Monday, October 31, 2005
It is raining off and on, so who knows what kind of a night it will be out there. I feel a bit nostalgic for the days of dressing up, eating way too much candy, the smell of the fireworks, and how magical tonight seems. We didn't even carve pumpkins this year!! It is hard feeling motivated to do one up when you don't have your own stoop where trixters and treater$ come by! Our door, being around the back isn't all that accessible from the front, and I don't want to encourage people to wander around the house at night. That said, I also want to go to the pub for dinner and enjoy a pint. For some reason, a beer has been sounding really appealing today.
Friday, October 28, 2005
I am finally letting go of clothes that might fit that I never want to wear again. I am finally paying forward some of the pocket books that sure, make my bookshelf full, but really, there are so many other books out there, do I really need to hold on to them all? - so out they are going, released to the wild and hopefully will attract some new books with which I can start that cycle up over again. I am trying to hold on to the few books I will read again, those out of print, and those that one day I might use as a reference. Reference to what? Who knows at this point, but they are a remnant of my university days.
I just cleaned out my filing cabinet and created a whole bag for recycling. Where the hell does all this paper come from?? And shoes, I know I love shoes, but really! How many pairs can a girl own, especially when they start to date back over ten years? Ok, this is where I connect with Carrie from SITC (I love shoes) but I am finally letting go of some now that I know where I can replacements for a reasonable value.
I think there is real worth in getting rid of stuff you don't use and won't ever look at again. I think carting all this stuff around, or servicing it, even if it is a few hours every few months to move it around again, is burdensome. I don't think I will ever be an austere person, or someone that doesn't have a few dust bunnies or a huge pile of lobsided books, or papers shoved away for future reference, but it does help to tame that clutter beast with courage every now and then.
Thursday, October 27, 2005
What does your mind seize on when you have a quiet moment? When I think about what I have done with myself, a lot of the times I pull up memories from travelling, whether it be people that I have connected with, places that I have seen, things that have moved me spiritually, really good beers, coffee, or meals, places where you have a heightened sense of self, and you know that you are doing or seeing or interacting in a way that is damn cool and will stay with you for a long time.
In so many ways it is the holidays that I have taken that stand out as yearly markers. I was in school for so long, it all blurs in to different stages of my education. I have been on enough hockey teams, that I separate that in to team dynamics, and clumps of time. I have lived in enough places around BC, I think of the places that I lived in and what attracted me most.
I don't always stop to think about my favourite people, or memories, or photos and trinkets, or the moments that take your breathe away.
I think that is why holidays stand out - they are not the normal order of things. You are out of your normal context, doing "extra" ordinary things. You see places you don't normally have access too, you met people from different places with different ideas, you are in a constant state of change and as such, your senses are heightened and I think you are more open to what is happening to you, even if you don't understand until months later.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
I have to say I have seen a few episodes of 'They call me 5arl" and it is funny as hell. I think I even laughed out loud. Watching all the teasers made it look like a real hick show, but it has some depth and it makes me laugh. Which for tv, isn't so bad.
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
In my job, we don't get a lot of performance evaluations, or perks for doing our job well, or any performance incentives for that matter, but knowing that you made an impact on one person's life can make all the difference in the world. It means a lot to hear a thank you, and when someone looks you in the eye with respect, and you know that you have done good. It means that you are doing things right, and people remember that.
Also reminds me how powerful it is to take the time and let people know when they make an impact, because it can be a real turning point in their day too.
Monday, October 24, 2005
After Ken came to pick me up, and we got home, I faded fast. I napped, and just "was" for a few hours. I reached that point where you just don't have anything really intelligent to say, I didn't feel the need to take in any more information, and it was just time to catch up on sleep and processing time. So that is what I did.
On the opposite side of things, today has been productive. I have also created a few lists and tasks to complete so I can feel some sense of accomplishment as I get through today. I figure that we humans are goal orientated, so it feels good to strike things from that to do list. I added a few geeky links to the side that arose from some of the workshops that I was able to attend. Although I haven't heard of all the books on the Top 100 list, I have read a few and it could be a good place to plunder for reads when I am seeking something different that I can sink my teeth in to.
Did you know that if you post a poem, article, essay, photo, or piece of writing on your blog that you have just given up your "first electronic rights" in terms of publishing?
Saturday, October 22, 2005
Attitude adjustment complete.
I can now face the rest of the evening. Perhaps I may switch book for DVD and just chill on the couch. Ah, such serious decisions to be made.
I got to meet Diana a few times. She is wonderful. I brought my hardcovers in for her to sign, and I picked up a copy of her latest installment of the Jamie and Claire series. I can't wait to get tucked in to it. Nothing like having a new book by one of your favs, but also having met them - and they are great people in person. She also has great fashion sense :] funny what you notice when you are a little nervous at being at your first conference, and also meeting people you never thought life would afford you the opportunity to do so.
I also got to meet Jean. Like wow. If meeting Diana wasn't enough, I also got to meet Jean. She was really nice, down to earth, and surprised me by commenting on the first edition of Clan that I have... apparently they are really rare, it is in great condition, and it is now signed... ! ! ! ! ! ! ! I got to meet a few people that I have also read, like Terry, whom has piercing blue eyes and lots of energy.
I spent a lot of time on my feet directing people, but I did get to go to a workshop on "community in writing" hosted by Jenny Crui$e. She was hilarious and dynamic, and I think she could talk even faster than me!!! I think some people had a hard time keeping up with what she had to say, but definitely some food for thought there. I haven't read anything by her, and I think she does chick-lit, but I am now intrigued and may have to look her up at the library next time I am there.
This weekend has also been about rediscovering my writer's voice. I can feel the urge to write awakening, and seeing so many people in every stage of their career has been really inspiring. I have seen people pitch their ideas, talk to hugely successfuly authors, gone to workshops, talked to Agents (hell, I even spilled coffee on myself in the elevator only to be embarrassed later on that it was an agent that was in one of the sessions I was working in, yah, I looked like an idiot there)... it really helps debunk some of the perceived distance for me. Where this will take me, who knows. Tonight, I think I will put the shoes I wore today in to a the pile of shoes I don't need to wear again and chill for a few hours.
It is strange being solo on a Saturday night but my honey is playing hockey, and I see popcorn and a good book in my near future....
Friday, October 21, 2005
There is nothing like the unknown - it looks like I will get a lot out of the conference as a volunteer, but who knows?! It could really motivate me to things a little differently in terms of my writing in the future, but time will tell.
Just to make sure I feel properly balanced, I hope to pick up a new hockey helmet on the way. Mine is shot. I keep forgetting to do this (helmets aren't cheap) but it is my head, and well, it was cracked, and then I lost pieces, and it got worse last week. It is time to bite the bullet and make it a priority.
Other cool thing is that Reffffffffiiinnnneeeej is in town, so she is picking my ass up at 5 from the conference! Which is perfect, some time with the kids, some time with her, and then off to shop, and then go play hockey!!! Yup, it will be the day that never ends!
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
I have never seen this cat so chatty - it is like he is telling me everything that they have done to him in the last few days at the vet.
He keeps wrapping himself around my hands, my face, this keyboard... he is so happy to be home. Cross your fingers that all stays well this time.
Our cat is on valium. Crazy eh?
Ripley is a purring machine tonight, and it feels like the weight has lifted from my chest. We are so glad to have him back, and the only time he has stopped with the affection is to run to the window to watch the squirrels. Too bad for him and his shaved derriere he can only look from behind the window.
That, combine with a chocolate utopia, and life is looking a lot better than it was just a few days ago. What a relief. One more day of work, and then off to the Writer's Festival. I am now participating all three days, and I get to introduct two speakers. It sounds like it will be an amazing event, and comes at the right time. I would love to continue to develop my writing skills, to do some projects on the side would help a lot at this stage of the game. Only time will tell what opportunities spin off from here. I am just glad to be able to participate as a volunteer, and see what all this is about. It is more than just a writer's conference where author's read excerpts from their books and answer questions at the end, these are workshops that enable potential writers to do just that.
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
I have definitely been feeling a bit introspective the last few days. Ripley needed a little more care and attention from the vet, which is stressful on us three. We both really care about our little guy and all you want to do is do the right thing by your buddy. I really believe that we are doing the best we can, and it has been an amazing part of my relationship to know I stand facing this all as a unit/partnership, not as an individual. It makes this seem not so daunting after all, knowing that your partner's hand is clutched in yours, and you both care and are on the same page. I waited a long time for a relationship like this, and it is great to finally be there :] Besides affirming this, he just called to affirm that Ripley is on the mend again, YAY! Makes my heart swell to know we have each other in the wings, loving and supporting, caring, and living together (so much more than just sharing space with each other).
My strange part for today, sometimes I end up being bad about phoning/emailing people back right away. I have less of a desire to spend time on the phone than I did when I was younger, and after some intense days at work where I can't control when I speak to people or when they see me, I find that I hold my private time closer to my chest. It doesn't mean I don't want to talk to that person, but sometimes it is more about having the emotional energy to do it too. Once you attend to your core - yourself, your partner, your immediates, there isn't always a lot left over, emotionally or time wise, and I would rather be there fully in the moment, rather than pick up the phone and hurry through it unless it is a touch base thing where you make a plan to catch up a later date. I have no idea if this makes any sense, but there you go.
Sunday, October 16, 2005
This was made a little tougher by the fact that we didn't get in until close to dawn due to a long, drawn out texa$ hold em game at a friends place :] it was a lot of fun, just not as much fun at 4:30 am when we truly realized what time it was... so I was tired this morning. Took me a while to get going, and to get motivated to get the dressing made, and figure out the meal details. Everything went off without a hitch, my apple pie was amazing, and I have leftovers! Yay! Makes a few meals a little easier to plan - hmm, do we have Turkey Pie or Just Plain ol Leftovers. Both are equally appealing.
So, I am over tired, I think I will have a bath, and I feel a bit fried.
Saturday, October 15, 2005
Last night's hockey game was exciting. We couldn't hold on to a lead to save our lives. It was like we would score a goal, YAY! and then we would lay back and all just miss catching up to their players by just enough to give our outstanding goalie (yes I am biased because I love him lots) much of a chance. We ended up with a tie, 5-5, and it was a well played game. Being the git that I am, playing defense, I see a shot coming right for the net. Brain says, TURN FROM THE PAIN forgetting that my shin pads don't wrap all the way around, they are there to protect my shins not my calves. I think it is the first time being smacked with the puck that I didn't start swearing like a sailor on the ice. It hurt so much all I could think of was "holy shit" and it never made it past my brain. I successfully blocked the puck, but should not have turned. I have a great bruise coming up, and as my dear love would say, that is hockey, suck it up. He's right, but it still makes a great story, and give it a few days to become more colourful!
No call from SIWC yet - I guess my poems didn't make the final cut. Ah well, there is always another time in this purely subjective endeavour.
Friday, October 14, 2005
Days off always go too freaking fast. Good intentions fly out the window, laundry only gets half done, and chores are left somewhere in the middle. Hell, I haven't even finished reading my lastest book yet (Michael Connelly kick, reading City of Bones this go around). I think with the tosvy turvy weekend that I had last go around, I guess today's general farting around and wasting of time is no big surprise.
I don't get what happens to days like this. I putter, and get easily distracted - like surfing the net, attempting to do constructive things, but then it is getting close to 6 and I have to think about dinner?! Like, WTF?! I have hockey to look forward to later on, we have another late game, we don't play until 10:15! Ah well, I guess it is time to go and clean up after myself. BAH. Will never be anything close to a perfect housekeeper. It just doesn't rank high enough in my overall priority scheme of things. Tidy is good, spotless is just too much damn work for very little payback.
Thursday, October 13, 2005
Since when have the girls been referred to as "novelty size"? Freaking bizarre. I guess novelty size is when you wonder whether or not it is the ocean you hear or a valley that trembles. Never looked at chest size like that before...
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
A real sneak peek in to the world of writing and some of my favourite authors will be there!!! I can get some books signed at the book fair, and attend workshops if I am not volunteering for a session during that time.
I am stoked. I am like a kid on Hallowe'en with a full bag of candy.
Looking at the presenter's list is pretty inspiring. Jean Auel and Diana Gabaldon are both keynote speakers, and I should be able to hang out at the back of the room and listen in. I am really looking forward to this experience!!! From the sounds of it, volunteering is a great way to go because from what I gleaned from some of the folk there, as a paying customer, it is an overwhelming weekend because there is so much going on and can have a huge impact on how one approaches the craft of writing. At least this way, I can be a part of it, and pick and choose a few workshops at my own pace :]
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Fall is definitely starting to show it's colours as well. I am working at my secondary location and I actually have a window, and I look at out green space (novel concept if you could see my other locale - four walls, within four walls, within another box. Nothing like never knowing if it is daylight or not). The trees that line the path in are like burning matchsticks. The reds take your breathe away, and the oranges, and yellows, and trees that have yet to turn. It is a beautiful tapestry out there. I think I would miss the seasonal changes if I lived in a place where it was the same ol, same ol all the time.
I noted on J's blog, that there is a new meme that was going around. A few questions later, I kind of got the gist of this latest craze, but that surface knowledge just wasn't enough for me on this glorious day. Ok, so the sun came out and it is perking me up.
So what the hell is a meme, to us other lay peoples?
A meme can be seen as an idea that we, as humans, communicate. Memes are a kind of thing, but they only live inside of our minds. Like all things, memes fit better with some things than others. Some memes naturally fit better in people’s minds. Some memes naturally fit better with other memes. When a group of memes fit well together and pull the strings of someone’s mouth and vocal cords so that they pass them on to others, a new, self-replicating thing gets created. The new thing is called a memeplex.
Accordingly, a meme can also be viewed as simply a unit of intellectual or cultural information that survives long enough to be recognized as such, and which can pass from mind to mind. There's not much of a sense of describing thought processes, but nor is it just a model. A meme survives in the world because people pass it on to other people, either vertically to the next generation, or horizontally to our fellows.
Memes are contagious ideas, all competing for a share of our mind in a kind of Darwinian selection. According to Richard Brodie, memes can evolve, they become better and better at distracting and diverting us from whatever we'd really like to be doing with our lives. On this website, there is an interesting piece on chain mails, etc. and how they can be "mind viruses".
The OED defines the meme as "a cultural element or behavioural trait whose transmission and consequent persistence in a population, although occurring by non-genetic means (esp. imitation), is considered as analogous to the inheritance of a gene. Examples are tunes, clothes, ideas, catch phrases..."
Interesting stuff. Not sure what to make of it, but interesting just the same. Now you and me know.
Monday, October 10, 2005
I guess I have been pretty lucky until now about never having had a cat with FLUDT before. For a while there, between a variety of circumstances beyond my control, my cats weren't living that log so this has never been an issue before.
From what I can gather from the Vet Assistants, the biggest problem with the cheaper grocery store cat food is that they are high in ash and magnesium. If your cat has any disposition to urinary tract problems, between the ages of 3-5 FLUDT can occur and without treatment that means a quick decline. Ripley's brother Murphy doesn't seem to have had the same issues, and never seemed to drink as much water as Ripley did/does.
Since Ripley has had FLUDT, we do have to do the special diet from here on out. Once the initial part is over (the two cats eat seperately with different foods), then they can both eat the special diet stuff that will help prevent recurrance of the crystals (after the vet bills, this food looks like a great preventative solution) and ultimate prevention for the other guy. When I asked about the better store brands, the assistant today pretty much said nay it is a no-go for us, and that Medi-cal or C/D formula is the true only way to go from this point since this incident.
Now, if your cats have not had an issue like this, and knowing what I do now, I would at least make a switch to a better cat food that is low mag/low ash to make sure 4 legged friends are healthier from the get go. Here is a way to make it cheaper for the first month (read free bag of cat food). It's funny, because we would all say that our cats are worth it, and we all have searched out for the best deals because it is an expense and it is natural to try to figure out ways to save a little money. I guess in future I will just buy bulk and try to save money that way, and with the wet food, the boys will be on total rations from here on out. No more over feeding and wasting the stuff. In the big picture of things, all positives.
The vet hospital was an interesting place this morning. It was smoking busy, and two cats do live there, which make their rounds to concerned owners cooling their heels. This clinic is only open nights, weekends, and holidays and there are only 3 in the GVRD. Our major break was that one of those clinics is at the bottom of our hill, so we didn't have to factor in a big drive to and from our place, a small mercy.
So the cats are getting reaquainted, and that was our holiday weekend! Slowly all is coming to right again, with the small exception that I didn't get any assists on friday night and I swear I was at least a part of one of those goals!
Sunday, October 9, 2005
Our vet is recommending that once Ripley's inflammation has been sorted out, and all is working as it should, that both cats be put on a better diet.
I read this hilarious review of the PRESCRIPTION (like, OMG?!!) cat food for the boys that has been suggested as a maintenance food, which will put a significant dent in the budget, YES they are worth it, or, a slightly cheaper alternative and apparently comes highly recommended. When we get to pick up the Ripper, I will talk to the clerk and see what is up, and whether or not we should the c/d route for the first while and then perhaps switch to the Purrina 1 once health is restored as a cheaper and more available alternative to the prescription stuff.
Makes you start to question some of those diet choices any of us can(do) make. I have been going off about the cats, but what about us too? I have suspected for a while that many health issues are directly (or indirectly) linked to what people are eating. I try to shop the outside aisles at the grocery store, trying to stay away from the heavily processed foods of a questionable nature. We all slip, hell, every now and then I get these cravings for things I know are bad - like the cheese dip for nacho chips. We switched to bottled water about a year ago, and I think we have been healthier overall. When you read articles about how many pre$cription drug$ make it in to our water supply, it is scary!!
Enough of my rant.
After all the furor about INXS, looks like they are opening in Vancouver (thanx Regs) next January. Will be interesting to see how fast it sells out, and whether or not a lot of us will head out to watch it.
Still waiting to see the stats from Friday's Crush Victory! All in all a decent game, and I think that I ended up with a few assists! I felt that I played well, and I definitely felt better after playing. I don't think that Ken saw a shot until midway through the second period! We played at 11pm, which made it hard to stay motivated before we played, and then you end up awake at 3am from the receding adrenaline rush!
Saturday, October 8, 2005
Was great to have my friend D in town, but hard too, because I was really enjoying our visit, but a part of my brain is processing the whole "cat down" situation, as well as the money part. What can you do? In the comments, all you lovely ladies who have four legged friends get that hard part of the decision, once made, you have to go with it. It feels right in the heart and that is what you gotta do.
My sweetheart is out getting us some comfort food. Usually I would be going for some beef and broc, but this time around I am going to try out some mango butter chicken. Combine that with some DC and movies, maybe some hockey on the tube for the battle of the west, and that would be our laid back saturday night. I feel a bit emotionally done like I would love to avert making some big decisions for a little bit. Ripley is on the mend, there are unknown factors, but everything that matters is there. Tomorrow I will head to the island solo for Thanksgiving Dinner, and then get home on Monday. We couldn't get ferry reservations, so we will go as walk on to avoid waiting for 6 hours on either side.
Friday, October 7, 2005
Thursday, October 6, 2005
When is it ok to have an hotel towel hitchhike home with you?
On a lighter note, I was pleasantly surprised with The Next Accident, a suspense novel by Lisa Gardner. A fine way to spend a few hours. I have picked up a Lisa Scottoline novel for my next read. I think after that I am ready to sink my teeth in to something a little more intellectual next time. I have heard good things about The Kite Runner but I haven't picked up a copy yet.
Feeling pretty scattered during my work days, still. Between working two locations, and traveling to Victoria, to a few days off, I haven't got a clue what is up anymore. I feel a bit out of the personalities loop, but I think I have been saying that for a few weeks.
Monday, October 3, 2005
I am looking forward to "super G" Ginger and Gingseng beer tomorrow night and half priced oven baked pizza. I think that I just tipped my hand to the fact that I like deals and I am motivated enough to find them. I am also looking forward to getting out and walking around town. Victoria is just the right size to get out and walk, and right on the coast, so not only is it a place to hit the pavement, but, you have gardens combined with ocean views and I am a happy camper. I am not sure what we will be up to today. There is talk of heading out to Sooke, the western edge of the island because we have never been out there before.
Here's to hoping we bring out the best in each other this trip! Sometimes it is bizarre because ultimately she is on a mini-break, and I am working. When I rock up at the hotel, she is ready to do something where I just want to lock myself in a room for 20 minutes and debrief from my day - alone, maybe with a book. Hopefully we catch the end of summer blooms and not just tumultous fall weather whipping by the fall colours by at mock 2.
BTW, Hitchhiker's guide was blah. Layer Cake was an interesting flick though.
Saturday, October 1, 2005
Oh yeah - the jitters. I always seem to feel ansty that first game back. Excited to be playing again, hoping that first step back on the ice doesn't land me on my ass!