Things to look forward to until the next apocalypse

Apocalypse
Apocalypse (Photo credit: extrabox)

So if you are reading this, chances are the world didn’t end. I would have had a heads up from my friends and family in Australia, they didn’t write to say they died so I am assuming they made it through another apocalypse. Which is good news, I guess. But now I am on the hook for Christmas gifts.

I wouldn’t have been all that disappointed to learn the world ended because to be frank, 2012 was a craptastic kind of year. I am pretty sure I do not want to experience this year over, nor am I eager to plan for 2013. Luckily for me I am not trapped in a J.J. Abrams movie or tv series that would make me experience alternate realities and confuse the living daylights out of me until my head exploded. (Dear Disney, hire Abrams for the next Star Wars movie) But…I am grateful for a few things that happened. I will focus on those for the time being. Here is my top 11 things I am looking forward to until the Next apocalypse;

The Edmonton Tourist’s Top 11 things to look forward to until the next apocalypse!

  1. Movies: for a Sci-Fi geek, such as myself, I am really looking forward to all things superhero and spacy next year. Star Trek, Ironman, Thor… all good things in my book!
  2. Graduation! I am 4 courses away from hanging a degree in my office. As much as I am loving university, I will love being finished more.
  3. Running a 10k! This is on my bucket list and I will realize it in August for the intact Marathon weekend. *Disclaimer – provided I stay injury free…knock on wood.
  4. Edmonton now has non stop service to New York – if this isn’t a sign I should go, then I don’t know what is!!
  5. I am 2 books away of reaching my goal of 50 books this year. Next year will be about reading books that make feel, this year I read books that made me think. My brain is tired.
  6. Finishing Lost. I am late to the party when it comes to the TV series Lost. ChatterBox and I are watching it at a frenzied pace and now I dream about beach holidays – not that it is a bad thing – How did you people manage to wait weekly – or even  years to find out what happened? I have 2 seasons left.
  7. Hockey! Wow – serious NHL withdrawal. Luckily I am in Canada. All Hockey all the time. I have watched World Sledge Hockey, World Jrs. are coming up, Jr Hockey, Women’s hockey, street hockey and baseball. Still not the same. Get back to work guys!!!
  8. Sleep on a beach. Yeah the Lost influence here, but it has been a very long time since I snoozed in the sun on sand. While I may not make it to an Island Paradise, I can drive to the slough lake and stretch out in the sun.
  9. New spring collection! My new dietician is awesome, I can see myself in new clothes for the new season! That means meeting my Aunty in Calgary for some shopping!!
  10. Global warming. I know, I know…but I want to grow oranges in my yard without the hassle of hurricanes or earthquakes. Aside from the cold and snow, I quite like it here in Edmonton but growing citrus in my backyard would be fabulous!
  11. The unknown. Mostly 2013, in between apocalypses, will be about possibility. It can’t be worse than 2012 so the future seems exciting!

I Scoooooooooooooooooooooooored!

I scored Executive Suite tickets to the Edmonton Oilers vs Philadelphia Flyers. I was invited to a business schmooze by the offspring’s pop, The Hubs. His associates didn’t want to couldn’t go so he hinted to the Sales rep that I needed to go being the hugest Oiler fan in River City. The Sales guy said “Bring her Along!” Yippee Kiaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyy!  I had never sat in an Executive Suite before! I could add this to my 52 new things this year! I have sat in the Skybox, Standing Room, Nose Bleeds, Terrace, Upper Deck, Lower Bowl and Club…but never Executive Suite for an Edmonton Oilers game! Was it as fabulous as the Skybox? Yes and No. I will get to that in a minute, but first the event complete with pics because inquiring Oiler fans want to know. Well, Evil Genius wants to know, so this is for him.

The fancy name plate on the main floor of Rexall Place told me I had arrived.

We walked into the room and were greeted by the sales guys who told us to help ourselves to the unending buffet and bar…. Bar? where?

Telus ordered Wings!

This may be hard for people to believe, but this was my FIRST BEER at a hockey game! I usually drink vodka when I am in the skybox…not that I am there all the time, just once. I am too cheap to spring for beer or hard stuff at Rexall.

The suite was wide but shallow. It had a bar on one side and buffet on the other. The private bathroom is a plus. There were two large screen TVs showing the game inside. The sliding glass doors opened up to two rows of seats surrounded by a rail keeping the riffraff out.

I sat in the front row because I didn’t want to miss the game. I take hockey seriously, unlike the guys who were drinking  working. I was one of 3 women there as dates. The other women were doing their nails… wow… Executive Suite hockey seats and they could care less!

My boys were on tonight! First Hall scores!

My phone told me in case I missed it.

The Eberle scoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooores

My phone confirms what my own eyes witnessed.

The most overpaid captain in the history of the Oilers then gets a penalty shot! Wooooohoooo

Naturally he misses…boooooooooooooooooo not that any of us were surprised. Oh Horcoff…

Bobby Clarke sat in front of me and if you squint you can see the Octane…Canada’s first hockey cheer squad…Really? We needed a Cheer Squad?

Here in Canada we do things Old School and shovel the ice during the whistle stoppages because we can’t afford Zambonis

Psych! We have two Zambonis because we are awesome like that, the shovelers are there because we are fussy about our ice.

The fan tribute at the end. This is my favorite tradition. The Czechs introduced this tradition of standing at centre ice and raising their sticks to the fans. Love it!

By the way, we won! We beat Philly 2-0 That’s right, Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuube got the shutout!

Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuube!!

ok now for the comparison between the Skybox and Executive (Lux) Suites.

Skybox has beside the door parking – We parked 6 blocks away at the Thistle Curling Club for the Lux.

The Skybox has a separate entrance and private elevator to the suite. The Lux requires you walk amongst the riffraff in huge crowds.

The skybox was long and had 6 rows of seats. The Lux was wide and had 2 rows of suites.

Skybox had a better decorator – although each suite is kitted out according to the box owner’s taste. Skybox owner has better taste…and a broken cement truck on the shelf.

You can watch the play develop from the skybox. It gives a fascinating perspective of the game. From the Lux you feel like you are in the middle of the game and I could hear the boys yell at each other and the refs.

Beer came in regular size cans in the Lux, and baby cans in Skybox.

I could cross my legs and lounge in the Lux. It was a tight squeeze for legs up in Skybox…to be fair I am way lighter so my size may have something to do with it.

The Scotia Bank man I sat beside in the Lux – he was across the rail , a neighbor if you will, was pretending to be knowledgable about the team. I challenged him twice…hahaha I won.

The last time I was at a Philly game, I am pretty sure they Flyers were wearing those stupid long pants that made them look like Juniors. It was 25 years ago last light that the Oil won their 3rd Stanley Cup against the Flyers. It was also the FLyers in 1981 that Wayne Gretzky scored 5 goals on to have 50 goals in 39 games. Ahhhh the good old days. I love my boys but I miss my Oilers.

I think I prefered the proximity of the Executive Suite. I love hearing the game as well as seeing the game. My sister was correct in suggesting I would have a hard time slumming it with the peasants next time I get to go to a game again…She is right. I need to schmooze more with those sales guys and drum up some business for them at work.

Have a great weekend and keep your stick on the ice!

If You’re not First, You’re Last

I came in last. I was the very last walker in the half marathon to cross the finish line. My supporters, my family and friends are all trying to make me focus on my accomplishment of FINISHING. But seriously, I am NOT BOTHERED by being last. However, I can see why they would think that. It’s me and I am VERY opinionated when it comes to athletics. Not all athletics, just the ones I care about – like Hockey or the Olympics or Hockey IN the Olympics. It’s not that I don’t enjoy other sporting events, because I do. I love sitting at a football game on a warm summer evening, or a baseball game on a Sunday afternoon. I love the atmosphere, the beer, the pile of peanut shells at me feet. But hockey is my passion and with passion comes opinions that cannot be swayed.

I don’t know if you are familiar with how tournaments work, but the final 4 teams play each other. The winners move on to play for the Gold medal. The losers play for the Bronze medal. That leaves Silver as the loser medal. Loser as in Loooooooooooooooza’. The Gold medal contenders know they both get a medal, but to “win” the Silver you must lose. That sucks. Because Bronze is a winner’s medal. When in reality, Bronze is just a nice way of saying, you suck but not as much as everyone who was eliminated before you, so here you go. It is a pity medal. Gold is for winners, Silver is for losers and Bronze is for the pity party.

I am often heard saying if you’re not first you’re last, or another favorite, Silver is for losers. So it is no surprise when I fist pumped my hands in the air and shouted “WOHOO I’m last!” Everyone was quick to say…”Nooooooooo you finished! It is about finishing and setting goals and yadadadada”. What they don’t realize is, the loser  – me – get’s treated like a rock star. It was AWESOME and I mean that in a serious way, not my usual sarcastic way. It took me 4:27 to finish. Why you ask when I walked 20k in 3:15? Good question, not that I am making excuses, but I shall give you all the gory details.

1. It was F’ing hot. Sure this is only by Canadian Standards. But We ( the runners and walkers) all trained in cold and rain all summer long. We were not prepared for the heat of 30C. AND There was not enough water stations…just saying.

2. I had the worst sleep I had in ages. AND 6:00 AM sucks donkey balls. It is established that I am not a morning girl…just saying.

3. The pace bunny sucked. She had a mouth on her that made my partner run away, if I could have, I would have run too. So GREAT JOB OtherNiece! I wish I had whatever juice you had. So proud and envious of you…just saying.

4. I stepped off the curb at the groat bridge and saw stars. This was 8km way from the finish. I felt like puking it hurt so bad. That F’ing Bunny was ahead of me telling the traffic cops that we were LAST, so no one didn’t notice what happened and I was not about to say “MEDIC!” No chance, I was finishing….again, just saying.

8Km left was far. AbronxTurtle wrote on my facebook wall that morning “Focus, you can do this, no fear”. So as a mantra in my head, I kept saying “focus, no fear, you got this”. I saw my partner and inspiration keep the same pace, I struggled to keep up with her, but couldn’t. So I let her go, off into the distance while I maintained a pace I could manage. Before the curb, I was on track for under 4 hours as planned. Now, the best I could hope for was under 5.

That stupid bunny walked ahead of me and would stop to wait, look at her garmin and say “your doing great, good good.” Then talk to me about stupid stuff and tell really bad Irish knock knock jokes. I am excellent at focusing inward and putting myself into the zone. I call it self reflection or meditation. It got me through  months of training solo, I needed to do that to get me through. THANK THE HEAVENS ABOVE for Sweeper Bike Guy!!!

Sweeper Bike Guy checks the course for bodies. Usually dead ones, he has a radio and can call for ambulances and hearses. He was sweet and offered his water because THERE WAS NO ENOUGH WATER STATIONS and sunscreen because IT WAS FREAKING HOT! Best of all, he talked to the Pace Bunny so I wouldn’t have too. This saved my life. My coach said to me months earlier in training, your muscles know what to do, you have trained them, it is the mental state of mind that brings you home”. She wasn’t kidding. At that point it was all mental, I no longer was aware of what was going on around me, until I made it to the 18km mark.

At 18km, that was the water station and I had made friends with a fellow who had cheered me on the way past this station the first time. He saw me and smiled and said “I’ve been waiting for you! I knew you’d be back!” Then he gave me water and Gatorade and said, “but you don’t like the Gatorade do you?” I could not believe he remembered! I replied that I needed it so he gave it to me plus more, then offered me a water bottle and some for my head and neck. All this went on while I was still walking. He walked 2 blocks with me asking me what motivated me to do this. He had only ever volunteered.

I told him my story of standing on the sidelines and cheering on everyone last year. I told him I couldn’t understand WHY people did it, but now I know. It is like I have been given the key to the secret box that lets you into the marathon. He asked me a few more questions and was so supportive, he got me through to 112 Avenue – the home stretch.

112 Avenue was closed for the race. I was the only one on it except for traffic cops, Bunny and Sweeper Bike Guy. I called them my entourage. As Bunny said she was the last, she was ALWAYS ahead of me, so I always told the traffic cops, “Clearly she is a liar, I am last because I am behind her” I managed to still joke and stopped only once. I folded over and clutched my thighs and told her I was in agony. I then told her about my injuries. The long standing MCL that was slightly pissed off that I had been walking for over 4 hours, and my new injury – the stress fracture. Her tone completely changed. Suddenly she became a normal person. We talked about where she worked, then I looked at her face – I had worked WITH her in brief circumstances for diagnostic reasons for our mutual clients. She then asked me my motivation and what kind of supports I had. By this time I could see actual marathoners running across the avenue towards the finish line. DAMN I was so close!

I rounded the corner and saw my Chatterbox! That made me cry a bit. She waved and took pictures. Then I saw Genetic Offspring sitting in the shade with my dad. I waved and cried a bit more. I was then shown the way into the chute. There was the finish line. DAMN it was so freaking far away still!! My kids walked along the barrier with me. I cannot tell you how much this meant to me. I saw my time approaching and there was no way I was finishing under 5, I was going for under 4:30 – so I picked it up a notch and Bunny hung back so I could go ahead of her – thanks Bunny. All I remember is My name being announced as I crossed the finish line. I saw the medal dude and took my hat off and leaned forward to accept it. I saw Honey, my coach and my niece along the fence. My coach hugged me and told me how proud she was. Then I heard my mom call me. I turned and she had roses. She hugged me and told me how proud she was. That was when I lost it. I cried like a baby. All kids, no matter how old or young they are, live for the moment when their parent tells them how proud they are. Somehow I magically was sitting on a bench surrounded by my family. My Coach came by again and for the life of me I cannot tell you what was said. I remember everyone leaving and saying they loved me. That made me cry again

I recall being helped to the car by Honey and Genetic Offspring…that is all I can remember. I am not sure how I got home or how I made it upstairs to my room, or how I ended up sleeping in the bath. I do remember the celebration afterwards… That I’ll save for tomorrow.

You see being last doesn’t bother me. I know what it took to get there.

If My Life was a Movie…

I had lunch today with one of my favorite “Lunch People”, Dr. Teeth. She is as groovy as the band leader but so has many other qualities that just make me want to quit my job and be her assistant and bask in her hilarity and adventurousness.

She entertained our troops today with a story about a Sudanese Interpreter.  Being a sheltered Canadian Girl, she wanted to know what it was like to visit Sudan. He told her many horrifying tales but all she could think of was “How wonderful are the Elephants?” His reply was “ELEPHANTS?!? THEY ARE CRAZY! They TRY to stomp on you! Stay AWAY from ELEPHANTS!” She sighed with romantic flare and suggested she take a solo trip to Sudan – because like me – the thought of a solo trip is to amazing to let the possibility slip away. He replied with ARE YOU CRAZY? Not a good idea to travel to Sudan by yourself – EVER.  Then her thoughts drifted to Nicaragua, possibly a solo trip…

I accused her of being a nut bar. The thought of needing 100 different shots and shooing away flying insects strong enough to steal your car is enough for me to say I’ll PASS, thanks! I suggested some place marvelous like New York City. That is the kind of trip you take solo. That didn’t seem to have enough excitement for her. She was just there for the New York Marathon and although she really enjoyed it, she needed more death defying adventure. I suspect her imagination is more like Katherine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart in African Queen then Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

I confessed at lunch to wanting a solo trip to New York City. A Colleague was shocked and said it was much too dangerous. Too Dangerous? 8 Million people live there. 8 Million people don’t DIE there, they LIVE there. How bad could it be? It’s not like I would walk around in a shirt that says “I am carrying all my money in my pocket, please help yourself!” I wouldn’t ask for trouble by telling people I am a tourist. I live by the credo of planning. PLAN PLAN PLAN. Read maps, have an itinerary, get the public transit app for my ipod and ask questions BEFORE I go. I know New York City isn’t where Pollyanna Anne of Green Gables lives, I know how it is because I watch movies! I never watch the bad ones, I don’t enjoy them messing with my head. I know that Holly Golightly loved that town and it loved her. I know that after I eat my Breakfast at Tiffany’s I could go inside and they would treat me like a queen and sell me a $10 telephone dialer. I know that if it starts to snow I can go a lay in the middle of Rockefeller Center’s Skating Rink and John Cusak will throw a glove at me in a very Serendipitous fashion. I know if I was hungry and wanted to be as satisfied with my lunch as Sally was, I would go to Katz Deli and have what SHE had. I know that if I was looking for someone, all I need to do is talk nice to a cab driver and they would drive me all over the place looking for that person the same way Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra did in On the Town! If someone in New York ever asked me how do I know all these things, all I have to do is start singing in Central Park and parades of people would join in, offer me free stuff and lift me up over the Bow Bridge and throw flowers at me.

I know all this because my life is a movie.

Wait a minute, no it’s not… Sure I have a song for every occasion, but that does not mean I live in a musical. Sure I know a million people, Edmonton is a small city, but that does not mean I work with a cast of thousands. I just feel a bit delusional because Canada lost the Gold medal to Russia and I need a little fantasy moment to help me through the pain and agony of defeat.

If my life was a movie, Canada would have won and I would be going to New York City to celebrate because I would have been in Buffalo to watch the tournament. But it’s not. So I will go lick my wounds and start fresh tomorrow. Next year the Hockey Tournament is in Edmonton. I don’t need my life to be a movie because we’ll win next year.

These are a Few of My Favorite Things

This weekend I fulfilled a long time dream. I was the recipient of a ticket to a Sky Box seat courtesy of my niece Favorite. That is correct. I have favorites and not afraid to show it. Sure lots of people frown upon having favorites in the first place. They are liars. It is impossible to love everyone equally. I am always telling my offspring they are my favorite. Which is true. They are my favorite for different reasons.  Do I love them differently? Yes I do. Do I love one more than another? No – just differently. Thus the reason for favorites in the first place.

I prefer to go out on the town with one more than the other because of grumbling that may occur. I prefer to sit beside one over the other at the movies because of the silence factor. See, favorites for different reasons.

My niece Favorite, won a Sky Box at Saturday nights Oiler Game against the San Jose Sharks. Did we win? No. Did that stop me from having the best time at a hockey game since I was 16? No. Saturday Night was my favorite hockey game because of the experience. I think I need an Oprah style favorites list!

Here we go, The Edmonton Tourist’s Favorite Edmonton Things

1. Favorite View at Rexall – Sky Box #72. My Favorite Fan Costume – Rider Melonhead

3. Favorite Festival:

4.Favorite Restaurant:

5. Favorite Park – Any River Valley Park!

6. Favorite Museum – Edmonton Art Gallery:

7. Favorite Farmer’s Market – City Market:

8. Favorite Statue – Wayne Gretzky

9. Favorite Fountain – Legislature

10. Favorite Waterfall – Highlevel Bridge

11. Favorite Stanley Cup – The Last One

Let me hear your favorite thing about the place where YOU live!

Fake IT!

Have you ever faked it? No? Be honest… you have so! We all have.

I was attending a Professional Development today I found to be very thought provoking. The speaker asked this question, Do you think it is okay to let the people you work with know if you are having a bad day? My immediate response was yes, of course it is! We are all human. Then he brought up other another point. If you have been saving all year to fly to New York to attend a Broadway Play starring Julia Roberts. She is a bit crabby and not “feeling it” today. She walks on stage and mumbles her lines. Would you be so understanding? NO WAY! I would be ticked off!I know I am ticked off when Hockey Players don’t bring their “A” game – are you listening Edmonton Oilers?

The same holds true for going to work everyday. I don’t know about you, but I love to be around the people who smile everyday, seem happy to be there, and have a genuine positive attitude about what they do. Being around positive happy behavior, breeds positive, happy behavior! It makes me WANT to come to work. If you are grouchy, never smile, complain about everything, chances are you do not have positive relationship with your co-workers. This would breed negative, gossiping behavior. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be around someone like that everyday – ALL DAY. The sad reality is, I did work with people like that.

Working in a negative environment made me feel physically ill. I called in sick a lot. I bought copious amount of lottery tickets. Although it is important to like the work you do, it is equally important to like the people you work with.

I do know it is possible to start the seeds of change by bringing the positive attitude to work everyday. You may not feel like it, but before you walk through those doors into your office, slap a smile on your face. Fake it. Be polite! Start speaking in a positive tone. Avoid, “I can’t” and substitute “I’ll try”. Before you know it, you are not faking it, you are living it.

I know this can spill over into your every day life. For example: Someone makes a cup of Folgers coffee and hands you a hot steamy cup. Please do not take a sip and respond with, “What the hell is in my mouth?”. The polite, kind and fake thing to say is “Thank you! How lovely that you brought me a cup of coffee!” You don’t have to finish it. Let it sit on your desk, get busy, then reply “Oh dear, I got so busy I forgot to drink my coffee!”

I’m sure you can apply this “fake it” system into everyday life. It can build relationships! My friend User ( so called because she keeps EVERYTHING until she finds a use for it) always says, “Fake it ’till you make it.” Excellent advice! It works for everything you are shy about, or feel insecure about too! Walking in a neighborhood you shouldn’t be in? Walk with confidence, fake like you are the one suppose to be there. No one will mess with you!  Have to stand up in front of 100s of people to talk about something you are sure will bore them to death? Fake it! Act like they paid to come see you! Before you know it YOU will believe it.

Apparently it works for physical work outs too.

Fake it ’till you make! I am about to jump ahead with both feet taking huge risks to be apart of a new adventure. I’ll let you know how it goes. Meanwhile, I think I will need some of that fakeness tomorrow to get the ball rolling.

 

I Want a Man Cave

I want a Man Cave.

I don’t think that is asking for too much. For some reason, there is a huge trend towards Men having their OWN space. My question is why? Before we get going, I am adding a disclaimer – Honey does not have one, nor has he ever wistfully suggested he should get himself one. But I think I should have one.

Man Caves are supposed to be where Men hide away in an Ultra Cool room filled with things (like 200 Pez dispensers, or 50 bobble heads) that theirs wives would say “Honey, that just doesn’t go with the decor”, so their stuff ends up in the basement or shed or garage. There is a guy around the corner from me who has a Man Cave in his garage. It consists of a bar, several bar stools, a flat screen TV, and a kick a$$ stereo system. He is out there every Friday night with his buddies hanging out and having fun. Not one female to be seen. She is inside trying to get several kids to bed, cleaning the kitchen, laundry, mopping, scrubbing the bath, and generally working her fingers to the bone. Hardly fair, but she says nothing.

In our house, I must admit, Honey does the majority of the work, especially since I have gone back to school. The Offspring and I have been told that Saturday morning we are cleaning house. That made me chuckle inside, because that is usually my line. He does all the laundry, yard work, vacuuming, dishes and other niggly little jobs. Yet, he never says he wishes for a Man Cave.

I want one. I want a cave with a flat screen TV to watch Hockey games on, 2 barker lounges, bar fridge, fire-place, lap top, a fabulous collection of art, sound proofing and a BIG GIANT PAD LOCK. Sure my Honey does most of the work, and he is an amazing Dad, the fact remains that I am the MOM.

Every Mom reading this knew instantly what I meant. For those of you who are not there yet, or those of you who never will be I shall explain. For Example, Honey and I can be in the same room, and I could be sitting beside him on the couch. The Offspring will come and ask me if they could have a bath, or eat a cookie, or phone a friend, or watch a movie….all perfectly DUMB questions that they are quite capable of deciding for themselves.  I stop what I am doing, look up  “What did you say?”. They mumble “Can I: eat toast, or wear shoes, or ask me why they have a hang nail, or say their brother dragged them across the carpet and gave them a rug burn, do I think the spot on their arm is cancer, or ask what time the Big Bang Theory is on, or ask whats new, if nothing could I take them to Best Buy/Library/Starbucks/Book Store?” I will answer everything with NO – laugh and listen again and maybe say no. Now if I am in the bathroom, napping or up to my elbows in something messy and Honey is home, the Offspring will STILL defer to ME! This annoys me. Why can you not ask your Dad?

This is why I want a Man Mom Cave. All I want is a bit of peace and quiet, or at the very least just PEACE. The Man Mom Cave will have two chairs. One for me, and one for a guest. Let me take a moment to dream for a second…No Really…All I want is a Man Cave.

The Edmonton Tourist becomes Tour Guide!

Good News! I am back on chocolate! It is more out of necessity then preference because the Belgium Chocolate is gone and I stole a piece of Chatterbox’s Halloween candy. But I am back to normal, when I say normal I really mean frazzled. Chocolate and coffee are my current drug of choice. All is good with my world once again.

Things in my life are moving at a frantic pace. I am finding my University course interesting, yet monotonous. So much reading about the same thing. Talking to my 3 mentors makes the course very interesting. I really am thankful for them. My work is great but super busy, as always. My children’s marks are unbelievably amazing! Family health issues are starting to resolve themselves. Just when I think I have everything under-control, a giant pothole shows up and upsets the apple cart. The next little while will be filled with new adventures and I can’t wait to get started! But………

I need a distraction for about an hour. I need my mind to wander and think about other things for a brief moment in time. So my dear readers, I need your help!

At the end of the month we are having a visitor stay with us through Christmas. When I say visitor, I really mean the Evil Genius. That’s right, my step-son is paying a call from future.  When I say future, I really mean Australia. I can hear you all saying “Why would someone who has a perfectly lovely summer season coming up CHOOSE to go to Edmonton for the winter?” Good question! From what I understand about Genetic Offspring, Honey and the Evil Genius, science is their thing. Spacey science to be more exact. Edmonton is DARK in the winter, and by dark I mean the sunrises around 8:30ish and sets at 4:00ish. Perfect for seeing the Northern Lights – sorry – Aurora Borealis. I admit, it is one of my most favorite things about Edmonton too. Off our deck is the perfect view-point! Maybe light a fire in the outdoor fireplace, sit in a snow suit and wait. That’s the problem. There isn’t a set schedule, but there is a web site that offers a “forecast“. That will be helpful!

I need your help because I want to know what OTHER people want to see and do when they come to The Great White North. Here are my ideas, please feel free to edit, change and add to the list.

  1. Roast marshmallows, make s’mores and wait for the Northern-lights
  2. Visit the Telus World of Science to use the observatory and check out the stars in the freezing cold.
  3. Go to an Oiler Hockey Game and possibly an Oil Kings Hockey game
  4. Shovel the side-walk
  5. Hang the Christmas lights
  6. Strap a snowboard to his feet and push him down the hill
  7. Go to the Ice on Whyte festival and check out the ice sculptures
  8. Drag the Evil Genius around town to look at Christmas lights
  9. Go Ice skating on a pond and learn what Shinny is
  10. Go see the Christmas Carole at the Citadel Theatre
  11. Go on a Sleigh Ride

I am looking forward to being the Edmonton Tour Guide for a while. I am nervous about the cold. It could be Blizzard season, no not the ice cream from Dairy Queen, a REAL BLIZZARD! Or it could be unseasonably warm, hovering around 0C . Hard to say what the weather will be like. It IS Edmonton, so if you don’t like the weather just a minute and new weather shows up. At any rate I hope the Evil Genius has a great time – or at the very least – lie to me and say it’s great 😉

So my dear readers, what would YOU like to see if you came for a visit?

Cougar!

Jack & Diane
Image via Wikipedia

When I say”Cougar” I don’t mean I am signing up for Cougardate.com.  Although there was that Firefighter in St. Goar, Germany, but Mom called dibs. In the true sense of Cougar, a woman over 30 pursue younger men. I never found guys younger than me all that appealing. From as long as I can remember I liked the fellows who were much older than me. After seeing Empire Strikes Back, I had a major thing for Harrison Ford. That is a torch carried through all the Indiana Jones Movies, up until The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. At that point he was just OLD. There was of course the Edmonton Oiler Hockey Team staring Mark Messier, Paul Coffey, Kevin Lowe, and Jarri Kurri. Now they are retired, so that means OLD. I do have a thing for Puddy, you know, Patrick Warburton. My Honey teases me about it while standing in the queue for Soarin’ at Disneyland. When the guy says “Welcome to Soarin’ over California. My name is Patrick and I will be your chief flight attendant today”. He is looking ME in the eye, not you, not my honey and not my offspring, it is ME he is looking at! He is older, only by 3 years but as I am aging maybe the need for less older than me is more prevalent. Before you get your knickers in a twist, my honey has “girlfriends” too. Only they tend to be red heads who star on Taxi. But I digress…

Aging is a big deal for me today. I am feeling it from head to toe. I know it is mostly because I am suffering from jet-lag. I also know I am not alone in being tired. However, when I am tired I don’t really care that you feel tired too. I become selfish, cranky and ambivalent. My fuse is shortened in half and it takes everything out of me to be kind to people at work. I become sarcastic and sinister. Secretly I enjoy this side of me, but I am old enough to understand that these qualities are not welcome in the work place so I keep them under my hat and save them for my poor family for when I get home. The good news is that Offspring #1 is EXACTLY like me. So we share a laugh and understand each others dark and twisted sense of humor. The other important reason I feel very old today is Starbucks Pick of the Week.

Every Tuesday Starbucks hands out little cards that feature a music artist and they give you a code for iTunes to download the artist song for free. Well sitting next to me is John Mellencamp. I knew him when he was John Cougar. Sure he was older than me, 16 years to be exact. But when I was 15, Jack and Diane was released. I fell in love with John Cougar. He had longish dark hair, he had stubble, he had worn out Levis, he popped his collar like hot 80’s guys did, and he had that sexy smokers voice. He was a rock star. In my books, if you couldn’t be a hockey player, then rock star would do, but only just. Listening to his music today brings me right back to 15,the concert, his music, the era.  It is all wonderful until I look at his picture. The guy became old! If he is old, then I am old. What the?!?! How did this happen?

I looked at the Oilers Roster and I could be their Granny! How does this happen? On the inside I feel all young and fun. Then I look at myself and I think whose hands are those? I have gray hair for crying out loud! My gray hair matches my gray eyes! SO NOT COOL! I thank the heavens above that I am happily married because I would have to be a Cougar. That would be me chasing boys who are 40. Now that would be an interesting dating blog. My baby sister, who is so much younger than me she always thought she was an only child, has a boyfriend who is pushing 40! My Baby brother is over 40! My closest male friends are over 40! So the question of the day is what do I do about it?

I could get plastic surgery done. Boob lift, and maybe reduction because just a lift would impair my sight. Botox so you couldn’t tell when I was cranky. Become friends with Miss Clairol again. Between you and me, I think those old movie starlets who “get work done” look hideous. I prefer the natural look. So I will get plenty of sleep, eventually. Call my gray hair “highlights”. Give you a “knowing” smile instead of giving you cheek. I will stay current with technology and music, but still give some love to my “oldies”.

But mostly I, the Edmonton Tourist, will try to embrace the aging process and try not to say “when I was your age” even though I have some great Blizzard stories.