Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ah, that's more like it...

Just in case you were wondering if the season dulls my usual sense of humour:

Uh, no. No it does not.

(check out the guy in the oven. he really sells the shot.)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Batten down the hatches -- we're in it for the long haul!

Given that the weather reports for Edmonton this weekend are grim grim grim (lows of minus 33, highs of minus 25 -- with wind chills of around minus 35 to 40), I woke up early this morning to get all errands for the weekend out of the way in one fell swoop.

I barely needed a coat this morning as I headed out to my car to embark on my mission. With each passing hour, the thermometer dipped a degree or twelve. By time I was done driving around (and paused to catch a movie at the neighbourhood googolplex), it was chill-lay outside.

I am now snuggly boarded up in my apartment, with no plans to so much as peek my nose out my window until Tuesday (when the temps shall return to a balmy minus 15).

Groceries? Check.
Toiletries? Check.
Magazines to curl up with? Check.
Christmas Presents? Check.

Lessee, I got my father what he's been asking for since I was old enough for him to give me his Christmas wish list:

And I think my mother will enjoy her bungalow by the stream:

For my sister and her partner, I got them the only thing that I know with certainty they shall appreciate:

And, as per my niece's wish list, I cleaned out the store of webkins:

... which means that my present to my brother and his wife will be building an extension onto their home in order to make room for their daughter's new collection:

**(actual presents may not be exactly as shown)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

What's this?

It's a cleaning bug. And today was only one of about six times in my whole life that I've been bitten. Dusting and washing floors and the whole kitten kaboodle.

If anyone wishes to visit my apartment, they should do it right this second. Cuz I will not be responsible for its condition if you delay longer than a few hours.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

More Merry Decorating!

I have put my tree up! =)

Okay, so "up" means all 2 foot 4 inches of Christmas tree if one counts the star topper.

I really enjoy turning out the room lights to take pictures of Xmas lights.

Of course, the last time I took such a picture it was of my parents' Xmas tree...

(Yes, Santa is riding a tricycle past the front of their tree.)

Shortly after I snapped this picture, one of my parents' man-eating Rottweilers -- I mean Papillons came racing up the stairs from his cushy night-time dent in my mother's comforter to chase me away from the tree. Followed shortly, I'm sorry to say, by my mother wondering why her carnivorous bauble was shattering the silence of her night with its shrill yapping.

I denied knowing what the dog's problem was (which philosophically is true, as the creature is a few treats short of a Scooby-snack) and my mom turned sleepily back towards her bedroom ... I suspect figuring she was not in fact awake anyway.

Confident my own apartment was relatively toy-breed-free, I decorated the place, turned off the lights, and snapped my pictures.

(See Puff? He has a place of honour on my bookshelf for the holidays)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

On with the season!

A few days ago mother nature so gently nudged me into realizing it was in fact November in Edmonton, random snow falls and all:

At first I was down. And cold.

Then I remembered three things ... namely Puff:

and Rose:

About three Christmases ago I was downtown for an office Christmas dinner, but my fear of arriving late when I do not know how long it will take me to get someplace new left me with many minutes to spare before I was to run into anyone else. So I decided to engage in some window shopping. I had only enough money in my pocket for my meal that eve, so no treasures were to be coming home with me at all.

Then I sensed someone staring out from a shelving unit cluttered with some of most ghastly and tacky Christmas decorations imaginable. Six coal briquette eyes burrowing holes in me, begging me to release them from their low-rent neighbours:

The best I can do, I promised as I cuddled them in my arms before placing them carefully back in their unfortunate circumstance, is come back later in the week to set them free.

All the way back to the restaurant, Puff's pleading (yes, I had already named him by then) resonated in my head. Back on the restaurant's doorstep, my watch revealed 20 minutes remained before I was expected to appear at dinner. I knew it was a sign. That eve, dinner would be put on my credit card and I would be undertaking a festive rescue.

Welcome back out, my cheerily rotund friends. I just wish it was holiday season year-round.

Friday, November 7, 2008

A funny thing happened on the way home from errands this afternoon.

I fell in love with the work of a local (ish) artist. He does brazilian soapstone carvings of wildlife -- primarily of bears, but there are also various birds, bunnies and walruses.

Pictures of his work just do not do them justice, but he mixes realistic creations:
With whimsical presentations:

They are just exquisite and must be shared. (source: www.vancetheoret.com)

Of course, my last errand of the day was to pick up my baby. He's going to be 10 years old in April, and now he's just as shiny and perfect as new!

[If you can't tell, that's the fixed front fender of my RAV4. ] (source: a really messed up car owner)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Serves me right...

This morning I washed my red bathrobe with my towels, some washcloths and a random assortment of socks ... and now all my laundry is pink.

And last night I was making popcorn in a hot air popper when a super-heated kernel jumped ship and lodged between my big toe and my second, uh, biggest toe. When frantic foot shaking proved fruitless, and before I could put down the dishes in my hand to dig it out, the kernel had actually burnt the skin between my toes -- and damn if the skin didn't blister by this morning. Because of a frickin popcorn kernel! I would have gone to the doctor today, but I refuse to be the reason why nurses titter in the hallways.

So the next time I have nothing of interest to report, I'm keeping my big trap shut.

(and yes, as mentioned by my anonymous commenter, a "freelance filmmaker" in Edmonton has been charged with killing a man, maybe or maybe not in order to fuel his own storytelling ability.


Frankly, if a guy has to kill someone in order to figure out how to write a movie about killing someone, he does not possess the requisite creativity or imagination to be known as "a filmmaker", and I reject any supposition that such a designation is appropriate to this [accused] sociopathic murderer. I am, however, particularly amused at how the immediate outrage over this crime was whether or not the guy got government funding for his films. Yeah, my immediate outrage would have focussed primarily on the fact that the guy [allegedly], with malice of forethought, lured someone to a brutal and gruesome death. But that's just my openly admitted skewed view.)

Monday, November 3, 2008

I got nothing

I'm sure all of you who are hanging on my every word are scrambling for a hand-hold right about now. I got nothing. I woke up before noon on Sunday ... but just because of daylight savings time. I'm reading an Elizabeth I autobiography that I picked up for a story idea I have, only to find out that it is a real page turner and I can't put it down. I'm on pins and needles to see how it turns out. My apartment's pretty clean, with the exception of my bedroom. I think I'm genetically predisposed to have a pig-sty bedroom, and fear the biological repercussions if I ever actually cleaned it. Taking in my car tomorrow to be repaired. Yes, the body work business is obviously going like gangbusters in Edmonton because the earliest appointment I could get was about four months after I needed one. I got nothing.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Hey, I got married!

(and look damn excited about it too, eh?)

Okay, so it was just to Frankenstein's Creature...

...for Halloween.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Hey, now I can get pregnant!

Contrary to whatever people thought they could attribute my child-free status, now the sailing is smooth: http://alberta.ca/home/NewsFrame.cfm?ReleaseID=/acn/200810/24550063EBE33-96F3-5ED1-46942B3A9CB6A7DE.html

This pleases me. It is about 15 years too late, given that midwives have been registered since 1994, and the fact their services were not funded was always for me the hallmark of government inefficiency, short-sightedness and just how far down polititians would bow to powerful interest groups. (ask ANYONE who works for Alberta Health and Wellness. Nothing kills a policy quicker than physicians putting a contract out on it.)

Bygones! Now women can choose who perches between their legs in the catcher position. And if you don't understand just how good this is for couples expecting babies, you've been horribly misinformed about the merit of having choices...and about the brilliance of midwifery.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Mwuh ha haaaaa!

I knew it! I just knew something was different yesterday!

"One of these things is not like the other ..."

HA! Look what happens when I move to Edmonton-Strathcona. I have the powah!!

(This renews my faith in a very small selection of Albertans. And I am just tickled by how it looks. Some may say "Oh, those liberal university students!" -- but then they'd just be proving our case for us by pointing out that we are the ones with the higher education here ...)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Civic Duty Completed? Check

I got the strangest feeling today after I walked out of my designated voting stations ... I felt a rush of patriotism. I was struck by how often we walk through our days underappreciative of just how beautiful and exhilarating our marvelous country truly is -- flaws and all. We have created and successfully defended a system where each individual can walk into a church or a community hall or a school gymnasium and say who they want to speak on their behalf. Some may be able to walk a few blocks to their designation voting station. Some may have to travel for some distance from their isolated homes to a communal designation voting station. But this is a day where each one of us actually count, in a time where not all world citizens can say the same. When I walked out of the voting station, I felt a connection with all the people I walked past on my way to the grocery store (the voting station was on the way to the Safeway -- I was already out, might as well fit in a few chores along the way).

It was really weird.

Now those who know me know I am horribly jaded about politics. I believe the politicians shine themselves up for a few weeks and tell us what they think we want to hear, until they get our votes. Then they do whatever they want in accordance with whatever will serve their own purposes or those of their greatest political/financial supporters. And by political supporters, I in no way mean the voters at large. And by "they", I mean every party. If it is a political party, it is on that stage for its own self-preservation.

Even believing all that -- and I do -- I get my say. And no matter who wins, no matter who is my Prime Minister this evening, I voted

... so I can complain all I want if it doesn't go my way!

Friday, October 10, 2008

"THE" Plan

I have been spending much time organizing things lately -- my apartment, my closet, my life -- and I have given some consideration to whether people who have life plans in place are onto something.

Thusly, I have mapped out a life plan for the next few years. For the sake of argument, let's say it is a Five Year Plan:

Fix up a few feature scripts I have written that need to be strengthened and then complete a solid television spec script/series proposal ...

- so I can get an agent or reapply to the CFC ...

-- so I can get a tv writing job or get a feature film produced ...

--- so I can get the money to buy a home with a backyard ...

---- so I can finally get a german shepherd.

So there you go. The solid scripts, agent/CFC graduation, writing job/produced movie and home buying are all simply a means to an end. At the end of five years, I will have a dog. I have decided.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

It's 4:30 a.m. Do you know where your internal clock is?

Time has no meaning when your schedule is your own. When I'm left to my own devices, which used to only be on weekends, I'm inclined to stay up until 3 or 4 a.m., then sleep until about 11 a.m. I'm going to have to do some serious resetting of my internal clock when I'm back to work.

Up until Saturday I was spending my nights in a theatre at the Edmonton International Film Festival. Check out my review blog for my comments on the movies I've seen. All 1,255 minutes of them. It was nine days/nights well spent. Festival movies are by nature a bit more skewed than wide release movies. Not that I'd care to write a movie about a 12 year old neighbour girl who happens to be a vampire or explore what my bowels would say if I were struck down by cancer -- but I believe such exposure to stories without boundaries did help widen my own creative thoughtzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...*snort* wha - What?!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Happy Monday Morning!

Let’s start today with some inspiration.


I love this commercial (this one site is kinda annoying with all the interrupting to stream and all that, but I can’t find it any other place). I get that it’s only a commercial. It’s just that it really speaks to me. The beauty of this world, and what makes it go round in the metaphorical sense, is that everyone loves something different. If we all wanted to study hot magma, who would be picking the nose of Egyptian kings? If we each love our thing, and put our effort into exploring and understanding and celebrating that thing, then that will make this big ol’ ball of water and dirt a wonderful thing.

On that note, welcome to Monday and the start of my week of movies. I got me one of these:

An Edmonton International Film Festival all-access pass. I’m seeing a movie every night ... and even two on some nights. A few weeks back I went through the festival program and booked all the movies I wanted to see into my daytimer. Now I’m just showing up where and when my calendar says, without reading the description of the movies again to remind myself what it is. So each night it will be an adventure. What is this movie about? Why did I want to see it? Let’s dig into the popcorn and discover it together, shall we? (Be sure to check out my reviews of the movies. You may not see all these movies in your friendly neighbourhood Cineplex, but give it a few months and you may be able to at least see a few from your corner video rental establishment)

(and Hi Misty, my Zoo-buddy!)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The complex questions always have simplest answers

A few months ago, I believe I shared my epiphany on how to reduce stress in my life: I'd quit stressing. Of course, that was successful on and off, and quitting the job that brought on most of my stress proved to be the most successful path of all for that dilemma.

I have lately contemplated how to extricate myself from a specifically undesirable situation, namely getting sucked into someone else's drama. Then it hit me: just extricate myself. Or, in other words: don't get sucked into someone else's drama.

Brilliant, you may scoff, just how the devil are you supposed to do that ... and why are you telling me about it? Well that's the question isn't it ... and who the devil else am I going to tell at 12:35 a.m.?

... Unless the key is perspective. In the scheme of what could be threatening people across the planet, extrication from someone else's fabricated drama is so significantly insignificant. Yeah. That helps. Perspective.

Thanks. You've been a doll to listen.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Random Wildlife

So I was in Winnipeg on the weekend and did some wildlife viewing.

I grabbed my coat and shoes and struck out in pursuit of a crane I had been told frequented the lake behind my Aunt/Uncle/Gramma's house. I took three steps onto their patio and discovered him waiting for me majestically.

Look at that face. All majestic-like.

(Okay. so a bit more nut-job-like. Still, cool bird.)

Then I caught a glimpse of the mythical domesticus caticus. This one didn't get the memo that I am beloved by all animals, wild and domestic alike, so this is the closest I was able to come all weekend.

This little guy rounded out the photo safari that night.

Now that I'm home, I introduced my newest pet to his flower-strewn habitat. Gramma bought me this froggie just for being myself. Yes, I'm just that good.

While I'm putting up pictures, the Committee gave me this plaque as a goodbye gift last week. Wasn't that nice? And scarily appropo? Can you read it - it says "Do what is right, even if you are afraid."

Just the thing to fold up in my wallet and take with me to Toronto next year. (I jest. The thing weighs about 57 pounds)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Hey suckers!

Actually I intended to post this during the afternoon to highlight the fact that I'm not at work these days, thus instilling in you an unsightly level of envy and self-loathing. Oh well. Maybe you'll read this tomorrow while you're at work, and the effect will be the same.

Did you know Value Village was having a half-off sale today? I didn't until I got there and had to circle the parking lot a couple of times to find a space. I stuck it out and bought three pairs of jeans: one blue, one black and one white. I think it came to $15.

Then it was off to the mall to use some gift cards it would appear I had been hoarding unbeknownst to me. A few years ago, I left my wallet in a cafeteria at work and had to track down a security guard to let me back in after hours to retrieve it. Ever since then, I've avoided keeping anything unnecessary in my wallet -- which often means I have only cash and maybe my license (if I'm going to be driving) in my wallet. So imagine my surprise when I was cleaning up my home office area and discovered about $50 worth of gift cards -- one of which expires tomorrow. So two DVDs and a pair of shoes later, I believe I am back to even.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

What is it, Vacation Day Five memories?

August 24, 2008

My legs caught a break today.

I’ve been staying up until 2 or 3 a.m., and then sleeping in until maybe 10 a.m. This morning I was up at 8:30 though, so I made breakfast and hauled it down to the beach to eat it there.

Today was supposed to be the hottest day of my visit, but it was cloudy and windy all day. I geared up for a walk on a nearby trail, but on the way I stopped at a beach a bit further up the lake than I usually went. I decided that while it wasn’t exactly sunny, it was still rather warm. So I abandoned the walk and returned to grab my bag for an afternoon at the beach. The water was too cold today to swim, so I just sat with my feet in the water and read.

The owner came by tonight. Last time I was here, I didn’t meet him once. His wife did everything. Which leads me to believe his wife isn’t around this time. Maybe any more. I could speculate scandalous reasons for her absence. But I digress. He stopped by to give me a birthday cake, complete with flowers and a candle. Really very thoughtful and pretty. Perhaps his wife is somewhere around after all.

Tonight I’m in the house alone. More spooky than I would have thought. I think I’ve watched too many horror movies – and am currently watching Silent Hill. I don’t know why. Sean Bean sucked me in, and now I’m just trying to wrap my mind around what the !&@%#&%!@ is going on. Oh, now that’s over, and I’m watching Secret Window. What is wrong with me?!

And I can’t stop trespassing. I recalled from the last time I was here that the owners usually don’t lock up. I was given a key to the suite, but told with some derision that “it’s usually you people from the city who insist on locking doors.” (I didn’t ask what city we people were supposedly from) So, knowing that the only other tenants who were here today left this morning, I decided to take a look around the other suites. Did I remember this before the sun set? Of course not. So I took my flashlight and went into the two other suites to take a peek. Nice. I still prefer my suite.

So that was my vacation. I'm back home now. Still staying up late and sleeping in. Meeting friends for lunch. Life is good.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Vacation Day Four memories

August 23, 2008

Today was a day of relaxing. I had to go into town because while I have 72 double-A batteries for my camera at home, I neglected to bring even four with me on vacation. Which brings us to why I have 72 at home. I’m always forgetting to bring any of them with me, so I always have to buy them when I’m out of town. But I digress.

Into town for batteries, and I stuck around for some window shopping (which netted two pairs of earrings, a watch and a vanilla iced coffee) and lunch. Then back to the beach to read by the water and a little swimming. Well, dog-paddling really. It seemed more prudent, being in the water by myself, to stay close to shore in one spot that was a few inches from where I could stand up. In theory. In reality, waves have their own plans. I’d dog paddle a few minutes, then have to swim back to where I wanted to be. Paddle a bit. Swim a while. Today was supposed to be about giving my over-walked/hiked gams a break ... maybe tomorrow.

But I did fit in quite a bit of sitting by the water and reading. And watching the sun set from the shore.

Once it was good and dark, I sat on my balcony to try to catch a glimpse of the bats I knew nested nearby. I think I saw a few. There were these quick black blurs that whizzed by me a few times. I assume they were bats. Then I went out on the other side of the house and stared at the stars in quiet contemplation of how I wish I knew astronomy. A very relaxing day.

Vacation Day Three memories

August 22, 2008

So. Dead. I did the Marten Mountain hike. Yikes. It took about an hour and half to do the 2.8 km trail. A muddy, rough, steep incline trail that hardly even looked like an official trail for about half the length. (Now my pants are truly done for. And guess what happens to sneakers with a hole that lets sand in when they meet mud?) I considered turning back about six times. Stopped at this bridge to catch my breath and take off my shoes lest my feet burst into flame.

(no blisters though! Bonus) What kept me going forward was the promise of an outhouse on the map. I reached the lake – no frickin’ outhouse! Still, the lake was nice. Not 2.8 km trek nice, but nice.

I just wanted to be done the hike, so my exit was as hasty as I could make it without my heart exploding from my chest. I had to stop considerably more often on the way out, but I made it. I’m glad I did the hike, but I would never do it again “for fun”. It was like when we were kids and I’d let my sister haul me onto the rollercoasters she wanted company riding. I was scared out of my pants the whole time, but at least when I walked away I could say I had done it.

First thing I did when I got back to the guesthouse was throw on my bathing suit and go stand in the cold lake. Ahhh. That’s what my feet wanted.

When I came in for dinner, I considered going to a movie. Well, the movie. Slave Lake has only one theatre, and it shows only one movie. But first I checked out what movies were on the movie channel on the tv tonight. Over the Hedge. We Own the Night. No Country for Old Men. Alright! I’m staying in!

p.s. No Country for Old Men sucked. Maybe I was just tired. But it ended, and I couldn't tell you what was the point.

Vacation Day Two memories

August 21, 2008

So. Tired. I geared up for a long walk along the lakeshore. Long pants, t-shirt, fleece jacket, hat, camera, binoculars, map, water and some snacks. I was off at 12:30 p.m. I was supposed to be able to find a trail to the east of the guesthouse that would take me along the shore back to a picnic area of the provincial park. I most assuredly did not find the trail. I abandoned plan A by 1:00 p.m.

But I was already packed to the ears for a long walk, so plan B had to be formed. I hopped in the car and drove to the picnic area – if I can’t walk to it, I’ll walk from it. (I also start from the finish end of puzzle mazes that stump me and work my way backwards to the beginning.) By 1:20, I was on the path.

And by path, I discovered that I mean large stretch of sand dunes. Hard to walk on soft sand dunes. I also discovered under those conditions that a hole in my sneakers let in soft sand with impunity. So I veered off “the path” and took to walking on the hard packed wet sand right by the water.

I looked up and down the shore ... and decided the first order of business was to take a picture of where I had parked so I could find it again. Luckily someone had created a branch “sculpture” that would be relatively noticeable, otherwise I don’t know I’d have a clue where to return.

All told, I strolled, inspected the beach, watched the water and explored for three hours. The weather was overcast and windy, but not exactly cold. Perfect, actually. Halfway through the walk I realized I was unprepared if the skies were to open and dump on me. Luckily it didn’t come to that. I also realized I’d like to learn animal tracks. I’m relatively confident these are not dog tracks.

I’m suspecting something mid-sized like a raccoon. I’m not saying I’m thinking raccoon. I’m saying I’m thinking racoon-sized.

I saw this house from the shore, and at first thought it would be a wonderful place to live – but when I looked closer, I saw the windows were shattered.

I walked closer, and saw there appeared to be no furnishings. Ah, an abandoned house. That requires exploration. As I climbed the stairs, I had a fleeting thought that this is how horror movies begin. (Luckily I wasn’t sneaking away from my camping cohorts to get a little nooky from a hunk of a teenage boy toy with the washboard abs. Might have saved my life.) Didn’t stop me from trying the door, though, and peeking in when I discovered it was unlocked. (insert theme from Halloween here) After all the times I rolled my eyes at the movies where the dumbass girls poke their noses where they don’t belong and then scream when the psychos come after them, I discovered I’m a dumbass girl. Who knew.

When I got back to where I had began, I didn’t want to just leave without seeing what was on the other end of the shore if it were, so I headed off the other direction. Less simple. I fought my way through roots and trees in my quest to go as far along the shore as I can. Had to throw in the towel when I hit this area.

Well, didn’t have to, I suppose. In fact, I really was tempted to power through a little further in order to reach this beach just on the other side

but I had noticed the water was rising and waves were more aggressive. I was finally able to convince myself that even if I reached the beach, I may not be able to return. So the towel was thrown in and I called it a day.

I got back to the guesthouse at a quarter to five. And sat on the couch until maybe 9:30 p.m. before getting back up again.

A good day. My plan to walk the shore on a weekday in less than stellar weather worked out perfectly. I only saw two other souls the whole day. The first was a park ranger near where I had parked. The second was someone passing by as I was coming down the stairs from my not-really-break-and-not-completely-enter of the spooky house. And yes, I ducked back behind some trees to not be noticeable, and I don’t think the person saw me.

So, tomorrow’s plan is going up to Marten Mountain for another hike. I’m not sure my sneakers can take it. I know my pants can’t. Well, they can but they shouldn’t. They look like they took the walk without me and just dragged themselves through the sand, water and vegetation on their own. So I need to quickly drive up to the mountain and get myself on the path so that if I come across anyone it will look like I ruined my pants that day on the path, and not that I put dirty pants on to go out in public.

Vacation Memories

I didn't have internet access on my vacation at the lakeshore -- so let's look back on the past five days spent in Lesser Slave Lake together:

August 20, 2008

Happy Birthday to me! =)

I really quite enjoy the drive up to Lesser Slave Lake. For one, unlike Highway 2 South, I have not driven this route about 472 times already in my lifetime. The overcast weather wasn’t even dampening my enthusiasm, because quite frankly that is the perfect driving weather. I was hoping that I hadn’t over-inflated my memory of the suite where I was staying – but as soon as I walked in the door, I knew I hadn’t. So extremely cozy, quaint and with a beautiful view. Immediately I looked forward to the next morning when I would eat breakfast on the balcony.

Quite the bonus discovery – the owners have put in satellite tv since my last visit. Two summers ago, my choices were a somewhat passable CBC, a fuzzy CTV and a Global that could be watched if I took off my glasses and pretended that was the problem. The lack of TV Guide makes this discovery short of perfection, but I’ll try to see the glass as half full here.

I missed my first wonderful photo opportunity. A gang of loons – quite literally – were cruising along the lake. I watched them for a while with my binoculars before it hit me to rush down to the beach to try to get a picture.

See the tiny specks in the water?


Oh well, at least I could go back to my suite and listen to their calls. I’ll be lying in wait tomorrow at about 5 p.m. to see if I can catch them again.

Lessee, tomorrow’s weather is supposed to be only 12 degrees with cloudy showers. Perhaps a walk along the shore with my umbrella and bright yellow raincoat. Maybe some window shopping in Slave Lake as a time killer. The owner of the guesthouse did a very good tourism pitch, complete with map and approximate distances from the guesthouse of a few worthwhile hikes and walks in clear weather.

Of course, this was after about a 15 minute pitch to me about what a fantastic mini-series the story of his father’s emigration to Canada would make. I kid you not. He asked what I did for a living, so I explained the day job had been government, but the dream is screenwriting. Then I nodded and “mmm hmmm”ed for about 20 minutes while he talked about the history of his father’s settlement of the area and how many stories there were in his life. “Of course,” he mentioned, “I could write it if only I had the time.” Yeah. Because writing scripts takes no skill, talent or knowledge. The only thing stopping everyone from writing a mini-series is time. Sheesh. People.

Tune in tomorrow to see what happens ...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

My adorable feet need cute shoes

I was waiting at an elevator earlier last week and noticed an adorable dress on the young woman who was standing next to me. As I admired her outfit down to her shoes, I ended up having to stifle a laugh. This lovely, attractive young woman -- who was maybe five feet, five feet two tall -- had HUMONGOUS feet. Flippers really. I had to double check that she wasn't just wearing clunky shoes. Nope. Those dogs were all hers. Poor thing.

I think I have cute feet. Especially for a five-six woman who weighs one hundred and *mumblemumble*, wearing a 7 1/2 shoe is cute. So maybe I should be more into shoes. So today I went shoe shopping (you don't want to know how much money I have spent in the 4 days since I've quit my job ... but then you don't have to pay my Visa bill, so it's none of your business anyway).

(I won't post pictures of me wearing my shoes. Years ago I posted pictures of a friend who was wearing footed-pajamas. Some creepy guy emailed me asking if I had any other pictures of my friend, but closer on her feet. I asked my friend if she knew this guy. She did not. I immediately took down my pictures of her -- but the guy most likely saved the pictures already and who knows what he's doing with them.)
It started because the only sandal-like shoes I have are these:

Absolutely comfortable, which I would not have guessed. You know you can buy squishy sticky pads for your shoes that will cushion the balls of your feet? These sandals were great. Then I bought the sticky pads. Now they're awesome!

But they aren't good for walking in the rain, or across a sandy lakeshore, or just roaming to the store. I used to wear these for those occasions:

I bought them in Zambia about 10 years ago. Really great construction. It took them 10 years to start breaking down so wholly and completely that you can see the impression of my big toe there.

Apparently August is not the time to go sandal shopping though. Well, it is and it isn't. You usually can't find one damn sandal because every place is stocking up for fall. If you find sandals that are what you're looking for, they're probably out of your size. But if you are so lucky to find a sandal that is your size, it's probably on sale. So I got these on discount (after looking for sandals throughout Edmonton for about 2 weeks now).

In the store they looked kind of an off-tan colour. In the bright sun, they are mustard yellow. Bygones.

Again, though, not sandy rainy roaming shoes. So I did something I was so sure I'd never do. I bought Crocs:

Now I'm all ready for my vacation at Lesser Slave Lake.

Oh, since I'm posting shoe pictures, I bought these a few weeks ago.

I adore them. No clue where I would wear them, or what I would wear them with.

...so I guess I'm becoming a shoe-person after all.

So far so good...

My last day at work was Friday. I know you're dying to know how it went. It went ... almost unnoticed. Man, my "boss" really has no managerial skills or knowledge. What might you do if one of your three-person office were leaving? Maybe ask the exiting employee where she keeps things? The status of her workload? The process to follow when the reports that need to be edited start coming in?

Nothing. Nada. Not one question. It was the end of the day on Friday, I had cleaned out my desk earlier in the week, and just had one small box of knick-knacks to escort home. I stood up and said "Well. I guess that's it for me." Not even a kazoo salute.

All this just confirms how much I should have exited. No one should have to work under someone who is this clueless. I have actually never quit because of one person before. Oh, I had been thinking of leaving for months now. Years now? Yeah, I was actually only there a few months and I started thinking of leaving ... and that was maybe two years ago. But obviously nothing was so bad it chased me away. Until the boss' boss gave the boss job to his daughter's best friend. Things became so very clear at that point.

Friday, August 8, 2008

P.S. Re: Frankenstein

(... just in case you are frantically scanning my blog, drooling "But what about Frankenstein? What happened in Frankenstein?!")

I was right. The narration folded back upon itself -- from the Monster to Frankenstein to the original Mariner.

(you can wipe your chin now.)

(p.p.s. do you like the new choice in font size? for those without my niece's eyesight)

Monday, August 4, 2008

Musings on a Sunday Evening

Want to know how crazy I am? I spent five hours today doing work that I brought home on the long weekend. Work. Even though I've given my notice, and deservedly so. Just can't brush off the work ethic, I guess. And in the scheme of things, I think that's a good thing. That even when I am in a job that doesn't appreciate me, I still try my best. It isn't about what "they" deserve. It's about the type of person I want to know I am.

At least I tell myself that while I'm working on a Sunday and knocking myself on the forehead to the beat of "Hel-lo!"

(this picture just amuses me. what are ya gonna do?)

Sunday, August 3, 2008

My Crappy Week: Part Deux

Or: What To Do Now:

So I didn’t get into the Centre. Crap. (which, coupled with my Monday afternoon car accident, made this a crappy week) I was quite upset and disappointed when I heard. Not so completely and wholly because I wanted to go to this school, but because I wanted wholly and completely to change my life. I know I still can ... and I still will ... but right at that moment, I was quite upset and disappointed.

Still, the rejection is not without some positives. I can hang the pictures on the walls of my new apartment that I had been putting off until finding out if I was moving (why mark up a walls that weren’t going to be mine for more than 6 months?). And buy a hot-air popcorn popper (why buy something I was just going to have to pack or sell again?). And since I don’t need the money right away for a move and tuition, I can take a bit of a vacation at that guest house on Lesser Slave Lake that I love so much (you all think that’s the lamest things you’ve heard – but I’ll post pictures from this vacation and you too will fall in love with the area. Just wait). Then, in September, I’ll find another job.

I have decided I am still going to move to Toronto. And I’ll either re-apply to the CFC, or I’ll try to get an agent. Or both. Before or after I move to Toronto, I’ve not yet decided. But first I will finish off my year as President of the WRSE Board. Which means now I’ll have time to plan the move properly, and not stay awake late at night wondering how in the living hell am I going to pull off picking up and taking off within the span of one month.

My Crappy Week: Part One

My crappy week started out okay. The flight to Toronto was fine. Nice fluffy clouds.
Toronto was kind of fun, actually. The minute I walked into my hotel room, I was excited. White comforter, white sheets, white pillows – no worries about cleanliness here.
Even the chair at the desk was leather. Very nice.
Pleased with the hotel. (don’t look at the window, though. Seriously needed a good scrub from the outside.)

The first day I just roamed around the neighbourhood and watched tv. Different only from a Friday night at home by the fact I roamed around the neighbourhood.

Saturday I got up late and met a friend for a movie. (Oh, did I mention my hotel was a few blocks off Yonge Street, and as such was only about 10 minutes away from a movie theatre? Can I pick ‘em or what?) Batman! (
http://a-skewed-review.blogspot.com/2008/07/dark-knight.html) Very awesome. Then we went to an ice cream place to chat about life and my impending interview the next day. That night I basically just stayed in and watched tv. My only complaint: I didn’t have a tv guide. How would I know what to watch? Really took away from the experience, I believe.

The next morning was the interview. I ended up extremely early, so walked around the ground for maybe half an hour first. So very gorgeous. The Centre is built on parkland in the middle of the city. Like Xavier’s School for the Gifted. I felt like an X-man. The interview itself was fine. I got some good feedback on my scripts and came away thinking I at least had a shot. But with 26 interviewees and only 8 spots, I did know the odds were against me. Still, the bursary I received covered close to all of my travel and accommodation expenses, so it was a good risk to take.

So basically my interview was over at noon ... and my flight didn’t leave until 10:50 that night. What would I do to pass the time? The X-Files movie (
http://a-skewed-review.blogspot.com/2008/08/x-files-i-want-to-believe.html), of course. Still got to the airport at 5:00 p.m., though. I asked the ticket agent if I could possibly get on an earlier flight – got a very snotty “That’s not how things work” ... even though it worked exactly like that all the other times I got to the airport hours earlier than my flight. Bygones.

How did I pass 5 hours at the airport? Not that sure. A bunch of wandering around shops. Dinner at the Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant. (holy overpriced, batman! Good, but not so mind-blowingly delicious it warranted paying 9 bucks for an 8-inch spicy chicken pizza that I had to closely scrutinize to find a piece of chicken. Damn it was spicy though.) I bought a journal because of the quote on the front: “Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.” Seemed rather on point.

Unfortunately I didn’t remember until 10 o’clock that I had my camera with me because I had an assignment for my photography class. By then the sun was down and the crowds had thinned out, and I just didn’t have that varied of choices for interesting pictures. Bygones.

I got back home at about 2 in the morning, and had to turn around and go to work a few short hours later. Quite the difference between where I wanted to be and where I had to be. Said the caterpillar.