Friday, September 28, 2007

I'm taking advantage of having benefits

My report from the dentist yesterday was glowing. I don’t have anything wrong with my teeth! I am so happy and extremely relieved. I hadn’t been to the dentist in over 5 years, when I last had a job with benefits. There’s no way I could afford a dental visit sans benefits – instead of $160, it cost me just under $40. $40 I can handle but the actual price is ridiculous! Mind you, I pay into my benefits on each paycheque, so if I really factored everything in, I probably haven’t saved much money. Still, there’s also the eye visit I’ll be reimbursed for. And I’ll get a portion of the money back for a prescription I got today. I’ve been going to doctors galore lately, but I’m taking care of things I’ve been meaning to do for a while.

I went to the doctor because I get really bad heartburn often, or what I believe could be acid reflux. I explained my symptoms and the doctor prescribed me Pantoloc, an acid reducer. Cost me over $70 for one month, so you can imagine why I’m hoping my benefits will at least cover a portion of it…

I swear it’s already helping though. My dad takes Nexium, which is basically the same drug, and when I’ve had the acid problem really bad he’s given me a pill to take. Within a few hours I’ve generally noticed relief. Today I started on my medication and haven’t noticed any signs of heartburn or reflux to speak of. I’m so relieved that it’s working, I just hope it’s something that can be taken care of short term, rather than something I’m going to have to rely on. I don’t like the idea of taking medications like this on a regular basis, but on the other hand I also don’t like the pain I get from all the acid I seem to produce! Sometimes it hurts so much, it feels as though my skeleton is aching, such as my breast bone and quite badly into my collar bones and shoulders. Not good! So hopefully this will take care of it.

It’s amazing how quickly one can get a prescription for something. I told the doctor (who I’d never seen before in my life) what my symptoms were and what I’d been taking for it (Pepcid Complete worked for a short while) and he had me say ‘Aaah' and looked at my throat, then he just sat down and started writing me a one month prescription and gave me a form to go and have a blood test.

He didn’t ask me any questions, such as what I eat that might cause it, or what medications I might currently be taking. Basic questions that I was sure I’d have to answer. Nothing. Instead I was given a prescription, told to go get a blood test, and deal with it from there in a month, depending on the results and whether or not it’s ‘fixed.’ So I came home and did some research about the drug online, and had a chat with a very informative pharmacist at the drug store about it.

I always stare in amazement at the long list of side effects each drug seems to carry. Ever seen a commercial for an anti depressant? Those commercials are notorious for sharing ten thousand side effects you might experience if you take the drug. They have to talk super fast in order to list all the possible side effects in the limited time span of the ad. Side effects may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, constipation, and so on and so forth. You hear that and you think, maybe I’d rather just feel depressed!

But of course, generally speaking the side effects aren’t even experienced, and the benefits tend to outweigh the harms…Let me just say that I hope to high heavens that I don’t experience one of the rare but possible side effects of Pantoloc: alopecia. If I start losing my hair over this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m sure it’s not going to happen, it’s just when you see that staring at you from the long list of possible problems…

In other news, it’s James’ 10 year high school reunion this weekend and we’re going. I will be meeting all his long lost high school chums. I’d be lying if I said I was excited, but I’m sure the experience will be better than I’m anticipating! You better believe I won’t be going to my reunion next year. I don’t mean to sound overly harsh but I guess I live by a ‘I didn’t like you then so why would I like you now’ mentality. Terrible, I know. Nah, it’s not even that, I mean there are a few people who I wouldn’t mind seeing again. But come on, if I want to rekindle a friendship with someone I’ll sign up with Facebook. When it comes right down to it, there are a few people who come to mind that I’d rather not ever see again for the rest of my life, and not going to my reunion will probably help with that! So going to James’ this weekend will be enough for me =)

Have a good one!!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Job Woes

Things are somewhat chaotic at work right now, to say the very least. I might be out of a job soon, although I would fight it if it were to come down to that.

I am 100% sure I made the right decision in turning down the management position. In the past few days the company has proven itself to be as unprofessional as it could be, and the lack of respect alone is enough to tell me I wouldn’t want to be in a position of commitment to this company.

Basically they are trying to force the position on either me or K. Because we refused it for various reasons, they thought maybe they would split the position 3 ways between me, K and A. We said we’d prefer it if they hired someone else to take it on, but that we would be willing to sit down and DISCUSS the possibility of dividing the tasks, depending on what that would entail, how much of a raise we would get, and so on.

Instead, the current manager took that to the CEO and said we’d just split it three ways and it appears that if he decides to go that route instead of hiring someone else to take it over, he would just basically DEMAND that we do it. And without a raise, by the way.

In the past, the research team has never formed an alliance the way we have and it seems they’re surprised that none of us has broken down and just taken the position for no raise, when in the past their tactics have always worked.

So all 3 of us are LIVID and I am in a space now where I’m pretty much ready to refuse anything they have to offer. Why should I do them any favours?! I want my current position, no ifs, ands or buts. Although I’m afraid that could in the end mean I am out of a job entirely, given the way things are going.

I just can’t let them walk all over me and force me to take a position I clearly don’t want. The current manager told me all about how horrible the job is and how stressful it is for little pay and how miserable she’s been basically since she first started with the company. So please tell me now why I would take the position?!

Yesterday it was as if we were in an episode of the twilight zone. The manager asked me if I was taking the position as if our hour long meeting about it – where I clearly laid my decision and why out on the boardroom table – had never taken place. It was totally bizarre and made me feel so angry. Their approach to trying to back us into a corner so we’ll take the position isn’t working. If anything, it is just pushing us further and further right out of the room.

I am in a position where it would definitely hurt James and I financially if I was out of a job. I need my income in order to pay my huge minimum payments on my debts. However, if it was only for a short time we’d be able to manage. I’m just concerned that it would take longer than a while to find something decent – if it works out anything like when I first graduated from university. I really don’t want to be out of work for a long period of time like that again (unless of course I win the lottery!) I also don’t want to take a job that would just end up being equally as crappy as my current one…I don’t plan on quitting the position, I’m just trying to look at the reality of it. If I downright refuse to help with the managerial tasks, which I am strongly thinking of doing considering there’s no incentive just a total lack of respect, I might not get a favourable response. On the other hand, I don’t see how they can fire me for not wanting to change my job description, given that it’s not what I signed up for.

I don’t know what’s going to happen at this point, but I honestly don’t think it’s going to be very good.

I just can’t believe that a company can run this way. It’s ridiculous. I can’t wait to find something with a company that’s not totally insane. If that’s even feasible?!?!?!?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Distorted Body Image

A 37 year old woman from Toronto recently died when her heart failed during a lyposuction surgery.

Reading about this story in the news got me thinking about body image and how sad it is that we feel so strongly about changing our bodies that we’re willing to risk death to feel better about ourselves. I personally would not undergo this type of surgery but I know a lot of people would. A lot of people do. It’s an epidemic, really – this idea that we must go to great lengths to be what society deems more beautiful, more thin, more happy.

Would this woman have gone for the procedure if she’d known it would kill her? Of course not. Why can’t people just be happy with who they are, love themselves for what they have, not what they’re lacking? Why do we have to see it as lacking if we’re not a certain way? And if it’s that important to fix the problem, why not use healthier methods? If the woman looked anything like she did in the picture showed in the news at the time of her surgery, she really didn’t need the surgery at all. There was nothing necessary about it, it was completely out of vain that she was having it done. And now she’s dead and her child is without a mother.

How sad is our society that it comes down to slicing and dicing for so-called beauty?

It’s so easy to get caught up in – I do it myself. I look in the mirror sometimes with disgust because I’m not as thin as I used to be, because I feel like I should be upholding this image of skinny because that’s what society teaches us is beautiful. But I’m healthy, and that’s what matters. James thinks I’m beautiful, and that counts for something. And it also matters that I can look at myself and say, Elizabeth, you’re pretty alright, just the way you are! I’m tired of the plastic nature of our society, I’m sick of the superficiality that people get caught up in. Look at yourself and be amazed – you are a unique and wonderful being, your body has its very own intricate design and it’s amazing! Air brushed magazine models are not beautiful. Lyposucked and tummy tucked and face lifted parts are not real, and they’re generally not healthy. Love yourself for who you are, who you were meant to be.

I know, I know, if only it could be so simple. But it’s something to think about...

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Verdict...

Ok, ok, so you want to know what I decided with regards to the job!

First of all, I have to say I went back and forth on my decision before firmly taking one side. At first I thought, no I don’t want this. Then I thought, maybe I could just try it out temporarily.

But my firm decision, the one I stuck with today when I had a meeting with my manager and then her manager, was to turn down the supervisor role.

There were way more cons to taking the job than pros. Most especially the fact that the big boss was refusing to give a proper wage for the amount of responsibility I’d have to take on. I’m talking MAYBE a one dollar an hour raise or so, IF THAT. I’m not kidding. And I don’t make that much over minimum wage to begin with, so it left me shaking my head to think I’d be taking on a management role without proper pay. They also wanted the person who took the job to commit to AT LEAST TWO YEARS. What?! At least two years locked into a crappy paid shitty dead end job?! I DON’T THINK SO!

The position has had a very high turnover rate in the past and that’s because it’s a really awful job where you’re not respected by anyone in the company, most especially the big boss. I’ve since come to learn a lot more about what the position entails and I KNOW 100% that I made the right decision by not taking it.

And they made me believe that K really wanted the job but I talked to her about it today (after over the weekend coming to the conclusion that I’d be totally ok with her having it, btw) and it turns out she doesn’t want it either! We actually talked about it quite a bit and I felt good getting some things off my chest and knowing she feels the same way about a lot of things regarding the company as what I do.

I have decided that rather than feeling trapped in a position that’s going nowhere, I am going to devote my energy to looking for a new job. Of course I’m not quitting my current position, not till I’ve found something else, but I’m going to be very actively searching for something new now. I want to use my benefits first so I’m going to go to the eye doctor and the dentist within the next few weeks and take care of things before I leave, but then it’ll be Adios and hopefully I will be on to something bigger and better.

I could go on and on about it, but I’ve vented to people enough over the past few days and I’m kind of tired of it at the moment. Suffice it to say, I have come to realize that this company is not very well run and I don’t want to stick around longer than I have to. I feel disrespected and even though it should feel good to know I was so wanted (they practically begged me to take the job), it just feels like a slap in the face for the most part, because they were basically asking me to just bend over backwards for them and I’m shocked they would try to take advantage of their employees like that. I deserve more and luckily my manager and her manager see that and agree and understand where I’m coming from…But the big boss calls the shots and he’s obviously not the most considerate person out there. But whatever, soon enough he’ll have no choice but to look for new employees, because I have a feeling a lot of us are going to be leaving fairly soon.

Sounds shitty, I know, but while this is quite a stressful situation, I’ve also learned a lot in the process of it. About myself, about other people, about sometimes giving the benefit of the doubt and other times not. About how important it is to stand up for yourself and not let people walk all over you. That’s probably the biggest thing I learned. I’ve put up with a lot of crap in previous jobs and I’m just not willing to let that happen anymore. I feel good that I stuck to my gut feeling and didn’t let them persuade me into doing something I’m not comfortable with. It’s going to be difficult I know, but in some ways I’m excited about the challenge of finding something new, something better.

We just can't get enough of cruising these days!

On Saturday we took a one night dinner and dance cruise from Seattle to Vancouver, aboard the Norwegian Star. It was a fantastic night!

We went with my brother and his girlfriend by charter bus to Seattle. Oh my, what an adventure that was! We got to the border at 10:55am and didn’t get through the border till about 3:30pm. It was totally insane there. And the ship was supposed to leave at 4pm…Once we left the border it was another hour and a half drive to get to the ship. We were a little antsy, to say the least! N ended up calling the cruise line to find out if the ship would wait for us. Normally the answer would be no, but NCL had chartered 9 busses and only 3 had arrived so they actually did wait around. We got there just in time – literally 3 more minutes and they were going to leave without us! We were the last bus to arrive and make it on board. It was crazy, we literally had to run to get onto the ship! We were so lucky to make it, I’m so happy the captain of the ship was kind enough to wait for us!

Once on board we were starving and in need of a stiff drink – we hadn’t eaten since 9 in the morning before boarding the bus and we were hungry and cranky from the lame ass loooong ride to get there. After James and I got changed, we all went and got a bucket of beer (one of the drink specials – 6 beers in a giant football helmet!) and went to a tex mex restaurant for supper. It was delicious! I had vegetable enchiladas and they were so tasty, I could eat some right now! The waiter was so cool too, he was from Jamaica and called the guys ‘boss’ and kept saying, ‘cool’ in that groovy accent Jamaicans have. Oh and the other waiter called me ‘Princess,’ which I must say I could get used to =) We enjoyed our dinner and dessert – mmm, churros! – and went and got some more drinks after that.

We wandered around, checked out the ship a bit, drank at different lounges, checked out M & N’s room (they got one with a balcony, ours had windows with a view out to the life boats!! But for a one night cruise we were fine with the room we had) and made our way to Spinnaker’s Lounge for some entertainment. First up were the Asian Acrobats - very bendy! – and next was a comedian. He was hit or miss, some of his jokes were just rude and I didn’t find those moments funny at all. But I’d say for the majority of his act I was in stitches, the guy was pretty hilarious. After the entertainment and drinks galore, it was time to dance. At first we were sitting chatting and listening to the tunes, watching other people dance. But when the lights got all disco-like and they started playing things like the Beatles Twist & Shout, I could no longer control my urge to get out on the dance floor! M & N only danced a few songs, but James and I couldn’t stop! We danced for ages and had so much fun with it, it was so nice to just let our hair down and let loose for the night.

By the time we stopped dancing, it was probably heading on for 2am. We went to the Blue Lagoon, the only food establishment still open, and had some grub to help soak up some of the alcohol. (I had way more than I’m used to, 2 beers, 2 Bloody Mary’s (one was a double), and 2 (maybe 3?!) Jelly Bean shots – and they’re quite big shots! For me this is a lot of alcohol, I don’t tend to drink a whole lot these days. It was such a fun time! N had her birthday recently and as a gift to her we bought most of her alcohol on the cruise. The most special drink we got her was a slushy alcoholic drink that was in a pineapple! It seemed so luxurious to have a drink in a pineapple, we couldn’t resist getting her one!

But eventually we all had to crash – especially since we were docking in Vancouver at 8am, so it wasn’t like we could sleep in. We went to bed and crashed pretty much as soon as we got there and woke up at 7:30, with just enough time to get ourselves ready to disembark. I didn’t get sick but by that point I was feeling pretty wretched, and although they were letting people stay on board till 10:30 so we could have enjoyed breakfast, we opted for no food. I’m glad we made that decision because once we taxi’d home, I got really sick and the hangover kicked in. It was totally worth it though, for the amount of fun we had the night before! It took us back to our honeymoon, since we took a cruise on the NCL Spirit. It felt so good to be back on a familiar ship! The design of the Star was different (I actually liked it better than the Spirit, more colourful and interesting art work) but the premise of the whole cruise was the same, and we loved it! Got right into the groove of it all immediately! I definitely want to go on a longer (say, one week) cruise on the Star someday. I have to check out the rest of that ship! One night was a treat but it wasn’t enough. It was a tease, really!

So we had a pretty amazing weekend over all. And I have to say, I love James so much, I love every moment we share together and I love cruising with him!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Creepy Crawlers

I’ve made a decision regarding the work debacle. I feel good about my decision. What I am doing is hopefully the right thing. I feel deep down that it is.

James got up at 5 because he just couldn’t sleep and I woke up when he was closing the bedroom door (despite that he did so quite gingerly to avoid waking me!) I’m glad I woke up though, I was having this horrible dream about white spiders.

(I was going to insert a picture of the white spider here till I realized it would mean doing a web search and truthfully I just don’t feel up for web searching spiders at the moment…so use your imagination or go ahead and look them up yourself!!)

My parents have these spiders in their garden – they must have particular plants that attract them. I thought I didn’t mind them as much as the usual black spiders that I’m terrified of (I’m not saying I’d want one of the white ones on my person, but for some reason they seem more interesting that the usual creeper crawlers out there!) But now I’m not so sure…

I dreamt I was at my parents’ house and there was a white spider in the family room. I was upset about it being in the house but didn’t get overly concerned. That is, not till I went over by the tv and saw that there were tons of them, and they’d created a web Alice in Wonderland style. It was huge and thick and scary. And the spiders would repel down on their silk and when they did so, their backs would bulge out huge and turn red. Their legs seemed longer than I remembered, and they had pincers like a lobster or crab, only white with hairs on them. *SHUDDERS*!!!

I said to James that my dad would have to come and deal with them right away, but he wasn’t home and my mom was taking a shower so we couldn’t do anything about it right away. Then James decided to take matters into his own hands, literally – he started pulling the web apart and the spiders started spilling onto the floor. Just then my brother’s girlfriend came over to where I was sitting on the couch and leaned toward me, asking if there was a spider on her. And there it was, huge and scary and bulging on her shoulder – it almost seemed its back bulge was pulsing and I screamed for her to get away from me so she did and I screamed that it was on her left shoulder. She pulled it off but it had already bitten her. That’s when I woke up.

So you can see why I was somewhat relieved that James woke me up so early!! And we’d gone to sleep about 11:30 so really, it was like a normal night’s sleep for me. Still, though, I have a feeling I’ll be needing a nap after work today. Lets just hope I don’t remember my dreams!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

It's quite a conundrum, this

My manager has just given her 2 weeks notice that she’s leaving the company.

Her position as research manager is up for grabs.

I work from home part time so I wasn’t there when she announced yesterday that she’s leaving (I heard through email).

Apparently, as soon as she made her announcement, K ‘offered’ to take over her position.

K has been with the company (in the same position as me) for about 3 months.

I have been there for just over 7.

I don’t like the idea of working under K one bit. Can we say RESENTMENT?! I have some issues with her to begin with and the idea of her swooping in and taking over the manager role just makes my skin crawl and my blood boil!

Thing is, I don’t really want the position myself.

I talked to my manager about it this morning and she completely understands where I’m coming from. She suggested I go for an interview with the CEO (as K will be doing) and see if I get the position.

But I don’t think I want to do that.

I don’t feel qualified to be the research manager, and I don’t think K is qualified either.

They have completely screwed up our department and I am pissed off about it.

My manager wasn’t even qualified for the position when she took it over (before I started working there)…not only was she not qualified for the position of research manager, but she was even turned down for the junior research role because she can’t speak or write in English all that well, which is essential to the role! She only got it because no one else would take it and she could do it alongside her other position. She only got it because they were too lazy to actually find someone qualified!

I think they need to revamp their hiring strategy. Since none of us researchers are actually qualified for the position, I think they need to hire someone from outside the company and do some training and then that person might actually be able to get the place in order.

I don’t think it should be one of us because none of us has been there long enough to understand the position better than a new hire. And all the resentment between us for whoever would get the position…I just think it would be bad news. If K ends up in the role, regardless of whether or not I go for it, I know for a fact I would have to leave the company asap.

I should start looking for a new job today, actually.

I honestly don’t think they will seek a new hire, I honestly believe it’s going to be one of us, and most likely K since I don’t even think I want to go for it. It doesn’t sound like there’s much of a pay raise, and to tell you the truth I know I don’t want to stay with this company a long time, so why put them through training me on something when I don’t even want to make it to the one year mark of working for them?!

Gawd, why does everything have to be so complicated? It’s my own fault though. Despite hating my job, I was starting to get a little too comfortable with it and thought I would just stick it out another while since looking for something else is such a pain in the ass. As soon as you start to get too comfy in your position, it’s bound to change, isn’t it. So I guess I should have known something like this would come up…

What to do, what to do???

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Just a couple o' things, nothing really

It’s kind of sad to have put all my summer clothes away to make room for my winter stuff. I haven’t given up on my flip flops yet though, there might still be a few days left for wearing those! I’m not ready for the closed toe just yet.

I’m still sad about losing a whole year’s worth of my journals from having my old laptop die on me and realizing then that it had been a whole year since I’d backed anything up. I know it’s my own fault for being so stupid, but that only makes it feel worse! I can’t believe I hadn’t done a back up in so long. All my journal entries leading up to getting married. Gone. It’s so sad to think about…Luckily we had a very long engagement so I at least have my journal entries saved from when James proposed and how I was feeling during that time. But I’m still kicking myself that I lost all my journal entries leading up to the wedding, those thoughts were important to me. And I still wonder what it was that made me decide to go out into cyber space and officially delete all my old blogs that were out there floating around. I did that MAYBE 2 weeks prior to losing all my data. Why, oh, why did I do that?! It’s like I was meant to lose it all for a reason. I just wish I knew what that reason was.

I’m going to go make a big pot o’ homemade minestrone soup. Yum!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The stork is going to have to deliver ours a little later...

It’s late considering how early I have to be up tomorrow. And another week begins.

Sigh.

But I don’t feel like sleeping because we only just got home from our babysitting stint and I don’t want to go straight to sleep. You know when you’ve been out for hours and you come home, even if you’re tired you feel like winding down a bit before hitting the sack. That’s how I am, anyway.

So this weekend turned out pretty good. The weather wasn’t sunny as I’d hoped, if anything it seems the temperature has dropped a fair bit. I’m not too excited about the fact that fall is going to be settling in pretty soon. I could use a few more weeks (or years) of summer, please and thank you!

But despite the weather, we had a good couple of days. Yesterday we sorted pictures, I worked on my scrapbook and we got set up with our own domain name (although only family is going to know about it for the time being). We watched the old Disney classic Robin Hood (which neither of us had seen since we were little) and we just enjoyed each other’s company. Today was again spent on pictures and scrapbooking before heading off to P&H’s to babysit little baby L. She’s about 7 months old and the cutest little thing I’ve ever seen! She’s adorable and really easy going, no trouble at all! We had a great time. We got to feed her and see how messy babies are when they eat, I changed her diaper but luckily she only did a number one!!! And we played and put her in her Jolly Jumper. I love seeing her face light up with a huge smile when you bounce her or give her a funny face. Getting her into her jammies was a bit of a struggle, those little arms and legs flailing about as you’re trying to figure out the snaps! But we managed and I think we did pretty darn well for it being our first time together (and my first time babysitting for over 10 years!!) She went sound to sleep at 7pm and didn’t make much of a peep at all after that.

Despite how easy going and cute and cuddly and perfect L is, I’ve decided it might not be such a bad thing to wait another year to get pregnant! I really want a baby badly, but on the other hand once we have one our lives will be changed forever and we’ll not have the freedom we enjoy now. You can’t take your eyes off a baby for a second and even when they’re asleep you’re constantly thinking you should be there with them! (Although part of it for us was wanting to play with her and watch her sleep since she’s so darn cute!!) I’m really looking forward to all of these things but on the other hand, it’s not such a bad thing to enjoy our freedom as long as we can – and save up some money (or pay down our debts) as much as we can too.

So yeah, we’re hoping for future babysitting gigs with L for sure, but our own little bundle of joy will have to wait a while yet!

It sucks that tomorrow is Monday and the work week is just starting, but I’m going to try not to think about that for a few more minutes…

Saturday, September 15, 2007

You know it's true, everything I do, oh, I do it for you

For some reason I got up this morning a little past 8 and decided to get ready for the day right off the bat. I straightened my hair, put my contacts in, moisturized and put my make up on (what little I wear) and proceeded to clean house. Not that there was much to do, but I made the bed, washed the dishes we’d left out last night, tidied the living room and then sat down with a cup of coffee. I was just settling into something on my computer when the fire alarm went off.

So off we went, running down 16 flights of stairs at 9am on a Saturday. Fun times! We got outside and it seemed to take forever for the firemen to arrive. I would say ‘fire persons’ to make it more politically correct, however I’ve honestly not once seen a female firefighter come to our building, and I’ve seen many firefighters here, given how many alarms go off, both real and false!

Anyway, they arrived, and as suspected (given that the only smoke we could smell was coming from the million cigarettes people were smoking around us as we waited outside – which is sooo disgusting but whatever) it was a false alarm. James opted to wait in the long line to get the elevator back upstairs while I decided to take the opportunity to go to the Saturday market. I had brought my purse with me (complete with birth certificate and both our passports – I’m prepared with important documentation now when it comes time to evacuating the building, it’s a bit ridiculous!) so there was no need to go upstairs.

It was a nice walk up to the market and when I got there, I realized early in the morning really is the best time to go. There were a lot of people there, but not so many that it was uncomfortable or annoying trying to take a look at the stalls that caught my interest. I didn’t get much but what I did get were real gems! 1. Cashew stuffed olives. They are TO DIE FOR. Seriously. We’ve got them numerous times, we’ve tried others that were also good (such as pesto stuffed, and some sort of Irish cheese stuffed ones) but I always go back to the cashew with cashew butter! Mmmm. Anyway, 2. Organic peaches – they practically cost an arm and a leg but I cut one up to share with James when I got home (a peach, not my arm or my leg - ha!) and I’ve got to say, they were worth it. And 3. Something I’ve thought each time I’ve gone this summer that I’d like to get but never indulged myself with: A bunch of Sunflowers! I got miniature ones though. I love the huge ones, in fact they’re one of my all time favourite flowers. But I thought in our small place and on our little table, giant sunflowers might look a bit menacing. (Or, cause our little vase to topple over and spill water everywhere!) So the mini ones it was. They’re so pretty. If not for the fact that yellow is not my favourite colour, I would have had Sunflowers at the wedding. I think it’s partly because they grow so tall that you can become awestruck by them, that’s something I love about them. Maybe that’s what draws me toward ostriches, since they grow to be 9 feet tall!

Anyway…then I sauntered home and here I am. And it’s just shy of 11am! It feels great to have done so much already, and yet it still feels like I’ve got so much of the day left to enjoy. And even though it was a nuisance for sure to have to rush off down the stairs in case of fire, I wasn’t entirely in a state over it since I didn’t smell any smoke, and I’ve come to realize it’s extremely unlikely there’s a fire anywhere in the building if you can’t smell smoke – despite how big the place is and all of that, it really seems the smell travels fast if it’s a problem. So it was early morning exercise, really, to be forced to run outside. And I accomplished something I wanted to do today anyway by getting out to the market. It looks like the sky is clearing up a bit too, so we just might get that sunshine this afternoon that I was hoping for!

Time to go work on my scrapbook now. This sure is the life! I feel relaxed and happy.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Out of my funk

All is well today, I’m out of the funk I was put into last night. Mostly anyways. Those sorts of things can have long lasting effects sometimes. I won’t go into detail about it…I haven’t had a falling out with anyone or anything, it was just a bit of a bad situation…or as some might say, a ‘difficult charade.’ (There’s a bit of an inside joke hidden somewhere in there).

Yeah. So it’s Friday and I am happy because that means it’s the weekend, my favourite time of the week! Two days off to bask in the splendour of not working. Woot.

I got my hair done today, well just my highlights retouched. The roots were growing like weeds and weren’t working with the blond highlights anymore. I’ll wait another month before getting a cut though, since I’m enjoying having length and didn’t much feel like throwing down $50 on top of what I was spending for the ‘lights.

It feels like a whole new ‘do even if it’s not! I love having my hair styled for me. It always looks so much nicer, I guess I just don’t put the same effort into styling my own hair. That and I’m not getting paid to do it!!

No real plans for the weekend save for babysitting tomorrow night. I’m both excited and nervous about that, but mostly excited! Otherwise I will scrapbook and hopefully we’ll get out to enjoy some nice weather, assuming it’s going to be nice the next few days. I never know what to believe with the weather forecast – yesterday I was watching the news with my Mom and we saw the weather forecast on one channel, she then flipped to another news channel and they gave the complete opposite prediction of weather! I’m going to believe the one who said it was going to remain sunny!

Anywhere

I feel so depressed after what just happened.

I hate suddenly getting so worked up that my nerves can’t take it and I throw up. I was feeling so good, so happy, so content, like everything was fine, and then I find myself with my face in the toilet, heaving and sobbing, helpless.

I wish I’d just stayed put and wasn’t here.

I hate when I wish I wasn’t anywhere. Most of the time (and always, deep down) I feel as though I’d like to live forever – obviously it’s a real shame to have to one day die. But when I’m caught up in these moments I get this almost overwhelming urge to not exist. I just want to drown out the pain more than anything else.

I wish nothing affected me. I wish I was better at pretending.

Happiness is...

One thing I love doing is impressing my dad with my quick wit. Of course, pretty much anyone enjoys it when other people find them funny. But my dad is quite a witty person, and yet I am often able to one up him on things. Even though no one really likes being one upped, I know by dad secretly enjoys it because he’s proud he has such a witty daughter! I’m not out to praise myself with this, it’s just something I enjoy. When my dad bursts out laughing because of something I said, I take it all in as pride.

I spent the past few days in Nanaimo. Yesterday (Wednesday) was my mom’s birthday. She usually hates her birthday because of external circumstances, generally ones that are out of her control. But there has just always been SOMETHING wrong with her birthday. So I went over in hopes that being there and helping her celebrate would make things a bit brighter. I still had to work, but in around that we were able to get out and enjoy the day. I took my mom out for lunch and after work we sat out in the yard and sipped drinks before heading out to dinner with my dad, grandma, and uncle. It was great! I was so happy to see my mom in such a good mood the whole day through.

While in Nanaimo, I went to Michael’s and stocked up on papers and stickers for my scrapbooking projects. I also went to a store that has nothing but scrapbook supplies and got even more! I’m obsessed with scrapping but I swear, once you’re hit by the bug, it just can’t be helped! It’s my favourite hobby now.

I’m just about finished the wedding portion of the book, and I’m part way through the honeymoon, although there’s still quite a ways to go with it. I also have a miniature scrapbook and I’m going to do that one just of the wedding and give it to my mom and dad. At the scrap store, she bought these cute little scrapbooks, one for a dog theme and one for cats. So I’ll make one of their girls and our girls once I’ve taken care of everything for the wedding! I’m thinking I could do some individual pages (not full books) of me and James and that sort of thing and then put them in frames maybe and give those as gifts for Christmas. Not for everyone but a few select people who would enjoy it. For those we have good pictures of, I could also do pages for individual people. It’s really something you can do countless projects with! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to suddenly scrap absolutely everything that’s out there and be totally obnoxious about it! But certain sentimental things, it just makes sense to make a keepsake of it!

I want to get back into Criminology, even if I’m not using it for my day job, I want to continue to focus on it in my life in some way. I need to incorporate it into my writing. Not necessarily on my blog, but I want to write something that’s really worth reading that uses my Criminological knowledge. A crime novel, perhaps. I’ve talked of this before, but it’s time I actually DID it! In fact, something kind of cool might be a scrapbook slash crime story! That could be kind of interesting…Essentially it would be an illustrated crime story, really. Yes, I kind of like the idea. I only just thought of it so I have no idea how I’ll approach it but I do think it could be an interesting creative endeavour! I enjoy staying busy with these sorts of projects and not just sitting around wasting my time on nothing.

I am determined to lose weight. I’m not obese but I feel as though I could afford to shed a layer. And I’m going to start doing it for real. I’ve spoken of this before but not really worked at making it a reality. Now that is all going to change.

This has come about because of the way I felt after going out for dinner on my mom’s birthday. It was a great dinner, but I obviously enjoyed it a little too much. I had a Moroccan Pie, made with a chickpea crust, and the meal came with rice and vegetables. I didn’t even eat half the pie as it was a bit too filling for me. I also had a caramel apple martini, a glass of wine, 2 small glasses of water, tea and chocolate raspberry cake! It was all very delicious but I felt so bloated and full after that it floored me. I felt exhausted and as if all my energy was going toward digestion. It felt disgusting, to tell you the truth. When we got in the car to go home, I said that while I enjoyed the food, I felt like it somehow was wrong…There are so many starving people out there in the world and there I was practically feeling ill because I ate TOO much! That just doesn’t seem quite right! I couldn’t even THINK about food the rest of the night and I was shocked when I woke up in the morning and felt pangs of hunger. How could I ever be hungry again after feeling so full?!

I tend to enjoy smaller meals more times a day than just three. I like to graze and eat comfortable amounts as I feel the need. I don’t like stuffing my face to the gills and feeling like I could very well explode with just one more bite.

I want to eat more raw veggies and health foods and less salt and less chocolate (although I couldn’t cut these things out completely!) I do eat healthy to an extent but I want to eat as healthy as possible as often as possible. This new reality for me starts NOW. Although my mind just flashed to the bag of Cheezies my parents gave me as I was leaving their place tonight…and they’re a kind of Cheezies that James doesn’t like, so I can’t even give them to him! But oh well, it’s a small bag, and a treat here and there isn’t going to kill me =P

Mood right at this moment: Happy!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

This one's NOT for the religiously inclined...

I’M not what you’d call religious – not by any means of the term. When I was a young child I went to Sunday School for a time, until my mother fell out of the hands of religion and didn’t feel it necessary to drag us off to Church on Sunday mornings.

I have only vague memories of my time spent in the slightly dark, overbearing walls of the Presbyterian church we attended. Sunday School was held downstairs, in the bowels of the building. I remember being forced to sit on the cold, hard floor, crowded in with all the other children, to listen to what I guess was a sermon. I don’t really remember much of anything that was spoken, but what I do remember is the cookies that were passed around after the speaking was finished.

I wish I could say I remember those cookies fondly. But unfortunately it seemed I had bad luck with the cookie tray. Each week I picked the same type of cookie thinking it was going to be a basic can’t-fail cookie-of-the-chocolate-chip variety. Instead, each time I accidentally picked out this horrible tasting cookie with raisins and some sort of weird flavour, as if too much baking soda had been added. I can’t even begin to describe what these cookies actually tasted like, because after so many years away from them I can’t entirely recall. I can definitely say though – they tasted positively awful – and each time my little fingers grabbed for a cookie (off the tray that always seemed to be passed around way above my head so I could barely reach it, let alone analyze what types there were…and by the way, I got yelled at the one time I took too long trying to decide what I should have), my hopes were soon dashed that it was going to be an enjoyable eating experience. I had to eat whatever cookie I got once I’d touched it – I was told once when I tried to put the terrible taster back (not having yet taken a bite) that I was ungrateful and should enjoy what I’d been given. There were times, though, when I would hold my nose while swallowing in order to taste the flavours of the cookies less, and other times when I’d put the cookie in a napkin on the floor and conveniently (and as innocently as I could) inch myself away from it so someone else would have to deal with it for me.

I don’t remember much from Sunday School, but I do remember sitting in a small, cold room in the basement where activities were held. We would have to talk about something we’d learned or work out a scenario in a small group or one-on-one with one of our classmates. I remember an annoying man talking about concepts that even then seemed overly abstract for my little mind. Ideas that even as a young, imaginative child I could not take on as truth for myself. Never in my life, even when I was fed these stories of the so-called Lord alongside repugnant raisin cookies, did I think in my own mind that there was a saving grace in any of it. I can’t recall a single instance where I honestly opened my heart up to any sort of God and truly believed in a presence that was guiding or healing my heart. I just remember feeling somewhat stifled and as if I didn’t belong. The guy who sat with us in those little rooms and facilitated the activities – I’m not sure what his role actually was – seemed to want to entice me with his ideas. I guess I looked doubtful, because he was often working to reassure me that his notions were of value and based on all things truthful, as if he could not believe that I wasn’t lapping up his every word without question. But I just never quite accepted it, and with the bitter, stale taste the cookies left in my mouth, I was ready to get out of there each week before I’d even arrived.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Random Tidbits

(Pictures were taken en route to and in Nanaimo on the Labour Day Long Weekend)
It’s interesting the way people will become positive during a time when it seems really important to be, but at other times they let themselves slip into a funk. Why not look at it that all times are important, so be as positive as possible all the time? If you feel as if you have nothing to look forward to, create something! It can’t be that difficult. There’s always something around the corner!

We’re babysitting little baby L this weekend and I’m so excited! We can pretend we’re parents for a few hours and finally get a taste for what it’s going to be like! It’ll be interesting, that’s for sure. I haven’t looked after a little one like that for many years, but I’m itching for the chance! I was just talking to James the other day about how I can’t wait to have a baby so this will be a test to find out how ready I truly am!! It’s going to be so much fun babysitting together, something we’ve never done before. And baby L is sooooo cute, you can’t help but adore absolutely everything she does!

We had a great outing today, although I’m kicking myself for not taking the camera. I could have got some beautiful shots of the harbour. We went for a bike ride along English Bay and False Creek all the way to Granville Island. Along the way we stopped off and had a bevy at a seaside pub. At the Granville Island Market we got some gourmet fresh pasta and sauce for dinner and this amazing cheddar and rosemary bread to go with it. Yum! We cycled home across the Granville Street Bridge and back along the beach. It was a great ride, made me realize how absolutely out of shape I am, but it felt good to be out there and if I keep it up, I might feel more toned!

I’ve got the Sunday Night Blues again. I hate knowing that in less than 11 hours I will already be working. Ugh.

I’m thinking of doing some creative projects to make extra money on the side. An interesting jewellery idea was presented to me by my brother and his girlfriend yesterday and I’m thinking they might be on to something…

Next time you’re at the liquor store, check out the liqueurs and get limoncello. It’s an Italian lemonade and it is to die for! You have to keep it in the freezer to get the full effect. It’s soooo yummy! We’ve just had it in a shot glass (but we sip it) but I think you could top up a martini glass with the stuff and call it a lemontini! It’s delish, and a nice summery after dinner drink (or any time drink, for that matter!)

I feel as though our apartment needs a makeover. I’m sick of the way it looks but I haven’t had the energy lately to do much with it. I tell myself, “It’ll keep” and then I never get around to doing anything with it. I do the usual cleaning of course, but it needs something more…

Some people down the hall were asking James if he notices dust piling up quickly…he shrugged and said he didn’t know, because I am the one who does the dusting! Well it turns out the woman said she only vacuums every 2 weeks or so! What?! Is that normal?! Maybe it’s because we have 2 cats but I vacuum AT LEAST once a week, usually twice a week. I would vacuum more if I thought about it, I can’t stand little bits of fur and ripped up rug and so on on the carpet. Or things you might drag in on your shoes. I don’t know, maybe I’m a neat freak (ok, I know I am, a bit of one at least) but come on! I was a bit shocked to hear how infrequently they clean. How could you be surprised that dust has ‘piled up’ if you don’t take care of it for weeks on end? With a lot of furniture, you can see dust within an hour or so of dusting! And I think that would be the case just about anywhere, dust is everywhere, is it not?

Anyway, those are all the little tidbits I have for this evening. I’m tired and my creativity (or lack thereof) is showing it, I know.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Three Things

Number One.

I came up with a totally awesome idea. I don’t know how to implement it so I’m going to give away my secret, despite that I’m sure it could be a huge money maker!

My idea is: a camera that takes snapshots of SMELLS!

I was walking past a flower shop today and a plethora of wonderfully sweet scents nearly floored me. I wanted to take that smell home with me! I couldn’t afford to buy all the flowers that made up that lovely scent, so I thought to myself, imagine if I had my camera with me, and it just so happened that it not only took a picture of the flowers, but a picture of just how those flowers smelled!

I think it’s genius. I wish I’d had a smell camera in Bermuda, I could take a whiff of Horseshoe Bay beach right now, close my eyes and pretend I’m there basking in the sun!

Number Two.

I went to the dollar store today to look for some do-dads for my scrapbook. I ended up getting a bunch of different stickers. Just as I was heading up to the till to pay, this guy comes into the store. He was a First Nations man, probably in his twenties although he looked a lot older, scruffy, with the outward appearance of being a street person. The woman at the till saw him walk in and immediately dinged the bell twice by her till and called something out in Chinese. Not speaking the language myself, I obviously couldn’t understand what she said but I have a pretty good idea. The guy went near the back of the store and the woman at the till was motioning to the other woman as to where he went. As the other woman started looking for him, he walked up behind me at the till with some item (I didn’t look to see what it was) to purchase.

He was in there for the exact same reason as me, yet he wasn’t shown the least bit of respect. If someone did that to me, I’d walk right back out of the store and boycott it forever!

On the other hand, I’ve worked in retail before and I know it can be dangerous depending who you’re dealing with, so you always have to be on guard. Mind you, in my experience, it was generally the people you’d least expect to shoplift that ended up doing it. I was working out in the suburbs though, and while there were definitely some scuzzy-looking people out there, there are a lot more of them here in the west end. I don’t mean to be rude, but it’s true. There are a lot of homeless people around here, and I imagine some of them go into stores like dollar stores and take stuff either for themselves or to sell. I’m sure that’s why the woman at the till was so harsh in her manner of dealing with a potential shoplifter, and I don’t think she’s fully to blame for reacting as she did.

On the other hand, I found it interesting to note how just based on looks alone, a person is either trusted or not. I know for me, I’ve often automatically been trusted just based on the fact that I (apparently) look innocent. It has worked to my advantage but I wonder how it makes people feel to be in a disadvantaged position – stereotyped as something they truly are not…

Number Three.

I FINALLY finished our wedding thank you cards and I am proud to report that they are not only stamped and ready for delivery but they are IN THE MAIL at the post office no less, so they should be on their way out today, and received as early as Tuesday or Wednesday for some of them at least! Woo hoo. What a relief it is to get those out. I feel like it took forever, I had fun making them but I’d wanted to get it done sooner than this. I think everyone will like them though, the picture we chose has a pretty background of trees and behind me are pink and purple hydrangeas, which look nice against my blue hydrangea and white lily bouquet! James is holding me from behind and we both look so happy =) We even printed a cute address label on the envelopes and I sealed each one with a silver intertwined heart sticker, which is an image that was part of our ‘theme’ for the wedding. (Oh and Chandra – I didn’t use ostriches for the cake topper, but I DID put that ostrich married couple clipart image on the back of our cards as a sort of signature that we (I!) made the cards!!)

Number Four.

Oh, right, there are only supposed to be Three Things.

TGIF, enjoy the weekend!!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Still floating on Cloud 9!

I haven’t been writing at all lately because all of my spare time is taken up with my newly discovered passion:

Scrapbooking.

I’ve played around a bit with digital scrapbooking in Photoshop, but my real interest lies with scrapping with an actual scrapbook, double sided tape, and tons of pictures. I’ve printed regular sized 4x6 pics as well as about a million others of various smaller sizes. I went to Michael’s craft store and with a 20% off coupon got a whole wack of do-dads and papers and things to use on my pages. I don’t have a LOT because my gawd that stuff is expensive, but I got enough that I can do some interesting things rather than just lining up each picture the boring old way.

I’m having so much fun with it! I feel so creative and I get to keep thinking about the wedding and pretending I’m still there living it =)

I wish I could make scrapbooks all day long, every day. Maybe eventually I’d get tired of it but so far I can’t get enough!

It’s a big job though – I have maybe finished almost half. It’s going to be one thick book, let me tell you! I have a zillion pages for the wedding and then a zillion more for the honeymoon. I ran out of paper AND I need more sticky tape so it looks like I’m going to have to put it to rest for this evening.

I have to finish the envelopes for the thank you cards anyway, so it’s probably for the best that my one track mind is forced to be side-tracked!

Yes, I’m still wedding focused, but hey, it happens. I guess now you could say I’m ‘marriage focused’ – I just look at James and smile with adoration and he smiles back, thinking the exact same thoughts as me. We’re husband and wife! It might seem ridiculous given that we’ve been together nearly a decade, so why should we feel any different just because we have an official document that tells the world we’re an item?! But for some reason we’re happier than ever, we are just so freaking into each other and I feel as though nothing (well, almost nothing) could bring me off this cloud I seem to be floating on!

Work sucks but it too could be worse…I feel right now that even though my day job is the pits, at least I have projects on the go outside of work that make me feel productive and fulfilled.

I have to be grateful for what I’ve got.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Wedding Photo Extravaganza!

We FINALLY got our pictures. Oh my, what an adventure that was. But anyway, they're ours now and that's all that matters!

With approximately 600 photos to go through (our black and whites haven't even arrived yet, so once we get those we'll be at 800 or so!), there are tons of pictures I COULD post, but I've just resized a few for the time being. I also don't want to post the ones with all our family members in them because I know some people don't like pictures of themselves plastered over the internet when they haven't been asked. So here's just a small taste of our special day:

James and I decided not to get caught up in silly superstition. We met up in the afternoon before our ceremony to get some pictures taken on the grounds outside the Westin Bayshore.
Here I am on the dock, about to board the Magic Moment yacht to get hitched...James and I couldn't believe we were finally there getting married - all through the ceremony we just grinned at each other, dreamy eyed.The Kiss...Our masterpiece of a cake, from Cupcakes on Broadway...After the ceremony we quickly dropped our marriage commissioner off at the dock and then off we went on our reception cruise, up Indian Arm. It was a beautifully scenic tour, everyone absolutely loved it.The falls maybe don't look like that much in the pictures, but it was so beautiful, and so serene - it really was breathtaking.



Our photgrapher, Angelo, took some interesting pictures throughout the voyage, so some pics are trippy like this!
Ooh the cake again, and of course the cake cutting!

And who could forget the garter...we have another picture where I'm using my teeth to rip it down his leg, but I haven't resized that picture to post yet. It's hilarious! People are still talking about how we switched that one up - no one was expecting us to make such a production of the whole thing so it was extra fun catching people off guard! Oh and by the way, my brother caught the garter, so here's hoping he and his girlfriend get married next :)If I don't get my big break career-wise soon, I might just have to audition for The Price is Right! Haha, actually, being the feminist that I am, I would be totally against that, but in this picture it kind of looks like I'm in that role!Good times!! How can you tell this is a number of drinks later?!
I tell you, marrying James was the best decision I've ever made. We couldn't be happier! We had such an amazingly wonderful wedding, I can do nothing but look back on it with the fondest of memories. It was so romantic and absolutely perfect. Our song is 'Everything' by Michael Buble, and I have to say, it's very fitting, because James truly is my everything, and I know that I am his, too.

XXXOOO


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