Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The grass is always greener on the other side...

Working full time, having a baby and living somewhere half decent – it seems the three don’t go together entirely well.

A friend of mine suggested we move back to the island so my parents can essentially raise our child for us while we work, because two incomes is better than one.

First of all, my parents own their own business and still work, so it’s not really fair to ask them to drop everything and raise our kids for us for free!

And that aside…Can you put a price on the quality time spent with your own child? What about all the ‘firsts’ that we would be missing out on as parents? I can’t stand the idea of anyone raising my kids for me, including my own parents.

It’s true, that the harsh reality these days is that unless one person is making a six figure income on their own, it’s next to impossible to make ends meet AND live comfortably without both parents working. You can’t really work and be spending time with your child at the same time (unless, maybe, you run a daycare, although even then your time would be dispersed between all the kids, not just your own).

I hate the idea of living ‘back in the day’ because, as a woman, I would have been oppressed and forced into the role of mother and homemaker regardless of what I wanted. But you know, in some ways, I feel that at least the roles would have been more defined. I’d have been expected to do what I wish I could do, which is have kids and take the time to raise them. Mind you, the sad reality is that if I hadn’t gone to university and racked up such a huge student loan debt, I probably would be in a position to stay home and raise the kids. James isn’t making a six figure income, but we’d be able to survive on his wage if not for our massive minimum payments each month, in large part because of my loans. Grrr. Not that I regret getting an education – I’m sure if I didn’t have one I’d be upset about it. The grass is always greener on the other side…

I want to be my own person and have my own interests and do my own things but it’s sooooo important to me that our kids be raised by US and not by a third party. Otherwise, why did we have the children? What influence are we wanting them to have primarily?

How are we supposed to pull this off? I need a higher paying job with good maternity benefits…But, of course, I have to keep in mind that with those benefits comes the guarantee I will go back to work after the maternity period ends. We need to figure out some way that one of us could generally be there with our child(ren) raising them…We need to live someplace that’s affordable yet nice enough that I wouldn’t be afraid to go out alone with the baby. These seem like simple things yet they’re not simple in the least to me right now.

I don’t know how people do it. In this day and age especially, with debts hanging over our heads, degrees that society doesn’t value, and therefore difficulty paying off said debts. It’s like the world is telling me I’m not allowed to have children because of the choice I made to get a higher education. I guess some people are just luckier than others.

And I know I’m lucky in comparison to a great many people. I don’t mean to complain so much. I’m just expressing my concerns. For my future, for our future, for our baby’s future.

I know I have to have children. I know I will love them more than anything in the world and even if we don’t have loads of money to spoil them with, they will receive an abundance of love. I guess that’s the main thing, when all is said and done! But for some reason I’m having trouble seeing the bigger picture in all of this, actually seeing us being able to pull it all off. I know people do it every day so there’s no reason why we can’t, but I find it hard to envision. We need to sit down and write out our plans and figure out a way to make it happen…

Monday, January 28, 2008

Don't do drugs kids!

Or you'll wind up looking like this...and trust me, you don't want that!

Picture Mania!

In no particular order, but for your viewing pleasure:

Think about what you are doing to me, because it hurts, it hurts

I went to feed the kitty cats and realized they were almost out of food. It seems they know when their jar is almost empty and they start acting up. So off I went to the pet store to get them a fresh supply.

Along the way, I passed by a street person sitting outside the liquor store. As I got close to him, he did the usual bit of asking for change. I shook my head and said, “Sorry” and then he looked me up and down and said, “You’re hot.” I ignored his comment and kept walking and as I passed him he said, “It’s okay to be hot!” Apparently he could tell I was offended…

Sure it can feel good to have a person say they find you attractive, but there’s a time and a place. In that situation, I was made to feel awkward, because I knew darn well once I walked past him that he would be checking out my backside. I just wasn’t feeling amused in the least by his comment.

After getting the cat food, I didn’t even feel comfortable going back the way I came because I didn’t want to hear what he’d have to say the second time around. Instead I crossed the street and took a different route home.

I shouldn’t have to do that. I shouldn’t have to be sexualized at every turn. It’s not like I was even dressed provocatively (not that that would justify such comments, but still). I was wearing jeans and a sweater. There was no need for that.

Did he honestly think I’d turn around and say, “Oh, you think I’m hot, well maybe I do have some change after all!” Fat fucking chance, buddy. In fact, there’s no way in hell I would ever give this guy so much as a penny now.

There are street people that really mean a lot to me in our area, who I’ve often stopped and chatted with for a while before going on my way. I’ve bought a few groceries here and there for homeless people before. But only to ones who showed me the same respect they expect from me. I felt a total lack of respect from this guy and it pisses me off.

It might seem like I’m overreacting but I don’t think I am. I’m not stewing about it – the reason I’m writing about it is just to point out the issue. It’s frustrating is all. And while I have a lot of compassion for the majority of street people, these types of instances make me see the flip side, where people see street people as a nuisance that need to be removed from our neighbourhoods. I don't really see it that way over all, but I have to admit this guy made me think, You're going to end up ruining it for everyone. One bad apple can ruin the whole bag, you know?

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Life happens so fast...

Me: “I just feel great! It’s so bizarre.”

James (smiling): “I love you bebe!”

Me: “I love you, too.”

This morning we went and looked at the condo. It was absolutely beautiful, I loved it. Everything was brand new, the layout was fairly perfect and the rooms were very good sizes. It was a reeeally nice suite, with in suite laundry in a quiet area with good insulation so we wouldn’t be likely to hear the neighbours at all…We were given an application and as far as I’m concerned, if we fill it out and give it to the guy by Monday, we’d probably have it for March 1st as of Tuesday.

But after humming and hawing about it for the last couple of hours, I’ve decided I don’t even want to fill out the application to try to get it.

Which seems bizarre given the fact that I can’t seem to wait to get out of this building…and it was such a beautiful suite, I mean really!

But I guess it was in the wrong location for my liking. I just didn’t ‘feel’ the neighbourhood, does that make sense? I just didn’t feel like I’d ever love the area beyond the little complex where we’d be living. I feel hesitant to move to an area that I don’t think I’d really enjoy. Sure it’s only a 20 minute skytrain ride to downtown, but….

And this is where I’m so torn.

We live in THE BEST SPOT in Vancouver. Right by English Bay. Stanley Park is literally just steps away. We have everything we need right here at our fingertips. If it wasn’t for how NOISY it is here, this place would be PERFECT!! It is ONLY the noise that gets me down. Oh wait, did I forget about the fires and domestic disputes? Oh yeah, and those. But seriously…we are so spoiled with the location and it’s going to be so hard to give that up.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m totally willing to sacrifice it for the right place, but we have to wait for that to come along. As much as I loved this place we looked at today, I want to feel seriously excited about our new place. I was talking to my mom about it a little while ago and her observation was that the last 2 places we’ve lived, I called her up SO SUPER EXCITED telling her about it…she knows what I sound like when I’m excited about something! When I was telling her about this place, it sounded like the whole time I was skirting around the, ‘but’ part of it…I like it ‘but’ the location isn’t right…I like it ‘but’ it’s a bit too expensive given I’m not keen on the area…I like it ‘but’ I’m just not sure…etc and so on.

James is pretty easy going…would prefer the rent be a bit cheaper but felt this was doable if it was really nice. If I’d been keen to take it, he’d have been more than happy to fill out the form with me to see about making it ours. But this was all me – despite my apparent desperate need to get out of here, I didn’t take up on the opportunity to actually do so! And yet, deciding not to take it, it’s like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I can’t quite explain it because I’m still trying to understand it. But I feel happy about this decision for some reason. Like now I can forget about that and move on with my life for the time being.

I’m still a big ball of stress though…because ultimately this place is not big enough for a baby, so we ultimately have to move SOON. And WHERE, right now, feels like the biggest question of my life. Well, one of them anyway.

I’m really tempted to move back to the island…Maybe not Nanaimo, MAYBE Victoria…I’m not sure…neither totally appeals to me but I’d rather be close to our families and spending less money to get a better place when it comes right down to it. But because of James’ job, we pretty much have to stay over here so right now that’s not an option. I’m just thinking as a longer term plan, maybe that’s something to consider.

It’s tough because I feel like LIFE is happening so fast and we need to figure things out because once our baby comes along, there’s no turning back, and I want to be stable and have a proper home for our child.

But we will find it, as long as we keep looking and are patient about finding the right place for US.

It will happen.

I feel really good because even though I know I complain about this place QUITE A LOT, and my complaints are completely justified – and sometimes downright horrific! – but…we really do have a very nice apartment here, a great city view, no buildings looming over us and looking into our windows like a lot of other places…we have a renovated suite, it’s bright and open and we really do have a great life here. We’re close to everything, like I said. I mean, maybe I needed to do this to realize what I DO like about where we’re at now. It’s tough because I’m saying this on a night when the building seems abnormally quiet, and because it’s so quiet I seem to forget how annoying it can be. I think when we move I will sleep better at night, without so much noise waking me up at all hours. But beyond that, really…I think here is home for the time being. And I’m surprisingly really quite happy about that. For now.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I love Ms Maude! She's such a cute puppy!!

Two more sleeps till I find out if we’re moving March 1st or not. The suspense is seriously killing me!

And I don’t know if I have a bug or what, but I haven’t been able to eat properly for days. This morning I threw up and I’d barely eaten anything. I don’t know what it could be…and I have no appetite whatsoever. I know I have to eat something so I do, but I’m just going through the motions for the most part. It’s one of those phases I go through where nothing whatsoever appeals to me.

I wish I knew already if we were going to take this place on Saturday…I found some pictures of it online and it looks amazing, although I know pictures can be deceiving, so I’m trying to keep my hopes down. I have to be honest though, they’ll be dashed if this doesn’t work out. On the other hand, I know if it doesn’t, it just wasn’t meant to be. We’ll find something soon, I just want it to be right away ;)

James is off to San Jose on Sunday for a week. As always when he has to go, I don’t want him to. He doesn’t want to go either. But it’s just one week and then he’ll be back in my arms again. It won’t be so bad. We both have to work anyway…

M&N’s new puppy is the CUTEST THING ever in the whole entire world. We got together for a short outdoor visit yesterday, went to the pet store to watch her first reaction to a store and had so many people came up and gushed over how adorable she is. It’s like they have a baby now! They pack her around because she’s so little and gets tired quickly, and then people come up and say, ‘Aw, she’s so cute!’ and N says, ‘Thank you’ like a proud Momma! So sweet!! They never want to have kids (and I don’t think they’ll change their minds) so this is our chance to play Aunt and Uncle!! And we’re loving it.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Tag, you're it!

Taken from Emily Kate's blog.

A post about my hubby...

What’s his name? James. Sometimes I call him Jet…or Schmoopy...or Lovebean =)

How long have you been together? 9 years, one month and 16 days!

How long did you date? We were together for just over 8 ½ years before tying the knot.

How old is he? 28 – he will be 29 in April.

Who eats more? James eats more at meal time, he can really pack the food away and often (pretty much always) eats what I can’t finish, since I don’t like to eat big amounts at a time. But I tend to like snacking more than he does…I prefer to graze!

Who said I love you first? I did, and I was a bit horrified when James failed to return the sentiment. But he said it the next day, on his own accord. He wanted to be sure before he said it, because he knew once he said it he’d be in it for the long haul!! (And he is!)

Who is taller? James is taller. There’s nothing wrong with women being with shorter guys but I myself couldn’t do it. I don’t know why, but I like my man being taller than me! Maybe because I went out with a guy the same height as me once and he suffered from short man syndrome, which is such a turn off!

Who is smarter? I think we’re both smart but in different ways. We balance each other out =)

Who does laundry? James does all the laundry! It’s the one chore that he does consistently. I’m so grateful for it…Once we have in suite laundry I’m sure I’ll be doing it more than he does, which is fine by me – as long as I don’t have to go down to some dingy basement I don’t mind doing laundry. In the meantime, he doesn’t mind doing it. Again, we balance each other out =)

Who does the dishes? I do them most of the time. He’ll do them if I ask but I’d say the majority of the time I do them. He’s also pretty slow at doing dishes so sometimes I find it’s just easier if I do them and then they’re done and we can move on quicker!

Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? James. Although it’s strange because when we’re at my parent’s house, I tend to sleep on the right side of the spare bed…We can switch without it being a problem. I tend to get up earlier so I’m closer to the bedroom door =) In Nanaimo I take the right side because I like to be by the alarm clock. But we’re not set on a particular side really...

Who pays the bills?
We each pay some although I have to admit, James takes care of more of them than I do. Then again, a lot of them are set up to automatically come out of the bank account each month. But because James makes a heck of a lot more money than I do, it’s his income that pays for the majority of everything. I pay my student loan and visa bills…But we have a joint account so I guess we’re ‘both’ paying for everything…

Who mows the lawn? We don’t have a lawn. If we did, I think James would primarily do it but I’d want to take a stab at it every now and then. I have never mowed a lawn in my life and I want that to change! Get this: growing up, my parents WOULDN’T LET ME mow the lawn! I even begged to try and was denied. So I guess that’s why I really really want to try it someday. LOL But I think it’ll be a long time if ever that we’ll have a lawn, so…

Who cooks dinner? I cook dinner most of the time. James used to cook more often, when he was in school and had more spare time. But since I get home before 4 generally and he’s not home till after 6, I try to have dinner ready for when he gets here. (Tonight he cooked tho, we had thai take-out!) LOL

Who drives when you are together? We take transit, so I’d have to say neither. But when we’ve had a rental car James has driven. I can drive just fine (I used to have my own car when I was in high school) but I prefer not to, especially in bigger cities.

Who is more stubborn? Most definitely me, without a single doubt!!!!!

Who kissed who first?
We both suddenly found ourselves kissing each other…but I definitely set out to seduce him that night! LOL It didn’t go further than lots of kissing (which was all I was after) but yeah…I knew if we were going to be together I was going to have to make the first bold move because we were good enough friends that I knew what he was like around women. I had to take control and then give him the reigns! LOL

Who asked out who first? We didn’t really ask each other out…We kissed and the next day held hands and started kissing again and from then on in we were a couple.

Who proposed? James proposed to me at our favourite restaurant, Salathai, on Dec 16th, 2005.

Who has more siblings? James has a half brother (they were raised together) and a half sister who we see from time to time but who wasn’t with him growing up. I have one brother. So does that balance out if he’s got 2 halves and I’ve got one whole?! LOL Just kidding…I guess he sort of has more than me, in a way.

Who wears the pants in the family? We both do, really. I guess given my stubbornness and the fact that I’m perhaps a bit more finicky about things, it might seem I wear the pants in the family. But I want to give James more credit than that, he wears pants too! I like to think it’s an ‘equal partnership’ so yeah…the pants belong to both of us!

I’m tagging anyone interested in doing this post, it’s kind of fun =)

PS We just watched the first episode of a British drama tv series called Life Begins. So far it’s quite interesting, definitely a drama and not a comedy, although there are some lighter moments. Basically it’s about a woman who’s husband leaves her and how she has to start her life over. I paused the show a little ways in and we got to talking about how relationships end over a span of many years and we both agreed there’s no way it could ever happen to us. I know, I know, nobody thinks it will ever happen to them. But you heard it here first, it’s not going to happen to us.

The guy in the show just loses interest in his wife and leaves and I just couldn’t imagine that ever happening with James. We adore each other so much and it’s not just about that but the fact that we really truly look at each other as family. We belong together and it couldn’t be possible for us to no longer feel that way towards each other. Lately I feel like a bit of a broken record telling him how much I love him but I feel these pangs of love so strong for him and I feel compelled to share it. Lucky for me, he feels the same way so it ends up working both ways!

Yes, it is true, I love my husband sooooooooooooo much!

House Hunting and Other Stories

Apartment/condo/house hunting feels like a full time job, one that doesn’t pay and has no real prospects! Well, maybe some prospects, but it’s hard to get our hopes up when everything we’ve seen so far has either been ugly or too small…

I’ve been checking postings from every nook and cranny on the internet as well as the newspaper classifieds. Something grand is out there, I just have to find it!

I’ve discovered one in New West that sounds pretty decent. It kind of sucks, the idea of living all the way out in New West…but it’s close to the skytrain so it wouldn’t be too nasty a commute. I just have to be sure it’s not too close to Columbia St, since it’s a pretty seedy area and I’m not really down with moving to a seedy area when the plan is to have a baby in the next year or so…

But the pics of the place make me think it’s a good candidate. We won’t know for sure till we see it, which will hopefully be within the next few days.

It’s stressful looking for a new place because this time we have some criteria to go by that limits our search…but it’s also quite exciting, knowing that we’re going to be making a new nest somewhere fairly soon. We really want to make it the best home we’ve had yet, since it’s going to be home to our little baby, if all goes according to plan!

Decisions, decisions…

And without further ado, as promised, here are some pictures!

My brother and his girlfriend adopted a little 5 month old French Bulldog. They have named her Maude!

Day 2 and she already knows who her parents are. It was so adorable the way she curled up in my brother's lap and went right to sleep!

Isn't she ADORABLE?!

No matter how mischievious she ever gets, how could you ever get mad at that face?!

She's the cutest thing ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Sunday, January 20, 2008

Expect cute puppy pictures soon!

This weekend we started apartment hunting with no luck. First we wandered the westend looking for something on a quieter street than our current area. We looked at some condos but they were insanely small and so expensive for so little. It reconfirmed that it’s high time we left this area entirely.

M&N adopted the cutest little French Bulldog (who they've named Maude) yesterday so we went to visit her but she was so sleepy! So we decided to let her rest and become accustomed with her new living arrangements before bombarding her with aunt and uncle love =)

Yesterday afternoon we went to The Mill for lunch (well, appies, really) – just James and me. Ooh and we had Granville Island Winter Ale, which has to be drunk while it’s still in season! We walked home and watched Heroes and started a really cool puzzle I got for Christmas.

This morning we went to Kits where we were viewing a floor of a house that’s up for rent. I was really hoping that when he said ‘newly renovated’ he meant it would be new…and obviously renovated. Instead, it looks the same as it probably did when it was built in the early 1900s…only much, much older. Ugh. I didn’t like it AT ALL and then we wandered the area but of course found nothing and looking at all the beautiful seaside homes made me want to bash my head against a wall.

But that aside we did have a lovely time out together!! We walked to Broadway and went to a reeeally good restaurant called Tomato which we both really enjoyed. We walked to Kits beach and took the little ferry back to English Bay and walked home. Then we called my bro and went over to see the puppy again…who was finally awake and was being so super cute playing with the little toys we got her! It didn’t last long before she zonked out again and she pretty much slept the whole time we were there. She’s so super cute though, her little tongue sticks out almost all the time and she looks up at you with those big eyes and that scrunched in face and the only thing you can do is love her to bits!

We’re home now and James is making our supper and I’m going to have a bubble bath to warm up from being outside.

I’ve been talking to a lot of different people in our building about how they feel living here and there are so many people who feel the same way about this place as I do. Love the location, hate everything that goes on in the building itself. Like there’s this dark cloud looming over us and we know that at literally any second, anything could happen. Just in the past few days I’ve heard a number of people say they’re looking to move out of here as soon as possible. I find all of this information intriguing and I want to get to the bottom of it, as to why so much seems to happen in this place over others. James looks at it that he doesn’t want to be a part of the misery, so to speak. He thinks people are just being negative for the sake of being negative, but I beg to differ! I know for myself, I’ve never felt this way before about where I’ve lived. I know I have it so good here compared to what a lot of people put up with, but it’s all relative right…there’s something about this place that gives off negative vibes. I’ve got to sit down and start writing my novel about it – I want to take something from this place when we leave! Which hopefully will be soon, although the process of finding something isn’t going entirely well at this point.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I've got the world on a string, I'm sitting on a rainbow

What a weekend!

On Friday night we went to Cardero’s for my brother’s belated birthday dinner with my parents, since they didn’t get to see him on his actual bday. It was good, despite that I generally don’t care for Cardero’s since they don’t have much in the way of vegetarian eats. I had a big salad though and it was huge! And it had tons of goodies in it, such as olives and potatoes and beets, don’t forget the beets! (It’s an inside joke). We went back to M&N’s condo for dessert and had a nice visit there. I took lots of cute pics of their cats, who seem to love the camera.

Then on Saturday my parents picked me and James up and we drove out by the PNE area and found the building where they film Robson Arms. Of course the show is set in the westend but in reality its not even close. The building is empty and the area around it looks completely different than they make it look on the show (the hi-rises behind it are super imposed, for example) but the building itself looks exactly the same. It was really amazing to see it!

I got really excited when I peered through the front door window and saw that they use the inside of the building for filming too! The wallpaper is the same as in the show. So cool! After snapping lots of pictures, off we went to Marcello’s on Commercial Drive for a bite to eat.

I’ve been there a bunch of times and always quite enjoyed it, but this time the waitress was SO bad at her job that it kind of gave me a lesser impression of the place, which is really too bad. I’d probably try someplace else before going there again, despite that I do like the food. It was a nice visit with James and my parents, nonetheless. From there it was time to go home and get ready….

For the MICHAEL BUBLE CONCERT at GM Place!!!!!

We’ve been looking forward to the show for months, ever since the day tickets went on sale. And was it ever an incredible show…

First of all, we get there and my mom and I got our souvenir shirts (!!) and then we went and found our seats…10th row on the floor! Turns out we had pretty much the best seats in the house. We were on an isle so we had lots of leg room but we were also so close to the stage that when Buble was up there, you could literally see the sweat on his face! I had brought binoculars but never even thought to use them because we really didn't need them with the view we had. (The pics make it look like we were much farther away than we actually were!)

But back to the beginning of the show…First up was the opening act, a group from New York called Naturally 7. At first when they came out I thought they were going to be rapping (just from the way they were dressed and the way they presented themselves). I found it odd that rappers would open for Michael Buble, but I wanted to keep an open mind. As they performed, I started to think that I liked their style but not enough to purchase their cd. By the end of their set, I was thinking I would have to go out and get that cd the next chance I got! They were that good.

They all sang at one point or another but they also each had their own special talent. They took a-cappella to a whole new level. Each one of them had their own ‘instrument’ that they played solely with their voice. There was a drummer, a bass guitarist, a trumpet player…one of them sounded like a DJ scratching a record and making all the typical DJ sounds…I’m not giving them justice here, you have to see them to believe them. You’d never guess they didn’t have background instruments if you weren’t told. They’re a truly talented group, I would suggest checking them out!

Then it was time for Michael Buble himself…James and I saw him at his last concert here at Deer Lake Park in Burnaby, so we knew to expect an awesome show. He did not disappoint! Michael Buble is so freaking talented, in so many ways. His voice sounds just like on cd, he’s got some really smooth dance moves, and such a great sense of humour. The whole show was so memorable, it’s hard to pick my favourite moments. Here are a few of the highlights:

  • When he singled out an 8 year old girl near the front row and went into the crowd to have his picture taken with her…and then an old granny grabbed his ass and he mentioned it after getting back on stage!
  • When he sang our song, Everything
  • When, after singing Everything, he made fun of himself for being so mushy and told the guys in the crowd to get ready for more testosterone…after which he started singing YMCA! LOL “Come on guys, don’t try to act like it’s your first time doing this!” (when the whole crowd started doing the YMCA dance)!
  • Telling a little story and then saying how it was a great lead in to the next song…then looking at the crowd and scrunching up his face and saying, “HOME!” as if we didn’t have a clue what he was talking about (you had to be there, but it was funny!)
  • When he got emotional singing Song For You and sang it with such meaning, belting out And when my life is over/I'll remember when we were together/Cause we were alone and I was singing my song for you without the mic.
It was so heartfelt too, because being from Vancouver (well, Burnaby), he really seemed to feel at 'home' with the crowd and kept referring back to how special it was to be singing for such a big crowd in his hometown. Apparently it was a dream he never thought he'd attain, but look where he is now!

I could go on and on. It was such a memorable show. And being so close like that was amazing. We got to sing along and even dance a bit and it was just a PERFECT concert all round. My parents hadn’t seen him before and were so impressed, although I knew they would be. After the show we went back to the hotel my parents were staying at for special coffees. We were buzzing from the caffeine, but mostly from the show!

On Sunday we had to come down from the Buble high, unfortunately. I had breakfast at The Sylvia with my parents (not where they stayed but where we went for breaky) and then we picked up M&N and headed out to none other than IKEA. Could the weekend get any better?! I got exactly what I went there for: a new kitchen rug and a new duvet cover. I also got some art cards…I could have gone crazy but I was responsible about my purchases ;)

Soon it was time for my parents to leave to go back to the island, which is always sad. The weekend went by way too fast, I wish we could still be spending time together. But in all it was a truly memorable weekend.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

This n' That

I absolutely love my new camera. It takes amazing pictures, with bright colour, easy point and click, large screen. It doesn’t have all the features of our bigger camera, but it has every feature I myself would ever use – and more. It’s perfect for me. The only thing I need is a sunny day so I can get out there and take some pretty nature shots!

Unfortunately, there seems to be no end in sight to the rain we’ve been having. Lucky for me, I haven’t had to go out in it much. Working from home 3 days a week has its perks =) Although I do sort of feel like a hermit lately…Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Right?!

Good times ahead, more on this later…

In the meantime, I’m searching high and low for a new place for us to live. It’s soooo hard. I’ve found some amazing places but we can’t afford any of them. Anything in our price range is too small or in the wrong area. Arg. It’s so hard trying to decide where we should live. I’m not giving up though. I can’t.

Difficulties with our neighbour persist, although he’s been warned that if he gets one more complaint against him, he’s out of here. It’s not as easy as it sounds though, apparently tenants have a lot of rights – even when they don’t deserve them. He’s been quieter the past few days, which doesn’t mean I can’t still hear him, but he hasn’t been as out of control. He’s an alcoholic with a very bad temper and it sounds like we’re not the only ones who think he has the potential to be quite dangerous. Needless to say, I’ve been very cautious when leaving our suite, as I would hate to have to take the elevator with him. Its been a very trying week, I’ve been quite stressed about the situation, but I think I’m handling it fairly well.

As for the bug situation…Throughout the week I have cleaned pretty much every square inch of our kitchen. I found probably 20 more bugs throughout different cupboards (and those were dish cupboards, no food) but they were all dead. Over all, there weren’t that many and I’m hopefully the problem isn’t any worse than that. I don’t know how to explain it…we’re very clean people, but I guess in an apartment building, you never really know what other people are doing, and small bugs like that can easily travel along through the pipes. It makes me shudder to think about, but I’m taking charge of the situation and getting rid of the problem as best I can! It’s really not as bad as it sounds…And at least the bugs are super tiny! Somehow that makes it better. We saw some large winged cockroach type bugs behind a glass case at the aquarium and they terrified me. I’d rather have a snake wrapped around me than get stuck near those nasty critters. Gross!

Over all, despite some of the things going on lately, I’ve been pretty happy. And I started doing pilates again, which I noticed has had a real impact on my moods – for the better. I plan on doing my routine at least 3 days a week to start out. No, scratch that. I don’t plan to, I’m going to.

TGIF tomorrow!! Enjoy the weekend =)

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The Vancouver Aquarium

On my brother's birthday last Saturday, we went to the Vancouver Aquarium. It was so much fun, far better than I ever would have thought. I definitely plan on going back!

Here are some of the pics I took there. In completely random order...

An interesting frog...
This monkey had the cutest face ever! But it whizzed around so fast, I wasn't able to capture an image of it.

This was the best pic I got of a shark...(I was thinking of you, Chandra!) Wanted to get one of the face but the lighting wasn't the best and they kept swimming away every time I thought to take a picture...Maybe they were camera shy :P

This was the most bizarre fish ever. This pic doesn't capture it but whoa was it ever weird. And HUGE, probably about 5-6 feet long I would say. And it had strange scales and giant lips and almost metallic eyes...I would die of fright if I was swimming along and came across one of these!

They had so many different, interesting varieties of jellyfish. I had no idea there were so many types!

There were so many beautifully coloured tropical fish!

A sea turtle! I love them. Once on a family trip in Hawaii, I was floating along on an air mattress when all of a sudden a sea turtle popped up right beside me. I literally could have leaned my hand over to touch it...I didn't though, because I didn't know if it might bite or get angry with me. Other people nearby saw it and freaked and rushed out of the water but I continued on floating. It bobbed through the water and eventually swam away. It was quite amazing though, to be so close to one like that.
There were so many bizarre fishes to look at! This one swam sideways and looked almost like a half-fish.

Baby Beluga in the deep blue sea! They're amazing creatures. I can't get over how humungous they are. They are so well trained and performed some tricks for us which were quite impressive.
How cute is that?!
It wouldn't be the Vancouver Aquarium without the otters! So unbelievably cute. And energetic!! They are forever on the go. They glide around in the water, rub at their faces, and wait for meal time. C'est la vie!
This was a GIANT sea lion. It was HUGE! And every time it came up for air it snorted and made the funniest noise while seemingly staring right at me. I couldn't help but fall in love, it was so ugly it was cute!
I have a soft spot for those eyes and those whiskers. A-DOR-A-BLE!
Now back to the otters...

These sea anemones were allowed to be touched. You were supposed to just use your pinky and gently touch one of their...what would they be called...tentacles?...I tried it, albeit a bit apprehensively. It felt weird the way it stuck to my finger and then twisted around with other tentacles. Yuck. I would hate to be caught for their afternoon snack!!
The dolphins were amazing. One day I HAVE to get up close to dolphins, whether it be swimming with them or just being able to touch them. They're mezmerizing.

How could you not love those faces?!

And there you have it, a day in the life of the Vancouver Aquarium. Well, a portion of it anyway. There was waaaaaaaaaaaay more to it all than what I was able to capture digitally. It's so hard to take good pictures of these creatures because they're all so fast and unpredictable! You have to see it to believe it. If you ever get the chance to go there, I urge you to do so. It won't disappoint. It was a memorable day for sure.

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