Saturday, February 27, 2010

Two Meat Markets in One Day!

Today is Saturday, the 27th of February. I just realized last night that there are only 2 days left until March is upon us. I am not sure how I went for so long not really realizing just how close to the end we are, nor am I aware of how I forgot that we are in the shortest month of the year. It was a bit of a shock to learn this because it means that there are only 5 weeks left of classes, which means that finals start right after that. Yikes. Sure the semester is kicking my ass right and left, but it coming to an end means that I have to write big scary exams which prove just how much year 3, semester 2 truly dismantled me. I actually just checked to see if the exam schedule was posted, which it is. I write my last exam on the 13th of April. Wow. I really didn't think that we would be done that soon. Holy crap, that's in exactly 6 weeks! (Reality has officially sunk in)

Today is the day that we had to present the display that we made for our Community Nutrtion class at the weekly farmer's market that they have here in Charlottetown. For this assignment, we had to get into groups and design something for the commmunity which involves teaching about nutrition or basically anything about nutrition. Our group got the opportunity to work with The PEI Healthy Eating Alliantce create a giant display regarding Nutrtion Month 2010, which we were to bring to the farmer's market and inform the public about our vast knowledge. This year's theme for Nutrition Month was "Celebrate Food...from Field To Table", which basically means that people should buy local food and support local growers (no, not those kind of growers my BC friends). Creating this display was a complete nightmare because it took a while to get a meeting set up with the people from HEA, so we were kind of left hanging, waiting to see what they wanted from us. When we did finally get the chance to sit down with them, we only had a few days (oh did I say days? I meant 36 hours) to complete it before we all went our separate ways for the UPEI reading break. But, we hauled ass and got it done to the best of our abilities. It certainly helped that one group member was overly-eager and on a mission to complete the thing, while the other is creative and crafty, which is always a huge asset when making something like this.

Since Kaylynne is in New York for the week, it was up to me and Sam to get our butts out of bed and haul everything down there this morning. We were not really looking forward to it at first, but once we were set up and started talking to the locals with their booths, and to the customers of the market, we began to warm up to the experience (and the amazing hot apple cider helped at lot too). What I really enjoyed was watching the interaction of all of the people and to begin to learn the dynamics of what goes down at the market every Saturday morning. It was this whole little community that most people never get the chance to partake in, and it was enjoyable to be a member of it, if only for a few hours. Oh, and one booth makes these amazing gluten-free chocolate chip cookies that I recommend everyone to try!

After consuming monumental amounts of calories at the market, I decided to go to the gym. Between assignments, mid-terms, traveling and jet-lag, my P90X routine for a bit mixed up and I found myself just doing random workouts the past week instead of following the guided routine, so I've decided to get back into the actual program again on Wednesday (which is usually my Day 1 for the program). I was also really curious to do my old workout and see if I would notice any changes in the amount of weight I can lift now compared to before the whole P90X obsession. There was definite change, for sure, but not a lot. Some exercises I could do an extra 5-10 pounds, which is pretty good I suppose. I decided to hit the treadmill for a bit and found that to be not as easy as it used to be. Yikes. I might have to try to get some running back into my days again. The one thing that I really noticed about being at the gym was the overwhelming reminder of how much I really don't like gyms. There was a time in my life where I would NEVER go to a gym because I just really did not enjoy the experience at all. But then I just decided to suck it up and give it a fair try...then I got used to going regularly and just blocking out my surroundings and do what I went there to accomplish. It's just such a meat market there most days. I always went in the mornings before which was great because it was all the older people who are there to socialize and get their time in at the gym before the rest of the world crawls out of bed. Those are my kind of people! But now I've gotten spoiled being able to workout at home and avoid it all. Perhaps I'm just becoming a hermit who doesn't like to be social. These things happen as we get older sometimes :) I must say though, it was awesome to be able to watch two different Olympic sports on two different TVs at the same time at the gym. Curling and slolam side-by-side. Good times, good times.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

On the Road Again....

The past 5 days have been a complete whirl-wind and I can't believe I flew to BC and back in such a small amount of time. No, I don't recommend anyone doing such a short trip with such a long distance in between start-to-finish. Going to BC always screws with my internal clock and it usually takes about 4-5 days before I start to feel semi-normal again. Only being there for 2 days wasn't easy since I had no time to catch up on sleep, and I was back on a plane before I had any chance to get my bearings straight. I did have a good power nap on the bench at the airport in Toronto, but some other dude sleeping on the floor a couple feet from me woke me up with his snoring. That's just not nice. Not only was he getting a far better sleep than me, he just had to rub it in my face as well.

So the flight there was uneventful, which is a good thing. I landed in Kelowna on time, with my dad waiting for me :) After long flights I am always famished because I don't eat much when I travel, and for some reason, every restaurant/fast food place in Kelowna closes before 11pm on a Saturday night, unless you want KFC of McDonalds.... so I ended up chowing down a not-so-tasty sandwich from 7-11 (I know, I know, but sometimes we just have to do these things!) and off we went for the trek back to Trail. Spending time in the car with my dad is always a good time. He never cares about the music I chose to listen to, and we always chat and jabber at each other until we reach our destination. I love my dad. We got home around 3am, where I was greeted with an overly excited Rizzo. I tried so hard to keep her quiet, but I can't help but laugh at her as she groans and grunts at me while trying to nip at my nose and rub herself all over me.

After a few hours of sleep I woke up to an amazing day. The temperature in BC both days I was home was at least 9 degrees, which was just awesome to come home to. Sure, it's gorgeous in PEI right now as well, but it ain't 9-10 degrees outside. Sunday was pretty chill. I watched a lot of the Olympics on my dads giant big screen TV. Oh man! Now that is the way to watch the Olympics. My dad should be selling tickets on the street so people can have a chance to watch it like that. My heart nearly broke in half when Chris Del Bosco bailed on that very last run in the Freestyle Skiing! I part of me died when I saw him lose control. I think pretty much every Canadian felt the same as I did at that moment. Poor guy.

That night we had my grandma and aunt, Pam, Graham, Amy and Cadance all over for dinner. Man I miss home cooking! My dad even fired up the BBQ which made my day. I haven't had BBQ in a long, long, long time. The next morning was the interview + drug test + fitness test + eye exam. I hope I passed all of them! The process took a little over 2 hours, which I think was really quick compared to most the candidates. I think that they were so tired of doing the endlessv interviews the entire previous week that they put us through as fast a humanly possible, which was great for me!

After the interview, myself, mom and Pam all went to Nelson for the afternoon. I had some essentials that I wanted to pick up, only to come back completely empty handed! How do they run out of the things I want during the only time that I am back in the Kootenays? Seriously?!?! Not cool. But we did go to the bakery for lunch, which was delicious as always. Plus I got to see some of my old coworkers which was fantastic. Such great people to work with. Even though the trip didn't fullfill my shopping desires, it was still a great day. The weather was beautiful again, and the mountains were gorogeous, and the town was full of snowboarders and travellers from all over the world. When we got back from Nelson, I went to Sarah's house and chilled with her and her family for a couple hours. This is my heterolifepartner whom I always miss so incredibly much every time I leave BC. Plus, every time I am home I always seem to fall in love with her kids all over again. They barely know me because they were born right before I came to PEI for school, and yet they are so warm and affectionate with me, and they call me Aunty Adrienne :) It makes me think that Sarah must talk about me with them a lot. Plus I got my shoes for Sarah's wedding!! I'll admit that I wore them around the house for the rest of the night when I got home. They are so gorgeous! I'm glad Sarah has good taste in shoes.

The next morning was my day to leave. Pam drove me to Kelowna, where we went to Orchard Park Mall, and then to Costco. I'll admit, driving 3.5 hours to go to Costco is always worth it. What is it about that place that is so enjoyable? Possibly the snacks. Yeah...the free snacks are crucial for a successful trip to Costco. Unfortunately Pam had to head back ASAP because she had to work in the morning, so she abandoned me at the airport and went on her merry way (did I say abandoned out loud????). Three and a half hours later I was on my first of several flights back to PEI.

Tip of the Day: Watch out for butts of women who sit in the aisle seat across from you on planes. Just when you least expect it, one will smack you in the face in the middle of a power nap. This is your first and only warning.

16 Hours of travel later (6 in the air and 10 waiting in airports), I'm back on the island. I went out last night to Baba's to watch Chris play Open Mike again. Even though I didn't get to sleep until 3am, I feel good! For some reason my body just kicks back into gear when I travel East. This is a very good thing. The bad thing though? The stack of homework waiting for me right now. Here I go!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Snow Day, Schmo Day

So today we had another Snow Day here on PEI. This is the second snow day this semester. I loved that I got to get up and shovel a relatively decent amount of snow this morning. It took me a little over a half hour to shovel the drive-way and clean off the cars. I have to admit that I am a bit of a freak in nature because I love shoveling snow. It's one of my simple pleasures in life. I love waking up early in the morning, looking out the window and seeing a dump-load of snow out there, just waiting to be moved around. You get to go outside, work up a little of a sweat, wave at the neighbours who are also out there moving the white stuff around. It's just great.

I've been going to school here for 3 winters now, and every year I am shocked at the amount of snow that it takes to close everything down. It's quite ridiculous. In all my years of going to school, I only remember one snow day in BC. I was in elementary school...can't remember what grade...and I think we got about a foot and a half overnight, and the only reason they decided to cancel school was because it had happened right before dawn so the plows weren't able to clear the roads in time. I do remember one day though when we had a particularly giant snowfall and the schoolbus got stuck on the way to school. This was before the new highway had been built in Trail, and the highway still went all down and through Cominco, and we got stuck up in the Cominco area. I think it took about 2 hours to get the bus out. We still went to school though after they towed us out of the snowbank. It's funny the things we remember.

I have a love/hate relationship with PEI Snow Days though. On one hand, I get to do extra things around the house that normally get overlooked the rest of the semester because I'm just too busy or lazy to get it done (like clean the bathroom! Needless to say, it's shimmering right now.) Plus it gives me the notion that there is tons of extra time to catch up on my school work and get all my assignments and studying done. This always makes me feel optimistic! Plus, I always have the time to get a good workout in which is enjoyable. Now the hate aspect of Snow Days. I actually don't ever catch up on my school work and I don't get all of my assignments and studying done because I end up slacking the day away! Like take this very second as an example. I am writing in my blog instead of doing school work. What a slacker! The other thing I don't like about Snow Days is that classes get cancelled which means that we are always playing catch-up the rest of the semester, trying to make up for that missed day (or days). Plus today is the one day of the week I really enjoy in terms of classes. Dietary Behaviour and Foods lab. Good times at UPEI on Wednesdays.

Last night I got the chance to go out with some friends, and I jumped at the opportunity. Spending hour after hour, day after day in my little jail cell bedroom, one can start to lose their mind a little bit. Tuesdays are 25 cent wing night at Hunters, and some people from work and some of Chris's friends were all going, so I tagged along. It was nice to see everyone and have real conversations. Plus I tried a beer that I have never had before, and it was quite delicious. I was sad that they don't have Keiths on tap there (what kind of bar in the Maritimes doesn't have Keiths on tap??? Seriously??), but this was tasty, therefore everything turned out alright. All is well once again.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Insert Proclaimers Lyrics

Living so incredibly far from home (approx. 5200 kms) can be hard. I miss my family, my friends, the mountains, the lakes, the beer, and of course, the hippies. Gotta love the hippies. So, the one pleasure I have here in PEI that keeps me somewhat sane is my collage of pictures on the wall in my bedroom. Every so often I get a bunch of new pictures printed and add them to my ever growing wall of people, all of whom I whole-heartily love and adore. I haven't added any new pics since just after Halloween, so it was exciting to be able to tape up a few new ones today. Being so busy with school and work, I forget to put aside the few minutes it takes to go to Shoppers and print digital photos. You'd think that I'd be avoiding getting a Pap or something, because it just seems to inconvenient to take 10 minutes to get it done. But now my wall is a little fuller and my smiles come a little easier. It's a good day.

Tip of the day: Sitting for long periods of time is bad for the bum! Ouch!

Today I had to write two exams. Originally there were three scheduled for today, but I have an swesome Prof who actually cares about her students and their incredible work-loads, so she gave us the option to write either today or on Friday. I chose to put it off until Friday because three tests in one day is just uncool. Sure it would be great to have all three over with, but passing would be even better! I didn't do very well at all on the first test today :( I think I somehow completely overlooked the section of gastric surgeries and effed that up pretty good. But I'm pretty sure that I rocked my Human Sexuality mid-term. Hopefully anyway. I left there feeling pretty confident...but then again that doesn't mean anything a lot of the time. Nah. I rocked the shit out of that test. High five!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Just a Slight Scoff

February 14th is here again. Today is the one day of the year that we are expected to go way out of our way to prove the person that we love (or lust) just how much they mean to us. I've always thought that Valentine's Day was just a big ball of nonsense. Why do we need a special day to show our signficant others how much they mean to us? I don't want to sound cynical at all, but really, today just seems like a mash of flowers, chocolates, cards, jewelry, high hopes and expectations. I have someone to spend today with, so it's not as though I'm some bitter single girl who is angry at the world because I haven't found Mr. Right yet. I love love! Love is a many splendored thing. Love lifts us up where we belong, all you need is love! I just think that the person that we want to spend our forever with should feel special, sexy and loved every day that we are with them. Remember elementary school on Valentine's Day? If your school was anything like mine, every kid in the class bought little valentines for every other kid in the class (so that no one would be left out). If you were an incredible dork like me, you also spent the whole day before baking 30 giant heart shaped sugar cookies, topped with pink vanilla cream icing, for every kid in the class. I think that this is great way to celebrate Valentine's Day. Make sure that everyone in your life is remembered and given a token of your love (even if just a cookie or a pleasant memory), not just your better-half.

Just one more week and our reading break will be here. I am very much looking forward to the break. My stress levels have decreased which is wonderful, but having a week without having to go to class will be nice. I do have the trip to BC to think about, but I've become much more exicted about that. I've decided to do a quck trip to Nelson on the Monday that I am home. There is a major birthday coming up in my circle of friends, and I think that there are a couple shops there that may be of some interest in regards to a gift (Bent Over Leather, here I come!). Plus I'd love a maniac cookie. Yuuuummm. If anyone has any plans on going to Nelson BC, please check out the Kootenay Bakery Cafe. Anything and everything in that place is amazing. I'm starting to drool just thinking about it. OH, and I have to go to Love of Shiva! Can't believe I nearly forgot about that essential stop.

Well, about a week after the death of Mr. Mouse, we learned that there was a new perpetrator amongst us. I picked up a bag of granola out of the cupboard and there was a hole in it...but I thought that maybe I had just broken the bag somehow the day before. Then that night when Kaylynne was downstairs, she heard some rustling in the cupboard, so she called us down and mentioned the sound. I opened the cupboard, and me and Sam jumped straight back as we heard the rustling of tiny mouse feet scurrying away. Trap #2 was set that night. Unfortunately trap #2 was a dud and the mouse got away with the peanut butter twice. Trap #3 was set up the following afternoon. When I got off work on Friday night, I walked into the house and both roommates turned to me and said "we think that the trap just went off!". I have somehow become the dead mouse collector of the house, so I took a peek in the cupboard to see an unpleasant scene. Poor little guy. Didn't see it coming at all. Ouch. We have trap #4 set up already, just in case. Knowing that the second mouse had free range of the house for a week before we caught him made us decide to just keep a trap out for a while to ensure the capture of any other renegades in our household.

Happy Valentine's Day. Remember, the greatest thing you will ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Friends vs. Power Control

So I'm faced with a new and small dilemma. Nothing major, just something else to preoccupy my mind. My boss wants to know if I want to continue working one shift a week to maintain my status as an employee at the store because she has magically made this new rule that if someone quits or leaves for some reason, then he/she is gone for good and your job is gone forever. But if I work one shift a week then I can stay on as an employee and if I ever want to have more shifts again in the future when I have more time, then I am free to ask for them. Hmmmm. When I first heard of this new "rule", I scoffed and thought that it was just a bitter way of threatening disgruntled employees. The absolute worst thing is to be threatened by someone who thinks that they hold supreme power over you. It's just so uncool. The one thing that is making me think that I should do the one shift a week is so that I can still hang out with my cooworkers. They're defintely worth the hassle. Plus I would really love to keep my 50% discount. Any thoughts???

Last night was Open Mike night at Baba's Lounge (PEI's smallest, yet most popular place to hear a good live band play). Chris decided that he would sign up for Open Mike for the first time ever, and it was really exciting. I've been trying to get him to go for a while now, and his friends have been badgering him about it too. He keeps saying, "oh next week, next week I'll go," but of course never does. So finally after beating him into submission he got down there last night and put his name on the list. It was just awesome to see him up there singing his own music and sounding soooo good (even though he has a cold and claimed that his voice was being an asshole). No one even noticed that he was hoarse at all. He said that he absolutely loved it...I am guessing that he is welcoming a new addiction into his life as of last night; playing live! I am hoping that he makes it a weekly thing to go play and sing every Wednesday, because it's nice to wear a shit-eating grin for the 10-12 minutes he's up there. That type of grin only comes out on special occasions, and if I am able to experience it once a week, then that would be great!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Who's that blonde waving in the distance?

Stress is so commonplace these days that we have forgotten what it's like to not be overwhelmed and that life doesn't have to be like this. Sure, stress can be helpful in certain situations, like if you have to perform under pressure, or if a dinosaur is chasing you through a forest. If you're upset or scared or feel some sense of danger, stress is there to protect us. Unfortunately, stress these days isn't coming in small, manageable doses, but rather gargantuan measures that just keep coming and coming. This is bad for several reasons: 1) it suppresses the immune system, 2) it raises blood pressure (and I really don't need a heart attack or stroke at this time in my life), 3) it causes me to eat large quantities of high caloric foods, 4) alcohol is fast becoming a good friend, 5) people don't want to be around me because I laugh or cry at the most inappropriate times, 6) people can't be around me anyway because I have no time to spend with them!

I was going to put in a picture of someone pulling out their hair or screaming hysterically, to represent my stress levels at this time, but when I googled
"Stress - Images" this picture came up, and it made me laugh, so I thought that I would share it. I hope it makes you laugh too. If anyone knows why this picture came up, please let me know. It has something to do with a "stress test", but I'm just not quite sure what's going on.

What I decided last night was that stress is taking over my life and I am done with it. It all happened yesterday when I arrived at work. Next week is Valentine's Day, one of the busiest times of the year when you work at an "Adult Store". The schedule was up for the week and I am scheduled for >35 hours for next week. Needless to say, I had a mini-breakdown in front of my coworkers because this amount of work is just completely impossible for my work load at school. Impossible. I then decided that it's time for a change in my life because this has been happening every week this semester and I am done with being a crappy employee who can't handle working the hours that I am given and passing off my shifts to my coworkers. So today, I quit my job. Yep. I did. I am in shock about it at the moment because it only happened a couple hours ago and I know that every fiber of my being is going to want to take it back and go back on my hands and knees asking for my position to be returned. I love the job, truly do. It's a really fun and entertaining job to have and I am so happy that I had to opportunity to work at the store. I am going to miss my coworkers more than anything. I am madly in love with each and every once of them and I hope that we still get to hang out every so often. Hopefully the next person they hire isn't as cool as I am, or else I will be quickly forgotten. Just a long lost blonde memory.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

My Karma Ran Over Your Dogma

Sometimes life kicks us in the knee caps and laughs running away as we tumble forward to the ground. This happens to the best of us at least once in our life. The one thing that keeps me going as I lay face down in the mud is my belief in Karma. If it wasn't for Karma, then I think that the world would be a pretty bleak place. In Buddhist teaching it says that `for every event that occurs, there will follow another event whose existence was caused by the first, and this second event will be pleasant or unpleasant according as its cause was skillful or unskillful.' I've had a run-in with Karma more times than I have fingers, so I think it's safe to say that we have a fairly intimate relationship. I think my all-time favourite aspect of this amazing phenomena is when you get to personally witness Karma occur right before your eyes. Sure, sometimes it's happening to you, but it's still fascinating to watch. I'm not going to reference who or why I am bringing up this subject. I just want to remind everyone that if you can't get away with everything and not expect consequences. I'm just saying! Like gravity, Karma is so basic we don't even notice it.

So the little mouse in the house was repeatedly stealing the food from the traps and getting away. We decided that he should get three chances, and if he wasn't caught then we would have to resort to the other kind of traps. A quick snap and lights out. Well, it didn't take long for that little guy to get his bulb burnt out. We woke up to a sad little scenario in the cereal cupboard yesterday morning. Poor little dude. He had his chance at a whole new life, but he took the sneaky route and just had to steal the bait and run. Oh well. Now he's in mousey heaven where they leave peanut butter jars open and the cheese blocks are the size of Volkwagens.

I've actually had a rather hectic and mentally exhausting few days. Back in January I applied for a job at Cominco, oh wait! Teck. Sorry. I keep forgetting about the name change. They hire students every summer to do "student positions" which I am not even sure of what that entails yet...but last year they didn't hire students because of the recession, which is why I ended up staying in PEI for the summer. Anyway, this year business must be good because they are hiring again, so I applied and I got put on the short list, which means that I get an interview. And of course, they interviews HAVE to be in person, NO EXCEPTIONS, and the only days that they were conducting interviews are Feb 15-18th. This did not fall in my favour since I have an assignment due on the 15th, 2 midterms on the 16th, lab on the 17th and a presentation on the 18th. Anyway around this?? No, not really. I had a small mental breakdown listing off the pros and cons of traveling to BC for a couple days (like lack of money and time vs. the chance at making a good chunk of money over the summer). I talked to my dad and asked him if doing the trip was worth it, which he assured me it was because it would easily pay for my next year at school. But then he had a bit of a freak out saying that Teck is so unaccommodating to the kids in Eastern schools and that the whole system is crap...yeah yeah dad. I know, but what can ya do??
I talked to some instructors about moving some things around, and everyone was amazingly awesome (which is why I love this school), so I felt that I could figure this all out and book an interview for the 18th. I called BC Wednesday to book the interview only to find out that they decided to conduct interviews on the 22nd as well, so that Eastern schools could get to BC during their reading break (ours is the last week in Feb)! This made me very happy! Apparently someone complained that Teck's interview schedule was crap for some schools (, so they made some changes. So, I now have an interview on the 22nd for a summer job at Stinky ol' Cominco. Unfortunately this trip will be basically all business and no pleasure because I am heading back to PEI almost as soon as I can. I cannot take a whole week off from work. That's just never going to happen. The next step in all of this was telling my boss that I need time off to do a quick trip to BC for another job. Ha! Yesterday afternoon I stopped in the store to tell her about it all, but she wasn't there, as always, so I left a note. Leaving a note is so tacky, but what are my options? She needs to know ASAP and I need to not think about it anymore. I have a sneaking suspicion that a good ol' fashioned firing is in my near future...especially when I tell her that I'm going to probably take on another job and want my hours cut back at the store. Yep. A definite canning is on my way.