Wednesday, September 29, 2010

30 Day Meme: Day 26

I don't think I've mentioned, but this is the first time I've really experienced autumn since 2005. I came back to Ontario in 2008 from August 29-September 29 but it was a very warm autumn and the leaves hadn't really started to change yet. It was just a long summer. I had actually booked my travel then so I could see the leaves change colour and experience my favourite season, but it ended up being for naught.

So this is the first time in 5 years I've seen red, orange, and brown leaves and have that warm and cozy fall feeling. Every September-October in Nunavut I'd wish I was back in Ontario. In Nunavut we still refer to those months as "fall" but they really aren't. Nunavut doesn't have 4 distinct seasons (in my opinion, anyway), it really only has winter and spring, they're just a little more stretched out than down here.

All this to say, I love being outside right now. All I want to do is take walks in the park and take photos of trees. To say I missed autumn would be a large understatement. This year marks the beginning of a new fall tradition, football season. I'm enjoying it so far, which probably comes as a surprise to anyone who knows me. Anthony loves football so I've really made the effort to enjoy it, too. It's not going away and neither is Anthony so I might as well make the most of it. I actually already liked football despite not understanding the rules (at all, I didn't even know about downs). So yes, I'm enjoying myself some college football this fall.

Day 26 – Your fears, in great detail

#1. Spiders, bees, centipedes, earwigs, etc.

"What I don't understand is how women can pour hot wax on their bodies, let it dry, then rip out every single hair by its root and still be scared of spiders."
— Jerry Seinfeld

It's very true and very true of me. For some reason, bees seem to swarm around me even if thousands of other people are around me. Not an exaggeration, they seem to keep finding me in the stadiums I've been to lately. I can't wait until winter and all these pests go away. Earlier in September I was taking a shower in Ann Arbor and there were not one but TWO spiders in the shower. I've ridden a horse mere inches away from a cliff that would easily kill us both and not felt scared, but a tiny house spider in my shower sends me into hysterics.

#2. Being in a car accident. This has amplified quite a bit since I've moved back and am driving on busier streets. I've been in a few car accidents (never as a driver and nothing too bad), but it still really freaks me out. Almost every night when I go to bed and close my eyes, I can't help but imagine gory car wrecks caused by me. The idea is especially scary to me as I'm leasing a vehicle so it doesn't technically belong to me.

#3. Being trapped in a car that is sinking. I dream about this every now and then. I think this has got to be the worst way to die. I'm okay driving on bridges and whatnot, but the few times I've been on the ferry to Michigan, I feel incredibly nauseous, especially when water from the river splashes the car. Ughhh.

#4. Getting divorced again. There's no doubt it is the worst personal life hell one can experience, second only to the death of a loved one. I'm an incredibly reflective person and the months after my divorce were hell. Of course, everything before the divorce was hell too, but afterward was just as bad. I don't ever want to relive that. Although the experience made me learn basically everything I know about myself now and transformed me completely, it was still hell. It's like getting thrown off a tall building but being a better person at the end.

#5. Getting cancer. Enough said. I basically assume I will since everyone seems to be going that way these days, but I really hope I'm the 1 in a million who doesn't succumb to it. I'd honestly rather go ANY other way, even by the hand of someone else. I just don't want to die of cancer. I mean no disrespect to anyone reading this who has had cancer or has known someone with it. It's a terrible disease.

#6. Having kids and then regretting it. I've never wanted to have children but I do recognize I could theoretically change my mind at some point. My fear is that I change my mind, get pregnant, then revert back to not wanting them. I don't know if this has happened to anybody or is even possible, but it's enough to make me want to get sterilized.

#7. Last but not least is my worst fear in life: not living up to my fullest potential. If I don't go to college/uni and don't get a challenging job, I will die a failure. I want to find a job that matches my level of intelligence (or lack thereof!). I don't want to keep coasting through life the way I have been. For awhile I decided I would either go into law or medicine just because I think I could do it. I'm not sure anymore what I want to do, but law would certainly be interesting. Another part of this fear is that money will get in the way of me receiving the education I really deserve. I don't want to go to community college just because I can't afford anything else, but it's unlikely I'll ever be able to afford going to somewhere like the University of Michigan. This is obviously a dilemma.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

30 Day Meme: Day 25

Many apologies for the large gap between posts. The first few days I was away in Alabama and Georgia. The next few days I was racking my brain trying to think of an interesting "first" for today's topic. Once I realized I good topic, I didn't have any time to write as I was still in Michigan. Now I've returned to my LeechBlocked computer so I can only get onto Blogger during certain times of the day. I made the settings and then left for 10 days so I don't even know what hours of the day I'm able to go on my websites!

Before I get into the meme, a bit about my "vacation" first.

Friday I drove to Ann Arbor. Saturday we got up early and flew to Atlanta.

Atlanta was very warm, of course. We got our rental car (a Chevy Aveo, which I have since learned to hate), checked into our hotel near the airport, and then drove to Auburn, Alabama. Anthony was giving a talk at Auburn University on Monday so we met the professor and then went to the Auburn-Clemson football game.

Sunday we got up, checked out of the hotel and had breakfast with Anthony's step-mom and sister. I tried grits for the first time. Not a fan. We took Anthony's sister and went to the Georgia Aquarium, the largest aquarium in the world. It was really, really cool and I highly recommend checking it out if you're ever in Atlanta. After that we went to a southern BBQ restaurant along with a friend of Anthony's. We dropped Anthony's sister off and drove back to Auburn and checked into our hotel there. We were staying in the university's hotel and conference center and it was very elegant and fancy.

Monday it was roughly 100F in Auburn. Anthony was gone all day doing the lecture so I hung out by myself and walked around campus. I did a bit of geocaching and then checked out an Auburn gift shop for some souvenirs. I was the only person I saw the whole afternoon actually sweating. While I was standing downtown, sweat sliding down my back, I overheard two students talk about the weather somewhere else. The one girl said to the other, "It was SO COLD there, it broke records! It got down to 29(F)! It was sooo cold!" I couldn't help smiling to myself. For the imperial-handicapped, 29F is only -1C. I think any Canadian is allowed to laugh at that, but especially me. For the record, I don't think the girl was dumb or ridiculous, it's just funny how different things just a short flight away.

Tuesday we checked out of the hotel and I had to go with Anthony to an asphalt testing centre for a presentation he was asked to attend. I stayed in the car and had to sit there for about an hour. Fortunately there was free wifi coming from somewhere, so I loaded up my geocaching app and found there was one in the business park we were in. I walked down to it but couldn't find it. We drove back to Atlanta and got home around supper time.

The rest of the week Anthony worked during the day so I slept in and got reacquainted with chips, dip, the recliner, and MTV. Haha. I figure this was probably my last lengthy visit to Ann Arbor for awhile so I tried to make the most of it.

On Saturday, I went and hung out with Anthony's mom and her boyfriend. We went to a Tigers game and then to Motor City Casino. We had a lot of fun and I enjoy hanging out with them. They live in a beautiful house in the country and I love the drive out there. I'm sure I broke a house record for fastest $30 lost in slot machines, but let's just forget that ever happened, ha.

Anyway, I'm sure that was extremely boring so I'll get onto the meme which will be hopefully less snore-inducing. It took me several days to come up with an interesting "first" of mine so I hope you enjoy it.

Day 25 – A first, in great detail

A painfully simple idea, I can't believe it took me days to come up with. My first job.

My first job was during the summer after grade 9, when I was 15. I hadn't wanted to work but my entire family (extended relatives included) were really trying to force me to work. While my aunt, uncle and cousins were visiting at the beginning of August, somehow the topic of "Let's find Jaime a job," came up. My uncle began looking through the newspaper and found an ad for corn detassling. I didn't know what it was and I didn't care to find out. I didn't want to work. I can't remember how it happened, but somehow I was on the phone with some HR lady and I was scheduled to start working the last week of August. I was furious.

In the upcoming weeks, I heard several horror stories about corn detassling from other victims of this terrible job. Soon my friends and family were making informal bets about how long I would last. If you know anything about me, you know I can be quite stubborn. I decided I would make it my mission to not quit or get fired from corn detassling, whatever the hell it was.

The Monday of my first day of work, I was dropped off in the parking lot of a nearby high school around 6am. Other high school aged kids stood around the parking lot, not unlike me and that is to say, frowning. I'm sure I was probably wearing a t-shirt and shorts. The other people waiting were wearing long-sleeved shirts, pants, and hats that covered the back of their necks. I had a bad feeling about it immediately.

Eventually a school bus arrived and we all got on. We drove south to Wallaceburg and they literally crammed the bus so full, there were 3 and 4 people to a bench. The bad feeling in my stomach only intensified. What the hell was this?

Every time we drove alongside a corn field, I prayed we'd keep driving. Of course, at one point after about 20 minutes of driving, we stopped and filed out. The sun was out and I squinted as I stood next to the newbies and was explained how to detassle corn. Basically, get in the damn field and detassle your heart out. If you're caught not doing anything, caught helping somebody else, caught lying down, caught doing basically anything but detassling your butt off, you're fired. I walked up to my first stalk, found the tassle, and ripped it out. Lather, rinse, repeat. Until 4pm.

During the first day, several people quit and sat on the bus until 4pm.

By the end of the second day, I had what we in the biz called "corn rash." My skin is especially sensitive to plants and flowers touching it and to say I wanted to die of itchiness is an understatement. I remember my mom picked me up after work and brought me to Shopper's Drug Mart and I really thought I was going to die. I was in an itchy hell. Did I want to quit? You bet. Would I? No way. I had to prove everybody wrong. I could work hard when I had to, I wasn't lazy.

I made a few friends and learned how to dress for detassling, and learned to wear chap stick and keep your mouth covered lest your lips would be destroyed from the edges of corn leaves, like repeated paper cuts to your mouth.

I ended up being a pretty good corn detassler. I was quick and missed only a few tassles per line. Someone (I forget who) noticed I was doing well and complained to our supervisor that I was doing a terrible job. I don't know why this happened and I wish I'd had the brain to stand up for myself. I think it was a team "leader" who complained, in fear I'd become a leader, too. Or something, who knows. The next morning of work, I was forced off the bus and taken to a "test" (read: smaller) field with managers from the company. There were a few of us and we had other detasslers supervise us and make sure we weren't goofing off. They realized there was nothing wrong with me and sent me to the team of more experienced corn detasslers, where I knew nobody.

Fortunately the whole job only lasted 8 days as I had been hired on at the end of the season. But those 8 days, I tell you, are etched into my memory as clear as any year of my life. The heat, the sunburns, the fatigue after 4pm, the nauseating idea of ever eating corn again, corn rash, and of sympathizing with slaves of the 19th century. I used to come home from work, take a shower, and collapse into bed, unable to move. Sometimes I wouldn't even wake for dinner, despite not having eaten since my 30 minute break at lunch.

I never heard anymore taunts about being lazy from my family after that.

Friday, September 17, 2010

30 Day Meme: Day 24

This morning I woke up before 10am which is a pretty big achievement. I've been trying to get myself out of bed earlier but for a night owl sleepaholic like me, it's extremely difficult. At that moment after I've punched the alarm, I can come up with about 50 different rationalizations as for why I should sleep another hour. Even worse, the earlier the alarm, the more likely I'll shut it off without ever waking up. There are numerous times that I've woken up and realized I'd been hitting the snooze button in my sleep and I've now made myself very late.

But anyway, it's 8am and I have the whole day ahead of me.

Last night I decided to install LeechBlock onto Firefox. It's an add-on that helps you be more productive by blocking the websites you waste the most time on. You tell it what websites you want to block and when and it does it. Also, it's not as easy as just going in and changing the settings, either. I've set it so I can't get even get into the settings anymore without having to enter a 64 random character password (e.g. s56ui645yghwiuhht5wilughfo257yot8rfhi) and I've set it so I'm not allowed to edit the settings during the times websites are blocked.

I look forward to seeing if this helps me because I waste A LOT of time on the Internet. Anthony and I were talking about this the other day and he said if someone counted up all the hours he's ever spent mindlessly surfing the Internet, he would be embarrassed to hear the number. I agree. For me, so much of my life has been wasted on Facebook. I don't even really like Facebook but I'm on it all the time.

I'm off to Ann Arbor and Atlanta until next Sunday so it'll be awhile before LeechBlock can really make a difference.

Day 24 – Something that makes you cry, in great detail

This kind of ties in with Day 22's post. I mentioned roadkill and the idea of someone's pet dying upsets me. Well, when I was 15 the cat I'd had since I was 5, Tiger wasn't doing very well. She had always been overweight and it had taken its toll on her health. In October my family decided the best thing to do was have her put down. I went with my mom and sister to Blue Cross and I remember none of us could stop crying. I decided I would be in the room with Tiger when they put her down so that I could be the last thing she'd see. To say it broke my heart is a vast understatement as it's 9 years later and I can't help becoming moved to tears every time I think about it.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

30 Day Meme: Day 23

Another successful day Geocaching today (Wednesday)! I found 6 which is my biggest yield in one day. Admittedly I had some help from a new Geocaching friend, AKA my Geosavior. My sister is friends with a guy here in Sarnia who has found pretty much all there is to find in Sarnia. He told me I could text him for hints when I'm out so I did just that. I'm not sure if I'll always want help but while I'm new and still learning the ropes, I figure it's not so bad to have some help.

I hid my second cache tonight and I am hoping it passes inspection to be published publicly. There are numerous guidelines and rules to follow and my last cache had to be moved due to a saturation restriction.

Anyhoo, it was a semi-successful day at the gym as well. I was lying in bed tonight talking to Anthony on the phone and when I got up, I felt tightness in my glutes and chest. Already! Tomorrow should be interesting if I already hurt now.

Here is another meme which I'm sure will further expose my girlishness.

Day 23 – Something that makes you feel better, in great detail

When I am having a bad day or feeling low, there are only 2 things I want: white wine and a hot bath. Better yet, both at the same time. Even better- add some bubbles, add a good book and my bad day is becomes "what bad day?"

They say different kinds of alcohol don't mean anything to your body and you get intoxicated all the same, but for me there is definitely something to white wine. A glass or two in and I can't stop smiling. Maybe it's just how much I love white wine, but it makes everything all better. My drink of choice is actually Bacardi and Coke, but it doesn't have quite the same effect a tall glass of chardonnay does.

Sometimes in Iqaluit I would feel bored or lonely and so I would take myself out on a date. I would go see a movie at Astro Theatre and then come home and luxuriate myself in a hot bubble bath with a glass of wine. And I'll tell you, I looked forward to those nights.

Well, I get upset over roadkill and need a bath with wine to make me feel better. How much girlier can I get? Haha.

P.S. If you're wondering what my favourite wines here, here are some of my beloveds:
-Yellow Tail Chardonnay. A good go-to wine and is readily available.
-Wild Wines raspberry zinfandel. Not white wine but so, so yummy!
-Willm Rieling Reserve. My absolute favourite but I can't seem to find it here. I need to conduct a better search. (EDIT: just found out the liquor store near the mall has it. That's comin' home with me ASAP!)

I am always open to wine suggestions. I have pretty cheap taste in wine and have probably never tried truly "good" stuff.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

30 Day Meme: Day 22

Before I do this depressing meme, some good news!

I put out my very first geocache last night and it was published on the website this morning (well, Tuesday). Already 5 people have found it which is really cool! I like the idea of doing something and indirectly connecting with people. Also, it's neat to create more enjoyment for others. Geocaching is SO much fun, I like giving it back some of the fun I've been having.

Two days ago I went out geocaching and I came across one whose coordinates listed it as in an evergreen tree. The hint was, "What would a squirrel think?" Obviously I didn't know what that meant and I went under the tree (its branches were quite high) numerous times trying to find the cache. Then I noticed one lone pine cone...hanging from a branch with wire and I burst out laughing and said to myself, "Yes, what WOULD a squirrel think?" The owner of the cache had drilled a hole at the top and inserted a bison tube in it. I found this article if you want to see a photo of what I mean.

I am really such a newbie about geocaching that I am only just discovering more caches disguised as other things. It is legitimately difficult to find disguised caches because the possibilities are only limited by your imagination. For example, last night I went out to one that I had a strong feeling was somehow connected to an electrical box but I could not find it for the life of me. A new geocaching friend who has found it confirmed it is disguised on the electrical box. It's quite amazing...just imagine all the things you walk by every day with disguised caches integrated into them! I feel like the world is getting bigger. It's such a neat feeling when you find a cache. It's like when you see those photos where you think you're looking at one thing and it's another and suddenly you can't not notice what it really is and you wonder how you missed it. Yesterday I was out scavenging through rocks on the ground and out popped a geocache. Excuse me for maybe getting a little corny, but it's kind of magical. I'm going to stop now; you all get it. I love geocaching!!

Day 22 – Something that upsets you, in great detail

This is going to greatly expose the girl in me, but it upsets me when I see cat and dog roadkill. It bothers me because I assume they were all somebody's pet. There are numerous reasons why it distresses me:

1. That someone could hit a dog or a cat and not get out of the car and at least move it to the side or bring it somewhere (like animal control). I know not everybody has the time or resources but I would do that if I hit an animal because I would want somebody to do that if it was my pet. It's not a squirrel or a was a once living creature who probably had a home. Not that squirrels and birds are unimportant, but they didn't belong to someone who is wondering where they are.

2. I've lost numerous cats and it is one of the most heartbreaking things in the world. I can't even think about my former cats without getting misty eyed (as I am now, haha). So every time I see a dead cat or dog on the road, I know that probably at least one heart is broken by that loss, and that upsets me.

3. The second I see the dead animal, my mind immediately plays out this scenario of a family devastated by the loss of that animal. I imagine a little girl crying as she gets tucked into bed, asking where Fluffy is and why did Fluffy go away. I imagine the parents looking through photo albums of Fluffy and wondering what happened. I know, I have a vivid imagination.

4. I also wonder when I see roadkill whether its owners know it is there. I literally cannot imagine losing my cat and then later seeing her squished on the highway. That would kill me worse than it probably killed her.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

30 Day Meme: Day 21

Day 21 – Another moment, in great detail

This is garbage, I hate this one. I want you to take "a moment" and visit the websites I frequent.

Catalog Living. A comedian named Molly Erdman takes photos from catalogues and pretends it's in the home of Gary and Elaine, a fictional married couple. In the guise of Gary or Elaine, Molly makes funny comments about something silly in the photo.

The F$!&ing Weather. What the name suggests...a simplified version of your current weather report complete with hilarious commentary (below, in tiny letters).

Creator's Syndicate's advice columns. I have been reading the advice columns on this page since roughly mid-2007. I cannot get enough advice columns. My favourites are Advice Goddess and Dear Margo. Margo Howard is probably the sanest advice columnist (and person) I have ever read. I wish every person on earth had her sensibility.

PostSecret. Very popular now, but I began reading it back in the hay day. People send in their secrets on a postcard and every Sunday, a sampling of them are published. Insightful, heart-breaking, uplifting, inspiring...what more could you want?

Soda Finder. This one is only good if you live in the USA. This guy ships popular and hard-to-find sodas anywhere in the USA. I am a pop fanatic and wish I could use this website. I really want to try Cheerwine and am excited about the prospect of it when I'm in Atlanta this weekend!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

30 Day Meme: Day 20

Tomorrow I'm off to a wedding shower in Brampton. I have been to 2 wedding showers in my entire life and both have been in Brampton. I was only 9 or 10 at the last one. I thought by 24 that I'd be in the middle of the wedding chaos but it seems none of MY friends are getting married. Oh well! This wedding shower is for my brother's fiancee, I think I mentioned it in the last entry. I got my gift for her and I look forward to giving it to her.

Day 20 – This month, in great detail

Oh boy. Okay, I'm going to have to scrape this together carefully.

August 11-14: I didn't do much of anything, just regular old Sarnia stuff like sleeping in and applying for jobs.

August 14-17: I went to Ann Arbor to hang out with Anthony. Highlight of the trip was going to his grandpa's cottage and going swimming and jet skiing in the lake. Good times.

August 18-22: I went to Toronto for Tori's art show opening. We went to the Exhibition and it was a lot of fun. Hopefully I can go again in the coming years.

August 23-26: Sleeping a lot...I was so exhausted from my back-to-back trips.

August 27-29: Anthony came to Sarnia and we went to Goderich for a night. Anthony hasn't spend much time in Sarnia so that was a lot of fun.

August 30-September 3: Nothing, just hanging out in Sarnia.

September 4-8: I went to Ann Arbor again for Labor Day. Fun weekend full of football and bocce. I also went to Windsor to meet a friend which was a good way to end my super long Labor Day weekend.

September 9-11: Not much. Been geocaching and hanging out at home.

Darn it I'm busy!!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

30 Day Meme: Day 19

I just had one of those moments where I realized my internal clock was way off. I woke up thinking it was Monday, that I have lots of time to find a gift for my brother's fiancee's bridal shower. Then I realized it's Thursday! Guess I'm hitting the shops this afternoon.

My drive to Windsor was pretty good. It's only an hour from Ann Arbor and traffic was great. I found my friend's place pretty easily and then we attempted to find Applebees for some dinner. Firstly, Google Maps lead me to some intersection that had absolutely nothing there. After Googling it again, it lead us somewhere else. I then proceeded to make about 1500 driving errors including missing turns, nearly sideswiping another vehicle, almost driving onto a closed, ripped up road because I missed seeing where I was supposed to go, nearly knocking over a pylon, and probably a bunch of other mistakes. I was feeling pretty embarrassed but my friend didn't seem to mind so that was a relief. My excuse is that I'm not used to driving with other people in the car, especially when I don't know where I am. I'm sure next time I go to Windsor will be less chaotic. We ended up giving up on Applebees and going to Kelsey's instead. I hadn't eaten at Kelsey's in awhile, it's a treat now. The one in Sarnia closed down, I'm not sure why.

Anyway, good time had by all. I look forward to the next trip to Windsor. For being only 2 hours from Sarnia, I really haven't spent any time there.

Well, onto the meme and then I have some errands to go run!

Day 19 – Something you regret, in great detail

As a rule, I don't generally regret things. I can easily see the lesson learned in every mistake and low point in my life.

However, whenever I think of regret, the first thing that pops into my mind is college. All throughout my life, I always knew I would go to college or university right after high school. I was adamant. I wanted to move to Toronto and go to Ryerson. By the time I got to grade 12, I started to cool off on the idea of Toronto and more schooling. I realized I wasn't sure I really wanted to do theatre for the rest of my life. I couldn't figure out what I wanted to do, so I decided to take a year off.

It's now 6 years since I graduated high school and I still haven't made it to college.

In September of 2005 I had just moved to London (well, I moved in June) and was starting a new full-time job. College wasn't on my mind. In 2006 I applied and was accepted to Fanshawe College in London for an IT program. I applied probably in January or February but by the spring, we were considering leaving Ontario. We left for Rankin Inlet in August so I never made it to college. I did end up going to the college in Rankin that fall but it wasn't for anything I was really interested in and the classes were extremely easy. I don't usually count that as going to college because it required almost no effort on my part to get a 95% average.

I was happy in Nunavut and was working a well-paying job with the federal government, so college became this expensive hassle I had somehow managed to skip. However, now that I'm no longer working for the government, college is something I'm probably going to need to seriously consider.

Looking at the other side of this, I cannot imagine what I would be doing right now had I either gone to school right after high school or gone to Fanshawe in 2006. I feel like my life has turned out the way it was supposed to and to think it could have just as easily been totally different bothers me to no end.

So for now, college is something I do want to do in the near future (maybe in 2011 or 2012) but for what, I don't know, and where, no idea.

I guess I've been kind of going about life in a backward manner. It suits me quite well, though.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

30 Day Meme: Day 18

In a few short hours, I'll be leaving Ann Arbor to go to Windsor. The fun never stops in The World of Unemployed Jaime. I've never crossed the Ambassador Bridge nor have I spent much time in Windsor, I went there for an overnight trip 3 years ago. Driving in new places makes me very, very nervous but I've been doing so much of it lately that it's become a lot easier.

Yesterday after my massage I went and got a good 6-7 inches of my hair cut off plus some fresh highlights. When Anthony came home, he didn't say anything about it. I couldn't stop smiling which roused his suspicion so I asked, "Did you notice I got a ton of hair chopped off?" He said, "Oh, I thought it looked different."

Day 18 – Your favorite birthday, in great detail

Another lame question that I will attempt to answer. I suppose my favourite birthday was my 13th. I had a slumber party with my 3 best friends at the time- Tori, Caitlin, and Ashley. I'd never had a slumber party before (or since) so I guess that's why it's the most memorable birthday. I don't remember much of the birthday other than being awake pretty much all night. For my birthday I had received the Backstreet Boys' Millennium album which I think we listened to that night. At some point during the night we decided to do a "slambook" which involved you anonymously writing your true (IE negative and insulting) feelings about the other people on pieces of paper which would be read aloud afterward. Because there were only a few of us there, we all recognized each other's handwriting, haha. I don't think we got directly upset at each other, though. Later we decided we would put temporary tattoos on each other with pens. We each made a catalogue of our tattoos and the other girls would pick which one they wanted and you'd write it on them with pen.

That's about all I remember. It was 11 years ago so that's all that's left of that memory!

Subsequent birthdays have been pretty good. Other highlights include:

-Age 17: receiving Sarah Harmer's "You Were Here" album and my still-favourite perfume, OP Juice.
-Age 18: Going to Montreal for the first time.
-Age 19: Getting drunk legally.
-Age 20: Going to Montreal again (although it rained the whole time).
-Age 21: Spent driving from Halifax to Antigonish, NS.
-Age 22: A friend threw a party for me, as I had just arrived in Iqaluit.
-Age 23: Went out for wings with friends in Iqaluit.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

30 Day Meme: Day 17

Good day, I am writing this entry from Ann Arbor. I've been here since Friday. It's been a good weekend! Well, I did not get trampled at Michigan Stadium despite the record-breaking crowd. There were 113 090 people in The Big House, which broke NCAA records.

So what do 113 090 people in one place look like? Something like this:

The "UC" on the field is UConn's marching band.

It was a long day full of football. We got up really early and went for breakfast. Then we went tailgating before the game, then we watched the game, then we came home and watched football on TV for the rest of the night. I'm surprised I didn't say "Go blue!" in my sleep.

On Sunday we went a Labor Day bocce tournament at the parents' of one of Anthony's friends. It was a lot of fun! I'd never played bocce before but I ended up doing pretty well. I made it to the quarter finals before Anthony beat me. :( Some of the other people at bocce mentioned their shoulders hurt but the balls were so light I didn't think much of it. On Monday when I woke up, I could barely turn my neck! My upper back was extremely sore, even after Advil and shoulder rubs. Today I went downtown to get a professional massage and it helped a lot. I wish I could have gone yesterday, but my back was almost too sore to touch. It was nuts. I am too young for this!

Day 17 – Your favorite memory, in great detail

This is kind of a ridiculous question. There is no single point in my life I would call my favourite so I'm just going to have to pick something decent.

When I was a kid, my family went on a few trips to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. My dad had friends who owned a condominium in Pawley's Island, which is about 20 minutes from Myrtle Beach.

One afternoon my mom and I were sitting in the living room of the condo watching Rescue 911 on TV. It was a special episode about a bad hurricane that had hit South Carolina a few years earlier. The episode had clips from news reports, weather shows and frantic phone calls from people whose homes had been hit. While watching a clip from a news report warning people to immediately vacate the area, my dad walked in the front door. He stopped in his tracks when he heard what was on TV. Thinking it was real from that day, his face dropped and he shouted something along the lines of, "#$%^$#@ WE NEED TO LEAVE NOW!!!!" It was probably the funniest thing I've ever witnessed.

Friday, September 3, 2010

30 Day Meme: Day 16

Very shortly I am departing for Ann Arbor to spend the long weekend with Anthony. I'll be going to my very first University of Michigan football game in The Big House. With 110 000 other people. If I don't get trampled, I'll try to take a photo.

I have become the new American product scavenger for my family. Since I spend so much time in the USA these days, I often have to bring back stuff for my family. This time it's pickles and Danish liqueur. I don't really have any loved American favourites other than maybe White Castle and Mrs. Fields' Cookies.

Day 16 – Your first kiss, in great detail

It was almost exactly 10 years ago. It was Friday, September 15, 2000. I had just started grade 9 and one week in, I had my first boyfriend, A. I think it was on the Monday of that week that I was passed a note in Geography class. "Do you want to go out with A?" I wrote back, "Yes," and that was it. We were boyfriend girlfriend! On that Friday, we went to his grandparents' house after school. His mom was away in Hawaii for vacation. A promised me that we'd go to Hawaii together after graduation. Sitting on his makeshift bed on the floor in his grandparents' spare bedroom, A gave me a shoulder rub and then kissed me. I remember almost every detail. A then told me he loved me. I don't think I returned the sentiment.

Ah, young love. A and I did not end up dating very long as a few weeks later, he became interested in my best friend, Tori. Keeping with our ways, I wrote him a note in French class saying we were over. I think Madame may have confiscated it before A could read it, but he knew what was up. We were no longer going steady.

A and I are still friends to this day. I ended up getting involved with theatre partly because of him and later became friends with his grandparents and his mom through the theatre.

Wow, 10 years. Where does time go?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

30 Day Meme: Day 15

Yesterday my sister went back to London for school and soon my only friend left in Sarnia will be also going to school in London on a daily basis. This means Jaime is about to become very bored. As I mentioned previously, my sister and I just started geocaching together. It's definitely an activity you want a partner or two while doing. It can be a little difficult going solo. I decided to go out geocaching alone last night, and this time I rode my dad's bike. Geocaching with a bike (rather than a car or just your 2 feet) was so much fun and efficient. However, I only found two of the six I went looking for. Two I just couldn't find, two there were too many people around, and the other two I found.

Dave, you asked on Day 13's post what geocaching is. Basically, people hide weather-proof containers in public places (mainly parks it seems) and post the lat/lon coordinates on Using a GPS, you then have to find the container. It's not always as easy as it sounds! So far I've found geocaches in trees, under logs, hiding in rocks, etc. Inside there will be a logbook which you write your name and the date in. Sometimes there are little trinkets for trading. Once you're done trading or logging your name/date, you place the container back where you found it so others can have a go, too. Part of the thrill is that you're often required to use stealth and not let non-geocaching onlookers (called "muggles") see what you're doing.

If you have an iPhone, you can download the Geocaching app which makes geocaching about 100 times easier than just a standalone GPS device. If anyone is interested in geocaching and has an iPhone, I recommend downloading the free introduction version of the app, available on the iTunes store. You'll see the 3 closest caches to you and it'll guide you through your first geocaching experiences. The full app is $10 which, for an inexhaustible game you can play anywhere, is well worth it.

Hopefully I've spurred some interest in geocaching! An online friend, D of "My Bucket List" kept talking about geocaching on her Facebook, saying she bet anyone reading that there were dozens of geocaches within a mile of where they're sitting. This perked my interest as I had no idea what a geocache was and I am extremely familiar with the mile radius around my house. I thought, what is there about this area I don't already know? I downloaded the app and when I saw just how many are within a mile of my house (easily 20 or more), I HAD to get out there and try it.

Anyway, I guess I should be getting onto the daily meme now!

Day 15 – Your dreams, in great detail

I'm not sure if these are the dreams I have at night or the dreams I have about life, but I will answer this about the former.

33% of the time I have very banal, boring dreams. I frequently dream about the day that just happened, but with slight, realistic changes. This has confused me about actual events on more than one occasion. Because I often dream such normal, everyday occurrences, sometimes I can't remember if they really happened or not. I've been known to ask friends and family, "I don't know if I dreamed this, but did we have a conversation where you told me [something]?"

The other 33% of the time I have wild and humourous dreams, usually revolving around some kind of negative experience. I dream in such detail that when I relay my dreams to friends (for laughs), they remark on how much I remember about my dreams.

The last 33% of the time, I have recurring dreams. These are the recurring dreams I've had in my life:

1. While I lived in London (ON), it was a very bad and stressful time for me. I often dreamt that I was at an amusement park. I would get on a ride and suffer some kind of head injury that would leave my head in immense pain. These dreams stopped as soon as I left London.

2. Once I moved to Rankin Inlet, I started dreaming about being in a large city (usually NYC) and either trying to navigate the subway, trying to find a place to eat, or a combination of both. Nowadays this dream mostly focuses on me trying to figure out the subway system.

3. Most recently, I dreamt about being in a mall and trying to find a particular store. I spend a lot of time trying to find the store and then finally realize it's either closed (I'll be at the mall late at night) or it's no longer in the mall. I thought about this one a lot and came to the conclusion that maybe it means I've been trying to find something but my timing is always off. This makes a lot of sense because I stopped having this dream once I met Anthony.

So there you have dreams in great detail.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

30 Day Meme: Day 14

Ugh, a repeat. And not even an interesting repeat.

Day 14 – What you wore today, in great detail

A pair of green khaki shorts from Ricki's.

A heather blue Rilo Kiley t-shirt. This t-shirt but in blue.

The other usuals such as earrings and my ring. Plus underwear, a bra, socks.

Wow, this was so exciting. Not.
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