Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Year's Resolutions

So these were my resolutions for 2010:

1. Work out 4 times a week.
2. Be more helpful to strangers.
3. Don't bad-mouth anybody.
4. Stop dwelling on things.

I think I actually had added more to that, because I remember having a longer list on my mirror in Iqaluit. I trashed the list when I was moving so I have no idea what the other resolutions were. However, I'm pretty sure one was, "Pay off debt and save for future." Haaaaaaaaaaahahahahahhahahhahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Ahem. Excuse me.

I've totally and utterly failed at #1, mostly because I keep getting hurt. I've been injured so many times this year, it's just ridiculous at this point. #2 has gone pretty well. I forgot that was ever a resolution but I really have tried to be a helpful, courteous, honest person this year. #3 I wouldn't say is either a success or a fail. Certainly since I made this resolution, I've tried to avoid joining in on any gossip or bad-mouthing of people. I can't say I've always abstained but I do try to avoid it. #4 has gone well. I find it weird that I even made it a resolution because it's generally my policy not to dwell on things. 2 weeks ago I had a customer at Coles who said something very rude and offensive to me and after being angry for 5 minutes, I decided just to shrug it off since I can't really take seriously a person who thoughtlessly says such caustic words to a stranger.

I don't know if I made it one of my resolutions on my "official" list of resolutions I had on my mirror, but another of my goals was to give to charities more frequently. I have donated some of my money this year, more than I have in years past. I've said yes when asked to add a dollar to whatever I'm buying, I've dropped money in charity banks, and I sent via PayPal money to Caboodle Ranch (if you're a cat lover, you need to click!).

So, without anymore blither about the past, here are my resolutions for 2011:

1. I am not going to dye my hair. If you've known me for at least a year, you will be shocked. I have not had my hair entirely my natural colour since I was maybe 10 or 11. I have been very brutal on my hair between regular dye jobs and daily straightening with an iron. I don't want to have straw for hair by the time I'm 30 so I'm going to try to be nicer on my hair.

2. I am going to start donating blood as much as I can, if I can. I've never donated before and even giving small vials for testing has made me feel sick but I feel like I've taken so much from the universe without giving back. I have a nagging feeling when I remember that I need to do more for my fellow man. So many people aren't as lucky as I am and I feel a sense of duty to spread more evenly the good luck floating around in the world. I had a friend in high school whose mom one day came home with a pin that either said "25" or "50" (can't remember). I asked her what it was for and she said she'd just donated blood that many times and they gave her a pin. I was totally in awe of her and that memory always stuck. I've wanted to donate blood for a long time, I just never have. I made the big decision earlier this year that I will donate my organs when I die. I never wanted to in the past but I feel good about this choice. I don't want to be cremated when the times comes, so there's no sense in (probably) perfectly decent organs rotting in the ground when people around the world are literally dying for organs.

Also, I'm going to try and keep up with 2010's resolutions although having totally forgotten about them and still doing well with them, I think it's safe to say they're part of my everyday goals now anyway.

I may come up with more resolutions in the next week or two, it takes me awhile to think of them.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Deery Christmas

Merry Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Festivus, or whatever you're celebrating.

It's been nice to spend the entire holiday season here in Ontario with friends and family, but you may have noticed a theme in my life since I moved back. I keep injuring myself.

My knee finally started feeling better at the beginning of the month, just in time for me to start working again. All was well. I felt good, I apparently lost weight during my sloth months, and I was working. Of course I had to get hurt again, right?

Being on my feet all day has been a bit hard on my back, but nothing to write home about. Until yesterday (which was my only scheduled day off in 8 days). I was at Anthony's Christmas morning and wanted to take a shower. As I reached to turn on the faucet, I did something to my back. It's all been downhill since then. Vicodin, Tylenol 3, heating pads, Epsom salts, Advil...nothing is helping. However, I am not complaining about the 2 Tylenol 3s currently in my system. Mmm...

I had to call in broken to work today which really sucked. I do not like calling into work, especially when I would have been making stat pay. I really wanted to go but I knew I wouldn't be able to handle even 15 minutes of work. The only positive was that my brother and sister-in-law came to Sarnia for brunch so at least I got to see them and my cousins. I was pretty miserable all day, though.

As if this wasn't bad enough, I had to make the painful drive back from Michigan yesterday to go to my mom's Christmas dinner. I had shooting pain down my right glute the entire drive and it was quite painful. After a pleasant afternoon with Anthony's family in South Lyon, I drove back around dinnertime. The hazard of deer isn't something usually on the forefront of my mind when driving, simply because most of my driving life was in Nunavut.

I was on some country road just outside of South Lyon when all of a sudden I spotted 3 small deer on the side of the road. I gasped, then slammed both feet on the brakes. I was RIGHT in front of the deer and while my car was struggling to slow down, the deer ran out in front of me. Imagine, 3 deer hitting my bumper, going through my windshield. I'd be killed instantly. Instead, nothing short of a Christmas miracle saved me and the deer were able to pass the car, mere inches away from the bumper as my car slowed to a halt. Had I hit the brakes even a second later, I'm sure I'd be dead right now. It was that crazy. With my jaw agape, I started to drive away but I was so shaken up, I had to pull over. I was shaking like a leaf and crying (hey, I am a girl). It took me about 5 minutes to pull myself together and keep driving. I couldn't believe how close I'd just come to death or near death.

I've been feeling thankful these past few weeks for the good things that have happened lately but this only solidifies it. One of my new year's resolutions is going to be to start donating blood on a regular basis. I don't know how else to thank karma for saving my life.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Chaos

Hi there, do you have an iRewards card? Do you need a bag today?

Oh wait, I forgot I wasn't at work. My brain is practically fried from working so much. After 8 straight days of work, I have (tentatively) 2 days off before working another 5. After that, my days off are few and far between!

I'm enjoying working at Coles although it is so mentally exhausting. However, it's gotten a lot easier now that I have I know a little bit about current books and authors. Being that it's so close to Christmas, the store is insanely busy. There is rarely a moment without a massive line.

So without coffee, I like my job. With coffee, I love it. Being caffeinated makes the job much easier.

And since there is never a dull moment in the life of Jaime, I start job #2 tomorrow at the YMCA. Every time someone asks me what I'm going to be doing there, for some reason I want to blurt out, "Fitness instructor." HAHA! I don't even know why. I think because I'd love to be a personal trainer some day in the future. But alas, for now I will be working at the front desk. All day work-a-thons start tomorrow and will last until the middle of January. I don't even have the mental resources to be excited about Christmas, I am way too busy to even remember what day it is!

Anyway, mine and Anthony's (first) anniversary is Wednesday so we're going to celebrate by going to the restaurant where we had our first date. I haven't been there since our first date and I'm really looking forward to it. I'm glad this time around I won't be thinking, "Arggghhh why do I have to like this guy? There's no way he likes me the way I like him! This sucks!"

Well I'm going to go have a soak and prepare for my first day of working 2 jobs in one day.

I work from midnight to eight, come home, sleep for five minutes, eat breakfast, sleep six more minutes, shower, then I have ten minutes to bask in Lisa's love, then I'm off to the power plant, fresh as a daisy.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Pros and Cons

It's been almost 5 months since I moved back to Ontario. The time is flying so fast, I can't even believe it. Next week I'll be experiencing my third season here! I think about Iqaluit and miss it everyday. As I was preparing to move south, I had several people say to me, "You'll be back, you're a lifer." While it's true I loved living there and was a "lifer" compared to most non-Inuit, I don't think I'd ever move back. It was just time to go, time to move onto a new phase of life. I think had I stayed a few more years, I literally would never have left. I didn't want to be stagnant before I'd even hit 30. As stressful as things have been since I left, they're necessary stresses.

Anyway, now that I feel fully acclimatized to life here, this is what I do and don't like about it.


  • Traffic
  • Traffic lights
  • Not knowing where anything is in the grocery stores. I stick to 1 or 2 stores because I hate that lost feeling when I go in other stores.
  • The scenery here is boring, I miss the tundra.
  • I no longer feel like I'm doing anything special or unique with my life.
  • I don't really have any friends here and I only ever socialize with my family.
  • I miss wing night Wednesdays in Iqaluit with my friends.
  • It takes so long to drive anywhere in town.
  • Despite growing up in Sarnia, I often have to consult Google and/or Street View to find new places.
  • Constantly being asked about what life was like up north. How can you summarize 4 intense years with 1 sentence? Sometimes I want to reply to this question with, "Sjfhgslkfghisurghfbckvjkdjfhgk!" and tell them it's a combination of every adjective in the dictionary.
  • Constantly being criticized any time I complain I'm cold. YES I'M COLD, GET OVER IT.
  • The lack of northern lights in the sky.
  • People are less friendly and helpful. In Iqaluit I had trouble opening my sealift and my neighbours (who were also coworkers) came to my rescue. Twenty bucks says if I was struggling with let's say, my car in the parking lot outside my apartment building, nobody would even notice.
  • The air quality here is noticeably poorer than up north. I've since developed a daily cough that I never had before.


  • Self-checkout lanes. Yes yes yes! The less I have to talk to somebody, the better.
  • Getting fresh food in the grocery store. Even now I still kind of have that mindset of "Oh I better eat this within the next 48 hours or it's going to go bad." I'm literally shocked when my fruit is still ripe 3 days later.
  • I get to see my family all the time. I live with my dad but when I want to see my mom, I just drop over for a visit. And because she's family, I can just get up and leave whenever I want. It's great.
  • If I'm lying awake and hungry in bed at 3am, I can leave and go get food. That's still a luxury.
  • Food takeout websites, where you order the food on the website and it arrives at your house. In Ann Arbor, Anthony and I frequently have food delivered to the house that we ordered from Campus Foods (thank you, University of Michigan, for existing in Ann Arbor). Last week I ordered Pizza Hut here and went and picked it up. I just think it's so convenient.
  • I get to partake in all my old traditions and I have been. The Brigden Fair, the Big Sisters' craft sale, Christmas on the Farm...all the things I missed while living up north.
  • Being able to have an iPhone. Enough said!
  • The Internet is NOT deplorable and actually works well all of the time.
  • The YMCA here is great. My knee is finally feeling better so I plan to start going again very soon.
  • Although I made very good friends in Nunavut, all of my childhood friends are in Ontario. I've been able to visit them since I came back, and can do so now without 5 months' notice anymore.
  • Paved roads. Hallelujah.
  • I don't ever have to deal with Northwest Hell (AKA NorthwesTel) ever again!!!!!
  • The weather is great. Today I stepped outside into -5C. I told my dad, "It's warm outside!" My dad disagreed but to me, this is sweater weather. I can definitely handle this for the rest of my life. We just got snow this past weekend too (you might have seen Sarnia on the news, we had a bad storm). No snow until the middle of December? And it melts in March? Who died and made Mother Nature a saint?
  • Friday, December 10, 2010

    Commit This to Memory

    I have an extraordinary ability to remember things, especially names of people. Granted, I have a hard time remembering someone's name 5 minutes after I meet them, but as soon as its learned, it sticks.

    When I was in grades 9 and 10, I knew the names of every person I went to school with (all 900 of them). Call it a cross between obsessively reading my yearbooks, OCD, and a steel trap memory, but I could name off every person I passed in the hallway. Of course, when I got to grade 12 and everyone was younger than me, I mostly stopped paying attention.

    Since I started my job in the mall, I've seen a few people I went to school with. I filled an order for a girl I had grade 12/OAC law with and I mentioned I remembered her. Of course, she had no idea who I was. It got me wondering...how many people could I point out as schoolmates who would have no idea who I am? Probably tons.

    Along with my ability to remember names, I remember phone numbers and dates easily, too. I can name off the phone numbers of old friends I don't talk to anymore. I can tell you the date of the first time I ever held hands with a boy, the dates of all of the vacations I took while living in Nunavut, and what number my high school bus was.

    In many ways other than just memory, I feel like I have an abnormal brain compared to most people. I did that autism quotient test that was going around and the results were exactly as predicted: (apparently) I'm half-way between normal and having mild autism. Makes total sense to me, especially looking back upon my entire life. I guess there's not much to say about that other than I'm kinda different but also pretty normal. Who knows.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010

    Back in the Work Force

    After having not worked for 4 months, being back to work now is...exhausting. I worked my first 8 hour shift today and my brain is mush right now.

    I accepted a seasonal part-time job at Coles Bookstore. I thought working at a bookstore would be easy but there are actually a few challenging things about working there.

    #1: There are thousands of books and only one of me. I don't read as much as I wish I did and so 99% of the time someone asks me about a book, I don't know it. The permanent staff there seem to know off the top of their head every book in the store. It's a little intimidating when I'm practically still unsure of where the entrance is.

    #2. Putting away books. Everything has to be put in the exact right spot or else it's going to cause someone else problems in the future. At my old job it was easy. Every file was numbered and organized in numerical order. Bookstore shelves are not so simple.

    On the upside, the customers I've dealt with so far have been pretty nice. I'm also pretty comfortable with the till already.

    The best part about the job is knowing that when I'm there, I'm making money. After 4 months of being paranoid about EVERY dollar I spent, it's nice to grab some dinner and not mentally slap myself on the wrist for spending money. Not to say I've gone nuts spending money since I started working, but I did buy some Christmas gifts and a few things I'd been putting off buying myself. Rest assured, this will be a modest Christmas as far as gifts from me go, but at least there will be gifts at all.

    In the meantime, now that my intense phase of stress is over, I feel the need to contribute something to my community this year. I would like to contribute my time to help needy people but I don't think I will have any spare time. I just want to do something. I've been really lucky in that I escaped financial turmoil at the exact right time but I know many others are not so lucky. There are lots of people worrying about how to feed themselves or where they're going to sleep tonight. Those are the people I want to help. Anyone have any suggestions?

    Monday, November 29, 2010

    Really, Really Half-Assed NaBloWriMo Days 18-29

    Okay, I'm having a decently awesome day today so I will write.

    For starters, things are looking good with my job situation. I won't go into any detail about it until I have a job, but basically I learned a big lesson about how not to be an idiot about money. I've handled my money situation pretty badly since moving down and I'm hoping that this week will see it turn around. But no assumptions yet, because that's where I always go wrong and what led me to such catastrophic stress this past week.

    But I won't dwell on that because today is a good day.

    In the span of 7 days, I found out our immigration petition was approved and as of the 26th, has been delivered to the Montreal consulate...IE the last step of the process! I'm not sure when I'll actually move with the visa once I do get it (which also won't be for many months), a lot of it is up in the air right now (for good reasons, nothing bad). I'm a little worried about how it's all going to work out but I have faith that everything will work out for the best.

    In other news, my knee is still in quite a bit of pain. Admittedly, I haven't been taking the prescription regularly because it needs to be taken with food and I rarely eat 3 times a day (the pill needs to be taken 3 times a day). I'm surprised it still hurts this much, though. It's now been 5 weeks and the pain has only gotten worse.

    Saturday, November 27, 2010


    I suck at blogging right now but I just don't have it in me. Things are pretty crappy right now and I just don't have the mental strength to blog.

    Maybe next week.

    Monday, November 22, 2010

    And Boom goes the Dynamite my Tire...Again

    This entry is in lieu of NaBloWriMo Day 18 because it was a lame question and this entry should be more interesting.

    So, do you remember how 2 weeks ago, I said I had driven over a bolt and had to get my tire plugged? I was kind of annoyed with it but the solution had been easy enough and I thought my tire problems were over.

    Oh, no. When are things ever that easy for me?

    On Friday I was driving home from somewhere and I heard this clicking sound from the front of my car. It sounded just like the clicking my back passenger-side tire had made after I (unknowingly) drove over the bolt a month ago. So I heard this noise and I was like, "Oh god, no! Not again!" but then there was kind of a thud and the clicking went away. I breathed a sigh of relief, assuming I'd driven over something and it had dislodged itself. Presumably, that's what started this whole thing but I'm not sure. All was well and I drove home (and never thought to look at my tires).

    At 8:30pm, I drove to Ann Arbor. It's almost exactly 100 miles from door to door. Thirty miles into the drive, in New Baltimore, I drove through a construction zone. I moved into the left lane to pass somebody and all of a sudden, my car started making a loud, angry, mechanical noise. This was my train of thought over the next few minutes.

    What's that noise?
    That can't be my car, my car is just fine.
    It must be the road, I'm in a construction zone. Hmm, the road is fine.
    Maybe it's the car next to me. There's no warnings on my dashboard and I don't see smoke or smell anything.
    --BAM! Car falls forward and swerves--
    Oh no, it's definitely me. $%@*^!*#$%^&*)!@#$%!!!!!!!!!

    I was having a hard time steering but was luckily able to make it to the shoulder without endangering myself or others. Thankfully the highway was quiet. I sat on the shoulder for a moment and didn't know what to do, until it occurred to me that I should get out and see what the problem was (I was a little stunned, if you can imagine). I walked around to the passenger side and I saw that the front tire had exploded, pretty much literally. The whole outside edge of the tire around the rim had shredded. I'd never even seen a tire do that before. I got back in the car and started wondering what I should do. Of course, being the girl I am, I started bawling. I've never been in an accident or had any kind of problem like this before. I did once have to call a tow truck when I got stuck in snow in Iqaluit, but it wasn't really a big deal. So I was just completely confused. I called Anthony, who told me I needed to call my insurance company. Unfortunately my stupid slip doesn't show the emergency number, so Anthony found a number on his phone.

    Call #1:
    Answering message: Hi, you've reached [Useless] Insurance Company. Our hours of operation are 8 am to 5pm Monday through Friday.
    Me: Okay okay let's get on with the program, I need the emergency claims number!
    Message: If you know the extension of the person you wish to dial, please enter it now.
    Me: ...
    Message: If you don't know the extension of the person you wish to dial, please dial 0. Please note, our office is now closed. ...Hi, you've reached [Useless] Insurance Company. Our hours of operation...
    Me: ARRRRRRGGGGGH *hangs up*.

    At this point, I texted my friend Colleen because I figured she'd be at home and would be able to Google it with better results than Anthony (who was only using his phone). Within minutes she had the proper emergency number.

    Call #2:
    Customer Service Rep: Hi, you've reached [Parent company of Useless] Insurance Company. How can I help you?
    Me: Hi, I'm on the I-94 in Michigan and I just blew a tire. I need help.
    CSR: Okay, can I have your name and phone number?
    Me: [Name] [phone number].
    CSR: Okay I can't pull up your information because this is the after-hours hotline.
    Me: Uhh okay?
    CSR: Do you know if you have roadside assistance?
    Me: Um no, I was hoping you would know.
    CSR: Unfortunately I can't pull up any of your information since this is the after-hours line. But I would be happy to send your name and phone number to your home branch and someone will call you in the next 1-2 business days.

    Gee thanks. You're telling me to sit in my car until Monday or Tuesday to wait for a phone call? What kind of service IS that? I was able to get some tow truck numbers from him luckily and just as I hung up with one dispatcher, there was a tow truck right behind my car. An hour after pulling over, I was able to drive away with my spare. It was only a donut so I had to drive 50mph the entire rest of the way to Ann Arbor, which sucked. The limit is 70 so needless to say, every car in America passed me. I was actually a little worried I might get pulled over since the minimum speed is 55mph but luckily, I did not have to start crying to any police officers that night.

    Anthony poured me a nice strong rum and Diet Cherry Pepsi when I got there and I relaxed. The whole drive I had oscillated between being really angry and really upset. It's just been one darn thing after another ever since I moved back to Ontario.

    We went and got me a new tire today so all should be well until any moment now, when something even stupider will happen.

    Wednesday, November 17, 2010

    Half-Assed NaBloWriMo Day 17

    Uh oh...this got pretty long. Don't worry about reading it, I didn't know it was going to be this long, yikes!!

    Day 17 - Your highs and lows of this past year.

    Oh gosh, where to even start?

    November 2009

    High: I was in the process of losing weight which was a lot of fun.

    Low: There was a lot of drama in my life at the time. It was pretty hectic and stressful. There were lots of rumours going around about me and I decided that I was no longer going to socialize with anybody, save a few trusted people. After November, I stuck to myself and focused on getting into shape.


    High: This month was fortunately one long high. Anthony had been an online acquaintance for awhile and we got to know each other at the beginning of the month and were chatting online quite frequently during December. On December 18 or 19, I went home for holidays and met him for dinner a few days later. I was on a vacation I very badly needed and my friends and family were home in Sarnia for Christmas. I got LASIK eye surgery and also went to Ann Arbor for the first time, and to Traverse City with Anthony.

    Low: The only bad part was having to say bye to Anthony to go back home. I also didn't do anything for New Year's Eve, I spent it at home alone eating takeout pizza and watching movies.


    High: Anthony and I started chatting on the phone everyday and got to know each other better.

    Low: For starters, I started having to pay off a giant debt I owed to my work (I had been overpaid for 2 years, accidentally).

    I also started researching the US immigration process. As you learn more about it, it's like a slap in the face every time you learn about the next hurdle in the process. Let's just say, there were a lot of phone calls of, "I just found out that I'll have to [do something lame] and it costs ___-hundred dollars!!!! And takes X months!!!"

    I also attempted to do the RCMP PARE (fitness test) which I failed by 15 seconds and had to be carried away in an ambulance because I over-exerted myself "slightly" (it took a few weeks to recover). Cue public shame and embarrassment.


    High: Anthony and I continued talking on the phone for a few hours a day. We spent Valentine's Day together as best we could. We sent each other cards in advance and then on the 13th I think, we played some games online and talked for awhile.

    Low: I was very impatient in anticipation of Anthony's visit at the end of March. I missed him a lot, it was difficult.


    High: Anthony came to visit at the end of the month and it was tons of fun! We went dog sledding and I got to show him all around town.

    Low: Just being impatient for Anthony to arrive. On the day he arrived it had been a bit blustery and some of the roads were snowy. We were driving around "upper base" and as I rounded a curve, my Suzuki got stuck in the ditch. I had to pay $200 and make several phone calls for someone to come pull us out as it was a Saturday at night time.


    High: I don't really know. Oh yes I do...I helped with a Youth Academy my work put on. It was a lot of long hours but tons of fun!

    Low: I was pretty stressed out about money.


    High: Going home on holidays! I was gone from May 10 to May 30. I spent most of it with Anthony of course and we fit tons of activities into our time together.

    Low: My next-door neighbours (and friends) moved away. We had only just become friends and I wish we had met sooner. Lowest of the low was how hungover I was the next morning after their going away party. I was epically hung over and had made a mess of my apartment, haha. It was the day before I went home on holidays and I was very sick while trying to get ready to go to the airport, I could barely walk.


    High: I started getting ready to move. Lots and lots of work, I definitely don't ever want to do all that again. I kept myself very organized and did things soon so that I wasn't cramming to do everything at the last minute in July.

    We also sent away the immigration petition this month.

    Low: Knowing I had to give away my cats Moon Unit and Dweezil soon. It broke my heart. :(


    High: I hate saying that leaving Iqaluit was a high, but it was a big deal. Anthony came up on July 17 and helped me finish up. I was flattered when he told me he was impressed with how much I'd already done. True, I just had a few last things to wrap up by then. Anthony was a big help, I couldn't have done it without him. While I packed things, he would cook us meals using the food I had in my apartment (we ate A LOT of smoked trout!!!) and cleaned up the apartment (vacuuming, etc). It was a huge help!

    Oh oh...being on first class on the flight out. Swank!

    Low: Leaving. I cried as the plane took off. I was so sad to leave some of my best friends behind. I know I'll see them again in the future but I met some very awesome people in Iqaluit and my life is that much more empty without them around every day.


    High: The months I've been home are mostly a blur since I haven't done much. In August I discovered geocaching which of course, you all know I love!

    I visited Anthony a few times, too, and met more of his friends.

    I also visited my best friend Tori in Toronto and I drove there myself. That was a big achievement for me.

    Low: Dealing with the shock of being back here. It took until about mid-October to go away. It wasn't anything specific, it was sort of a general feeling of anxiety in the pit of my stomach when I'd go to bed at night.


    High: Going to Georgia and Alabama! I loved it!! It was too hot for me but I loved how friendly everybody was and I loved the Georgia Aquarium.

    I also met in person Colleen, someone who has become a good friend of mine since I moved back. She's in the visa process too so we've been commiserating together since June.

    Low: I started becoming very panicked and very stressed out about money and about living in Ontario again.


    High: October went by so fast! When Anthony came to Sarnia for Thanksgiving was a lot of fun. I got to go to the Brigden Fair for the first time since 2004.

    I also went to Anthony's mom's Halloween party which was fun, too.

    At the beginning of the month I went to Toronto to visit my good friend Susan and in the middle of the month I visited Colleen in Windsor.

    I also started getting over my anxiety of living here. It took a lot of hours of thinking about things and leveling with myself that life here isn't bad, though it's not as great as I wish it was. I can't lie, I miss Iqaluit dearly. But my life is here now and it's a world I kind of wish I didn't have to be in again (the south), but I don't think it was realistic to assume I'd live in Iqaluit forever. I had other plans and wanted to go back to school and work a different job. Life was leading me away and it was time I faced up to that.

    Low: Very, very, very stressed about money.


    High: My brother got married, which was fun. Also, I should be going back to work sometime very soon so that's good.

    Low: Very, very, very, very stressed about money.

    Tuesday, November 16, 2010

    Half-Assed NaBloWriMo Day 16

    Another late post. It's been a crappy day.

    I had an appointment with my doctor today since my knee has not gotten better at all, despite hurting it exactly 3 weeks ago. As I figured, I didn't sprain it, I've got chondromalacia patallae, AKA Runners Knee. The cartilage under my kneecap is irritated. It's a fairly common problem among active young people, but unfortunately my doctor told me it's going to take several months to clear up completely. This is extremely bad news as I consider myself a gym rat. I haven't been to the gym in almost a month now and now I have to wait even longer. I can't think about this without welling up with tears. :(

    Worst of all, I have to go BACK to physiotherapy, the very same clinic I just got discharged from last Thursday! I had told them during my last 2 appointments that I had hurt my knee (to which they paid no mind) so at least I can say, "I told you I hurt my knee!" It's just kind of embarrassing, I wonder how many times they've seen a patient finish up treatment for one injury and then come back with another! Only me. I deserve some kind of award for being this big of a disaster zone.

    I didn't think my day could get any worse until I found out that I probably won't have my visa in hand to move to Michigan until May at the very, very earliest. June/July is also quite possible. This is ridiculous because these visas only take 4-7 months for people from other countries, but Canada's (American) consulate in Montreal is notoriously slow. It's going to take me a YEAR for this visa. I'm so mad about it, I can barely see straight. I would not have quit my job in Iqaluit so soon if I knew it was going to take this long. It's not all the Canadian consulate's fault though, as the initial immigration petition (which is processed in the US) has been pending for 133 days as of today and probably won't be approved until the end of November, IF I'm lucky. That's historically unheard of for this kind of petition and only serves to make this whole process that much more annoying and stressful. The whole point of this fiance visa was so that Americans could bring over their fiancés in a more timely manner, as bringing over a spouse takes longer (not really anymore, though).

    So assuming I'm not going anywhere until June, I'm going to be car-less after March and cell phone-less after April (contract expires). I'm just bloody thrilled with how this year is turning out. If 2011 isn't slightly better than 2010, we're going to have some serious problems. 2010 has been all red-tape and every time something good happens to me, 10 bad things happen to make up for it. It's been like this all year and I'm soooooo ready for a change from disappointment after disappointment.

    Day 16 - Your views on mainstream music.

    I'm too mad right now to formulate a long answer to this so all I'm going to say is some of it is good, some of it is bad. How is this any different from any other era of music? Justin Bieber: bad. Metric: good. Ke$ha: bad. Rilo Kiley: good.

    And don't get me started on Glee. Ew, I can't believe I just typed that and it wasn't referring to a mood. I'm done now.

    Monday, November 15, 2010

    Half-Assed NaBloWriMo Day 15

    There are times when I really like living with my dad, and yesterday and today have been two such days. My dad doesn't drive and generally only patrons the same few stores (the convenience store by our apartment, the closest grocery store, and the closest liquor store).

    I really enjoy when I can help my dad with something and since I've been back, I've been able to help him with quite a bit, which pleases me.

    Often, my dad will say something like, "Jaime, I need ________" and it's usually something harder to find. Once it was "Jaime, what I need is a tiny spray bottle. Something I can put Windex in and pop in my pocket so I can clean my glasses when I'm out somewhere." As I always do, I said, "No problem, leave it to me," and usually within a day, I have what he's looking for.

    About a month or so ago, my dad says, "Jaime, I have a shopping list of things I want to buy. Sears is doing their Sears' Days thing so let's go there this week." It turned out he wanted some towels and a bunch of bed stuff. I brought him to Winners to buy the towels and some other odds and ends. I don't think he'd ever been in a Winners before, he was picking stuff off the shelves like he was a kid in a giant candy store.

    Anyway, yesterday I woke up and my dad was telling me about a gift he wants to buy for my grandfather. I'm not sure if my grandpa ever reads my blog so I'm not going to mention what it was or how much it costs, just the general idea. So my dad tells me he found the item in Canada for $x, and in the USA for approximately half the price. Both prices were highway robbery for the item, so I told him he should look for it on a certain online auction website. Never having used that website, my dad was a bit leery so I quickly piped up that I'd look for it myself, since I've bought several things from that site. I grabbed my laptop and within a minute, found the item for one-third of the price he'd found it in Canada (62% of the American price). It included free shipping and was from a reputable seller. 10 minutes later, we had the item ordered, and 3 hours later the item had shipped. My dad is excited to give it to my grandpa as he knows how much he wants this item.

    Today after I woke up, my dad came home and thanked me for finding the item so cheaply and that I've been earning my keep with helpfulness. Somehow we got on the topic of another item my grandfather has been really wanting, a Danish liquor called Akvavit made by a company in Denmark called Aalborg. My dad first asked me to find it in the summer but a thorough search turned up nothing helpful on the Internet. My dad told me my grandpa had been trying to find Aalborg Akvavit for 5-6 years and they'd even put in calls and letters to Aalborg, trying to find out how to get it. Aalborg told them they don't export to Canada anymore.

    Back in the summer, I had done an inventory search on the LCBO's website. I had searched "aalborg" and "akvavit" which turned up nothing in Ontario. Today, for S&Gs, I searched it again. Lo and behold, the liquor store near our apartment was selling it! My dad, much like me, and by that I mean he likes to do things right now without waiting, said, "What?! Let's go there right now!" We got in the car and the whole way, my dad told me not to get my hopes up, that website's full of crap, Aalborg doesn't sell to Canada anymore, he refused to believe it until he sees it himself.

    I'm sure you can guess what happened. They had it. 13 bottles of it, no less. I found it while my dad was still searching the aisles. "DAD!" I called out and held the bottle up as he walked toward me. I don't think he believed me until he grabbed the bottle from me, saw the proper logo, and started laughing. "Holyyyy shit! How many of these they got?" We walked out with 6 and drove to my grandpa's place. Unfortunately he wasn't home so we had to come back later. When we did, my dad hid 2 bottles in his coat and I started on a story to my grandpa about how we'd brought him some chardonnay (I don't think my grandpa cares for chardonnay, we were trying to trick him). My dad whips the bottles out of his jacket, hands them to my grandpa, who bursts out laughing. He couldn't believe it. We went out for a nice supper after. It was a great day.

    My dad watched The Shawshank Redemption last night after I persistently urged him to (he'd never seen it) so now I am referring to myself as "the girl who knows how to get things." A fitting title, in my opinion.

    Day 15 - Your favorite tumblrs.

    I only read 2:
    Catalog Living (very funny) and,
    Eye on Springfield (for those of us who love The Simpsons only seasons 1-9)

    Sunday, November 14, 2010

    Half-Assed NaBloWriMo Day 14

    This entry is coming to you kind of late, but better than not at all. I'm ready for this weekend to be over. I'm also ready for my knee to heal. It's been 3 weeks of not going to the gym and I'm absolutely dying to go. I don't remember the last time I went this long without going to the gym. It's making me depressed.

    I'm getting pretty desperate for a job. The opportunity I mentioned awhile back is still on the table, but it's taking its sweet time and my stress level is going through the roof. I am hoping to settle some job stuff this week. I'm done with being unemployed. The longer I'm unemployed, the more I keep injuring myself. My ankle feels a lot better today, it's only sore when I touch it, as opposed to it pulsating with pain as it was yesterday.

    Day 14 - Your earliest memory.

    My very earliest memory is being pushed in a stroller in a parking lot. I found out some time later that the parking lot was in Montreal and I was 3 years old. I don't know how I figured out it was in Montreal, I think I remembered more about it before and my mom clarified the locale. I have a few other memories from age 3 but can't recall them right now, haha. I know they're in there somewhere, I have to be reminded of them.

    Another memory I have, probably also from the age of 3 or right before turning 4, was of getting ready to go to preschool. I remember my mom was getting ready in front of the mirror in the bathroom and I came in, and I remember frowning at myself in the mirror. I didn't want to go to preschool, I think because I really didn't like being around other kids. Wow, not much has changed!

    On the topic of not changing, last year my brother found some of my old report cards from the primary grades and kindergarten. Back then, teachers used to write a narrative about your personality and your progress in class. I was amazed to see that what my teachers had written about my personality is still valid and true today. I think it's because as children, we're very honest. We don't really have a semblance of etiquette and social mores, we just act according to our personality.

    Back to memories, I have a very, very good memory for most things. The one thing I tend to forget all the time is what I have told other people. My feelings about things tend to vary depending on my mood and sometimes when I'm told I said something in the past, I'm like, "No way, there is NO WAY I said that. I don't think that at all!" But of course, the other person always insists I said it. But generally, I'm very good at remembering dates and numbers and spellings and little details.

    Anyhoo, I'm going to bed. Pray or hope or whatever you do that something, anything, good happens this week. :S

    Saturday, November 13, 2010

    Half-Assed NaBloWriMo Day 13

    Ugh, it's been a long day and I don't feel like doing this but I guess I will because I have to.

    I went out looking for a geocache today that was along the river. The river here in Sarnia is all manicured and made into parks, so most of the rocks along the shore have been shaped by machinery and placed there. They're pretty easy to climb on but there is some danger involved obviously. So I was out on the rocks and my foot slipped on a wet rock and my (strained!) knee hit a rock (insult to injury, it still hurts) and I have a scrape going from my calf down to my ankle, where the inside ankle bone banged against a rock before landing in the water, which is luckily only ankle deep. Suffice it to say, I was pretty irritated. My ankle is in pain and the cuts are stinging. I just have no luck geocaching. My whole right leg is one mess of geocaching accidents. Strained knee and now a sore ankle. I think I'm going to take it easy for awhile. I feel like the universe really does not want me to geocache!

    Day 13 - Somewhere you’d like to move or visit.

    A few years ago, I decided that I absolutely must visit Tristan da Cunha. It's a very, very small island in the middle of the south Atlantic Ocean. I first heard of Tristan I think on Digg.com. There was a headline like, "Most Isolated, Inhabited Place in the World!!" which peaked my interest, being a Nunavummiuq and all.

    Tristan da Cunha is home to fewer than 300 people, who all share 8 surnames (the 8th is a recent addition). All the residents (except I believe the person who contributed the 8th surname) are descendants of the original garrison of British Marines from the 1800s. Outsiders are not allowed to move to Tristan but they are allowed to visit. I am dying, dying to visit this place. You want a simple way of life? There isn't any simpler than Tristan da Cunha. TV arrived in 2001 and they get one channel (and it's a government broadcast from the Falkland Islands). Internet arrived some time later, I can't find the exact year.

    I guess you could say I'm obsessed with old-timey things and the idea that an old-fashioned way of life still exists. Anything to do with pioneers, the Amish, uncontacted human tribes and the like really interest me. Life on Tristan da Cunha would be very much like going back several decades in the respect that everybody farms, there's one doctor in town, TV is presumably not watched and unimportant. However, I can't say I envy their mail system (they have to wait for ships from Africa to pass by).

    I really hope I have all my facts right here, I used to hate reading stuff about Nunavut by people who have never visited and just cringed in agony at what I was reading.

    If you're like me and think Tristan da Cunha is pretty darn interesting, you can read more here:
    The Tristan da Cunha Website (tons of information)
    The Tristan Times online newspaper

    Half-Assed NaBloWriMo Day 12

    Day 12 - Bullet your whole day.

    • Woke up around 11:30am.
    • Surfed the Internet, made a bagel, tried to decide what to do today.
    • Decided it was too nice of a day to waste and despite my knee still hurting, went out geocaching at the Wawanosh Wetlands again.
    • Found 6 caches and hurt my knee even more.
    • Decided on the drive home that I'd stop at Shopper's Drug Mart and get an ice pack.
    • Only had $10 on me (didn't bring my purse to the wetlands) and the cold compress I wanted was incorrectly marked. Sorry, I'm not paying $13 for a small compress.
    • Came home, sat around for maybe 2 hours, then went to WalMart for a cold compress
    • Found one nicer than the one at Shopper's and it was only $3.97. Hello.
    • Was craving McNuggets so I got myself a meal at McDonalds.
    • While driving home, decided I wanted to rent a movie. Went to Roger's Video, which had clearly gone downhill since the last time I was in there.
    • Rented The Blind Side. I'd already seen it but now that I understand football a little bit better and know the names of American colleges and a little bit about college football, I wanted to see it again.
    • Came home, put compress in the freezer.
    • My mom called and we made plans for tomorrow.
    • Took a shower.
    • Watched The Blind Side. Smiled when Auburn and Clemson were mentioned. When I saw The Blind Side in theatres last year (before meeting Anthony), I had no idea that within a year, I'd go to Auburn and see them play Clemson. Life makes me smile.
    • After the movie, I tried to solve a puzzle geocache so I could go find it but I'm having troubles with it.
    • Called Anthony and talked for 45 minutes.
    • Writing this blog post.
    • Going to bed after this!

    Thursday, November 11, 2010

    Half-Assed NaBloWriMo Day 11

    Day 11 - Put your iPod on shuffle and write 10 songs that pop up.

    I'm going to cheat a bit and use the iPod on my iPhone as it only contains songs I like and actually listen to. Whenever I do these things, I always end up posting songs I've never even heard or that I don't like. Not this time!

    1. "Wear and Tear" by Pete Yorn and Scarlett Johansson.

    2. "Got A Feelin'" by the Mamas and the Papas.

    3. "Bad Stone" by the Crystal Method.

    4. "Got Your Money" by Ol' Dirty Bastard and Kelis.

    5. "SOS" by ABBA.

    6. "I Wanna Touch Your Soul" by Benny Benassi.

    7. "Let There Be Love" by Oasis.

    8. "Find Your Way Back" by Michelle Branch.

    9. "What is Your Secret?" by Nada Surf.

    10. "In Repair" by John Mayer.

    Cool, I'd say that's a pretty accurate cross-section of my musical taste. Techno, oldies, and pop-rock.

    Wednesday, November 10, 2010

    Half-Assed NaBloWriMo Day 10

    Today's is lame.

    Day 10 - Discuss your first love and first kiss.

    First love discussed here and first kiss discussed here.

    Tuesday, November 9, 2010

    Half-Assed NaBloWriMo Day 9

    Ugh. I am still tired from doing 3 of these yesterday and now this one is totally stupid.

    Day 09 - How you hope your future will be like.

    I believe I answered a lot of this already but I'll try to answer it more succinctly.

    -I would like to have lost some weight (maybe 10-15lbs) and be in good shape. I've kind of let myself go this year and now I can't even go to the gym because of my stupid knee. I don't want stuff like this to happen in the future.

    -I would like to be living in my own house, whether it's the one Anthony currently lives in or another one.

    -I would like my house to be nicely decorated by me.

    -A hot tub or jacuzzi would be pretty awesome.

    -Assuming I'll be able to afford it, I am willing to pay to have a cleaner come in every 2 weeks and do the kind of cleaning I won't want to waste my life doing, like scrubbing and mopping and dusting. Cleaning is a part of life, but that doesn't mean it has to be part of my life.

    -I don't really know what I want to be "when I grow up." I don't really have a single driving passion, I can be happy doing anything. As long as it pays decent money, gives me enough vacation time, and I'm respected and recognized at work, all will be well.

    -I would like to have a degree or diploma (I think they do degrees in the USA?) in something, don't know what yet.

    -I'm assuming Anthony and I will be married, yay.

    -I'd like to actually have a circle of friends for once and go out on a regular basis. Only up north did I ever have a circle. It was nice.

    -I'd like to join some sports leagues. I want to keep curling but I want to learn to play hockey and football too. Can you believe I've never played hockey...EVER? Not even floor hockey? Not even road hockey! I don't know how my citizenship hasn't been taken away yet. It would be funny if they asked you that at the Canadian border after returning from abroad. "How long were you gone for?" "3 days." "You ever play hockey?" "No, never." "I'm sorry, we can't let you back in the country. You're a disgrace to Canada."

    -I want to keep going to the gym regularly, too. It's so important. I'm worried I'm going to get old and something bad is going to happen to me and the doctor will say, "Well only if you'd _________ when you were younger, you wouldn't be in this situation now!"

    -Of course of course of course, I will keep geocaching. An aggravated ankle injury, a strained knee, cuts and scrapes can't keep me away.

    -I want to learn to cook better. I'm pretty useless in the kitchen right now, though I do improve exponentially each year. I'd like to be able to cook basic things without needing directions.

    -I plan to have Leah for as long as her life gives her and then perhaps have another kind of pet after. Anthony wants a pot-bellied pig so maybe we'll do that.

    -I want to own something nice. I've been wanting to buy myself a brand new vehicle. I'd love to buy myself a brand new Honda of some sort (not an Odyssey though, haha).

    -Probably not my own but I look forward to spoiling nieces and nephews and friends' kids.

    Monday, November 8, 2010

    Half-Assed NaBloWriMo Day 8

    Phew, finally the last one for today.

    Day 08 - A moment you felt the most satisfied with your life.

    The day I moved into my own apartment in Iqaluit. I had been living there for 11 months before I finally got a place of my own. It was all I had wanted for such a long time and finally it was mine. I sat down on my couch, put my feet on the coffee table and just took it all in. It was my first place all to myself and it felt so darn good. No one could ever evict me, no one would ever disrupt me, I could sleep as long as I wanted and take marathon 3 hour baths and wouldn't have to feel an inch of guilt. It was lovely.

    I've continued to feel pretty satisfied since then. I don't want to be the kind of person who delays happiness until the next life milestone is reached. I try to enjoy life as it is now.

    Things have been a little unsatisfying since I moved back to Ontario. I'm struggling to feel proud of myself while jobless and living with my dad. Objectively, I'm kind of a bum right now and I'm having a hard time accepting that. I know it's only temporary though, and I still have a lot of things to be satisfied with. Eyes on the prize, eyes on the prize.

    Half-Assed NaBloWriMo Day 7

    I meant to mention in the previous post that today I discovered the Double Rainbow at Yosemitebear Mountain video today. I guess it was pretty popular in the summer. I try to stay abreast of viral videos but you can't find them if you don't know what you're looking for. Anyway, that video is guaranteed to make you laugh. I've already watched it a few times today, I think it's hilarious.

    Day 07 - Your zodiac sign and if you think it fits your personality.

    I was born May 20th, on the cusp of Taurus and Gemini, but technically a Taurus. I actually love astrology and know quite a bit about it and I suppose more or less, I am a Taurus.

    Taurus people are known as being stable and reliable, which I would say I am. They're known for loving luxury and being pampered with expensive things. Who doesn't? Taurus rarely get angry but when they do, they blow up and stay mad for a long time. I don't know if that's true of me, I tend to get angry easily though I calm down just as fast. Taurus people love money and will work hard for it. I think most people are like that. Taurus people hate change. The jury is out on that one for me, I don't really know if that describes me. Taurus people are patient, which I am for sure. Taurus people are possessive of the things they own and dislike lending out their belongings. Definitely me.

    I'm not going to bore you with a full on analysis of my personality in comparison to the Taurus profile. I think it generally does describe me, but I also think it's foolish to assume there are only 12 different personality types in this world. Nobody's personality can be boxed into a perfect description because humans aren't perfect. Experiences morph your personality and no one has the same personality when born that they still have when they die. For example, when I was a teenager I was a pretty angry person and I also hated exercising and any sports. Now that I'm in my 20s, I've mellowed out quite a bit and also really enjoy being active and watching others be active. Nothing is static in this world.

    Half-Assed NaBloWriMo Day 6

    I'm going to have to do days 6, 7 and 8 today so just bear with me.

    On Friday my brother got married in Toronto. It was a great wedding! It was especially fun because I got to see relatives I rarely see, including my one cousin I hadn't seen in 5-6 years. I only have 4 cousins (I win the record for least amount of cousins) and to not see one for that long was weird. Anthony got to meet my extended family which was cool.

    On Saturday we went to another wedding in Michigan. I ended up missing the ceremony due to uh, post-alcohol-consumption related sickness, but I made it out for the reception. It was probably the exact opposite of my brother's wedding so it was cool to go to 2 completely different weddings in the span of one day.

    Sunday we went to the Lions game in Detroit. I'd never been to an NFL game before but I really enjoyed it. I'll take real seats with drink holders over a crammed metal bench any day of the week.

    Now here's the meme!

    Day 06 - Write 30 interesting facts about yourself.

    1. I'm left-handed.

    2. I sleep with socks on (I hate being bare foot ever except the bath and beach).

    3. I have hammer toe on my outer 3 toes of both feet and thus I hate wearing sandals.

    4. I have broken my left wrist, my collarbone, and my right baby toe. I have also strained my knee (which is current), sprained my left ankle a few times, thrown out my back twice, and also sprained my left wrist. I don't think either of my siblings have ever injured themselves.

    5. One winter/spring I filmed local OHL games for the cable company. The best part was the free pizza between periods.

    6. In elementary school, I won the oratorical (public speaking) award twice, bronze proficiency (forget what grade), I think silver proficiency in Grade 5 (can't remember), and the English award for my Grade 8 graduating class.

    7. In Grade 10, I entered (and won) a writing contest in my French class. The winners would have their writing published in a French text book for Ontario students. The subject? What you would bring with you if you went to Nunavut. Bizarre coincidence. I always kept the piece of paper I wrote it on because Madame had written on it "A+++++! You have a gift in writing!" I found it right before I moved to Rankin Inlet.

    8. Smoked salmon is my favourite food.

    9. A month before I turned 5, I was running in my house, slammed into a corner, and knocked out one of my front teeth. My mom took me to the hospital and they put my tooth in an envelope. That night, our house caught on fire and the tooth went with it. I was so upset the tooth fairy wouldn't take my very first lost tooth.

    10. I have driven on a regular basis the following vehicles: A 1994 Honda Accord, a 2000 Dodge Neon, a 1993 Toyota Camry, a 2002 Suzuki XL-7, a late 90s Toyota Corolla and now a 2007 Ford Fusion. The '94 Accord was my favourite, the Neon was my least favourite.

    11. I have very light brown hair. My hair has not been fully its natural colour since the mid to late 90s. I started dying it when I was still a kid.

    12. I have 4 piercings: my ear lobes, cartilage in my left ear, and a snug in my right ear. I really want an industrial but I still have a hard time sleeping on my snug and don't want to be forced to sleep on my back. Also, I think some employers would take issue with an industrial whereas my snug is discreet and doesn't look unusual. My cartilage piercings (I've had 7 in total over the years) barely hurt at all, whereas my lobes (pierced twice) were quite painful. I have thick ear lobes.

    13. I've seen the following bands live: Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits, The Moffatts (their last-ever concert), Hawksley Workman, Sloan, and The Trews. I met The Moffatts and Hawksley Workman after those concerts, touched Chris Murphy of Sloan on the arm during the concert, and attended the same house party as The Trews (in Iqaluit). I actually had no idea The Trews were even in attendance until they started playing a song in the middle of the kitchen.

    14. I love all chocolate equally but I guess if I could only eat one chocolate bar for the rest of my life, it'd be Crispy Crunch. My mom still thinks Coffee Crisp is my favourite chocolate bar (which it was when I was younger) and buys me bags of them for every holiday.

    15. The 5 most expensive things I've ever purchased in order of expensiveness: my old Suzuki, my vacation in 2008, my iMac, my MacBook, my old 42" TV.

    16. The 2 most expensive gifts I've ever given anyone were a trip to Alberta and a Garmin GPS (separate people).

    17. I started a paper journal in 1998, began writing online in 2002, and began publicly blogging in 2006. My paper journal is pretty much defunct but I continue to write in a locked Livejournal and this blog (obviously).

    18. I have been told numerous times that I should write a book but I don't think it'd be any good, nor would anyone read it. I don't think I could work on one single thing for so long that is based solely on my own creativity.

    19. I've had 8 cats in my life: Deli, Tiger, Abbey, Casey, Soleil, Leah (current), Moon Unit, and Dweezil. Deli died in the fire mentioned in #9, Tiger was put down due to sickness, Abbey was either poisoned or hit by a car (we found her dead in the driveway, seemingly uninjured), Casey and Soleil disappeared, Leah is still with me, and I gave away Moon Unit and Dweezil.

    20. I owned 2 hamsters in 2005, both of whom died due to my negligent care. That's when I decided I'd never own something more complicated than a cat.

    21. I have only owned 2 cell phones in my life. I used to think I'd go my whole life without one, but now I can't live without my iPhone.

    22. I use Foursquare regularly and love it, though I don't really know why. Probably a blend of narcissism and love of technology.

    23. I cannot handle spicy food, except jalapenos. My mouth is super ultra sensitive, I can barely tolerate cinnamon hearts.

    24. My favourite flavour of potato chips is plain.

    25. I love black licorice (and Sambuca).

    26. Americans can always tell I'm Canadian by my accent, but other Canadians always think I'm from Nova Scotia.

    27. I type with my 2 index fingers and I'm very fast. No matter how hard I try, I just can't seem to make myself type normally. I'm pretty sure this is because I started regularly using computers and the Internet when I was so young, but I never took any typing classes. I was required in Grade 4 to take a typing class but the method never stuck and soon after, I was addicted to the computer.

    28. I have naturally very wavy hair, verging on curly, but I keep it straightened. Most people who know me are shocked when they see my natural hair and think I styled it.

    29. My favourite colour is green but I love all colours except yellow and most shades of orange.

    30. When I was very young, I used every opportunity to wish my parents would buy me a Power Wheels. I'm 24 and I still want one. Okay, I'd settle for a go-kart, but I'll always long for a Power Wheels. If I ever have children, they are getting Power Wheels.

    Friday, November 5, 2010

    Half-Assed NaBloWriMo Day 5

    So it occurred to me I've been referring to this whole month improperly. It's actually National Blog POSTING Month, not National Blog Writing Month. Oh well, it's all semantics.

    This entry is coming to you very early Friday because I have places to be tomorrow (technically later today). Wedding! And then another wedding!

    Last night and tonight I've been doing this US States quiz because it occurred to me this year that I don't know the geography of the USA very well. For some reason, whenever I heard a state name and didn't know where that state was, I imagined it as where Utah and Idaho are. If I had to draw a map of the USA before last night, the east and midwest would be relatively empty and every other state would be crammed in between Colorado and Oregon, haha. I did a few different states tests about 20 times and now I think I'm pretty confident where everything is. I only keep messing up Nebraska and Kansas, two states I previously thought are approximately where Nevada is, haha.

    Anyway, today's meme is a little morbid so you'll have to bear with me.

    Day 05 - A time you thought about ending your own life.

    There is only one time in my life where I actually considered suicide as an option, but the thought lasted maybe 10 seconds before I knew there was a better alternative. I consider this moment, which I remember quite well, as the turning point in my life.

    I can't remember exactly when it was, but it was sometime between October and December 2007. 2007 had been a horrible year; so many things happened that make me wonder how I ever escaped with a smile. Most of the things are too personal to share with my family, let alone my blog, but suffice it to say, had I actually committed suicide, I'm sure certain people would have seen it coming. 2007 was THAT bad.

    Oh I had money, a job and a roof over my head so I guess you could call my former problems "white people problems" and I suppose, perhaps, although I hate this idea, you could say I had a quarter-life crisis.

    So it was sometime late 2007. I remember the moment perfectly. I was sitting in the bath tub, bawling, like usual. I couldn't bear to be alone with myself and during the inevitable alone time that came during baths, I would frequently break down. I pulled my face out my hands, wiped away my tears, and stared at the shampoo and soap sitting on the built-in shelf in the tub. Something looked different but I couldn't put my finger on it. All at once it was as if the universe had opened an imaginary window on the bathtub wall that displayed my future. In that moment, I knew exactly how the rest of my life would work out, every little and big thing that would happen. I could clearly see the path I was headed down. And as the window disappeared from view, a proverbial hand slapped me where it hurt: my thoughts. I don't want to see the rest of my life. I remember thinking that exact thought, I don't want to see the rest of my life. If I know everything that's going to happen, what's the point of even living through it? My mind, frantic and panicking, tried to find a solution and presented me with the quick fix. You should kill yourself. As soon as I realized it was an option, my mind reeled back as if to hit "undo." No, no, you can't do that. There has to be another way to fix this. I knew then that I had some serious thinking to do. All I had wanted was to take my usual bath and sob and I had come to the realization that I had gotten on the wrong train in my life. In my rush to reach adulthood, I had boarded the train that looked decent. There's a husband car on this train? Okay, that'll work. Eventual home-ownership? Yeah okay, I'll just get on this one. I hadn't bothered to look around and try life out, I just hopped on the next train to death and assumed it'd be good enough.

    You'll be happy to know that I was able to fix my mistakes and I no longer feel like I'm headed toward a life I'm not interested in. It was a very important lesson in my life to truly listen to myself and what I want. I don't think everybody has been privileged enough to honestly listen to themselves and let themselves guide their life. I know for me it's not a mistake I'll ever make again. Although it sure sucked at the time, much better in 2007 than a year, 5 years, or 20 years later.

    Thursday, November 4, 2010

    Half-Assed NaBloWriMo Day 4

    Sometimes all you can do is laugh.

    My brother is getting married tomorrow and on Saturday, Anthony and I have another wedding to go to in Michigan. Having a solid 2 days where I need to look good, I decided to get a manicure.

    I ended up at one of those places with the thick stench of chemicals in the air, employed solely by immigrants (who I'm guessing have no sense of smell left). A quick look at the price board, MANICURE -- $17, and I was sold on the place immediately. I ended up having to get up mid-manicure and get money from an ATM as they told me they didn't take debit. As I was walking to the ATM next door, I noticed the rear passenger tire on my car was nearly flat.

    Long story short, I got the rest of the manicure and left. As I reached into my purse to get my keys, I ended up smudging the polish on 2 fingers and chipped a third. Money down the drain. Ugh. I didn't know where to get air in this city so I called my grandpa, who told me to come over as he owns an air pump.

    When I parked in the driveway, I inspected my tire and found something unusual. A bolt. Stuck in the tire. How could I have driven for 2 years in Iqaluit on the worst roads in Canada and not gotten a flat, but 4 months in Sarnia was all it took?

    Another long story short, $25 later and it's fixed. I couldn't believe it was only $25 to plug it, I'm still accustomed to northern prices. I'm sure the same service in Iqaluit would have run closer to $100.

    Anyway, I was thankful my grandpa was able to help me. When I was sitting in the parking lot at the salon, I didn't know what to do or where to go. Then I thought, "You idiot, you have family here. Just call them and ask!" In Iqaluit if I couldn't get a hold of my main go-to person (miss her dearly), I'd be SOL for ideas.

    Tomorrow morning I'm getting my hair done before the wedding. Let's pray nothing else goes wrong in the middle of that! With my luck, anything is possible.

    Day 04 - Your views on religion.

    I think I answered this in the last meme so I'll keep it brief. Number 1, I don't subscribe to any religion. I believe in karma and follow the golden rule and to me, that's all I need. If there is a god or heaven, being a good person is the only way to get here. I don't think eating meat or working on Sunday is horrid enough to cast me to the ranks of the damned.

    Number 2, I am respectful of all religions. I don't think any particular religion is bad or wrong. Spirituality and religion are personal matters and if it works for you, that's a good thing. As I mentioned in the first meme, I admire piety in others. Devoting your life to a single cause is admirable. I could never do it.

    Wednesday, November 3, 2010

    Half-Assed NaBloWriMo Day 3

    Day 03 - Your views on drugs and alcohol.

    Hmm, interesting question.

    As far as alcohol goes, I don't see anything wrong with the current system. If anything, I think it should be more lenient, at least in Ontario. Going to the LCBO or Beer Store for your beer or liquor is annoying. I'd rather we moved to a system like the USA, where you can buy alcohol in grocery and corner stores. However, I don't really care all that much. There is rarely a time after 9pm that I want to purchase alcohol so it doesn't bother me.

    When I was younger, I probably would have said the age limit should be reduced to 18 but now I think it should be 21. At 18 and 19, you're still a kid and probably a kid not equipped to make the same decisions while drunk that a 21 year old could. I think having a little more time to mature before you're legal to get drunk is a better idea. Not only that, but your brain is still developing in your late teens. Adding alcohol to a growing brain just doesn't sit well with me. However, most kids drink underage anyway and most turn out fine so I guess it doesn't really matter.

    With drugs, I don't really care because I don't do any. I definitely believe hard drugs should stay illegal, though. Marijuana is such a regular part of our culture now, I don't really see the point in keeping it illegal. I think it should be controlled and taxed the way cigarette and alcohol are, and be worked into our laws regarding impaired driving and whatnot so that people who drive stoned can be more easily prosecuted. There are roadside tests now that can detect marijuana on your breath so the laws could at least be enforced with more regularity.

    In my opinion, it's hard to be anti-marijuana without being anti-alcohol too. They seem to be equally harmful/harmless on your body and both cause similar intensities of intoxication. How can one say it's okay to want to get a little drunk after a bad day but it's not okay to want to smoke a joint for the same reason? Why should it be okay to make yourself intoxicated with one thing but not another? It doesn't really make sense to me.

    In case you're wondering, no I do not smoke marijuana. The reason I have an opinion about it is I've spent considerable time thinking about it. The idea of breaking the law doesn't jive with me and knowing so many of my friends smoke weed and feeling lowered levels of respect for them, I started asking myself why it's okay that I want to get drunk sometimes but they can't get stoned?

    In the end, I still don't really respect potheads but only because it is against the law and that's the final verdict at this point in time.

    Tuesday, November 2, 2010

    Half-Assed NaBloWriMo Day 2

    Well my knee is back to hurting more today so tomorrow I'm (probably) going to see a doctor. Thank you for the concern to the 2 commenters yesterday who said I should see a doctor.

    As I mentioned yesterday, my snug piercing had been hurting. I decided to take out my barbell for a little bit to see if it would make it feel better. However, I don't like leaving any cartilage piercing out, even for 15 minutes, and I immediately got paranoid and went into the bathroom to put it back in. And wouldn't you know it, I dropped the earring down the sink drain. There is another opening in the drain pipe and it fell down there. Only I would do something this stupid, trust me. The only other curved barbells I had were of a bigger gauge, something I never realized when I bought the barbell I had been wearing up until yesterday. My stomach turned at the idea of trying to put in a bigger gauge when my ear was already in pain but somehow after a bit of blood, I got it in.

    Now, if you're not feeling too queasy from that, here's the daily meme.

    Day 02 - Where you’d like to be in 10 years.

    In short, I have NO idea. I can barely predict what I'm going to be doing in 6 months, let alone 10 years. I just have no clue. I can hazard a guess that I'll probably be living in the USA but will it be Ann Arbor or even Michigan? Your guess is as good as mine.

    What I can tell you is how I hope things will be in 10 years. I'll be 34 years old. I hate to sound anything but blindly romantic but I'm hoping Anthony and I are still married. I'm hoping we won't have any kids and I'm hoping we have a cat or some other pet (Anthony wants a pot-bellied pig).

    I would like to have a nice car or small SUV. Or hell, maybe hover crafts will be around by 2020! I'd like to perhaps be in a different house, one that we bought together. I would like to have a diploma or a degree or something and I would like to be making good money (wouldn't we all?).

    Other than that, I don't really care where I am or what I'm doing. My life has a way of working out opposite to how I think it will so I don't even like to guess where I'll be and what I'll be doing. There is no WAY that 10 years ago I could have ever predicted even one aspect of my current life.

    With this, I leave you with a quote from Joseph Campbell: "You must give up the life you planned in order to have the life that is waiting for you."

    Monday, November 1, 2010

    Half-Assed NaBloWriMo Day 1

    Okay so I've always wanted to participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) but I would never, ever be able to do it. I briefly considered doing NaBloWriMo (National Blog Writing Month) but I think this is going to be a busy month.

    Then I stumbled upon another 30 day meme so it's going to be my half-assed attempt at NaBloWriMo. It's got different questions than the old one, I like it.

    Here we go!

    Day 01 - Your current relationship, if single discuss how single life is.

    Well it should come as no surprise that my boyfriend is Anthony, as I've mentioned approximately 50 million times and even more if you ever talk to me in person (I talk about him a lot).

    How we met is kind of interesting. Last summer he was bored and after a Google search, ended up on my Nunavut blog. He liked it, saw my link to my Twitter account, and started following me. He wrote to me a few times on Twitter, telling me he liked my blog and he wanted to say hello. I didn't really pay attention because I used to get a lot of comments, emails, and tweets about my blog and it was hard to keep up with. Every now and then Anthony would comment on something I'd tweeted about. Admittedly, I kind of thought he was weird and verging on annoying. I didn't follow his Twitter and wasn't interested in following him on Twitter.

    In early December (2009), I mentioned on Twitter I was obsessed with the song "Go Let it Out" by Oasis. Anthony replied to me AGAIN, saying some nonsense about an unplugged concert bootleg he had and was willing to email me. I replied with my email address and after he wrote me a cute introduction to himself in his email, I realized he wasn't such a weirdo, he was actually interesting. We started emailing back and forth and then we agreed to play Settlers of Catan online. I should say that at this point, I was coming out of an extremely tumultuous, soap opera-esque relationship in which my heart and social life had been proverbially hit by a train, struck by lightning and then drowned in a river of fire (to put it nicely), and was in no way on the hunt for a new boyfriend.

    After we had a chance to chat online on the Settlers website, we started chatting on Facebook and Gmail everyday for hours. I was just about to go home for Christmas vacation so we decided we should get together and meet for dinner. Before we met, I already knew I had a crush on him, but he always said he was glad to have a new friend in me so I assumed, sadly, he wasn't interested in me. Little did I know he thought the same thing about me. So we met for dinner and honestly, I don't even remember much of it. I know the waiter kept having to come back because we were so absorbed in conversation, we kept forgetting to pick out food. Then we talked so much I never got a chance to even eat my dinner and it got cold. After Anthony paid, I think we sat around for another half hour or more before I realized we should probably get going.

    We've now been dating for 10 months. If it wasn't clear before, Anthony lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. If it also wasn't clear, I left Iqaluit to be closer to him. Ann Arbor is about a 2 hour drive from Sarnia so we're able to see each other more often.

    And now for some bigger news: I mentioned this briefly in my Nunavut blog before deleting it and deciding to announce it later but I will be moving to Ann Arbor next year. I'm currently waiting on a fiancée visa from the American government. Yes, you read that right. While we haven't gotten "formally" engaged yet, that should be forthcoming very soon. It's not exactly under the most romantic terms we're getting married (the visa process sucks and has a lot of regulations), I am excited nonetheless for the next stage of my life. So now that you know all my secrets, I'll conclude this entry.

    The rest:
    Day 02 - Where you’d like to be in 10 years.
    Day 03 - Your views on drugs and alcohol.
    Day 04 - Your views on religion.
    Day 05 - A time you thought about ending your own life.
    Day 06 - Write 30 interesting facts about yourself.
    Day 07 - Your zodiac sign and if you think it fits your personality.
    Day 08 - A moment you felt the most satisfied with your life.
    Day 09 - How you hope your future will be like.
    Day 10 - Discuss your first love and first kiss.
    Day 11 - Put your ipod on shuffle and write 10 songs that pop up.
    Day 12 - Bullet your whole day.
    Day 13 - Somewhere you’d like to move or visit.
    Day 14 - Your earliest memory.
    Day 15 - Your favorite tumblrs.
    Day 16 - Your views on mainstream music.
    Day 17 - Your highs and lows of this past year.
    Day 18 - Your beliefs.
    Day 19 - Disrespecting your parents.
    Day 20 - How important you think education is.
    Day 21 - One of your favorite shows.
    Day 22 - How have you changed in the past 2 years?
    Day 23 - Give pictures of 5 guys who are famous who you find attractive.
    Day 24 - Your favorite movie and what it’s about.
    Day 25 - Someone who fascinates you and why.
    Day 26 - What kind of person attracts you.
    Day 27 - A problem that you have had.
    Day 28 - Something that you miss.
    Day 29 - Goals for the next 30 days.
    Day 30 - Your highs and lows of this month.

    Falling Apart

    Starting at the ripe old age of 20, I kid you not, my body already started to fall apart.

    Shortly after I turned 20, I started getting muscle stiffness. It's all been downhill from there.

    The one good thing about my being an elderly citizen now is that I never get colds. I have not have a head cold since I was 21. As someone who used to have 4-6 colds a year, this was a welcome surprise. Everything else, however, continues to deteriorate on a yearly basis.

    Last Tuesday I went biking on the Howard Watson Trail in Sarnia to pick up some geocaches. In total I biked 30 kilometres (about 18 miles). Obviously, this is not something I have done in awhile due to the fact I was living in Iqaluit. I felt fine while I was biking, but the next day I woke up and my knees were sore. My left knee quickly got better but my right knee continued to get worse. It doesn't hurt to walk but I'm having a hard time bending it and walking up stairs. Yesterday (Sunday) it was the worst, it even hurt to drive. Today it seems a little better but I still don't feel like I should go to the gym. This is extremely irritating for numerous reasons:

    #1) When I don't go to the gym for a day or two, I get very restless and thus, annoyed.

    #2) I'm only 24, I should not be experiencing this much pain.

    When I was at physiotherapy on Thursday, I asked the athletic doctor lady about it and all she said was to stretch my legs before I bike. Well that's all well and good for the next time, but it doesn't tell me if I need to see a doctor about the current pain I'm in. I was going to go to the drop-in clinic today but since it feels like it's improving, I guess I won't.

    More proof I'm falling apart: the day after biking, I woke up with about 6 random bruises on myself in places I know I didn't injure (like my left tricep). This seems to happen a lot and I don't know why.

    Anyway, I woke up this morning pleased my knee didn't hurt so much to bend but when I tried to roll over onto my right side, I was met with stabbing pain in my right ear. I have a snug piercing in my right ear. I got it back in September 2008 and although it was virtually painless to have pierced, it has been a constant source of pain since. Normally I can sleep on it fine although it usually does hurt a bit if I've been sleeping on it for awhile. I'm not sure what happened in my sleep this morning because it's all swollen and is very tender.

    Other proof I'm falling apart:

    -I've been getting physiotherapy lately for my left ankle, which I sprained in 2003! It hasn't been the same since and had been worse since I left Iqaluit. It seems to be better since I started doing physio again.

    -My hip bone throbs if I've been sleeping on my side for awhile.

    -If I try to walk anywhere not in proper shoes, you can bet my feet will be hating me for the next day or 2.

    -I can't ingest nearly as much candy as I used to be able to. A few months ago I got this Jolly Rancher soda in Ann Arbor and it gave me a stomach ache for a solid 24 hours.

    -I can't play Rock Band or Guitar Hero for very long as my fingers and wrists will totally fail by about the 8th song I play on "guitar." It's a temporary pain but bad enough where I can barely bend my wrists after I play.

    I'm glad it's November...it's going to be a great month!!

    Wednesday, October 27, 2010

    Read, Writing, and 'Rithmetic

    Since I moved down to Ontario, I've had ample time to get my read on. And read, I have been! I'm already on my 5th book since July. I can't remember a time where I read 5 books in a single year. I love to read but it takes me so long to get through a book. I'm ashamed to even try to calculate how long it took me to read The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand (probably 9 months or so). Starting a book is a big commitment because you need to set aside time for it most days of the week. Normally I don't feel like reading after a day at work or whatever else I have going on. Since I have next to nothing going on right now, I'm trying to plow through books.

    Here's what I've been reading lately:

    1. I finished The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas shortly after I moved back. The tagline of the book explains the story best: "At a suburban barbecue, a man slaps a child who is not his own." The story details how the lives of the BBQ-goers all were affected by the slap. Every character is so different from the last and yet, Tsiolkas manages to grasp the inner psyche of every person perfectly. Great book, I highly recommend this one!

    2. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. I like to read classic books as often as I can, because they're classics for a reason and are referred to often in conversations and in different media. I thought this book was interesting but it wasn't quite what I thought it was going to be. I feel like it should be renamed How to Be a Charming Salesman. It focuses mostly on business rapports, which doesn't interest me very much. Overall, this book was worthwhile to read, despite much of it being common sense. I know to ask people questions about themselves, I know to try and compliment people, I know I shouldn't brag about myself, I know I should avoid arguing with people just so I can be right. If you are looking for a way to learn how to make good first impressions on people, by all means, read this book. And also, read How to Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less by Nicholas Boothman. I read it when I was 12 or 13 and I absorbed that book like a sponge. It's quite similar to HTWF&IP but focuses a lot on trying to figure out a person's personality quickly and using it to your advantage.

    3. Towelhead by Alicia Erian. A friend lent this to me, oh, maybe a year ago, thinking I'd like it. It's about a young middle-eastern girl who moves to Texas to live with her dad and while there, is sexually exploited by her neighbour and one of her classmates. Meanwhile, her strict father imposes all sorts of rules on her and physically abuses her. While I do tend to be interested in reading about the corruption of young people, I thought this book was terrible. The voice of the narrator was silly, annoying, and unrealistic. I was glad this was a quick read because if I had to read another chapter, I probably would have built a fireplace in my apartment so I could throw this book into it.

    4. Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I heard the movie was terrible but being intrigued by the story (which as it turns out, is a memoir and all true) and knowing books are almost always better than the movie, I picked it up to read. If you're not familiar with the story, a recently-divorced woman leaves America for a year and travels to Italy to eat, India to pray, and Indonesia to love. I read it fairly quickly. While I enjoyed the book quite a bit, again, the narrator's voice was kind of annoying. Suffice it to say, I don't think Ms Gilbert and I would be friends if I knew her "in real life." I found her kind of tedious and neurotic, but the book contains a lot of facts about the places she visits and I enjoyed that aspect of it. The section of the book which takes place in Bali was probably my favourite as the information she provided about the culture in Bali was interesting.

    5. Today I picked up 2 books from the library though I think I'm only going to end up reading one. It's called His Needs, Her Needs (Building an Affair-Proof Marriage) by Willard F. Harley, Jr. I like books about relationships and since Anthony and I have been having a lot of conversations about our needs and such lately, I thought this would be a timely read.

    6. The next book I plan to read is Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. I actually went to the library today in search of it. My dad, seeing my search on the library's online catalogue, said something like, "Why do you want to read that garbage?!" I take it he is not a subscriber to the Ayn Rand fan club. As I mentioned at the beginning of the entry, I read The Fountainhead awhile ago and I loved it. It took me such a long time to read and while I read it, I just wanted to be done. However, I remember as soon as I closed the book after reading the last sentence, I wished it had been longer. Since then I've been planning to read Atlas Shrugged but I haven't gotten around to it.

    Well, I'm off to Michigan for the weekend so you probably won't hear from me again until early next week.

    Monday, October 25, 2010

    Trip to Windsor and Geocaching

    I took a trip to Windsor this weekend to visit a friend of mine who is going to school there. Normally she and I have lunch or dinner together on my way back from Ann Arbor so I decided to go for an overnight trip so we could spend more than a few hours hanging out.

    For starters, I've never driven from Sarnia to Windsor, only Windsor to Sarnia. Of course, it is the exact same drive. I'm not sure why, but I hate the drive. I wish it was all on the 401, but I don't really know why, because I hate the 401, too.

    Anyway, our first stop was Colasanti's in Kingsville. I'd been there once before back in 2007, though I had no idea at the time where I was. I'm not really sure how to describe Colasanti's other than a clusterfudge of things to do. There's a petting zoo, mini golf, a few gift shops, a restaurant and some kids' carnival-type rides. Colleen and I were more or less only interested in the petting zoo. We both bought some food for the goats and were basically attacked by said goats as soon as we got into the goat area. I felt bad for the little kids (human kids) there since the larger goats could easily push them right over. I was afraid my fingers would get bitten off so I threw the food at the goats and then chased around the kids (the goat type).

    Me and my new pregnant friend.

    Afterward, we went back to Windsor, had dinner and went to a few bars. At dinner, Colleen was debating about what type of cocktail to get. We both ended up getting White Freezies, which apparently is a Windsor thing (according to a bartender). It's raspberry Sourpuss and banana liquer topped with Sprite. Probably the best drink discovery I've made in years.

    Awhile after dinner, we saw some drunk kids cause a car accident in the middle of the intersection of Wyandotte and Ouellette. That was a new one for me and we were both quite stunned. I saw almost the exact same thing happen here in Sarnia tonight, though in this case, the pedestrians almost got taken out by a truck. People, people! Running across an intersection is extremely dangerous. Sometimes you just have to shake your head at what passes for common sense these days.

    While standing in line to get into The Honest Lawyer, I realized that I have not ever engaged in the "bar scene" at all in my 5 years of being legal drinking age, except for in Iqaluit, which is quite a bit different. Having been in a serious relationship when I turned 19 and not having a circle of friends in one single place, the whole bar thing is kind of alien to me. When I turned 19 and started going to bars, I was confused by how dressed up the other girls would be. I just didn't understand it. We're here to drink, why are you half-naked? Do you people get warm when you drink? Did you just come from a wedding? I understand it now but I don't think you'll ever find me in a tiny dress and heels, waiting to get into a club. Give me jeans, give me a t-shirt, give me Alexander Keith's on draught, let me be able to hear my own thoughts, and we have a good place to hang out on a Saturday night. Amen.

    It's been unusually warm here the past week so I have been taking the opportunity to geocache like a mad woman. On Friday I went out to the Wawanosh Wetlands Conservation Area on the outskirts of Sarnia. I'd never been out there before and it was so beautiful!

    Fall colours at Wawanosh.

    I ended up finding 7 which is really not all that great for an experienced geocacher but for me it was a productive afternoon!

    Me with a geocache.

    That's about all for now. I know it wasn't very interesting but I swear I am hoarding the interesting stuff to write about soon!

    Wednesday, October 20, 2010

    Co-Habitation Station

    Well, I've been back in Ontario for almost 3 months now. I'm still struggling to feel like this is my home despite the fact this is my hometown and every square mile of Sarnia holds at least a few memories for me.

    It hasn't sunk in yet that I'm not going back to Iqaluit. I knew before I moved that I would probably feel like I'm on an extended vacation for awhile. So far, that's exactly what it feels like. I'm hoping I'll be working again soon and I'll be able to just wile away the days until feeling like I belong here again.

    One of the biggest changes I've had to face is living with somebody again. I spent from April 2008 to July 2010 living alone (save for one month in January 2009). I really, really liked living by myself, to put it gently. For awhile I half-toyed with the idea of never living with someone again, even if I was in a committed relationship. I just liked it that much. I liked sleeping whenever I wanted without anyone around to make me feel guilty, I liked the satisfaction of looking at things in the house and knowing they were all mine, I liked never being awoken by anything except the cats or maybe a snowmobile outside.

    So now I'm at a point in my life where it is unlikely I'll ever live alone again and that's kind of frightening. These days, I'm regularly woken up by my dad shout-talking on the phone (argh), or when he does dishes. I also deal with buying something for myself and it "mysteriously" disappearing. These are obviously some minor parts about living with someone, just so you get the jist.

    In general things have been fine. My dad doesn't really try to father me or nag me (usually) and I stay out of his business. We're basically 2 non-working, non-sleep-schedule-abiding, non-real-meal-eating slobs hanging around an apartment. And we're not really slobs, we keep the place pretty clean. My dad is probably the only roommate I've had that hasn't annoyed me on a daily basis. I've been able to teach him some things, too. Like how WiFi works (my grandpa still doesn't understand how I'm getting "free" internet in my room) and that Zehrs grocery store has become Real Canadian Super Store.

    Well, I'm off to go find a new geocache that just got published near the apartment. I have signed up for updates so I get a text message every time one is published on the website (meaning it's ready to be found). Being the "first to find" is revered among geocachers, though it doesn't really mean anything. So last night (this morning) at 1am, I get a text saying there is a brand new one about 3 blocks from the apartment. I immediately run out of the apartment, grab my dad's bike, and try to find it. I didn't have any luck so I posted as such on the geocaching website. I had some other geocaching errands to do so I continued biking around Point Edward. Around 1:30am, I pulled my iPhone out of my pocket and I had an email from the owner of the new cache. I stopped to email him back and that's when I looked around me. It was 1:30 in the morning, I'm on a bike, in the middle of the road, writing an email to someone I've never met. The world has definitely changed in the last 10 years.

    Monday, October 18, 2010

    J Plus 8

    I had a great weekend in Michigan, although I'm STILL feeling the effects of drinking too much on Friday. I'm embarrassed to admit how much I actually drank, or rather, how much I DIDN'T drink. I'm not in Iqaluit anymore so I haven't been partying like, at all. It's true, I drank a lot when I lived up north. Since I moved back, I have been enjoying the occasional snifter of wine (I love the word "snifter") and mixed drinks, but never to excess. So I guess my liver has been healing since I moved down, because the ratio of how many drinks I had Friday compared to the intensity of my hangover just isn't me.

    Of course, I think my pathetic ability to tolerate alcohol came of great amusement to Anthony's friends, as everyone knows I'm Canadian and somehow that's funny.

    Saturday during the day was inevitably a write-off but I did make it out to Anthony's mom and fiance's house for their annual Halloween party. I went dressed as Kate Gosselin. Buycostumes.com actually sells a Kate Gosselin wig, so I was wearing that, sunglasses atop my head, and a sash of 8 dolls I had made. People were taking a bunch of photos of me so hopefully I can take something from Facebook and post it here.

    So...I got some more good news about the job I mentioned in my last entry. Nothing is certain yet but keep your fingers crossed for me. I am getting soooo close to being gainfully employed but I still need Lady Luck (or maybe, if she exists, Lady Good Interview Skills).

    Sorry there's not much else going on right now but things should start to pick up very soon.

    Wednesday, October 13, 2010

    Thanksgiving Weekend

    Oops, has it been a week since I last posted? With no mandatory subject matter, I haven't had much to say.

    Thanksgiving weekend was great! This was the first year I'd spent it in Sarnia with my family since 2004. I was still in high school then! My how things have changed.

    On Saturday my brother and his fiancee came for a visit from Toronto. We had brunch here at my dad's with some other family members. My sister and I then went out geocaching and found 7 caches. We're/I'm now up to 31 found caches. It's starting to become easier and my "geosense" is definitely improving.

    On Sunday, Anthony came up for a visit. We had turkey dinner at my mom's and then went to the Brigden Fair on Monday. I also hadn't been to that since 2004 and so it was a big treat. I love the Brigden Fair even if the rest of my family doesn't understand why. I'm a person who loves traditions and there are many traditions I've been deprived of because of living so far away. Every year I was away I missed the Brigden Fair. Anthony enjoyed himself and was happy to celebrate his first (but definitely not last!) Canadian Thanksgiving. I'll be celebrating my first American Thanksgiving next month and I'm certainly pumped about it.

    Changing topics now, I got some very good job news on Thursday. I don't want to say anything yet since it's extremely preliminary but keep your fingers crossed for me. I've been unemployed for 3 months now and it's no picnic. I feel bad complaining about the fact I now sleep 10 hours a day and spend my time doing sweet FA but honestly, I'd much rather be working somewhere. I can't even look at my wallet without a wave of dread washing over me.

    The weather is finally getting cooler, which couldn't make me any happier. I sleep with the window above my bed open and snuggle into the covers every time a draft hits my face. In Iqaluit, I used to like to keep the thermostat around 25C. I lived with a girl for awhile in Iqaluit who kept the thermostat between 15-18C and it was awful. I was cold all the time and I had nightmares every night. I'd wake up shivering even though I was underneath the covers. However, the tables have turned now that I live in Ontario. I'm hot all the time and I can't stand to sleep under the covers. My window is always open and I keep sneakily turning the thermostat down.

    My body is a precarious thing. When it's cold, I get cold very easily and when it's warm, I start sweating profusely. I can't seem to find a happy medium anymore. Even as I type this, I'm fanning myself.

    And let's not get started on the revival of my seasonal allergies. Do I miss Nunavut right now? More than you can imagine.
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