Thursday, September 29, 2005


Now this is Middle America Bizarre. Apparently this road leads to ZZyZx Springs, some where out in the Mojave Desert. Definitely not on my list of places to go on my next road trip.

Good Karma!

Wow. I am floored. I actually got some really positive resolution with the bank. I ended up dealing with someone in Customer Care, and wow, everything has been sorted out again, reimbursement is on it's way, and I can breathe a huge sigh of relief! A friend helped push me in the right direction of what to do, and I am really grateful because I had hoped for this originally, but after the last discussion with the bank, I felt pretty dejected and like the poster child for the Humungous Bank campaign that ran a few years ago.

What a novel feeling!! This made my day and is a good reminder that it really helps to keep notes of when and what is said when you talk to anyone who has anything to do with your money. It makes me feel extremely anal, but note keeping and having things on file has saved my ass a few times. Who knew?

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


Well, I tried with that Cornwell book - Trace. I couldn't do it. Not 5 pages in and perspective was shifting from third person, to second, to kind of first, and then back again. I found myself rereading sentences for construction and flow, and feeling myself lost.

So, it was time to lose the book. I am over the guilt of reading a book all the way through that is like punishment from the get go. I have come to terms with the fact there are some books I don't need to read in this lifetime. Like finishing Tolstoy's War and Peace, or Zen and the Art of Motorcylcle Maintenance. I get so far in those books and my mind drifts and the next think I know months have passed and those books have vamoosed off of my side table.

Trace in hand, I wandered down to my local used bookshop, and traded that book flop for Michael Connelly's The Narrows. This is a follow up to the Poet, which I thought was a damn fine suspense story that was technical and filled with intriguing characters. There were a few gripping twists and turns that have stayed with me, even though I read that book about a year ago.

Now this is a good way to spend a few hours rather than stumbling over bad diction and schlocking development. Which is a shame since I really enjoyed the early Scarpetta novels like Cruel and Unusual and Body of Evidence, while my interest started to wane after I had blitzed through 5 of Cornwall's novels, looking for different characters and writing style. Maybe it was my mood, maybe it was the writing. Anyhoo, I am off to dive between the covers : ]

Pick of Doom

Last year it was me in my hockey pool. The guys I picked ended up having weird and unusual injuries throughout the year - a detached eyeball, dropping in a practise for no known reason, leg injuries, heart palpitations, all sorts of stuff that kept my guys out of the point chase and me out of taking the big money.

Now, it seems that Ken has caught my "doom finger" when it comes to picking a team for the Amazing Race. I think he is 3 for 3 for the last three seasons. The team he picks is the first one out. Bizarre, for it doesn't seem to matter how able-bodied the teams appear, they crumble after that finger has waved in their direction. He would make a great lion in another life so it appears, picking out the next one to fall with amazing reliability.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

I got tagged.

Alrighty then - Refinnej "tagged" me to do this...

Ten Years Ago: I was just getting back home from a month in the UK. I had done a walking tour from London to Canterbury, yes, just like the Canterbury Tales as the proper English Lit major I was in my past life. After the 10 day walking tour I backpacked through to Edinburgh and then wove my way back across the countryside with a few stops back to London to do a Contiki tour of Southern Ireland. It was an amazing trip and that was where I met Kelz, whom I couldn't imagine my patchwork quilt of family not containing. I was really broke when I got home, I found out some bad health news about a dear friend, and I was close to a crossroads in what I would eventually do with my education. I was still living with my folks, albeit in Pitt Meadows and putting on way too many kms on my vw rabbit.

Five Years Ago: I moved out of my 'rents place that summer and graduated from SFU. I had just found my two cats, Ripley and Murphy. I was attending a Women's Conference in Vancouver and learning some new tools for dealing with stress and a I bought a long black skirt on one of my lunch hours. Little did I know that I would need that skirt for a funeral, not a week later :< This was a tumultous year, a lot of changes, and a lot of good byes for people who passed away. I was still single, still playing hockey, and was trying out dragon boating for the first time. I think this was a real turning point in my life, and it was crazy and chaotic, but I think the experiences of this year really helped shape who I am today.

One Year Ago: Ken and I were just getting back from an Alaskan cruise, the last of our big trips for 2004. We had also travelled to Yellowstone and back, which was a trip that blew my mind. I was marking for a student success course, and had taken a few courses at SFU to catch up my GPA over the summer, and was currently taking a creative writing course, which ended up being really vexing and not worth the pain. Our coed hockey team was getting off to a good start, and Ken's men's team was keeping up their tailgating traditions.

Yesterday: back to work after our road trip to Alberta, and then Monday Night Football at the John B pub. The game was lame, so we made it home at a decent hour and watched Las Vegas and then Prison Break (which is a surprisingly good show!). Farted around on the 'puter, and started to put things back where they belong. I think the laundry monster will be tackled today since I have pretty much exhausted my underwear supply.

Five Songs I Know All The Words To:

There would be a short debate here on whether or not I actually know all the words to any song without making up the words to it along the way to suit my needs (not my strong suit)

The Gambler - Kenny Rogers
Brian Wilson - The Barenaked Ladies
Blister in the Sun - Violent Femmes
You Gotta Fight for Your Right - The Beasties
Smoking in the Boys Room - Motley Crew (so I was a big fan in the late 80's)
Convoy - CW McCall

Five Snacks

island farms vanilla plus low fat yogurt
veggies and dip
hot wings

Five things I'd do with 100 million dollars

pay off all of our debts and share the wealth with family/friends
buy waterfront somewhere and create our dream home with accoutrements and dog run
have a library and work on literacy
travel and get both of us fully certified for scuba diving
put money in to an environmental cause, like salmon

Five places I'd run away to:

South Pacific: Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and French Polynesia
African Safari

Five things I would never wear

block heels
itsy bitsy bikini
super low rise jeans that flash the crack of my butt
super miniskirt that looks like a belt
those shrugs that are popular now... bizarre

Five Favourite TV Shows

Amazing Race
Prison Break
Hockey Night in Canada with announcers
Las Vegas
MASH reruns

Five greatest joys

Being in love
My cats
Family and friends
Our home and results of gardening

Five favourite toys

Fuji Finepix
Tribble from Vulcan
Hockey Gear

Current Reads

Trace - Particia Cornwall
Something by Lisa Gardner
(cross fingers) will get copy of last book in Outlander Series (Diana Gabaldon)
(cross fingers) pick up used copy of one of Reich's latest when I am in Victoria next week
Policy Manuels

Other folks I am tagging to do this


Reading Materials

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." I read that in one of the books that I wandered through on holidays.

So don't sweat the small stuff about the future and take time out to enjoy today, or something like that. Sometimes I worry about the future and forget to enjoy today, so this is a gentle reminder to make sure I enjoy what I am doing in the moment rather than rushing off to the next adventure without savouring what is now.

I managed to make it through four books on my week off:

Stones from the River - Ursula Hegi
Confesssions of a Slacker Mom - Muffy Mead-Ferro
Death du Jour - Kathy Reichs
Love, and other four letter words - Carolyn Macker

I enjoyed them all to a certain degree, but Stones was a great "intellectual novel" and the Reichs novel was consistently good, the others were a bit fluffly, but good for reading while my pilot drove and I navigated :]

Monday, September 26, 2005

Dramatic Badlands

These are the badlands of Alberta, areas rich in dino-bones and bring out the urge to explore in you. We climbed down in between the mounds of debris, and went up and down miniature valleys and washouts. The layers and textures were amazing - from solid rock formations to sand that would peel away at your touch.

This is an old stagecoach, abandoned near Horse Thief Canyon in the Badlands.


Home again. It seems like it has been forever since my eyes have caressed the familiar sites of the lower mainland. Has it really only been ten days since we left for Alberta? It seems like it has been a long time away - especially when my cats haven't let up on their loving since we got home. It is clearly evident that we were sorely missed.

It was a great holiday - better than I expected. We covered 3352 km in 10 days, and spent over 2 days in the vehicle. And all went well. I think we hit a bit of a break in the weather - we missed a blizzard in Banff by a few days, and most days we saw sun. The trees are turning - and there are shades of gold, orange, and red that show through the evergreens. Traffic was not terrible, most people don't travel this time of the year, so we pretty much had the roads to ourselves.

In a nutshell, we went from Coquitlam - Revelstoke - Calgary - Nanton/Fort MacLeod/Okotoks - Calgary - Badlands/Drumheller - Milo (where Ken's family homestead and farm is) - Calgary - Red Deer - Sylvan Lake - Ice Fields Parkway - Revelstoke - home. This trip was equally about the places we saw and the family that we stayed with. Ken has a pretty amazing extended family and they all welcomed us with open arms. I will fill in the gaps with some details over the next few days.

Going to work today sucked. It was really hard to be motivated to go in and put my game face back on. I think that anyone making the transition from play to work is in that position, whether or not it is after a day, a weekend, or a longer stretch of time off. Unless you truly love your job. Work was fairly uneventful, came home and toddled off to Monday Night Football. A bit of a blow out, so home at a decent time. I am still wrapping my head around normal hours, and rocking up to work when I should. Today was all about that - and putting out little fires all over the place. Makes me wonder at times what happens when I am not around?!

The truck is FIXED. Yay. Big banks suck. BOO. Lovely Humungous Bank delivered some bad info to me and will only apologize for inconvenience but not take responsibility for fees incured by yours truly from said bad information. BRUTAL. Gal on phone didn't want to discourage me from writing a scathing letter, of course, it was my right, but her notes didn't support what I was saying. Then again, she also revealed that said employee has been released? Hmm. Interesting correlation there.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Destination: Flatlands

Another adventure looms on the new morn! We are heading to Alberta tomorrow morning on holidays, a mixture of visiting relatives and the places they are from, and seeing a little bit more of Canada.

First stop - Revelstoke, BC. Nestled between two spectacular federal parks, along the Columbia River. We should rock up late afternoon and the night is ours. After Revelstoke, we will pass through the Rockies, stopping in Lake Louise and who knows where else will tickle our fancy, and then through to Calgary to stay with a cousin. A few days in Calgary, and then down to the family farm in Milo. From Milo, we will check out places with such exotic names and Brooks, Vulcan, and Drumheller. I am really stoked about being able to explore some of the badlands, and maybe spend time in the Provincial Dinosaur Park. Alberta is just so geographically different than BC, I can't wait to see and explore more of it.

I just have issues driving there. No really, I do!! The only time I went I was good for about an hour before the undulating grass on the long, straight stretches of road would lull me close to sleep. You don't realize how different it is driving on the Prairies until you have experienced it. Then you begin to understand why Prairie folk feel claustrophic driving between the mountains and trees out here. Strange, but true.

Feels weird not packing camping gear, it almost feels too simple. Have some books, we are packing lunches for the drive, grab some CDs... and we are good to go!! I will try to post about my adventures over the next week - the unknown factor is pretty exciting. Maybe I will finally finish Stones from the River.. it is a great book but it is taking me FOREVER to plow through it.

AHEM. On another note, Survivor started with a wee twist. Should be an interesting show - the ruins are amazing. Dude, to be able to CAMP in a place like that!!!!

Bare Tushes

After watching an old school flick last night, I couldn't help but comment that 20 years ago they used to show a lot more skin in movies. Bare tushes and chests were pretty commonplace.

Remember all the high school coming of age movies? Porkys, and Up the Creek, and Caddyshack, Hot Dog, the movie, The Joy of Sex (whose most titillating moment came when the boys were at the drive in lighting their farts), Sixteen Candles or St. Elmo's Fire... They all had some nudity and very little swearing, ok maybe except for Eddie Murphy in RAW. Although the nudity in the past was mostly women, and the odd male bare buns would create a furor of shock because it was the other gender's turn :]

Now we seem to have the reverse. Very little nudity and a whole lot of swearing, sly sexual innuendos, and more violence. Interesting.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Falling together

It seems the pieces are coming back together again. Had dinner with Ken's mom and we ironed out what needed to happen for our upcoming excursion. The three of us leave Friday morning, and then will be home the following weekend for a good break away from dodge.

I am starting to get excited about heading out. We have a hotel rented in Revelstoke for the first night, and hopefully I can get out for a walk along the Columbia River either Friday night or Saturday morning. It is a rustic, small town in the middle of the mountains, and I like it. It appeals, with the frontier meets everyone in BC with ethnic restaurants and old school hotels, and a funeral parlour in the main strip. In the river you can see all sorts of old metal bits, rusting and forgotten, and there are wild flowers and glaciers all around you. This is where the Kokanee Glacier is - yup, might see us a Sasquatch in them parts!

Monday, September 12, 2005


I just stepped out of my office and you can smell the fire in the college. A little alarmed, I went out to one of the upper patios - viz is shot! I can maybe see west about 3-5 km, and then it is like the world stops. There is ash in the air, maybe this is what it was like after Mt St. Helen's went? Still no known cause, still burning. Ironically enough, the story in Vancouver's section of is less informative than the one for Victoria?! Air quality is terrible, it is leaving a nasty after taste, and clinging to my nose. Ken's working out in that area, so I can only imagine how he felt driving around today?! A little rain couldn't hurt at this stage, but I don't think any is forecast until later on in the week. It looks crazy outside though - really sunny, blue skies to the left, and to the right, a white, stinky haze out of which buildings and bridges appear from.

Burn's Bog Blaze

Hanging off my parent's deck yesterday I noticed a hug plume of smoke coming from across the Fraser river on the Delta. Great grey clouds were billowing up, and it was like you could see actual flames licking the top of the ridge. The radio was no help for news, and we all grabbed binoculars to see if we could see anything. After watching some amazing footage from the Channel 9 Chopter (now that feels cheesy saying), turns out that the Burns Bog is burning. This is terrible - it is an amazing ecological area that is home to many unique species. It is also rare as being a green zone close to a major metropolitan area.

Last night, the sky was orange, and we could smell fire from our place. Every now and then you could see the fire intensify, and the sky would dance with colours that would unsettle you. The darkness of the ridge, and then the flames and smoke. It is CLOSE and yet not that close. Driving in to work this morning, going up the river was a haze that looked like fog, and looking out towards the fire the plume of smoke continued, but more white than the angry colours it was yesterday afternoon.

I have all crossables crossed they can get this fire out ASAP! I understand fire is good, and needed for some elements of renewal (and hell, needed in the areas of the pine beetle infestation) I just worry about the Bog. Ken plays hockey out near there, and I have spent many a pre-game time walking through the preserve, enjoying the forest on the edge of civilization, wondering at the life that teems in there. I hope it wasn't a cigarette butt!!!!!

Saturday, September 10, 2005


Was an amazing movie. Very provokative, rings you out emotionally a few times. Very powerful. Well worth the rental cost. Reminds you how closely linked we all are, even when we think we are either completely isolated or one of many.

Air Care

Never having had a newer vehicle, air care has always been one of those excruciating experiences for me. I rock up in my vehicle, and the prayers begin. I am never sure which of the pantheon to go for when it comes to a vehicle miraculously passing, and maybe I used up my "used" car miracles with the Rabbit or the pickup, but we went to our trusty mechanic this morning, he fixed a vacuum leak and we all but did an offering to get through. It is like going to the dentist, you know that it will be a slightly painful experience only aircare will hurt the pocketbook and not cause physical pain in in the spirit of prevention and retention!

Alas, another failing grade. So, we will get three months insurance and when we head out to Alberta, trusty mechanic will fix all that ails our beast which didn't get done today. Which, after this round, should mean we are in great shape. I am so relieved that we have a great mech, who is also a friend. He is a great guy - has his own shop, works by his own rules. Plus, a case of budweiser goes a long way. He plays hockey with Ken on his men's team (which was how we got connected to him) and is one of the end of game tailgaters with us. It helps to trust the person fixing your vehicle, and know you aren't going to get ripped off in the process.

Video night! Watching Sahara (may be cheesy but should be a fun adventure) and Crash, and some old movie called Death Race 2000. A big bowl of popcorn, maybe a diet coke sounds like a great saturday night. And NHL 2006 for the XBOX.

Was weird, had to bail on other plans for tonight because of said truck issues, and was asked, why don't you just borrow a vehicle from your folks? Not really an option. My family has always been a bit strange with their vehicles. Extremely possessive and it has taken me a while to get over that. Ken's bro has bailed us out a few times, and just offered his vehicle, no questions asked. A totally different attitude to the whole realm of car ownership.

Damn. Went on a LONG ramble again!!!!!

Thursday, September 8, 2005


Wow. 51 minutes and my bank card gets reloaded. Now how cool is that?

Today was a strange day, that seems to have finished with a strange wind blowing through. You know, one of those winds that makes you feel like change is in the air. One of those winds that triggers your sensor lights and then makes crazy shapes dance on your shed. It is still mild, but the gusts make the trees dance and suggests that it could be really raining, but it is just the branches going wild and crazy. It brings with it fall, the days are getting shorter, and I feel my attitude shifting away from summer.

Have to wear a t-shirt to work for these first two weeks of school advertising our department. Can't say that I am quite keen about it. I don't feel all that professional in it, bright blue with jeans, or my black capris. For once, I have some cool work duds again and I would much prefer to be donning them than having to change in to my blueberry shirt once we open to see folks for the day. Haven't been insanely busy either, which feels odd. Other campus has been slammed, so I feel like I have gotten away with something, and yet I miss the vibe too.

Kitchen is actually clean again, and I finally decided to do something with my fishtank. It had a lovely green glow about it, that wasn't getting any better. I figured that the fish were preparing for some kind of crazy rebellion so I figured it was time to deal with it.

And... I entered a writing contest with a few poems.

GULP. I am out there now. I have my crossables crossed. May post them here eventually, not quite there yet though.

Well, my book beckons. I am reading Stones in the River by Ursula Hegi and it is a novel that slowly draws you in and then you are fully engulfed in the story. It is a story about being different, and when you first realize that you are different than other folks, and how that awareness shapes the rest of your life, this is to the backdrop of turn of the century Germany; so throw in a bit of tumultuous history told through a new perspective and unique voice. Pretty catchy I must say. But dense. I don't get through these kind of books nearly as quickly as the trade paperbacks which barely last an evening when I am fully hooked.

Tuesday, September 6, 2005

Monday, September 5, 2005

Am I back home already?

Destination Reached: Saturday morning, about 9 am after hitting the road shortly after 5. Pimainus Lake was more than we imagined it would be. It is about 5500 feet above sea level, and 35km down a gravel road. It is remote, has cold running water and pit toilets.

It was also stunning, quiet, only a few people are/can be around, has a great proprietor, and the cabin was big enough to fit the four of us, but small enough to be quaint and just what we needed for eating, sleeping, reading, and cards. It didn't take long to unpack and hit the lake running (er fishing!). Ken caught his first fish, and then I caught one later in the day. We were all pretty tired, so it was an early night.

I took my dad out fishing Sunday night as twilight fell and the mist start to rise off the lake. We didn't catch any fish but it was magic being out there! A few loons in the lake, besides us that is, and we had the place to ourselves.

This is "Second Lake" and it was a smaller lake that you walked about 10 minutes beside a creek to get too. There are moose prints all over the place, and you see all kinds of birds, including Whiskeyjacks, ravens, herons, grouse, and other fowl. A few old fire rings, lodgepole pines that would creak and groan in the wind, and the fish were jumping.

Yup. We were enchanted by this place. This morning, Ken and dad went fishing early, and I slept in a bit before I headed out. Not finding them on the big lake, I wandered down to 2nd Lake, to see them rowing out near here. I walked further up the lake and found a tree stump, and just took it all in. The water is really clear, and there were birds making their morning noises. The morning mist was slowly disipating, and the sun was struggling to make an appearance. Eventually my dad spotted me, and we made various whistle calls to each other until Ken rowed to pick me up. Hard to believe that was 12 hours ago already. Back to work in the morning. It felt timeless up there, no TVs, no cell phones, no news, it was awesome.

Saturday, September 3, 2005

Cabin Bound

In but a few, wee hours - we are bound for Pimainus Lake. Yup. Say that word a few times fast!!!

Should be fun, have a rod, have some cards, lets hope for some good times!

Just got home from playing some shinny - felt great to don the gear and know our season could be but a week away. I don't hurt too bad, but I did have one shift out there where I was doing my best impersonation of a human target. PING off my leg, PING off the shin pad, PING-CLUNK off the helmet and rattled my cage. I shook it off and played on, but what a way to come back to the game. We kicked some shinny ass and it felt good to get out there and play, and leave whatever angst I have been feeling on the ice.

Ahhhh. Season of weird leg bruises is back!!!

Friday, September 2, 2005

Old, new, and renewed.

Today has been a funny day.

Started with a bang at aircare, and now I am pretty much packed to head out for a weekend trip to a small lake in the interior for some fishing! I am looking forward to it, but this week off has gone by way too quickly and it feels like a headlong rush in to the weekend.

I hooked up with an old girlfriend this morning and it was like a piece of the puzzle coming back in to place.

I like where I am at now, and in some moments, it is so crystal clear that no matter what seems to be hurdles in the road, I have what counts. I have my partner, whom I really love and has brought so many positive changes in my life, by being him and his loving me for me, by being supportive, and being partners together, facing all that comes at us with a united front. I have a few dear, close friends that I really appreciate, and the clutter of acquaintances have been trimmed down. I love our place, our cats, our backyard, I love what the future holds. I am very grateful. It sounds like gushing, but this thing called life isn't always easy, and sometimes it is hard to see the wood through the trees, but you gotta embrace the good bits.

It is bizarre that this real clarity sometimes hits me when I have had glimpses of the past, and where I have come from, and whether or not those pieces are going to come in to the future with me. Aging is funny, because you see the past with 20/20 vision and you realize that there were times of your life that ring less true or more true than others. And this is where seeing C. this morning was so wonderful. We have always gotten on well, and spoken the same language (when it really came down to it). C. found an amazing man several years ago and has built an amazing family around her. It took me a longer to find that man for me, and I think to go through several versions of myself until I am where I am today, feet more solidly on the ground. There was time for us both to grow, and grow more solidly in to who we are. I still had to go through some hurts, and I think learn how to slow right down and enjoy the present moment more, I guess strip things down to the basics, and focus more on the people and things I wanted to count, rather than bits of everything because it was shiny and different and filled up the spaces in my life that I used to have. This morning was a relief, because I have hooked up with a few "old" friends in the last while, and it hasn't been that great of an experience the last few times (will avoid unnecessary whining here) and this time it was really positive, a breath of fresh air, and I was even on TIME!!!

I have to come to realize that you can reach a crossroads in any friendship in which you go in one direction, and the other went in another and the parts in common are moving further and further away in to the past. That has happened a bit in the last few years and it has nothing to do with physical distance, it is emotional distance.

Nothing like visiting some really fun past experiences, and the not so good experiences, the trials, the tribulations, the knowing that there were times where you left some of your friends behind because they weren't at that place, only to discover that you have caught up with each other again without it being an effort. The last year or so has been marked by the old and new, and me reinventing myself to a degree, and renewing some of the old but in different terms.

When you get excited about your family together (no matter how big and small), and crafts, and books, and music, and life, and the moments that take your breath away and they are pretty similar, you know you are back on track again in a friendship. Somewhere when you weren't looking you were already growing back to the same path.

I love that email that goes around about a "reason, season, and a lifetime" and how it describes people who enter (and sometimes leave) your life. That things do happen for a reason. It is hard letting go of those "season" people, but it frees you to enjoy the lifetime friends/relationships more, and I guess figure out the growing you did from the reason/season types.

This is another aspect of time, you realize that there are so many hours in the day and that the people you contact/stay in touch with are the people that count, because sharing that time is valuable.

Thursday, September 1, 2005


On Tuesday, my mom and I went to Sechelt to see my gram. There is a very cool place called Dahlia's Galore... it is a garden that you can wander around, taking in amazing blooms! Some of the blooms were so big and heavy that they bent the stalks that they were supported by!!

It was a great day, no problems catching our ferries up the coast, which is nothing short of a miracle these days as the ferries break down almost daily. Had a pub lunch at a place on the water called the Wakefield, a place that has probably been around forever, the floors creak like it has been! It was a stormy day that felt more like November than August.

Where has our summer gone?? It seems that Labour Day and the start of a new semester is RIGHT HERE. Soon my freckles will fade...