Posted by: sharethewhine | September 6, 2010

First Night

Well, in a remarkable change of life events I have moved! The move is only temporary, four months to be precise, but I am still feeling uprooted. I am trying to embrace the new city and view this as another of life’s adventures. In that spirit, I decided on this, my first night, that I would walk to a Subway restaurant to retrieve dinner. To facilitate roommate bonding, I offered to pick her up a sandwich, too.

I felt confident in my directions, as I recently bought myself a GPS unit, which I have named “Henry”. I don’t know why “Henry”, other than that was the first name that came to mind. That, and I have the voice set to “Australian male” and I didn’t like the name associated with that voice. Anyhoo, with Henry in my pocket (on mute, sadly), off I go. At first, the only other soul on foot was a man walking very oddly– partly a hobble, but not quite a limp. As I passed him, he apologized for being slow (o..kay?) and complained of having back pain, which he stressed by groaning loudly and grabbing his back. All right, then. Fortunately, Mr. Bad Back and I parted ways soon after and I went deeper downtown. This was early evening, so I really had no fears about being by myself. I’ve walked in the downtown core of many big cities, usually alone. I often went downtown Calgary by myself when I lived there, usually at night. Just recently, I walked through downtown Vancouver alone and at night, after seeing the Lion King. Even Toronto (OK, that was in daylight) and Manhattan (OK, that was at night but not alone). So, this little city should be no problem…

Approaching the heart of downtown, I start to see more evidence of the local homeless population and I also notice that the pubs and bars are quite busy (not surprising, being Sunday of a long weekend). Quite a few interesting characters are out and about tonight. Finally, I see the yellow awning and…… closed. Shit. It was hard to tell if this location was closed permanently, or just for my inconvenience. I promised my new roommate a sandwich, so I got Henry out to look for options. I tried to be discreet, but standing still is apparently an invitation to approach. A young, blond guy asked me for spare change, I declined and started walking away from him. Henry tells me that there is a Quiznos just around the corner. Hallelujah! I am still trying to figure out which direction Henry is trying to take me, so I am walking slowly now. From behind me, I hear murmuring. I look up in time to see what some would call a vagrant walk past me while shouting “F*ck you, you f*cking piece of sh*t!”, topping it off with a nasty glare. I stared back blankly at him, nonplussed, and did not engage him. I am savvy enough to know that wasn’t personal, but I still fail to see any reason behind his rant. Not exactly the warm and fuzzy reception I was hoping from my adopted city.

Walking obviously wasn’t deterring interaction, so I stopped on a corner to get my bearings. Wouldn’t you know it, blond guy asks me for change again. Now I am starting to feel like I am in one of those role-playing games where you keep bumping in to the same random character who asks you the same question over and over. I am finally heading in the right direction, when I get surrounded by a swarm of people all heading in the opposite direction. My first thoughts are, “Do they know something I don’t know? Should I turn around?”. I eventually spotted a woman with a bag of popcorn and realized that a movie must have ended. Whew. I turn the corner as directed by Henry and again find myself on a deserted block. Henry, where are you taking me now?? Sure enough, “Quiznos” turns out to be a tattoo parlor. Henry’s map must be out of date.

It is starting to get dark and I am rapidly losing my enthusiasm for this venture. If I was getting dinner for just me, I would have picked up take-out at the Indian restaurant I found, but I promised Subway and I don’t know my new roommates stand on curry. I halfheartedly look for delis on my walk home, but I have decided to still go to Subway, but a suburban location and by CAR!! When I finally reached my destination, I even tried to get beer (“Boy do I need a drink!”), but the directions I got from the Subway guy were vague and typing in the name of the pub/cold beer store he gave me into Henry yielded directions to Vancouver. Screw it!

Better luck tomorrow… I hope!!

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Posted by: sharethewhine | August 11, 2010

Out From Under a Rock

Wow, it has been a very long time since I wrote on this blog. I apologize for my absence. I decided at the beginning of the year that having money to pay for the necessities of life was a good idea, so I acquired a job at a local grocery store. This is in addition to taking multiple courses through distance education. Once spring hit, my duties at the family resort also started up and for a while I did indeed have two jobs while studying. I had lots of material to whine about, but little time. Currently, I am “only ” working two jobs, so I hope to throw my two cents in every now and again.

Being busy at home and taking exams in Vancouver has been interesting. I get to see my sister and her family on a regular basis, but I haven’t been to the town 10 minutes north of here in ages. The locals don’t know I exist outside of the grocery store, but I am on a first name basis with the clerk at my usual fuel stop en route to Vancouver.

On that note, to the cop the other week: Thank you for not pulling me over despite my being over the speed limit by about 20 km/hr. That was mighty sporting of you. By the way, your technique of hiding behind an oncoming semi-trailer truck was heart-stoppingly effective . By the time I saw you back there, I was able to distinguish the colour of your eyes.

This close encounter led to these parting thoughts:

What not to say when pulled over for speeding:

Question: “Do you know what you were doing back there?”                                                        Answer: “Making good time?”

Question: “Do you know how fast you were going back there?”                                                  Answer: “Before or after I saw you?”

Posted by: sharethewhine | March 21, 2010

Jogging

Well, I attempted to jog for the first time in about 2 years today. A couple of weeks ago, my weight actually dipped below 150 pounds and stayed there for a few days. All right, I may have rewarded myself with a Krispy Kreme donut, which is completely counter-productive, but DAMN it was worth it!!!

Study stress has hit full force as I realize that the end of term is fast approaching and I am so far behind, I think I am first. Consequently, my weight-loss progress has again been nullified.

Hence the jogging.

So, there are 2 large hills (and a small dip that turns into a hill on the way back home) and about a 2 km road that leads up to the highway. This has been my route the 3 times I have been out walking. I decided prior to my departure that I would only go about half way (that is 1 hill and a dip, for those of you keeping score), as I am short on time and at this early stage it is all about getting out, not going for broke.

I neglected to stretch ahead of time and was immediately reminded that I am too old for such oversights by first one ankle “twanging” and then the other following suit. Now I am jogging like I have recently had a bilateral stroke.

Ah, the hill. I walked up the beastie because it is against my religion to run up a hill. Twice the effort for  the same speed makes no sense to me whatsoever. Now the jogging…

With each jostling bounce and laboured, cramp-infested breath, I am reminded why I gave up jogging in the first place. Bloody hell!! Suddenly, a diet consisting solely of broccoli and celery for months on end seems like a great weight-loss plan. The main thing, though, is that I did make it, although I hardly jogged the whole way. I am going to call this endeavor a “good starting point, with lots of room for progress”.

Yum, celery…

Posted by: sharethewhine | February 19, 2010

Excuses, excuses…

A few rationalizations for overcooking dinner:

1. Slightly burnt – “Caramelized”

2. Burnt – “Cajun-style”

3. Very, very burnt – “Flambe”

I must now go and eat my Cajun-style food….

Posted by: sharethewhine | February 4, 2010

Home Again

THE BUNNY LIVES!!

It has been an interesting couple of days, culminating tonight in a long drive home from the West Coast. The good news is there are still just as many rabbits now as there were two hours ago, thanks to my hyper-caffeinated reflexes. I was driving along the “home stretch” of highway, thinking I am the only soul on the road, when Fiver dashes out in front of my car. I managed to swerve around the little guy, and he hopped to the other side of the road. All I was able to register was the fact that this little beige bunny was only a baby! I don’t know if Thumper realized how close he came to certain death tonight, but I for one am very thankful I did not end up with a rabbit road pancake!!

With all of the fuss about the lack of snow on Cypress Mountain for the 2010 Winter Olympics, I found it ironic to drive through a blazing snowstorm in Manning Park. It was the type of night-time snow fall that renders one’s high beams useless, so at times my drive through the Ho-Princeton was a tad more exciting than I would have liked. Corners tend to sneak up on you when you can’t see more than five feet ahead. “Wheeeee–WHOA–ee!” Thank heavens for my iPod; I believe it kept me sane this trip. I was able to pass the time blissfully singing away to Britney, Glambert, ABBA and, of course, Enrique. During a particularly lusty rendition of “Xanadu”, however, I did let out a squawk that was reminiscent of a cat being stepped on — which is why I don’t like to sing in front of other people. The Bee Gees won’t be asking me to join them any time soon, either…I think I hurt myself during “Stayin’ Alive”….

As for the exam that was the reason for my trip West…well, it could have gone better. Trouble started when I showed up at my scheduled exam time, only to find that they gave me the wrong test. They handed me the test I plan to write in March. No problem, the adjudicator goes to fetch the correct exam out of the reserve file…..oh, wait, someone neglected to re-stock the reserve file, so there is no correct copy. A phone call was immediately placed to the woman in charge of such matters, only to find that she had taken the day off. Fan. Tas. Tic. There was also a lady from Washington in the same boat as me, so there were two of us disappointed and irate students being turned away. The adjudicator did try to help by suggesting that we write the exam on Saturday, but I had to point out that I drove a very long way and could not stay the rest of the week as I am starting a new part time job on Thursday. SO, now it is Wednesday morning. I try in vain to contact the woman responsible for this snafu by phone. As the morning wanes and my chances of writing the exam on this trip get slimmer, I get more and more irate. Gleaning inspiration from my brother-in-law and at my sister’s suggestion, I then wrote a pointed email to this woman. Looking back, I view that particular piece as some of my best written work. Aha! Now she calls back! To her credit, she was very apologetic and she did arrange for me to write the exam, albeit a day late. Unfortunately for me, I did not have a chance to do any additional review and while I was writing my exam, I noticed that a good chunk of the course content had leaked out of my brain overnight. There was entire diagram to be labelled that I considered leaving blank! I did manage to spew enough bullsh*t onto the various pages that while I may not pass this exam, I am now qualified to run for political office.

Vote for me!

Posted by: sharethewhine | January 25, 2010

Physics and Phun

I never thought I would miss my MRI textbook from last semester. In hindsight, I have a much greater appreciation for Dr. Bushong’s metaphoric examples and bad jokes. My new MRI textbook is much more focused on the mathematical side of physics, which is definitely NOT my strong suit. Instead of stating “the apple is red’, as Dr. Bushong would have done, the new book will be along the lines of: If photosynthesis can be stated by the formula p= f(x)/q where x= the apple and also x= qy/(pi)2 then when we combine the two formulas, we can state that…..

By the end of the page, I have lost track of the apple entirely and no longer care about the colour. I don’t want to know how the apple came to be red! Let’s face it, I won’t understand half of the math anyway, so stop wasting pages. I find I am sifting through a lot of blah, blah, blah to get to the concept being stated. One entire chapter of the new text is one long, 3-page mathematical proof. To add salt to the wound, one of my assignment questions asks me to describe the relationship between the different factors. I still don’t know if I am expected to summarize the proof in words (good luck with that) or if just spitting out the final equation will suffice.

I miss Dr. Bushong’s awful jokes, too. For example, he would constantly refer to the outer shell of an MR unit as “decorative plastic housing”. When describing the drastic effects of a quench, he described the dangerous gases leaking out of the MR unit and also stated that personnel and patients needed to evacuate immediately “because both gases can displace oxygen and cause asphyxiation. Then, as you lay dying, your voice will sound like that of Donald Duck.” Hee, hee. Twisted, but damn funny! I also enjoyed his description of imaginary numbers. He explained that the terms “real” and “imaginary” are just imaginative names used by mathematicians and could “be called anything: parts A and B, left and right, Brenda and Fred.” One illustration was pointing out that while the ideal configuration for an MR coil would be through the patient, obviously that isn’t ideal for the actual patient. The drawing showed a mustachioed, woe-begotten cartoon version of Dr. Bushong with the coil sticking out of his abdomen. Awesome.

Well, this math isn’t going to solve itself, so I will get back at it. TTFN

Posted by: sharethewhine | January 23, 2010

Resolutions and Other Delusions

I think my scale is broken.

I have been watching what I eat for what seems like forever. Granted, I took December “off” for my Florida vacation and Christmas, but aside from that, I have been diligent about my diet since mid-October. For someone like me, who has had the good fortune to not have to think about food under normal circumstances, this has been quite a feat. Despite my surveillance, my weight did not budge, so my New Year Resolution this year was to temporarily eliminate alcohol (ie – large amounts of empty calories) from my diet. My golden halo firmly in place, I have been a tee-totaler. Awash in pride at my self-control, I stepped on the scale after two and a half weeks and expected a great reward for my self-sacrifice.

I gained two pounds. WTF??!!?

Defeated, I did have half a glass of wine  – an Argentinian Malbec. I can’t even comment on its taste or quality with any degree of impartiality because just having wine in my glass was so damn good. I even had another half glass a couple of days later (I can’t let the wine “spoil”), but the taste wasn’t as satisfying, mostly because I started to feel guilty for cheating on my resolution and partially because I really don’t like Malbec……especially with turkey (there is a reason those two items should not be paired. Bleah!).

So, I have gotten desperate and pissed off. I upgraded my Wii Fit to a Wii Fit Plus (Rhythm Kung Fu is my favourite, it is too funny, especially since all of your family and friends are joining you for the exercise) and I have been faithful to it for a week. Since the Wii Fit doesn’t make you break much of a sweat, I have also re-started the 30-day challenge on the Wii “Active” game. Finally, I also bought a three-pack of dance-related exercise videos. Yes, I admit, the videos are based on “Dancing with the Stars” and “Dirty Dancing”……

Stop laughing!

The good news is that all of the effort put together (diet, abstinence from alcohol and dancing around the living room like a fool) has FINALLY made me lose weight!!!! Two whole pounds. Which means that I am back at 153 pounds, where I started three months ago.

Son of a bitch.

Well, I will continue this experiment and see if I can break the 150 pound barrier in about a week or so. Wish me luck and to all of you also struggling with your resolutions, hang in there! After all, misery loves company and I don’t want to be the only one suffering!!

Posted by: sharethewhine | January 5, 2010

Happy New Year 2010

Hello again!

The delinquent blogger is back! Happy New Year to all of you! I am facing a new year that is sure to be filled with surprises and at least one relocation, if not more. As with the rest of the population, I am on a new year’s diet, determined (still) to lose the extra weight. In my defense, I started this battle in November, before everyone else hopped on the wagon…but the bad news is, I have yet to lose a bloody ounce, even with the head start.

Now that the holidays are over, I am getting back on track. I have started taking the acai berry supplements again, even though they do not appear to be working for me. One warning about the pills, they are not as “free” as they advertise! This should not come as a surprise to anyone. My only surprise was the fact that the “fine print” stated that I’d signed up for a subscription to these supplements and that they would keep sending them to me forever. Oh, crap! I cancelled my subscription as soon as I could, and to make a long (and embarrassing! I really should know better, I know) story short(ish), I ended up with another batch of these pills and it only cost me the equivalent of the GNP of Iceland. As a result, I am going to take the cursed pills until they are gone, because I paid for them dammit!!

A couple of weeks ago, I did start a “30 day challenge” on the “Active” game, played on my Wii. Christmas threw my good intentions for a loop and I have taken the last week (or two) off, so the exercise has yet to be effective. I am going to keep at it, however, and I have my Wii “Fit” that I will use as well. That is the plan.

The final, and most drastic, step is that I have quit drinking for the month of January. No, not forever, that would be CRAZY!! I love my wine too much to make this a permanent lifestyle change. I had my last glass of wine January 1, 2010 (I had to finish the open bottle of Inniskillin Cabernet Sauvignon). Yes, I am already missing my glass of wine with dinner. My eggnog tastes a little strange without the brandy, too, although I have to give that up now that Christmas has passed. We shall see if I make it the whole month. Sigh. Wish  me luck, I will check in again soon!

Posted by: sharethewhine | November 29, 2009

Sunday Before Departure

Tasha sniffing the dog

Signs that Tasha is feeling better from her infected paw:

1. She is running up and down the hallway at Mach 3, chasing toys

2. She started a fight with Tigger, her brother

3. She is sharing my bed with me again

4. She is stalking my brother’s dog

I know Tasha is back to her old self when I have to re-establish the “Don’t torture the dog” rule. Tasha is curious about the dog and so she follows the dog around. My brother’s poor old dog is basically blind, so feline curiousity leads to a bit of psychological torture. Tasha also steadfastly refuses to move out of anyone’s way (Princesses don’t move for peons) and will sit in the middle of a passageway. I have seen the poor dog go the long way around the whole kitchen because Tasha has blocked the closer exit. This type of interaction between the pets led to some unintentional comedy the other day. Tasha was in the middle of the hallway, when the poor blind dog starts trotting down the hall to the kitchen. Of course, the dog can’t see Tasha and Tasha won’t move, so the dog ran full tilt into Tasha. The startled “What the hell?” expression on Tasha’s face was priceless as the dog rebounded off of her and then cautiously went around.

Weight: 16– Tigger! Get off of the scale!– 151 lbs.

Well, I am temporarily giving up on losing weight and dating. I am off to Florida and Walt Disney World for the next 2 weeks, with the trip ending in a visit to see everyone in Calgary. Going alone to the mecca of Family Bliss as a single 30-something should prove interesting. Half of the people I know think I am crazy to go alone while the other half think I am brave. In truth I am just impatient–I do not wish to wait until I have a “Plus 1” to go to Walt Disney World. For one thing, the attraction “Muppets 3-D” is the ultimate draw for me and if the powers-that-be at Disney decide to axe the attraction before I can see it, I will be PO’d forever. The second reason is, what if my future “Plus 1” does not care for Disney theme parks? And finally, there is the possibility that my “prince” will NOT come. This Snow White is certainly not going to sit on her duff waiting. Instead of eating poisoned apples and napping, I have planned an action-packed holiday, including meals at the highest-rated restaurants at Disney World. To plan my evening meals, I found as many “Best of” lists that I could find and spread each restaurant out over the course of the 10 days I am in Florida. Tuesday night starts with the ultimate restaurant, Victoria and Albert’s, which was rated as the “Most Romantic” as well as “Best Restaurant”. Each lady gets a rose and each guest gets a personalized  multi-course menu. Of course, I am also opting for wine-paring, so it should be a fantastic meal. I will be posting entries when I can, especially anecdotes about being alone at a romantic restaurant, and among “happy” families at the “Happiest Place on Earth”. I am so excited, I am practically vibrating!!

Back to packing!

Posted by: sharethewhine | November 24, 2009

Fitness is for Freaks

All right, last evening I tried out some of this “exercise” all of you fit types keep raving about, and so far, I am not impressed. Like all women who have a mild interest in video games, I own a Wii. Of course, that means I also went out and bought not only the Wii Fit , but also the “Active” personal trainer “game”. It turns out, merely owning these items is not effective, you must actually get up off your ass and follow along with the activities. Risking ridicule and feline curiousity, I plugged in the “Active” game and gave it a go. First of all, calling this thing a “game” is false advertising. You can put my likeness (my “Mii”, if you will) in an animated park all you like, this still isn’t going to make this process fun.

The overly smiley lady on the screen (further proof, in my opinion, that too much exercise causes derangement) assured me midway through my 20 minute torment session (aka, the “easy” level) that…and I quote…”your body will thank you for this”. Wrong!! My legs greeted me this morning with profanity as soon as I tried to get out of bed. I suspect it will be some time before I receive any “thanks” from my hindquarters. I have started this new phase in my weight loss regime because my weight is stubbornly refusing to decrease, despite my reducing sugar, portion size and alcohol. Yes, I have had the odd relapse, but overall I have been pretty good. I am starting to hate those people who say things like “I lost 30 lbs just from cutting soda pop out of my diet”. I haven’t had soda pop in years, WTF? If that worked for me, I wouldn’t be bouncing around the living room like an idiot. I am changing my virtual trainer into a male today, so hopefully I will at least have someone lovely to look at while I bitch and sweat.

Weight: 151 lbs, but I also weighed myself  2 hours earlier than usual, so I am not getting excited. I am, however, trying to convince myself that it IS actual weight loss, thanks to yesterday’s activity. This is the sort of self-delusion I need to repeat that exercise routine again today. Yikes, this is going to hurt!

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