Saturday, November 30, 2013

My two front teeth

This has been a strange, and yet fairly decent week.

It has been another quick month - so much for attempting the NaBloPoMo I half toyed with there for a few days early on in the month.  It is hard to find time every day to blog, let alone exercise.

Work was weird this week.  It was an eye opening week in many ways.  The most positive way it was eye opening was the feedback from an interview I did that I received, and although I didn't get what I thought I wanted, I think it could put me in the right direction in the future.  Not that I am not going in the right direction, just every now and then you need to make some detours.  I think that because I work hard, and for the most part, don't make a lot of mistakes, that it should get me places.  Some times, it is about timing, and the right opportunity, and I do think there is an element that if you are moving in the right direction, the barriers seem to come down.

This week I also had my front teeth worked on by my new dentist.  It was a really long appointment, and I was nervous.  I have always been at least a little self conscious about my front teeth.  I had large discoloured deposits on them from the beginning of time, and when I was younger, people would always ask if I brushed.. yes.  Yes. I did.  It never helped with those yellow or white spots.  Add a few fillings (weak enamel) and they were just never pearly white.  Wonderfully straight, but not white.  As I have gotten older, I really haven't worried about it.  I know recently I noticed in some pictures that the colour was a bit of, so starting with a new dentist, questions come up about your smile.. and I said in small voice, I had concerns about my front teeth.   Viola.  A few hours later, they look a lot better.  They are more uniform in colour again, and the filling corrected, and roughness smoothed out.  The hard core polishing helped too.  I like my new dentist - she is great.  I also like my slightly upgraded smile a little bit more.

We celebrated my mom's birthday tonight and had my family over for dinner.  Ken and I are getting really good at cooking salmon on the BBQ.  Last night I checked out some late night black frideh deals for some toys after a retirement dinner for my old boss.  When I was younger, I remember thinking they will miss me when I am gone.  Now that I am older, I think that I was pretty naive since I miss them too now that I am gone.  We had a good thing for a number of years at my old place of work. I learned a lot, and the women that I worked with were pretty awesome.  I can see much of how I evolved in my career from two of them, how I lead, and how I choose to define my work.   Sometimes we truly do need distance to see how influence does go both ways.

Tomorrow kicks off December… which I now look at as a very Merry Month of Joy Making mixed with a little or a lot of crazy for good measure.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sweet goodness between the pages.

When I went to book sale a few days ago, this was actually one of the books that I was hoping to find.  I thought it was a long shot, but there, among hundreds of other books, was a brand new hardcover copy of this book. I read this author's first book, and it was what I would call my version of 'chick lit'.  A little magical, not always saccharine sweet, and not every character is perfect.  I wanted to read more of her books, but haven't always remembered when I found myself looking and willing to buy rather than take from the library or borrow from friends.

So. after finishing one really enjoyable read, it was Sunday morning, why not jump in to this one?  I cannot remember the last time I read a book in a day.  By the time I fell asleep today, this book was done. I really enjoyed it.  Light, but not too light, enjoyable characters, a little earth magic, and some tension.

Alas.  The book is done, and now I am adding her name to my list of potential authors to try to find next time I find myself in a used book store, or perhaps with a Christmas gift card to a bookseller.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Impulse book buy - Success!

Last weekend when I went to Costco, I realized that I had pretty much read all of the books on my shelves that I wanted to read in the foreseeable future.

I trolled up on the down the book section, and nothing was really grabbing me.  I first started by picking up the Rosie Project.  It looked decent, but I wasn't quite sold on it.  Then this one jumped out and said "try me" in a slightly accented voice.  So I did.

I would describe this book as the literary version of Forest Gump meets Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels.  I really enjoyed this book.  I would cribe it as having a black sense of humour, and completely oddball characters that were refreshing in their originality.  It has been a while since I laughed out loud so much in a book, or just enjoyed the novelty of a read.  I think Terry Fallis' books on Canadian politics that were like that for me last year.. funny, not too serious, and totally different.

This book is about Allan Karlsson, a 100 year old Swede that one days decides life in the old folks home is just not for him.  The adventures begin right away, and there really is never a dull  moment.  I sped this through this read, and as I said, I really enjoyed it.  Carpe diem, and hoist a cold one :)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Book sale

Every November at work, we have a book sale.  First two days of the sale, soft covers are $1 and hard covers are $2.  I went to spend $15, and I did.  Easily.  I felt like a kid in a candy story.  I am now stocked for at least two months.  I even found a few books that I was looking for, and some I had not idea that I wanted to read but their covers intrigued me.

Then I went back when then sell as much as they can off for 10 cents a book.  Ahem.  Talk about feeding an addiction.

For $16 I bought 25 books.  I was feeling generous and I gave two away.   I was gleeful for hours.  It was a strange day.  They also had a mammogram clinic at work - and now being 40 - I knew I "should" have one.. so I got squished (not as terrible as I expected) and then went for the obvious retail therapy.

A fine day in my book.

Friday, November 15, 2013

An old standby….

This was a perfect read for a week off work.  Well, almost a week off.   It is almost embarrassing to admit how many NR books I have read over the years… some are quite satisfying, and others… well, they just miss the mark.  If you are looking for a character driven book with a little romance, perhaps a thriller element, and then a happy ending, usually NR is your gal.

I figured this was a great read to jump in to since we were heading south to Seattle and Olympia and this book takes place in the San Juan islands.  Of course, now I have a yen to stay in the San Juans.. I think our first weekend without kids there is an old hotel on one of the islands that I would love to get away with Ken to visit.    This book delivered what I wanted it to - a satisfying, quick read that wasn't all too serious, that was easy to read, and overall enjoyable.  The suspense aspect was ok, I still look forward to having a dog in the future, and as I already mentioned, I would like to spend some time in the San Juans or Gulf Islands.

Finishing this one was an odd feeling.  I have read most of the books I have had on my shelves for a while, and the ones I have left I can't say I have a big burning desire to read anytime soon.  I picked up a book from Costco tonight, hopefully it is a good read.  It is a strange feeling not really knowing what I want to read next…

Saturday, November 9, 2013

A little disappointed...

What caught me at first was the cover.  Who doesn't like wandering around a lighthouse perched on a cliff next to a tumultuous ocean?  The story itself also seemed intriguing...

This was a pretty quick read, and now that it is done, I feel really ambivalent about the book.  I will not be shouting from the rooftops to read this, however, there were a few moments I thought that the author really nailed a part of our human condition.  For me, this was a bit disappointing because I really wanted to enjoy it.  I was also the one that picked this book for our next bookclub meeting, so that was also in the back of my mind. 

The writing wasn't that consistent.  I found a few narrative lines that were blended didn't work that well for me, and that every now and then the author shifted in to the third person.  All in all, the ideas of the this novel were decent, execution at times was compelling, but at the end... meh...  it wasn't terrible but it really isn't a book that will stick with me a long time either.   This was a melancholic novel, and for me, I think I enjoyed the parts about the lighthouse keeping the best.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Vancouver Night Race 2013

What a way to start off November.  Remember a few of those goals I had when I turned 40?  I am partway there for one of them.  Although I have not been as dedicated I was for June, July and part of August... I have been able to keep up running once a week.

This weekend, I participated in the Vancouver Night Race with my BFF and a new friend.  It was an awesome experience.  The weather was typical November on the Wet Coast... raining, the wind was blowing, and it was wonderfully miserable.

As you can see, we "dressed" for the occasion, and had a light early dinner.  I have only ever done one run in the past, the Sun Run back in 2000.  I was a little nervous, mostly about how fast I would be able to do the run, and how I would feel.  I know I can do about 7 km, with some stops along the way.  I just didn't know how I would do at night, and in the crowd.  Who knew, I love to run in the morning....

We got to the park with a few minutes to spare, parked, got kitted out, and walked to the race staging area.  Seeing everyone with their lights on was pretty awesome.  It was raining, and the wind was blowing.  I am glad we all needed a pee break, otherwise we would have missed the 10km runners coming along the seawall before they made they way by us.  It was spectacular to see.  Once we got going, I think I sighed when we rounded the corner to the seawall.  The waves were crashing, there was wind my hair... it was an awesome moment.  It made me truly grateful I started running.  I am not fast, but I am fast enough.  I am faster than I was 6 months ago, and I can run better at 40 than I could at 16.  I can't wait to see where I am at a year from now.  Next year I would like to do more 5kms, and a few 10kms.  I have no desire to do a longer distance than 10 km... I finally wore my lovely green REI jacket that Ken me a few years ago.  I can finally say it now.. this jacket is only one of my many reasons for wanting to get more fit.  It really didn't fit me when he first bought it for me... and every step I take... it is slowly starting to fit better. I can't wait to wear this jacket and not feel self conscious. 

All in all, this was a fabulous experience, one I hope to repeat.  Ah yes, my time, I ran 5km in 44:03.  My own personal best, and a great time to aim to break next time around.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Farewell, October

I came to the realization I love October.

It has been a busy but great month.  We brined a great bird and got to spend some time with loved ones for Thanksgiving, we had a great date night (we went on the local "Grave Tales" again after an amazing dinner), we took the kids to a pumpkin patch, decorated our house for Hallowe'en, and the festivities were great last night.

That being said, I think I am over Hallowe'en for another year.  It lasted just long enough, and I don't need to hear another chainsaw going off and shrieking kids for at least another 11 months.  It was a lot of fun though.

It is hard to believe next month is Christmas.  That I have been doing my 'not so new job' for a year, and that another school year is well under way. 

I am half tempted to try another NABLOPOMO.  Lets see if I can make it happen this month.  We are just finishing watching Lego Batman (not as good as Lego Star Wars) and I am tired.  It seems that with the return of the kids, our first fall colds is upon us.  This reminds me that November is not ever going to be the best time of the year to go on a big holiday.  Little ones, yes, but it is so important to watch the first colds.  They really do seem to hit for early November.

Show is over, and that is my moment.  Lets see if I can do this for a month, every day again.