Peppy Habberjam, August 1991 – June 27, 2008

Today I had to lay Peppy down in her final resting place. It had been a rough week for her, and when she wasn’t getting better, I took her to the vet. Both kidneys were riddled with stones, and the worse was inflamed. The poor girl – she was nearly 17, so it was time to let her go.

I loved her dearly, and so did all my girl friends. The less gentle sex, of course, typically didn’t get along so well with her, but tolerance was always developed, leading eventually to acceptance and even, in some cases, affection between the two parties.

Seventeen years is a long time to recap, so I’ll just be brief. From my 10th birthday, when my parents took me to the Humane Society, up to today, Peppy has been the most wonderful, sweet companion to me. She was there through every significant milestone in my life so far, always ready to comfort me when in tears about something, and scold me when I was a bit late feeding her.

I told her to go and look for my Grandma, my Auntie Irene and my Auntie Phyl, all of whom have passed on in recent years. I also told her to look out for a couple she never knew, but who loved me dearly when I was a young tot and I’m sure must know her now: Nan and Gramp.

It’s been really, really tough saying goodbye to my dear sweet girl. At least now, I have one more guardian angel.

Here’s to you, baby.

PFL!

I recently joined up with The Pillow Fight League. I had my tryout, and made it to the next level, where I would have to fight as a “Pledge” (I’m in the list at the bottom of this page, under Pledges) to the league.

That fight happened tonight, at the Gladstone. I fought against Pledge Jenna, and won (very narrowly, I must say – she was an awesome contender)! It was crazy – we fought two rounds of two minutes each; the more experienced fighters all did three rounds of two minutes each – at LEAST. If they won their round, they went on to fight another later on in the evening. I’m both scared and excited by this! I’ll have to get more fit – but that’s great, I love fitness goals.

So, it’s been a crazy week physically! Time to drive this on forward into summer, so I can go to the beach sans embarrassment 😉

Tata for now!

My PFL Certificate
The certificate I got after fighting my Pledge fight.

My CN Tower Climb

So, I did it – and boy was it tough!

My time was 24 minutes and 24 seconds, which is about average compared to most other climbers. There were 144 flights of stairs in groups of about 12-15 (I’m not certain about the exact number) each. At first, deluded, I thought I could run up – but I learned within the first flight that would not be possible. For some reason, I had thought the steps would be those half-sized steps, so climbing them would be close enough to walking that it wouldn’t make much of a difference. But no, they were regular, full-sized steps and it was hard.

For the first 30 flights, I was in copious amounts of pain. My breathing came hard and it was just very ugly. At about this point, however, I was “warmed up” and the usual work-out euphoria helped me glide up the next batch up to about flight 70. At this point it became difficult again, but I only had to rest a couple of times until I reached 100, at which point I had to stop every 10 flights or so to catch my breath, and ease the pain throughout my legs.

When I got near to the top I heard people calling out “You’re almost there! Keep going, just a few more!” and a huge grin broke out on my face – I’d done it! Woohoo!!

I wandered around the top of the CN tower as I waited for my friend, who climbed around the same time as me, and came across a girl who couldn’t hold her cookies. Luckily, I stepped out of the way of her splash radius as she puked and her friend rushed to help her! Thankfully, I wasn’t that affected by the climb!

And, the day afterwards, I felt very good – no pain or anything.

Thanks to those who donated to my climb, I received a free movie ticket. My final donation level was $155.

CN Tower Climb Prelim

I’m gearing up for the CN Tower climb for WWF-Canada tomorrow! I’ve been working out all week (well, at least a few times), and I made sure to wake up early today so I can be at the base at 6:30 am tomorrow (on a SATURDAY). This is because if you begin your climb before 7 am, they give you a free ticket to go up at any later date. Sounds good to me!

I’ve surpassed my fundraising goal for this climb, thanks to the following people:

If you’d like to donate, there’s still a bit of time left: visit my donation page.

See you on the other side!

don’t use bleach to whiten your teeth

I don’t know if this method will work quite as effectively, but I think it’s worth a shot: Whiten your teeth with strawberries. Especially considering that when I attempted to whiten them with bleach (using a specially created tooth rack as well), I ended up taking ibuprofen all day every day, losing my appetite almost completely, and finding that even just the thought of food made my teeth throb in pain. The brochure I’d been given said may cause minor sensitivity in some cases. Yeah, right.

I’ll try the strawberries and baking soda and get back to you.

Celebrity-spotting: if only this made me more important

I’ve been complaining a bit that I’ve been in downtown Toronto for two years, and haven’t seen any celebrities yet. Well, it appears the summer-fall 2007 was meant to change all that. In the past month I’ve seen:

  • Ross Hull
    You’d know him from Are You Afraid of the Dark and Student Bodies, if anything.
  • Peter Stormare
    You’d know him from The Big Lebowski, if anything. He’s more of a cult celebrity

  • Jonathon Torrens
    Trailer Park Boys, anyone

Yeah. And I’m proud to say I kept my cool in all instances. If only because I couldn’t place who the heck they were at the time. Anyway, I think my cool points have just increased by 350%. *firm nod*

October 10, 2007 Edit: I actually saw Mike Myers on my street near my house the day I left for Japan (September 30th). I was totally surprised and didn’t even realise it until he’d passed by. It was funny, because he stared at me with a “Yeah, that’s right. I’m famous.” sort of look that I imagine only celebrities could possibly muster.

A real spy-gal

So I just jumped out of a plane… ahhh, yep, that’s right. Pulled meself out onto the plane’s wheel, 3,000 feet in the air, then hung onto its wing for a few seconds and… let go… I’m a convert.

the new morality

…we have a joint obligation to preserve [the commons]. That’s because future generations will need them to live, and live well, just as we do. And our generation has no right to say, “These gifts end here.” This shared responsibility introduces a moral factor that doesn’t apply to other economic assets: it requires us to manage these gifts with future generations in mind.”
– Peter Barnes, Capitalism 3.0

I find it fascinating to note a new set of moral values creeping into my daily life: those surrounding garbage disposal, energy and water use, and the type of food I buy; in essence – my consumption patterns. If I leave the tap running for a little too long, a pang of guilt hits me. If I slip a piece of garbage into the bin instead of properly splitting it up into the recyclables, I feel a small twist in my tummy. I get a little queasy when my Starbucks cup isn’t clean yet and I get a paper cup in the morning instead. There are small things, and the guilt doesn’t bother me enough to actually curb my habits (too much) just yet, but they exist where they didn’t before (not really, and not quite like this).

A couple of years ago I visited my parents in Bangkok, Thailand where they lived for three years. Despite it being an apartment in a well-to-do building in one of the most polluted cities in the world, there was no recycling program. My parents, avid and devoted recyclers for the 20+ years they’d lived back in Canada and the UK prior to their sojourn in Thailand, easily and guiltlessly dumped everything into the trash there (minus any aluminum cans, which they gave to their housekeeper Thip who made spare cash by taking them for recycling at some plant nearby).

While living there with them for six weeks, I also picked up this habit of depositing everything into the trash. I shamefully brought it back with me to Canada when I returned. I continued to recycle regularly while living in my house in the suburbs (an easy thing to do when there is space to store the recyclables before putting them out in their appropriate bins), but when I moved downtown and began living the tiny bachelor-apartment life… well, there just wasn’t space anymore to store anything other than a small bag of trash. And a trip down the elevator every time I wanted to put one little thing in the recycling… admit it, it’s just not convenient.

I really think the city of Toronto should force upgrades to all apartment buildings in the city that would see them fitted with convenient recycling disposal units. It’s ridiculous that there is so much emphasis on us separating out our recyclables from our garbage bins when there’s no practical way to do that in our condos. Even new buildings aren’t being built with this kind of consideration in mind – and why not? If we’re going to change the habits of our residents, let’s face it – the new ways must be convenient. That’s all it boils down to.
As you can see from this, there is a limitation to these new moral values, and it’s mainly this: they are appearing mainly within the realms of convenience. I’m buying environmentally-friendly clothes washing soap, but I’m still using the washing machine. I will soon be switching to the same sort of soap for my dishwasher, but again will continue to use that (not the super-hot wash though!). Hey, I’m only one person, and I only have so much time in my day, and the truth is I just can’t afford the time it would take to handwash all my clothes and dishes every day (or, more accurately, I choose not to in lieu of other personal-improvement activities).

I’ll use this as an opportunity to link you to No Impact Man (who also posted the link to Capitalism 3.0), a person who is doing all these things, but who, however, seems to have the novelty of time to actually spend on this kind of thing. Kudos to you, NIM – I look forward to reading your book full of tips, and to the day when our economy may change enough to allow me to live in a more practical and sustainable way.

world playground project opens up

For the past month or so, I’ve been working on a website for World Playground Project. I developed the logo for them and then proceeded with the website. The logo is an expression of the playful side of the charity organisation’s goals: to use drama as a method to act out tough situations the target children face, and provide them with real-life solutions to those situations. It’s a great organisation; check them out and consider donating to their cause.

World Playground Project website design

canada day geekout

Canada Day 2007

Happy Canada Day! I had loads of fun making the graphic above (click to view the full-size version). I first did a few Google image searches to find photos of land and landmarks from all across Canada. My search took me from Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ottawa, Toronto, and onward to the Prairies, a bit north into the Yukon, and finally over to Vancouver. I just wanted to cover the areas, not necessarily each province. The images I found were all beautiful, inspiring and made me appreciate the land that is my country even more. The little search was a lovely surrogate to the cross-Canada road trip I have yet to take.

Andrew Muir's Canada Day MSN AvatarLet’s geek out a little more about Canada. The poem featured in the web-postcard above is from the Canadian Poetry Archive over at Library & Archives Canada.

Lastly, celebrate in style with a cute lil Canada Day MSN avatar. This was originally from Andrew Muir’s blog, which for some reason is down right now. I’m posting it here but please give full credit for the graphic to Andrew Muir, who created it.

I’m out!