Tuesday, February 28, 2006
A happy Shrove Tuesday to you all! The only day where you don’t have to think about what you’re going to cook for supper. For anyone interested, here’s a good summary of the history behind Shrove Tuesday from the BBC.
Breakfast foods, including pancakes, are John’s favorite things to cook. I wish you were here to have pancakes with me tonight. If anyone asks what I’m giving up for Lent this year, I think it should be fairly obvious.
I haven’t been up to very much. Went to see Grease on Thursday night with Kelly and Dawn. Hadn’t seen Kelly since Christmas and hadn’t seen Dawn in years, so it was fun to have an evening out with them. I didn’t go anywhere after the show as I wanted to get home and check on John, who seems to be having a tough time shaking the flu. He wasn’t online so I called him and we talked for about an hour. It was nice not to have to type and I got to take advantage of the 5¢/min long distance I had signed up for.
I spent my weekend at home, not doing a whole lot. Been watching a lot of my Star Trek Original Series Season 1 DVD. I am down to the last disk and now must restrain myself from going out and buying the next season until it comes on sale. Should have bought it around xmas, as they were on sale then, but you snooze you lose, so I didn’t get them. Did a lot of reading this weekend, finished a couple of books and am halfway through a third. Went to church, bought vitamins… that’s pretty much it.
I keep smelling pancakes in my office… must be the same people upstairs who like to gaslight me with the lovely scent of popcorn.
I do have a few more things going on this week, so it will be nice to get out and be a little more social. Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, so a trip to church is in order. Thursday night I am headed to
Been playing around a bit with putting the XM in my car. I have a car antenna that came with it, but it needs to go on the outside of the car, not near glass. That rules out the roof, which is one of the suggested locations, so I’ll have to try for the trunk, hopefully without getting in the way too much. I’m going to have a trip to
It smells like I’m cooking pancakes in here… the gaslighting continues.
Friday, February 24, 2006
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
[p.s. People who "spend money like it's water," as you so nicely put it, aren't usually known for looking after their debt or making retirement savings contributions. Yet again, you are wrong about me.]
My weekend was pretty slack. Friday night I got a phone call from T-L and Van who needed help with a laptop, so I went over and paid them a visit. My friends in need win out over my hatred of Dell laptops, but man do I hate Dell laptops. Actually, all laptops seem to be giving me a hard time the past few weeks. I've had one user kill 2 laptops in the past month.
Saturday I slept in and then headed to get my much-needed haircut. Shorter styles demand attention more regularly to look decent. After that was done, I dropped in to see Joanne so I could give her the Tupperware from Jenn that was initially supposed to be given to her at the gang's xmas party. Little late, but did get that done finally. Was also nice to see her and catch up a bit. We both agree that we miss the regularity of Friday night karaoke, and being able to see at least someone every week. Ah, the good old days.
I also went to church on Saturday as usual. Nice to be back in my own church, though I did find a reasonable substitute in SoCal. I am just not crazy about their tendency to hold hands during the Lord's Prayer.
I basically didn't leave the house between Saturday night and Monday morning. Wasn't crazy about going out into the high wind chill and didn't really have any reason to anyway. Spent time chatting with John, of course. Sunday afternoon began with a search for my notice of assessment from the government, and that search turned into a full-fledged paper cleanup of my office -- something I had been putting off, well, since before I moved into my house. It was good to finally get that done, but I didn't find the letter I was originally looking for. I then decided to sign up for an online account with CCRA, as I could likely get the info I needed online. That's when I found out the gov't still thought I lived uptown. Despite having entered my new address on my T1 last year; I guess that wasn't enough. Elections Canada knew I had moved, but apparently CCRA did not; kind of odd seeing as how Elections Canada got my new address from my tax return. So there was my answer -- I didn't get the letter in the first place. Nor my tax package, nor my info on HBP repayment. Supposedly they'll now send out whatever had bounced back over the past year.
I was really saddened to read the Obituaries today and find listed someone I went to high school with. I didn't know her that well, we were just acquaintances, but I feel terrible that she's gone, having left behind a husband and a less than 2 year old son. Her husband was driving and their car left the highway and overturned in the median. She died instantly, and her husband and son were treated & released. Thoughts & prayers go out to her friends & family.
Friday, February 17, 2006
Still can't seem to shake the remainder of this cold or sore throat or whatever it is. I'm still coughing a bit and my throat just isn't right. Really looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow and just relaxing this weekend. Don't have much planned, really. Have to do laundry. Haircut tomorrow, as well as church. That's about the extent of my weekend, but I am more than fine with that considering I've been away from home the last 2 weekends and hanging out on long plane flights.
This week seemed to fly by for me, which was great. I don't feel caught up on work, not in the least. Have to keep plugging away at it. Now if the next 2 months will go as quickly, it won't be so bad.
I finally got the glass replaced in my diploma today. It had gotten knocked off the wall a couple of months ago by an overzealous coworker throwing down a box of paper on the opposite side of the wall. My office is also not very well made, the walls shake fairly easily. Thankfully the glass was the only casualty, and it didn't cost much to replace. Very nice lady at Amy's Custom Framing on the West Side. I'll definitely go back there in the future.
I guess that's about all I've been up to. It's been a week of back to work and not feeling all that well, missing John and wishing I was still somewhere that a summer jacket was all that was required. Soon enough I'll be back. For now I'll look forward to that and put in my time here.
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
The remainder of my trip was great, up until the part where I had to leave, of course. Wednesday I had the whole day to myself, so I walked all around the neighborhood and shopped. Got lots of walking in that day, for sure. I bought a set of sheets at Linens N Things, as well as a couple of plate racks that I have yet to get set up the kitchen cupboard. I like my plates standing up in a rack as opposed to lying down - takes up less space if they're standing upright. I also bought a pair of pants at Old Navy, not that I can't get Old Navy at home, but I was on vacation and wanted to get something for myself.
Wednesday night I joined John at his bowling league night. I got to meet his team and cheer him on. Thankfully I wasn't a jinx and he had a good night.
Thursday morning I had to myself, and that was when I checked in with work and that pretty much wrecked my mood. I did manage to go down to Target for a walk and to pick up something John needed, and then hung around waiting for him to come home in the afternoon. Thursday afternoon we went to South Coast Plaza. Now that is a mall. I walked in and started seeing stores like Chloé, Tiffany, Guess, Gucci, Armani... a lot of those stores we just walked by, I can't afford things in there, didn't want any temptations :) In that mall was also a New Balance store, which was our mission for the day so I could get a new pair of sneakers that would actually fit me. With all of the walking I've been doing, it was time for a new pair.
The days are kind of blending together in my head now. I think it was Thursday night we grilled some steak. I have to compliment my bf on the terrific steak, which was even better than steak we had in a restaurant a couple of nights later. Excellent job. Looking forward to more grilling from you :) I also tried some balsamic vinaigrette dressing that I've discovered I liked, and bought some after I came home.
On Friday we went to see Good Night, and Good Luck. Good movie, but when you boiled it down, it could have been a really good 1h program on A&E. There just didn't seem to be enough there to make a 1.5h movie out of.
Saturday we went to a different church, this one with no guitars and choirs (thankfully) but I believe it is in a temporary building. It was basically a couple of portables with chairs set up. Just up the street from John's apartment there is a sign that says "future Catholic church site" so putting 1 and 1 together, I think that is what's going on. Nice people, and the priest gave an interesting homily and was funny to listen to. I'll be headed back there the next time I have to attend mass.
Saturday night we had dinner at Black Angus, good steak but not as good as the home grilling. Huge meal (I found a coupon!) and we ended up taking the giant chocolate cake home. We rented and watched Crash that night. Depressing movie, as there was only 1 character who you actually felt you liked. Good, but depressing, and I think I'd prefer Brokeback Mountain over Crash or Good Night for Best Picture. Still haven't seen Capote or Munich though. Munich is already gone, and Capote's last night in SJ is tomorrow. May go see it tonight if anyone is interested, let me know. I got a free movie pass for weeknights in the latest box of Cheerios (I love coupons!)
The rest of the trip was basically both of us being depressed that it was ending. Leaving this time was infinitely more difficult than last time, plus the fact that we didn't have concrete plans for the next visit. I don't like leaving at all, but it's worse when you don't immediately have something else to look forward too. We had the idea that I would come back to SoCal in April around Easter, but I needed confirmation from my boss that that plan was ok before I could book anything.
It gets harder every time to let go and accept that you won't see the person you love for a couple of months. It broke my heart to leave, but I had to come home. I think it was the loneliest feeling in the world to walk into my house Sunday night and hear the echo as I set my bag down. I immediately put on some XM radio to have some kind of distraction from how empty it seemed. Didn't get much sleep that night.
Monday was a tough day, getting back into the routine of work and the routine of boots, winter jacket, scarves, hats, and mitts. Ugh.
Yesterday I started to get back on track. Being the Hallmark-iest of holidays, Valentine's Day usually brings me depression, but this year it brought me a dozen roses, so who am I to complain? I also got 2 boxes of chocolates as an early present last week. V-day also brought me a sore throat, which got progressively worse as the day wore on. I came home last night and watched a bit of TV I had taped, then took a nap before John got home to chat. I think that did me some good, as I am feeling better today. Still not great, but the sore throat is not as bad as it was last night.
Yesterday I also spoke to my boss to see if I could get the time off around Easter to head back to SoCal. I got the go-ahead, so last night I booked my flight to head back to sunshine. I am going from April 12-19, Wednesday-Wednesday since I need to be there on Saturday to attend his best friend Chris' wedding. John's sister is also in town the week before Easter so I am hoping we can connect and I'll get to meet her. Most of all I need to get back to see John. It's really tough being apart but having this plan in place really takes a load off my mind, and I have something I can look forward to.
So I have a lot to do outside of work. My passport expires next month, so I have to get that renewed. I have to find an appropriate outfit for the wedding, which will also likely involve shoes. An excuse for shopping, excellent! Now I just need to win the lotto tonight and maybe I can pay for all of this :)
In other news, I got word that I was able to get an advance ticket for INXS in Moncton. I am totally floored and I can't wait!!! I have always wanted to see them live, and now I get to. Hope JD is all that and a bag of chips, he has a lot to live up to. I'm also headed to see Collective Soul in Fredericton in March. Hope that will be a good show as well. Still interested in seeing Rob Thomas, Lisa, if you've found any money this week :)
Monday, February 13, 2006
I feel like a sack of crap for at least 4 separate reasons. Jetlag is a killer, though I am doing better this morning compared to when I first landed in SoCal.
Will post more later.
Thursday, February 09, 2006
I made the mistake of checking my work email this morning, discovering that I had been told off by a co-worker. I then sent my resume to someone to give me some constructive criticism on it. I carry a lot of responsibility in my job, but not everyone understands that. My position is naturally one in which you routinely get crapped on but cannot crap back. The minute I try to, in the nicest possible yet firm way, I get severely crapped on. How, I ask, does this make me want to stay in my current position?
I am not indispensible, and people seem to treat me exactly that way. If you want me to stick around, this is not how to go about it.
Until/unless I find that magical mix of a passion and a career, I will remain with a need to be employed at something. Switching jobs may not solve the root of my problem, but I find myself desperately in need of a reprieve from its symptoms. Maybe it only lasts a couple of years and I am miserable again... but at least I had a couple of years.
When I look around at what my options are if I were to stay at home, I don't see very many. I refuse to work for the major employer of the city as that would just be too similar to what I am in now, if not worse. I don't have that many options where I am, nor even that many options for retraining in another field.
Why wouldn't I want to come here? There is so much more opportunity here, for jobs or training. The weather is exactly suited to me. I am having a very difficult time thinking about the possibility of my bf moving to Canada to live with me, only to hear the same broken record coming from me day in and day out. He has a job that he enjoys, and if he isn't able to keep it and move to Canada, then I seriously have to question why I'd make him give that up for me and my job o' misery.
I honestly don't know whether to ride this out and hope that the changes coming this year will make things better, or to just cut my losses and have a fresh start, whether it be at home or SoCal.
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
Fashion Island in Newport
Entrance to Fashion Island. Pretty swank entrance to a mall.
Target's parking lot. Kind of swank for Target.
A purple tea house!
The Pacific Ocean, at Corona del Mar beach
Houses on the cliffs at Corona del Mar
The time change has been a killer on me. I barely got any sleep on Friday night, and then that left me not feeling all that well physically on Saturday, combined with some nervousness around meeting John's parents. Only in the last 24h have I really started to feel like I might be adjusting. It's a very weird feeling being here in February, where the weather feels like June at home. Combine the fact that it feels like it should be 6pm when it's 2pm and that it feels like June when it's actually February and you can start to understand why I've felt messed up.
John was worried I wouldn't like it here, but I do. It really is a beautiful place to live, there actually is a lot of green, it's just intentional as opposed to naturally occurring green. The main problem I have here is that you can't afford anything. You basically have to make a 6 figure salary in order to have a house, and even then it would be nowhere near the type of house you'd find in the ritziest parts of Rothesay.
Not being used to having a cat around, Caly's sudden appearance on the bed in the middle of the night made me jump more than once, especially given the fact that she is a 20lb cat. 20lb cats do not go unnoticed. Caly is still a little confused about me, given the fact that John rarely has visitors, let alone someone who is here all the time. I was afraid she'd hide out the whole time I was here, but she has quickly discovered that because of the time difference, I am somewhat awake in the middle of the night and will pet her. The other morning she jumped up on the bed and meowed in my face as if to say "hey you, the one who pets me in the middle of the night, snap to it!" So she's slowly becoming ok with me. Today she is hanging out on the couch beside me, raising her head when she thinks she hears something. Caly reminds me a lot of Garfield - orange, fat, likes to walk all over you while you're in bed, sleeps all the time. She's a great cat though, with the exception of the immense amounts of hair she leaves around.
Let's see, a recap of what I've been up to. Friday night I arrived and John met me at the airport. We collected my luggage and headed for home, expecting it to take 2.5-3h but it really only took 1.5h. We never came to a dead stop, and being able to use the carpool lane really helped. We came back to the apartment first so I could see it. My living room is about the same size as his living room plus kitchen. His bedroom and bathroom are about the size of my bedroom. That's pretty much it. It's a small place, but he does have a garage underneath for his car and a bit of storage. The crazy part is that he pays double my mortgage for this 1 bedroom apartment.
Friday night we decided to head out to the Olive Garden for dinner. Had to wait 45min for a table so we headed over to Albertson's to get a few groceries. They have Orange and Grape Crush in glass bottles here, it's awesome. I also got some IBC, of course.
Saturday was the day we headed out to Desert Hot Springs (and Palm Springs) where John's mom lives to see her. His dad also came down so I was able to meet both at once. We had a great tour of Palm Springs and the weather was absolutely perfect. 27°C and not a cloud in the sky [it is the desert, after all :)] Meeting the parents went well and they both seem like great people. I wasn't feeling so great at first between not having any sleep nor much in the way of food, but after we went to lunch I felt more like myself.
I've got some nice pics but for some reason Blogger is acting up this morning and not really letting me post them. I'll try and get some up later.
We got back on Saturday too late to go to church, so we headed to Albertson's again to pick up the remaining items for the cupcakes I planned on making for Sunday's Superbowl party. We've been looking for thick sliced bread but that seems to be a rarity here (it's much better for French toast) but we decided to take a look in this Albertson's while we were here just in case they had different stock than the last store. We took a look and didn't see anything. Just as we were turning around to leave the aisle, we notice this Asian woman who was crouched down, had opened a bag of bread, took the heel out and pratically snorted it. She had her face right in the slice of bread and was sniffing it. It was either the craziest soft-bread test I've ever seen, or else they're hiding drugs in bread now. We got out of that aisle as quickly as we could. The question is, did she buy that loaf, or did she put it back on the shelf? Ewwwwww. Note to self: always buy bread from back of shelf.
Sunday morning we got up and went to church. It was... interesting. Let's see, they had guitars, children's choir, and made you sing the Our Father. Not my taste at all. Next weekend we'll try a different church, maybe the one in the round, with the altar in the middle. Makes me appreciate my own traditional mass all the more.
I seem to be running across some strange Asian women while I'm here. In church, an Asian woman arrived for mass halfway through the homily. Um, you missed half the mass, lady. Come back for the next one. There are 5 masses on Sunday.
We came back from church, I made cupcakes and then we headed over to Chris' house to watch the Superbowl and meet his friends. They all seemed happy to finally meet me (I am real!) Chris has a really nice house, a bit bigger than mine (minus the basement, of course.) We played some pool and then the game got underway. The game itself was rather boring, unfortunately. A couple of big plays, but really not that exciting. Some good commercials though, and that's half the fun :)
John had Monday off so we had a lazy morning and then headed out in the afternoon to his office, where I met a few of his co-workers. Everyone seems thrilled to see me. John has a lot of people who obviously care about him a great deal.
After work we drove around to a few different places. We went to Newport Beach and stopped at Fashion Island, outdoor mall of the rich. Nice spot. Again, I have pics which I will try to get posted up later. We also headed to Corona del mar and the Pacific. Had to see the Pacific while I was here. Much warmer water :) We also had the mandatory stop at Costco, where I bought a couple of things and John bought a whole bunch of stuff (my bad influence.) Also stopped at Best Buy. Last night we were a bit too late to head to the movie theatre so we stayed in and watched Garden State, as I had never seen it. Hoping to hit the theatre tonight to see Walk The Line. It was playing on the airplane on my trip down, but I didn't want to watch it with headphones and a tiny screen.
Well, I have reached my legal limit for amount of time allowed to spend inside when it is sunny and warm outside. I'd best be off to Target. I'll see what I can do to get some pics posted up soon.
p.s. to Jenn - I saw 100 calorie Pillsbury ready-to-bake choc chip cookies in the groc store. I am also going to snap a pic of a store that is across the street. It's THE Jenn store, I swear.
Friday, February 03, 2006
They told me that it's "always sunny in SoCal". I landed in... (Drum roll please)... Fog. Yup, fog. Now it truly is like summer in SJ. Traffic isn't really that bad, and by that I mean it's moving. John says we're making good time and it may only take 2h, ooooo!
My flight to LA was slightly annoying. It seemed to be a flight full of seniors. One of them had the phlegm-y old man cough, you know, the kind that when you hear it, it makes you want to hurl. The man in front of me spent the whole flight with his seat practically in my lap, it was back so far. (Ooooo! IKEA!). The guy behind me felt like he was shaking my chair the whole time. Anyway, I did manage to get a couple hours of sleep.
John says travelling 35mph consistently is boggling to him. Says he to the girl who lives in a place where it takes 20min to get home from the airport, no matter what time of day.
Anyway, better get back to paying attention to the bf. He says we're roughly halfway home now. Only 9:30pm now. Hope I can stay up for at least another 5h.
After getting on the plane in SJ, of course someone was in my seat. Apparently this person is illiterate because your boarding pass lists your seat number above the word "seat", not "airline usage". Anyway, she had so much stuff with her that she just said do you want my seat? I said sure, so I ended up in row 3 instead of 12. Sat beside a guy from OC who was up to work on the refinery expansion.
Got through the whole Pearson terminal change and customs with no problem. Am now just sitting at the gate for LAX eating my PB&J and waiting for the boarding call. Just enough time between flights, not much to spare but I didn't have to rush, which was nice. Actually, as I walked up to the luggage area to get my bag and go through customs, my bag was just coming off the conveyor belt as I arrived. What timing!
Pre-boarding call. Better finish eating and get ready to board. More after I land in LA, no doubt I'll have lots of time sitting in traffic to blog.
Just hanging at the gate, waiting for my first flight. Took me all of 10 seconds to get through security, but I had to wait forever behind people who were not prepared.
If you're taking a flight nowadays, you should know that it's a hell of a lot easier to not wear anything metal and to have you jacket off and laptop out of the case and ready to go. Apparently people still don't understand this. You could save yourself (and your fellow passengers) a lot of time if you approached the gate prepared.
I have a weird mix of clothing on today. Summer jacket & sneakers, but with a scarf, hat and fleece gloves. Figured I didn't want to be cold while I shuttle between terminal 1 & 2 at Pearson.
I also woke up with a slight sub-par feeling of potential cold. Took some Advil c&s and hopefully that will get me back on track. Plan on getting as much sleep as I can on the flights too.
Just about to board on the first leg of my cross-continental adventure! More from the T-dot when I land.
Thursday, February 02, 2006
Tickets go on sale Saturday and I won't be here to buy them, but I want to go.
In other concert news, I bought a ticket to see Collective Soul in Fredericton on March 2nd. I like their stuff, so I thought I'd give their live show a try.
UPDATE: Just read that Anna Nalick is Rob's opening act. Lemme know if you want to go. I need a seat buddy/someone to buy the tickets so I don't have to wake up for 6am Pacific and go online.