Sunday, November 22, 2009

Movie Night

We went to see New Moon tonight and it was sold out. Instead we took in A Christmas Carol. It was my first experience with 3D and it was enjoyable. I'm glad I don't do drugs because I was thinking if someone came to one of these stoned it probably wouldn't go down well...then again there are probably millions of people who do just that everyday...I'm just the type of person who would be freaking out instead of being awed by the heightened coolness.

Since the lady in front of us was rather scented, we hurried to switch seats while she was taking her daughter to the washroom before the movie began to lessen the embarrassment factor. The irony is that she came back and sat behind us with a bunch of her friends who had showed up. Sigh. Let the suffering begin. However, I was lucky because she sat furthest from me and I just had sniffles, a sore throat, congestion and some coughing. The teens behind us, on the other hand, drove my partner crazy with all their texting and talking.

At the end of the movie I was going to take a picture of us in our goofy glasses but we got kicked out of the theatre because the guy cleaning up was all stressed out about the people waiting outside the building to come in for the next round of shows. He was rather rude about it though and there was no need of that.

On another note, we moved some stuff today and I did some cleaning at the new apartment but we still have tons to go. Bit by bit it is all trickling down there...good thing we have some time to complete the move instead of having to do it all in one day!

And one last tidbit: my family threw a surprise congratulatory bash in response to my parents surprise wedding and I missed it. These are the times when it sucks to be away from home.

Friday, November 20, 2009

A Change is Coming

....well more than one to be precise, some of which have already cropped up, blindsided me, and taken effect on their own.

I realized after I posted the last entry mere seconds ago that I had neglected to write about the more exciting things taking place in favour of the more routine everyday annoyances.

I will attempt to remedy that without being too incredibly long-winded...which, incidentally, will probably take me much longer than if I were to just ramble freely. Go figure.

OK, so here are the highlights of my week so far....

There was an unfortunate incident involving keys and a late night text composed of the word "help" that ended in a 3am trip to the front door in order to stare like a sleep-deprived deer into unfamiliar halogen headlights and hand over my own set so that my partner could regain our mode of transportation.

My mother and the man I have been referring to as my "step-father" for the past few years have, after 22 years, made it official. They quietly went and got married on Monday and didn't tell anyone (except their parents, who practically found out on the way to church to serve as witnesses....luckily, no heart attacks were sustained) until after the deed was done. Shocking and unexpected much? Still trying to wrap my head around that would think nothing much would change except on paper - and you'd be right - but there is still something a little unsettling about being taken by surprise like that. Anyway, good for them. They seem rather happy about it, and I'm happy for them too.

We are moving. Down the hall. It seems a little stupid and pointless when you say it like that. Especially since we don't know how long we will be here still. However, we have had enough of this apartment and some well lit and mold free digs with complimentary balcony were too enticing to pass up.

I have started working on an "Action Plan" to find a new career path. It sounds more exciting than it is, trust me. I'm just glad to finally have some wheels in motion to get me out of this confused indecision I seem to be mired in, however slowly they may be turning. Oh, and I also finally got a nibble on one of the resumes I threw out to the general workforce and almost caught an interview, which was encouraging.

I am beginning to re-emerge from my latest stint as a hermit and regain some semblance of a social life. Which is good. Still working on that one, but it's a start that I have been out of my apartment on a non-work or errand related venture this week with someone other than my partner and have plans to do so again over the next little while. Anyway, better not jinx myself by saying too much on that score. Suffice it to say that it is one more thing that makes me happy.

And that's it for now, in a nutshell. You are officially up to date.

Dem's the Brakes

So I have been getting a lot less sleep than I am used to functioning on for the past week or two due to a lot of changes, a few unexpected incidents, some job-related stress, and an inability to shut my brain off from thinking about them all. My body is telling me it's had enough. However, I dragged my butt out of bed this morning at 6:30am to wake myself up and start getting ready in case I was called to work. I even went the extra mile and did my hair and makeup and packed my lunch in advance...just in case. And wouldn't you know it...this looks like it is going to be the first day in a while that I will not be getting called in. I suppose in a way it's like a gift - an unexpected day off, who wouldn't love that?! On the other hand, I happen to love sleep and I am seriously jealous that my partner (who is a shift worker and currently working the "afternoon" shift) is still sleeping while I've been up for 2 1/2 hours. That's just not right.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Just For Shits and Giggles

Y'ave probably seen um all before but what odds, right? We all could use a good laugh an' dese ere all made me smile or laugh out loud ;)...

Friday, November 13, 2009

Generation Gap

While I was home this summer, I convinced my parents to get new cell phones. Previously, they had shared an old cast off from my brother and it had long since had its day. My mother and I went and picked them out and got them signed up for a new plan, which included texting. They are now the owners of cells that will easily make them the envy of all the teens in town. After a brief tutorial for each of them, I left them to it to play with their new toys and once in a while I even get a text from one of them.

Such was the case a few days ago when they were out of town and my mother chose texting as an avenue to touch base with me. I read her message and was a little surprised to see it signed "lol Mom." Hmmm, I thought, God love her for trying but I don't think she thinks that means what I think it means. When I talked to them on the phone the following day, I asked my mother what lol means. Her response: Lots of love. I broke the news that I have always known those three letters to signify "laugh out loud," but I guess that explains why my aunt always signs her emails to me that way. And here I thought she was just easily amused...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Lest We Forget

A collection of videos in honour of the fallen, as well as those who are still standing. Thank you.

The Last Post:

Terry Kelly - A Pittance of Time:

Bryan Adams - Never Let Go:

...and lastly, this one. I looked and looked but could not find the original video that I remember watching on Much Music each year when I was younger, so this one will have to do. At least the song is the same.

Bryan Adams - Remembrance Day:

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Insert Letter Here

So I got to do something different and interesting today...I job shadowed somebody for part of their day. It was a nice change of pace and gave me some insight and things to think about. It's part of my "what do I want to be when I grow up" campaign. I am hoping to job shadow others in the near future and am considering a trip to the local employment service center on a quest for enlightenment...or at the very least, some help with my resume.

On a completely different note, I glanced at my moniker a little while ago and it inspired me to share a little story... One of my favourite comfy t-shirts is one that I purchased at Living Planet while home on vacation a couple of years ago. On it is printed the word "Baygirl." This word needs no explanation to any Newfoundlander, but its definition is not exactly blatant to British Columbians. I have joked to others who have been to Newfoundland and know the meaning behind the term that other people here probably think it is a type of perfume or cologne or something. However, what I didn't account for is how the human brain works...An acquaintance of mine here remarked to me a while ago that certain colours look good on me and happened to mention my t-shirt..."you know, the one with 'Baby Girl' written on it..." I wonder how many people are seeing that when they look at my shirt?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Still Kicking

After a whole lot of burning and freezing this week, I am happy to report that I have been fever free for 2 days now and both my arms are once again fully functional with only a scatter twinge of soreness left. The coughing, aching, headache, and fatigue are taking a little longer to go away, but I think I am definitely on the mend. Yippee!

I have to admit, I am quite the sook when I am sick. I blame it on some seriously intense spoiling when I was younger.

My grandmother's routine when one of us was under the weather was to come around and check on us at least once a day and at least once during the illness she would bring a "lunch" of store-bought treats with her. I loved to hear her coming. Nan laid her hand on our foreheads to check our temperatures, stroked our hair and doled out all kinds of sympathy. She always had recommendations for whatever ailed us, and if we were suffering from respiratory issues, that included rubbing Vick's Vaporub on our chests and backs and covering it with swatches of flannel.

It also sometimes meant that she would make us homemade molasses candy....I can't remember the exact ingredients or proportions, but I know that the process involved butter and molasses in a "dipper" on the stove top and it was a very sticky, messy business. I know that when she was done, she would grease her hands and roll the concoction into little balls, put them on a plate and stick them in the fridge to harden. I know that I loved them dearly and attempted to make them on my own a couple of times when I got sick at university and was particularly sooky (just not the same)....I also know that she mixed in a dollop of Vick's and/or Minard's liniment...both of which I'm pretty sure you are not supposed to ingest. In any case, they made me feel better and I never had any run-ins with poison control, so it's all good.

I was telling my beau about this and he was quite amused. God love him, he does bear up well to the tall order of taking care of me when I'm sick. My Mom (who I usually talk to on a daily basis anyway since I landed myself in BC) has been checking in from Newfoundland a couple of times a day to make sure I'm still breathing, and a few of my friends have let me know they are thinking of me, so I'm definitely raking in the attention and feeling loved...I still miss Nan's molasses candy and flannel though.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Bonfire Night

November 5th in Newfoundland (a.k.a. Bonfire Night) was always a big deal when I was younger. Us youngsters would spend weeks preparing; roaming the ridge in our rubber boots with tomahawks in hand, cutting up boughs that we dragged home and piled high, continually scouting the woods for the treasured "blassy" ones that would add some pizazz to our fires. It was a fierce competition with a huge team effort and we never missed an opportunity to brag to our friends about our stash.

There was always a community bonfire held in town, but up until my late teenage years, I always attended the cozier family bonfire that took place in the rocky, gravelly, no man's land between our yard and the bog. Since several generations of my extended family lived close by, there was always a crowd composed of aunts, uncles, and cousins, along with my grandmother, my immediate family, and sometimes a various assortment of great aunts and uncles as well as the neighbours who stopped by from time to time.

Our excitement would build for days until we could barely contain ourselves, counting the hours until we could bundle up in our winter gear and head out after supper at some point. There was usually a big fire for warmth, which the adults generally sat around, closely watching and helping us while having a few beers, and then there was a smaller one for us to take turns roasting wieners and marshmallows in, using spears cut from alder branches that one of my uncles would carve for us each year.

Invariably, as we talked and laughed, sang, and looked around at the smoke and flames of our neighbours' fires licking at the night sky, we all gradually ended up with a gooey mess of melted goodies and soot all over our faces and hands (adults included). Most often someone ate so much they got sick. But it was a grand ole time, nonetheless.

When I got older, it became a time to celebrate with my friends in different locations around town more-so than hanging out with my family, but the premise was still largely the same (minus the little kids and the grown-ups who would spoil our fun).

I first started to miss Bonfire Night during my university years, because often I stayed in St. John's, where you can't just light a fire wherever you want. However, I missed it more terribly the first couple of years I was away from The Rock and realized that it doesn't exist here or anywhere else in Canada or the rest of the world, for the most part.

Why would anyone still care enough to celebrate the downfall of some guy who tried to blow up the Parliament buildings in London back in the 1600's anyway, right? one, if you ask me. But it really has nothing to do with Guy Fawkes anymore. It is just another deep-rooted Newfoundland tradition, leftover from our days as a British colony, that gives us one more excuse to have a good time and enjoy our freedom with the people in our lives (and I have always found myself entranced by the dancing flames of a burning fire regardless - no matter where I am or who I am with). God, how I miss the Island sometimes.

Friday, November 6, 2009

All Shot Up

I've taken a little bit of an unplanned hiatus from my newborn blog - mostly due to lack of inspiration and tiredness. However, I ventured out today to get vaccinated and am returning with lots of blog fodder.

Here is a rundown of my experience:

Arrived at clinic site at approximately 9:20 am, read the sign stating eligibility criteria and walked to the end of the line. Senses promptly assaulted by the scent of very overpowering perfume. Attempted to put some space between myself and said smell to alleviate negative allergic reactions without losing my spot.

9:25ish saw an elderly lady walk out of the clinic and inform her husband (standing in front of me) that he is not eligible for the vaccine today because he is over 65 - no matter that he is diabetic, as long as he has gotten his seasonal flu shot already - and that they turned her away after an hour wait.

9:45ish witnessed a lady with a young boy park her truck and jump into the lineup about 3 people ahead of me next to a lady she apparently knew, followed by the man who had been conversing with the elderly gentleman who left with his wife now shuffling to a place further up the line.

Around 10:00, listened as the woman in front of me called over a health care worker and asked if he could tell her who was eligible for the clinic today and what shot was being offered.

10:15ish, two people proceeded to light cigarettes and smoke while standing in line (one of whom was the same lady the one with the kid had went to stand beside). Saw a man come over and ask the health care worker at the entrance if people over 65 were allowed to get inoculated today, as that was what he heard at the coffee shop this morning.

10:30ish, entered the building, read the sign requesting that clients have their Care Cards ready, and was entertained by a group of obviously extroverted mothers who were chasing their toddlers around and hollering at them, basking in the attention they were generating. Watched a nurse doling out shots to moms and kids and mentally gave her a pat on the back for the job she was doing and being able to stand up to all the crying with a smile. Coughed into my sleeve a few times after running out of Bentasil and noticed various nervous glances being shot my way accompanied by expressions informing me that I was a pariah in their midst.

Moved to the registration table, handed over my Care Card, and assured the lady doing the paper work that I have asthma and was advised by my doctor to show up and get both vaccines. Continued on to the seating section with my papers in hand and was hustled into the second row of chairs. Shuffled over several times as seats became vacant until I reached the end of the row and was pointed in the direction of a free injection station. Informed the nurse that I am already sick and had a fever last night, answered some questions, told her I had an allergy shot in my left arm yesterday and am scheduled for one in my right arm Monday, and listened as she told me that the H1N1 shot would hurt less going in but that the flu shot shouldn't make my arm as sore afterwards and to be prepared to get sicker before I get better (which I was expecting anyway but which still wasn't good to hear considering last night's fever was already an uncomfortable and scary 102.4 degrees).

11:00 The main event! Got jabbed in both arms, and then directed to another seating section and told to wait 15 minutes to make sure I was OK before leaving. Overheard an elderly lady speaking with a health care worker who was telling her that she is not eligible for the shot today, asking whether she was already informed of that by the workers patrolling the lineup outside, and that no, there were no exceptions being made. Left the clinic at 11:15 and drove home.

And now, the commentary/rant...

1. I cannot believe how inconsiderate some people are. Who in their right mind shows up at a vaccination clinic coated in perfume to stand in line with a bunch of asthmatics? Hello! Great way to set everyone coughing and rushing for their inhalers! Likewise to the up in the midst of a group of people with lung issues as well as young children and infants. Smart. Thanks for that. Not to mention the couple who came out with their son, who was upset and had been crying after getting vaccinated, put him in their car and stood around smoking. When he tapped on the window and asked for a drink, the father replied "You can have a drink after. Dad is having a 'moke first." Good of them to not smoke in the vehicle with him for sure, but I was still a little put off by the display and thinking perhaps they had gotten their priorities mixed up a little along the way.

2. How is it that we expect children to abide by the unwritten rules of lining up and yet there are adults out there who still have not mastered the concept. Rude and bursting with self-importance and a false sense of entitlement much? What makes you any more special than the rest of us out there freezing our butts off that you think you can just prance on up to any place in line you feel like standing?

3. Why do people not read signs? They are not plastered all over the place to pretty things up, people! Conversely, the first time I saw anything about Care Cards was once I was inside the building. While it is probably a no-brainer anyways, prior signage wouldn't hurt - as I did hear some people say they had forgotten theirs, and I had to check and make sure I had mine at that point as well...

4. Why would you show up at a vaccination clinic and stand in line if you don't even know which shot is being offered? Wouldn't it make more sense to find that out FIRST? Or at the very least, ask someone when you arrived (like the man from the coffee shop who was using his brain)? Ditto for the people who ignored the signs and the patrolling workers only to get inside and be rejected.

5. What is the need of purposely making a public spectacle of yourself outside of the expected venues? Much as it provides entertainment, it does tend to become a tad obnoxious and annoying after a while...

6. Kudos to the nurses shooting up the infants and toddlers. Don't think I could do it. I did notice though that most of the infants didn't bat an eyelash, versus those who were older who almost all bawled. Makes me think that perhaps it is a chain reaction for the ones who are old enough to cries, scares the others, and sets them all off when it is their turn.

7. I feel bad for showing up sick and needing to cough...but honestly I hadn't coughed this morning and probably would have been coughing from the perfume anyway even if I wasn't sick...and I DID use my sleeve. Perhaps people would have felt better if I had been wearing a mask, like a couple of other people I saw at the clinic? Although I have a hunch those masks were more about protecting themselves from airborne viruses than those around them...

8. I am relieved and glad that I didn't have to endure one of the horror stories that have been on the news lately in relation to flu clinics. I was kind of worried and not sure what to expect when I left the apartment this morning, but I thought it was relatively quick, efficient, and painless - minus the other people who showed up and caused some irritation and discomfort but that had nothing to do with the people running the clinic....although I do wonder if there are/will be rules around smoking and scents at these sorts of things. It would make sense, if you ask me...

I am starting to question my own sanity injecting all this crap into my body and I am really hoping I made the right choice getting these two shots today. Part of me was thinking I should really hold off until I was better and maybe go for it then. There was also an odd mixture of thoughts and images floating through my mind at various points as I watched and waited. Predominantly, I couldn't stop myself from thinking we were just like a bunch of cows being herded inside, treated, and then released into the holding pen before being sent out to pasture to graze again (I apologize if I used incorrect terminology or odd imagery there...I am not an expert on cows and pastures by any means, but I haven't quite been able to absorb, digest, process, and put my finger on what exactly I would compare it to what with the muddied thoughts and all from the various drugs and injections over the past couple of days...I probably shouldn't even be writing right now...God only knows what drivel I am spouting at the moment) and wondering if I was being smart and prudent or stupidly succumbing to what the fear-mongers have been shoving down my throat.

Anyway, the bottom line is that I am beginning to feel like a pincushion between this and the allergy shots and am not enjoying the sore arms and matching bruises, but hopefully it will all be worth it in the end...