Monday, July 26, 2010

These are the hangover days

Funny thing, isn't it, how fast time flies.

I love team sports. I love them. I tried the whole working out thing and although I liked the challenge and I liked getting stronger it never fulfilled my missing desire for team sports. I don't know if this love of sport started young when I was first enrolled in T-ball or what. I do know that I've always been competitive, hopefully not to a fault.

For my junior and senior years of high school (grade 7-12 for those of you from different systems) I played nearly every school sport offered to me. I even played sports I wasn't that good at (basketball) just to play. I should say that I don't consider myself good at basketball because it is a game where you need to be good at both offense and defense. I've got mad defense skills but my offense is weak, very weak. I've always been okay with this though. I feel tremendous amounts of pride knowing that when we were up against hard competition in basketball I was usually placed on the most skilled opponent, I could defense my way right around them. Until I got the ball then I was kind of a mess.

Anyways back to my story. I spent years playing volleyball, followed by basketball, which sometimes overlapped with badminton (another sport I lack skills at), which also overlapped with curling, and finally my pride and glory: rugby. All of these, with the exception of badminton were played in a team. I loved these sports that I often played them into the summer attending volleyball camps and playing in the Alberta games for rugby two years in a row (took gold one year too!)

The thing is, as I get older (and I know I'm not old) team sports are harder to come by. Unless of course you are really good. Well I should mention that I could have easily played rugby at the university level right out of high school but working and classes easily step in the way of those extra-curricular things. I am so happy to be playing rec soccer in the summer, even if it is just for rec and just once a week, and even if we don't get to practice (practices were sometimes more fun than games). I love the team mentality, working together, and working hard. I never could get used to running - which seems to be the sport of choice for many people my age and older now a days. I guess it is the easy thing to get into, all you really need is a pair of shorts and some runners but I love the team aspect far too much. It also helps that we won our game last Wednesday 4-2 but I won't brag.

As many of you already know I'd been ranting about the Calgary Folk Music Festival and my need to go to it this year. It started on Thursday night and one of my favorite bands (Stars) was playing the mainstage. Although I was unable to convince anyone to come with me I was determined to go. Feeling a little sheepish about going alone I walked to my car and drove down to the grounds.

As an aside: I'd say I have a manic need to be able to do things independently. It isn't like I prefer to go alone to things, quite the contrary, I just feel like not doing something because I am alone is cheating myself out of many wonderful experiences. I try hard to conquer any fear and do things my myself. I figure not going because you can't find a friend is way worse than going by ones self. You should try it. Although I've never gone to a sit down concert alone before I've ventured to movies, restaurants, and now even a festival.

Back to it then. I arrived at the grounds a little late and worried that I would be stuck to the back. I made my way decently to a fairly reasonable place to stand. Stars were great but after seeing someone I only knew a little and in an attempt to avoid our awkward conversation I made my way to the Tim Horton's booth for some tea (I was also chilly). At this time I ran into some friends of a friend shall we say, ok, really it was a friend of my brother's who I know. Either way he spotted me and said hello. The great thing was I was invited along to where they had friends sitting almost at the front. The concert was great, but the concert that followed (The Avett Brothers) was even better. After leaving I was very glad I had not let my fear of standing alone stand in my way. Seems like often times my fears are much bigger in my head than in reality. I felt like it really paid off.

On Friday I attended my cousin's wedding. As I mentioned before I love my family and I love weddings so family weddings are the ultimate for me. It is rare now-a-days that my whole family can get together. When I was growing up I was lucky enough to have an extended family that hung out all the time. Often on weekends everyone would go to the lake to go waterskiing and have a bbq. We also always and I mean always go camping on July Long weekend, which I often don't even consider Canada Day (sorry Canada). It is just that it has always been a family event more than a "fireworks and flags" kind of day for me.

Well back to the wedding. It was a gorgeous day for an outdoor wedding and although it was a cousin of mine who I rarely get the privilege to see anymore it was lovely. Everyone who could be there was and boy did we have a party. Red wine and my family are a dangerous combination. Because he was marrying a girl whose family is traditional Dutch Reform we had to put the dancing off until after the grandparents left - because get this, they aren't allowed to dance (and I thought that was just a crazy concept from Footloose where Kevin Bacon causes a stir). You see, with my family weddings dancing is as much of an integral part as the red wine and the white dress. It was beyond fun and I cannot wait for the next family wedding, whoever that is, no pressure.

The following day required many hours of movie watching and many naps on the couch. In total I believe we watched four movies - none of which I saw in their entirety due to ill planned naps. I started the day with Monsters vs Aliens, followed by Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, 2012, and Public Enemies. Although I was supposed to be at Folk Fest and then even at a friend's bbq that evening I could have cared less. Sometimes we just need a hangover day - which makes me think of one thing (thank you Jason Collet).

I spent Sunday under a shady tree at folk fest with a good book. I bought a new purse and some fire grilled pizza. It was perfect.

However when I returned home I found my home at a staggering 31℃. It was mind numbingly hot.

I was depressed to go back to work today - the pool is officially closed today and we are in "Shutdown" or more affectionately known as "Shitdown" or "The worst time to work at the UCAC." It shouldn't be that bad we just have to clean many things and we are often required to use harsh chemicals and acids which require us to be wrapped in PPE (personal protective equipment) which for us means being covered head to toe in rubber rain gear. This equals a lot of sweat and exhaustion. The thing is, it pays well and the hours are decent. This will not stop me from hating it though.

Please tell me if this is too long, I mean to keep them shorter and update more often but when you are a busy girl it is tough to force yourself to update when there are episodes of True Blood you could be watching.

Today I learned:
  • Team sports beat individual sports any day, at least in my books
  • I have great eyebrows - thanks Amanda! ha.
  • Waiting in line for half an hour for an expensive flame grilled pizza is totally worth it
  • Driving around long enough downtown will reward you with free street parking near where you are going (on a Sunday of course)
I am grateful for:
  • A free night
  • This great thunderstorm
  • Shady trees
  • Friendly people
  • My car and the roof over my head
  • Fans
  • I could say my family every time so I think from now on you should assume that it is implied that my family kicks ass
  • More like I am happy - that my cousin is coming home soon! I can't wait to see her (safe travels)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

In Summary

I feel like I'm one step behind my life, playing catch up constantly. I was certain that by mid-July I'd have things back in order, or at least feel like I had things under control. It isn't even as though I have that much I need control of, it is just that I feel like life is running me instead of me running my life.

So I'd like to apologize for the hiatus but as mentioned above I feel like I don't have time for anything, let alone blogging. I had drafted and completed a post but sadly when I returned to my computer (as previously mentioned) it was gone. In an attempt to avoid your boredom I'll try to be concise.

I spent the last few weeks visiting friends I hadn't seen since my departure in May and some whom are new friends from Mexico. The thing is, this kept me on a steady nightly schedule of visits, by the time Thursday rolled around I was exhausted from working early and being out every night. It isn't that many of these things were exceptionally time consuming, a dinner here, a soccer game there, but it was the constant running around that kept me tired. I ended up avoiding any and all activity this weekend that was lovely but did little for reorganizing and getting me back on track for feeling on top of life.

The thing about being busy is it is what I am used to. When school is on I am crazy busy all the time and right now I just happen to be booked up until next Monday. My weeks turn into hectic schedules of visits, dinners, and movies. Don't get me wrong I love these things but I feel like doing all these things makes me lazier in my down time. ha. I guess you just can't win right? When you aren't busy you complain that you need to do more but when you are busy you complain there isn't enough time. I'll try and keep my sorrows to myself because the prospect of being out and about with people I adore every night is very encouraging.

As many of you know I moved into the condo my Mom owns in Calgary. This condo was a purchase to help us kids out with a place to stay while we were going to school but amazingly in my five years of University I had never lived here. I had, however, always considered it a second home. It was the place I went when I wanted a change of scenery, a big tv, some very chill company, perhaps a free meal, and maybe even a couch to crash on after one too many glasses of wine. This made moving in weird. I am hesitant to use the word weird, but I think it fits. For the first week or so I certainly felt like a house guest because that is all I had ever been here, and I had in fact stayed for a week at a time.

Once I was able to better organize my room and settled in it felt like home. It is nice to live with family again. It just seems so easy. My brothers are pretty great guys. I've really enjoyed the two plus weeks I've been here.

Now I should mention that setting up my room has been a challenge - I don't know why it was so difficult, but it sure was. I basically have my bedroom done and I am lucky enough to get an office which I think will prove to be very beneficial during the school season. The office however is in ruins. I need shelves, lots of shelves. I love to be organized. Organization is key. As much as I can survive with a disorganized place and disorganized schedule it drives me to near insanity. So while I can be at peace with a room that was organized and is just out of order a room that has never had any order is frustrating to no end. I've made peace with the office for now though because there is not much that can be done about it right now.

Since returning I've been lucky enough to start back up with my soccer team from last summer, well really it is the team my brother put together that I was sucked into and found that I really loved. My first game back was last Wednesday, we were short on subs and only had two girls (both of us had to be on the field the whole time). Although it was fun it was also punishing. With a new set of cleats and severely underused legs I found myself exhausted with some huge blisters and two cramping calf muscles. It was great though. Due to being low on subs we lacked the back up required to grasp the win but we played really well.

Last night I saw Inception, it was great, you should go see it.

This week I am excited to see Stars, they are a Canadian band with some great music. I've seen them live three or four times now and I swear they get better every time. They are playing the Calgary folk festival on Thursday night and I can not wait. Also this weekend my cousin is getting married! I love weddings and I love my family and I especially love family weddings! Basically what I am saying is that I am very excited.

If you've read my brother's blog A Dynamic Commotion you may be familiar with a post of his (The Sport of TV) where he discusses the wonder/dilemma that is TV on DVD and a new-ish show True Blood. Well many people I know have been raving about True Blood for quite some time so I finally committed to watching it. It is fabulous and as my brother says, they are only on the 3rd season so catching up is quite manageable. In the last two days I've made my way half way through season one and I'm hooked.

Lately I've learned:
  • Naps are necessary for surviving early morning jobs
  • Vampire shows that do not include a vampire named Edward can be awesome
I am grateful for:
  • Pictures people keep posting from my two trips - thanks for the memories friends
  • Old friends
  • My favorite movies
  • Being a total geek
  • Being able to make my coworker laugh so hard every morning that she glares at me. ha. And her ability to make me laugh until I spit out water.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


I wrote a nice long blog update over the past few days, I was planning on posting it last night. When I came back to it the autosave had failed and it was all gone. My apologize. I'll try to re-write and post soon. I'm just feeling a little defeated.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Sunny with a chance of smiles

Today I learned:
  • It might be time for a new job. I've said it before and I'll say it again.
  • I eat out way too much.
  • I still can't get over Mumford & Son although I've yet to download the album I love what I keep playing on YouTube.
I am grateful for:
  • A simple and perfect night with some friends - tv, pizza, and lots of laughs. Its those little luxuries in life that I love.
  • Sunny lunch breaks.
  • Discount berries at Safeway - love me some raspberries.
  • My dear friend and old roomie Becs who is very far away (sad). She is amazing and I wish I could have a little sit down with her and a couch - anywhere, I'm not picky.
  • Being told I looked tanned - doesn't happen often but I love it when it does.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

And I want life in every word to the extent that its absurd

Almost a week has past. My sincere apologies, but in my defense 4 out of the 6 days had me outside the service ares. Initially it had been my intention to draft a post on my plane rides but as I will explain, this was impossible.

Wednesday June 30 - Tuesday July 6

Wednesday June 30th

Wednesday was quite a day. A wonderful, totally packed full day. The morning started like many other mornings, up early and off to class. Wednesday was the day of our oral exam - in class. This meant that there was no instruction but instead a slow wait to be tested. At first I was quite excited to be near the end (as she goes in alphabetical order) because I had yet to study for the test. However, as class dragged on and my French knowledge and motivation slowly drifted away I cursed the S at the start of my name. It ended up that class ended and I had to miss a meeting in order to finish my exam. I think it went well, but it is definitely not my strongest point when it comes to French. I find that I often understand the question entirely but I have such difficulty answering it properly.

After the exam I walked to lunch - yay my last lunch there! From lunch I went straight back to the building I have class in, I was going to be taking my post test for the program. There were three of us who were leaving early. The test was the exact same as the one we took on our first day of class in Moncton but this time I understood a lot more of it. The test is broken down into two parts, a written and oral comprehension part (from a tape) and an interview. After the written section I took the interview with the program supervisor. She was really great and I got a good portion of the easy questions correct, which was great because in my first interview I knew nothing. She looked at my old scores and my new scores and it turns out I did learn some French. I doubled my score from pre-test to post-test, she said that it was clear that I knew the material I had been taught. This is all well and good, she even told me that if these were my scores she would consider putting my in level 2 if I ever went back. The only problem, I can't really speak French. It baffles me, I understand it, I can write some simple sentences, but speaking it stumps me. Regardless the results were encouraging.

After that test I had to take my class final. My prof told me I could take a break and come back and write if I wanted - and in retrospect it would have been beneficial to look over things one last time, but instead I went straight to the test. I just wanted to get it done. I think it went well although I did get hung up on a few things that I am certain I could have done better on had I studied a little bit more.

Handing in my test and being done was euphoric though! It felt great and as much as I wanted to run around and brag that I was done but everyone else was busy being studious. Instead I packed up my room, something that was more exciting than I could have planned for. I packed everything that I could and then headed to dinner one last time at the caf - I don't remember what it was but I do remember that I spoke English in front of one of the hard ass monitors because why not? ha.

At dinner I had made plans with a few of the girls for them to come visit me and maybe start the drinking for the evenings festivities in my room in a few hours. Upon returning to my room and facing the prospect of not going to bed that night and flying all day the next day I decided my best move would be to take a nap. This nap was only meant to last an hour but it lasted two. Story of my life in Moncton - napping longer than anticipated out of exhaustion. When I woke up people were at my door and so the party started.

We finished off our bottles of wine we had waiting around from past nights, listened to some tunes and headed downtown. Wednesday night is a great night to go out in the program because most everyone is already going out anyways. This may be because it is cheap drink night, but either way there were a bunch of explorers around downtown.

I wanted to go to the bar we had ended up the previous weekend: Vie. It has phenomenal music AND they were serving $2.50 martinis. This made for a cheap wonderful night of dancing with tons of great friends. What a great end to it all. By the time everyone was heading out - likely around 1:45am ish I was feeling pretty good.

I like to walk home from the bar. It was never that cold and it was only about a 20 minute walk. While most people I was out with jumped in a cab myself and one other girl walked back. I had, previously, made a promise to wake up a few people to say actual goodbyes when I got back from my walk.

The girl who I walked home with had been searching for some draft beer all night and as we walked home we passed a pub, it being about 2 in the morning we decided it would be a great idea to stop for a beer. It was a great idea. However about half an hour later - ish I got a few texts and phone calls along the lines of "what happened to you, are you coming to say goodbye?!"

We finished our beers and headed back. When I arrived at the one girls room I was greeted with quite a few lovelies who said their goodbyes and went off to bed. It was awesome although I did feel bad for keeping everyone up so late. I stayed and talked to my old roommate and next door neighbour for a little while longer before leaving her to go to sleep.

By the time I arrived in my room and finished packing I only had about half an hour before I needed to be up to shower and get ready to leave. Looking back I was still quite inebriated when I showered at 3:30am - wrote and left a few notes for some friends. I called a cab just before 5am and I headed to the airport.

I guess this makes it Thursday July 1 - Happy Canada Day!

Clearly traveling after partying all night and not sleeping anything off is a bad idea. But it was something I needed to experience, it is also something that I would do again in a heart beat.

The travel was long and my stomach and body was unimpressed with my behaviour the day/night before. Most of the time was spent sleeping on planes and being unable to eat due to nausea. Luckily on the longer flight from Toronto to Calgary I was lucky enough to have an open seat in the middle of my row, this allowed for a more relaxed sleep.

I arrived in Calgary at about 10:30am and found my brother waiting for me. It felt great to be back in Calgary, especially because I knew it meant that I was going camping in a few hours and I would get to see (almost) my whole family.

From the airport we returned to my brothers' home and my new home. I showered, unpacked some of my clothes which was mostly done in an attempt to pack a new bag to go camping. You see every July long weekend since before I was born my extended family has got together somewhere, most often the hills (aka the mountains) camped, drank, and had a blast. It was always my favorite thing as a child, and it still ranks up amongst my favorite things to do.

After packing up my brother and I headed out to do some errands - and by errands I do mean stopping at starbucks (for fuel), a liquor store, a grocery store for mix, and Arby's for lunch. Before I knew it I was off for my next adventure.

Camping was great - I don't feel like getting into details but it was great. I was proud of myself because I stayed up until 11pm that night on about 3 hours of airplane sleep. When I told my little cousin that I was tired because I didn't go to bed the night before she looked at me confused and said "are you kidding?" ha. I wish.

Saturday involved a 4 hour nap, and other wonderful camping things.

I returned from camping to Vulcan Sunday afternoon, helped my Dad unpack, we ate dinner and fell asleep on the couch.

Monday consisted of me lazily laying around my Mom's house procrastinating the drive back up to Calgary. I finally made the move, packed up some things and headed back to the city Monday evening.

Today, the 6th was my first day back to work. My day started bright and early at 5am to get to work in time for my 6am shift. It is funny how fast you fall back into your routine. It was great to see some of the people from work - always entertaining. It was a long day and I'll be honest I am less than thrilled to be back working. I just want a new fabulous job. One day I'll be done there. I think it was just hard to come back from two fabulous months of adventure and go back to the same old job. I came home and attempted to watch a movie but slept through part of it, this wasn't surprising because early nights have been a foreign concept to me this past week.

As for the rest of this week I'm going to try and see some of the great people that I know and love who live in the yyc and then Stampede starts this weekend!

Today I learned:
  • They weren't lying when they said flying after a long night out is painful
  • My little cousin's just keep getting more adorable!
I am grateful for:
  • Family. Family. Family.
  • Great movies
  • A good cook of a brother