Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I'm sorry, did you say -53?

Yesterday was my first day back at work. What did I wake up to? A blizzard. In Sean's words "We're so glad to have you back, we threw you a blizzard!" Thanks. You shouldn't have.
It was gross, and Brad's car doesn't do well in the snow (great Saskatchewan car, eh?) so I came home after work and holed up in the house.
Today, at last check, Environment Canada said -35 with -53 windchill. I think I heard the car cry a little when I started it this morning.
Last night when trying to plug in the cars (one was out front and too far for an extension cord so we had to jimmy some extension cords to make it long enough to warm the thing for a jump so it would start) Brad spent quite a lot of time outside. When he finally got everything sorted and came in he was cold. His skin stayed cold to the touch for at least 40 minutes, despite the heaps of blankets. He wasn't complaining, but I was a little concerned. I think the next few days will largely involve going directly to and from work and home. Tea and scrapbooking anyone?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Pictures So Far...

Here's what I've been up to...
Frank, me, and Christi at Zoer's for Sunday Brunch
The guys at work did a collection and bought Da this watercolour paiting of a scene on the West End.
Some of Da's retirement prezzies from his co-workers (apparently he's going to be drunk for most of his retirement)
Mum, Gus, Da, and Me
~Family supper at Zoer's
(Yes I'm on vacation, but I keep waking up at 7:30 and everyone else is still asleep, so what else can I do but blog?)

Cross Country Skiing

We decided it would be a good idea to dust off the cross country skis and go up the hill to the tracks at Pine Creek yesterday afternoon. It was a gorgeous sunny day and not terribly cold (a little colder than -15 up the hill). The catch? None of us have been on the damn things in about 5 years. I didn't have any so we rented the skis and I learned just how fast you can go on properly waxed skis. Mum and Da
It really was a beautiful sunny day
Me and Mum
Me and Da
Aftewards...very tired...definitely finished for the day
I'd say it was a successful trip...despite the fact my muscles are protesting today

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Planes Trains and Automobiles

I am finally in Smithers, well rested, well fed, and in a very pleasant frame of mind.
The journey began right after work on Friday. I left early (thanks to the urging of my co-workers) and Brad and I set out on the roads. We arrived in Regina early and went for a quick drive before going to the airport.
They now suggest you arrive 90 minutes early for your flights. That seems a little extreme to me, but I suppose security is getting much more stringent these days. The flights were fine and I arrived into Vancouver 20 minutes earlier than expected so I went for a Starbucks run. The Starbucks is literally a trek to get to. I arrived into gate A1 and the Starbucks was at gate C39. I had to pass two security stations (thankfully since I was already cleared I didn't have to go through them, just pass by) and go down one of those obscenely long corridors that have the flat escalators (which wasn't turned on, so I got my exercise for the day), and down several other hallways until I finally found the giant mecca in the middle of the Vancouver airport. I was actually hoping to find the Tim Hortons that's just down the way from it (I was hungry and wanted some actual substance) but they were closed. Supper was a skim Chai latte and piece of banana loaf. Back at my proper gate and I called Brad to let him know I was in Van, then I called Mum and Da to let them know and they told me there was a heavy snowfall warning for PG and wondered if my flight was still a go. I said it looked like it and there was no word otherwise, but that I would wait until a little closer to the actual bording time before checking, since things can change quickly. After that I called Mare and was having a brief chat with her when I saw a familiar face heading my way. It was Chris, the engineer from 94X and the Wolf in PG. I hailed him over and he told me about his flights...or lack thereof. Apparently he had been flying back from Castlegar with AirCanada. They had lost his bags on the way there yesterday and had JUST gotten them back to him in Vancouver about 20 minutes ago. He was trying to get back to PG and they had cancelled his 4:10! They wouldn't do anything for him except tell him he'd be on STANDBY for the next flight and that there was no way of knowing if it would take off, and that he'd be on standby for the flight tomorrow as well. He said that wasn't good enough so he left after they gave him a 12 dollar food voucher for the airport (NOT valid on booze, and only valid that day...thanks guys) and went to Westjet where they immediately put him on a flight and told him it was still scheduled. What a mess! But then, AirCanada is notorious for their lost luggage and cancelled flights. Westjet will land in just about anything.
We boarded the not-cancelled flight and landed in PG on time (where it was not, in fact, snowing).
Wil came and picked me up at the airport and we went to Jessica's and proceeded to have several drinks with EC and Trevor and Jess's friend Christie. It was a really nice night and I crashed out at 11 (hey, it was more like 1 for me and I'd been up since 3:30...cut me some slack!)
The next morning Jess took me to the train station. The roads were really dicey since about 20 cm of snow had fallen overnight and the roads weren't ploughed yet. But we got there and I got onto the train on time and once again, I was off.
The train trip was quite uneventful and arrived 30 minutes late. Mum and Da were there to get me and we went home to a very excited and confused Gus (poor little doggie doesn't really know if I'm supposed to be here or not).
Hoping to go snowboarding this afternoon with Frank and Christi, which looks like it could be really nice since the weather looks lovely so far.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Leaving on a jet plane...

I love cliches like that! But seriously, today is the day. Right after work I'm hopping into the car with Brad and we're driving to Regina so I can catch my flight to Edmonton and then to Vancouver, and then to PG. That's right...the mail route. Oh well. It's actually going to be fairly quick all things considered; only 6 hours of travel time.
After 17 consecutive days of work, I feel a break is necessary, and this is exactly what I need. I need a recharge, and this will certainly do the trick! So, with that, only a couple more hours at work and then I'm gone!
Peace out!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Getting Close

The countdown has been in effect for 54 sleeps, and now we're down to just 4! I will be back in Smithers in a mere 4 sleeps. It's really only 3 until I leave, which is exciting in itself. I'm actually looking forward to (dare I say it?) being back in PG. I know. Who'd'a'thunk it? But it's true. I miss it sometimes. I miss the people, and the independance. My time in PG was a good period in my life. There were definitely big downsides (Brad living so far away, the entire system crash at work and subsequent mental breakdown on my part), but there were a lot of really good people and really good memories.
But enough about PG because regardless of how sentimental I may feel about it, it's still a smelly city where my tires got stolen. (Bitter still?)
So, I'll be leaving on Friday for PG followed by a train trip to Smithers the next morning. I really love that trip on Via. It's long (6 hours), but a beautiful ride. And the train is really relaxing. Like the commercials say, it's a civilized way to travel. Plus the dome cars are really cool! Ha!
Then it's a week in Smithers with my family and a couple friends. Mostly looking forward to many pots of tea with Mum, hitting the ski hill with Dad, and hanging out with Frank. Oh, and pulling Gus' tail (curly, straight! curly, straight!). hahaha! (No wonder he looks nervous when he hears my voice!)
But anyway, it's getting close, and I'm pretty much packed. Hahaha! Jumpin the gun a little, but oh well! At least this way I know I won't wear anything I wanted to take with me. Mind you, now I'm wearing "laundry day" clothes for the rest of the week. Hot.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Genius? Clearly!

I have decided I want to become a member of Mensa. That's right. I want to be a genius. According to facebook, I'm only three points shy of being a genius! (and obviously facebook's iq test is totally accurate and reliable). That puts me in the 2.14% of the population! I always knew I was smarter than the average bear! (and oh so modest!)
Mostly, I just want to join so that I will be able to have a Mensa Canada t-shirt, which I will wear every day. I will also begin every sentence with "As a member of Mensa..." I just want a membership card, really.
To double check my score, I decided to take another test. This one was longer and more complicated and took some time to complete. When I had finally finished and was feeling fairly confident about my answers, I clicked finish. Then the page came up that told me that if I wanted to get my score and a breakdown of the stats, I would have to pay for it. The irony? If I were a member of Mensa I'd get it for free! Soooo not fair! How am I supposed to become a member if I can't get my test results?!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Yes, I am guilty

I've heard many people talking about how the art of the phone call or the hand-written letter is dying a slow and terrible death. I won't lie, I'm guilty of contributing to the impending extinction.
There are two people who I will regulary have phone calls with; Mare, and Mum. That's it. Everyone else is simply contacted by one of the many digital communication tools at my disposal. Ranging from a quick email, to a message or wall-posting on facebook, to a text message, these are my chosen mediums.
While it is admittedly far-less personal to use these methods, it seems faster and less intrusive. If I'm imposing on someone's day, I'd rather do it at their convenience. A text message to their cell can be ignored until they feel like dealing with it, as can a message or email or wall-posting. Maybe it's an insecurity of sorts, and using an impersonal method of communication makes me feel like I'm not going so far out on a limb.
The downside to this removal from verbal conversation is that I start to feel slightly anxious when it comes down to actually speaking with someone on the phone. I think I'm afraid of being an inconvenient intrusion.
Anyway, if I haven't called you in a while, sorry. Send me a text and we'll do lunch!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

It's Ba-aack!

After only two months free of wedding season (which went exceptionally long this year with Vanessa and Tom's wedding mid-October), the brief reprieve has ended.
That's right, we've received our first wedding invitation of 2008. Or, rather, Brad has.
It was addressed to "Brad and Guest". I have met the bride several times, and, granted we don't know each other THAT well, but I feel that since Brad and I have been together for over three years, maybe that would warrant my name on the invitation?
I'm perfectly aware that I am definitely going too far into this, but a small part of me feels mildly slighted. I feel that I am an active part of Brad's life, and (dare I say?) a somewhat permanent fixture.
Maybe it's poor wedding etiquette to invite the significant other of your guest by name in case the couple is going through a rough patch? Having never been involved in the planning of a wedding, I'm not familiar with the various taboos.
On the contrary to that possibility, my cousin Clint (who has never met Brad) got married this fall and he and his fiance invited him...well, I assume they meant to invite him, since it was addressed to Jessica and Brian (they tried).
Anyway, I won't be going to said wedding as it happens to fall right in the middle of Mare's visit. Oh less bouquet to catch.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Oh Neglected Blog...

It's the 5th day of 2008. The Christmas break blurred together so I'm not really sure which day we did what. I know I worked a little and I know I had some days off, and I know I went out for New Years Eve.
Here are my thoughts on the recent past.
Closet Organizers
I knew there was something a little amiss with me when I got excited over the purchase of a mop, or became truly ecstatic to buy a full sized ironing board complete with iron rest (which I still haven't figured, but damned if I'll let an iron rest get the better of me!), but I never realized just how far I had slid into domesticity until Brad and I tackled the spare room closet. The move was partly to deal with infernal clutter that was spilling from the closet into the room, and partly to get the room closer to a semblance of usability for when guests come to visit (please come visit!).
Brad bought a Rubbermaid closet organizer with many big shiny parts and proceeded to put it up. I emptied the closet and the hall closet and started sorting through a mess of papers and tidbits and memorabilia to get things ready for our newly renovated closet.
It really only took a couple of hours and I had the linens, towels, extra blankets, board games, and laundry equipment carefully organized in the closet. The other one in the hall (significantly smaller and a near useless size) was also put to use for our extra toiletries, candles, etc.
The point is, if I was overly excited about a mop and ironing board, you should have seen me with a neatly organized closet! I honestly had to put effort into pulling myself away from the spareroom where all I wanted to do was stare at the neatness. Psychosis? Possibly. OCD? More likely. Suffice it to say I have dreams of setting up the spare bed, buying cute little book shelves, and night stands and lovely curtains and turning into a full-fledged spare bedroom!
I know I already did a post about our trip, and this likely won't come as a surprise, but I was in terrible pain afterwards. Everytime I tried to sit down, I was in pain. Raising my arms above my head was nearly impossible. Moving the toes on my left foot was terrible. Many muscles in my body were truly disgusted with the insolence I displayed in suddenly forcing them to work.
New Years Eve and Vodka
Those who know me are well aware that I am a very cheap drunk. I started off the evening by having "one of those days" where I felt utterly hideous in everything I put on. No combination of t-shirt and pants was comfortable or made me feel presentable (even those fail-safe back-up plan outfits that always look good). We went out anyway (what am I, if not stubborn?). Upon our arrival at the Stockade, the standard friends were there: Nick and Kim, Vince and Shay, Tom and Vanessa, Brett. Jeff and his friends were also there (obviously, it was his party afterall). I immediately decided the best way to make me forget about how uncomfortable I felt was to have some vodka! So it started there. The drinks went down very easily and before I knew it I was laughing way too much and very red in the face. I drank until midnight by which time my body told me if I had any more alcohol I would pay for it dearly, so I switched to water and proceeded to sober up and become extremely tired. Brad, hero that he is, kept drinking to the point of...boisterous silliness. I dragged him home at 2.
Since I was basically sober by 1am, for the last hour I enjoyed the company of Tom, who doesn't drink. We had some good conversations and had I not been so completely exhausted, I would have stayed, despite the fact the party was winding down with maybe 10 people left.
Also, as per custom, I made my New Years phone calls to my parents, and to Mare (being in BC, it was only 10 at the time, but it's the thought that counts).
New Years Day I suffered no ill-effects of my celebrating.
GST Cheques
Yesterday a very pleasant surprise. I hazarded a look at my bank account and noticed a significant ammount more than I thought would be there. Yes, January is GST rebate month! Oh how I love government cheques! I promptly got on the phone and treated myself to a hair cut.
Due to some interesting scheduling, it appears I'll be working more or less straight through the first 18 days of January. I do like covering holiday shifts for the simple reason that I get a day in lieu, which means, when I leave for Smithers I only have to take 3 holiday days and can use my banked days for the other two, which means I can take those two holiday days that I've saved when Mare comes to see me in February, leaving me no further behind! Hooray!
On that note, only 14 more sleeps until I'm in Smithers (I leave in 13), and 53 until Mare comes!