putting something together only to have it not fit.  still, it's not keeping me up at night, and i'm mostly just stoked i have a bathtub.

bedroom. it's a tad spartan right now, mostly because i can't figure out what i want to do with all that extra space, but i have a bed (the first one in my adult life that hasn't been from ikea) and a full bookshelf and a closet brimming with nice clothes and things are fine.  i'm starting to be more comfortable sleeping here (i've always had issues sleeping in "foreign" places), so once my brain is done processing that this is home now, it'll be fine.

closet fulllllll of pretty things! also a wall calendar, because my life needs to be hyper-organized.

balcony + balcony view from here on the 18th floor. as i've said before, one of my big sads is that the apartment is west-facing, so it faces away from downtown, but it's still a pretty great view for what it is -- and, as my mother pointed out, facing west means i get to watch the sun set every day. also, it's a great place to just sit and read a book or whatever. yay balconies! (between this one and the last apartment balcony i had, i consider this to be repayment for all those years of dark shitty basement apartments.)


balcony views to the south and north. really nice at night as well.

so that's that. all in all, it is a fairly sizable junior one-bedroom apartment. i've tried to figure out why the rent is so much cheaper than expected, but the only reason i could think of is because there's no air conditioning (which absolutely sucked for the first week when toronto was having a heat wave, but now that fall's on the way i'm confident it'll be okay).  otherwise: holy shit sweet deal.  especially since for one, i haven't seen anything even resembling bedbugs (aka my biggest nightmare), and for two, it's thankfully quiet (except for people being loud out on the balconies at night, but i've totally been guilty of this myself already, so whatever).  so all of my initial fears and worries have thus far been for naught.  it's a good feeling.

last weekend, one of my friends asked me how the new place was -- "do you love it?"  and it took me no time at all to admit aloud that absolutely, yes, i friggin' love this place.  it's such a nice little sanctuary.  (contrast that to last time i lived alone -- in vancouver, when a friend asked me how i liked living there and i felt like i wanted to shoot myself in the face.  this is much better.)

and now all my friends are after me to hold a housewarming party, but i'm not too sure of my mass social skills at this point in time, nor what the capacity of this place would  who knows.  bachelorette pad!  anything is possible!

happy girl right now, the end.

[ music | !!!, "must be the moon" ]

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

comparing mythologies

so i was walking to a gig downtown last night, clad in a cute dress and already buzzed on vodka and smiling to myself, and it suddenly struck me that i've been here before. it felt like that time in vegas, or los angeles, or any one of those moments that i'd been out in the city at night for the music and the people and the sheer joy of being young and free to do what i want.

it occurred me then that maybe it was the last five years of stability and normalcy that was "just a phase" (as my mother frequently referred to my more turbulent years in my early twenties).

maybe it's actually here - with the nighttime and the city lights and the bands - that i've belonged all along.

(welcome back.)

[ music | interpol, "slow hands" ]

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

keep breathing

done, and done. i'm back on the west end.

the move out of my old place and into my new one went so quickly that i think both brad and i were surprised -- literally, it was like half an hour each time, maybe 3-4 elevator trips. this is what it's like to move when you have almost no furniture and just boxes and boxes of books and cookware. (also, renting a dolly was the best $7 i ever spent.)

and yeah, there was an, er, eventful moment, let's say. thankfully it was resolved swiftly and efficiently and with a minimum of damage. whew.

so in a flurry, i managed to unpack almost everything over the course of one afternoon/evening, and now i just have to wait for my furniture delivery tomorrow (which will thankfully be bringing me a bedframe and mattress set - i'm sleeping on the floor until then - plus a nice big squishy couch, and an entertainment unit for the stupidly huge TV I just bought). tv and internet just got set up this evening, which is why i'm able to be blogging now and not just sitting around scribbling things into notebooks (although i do that too).

four of my only dumb nitpicks thus far:

  • no air conditioning (but i've been kind of spoiled in my last two apartments, so i'll deal -- plus white noise from a fan helps me sleep better)
  • the drain stopper in the kitchen sink doesn't fit (and i actually broke it trying to get it out, whoops)
  • the closet smells like a lifelong smoker died in it (hopefully fixed by febreze capsules i desperately stuck on two of the shelves while plugging my nose the entire time)
  • there is no electrical outlet in the bathroom (the fact that i will have to blow-dry and straighten my hair in my bedroom feels outlandish to me, yet very #firstworldproblems at the same time)

also, i really wish i'd snagged an east-facing apartment so i could look out over downtown toronto (the view of mississauga and etobicoke just isn't the same), but oh well. i was spoiled with the view at my last apartment, and it's not like i'm living in a basement again (i'm on the second-to-top floor, bitches), so this will absolutely do nicely.

and really, i do feel pretty damn lucky. it's the perfect size, there's exactly enough storage space (well, maybe not so much in the kitchen, but i do have far more kitchenware than i do, say, clothes and shoes), and the little balcony makes me happy. even happier that i was able to buy my old apartment's totally lovely little deck set (two wrought-iron chairs with a pattern of roses and a matching table) and take it with me. being able to have somewhere to sit and smoke at dusk, or drink coffee and read a book on a saturday morning? yes, yes, 100% yes.

also in the "i am damn lucky" file: i have been blown away by the support and love of my friends, not just in regards to my move but over the last couple months completely. i've had so many kind words and so many offers to help and just so, so much awesomeness sent my way this summer. and i've appreciated everything from the smallest gestures to the really huge ones. my friends have made me laugh, kept me distracted, and just generally been the coolest fucking people alive during these turbulent months. it really does take the low points to make you realize just how lucky you are to have so many people who love you and care about you.

i've even noticed a marked difference in my mood and attitude lately; i've been much more open and happy and just fun, i guess. it's like i've come out of the shell i've been hiding in for the last few years. i'm back to being my old effervescent, chaotic, spontaneous self. and, unsurprisingly, i realized how much i missed being fun. for all the positives in my old relationship, it was also a rock weighing me down in a lot of ways, and now i've got freedom. bittersweet freedom, but freedom nonetheless. and it'll all get easier as time goes on.

so when i'm stuck in the quiet, darker moments of sadness (because they have been rolling in without warning now that i'm in my own place), i try to remember all that -- what i've actually regained through all this.

worth it.

[ music | arctic monkeys, "fake tales of san francisco" ]

Saturday, August 4, 2012

grow up and blow away

and now, for the moving.

i'm sure i've stated this before many times, but i hate moving house. i am a firm believer that anything that can go wrong with the moving process, will go wrong. there are just too many variables to keep control over, and the potential for crazy fucking disaster is super high. ugh.

i think for me, a lot of it is about the timing of everything. having to synchronize things makes me twitchy. for example, i have the moving van rented for something like, oh, six hours before it has to be returned. possibly less. then i only have the service elevator in my new building booked from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., which means that we have to pick the van up on time at 9, get back to my current place, and make sure all the shit here is loaded up by, say, 10:30. then hopefully it's off to the brick, where we'll have maybe 10-15 minutes to load all the furniture i ordered online for pickup. and finally, the new apartment itself, where we will have to dodge all other elevator-goers to keep a firm hold on the service elevator (if it works at all like my current place, the service elevator can still be used by others, so you have to be super attentive and not let anyone else take it).

then, hopefully, all of this will be wrapped up and done by early afternoon next tuesday, upon which moving buddy brad and i will cheerfully/sweatily retire to eat bbq and delicious ribs at the stockyards.

i overthink everything. it's my default mode.

my only real comfort is that i own so few belongings that it really should go quickly. part of me is worried that this is a bit presumptuous of me, though; i might start packing and realize that holy shit, i have so much stuff. but i can't imagine that i'll fill up even a corner of the moving van -- which is probably good considering the amount of stuff we'll have to pick up at the brick on the way (bedframe, mattress/boxspring, sofa, etc).

and then will come the rest of it, in the days to follow: picking up bits and pieces to complete my apartment (examples already on the running list: vacuum, full-length mirror, salad spinner, stock pot, glass pitcher, ashtray, balcony chairs). finding places for everything (which is admittedly one of my favourite parts). decorating where i can. learning how to sleep in a new bed in a new place. moving on.

i went and got the keys on wednesday, and took the elevator up (18 floors!) to what will be my new home in five days' time.

i sat on the floor in the empty living room, back against the wall, staring into space. and i felt a little emotionally numb, you know, knowing what this all means.

but i picked myself up again, and i felt a bit better.


[ music | none ]