July 29: Yessssssssssss.

Remember how the Rock has a four-day long weekend at the end of July? To celebrate...cricket? Yes, well, it does. And it starts today, when the work day ends at 5:00.

I'm not into cricket at all, and I certainly am not into snow cones (which seem to play a major role in the celebrations), but I am into a four-day weekend with hot, hot weather and maybe a tiny bit of boating thrown in for fun. That's pretty much all we have planned for the four days but I'm looking forward a lot of down time. I'm hoping to start taking photos of all of the stuff we're going to sell before we move...time to get rid of a lot of random furniture we never sit on/eat off of/look at. I'm also looking forward to sleeping in and eating some chips. Because that's what holidays are for.

I'm going to try to take some photos this weekend, because I haven't been doing a lot of that lately and think I should be trying to capture some summer shots. The weather has been great lately (hot though...our apartment is over 30 degrees when we get home after work) and not too humid yet, so that will probably set in while we're away and we'll come back to the greenhouse I remember the Rock being this time last year. Awesome.

In other news, I'm now a week and a half away from a plane ride!

July 28: Blonde dot com.

Please check out my link to Blonde dot com, the Internet's latest addition, written by the soon-to-be-famous-for-blogging blonde friend of mine who shall remain nameless for the time being. But who's name you should be able to figure out by referring to her blog. She's so funny she makes me pee.

July 27: So.

Major accomplishments today:

1) Secured our fabulous new apartment! Yup...it's all ours. At the end of October, which seems SO far away and especially so, since I'm SO excited to move now that we have such a great place to move in to. And yes, there is room for houseguests, so come on down. Just don't all come at once.

Can't. Wait.

2) Secured second interview for the job!!! And subsequently began freaking out obsessively over the interview, which is with my other boss. Who is the most lovely person in the world, and who I have a huge amount of respect and admiration for, but perhaps those are the reasons why I'm so nervous about the interview. I interviewed for my current position with only the other boss (and this one via conference call), so I don't really have a point of reference for interview style, but it's at 11:15 tomorrow morning, so I don't have to freak about it for that much longer.


We celebrated the above with a lovely dinner at the Lighthouse tonight, out on a patio overlooking...everything. You can see both ends of the country from up there and it was a beautiful, sunny, clear evening. I had caesar salad and the piccante pizza, and K had a mozzarella and tomato salad with a pizza topped with prosciutto, arugula and parmesan. Yum.

Hopefully we'll have even more to celebrate later in the week. My fingers are crossed, but I saw the calibre of candidates and so I'm trying to keep my expectations in check.

July 27: Mememememememe...

1. What time did you get up this morning? 6:30...had to catch the early ferry in this morning to get all the work done I was supposed to finish on Friday but didn't. Because it was Friday.

2. How do you like your steak? Alive. Or very occasionally medium.

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? What the eff is a cinema? The last movie I saw in a theatre was "He's Just Not That Into You" in Grand Cayman with Ash and Andy...in February. I obviously don't get to the cinema very often.

4. What is your favorite TV Show? I'm enjoying True Blood and Hung (HBO, HBO). Other favorites include Entourage (HBO), Big Love (HBO), and my all-time favorite, Sex and the City (HBO). I am sensing a theme.

5. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? Right now, I am A-OK with the Rock. But my home Rock will always be #1 for me.

6. What did you have for breakfast? Breakfast? Terrible...I know...

7. What is your favorite cuisine? Malaysian. It's like a glorious mixture of Indian and Thai.

8. What foods do you dislike? Watermelon.

9. Favorite Place to Eat? Heron Rock and Haveli in Canada. Rustico on the Rock.

10. Favorite dressing? Champagne viniagrette.

11.What kind of vehicle do you drive? No vehicle.

12. What are your favorite clothes? My weekend wear...shirts, tanks, flip flops.

13. Where would you visit if you had the chance? Barcelona.

14. Cup 1/2 empty or 1/2 full? 1/2 full, actually.

15. Where would you want to retire? I think I'd try to spend part of the year somewhere warm, so maybe a Victoria/Rock combo would work out.

16. Favorite time of day? Early early morning, if I'm awake in time to see it.

17. Where were you born? Victoria.

18. What is your favorite sport to watch? Gymnastics.

19. Who do you think will not tag you back? No one, since I won't tag anyone.

20. Person you expect to tag you back first? like I said

21. Who are you most curious about their responses to this? Mine.

22. Bird watcher? Sure, if there is a bird around, I will watch it.

23. Are you a morning person or a night person? I love early mornings but I am a night owl. This rarely works out.

24. Do you have any pets? Yes, Harley the cat who now lives with my parents.

25. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share? I rented a new and FABULOUS apartment today!

26. What did you want to be when you were little? A lawyer. Nerd!

27. What is your best childhood memory? Playing with my sister and the cousins at Hornby.

28. Are you a cat or dog person? 100% cat.

29. Are you married? No. That was awkward.

30. Always wear your seat belt? Yes, I like to arrive alive.

31. Been in a car accident? Yes, I drove into the back of a fish and chips delivery vehicle in Cook Street Village circa 2001 and it cost my Dad a fortune because they had a flippin' Echo (boo) and we had to replace the whole back end. Thanks again, Dad!

32. Any pet peeves? Ignorance and when people spell my name wrong. IT'S NOT HARD!

33. Favorite Pizza Toppings? Capers and spicy stuff.

34. Favorite Flower? Pink oleanders. And yes, I know they are poisonous and deadly.

35. Favorite ice cream? Chocolate peanut butter.

36. Favorite fast food restaurant? No fast food on the Rock.

37. How many times did you fail your driver's test? Zero.

38. From whom did you get your last email? From myself...reminding myself to do something.

39. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? Anthropologie.

40. Do anything spontaneous lately? Hmmmm...no, I don't think so....

41. Like your job? Mostly.

42. Broccoli? OK.

43. What was your favorite vacation? Spain/England 2006.

44. Last person you went out to dinner with? My man, just this evening. We sat on a patio overlooking the whole country and toasted to our new fabulous apartment.

45. What are you listening to right now? Myself, typing.

46. What is your favorite color? Emerald green.

47. How many tattoos do you have? None

48. How many are you tagging for this quiz? is this a test?

49. What time did you finish this quiz? 8:10 p.m.

50. Coffee Drinker? Soy lattes.

July 26: Lazy Sunday.

Today we had a bit of a late start. I kept waking up last night...at 2:00 a.m., 5:00 a.m., and then at 7:00 a.m. because some CRAZY rain was beating down on the roof so hard that it actually woke me up. I took a peek outside and couldn't even see across the street. And then when we headed out this morning, at around 10:00, there was not a cloud in the sky and everything was dry, dry, dry. I love weather like that. Things get watered...but I don't have to get wet. Plus, I love the sound of rain when I'm all cozy in bed. The best.

We saw another apartment this morning and I, for one, fell in love. Head over heels. It had absolutely everything on our "wishlist", minus a pool, but it had so many extras and bonuses that we never thought we'd be able to find in our price range, that I think we're going to go for it. I'm more of an impulse shopper, while Kurt likes to mull things over, so in fairness to him...I'm waiting out the mulling. I hope he's done mulling soon though, because I can't wait to call and say YES. I WOULD like the apartment with the gorgeous views, private backyard, granite and stainless kitchen and biggest closet ever. I would like that. And I would even like the pet it comes with - a 30 year old tortoise named George who lives behind the house in a little igloo. He reminded me a bit of Harley...about the same activity level. Anyways, it was amazing.

After we drooled all over the apartment, we headed to Melrose Place for an afternoon swim and BBQ. Melrose Place is what we call the complex that Sarah lives in, where we looked at the apartment last week. We spent the day floating around, evening out tan lines (where appropriate), and sipping on cold drinks. Not a terrible way to spend a Sunday, I have to say.

Tomorrow kicks off a three day work week for us, which is awesome. So, tonight is more like a Tuesday night than a Sunday night. I love that.

I hope everyone had an awesome weekend. Hopefully I'll have some big news this week...job or house related...or both!


The interview went well. Really well. Like, I'd be surprised if I didn't get a second interview well. It is a huge leap from what I'm doing now, in every sense of the word, but it sounds perfect for me and something that I know I could do well. It would also mean a very hefty raise...which would be amazing. My fingers and toes are all appropriately crossed, but now I'm going to have a hard time keeping myself from obsessing about it all weekend. The good news is that I know that they're going to make a decision quickly, so I shouldn't have to deal with my nerves for long. One way or the other, I expect to be put out of my misery by Tuesday or Wednesday.


Kurt went out tonight with work, but I stayed home and watched a Lindsay Lohan movie on my own. Saddest story you've ever heard, right? Well, it gets worse. The movie was the worst. movie. ever. Shocking, I know. At least she could have surprised me with a decent flick but no...the Lohan hit a new low with her latest. Ouch.

July 23: Yikes.

I have an interview at 4:00 tomorrow afternoon. With my boss. For something fairly big. And I am freaking out.

Details will be forthcoming.

July 23: FML.

Yesterday, I spent 40 minutes walking around outside in a black dress in sweltering heat, trying to purchase revenue stamps. This involved going to three different buildings, dealing with numerous unhelpful people, and discovering that addresses on one side of the street IN NO WAY correspond with the addresses on the other, to the extent that they are even marked. So, #51? Practically miles down the same street from #50 and #52. WTF. I finally got what I was looking for, after a run in with a broken pay phone or two, and I trudged back to the office totally defeated. A 10 minute mission had taken me nearly an hour, through no fault of my own. Just because THAT IS HOW IT IS.

Sometimes, I truly have to restrain myself from jumping into a cab to the airport and throwing myself into the baggage compartment on the next plane out of here. To anywhere. FML.

July 21: Apartment Hunting.

We went to see the first apartment of our apartment search yesterday evening. Our lease is up at the end of October, so we're looking for something for either October or November 1st...which means that there's not actually a lot for us to look at just yet.

The apartment we went to see was in the same complex that a good friend of ours lives in, and has a pool and little outdoor area that is not only really cute, but really private and hardly used by the tenants, which is kind of nice. So, it would be kind of like having our OWN POOL. Kind of. The apartment itself was smaller than what we have now, but it's much closer to town and would force us to get rid of some of the excess furniture we have accumulated over the past two years...like the mini bar fridge that we've never even opened, much less used. It came free with our bed.

If it were up to me, and only me, we would have signed a lease last night and been done with our search. But Kurt is more methodical than I am and wants to "look around" to see other places before making a decision. We don't have a lot of time to think about this one, since I know she's eager to rent it.

I hate moving.

July 19: F My Life.

I love that website, by the way.

Today was the perfect Sunday. A late start, a bit of brekkie, beach time with lots of swimming, a beverage or two...maybe some ice cream. Perhaps.

We headed out to the beach at around noon. Kurt was showing us (us being myself and our friend Amy, of last night's date) a "secret" beach that he had only just discovered via another friend who has only been on the Rock for 6 months and yet seems to know about absolutely everything cool that we have never heard of. Like this beach. It is gorgeous. Secluded. Deserted. Clean. And not ghetto, like the other beach we tend to spend time at, mostly because it's the island default. It's also the beach that all of the cruise ships send their passengers to en masse, meaning that it is a sea of pasty-skinned tourists, yelling at their sulky teenagers and letting it all hang out. Literally. It's not gorgeous.

So, I guess my point is that the beach we went to today was a diamond in the rough. It WAS gorgeous and we are so going back, like every Sunday.

I did the obligatory application of SPF prior to getting on the bike this morning, thinking that I'd had so much sun already this year that if I missed a little spot here or there, or didn't re-apply directly after coming out of the water, I'd probably still do OK. My skin tends to get pretty dark and once it's past a certain point, I know I'm not going to burn anymore. I still like to cover up, but I don't fret about it too much because honestly, we don't get to the beach as often as we'd like to, and I don't spend hours and hours baking in the sun. Anyways, we got to the beach, I took a quick dip in the beautiful blue waves, stretched out on the towel and fell asleep.

Mistake #1.

I woke up feeling pretty hot and bothered, so I got back into the water to cool down. I spent about half an hour bobbing around in the waves, dodging fish and trying to keep my bathing suit bottoms on, before getting back out and spending another hour or so reading on the towel.

Mistake #2.

Both mistakes being, of course, the absence of even a half-assed attempt at re-applying sunscreen.

Now, shortly before bedtime, I am facing the distinct prospect of waking up tomorrow looking like someone who had a terrible facial done by someone who hated me. Burned. Nose, cheeks, forehead. Awesome. Oh, and the backs of my legs, my lower back, my stomach and my chest. FML. I know it's no one's fault but my own and can't for the life of me imagine what would make me so irresponsible as to believe that my skin is invincible to harmful UV rays.

The worst part? I commute to work every day with my dermatologist, a women who takes such care to avoid any iota of a UV ray that she has the complexion of a corpse. She is a lovely person, and (as you can imagine) a fantastic dermatologist, but I know there will be disapproval in her eyes tomorrow morning when she surveys the UV damage I have sustained this weekend. Awkward.

July 18: Three weeks minus one day...

...until we're on the plane! I'm seriously getting so excited. I'm like a kid before Christmas when I have a trip home looming...all of the things I miss the most packed into a fun week? Pretty much nothing better than that, in my opinion.

We've finally decided to drag ourselves outside into the sweltering heat and make something of our Saturday. It's so ridiculously hot here. Not even a good "let's go to the beach hot". It's more of an "oh my god my skin is melting" kind of hot. Blech.

We're going to go find ourselves a nice lunch and a cold drink somewhere, preferably in the shade. Tonight, I have a "date" with my friend Amy. We're going to find a bite to eat and then go and get a bit artsy by joining the art gallery and checking out their latest exhibit. Apparently, members can showcase photography, so this might be something I can do down the road, when I get my shit together and actually start taking some photographs again. Luckily, Amy is also into cameras and such, so maybe a future "date" could be to go out and take some photos of the flowers, the water, the fried chicken...you know. The cultural stuff.

K is going out with some guys from work to play poker, which is funny since I know for a fact that he does not know how to play poker at all. I'm glad he's taking his own money.

OK. Procrastination needs to stop...time to get OFF the COUCH and ON with the DAY. Because it's already half over! Happy Saturday!

July 18: SaturDAY.

It's almost noon and I'm still lounging around the house, looking a bit "unkempt" (my hair is a disaster these days - haircut booked for August 2), and feeling a bit lazy. I don't feel unproductive though, because I just finished July's Book Club book and now I'm ready to discuss it with the ladies this week over some wine. Verdict? I liked it. It was a heavy read - easy TO read, but difficult to take in. Mostly because many of the stories are written by women who are still serving their sentences, so you finish reading these experiences that I, for one, can not even begin to imagine, and then you start wondering about then and realize how flawed the justice system is. Which is pretty much the reason behind me finishing my criminal justice degree early and opting to do a double major in political science, to get away from the feeling of hopelessness that comes from reading or learning about the people in the system, not just the crimes.

Sad. Good book. Light summer reading? Definitely not!

Up next?

Title: The Non-Runner's Marathon Guide for Women by Dawn Dais

This will either inspire me or convince me that I'm insane to even think about doing this. I'll let you know.

July 16: Detox.

I'm not going to lie to you...I've been doing a bit of cooking again. Nothing crazy...nothing fancy...but my stove HAS been used three times this week, which is probably more than it was used in May and June combined.

Last night's meal was particularly scrumptious. It was also anti-inflammatory and full of antioxidants, protein and healthy fats. And, most importantly, it tasted good. Because if it tastes like shit, why would the rest of that matter?

On my lunch yesterday, I walked down to the most overpriced of the overpriced grocery stores and splurged on organic salmon filets. Nice and local...from the waters of Scotland to the Rock. Seriously? But, I suppose salmon aren't that into the local waters...probably too many of those nasty sea slugs we saw earlier this week and the salmon are a sophisticated fish. I can't see them mingling with the riff raff. Anyways, the butcher (fish monger) cleverly didn't post the price, so I had a minor heart attack when he handed me the wrapped package and it said $44. When I asked for four portions. Seriously...I almost handed it back. But I sucked it up, took it home and found out that he had chopped the filets pretty large, and that I could halve them easily, meaning that I got 8 servings for $44, which works out to what...$5-something apiece? For gorgeous organic salmon? In actual fact, I think I might have scored.

I wanted to keep it pretty simple because when it comes to good ingredients, the last thing you want to do is eff them up. I removed the skin, gave them a few quick sprays of olive oil from the Misto, a quick grind of sea salt and black pepper and sprinkled chopped garlic over them before putting them under the broiler. 8 minutes later, I was arranging the filets next to a big mountain of kale, sauteed with olive oil, onion and garlic, and a fresh tomato, and squeezing fresh lemon all over the whole plate.


July 15: Making a list...checking it twice...

I've already started my packing list for our trip to Victoria next month. I'm going to try to take home some of my book collection to pawn off on various readers, so that should weigh me down a bit. But, I'd rather bring them out there than leave them here to rot on the shelves. How can I possibly have this many books? Oh right. Because I have a PROBLEM. Amazon should ban me.

So far, my list includes the following:

- my good friends, Nikon and Canon. Canon fits in my purse.
- my journal, for any general reflection and/or insights I may have. Or to doodle in on the plane.
- iPod Touch, loaded with a season of a TV show (TBD)
- iPod charger
- Kurt
- cell phone, for international text messaging purposes (hi, Ash!)
- Canadian SIM card so I can actually use my allegedly international cell phone
- my local debit card, which is cleverly disguised as a VISA (and therefore accepted everywhere)
- a necklace which needs repairing
- August's Book Club Book: Middlesex

Oh, and maybe some clothing. And toothpaste. And my favorite earrings.

That's as far as I've gotten, but seeing as I'm still 3 weeks out, I think I'm doing OK.

The Mexican Egg.


- egg whites (I wimp out and use EggBeaters egg whites because who has the time to crack an egg? Not me.)
- diced onion
- salsa of your choice. My favorite is salsa verde.

Saute the onion. Add the egg whites. Scramble. When scrambled, add a titch of salsa...say, 1/3 cup. Continue to scramble. Transfer to bowl. Add hot sauce, if desired.


When I moved to Ottawa with the lovely half-Mexican, Kathie, I instantly found myself in the presence of a culinary master. Nothing Kat made was particularly difficult, or time consuming, but it was all delicious. For students, we definitely ate far better than most. It was probably during that time that I started getting interested in cooking...we whipped up some pretty great meals.

But my favorite "take away" from that tiny kitchen was Kat's Mexican eggs, which she made as often as we could get our hands on salsa verde. She was a bit fancier with hers - she used whole eggs and added cheese and other tasty add-ins to the final product, but the basics were there - onion, eggs, salsa.

Over the past few months, I've found myself heading towards the coffee shop/bakery on the way to work more often than I'd like, mostly because of the lack of quick breakfast food in the house, paired with the fact that I kept sleeping in too late to make anything. So, instead of my healthy green smoothies, I was having muffins. And by eating a muffin, I would find myself starving again by 10:00...not good. And, it was hurting my wallet a bit. Once I got into The Hormone Diet (buy it, buy it, buy it), I realized just how much harm this was probably doing. So, I took the hint, spent 5 minutes at the grocery store, diced up an onion and stored it already chopped in the fridge and now I get up and make myself a delicious meal in approximately 7 minutes. A meal that is so packed with healthy protein that it keeps me full until lunch time. I've brought back the Mexican Egg and now it's my new breakfast staple.

My jar of salsa verde is almost empty. But there is some chipotle salsa following hot on it's heels...

July 14: Tuesday...done.

I love checking off the work days. Wednesday is up next and it's almost my favorite (Thursday is my absolute top favorite work day). Though, for a Tuesday, today was pretty OK.

I am LOVING the post-work swim. Tonight we decided to wait out a thunderstorm (to avoid possible electrocution). So, we had some dinner - my famous "clean out the fridge" salads, topped with whatever vegetables I could find, some of my favorite capers, leftover teriyaki ginger chicken sausage and broiled asparagus, watched another gory episode of True Blood (is anyone else watching this awesome show?), and then went for our swim just after the sun had gone down. I did some "laps" out to some boats and back and K spent his time in the shallower water, checking out the many, many fish who are very interested in these new intruders. I swear, no one swims there. Ever. The fish are not amused, but they are trying to act casual and disinterested. It's not working. We also saw a gigantic sea slug that I could have done without...it wasn't your standard colorful coral reef creature. Nemo would have puked if he had seen this thing.

Just over three weeks until we're on the plane, heading to Victoria. I can't believe that it's already half-way through July. We didn't have much planned for this trip (well, we DID, but obviously the schedule eased up significantly when we postponed the wedding), but now in the last week the days have started to fill up with dates, dinners, a junior high school reunion (more on that later), and a jewelry-making class that I'm pretty excited about. I think it's going to be an awesome trip. And then, a month later, we're heading to Ottawa for another week, though that will be more of a working trip, I think. We've decided to go through the tiny mountain of belongings we left behind, pare it down, and bring back quite a bit of it to the Rock. It's time to move here, I think. And by that, I mean that it's time to bring all of the GOOD kitchen stuff that we left behind thinking that it might get ruined by the INSANE HUMIDITY AND MOULD that everyone was talking about before we got here and which we have yet to experience. Kitchen items, a few of my favorite hats, my journals, and I'm sure we'll find other odds and ends to pack up and bring back with us...I'm kind of looking forward to seeing what we crammed into those bins in our mad rush to leave in '07.

...and kind of worried that we might have accidentally thrown in something that perhaps wasn't supposed to spend two years in a bin in a basement...it might not be pretty.

We also have to purchase a gas insert for the fireplace in our house, since our lovely tenants had to deal with a broken one last year. I have never purchased a gas insert before and have absolutely no idea of what is involved, but hopefully it's as simple as buying a couch or a lightbulb, because that's about the amount of effort I feel like putting into it.

July 13: What took us so long?

After work, we walked home from the ferry stop in some VERY intense heat. The Rock has gone from being tolerable to being ridiculously hot in a very short period of time and by the time we got to our door, we were pretty much gasping for a breath of air-conditioned air. Sad. So, we threw on our bathing suits and headed back out for a quick dip in the tiny bay behind our house. We've lived in our apartment for a year and a half and tonight was the first time that we've ever actually swam in our backyard, though we have swam nearby. It was awesome. The water is still cool and refreshing for another month or so and we were back to normal body temperature in no time. I think this might become a new evening ritual...I really can't think of a better way to end the day.

July 11: Blah Saturday.

Seriously...after an awesome weekend last weekend, I had high hopes for this one. These were taken care of today when we both woke up snippy, grouchy and just generally feeling blah. Despite a gorgeous day and a decent night of sleep. I suppose that happens sometimes.

We went to one of our favorite restaurants for a light lunch and for a little drive and really accomplished very little besides that. Oh well. There's always Sunday.

Some friends back home have mentioned that their employers, in an attempt to cut costs, have offered staff 4 day work weeks at a pro-rated salary. Interesting. On one hand I'd say no effin' way am I giving up a day's salary. ON THE OTHER HAND...I would love a standard Wednesday off. Who wouldn't? I could handle two day work weeks. Especially if I had kiddos running around, since it's unlikely that I will be able to be home with them otherwise, especially if we happen to live here, in the land of the $8.99 cereal.

In other news...I am devouring a fantastic book by a fantastic (and Canadian!) naturopath, Dr. Natasha Turner. She is brilliant. I ordered her book, The Hormone Diet, to see if it would give any tips on how to reduce cortisol levels, since I suspect that both Kurt and I are suffering from some fairly extreme stress, just with everything that has been going on, etc. Anyways, it's a really interesting book, VERY well researched and well endorsed by medical professionals from all over, and it's already given me some very good insight on other things I've dealt with, health-wise, throughout my life. Fascinating stuff, and a really easy read. It has a slight slant to the weight-loss side of balancing hormones, but is generally about achieving total wellness...and who doesn't need a little of that? Highly recommended.

July 10: Mail!

Package #1: A little gift from my Mom, who sends the best mail of all.

Package #2: Bridesmaids gifts. So pretty!

Package #3: Two books I ordered on running a marathon when you wouldn't actually consider yourself to be a "runner".

Package #4: A necklace I've been waiting for forever, which apparently was shipped all over the USA before making its way to me.

I love mail. Even mail I pay for. Enough shopping for now though...Canada is looming and Canada has malls.

July 10: Postal Excitement.

So, normally my mailbox gets a weekly dumping of bills and junk mail and that's about it. Yesterday, however, I came home to a happier mailbox than normal. Not only did I get a lovely card from one of my aunts, but I also got TWO parcel notifications, neither of which were expected. When I shop online, I have a U.S. address that I use to send the goods to, and from where they are shipped to me on the Rock. Many stores won't ship international and with a U.S. address, I can normally get free shipping deals as well, which is aweseome. The shipping between the U.S. and the Rock is not free, but it's not terrible and they take care of all of the duty charges, etc. so that all I have to do is pick it up and pay my Visa bill. All in all, a pretty decent deal and has helped enormously when I've tried to get my hands on a book or something that I can't track down here.

Anyways...I wasn't expecting anything to be delivered to my apartment, so the notices are a bit mysterious. What could they be? The only idea I have is that one of them is a shipment of gifts I'd purchased for my bridesmaids that I couldn't cancel in time (well, maybe I could have, but I didn't want to) and that they shipped it directly to my billing address instead of my shipping address in the States. I'm leaving early today to hopefully get to the post office before making my 8:20 ferry. I can't wait. I really LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE to get mail that isn't bills!

July 10: Annoyed...

Apparently, I am not clever enough to figure out how to have the date post as a header on the new blog template. I was sure there would be a "fix" somewhere on Google but my search has turned up empty-handed so I'm just going to try to remember to include the date in the post title for now. HTML = sucks.

Impulsive Shopper.

Today on my lunch hour I decided to spontaneously pop into to a store that always has fabulously dressed mannequins in the windows. Seriously, they change them twice a day and every single time I walk by, I see something I want. However, their stuff is usually priced out of the realm of what I will pay without vomiting. I don't mind paying for something that's good quality, that I know I'll get a lot of use out of, and that I'll have for a long time. When I see a t-shirt with a $98 price tag on it for no apparent reason - in that, there is nothing remarkable about the t-shirt except maybe the name on the label - I get annoyed.

I took a chance today and for the first time ever, I didn't walk out empty-handed. I found a hemp fiber ivory wrap sweater with fun sleeves, a sundress with some ruffly flair and a silk Karen Kane shirt for 50% off. Sweet. I haven't bought many things for myself since I was home in April, except maybe some books, so I feel like a few cute things for summer were well deserved and a tad overdue.

I love summer clothes, but I'm just a *tiny* bit excited about what the Rideau Centre might have in store for me during the time I'm in Ottawa in September. I do love a back to school special.

Hmmm...maybe not.

On second thought, the likelihood that plane fares will go down for that weekend is very, very slim, so the trip to Miami will be postponed until September...or maybe October. Some time when American Airlines is NOT taking advantage of Rock-dwellers gasping for dry land every time a long weekend rolls around. Seriously. The weekends on either side of the long one are each about $200 less per fare. They take advantage of our desperation. Not that I blame them.

Currently Reading...

Title: Couldn't Keep it to Myself: Testimonies from our Imprisoned Sisters
Author: Wally Lamb (other titles include 'She's Come Undone'...one of my all-time faves)
Why am I reading this? Book Club book for July.

Basically, Wally Lamb started a writing group at York Correctional Institution and assembled various submissions into this book, wrote a wonderful forward, and then let the stories speak for themselves.

Verdict: Only a third of the way through at the moment but so far...it reminds me of some of the stuff I read during the final two years of my criminology degree. But with far better writing. Wally's touches are everywhere but the stories stay true to the women's voices, which I like. They don't talk so much about their offences...it's more about their lives, both inside and outside the prison walls. Good stuff.

Possible trip...

A very good friend of mine recently moved to another rock. It's a rock I've spent some time on and I know she's enjoying it so far, but this Rock hasn't been the same since she left.

I'm debating a possible mini trip over our upcoming 4 day long weekend to meet her in Miami for a couple of days of mayhem with a side of shopping. The airfare is pretty high right now, so I'm hoping I can find a deal online in the next couple of days and if I can...I'm so there. It's a quick flight for her and we would finally be able to experience Dolphin Mall (pretty much the greatest place on Earth) together.

I think I blogged about Dolphin Mall before, after the weekend where I stumbled upon the entire mall having the biggest sale imaginable. People were walking out of the Coach store with gigantic sacks of purchases...it was quite a scene. Anyways, amidst the chaos I was able to do some fairly serious shopping of my own in a fairly short time frame and I have been dying to go back ever since.

Fingers crossed for a seat sale! A shopping trip in Miami with one of my favorite people? Just what I need.

Some boats and such.

For the past three weekends, we've been lucky enough to finangle our way onto one boat or another to spend a day, or at least a long afternoon, out on the water. We swim. We drink. We dance (so long as someone remembers the iPod). We eat chips. Sometimes hummus. It's fairly blissful. We all get off the boat hours later with a bit of a sunburn, a bit of a buzz, and a bit of dehydration. It's awesome.

My Dad always had a boat when I was growing up and I wish now that I'd spent more time on it than I did. I love being out on the water, catching glimpses of shoreline you can't see otherwise. This is especially the case here, where so much of the shoreline is inaccessible by roads, can't be climbed to and so, you can only see it from the water. You can also see quite a bit of cool stuff in the water itself...fish and assorted wildlife that have no issues at all with shyness and come right up to the side of the boat, hoping that some Doritos will make their way over the side. For the record, I didn't throw that Dorito in the water...I know better.

And, when it's calm enough, we can go hang out with the shipwrecks. Tell me that isn't the coolest thing you can do with a Sunday afternoon.

On Sunday, a bunch of us went out on a glass-bottom boat. I've seen these things cruising around since we moved here and always thought that they were kind of tacky-touristy, but then again I am the #1 fan of hop-on-hop-off bus tours in large cities, since they are the hands-down best way to see a lot of stuff in not a lot of time. So, when our friend suggested that we charter one for an afternoon, we hopped onboard (literally) and were so glad that we did. When we pulled up the floor covering to look through the glass panels underneath, we were sitting right on top of a shipwreck, wrecked in very shallow water. It can't be more than 20 feet down (and the bow is actually sticking out of the water - please refer to the photo below), but the part we were on top of was just below the surface. It's been down there since 1897 and coral have made the most of it, but you can still make out the smokestack and some portholes. If you can see through the millions of fish who call it home.

So. Cool.

P.S. I love free Blogger templates.

I am so clever I can hardly stand myself.

I'm an idiot.

At about 11:00 last night, I decided to fiddle around with my blog. In doing so, I managed to eff it all up and lose my crafty header, which I apparently never saved (or kept) on my laptop.


I suppose it was a bit outdated. We sold the Vespa and I retired those running shoes last May. Time to get the creativity flowing...


Today, K took his mountain bike and our adorable Puerto Rican friend and the two of them went off for a guys afternoon on the Rock. It is HOT today, so I'm sure there was a beer stop along the way, but I think they rode all the way from our house into town, which is fairly impressive. And about half the length of a marathon (though they would have taken the long way, along windy biking paths). The Rock is the length of a marathon. As in, running a marathon is the equivalent to running from one end of this country to the other. Maybe I should rethink my tentative goal.

I had the afternoon to myself and what did I do with it? A beautiful, HOT, sunny day? I spent it indoors, cleaning our apartment, tackling laundry, making (and eating) guacamole with the avocado that looked like it was about to take a turn for the worse, and watching the L Word in between. I just adore those crazy lesbians. If I could pick just one of them for a best friend, I think I'd have a hard time choosing but it would probably come down to either Shane or Alice. I loathe Jenny.

I used to feel guilty about spending nice days indoors. But this was when I lived in a place that didn't have sunny days back to back for months on end. Now, I actually relish a day at home - the apartment that we spend a fortune on each month and feel like we rarely have a chance to enjoy it.

I have been a bit book crazy on Amazon lately. It happens once or twice a year and it can get a bit out of control, like now. I'm waiting for my third order of books, which should arrive next week. Summer always seems to demand light, easy reads but I've been going for 100% non-fiction - books on writing, photography, cooking, health, fitness...just trying to get inspired, I guess. And there's pretty much nothing better than a big stack of books waiting to be read, so I think I'll start chipping away at them tonight. The question is which book to dive into first...

Anyways, K just texted me from the ferry, on his way home. Maybe we'll go find dinner somewhere, if he's still able to walk after a whole day on his bike.

2010: Finding my 30th Year OMFG Moment.

In about a year and a half, I'll be celebrating my 30th birthday, and I've been thinking that I need to do something to mark the occasion and make 2010, my thirtieth year, somewhat remarkable. Here is what I know about 2010 so far:

- I am fairly sure that I will still be living on the Rock.

- I have 20 days of paid vacation. So...Rick Steves' 'Best of Europe in 61 Days' itinerary is out.

- I will be attending a wedding in Victoria in July. Not my own. (is it too soon to be making wedding jokes??...testing...testing...ummmm....only minor internal turmoil. Wedding jokes are a go).

Those are my tentative plans for 2010 so far. None of which, save the Rock and perhaps a new wedding date for K and me, are particularly remarkable.

There have been a few moments in my life where I've been able to detatch for a second and think to myself "wow...I can't believe I just did that". The first night we spent together in our apartment here on the Rock was one of them. The frogs were beeping up a ruckus outside and we were laying there on a partially-inflated air mattress listening to them when it just kind of hit me. A mixture of "oh f#$@" and "this is the greatest thing ever". The Rock, not the frogs.

Another moment was the first night I spent in my apartment in Ottawa, nearly 7 years ago. That was more "oh f$#@", because we didn't have air conditioning and it was approximately 40 degrees in our living room.

Like I said before, a major trip is out of the question, really. I need to space those days out over the course of the year and we've got tentative plans for Barcelona and Napa next spring and November, respectively. Plus, a trip would be for us both and I want my 30th Year OMFG Moment to be all about me. Not to sound selfish but seriously...I want to ring in my 30's like no one's business. I don't want 30 to wash over me in a lukewarm way, the same way my past few birthdays have.

I was a bit stumped but then today I found myself lunching with my favorite Aussie who casually mentioned in between bites of her panini that she was going to run the New York Marathon in November. A light went on, I have to say. So, when I got back to work I spent the remainder of my lunch hour researching a bit and...I found myself just a little bit inspired. Could I run the New York Marathon in 2010?

Back in Ottawa, I was getting very into running. I was loving it, actually, and ran my first races the summer before we moved. My times weren't fantastic (I blame this on Ottawa Race Weekend '07 being the hottest ever), but I had fun and the sense of accomplishment at the end of it was exhilarating. And that was just a 5K.

Running is kind of a big deal on the Rock. It's not the safest thing to do on the roads here, but there are running clubs, lots of road races all through the year, and lots of people always looking for someone to train with.

I might *might* might have found my 30th Year OMFG Moment. It might be the finish line at Tavern on the Green in Central Park, November, 2010.


I would have 16 months to train...MORE than ample time. Far more. But enough to fit in a lot of practice.

I wonder if I could do it.

New neighbors.

Two of the apartments in our four-apartment building have been empty for awhile and now, as of today, we have two sets of new neighbors. I hope they aren't assholes.

I can't wait to move. I mentioned in my previous post that we are planning to move in the fall. As much as our apartment is lovely, I can't wait to live in a place that feels like a house and not...well, an apartment. We have two rooms, really. And if I'm not in one, I'm in the other. Where's the surprise? Where's the separation? When K wants to watch a movie that I'm not into (like, say, Mall Cop), what do I do? Do I go in the backyard? No, because we don't have one. So, I go into the bedroom. But the good lighting is in the living room, so it's not a great place to read. Anyways, the main issue really is that we have no outdoor space and we're dying to have a BBQ and a place to sit outside when we get home from work and want to lounge around with a cold drink and talk (or not talk) about our day. I really miss that awesome deck that we left behind...the deck that K built with his Dad while I was in Spain in 2006. It was, in a word, fantastic.

Another reason to move is to be closer to town, because we are about as not central as you can get on a tiny island and, believe it or not, the commute is tedious. We can't have a big night out without having to think about how we're getting home, etc. and it's annoying. A cab ride from town to our place would easily set us back $50, so that's not really an option on a regular basis.

So...yes. Time to start apartment hunting...

Happy for a friend.

This is Shan's first week at home with L'il J. I'm happy for them. What a great set-up. I miss her e-mails during the days...my work inbox is decidedly less interesting since she left...but I hope her and her little lady are enjoying their days together.

Well, June pretty much sucked.

I was reading some Interpretive Stance today and saw my blog listed in her blogroll with an embarassing "5 weeks ago" under the title of my last post. Five weeks? Pardon?

Well, in my defense, I have had some "stuff" going on.

The biggest news from the Rock is that two weeks ago, K and I called off our wedding. Hands-down, the most difficult and agonizing decision either of us have ever had to make, making the year and a half of planning and anticipation a bit redundant, to put it mildly. The decision itself was made at the end of two of the worst days of my life so far but, and this might sound crazy, came with the biggest (internal) sigh of relief imaginable, so it was obviously the right decision, as hard as it was. Anyways, that's that. No wedding. No white (ivory, actually) dress. No party. No speeches. No walking down the aisle on my Dad's arm. Well, not in August, anyways. Right now, the important thing for us both is to concentrate on getting back into the great place we've been in since the beginning - to find whatever seems to have been lost over the past little while and put it back into its rightful place. We know we'll get there. But moving ahead with the wedding when we're going through a rough patch? Not ideal.

So...yeah. That's where we're at. The love and support sent our way in response to our sad news has been overwhelming. Both of us feel so lucky to have the family and friends that we have, even though our news has been inconvenient to many of them and we're all working out how to make this as easy as possible for everyone involved.

It's amazing, but calling off our wedding has made me feel brave. Both of us, actually. It would have been far, far easier just to suck it up and deal with it but in the end, we're both hoping to come out ahead, better as a couple, better as individuals...just better. The best, even. I don't think we're on the same page yet, at least not completely, but we're at least in the same chapter, when I'm not even sure that we were in the same book before.

Life on the Rock is hard. It seems like a paradise, and it is in a lot of ways, but it comes with some challenges that we didn't expect. Intense loneliness. A strong sense of isolation. A depressingly high level of racism and race-based issues that are ongoing and completely exhausting. Stress levels beyond anything we'd ever faced back home, related to all of these issues, our jobs, managing finances, managing the house we left behind...just everything. Not knowing when our next move will be, or where we'll end up. Spending all of our vacation time cramming in visits with family, because we miss them so much. A constant stream of incoming and outgoing friends, moving to the Rock for a new job or leaving because their permits are up or they've been made redundant. It is not as idyllic as the photos make it out to be. Are we lucky to have had this opportunity? Of course. Do we regret coming here? Not even a little bit. But we are not on vacation.

On the other hand, after a year and a half here now, things are slowly getting better. We have a number of friends now who plan to remain here for as long as possible, so our group is a bit less transient than before. We're planning to move in the fall into a bigger place (with a spare room for the houseguests that we are trying to lure our way...), which will probably help to make us feel a bit more stable here. We've both gotten through the learning curves of our jobs, which makes a big difference. And, most importantly, we're starting to take time for ourselves - we realized that we were spending so much time together that none of it was quality time anymore.

This is all good news. Considering that just over two weeks ago I was finishing the design of our invitations and planning what to do with my hair, I'm feeling pretty good. I'm not going to be a bride this year, but that's OK. It will happen one day. And when it does, it will be perfect.