Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Shoulder Numbing and Head Butting

I have been a very lazy blogger lately. I blame it on my shoulder, lack of inspiration to blog and evil landlords.

The shoulder situation began last Monday when I noticed that my shoulder had magically become numb for no apparent reason. Hmm. Strange. I shook it off, the feeling came back and went about my day. An hour later the numbness returned. Hmm. Shook it off and once again the feeling returned. After a few days of this annoying routine I decided to try to figure out what was going on so yesterday I had a massage from a local masseuse. Before the massage we talked a lot about my daily routines and any exercise or hobbies that may be causing the problem, then she went to town on my back and shoulder in hopes of finding a reason for the continuous numbness. There were some of her hypotheses for my problem: 1) Biking. My posture and the constant bending of the wrist on the handle-bars is causing a chain reaction through the wrist, up the arm and into the shoulder where I am bracing every bounce and turn from the bike. Solution - buy some biking gloves and raise the handle-bars on the bike. 2) My job. The constant movement of my left arm has tightened the muscles in my chest and shoulder. 3) Insanely tight pec muscles. Considering I don't really work out my chest muscles, I was shocked when she told me that I have an aggressively tight left pectoral. She suggested I put a hot water bottle on my chest every night in hopes of it loosening the tightness a bit. I hope it works.

My lack of inspiration to blog stems mostly from my boring life. Ok, I take that back. That's just me coping out of the true reason which is my embarrassingly terrible memory. Back when I went to school full-time, I always had my little black notebook on me so if I had an idea for a blog then I would write it down immediately and later that day I would look in the book to remind myself of the idea. Now whenever I have an idea I forget it about 2 minutes later since I don't carry the book around with me anymore, so later in the evening when I have the desire to type something out, I am at a loss of what I wanted to talk about. LAME!

Evil Landlords is the main topic on my brain these days and the constant head butting that has be happening for the past 8 months. This story begins way back in January when we had the horrible experience of dealing with bedbugs in our apartment (remember that fun time?). Well, a few months later we got a call from the landlords asking us to come to their office for a chat. This chat consisted of them asking us to pay for the extermination bill. We declined their generous offer because really, how is it our fault that we moved into their apartment, got bitten by dozens of disgusting parasites, had to wash every inch of fabric we owned, got put out of the apartment for 2 nights and now get to sleep on a lovely plastic bed sheet? So another few months go by and we receive a letter from the Office of the Director of Residential Rental Property saying that our landlords are going to proceed legally to get us to pay this bill. Seriously? C'mon! So we go down there to do our part and explain our story to the Rental Board, which they document, and tell us to wait for a letter telling us when out court date is. UGH. Two days ago the letter finally came so on September 7th we have to go before a judge and let him/her decide what the deal is. I feel that this is such fanatical bullshit and I want to go down there to the main office of our landlords and just scream at them for being so petty and cheap! Is it not your duty to provide a safe and habitable living environment for your tenants? Doesn't the infestation of parasites in a tenant's apartment qualify as an unsafe and unfit living environment? I'm sorry, but I think so.

This whole thing has gotten me so wound up, mostly because we can't afford to pay this rather large exterminator fee. Plus it just seems to petty considering these landlords are famously wealthy people who own so much property in this town. I think that if the word got out that they had bedbugs in their apartment building and they were forcing tenants to pay to get rid of them, this would cause a bit of talk amongst possible renters. Wouldn't you agree??

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Shout Out!

I just wanted to send out a big thanks to the amazing Kelly who made me a cake and brought it down last night. I'm guessing she must have read my last blog post and whipped up the little delicacy to fulfill my birthday cake needs.

And, it was delicious!

I wanted to take a picture and post it along with this but I forgot to take one last night and when I woke up this morning, Chris had taken a big chunk out of the cake so the true essence of its cuteness would not be as evident by what it looks like now. All you need to know is that there was a giant A in the middle made out of mini-Rolos. Really, you can never go wrong with Rolos.

Thank you Kelly. That was incredibly sweet and I thank you for putting so much love and effort into your creation. I feel honoured that you did that, so thank you again.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Another One Bites The Dust

Well, I am officially a whole year older, as of yesterday that is. Yep, the old birthday has come and past and yet I feel...yep... pretty much the same as I did 2 days ago. A bit more itchy since the mosquitoes had a bit of a feast on my limbs today, but otherwise still as young and fresh as always!

My main birthday celebration happened on Friday night at Baba's Lounge. I had a group of friends all meet me there for drinks and to listen to Chris's band who had a show that night. I was happy that they began the show by having Chris play "acoustically" a couple of my favourite songs, just for me. I felt so special. Unfortunately everyone in my celebratory group trickled out of the bar quite early so my night ended quite a bit sooner than I would have liked, but I did have to work in the morning so it was probably for the best. The beers were going down much too easily for my 8am wake-up call.

The next day I worked until 3:30pm and afterwards Chris and I headed to his sister's house to go for a swim in their pool. It was lovely. Nothing like jumping into a swimming pool after a long sweaty day at work. Plus I got to hang out with a couple of his nieces which is always fun. After swimming, a quick shower and a phone call from my parents which included a hilarious rendition of "Happy Birthday", we went to Fishbones a delicious supper and even got a round of free drinks since it was my birthday! Horray for free alcohol!

Today is Sunday which means another long day at work. But Sundays are always really busy so the time went by quickly and all of the regulars who come in every weekend are generally very pleasant to serve. After work Chris and I went and grabbed Farley Mowatt and headed to one of the beaches to take him for a good swim and play session. Plus Chris wanted to go for a swim too so it worked out swimmingly for the two of them.

Did ya catch that? Huh? Huh? Ok, moving on.

Today I learned that Farley is a great swimmer, even though he does not do all that great with bringing the ball back from the water. I also learned that no one abides to the "All Dogs Must Be Leashed At All Times" signs that they post at the public beaches. This suited us well though.

Tip of the Day: Ocean water gives dogs diarrhea when they play in it for an hour. Just a warning to you all who may not know that.

One thing I noticed last night is that this is the first birthday in all my years that I have never had a birthday cake of some sorts on the day of my birthday. Not gonna lie...this realization me a little sad. I should have went out and bought myself a cupcake or something. I might have to treat myself tomorrow when I am out and about in town. Mmmmm. I am thinking Leonhards Bakery. Damn, they're closed on Mondays. I might have to wait til Tuesday to fulfill my birthday cake desires.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Lookin' Good

Today I stumbled upon a website that I want to share with everyone! It's called My Body Gallery (mybodygallery.com) and what it is is a website where women upload pictures of their bodies along with their dimensions and clothing sizes. Its purpose is for other women to be able to look at the bodies of women with the same dimensions as themselves and be able to actually see and compare what a similar sized body looks like. This sounds a bit strange but let me explain. I love this idea so much!

I am very guilty of overestimating my body size and apparently the majority of women overestimate their waist width by 25% and their hips by 15%. That's fairly huge if you think about it. Have you ever seen that show "How to Look Good Naked"? It's a great show because it shows how women actually do think that they are larger than they really are and teaches them to love and appreciate their bodies. Most of us have at least one (but most of us have multiple) part of the body that we wish we could make thinner, plumper, rounder, flatter, firmer...just change! The number of times I have looked at a hot girl walking down the street and thought, "If only I had her legs...or butt...or abs..." or whatever amazing body part this particular woman possessed, is countless.

So the whole point of this website is that someone who has a distorted image of her body, which is 95% of us, can punch in her own measurements and see other women who have the same measurements. I think that a lot of women are going to be surprised with what they see and I also think that many will be pleasantly surprised. Not only are these real women with real bodies that are similar to our own, aka, the ones we put up with everyday, but they will see that they are smaller than the previously believed. I really hope that women will take the time to visit this site and get a good look at beautiful women with similar shapes and form. I also hope they will take a good look at their own bodies and try not to constantly put down what they have to work with.

Tip of the Day: There's always plastic surgery if you really hate it.

2nd Tip of the Day: Remember though, plastic surgery is painful and expensive and there's a good chance you will come out looking like a human sized Bratz doll. Scary!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Personal Best

If there is anything that I appreciate about this island is that it encouraged me to buy a bike and ever since that day in McQueen's Bike Shop, I have become so much in love with riding my bike. The scenery alone will cause a person to become addicted to riding in the countryside. The green fields all dotted with acres of flowers, all bright yellows and purples, not to mention black and whites of all the dairy cows along the way. Plus the foxes, rabbits, chipmunks and brightly coloured birds are a delight to see nearly every trip out there.

What I really like about riding is that I am constantly reaching these personal milestones that I set for myself in terms of distance traveled. I have been sticking to about the same distance for a while now but today I went farther and did a personal best with a round trip of 42kms. Now 42kms really isn't that far and a lot of the time I know that I can go much further, but I always have this persistent voice in the back of my head reminding me that I have to turn back and cover that distance again. Riding one way is easy...it's the trip back home that can be a bit treacherous when my energy reserves are dwindling. What I would really love to do one day is ride my bike until I can physically no longer ride, then either have someone come get me or get a ride home somehow. I would like to know how far I can actually go without needing to go back the way I came. I think I might surprise myself.

On a different note, to those who have been asking, my dad got through his surgery with flying colours and is re-cooperating at his sister's house in Victoria. He was told he had to stay in Victoria for a few days after his discharge from the hospital but since all is well, he will be flying back home tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Culinary Nostalgia

It all started today at work when 2 men both ordered root beer floats. When I passed by their table after they had received their drinks and were well into annihilating the floats, I could see that they both had this look on their face that is similar to a very excited child. It made me smile because all I could think was how these 2 guys had to be feeling huge nostalgia for these classic drinks that one can always relate to being a child. I mean, think about it. Pop and ice cream combined into one glass. Plus you get to eat it with both a spoon and a straw. It's sweet, messy, sticky and delicious - the perfect recipe for any child.

This whole scene made me think of food nostalgia and which foods remind me of certain people in my life and the places these interactions occured.

My mom - Gotta be homemade cookies. My mom is a really good cook but really, when I think back to growing up and my mom, helping her bake cookies was one of my favourite activities. I'd push my chair up against the counter and peer into the magical bowl of blended ingredients (always stealing a bite of raw batter when her back was turned) and wait for my job to be assigned. The best would be dipping sugar cookies into brightly coloured icings and adding sprinkles.

My dad - When I think of my dad I have to think of ice cream. I can't think of anyone who loves ice cream more than my dad. Back when I used to be able to eat ample amounts of ice cream on a daily basis, one summer my dad and I went on a mission to find the best chocolate ice cream in town. We bought so many tubs of ice cream during that time, absolutely determined to find the chocolatiest chocolate ice cream available to the public. Now that I have stupid stomach problems that keep me from indulging in ice cream, my dad will offer me the best bite of his so that I can still have a tiny mouthful of childhood memories.

My Grandma Marbach - This one is too easy. Perogies. Handmade, handcrafted by my grandma who puts so much love into each little dumpling. She would stuff them with simple ingredients like cottage cheese or potato and onion, then boil and fry them in lots of butter. Also, she would serve them with sour cream, onions, bacon and melted butter to pour on top, just in case your arteries weren't aching enough already. It would always be such an event when everyone piled in the car to head to grandma's for one of those family favourite meals. We would all be buzzing with excitement that it was perogy day. The house would be so warm and smell so rich and amazing. Yum.

Grandma Neufeld - It's funny that when I think of this grandma I remember foods that were not homemade but still hold a warm place in my heart. I think back to foods that are incredibly highly processed and they were special because they were something we only got when we went to Grams so they were a treat. Corn dogs and Zoodles tie for my favourite memory of her. Corn dogs were that food we would get when we were at the house and out in the yard playing when hunger struck and food was needed fast! She would tell us to run downstairs and grab some Pogos from the freezer to pop into the microwave. Nothing like microwaved, ketchup drenched hot dogs covered in fried batter on a stick to make a kid happy.

Actually, the more I think about it, I think Zoodles have to be my favourite Grandma Neufeld memory food. Grandma lived about 5 minutes from my elementary school and every so often I would get to run up there on my lunch break to have lunch with her. This was awesome for many reasons. First - I didn't have to make a lunch for myself the day before (yes, I made my own lunches as a kid!) Second - I got to leave the school grounds for an hour while most of the other kids had to stay. Hahaha! Third - I knew my grandma would have something yummy and warm waiting for me on the table when I got to the house. Most of the time, it was Zoodles! Zoodles and Stoned Wheat Crackers with butter! Fourth - I got to see my grandma.

So not only does food nourish the body, but it also nourishes the soul. The faint scent of a certain food can trigger vivid memories or emotions of a time past. This was a fun post to write. It made me think of 4 people whom I love very much and of some foods, a few of which I shall never eat again, that make me happy to associate with these people.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Trampolines and Super-Soakers

I have made my way through the 2 days of travel to get back to PEI safe and sound. As always, my trip back home was way too short and I didn't get to spend near enough time with everyone. Some of my favourite memories of this trip seem to revolve around trampolines, super-soakers (aka, awesome water guns!) and at one point, both at the same time. Here are some examples:

1) Going to my friend's son's 6th birthday party where the majority of his gifts were giant water guns. One even had a water pack that you wear on your back to hold extra ammo. Six kids all screaming and spraying each other with water is always entertaining.

2) Chris getting involved in this chaos. At one point he got cornered by the kids (one even had the hose) so he thought that jumping on the trampoline would be a good way to dodge the spray. Nope. All this created was him getting beaten down by the kids as they all circled around the trampoline and sprayed him from every side. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time.

3) Jer came over one day while I was making supper and he had in his arms 5 (yes 5) brand new water guns that he had just bought. Him, Chris and Cadance all had a battle in the yard, until she started crying because she thinks it's OK for her to spray everyone else but it's the end of the world if she gets wet. That's when I stepped in. In between my oven timers I would run down to the backyard and grab my gun to partake in the fun. I was soaked in less than 5 minutes. I think my retaliation was pretty good though.

4) One day I went to Sarah's with Chris and Cadance. Splash managed to break out of the yard and met up with us half way down the street on the way to Sarah's new house (did I mention she moved to a house in the same neighbourhood as my parents??!!) While at the house, Chris was bouncing on the trampoline with the kids when Splash started to get nervous about what was happening on the large bouncy device they were all on. So she jumped up on it. I never ever would have guessed that she would have stayed on as long as she did. She bounced and wagged her little doggie tail for a good few minutes before she decided that it was too effed up for her. I was very proud of her bravery.

It was a really emotional trip and leaving BC was a very difficult feat this time. My dad is having heart surgery next week and it nearly killed me to leave. I am still wondering why I left and I feel extreme guilt for not staying. Also, it was the first time I have ever traveled back to PEI when I really didn't have to. Normally I am in BC for a short visit then head back to the island to start another semester of school. Now that school is over I couldn't help but ask myself, "why am I going back?" I have had offers from cousins in both Calgary and Victoria of going and staying with them while I search for a "real world job", as I like to call it. Where I go from here depends on the job market and whether or not I can stay away from my dad for any length of time.

I hate making decisions. Truly.