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<-- my life, by webgoddesscathy -->

:: Friday, April 28, 2006 ::
This weekend, Alex and I will be heading to Home Depot to get some ideas for our kitchen reno.

We're going to be putting in a dishwasher and new countertop, after the floors are put down and we're still figuring out exactly what we want.

At the same time, we're considering a bigger reno. We're talking tearing down one wall to open it into the back room, closing off the access to the basement from the kitchen and moving the door to the front room instead (maybe a hidden door?) and then putting in more counter and cupboards where the door used to be.

This is big.
So we're going to be looking at quotes.

My real estate agent (whom I love) recommended checking out the Appraisal Institute of Canada. It tells you there that kitchens provide one of the highest payback potential.

This is good news, of course, because we actually WANT to renovate the kitchen. But the question remains: what TYPE of reno actually provides payback?

How do we know whether just doing a cheap reno would provide the most payback? Maybe most people would actually not like the wall being taken out! Or maybe this change would net us a HUGE payback because it made the kitchen so much more functional.

The advice I got from one person was to just do whatever I want for ME. I'm going to live in this house for about 5 years, so it should just make me happy. Good advice.

Problem is, I'm pretty OK with it now. It's fine. It's OK. It's better than what I have now and I love my apartment. I'd be happy with the cheap reno. Happy enough, anyway. But making the kitchen bigger and more integrated with the next room would maybe make me happier. Tough to know until it's done, but it seems like a nice idea.

Hence, my anxiety over the house situation grows. I need to figure out how to be calm about it, but let's keep in mind:
a) it's my first house
b) it is the first time I've ever contemplated this kind of reno
c) I've heard many horror stories

However, since the anxiety is making Alex crazy, I will endeavour to curb it somehow, and just focus on how exciting it may be to spend $10k on a reno that may or may not actually improve the kitchen.

:: Cathy 7:43 AM [+] :: 2 comments

:: Wednesday, April 26, 2006 ::
You know, I've been loving reading lately. I can't get enough of it.

I finished one book, "Love Monkey," on the weekend. A total chick-lit-type book but written from they guy's point of view. With an abrupt un-ending. Great mindless reading, though, that made me laugh (he has a conversation with his penis at one point and explains how, to a guy, women are like food: pizza is great and you're very happy to have it, but sometimes you just want steak, and you'll even settle for just food because at least then you won't go hungry).

Now I've just started a book about adventuring rodents. I hope that this one is bound for disney, because it's totally cute.

Previously, I read a sci-fi book called "The Shadows of Ombria" which was promising, but the ending didn't hold up for me.

I've also been watching more movies since I discovered the library. Last Friday I picked up "Gods and Monsters" and "Gosford Park" (I stopped at the "G"s).

"Gods and Monsters" was quite good, although it was odd to see Gandalf playing a gay man. He was really good, and I think he's gay in real life. The highlight, however, was Brendan Fraser's fine specimen of a body. The guy totally worked out for that role. Honestly, he looked much like a beautiful statue. It was quite awe-inspiring.

I didn't get around to "Gosford Park" until last night. I'm glad that I waited. That movie requires a lot of attention. There are a lot of characters to know and it gets confusing at times, especially when you can't really make out what they're saying. I think it may warrant another viewing, now that I've got all the names straight and at least part of the story under control. There's so much going on, it's multi-layered story. But worth it.

And aside from books and movies? Well, I'm still a web nerd and have been fooling around with a "wiki" for my trip to Halifax. It's a website that you create that other people can edit.

So go ahead. Go to the site, read about my plans. Make comments, make suggestions, add links. If you can think of something I should do in Halifax (or Nova Scotia in general) just edit the page and add it in.

It's the best way to be collaborative - it's like a website that everyone can share. I figured that since I'm planning this with Raye it kind of made sense to use this technology.

It's my first one. We'll see how it goes. Comments appreciated.

:: Cathy 6:32 AM [+] :: 0 comments

:: Monday, April 24, 2006 ::
Ever get those days when all you wanna do is drink hot, frothy lattes in a cute, quiet cafe as you read a good novel? Or just slip on your jammies, slip an Oscar-nomination into the VCR (yes, I still have one) and eat chocolate chip cookies, fresh from the oven?

I am having one of those days.

Restless but unmotivated.

I did manage to get one important house-related task completed. I called for two home-insurance quotes. And last night, I worked out how much money I will have left over after the downpayment and closing costs. Turns out I will actually have something "left over" to spend on renovations!

Very exciting, but also a bit more nerve-wracking, as it's a huge amount of work to coordinate such things. I don't know this type of thing always makes me so uptight.

Anyway, so I was stressing a little bit about all the decisions that have to be made and how I don't relish making ANY of them, when Raye wrote me with plans for my upcoming maritime vacation!

I'm excited to see her. I'm excited to watch movies with her. And eat popcorn. And we're going to the theatre. I'm going to read books and walk around and drink yummy coffee. That's the plan, anyway.

And you know what? Right now that sounds SOOOoooo good!

One day I'm just going to go to the grocery store and buy a bunch of bad food, sit on the couch and watch bad movies, stuffing my face.

I can't wait.

:: Cathy 4:51 PM [+] :: 3 comments

Scott and Kat had their baby.

I'm so happy for them!

There's something wrong with me: I saw the pictures this morning and I got tears in my eyes.

Scott and Kat made a baby.

To date, I've made a few websites. Some meals and cakes. A few friends. I've never made anything quite that cool.

I've started worrying that I'll be in a high risk unfertile part of my life when I finally am able to think about having kids. And there's nothing I can do about that, unless I want to be the equivalent of a single mother.

I find it frustrating when I cannot make decisions for myself; when I have to wait for others to make a decision that affects my life so drastically. And I cannot help them make it.

It's a wonder that babies are ever born.

:: Cathy 11:49 AM [+] :: 1 comments

:: Sunday, April 23, 2006 ::
I do not like fighting.

I used to avoid fights at all cost. I would get upset and hold it in until I felt sick, choking on bitterness.

I still do this.

Only, now, I avoid fights when I'm upset about something or someone I ultimately don't care about a whole lot.

It seems a bit backwards, I suppose. But think about it: someone you don't care about probably isn't going to be in your life very much. Either you don't spend too much time with them already, or the time you do spend with them now is likely to end in the near future. In these cases, what's the point of causing needless friction in the short term?

On the other hand, there are those that you want in your life because you genuinely think they're worth it. You want to spend more time with them, but there's just this little (or big) niggly thing that eats at you.

If I don't address it, it will likely go on to bug me forever. Even worse, it will fester as I attempt to cover it up. And suddenly this relationship that you enjoy in the grand scheme of things, this person you depend on, becomes gangrenous and either you chop the whole arm off, so to speak, or die a slow, agonizing death of sepsis.

I don't want to live unhappily. I don't want to ignore an infection until it becomes unmanageable and the only way to fix it is to physically remove it.

So I've learned that it's better to fight sometimes.

But it doesn't make it easy. And I certainly wouldn't claim that I'm good at it. But if it does turn out to be unfixable, isn't it better to know sooner rather than later?

There is only one risk that makes me want to avoid a confrontation with someone I care about.

It's not that I might be wrong. I don't like being wrong, but it's a pretty acceptable outcome. At least I learn something, even if it is that I need to shut up or be more trusting.

It's not that someone will be so angry, they will stop liking me. While it sometimes delays the argument, if it bothers me enough I remember what they taught me in grade school: if they don't like me, then they weren't worth it. I know: it's not really as simple as all that. These are people with whom I have a very strong relationship. Usually, the history we have is enough to get us through even if they may be upset with me in the short term. I may have to be careful to make sure they understand that I still like THEM, but strong relationships bounce back.

At least, this is what I have learned over the past couple of years.

No, the biggest risk is to the other person: that I made them feel bad about themselves. And why is this the worst? Because I know the hurt I feel when someone I care about says, "I don't like this about you" or "I think your way is wrong." Because it feels like they're saying, "You should be more" or "You should know better." I know how discouraging that feels.

But I also know that sometimes I need to know when I'm not living up to the expectations of the people I respect. I know that I am the person I am today because other people with a strong sense of morality and what is valuable in this world taught me the difference between what's easy and what's right.

Would I have chosen to make the changes to myself that I have thus far if no one had ever challenged my position on a belief, or told me that my action was wrong?

It has taken me a long time to be able to fight. But I am, myself, a better person because of the conflicts that I've had. And while I struggle to figure out the best time to impart my views and the best framing for them and how to minimize the impact of my emotions on them, I realize that I would never get better at it if I didn't practice.

I hope that the people I love are patient with my attempts.

:: Cathy 5:25 PM [+] :: 0 comments

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