Friday, May 30, 2008

Tuesdays With Morrie

I don't remember the first time I read Tuesdays with Morrie, but I know I read it standing in Mosaic Books. When I was off work last year, it was one of the books I picked up at the library and I know I read it a couple of times.

granville island
Alex and I just got home from Granville Island where we spent a pleasant afternoon hanging out with family and then at the Arts Club Theatre where we saw Tuesday with Morrie.

arts club theatre
I don't know the last time I went to a play that held my attention so completely. Or a play where people laughed so hard and then by the end most of the theatre was sniffling and wiping away tears. I'd say go see it, but tomorrow is the last night, so go see if you can!

PS Thanks Stacey for the super night out!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

To the people on the bus

Dear people on the bus who sit at the front and don't need to,

Pretending not to see the little old lady who was super stooped get on the bus is pretty lame. Pretending not to see her once she's on the bus (ie looking the other way, at the ground, closing your eyes, fiddling with your MP3 player/cellphone) is even more lame.

Dear people on the bus standing at the front,

Not getting out of the way of the little old lady mentioned above when she's trying to sit down, after the bus driver asked you to move, you're lame too. It wouldn't hurt you to squish up for a minute or give her hand as support.

Dear both groups of people,

You never know when you might be the one that needs the courtesy seats. I figured it would be years before I would need to sit there, but last year I spent a good number of months needing to sit up there because I walked slower than a snail who had molasses for breakfast, I carried a cane and for a good amount of time, I was sore. I know it can be a long way from where you get on to where you get off and standing for that long can be uncomfortable, but if you're able, get up...those people who are injured, frail, sick, dependent on a cane or other device to get around often also might not have the strength or the stability to ride the bus standing up, even for a couple of stops.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Four Things

You know it's a slowish day at the office when she-who-never-posts-anymore posts twice in one day!

Four things I did 10 years ago (1998):
1. Survived third year
2. Found out I was going to Pax Lodge after graduation
3. Spent the hottest week of the summer at Camp Arbuckle
4. Went to Victoria for the first time (and the second time too)

Four things I did 5 years ago (2003)
1. Worked for Sammy
2. Lost a lot of sleep because of the Kelowna firestorm and worrying about it and my family
3. Moved into the Hobbit Hole
4. Painted many walls with Fiona

Four things I did yesterday
1. Saw pictures of our baby
2. Invaded six people's homes (legally!)
3. Celebrated a co-worker's birthday
4. Cleaned...lots...nice sparkly apartment for the weekend

Four TV shows I like to watch
1. The News
2. Hockey Night in Canada
3. Bones
4. House

Four things I love to do
1. Read
2. Knit
3. Hang out with Alex
4. Hang out with my family and friends

Four places I want to visit
1. London
2. Kelowna
3. New York City
4. Ireland

Four books I love (and will reread)
1. The English Patient
2. Harry Potter, all seven
3. Maisie Middleton
4. Little Women

Four things to do this weekend
1. Celebrate Alex's birthday
2. Hang out with my Mom and Alex's family
3. Get some warm weather clothes that fit
4. Continue the hunt!

Four things to do before my next birthday (which gives me not quite six weeks)
1. Swim two - four times a week
2. Catch up on my emails and letter writing
3. Reduce the pile of books that are half read to one
4. Reduce the number of knitting projects in progress from about six to two

Four things about you?

Inappropriate tiling

Oh my...we looked at an apartment yesterday that looked okay in the pictures...but we got there and the entire thing was tiled. Even the bedrooms. Brrrr...way too cold for my liking. The lady asked me if I liked the tiles and I said I found them too cold and she got all defensive about how warm the building is!


Friday, May 16, 2008

What's in your bag?

I have this bag that goes everywhere with's not too big, not too small, just about perfect except on days when I go swimming. And it holds lots in its seven pockets.

the bag
When we went to Europe in the fall, we often took only these shoulder bags and nothing else when we'd go out for the day. Sometimes just one bag. With two cameras, two water bottles, fruit, pens, paper, gloves, hats, scarves, maps, guide books and whatever else we thought we needed that day plus whatever stuff we picked up in the many shops and markets we visited. Now they make good work/lunch bags.

Contents from the top left:
  • Bus pass
  • Business cards
  • Apple sauce
  • Sunglasses
  • Keys
  • Grapefruit
  • THE coffee mug (for hot chocolate these days)
  • 1GB USB key
  • Case for camera (usually with camera in it, but something had to take the picture)
  • Cough drops (both packaged and loose)
  • Girl Guide crest
  • Agenda/calendar
  • Cheque book (yes, some people still use those occasionally...I'm not sure why I'm carrying it around though, I don't use it very often)
  • Key chain thingy that fell off the keys up there
  • Two receipts...only...the rest must be stuffed in the granny wallet, because, well there has to be more than two!
  • Appointment card from the doctor's office (for an appointment that already happened)
  • Mail that hasn't quite made it to the mailbox (but at least I just put them in there today!)
  • Cloth for cleaning glasses
  • Cell phone
  • Sad looking package of tissues
  • Pregnancy friendly Tylenol
  • Random coupon for Steeps Tea (tea date anyone?)
  • Eiffel Tower key chain (for no apparent reason)
  • Local-seattle-based-soccer-mom-mega-coffee-shop coffee sleeve with a grocery list on it
  • Another grocery list
  • The grandma wallet

Things that I often have in my bag but for some reason are missing today:
  • A book
  • A notebook
  • Something (or things) to write with
  • Address book
  • MP3 player
  • The rest of my lunch
  • More receipts
  • A reusable bag for grocery stops on the way home from work
  • Lip gloss (I wonder where all my Burt's Bees is!)

I have been carrying my back pack a lot lately because of the swimming gear, so some of that stuff could be in there...and maybe I'm getting better at getting rid of receipts? HA! I doubt it.

So, I got rid of the receipts and the grocery lists and the appointment card, but the rest is there to stay until I get home tonight (unless I eat the grapefruit and apple sauce before I leave the office)

What's in your bag?!?!?!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Vermin funeral

The vermin is gone. Yes, that says is, as in one vermin not multiple vermin.

The poor people across the hall had a bad smell in their apartment for a few weeks.

Yesterday the building manager went in to help them find the source of the bad smell. And it was a dead rodent.

We're pretty sure there was only ever one, so hopefully this is the end of the uninvited visitor saga!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Adventures with the crazy lady

or why the advice your mom gave you as a kid is still good advice.

This little adventure has been popping into my head lately...not sure why. Maybe I'm hoping my kid will listen to me and not hang out with the crazy lady!

A few years ago, when I still worked for the corporate office and went out after work many nights of the week, I went out one night for sushi, then a movie and then beer with some coworkers. At least that was the plan. We got the sushi, we saw the movie (the oh-so-brilliant movie ahem...sarcasm...The Grudge) and we kind of got the beer after.

The movie freaked us out, so we figured a pub was a good way to get unfreaked out. The first place we went had dramatically increased the cost of a pint so we had our one drink and decided to go somewhere else. By now our group had dwindled to, TC and his roommate H. And we were by far the most freaked out of all the people we were out with. Since they only lived a block and a bit from my place, we figured we'd go back to our neighbourhood, have some less expensive beer and then they'd walk me home, make sure I was locked in and then they could go home together and both sleep in the living room with all the lights on that night.

So we hopped on the bus, only to get about two blocks down Granville street to discover the next two blocks were blocked off because of a major police incident involving lots of police cars, some ambulances and chaos. We hopped off the bus wandered past the incident, which looked like nothing and didn't make it in to the papers the next day, and decided the fastest way to get out of downtown was to catch the bus on Burrard Street. So as we waited to cross Burrard, stamping our feet and blowing on our hands, the lady standing next to us remarks on how cold it is. Something inside my head screamed IGNORE HER...something inside all our heads screamed IGNORE HER, but she was irresistable.

Not that way.

And so we proceeded to break the parental rule number #1 - Don't talk to strangers.

And in conversation with her, we discover that she is going to YukYuk's, won four tickets and her friends bailed, so did we want to use her extra three tickets. In later discussions, we concluded this lady reminded us in a gnome-like way of Bette Middler (kind of) with a super squeaky voice.

So, since we already broke parental rule number #1, why not have a go at parental rule #2 - Don't go places with strangers.

Off we traipsed to YukYuks.

At some point, the crazy lady bought us a round of drinks, but when TC and H tried to buy the next round to thank her for the tickets, she insisted she was done drinking for the evening. Her one diet Sprite was more than enough for her. Ooops, just broke rule #3 - Don't accept candy/food (alcohol also applies) from strangers.

After the show ended, we were tired and still bent on getting to the pub in our neighbourhood. So we walked out with her and were saying goodbye when some interesting people came up and started talking to her. Seems she was a party organizer with a balloon business, but she also arranged strippers so if we wanted strippers ever, call her, here's her card. At that point we just wanted to leave, but somehow she discovered we were heading her direction and on the bus so she offered us a ride.

Broken rule #4 - Don't get into cars with strangers.

When we got to the car, well, we realized it wasn't a car at all, it was a big white van with no windows and a CAGE in the back. A cage. Where she put TC and H. Who didn't have a phone between them. I had to sit next to her in the front seat. With my dead phone clutched in my hand. We told her we wanted to go to Broadway and Granville, but she insisted we couldn't live there, so H told her we lived near Broadway and Macdonald. Off we go, down Broadway, all the while she is "entertaining" us with her stand up routine. Which we all said was great...just so she wouldn't keep going. But at Broadway and Macdonald, well, she doesn't stop. She turn up Macdonald. Somehow, ever so silently, without actually speaking, we manage to agree to jump out at the next light. And lucky for us, the light at Macdonald and 16th was red. And we all manage to get out. She of course was put out that she couldn't drop us on our doorsteps, which we'd already passed, but got us to promise we'd be back at YukYuks in three months time to hear her super polished routine.

TC and H walked me home as planned and we all agreed we were no longer scared of the movie, real life was certainly a bit more frightening.

And that those parental rules, well, they're all good ones and we were in no hurry to break them again anytime soon.

And that was that.

Or not.

Just over a year later, a good friend from Hawaii was staying with me and we were playing tourist. We'd taken the Hop-on Hop-off bus to the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen gardens and spent a very pleasant morning wandering through there. When it was time to go on to our next tourist stop, R needed to use the washroom and I wanted to take a peek in the gift shop. And then I heard the voice.

Her voice.

And the only way I could escape was to walk right past her out of the gardens or go back to bathroom and wait for R. Who was most surprised to find me loitering outside the men's bathroom. He'd already looked at the gift shop and was done, so he escorted me through the gift shop, away from the lady...

And now, now I keep thinking every time I go into a shop, she'll be there.

And from now on I'll listen to my mom! Because all that advice? It's good advice.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Back in the slow lane

I've been saying for a while that I'd head back to the pool, but when the morning sickness hit there was no way I could even think about the pool, all that water swishing around made me queasy! Then I felt better but the pool was closed for its annual maintenance and there is no way you'll catch me swimming in the outdoor pool. NO WAY!

But today I went swimming with a coworker. I'm slow, although not 600m/hour slow, but that is to be expected since I haven't been in the pool for way too long and I'm just a little bit pregnant.

As always there was one person who drove me nuts in my lane (well, two actually). There was the lady who should have been in the middle lane because she was swimming as fast or faster than most of the middle lane people and running over the slow lane people and there was the sloooooooooow girl. She was there to flirt with a boy...they had a splashing fight, she whined about not getting her hair wet (Hello, why are you in a pool and without a swim cap if you don't want to get your hair WET?!?!). She also should have been swimming in the non lane next to the slow lane. She was using a a kick board (no problem there, I'm a huge kick board fan myself) and instead of swimming she was pulling herself along the lane rope and about four metres from the wall, she'd stop and turn around and start floating back the WRONG WAY.

Ahhhhh...the joys of a communal pool. Maybe in my next life I'll have my own personal lap pool at my house and I won't have to share. Cause there are some things I'm just not so good at sharing!

Oh, and the cub. The cub likes swimming. It kicked up a fuss when I first got in, but I think that was probably because of the cool temperature (or maybe it could feel the difference between water and air?). I hate the bath tub at the pink palace, so the cub has never had a bath, just a shower. But as soon as I started swimming it stopped karate chopping and it stayed still for almost two hours after the swim. If only I had that lap pool and could swim a few laps before bed!

Friday, May 02, 2008

The sideways glares

That's right. Glares.

I haven't really been drinking coffee since we found out the cub was coming. I've been told it's all good and fine to have one or two cups a day, but when I had an aversion to all food except potato chips and ginger ale, well, I stopped drinking coffee all together and never really started again when food stopped being public enemy number one. Coffee is full of acid and acid just adds to the heart burn anyway. Occasionally I'll have a small cup of mostly milk with some coffee for colouring, but it's not a daily thing or even a weekly thing. Maybe once every two or three weeks.

But...I have made a substitute. Hot chocolate with about 1/3-1/2 the usual chocolate in it. I'm not a fan of dairy products...milk is nasty, cheese is (mostly) gross (although lately it's been okay which makes me think the baby will like cheese) and I need calcium. Soooooo the hot chocolate.

And now that the cub has started to stick out and I don't look like I've just been eating too much, well, I'm getting some nasty glares from people. I usually have my hot chocolate in the morning before I leave the house or in the evening instead of tea, but sometimes, usually when I have to be at work early or I'm running late, I dump my hot chocolate into a travel mug and take it to go.

And that's when the looks start. The ones where women (very very very rarely men) look at my tummy, look at my travel mug, look at my tummy and then look me in the eye and give me a disgusted glare. Today was even worse - I actually stopped at the local-seattle-based-soccer-mom-
mega-coffee-shop and picked up a hot chocolate there. In one of their disposable cups (I know, bad Shannon, bad, use your travel mug!).

You'd think I was wandering around with a bottle of wine in a brown paper bag, surreptitiously taking sips on the bus while simultaneously rubbing my belly and fingering the cigarette behind one ear and the joint behind the other, just waiting for my stop to arrive so I could light up. least none of those people have seen me with my (soon-to-be-banished) Nalgene bottle.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

When in polite company

one should probably not discuss the functioning (or non-functioning) of the communal office toilet. And I do really try to avoid the topic of work in this particular venue.

But I couldn't resist. It's not really work related. Really.

For the past two weeks or so there has been a problem with our office toilet. The following notice appeared on toilet door:

toilet noticeIt didn't last long...someone didn't like the last part and it got itself trimmed down and now ends with the words "feed it."

This morning this sign appeared on the door:

more toilet noticeSeconds later this follow-up email appeared in our inboxes...and no, it has not been edited. It really was signed Team Front Desk!

-----Original Message-----
From: Sender Hidden

Sent: Thursday, May 01, 2008 9:40 AM

To: Recipients Hidden

Subject: Toilet Trouble

My fellow poopers,

The 2nd floor toilet is once again on strike due to too much paper usage. Our people are consulting with its people to try and get things moving again and to flush out the problem. A trouble call has been made and we hope to be operational again within the day. Front desk fully realizes there is a fine line between too much paper for the toilet and not enough paper for you, but again please remember, that is one finicky toilet. Thanks.

Team Front Desk