Saturday, 27 December 2008

Grandmas and Girlfriends

My sister wrote this and I love it so much that I am copying and pasting it here for all to read!


my sister and i went to visit our grandma in the hopsital where she is recovering and regaining her strength after a heart attack. as we sat chatting in front of a fireplace, grandma told us about a time when she and three of her girlfriends were seated in a food court having lunch and sharing some laughs. she said they were so engrossed in their visiting that it was as if they were the only ones in the room. a man at a nearby table said to them "you four ladies remind me of the golden girls" and grandma said that she quickly responded "yes, and i'm the sexy one."

my grandma, agnes josephine thomas, will turn 91 this january, on our shared birthday. she has macular degeneration so she can't see very well, she is hard of hearing, and she seems to get smaller every time i see her. and yet she is still strong and independent, living on her own, playing bridge with her friends several times a week, being the loving and steadfast head of our big family. her face still lights up whenever i see her and i am met with a smile and grandma's sweet familiar voice saying "there she is!" as she raises both of her arms in the air, celebrating my arrival.

during our visit yesterday, a woman came to fetch grandma for her exercise class. grandma said "no thank you, i'd rather stay here with my friends." she ended up going to the class after all, but it struck me that she referred to us, her granddaughters, as her friends. my sister and i grinned at each other, wrinkling our noses at grandma's cuteness. but last night, as i was reading about women and friendships, i realized that grandma's got it right. we are friends. she has been my lifelong friend. french braiding my hair, teaching me how to bake, letting me poke raisins into the dough to make eyes for my bread girl's face, taking me for a ride on the bus to new westminster's sally ann, serving me the very best homemade lunches, playing countless games with me (i've been blessed with two card-shark grandmas), inviting me to watch lawrence welk with her when she babysat me on saturday evenings, taking me as her date each year to the seniors' "january birthday party" at century house, making me lefse (a yummy norwegian treat - thin and crepe-like, made from potatoes, spread with butter and honey and rolled up to devour...a favourite of all of her grandkids), phoning me regularly to see how i'm doing. my grandma has been such a blessing in my life. she has shared her wisdom and shared her stories. she has instilled in me the importance of friendships, and she modelled how to cultivate rich relationships with her many sisters and many girlfriends. she has been an amazing friend to me. i am lucky to have so many wonderful women in my life. girlfriends, sisters, mothers, grandmothers, steps, aunts, cousins, monkeys, nieces, pastors, cousins' daughters, cousins' wives, extended family, sisters' friends, old friends, new friends, reconnected friends. there is nothing like it, really...having someone who knows you and your history, knows your heart, wants only the best for you.

my relationship with each of you is unique. maybe we made up dance routines together in my living room. had sleepovers and watched scary movie after scary movie. vacationed together and felt closer than if our families had actually been related. watched the fire crackle as we sang along to barbra streisand. got into teenage mischief. were roommates in university. maybe we laughed until we cried on a zillion occasions, especially the morning after a party, when everything just seems funnier. consoled each other's broken hearts. encouraged each other to feel the fear and do it anyway. invited each other. took the wheel for each other. gabbed over coffee, appies, wine, dessert. jumped on the tramp. shared our hearts. commiserated. made concoctions from everything we could find under the bathroom sink (you know who you are). pow wowed. stayed in hostels. drank and dialled. took chances. let each other vent. cried because we were sad. cried because we were happy. talked about god. skipped school and watched tv from the comfort of my parents' bed. stayed up all night. got each other through some very hard times. celebrated each other's triumphs, big and small. praised and worshipped together. held onto each other's dreams when we felt afraid or discouraged. held each other's hair back when we got sick. surprised each other. gave advice. walked and talked. maybe we grew up together. were a sounding board. had faith. gave grace. got over it. gave hugs. rocked out in the car. kept each other's secrets. borrowed each other's clothes. came up with great ideas. had spa days and weekend getaways. let each other Just Be. agonized over career choices. recorded ourselves singing. snuck out. got caught. covered for one another. shared a brain. emailed. brunched. road tripped. drafted sentences together. let each other ride our coattails sometimes (where do i sign?). made up secret codes (WDIS?). supported each other to be our best selves. believed in each other. made each other stronger. loved one another. here's some of what i read last night that got me thinking about women and friendship. it's from 'captivating: unveiling the mystery of a woman's soul' by john and stasi eldredge:"the gift of friendship among women is a treasure not to be taken lightly. women friends become the face of god to one another - the face of grace, of delight, of mercy. the capacity of a woman's heart for meaningful relationships is vast. there is no way your husband or your children can ever provide the intimacy and relational satisfaction you need. a woman must have women friends. to have a woman friend is to relax into another soul and be welcomed in all that you are and all that you are not. it is a great gift to know that you see as another sees, an immense pleasure to be understood, to enjoy easy companionship of one you can let your guard down with. when god gives a friend, he is entrusting us with the care of another's heart. it is a chance to mother and to sister, to be a life giver, to help someone else become the woman she was created to be, to walk alongside her and call her deep heart forth." thank you all for your friendship. i am truly blessed.

Christmas is over!

Well, that's it. Another Christmas is over. And what I really want to write about is the snow. Actually I have a lot of catching up to do here so I might post a few times today instead of one giant post or trying to spread them out over the next few days.



Christmas for me turned out to be a three day event. We celebrated on Christmas eve with my dad, stepmom and her daughters. Christmas day we spent the morning with my mom and stepdad and then dinner is my grandpa's. This year we've added in a boxing day morning tradition with my sisters and I together at my mom's. It snowed ALL day and so boxing day morning went until 11pm for Stef, mom and I. We hung around mom's all morning and afternoon and then went for a walk in the snowy/rainy evening and watched a movie together back at my mom's place. It was a lovely day.



I still have nowhere to park my car. This snow has made it impossible to get into the alley behind my building and even if I could there isn't any way to pull into my actual parking spot. I parked my car overnight at Safeway on Christmas eve and since then I have left my car down on Cornwall in front of my mom's. It has actually worked out well because mom and Steve's car got broken into on Christmas eve and so they have been able to use my car when they need to.



I took some pictures last night to document the craziness of this snow. We kept thinking it had to stop and then it just kept snowing. I will post a pic here for posterity.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Let it snow. Let it snow. Let it snow.

Oh the weather outside is frightful.....and I kind of love it.
I know it is cold and a pain and hard to get around in but it is also silent and beautiful and oh so fluffy. I can't remember it ever being cold enough in Vancouver to get snow this light and fluffy. I cleaned off my car this morning and was fascinated by how weightless the snow was. It really is like powder. We don't ordinarily get that kind of snow around here. Usually we have the heavy wet snow that turns into slush the moment it hits the ground. I am liking this powdery, light, fluffy snow.

In other news, I have a cold. Nothing too bad, mind you. A bit of a runny nose, the occasional sneeze and a once in a while dry cough. I don't expect it to get much worse than this and so it won't really slow me down this season. Not that there is anything keeping me going to quickly either. I am nearly done my Christmas shopping and am planning to do some baking next week. I have cleaned and decorated my apartment. I have even already wrapped the presents that I bought and have them under my little lime-green, tinsel tree. My tradition for wrapping presents has been to do them all on Christmas eve quite late at night while watching some totally-unrelated-to-Christmas movie on tv. Last year it was Eyes Wide Shut. Two years ago - A Clockwork Orange. Clearly some television programmer has a Christmas-Kubrick thing going on. This year I will be spared from watching Full Metal Jacket since my wrapping will all be finished early.

Some good news to round out my post is that my Grandma is being sent home today. She has been in an acute care facility for a couple of weeks now, since leaving the hospital and today she goes home. It is a joy to know that she will be back in her own environment for Christmas and the week leading up to it.

Friday, 12 December 2008

Busy December


Life has been busy and I haven't had enough downtime to sit and write. I have been crafting for Christmas and running around getting things done. Plus there is also all of the fun things I've been doing. I have gone to see It's a Wonderful Life at the Arts Club theater, decorated our Christmas tree, had festive dinners out, strolled 4th, window shopped, and really shopped. I have had a Dr. appointment, a dentist appointment, a chiro appointment, gotten my oil changed, new tires put on my car and gone out for my first experience of Vietnamese food. Phnom Penh - yum! The chicken wings are to die for! Deep fried with salt, pepper and garlic and a lemon (or lime) pepper sauce for dipping, mmm mmmmm. I found a pic of them online here... Phnom Penh chicken wings

This weekend there is a goodbye gathering for my monkey sister tonight, tree decorating at my sister's tomorrow, a bar mitzvah and a concert on Sunday.
Whew!

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

A list for no reason (ok, because I love to write lists)

clean fresh sheets
rooibos tea
eucalyptus epsom salts
Cooper's paws
a good hair day
scarves
70% dark chocolate
music
red wine
faith
any shade of green
fat, fluffy snow flakes

Just for a cleaning, but still!

I have a dentist appointment this afternoon and I don't want to go!

Monday, 1 December 2008

Nobody puts Baby in the corner.

I watched Dirty Dancing this weekend, on purpose.
Twice!

I have seen this movie countless times. Pretty much any time it is on tv, I get sucked in and watch it. On Saturday afternoon, I put the dvd in my player and actually sat down and watched the movie from beginning to end. I paused it if my phone rang or for any other interruptions and watched it with purpose. I enjoyed it so much, that Sunday afternoon, I watched it again.

I have always loved Dirty Dancing but this time, I saw it a little differently. I found a new appreciation for it. Not only is it entertaining and fun (which is how I have always thought of it) but it is actually a really, really GOOD movie. The story is so much richer than I ever gave it credit for. The characters are well developed and you believe that they are really those people. It is beautifully filmed, interesting and clever. The music, for the most part, is perfect. Although I did scoff mildly at She's Like the Wind, it just doesn't fit the rest of the soundtrack.

I remember the first time I saw Dirty Dancing. I was 13 years old and with my mom on a mother/daughter date night. We had gone for dinner first and then to see Dirty Dancing. I wanted to be Baby. I wanted to go to the Catskills and meet my very own Johnny Castle and learn how to dance and do lifts in the water.

Does every girl love this movie as much as I do?

Thursday, 27 November 2008

I'm like a worker bee. I want to be the Queen!

Busy, busy, busy, busy! This has been my life for the past couple of weeks and the last 7 days in particular. My only down time isn't even my own. It is while I am in class every morning. I get a chance to read through the prep but I have to be alert and ready at any given moment to jump up and interpret so I can't ever really just settle in while I'm here.

When I am not at work, I am driving to my next job or to the hospital to visit my grandma. Then I have to go to the bank, the grocery store, the dentist, the chiropractor. I have had some fun times in the past week too, Hairspray last Friday and dancing on Saturday and a matinee on Sunday. The problem there is that I stretched myself too thin. I didn't give myself any me time and so by Tuesday, I felt completely burnt out.

I hate turning down fun plans. I like to go out and be social but I have realized how badly I need to have alone time to recharge and refuel. I turned down plans for last night to just stay in and be alone. But I was at work until 6:30 and then had to drive home and stop to get groceries. When all was all said and done, it was 7:30 before I walked in the door. Not really what I mean by me time.

Just a day. I want just a day. A day to be a Queen Bee! A day with nothing planned. A day with nowhere to be. A day with nothing to do. A day where I don't have to drive anywhere. A day where I can sleep in, stay in my pjs for too long, have soup and crackers for lunch, watch a movie from the couch, cuddle with Cooper, go for a walk, have a delicious latte or tea, and feel completely recharged!

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Grandma update

I am learning that getting better when you are almost 91 doesn't mean the same thing as it does for younger people. Grandma is in and out and I am not sure what it going to happen. I spent just over 3 hours with her at the hospital yesterday and mostly we just sat together.

She is on the transfer list to be moved out of the acute cardiac care unit since her heart is no longer a problem. She will be moving to another medical unit and hopefully she will get the right kind of care.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Grandma is getting better

Well, good news! My grandma is getting better. It was a tough weekend and on Saturday it was downright scary. But Sunday she turned a corner and things are looking up. They aren't just looking up they are up.

Thank you for your kind emails and messages. It was nice having people reach out to us in tough times.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Grandma

I found out a couple of hours ago that my grandma is in the hospital. She had a heart attack and is undergoing an angioplasty this evening. I am near the hospital for work and so will hopefully get to see her either tonight or tomorrow morning.

Please send out good and healing thoughts to my grandma!

Chilly hands and wireless woes!

I am sitting in a tiny little room at College and my right hand is so cold that it has a pink tinge to it. My left hand is only a little warmer and this is due to the fact that I don't need it to operate a mouse so I can keep it tucked under my leg or in my armpit for warmth.

I am here interpreting an exam for a student. I had big plans for these 4 hours. I recently bought myself a laptop and was going to spend some time getting familiar with it. Turns out that I need a password to login to the wireless network here and so until I have one of those, I am out of luck for using my laptop while on campus. Good thing I still have access to the school computers.

As for why this room is soooo cold, I have no idea. Maybe they figure students focus better in the cold. Heat does make you sleepy after all. But my poor little right hand. Oy!

After this exam, I am heading to another college to interpret another exam. Two and a half more hours of sitting. Hopefully I can log on to the wireless network at that school. If not, I've got a book with me...2 in fact. I will have to get these password kinks ironed out though. Otherwise what is the point in having the laptop?

This is a short, strange post I know but I am oddly scattered and felt like writing.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Getting things done!

It is an overcast and rainy Saturday morning and I am in the mood to get things done! I am going to have a very productive morning/afternoon. I have loads of recycling to take out, a kitchen table to get rid of, banking, cleaning, shopping, a beef to pick with Best Buy (that one will get it's own post later), and stuff to take to the salvation army.

I emailed ST to join me in my errands and this is how she replied...

i'll put some cookies by the door to bring along...
and bring my specs in case we see a movie
and bring a hanky in case we meet our husbands
"oh did i drop that? why thank you kind sir..."

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Job stress

My job these days is a challenging one. The student that I am working with pushes all of my boundaries and all of my buttons. For the first time in the history of my career as an interpreter, I feel stress about coming to work.

I was lying in bed last night trying to channel good thoughts and good feelings about this job and I realized that my only responsibility is to show up and be present. I need to be firm, upfront and clear with my boundaries. After that I just need to stay grounded.

This is a good life lesson for me and I will be a stronger person because of it. The hardest things are always the ones you learn the most from. If this were easy, I wouldn't grow at all. And they don't call them growing pains for nothing!

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

I am a blogger.

I never thought that I would be a blogger. There is some part of my brain that still denies that that is what I am. I guess I always thought of bloggers as being the ones who have a huge following - Perez Hilton, Trent from Pink is the New Blog, Wil Wheaton, Arianna Huffington, etc. But the reality is that the majority of bloggers are the people like me. The ones who have very small followings if any at all. In Dec 2007, Technorati, a blog search engine, was tracking more than 112 million blogs.

I actually have no idea how many people check in and read this. A few of my family members, a handful of friends, the occasional stranger. I only know about the strangers because I have had a few of them leave me comments letting me know that they have stumbled across my blog and enjoyed a particular post.

In a way, it is easier to write not knowing who my audience is. In this way I still cater to me instead of trying to entertain you. Of course, I cater to me in a way that I hope is entertaining to you.

I write because I love to write. I write because it is therapeutic. I write publicly because it keeps me writing. I feel a sense of responsibility to post. I also, still really enjoy it. I like having a way to express myself. I share only what I am comfortable sharing and I write about anything that my heart desires. It is an outlet for my creativity and an outlet for my emotions.

As I wrote in my first post ever, I have kept some sort of journal or diary since I was 10 years old. My grandpa keeps a little notebook that he writes in every day - just a sentence or two to sum up the day. His mother kept one too. My grandpa still has his mother's journals. There is an entry from around the time my grandpa was born that says something about how deep the snow was and "G was born two days ago." It is two sentences; one about the snow and one about having a son. And that's it! It is pretty amazing. So as you can see, I come by this journal keeping quite honestly. It's in the genes.

And in 2008, the leap from journalling to blogging is a short one. So yes, I am a blogger. A blogger and proud of it!

Monday, 10 November 2008

Beliefs

I believe in miracles
I believe in love
I believe in happiness
I believe in choice
I believe in God
I believe in compassion
I believe in forgiveness
I believe in kindness
I believe in hope

I believe that we are all doing the best that we can with what we've got. I believe in following your dreams. I believe in freedom. I believe in faith. I believe that we have the power to change the world.

I believe in you

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Happy Birthday Megan!

I love you tons!

Stealth Cat

This cat rocks my world!

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

20 years

Today is the 20 year anniversary of my car accident. I never really intend on keeping track of it every year but whenever November 5th rolls around, I am aware of it.

Two years ago I joked that if my car accident had been a baby that I would be sending it off to college. Last year my car accident was legal to drink in Canada. This year is a pretty boring one. Next year it's going to Vegas!

I am grateful that I can joke about it. I am lucky to be alive and I guess that is probably why every year on November 5th I remember. It is my own personal remembrance day.

love to you all
kt

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Ick

I have a real problem with noises. I am very sensitive to noise. Not all noises, mind you, just the ones that I find gross. Like right now, there is a guy over my left shoulder who is eating chips with his mouth open, burping, sighing and talking to himself. I have not a single problem with him as a person but the noises he is making are making me feel a bit queasy. The sigh is really a half groan and there are some slurping noises going along with the finger licking after he finishes a handful of chips.

This could go back to the days of living at home and listening to my dad eat soggy cereal. He used to pour the milk in the bowl of cereal and then go upstairs and shave - leaving the cereal to soak up every last drop of milk. He'd then come down and slurp his way through that bowl of cereal barely needing to chew because it was such mush.

It's the same when I am in a room with someone who has a cold. All that sniffling and phlegmy coughing. Or listening to someone hoark. Ugh!

This is so not what I intended to write when I signed on but all I could hear was this guy and so needed to acknowledge it.

Election Day

It seems wrong to log on and write a post today without mentioning the election in the States. It's a big deal and I am very interested in seeing the outcome. This is when we find out how 'the people' really feel. If only it were up to Canadians to vote in the next President of the United States. We would do it so well.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

This is what the world looks like in my neck of the woods.

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Who was I kidding?

I can't commit to a top ten movie list, so scrap that last post. Grease and Dirty Dancing should really be on there too. The list is too dependant on how I feel on any given day and so it changes on a regular basis.

Since I have that whole listing obsession, it was a gloriously fun project for me to do and now I actually have a list written down of my top 100 films. It's just been in my head for all this time so it's nice to have it on paper. I'm going to call it a loose list because it will change a hundred times over.

Today I'd be happy to have the top ten all be musicals. Hey I could do a top ten by genre! That would give me loads more lists to make!!!

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Top ten movies of all time

I have always kept a loose list of my favourite movies. I've never put the list in order or in writing...until yesterday. It was actually a 3 day project but what I came up with is my 100 favourite movies of all time.

I am sure that I am forgetting some, but then if I've forgotten them can they really be in my favourites? It was a fun process for me, listing them out and rating them and moving them around and listing them again. A very satisfying way to spend my time.

I think that a list of 100 items would be way too long to post so I will start with posting my top ten. I have to say that I was surprised about what made it in to the top ranks of my faves. I would have expected Grease to be up there and it isn't. It's hanging around at #13. After finalizing my list I very carefully looked over my top 10 again and am satisfied that they all belong exactly where they are. For now at least. You never know what's around the corner.

Alright, with no further adue. My top 10 movies of all time!

10. Stranger Than Fiction
9. The Legend of Billie Jean
8. The Holiday
7. About A Boy
6. Psycho
5. The Pianist
4. The Lives of Others
3. Once
2. Sex and the City
1. Across the Universe

My criteria for picking my films is pretty basic. There are 4 components.
Overall enjoyment
Emotional reaction
Could I /do I watch it multiple times
Do I want other people to see it

Although, I think I will probably never make another person sit through The Legend of Billie Jean even though I will likely watch it again and again for the rest of my days.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Damn knee!

We went out dancing and drinking this weekend and it was super fun times. It was a UBC baseball alumni weekend and my monkey brother-in-law (married to my monkey sister)....ok wait maybe that requires a bit of an explanation.

At Lisa's and Jason's wedding, the head table was reserved for the siblings of the happy couple. Lisa has Stef and I and Jason has 3 sisters who all have significant others. We were trying to figure out what our relationship is to each other as sisters of the couple. J-Dub became my brother in law but what about his sisters who I like to think of as family now too? Lisa became their sister in law but who are Stefanie and I to them? As we were trying to figure it out, one of them suggested "lucky sisters" which I mistakenly heard as "monkey sisters" and it stuck. The rest of the night was filled with pictures of us together, arms curled in the air above our heads or under our armpits. There may have been a few "ooo ooo ooo's and eee eee eee's" too.

Ok so back to my monkey brother-in-law's alumni weekend. We went dancing on Saturday night and had so much fun. Today is Wednesday and I am still recovering from it. Not in any kind of hangover way mind you, it's my body that is recovering from the dancing. I have always had problems with my left knee. Well since my car accident in 1988 that is. Even when I was in my 20's and going out dancing every week, my knee would bother me the next day. I would have to take advil and elevate my leg and ice my knee. It was a small price to pay for all the fun times I had dancing.

Over the past few years though, it is now my right knee that flares up. I asked my chiropractor about it and she says it's because for 17 years after the accident I was out of alignment and carried my weight differently and now that we are getting me back in alignment, my right knee is acting up.

Anyways, on Sunday my right knee was aching. It felt thick, as though it had been packed with sawdust. It ached no matter what posistion it was in. Sitting, standing, elevated, straight, bent...whatever, it hurt.

Monday, it was worse. I was having trouble with stairs and even walking. It still felt thick and packed and sore. When I got into bed Monday night and stretched my leg, it did this really weird snapping thing. I felt it as a vibration. There was no pain involved but it was as though whatever bone was out of place, snapped back into place. It made a popping noise and then I waited for the pain to come. It never did. I drifted off to sleep and when I got up in the morning it felt 90% better.

Tuesday, it was still sore and I got in to see my Chiropractor who adjusted my knee and then pretty much every vertabrae I have. It was a good appointment and one I desperately needed. I was shocked that I was so completely out of whack and not just my knee. Afterwards my whole body felt much better but my knee is still sore. I guess it will take a couple of days for the swelling to go down and for it to heal.

Hopefully it will be good enough by tomorrow night. Just in time for me to throw it out again while dancing at the Madonna concert!

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Close but no cigar

Sheesh. Can I just say that again please? Sheesh!

The thing is that I don't want to write about why I am sheeshing. I just want to publicly sheesh. It's an arms up to the sky, eyes closed, big sigh and then with a slight shake of the head a simple but poignant 'sheesh'.

Ahhhhh
I needed that.

Monday, 20 October 2008

Simple pleasures

Someone asked me this weekend what my simplest pleasure is. It took me a while to come up with my answer. I could have given a list of responses. The shade of pink Cooper's nose turns when he is feeling playful, a square of 70% good quality dark chocolate, a perfect cup of tea, a delicious artigiano latte, taking a deep breath of fresh air, standing at the edge of the ocean and looking out at the horizon, the absolute softness of Cooper's paws, crawling into bed between clean, crisp, cool sheets, a hug from someone I love, a good song on the radio while I'm driving, a sunny, cool day, the view from my corner when the ocean is as smooth as glass, reading a good book, the silence of a snowy night. What I take from this is how blessed I am to have so many simple pleasures.

What I ended up picking as my absolute simplest pleasure was watching the rain fall. When there is a downpour, I love nothing more than shutting off my tv or computer, turning out all the lights and just sitting at an open window to take it all in. I love the smell of it, the sound of it and how it looks. I can very easily sit at a window and watch the rain fall for an extended period of time. It makes me feel peaceful and content. It is for this reason that my dream house has window seats. I need to be able to sit right in the window and be surrounded by the rain.

I was also asked if I could have three wishes what would they be. This was a tough one to answer and mostly because I realized that I don't really wish for anything. I have gotten so used to accepting what is and rolling with whatever comes along that I have forgotten to wish for things. Sure I'd like a flat screen tv and a wii and an unlimited bank account....but these are things and I have learned that things don't actually really matter to me. I wanted to be open and honest and that is a little scary for me. The truth is that what I want is true love, fearlessness and harmony in the world. It's a little scary for me to admit that I want true love and fearlessness. It makes me feel vulnerable. After much deliberation those are the three things that I went with, despite my fear of being so real and open.

I guess fearlessness is not as out of my reach as I think it is.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

I'm gonna party like it's 2003.

While cleaning, purging and rearranging, I have updated my lifestyle a little bit. I'd like to claim that I have caught up to the rest of my contemporaries but really all I've done is caught up to where they were 5 years ago. I am still half a decade (if not more) behind everyone else in North America.

I chucked out my corded phone and bought a cordless. I took old vhs movies to the salvation army and am starting to replace them with dvds (Blue ray? What's Blue Ray? - I'll get around to that sometime in the next 10 years). I am realizing that my as-thick-as-it-is-wide television is old, crappy and takes up far too much space so am saving up for a new sleek, streamlined one.

I still don't own an ipod or a laptop. My cellphone's only feature is call display. (I hear that some phones even come with cameras now). PVR, DVR, HiDef, Digital cable - these words mean nothing to me. Is TiVo obsolete? Because I always thought I'd like to own one of these someday! I don't own a Wii or any kind of gaming console for that matter.

I could go on but I don't even know what else is new out there in the world of technology. I guess in keeping with my theme, I really only need to know what was new 10 years ago and jump on that bandwagon.

Ebooks anyone?

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Rearranging and it feels so good.

Last March, I started thinking about Spring cleaning. April came in like a lion and went out like a lamb and still my apartment was cluttered. May flew by and then June and still nothing. Inspiration was always on the tip on my thoughts but never fully rooted in my behaviour.

Yesterday inspiration hit me full force and without really thinking it through or even having the semblance of a plan, I started DOING something. Apartment is an appropriate word for what I live in right now. It has been torn apart. Everything is everywhere. Hallways are blocked, tables are heaped with clutter, pictures are off of walls, books are stacked 10 deep on the floor and chairs are covered with potted plants looking for a home. It is chaotic but it feels good. I am slowly but surely finding a place for the things I love and everything else is going to the salvation army.

This may take a few days but I am excited to have my home feeling fresh and new!

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Website sharing

I have just added a new component to my blog. You'll notice over on the right, below the tree, there is a section called My favourite websites. These are websites that I like to check on a regular basis. I'll give you a bit of a lowdown on each of them to let you know what they are.

Delicious hotlist - This is an online bookmarking site. It enables you to create a favourites list online so that you can track down all of your bookmarked sites from any computer. This is a great site for someone like me who is often on different computers and likes to check a wide range of sites but can't remember how to find them. I can sign on to delicious from any computer and there are links to all my favourite and bookmarked websites.

Married to the Sea - This is a fabulous webcomic that entertains me to no end. The basic premise is clip art with captions. They are often a little offside and very possibly offensive but I generally just find them either funny or odd.

WWdN: In Exile - This is Wil Wheaton's blog and probably the site that I check most often. He writes about a wide range of things with the majority of his focus being all things geek-related (gaming, comics, conventions etc) but he also throws in these absolute gems of personal stories that are written so well that I often find my heart smiling from reading them.

Movie Trailers - This is a site where you can watch all of the latest movie trailers on your computer. I check this site once a month and spend an hour watching all the new movie trailers. It's perfect for a rainy Saturday morning while I drink tea and eat peanut butter and honey on toast.

xkcd - This is another webcomic that I love. The author, Randall Munroe has his degree in physics and had a job working on robots at NASA. He doodled and sketched stick figures doing geeky things and it grew and evolved to this fabulous comic that he updates on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

The Movie Spoiler - A friend of mine hooked me onto this website for horror movies. I can't watch horror movies because they scare the bejeezus out of me yet I have this sick fascination about them and want to know exactly what I am missing. It's basically the same thing as having someone who has seen the movie telling you from start to finish exactly what happened.

Here are a list of other sites that I am a fan of...

Zap2it - tv listing guide - I like to check this to see what's on and when and where to find my favourite shows.
Dictionary.com - I write a lot and am a terrible speller. This is actually on the very top of my favourites list because I use it so often.
IMDb - The Internet Movie Database - for the movie lover!
Perez Hilton - for all the latest and meanest celebrity gossip
Pink is the new Blog - to balance out the celebrity gossip with a nicer approach
Movies MyTelus - Local movie listings and reviews

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Planning a weekend of rest.

My nose is running today. I have a slightly sore throat and am feeling mildly run down. I am actually viewing this all as good news right now. I have no intentions of catching a cold and these subtle symptoms are just what I need to convince myself to take the weekend off and take care of myself.

I am working tonight and then going out after work tomorrow for John's bday but then Saturday and Sunday are all mine. I might make soup, rent movies, read in bed and drink tea. I have been craving Lipton chicken noodle soup for the past week but I also make a kick ass veggie soup with thyme, lime juice, curry and coconut milk...mmmmm.

Tthis morning, I have had to interpret strange and difficult things like rebus puzzles (wordplay) and the definition of propaganda out of the dictionary. Whew!

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

The longest post about boots ever.

I bought new boots yesterday. It is definitely boot season out there in the shoe store world. Everywhere you go, boots, boots and more boots. Flat soled boots, boots with heels, pointy heels, square heels, wedge heels, leather, suede, patent, cloth, faux fur, sweater material, lace ups, zip ups, pull ons, ankle high, mid calf, knee high, thigh high, black, brown, grey, purple, shiny, matte, smooth, textured, pointy toed, square toed, round toed, slouchy, sleek.

It seems that in 2008 there is no wrong way to wear a boot as long as you are wearing a boot. The ones that I bought, I had actually been eyeing a couple of days ago. I had picked them up, admired them and then very responsibly put them back down and walked out of the store. Then three things happened. I got a paycheque, I happened into a different shoe store that carried the same line and I tried them on.

There have been very few times in my life that I have slid my foot into a new shoe and felt instant comfort. Usually they are a bit tight around the heel or in the toe, sometimes they pinch on the side or rub in a certain spot. Well, these boots slid on to my foot, zipped up and felt perfect. I walked around the store admiring them from different angles in all of the mirrors but I still felt a little unsure. I liked them but I couldn't tell if I loved them. I have two pairs of boots at home that I love but both of them are in need of repair. I won't be able to wear either pair until they have been fixed and that could easily cost as much as buying a new pair. I bounced this off my mom who was with me and decided to put the boots on hold as I continued shopping.

I decided to go back and buy them with the intention of taking them home and trying them out with my clothes. One of my concerns was that they are ankle boots and I wear a lot of capri pants. I'm tall and often regular length pants are too short on me so I am a fan of the capri. I like the look of the capri pant over a tall boot so I wasn't sure how the ankle boot would go.

Turns out they were on sale and therefore exchange only. If I was going to buy them I was committing to spending that money on shoes one way or another. I decided to go for it since I can always find shoes I love. Last night I started to think that I shouldn't have bought them. I hadn't tried them on with any of my clothes yet but in my mind I had decided that they weren't going to work.

This morning I got dressed and put the boots on. I had forgotten how comfortable they were. Within minutes I loved them. They are fun and sassy and cute and totally different than any other boots I own. And so comfortable!

I so didn't bother mentioning anything about the other pair I bought too. this story was long enough without getting into those boots (which I haven't entirely decided to keep).
;-)

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

I am woman, hear me roar!

I love these cool, crisp fall days. I love that it is sunny and beautiful without a cloud in the sky and yet you still need some kind of jacket to keep warm. This is my kind of weather.

I thought that when I logged on here and started typing that I would figure out what to write about. I was trying to avoid writing about work but it is the main thing that is on my mind right now. Since I am interpreting within a program, I spend a lot of my time here.

I can't really give you too much information of course, since I've got that whole confidentiality thing going on in my code of ethics. I can say that I had a meeting yesterday to discuss the challenges that I have been facing in the classroom and that since my meeting, I am feeling much better.

One of the main problems that I have been having is that I am constantly needing to set boundaries and am finding myself exhausted and drained at the end of the day. I am feeling a little like I am having the life and energy sucked out of me during the course of the day. Being the typical Canadian female, I of course think that this is my fault/responsibility/problem/issue (pick a word, any word - they all fit). I think that I need to be more empathetic, more compassionate, more understanding, more easy going, more flexible. To counter this and make it all that much more difficult and awkward, I also think I need to be more firm, more appropriate, more professional, more strict and less approachable.

The meeting I had yesterday was with someone that I am able to talk with freely about all of this. I still went into it tentatively. I barely had to say anything when the other person involved in the meeting backed me up. I hadn't realized that I was trying to keep myself afloat without any support until this woman tossed me a life jacket. She told me that I am not the first person to have the exact same problems with this student and that she has my back. She described the student as high maintenance, demanding and needy without a clear understanding of boundaries. Now I am generally not a fan of labels but when the shoe fits someone else's foot and gives me some space to breathe - it's hard not to jump on board with those labels.

We went over the parameters of my job together so that we were on the same page as far as my responsibilities go and then we discussed strategies for dealing with the situation. She offered to speak to the student about boundaries and appropriate behaviour and I declined the offer. I think it is best if I do it myself. If things don't change after that, then she will sit down with the student and discuss the situation.

This is going to be a challenge for me. I don't have these kinds of discussions well. There is also a small part of me that is looking forward to finally being..... wow, there isn't a word for what I want to say that I can think of that isn't negative. The ones that come to mind are all negative labels for a strong woman. What would we call a man who had firm boundaries and didn't put up with bs? A man. Hmmmm....ok so here's my sentence then. There is also a small part of me that is looking forward to finally being a strong woman.

And there you have it.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Delicious and Zack Morris (note the 'and' in there)

I could so easily write another post about work right now. I am going to try and avoid doing that today. It would just be me venting and ranting again and I think we've had enough of that. I am generally a fan of compassion and empathy and finding the positive and so I need to live that so that when I preach it, I'm not a total hypocrite.

Again though, I seem to be struggling with finding something else to write about.

I heard about a website yesterday Delicious.com . It is a social bookmarking site. It allows you to create a page with all your favourite and bookmarked websites so that you can access them from any computer. I am going to create an account today. I am often using different computers in random computer labs at various schools and wish that I had access to my 'favourite' list. There are different blogs and websites that I check regularly but I can't find them when I am not at home. This site is perfect for those moments. It also gives you the opportunity to share your favourite sites with other people. Check it out at the link above and if you join, let me know and we can share bookmarks!

And from way out in left field, I looked up Mark Paul Gosselaar on IMDb yesterday and Oh My Dog, does he ever look different. Here's a link to him on IMDb if you are remotely curious to see what Zack Morris looks like all grown up. For those not in the know, Mark Paul Gosselaar was the main guy on Saved by the Bell.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

A challenging situation

So more issues to do with work....the same work that I wanted to vent about yesterday and today is posing an entirely new set of challenges. I think that it is interesting that this particular job is pushing my buttons...and very different buttons at that.

Yesterday was about me needing to set firm boundaries and being uncomfortable with that. Today the student is fighting with another student and I am in the situation of having to interpret different parts of the fight (mostly they are writing back and forth) and also the student is wanting to talk to me about the fight and get validation from me.

I am not engaging and instead am letting the student know that speaking to a counselor is an option. I am sure that there is some great way to handle this situation but I certainly don't know what it is. My job definition is to interpret and that's it but I am not a smock-wearing machine (sorry, that will only make sense to the other interpreters reading this). There is a fine line for being involved without actually getting involved.

I can see what has happened between these two students and yet without some kind of mediation, I don't think that either of them will be able to understand what happened. One day they were getting along and the next they weren't. They each think the other one is the cause of their problem. The truth is that they are each the cause of their own problem.

But then, it is always easier to blame someone else than it is to look at your own behaviour.

Monday, 22 September 2008

Rant / No Rant

I am in a ranting mood right now. What sucks the most about that is that this is not the venue for being able to rant about work things. I feel like writing a rant and yet, ethically I can't. Dumb ethics.

Instead I will try and shift my attitude by writing about good, nice pleasant things.

Ok, I am feeling at a loss for finding something nice to write about.
Maybe something will come to me. Until then, I think I will go rant in a venue that is much more appropriate and ethical.

Monday, 15 September 2008

School again?

I've got this whole thing about going back to school. I really want to do it and at the same time I don't want to do it at all. I tested the waters last fall by taking a bookkeeping course at Langara and well, I only lasted 3 weeks. I liked being back in school and everything that went with it - I didn't even mind doing the homework - but it turned out that I wasn't too fond of the subject matter.

Numbers - ugh! Why can't there be such a thing as word accounting. I would love to keep track of words...lists and lists of words....not dumb old numbers!

So here, I am again, a year later looking into going back to school...again. There are a couple ways of doing this and they each have their pros and cons. I could take classes locally somewhere through continuing education and pick and choose the things that I would really love to learn. Or, I could do this more formally and actually go back and get my degree in something (English, Psychology, Visual Arts, Media - these are all areas that interest me).

With the first option, I wouldn't get any credit toward a degree but it might be more enjoyable. With the second option I would end up with a degree but it would be more demanding and stressful. I guess what I need to decide is if the stress of getting a degree is worth the degree.

I also need to figure out what my goal is around education. Is my goal to get the degree or to just learn things that I want to learn and have some fun. These are some big questions and I am going to have to do some soul searching to find the answers.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Subterfuge

One of the jobs I have this semester is working in a self paced class. The interpreting I am doing in this class is in shorts bursts and so I have to be ready to interpret at a moment's notice and I have to always have one eye on the student to know if they need me. I like to use the eye I have in the back of my head for that job.

I have found that if I sit with the student at their table then I just become a distraction to them. They get sick of doing their work and then they want to chat. Two days ago I got bombarded with personal questions like "Are you married?" "Why not?" "Do you have a partner?" "Why not?" "Don't you want someone in your life?" "Don't you want to have children?" "Don't you have any responsibilities?" "Why do you always wear black?" "What's wrong with you?"

I avoided answered these questions and tried to guide the student back to their work. The moment there was a pause in the interrogation, I excused myself to the washroom and when I came back I sat down at the computers and then when I made my way back over to the table I claimed that it was too crowded and that I would sit at the next table over.

Subterfuge has just become a part of my job description.

In other news, I got an email from the publishing company about the missing Cooptown books and they are on their way! They shipped the batch in 2 boxes - so one of the boxes arrived and the other is taking a totally different journey to get to me.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

The Weekend to End Breast Cancer

I am so far behind on posting. I have logged in a few times to write something but then sat staring at a blank computer screen without a thought in my head of what to write about. Usually when that happens, I can start with a stream of consciousness (much as I am doing now) and then form it into something postable. Those few times I logged on and stared at a blank screen though, I wasn't feeling inspired to write at all. So instead of writing, I took a month off.

Alright, explanation out of the way (and I know that I really didn't need to give you one - but that's where my stream of consciousness took me) now I can get on with telling you what's going on with me right now.

I registered yesterday to do the Weekend to End Breast Cancer next year. It is a 60km walk over two days in August and it is to raise money for breast cancer research. To even be able to do the walk you need to commit to raising $2000.00 for the event. So I have one year to raise $2000.00. A year ago that would have completely intimidated me but since the wine drive last fall, I have realized that I am totally capable of coming up with creative fundraisers. By the way - the wine drive will be happening again this fall (I will probably make the official announcement in the next couple of weeks) and the money collected will go towards my $2000 entry into the Weekend to End Breast Cancer.

What inspired me to do the event was seeing J-Dub's sister K-Dub do it this year. We went down to see her at the finish line for the speeches and closing ceremony stuff and it was so incredibly inspiring. Plus, you know, I've got that whole charitable million dollar goal thing going on too. I love the idea of being a part of something like that - it's a movement, it's a community, it's life-changing.

My other news of the day is that the Cooptown books have arrived on my doorstep. There was a small problem with the order and I am missing 15 books. I have been in touch with the publishing company and they are trying to figure out what happened. Hopefully it will get worked out without too much trouble and I will have the rest of the books soon.

It was a pretty fun moment opening up the box and finding stacks of Cooptown books inside. I actually googled "Cooptown" today just to see if it would show up and it did! Granted it was on the 3rd page of the google search but still...it was there!

So if you are one of the people who ordered a Cooptown book from me, they are here and ready for pick up or delivery. Send me an email and we can arrange the exchange. I am going to donate a part of the proceeds of the book to my entry fee for the The Walk to End Breast Cancer - from here on out to affectionately be shortened to TWTEBC.

If you haven't ordered a Cooptown book yet but would like to - they are $15 and worth every penny! Let me know if you'd like one.

Friday, 8 August 2008

Chilling like ice cream filling...

So here I am sitting in a computer lab, at a computer, with nothing particular on my mind to write about. Em and I are at work (if you can call this work today) and the students are in groups writing papers based on finding info on the computer - hence being in the computer lab.

They have 3 hours to complete their papers and so Em and I have 3 hours to do...whatever. I have already perused facebook, perez hilton, IMDb, my email and checked out the Olympics opening ceremonies online and I still have 2 hours and 10 minutes to spare.

I am leaving work early today because I am going away for the weekend. Dad, Stef and I are going to Kelowna for a couple of days and I am so looking forward to it. We are flying up this evening to avoid the 5 hour drive and staying late on Sunday to really milk the most time out of this trip.

My intention for the weekend is to lay in the shade by the pool, swim, play crib and yahtzee, eat well, drink well, and relax. Since we are flying up and staying in a pretty nice hotel, I feel like this is an actual vacation. I don't really get many of those you know.

I go on a road trip up to the Okanagan every summer and that is generally it for me and traveling. I did get to Vegas this past December but that was my first trip since going to Hawaii in 1999. I would love to go away more often and travel and vacation all over the world but that costs money and right now it doesn't fit in the budget. So as you can imagine with flying there and staying in a luxury villa, I am super happy about this weekend.

In other news...

I have received more orders for the Cooptown book than I ever expected. It's flying off the shelves. Ok, well not really, since there are no shelves but it is selling better than I thought it would. My original plan was to print 12 copies, cross my fingers and hope they sold. I thought maybe 10 people will want Cooptown and they'll all be family members who feel like they should buy it to support me.

This is where I explain though, that this was how I felt before I had the finished product in my hand. Once the book was delivered to me and I got to see it and I mean really SEE it, I realized that Cooptown is great. And sweet, and fun and a real cartoon. Now I am wondering how on earth the orders have slowed down - jk jk. It is really exciting though and I want to thank all of you who have supported me. Either by buying a copy or by being a Cooptown follower and enthusiast.

Alright, so I still have nearly 2 hours of hanging out in a computer lab but I think I'll go check out Pink is the new blog now. I'll write more if I get bored or find more to say.
Cheers

Sunday, 3 August 2008

A list for fun

I'm in a listing mood. If you've ever read my bio on the right side of your screen then you know I love lists.
So I am going to write a list.

Things I love;

Orange juice
avocados
laughing til I cry
when my cat runs sideways
songs that make my heart sing/soar/ache
boots
drummers
musicals
any shade of green
writing
my family
listing
the smell of rain after a dry spell
going out for breakfast
cool summer mornings before it heats up
limes
dictionary.com
God
the smell of rosemary
being in the middle of a good book that I don't want to end
Wii boxing (bowling and tennis too)
painting
a good cup of tea
ceviche
my friends
clean sheets
my cat's breath
making someone laugh
figuring out the answer to any yellow card in Cranium
blueberries
going to movies
how absolutely silent it gets when it snows
bacon
the smell of bacon

Monday, 28 July 2008

What I did with my summer vacation...so far.

As you may or may not know, I have been writing a cartoon about my cat for just over 4 years now. I have had a lot of encouragement over the years to DO something with it and I have always resisted.

Resisted, for a number of reasons but maybe the main one being, I had doubts about it being good enough. Good enough for what? Well, I don't quite know. Why does it have to good enough? And good enough for who? And what is good enough anyways? Why do I have a hard time looking at Cooptown and claiming it's greatness. I am proud of it, but when someone new sees it, I get a little embarrassed. Which is ridiculous, because usually when someone new sees it they ask to be put on the mailout list.

Not everyone is going to enjoy it. That is the nature of the world. But I get feedback every week from (dare I say it) fans, who LOVE Cooptown and LOVE getting it every Tuesday. So when am I going to get on board and embrace it and be outwardly proud of it (instead of in secret)?

I believe that happened this week!

During my 6 weeks off work, I made a goal for myself to self publish a Cooptown book. I started by researching online self-publishing companies and after careful consideration chose Lulu. I then spent a couple of hours every day, picking out my favourites, redrawing them, scanning, uploading, converting, arranging, fixing, cropping, straightening, etc, etc, etc. Until I had 64 of my best all ready to go.

I had intended on putting 65 in the book and when it came down to my last week of holidays and I had done 64, I did what I do and just stopped all production. I took a couple of days off but in the back of my mind I just kept saying to myself "One more left, don't stop now! Finish it! Follow through!"

Finally one night, I stayed in and had every intention of picking one more, redrawing it, scanning, cropping, converting, uploading etc, etc, etc. And at 8:30 that night, I hadn't even picked up a pencil. I finally realized that I wasn't going to do it. I wasn't going to follow though and finish it. I had one moment of complete self annoyance "What the hell is wrong with me!?" and then I realized that there is absolutely nothing wrong with me.

Instead of struggling to not be me, why not give in to being me and leave the book as it was - at 64. That way IT WAS ALREADY FINISHED. As soon as I realized that I was making up the rules and that I could change them to suit me, my heart lept into my throat and I got a little teary and a lot dancy. (I danced around my apartment for a full 5 minutes - rejoicing that I finished my Cooptown project). I went onto the website and hit 'complete'. It did it's thing and 3 minutes later, I got an email saying my book was ready for printing.

OMG - my book. My BOOK. MY BOOK!
I HAVE A BOOK!

I clicked on 'buy' and ordered one copy to be mailed to me. I wanted to see it before going crazy and ordering stacks of them. I wanted to hold it in my hands and flip through it. I'll be honest here - I wasn't expecting much from it. On the website, it looks a little grainy and pixelated so I was preparing myself for it to look only ok. Plus you know, I still felt a little sheepish about the whole thing - who would want a Cooptown book?

It came in the mail on Friday. I got home from work and had a notice in my mailbox that there was a package for me to pick up. I went and got it and then walked up the street to meet Stef. It was in a box all sealed up and I grinned like the Cheshire cat and giggled all the way to meet Stef. We got to her car and I tore it open.

Cooptown by kt

I have a book. A self published one but a book nonetheless.
We got in the car and drove downtown (we were meeting LT, Jdub and 4 year-old Lizzie for WALL-E) and I spent the whole drive kind of in awe. I flipped through it quickly and then again more slowly, I smelled it and held it up to the window as we drove past people mouthing to them "I wrote this" "This is my book."

I re-read each comic and for the first time I thought to myself "This is really good." Seeing it in this format finally made me see what everyone else sees.

I am so excited about my Cooptown book. It is beautiful.

It is also for sale! It's the perfect coffee table book! You can order it off of the website or you can order it from me. The price is the same either way ($15) but if you order it from me and live in my city or are going to see me soon, then you don't have to pay any shipping fees - and they are spendy. If you want to order it and you live in a different city than me, then I can probably ship it to you for cheaper than Lulu will.

Here is the link to Cooptown online.
Oh, and did I mention, I have a book!

Thursday, 17 July 2008

My life's purpose!

If you found out that you were dying, what would you do with your time left on earth?

And why aren't you doing that anyways?


These two thoughts ran through my head last Sunday. The first thought came to me and as I was frantically listing what I might do with my limited time left, the second thought came to me.
Why aren't I doing that anyways?
Why aren't I?

Why? Well, I've got a load of reasons and excuses but they are all incredibly lame. I wrote a list about a year ago about all the things I wanted to do, be and have before I die. And then, because I'm not dying, I tucked the list away and got on with doing nothing.

So here is just one thing that I want to do with my life. I want to support and inspire other people to live their best lives. I want all of us to be making the most out of what we've got.

A year ago I went through a process to figure out and define my life's purpose. I am sure there are as many different ways to do that as there are people in the world but I followed Jack Canfield's system of figuring out your life's purpose. It is in his book The Success Principles.

What I came up with is this;

My life's purpose is to use my creativity and enthusiasm to support and inspire others to live their best lives in authentic and harmonious ways.

So now, I am going to make this happen. I have a plan brewing in my mind and I am working on making it a reality.

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

What to do, what to do.

It is definitely time for a new post and while a lot has happened recently - my sister's wedding for example - I find it so much easier to write about smaller things than a big event.

Having said that, I will say that the wedding was great. We had a lot of fun and the ceremony was beautiful. I am so happy for my sister and Jason and know that they will have a long and happy life together.

I have three days off before I go back to work and I am not quite sure what to do with myself to make the most of them. I feel like I should be doing something that I am not going to be able to do during the day while I'm working but then I realized that pretty much involves everything from chilling out at home doing nothing, to going to the beach and reading or going to a matinee. Running errands, cleaning, visiting friends - there is so much that I could do so I guess the real problem is that I don't know what I want to do.

Monday, 23 June 2008

The walk that fed my soul.

Well, it turns out, I did neither (see previous post). Before I even logged off of the computer, Stefanie asked me if I wanted to go for a walk and as it turned out, that was exactly what I wanted to do.

We wandered up the street. Other than the house next door, the lots are all empty. They have the beginnings of paved driveways that end abruptly in a pile of dust and dirt just five feet onto the property. The trees are tall and beautiful and are interspersed with the unmistakable red bark of the arbutus trees that pepper the coastline here. Ok, that's it for my poetic writing.

We saw an older couple at the top of the first little hill, sitting on a rock and drinking beer. He was throwing rocks as far as he could and they were laughing and happy. As we walked past they were both saying "battah-battah-battah-battah-suhwwwiiiinnnggg battah!" We exchanged pleasantries and once we were out of earshot, Stef and I speculated that they were sitting there dreaming about the house they are going to build on that lot.

We meandered up and down the hills and talked about life, love, God and nature. I told Stefanie that this was so exactly what I wanted to be doing and that these kinds of walks totally feed my soul and make me happy. We turned around and planted ourselves on a rock looking out at the view and sat there talking and baking in the sun.

The property in front of where we were sitting dropped off in a steep cliff so that the lower branches of the tallest trees were at about eye level for us. I pointed to the tree directly ahead and said, "Dear God, please send us an eagle that will swoop down behind us so we can hear it's wings and have it land on that branch right there. Sincerely, kt."

About 5 seconds later a robin swooped in and landed on the equivalent branch on the tree beside the one I pointed to. ST and I looked at each other in surprise.

"Dear God, good job! Now, please send us an eagle and have it land on that branch right there. Sincerely, kt."

The "sincerely, kt." made Stef and I both erupt in giggles.

Again, about 5 seconds later another robin swooped in and landed on the branch below the one I was pointing to. ST and I looked at each other again in amazement and we laughed.

I need to point out here that it wasn't like these were two robins of many. These were the only two robins to have landed in these trees the whole time we were sitting there.

"Dear God, excellent job, thank you! This time I want you to really blow my mind and send us an eagle to that branch right there. Sincerely, kt."

We giggled and waited. After a minute or so, I said "I guess sometimes you have to wait to get what you ask for". We sat and talked and after another few minutes all of a sudden Stefanie exclaimed, "Oh my God, look over there!"

Over to our right and behind us a bit, an eagle was swooping in. It stayed to our right though and landed in a tree a few lots away. We figured that was the eagle that God sent us, so we decided to walk over there. It took us a minute to find the eagle in the tree but we did and it wasn't alone. It was in a nest with at least one other eagle.

We stood and watched it for a while. It swooped out of the nest and flew right past where we had be sitting and then curved back around to come back to it's nest. It flew in a tight bend around a tree and we heard a loud snap! It had a rather large twig in it's talons and was flying back home. We watched it do this another 2 or 3 times. Each time we were in awe and thankful to be watching such an amazing thing.

We walked back up the hill and found the rock that the couple had been sitting on. It was the perfect rock for two so Stef and I sat down on it. To the left of my foot, one of them had arranged 4 twigs into a square and I pointed it out to Stefanie. My gaze shifted more to the left and I noticed more twigs in shapes. It spelled something. I love poo too.

We laughed and laughed and reframed our impression of couples in their 50's.

We sat there for a while longer and finally headed back to the house. It was the perfect way to spend a beautiful afternoon and I am so glad that Stefanie suggested it.

Saturday, 21 June 2008

Pender Harbour

This is going to be a short post because I really should not be sitting in front of a computer right now. I am up in Pender Harbour with my sisters and some friends and everyone is out on the deck right now listening to Dane Cook. The view is spectaular and the weather is perfect; warm but not hot, cloudy but not overcast.

I am having a great time and am just now trying to decide how to spend my next half hour. I could open a beer and go join the gang on the patio or I could pour a glass of red wine and grab my very delicious book and curl up on a comfy chair.

I think I just made my decision - I added adjectives to only one of those options, I think that means something.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Simon's Cat 'Let Me In!'

Links to really cool things.

While perusing the interweb today, I came across some very cool things that I'd like to share.







These are really beautiful pictures of the earth taken from space. Incredibly humbling and awe inspiring. There are three in a row that I find particularly breathtaking. They are about halfway down the page starting with the dust storm over the Sahara Desert. Truly magnificent!http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2008/06/the_sky_from_above.html






Next we have classic photos redone using Lego. I am impressed that someone had this vision and carried it through to the finished product. Very fun to check out.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/balakov/sets/72157602602191858/detail/


A Cooptown follower and fan sent me a link to this Youtube video of an animated cat trying to come inside. Very cute and funny.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4rb8aOzy9t4
or watch it above!

Well that`s it for today!
kt

Friday, 6 June 2008

Caterpillar

I was watching a movie a couple of nights ago and there was a caterpillar in one scene. It was in the foreground, crawling along a branch and I had a total body reaction to seeing it.

You see, I had completely forgotten that caterpillars exist. Living in the city, you just don't see them. I grew up in the burbs and caterpillars were everywhere. I have a picture of me at 5 years old, cupping one in my hands. I remember walking to school in the mornings and collecting them in empty coffee tins. We'd add grass and twigs and leaves and hope that they would be happy in their new home.

I started to think about city life and what other things are different about living away from the suburbs. Here's what I came up with;

In the city we don't have crickets chirping or frogs croaking. We have less spiders and they are much smaller than their suburban cousins. We have less lawn mowers mowing and by the time you notice them, they are quiet, since lawns here are so tiny. Instead, we have the sound of shopping carts being pushed down the lanes and alleys by the homeless people. I also see skunks on a regular basis which I don't think I ever saw in the suburbs.

As I write this, I can actually very faintly hear a lawn mower in the distance. I can hear a seagull cawing and someone coughing. Later this afternoon my downstairs neighbour will practice his trumpet and I will be grateful that he is kind of good at it.

The movie I was watching was Into The Wild and the caterpillar was only in frame for a second or two but in that short time, I realized that life in the city is very different than life in the suburbs in more ways than I generally think. I felt nostalgic for simpler times, for the days when caterpillars were just a part of my everyday life.

By the next morning, I had forgotten my nostalgia and was busy living my city life again. I came home from having breakfast with girlfriends and as I put my key in the door, I glanced to the left and there on the wall beside me was a fuzzy caterpillar. I stopped short and stared at it in awe. I gave it a little pet and thanked it for being there.

Some might say that because caterpillars were on my mind that I was more likely to notice one in my vicinity but I like to think of it as a gift from God. A fuzzy, little, brown and yellow gift from God.

Monday, 2 June 2008

Shopping Spree

So much fun!

To me, shopping sprees are something you would see on 80's television. They aren't something that happens in real life to people who aren't guests on The Phil Donahue Show. But yesterday, I got to go on my very own shopping spree.

Luckily this wasn't one of those crappy, timed ones, where you get to keep everything you can grab in 2 minutes. I was able to take my time, and take my time, I did! I think my shop lasted almost 2 hours.

The reason for this shopping spree was just really good timing. I have a Shopper's Optimum card and have been collecting points for 5 years now without ever cashing them in. For those not in the Shopper's Optimum know, they have a reward system where you collect points for every dollar you spend at Shopper's and then they have reward levels. You can cash in points and get free stuff. It takes a lot of points to be able to really cash in.

Here I'll give you a low down of the levels.
3,500 points - save $5
7,000 - $10
15,000 - $25
30,000 - $55
40,000 - $75
75,000 - $150

I was very close to the 75, 000 level when they announced that this weekend they were doing a promo where if you have 40,000 points they will bump up your reward to $100 and if you have 75,000 points they will bump up your reward to $200. Since I was so close to 75,000 points I went shopping and stocked up on a bunch of necessities that I would be buying at some point anyways; Deodorant, moisturizer, sun screen, lint roller, shampoo, conditioner, etc.

That got me up to the highest reward level and on Sunday, I went for a 2 hour shopping spree. My goal was to get things that were fun and frivolous. I also wanted to be sure that I would only get things that I would really use and enjoy. So I spent the entire time in the cosmetic department and it was so much fun.

The most boring things that I got were a nail polish and a Lindt 70% dark chocolate bar and even those aren't that boring. The most fun things I got were lipsticks, eyeshadows (in the most fun colours), blush, moisturizers, primers and a brightener.

It's so fun being a girly girl!
And to top it all off, tonight I am going to see the Sex and The City movie!

Friday, 23 May 2008

A break, a dent, a blip.

My car window got shattered today. A seemingly random act of vandalism. I like to imagine that it was a spinning karate kick in the air that took out my driver`s side window. Only because it would mean that my window went out in a blaze of (someone's) glory.

It happened at work and it just is what it is. The police don't really care, it just adds another number to their stats. Campus security shrugged and told me to call the non-emergency police line. As an afterthought, she wrote my name on a scrap of paper to put in their files.

My dear friend Emily was a rock. She took care of cleaning away the broken glass for me while I called ICBC. They also didn't care....at least the recording I listened to didn't seem to care.

Luckily the weather was lovely and I would have driven with my window rolled down anyways. Emily and I shared a blonde moment when I said I wonder what would happen if I tried rolling the window up and Em told me to try it and see. We both stared dumbfoundedly for a few seconds when nothing happened and then Emily clued in, "oh yeah, it already is up." (am I allowed to make blonde jokes? I never know.)

We took my car directly to a repair center. They vacuumed up the glass and did a beautiful job of taping up my window. I was able to make an appointment for tomorrow to get it repaired.

I had been doing a great job of staying zen up until I was told they could put plastic over the window for me. I had a moment though where I turned to Em and said "Now I am one of those people with a plastic window." When I mentioned to Lisa that I had a plastic window, even her initial reaction was "you can take the girl out of Surrey but you can't take the Surrey out of the girl." (I am pretty sure Lisa and I are allowed to make Surrey girl jokes)

To be completely fair, I need to tell you that the plastic/tape job is wonderful. At first glance it isn't remotely obvious that my window is not just a window. It`s much nicer than the safeway bag and silver electrician`s tape I had been imagining.

Now, the crappiest part of all is that it is going to cost me $312 to repair. Three hundred and twelve dollars and I didn't even get to witness the stunning scissor kick that took it out. That's a lot of money for absolutely no reason. Makes me feel like that much more of an adult. I`d like to shake the teenage boy (because come on, we all know it was a teenage boy who did it) and teach him the value of a dollar.

No one was injured, nothing was stolen, and all said and done it`s just a window in just a car. I can choose to get upset or I can choose to let it go. It sucks that I am out $312 but it won`t break me, it`s just a dent in my bank account and in the grand scheme of things it`s just a blip on the radar.

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

What to write about...?

I am sure that I have something to write about. It's just that nothing is coming to me right now.

I could write about my long weekend - it was great and very full. Or I could write about the book I'm reading - The Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs - it's quite fascinating. I could write about the Women's Conference I went to last weekend - it was inspiring and lovely.

You see, I have options here but I am just not feeling overly inspired to write on any of those topics. Hmmmm, I could write about Iron Man. I saw it yesterday with JM and was thoroughly entertained. But really, that is about all I have to say about that.

I have been keeping a list of all the movies I see. I started the list on January 1st because I thought it would be interesting to keep track of what I see and how many movies I see in a year. And really, who am I kidding, I just wanted an excuse to write a list!

My list is actually 2 lists. It started out as 3 lists but I quickly decided to ditch keeping track of movies that I watch that I have already seen. I struggled for about 3 days with this list and then realized that it was pointless and I didn't care about keeping track of movies I've already seen.

So the 2 lists are New Movies in the Theater and New Movies that I Rent. I'm actually not much of a renter I have learned. I really only rent when I'm with TT and very occasionally with ST and then almost never on my own.

I just updated my lists today (since seeing Iron Man yesterday) and so far this year I have seen 15 movies in the theater. That's an average of 3 a month! That's a lot of movies!

As for rentals I am (oddly) also at 15 so far for the year. I guess because, while I am renting movies far less often, we actually rent 2 or 3 at a time.

I really do love movies and I love seeing them in the theater. I love the whole experience and I am so easily entertained that I am never really dissatisfied with a movie.

So there we go, I guess I figured out what to write about after all.
Cheers,
kt

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

A Love Story

I went shopping today. One of the things that I am always on the lookout for is a purse. Specifically, a purple purse. I have been looking since last November for the perfect purple purse.

Well, today I found it. But there is more to the story than just that....

I went to the store where my mom bought her perfect red purse, to check them out. I have been thinking that I am going to need to invest a little more money into a new purse than I normally would. I want something awesome that is also well made. I want quality, not just something fun that is going to fall apart soon (like my perfect green purse).

Right away I saw a nice purple purse. I took it down off the shelf and the woman working there was doing a hard sell with me. It was a really good shade of purple. It was leather, a good size, good pockets and the right length strap. Something wasn't quite right though. On the top shelf above it was another purse in the same purple leather from the same collection but in a completely different shape. I didn't take it down though, I just admired it from afar. After a long time, I still couldn't decide about the purse and so I told her I was going to do the rest of my shopping and then come back.

I looked in every accessory store and all of the purses I saw, just looked cheap and not well made. After I finished all my shopping I went back to the store and this time reached up to the top shelf and grabbed the bigger purse. There was a different woman working who was helpful and also giving me some space. I was taking turns with both of the purple purses, looking in the mirror from close and then from farther away. The first one I had been looking at, seemed too small and not as nice so that was that. I figured I had made my decision.

Now, I'm not sure how this next part happened but I reached up and grabbed the purse off of the top shelf that had been behind the purple purse. I think it had fallen and the strap was hanging down and so I went to fix it, but I don't really remember. All I do remember, was that in my hands was the most gorgeous purse I had ever seen. (I've read things like this in novels and seen it on shows like Sex and the City but didn't realize that one could actually have a falling in love moment with a purse). It was the exact same purse as the purple one, just in a different colour. It was a rich dark chocolate brown. So brown it almost looked black but not remotely as boring as black.

My heart wanted this purse and my mind wanted the purple purse. I had been looking for 6 months for the perfect purple purse and here it was, in my hands and affordable. Yet, I couldn't seem to put the brown one back on the shelf, pay for the purple one and leave. In the meantime the original hard-sell, saleswoman came back and was instantly on me again. I even had her put them both over her shoulder and walk around for me so I could get a look at them that way.

Both of the saleswomen and even another customer in the store, got in on it - telling me that I should buy the purple purse. They all agreed that the purple was more interesting and so nice, plus I had been looking for one just like it. I felt so torn. I couldn't make the decision on my own and none of these women were telling me what I wanted to hear and I somehow couldn't tell it to myself. I told her I needed to clear my head and think for 5 minutes about it. She put them aside for me and I walked outside and called my mom.

I told mom my dilemma and ended it with "which one should I get?" Without hesitation she said "brown". My heart lept more than it sank and I said "You're right." We discussed it for a minute more and then I walked back into the store. The woman laughed and said "that was fast, let me guess." and she held the brown purse up and I laughed and nodded and that was that.

Sunday, 11 May 2008

First post in May

Hi Auntie Shirley!!

Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Another email from the past.

ST just sent me this email that I had sent her 2 years ago. It was one of those seasons when I was quite enjoying American Idol and every week I would write a review of the episode and email it to my sisters.

Here is one such review....

Guys Review round two. We have gone from 12 guys to 10 losing Mr. Stamm...oops I mean Patrick and Bobby. I wasn't surprised to see Bobby go but I expected that Patrick would last a week longer than Bucky.


Taylor - Easy Like Sunday Morning - I love that he's first and that he's wearing a pin striped suit. Plus this is a great song. Wait....did he just call his touque a taboggan? Is that what the Yanks call it? That's so weird. I'm now picturing him with a sled on his head.
oooooh he just winked at me. He is doing a pretty decent job of the song. I like the quality of his voice. I could see him performing at Rossini's on a Saturday afternoon. I love that when he talks he says whoo! after everything....although I bet that would get old pretty quick. eep he did the finger thing for his number to call. noooooooooo
Final Rating - 8 taboggans out of 10

Elliot - Mood For Love - His ears are really low on his head....I'll have to email Mel's dad and tell him he is right. Elliot's voice is smooth as silk...I could listen to him sing all day. There's something about the tone of his voice that goes right to my heart. He nailed this song and again I'm surprised that that voice comes out of him. It's sad how superficial I am. He might be the very best. Oh and he gets a standing O from Randy. Plus no fingers (especially if I interpret him holding up two fingers for a second as him just flashing a peace sign)
FR - 5 singing sensations out of 5

Side topic - On the view Star Jones is praising Elliot saying you would never expect that voice out of him and she would buy his album in an instant.

Ace - If I'm Not Made For You - He's really not that cute. the more I look at him the less cute I find him. I could see him end up being a rock star on a soap opera a la Michael Damien (Rock On).Whats up with these Americans and their crazy names for hats....beanie, taboggan...they are both touques. I am not loving this song and his voice seems to be all over the place but holy high note. I would send him home based on this performance. It was nowhere close to Elliot's.
I'm shocked that Randy and Paula liked it. Simon agrees with me. Ace looks so pale that I'm afraid he might faint. No fingers.
FR - 2 skull caps out of 7

Gedeon - Change is coming - He could narrate childrens stories. He has an animated story telling voice. Wow - he really has such an old sounding voice - it's lovely. I think that he will go far in the competition and be a star no matter what happens. Again no fingers. I'm starting to think that these guys discussed this and all agreed (except taylor) that holding up fingers is tacky and they all made a pact not to do it. Holy crap, he is only 18 years-old. WTF!
FR - 13 Sam Cookes out of 15

Cousin Matty - Oops I mean Kevin - Heard It Through The Grapevine - Great song - I hope he does it well. Is it my tv or the lighting on the set? All of these white boys look paler than pale but with rosy cheeks. At least they put blush on. He is doing alright with the song but it's like a karaoke performance. Maybe he is distracted by being a burgeoning sex symbol (his declaration - not mine. I would never talk about Cousin Matty that way) He doesn't seem committed to the song. he is lucky that those millions of 12 year-old girls will be committed to calling to keep him on the show.
FR - 9 sssufferring ssssuccotashes out of 16

Time out here to say that I can't believe how much I am agreeing with what Simon says. I'm an English cad. Ooh weird - cousin Matty is the exact same height as Ryan Seacrest. That's tall for a three year-old.

Sway - Overjoyed - Choosing your song because it is well known is a good idea but telling the world that's why you chose it, is not. he just wants his family to be a family again - sniff sniff. American Idol as a Parent reuniting tactic - is that so much to ask. I think that he worked at Aldo in Guildford mall in '95. He is good but still nowhere near Elliot. I might think that Elliot is king. I don't have much to say about Sway. I'm not crazy about his voice...but I'm feeling bad about the judges being so hard on him. He's holding back the tears.....maybe if he gets through he'll sing Simply Red next week. no fingers - they totally discussed this
FR - 1 pair of size 7 slingback pumps out of 4

Will - Lady - What the...? When they cut away to commercial before his song he looked taller and older. What are they doing to him in Hollywood. Those skanky girl contestants are making him a man (maybe it's just his puberty spurt) Hmmm his pants are even too short. I couldn't help giggling when he started singing....he sounds great, better than last week even, but now I am staring to picture him as a young-looking 40 year-old Leo Sayer. Does this mean I look like Leo Sayer too since I think Will looks like me? He could end up on Broadway. Again he is sickly pale and again no fingers.
FR - 8 rainbow suspenders (shout out to Leo) out of 11

Bucky - Thunder Rose - Now I would have sent Bucky home after last week so I am ready to pan him here. He has purdy eyes. When he holds the mic in such a way that hides his facial hair I can picture him as a girl. He did a really good job with this song. It suited his voice and style. He held out to the very last second before flashing 8 fingers. Oh Bucky how could you - the pact, bucky, the pact
FR - 16 pretty ladies out of 21

David - The Way You Look Tonight - I was pretty hard on David last night and he wasn't even singing. He is looking better in his taped video talking about the best thing so far in Hollywood. His hair is off his face and he is telling a funny story about his belt. I do love a crooner as I've said before but he can't quite pull it off. He warbles too much. I think that he will get voted off this week. Again he is really really pale....I gotta check my tv set..but Ryan looks fine beside them so it's not my set. It is them. They really must do their own make-up. No fingers - at least he's got that going for him.
FR - 6 see you laters out of 13

Chris - Hemmorrage - I am looking forward to his performance tonight. I think he has the IT factor. He is hot too....maybe the hottest one there. He calls his wife's kids "my kids" - that made me like him even more. Great voice, great presence, great perfomance. Definately the most interesting and memorable performance tonight. Cowell called it "the only performance that would stand up in the real world" and the bar has been set. I agree.
FR - 45 #1 dads out of 45

So my Top 6 Hit List for guys is

*Chris These three were the
*Elliot best performances tonight
*Gedeon

Taylor
Ace
Will - Kevin or Bucky could take this place if their fans are hard core enough.

I predict that David and Sway will be sent home this week.

Monday, 28 April 2008

Funny email

ST just sent this to me. It is an email I sent her on Sept 10, 2006 and it made me giggle.


Hi,

it is 11:35 and I am accidentally drunk. I thought I was drinking boone's sangria all night. which is like 5% alcohol and shouldn'tget me drunk in ways I'm not expecting. Then I find out well into my 4th glass of it (and I'm feeling fine. and I mean fine in the I am feeling fiiiinnnne sense) that Rob is adding brandy to it everytime he pours me a fresh one.

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Nothing to do!

It is a beautiful sunny Saturday morning and I have designed my life in such a way that I have nothing to do today. Ok, well that isn't entirely true. I am supposed to be at a conference all weekend but I decided on Thursday that I wasn't going to go.

The hours were ridiculous Friday and Saturday 9am -11pm and Sunday 8am - 7pm.

When I signed up for this, I knew the hours sucked but I somehow believed I'd go anyways. As it got closer and closer, I just couldn't bear the idea of spending that much time doing something I wasn't all that interested in. Plus forgive me my suspicions but there is a part of me that just thinks this workshop is some kind of brainwashing, cultish, cash-grab.

So, I do have things I could do today. I just don't feel like doing what I could do. Cleaning is always at the top of my list for things to do with a day off and I will probably get around to that later but for now, I'm just chilling out drinking tea and writing a blog post.

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Okay, okay! I'm writing. I'm writing!

Hi all.

So I've gotten some feedback that I have been taking far too long to write a new post. A lot has been going on and I have been really busy but that is no excuse. I just haven't been in the mood to write about anything. The few times I have signed in to write a new post, I have stared at a blank screen with a blank mind.

I'm not even so sure what to write about right now. I know! Facebook. There has been a lot happening on facebook for me recently.

I have reconnected with friends from long ago. Facebook will have that affect on your life, I have found. Every person that I have tried to track down with no luck has eventually found me instead. The most recent being my best friend from waaayyyy back in the day. I started to type that we were friends in elementary school but I'm having a hard time believing I was ever that young.

I have tried many times to track her down and last week, she found me. We've emailed back and forth a few times and it is so good to hear how she is doing. She is married with a baby and living in Calgary. We haven't been in touch for about 16 years so there is so much to catch up on. My past is so wrapped up with hers. I can't quite imagine how different my youth would have been if I hadn't been friends with her.

I have also reconnected with 2 of my ex managers from Le Chateau, on facebook. We got together today for lunch and it was great seeing them again. They are opening a new store near me and so I actually got to see a whole slew of people I used to work with. Again, so much of my past is wrapped up in these people. They had such a lasting impact on me and have always held a very special place in my heart. So many memories!!

There are two more people that I have reconnected with on facebook that I will hopefully get together with soon. One of them was a very good friend of mine when I was in my early 20's and I'm not so sure how we grew apart. We are planning on getting together in a few weeks and I am really looking forward to it. The other one is a friend from high school. I will hopefully being seeing her and her new daughter within the next few weeks as well.

Facebook! It's a crazy thing!

Saturday, 5 April 2008

And the award goes to.....Fionna!

My friend, Fionna is a burgeoning photographer. Her photos are lovely. I actually created a flickr acount today just so I could start commenting on her photos. Everytime I look through her photostream, I think to myself that I would like to have some of these pictures blown up and framed and hanging in my apartment.

For practice, Fionna came over to my house on Easter Sunday and we did a photoshoot with Cooper and I. You can click here to see the pics of that shoot and peruse the rest of her beautiful work. She also wins the award for best photo of me EVER!

And to be as vain as humanly possible (well maybe not quite that vain - otherwise I would somehow figure out how to make this picture everyone's wallpaper through some kind of virus) I am posting the picture here as large as I can make it.

Thank you Fionna!