Welcome to The Chronicles

 This is a blog solely dedicated to my rants and theories and the quest for happiness in  life. Yes, contary to popular belief, I actually like questing. I always thought people who write blogs were incredibly self-centred and delusional to think that other people want to actually read about someone else’s life.

I actually still do.

You will notice several things about this blog:

1) I don’t actually DRINK Starbucks coffee more than twice a week. I do love Starbucks, but I love my hard-earned money more.

2) I wear skinny jeans to work. Because I can.

3) I rant and come up with odd theories on how the world should be. Some of you call it complaining. I call it my blog.

So I hope you enjoy your time here. Feel free to click around on different subjects that might interest you. This blog is work in progress as I have just moved from Blogger and I’m still trying to get settled in WordPress. You can find out more about me on my ‘About Karen’ page.

Happy Reading!

Ch Ch Ch Changes…

I’m sitting in an artsy little cafe on Queen Street with a piece of cheesecake and a green tea doing a crossword puzzle. I feel relaxed and happy. There is a jazz band playing composed of the typical Torontonian starving artists and the cello mixed with the soft cafe conversations sound better than any of the music on my iPod. Work is far far away and seems like its something I did in a past lifetime. Right now, nothing else exists. Except of course, this delicious slice of cake, my steamy green tea, my crossword and the most peaceful feeling of complete contentment.

Just a few hours(read: weeks) before this moment, I felt like I was at the end of my rope. It amazed me how much spending just so much so as an hour in the city made me feel like none of my problems were as big as I made them out to be.

In light of this, I realised something. It was here in this busy, bustling concrete jungle that I came for peace and inspiration…ironically enough. The city was what made me pull out all the cliches in the book about being inspired. And after 6 years, I still knew very little about it.

So I’m going to make this short, sweet and simple. I have one year from now until July 22nd, 2011 before my work visa expires. After this date, I have to leave Toronto and all of the friends and memories I’ve made here over the past 6 years. I have decided that for the next year, I am going to make a serious effort to explore my inspirational happy place. Every weekend, I will leave all the worries and frustrations of work, immigration and the future in my kooky little appartment to go in search of the delightful little cafes, bistros, bakeries, bars, pubs, restaurants, concerts and cultural events that Toronto is so famous for. I will make this last year count.

And to document this year, I have decided to start up another blog which I’m really hoping will inspire my Toronto friends to join me and my non-Toronto friends to come visit! This current blog “Flats and a Starbucks Coffee” will still be there, although I’m not sure how often I will be updating it. Lets face it, bitching about work is getting a little old. The new blog should be up and running hopefully by next week.

Just so you know though, I don’t want to leave Canada. So I’m in the process of getting a lawyer so I can stay here for hopefully a lot longer than the one year I have left.

Thank you all for taking the time to read my posts and for all your comments and encouragment for this blog. I’m not closing it at all but I do hope you check out the new blog when it goes up.

I love you all,

Karen

Quote of the Week

I was just telling Fr. D. about the crazy week of craziness and drama I was having at work, when he dropped one of his rare, quality one-liners that made me laugh.
I suppose you’d actually have to hear the way Fr. D says it to get the full effect. And I guess you’d have to spend at least an hour in my workplace to get some added full effect. But those two crucial factors aside, I thought it was pretty hilarious.
Karen: “Fr. D! Work is absolutely ridiculous! I don’t know how to deal with the craziness! What would Jesus do if He were in my place?”
Fr. D: ” He’d quit.”

Happy Spastic Colon Sunday!

Another weekend bites the dust.

After that completley useless and depressing Saturday of going to work trying to straighten things, I’m all queasy about Monday morning.
Would anyone out there like to go in tomorrow for me and deal with piles of reports, expense accounts and creepy old men hitting on them?

Its just for Monday though. Girl’s gotta have some dough to feed her penchant for Starbucks and spa days ;)…even if it at the cost of sketch and stress.

I can’t seem to find my weekend

So I’ve been recieving tons of wonderful comments on this blog. First off, THANK YOU! I’ve also been told to “keep writing” (that seems to be the general concensus across the board). But funny enough, as much as I enjoy getting so many encouraging words about writing, and as much as I enjoy writing, I actually have nothing to say tonight.
I suppose you could chalk this blogger’s block (a term I just made up) down to the Sunday blues. You know, that feeling you get on Sunday evening while you’re packing away your lunch for Mixed Feeling Monday and you stop and wonder where the hell your entire weekend ran off to…or whether it was even there to begin with!
So tonight, I will leave it to St. Francis to do the talking. For the dreamers out there, I hope this quote inspires you for the rest of the week. For those of us more practical folk, I hope this at least tides you over till your caffeine hit tomorrow morning. After that, you’re on your own, friend.

“Begin by doing whats necessary, then by doing what’s possible and then suddenly, you are doing the impossible” St. Francis of Assisi.

What a lovely day to have a slice of humble pie

In between jumping around three patients at one time, ultrasounding Frank while booking an appointment, having a splitting headache, and the toilet breaking down, I came up with fond nicknames for everyday work days.

Needless to say, Terrible Tuesdays don’t have the lustre of promise and optimism of Mixed Feeling Mondays. My morning God interaction on the bus wasn’t too intense. Probably because I fell asleep mid conversation. Centre Street hottie didnt show up either. Just as well because I was falling asleep again. (might as well see the positive)
I think I might have even fallen asleep with sheer exhaustion on the walk home. My personal discovery of the day however, brought a smile to my face. (an invisible smile)
Somewhere between Mixed feeling Mondays, Terrible Tuesdays, Wackjob Wednesdays, Tricky Thursdays and Finally Fridays, something happened and I started to really enjoy my job. Even if that meant that on somedays I just enjoyed having a job.

No pictures today. Think of being up for the last three night drinking and then going to work on the fourth day. You get the picture ;)

Coffee with God

Today was like no different Monday. I woke up with that familiar Monday morning anxiety. In order to eliviate some of this stress, I showered, put on some magic hair potion (read: Morrocan Oil, which I devoted an entire blog entry) and makeup. The wonderful thing about leaving for work at 6:30am (when I’m in the mood to be in awe) is that you see the first rays of the sun bursting above the horizon on Yonge Street. The morning seems so full of promise and optimism.

Unfortunatley, this picture is as good as it gets with my buddy, Olympus. Trust me when I say this morning had a heck of a lot more promise and optimism than that.

Unlike most Mondays however, I bought myself a Starbucks coffee for successfully dragging my ass out of bed at 5am. The good thing about Starbucks coffee is that its soo vile and strong that you are forced to drink it really slow. I decided to try a different prayer routine on the bus. My usual rosary mostly consists of me hurriedly trying to finish it, all the while staring that the hottie who gets on at Centre. He’s not really hot, just cuter than the rest of the working class on the 77 at 6:55 in the morning.

No, today was different. Today held warm weather, Morrocan Oil, Starbucks and a real conversation with God. The kind that felt so good, I cried.

This Monday went great. Tomorrow we do the same drill. Minus the Starbucks and Morrocan Oil.

I had the best day with you today

So my day of adventure has come to an end. The result: I did not get to throw in a workout but I did have probably one of the best exploration days I’ve had in a while. Its amazing how you feel when you have a TTC day pass, a camera, sunshine and ALL DAY. It all started off at Yonge and Eglinton.
Eglinton:
It occured to me that Toronto is not only a beautiful city, it had lots of beautiful people too. And on this beautiful day, I was one of them. I had the biggest smile on my face. It pretty much stuck on for the rest of the evening.

Pretty buildings everywhere. My camera sucks at taking pictures. Fortunatley for me, Windows Photo Gallery (affectionatley known as WPG since 2 seconds ago) counters camera suckiness.

I was very obsessed with inside streets. I stopped at almost every in-between street just to have a mental debate about whether or not this would make a good picture.This one made the cut. Note however, that those cars shouldn’t have.

These doors made my favorite picture of the day. I love even more what WPG did with this. Maybe I’ve been reading too many interior design blogs (read: Lisa Canning and Plush Palate) becauseI think I was a little TOO colour happy. Whoever said colors only truly come alive on an overcast day obviously had their eyes shaded too much on a sunny day.

St. Clair:

St. Clair was quite uneventful. Some nice shops. Of course, the main attraction for me was the house of my everyday commute companion 97.3 EasyRock. I took a picture and wondered what the temperature was right now at Yonge and St. Clair.

Summerhill:
Summerhill was very pretty. I enjoyed the walk. I was also surprised (pleasantly) at how many Starbucks existed in Toronto. I should have counted.

Apparently, Toronto Jesus also resides in the beautiful Summerhill. Whats not to love about Summerhill!

Rosedale:

Next was Rosedale. Rosedale brought Petko to mind. I wondered what he was up to. It was beautiful as well, but of course my camera was not able to really capture much. Here are a couple of gems WPG maganed to rescue.

The lighting obvisously has been tampered with but I love capturing fall. It occured to me, the trip could have been made early October and maybe I would have had more gems like these.

I don’t even know what the heck that was, but I took at least three of these hoping I would be able capture how cute it really was. From the looks of this, I failed.

The rest of Yonge street until Dundas:

It was getting a little tired from this point on but couldnt wait to blog this day up.

This was a cool display window. The scarf on the left was so picture-worthy colourful yet something I highly doubt I would wear. The bags are cool though.


The Cook Book Store. I silently gave Toronto a warm hug back.

The coffee giants peacefully coexist.

There are tons more unblog-worthy photos I took all down Yonge Street. It occured to me that if I drove up this same street for about 25 minutes, I would be home. I savored this delicious thought to tide me over for the next week.

Until next time…

Morrocan Dreams

Speaking of great hair, I think the beauty gods were smiling down today because after years of searching for that one product that makes the top of your head hair-commercial worthy, I found this little gem.

Its called Morrocan Oil and makes your hair smell and feel divine. Its like a little piece of heaven on your head. I cant help recommending it to EVERYONE!

For those who were curious about where to find this product, you can find it at any Beauty Supply Outlet stores in Toronto. It retails at $34.00 per 100ml. Pricey potion but it lasts you forever. And did I mention its totally worth it?

Well done you!

Since I’ve moved to sanity, there are several new experiences I’ve had/ new discoveries I have made about myself in the past couple of weeks:

  • The feeling of having my own place and joy I feel when my bus home hits Yonge Street and I realise that this is where I live now. In a matter of two weeks, my life and my postal code changed. When God wants something to happen for you, he gives you the most perfect circumstances, prepares everything without a single missed detail and does it in a matter of seconds…or two weeks, but who’s keeping track really.
  • I find that going to work makes me eat better and healthier by forcing me to pack substantial meals and snacks. I also realised that if I get enough sleep and eat the right foods, waking up in the morning at 5:49am is really not asking too much of a human being. (opinion on this one is subject to change)
  • I am getting dangerously close to an addiction to Starbucks. I blame its close proximity to me and my early morning hours. The other day I had a chocolate truffle expresso and I felt incredible. I wanted to take over the world. Yes, dangerously close to an addiction. Ironically enough, this uncomfortable epiphany came at the very moment I read the words “well done you” on my Starbucks cup, congratulating me for buying fair trade. Well done, me indeed.
  • Perhaps the most interesting thing from all of this was the lesson my hair taught me. A couple of months ago, I decided to color my hair. For reasons that are incomprehensible to me now, I thought that changing my hair color (dramatically) would make me feel like a new woman. A different woman. Not only did I hate the way I looked with my copper brown mop, I felt even more like crap considering that my new hair did not make my problems go away (surprise) AND I had shitty looking hair to top it off. After I moved, I went to Fio’s and brought it down to a dark mahagony…my old color. Its amazing what that did. I felt like my old self again. And I never felt better to be back. Turns out I did not need to change myself to feel new. I just needed to blow off the dust from my old self and give it a shine.
Now thats worth the move (on), if nothing else.