Friday, February 29, 2008
Here's a picture of you during our trip to Europe Feb 2004... we searched for this little guy and Voilá! We found him... don't you look happy???
Anyhoo, back to the Book of the Week. In honour of Denise I shall choose something that her and I both love - Julie Garwood... I think this may be in your top 5 Julie Garwood picks, but pardon me if I'm a bit off...
From the Editors:
In the feuding English court, gentle Lady Madelyne suffered the cruel whims of her ruthless brother, Baron Louddon. Then, in vengeance for a bitter crime, Baron Duncan of Wexton—the Wolf—unleashed his warriors against Louddon''s main. Exquisite Madelyne was the prize he captured...but when he gazed upon the proud beauty, he pledged to protect her with his life. In his rough-hewn castle, Duncan proved true to his honor. But when at last their noble passion conquered them both, she surrendered with all her soul. Now, for love, Madelyne would stand fast...as bravely as her Lord, the powerful Wolf who fought for...Honor''s Splendour.
I can attest that it is a good book, as are most of Julie's - and although it isn't set in Scotland I can work with the English background, plus it is historical and we know how much I love that... Can you tell I'm a hopeless romantic?
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
(I've highlighted a few I really think are important)
To celebrate growing older, Regina Brett of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio once wrote the 45 lessons life taught her. It is the most-requested column she ever wrote. Her odometer rolled over to 50 this week, so here's her update;
1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past, so it won't mess up the present.
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don't compare your life to others! You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye but don't worry; God never blinks. ( really ? )
16. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.
17. You can get through anything if you stay put today.
18. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, and wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, and then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: "In five years, will this matter?"
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
35. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
37. Your children/grandchildren get only one childhood. Make it memorable.
38. Read the Psalms. They cover every human emotion.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
41. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
42. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
43. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
44. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
45. The best is yet to come.
46. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
47. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
48. If you don't ask, you don't get.
49. Yield. (But, not into temptation...)
50. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift
Update: Still no word on tonight's ceremony... I'm assuming it is not a go... damn it!
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
I did however go for a run last night after my toning class... and I was faster than ever before - which means I am making progress somewhat.. yeah!!!
Tonight is another run, to make up for missing my class this morning. Afterwards its home to clean my mess of a room and make dinner / lunch for tomorrow.
Speaking of tomorrow, no word yet on if my ceremony is postponed yet again... that also sucks... and then Thursday I give plasma again and start the weekend of house sitting. I also get to eat cake on Thursday as it is Sandy's birthday (mmmmm, cake!) and then a special dinner on Friday as it is Denise's ACTUAL birthday... yeah!!!!
OK, I'm done for now, we'll chat later.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
- Eating candy for breakfast is fun
- Walking down to Starbucks wearing only a thin hoody and vest, no gloves, no scarf and no hat in February reminds me of France, and therefore makes me happy
- Full fat Cinnamon Dolce Lattes, with whipping cream are decadent
- Crave Cupcakes are both pretty and yummy... so I guess that makes them pretty yummy
- Sunday TV is garbage
- Running in Kensington at 10:00 at night is a bit scary and perhaps dangerous, but that just makes me run faster
- After perusing crappy Sunday TV I've decided that I want pretty Oscar worthy hair and gowns, and of course jewelry
- Looking forward to ridiculous bar b que dinner with Job #2 is fun, cause it's Sunday and I can eat all sorts of bad things
- My apartment is lovely and it will be sad if I have to leave it
- My roommate is fun and I will be sad when she leaves (thanks for the starbies!!!)
Friday, February 22, 2008
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Overheard in my office just now...
A lender from the Financial Institution that my company deals with just called our liason officer and this is what she said.. no exageration....
"Um, yeah, I tried to email you the information that you asked for, but the email was returned, and I'm not sure why...."
after a bit of investigation this is what we figured was the problem.... the lender wrote, as the email address... (I'll use my name here as an example.. ) "lspencer the at symbol fnf.ca"
no joke - this women actually wrote "the at symbol" instead of @ ... wow.....
Asked in a bookstore..
"Um, excuse me - do you have a litterary section?" My response - well, yes we do - it's the entire store, what might you be looking for?
This next one was asked to me one day - and the funny thing is, the two ladies were dead serious, and argued with me and my manager about it...
"Hi, we're looking for a book that our friend was telling us about - it's a BRAND NEW book by TOLSTOY.... called THE THREE MUSKATEERS..." At this request I turned to my manager, opened my eyes quite wide and tried to explain that
A) Leo Tolstoy died in 1912 and thus has not released any books in the last say, century... although I do recognize that it could be a re-release
B) Alexandre Dumas wrote the book The Three Muskateers around 1850, in France, not Russia.
They argued with us for about 10 minutes, and I even took them to each of the author's respective section... needless to say they didn't believe us and left in a bit of a huff....
And one more story for good measure...
While in the history section a lady looking quite barbie-ish comes up and asks me for a book... a historical memoir as she just finished on on Attila the Hun.....fine enough, we don't have a section for that but we started to look through the shelves for something that fit the bill... I found one about Mohammed and his descendants. I picked it up, showed it to her with a helpful "How about this one?"
She replied "Um, who is Mohamed?" - now fair enough, maybe she didn't know who he was so I tried to explain that he was the founder (for lack of a better term) of Islam...
She cocks her head to one side and says "I don't get it"... so I try to explain what Islam is - and added, "If you are Muslim, you follow the Islam faith..."
Still nothing - she was really, really not getting it, so I try with the geographical reference - Most Countries in the Middle East, and many countries in Asia are Muslim, plus a lot of people in Europe and N. America are Muslim too... basically it is a HUGE religion in the world....
At this point she was still in the dark and I couldn't deal with this anymore - has she not watched a news broadcast in the last 10 years? Is she not aware of 9-11?
I pushed the book into her hand, and said, maybe you should take this one then...
Wow, if this is what the world has come to... I am scared!
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
On another note, I've done something bad to the top, front part of my thigh.... it's either my satorius, or my rectus femoris... ouch! I've iced it and carefully stretched it but it still hurts - any suggestions?
Not sure what the hell is going on... I have learned to live with my house being about 17 degrees, and I am an electricity nazi... I am pretty much at a loss for words... this is not good.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Monday, February 18, 2008
So apparently I really enjoy crying in public. Perhaps I shall make it my new hobby. I'm talking of course about the fact that I watched PS I Love You and pretty much had tears running down my face the entire time. I'm not sure if it is because my beloved Movie Husband Gerard dies, or if the story is sad, or if I'm a total suck... in any case I was quite embarrassed as I exited the theatre with glossy, red eyes. The movie itself was good, but I am biased, I would watch anything Gerard is in, well that and the fact that accents abound in the film. We had dinner before hand and it was tasty, Open Sesame really does make a nice snack.
Today however is a lovely day off. The sun is shining, my house is clean, I slept in, life is good.... except that I train tonight - yuck.
Oh, I suppose I should also mention something about Saturday night's shenanigans..... 80's Party Chez Eleni - Lucky for us she never disappoints and it was fun - crazy clothes, crazy makeup, crazy hair - lots of Crown Royale... a good night for sure. Thanks Len!
Friday, February 15, 2008
"You will soon be crossing great waters on a fun vacation"
Seriously.... that is just not funny... (ps, if you don't get what I am alluding to, I leave for Basic on Vancouver Island in 70 days... )
From the Publisher:
As good a rifle company as any in the world, Easy Company, 506th Airborne Division, U.S. Army, kept getting the tough assignments -- responsible for everything from parachuting into France early D-Day morning to the capture of Hitler''s Eagle''s Nest at Berchtesgaden. In Band of Brothers, Ambrose tells of the men in this brave unit who fought, went hungry, froze, and died, a company that took 150 percent casualties and considered the Purple Heart a badge of office. Drawing on hours of interviews with survivors as well as the soldiers'' journals and letters, Stephen Ambrose recounts the stories, often in the men''s own words, of these American heroes
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
This is a brief summary of what I remember:
We toured around,
ate delicious ham sandwiches,
saw the sites (Eiffel tower, Tomb of Napoleon, Arc de Triomph, Champs Elysees, The Louvre, Hotel des Invalides, Musee D'Orsay, Notre Dame, Sacre Coeur, Montmatre, Tons of Metro Stops and moving sidewalks, Sainte Chapelle, Versailles (those cookies from the train station), am I forgetting anything?)
spent a lovely Valentines Day eating chinese,
soaked up the french atmosphere,
searched and searched for our fantastic scarves
jumped a high speed Thalys train to Brussels,
ate loads more (mmm, those waffles, those bizarre hot dogs, the Yop I drank for dinner daily, the Wasa crackers we gorged ourselves on, and the weird huge vending machines),
walked, walked and walked and thus happened to see a variety of European everything including: Grand Place, Le Bourse, EU Buildings, NATO buildings, Court Buildings, Mini Europe, Place du Sablon, Centraal Station and of course Le Manekin Pis)
Toured Ghent (the flowers)
Toured Brugges (the canals, Le Grand Place, the trees at the convent, the lace factory)
Toured Antwerp (the DIAMONDS!!)
Sadly Denise flew off to continue her European escapades in the UK, and I was to return to my crazy students. Good times indeed!
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
This morning I booked myself in for a massage at the laser health centre on the 2nd floor of my office tower, and wow, it was great. She has some magic hands, that massage lady... my shoulders are much better and my neck is amazing - well done to her! I have a different massage booked for a month from now - a gift certificate from my sisters for christmas - that also should be just about perfect as it falls during the last week of my course. I will however need to begin swimming the following week, which may or may not suck, we'll see.
Tonight I think I'll pop by the gym for a quick run as I need to step that up a notch - maybe I'll do 4 miles tonight - and then it's home for dinner, making lunch for tomorrow, maybe have a visitor and then fall into a blissful sleep... my life is quite boring these days...
Oh, one more thing to mention - I am still waiting for the go ahead from Ottawa for my swearing in ceremony. Apparently they are still waiting for my old service records. Weird thing is though, they've had since October to get this all done, why the hold up now? Bottom line is that they ceremony may not actually happen tomorrow night, which sucks big time... oh well, there is nothing left to do but wait - I guess that means I am a civilian for another week or so... meh...
Monday, February 11, 2008
In all seriousness though, I had quite an admiration for the WWII Vets, this miniseries has only made that admiration grow - they were quite a bunch. The sad thing is though that now I look around at the men that would have been the same age and I do not see any sort of courage / determination / resourcefulness / pure strength that those men possesed, it is a real shame.
I'll have to find another 3 hours to watch the rest of the movie, hopefully this week - but with my schedule I guess we'll see.
Saturday, February 9, 2008
Results from the fitness test were good, lost 7.5 lbs, 3 inches in the waist... a bit disappointed, but hopefully I've gained loads more muscle. Sit ups were better than before 45 vs 53 in one minute, and push ups were much better 30 vs 50 this time. I am slowly but surely making my way.... but hey, one pant size down is not too bad either right?
Now, I'm off to Job #2, and then tomorrow I get a washer and dryer... yeah!!!! Laundry at home, what a luxury!
Friday, February 8, 2008
In any case I recommend it to all of you - if you happen to be in Calgary of course. Here's the listing from the website:
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2008
Explore North West Europe's War Memorial Destinations with the Museums (KOCR) archivist Al Judson
Since 1867, Canadians have served around the world in military actions for the cause of peace and freedom. Many feel that Canada was born on the battlefields of Europe, as over 116,000 gave their lives over the past century. Back by popular demand and armed with over 80 photographs, Al Judson, the Museum's own regimental historian, will take you on a journey of the notable war memorials of North West Europe.
Mr. Judson's passion for military history commenced while studying for his Arts Degree at the University of Calgary in 1989. His extensive contribution as a volunteer with the Museum of the Regiments (now called The Military Museums) began in 1995 when he volunteered to be a museum host. In 1996, he retired from his employment at the University of Calgary and became a near full-time volunteer with the King's Own Calgary Regiment as an archivist and regimental historian.
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Other fun news.. yesterday I left my favourite pair of sunglasses in the ladies room of the the 2nd floor in my office tower. I was changing from my kickboxing stuff into work attire and left them there - I know, real smart move Linda... but by the time I remembered where I left them it was 4 hours later and of course they were gone. I posted a Lost poster with a picture of the glasses (google images is so great) and offered a reward for their return. I really just hoped that some nice samaritan would call. I waited all afternoon and just as I was leaving the building they called. Naturally I was uber exicted and planned to pick them up the next morning but decided that a Starbucks gift certificate would probably be a nice gesture - so there I was this am, gift certificate in hand I popped into her office and thanked her profusely for calling. When I got back upstairs to my office she called me again thanking me for the gift card... how nice is that?
Other fun news from yesterday... I had a lovely 4 hour chat with my neighbour. Turns out his little brother locked him out of the apartment and took off to the gym so he needed my phone to call him. The really funny thing is that this was at 9pm and he didn't end up laving my place until 1 am, but his brother still wasn't home yet.... Poor guy had to go to his girlfriend's house to sleep... It was a nice time though... I never knew my neighbour grew up in the next community to mine when we were young and that he was such a nice guy, interesting as well... too bad we are all leaving in a few months...
I should also mention today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent.. I think I'll give up swearing... I seem to be muttering some less than flattering things lately...
I'm off to resistance training in a few minutes and then home to clean out the storage room in time for the new washer and dryer!!! I shall leave you with this last thought though. Did you do anything nice for anyone today?
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Other than the rearranging of my calendar I am experiencing some very acute sugar cravings. Maybe it's due to the fact that we have Lemon Meringue Pie, Carrot Cake and both Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter cookies in the kitchen. Darn it!
Tonight I'm making mini sirloin hamburgers for dinner with a nice salad. Yum, but it isn't a Peanut Butter cookie, that's for sure!
Monday, February 4, 2008
Saturday, February 2, 2008
At least the workout week is over, I have tomorrow to look forward to, and the snacks, oh the snacks!
K, night for now, I'm going to clean the house and get to bed, early for once...
Friday, February 1, 2008
Observed at: Toronto Pearson Int'l Airport
Date: 5:28 PM EST Friday 1 February 2008
Condition: Light Snow
Pressure: 100.9 kPa
Visibility: 1 km
Humidity: 90 %
Wind: ENE 18 km
Calgary Int'l Airport
Date: 3:00 PM MST Friday 1 February 2008
Pressure: 101.2 kPa
Visibility: 32 km
May I remind you all that earlier this week our temperature with windchill was approaching -50°C and yet we were all diligently working away at our offices... wow, this is so reminiscent of the time they called the Military in when it snowed...
Un - freakin -believable... and people wonder why I have a problem with Toronto...
With the end of the cold war, the role of the American military has shifted in emphasis from making war to keeping peace. "The best way to see where the U.S. military is going is to look at the marines today," says Ricks, as the other armed forces have begun to emulate the marine model. To understand Parris Island--a central experience in the life of every marine--is to understand the ethos of the Marine Corps. Ricks examines the recent changes in the Standard Operating Procedures for Recruit Training (the bible of Parris Island), which indicate how the corps is dealing with critical social and political issues like race relations, gender equality, and sexual orientation. Making the Corps pierces the USMC's "sis-boom-bah" mythology to help outsiders understand this most esoteric and eccentric of U.S. armed forces. --Tim Hogan