Saturday, November 14, 2009

This Little Piggy

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Oink. Oink oink.

Actually, that's not how my flu started, though anytime anyone mentions Swine Flu that's what I think of.

Mine began one morning when I got out of bed, sweating and wondering who cranked the heat in the bedroom. Evidently, no one.

Then, my tummy felt nauseous and crampy. I thought it was all that ab work I did at boot camp two days earlier. Apparently not.

Several hours later, I started feeling very very tired. Not just the I-work-6-days-a-week-and-I'm-new-to-Grade-1 fatigue, but something worse. I loaded up on sugar (Reese's Pieces) and managed to drive home. By this point, the chills were setting in, and I had to wear 2 jackets to try to keep warm.

This is where Hubbs took over, and he took me to Emergency at the General Hospital. Given that there's a pandemic going around, I figured the wait would be long there; previous experience at the Emerg in E-town also taught me to budget a good 6 hours. I didn't expect that the longest wait would be for shift change in the department; we waited nearly 30 minutes just to be helped to check-in. Of course, then I told them about my symptoms, and things sped up exponentially.

I was ushered in, my temperature and blood pressure were checked (I had a low-grade fever), and I was given 3 mega-dose Tylenol. Then, I was asked to go into the Pandemic Room, where I joined two others who were also donning masks and exhibiting flu symptoms. I waited there a while longer (30 minutes?), during which time a doc listened to me breathe and declared I had a case of the piggy flu (though he did say that every flu he saw was *that* flu), and prescribed Tamiflu.

In a relatively brief 1.5 hours, I was in and out of the hospital, and on my way home.

Now this little piggy is staying at home, and resting, and turning into a bigger piggy ;)

The end.




Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloweening

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I have always enjoyed certain parts of Halloween, but as a Christ follower, I've wrestled (and continue to wrestle) with why I am bothered by other parts of the day. I love the free candy and the experience of trick-or-treating (both as the receiver and as the giver), and I am a big fan of playing dress-up. I don't love the demonic or occultic or otherwise-creepy parts of Halloween and I'm not fond of the fact that the day is associated with fear and death, neither of which I celebrate and both of which Jesus conquered on the cross.

So, how will Hubbs & I spend the day tomorrow? I am going to school. I have work to do. He's coming with me. He has work to do...for me ;)

And when we're done, we'll head to an all-you-can-gorge sushi restaurant where the staff are completely costumed up, and the restaurant is covered from ceiling to floor with Halloween deco (webs, spiders, you name it - they've got it on their walls). We won't be dressed up, though I did toy with the idea of having Hubbs dress as Edward Cullen while I wore my most Bella outfit. He didn't bite (pun intended).

Anyway, we won't be trick or treating, 'cuz it's weird to do that as thirty-somethings with no kids. We also won't be doling out candy, since our building is mostly adult-inhabited and nobody trick-or-treats in high-rise condos.

I thought I'd do a little Halloween meme tonight, though, since I'm still feeling a bit sick (I called for a sub part-way through my day today; my cold and cough aren't getting worse but I'm not getting better either :S), and I've slept for most of the day so I'm awake at this late hour.

1. What is your favourite written work of horror fiction?
Does the
Haunted Mansion choose-your-own-adventure book count? I haven't really explored this particular genre of literature.

2. What is your favourite work of science fiction/fantasy?
Devil on my Back by Monica Hughes.

3. Who is your favourite monster?
Edward Cullen ;)

4. What is your favourite horror movie?

I don't watch scary movies.

5. What horror movie gives you the most chills?
See previous answer.

6. What character from any horror film would you most like to play?
Does Twilight count? Because I'd want to be Bella.

7. Freddy or Jason?
Who? ;)

8. What is your favourite Halloween treat?
It used to be Kit-Kats and rocket candies. Nowadays, I'm a fan of those yummy Pillsbury sugar cookies with the pumpkins on them (but they're not good for me so I did not buy any cookie dough this Halloween).

9. Ghosts or goblins?
I don't believe in either. But how about vegetarian vampires?

10. Friendly-faced jack-o’-lantern or scary one?
I like the intricately carved pumpkins with scenes on them. Those are usually friendly scenes.

11. What is your scariest encounter with the paranormal?
Demonic attacks.

12. Do you believe in ghosts? Why or why not?
Nope. Once you die, you enter into an eternity that is either Heaven/Paradise or Hell/Hades. Earth is not one of your choices.

13. Would you rather be a zombie, alien, or psycho?

I would rather be an alien in this world ;)

14. Favorite Halloween costume?
One day I'd like to dress up as Jasmine from Aladdin. So far I haven't had a favourite costume, mostly because I haven't ever bothered to invest a lot of money on a thoroughly-convincing costume. I did like my Little Red Riding Hood get-up though.

15. Best thing about Halloween?
The excited little faces that go trick-or-treating.

16. Person in your family who most likes Halloween (not counting yourself)?
I think it's my mother-in-law.

17. Are you superstitious?

Not at all.

18. Share an unusual Halloween story.
I don't have one.

19. What did you do for Halloween as a kid?
I dressed up and went trick-or-treating with my mom and my siblings. In hindsight, my costumes sucked and I hope that when I have kids, I will pick better costumes for them than vampires and princesses.

20. What’s the best Halloween party that you’ve attended?

I haven't actually attended that many, so it's hard to select a "best."

21. What is the worst treat to get when trick-or-treating?

Peanuts in the shell, raisins, and those nasty Halloween candies in the orange and white wrappers.

22. How many Halloween, Friday the 13th, or Nightmare on Elm Street movies combined do you have on dvd?

None. I think the scariest DVD I own is Planet of the Apes (though technically, that belongs to Hubbs).

23. Lamest costume you have worn on Halloween?
I'm pretty sure it was the princess dress, which was covered up during trick-or-treating by my very puffy winter coat. I think one year I didn't even dress up, and that's lame.

24. Have you ever had nightmares about a scary movie character chasing you?
Not that I can remember.

25. Strangest Halloween custom you’ve heard of?
The truth is, there is nothing stranger than the current practices of Halloween. To someone from another part of the world, try explaining the following:

- carving up a giant orange squash and putting it on your doorstep/porch with a candle in it

- dressing up like some ridiculous character that you aren't, complete with wigs and make-up

- knocking on strangers' doors and asking for food or candy


Have a safe Oct. 31st, everyone!






Sunday, October 25, 2009

Long Hours, Long Days = MIA for Long Periods of Time

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Story of my life, really. Now that I'm a bonafide full-time first grade educator, I pull an obscene number of hours every day. I don't mean a standard 9 hour day either, people. We're talking Mon-Fri, 7:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. (11 hours), plus every Saturday for somewhere between 3 and 8 hours. And you wondered why I haven't blogged! ;)

Hubbs has accused me of becoming a workaholic, and I can hardly blame him; the guy hardly gets to see me, save for a couple of hours in the evening when I'm already dead tired. Unfortunately for me, I am a perfectionist and there is a lot to do (even for slackers), though I'm told that this is entirely normal for any teacher the first year that they teach a grade, whether they have previous teaching experience or not. I'm also reassured on a weekly basis that things will get better....next year. This means that both Hubbs & I can look forward to 6-day work weeks for the foreseeable future, at least until June.

But before you think I'm a Bitter Betty about the situation, let me reassure you that there are many silver linings to this whole full-time work business. First of all, it's additional income, and at a time in our economy when so many are losing jobs or losing hours, I am beyond blessed to be working steadily.

Secondly, I love my job. I love the cute little faces that greet me every morning, and I love the hugs I get from students who spontaneously wrap themselves around my waist. I love the giggles, the stories, and the generally-positive energy that buzzes around my classroom. It is my calling and I enjoy what I do, and I recognize that not many people can say that about their professions or jobs.

Finally, I get to be released from the chores of housekeeping for the time being. You see, now that we're a DINK family, we can justify hiring a housekeeper to come in bi-weekly to do our floors and windows and bathrooms for us. What a luxury! Plus she's really thorough, so when I come home after our cleaner has come, I am always delighted by the lack of dust bunnies trolling behind my entertainment centre. Hubbs has also picked up some of the slack (dishes, laundry) since he's home during the day. I love being able to share these household duties with my man and not have to shoulder the burden all on my own.

So, all in all, it has been a refreshing change of pace for me. I am tired, yes, and I am also a bit too busy to commit to many other things, but the pay off of working in a place and with a group of people (both the kids and the grown-ups) that I love is such a blessing. I really can't complain. But I might be MIA for a while. Now you know why! :)





Tuesday, September 29, 2009

No Time to Pee

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Some of you may know that I have an inhumanly small bladder. If I consume even half of my required daily intake of H2O, I'm rushing to the bathroom every couple of hours.

Well, now that I'm a Gr. 1 teacher, you can scratch that. I barely have time to drink water, but when I do, I must hold it in and do the squeezy dance for a long while. Some days, I only manage to fit in a potty break at the end of the day (that's around 3:00 p.m. after all the kidlings have been safely dismissed into trusted hands). Miraculously (and I do consider it a miracle), I haven't wet myself yet, and I'm also developing supernaturally strong muscles in my nether regions.

Of course, there have been a few close calls and rushed power-walks to the staff washrooms, but if being in Gr. 1 has taught me anything, it's the ability to hold it in.

So yay for Gr. 1! :)




Friday, August 07, 2009

Not a Natural Beauty

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Arguably, not a beauty at all, but I'm told I'm cute. If only this were true in my natural state, but alas, not so much; my bare naked face is about as attractive as my bare naked body ;). My "public face," the one that you might see, takes about 25 minutes to apply, and costs me more than I care to admit, every couple of months when supplies run low.

So what is the price of beauty (besides having to wake up an extra half hour every morning to attain it)?

Well, let's outline all of the steps and products that I use (as of today):

1) Lancome Primordiale moisturizer with SPF15 - applied to whole face
2) Neostrata HQ Lightening gel - applied only to cheeks
3) Vichy Aqua Thermale eye gel - applied to eyes
4) Smashbox Light Primer - applied to t-zone
5) Smashbox Halo Moisturizing mineral powder - applied to whole face (kabuki brush)

(Getting tired yet? That's just the base, my friends).

6) PurMinerals Bronzer - contouring face (Purminerals brush)
7) PurMinerals Blush - highlighting cheeks
8) PurMinerals Brow Perfection - wax, then powder applied to my eyebrows (Quo & MAC angled brow brushes)
9) PurMinerals Intensity gel/cream liner - applied to eyelids (Quo liner brush)
10) Lancome Oscillating Cils Booster - applied to lashes
11) Lancome High Definicils Mascara - lashes again
- then comb out with Sephora lash comb
12) MAC Lipliner - outline lips
13) Lancome lipstick - apply to lips

Pretty intense, eh? This doesn't even include the make-up I'd have to use for evenings, like eye shadow, or extra lotion support for saggy eye/big pore days! Once you factor in the face-washing and make-up removing products, my collection probably looks pretty daunting and absurd. Can't wait to see what my mom says when she sees everything tonight (she being the complete opposite of me)! ;)

Why do we ladies (some of us, anyway) feel the pressure to look like supermodels in the first palce? Why don't most men feel the urgent need to reduce their pore sizes, reduce fine lines, and even out their skin tones? Even as I type this, I readily acknowledge the ridiculousness of following these many steps in a routine every single morning, and the fact that I probably don't need to wear so much *stuff* does not escape my rational mind. That said, there is something emotionally satisfying about being dolled up; I'd be lying if I said that these steps didn't make me feel more attractive, even if the end result isn't all that different to others whether I'm bare-faced or not.

In the end, isn't that what counts? How *I* feel about how I look? Certainly, there are limits and I'm not about to inject poisons into my face or invite scalpels into my body to manipulate it to look a certain way just so that I can feel good about myself, but stockpiling make-up like it's Armaggedon is still within the realm of reasonable, right? (Work with me here. ;) ). Half an hour a day isn't too horrible, is it? I feel a lot better having gotten this off of my chest, at any rate. I feel even better since I already "put my face on," too! Now I'm ready to go out in public, feeling good and looking pretty, even if it's not the natural variety! ;)



Tuesday, August 04, 2009

I Need Me a Good Man....dolin Slicer

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You always want what you don't have, or in my case, I never knew I wanted what I wanted until I needed it. In this case, it's a kitchen mandolin, also known as a slicer contraption (not unlike those as-seen-on-TV kitchen miracle gadgets).

When we registered for our wedding, I had no idea this handy little tool even existed, or else I definitely would have registered for it. Growing up, we sliced everything by hand, and my dad - being a pro chef - didn't even need a sharp Santoku in order to thinly slice his potatoes, tomatoes, and onions. I figured that thin slicing was simply a skill naturally acquired upon growing up, or perhaps as a result of inheriting his talented culinary genes. Not so.

I am a terrible slicer. Tonight, in trying to thinly slice my sweet potatoes (to make sweet potato chips in the oven), I nearly thinly sliced my finger off. Thankfully, no blood was shed and no sweet potato was wasted, but there were a few near-misses and close calls. Some of my slices from my just-sharpened Henckels knife managed to reach optimal thinness, but just as many ended up sort of thick, and a few ended up being half-moon shaped bits.

So now I'm seriously considering putting down good money on a slicer. Although I think my food processor also has a slicing function, a cursory cost-benefit analysis of using that monstrous beast of a small kitchen appliance shows that this is not a viable option. The time I would need to spend dragging that thing out, setting it up, taking it apart, cleaning it, reassembling it, and putting it away would far outweigh any benefits enjoyed from having thinly sliced delicious sweet potato chips. A mandolin, on the other hand, is small and easy to clean, and is designed specifically for such an event as making oven-baked chips. It would also make slicing tomatoes for my bison burgers a much more appealing task.

Now I just have to convince Hubbs that I *need* a mandolin. He isn't always easy to persuade, especially since several costly small appliances still sit inside our kitchen shelves unused.

I will also have to price out a quality mandolin. I thought my Pampered Chef chopper (an impulse buy) would be durable, but with just one drop it fell apart and broke. I've since learned my lesson and now I will be dutifully doing my google research before investing in another chopper (though I have to confess, Slap Chop Vince almost has me convinced already).

If you can recommend a good mandolin and save me some time, let me know! Until then, I guess I'll have to deal with burnt chips, crispy chips, and thick sweet potato slices that aren't very chippy at all.


Friday, July 31, 2009

What's in a Name? A Sweet Potato by Any Other Name Would Taste as Sweet...

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Yesterday, Hubbs & I finally went grocery shopping (more to escape the heat than to buy groceries, but whatever). I decided to roast some delicious root veg so that I can actually claim to have eaten veggies, even if they're the starchy non-fibrous kind.

Anyway, I wandered around the produce aisles looking for my sweet potatoes, but all I could find were yams. I could have sworn that these were two different root vegetables altogether, but since only yams were available in the "potato" area, I settled for two mid-sized yams.

Ever the curious mind, I decided to google to see if maybe the grocery story mislabeled their veg, or if maybe I was simply mistaken. As it turns out (of course), I was right.

The yam and the sweet potato are two very different starchy root vegetables. Their only similarities are their sweetness and their rooted origins. The true yam does not belong to the potato family, is not grown in N. America, but is quite large in size (up to 3 feet long and 80 pounds), and is a bit dry on the palate. Yams comes in funky colours of white, yellow, and purple. It is truly a root, and I guess its outward texture is quite rough and bark-like. Few places in N. America sell true yams, save for some boutique import grocers.

The sweet potato belongs to the potato family, and is grown on the continent. Its size is larger than the average potato but not several feet in length. Sweet potato texture is moist and soft and, well, sweet. These "morning glory" potatoes are usually orange in colour, and have a smooth skin. Most "yams" sold in N. American grocers are actually sweet potatoes that have acquired this misnomer because of decades-old marketing gimmicks and because some folks were reminded of the yam when they first tasted sweet potato, resulting in the yam moniker.

What I bought was indeed a sweet potato (high in Vitamins A and C), and not a true yam. It appears that the sweet potato is a very healthy root veg and versatile to prepare, so I did make the right nutritional choice after all.

So, the next time you see yams at your local supermarket, keep in mind that unless it's huge and rough-textured and not orange on the inside, you probably have a sweet potato and not a real yam. :)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

I'm Melting... I'm Melting....!!

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I've never been a fan of extreme heat. In HK, I was the girl who ducked into an air-conditioned shop every two blocks in order to escape the blistering temperatures of their spring and summer months; I rarely went outside unless I was forced into it, and I kept both the A/C units in my classroom operating at maximum cool all day long. On our honeymoon in Hawaii I insisted that Hubbs blast the A/C in our hotel room as we slept (he wanted to keep the balcony doors open and let all the warm air in).

The current record-breaking heat wave happening in Van is therefore nothing short of excruciating torture for me. It has sapped me of my strength, my appetite, and my concentration. I should be doing prep right now, but I simply cannot. I should be cleaning today, but even sitting and doing nothing causes me to drip with sweat. I should be hitting the gym, but I'm already sweating buckets and my body doesn't have sufficient energy or fuel to actually perform any exercise. All I can do is sit at my computer and ply my body with the cold nectar of God (water, for those of you who are unversed in my hyperbolic speech).

Oh, did I mention that we even have an oscillating tower fan and an A/C unit? 12000BTU's on a portable dual-hose Danby Simplicity; it's monstrously large and not quiet, and if you stand right in front of it you get a good shot of cool air. Unfortunately, this air doesn't seem to travel very well against the humid muggy air of the apartment; therefore, the cool is localized to a very small area in the living room, and does not reach to Hubbs' office nor our bedroom.

Apparently, even whilst armed with both air-cooling devices, we continue to be overwhelmed by the crazy high temperatures of this heat wave. 33 Celsius today, and it feels like 38. The forecast looks like this all week long, too! Even nighttime temperatures only dip to 19 Celsius, and that's if we're lucky and we stay up late enough. I am melting and miserable.

Maybe I'll hit the library tomorrow, and stay the day. Maybe we'll rent a hotel room for the night just so that we can get some good rest. The possibilities are endless, but the money is not, nor is our time. At this rate, we might end up having to invest in a second tower fan and even possibly another A/C unit. Otherwise, our guests (my folks and bro) who are coming for the cruise in two weeks' time may find themselves melting and miserable too! :(




Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Sniff My Ride

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We've had our baby, our '08 Accord EX-L V6, for nearly a year now. I still remember when I first sat inside the car, marveling at the leather interior and the steering wheel that I could adjust. I still recall trying to figure out the many buttons on the dash, and the nifty little compartments that come standard on most cars these days but were a novel thing to me. Most of all, I still remember the smell. You know the smell. It's the smell of a new car.

Oh, how I love that smell!

Unfortunately, they really don't sell that scent in a bottle that you can stick on the dash. The ones that are available on the market are quite repugnant, and in no way comparable to the scent of new plastic and leather and upholstering.

Thankfully, my honeymoon period with my car isn't yet over. Because we drive it so rarely (less than 7000 km in nearly a year of ownership), I can still smell the new car smell sometimes when we climb into the car. As I sit down behind the wheel, I still get giddy at the thought of all of the controls and buttons at my disposal. I still marvel at the luxuries afforded by the car. It's all still novel to me.

I hope this feeling never ends. :)



Monday, July 20, 2009

Turning Into My Mother, or Building Fences

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They say that children live what they learn, and they learn from what they see. My mother, arguably the nicest woman on the planet, has always been very very kind. Kind to a fault, really. Kind to the point of self-sacrifice and bending over backwards for strangers. And this is what I saw growing up. My mom, to her own detriment at times, has always been unfailingly nice and accommodating and helpful and patient with everyone; she has consistently excused and forgiven all sorts of evils that people have heaped on her, including very serious accusations and insults leveled at her personally, at my dad, or at her children. You might say she's a professional selfless servant, but that might be understating it.

Anyway, this is what I witnessed growing up, and from this I learned. I learned to do the opposite. I learned that it is not good to be a door mat and a servant to everyone, because you get taken advantage of by wicked people with selfish intentions or greedy hearts. I learned that it's important to stick up for yourself, and to defend your loved ones, because they matter more than the acquaintance down the street who badmouths everyone behind their backs. I learned that I deserve to be treated with respect, and must assert myself when this respect is not given.

Or so I thought. Apparently, I am not as different from my mother as I had once imagined, much to my chagrin. Sure, the stories abound about my notoriously aggressive and arguably cruel treatment of incompetent service-providers, but even those have become fewer and farther between as I've mellowed with age (and with Hubbs' restraining holds). Unfortunately, I have discovered that I do make a lot of excuses for people, I do bend over backwards and neglect my Hubbs in favour of doing something spectacular that will bless others, and I am far too forgiving when I am insulted or mistreated, rationalizing away poor behaviour towards myself, Hubbs, or others whom I care for.

I suppose that the argument exists that my mother's approach is the better one; after all, she is a sweetheart and everyone loves her, and she is "bearing her cross" daily. I'm sure Jesus will give her a big beautiful mansion in heaven while I'm stuck in my little one-room shanty, and I know she sleeps well at night in spite of the horrendous ways in which she has been treated, both by "friends" and by family (her own flesh and blood included).

However, I cannot help but wonder where the boundaries must be drawn, both out of love for others and out of self-preservation. I am rereading Cloud & Townsend's book Boundaries and it seems to me that there is a Biblical reason to lay down boundaries, and to refuse to tolerate mistreatment or people who seek to take advantage of your generosity and kindness. Hubbs' parents have pretty solid boundaries and I see how issue-free Hubbs is as an adult; he has no emo baggage that drags him down or weird unspoken obligation or guilt that compels him to have to act in certain ways with certain people. Hubbs lives in freedom, whereas I - not so much.

I think about my future children, and the lessons I want them to learn from observing Hubbs & I. Will I want them to say that they want to be the opposite of what we are when they grow up? No! Would I infinitely prefer for them to see us model Christ-centered, disciplined living within healthy boundaries, and wish to emulate that as they grow up? Of course! In my behaviour, do I want my Hubbs and kids to feel like second-class citizens relative to complete strangers? No! Would I rather that they know they are loved, they are my first priority, and I would lay down my life for them above all else? Without a doubt. Do I want my children to put up with being beat up, insulted, disrespected, and abused? Hell no! Would I want them to be assertive, confident individuals who respectfully stand up for themselves and know how to protect themselves from mistreatment? Absolutely.

And so, my lines must be drawn in the sand once more. No more excuses for others, no more saying yes when I want to say no, and no more putting up with the consequences of other peoples' poor boundaries or inappropriate behaviour. I might not have children yet, but the life I start living today needs to be consistent with the one I plan to live when they do arrive.

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Friday, July 17, 2009

Haters to the Left

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There are some people who just cannot stomach the happiness and success of others. These folks are truly haters, and harbingers of negativity. Maybe it's perceived as a threat to their own success, or perhaps it makes them uncomfortable to see the "leveling" of the playing field, or maybe it's some underlying competitiveness that does not wish to see oneself surpassed by another, but whatever it is, it prevents these people from being able to celebrate and enjoy the prosperity and joy of another human being. Just as the one is finally succeeding or doing well, the other has to level an insult or do something disrespectful to undermine that success.

My sis and I were talking about this the other night, as it pertains to weight loss. When I was a slimming down into a skinny-mini, so many of the people around me told me that I didn't need to lose any more weight, and that I should just relax and indulge a little. Some of these folks were well-meaning, and simply trying to ensure that I didn't deprive myself, but others - not so much. You see, I'm quite convinced that some who were bigger than I was at the time wanted me to stop skinnifying, because my weight loss somehow meant that I would be surpassing them in status or something. Others, those who were thin to begin with, also told me to stop losing weight long before I ever hit my goal weight, and I suspect their deepest darkest motivation was to keep me from being thin like them; perhaps it offered some sort of comfort for them to have me as their jolly fat sidekick, and they didn't want me to muck with the status quo.

Regardless of their motivations, they were secretly haters, and people who did not wish to see me succeed in my endeavours.

So too in the business world, there are people like this, people who go out of their way to try and sabotage or demean the success of another, particularly those whom they perceive as a threat to themselves. There are likely countless tales out there of jealous colleagues and gossipy co-workers who try to make life miserable for the guy or gal on top.

Hubbs just resurrected his blog. Many of his friends, his "fans," and his colleagues are simply happy to see him back in action on the web. They are excited for him and eagerly anticipate the contributions he will be making to his industry and to his readership. Already we are sensing the haters, attempting to claim credit for Hubbs' return, and lurking and waiting to disrespect Hubbs or his blog or his appearance or whatever it is that might "bring him down a notch." Do you wonder who these haters might be? Look for the Twitter comments and the blog posts in days and weeks to come; the ones trying to pee on his parade are the ones who don't know how to play the game of life with sportsmanship and grace.

Even in the moral realm, it really isn't much better, is it? There is a mean-spirited subset of the population who simply cannot be happy for those who are happy and who live a good, wholesome, moral life. These folks look for flaws to point out, and hypocrises to accuse, so as to attempt a perceived balancing of the scales. Personally, I believe this happens because people don't like to feel convicted that their own lives are miserable, or that they fail to live consistently and with integrity, and when contrasted with someone who does live consistently and in a godly manner, the difference is far more noticeable. It is therefore uncomfortable for the haters to be in the presence of those who endeavour to live in an upright and godly way, and rather than allow the contrast to result in their conviction and repentance, the hateful people try to bring others down to their own level of moral ambiguity.

Watch for it, my friends. Many of us are in a season of harvest, of prosperity or abundance or blessing or joy. Look out for the robbers and haters, those who seek to offer criticisms or back-handed insults or to deride the success you enjoy, be it financially, physically, spiritually, or socially.

And when you sense the haters, pray for them. Let God be judge, and let Him reveal Truth in His time. In the meantime, however, the haters who target you obviously do not have much to live for in their own lives, and if nothing you ought to feel sorry for their plight and their pathetic condition. Do not let their baiting rouse you to anger, and do not allow it to cause you to sin. In fact, do not even play the game; walk away. You have much to be joyful and thankful for, and to focus on anything less than the positive is a waste of your energy.

That's what I tell myself, anyway. ;)



Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Fatty Fatty 2 x 4!

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I have no idea what that old saying means; I always thought 2 x 4's were those skinny planks of wood that people use to make houses. Shows you how much I know about manual work and construction! ;)

Anyway, my sisters Vanilla Con & Superstar Jo challenged me to a friendly Biggest Loser - Sisters Edition in prep for our cruise a month from now. It was a great idea, and a nice way to be held accountable. Unfortunately, I don't like being on "diets" and I don't like forcing myself to exercise. Worst of all, I hate stepping on a scale. I didn't even like it when I was a skinny minny size 4. I especially hate it now when I'm not.

However, I sucked it up and did it anyway, stepping on both my digital scale and my Wii Fit board to measure my weight. Both corroborated the other's number. The verdict? Ugly. I lied when I said I can handle the truth. I DON'T WANT THE TRUTH!! I CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!!

Of course, nothing motivates you to move your fat a$$ more than seeing such a horrific number in TWO different places. In fact, I was so motivated that I actually joined one of those free online calorie-counting journal things to chart the grub I inhale every day. Enter MyFitnessPal, a non-judgy "pal" that tells me how many calories I've consumed, breaks down the food into carb/protein/fat categories, and also factors in my exercise for the day.

I've only used it for like half a day, but so far, so good. I am really loving the user-friendliness of the website, and appreciate all the clipart-esque iconography that helps me navigate around the place. If you look way down at the bottom of the blog, on the right, I've even posted a little "ticker" (is this considered a widget?) that charts my progress. As you can see, I have a ways to go before I hit my goal. That said, having a pretty little ticker with a flower that moves to the right tracking my progress is just that extra bit of incentive that makes it a little more inspiring of a journey.

Of course, I suppose all of this is moot if I end up getting pregnant before I hit my goal. Until then, however, I sure would love to see the numbers drop, and along with it my sizes!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Who's a Sucker? *raise my hand*

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Not a big sucker, but a sucker nonetheless. Hubbs & I had stopped at a mall after getting back from Whistler, and we sort of went our separate ways for a while (he to EB Games and I to some store that sold nice purses). When I went to go look for him, I noticed that he had been stopped by some kiosk saleslady.

I approached, figuring I might need to bail him (or the both of us) out of a lame sales pitch. Sure enough, she asked if she could show us something AMAZING. Sure, I'll bite. She asked for my ugliest nail (which happens to be my left-hand pointer finger; the nail has become like two hills because I injured it during biting). I think it grossed her out, so she picked my ring finger nail on my left hand instead.

She started buffing it down with the blue side of a rectangular prism-shape buffer. As expected, it got all white and dusty looking. She did the same thing, but now with the gray side of the buffer. Still all white and fuzzy on the nail. Finally, she took the white side of her buffer and began buffing my nail. It squeaked in a very shrill way as it was brought back and forth over my finger. Then, before she removed the buffer to show me the final product, she asked if I believed in miracles. I tried very hard not to roll my eyes, and replied in the affirmative.

She removed the buffer and my nail was shiny and clear, like she had just applied a glossy top coat on the nail. It was pretty amazing, for real. In fact, I was sufficiently impressed that I was willing to try it again, this time doing it for myself on the nail beside it. Once again, after the blue-gray-white buffing, my middle finger's nail came out looking shiny and the feel of it was incredibly smooth.

So now, this is where the sucker part came in. I probably could have haggled the price of the "kit" but at the time I didn't, so I paid their "sale price" of $30 for it. I should have haggled, though, since I googled about it after I got home and discovered many who were able to get it for $25, PLUS get extra buffer replacements included in the purchase!

I am such a sucker.

On the upside, my nails look glossy and shiny, and without the nastiness of nail polish!

PS - the kit is called the "Seacret Minerals of the Dead Sea Nail Care Kit." Haggle if you're going to buy it - it comes with a buffer, a nail file, cuticle oil, and body lotion.


Welcome Back, Hubbs!

1 comments

After a blogging hiatus, Hubbs is back on the webmap with his very sleek and stylish lookin' newly-revamped blog, located at http://graysmatter.codivation.com/.

Take a peek and experience the new look and feel. I am happy to say that I advised on the redesign, and the black bar at the top? My idea :)

I am so proud of Hubbs, and also proud to see the blog resurrected, since I was truly his greatest fan and I missed reading his hilariously cheeky posts and engaging writing style. It will be exciting to see the many new blog post series that Hubbs will be introducing to the site, including some personal and spiritual topics along with the technical articles. It is my prayer that God will use this blog to bring glory to Himself, and that Hubbs will be a light shining among his colleagues and cohorts in the "industry."

Anyway, Hubbs - I love you and I'm so proud of you! I look forward to your first new post on this swanky kick-a$$ site!




Sunday, July 12, 2009

Happy 4th in July!

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Not a typo. It was our 4th anniversary on the 9th of July. To celebrate, we took a little weekend getaway to Whistler, which is about 1.5 hours away (driving) from Van. The journey there took us along the beautiful "Sea to Sky" highway, which is exactly as it sounds - there were the sea/lakes/ocean/other bodies of water on one side, and blue skies above us, and giant rockfaces on the other side of the road.

I will spare you all the lengthy and indulgent details, but here are a few highlights from our trip:

- double-person jacuzzi tub in our hotel room (a must-have for any romantic getaway, IMHO)
- riding the Whistler Village gondola to the peak of the mountain (>6000 feet in elevation)
- riding the Peak 2 Peak glass-bottom gondola from the top of Whistler to the top of Blackcomb
- taking the chair lifts (yeah, like snowboards/skiiers would do in the winter but it's way easier when there's no board strapped to the bottom of your foot) down all >6000 ft. ! It was the most relaxing ride and not scary, even for people with some height issues.
- the brick and cobble streets of Whistler Village
- the "raspberry collins" cocktail (get it virgin - it's even better) at La Bocca
- the Great Glass Elevator Candy Shop that sold a bunch of cool import candy from the U.S. and U.K.
- Quattro restaurant; consistently delicious fare and great service at both their Van and Whistler locations

We were only there for the weekend and neither Hubbs nor I did anything super-active (no major hikes on long trails, or biking treks down the mountains) but it was so refreshing and renewing to be surrounded by God's amazing handiwork and to enjoy the sights and smells of the great outdoors. Being on the mountain helped remind us about how small we are relative to such a big and mighty God, and as we rode up and down the gondola and chair lifts, that was one of the things that impressed me most - how loving and gracious and compassionate is such a powerful Creator to one as insignificant and small as I. How magnificent are His mountains and the deep, forested valleys that He spoke into place. How wonderous that in the giant universe of His world, He brought Hubbs and I together, even though we were an ocean apart when we first met. Truly, our meeting that led to July 9th 4 years ago was a supernatural event, and we thank our Father for each other every day. :)

We were definitely blessed by the time we spent together on this getaway, and we look forward to the next time when we'll be back to enjoy the beauty of Whistler, BC. So yes, for us, it was a happy 4th in July :)



Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Luxury Living Lite

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It seems to me that I belong to a very entitled generation when it comes to real estate and extravagant living. The 20-and 30-somethings of today were born in the 70's and 80's, and were therefore too young to remember sky-high interest rates and the accompanying recession that left many teetering on the edge of bankruptcy those decades ago. Our parents, the "Boomers," sheltered most of us from the many truths about their financial situations and the rising costs and unemployment rates that likely affected them.

Then, when we "Gen-Y" folks got to be old enough to actually care about things like real estate and investment, we saw home values rising fast and furiously, thanks to something called a "sub-prime mortgage" and known as the 0/40 in Canada. Really, it was the same thing; the lure of low interest rates and non-existent down payments with lengthy amortizations made mortgages easier to come by, and drove up the demand for homes, which resulted in escalating property values. This happened to coincide with the season when our parents were retiring or finally upgrading into their "dream home," complete with granite countertops and heated flooring. This additional demand once again affected supply values, and home prices reached ridiculous levels.

As we watched this unfold before our naive and impressionable little eyes, we saw many people make money and build huge equity from their real estate investments. We saw them flip homes, upgrade homes, and pocket large amounts of cash in the process. This was glorified on HGTV shows and all over the news.

And, as human nature dictates, we got a little greedy. Our generation wanted a piece of the good life, the prosperous life, and the sort of life that our boomer parents worked 30+ years to earn.

However, we lacked their patience. We didn't want to have to work 30 years "for the man" or scrimp and save before we could own a huge house in the 'burbs or pocket $100K+ from a home bought and sold. We wanted that luxury lifestyle and that profit now. In our entitled thinking, we justified that we deserved to live in large, brand new homes with state-of-the-art stainless steel appliances and Kohler fixtures. We found excuses to explain why we couldn't thrive in a run-down, older bungalow or buy a small condo first. We told ourselves that we'd be wasting money by renting, and we scoffed at the idea of saving a 30% down payment before getting a mortgage.

So, our generation took action to acquire what we felt we deserved. We went out and bought big shiny new houses with all the finest fixins,' even though many of us couldn't afford to pay 10% down, much less 30% on our $300K+ mansion in the newest, trendiest suburbs in town. We stopped thinking about tomorrow, and lived every day like it was our last. We locked in with a low interest rate for 5 years, and in the back of our minds we rested in the assurance that if anything happened, our parents would be able to bail us out.

Some of us actually saw our investment values rise, maybe even significantly, so we borrowed against our equity to keep living the high life: big trips every quarter, state-of-the-art appliances and electronics, luxury SUV's, and brand-name gear for us and our kids. No problem, we thought to ourselves, real estate always goes up in value!

But what happens if 1981 repeats itself in 2011, or 2014? My generation hasn't yet stopped to think about that. We haven't considered the worst-case scenarios: 20% interest rates, massive inflation in food costs, lay-offs or wage freezes or other forms of income loss from our primary (and sometimes only) breadwinner, property value declines in the ballpark of 40%, not to mention unexpected illness, death, or natural disaster. Sure, our university-educated minds may have considered these things on a superficial level, but few of us have actually carefully planned out what we would do should any (or all) of these things occur. In truth, many of us are simply too busy enjoying our open-concept kitchens with the nice marble countertops, and far too occupied with keeping up with our neighbours, to actually take time to plan for economic hardship.

Which brings us to 2009. Massive government bail-outs. Entire industries being decimated or wiped out in favour of outsourcing, and unemployment rates increasing at an alarming pace. Bankruptcies and rising food costs. Natural disasters. Recession. Rising interest rates.

What will happen to us, the Gen-Y's who have never known calamity and hardship of this magnitude, and who have never faced empty cupboards and empty stomachs? How will we fare when our investments lose value, especially when we've been borrowing on our equity and not really paying off our debts? What capacity will we have to make our mortgage payments when lines of credit run dry and our payments double, or even triple, in value?

Those of us who live entitled, who believe we deserve the finest that life has to offer without paying the price to earn it in the first place, will have no leg to stand on when the fruits of our actions yield disaster. We will not be able to run to Mommy and Daddy and expect their help (remember, they have "dream houses" to pay off too) and we certainly won't be able to whine about how we don't "deserve" the troubles that we face.

When we live thinking that we deserve all the material good that life has to offer without paying the price for it, we deserve everything that life has to offer, even if it comes in the form of bankruptcy or foreclosure.

Maybe it will be for the best. Maybe then we will know what it means to be humble and to live humbly. Maybe then we will shake off the entitlement that has diseased our generation. And maybe then, we'll finally figure out that what we "deserve" has nothing to do with material things, and what we "have" has nothing to do with our own abilities or knowledge or works.




PS - Feel free to leave comments, but I'm not interested in a debate, especially if you're just looking to justify your actions and try to convince me (or yourself) that you're right. Especially if you're involved in crazy investment schemes or MLMs, I have no interest in getting into it with you. At the end of the day, you don't answer to me, you answer to God. But no, I'm not interested.



Thursday, July 02, 2009

Meme 65

2 comments

Another one, yes, but this one was long and lots of fun for me to do. Enjoy!

1. First thing you wash in the shower?
Hair.

2. What color is your favorite hoodie?
Navy blue

3. Would you kiss the last person you kissed, again?
Definitely.

4. Do you plan outfits?
Only when I'm working, or it's a special occasion.

5. How are you feeling RIGHT now?
Hungry.

6. Whats the closest thing to you that's red?
My placemats.

7. Tell me about the last dream you remember having?
A dream about Hubbs' brother bringing a bunch of his friends over to my in-laws' house to crash while Hubbs & I were house-sitting.

8. Did you meet anybody new today?
Yes.

9. What are you craving right now?
Red meat and ice cream, but not together.

10. Do you floss?
Not as regularly as I should but yes.

11. What comes to mind when I say cabbage?
Soup, not that I'd drink that crap.

12. Are you emotional?
Fairly. Hubbs would say absolutely.

13. Have you ever counted to 1,000?
No, I usually break it down into hundreds or fifties.

14. Do you bite into your ice cream or just lick it?
Lick quickly to contain the melt, then lick slowly to enjoy it.

15. Do you like your hair?
It's getting longer and the bangs are finally growing out so I no longer hate it, but "like" is a strong word ;)

16. Do you like yourself?
Most of the time.

17. Would you go out to eat with George W. Bush?
Only if he paid, and lots of other people were there too, so that I wouldn't have to have a conversation with just him.

18. What are you listening to right now?
The hum of the tower fan.

19. Are your parents strict?
Once upon a time, yes. Nowadays, they're mellowing in their old age.

20. Would you go sky diving?
Maybe - but only if I was guaranteed a safe landing.

21. Do you like cottage cheese?
No, it's gross and reminds me of puke. But Hubbs loves the stuff.

22. Have you ever met a celebrity?
I was once on a short-haul to Edmonton with the Vancouver Canucks. I've also met a few Oilers.

23. Do you rent movies often?
Hardly ever.

24. Is there anything sparkly in the room you're in?
My ring.

25. How many countries have you visited?
6 - Canada, Thailand, Indonesia, China, S.A.R., U.S.

26. Have you made a prank phone call?
Once.

27. Ever been on a train?
Only urban ones.

28. Brown or white eggs?
It makes no difference if it's brown or white ;)

29. Do you have a mobile?
I do have a cell phone.

30. Do you use chap stick?
Smashbox Lip Treatment SPF 15

31. Do you own a gun?
Not a real one.

32. Can you use chop sticks?
Functionally, yes. However, my mother feels that I don't do so correctly.

33. Who are you going to be with tonight?
Hubbs.

34. Are you too forgiving?
Sometimes.

35. Ever been in love?
Still am. :)

36. What is your best friend(s) doing tomorrow?
Hubbs is working.

37. Ever have cream puffs?
Yep. I like the regular vanilla ones from Beard Papa's.

38. Last time you cried?
A few days ago...and they were tears of frustration at my own dumba$$ness.

39. What was the last question you asked?
Whatcha thinkin' 'bout, hon?

40. Favorite time of the year?
Christmas, autumn

41. Do you have any tattoos?
I think Hubbs would kill me if I got one.

42. Are you sarcastic?
I'm trying hard not to be but sometimes I am.

43. Have you ever seen The Butterfly Effect?
Nope but I read the Wiki for it!

44. Ever walked into a wall?
More often than I care to list ;)

45. Favorite colour?
Blue.

46. Have you ever slapped someone?
I'm embarrassed to say that I have. Once I even meant it.

47. Is your hair curly?
Straight straight straight.

48. What was the last CD you bought?
Ben Gadd's. He's the worship leader at Westside Church, and both Hubbs & I really like his original praise songs.

49. Do looks matter?
Depends for what. They shouldn't, but the reality is that if you look good, you'll get farther in life.

50. Could you ever forgive a cheater?
Only in board games and card games. In relationships, that would be a lot tougher.

51. Is your phone bill sky high?
My-Five plus VOIP equals affordability.

52. Do you like your life right now?
Life is very good right now. I cannot complain.

53. Do you sleep with the TV on?
Only if I fall asleep on the couch. There's no TV in our bedroom.

54. Can you handle the truth?
I love Truth, but sometimes it's pretty brutal. Like today, when the gym owner Ron Z told me to do more cardio, please. Unsolicited, harsh, but honest advice.

55. Do you have good vision?
Not even with my contacts on.

56. Do you hate or dislike more than 3 people?
I dislike way more than 3 people but I don't really hate anyone.

57. How often do you talk on the phone?
Once a day, maybe?

58. The last person you held hands with?
Hubbs.

59. What are you wearing?
Glasses, among other things.

60. Are you cool?
Define cool.

61. Where was your default picture taken at?
New Year's Eve 2008 just as we were about to ring in 2009.

62. Can you hula hoop?
One of my rare abilities in the physical activity realm.

63. Do you have a job?
As of last week, yes! :)

64. What was the most recent thing you bought?
Coffee from a VanHoutte machine.

65. What do you do when you wake up?
I thank the Lord for another glorious day that He has graciously given me.

A Sign That You Might Be a Redneck

1 comments

... when you drive with your left arm hanging out the open window, AND/OR
... you're smoking, AND/OR
... you flick your nasty cigarette butt on the road when you're done, AND/OR
... you really don't give a flying frog about who might be watching.

I saw this happening on the road today, in downtown Van. I got pretty annoyed about it, too, because obviously people who do this don't want to "smoke up" their car but think nothing of the effects their flying ashes might have on the cars behind them, or the effects of littering all over the road. Because their windows are rolled down, mine have to stay rolled up (necessitating the use of my A/C since panel vents would just channel their nasty air inside my car). Double-whammy against the environment. NOT cool.

I think smoking should be banned from everywhere except perhaps inside the smoker's own home, and that's only if they own it.

Grrrrr.....

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Thirty - Twosday Meme

4 comments
Well, I finally got a real meme, and not the kind I have to look for online to blog about. Thanks Rain! :)

32 Random Questions for your reading pleasure:

1. What is your occupation right now?
Teacher

2. What colour are your socks right now?
Skin.

3. What are you listening to right now?
The hum of the fan, the sound of the washer and dryer running full loads, and the voice of Hubbs on the phone in another room

4. What was the last thing that you ate?
Lasagna - the frozen entree variety.

5. Can you drive a stick shift?
Can you fly? Same answer ;)

6. Last person you spoke to on the phone?
The receptionist at the dentist's office.

7. Do you like the person who sent this to you?
This is a dishonest question. Obviously it was sent by a friend, and if it wasn't, I'd still feel obliged to say that I like him/her even if I secretly didn't. In this case, yes, of course I like her! But the question sucks.

8. How old are you today?
Old enough to know better than to answer this question.

9. What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
I do not enjoy watching sports on TV unless it's Olympic coverage, in which case I like all of the sports.

10. What is your favourite drink?
A Lava Flow (a strawberry colada with free-poured amounts of liquor)

11. Have you ever dyed your hair?
Never.

12. Favourite food?
My dad's cooking, probably.

13. What is the last movie you watched?
Up! But after tonight, it will be Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

14. Favourite day of the year?
Christmas, followed closely by my birthday, Hubbs & my anniversary, Easter Sunday, New Year's Day, Christmas Eve, New Year's Eve, Canada Day, Hallowe'en, and several others. These are not listed in any particular order, BTW. They're all tied for second place ;)

15. How do you vent anger?
I cry. Hubbs would say that I yell. I think I just naturally talk loud, though, so to me, it's not yelling.

16.What was your favourite toy as a child?
Hard to say. We really loved our three kid chairs and the blanket and pillows in the family room. Those few toys gave us endless hours of entertainment.

17. What is your favourite season?
Autumn

18. Cherries or Blueberries?
Rainier cherries

19. Do you want your friends to e-mail you back?
No, but feel free to blog it.

20. Who is the most likely to respond?
Nobody ;)

21. Who is least likely to respond?
Anyone who reads this blog. You guys aren't meme-lovers, I gather ;)

22. Living arrangements?
Debt-free renters in a 2-bedroom, 1.5 bath apartment in Coal Harbour

23. When was the last time you cried?
Yesterday. Don't ask. ;) (and no, it doesn't concern my Hubbs at all).

24. What is on the floor of your closet?
Which one? Dresser, giveaway clothes, laundry hamper, and another clothing shelf.

25. Who is the friend you have had the longest that you are sending to?
I'm not sending it to anyone, but my most longtime friend who I know to read this blog is probably Angela :) Oh, and Lindi (presuming she's reading the blog today but I doubt it since she just had her baby girl - Congratulations Lindi!! Welcome to life, Annika!).

26. What did you do last night?
Grocery shopping, and spent the night with Hubbs.

27. What are you most afraid of****?
Bug infestations, weird cluster rashes (and weird clusters in general), and clowns

28. Plain, cheese or spicy hamburger?
My special bison burgers are spicy *and* cheesy. :)

29. Favourite dog breed?
Probably Shih-tzus, chow-chows, and the many varieties of cute teapot terriers

30. Favourite day of the week?
Fridays or Saturdays. It's the anticipation of having an entire weekend off that thrills me, I think.

31. How many countries have you lived in?
Only 2.

32. Diamonds or pearls?
Bring on the bling. I like 'em clear and shiny and colourless and big!


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Excessive Optimism Lived Out

3 comments

In my spare time, besides shopping and reading and blogging and all that other stuff that I like to do, I've added another hobby (much to Hubbs' dismay): contest-entries.

It started out innocently enough; my bro-in-law Space Max showed me a website where you could play a virtual VLT to try and win prizes. I played it for a long while but didn't win anything, but I started to get greedy and thought maybe if I entered in a lot of different contests and giveaways, that eventually I might win something. Since that day, I've become a bit of a contest junkie.

Have I won anything yet? No, but I did get a free pack of gum, travel-size bottles of Head & Shoulders shampoo and conditioner, and travel-sized Herbal Essence shampoo and conditioner. I also received 3 free pregnancy pee tests that I'll be saving for a while (hopefully they don't expire), and I'm anticipating getting a few more freebies in the next couple of weeks. I don't even remember what I've signed up for anymore, so when a package arrives in the mail, it's like Christmas. I get incredibly excited. :)

Anyway, I thought I'd give you some insight into my dirty little hobby. It's innocuous enough; nobody gets hurt, and I'm careful not to sign up for a bazillion mail-out newsletters. Maybe one day I will win something, but in the meantime, it's fun to build my optimism every time I sign up for another contest!


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Two Memes on Tuesday

0 comments
The first is a question: "Name 5 songs that are like fingernails on the chalkboard for you." Believe it or not, this is not an easy question for me to answer, since I am not an audiophile and I barely pay attention to music. However, there are a few songs that grate my nerves:

1. I Kissed a Girl - Katy Perry
2. Don't Cha (Wish Your Girlfriend) - Pussycat Dolls
3. Red Red Wine - UB40
4. Anything sung by a Cyrus
5. Your Body is a Wonderland & Waiting on the World to Change - John Mayer

I think there are actually many more, but those are the first 5 that came to mind.

I suppose the opposite question should be asked. Name 5 songs that you can never grow tired of listening to. That's harder still, since I don't have tons of favourites. Hubbs could rattle off a list in less than a minute, but he's a die-hard music fan. Hrm...

1. Any/all praise and worship (yes, that's a genre, not a song, but I can't narrow down)
2. Any/all Christmas songs
3. One Day in Your Life - Anastacia
4. Everybody Hurts - R.E.M.
5. Miss Saigon soundtrack

I know, random strange list, right? ;)

Here's the other meme, which is a one-word meme. I love these since they force me to be succinct, which I'm customarily not.

Where is your mobile phone?
- Purse

Your significant other?
- Hubbs!

Your hair?
- Greasy ;)

Your mother?
- Sweet

Your father?
- Goofy

Your favourite thing?
- Everything!

Your dream last night?
- None

Your favourite drink?
- Nestea

Your dream/goal?
- Travel

What room are you in?
- Dining

Your hobby?
- Spending

Your fear?
- Falling

Where do you want to be in 6 years?
- Vancouver

Where were you last night?
- Bed

Something that you aren't?
- Pregnant

Muffins?
- Cupcakes

Wish list item?
- Sectional

Last thing you did?
- Sang

What are you wearing?
- Contacts

TV?
- Samsung

Your pets?
- None.

Friends?
- Loyal

Your life?
- Busy

Your mood?
- Joyful

Missing someone?
- No.

Drinking?
- Water

Smoking?
- Gross.

Your car?
- Accord

Something you're not wearing?
- Socks

Your favourite store?
- Shoppers

Your favourite colour?
- Blue

When is the last time you cried?
- Up!

Where do you go to over and over?
- Bathroom

Five people who email me regularly?
- Hubbs, Facebook, Connie, Jo, stores

My favourite place to eat?
- Out

Favourite place I'd like to be at right now?
- Spa



Thursday, June 18, 2009

I Can Handle the Truth!!!!

13 comments

This post is inspired by L's Favourite Things post, on her Baby B blog. I had left a comment there that started to run long, so I thought I'd just make it into a post of its own over here.

First of all, I'm not pregnant, and I have never been, at least not up until this point in my life. However, most of my friends have been pregnant already, and are now mommas. This is great on many levels; hand-me-downs, experience from which I can draw, recommendations for the best baby gear, books I can borrow, common ground and little friendlings for my babies to play with one day, and on and on. You get the picture.

That is not to say that it's all great, even though it should be. In fact, it's down-right not great in one particular way, and that is the reality that nearly all of these girlfriends continue to keep quiet when it comes to the things that I *really* need to know about being pregnant and having a baby. They gush about the miracle of life, how "worth it" everything was to have their baby, and how great it is to be a mom, but almost nobody ever elaborates on the "everything" that was worth their sacrifice. Sure, I know about the pain of labour, and swollen ankles, and sore backs, but the truth is that there are lots of other even more embarrassing and horrific changes that happen to the body when one is pregnant, and probably just as many disgusting things that happen post-pregnancy that someone like me should really be mentally prepared for. It is in these details, however, that most of my friends have kept silent, much to my dismay and disadvantage.

Now, that's not to say that all of my friends have been completely quiet. Tejanamama - I'm talking 'bout you here - has been very forth-coming with details, although I have the feeling she's still holding out a little, probably to keep me from avoiding motherhood altogether ;) A few others have mentioned things like the laugh-and-pee syndrome that develops once your belly grows, and one friend did tell me a very scary post-babies story about loose flapping lips ... and I'm not talking about the set on one's face. So yes, I've heard a bit about the oogly side of motherhood, but even then, I'm pretty sure it's not the whole story.

So what gives, ladies? Is it the embarrassment of admitting to having had "accidents" that keeps you from speaking up? Is it something that is too traumatic to be spoken of? Is it socially un-PC to speak ill of the pregnancy or birth process? Or does the brain just suddenly forget about all of those really gross things that happen the moment eyes are laid on baby? I have no idea what social rules of propriety are keeping these women from voicing their not-so-nice experiences, but I for one would like to know. I can handle the truth!!! Really, I can. And honestly, knowing makes it easier for me to prepare myself mentally for whatever horrors lay ahead.

This is why I am asking, imploring, that you open up to me about the not-so-glamourous parts of having a baby. Don't hold back, either; I want to hear the grossest, nastiest stories you've got. I need to make sure I know what I'm getting into, and I already know about the sugar-and-spice-and-everything-nice that accompanies parenthood. The details I want are the ones that all of your books don't even mention, the things that caught you by unpleasant surprise, and the things that made you go red. I can read the books I borrow from you for the other details; give me the real deal.

My future self thanks you in advance ;)



Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Change is the Only Constant (Aside from God)

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As you can see, the blog layout has changed again. This was not really my choice. I was going to go and clean the bathroom.

However, much to my dismay, upon publishing the last post I discovered that the template I was using, the one that was free from a blogger template site, contained a PhotoBucket image that was apparently exceeding its bandwidth. I have no idea what that means in real people terms, but to me it meant that my beautiful layout became this ugly wallpaper of PhotoBucket warnings. In my panicked state (thinking maybe it was a clipart image I had liberally "borrowed,") I went wild deleting cutesy clipart images from my last few posts.

It didn't work.

Finally, I looked at the code for the template, and lo and behold, I saw the tell-tale PhotoBucket text in the HTML. I had to quickly do a template swap and replace, just so that I could get rid of the oogly warnings all over my beloved blog.

So, you like? I think that this is a lovely template; hopefully it has lots of bandwidth or whatever it needs to stay intact. I particularly am enamoured with the cityscape scene of this template, and since I live in a big urban city now, I guess it's appropos.

Point is, the change was not my choice, but in the end it probably worked out for good. My toilet, however, is still dirty. Boo-ray for that.

On the upside, though - I can say that I did accomplish something today ;)

A Little Muse Here, A Little Muse There

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Hubbs is away. To mark this very sad occasion (it's sad at my place every 3 weeks when he flies out for work), I did nothing. Literally, nothing. I might end up doing some cleaning so that I'm not a completely useless lump of space-waste, but so far my only accomplishments have been 1 load of laundry, and this blog post. ;)

During my day of nothingness, a few random and unrelated thoughts and observations came to mind. In keeping with my oh-so-generous spirit, I thought I'd share. :)


Stinky Garbage Tip
When you have a smelly bag of half-full garbage, a way to reduce/eliminate odors is to put some coffee grinds in the garbage. For some reason, it just kills the other bad stench and replaces it with coffee smell (which I prefer infinitely over the smell of rank old garbage). Of course, this is a temporary measure; I would not advise using this as a long-term alternative to taking out the garbage, especially if there are decomposing items in your bin.


Flight Fussy
Hubbs & I have become exclusivists when it comes to domestic air travel. We refuse to fly with Air Canada anymore, so we now only go where Westjet goes, or else where Westjet will connect to go. It used to be that we'd book Westjet more often than AC because one was always more affordable than the other, but ever since we moved to Van and have had to do the commute back to E-town almost bi-weekly, we have noted that the quality of air service and overall travel experience between the two are glaringly different. Whereas Westjet is relaxed and the whole process with ticketing and check-in and flying and baggage is just easy and hassle-free and problem-free, with AC you're constantly dealing with the ordeal of late flights and lost bags and long line-ups and cranky passengers and other headaches. We've since concluded that a flight that isn't with Westjet isn't really worth taking.


Rollin' Rollin' Rollin'
We'ver just taken up this sport, so we're still newbies. We've only been on blades three times (once for lessons and twice on our own to practice) but we are in love with the feeling of gliding over smooth pavement! Don't get me wrong; we're not proficient yet, but we've really had a lot of fun figuring out how to glide and stop and keep our balance on even ground. Neither of us has tackled hills so far, and I anticipate much falling when I learn how to go down a slope, but in the meantime we're happy simply with getting used to the feel of moving on wheeled shoes and finding our balance. I'll post more about this later, but suffice to say it's something we plan to continue pursuing in the short-term at the very least. :)

The Myth of Rain
Before we moved, people kept telling us that it rained all the time in Van. We heard it from nearly everyone (yes, even you), so we expected that it would be a miserable dreary (but lush green) world we were entering into. I'd like to officially state that nearly everyone was wrong.

We've been in Van for 8 months now, and the only rain we've seen has pretty much come when the rest of the Western provinces were seeing piles of white stuff on the ground. Even then, the white stuff stuck around much longer in AB than the rain has in BC; we've been enjoying summer temperatures for the past two months! I keep waiting for some rain, since I love the smell of the air after a good downpour, but most mornings I wake up disappointed. Nothing yet. Tomorrow's forecast is finally calling for some moisture. It has been weeks since we've had significant precipitation so I'm optimistic that this is it! :) But in the meantime, I'd like to just say a sincere and well-intentioned :P to you all!

Alas, I miss my Hubbs. I've grown so accustomed to having him at home while he works that it feels quite lonely when I'm in this place all by myself. It's not a big apartment, but with him away it feels like it's too big for just me. Gone are the days of my youth when I relished having time to myself, and a private place from the world in which to retreat. Now, I would rather share all of my moments with Hubbs, and no longer find the solitude comforting. Funny how that happens after one meets their soul-mate, their "better half," their lobster (you'll get this reference if you watched "Friends"). I guess it just means that Hubbs & I were meant to be together! :)

Okay, so now I have to go clean a toilet, lest I further waste away the day with non-productivity. I told you it was random! ;)