Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Get Well, Get Well Soon, We Want You To Get Well

I’ve had a splitting headache since Saturday night. It just won’t quit. Then yesterday afternoon it was joined by a sore throat, and by this morning I woke up with a stuffy nose. So it would seem I now have a full fledged cold. I’ve since started getting that achy all-I-want-to-do-is-sleep-but-I-can’t-because-I-feel-too-wretched feeling. I tried napping this afternoon but to no avail, because when I rolled onto my left side my right nostril would plug right up, and when I moved onto my right side my left nostril would do the same. I can’t STAND that! Either be plugged together or don’t be plugged at all, I say.

Luckily my job is flexible enough that I can work from home when I need/want to. I usually try to give my manager more notice than the day of, but she doesn’t really seem to mind either way. So I’ve decided I really can’t complain about the nature of my job. Sure, it’s not directly related to my interests, sure I know I could be doing a lot better (actually, that’s an understatement). BUT if I had a ‘better’ job, I most definitely would NOT have the perk of working from home. And I realize that for the time being, I prefer the flexibility. I still curse what I’m doing every single day as I sit down for another 8 hours of it, but I do know that it could be a lot worse.

AND not only can I work from home, but my manager said if I wanted to take some down time today to feel better, it doesn’t really matter WHEN I put my hours in. As long as it adds up to 40 hours at the end of the week, that’s all that matters. How many jobs work like that?! So, really, it’s not so bad, is it?

I have to keep reminding myself of these things to avoid going crazy!!

It sucks getting sick. There is so much I want to be doing but I don’t have the staying power to see much of it through. And wouldn’t you know the weather has been BEAUTIFUL these past few days but I haven’t been able to enjoy it much =(

We did take our bikes in for a tune-up recently though, and had a nice bike ride home from the shop. I’m looking forward to bucking up and getting healthy so we can start riding more regularly!

But for now I’ll wait for my Dimetapp cold and flu meds to kick in so that I might be able to rest for more than 5 minutes…

Currently watching: Shirley Valentine. I’ve seen it numerous times but it never fails to entertain me. A must see classic for sure!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Pictures go with last post

In no particular order...

All from yesterday, some showing the birds eating (from my last post), a lot of heron pics (including their nests in Stanley Park) and other random ones =)













It's Sunday, what can I say?

Yesterday we visited the yacht again that we’re getting married on. I am SO excited! We both are. Two months from today is our big day and we CAN’T WAIT!!

We also enjoyed a nice walk through Lost Lagoon yesterday. There were all these birds – mostly seagulls, one crow, and a duck – who had discovered a pile of seeds that someone had dumped there for them. Thing was, the male seagull was hording it and would scare away all the others as they tried to get in there to eat. It angered me so much that the male wasn’t even letting his female counterparts get fed. I tried telling him that they bare the children so he’d better be nice to them, but he wasn’t listening.

So finally I walked over there and asserted my authority over him. As soon as I’d get close he’d give me this sort of sideways glance and hop away from the feed. I scooped up a handful of it and took it a little ways down and dropped it to make two piles so it would be harder for him to hord. My plan worked, after a minute or so a few of the females clued in that there was a new pile. At first they were a little standoffish with me, but then they realized I was there to help them, not hurt them, so they ate right beside me no problem. The mean male still felt threatened by me though, so anytime I walked closer to him he’d hop a few feet away and the duck and crow were able to get in there a bit more. I love animals, so seeing that the majority were happy as opposed to the select few made me satisfied =)

From there, we went and had a gelato cone from Mondo Gelato on Denman. Sooo good! I had After Eight and Raffaello (which is coconut, white chocolate and almond) in a waffle cone and James had lemon and orange sorbet. It was refreshing, but not as refreshing as a swim in the pool when we got home! Our first swim of the season. AND we discovered that the pool is actually HEATED. It’s just that the old managers (who were still running the place last year) ‘didn’t feel like’ turning it on last year. That’s why the pool was always so cold. Refreshing on really hot summer days, but sometimes nearly unbearable. Well yesterday it was so warm it was borderline hot tub! Lovely. And I did so many laps, which felt like great exercise. I LOVE that we have a pool – the only thing I’d change about it is that I wish it was a bit more private. It’s a little creepy when you see people hanging their heads out the windows of different apartments in the area staring down at the pool when you’re the only person in it. But beyond that, it’s a luxury I enjoy!

We got pizza last night and I don’t know if it was that or lack of sleep beforehand or what but when I was rudely woken by neighbours partying at 3:30am I felt SO sick. I ended up throwing up the rest of the night, off and on trying to sleep but only waking again with this awful nauseous feeling. The party went on till after 5am, I was so mad. I can’t STAND inconsiderate people. I just shake my head and wonder how it is that they can be so self-centered. It’s not exactly rocket science. If you’re in an apartment building standing by an open window talking, it’s pretty much guaranteed the people in the suites close by will be able to hear you. It’s one thing to do that in the afternoon, or even in the early hours of the evening. But from 3:30 to 5am?! That’s just rude and SO ANNOYING. What about for people who had to get up early today to go to work, for example? It drives me nuts the lack of common courtesy in this world.

Anyway, that’s where I am now. Extremely tired and not up for much of anything after such a long night of feeling sick. Oh well, we didn’t have any big plans for the day. Maybe this is my body’s way of saying that I need to lay low and just relax. And that’s exactly what I’m about to go and do!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Warning: this post includes LOST spoilers!

Listening to Matt Good’s new song Can’t Get Shot In The Back If You Don’t Run. Not surprisingly it’s sad, but good nonetheless. I can’t wait till his new album Hospital Music comes out this summer.

I worked from home today so at lunch time James and I went for a short walk to English Bay. It was the perfect day for a stroll along the beach! Maybe could have been a degree or so warmer, but still t-shirt weather. Beautiful! I love being able to spend a bit of time with James in the afternoon too, like old times. I took some pictures along the way…Enjoy!




These flowers were so bizarre but pretty!



And LOST last night…omg…what can I say, except IT’S ALREADY KILLING ME TO KNOW THAT THE SHOW’S NOT ON AGAIN TILL EARLY 2008!!!!! Looks like we’re seeing into the future now, and I want more!!

Spoilers to follow, so if you’re a LOSTIE but haven’t caught the finale, don’t read on…

What a series of events! I’m finding myself feeling badly for Sawyer, despite what he did (such as killing Tom). I’m actually kind of glad that he did it, not that I condone murder, but…the guy had it coming, when you think of all he’d put Sawyer (and the rest of them) through.

I am devastated over Charlie’s death. I just didn’t believe it was going to happen. I keep secretly hoping he’ll somehow manage to come back to life. I’m not ready to let go. I know that waaaay back, probably in the first season, that psychic person told Claire she had to raise her son alone. I guess they weren’t kidding. But still, they didn’t have to kill poor Charlie off, did they? I had a soft spot for the guy, what can I say?!

The whole Jack in the future bit…interesting stuff….Having trouble digesting it all. It just seemed so out of character for him to be like that. Bizarre he wanted more than anything to go back to the island…

So are they going to be rescued in the next season for real? What would LOST be without the island?? And who’s funeral was Jack at? Maybe Ben’s? It’s impossible to know.

And yay Hurley, thanks for saving the day!!

I could go on and on. Gawd that’s a good show. Crazy and impossible to understand but oh so GOOD!

So good, in fact, that we were willing to do ridiculous things to watch it. Ever see that Mr. Bean episode where he’s trying to get reception on his tv? Well, that was us last night. Yeah…’nough said!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Get LOST...I am!!


Two part season finale of LOST starts in 1.5 hours!!

***

We FINALLY got our passports in the mail today, it ONLY took two and a half months. Now we can rest easy knowing we will be able to fly to our honeymoon destination in August!

***

Now that we have our birth certificates back, I can go and pick up (or should I say pay $100 for – but it’ll be worth it!!) our marriage license. Slowly but surely all the pieces of the puzzle are being put together!

***

I’m going to start working from home more often starting next week. It helps with the mundaneness of the job to be able to take frequent breaks, although I know that’s going to make the work day ultimately last a lot longer. I guess it’s a fair trade off though. I will be able to putter about and get things done and work in between. I’m still going into the office at least a few days a week though, as I’ve made friends there and still want to be a part of the ‘group.’ I keep telling myself when I get down in the dumps about how crappy my job is, (which is countless times per day…) at least I’ve met some really great people. If I take just one lasting friendship from this place (and I honestly believe that I will), it will have been worth it.

Still, though, I am working on coming up with ‘a new life’ for myself. Well, in terms of my ‘career’ anyway. Actually, I don’t think I can look at it as a career choice at this point in time. It’s just a job. But I am brainstorming things I could/should/WILL be doing in the future (which starts now!) to hopefully make some money (to pay of the major debts from school) but more importantly to make me feel fulfilled and like I’m going somewhere that’s meaningful to me. I am artistic and I always feel like I need to be doing SOMETHING so why not work at creating? I used to have such a vivid imagination that I wouldn’t stop writing for hours, pages and pages would flow out of me like there was no tomorrow. I never ceased to come up with new ideas. I want that part of me to step forward once again and take me over.

But before that can happen, I have to make dinner, eat it, and watch LOST. Priorities, I know. But I think I’ve got them fairly well in order, most of the time!

***

I don’t usually pay much attention to thinks like horoscopes, but this week the Globe and Mail told me that I should be focusing on a creative endeavor and not just think about it but implement, because now is my time. And I’m listening to that and I’m taking on the challenge. Enough is enough, I’m tired of talking the talk, it’s about time I did some walking…

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

My two cents



Last night I finished reading Tuesday’s with Morrie, by Mitch Albom. If you have not read this book, I urge you to pick up a copy and read it NOW! Well, finish reading my blog post first, and THEN go out and buy this book!! =)

The fact that it’s a true story makes it all the more inspiring. I loved it. And it’s the kind of book that you could sit down and read in a couple of hours. It was sad to realize the story was over when I got to the last page. BUT I still have The 5 People You Meet in Heaven to read, so I can rest easy knowing I have more Mitch Albom to indulge in =) (BTW, For One More Day is another amazing read, if you’re into Mitch Albom’s work. That book was my introduction to him, and now –as you can see – I am hooked!)

However, I’m going to read something different before I get into the next MA book. My next read is called Lost Souls, by Michael Collins. It’s a book I picked somewhat at random while perusing Book Warehouse some months ago but have yet to start reading. It’s a murder mystery, and I am quite looking forward to unraveling it.

AND!!!

Tomorrow is the season finale of LOST. In some ways I CAN’T WAIT because I absolutely love that show! But in others it will be sad when the show is over and I know it won’t be on again for months and months to come. What are we going to DO with ourselves on Wednesday nights throughout the summer?! Still, though, I am pretty excited to catch tomorrow night’s episode, when the gang works to take down the Others once and for all! (As if that’s going to happen, but still, I look forward to seeing how it all plays out!)


Over the weekend we watched Notes on a Scandal, starring Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett. I gave it a two thumbs down. It was predictable and there wasn’t really much to the story line. Basically if you’ve seen the preview, you’ve seen the movie. Don’t bother renting it. Sure the two actresses are great but the movie just isn’t worth it. There’s a very disturbing element to the story line but there really is no point to the story itself. I wouldn’t recommend it. I do love those two actresses though.

Last night we watched The Departed. Well actually we watched about three quarters of it last night and James finished the rest today. For one it was getting super late and 6:15am comes early so I had to hit the hay. But mostly I just didn’t want to see the rest of it. I can see where people would think it’s a good movie, it’s just that it really started to depress me. Maybe it was just the way they talked to each other…not that I expect mobster types to sweet talk one another, but something about it just upset me and left me feeling like what’s the use. So I had to shut it out. I would give it a thumbs up for what it is because I do think it’s a good movie if you like that sort of thing, but I also give it a thumbs down for the negative feelings it left me with.

There are my reviews of the day!

In other news, Fifi had a bath tonight and her hair is all fluffing out as she licks herself like mad. As if she has to clean off the clean she got in the tub! Even tho I emptied the bath out after her scrub, I didn’t want Moorka to feel left out so I hoisted her up and placed her into the bath. Well, you’d think I’d have taken a knife to the poor kitty’s throat! She started heaving like she couldn’t catch her breath and then bolted from the bathroom and hid under her favourite chair in the living room. Silly girl! Oh well, just the fact that we have one cat that doesn’t so much mind a bath is impressive, I guess two would be downright ridiculous!

Randomology

Stolen from Claire :)

Q. What is your salad dressing of choice?
A: Vegetarian Caesar dressing – my mom makes it best!

Q. What is your favorite fast food restaurant?
A. Baguette Time. It’s ‘fast’ but healthy and sooo delicious (the bocconcini baguette is the BEST, the brie is a close second…) Oooh I want one now!

Q. What is your favorite sit-down restaurant?
A. Probably SalaThai on Burrard. I love the atmosphere, the food is yummy, and I have fond memories of the place (James proposed to me there!)

Q. On average, what size tip do you leave at a restaurant?
A. Usually 10-15%

Q. What food could you eat every day for two weeks and not get sick off of?
A. Welsh Currant Cakes for a snack…I think I honestly could eat the above mentioned bocconcini baguette every day for 2 weeks too!! Mmmm!!

Q. What are your pizza toppings of choice?
A. Pineapple, feta cheese, tomato, sometimes banana peppers

Q. What do you like to put on your toast?
A. Becel and jam, sometimes peanut butter

Q. What is your favorite type of gum?
A. Dentyne, spearmint usually

TECHNOLOGY

Q. Number of contacts in your cell phone?
A. Probably around 12-15

Q. Number of contacts in your email address book?
A. Not sure, maybe 30?

Q. What is your wallpaper on your computer?
A. A funky/trippy purple-ish pattern. Hard to explain, but I change it from time to time!

Q. How many televisions are in your house?
A. One. My parents bought it when I was 8 years old and I inherited it when James and I moved in together. Works great.

BIOLOGY

Q. Are you right-handed or left-handed?
A. Right.

Q. What's your best feature?
A. I’m too modest, these sorts of questions make me feel queasy…

Q. Have you ever had anything removed from your body?
A. 3 cysts, when I was 1, 2, and 16. And my wisdom teeth.

Q. Which of your five senses do you think is keenest?
A. Sense of smell…I have to have a keen sense of smell for sussing out all the building fires!!

Q. When was the last time you had a cavity?
A. When I was a kid, a LONG time ago. Altho it’s been ages since I’ve been to the dentist so I may have some now and I don’t even know it…waiting a few more weeks till my benefits kick in so I can get checked!

Q. What is the heaviest item you lifted last?
A. Yesterday I carried home groceries and a gigantic container of organic apple cider!

Q. Have you ever been knocked unconscious?
A. Not unless you count the time I held my breath till I fainted…You could say I knocked myself out! Got a black eye and everything…

BULL[CRAP]OLOGY

Q. If it were possible, would you want to know the day you were going to die?
A. Maybe…I’m leaning towards yes…

Q. Is love real?
A. Of course.

Q. If you could change your first name, what would you change it to?
A: I couldn’t imagine having a different name than my own, so I don’t think I would change it.

Q. What color do you think looks best on you?
A. Blue goes best with my eyes.

Q. Have you ever swallowed a non-food item by mistake?
A. Maybe, but not that I’m aware of.

Q. Have you ever saved someone's life?
A. My grandma and I saved a little girl that would have drowned before her father would have gone into the seaweed infested water to get her…But I don’t think of myself as some kind of hero or anything!

Q. Has someone ever saved yours?
A. Yes, in a roundabout way, a number of people have ‘saved’ me.

DAREOLOGY

Q. Would you walk naked for a half mile down a public street for $100,000?
A. Only if there would be no repercussions other than the payment!

Q. Would you kiss a member of the same sex for $100?
A. Depends on the situation.

Q. Would you allow one of your little fingers to be cut off for$200,000?
A. Not a chance!

Q. Would you never blog again for $50,000?
A. Because the 50 grand would pay off all my debts right now, I’d have to say yes. It would be a sad state of affairs but I would do it.

Q Would you pose naked in a magazine for $250,000?
A. Not a chance.

Q. Would you drink an entire bottle of hot sauce for $1000?
A. I would try, but I don’t know how far I’d get.

Q. Would you, without fear of punishment, take a human life for $1,000,000?
A. No.

Q. Would you give up watching television for a year for $25,000?
A. Yes, that would be easy!

DUMBOLOGY

Q: What is in your left pocket?
A: No pockets.

Q: Is Napolen Dynamite actually a good movie?
A: Two thumbs down.

Q: Do you have hardwood or carpet in your house?
A: Carpet, the cheap apartment standard kind. But we have funky rugs that jazz it up a bit!

Q: Do you sit or stand in the shower?
A: I prefer laying in a bubble bath.

Q: Could you live with roommates?
A: Only James, if he could count as just a ‘roomie’!

Q: How many pairs of flip flops do you own?
A: Maybe 3 or 4 pairs.

Q: Where were you born?
A. Ladysmith.

Q: Last time you had a run in with the cops?
A: When I was about 11 or 12. I don’t want to talk about it.

Q: What do you want to be when you grow up?
A: Good question…

LASTOLOGY

Q: Friend you talked to?
A: Lambert

Q. Last person you hung out with?
A: James

Q: Person you hugged?
A: James

Q: Place you went:
A: Work (ugh!)

FAVORITOLOGY

Q: Number?
A: No specific favourites. My LEAST favourite number is 1034.

Q: Colour?
A: Blue

Q: Season?
A: Spring/summer

CURRENTOLOGY

Q: Missing someone?
A: A few people, actually

Q: Mood?
A: Come si come sa

Q: Listening to?
A: Neil Young

Q: Watching?
A: Myself type?!

Q: Worrying about?
A: Mostly the way I feel about my job…but I’m trying to just relax and enjoy the night

Sunday, May 20, 2007

For the love of sharks


Flipping through the March 2007 issue of National Geographic, I came across an article on sharks, particularly those that reside in the waters surrounding the Bahamas.

The article discusses the fact that sharks found in abundance a few decades ago are now endangered, and one major factor in their near extinction has to do with human greed.

Apparently shark fins are in high demand. They contain near tasteless cartilage ribbons or ‘noodles’ that are a costly ingredient in shark-fin soup. Up to 73 million sharks die each year for their fins, which command over $300 a pound in Asian markets.

The thing that really got to me while reading the article was this:

The trade is illegal and cruelly wasteful – finners often slice off the fins and throw the sharks back to starve, drown, or be eaten alive – but it continues to grow.

Now, while I’m not a particularly huge fan of the place, there’s a restaurant in Vancouver called House of Noodles, or HON’s. I can’t seem to eat Chinese food without my tummy fighting with me afterwards so I can’t say as I necessarily recommend the place, but the good thing about it is that they have an entire kitchen devoted solely to vegetarian cooking.

Being vegetarian myself, this intrigued me. James and I went there a few years ago to try it out and I couldn’t believe how many dishes they had created meat substitutes for. Things I wouldn’t even think to eat the non-veggie version of if I was a carnivore! They had vegetarian goose, vegetarian shrimp, and, yes, they even had vegetarian shark-fin!

I couldn’t quite wrap my head around it. Truth be told, I didn’t really want to eat simulated animals, even if it was all made from tofu. It was too weird for me – I would rather eat vegetables and tofu that looks like a plain ol’ hunk of tofu, not a scallop or a portion of fake ham. I had never even heard of people eating real shark-fin before, so the idea of eating it simulated was way too exotic (if you could call it that) for my tastebuds.

But I now know that it’s true, along with all the fishes in the sea, sharks are not exempt from the list of animals that find their fate on a plate – or in this case, in a bowl – prepared for human consumption.

What boggles my mind is, if the cartilage sought for this delectable soup is for all intents and purposes TASTELESS, why would it make a difference if it was a simulated version of the real thing? I’m certain that if you weren’t TOLD it was made from tofu, you wouldn’t know the difference if it wasn’t meant to have much flavour to begin with. The texture surely wouldn’t be difficult to copy if it’s basically no different than a noodle.

So why are countless sharks being tortured and left to die in terrible conditions all for the sake of a slurpful soup?

How can human beings be so cruel as to allow this to happen? Sure, sharks aren’t necessarily the nicest animals in the world. They do their fair share of killing for their own consumption. But what they’re doing is for survival. What we’re doing is for greed and selfishness.

What we’re doing is wrong. And it astounds me that someone could care so little about another being as to lop off its arms and chuck it away, as if once out of sight it’s out of mind and it no longer matters what becomes of it. I can’t believe that human beings can be so selfish as to think the rest of the world literally is meant to be served to them on a silver platter. We need to be more appreciative of nature and our surroundings and of our fellow creatures.

Would you like to have your arms cut off and then be thrown into the ocean to fend for yourself? What ever happened to the whole ‘do unto others as you would wish them to do unto you’ philosophy?
I’d like to round up the individuals who have no heart and can live with themselves after torturing innocent animals. I’d personally cut off their limbs, chuck them into the ocean, and wish them luck swimming back to shore. ‘Sea’ how they like it!!!!!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

With this ring, I thee wed



Last night James and I went out and bought our wedding bands. We’re so excited! We had looked a little while back but wanted to wait till closer to the time (and when we’d saved up the money) to actually buy them. Mine is a thin white gold band with a row of diamonds. I was planning on getting one with just 3 small diamonds but the one with more diamonds was actually cheaper than the other. AND it matched perfectly with my engagement ring, whereas the other one didn’t. So I was thrilled to bits with what I picked out! And the store we got them from has a guarantee that none of their diamonds are conflict diamonds, so we were relieved to know there were no ‘blood diamonds’ involved. I would have liked to have got Canadian diamonds, but oh my god they are not feasible unless you’ve got tons of money to throw around! And really, who cares about the quality and so on? I mean, we got nice diamonds but even if they were totally fake, I would have no idea either way. We did learn about the different grades and the ways you can pick out the flaws when we were picking out my engagement ring, but in all honesty that sort of thing really doesn’t mean much to me. I just like that they’re shiny and glittery and fun to play with in the light =) Perhaps I was a bird in another life!

James’ ring is two-toned – white gold with yellow gold, and it will have our names and our wedding date engraved on the outside. It’s so nice! He’s not a jewelry guy but this ring is going to suit him. And I find it so romantic that our names will be written on it right on the top!

What was exciting about all of this for me was being able to actually pay for James’ ring. I haven’t had ‘my own’ money for a long time and it felt really good to be able to buy his wedding ring with MY bank card and not his. And to not have to put it on a credit card, but actually make the purchase right then and there. My money is his and his is mine, we don’t look at it as separate accounts even though we currently have them, but still, it made me happy to know that I had worked for the money that bought his ring.

So all in all, our shopping experience last night was not only a success, but it was a memorable occasion, and a very happy one at that.

Now I just have to fight the urge to start wearing the band before our big day!!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

This time I lose but I know one day I’ll win, One day I’ll win…

***




Sometimes I wish that I could turn my life on and off like a light switch.

There are moments, like this one, where I wish it was in off mode. I find myself in moods so low that I think to myself, If I was dead I wouldn’t have to deal with this sinking feeling. I wouldn’t have to carry on living out this stupid fucking charade.

I can’t handle the rage, the pain of the hurt and the deep, deep sadness. I want it to end end end. I want to know the emptiness that is my lack of existence.

Yet, more often than feeling this way, I find myself waking up with a start in the middle of the night thinking about how one day I really will cease to exist. I am disturbed by the very thought. I am one of those people that actually loses sleep thinking about death. Most of the time, the idea of it sends chills up and down my spine. I don’t want to be gone forever. I don’t want to lose myself to death. I don’t want to face the inevitable.

So hypocritical am I.

I just HATE feeling so god damned miserable. Mostly sad, somewhat angry. Frustrated and antsy. It makes me want to hurt myself, I want to punch walls so hard that if my wrists don’t break, the walls will. I don’t like wanting to hurt worse than I already do.

It’s seldom that I get this way, I used to feel it more than I do now. But it doesn’t give me solace to know that my moods are for the most part under control. When I am in a moment of this type of low, I can’t function well enough to realize that it will pass. I feel like I’ll lose my mind before I can rid myself of it. The ache of negativity.

So much for practicing mindfulness. But I guess we all have to have our moments.

Like as if you care

A= Available~ No.
B= Best Friend~ James.
C= Cake or pie~ Cake, but pie will do in a pinch!
D= Drink of choice~ Iced tea (Nestea or Lipton’s, Canadian sweetened style)
E= Essential item you use everyday~ I can’t choose just ONE essential item! If I had to, I guess I’d pick deodorant, because, well, you know.
F= Favorite color~ Blue.
G= Gummy bears or worms~ Aren’t they kind of the same thing? I prefer Swedish Berries to either of these…
H= Hometown~ Nanaimo, BC, Canada.
I= Indulgences~ Welsh Currant Cakes, chocolate, shows like Gilmore Girls (which I still haven’t seen the last episode of!!)…
J= January or February~ February. My birthday is the 5th!
K= Kids and Names~ We want to have 2…we have the girl’s name picked out but we’re still deciding on the boy’s.
L= Life is incomplete without?~ Love.
M= Marriage date~ July 27, 2007. Two months and 10 days away!!
N= Number of siblings~ An older bro.
O= Oranges or apples~ Apples – and I LOVE apple juice, especially organic apple cider!
P= Phobias or Fears~ Spiders, darkness, death.
Q= Favorite Quote~ I can’t think of a favourite at the moment…
R= Reason to smile~ Because everything is better when you smile!
S= Season~ Spring/summer.
T= Tag 3 or 4 people~ How about I tag anyone who reads this – tag, you’re it!
U= Unknown fact about me~ I’m going to remain mysterious on this one.
V= Vegetable you don't like~ I’m not a huge eggplant fan, unless it’s in Eggplant Parmesan!
W= Worst habit~ Worrying about things I can’t control.
X= X-rays~ Teeth, shoulder, chest…
Y= Your favorite food~ There are so many foods that I love! Right now I am going to say homemade veggie tacos! Mmm now I’m hungry!
Z= Zodiac Sign~ Aquarius.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Crazy Ivan IV

We met on the internet when I was 16. We chatted on occasion and sent banter back and forth through email. It was all very sweet and innocent – never did I feel that he was out for an internet romance or anything of a ‘cyber sexual’ nature. He was funny and interesting and creative and every time my inbox showed a message from him, I smiled.

This went on for some time, and eventually we agreed that it would make sense to take things to the next step – that being ‘the phone call.’ It’s strange getting to know a person through email only, it seemed only natural that we get to hear one another speak. So we exchanged numbers, and one day soon after the phone rang and it was him on the other end of the line.

He told me that he’d asked his dad if it would be alright to call (he lived in Fredericton and I lived in Nanaimo, so of course it was long distance) and that his dad had said yes, as long as he wasn’t too long. So we talked for maybe ten minutes, mostly just smiling to each other over the phone because it seemed almost surreal to discover each other’s voice!

I remember getting off the phone and not being able to wipe the smile from my face for hours. It wasn’t that I had ‘feelings’ for the guy – I cared about him deeply, but not in the sort of way that it might sound. I just felt that he was a kindred spirit, someone I could call my friend, someone who understood me in ways that most other people just didn’t even try to. I’d had ‘internet friendships’ before, and I had some after, but no one was the same as he was to me. There was just something about him that was special.

I remember believing all was well and going to bed that night and drifting off to sleep thinking about his east coast accent and I decided I would send him a message in the morning to say how wonderful it had been to finally hear his voice.

Only I didn’t get to send the message before he called me again.

The next morning the phone rang and I heard his voice on the other end again. It struck me as slightly odd that he would call again so soon when we had only just spoken the day before. But then I heard what he had to say.

“I wanted to call you to tell you there’s been an accident,” he said.

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“My father was killed in a car accident this morning.”

[Dead silence].

“Shut up, that’s not funny!” was my reply. I could not yet comprehend what he was saying.

“It’s true. My whole family was in the accident. My mom and sister are recovering in hospital, but my dad was killed. I thought I should tell you because I might not be able to chat for a while, and I didn’t want you to think I didn’t want to talk to you anymore. I’m just not sure what’s going to happen right now.”

It started to sink in that he was telling the truth.

I told him how sorry I was, and that I would be there for him if he needed me, if there was anything I could do. But what can you do for someone who’s on the other side of the country? What can you say to someone who’s sitting right in front of you in that situation, for that matter? I sent him a sympathy card through snail mail, and occasional emails to let him know I was thinking about him, but beyond that it was out of my control.

We did stay in touch for a number of years after that. It was sporadic but we managed the occasional phone call and email. And we even met once, for about 10 minutes at the Vancouver airport before he caught a connecting flight to someplace else.

In that time I saw what losing his father did to him, not on all levels, given the distance between us. But I witnessed mood swings and changes in personality that I do think happened as a direct result of his circumstances. Once when we spoke on the phone he was quite rude and it was totally out of character for him to be that way with me. After hanging up, I cried and cried till I had no tears left. He was in touch soon after to say how sorry he was, that he was on medication for depression and that it was not working for him, that it was creating all sorts of weird behaviours and that he didn’t mean to take anything out on me. That’s the kind of person that he was. He had his moments, but he was always very kind and generous with his words. I think that was what I enjoyed about him the most.

We’ve since stopped talking, it has been a few years since we’ve had any contact whatsoever. The reasons for this don’t much matter, I hold a special place for him in my heart even though today I can honestly say I do not consider him my friend. Through his experience I learned so much, and in part I guess you could say that what his experience did for me is something that helped to shape me into who I am today. In some ways, anyway.

It was just so hard to believe that overnight, one person’s life could end and so many other lives could be turned right upside down – changed forever. For a long time I secretly felt like it was MY fault that it had happened. If he hadn’t asked his father that night if he could call me, all of his dad’s actions would have been different and he might not have been driving in that particular intersection the next morning at the particular time that he was. It’s true. Each person who enters our lives even for a split second has the capacity to change us forever. I thought that I had inadvertently killed my dear friend’s father from all the way across the country just by him knowing of my mere existence. It took a long time for me to let go of that one. Truth be told, I might even still think about it now from time to time. The idea is no longer at the forefront of my brain, but it’s not something easily forgotten.

I felt so terrible for my friend and all he had to go through as a result of his father’s life being suddenly cut short. It was so painful to watch, even from afar. But what I learned more than anything else was how precious life is and how much we have to enjoy it while we’ve got it, because you just never know when you might breathe your last breathe. You never know when it might be your last goodbye.

So cherish things now and tell the people you love just how important they are to you. Because you just never know…

The fragility of life has never ceased to scare me, and I’m not sure that it ever will. But I’ve had it drilled into me that life is what you choose to make of it, and at least for myself I want that to be the most.

Jann Arden Concert

Last night my mom and I went to The Centre and saw Jann Arden.

What a fantastic show! It started off with J.P. Hoe, who at first I wasn’t sure about but by the end of his set, I was thinking I should go out and buy his CD. He was sort of like John Mayer (his earlier stuff anyway) but with his own originality and less pop-like. He has a great voice and plays a really mean guitar!

And Jann Arden was incredible. It’s not often an artist can not only sound as good as they do on CD, but BETTER. That woman has talent. And she’s so freaking hilarious! She had the whole audience in stitches a number of times throughout her performance.

I didn’t think I knew that much of her stuff but out of the whole concert, there was maybe one song I wasn’t familiar with. And I love the songs she sang from her new album, Uncover Me. She puts a great spin on old hit songs.

She’s also very inspiring in her overall message about how to live your life. She’s very free-spirited and makes you think about what I was talking about in a recent post – about living more in the moment and enjoying life for all it has to offer. She reminded us that we’re all heading the same way so just relax and enjoy because “It’s just life!”

All in all, an amazing performance – and definitely a memorable evening.

Canadian Springs IS A HORRIBLE COMPANY

Whatever you do, NEVER EVER even so much as CONSIDER getting Canadian Springs water. They are such a horrible company to deal with. There is no consistency in what they tell you, their customer service is deplorable, they will rip you off and make it near impossible to cut off all ties with them. An AWFUL company to deal with, so don't put yourself through the headache like we have. There are plenty of good water companies out there I'm sure. We're getting Culligan water from Safeway now and it's way cheaper and tastes every bit as good - and there is no shitty service to deal with, we can just fill it up ourselves whenever we feel like.

Canadian Springs is literally one of THE WORST companies I have ever done business with. Just putting the warning out there because THEY ARE NOT WORTH IT.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

It helps to keep at it


Currently (finally) reading Tuesdays with Morrie. What a great book! I’m at about the half way point. So good, it’s hard to put it down. And knowing it’s based on a true story makes it all the more inspiring.

Watch Empire of the Sun. I was very pleasantly surprised.

I am working at being more mindful. For a while I was practicing mindfulness regularly. It was easy then, because I was taking a course on the topic and had to do weekly exercises in awareness for marks. I didn’t let what I learned completely slip from my mind when the course was over, but I found it easy to sink back into old habits. Habits of forgetting to live in the moment, of holding onto grudges, of seeing the world as black and white. Not that I’m not still guilty of this – there are always going to be times where it’s impossible to see the sky for the clouds - but I’m working at remembering my place in all of it.

It can be really trying for a person that just wants a few answers in life. For a person who is not content unless she has an understanding of herself and her surroundings. A person who needs validation, love, and a sense of accomplishment in order to feel satisfied.

Sometimes I forget about the fact that I’m not where I want to be in terms of job status, and all seems well. But most of the time, it’s a looming question for me. What should I do with my life, who am I, what would I be good at?

I guess, though, that what I should really be focusing more attention on is all the things I DO have and all the questions that HAVE been answered for me. I have a wonderful support network, I found my true love and will be marrying him in just over two months, I have a roof over my head and I live in a beautiful city. I have so much opportunity at my fingertips that a lot of people could only dream of, even if it often feels as though so many doors are closed for me. I suppose it’s all a matter of perception and if I really want to go for something, I can.

This is where my problem lies: I don’t have a clue what I would like to or what I should go for. But that’s the extent of it. Pretty well all other aspects of my life are quite satisfying. Sometimes it feels like this one questionable area consumes me, because it seems as though to most people it is what is meant to define me. I therefore lack a sense of definition when it comes to the age old question, “So, what do you do?”

But I’m so very lucky in love, and love is much more important to me than a job or career. I have someone in my life who loves me completely, and in the very same way that I love him. I’m confident about that. I have absolutely no doubt that the only way one of us would ever leave the other would be in death. Which scares me halfway there to think that will happen to us one day, but I have to stay positive and believe that it’s going to be many, many, MANY years down the line that we will go through that.

So I have the love of my life by my side, two happy kitty cats to call my own, and thoughts of the babies that James and I will be having in the coming years. So much to look forward to and enjoy in life! Establishing a proper home together, enjoying each other’s company over the years, exploring the world by taking our kids on family vacations. Seeing them grow up to become their own people, extensions of us.

I just wish making a decent wage doing something I even remotely enjoy seemed more attainable than it does to me right now. But I do have to remind myself that if everything was perfect in life, we wouldn’t know what to hold onto. We’d have nothing to reflect on or improve. So while I can always wish that things were somehow ‘easier,’ I have to remember that I have so much of what I want out of life with me already, and when it comes down to it, how many people can honestly say that?

I have to stop judging myself based on all that I don’t have and take a closer look instead at all that I do.

Monday, May 14, 2007

What's the flaming use?

I wonder sometimes why things happen when they do. Not that we are necessarily ever better equipped to deal with certain things, but I do think there are more and less opportune times for certain things to happen.

***

I just found out that I did not make it to the next step with a govt job I applied for ages ago. I wrote an exam for it, it was for a branch of the govt that deals with Indian Residential Schools Resolution issues. It would have perfectly fit with my degree and would have been something I’d be interested in and happy to be a part of. But alas, I was not as good as other candidates according to my test results.

***

Sigh.

***

Maybe I am just not as aggressive, maybe it is self esteem issues that hurt me. I want to be successful and I KNOW I am a hard worker, yet things don’t seem to work out for me when it comes to jobs.

***

I am not happy where I currently am, yet I lack the confidence to believe I can find something better.

***

I sometimes just want to sink into a hole and never come out.

***

I need to come up with something creative I can do that can also make me money. There is so much crap out there for sale, surely I can come up with something that’s better than some of it that might generate some income. I have to come up with something. But what, that is the question…

***

Why can’t life just be simply laid out for each and every one of us?

***

I’m tired of feeling like I’m struggling all the time.

***

I’m done whining.

For now.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Well wouldn't you know it

You Are the Middle Finger

A bit fragile and dependent on your friends, you're not nearly as hostile as you seem.
You are balanced, easy to get along with, and quite serious.
However, you can get angry and fed up with those around you. And you aren't afraid to show it!

You get along well with: The Index Finger

Stay away from: The Pinky

Tell me there's something more...

Don’t tell me I’m ‘just average’

That’s just rude

And uncalled for

Not to mention Totally Ridiculous.

You know

I go with good intentions,

And I continually fight off my desire to completely give up


But at the end of each day, the same feeling returns

I think to myself, What did I do today? What was it for? WILL I EVER HAVE A JOB I ACTUALLY EVEN REMOTELY ENJOY? I want to say there is a glimmer of hope within me, but some days I’m just not so sure.

And I know, I know, we can’t all be so lucky as to have jobs we’re all cheery about and eager to get up in the morning for. But come on, can’t I ever get a break?

I’m so sick and tired of feeling like I’m treading water…working hard but never actually getting closer to shore.

Random stuff I wrote last night...

I’m all over the place.

I’m thinking about things from all aspects of my life all the time. While I work at compartmentalizing one thing, another thing pops up that must be filed. Just like the state of my surroundings. I love all my stuff but a part of me also wants to be less attached to so much.

I want to go through it all and weed out what I don’t require.

Will I succeed?

***

When I see someone sitting on the sidewalk asking for change and then I go into the liquor store where I’m getting something I obviously don’t really NEED and then I walk back past that same person and they can see what I got and I have to go on like I didn’t just do something wrong. I feel sort of guilty in those moments.

***

Tonight when James and I were out for a walk, we passed by two men who looked to be homeless. They asked us if we could spare some pennies and we both said, “No, sorry.” As we continued on, I heard the one guy say to the other, “Well hey, at least they ANSWERED me!”

I know exactly what the guy was talking about. When did people become so distant from each other that it became normal to completely ignore people – even when they’re talking right to you?!

Simply ACKNOWLEDGE and move on.
It’s so simple and yet so many people are lacking in this area…

***

Taking the bus has become almost painful. If the bus is full and people are standing in the isles and you’re sitting on one of the side seats, it’s torturous. Where do you look? To avoid contact with others, you have to strain your eyes toward the windows. The tiniest crack of a space to look through will do, as long as you don’t let people know that you’re even remotely aware that they so much as exist around you. WHY DO WE DO THIS?!!

***

Walking down the street in one of the most densely populated neighbourhoods in Vancouver, one can expect to pass a number of people along the way. Yet how many acknowledge said pass? How many people take the time to make eye contact, smile, or heaven forbid, say hello?

When did we become so desensitized, uncaring, nonchalant that we pretend we don’t see something – rationalizing it that if we can’t see it we don’t have to deal with it. If I can’t see you, well then you surely can’t see me. Right?

Wrong.

This makes me think of the movie ‘Waking Life’.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Curiosity killed the cat...

And it ruined Coronation Street for me…I’m still going to watch it of course but I couldn’t help but peak at some news about story lines waaaay into the future and now I feel like I know too much. The show is actually roughly 8 months ahead from what’s being aired in Canada right now. So naturally the internet is riddled with information about the current status of people’s affairs on the show. And affairs they are! My god, the series of events that happens over the next while is something else…Most of it I’m not entirely surprised by, although part of me wishes I didn’t know as much as I do. I just couldn’t stop reading, and each word got etched on my brain so that I won’t be able to forget what I know as it all unfolds…

And YouTube allowed me to even WATCH some of the goings on of the future episodes. God, I really have a problem, don’t I? This amount of CS obsession cannot be healthy…

A constant reminder that anything could happen

I dreamt that I woke up in the morning to a big black cloud hovering in the sky. Only upon further inspection, I realized it was not a regular rain cloud, but a thick cloud of black smoke. Looking closer, I saw that an apartment building across the way from ours was literally GONE. It had burnt to a crisp and just a shell of the building remained.

Thinking about the fact that all those people had lost everything while I slept made me wonder what I would do if put in that situation. All of these reflections occurred in my dream, although they were very much real.

I tell you, these building fires we’ve been having are really getting to me.

And wouldn’t you know, a few hours later I woke to the sound of fire trucks barreling down the street. Not toward our building, thank goodness, but knowing that someone else was in need of them didn’t make it seem that much better.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

A series of events

It has been an interesting week so far.

Over the weekend I spent a lot of quality time with my mom, who came over to help with more wedding planning stuff. We got the flowers sorted, which takes a huge load off our minds! I’m going to make a few changes to what we ordered but at least we’ve got the person booked for that, and she’s going to help set up the decorations too. We’re going very simple on the flowers – I will have a pretty bouquet with blue hydrangeas and white lilies, there will be a mini bouquet for throwing, and beyond that there will just be corsages and boutonnieres. The table arrangements are going to include flower petals, but they’re fake, and other stuff that will create a sort of ‘theme.’ It’s on a yacht and I just didn’t see the point in going crazy spending money on a million flowers. We’re going for ‘simple elegance.’

On Tuesday the highlight of my day was meeting Trevor Linden from the Vancouver Canucks. I’m not even a hockey fan really, but I found myself all blubbery and caught up in the moment! He was really nice and didn’t seem to mind taking a moment to sign an autograph. I gave it to my grandma, who’s such a huge fan of Trevor that she would really appreciate it! When I told her my mom would be bringing it back for her, she was beside herself. It’s just strange because I’m not even much of a hockey buff (ok, I’m not one at all!) yet I am still excited by the idea that I met Trevor Linden.

Last night we went out for dinner with a group from James’ side of the family. His cousin and cousin’s wife just had a baby a few months ago so we finally got to meet her. We got her a little Baby Guess shirt and some socks as a gift. When I was picking out the shirt, I went for one for 18 month olds because I wanted it to be something that would last, rather than getting something that would only fit for the next few weeks. Even at that, the 18 month old shirt looked so extremely small that I figured it wouldn’t even fit the baby now! But she’s just this tiny little thing at just 12 pounds! SO CUTE! She is the most adorable baby, and so inquisitive. We ended up at the opposite end of the table as P&H and the baby, and with 10 people there that was pretty far. So before we got our dinner H came over with her and asked if I’d like to hold her. I think she knows that I am hoping to be next in line for having a little one! So it was quite exciting for me. She was so sweet and cuddly and held onto my finger with her tiny little baby hands. So soft and adorable! I wanted to take her home with me =) For at least 10 minutes after holding her my face was just beet red and I couldn’t stop smiling. What a cutie!

And P&H are great with her. They’re going to have us over next month and we’re going to learn more about taking care of babies so that we can become babysitters for them! I can hardly wait!!

And now we’re at today, which will be ho-hum till about 4:30 when I can come home and be done with work for the day. We’re going to watch Déjà vu and probably more Coronation Street, which my mom taped for us the past MONTH so we’re working on catching up.

And tomorrow is TGIF!!


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