Refuse to be Passive

Archive for September, 2009|Monthly archive page

Fall has…fallen?

In Life in General on September 30, 2009 at 9:59 am

Fall has…fallen. It just doesn’t roll off the tongue as well as “spring has sprung,” does it? Oh well, fall is in full force here in Edmonton, with today’s high being only 10 degrees. I decided that maybe it was a good idea to try to get one more day out of my bright pink summer dress and yellow open-toed sandals. Bad idea.   I was freezing by the time I got into work. The wind nipped at my legs and hands, and I was thankful I’d at least remembered to wear a sweater.

My hopes are that this weekend will provide a bit of nice weather for a walk in the river bottom, before I miss the fall colours on the trees all together. If the wind would die down and we’d have a day at 18 degrees, that would be perfect. Particularly if my schedule for that day isn’t already jam packed with one of the many things I’ve taken on this fall.

Yesterday I had a delightful surprise in that a co-worker brought me a pumpkin-spice latte after reading my Facebook status, telling of my cravings for my favourite autumn drink. It’s a delight to have friends like that, people who just put a smile on your face by their purely generous nature. So to that friend, thank you!

This morning I was up well before the sun, which is now waiting to rise until just after 7 a.m. I was out of bed at 5 a.m. and headed to the pool by twenty-after-five for my morning swim. Normally I get up for swimming at six, but as there was a breakfast meeting this morning, it had to be earlier. Now, most of you will be asking why in the world I didn’t just decide to skip today. It was tempting, believe you me. However, due to the fact that I’ve missed my past two swim days due to being sick, I felt it was time to get back at it. That and I had a co-worker who said he was going to check in with me this morning to see if I actually went, to which I said, “of course I’ll go.” That was before I realized I had a breakfast meeting. Oh well. C’est la vie. Skipping just was not an option. And thankfully, it was a great swim.

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A long weekend gone

In Life in General on September 28, 2009 at 3:31 pm

I had the privilege of taking a long weekend the past few days. My sister was down visiting with her son, and it was delightful. At least Friday was. We spent the day hitting up IKEA, baking ginger cookies, and trying our hand at homemade bread. The cookies were good, but the bread was delightful. I don’t know if I’ll ever go back to store bought bread again. Homemade bread can have so much depth. And you control how healthy it is.

Saturday I spent most of the day at my church doing a workshop on leading worship. And by worship I mean all that worship entails, not just singing. The evening I spent hanging out with my sisters and my brother-in-law. We made stir-fry and watched Wolverine. What a great weekend thus far! But oh, then a turn for the worse. I got sick about halfway through the movie and it followed me through the rest of the weekend. I wound up being in so much pain that I fainted. Thankfully, after 12 hours the worst had subsided. I spent the next 24 in recovery, spending most of my day doing nothing. And, as I figured, I woke up this morning with some stiffness and a headache, but nothing that would keep me away from work. Now I don’t get sick often, and I am truly thankful for that. That and I would rather have 12 brutal hours than two weeks of a massive cold. But why is it that I only seem to be sick on weekends. Strange. On the other hand, while it shoots your weekend, you don’t get behind at work.

Martha and Cade took off this morning after joining me at work for lunch. Thankfully, Martha and Cade had many other people to visit and places to be, so they weren’t stuck with a sickie the whole time, although she was perfectly nice about it.

All in all, not the weekend I think any of us expected, but c’est la vie. Life goes on.

Why does my job exist?

In Life in General on September 23, 2009 at 9:38 am

Sometimes I wonder why my job exists. I work in financial aid handling student loans, scholarships, and bursaries. But really, there are so many times that students come into my office and I have to send them somewhere else. Most of the time the line is, “Oh, sorry, you’ll have to go to —–.” Half the time it’s scholarship stuff anyways, and I have the information I need to fill out the forms sitting in front of me. But can I do it? No. And on the odd time I forget and sign off on something that should be my office but technically belongs to another department, I get walloped. I get someone coming into my office informing me that I am not in said department and I need to remember that. Well sorry; c’est la vie. I’ll try to do better next time. Then, when a person such as this leaves, I have the insane urge to punch something very hard. Some people, due to who knows what, communicate differently than I do. Some of them just lay it out on the table bluntly, “and that’s the way it is.” I usually don’t respond well to this. It makes me frustrated and have a huge urge to give our two weeks notice. Who cares that I don’t have another job lined up? At least I wouldn’t have to deal with crap like this. Then, after I calm down and realize that some people talk like this all the time, I shrug it off and move on with life. But blast, before I shrug it off it makes me angry. Which is the point I’m at right now. Part of me wants to go over to the other department and have a chat about this, but I’d have to keep my cool. Oh goodness, keep my cool.

Update:

I should mention that the organization I work at isn’t great at it’s communication skills all the time. So, in an odd twist of trying to make things right, rather than stewing over them, I wandered over and chatted with the person who had just been in my office. You know all those personality profiles and such? Well, this is where they become darnded helpful in understanding how people communicate. The long and the short of it is, things have been sorted out and we’ll both be a little different in our approaches as to how we speak to one another. And I should mention that 90% of the time I like this person. The other 10%? Well, none of us are perfect, goodness knows I’m not. Anyways, good times! My day looks bright and shiny after all!

Shopping Time!

In Life in General on September 22, 2009 at 3:33 pm

I will be the first to admit that I hate the mall. I could easily go for months without entering its halls. But on Saturday I found myself heading down to Southgate to find myself a new dress for the Awards Ceremony I’d be MCing on Monday evening. A new dress might give me the boost I need to make it through that night. So, not even thinking of how much I despised malls, off I went. I decided that it wasn’t worth starting with Sears or The Bay, I’ve never found anything there I liked. Then I headed past my traditional stores to check, like Ricki’s and kept going. I’ve never found a dress there I like either. But I as I wandered past one store, it has sale signs in the window. Delightful! I love a good sale. But as my eyes looked up to see the name of the store I realized I was standing outside Banana Republic. Probably a little more pricey than I wanted, even if they were having a sale. But I steeled myself and headed in, forever chanting the mantra in my mind that my mother taught me. “A classic, well made piece never goes out of style and can last you for years to come. Think if it as an investment.”
I wandered through the store, picking things off the rack. I found a dress I loved, but it was fitted, so the odds of it looking good on me were slim to none. Oh well, add it to the pile.
I headed into the dressing room and started trying things on. The first two dresses were an absolute no. Sack dresses just do not work on me. Then I picked up the dress that had initally caught my eye when I’d entered the store. On the pricey end and not my typically structured dress, I almost hadn’t brought it into the change room with be. I slipped the dress on, did up the zipper and looked at myself in the mirror. It was official, my shopping trip was over. I made myself try on the other things I had brought into the dressing room just in case. I found two other great pieces, but neither as fantastic as the first. Sadly, my budget didn’t allow for all three, but I do think I have a new favourite store. Thank you Banana Republic for fitting my statuesque frame. Much obliged! Oh, and have I mentioned they also carry women’s tall? The excitement!
Oh, and here is a picture of my dress (although sadly, that’s not me in it):

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Picture from: http://bananarepublic.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=31221&vid=1&pid=674952

I….I…I’ve got nothing.

In Life in General on September 17, 2009 at 4:27 pm

Blargh! All my abilities with sarcasm cease in the face of a person that I need sarcasm to defend myself from! What am I to do?

Honestly though, it’s true. My abilities with sarcasm have vaporized since third year university when I made one of my roommates cry. No, it wasn’t intentional. I maintain that she was just a little oversensitive. But as of that point, I decided that maybe sarcasm wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. It seems to me that’s also the point at which I lost most of my guy friends. Coincidence? I think not. Anyways, now I could really use that biting sarcasm that used to get me through the day. If I could harness and control it’s power, I could obliterate my adversary with rhetoric.

This person practically accused me of being a cat lady, in a very mocking sort of way, and I had nothing. I couldn’t come up with any form of decent comeback. What has happened to me? I bemoan the day I swore off sarcasm completely. I need it to survive. There are two people in my office who are beyond sarcastic and when they dish it out, I can’t fling it back.

Aggravation!

Note: The only time my sarcasm still works is with my father. I’m still trying to figure that one out.

If you ever doubt…

In Life in General on September 14, 2009 at 9:12 am

If you ever doubt that people read your blog posts, stop doubting! I have the perfect example in that I am a contributor to a local environmental blog. A couple of months ago I blogged on watching a Jamie Oliver special called Fowl Dinners, which highlighted the living conditions in which the chickens, that appear on our kitchen tables, are raised in, in the UK. I also mentioned that this trend is not limited to the UK, and can be seen in many Canadian farms as well. I didn’t get any comments on the post. And then today, I got an e-mail from the RSPCA (the Brit version of the SPCA), asking me to write more about such things in light of a recent announcement that the British government is considering increasing the number of hens in a cage.
Go figure. I still don’t know what I’ll write, but I think I’ll do it. I’ll feel like a journalist, delving into a story. So odd that I’m writing about things happening in the UK thought.

Hitting Your Stride

In Life in General on September 11, 2009 at 9:24 am

I’ve been swimming three times a week for about three weeks now and have worked myself up from 700m to 1300m. On a normal day, I start out strong, and start to lose steam at around 600m or 700m, but this morning, for some reason, I hit 50m and was finished. I pushed through it, knowing it was just a wall. I had no idea why I’d hit it so early though. I’d barely don two lengths! It took me a good 250m to push past that block, and even then I wasn’t feeling as strong as I normally do. I didn’t feel up to speed until I hit around 700m, almost the exact opposite of my normal trend. And for the life of me I can’t figure out why it would take so long for me to hit my stride. Any thoughts?
I’m glad I didn’t quit though. I pushed to 1300m, or maybe a bit more, as I lost count a couple of times. Whoot! Next week, on to 1400m.
Oh, and I would have included a picture of me in my swimming get up, but no one should have to see that . 🙂

I just realized…

In Life in General on September 9, 2009 at 9:27 pm

I just realized that almost all my friends are girls. Why is that do you think?

Of Princess Cakes and such

In Food, Life in General on September 9, 2009 at 11:54 am

I was at IKEA over the weekend with a couple of friends, and we decided that if you’re going to IKEA, you have to do it right. Doing it right for us, involved food. We started with two hot dogs and a pop each. This was our “lunch”, our jet fuel off of which our initial shopping would have to be done. This fueling only cost $2.50. Brilliant.
Once we’d wandered through the upper floor and all the displays, we hit up the cafe before heading downstairs. We weren’t going to, but we saw a sign that made us stop. A piece of Princess Cake and a small coffee for $0.99. But what really made us stop was the picture.

Princess Cake

What kind of a dessert was fluorescent green? Time to investigate! Although we’re still not exactly sure what’s in them, as far as we can tell there’s some form of white cake, jam, and green marzipan. It wasn’t bad, but not something to write home about either. But oh goodness, just look at it! You’re not sure whether to cheer or gag, but you know you want to take a bite.
Oh, and on the way out of IKEA? Frozen yogurt. Mmm…

A long Long Weekend

In Food, Life in General on September 8, 2009 at 8:55 am

What a weekend it was! I was expecting it to be busy, but it was crazy! Friday evening started the weekend out pretty typically, I went to the Kinsmen and had some fun playing volleyball. Afterward, I headed to Erika and Chuck’s for some pizza and to try out their hot tub (not typical of a Friday). I got home way too late, and fell into bed.
I had been planning on going to Calgary on Saturday, but due to a few minor issues, that plan fell through. Instead, I called up my friend Jen and we had an IKEA day. We’ve both recently moved into new places and had some stuff we wanted to pick up.
I also hit up the farmer’s market, and at the suggestion of a friend who works there, bought some Eggplant with Roasted Red Pepper, which will be delightful, although I’m not sure what I’ll serve it with.
Sunday I was up bright and early to take a drive down to Calgary. I needed to be there for noon, to meet up with Angie and Olga, two friends from Ontario who were out visiting. I was worried as I was running late, but as with most worries, it was unwarranted, as once I arrived at the restaurant I had to wait twenty minutes for them anyways. We spent most of the day hanging out together, doing a bit of shopping in Kensington, and it was delightful. That evening I went out for coffee with another friend I hadn’t seen in almost a year.
The next morning I prepared to head back up to Edmonton, with a stop in Lacombe on the way to visit yet another friend, when I received a text from my best friend from high school, asking if we still had time to meet while I was in Calgary. I had figured in two hours for whatever to come up, so we met for coffee at Upper Ground in Kensington. I love that coffee shop, it’s go great food, drinks, and ambiance. Sometimes I wish I could just pick it up and move it to Edmonton– that and the amazing toy shop next door.
So that morning, after coffee with Kristin, I headed up to Lacombe, had a quick lunch with Cindy at Timmy’s, and then continued up to Edmonton.
What a long couple of days, but rather fantastic! Thanks for a great, but tiring long weekend. I’ll try not to fall asleep at my desk today.