Saturday, June 30, 2007

Happy Birthday A Muse

happy birthday a muse
Last year marvellous Heddy decided to get a group of her friends together for regular Girls' Nights. She called the group A Muse and she invited me.

It's been a year and this is the first time I've been able to attend...I think she asked me to host it on purpose. Then I'd have no choice!

Nah, it was lots of fun and I'm glad I was finally able to be part of it. I knew a lot of the ladies, but met some news ones too. There was lots of good food, lots of cake, lots of laughter, and some poker.

know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em
tara gives instructionsTara gives instructions






show me your hand


heddy and her cameraHeddy and her camera

saskia rakes in the chipsSaskia rakes in the chips

chips and cards
treat bags
Heddy ended the evening by sending us all home with our very own treat bags!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Broken Brain...apparently

So, I wrote a bunch of posts (they're down there) and I didn't click post. Apparently I clicked save.

Yeah, that's the kind of week it's been for me. The big, crazy event was over on Wednesday night, and now, exactly a week later, I'm just starting to emerge from the stupor. I can't even figure out what the point of this post on the first day of summer is or if I've even finished it.

I'm really hoping life will calm down a little bit now...but I could just be wishing for something silly. We have company today until Saturday. There's a girls night get together, hopefully on the deck, on Friday night. We're visiting Alex's parents on Saturday. I have to work and I'm making Alex come with me on Sunday and then next Saturday we're having a bunch of people over. is never going to get any quieter.

Oh well, at least we're not bored!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Here comes Harry Potter

Kidsbooks has turned into the Telephone Box used to enter the Ministry of Magic! The arrival of book seven can't be far off!

telephone box to the ministry of magic
There's even a map to the "Ministry of Magic."

map to the ministry of magic
Anybody want to go the Ministry of Magic with me on July 20?

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Half marathon recovery brunch

Team Hardcore and soon-to-be-cousin Tom ran in the Half Marathon this morning. Kelsey says it was hot to begin with, but I woke up to a thunderstorm and Kelsey came home shivering, but with a personal best time. After some tea and a shower, Alex, Kelsey, and I went to meet Harmony and Tom at Tomato.

Tomato recently moved to Broadway from Cambie where it had lost all kind of business because of the Cambie line construction. Our waitress was still in slow mode - brunch took almost two hours. Kelsey and Tom celebrated their insanity with Cesars. And the sun came out.

kelsey's post race cesar
tom's post race cesar
And then it rained again...all over the people here for Greek Day. And then sun came out again. And then it rained again. And just now, Alex and I were sitting at the kitchen table watching ANOTHER thunderstorm...this weather is nuts!

greek day

Friday, June 22, 2007

Pretty Flowers

I got to bring the pretty flowers home from an event that we had on Wednesday night.

They started out as the centrepiece on the food table.

chan flowers
When I got them home, they were WAY TOO BIG for my vase, so they got separated into four vases.

table flowers
I don't think I've ever had this many flowers in my house before. Alex came home and asked if we were starting a florist ;)

blue flowers
orange flowers
orange flowers

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Summer is here

It arrived. Today is the first day of summer. I'm not sure about that. It might be the longest day of the year, but the splattering raindrops on the window don't sound much like summer to me. Hmmm...I guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens. I would like to see summer soon though.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Trading the crazy life for the quiet life

Two and a half years ago, I traded my job at busy, bursting downtown company for a job in a quiet office that used to be the stables and likely the stable hands' accommodation for a huge manor house that now belong to the University.

I realized fairly quickly that life was a little slower and a lot quieter out on the point. Downtown seems so loud to me now, I wonder how I worked down there for so long.

This morning I had the treat of venturing downtown in rush hour. I'd forgotten how long it takes to cross the bridge. I'd forgotten how crowded the bus gets. I'd forgotten how people dress downtown.

See, I ride a crowded, busy bus every day. Usually I feel overdressed. Or at least like one of the most dressed up ones on the bus. This time of year, I blend in. There are very few meetings, so I'm often as casual as the students.

Today I felt conspicuously under dressed and out of place. I'd forgotten about the world of suits, nylons, and high heeled shoes. I'd forgotten about the purses and briefcases women carry, most very pretty, but also impractical when you have to walk a long way.

When I finally got back to the quiet, deserted campus, I realized how much I enjoy the place where I work and how little I miss working downtown.

Monday, June 18, 2007

You know you've spent too long at work...

when you disarm the alarm when you arrive in the morning and you arm the alarm when you leave at night

and on a normal day you arrive after the alarm is disarmed and leave long before it is armed again.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Holey Socks

As part of my attempt to rid our house of unnecessary STUFF, I've been sorting through my clothes. Why is it that I never have anything to wear, yet I could start my very own, fully stocked consignment store with the things I have in my house? Anyway, they are currently being sorted into garbage, Sally-Ann, winter, wait a month, and right now clothes. Wait a month is because I'm still fighting with the effects of crashing down the stairs. The biggest pile by far is the Sally-Ann pile. If when the summer stuff goes away in the fall I find things I haven't worn at all, they're going too. But socks are taking over the garbage pile. Seems almost every fun pair of socks I have has a hole in at least one toe. There are a few I'll try to mend, but I think I should just stick to plain, old, one-colour socks. I might get somewhere doing that!

It would probably be more comfortable too. My sock, that had only *one* hole in it (where you insert your foot) this morning, is now cutting circulation to my big toe off.

I hate that!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Small World Coincidences

In Guiding there are lots of campfire songs that make people happy, drive people crazy, make people cry etc etc. It's A Small World enjoys a love-hate relationship with lots of Guiders - it's easily overused, but it is also very representative of the Guiding movement.

Blah blah blah Shannon, get to the point...

So, tonight was my last Italian class and we had a bit of a party with food and loud Italian music and the tarantella. We also had an opportunity to talk to some of our classmates and have a real conversation with them because we were saying more than just "My name is..." and "My eyes are..." and "My job is..."

One of the ladies was asking me how I got to do most of my travelling and I generally mentioned Guiding, but when I said something about the Alps, she said, "Oh! Our Chalet. I think I can still sing the song."

So we started talking and she was a girl and adult member of Guiding and now that she's retired, she wants to be a leader again. At this point, another woman jumped in and said, "I'm a Guide leader. Want to be part of my group? We're always looking for more leaders."

In the conversation that ensued, we discovered that I had actually trained the second lady a few years ago. I thought she looked vaguely familiar, but she works at the university, so I didn't really think anything more of it.

All of which leads me to's a small world....

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Who the heck is R.A.B.?



Yeah, I'm on the bandwagon, but I'm not going to write a thesis about who R.A.B. is or isn't, nor will I back up my thoughts with copious, tedious examples from the first six Harry Potter books. In an attempt to calm my brain down, over the course of the past two weeks I have reread the first six Harry Potter books. In preparation, of course, for the July arrival of book seven.

But I have to admit, it is bugging me...who exactly is the mysterious R.A.B.? I have my theory and after rereading the books, I could potentially back up my argument should I ever feel a burning desire to do so. Out of sheer curiosity I Googled "Who is R.A.B." to see what was out there. There were no fewer than 1.2 million hits last time I checked. This is apparently an oft discussed topic. Some of the theories are extremely creative and inventive. Some people have put a lot of thought and time into constructing a solid theory. Some people have theories along the lines of my theory. Other people have theories that have me questioning my theory because while their theories might be totally different from what I came up with, with their back up points, they too are quite plausible. Some people have read a different version of Harry Potter than I have. Some people have okay theories, but they have chosen to ignore a "fact" from the book that totally negates their theory (I think some of these are accidental, but others purposely ignore things). Some people are on crack.

Like many readers, I wish Dumbledore hadn't been killed off and in the back of my mind I hope that maybe he's not really dead, but realistically, I'm sure she killed him. (Incidentally, if you Google "Is Dumbledore dead" you get 517,000 hits).

But now, I have a burning desire to read book seven. And I know I have to wait a while - I think July 21 is the date. That's a long way away.

Maybe I'll reread books 5 and 6 again in the meantime, not just because I obviously haven't read them as many times as I've read the other four as they contained LOTS of stuff I'd forgotten about (or maybe that's because they're SO LONG), but also so that I can hold my own among all those Harry Potter conspiracy theorists. No matter what happens at the end of book seven, I know they'll be hard at work, cooking up plot lines for the next book. A book J.K. Rowling says she's never going to write...

Oh well...

Friday, June 08, 2007

Intermittent Chaos

...punctuated by that sick-to-your-stomach feeling of panic that comes with feeling like you've taken on a project that's way over your head, that's a pretty good description of my life right now. Not that it was a project I voluntarily took on, more like it was thrust in my general direction.

I was saying to Heddy the other day, I haven't felt this way about work since we worked together at the place where we both worked very long hours and were (under) paid for only a portion of those hours.

This week's strategy has involved a number of walks up and down the steps to Wreck Beach, many cups of tea, a few panicked phone calls to supportive individuals, and constant reminders to myself that it could be worse: I could still be doing that job where I got to do fun stuff like clean up flooding messes, clean up overflowing toilets, babysit, run a lunch service (all things classified as "other duties as required" on the job description), and still stay on top of my 2,359 other daily duties, even if that meant getting leaving the house at 7:30 in the morning and getting home at 10:30 or 11:00 at night.

Somehow I have made it to Friday, which means for two days I will NOT do any work related tasks. Now I just have to stick to the pledge, because if I don't, well, by this time next week, I might just be certifiably NUTS (yeah, yeah, I know some of you think I am already...). I can do it if I keep chanting my remember when you were a glorified gopher mantra over and over in my head. And Alex will remind me that I promised not to do any work this week...right Alex?

Happy weekend everyone!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Flood Watch

Every morning this week, the front page of the paper has carried stories about first the predicted flooding and now the flooding itself as BC rivers fill to overflowing. There are evacuation orders, official states of emergency, tireless volunteers, and worried residents.

It's not fire, but when I pick the paper up every morning, I get the same knot in my throat and stomach that I had during the Okanagan Mountain Park Fire in 2003. Water doesn't normally seem as dangerous as fire, but in such huge quantities, it's just as scary.

My family is safe this time, but my thoughts are with the people who live around the rivers, streams, and creeks, with the people who must drive on highways that are in danger of a mudslide, with the volunteers and emergency workers who are working hard to sandbag people's threatened homes and businesses.

I hope this is over soon.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Not a city girl

Every so often, something happens that reminds me I'm just really good at pretending to be a "city girl." Like yesterday. We stopped at a rest stop on the way home from Oliver so that I could exercise my back and the river, the trees, the quiet, and the smell all reminded me that I'd rather be somewhere like that than among all those people. I'm not going anywhere for a while, so I better get used to pretending...and take advantage of every possible opportunity to get out of the city!

swollen river

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Team Hardcore takes on Oliver...again

Bright and early this morning Kelsey got out of bed and started timing her food consumption.

It was beautiful and peaceful at 6:15...probably because smart people were still sleeping.

early morning in osoyoos
still lake
Just before 7:00, the part of Kelsey's entourage that had spent the night in Osoyoos, pulled into this parking lot to pick up some necessities before heading out to Oliver.

timmy'sTimmy's for wake up fuel

got our coffee, let's goGot our coffee...let's go!

oliver boundOliver bound

By 7:35 Kelsey was in the water, swimming hard. Her entourage was guzzling coffee and eating muffins, hoping to be awake soon. We were already a happier bunch than they had been the previous year...maybe something to do with the sun?

rebecca in 2006Rebecca in 2006...oh so happy!

rebecca this yearRebecca this year

swimmers get setSwimmers get set

swimming mayhemswimming mayhem

cheerleading parentsCheerleading parents

go kelsey!Go Kelsey!

out of the waterout of the water (I think that's Kelsey)

Kelsey was too super fast on the transition and we barely made it up from the beach in time to see her fly by on her bike. It took us a while to find someone with a course map, but once we did, we set ourselves up on this corner to make some noise.

the home teamcheering for our home team!

rebecca watching for kelseyRebecca watching for Kelsey...where is she?

At 9:00 it was already sizzling hot and we were on the look out for as much shade as we could find and when there was no shade to be had, well, we made our own. Check out the umbrella!

colleen in the shadeMom in the shade

alex the cheerleaderAlex the cheerleader

We finally realized that super speed demon had already passed us, so we sought out some more shade on another part of the route. We met this puppy, Kody. He was four months old and very well behaved.

our pal kodyKody helping us wait for Kelsey

observersAlex and Dad waiting for Kelsey (if you look carefully you might see Mom in the background)

more watching for team hardcore
Rebecca spying on the athletes...okay, she's actually watching for Team Hardcore who was wearing the same colour as 1093% of the other athletes, well, okay, maybe just 58%, but still!

And then...see that speck, off in the's Kelsey! Cameras ready everyone!

get your water gun readyget your water gun ready, here she comes

Kelsey zooms past into the transition area, Rebecca, Dad, and Alex sprint up to catch her as she starts the run, but super speedy Team Hardcore is just too fast...and we miss her yet again. We'll catch her as she runs in!


no worms

Rebecca and I went up the hill to wait for Kelsey to come down to the finish line. Last year we found relatives on this hill.

sisters waiting
We the sun...and Devon and Rachelle arrived, but Devon didn't recognize me right away. Might have been the big floppy hat disguise and the long sleeved shirt that was keeping the sun away.

just above the finish lineaid station just above the finish line

here they comeRebecca running in her "technical" flipflops beside Kelsey

cooldowncool down before the finish line

run kelsey, run!Run Kelsey, run!

see ya at the finishsee ya at the finish

personal best
And she did it again! Despite the heat, this crazy sister of mine took about 20 minutes off her 2006 time.

recoding the timeGotta record that time for all eternity!

sisters after the raceYay Kelsey!!!

And this year's numbers:

2 km swim (32:18 with a negative split again! Watch out Rebecca...ATLS could belong to Kelsey this year!)
93 km cycle
21 km run
overall time of 6:20:51
20 minutes or so less than last year
7 spectators
2 long boards...Devon went to escort Kelsey, but couldn't find her
1 cute puppy
2 water guns
1 pair of binoculars to spy on other competitors locate Kelsey
at least 6 cameras capturing the insanity
37 degree heat