I logged into my blog the other day to find it totally effed up. Apparently, the photo-hosting site for all of the graphics on my fun, fancy blog got clogged up and so I was going to have to copy them all over to a NEW site and go from there. And then I got lazy and just deleted the whole template. Which I now regret. So now I hate my blog again. I have to find a new template to use but I'm too lazy at the moment, so this boring blue is going to have to do. For now. Give me a few days.

In other news, I am going to be spending at least one day of my upcoming trip recovering from an emergency root canal, to be performed on a tooth that has ALREADY HAD A ROOT CANAL. WTF. Why me? FML. I hate teeth. I am lucky to have a few hygienist friends, one of whom made it not seem like the worst effin' thing ever (which is what I equate everything to do with teeth with), and the other...did. I think she even used the word "disastrous". I'm not sure whose bedside manner I prefer but between the two, I got a pretty graphic depiction of what I'm in for over the next few weeks. I should know more tomorrow. Fan-freakin-tastic. At least I'm going to have the opportunity to have the dentist who actually did the original work get back in there and fix me up. After I punch him in the face.

August 26: Reading Material

I'm starting to think about packing and our upcoming move and as my eyes drifted over the ridiculous amount of stuff that we have accumulated during our nearly two years in this apartment, they came to rest on my bookshelf. Formerly the home of 8 books. Now the home of many, many books. And, after my last trip to Canada, many, many more.

What is with my obsession with books?

Even before moving to the Rock, I was an Amazon junkie. I'd buy books constantly, anxiously await their arrival, devour them, and then put them on the shelf. Like art. I love the way books look, all lined up in neat rows. And if you ever set foot in my parents' house, you'd see that I come by it honestly. They actually have an entire room devoted to books, along with built-in bookshelves all over the house, all of which are filled with just about every type of book you could think of. Every time I go home, I do a tour and grab whatever I want...it's awesome.

So, after lugging another 11 books home, here is what my "to read" list currently looks like:

- Revolutionary Road, Richard Yates
- A Reliable Wife, Robert Goolrick
- The Time Traveler's Wife, Audrey Niffenegger
- Canadians, Roy MacGregor
- Daughter of Fortune, Isabel Allende
- My Life in France, Julia Child
- Julie & Julia, Julie Powell
- Making a Literary Life, Carolyn See
- The Food Revolution, John Robbins
- Possession, A.S.Byatt
- The Tenth Gift, Jane Johnson
- The Post Office Girl, Stefan Zweig
- Hey Nostradamus, Douglas Coupland
- After the Crash, Garth Turner
- Europe Through the Back Door, Rick Steves
- The Hotel New Hampshire, John Irving
- Life is a Verb, Patti Digh
- 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women, Gail McMeekin

And still, my virtual Amazon shopping cart is full and ready to be checked out. I'm doing everything within my power not to give in, since I've got an expensive few months ahead of me but seriously...it's hard. I crave new books almost as much as I crave Baskin Robbins peanut butter and chocolate ice cream.

Books make me happy. I'll let you know which of the above are worth checking out.

August 25

Well, as you have probably guessed, Bill was a bit of a pussycat. We got some pretty crazy wind and rain late Friday night, and our car got covered in a layer of salty slime, but other than that...Bill was a non-starter. Which, of course, is good news. We chickened out and went to a friend's house to spend Hurricane Bill drinking, playing games and watching movies because she had power and we lost ours at around 6:00 p.m. But, seeing as her landlord didn't close her shutters and they banged against the side of the house ALL NIGHT, we probably would have had a better sleep at home. Oh, and our power apparently came back on right after we left the house, so we even would have had A/C if we'd stuck around. Next time!

A special thank you to our CayMAN correspondent, Ass, who kept us up to date with all pertinent storm announcements.

The photo above was taken the morning following the "hurricane". The water was insanely angry and dangerous and the hurricane washed away most of our favorite beaches. The sand will be back soon...but it's weird to see what beaches look like without it. Mostly rocks, actually. Who knew?

I got up early today for the first time in a few months and went out for a brisk walk with my former running buddy. We figured that we should ease back into our runs, given that a) we haven't ran in at least 8 weeks; and b) it's approximately 40 degrees out there, PLUS 94% humidity. HOT. We leave early enough that the first part of our walk was pretty OK, but the sun had come up by the time we were headed back home and we were both dying. Good times! I love fitness.

2.5 weeks from now we're headed to Ottawa for a week ending with a very large wedding. I've been pretty busy organising our "to do's", which so far include the following (in no particular order):

- Rideau Centre, St. Laurent & Place D'Orleans (I need to shop)
- IKEA (I need new cutting boards)
- Mama/Baby photoshoot with my friend and her brand spankin' new son, Myles
- Haveli (I need Indian food)
- Lunch and/or drinks with the ladies of LUNLF
- Kurt and Kris day. We don't know what this means yet, but so far it includes a morning at Le Nordik
- Pho at Phive

That's it for now. The list will probably be a bit longer by the end of the day.

August 21: Well, this is fun...

We're home from work, safe and sound. The ferries stopped running mid-day, so my co-worker gave us a ride. I'm glad, because the backup "plan" was to ride the scooter home. Terrible plan, actually. So far, the Rock is getting lots of rain, lots of dark clouds and the air feels very electrified, like something is coming. The waves are gigantic, splashing up over the roads in some areas already, and Bill is still hours and hours away. However, we're safe inside, shutters closed, supplies handy, ready to take this on...whether it's just a lot of wind, a lot of rain, a lot of both, or - worst case scenario - a full on hurricane. They suspect that the storm will pass us in the wee hours of Saturday - somewhere between 4:00 and 7:00 a.m.

Bill is still rated a Category 3 hurricane, which means that he hasn't regained the speed that they thought he would. I suppose anything can happen, but I'm taking this as good news.

I'll keep you posted if things get interesting.

August 20: Um.....

DEFINITELY should have stayed in Canada for an extra week because I'm back just in time for...MY FIRST HURRICANE! Did that sound excited? Because it should have had some serious FML undertones.

Category 3 is serious. Category 4 is extreme. Category 5 is catastrophic. Bill was a 4 yesterday, downgraded to a 3 today, and expected to be back up at a 4 again overnight. And expected to pass by these parts in the next 48 hours. Unimpressed. We've bought all of the supplies on the list (including chips) and we're closing our shutters tonight and I guess all we can do is hope for the best? Sure am glad I don't own a boat...it would get tossed around for sure.

Wish us luck! Eff tiny islands in the middle of the Atlantic. EFF THEM ALL.

August 18: New (Old) Hobby.

When I was in Grade 7, our class had to fundraise so that we could go on a class trip to Strathcona Park. It was a big deal because it was a SLEEPOVER trip, which meant that most of us were hoping to do some sneaking around and making out in the bushes when our teachers and chaperones weren't looking. Because, when you are 13 (12 in my case), planning to sneak around and make out in the bushes is as good as it gets. Besides cherry-flavoured LipSmackers and getting to dance with the guy you like to Stairway to Heaven at the school dance.

My friend and I decided that instead of doing a lame car wash or bake sale, we were going to make jewelry and sell it at school. I had a stash of beads and we pooled our meager savings to purchase all of the necessary supplies and we got to work. We effin' cleaned up. Two lunch hours selling our wares and we were $230.00 richer. Which, by the way, is a FORTUNE when you are 12 (in 1994). And far more than we were making with our after-school paper route, which netted approximately $0.02/paper. We made (and shared) about $4.00 a week delivering those stupid papers. What a gargantuan waste of precious worry-free pre-teen time.

Unfortunately for our bank accounts, our venture as entrepreneurs was short-lived. We made enough to get ourselves on the bus and into the room above the boy's room and enjoyed a week of PG fun and jewelry hit the backburner. In fact, my bead box of tools and supplies was sold at a garage sale a few years later and I forgot how much fun it all was until I moved to the Rock and met a VERY talented jewelry-making Australian named V, whose fabulous, sparkly creations I wear almost daily. She's inspired me over the past few years and on this last trip home, I took a course with my Mom and my sister. I have to say...I got into it. Very into it. And while the course was more about the techniques, I got a chance to do some designing and found a new love in wire wrapping and gemstones. So. Much. Fun.

I think I'm going to claim a corner of our new apartment and do some playing around. I'm going to have to order supplies from the States because (surprise!) there isn't any kind of supply store on the Rock, but I'm kind of pumped to start fiddling around and to see what I can come up with.

August 17: What I wish I was having for dinner tonight.

Half-order of salmon sashimi, expertly prepared by Tamami. Amazing.

What I AM having for dinner tonight? Whatever I can put together with whatever is in our cupboards, since we haven't gone grocery shopping yet. Do artichokes and KD go together?

August 16: Home Already?

That week went by shockingly fast. I feel like I was just sitting here, uploading TV shows onto my iPod for the plane and mentally going over my packing list (while procrastinating actual packing). However, I spent the last 7 days in my lovely hometown. It was slightly chaotic, but we packed a LOT in. In point form:

- Tamami Sushi (I drool for their salmon sashimi)
- Cowichan Bay/Merridale Cidery/City of Totems
- Saltspring Island
- Moka House almond milk lattes
- Velvet Wednesday
- Jewelry-making course (I am now going to become a famous jewelry artist)
- Heron Rock (x3). Pickled Caesars were spot on.
- Quality time with Dan/Shan/Bean. I am so in love with that kid. And SO loved hanging out with them and showing them some of my favorite spots!
- Quality time with Christa, a good friend of mine from Ottawa, and her boyfriend Alex. Fun times.
- Quality time with my Victoria people. All of them. I miss you all TONS when I'm not there.
- Driving on the right.
- Beacon Hill Drive In.
- Brunch/lunch with my ladies on Saturday morning.

I love home. And I'll be back in 4 months or so, so I don't even have to be sad and gloomy about leaving it all behind.

Next up, Ottawa in September. Excellent.

August 5: Loves.

Frozen organic raspberries with a bit of dark chocolate. Pretty much the greatest dessert ever.

My first order from anthropologie.com arrived today and not only did everything fit perfectly, but I am totally in love with the newest additions to my wardrobe, including a very classic denim jacket that I have been wanting, like, forever. So in love that I logged right back on to populate my wish list.

Victoria in two sleeps. Including tonight's sleep, which should have started an hour ago, so it's pretty much a write off, meaning that it's really only one sleep.

The most amazing sashimi ever approximately 45 minutes after we land. YUM.

I had confirmation today that my paperwork for my new position has been sent on to Payroll. Cha-ching.


August 4: A Boat or Two...

Sunday was the end of the Rock's annual four-day long weekend, and is always the day of boating. There are races, live music and events, all in the little bay behind our house, but mostly it just means that there are a LOT of boats. Check this out.

We weren't out on a boat this year, because I had a badly-timed haircut and by the time we got home, it was WAY too hot to think of tracking down someone to come in to the beach and pick us up (and the whole bay was a boat parking lot so no one could move easily anyways), so we just watched from the shore.

I love boats. I've managed to get on one every weekend so far this summer...and there are lots of weekends left before the boats get moored for the winter. Good news for me...bad news for my perpetual raccoon eyes tan.

August 4: Uh...

Actually, it's four sleeps. I can't count. NOW it is three sleeps.

August 3: Monday, Monday.

Not my favorite day. This is especially true after a long weekend spent doing pretty much nothing. Relaxing, sunning, a cold beverage or two, some time on a boat...that was about all we had on our agenda and we fulfilled our (two) obligations nicely. One being the boat, and the other being a hair appointment for me yesterday. Besides that, we just enjoyed ourselves. And we might have done some casual stalking around the new neighborhood, in a totally non-creepy way of course.

Anyways, back to Monday. It kind of sucked until about 3:00, when I was called into a meeting and told that...I GOT THE JOB. OMFG. It was all I could do to hold it together and muster up "professional" until the meeting was over, but as soon as it was...totally unprofessional. There might have been some squealing (concealed behind closed doors). It is just a really awesome opportunity and means good things all around.

I start at the beginning of September, though the actual start date is a bit fuzzy since I'll need to do a proper handover of my current position, which will be advertised soon.

YES!!! Anyways, that was GREAT news. It's an awesome promotion that I fought tooth and nail for, and won. Happy happy.

I didn't do much in the way of celebrating tonight, though I did indulge in my favorite pinot with my favorite guy, while watching one of HIS favorite movies, Swingers, which is actually a pretty decent way to spend a couple of hours. Now it's off to bed with The Poisonwood Bible, which I am finally reading and wondering...why did it take me so long to take this one off the shelf and get into it? It's fab.

Three sleeps.