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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Crazy Weekend

I can finally lift my arms enough to type and therefore am now able to update my blog on my wonderful weekend.

First I can report - no major accidents resulting in the use of crutches, tensor bandages, slings or canes befell me during the 24 hour period.  However, I did have a slight eye injury when I hit myself in the face with my own water bottle.  Not quite sure how that happened but it was early on and most likely I was just excited at the prospect of a turn around the 4 KM field.

It started out a cold and chilly day with a lower than expected turnout on the field.  I think most people were huddled around their campfires trying to stay warm until it was their turn to take to the track.  We had a fabulous team captain who would run each team member, with our team flag around the lap of the course and out the stadium gates.  He would then pick you up on the other side so you could make your entrance to great fanfare. 

The track consisted of one lap around Swaanguard stadium and then up and out the gate to run a complete circuit around Central park and back to the stadium.  I was looking forward to my brisk 'walk'.  We were actually about 30 minutes ahead of schedule when it came to my turn but I told them not to worry as I would slow it down for us and get us back on track.  That was my intention.  How was I supposed to know there would be kids lined up along the way cheering me on and offering me words of encouragement and water (one young kid was so enthusiastic that when I refused water, he ran after me saying I had to take it).  When I saw what was happening with the cheer squad, I had no choice but to pick up the pace.  You can't very well cheer on someone walking.  I also had no idea, when I went back to walking when I was out of every one's line of sight, that I would then come upon a group of soldiers also cheering on the runners.  Well, you must know what I had to do.  I perked the girls up high in front, squeezed the butt cheeks in and winked as I calmly jogged up beside them.  One even fell into step with me for a hundred yards or so.  Let me tell you, that damn near killed me.

While my plan of walking the 4KM didn't quite pan out, I was pretty proud of myself.  I did the circuit of walk/run in 22 minutes.  As I came up the hill into the stadium I was looking forward to my turn to be run in to the cheers of the fans with my team flag flying high beside me.  No one was there.  Literally, my team had disappeared to the tent.  I was the only one cheering me on.  I must say, I felt a little let down.

When I arrived at the tent, they were all sitting there eating hot dogs and surprised to see me.  They all figured I would be at least 40 minutes.  There was nothing I could do but scarf down three wieners and a bottle of water.

It was quite the day.  I ended up doing another circuit at about 9pm that night - much slower as the soldiers were now gone.  I listened to some incredible live music throughout the day, enjoyed the beer garden, boccie ball and meeting a wide variety of new people.  I had such a great time and readily committed to doing it again next year.  That is until I tried to get out of bed the next morning.  Oy Vey!  I was a hurtin girl Sunday and Monday.  The "lotsa fat carbs" didn't seem to help at all.

As for the cutey on my team, he did seem receptive to my outfit, hair, makeup, earrings, perfume, sneakers and bra.  However, turns out he had a wedding to attend and had to leave early.  Oh well.  I did find out he is neither married or gay (asked his friend for confirmation - felt very high school).

I have included a picture of part of my team - Heather, Nancy and I.This is after my non-entrance back to the field, And of me and Nancy prior to my first turn.  This is after my non-entrance back to the field,


Stay tuned - it seems I am going zip lining at Grouse this weekend.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Can a girl wear Spanx to a 24 hour relay?

That is the big question of the day. 

I was talking with a friend and telling her about my participation in this weekend's 24 hour relay and she told me the only way to survive the ordeal was to load up on carbs.    I immediately thought "I can do this" and with a grin on my face immediately set off to order a cupcake for breakfast.  I had heard that if you eat all your fatty stuff in the morning then it doesn't really count as you burn it off by noon - assuming of course that you do not have a desk job where you sit on your ass all day.

Wanting to be really ready for this weekend, I also headed to Tim Horton's as about 11:30am (still morning) and ordered a fully buttered bagel and 5 tim bits (they never count, morning, noon or night).  Oy Vey!  I have this lump in my stomach now.  It feels like a 5 pound weight is just sitting there in a very tight ball (I might be constipated for weeks).  That cupcake weighed about 2 pounds.

I contacted my "friend" and asked her if this was really right.  After the laughter died down she swears she said "low fat" carbs but surprisingly, what I heard was "lots of fat with carbs". 

There is only one thing left to do now.  I must leave my office and head to Sears to purchase a pair of Spanx.  After all that I have gone through with the runners, the outfit and the bra, there is no way I am letting a cupcake, a bagel and some tim bits get between me and my goal of attracting the attention of the cutey on my team.  Wish me luck.  I may not be breathing on my own by the end of this thing.

On another note, Crime Stoppers has set up shop on Granville street and have been handing out hats, pens and flashlights to passerby all day.  The police have also set up a car in the plaze where people are writing notes either right on the vehicle itself or on post-its to thank the police for their efforts and it looks like The Bay will be keeping the thank you boards up for awhile as more people take a minute to sign them.  Also downtown today was out very own "haven't met a camera I didn't love" Christy Clarke.  There she was in front of London Drugs waging war on violence (kinda ironic).  While you could hear her speak, no one could see her.  She didn't have a box or anything to stand on so it was like a disembodied voice floating across the gathered crowd.  Oddly disconcerting.

If I am still in one piece on Sunday night I will update my blog to let you know not only how the relay went but when my wedding will be.

Cheers

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Necessary update

I felt I had to do a short update with some positive news.

Hundreds of people have decended on Granville, Georgia and Robson street today loaded with mops, brooms, garbage bags and Brillo pads.  They have scraped, scrubbed, swept and picked up after the idiocy that was last night.  I don't think I have ever seen the area cleaner.

Thousands of others have left written messages on the wooden boards still covering The Bay, Sears, Starbucks and various other store windows.  The messages are of condemnation of the behaviour and pride in the city.  There are even a group of girls standing on the corner giving free hugs to passerby (oddly, a long line of men are waiting).

And finally, skinny white rapper boy is back.  I guess he figured we needed to smile and indeed, he certainly made me smile.  In fact, he made me laugh out loud.  He was just rapping about what a bad ass he was but Superman could clean his clock.  What's not to laugh about that?  Two little boys most likely about 3 years old, were dancing in the street (while dad waited in line for his free hug).

All the stores, except The Bay, are open again but there is a bit of a subdued feeling that may take awhile to dissipate.

Well, just wanted to updated the good news.

Stay tuned

Angry and Embarrassed

I was kept up most of the night due to the 5 helicopters hovering overhead.  What the hell were these people thinking?  I hesitate to refer to them as people as they behaved like animals.  The group responsible were mostly young men and a few women, under 25.  See?  This is what happens when parents stop spanking their kids and teachers became afraid of the ugly teenagers.

As reported yesterday, it started off with so much excitement and promise.  I was actually having a great time (well, except for the eye thing) and it was easy to get caught up in the energy all around you.  However, even before the game started, there seemed to be a bit of a shift.  You could feel it in the air.  In fact, one group of kids walking down the middle of Granville street started to shout "Riot 94" at the top of their lungs.  I really didn't pay much attention at the time as I figured this particular group was either in diapers back then or still just a twinkle in daddy's eye (wonder if that particular daddy wishes he could take back that twinkle?).

I watched in awe from my office 29 floors above Georgia street as the crowd surged to at least 100,000 below me.  It was quite a scene.  I was invited to watch the game from an office on the 8th floor as they had a party going in their boardroom with wine and food (two popular favorites). 

The game started off great and it was exciting to be in a room where everyone else was excited.  After the first goal and at the end of the first period, I ventured down to street level to take in the crowd.  A bigger shift had started.  The young men were no longer just yelling "Go Canucks Go" but now swearing about the Bruins, pushing and shoving and kicking the garbage can in front of the building.  The change was palpable.  I went back inside for the second period.

As the second goal was scored half way through, I figured it was time to get the hell outta dodge.  Not only did I expect a huge number of people to leave the downtown core now making transit a bit of a nightmare, but I had a feeling it might get ugly on the streets.  I had no idea how ugly.  I only thought perhaps some fighting, perhaps a broken window or two.  What happened next caught me completely by surprise.

I made it home safe and sound and totally oblivious to the mayhem that had started to take place only a few blocks  from my home.  I knew the helicopters had been up there since about 3pm - but there were only 2 - one for the police and one for a news organization.  By about 7:30pm, I looked up and counted 5 plus 3 small airplanes.  By 8:30 billows of smoke were rising above the city.  The city was on fire - cars, garbage cans, newspaper stands and the awning on The Bay.  I could hear what sounded like canons going off in the distance as police set off smoke bombs and tear gas.

I ran back inside to turn on the news to see what on earth was happening.  I was sickened to see the mayhem and the idiots who were standing around taking pictures.  My office building was surrounded and I watched while looters broke windows in The Bay, London Drugs, Pacific Centre stores, Sears, Chapters and the list goes on.  My children started calling by 9pm to make sure I was home safe and sound (aww, they love their mama).

As I arose from the train station this morning, it was to a bit of a surprise.  While I could see the broken windowns of the train station, the boards covering the windows of The Bay and London Drugs and the others, the streets themselves had been pretty much cleaned up and other than the stores being closed, it appeared to be business as usual.  Mind you, most of us were looking in around in shock and it was eerily quiet for a bustling weekday morning.

I am embarrassed by what this makes our city look like to everyone else.  The vast vast majority are feeling the same.  I think those idiots, when they are caught - and they will be as they smiled for the cameras taking their pictures - should have to not only pay the cost of clean up, but have to perform their community service by wearing  bright orange and yellow vests emblazoned with "Forgive me for being an idiot" or "I'm too stupid and need help tying my shoes" while they pick up garbage on the side of the road, paint park benches, clean the beaches or any other menial job we can think of.  Then they should have their drivers licences revoked until the value of each of the cars they burned is paid in full.  I understand that Hummer they burnt to the ground could take a few years to pay off.

I will keep you posted.  I now need to focus on this weekend and my training for the 24 hour relay.

Cheers

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

You have got to be kidding me!

So, here we are - 2pm on Wednesday afternoon - game 7 of the Stanley cup finals.  By 10am, the streets were getting crowded.  By 11am, I had trouble moving around the streets.  By 11:30, all the street vendors seemed to be set up ready to go.  By noon - I had a headache.  The horns are honking, the people cheering and someone poked me in the eye with a flag.  I might just get a black eye from it.  I mean really, a group of young men, already drunk, walking down the middle of the sidewalk waving a Canuck flag around.  I was busy minding my own business just trying to pick up a sandwich for lunch when wham!  Right in the eye!  Of course, I had just taken my glasses off because a bug landed on them and I was wiping them off so I had no protection.  I yelped - mostly in surprise - and the kid with the flag says "You should really watch where you place your eyeballs lady"  Really?  Are you kidding me?  I did what any sane person would do, I called him a rather unladylike name and kicked him in the shin.  The security guard standing in front of the Scotia Bank came over and escorted me inside.  He started to laugh and said that was the funniest thing he had seen in a long time.  The kid didn't quite know how to react.  Good thing the guard pulled me off or I might have done some real damage....not sure to whom, but still....

The silver hockey player arrived dressed up and ready to go bright and early this morning as he was already there when I emerged from the train station at 9am.  Two hot dog vendors were also already set up.  There is something about the smell of hotdogs at 9am that really does the trick in putting you in a good mood.  I really want to tell you about the woman I saw though (when I still had two good eyes).  So, I was walking down Granville and I noticed this woman coming towards me surrounded by 3 young men.  It took me a minute or two to figure out she was not wearing a Canuck jersey.  She was topless but had been body painted so well that it really looked like a very skin tight top.  The men were there to prevent other men from reaching over and trying to rub her 'shirt' off.  I must admit, I was envious.  Ahh, to be young and have your boobs stay upright without magic wires or anything.  There are other people also obviously artistic out there.  A group of three were wearing home made Stanley cup hats that are about 3 feet tall.  Hope they are not going to the arena with those.  I would hate to be the person with the seats behind them.  There is also the young lady with "Kesler, marry me" embroidered across her back.  That must have taken some time.

Well, I just looked out my window as I heard a crowd let up a huge cheer and I can see about 15,000 people all gathered around the black screens of the giant TV's.  Not sure what they are cheering at but they are tossing a couple of beach balls around.

Anyway, will keep you posted

Cheerios

Monday, June 13, 2011

Holy Schnikies!

So, it is game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals and hopefully the last.  I just went downstairs to Granville street to pick up some lunch - 90 minutes till game time and I could barely get around.  I have the perfect vantage point from my office to the giant TV screens set up on Georgia street for the game and have been watching people set up their lawn chairs since about 1pm.  If I had to hazard a guess, I would say there are already about 15,000 people seated in front of an empty television screen on Georgia street right now.  I can hear them cheering every few minutes.  Damned if I know what they are cheering at as the TV screen is black. 

They just set up another dozen or so porta potties in front of the Bank of Montreal.  The bank must just love that.

Last Friday I left the office at about 5:30pm and security had to assist me and a few others in leaving the building.  People were standing just outside our office door and I could not open it to leave.  It was wild and wacky down here.  People were dressed up in Canuck gear and colors - all but 2.  You must have heard of the green men by now.  Well, there were two young woman (at least I think they were women - by their size and the 2 bumps on their chest I think it is a fair assumption) who copied the green men - except all in red.  What that had to do with the Canucks I have no idea.  In anycase, they sure drew a crowd.  As did the silver man in skates and the full band that had set up at the corner of Granville and Robson.  It was like the Olympics all over again except the people are concentrated in just a 4 block area.

Well, other than the playoffs, I have had a very busy week.  I made my first video.  I am running (walking briskly) in the Easter Seals 24 hour relay this coming weekend (thank you to everyone who has sponsored me so far) and for fund raising you now make a goofy video instead of knocking on doors.  Holy crap!  They are not kidding about the camera adding ten pounds to you.  I appear to have had 8 cameras trained on me!  I forgot to brush my hair and am pretty sure I had poppy seeds stuck in my teeth.  Not a good omen.  I have never done anything like this before and am quite excited about it - especially after I discovered a real cutey is on my team. 

After discovering my future husband is on my team I flew into action.  First, I noticed via the video that my chest had disappeared.  Someone had stolen my bossoms.  This called for drastic measures and off I took myself in search of a new bra - one that would not only lift and separate but would give me a cleavage that would stop traffic.  A very nice clerk noticing my bewilderment at the enormous displays of various shapes, sizes, colours, water filled, gel filled, foam filled bras, offered to give me a professional fitting.  I was up for that. I explained I had been wearing the same size since puberty (save for the two pregnant years) and she said it was highly likely I was wearing the wrong size.  After she measured and told me the size, I burst into tears (not for the first time).  No one makes a pretty bra when you are built like a line backer (thanks again Dad).  Well, we dug around and finally found me two new ones in my size.  I must admit I was shocked and very pleased with the result.  I now have two separate boobs and they point south again and not north.  Now that that was completed, on to step two.  This involved getting a new outfit.  It might be a little difficult to run (walk briskly) in heals, full make up and jewelry but now that I have a very cute outfit with a full bosom, I am going to give it my best!  If he does not notice me after this then he must be gay.

I will keep you informed of my triumph this weekend and if you play your cards right, I might just invite ya'll to the wedding.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The week time will help me forget

So, I am back from a week in Toronto.  I would have updated my blog yesterday but I was so exhausted, the most I could do was move from my bed to my couch and back again.  I even needed to carry my pillow with me to help me hold up my head.  Essentially, I had most of my life force sucked right out of me by the end of the week.

Monday morning started off promising.  I arrived at the airport on time and there was no line up to check in my baggage.  I even made it through security without any real trouble.  They were showing movies I had never seen before so I had something to watch and I managed to finish 4 complete crossword puzzles.  Ok, so they were People magazine puzzles, but still , two of them were hard.  I had to guess what a Jersey Shore was as well as what a Black Eyed Pea last appeared in.  We landed in Toronto on time to a warm, sunny welcome.  Perhaps it was a little muggy but after 8 months of rain, wind and cold, I left the airport with a smile.

I checked into my room and immediately opened my laptop in an attempt to get some work done before I would try to go to bed early and adjust to the three hour time change.  I started having computer issues right away.  I had to log off about 8 times before I could get even 4 items completed.  It was time to take a break and have some dinner.  I wandered downstairs to the Pub for dinner.  As I sat by myself in the corner - with another crossword puzzle (I was determined to figure out what an Efron was), the waitress came by to tell me of the wonderful special they had tonight - Lobster Macaroni & Cheese!  MMMMMMMM, yummy.  I ordered the special and got back to my crossword.  When it arrived, I dove right in and boy it was good.  However, after about 4 bites I think I actually heard my artery's hardend and my cholesterol rise.  In fact, my chest constricted and I think my aorta closed in protest for a second.  I ended up digging around in the bowl for the lobster bits.  On the upside, it did help make me sleepy.

Tuesday morning, I awoke bright eyed and ready to go.  My cholesterol returned to normal and all blood vessels were functioning.  I made my way down to the conference breakfast and opening speakers.  I stayed for the first 2 hours before heading back to my room to try to get some work down.  I still had to do my normal job as well as cover for prairie region while I was out of town.  This is where my week started to go sideways.

I should mention that two weeks prior my computer crashed.  It took the IT department that whole time to fix but they sent it back to me all good to go the Friday before I left for the centre of the universe on Monday.  We tested it and everything.  AND THEN.... they did some upgrades over the weekend to "make things better."  I tried for three hours to make the system work so I could do my job before taking a break for lunch.  I was covered in sweat and stress as I made my way downstairs.  I entered the elevator and lo and behold, I was trapped.  I was stuck in the elevator for 20 minutes before they let me out.  Of couse as soon as I realized I was trapped, I had to pee.  I didn't have to go before I got in the elevator.  I saw this as an omen.

After lunch and one seminar session, I headed back to my room to try to get some work done.  My computer would not co-operate and I spent the next 6 hours on the phone with the IT department threatening to blow the stupid laptop up.  Finally, someone came to my room to help make it work.  It worked while he was in the room but when he left, I was back to the beginning - 3 minutes in and then it would kick me out again.  Another call to IT and the offer of giving them 10 mintes to be outside my hotel room window to catch the stupid machine when I throw it out or they can finally fix the damn thing.  I still had so much work to do and little time left.  I was to be at an Advisor function for 7pm and be on a bowling team and here was already 7:10.  I finally gave up on work and ran for the door (and the stairs) to head to the event site.  I arrived in time for a few appetizers and a cold Corona (well, if truth be told - 3) before putitng on the bowling shoes for a game of ten pin.  I actually had a great time.

At 10:30, I was on my way back to the hotel to try yet again to get my job done.  As we walked back to the Royal York hotel on Front street, we walked in front of the CBC building when holy crap!  I almost stepped on it - another dead bird had landed 5 feet in front of me.  I am definiately seeing a pattern here.  That makes three in less than 2 weeks if anyone is counting.  Back in my room I tried to get back to work.  I was given three minutes in before the system crashed and I was booted out again.  It took me until almost 2 in the morning to get trades reviewed and applications approved.  I fell into bed to the 4 hours sleep before the alarm was to go off and the fun could start all over again.

When I awoke on Wednesday, although groggy and perhaps a little hung over, I was determined to have a great day and not let my IT issues get to me.  I headed down to breakfast and a seminar session with a lighter heart.  I must learn when it comes to tech, it knows when you are in a good mood and feeling optomistic.  If you appear this way in front of your machine, you are in for a world of hurt. 

Back in my room, my laptop determined it would not even give me the three minutes anymore.  Nothing worked at all.  I packed the whole kit and kaboodle up and headed to our head office IT department 2 blocks away.  Suffice to say, I was there most of the afternoon until finally at 7:15pm my system worked - well sort of.  I was late for the Gala dinner and rushed back to my room to throw on my dress and get to the ballroom.  I made it in time for dinner to be served.  It was lovely.  After two days of stress and anxiety I was pleased to just relax with a glass of wine, some good food and lovely people.  After dessert and during the keynote speaker, I felt a wave come over me.  I was about to be sick.  Nice.  Right in front of my bosses while I was wearing heals and a dress.  Just perfect.  I rushed out of the ballroom and made it to the ladies room in time to lose my dinner.  I made it to my room in time to lose my dessert.  I climbed into bed almost in tears wishing I were home. 

Thursday morning I felt a bit better and made my way downstairs to breakfast and the closing speakers.  Afterwards, I was back in my room with my laptop trying yet again to do my job.  I was reminded of the definition of insanity "repeating the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome".  I was slowly going insane.  Back to head office and the IT department.  I offered them cash to never "upgrade" me again.  I even threatened that there was a very good chance that Air Canada would lose the laptop on my flight home.  By the end of the day, I had officially spent more time with IT than I did at the seminar.  I ended up leaving the computer with them overnight and made my way back to my room.  I had hopes of a swim in the pool followed by a massage.  The pool was closed and the massager went home with the flu.  Nice.  I had a bath and beat myself about the head with my pillow.

Friday morning I headed back to the office to IT to pick up my crap.  They finally figured out what the problem was and my system worked.  However, I now needed to head to airport so I still could not do my job.  I felt pretty good when I went back to the hotel to check out - I was going home and my laptop finally worked.  Yehaa!  I grabbed my bags and headed downstairs.  Imagine my surprise at what happened next.

I had 90 minutes to get the airport.  I had already checked in electronically so was not in too big of a rush.  I presented myself to the desk clerk for checkout and to pay the $5.03 in room charges.  When he presented me with charges of $549.99 I almost tripped over my suitcase as I staggered backwards.  What on earth was he talking about?  To make this short and sweet, it seems that someone had been running around charging food and other items to my room.  When I insisted this was not me, he had me wait while he retrieved the actual signed chits and compared them to my signature.  This took some time.  My 90 minute window was dwindling away.  In short, the signature was not even close.  Someone must have overheard my name and room number and thought it would be kind of funny to stick me with the bills.  I was getting very antsy as I tried to prove my innosence.  I was about to miss my flight.  I think my voice went up several notches and I was about to go all Rambo over the clerk's face.  As they finally realized that this was in fact not me, they were a little contrite and apologetic.  What was I going to do about my flight?  In short, the hotel called Air Canada and booked me on the next flight - at no charge to me.

I raced to the airport where I ran through like an Olympian, checked my bag and made it to security.  In my haste, I dropped my purse all over the floor.  As I was bent down to pick everything up, I was tapped on the shoulder - "Can you come with us?  You have been chosen for a full scan and search.  You can chose to go into the privacy of the room to your right if you like."  Are they kidding me?  Just once I want to travel without issues and crap happening.

To top things off, the plane was full and the only seat available was a window seat - not my favorite.  I prefer the aisle.  I had to go pee in about hour 3 of the 5 hour flight.  The fella on the aisle seat was fast asleep.  We tried, including the stewardess, to wake him with no success.  Suffice to say that by the time we landed, I was jogging through the airport to get to the ladies room.

All in all, a pretty crappy week.  The people I met were wonderful.  It was great to finally put some faces to the voices I had only ever spoken to before.

Well, this week will be a busy one as I try to catch up on everything I was supposed to do last week.  Can't say I am looking forward to it.  I need a vacation that involves sun, sand and a Swede named Sven who is the posser of magic massage hands and no technologie at all - including phones.

I will keep you posted.

Cheers