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Prairie girl with a west coast future.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

March Madness

Oh man. March is shaping up to be on heck of a busy month. Especially at work. Here's a breakdown of what's happening in this, the third month of the year:

1. Year end performance evaluations (I have to do my own, plus five for my direct reports)
2. New hire. We're bringing a new employee in to join the team on March. 29
3. In house presentation. My team and I have to wax eloquent about our jobs for 1.5 hours at the end of the month.

Also, everyone seems to be crabby in March. Probably because it's tax season. Or because it's almost, but not quite spring...

Arg. I feel I don't have enough hours at work to get things done and I wish to invent a machine that pauses time, so that I can get work stuff done and not have to be in the office at 6:30 AM.


In other (more extracurricular news), I love my Thor! My grey stormcloud of an SUV makes me happy and gives me freedom and means that I can go buy an avocado at Thrifty's ANY TIME I WANT. haha. ha.

Also, my non-work adventures have started including yoga. OH THE PAIN. Did you know that there are muscles underneath the ribcage? Because I am now very much aware of these muscles. And we are not on friendly terms right now.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Day 3 - Sunrise + Husband

So after I wrote my last post, I grabbed the camera and shoved it directly in my bag. I didn't even get distracted by Mortimer sitting in a cat loaf on the stairs.

So today, as I wandered up the hill to the bus stop, I decided to take a picture of the sunrise. Now this sunrise isn't as spectacular as some I've seen, but it does a decent job of looking pretty.

I get to start my morning with a pretty nice view, which does set the trend for the rest of the day.

And this makes me happy.

I also have a pretty fabulous husband, who bought us tickets to see Cirque du Soleil this summer.

In this picture, he's hiding behind a horror book. The man does love his horror. He's also taking me out for a fancy lunch followed by sketchy used car shopping on the weekend. Woo!

This was a "two fer" post, readers! How exciting.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Day 2 - Trees

Hmm. So you've probably not failed to notice that the whole "I will post something that makes me smile everyday" day.

Apparently, I'm not the best with keeping promises. This is good to know!

To my credit, I have had a few intensely busy days, and I do keep forgetting my camera. So those are my excuses and I'm sticking to them!

But right after I write this post, I'm going to stick the camera in my bag, so I there's no chance of me forgetting. Unless I get lost walking down the stairs (which sometimes happens. Don't judge me).

But! I do have a picture to share with you! I took it a few days ago because I was so happy that my saga with the truck driver ended with an uneasy truce (aka: I can't see his truck from my window).

So, to celebrate my small victory, here's a picture of my unobstructed view!

Maybe tomorrow I'll be able to capture the sunrise that I get to view while waiting for my bus.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Day 1 - Felines

This one is easy, so I'm starting with it.

I love my cats.

Right now, I'm not ashamed to admit that my life revolves around the two four legged residents who live in my townhouse.

Let me introduce them.

Here is Mortimer:

He is a silver striped tabby. And he is large. He weighs roughly the same as a small whale.

He is often belligerent and judgemental.

He can usually be found either:

1. Rolling on the ground exposing his belly
2. Sleeping
3. Eating
4. Napping
5. Resting
6. In a zen state of meditation that looks like sleeping to the untrained eye

This is Io:

Named after a tragic Greek heroine, Io is the smaller of the two cats. She is also less "intellectually inclined", as it were.

She is loud. Very loud.

She makes a variety of noises and tends to harass all members of the household, including (and most especially) Mortimer.

And I'm feeling happy! So the experiment, so far, is a success.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Finding Rose Coloured Glasses

Two posts in two days? I am on fire!

I was spurred to writes this post after receiving a thoughtful email from one of my readers.

She pointed out that my blog entries had a rather gloomy theme as of late. She then all but challenged me to see beauty in the mundane.

This email really resonated with me, and I realized that I have spent too much of my time either worrying or fixating or stressing about one things or another.

And, yes, there were brief moments and flashes of joy and wonder, but they were buried by drudgery and everyday minutia.

And, truthfully, I haven't been writing about beautiful things, because I haven't being seeing the beautiful things.

I've decided to give myself a challenge, which I will uphold for you, dear readers.

For the next week, I'm going to carry around a camera. And I'm going to task myself to take a least one picture a day of something that touches and moves me.

And then I'm going to post the picture to this blog and share with you the moment that I've captured.

I can't guarantee that you'll see prize winning photographs, but I can guarantee you'll see images that speak to my heart.

And that is my promise.

I think I need to cast off the shackles of pessimism and cynicism and start treasuring those small, quiet moments.

I want to thank the reader who emailed me. She put this idea into motion and really caused me to think about what I'm choosing to see in this world.

I'm sure I'll still use this blog to capture the not-so-beautiful moments of my life, but I will also make more of an effort to capture the things that make this world just a little bit happier.

I have to also say that, as I write this, I'm sitting in my office looking at my newly reclaimed view of the trees. I have my window open just enough to hear the rain and there is subtle perfection in this moment.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Importance of Foliage

So, I've been having a wee bit of a tiff with another resident of my townhouse complex, and it led me to think about marginal people who don't like trees.

Here's some backstory:

Our townhouse is at the very top of the complex and backs onto a fire lane, which is chained off at the top to prevent people from using it as a through-road. This lane is primarily used by pedestrians and bikers and happens to afford me a beautiful view of the trees.

For the last few months, some individual has been parking his commercial (read: GIANT) bucket truck on this fire lane...directly adjacent to my backyard.

This upsets me for a number of reasons, most of them having to due with the fact that this vehicle basically blocks the sun.

When this truck is parked there, I lose my view of the trees. I worked very hard to find that view, and I don't appreciate someone impeding that.

Vancouver is not as awash with greenspace as one might think. Yes, there are parks and protected areas, but there is also a massively growing population who like to cut down forests in order to build ridiculously sprawling houses.

The fact that we even have a view of trees behind our townhouse is precious to me.

And so I went about trying to defend my right to view trees with the veracity and single mindedness of a pitbull.

I became intimately familiar with my city's bylaws, I talked to city officials and I talked to strata council.

The answer I received from all parties was a variation on the "that truck can park wherever it likes" theme.

Those who know me, understand that I can get a bit...single-minded about things that bug me. I have no ability to compartmentalize. If something bothers me, I will focus and dwell on it until:

a) I am driven crazy
b) I find a solution
c) I find something new to fixate on

In this case, I actually ran into the owner of the truck one dreary, rainy morning and tried (nicely) to persuade him to park SOMEWHERE THAT WASN'T NEAR MY BACKYARD. I used the "I like trees" argument to close my case.

The truck owner looked at me like I was a nutbar and told me that he would "try". He also told me that he "didn't see the big deal with trees."

It was at this moment where I knew that truck owner and I would never be best friends. I cannot be cordial with someone who doesn't "get" why trees are a big deal.


The uneasy truce has played out and the truck is now parked slightly lower than it was before, thus blocking someone else's view of the trees.

I have my trees back. Even though I can still see the horrible truck, at least I kind of have to go out of my way to see it, so it's at least not directly in my face.

I do still secretly hope that "I hate trees" guy gets a job that forces him to re-locate to Alberta, where he'll be quite at home with his kind. And then can all drive big trucks and laugh at nature together.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Business 101

Due to overwhelming pleading from my multitude of readers (aka: gentle harassment from my mom), I decided to update my blog again.


Since I last wrote, I have done the following:

1. Witnessed a risque dance number performed by several grey-haired women. The routine, set to the tune of "Hey Big Spender", came mid way through the birthday party for an established octogenarian.

2. Fully embraced post-Olympic Vancouver and reveled at the distinct lack of cheerful tourists blocking every foreseeable intersection.

3. Lost 2 pounds through a mysterious regime known as "Watching TV, Eating Salty Food and Not Moving Very Much".

Most excitingly, however, I (along with two friends), have decided to start a business!

Granted, much of this discussion did happen over 1 (or 3) pitchers of Sangria, but I think the idea has legs.

Here's the gist. The three of us are:

a) reasonably well educated (together, we have a combination of 3 Master's Degrees and 4 Bachelors' Degrees)
b) at odds with our current, dull, full time jobs
c) in need of a creative outlet

The combination of these circumstances has created the perfect storm of an idea.

The three of us are looking to start a writing, editing, researching collective. We want to take the rough work of students, fledgling companies, etc. and make it...better. We want to shape text and delete extraneous commas! We want to research obscure things for obscure people! We want to make money!

And we're not going into this completely blind. The mother of one of my friends does this kind of stuff for a living and is approaching retirement. Not only can she give us tips, but we might be able to steal her client list!

I'm cautiously excited about this prospect. I'm not exactly entrepreneurial, but I do have a talent with words and I'd like to be able to use those skills to bring in some coin.

Right now, we're at the OH GOD WHAT DO WE CALL OURSELVES phase. I've tasked my mom to come up with potential names and she's been blowing up my phone and email with ideas.

Actually, I'm surprised she hasn't called while I've been writing this entry!


(I love you mom, but writing this blogs means I get to make fun of you on the internet sometimes...)

So this is a very new idea, born of desperation and alcoholic beverages (but, really, isn't that how the best ideas are born?!)

I'll keep you updated. And if you have any ideas for a company name, feel free to email me. Or email my mom and run them by her.