Tuesday, July 29, 2008

On coveting and smoking...

I love summer so much. It’s something about being out and about, not having to wear socks, and not being bundled up with a silk long john suit under my clothes and a big winter coat. I love feeling warm all the time.

There’s this little street on my way home from the gym. It’s not really a street, but it’s not exactly an alley either. I love cutting through there, can’t exactly say why. Today as I was passing through, I saw a nun sitting in her full nun outfit on her back porch, having a chat with some guy. I really like nuns, and they seem to like me too. This one was no exception. We locked eyes, and she threw her hand up in a big, emphatic wave. I did the same. It was a great experience.

About 2 seconds later, it came to my attention that tonight was the big night for Shakespeare in the park right beside my place. What a joyful event – except that it was Romeo and Juliet, which is pretty sad actually.

I was thinking on my way home from the gym, that I seem to have developed a nasty little habit lately of coveting other people’s stuff. Today, as I walked by the house I love so much at 73 Bayswater, I imagined its future owners. I thought about how lucky they’d be, and I was jealous – jealous of complete, unknown strangers. How lame is that? The coveting has taken on even more sinister proportions lately, but I won’t get into it. Suffice it to say, it’s a nasty little habit, and I really should know better. I imagine it’s kind of like taking up smoking as an adult. You’re definitely smart enough to know it's bad for you, and plus it's totally gross. It doesn’t take long to feel completely disgusted with yourself. I’ve decided to try and kick the habit.


Sunday, July 27, 2008

a little afterthought...

Sometimes working in the trenches makes me want to thank God (or whomever is responsible) for all of the gifts, opportunities, and love that has been bestowed upon me throughout my lifetime. Sure, being the fattest kid in my elementary school was hard, but at least I was given brains, resiliency, and a loving family. Some people really get dealt the worst of everything....

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Roquefort, je t'aime!

For reasons that will be obvious to most of you, I’d like to buy a house on Merton Street. While buying a house is nowhere near happening for me, there’s one on Bayswater that I luh-huve. I’m not sure if it’s sold yet. It wasn’t the last time I went by there. Pesto and I went to visit it with her real estate agent, who has now become her best friend.

The house in question is a duplex, with a two bedroom apartment downstairs and a one bedroom upstairs. Both apartments are gorgeous and clean, with lots of character. They both have multiple sun porches. The house is set back from the road, and the landscaping is really nice. Also, in the back yard are scads of raspberry bushes. I’m crazy about wild raspberries. This house is a wonderful oasis in the city, and priced accordingly.

I’m on call today, but had a bit of a lull, so I popped by Sears because I have a gift card from there which I was given after a major debacle involving the bed I bought in May. Unbeknownst to me, it is scratch and save this weekend. The place is a zoo. I have found the duvet of my dreams, consulted extensively with the sales representative, and now must wait for it to go on sale. I’m calling her next week.

Okay...some time has elapsed since I started this post. I’ve been to the hospital a few times, and managed to clean my bathroom and kitchen, both of which were on the verge of being condemned. They now look spotless, more or less. Tomorrow, I just need to vacuum, dust, and wash the kitchen floor. There’s also the small matter of my office, but I’ve been putting off dealing with that for months, and don’t see why tomorrow would be any different. Besides, I have a bitchen chocolate cake to bake from scratch for a wine and cheese party that some of us are having tomorrow night. I’ve got a tonne of cheese and mouse de foie de canard in my fridge and it’s been absolutely killing me not to break into it over the past few days.

The chocolate cake involves 2 layers of ganache and a chocolate coating. It is killer. I had to get some ice cream to cut the sweetness of the cake a little...

A cat just got into a fight with a racoon in the backyard, I think.

I can’t believe I’m leaving for Italy in 2 short weeks. Wow. I need to start planning this week.

Since this entry has turned into even more of a stream of consciousness than my usual, I think I’m gonna sign off here and try to sleep a little. I am anticipating a page any minute, and not looking forward to heading back to the hospital....and....I'm off to the hospital.

sweet dreams my beautiful friends,

love Tabby

Friday, July 25, 2008

Touch his feathers and they won't come loose!

I have a new running route. It’s great. I really liked my old circuit, and it prepared me well for the marathon, but I was getting kind of bored with it and so decided spontaneously last week to branch out a bit. My new route serendipitously hits most of the major highlights of Ottawa, so it is kind of like taking a scenic, double decker bus tour every time I go out. For example, I had no idea there was so much going on behind the Parliament buildings. There’s an entire community of people that hang out back there fishing, picnicking, and generally frolicking around. Now that I know about it, I too have adopted the romantic notion of a sunset picnic overlooking the Ottawa River. It’s really beautiful.

On a less beautiful note, I realised this week that I’ve developed a real phobia of Canada geese. I think this dates back to my days at the University of Waterloo. The place was some kind of travel hub , and at any given time, there could be hundreds of them hanging out on campus. They were not the friendliest, especially when they had their goslings. I never wanted any trouble with them, but sometimes a girl has t o get from A to B. I distinctly recall riding my bike down the path near St. Jerome’s and just putting my legs straight up in the air for fear of getting them pecked off by those nasty, hissing freaks. They also shit everywhere, which is gross.

Anyway, there’s one spot on my run where the geese are always on the path and I must admit it scares the crap out of me to run through there. My heart rate goes up as I tread lightly, and I seriously try my best to sneak through without being noticed. None of these Ottawa geese have ever even hissed at me, but I guess classical conditioning is hard to undo...

I’m on call tomorrow...again.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

On Call Tonight

I’m on call tonight. Boo. Why can’t people go bonkers during regular working hours? My eyes hurt.


Fairmont Park - At long last!

I said I would tell you all about Fairmont Park, and so here is my take on the place. I pretty much love it there. At first glance it’s a smallish park with nothing much to write home about. Closer inspection, however, reveals a number of charming features that have won my heart.

First, it has a dynamite set of swings, which I think we can all agree are essential for any park. I like to swing while watching the neighbourhood families play tennis together after dinner. It’s wholesome fun, and the tennis courts there are free and open, which is great, though unfortunately, I don’t own a tennis racquet. There is also a bit of an open grassy area, which looks like a really great place to have a pick up game of football with your friends.

There are a number of sweet little houses bordering the park, and some of the families have planted flowers and such on the park side of their fences, which is very nice and homey also. On a couple of occasions, I’ve seen people hosting social events in the park. They bring their patio furniture out and set it up in the park. I see them serving lemonade and nacho chips to their friends on breezy summer evenings. It looks like a lot of fun.

A couple of months ago, a really cute little house went on the market overlooking the park. It was listed at 350K and basically needed about 100K worth of renos. It sold within 4 days! I loved the idea of buying this house and moving into it, so I was a little sad. The fact is, I don’t have a pot to piss in, much less money to buy a house. My friend Daniel said that it was a romantic notion anyway, and that whoever ended up buying the house probably would not be able to move into it for about 6 months until all of the asbestos and toxic mould had been removed. He may have been right, but sometimes I think I would’ve risked the possibility of contracting Asbestosis for the chance to live across the street from FP!

Often on my way home from a run along the canal, I cut through the park to see what’s shakin.’ There are several day care groups that go there to play, as well as, upper middle class moms who hang out there with their kids during the day. On one particular day, it had been getting progressively overcast, and was starting to drizzle as I ran through. The park was vacant and I noticed a bunch of toys in the park and wondered who had left their stuff behind. Imagine my delight when I spotted the faded permanent marker on these plastic trucks and wheelbarrows indicating that they were the property of Fairmont Park. I died inside. This park has its own toys!

Two final observations: I love adventure and discovering new places. I’ve discovered that if you are on Beech street (say maybe picking up a sandwich at Dirienzo’s), you can grab this well-hidden, wooded short cut down the embankment and directly into the park. The path has a makeshift stone staircase. Nipping through there is like adding 15seconds of wilderness adventure to your day in the city.

The keen eye will also notice the numerous statuettes staggered throughout the park. I think they are mostly of dogs. Admittedly, I don’t really know what to make of these, but I say roll with it. Maybe they are the park mascots, or ghosts of dogs who once called Fairmont Park home. I would not put anything past this wonderful little oasis.


Tuesday, July 08, 2008


My calves are still super sore, especially the left. I am way too tired right now, but in my next post I want to tell you all about Fairmont Park. Mostly I want to share the reasons why I love it.

Those of you with an eye for details might notice that I changed my profile pic. I wanted something a little closer up. Cats are very vane.

I think new neighbours have moved into the basement apartment. I already don't like them because they smoke outside and it smells like shit. Smoking is gross. I noticed that they left their bikes unlocked in the backyard which is essentially a recipe for disaster. They will learn I suppose. Kind of like when I was 5 and left my bike parked outside of the townhouse where we lived in the ghetto. The next door neighbours were moving and the guy backed over my bike with his moving van. Apparently, he nearly peed his pants because he thought I was on the bike. I wasn't. I was off in a large sandbox being my absentminded self. My mom had been on my ass about not leaving it on the street, but I didn't listen. I did not get another bike for about 10 years after that. Some lessons we learn the hard way. I think that was the same year (and same ghetto) where I broke my arm falling off of a wet play structure after my mom had instructed me not to go out. Man, that place really was a school of hard knocks.

I just finished assembling a very small piece of Ikea furniture. It took me 90 minutes!

If anyone wants to go on a nice, light canoe camping trip next weekend, let me know. There is availability and it is going to be extremely fun and relaxing. Last time there were more shooting stars than we could even keep track of.

good night my friends,

Aqua Fit Dropout!

When Phoebecat joined the gym, she stipulated that she really wanted to do Aqua fit. I support these kinds of pursuits, so when she asked me to come with her to first class, I said sure. How hard could it be? I mean, it’s splashing around in a pool for crying out loud. We picked an ab-buster class so that we could get ripped while splashing around.

Now at this point, I should mention that I got very little sleep this past weekend. I was on call Friday and Sunday, and ended up spending 12 hours at the hospital with Pesto on Saturday because we thought she might have a debilitating neurological condition (she does not).

My call was super busy, and Rick James was on to something when he said that “cocaine is a hell of a drug.”

This morning when I got home around 9:30, I decided to only sleep for about 2 hours because I hate to waste such a beautiful day lying in bed. Also, I wanted to get some sleep tonight.

All of this is to say that I was probably not at my best this afternoon, but I still managed to go for quite a long run. I thought the Aqua Fit would be a nice cool down.

Cool down is right! I was freezing in the pool, which I probably should’ve taken as a sign of something amiss because everyone else was hot and sweating. Aqua Fit, as it turns out, is kind of awkward and not that fun.The best part was cross country skiing on a pool noodle in the deep end.

All was well until out of nowhere, in the deep end, I was gripped by severe, bilateral, debilitating calf cramps. Oh my God. Imagine the worst leg cramp of your life, times two, in the deep end of a pool where you cannot put your foot down. I thought I would drown because I could not get it together enough to swim to the side of the pool. I’m afraid I made a small scene. Phoebe was no help because she was laughing so hard that she was actually at risk of drowning too. I had to hoist my seized legs out of the pool and hobble over to the hot tub, where I stayed until the class was over. The instructor was a bit dismayed.

Suffice it to say, I will no longer be participating in Aqua Fit.


Thursday, July 03, 2008

Black to Basics!

Today was my first day as a full-time psych resident. I’m working with a dynamite psychiatrist for the next three months. It feels so good to be back to my home base, and I was reminded of how much I love psychiatry when I sat in on an interview my preceptor was doing with one of his patients. I was laughing so hard that I was shaking as tears rolled down my face. The patient was laughing too - actually, it was her uncontrollable laughter that was contagious. Just when you think you’ve seen it all...

Tonight I ran into my favourite Black Cat at the gym. It was a real treat. She advised me on some of the treadmill issues and “introduced me” to the usual characters at the gym. Then I talked to Phoebe, who told me she is joining as well. It’s gonna be the best summer ever.

I’m going to bed early tonight, like right now. I’m on call Friday and Sunday this weekend and I’m totally exhausted from all of the social events of the past week or so. You all know how I feel about my bed, so I can’t wait to dive in.

I wish you all a cozy restful sleep.


I forgot

Pesto and I have been going to some parties lately. We were at one on Monday night, and I was chatting with this guy for quite a while. He was okay... Then Pesto came over and declared to this man that she and I were the best of friends ever and that we had crazy love and respect for one another. The guy wanted to know more, so he asked Pesto “what do you think makes Tabby so great?”

This is how my best friend replied:

“Tabby is purity incarnate. There is no one as honest and sincere as Tabby.”

The guy was understandably surprised by this response. While this is a ringing endorsement, I had kinda thought that in the context of meeting men at parties, she might choose words other than ‘purity’ and ‘incarnate’ to describe me. Upon reflection though, I really like that description, erroneous as it may be.


Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Legumes as Emotional Healers

When a really long time elapses between posts, it almost feels overwhelming to think about drafting an update. I know, it’s my own fault for not being more on top of things, but you know how it is, life gets busy sometimes. I’ve talked a lot of smack over the past several months about getting back to blogging on a regular basis, and have yet to put my money where my mouth is, so I won’t make any promises here tonight. We’ll just have to see how it goes.

It looks like the last post I wrote was on March 11th, when I was still up in North Bay. So much has happened since then. At least 3 of my friends have had babies, and others are at varying stages of pregnancy. I’ve also finally had a chance to visit NYC, which was very exciting and fun, and long overdue.

I got back from NB at the start of April and Pesto was on her semi-annual tour of West Africa, so I was able to squat at her condo for several weeks. When she got back, the place became a little small and I was starting to feel like maybe it was time to put down some roots.

I briefly entertained the thought of moving into my friend James’ basement in the house he shares with his brother and some other freak roommate. It was a very generous offer, but one look at the tiny, dank, dark, hockey-equipment laden place brought me back to reality, and I decided it was time to get an apartment of my own.

Finding this place was surprisingly easy. Sometimes things do fall into place just as you’d like them to. The move was a bit more difficult because some pivotal pieces of furniture would not fit in the doorway. Throughout my year of nomadic existence, I had promised myself that the one item I would purchase when I finally got a place of my own was a fabulous queen-sized bed (I may have even posted something about this). After one month, three delivery attempts, and a switch to the split box spring, that dream became a reality and I now have the most bitchen bed in the world. It’s so high off the ground that I have to climb up into it. I am coated with joy the minute I lie down every night.

My new apartment is pretty great. It is geographically located exactly where I wanted to be, and has more or less all of the features from my wish list. This is a far cry from the smoky, ghetto apartment I was staying at in North Bay, where I was frequently awoken by either a domestic dispute, or the police knocking at the door downstairs. One night I even watched from the window as a drunk, homeless person, tried to break into my car at 4 o’clock in the morning!

Despite the above calamity, North Bay was good to me. I learned how to skate ski yo! It also allowed me some space and time to figure things out and I returned home happy, with a new attitude, and well on my way to being a fit bitch. There was a minor setback with some shin splints in early May, but with physio and some very painful deep tissue massage, I was able to complete the Fit Bitch Program by running my first marathon on May 25th. What a day. I won’t elaborate too much, but the race exceeded my expectations tenfold. I couldn’t believe how great I felt right up until the end. Basically, I rocked it.

So, those are the main highlights of the past few months, and here I am now about to start my second year of residency. It’s amazing how time flies. Even though last year was one of the most difficult of my life, it seems to have evaporated into thin air. I just completed my emergency medicine rotation and it was so busy that I couldn’t even think about blogging because all I did was work, eat, and sleep, which is too bad because I would’ve had some good stories to share. I can’t even remember any of it now.

Last week, I was on holidays and celebrated by smashing my car in reverse into the side of my house as hard as I could. It totally sucked, but I have since rationalized it away. There was a gate there, which I didn’t like, and now the gate has been removed. I have also discovered an excellent mechanic who does body work. As of today, it is all a distant memory.

This morning we had orientation for the new residents. My allergies have been acting up like crazy this year, and this morning I woke up with super swollen eyes. I took a double dose of Reactine, thinking this would solve the problem. But to no avail, it was actually getting worse. So I did what anyone would. I purchased some Benedryl and took a good sized dose of it. Then I struggled to stay awake for the balance of the morning. According to the girl sitting next to me, my eyes were completely crossed at one point. It was painful.

Tonight I had soccer. I know what you’re thinking. Tabby? Soccer? That’s never been her thing. Well, you’re right. It is completely new to me and I’m sucking hard. But I do have some fun, and it’s good to expand your athletic horizons right?

So, I think that’s pretty much the update. I’m starting a new rotation tomorrow, where I’ll be for the next 6 months. With that kind of stability, hopefully there will be time to write. There are also camping trips and a vacation in Italy coming up, and these will undoubtedly provide the fodder for many Tabby tales.

I’m also considering putting the story of Vince at Evergreen Manor into writing, so maybe that will be my next project....

I miss you all,

xo Tabby