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!

Question: How far is a marathon anyways? Answer: Not 3km

I had one of those moments today when I looked a the person and thought to myself “How come you aren’t dead? Surely your stupid actions and words should have killed you by now.” Then because I wanted to know how he survived so long, I said out loud, “What is your Super Power?”

Apparently dumb luck. Lots of people have this super power.

By now you are thinking – what the hell are you talking about Tourist?

I was standing by the photocopier (a school equivalent to a water cooler) and asked a fellow teacher (male) what his plans were for the weekend. I know it’s only TUESDAY, but seriously people – teachers are BONE TIRED and cannot wait to sleep for a week because YOUR children exhaust me are awesome.

Anyway Teacher Guy began to tell me his plans for the weekend.

TG- I am running a marathon his weekend!

Me- Wow congratulations! Training is brutal and so time consuming, I really admire marathon runners! So tell me, how many miles did you average a week? Where are you running? Did you fund raise?

TG- Naw, it’s not a big deal. I didn’t train. I am just going out there and giving it a shot.

Me- HOLY CRAP MAN, no training? You are a rock star!

TG- Naw…it’s only 3km.

Me- …..Picture a thought bubble (dude you have just insulted an entire culture of people and highlighted your stupidity)

Silence for several minutes while he stood there thinking he was a rock star.

Me – Dude, tell me what you think a marathon is.

TG- a fun run.

Me- It can be, but usually people can barely breathe by the end and their body hurts so much it isn’t very fun after a while.

TG- it’s only 3k!

Me- 3K is a fun run. A Marathon is 42k.

He looked at me like I was kidding him. Then I said,

Me- I am indignant on behalf of every person who has ever run MARATHON – the entire 42KILOMETER race. Those people deserve medals. I can appreciate 3k being a challenge, it is an amazing goal to be a short or long distant runner. But to say a marathon is just a 3k fun run is insulting!

TG- Whatever…. same thing.

Me- Not the same thing. I challenge you to run the ING in August. ALL 42 Freaking Kilometers and then tell me it’s the same.

TG – Not a problem. I’ll do it.

Me- And I will be there with a body bag to collect you.

TG – Challenge accepted.

TG is also a Maple Leaf fan, doesn’t that say it all? WOW! I was reading a blog entry today from my favorite marathoner. The Bronx Turtle had a similar conversation with on a telephone conference today. Read it, it is hilarious. He felt embarrassed that people think he is nuts. Well for starters, The Bronx Turtle is running a marathon a month, A MONTH PEOPLE! that is 12 marathons this year for WDW Radio’s Dream Team Project.  He is raising funds for the Make-A-Wish foundation. And he felt embarrassed? WHAT? I think it is amazing what he is doing. Especially the part where there is NO SCHEDULED marathon for June around his home in New York City – let’s all cry him a river. Poor guy lives in Manhattan with Central Park as his back yard….boo hooo… (Jeeze Tourist, jealous much?) So Turtle is going to run around Manhattan, by himself, with no support for water or energy junk, to help himself achieve this amazing feat of a marathon a month, 42 kilometers ON foot with no one cheering him on, handing him water, or placing a medal around his neck. All to benefit the Make-A-Wish foundation. He isn’t the first person I know to do this. Another Goal Setter (that is her name) did this July 5th last year.

I feel sorry for them. Part of the fun of doing these races is bragging rights. Bragging rights need a medal. When you run that far on your own, no one gives you a medal. I have decided to take matters into my own hands. These people deserve to be recognized for there amazing actions and as a preschool teacher, I have the ability to do something about it. What you may ask? I am making them each a Macaroni Necklace Medal. The need to hang something on their wall when THAT GUY comes over and says “so what…no big deal”

The other part of this story that I find so amazing is fundraising for Make-A-Wish Foundation. Without thinking too hard (it is June people and my brain is fried) I can recall 4 children who were recipients of a precious wish.

One little girl I know received a hot tub and gazebo attached to her home. She needed water therapy to keep her limbs active. She is unable to stand on her own, so the water gives her a freedom from her chair.

Another little girl’s wish was to go to Walt Disney World. She needed supports in the form of oxygen and limited time in the parks because it would be so exhausting. But what little kid doesn’t want to be a princess for a day or 3? The Village down there had Oxygen hook ups in her room and Disney sent princess’ and mice over to the village where they wouldn’t have to fight crowds, just to spend time with her. Disney knows how to throw a party and 7 years later, she still lights up when she talks about it.

I had a student in my class one year who had cancer. He wanted to meet his hero Gizmo Williams, a CFL Edmonton Eskimo. Gizmo made it there 4 days before he died. They spent the day together and my little friend wore Gizmo’s jersey everyday. They buried him in it.

I know another little boy who was just granted a wish. He will get to go to Disneyland this summer to have his dream come true.

Make-A-Wish seems frivolous to some people, these people think the money could be better spent finding cures, or research. The bottom line is research wasn’t going to help my little friend who died. He was able to spend his last living days with a hero. His mom was granted happiness to see her little boy happy with stars in his eyes. What parent doesn’t want that for their child? I know I do.

I am heading over to the WDW Radio Dream Team Project and making a donation in support of The Bronx Turtle – his real name for the donation form? Joe Kolinsky – marathon man.

I think you should follow Joe because he is funny, does stupid things, and a great writer. I think you should support his cause and tell him he isn’t running for nothing.

Click here to have more information on the Dream Team Project

Click here to make a donation to Make-A-Wish Foundation to support Joe Kolinsky

 

 

Please Welcome My New Bundle of Joy!

Never did I think I would expand my family! I had the exact right amount of children, one boy and one girl. One of each and it was good. Yesterday I was reading through my blog subscriptions (85 of them people! Luckily they don’t all write regularly!) when I was reading a blog post that broke my heart. This girl was pleading for a mommy. It’s obvious that I hate children. (I work with them for a living … by CHOICE! I spend my free time with children… by CHOICE and I was ALWAYS the favorite aunty, the one who played superhero, Lego, went to Disney movies, slept under the Christmas Tree, built forts, organized family picnics, played on swings…you get the idea. I was THE fun Aunty.) But after reading about how neglected she was I had to step up to the plate and apply for adoption.

The adoption process was surprising simple. I wrote a lovely letter, the powers in charge reviewed and screened it, I was then informed after a lengthy process that my application had been accepted! I know this comes to a shock for so many of you who figured I was done with little ones now that my babies are teens…and by the way, I said I wanted a BABY – not a 16 year old…but I digress.

Her name is Molly. She looks like a ginger in her photo but she could be blonde, either way, she is beautiful. She is a neglected American girl from New York City. We are looking at the possibility of an open adoption, as her birth mother is still quite attached – although she should have thought things through carefully with her brazen favoritism of the eldest child. I know its hard not to favor the eldest – look at me for example:

  1. I came first
  2. I am the smartest of the bunch
  3. I have the awesomest qualities
  4. I have the best sense of humor
  5. I have the best taste
  6. I do not own a star fleet uniform

Why WOULDN’T mom and dad like me best? I KNOW, right?

So I do sympathize with the birth mother and open adoption may be the right thing for everyone involved. Here is an excerpt from the post pleading for an adopted family, you can read the entire post here:

So that’s it — I am taking a stand and I am officially accepting applications for my adoption. Requirements for my future parents include (but are not limited to):

1. Frequent visits to see me
2. 24/7 phone availability
3. Weekly care packages (these can contain things like homemade cookies, interesting articles from the local town newspaper, and/or fun things from the dollar section at target)
4. Sympathy when I don’t feel well
5. A deeper and more genuine love for me than for my sister
6. Constant praise and adoration

What you will get in return:

Joy and pride for all of eternity (and I am certain that your friends will be insanely jealous at your incredible parenting skills — obviously they are amazing if you were able to produce me.)

My husband will be screening all applications. You will only be contacted if I think you are up for the job.

Thank you.

After reading the qualifications, I knew I was a perfect match, so I wrote this response and the entire acceptance blog post by clicking here:

I am officially applying for the position of adopted mother. Although I had not considered more children, your plea tugged at my heart strings. First and foremost, you are my favorite and always have been. Your sister is selfish to hog your birth parents like that. I promise I would never do that.

I have my cell beside my bed, so you can call me day or night. If I don’t answer on the first ring, I will by the third. I make the best chocolate chip cookies on the planet, just ask your new brother. I also like the idea that you are a married adult living away from home!!! This is so novel, I will want to visit you regularly, but especially for special occasions, birthdays, holidays, playoffs, NYC marathon, etc. I love to shop and spend time with my girls doing what they like, that brings joy to me. I must insist that when or if a grandchild arrives, I get to come and take care of both of you. I have my degree in early childhood education, so I am fully qualified to be baby opinionated like all great grandmas! Mostly I want a free place to stay while I’m in NYC, but would happily adopt you and welcome your husband into our family! xoxox

Love mom

PS- I miss you already 🙂

Obviously I am thrilled! Who doesn’t want a perfect daughter to share activities with while staying for FREE in New York? I know, you are jealous and you should be. I am now living the Life of Riley. I can’t WAIT to go shopping on 5th Avenue to meet her!! Van Cleef’s, Harry Winston and Tiffany Molly here I come!

 

I know stuff because I’m old

I am the fountain of useless knowledge. Jealous? You should be! I could beat a fair number of you in a Trivial Pursuit game. Give it a twist and add hockey and Disney and you would be toast. The older I get the more brilliantly trivial I get. And I don’t mean that in a good way.

I was sitting at lunch the other day and got into a discussion about Greek Mythology. I spouted off facts about blood spouting from the neck of Medusa when Perseus was beheading her and Pegasus and Chrysador emerged. I suppose it wasn’t a discussion so much as me explaining what happened. My partner looked at me and burst into fits of laughter… “who knows that stuff?” she said through tears of laughter. “Apparently I do”. I owe this to my bucket list called 50 in 50. I wanted to read Greek Mythology and did. It isn’t as interesting as the way it is described in the Percy Jackson series, I recommend that version instead.

Another day we pulled the DVD/VCR combo into the classroom so we could watch a movie based on a story we were learning about that week. My other partner popped the VHS tape into the VCR and rewound it while the movie was shown on the screen. I said press Stop, then Rewind it is much faster. She looked at me like I was a nut bar and then said, I do not understand this thing. WHAT?!?! You can’t work a VCR? Apparently this was another tidbit of knowledge I knew that no one else did.

Yesterday we were discussing the various types of Ski Lodges around the city and why they were different. Well, on was in a Provincial Park, so there was grant money for that one. That is why it is a nice facility. There is another one that is run by the City of Edmonton, so upkeep is based on parks and rec dollars. Then there is the privately owned ones. Having worked in the Ski industry while I was in high school, I knew that it cost a fortune to run a facility and not a lot of money was to be made especially if it was a particularly cold year or dry year. My partners looked at me again with a stunned gaze as if to say “you know a whole lot about nuttin!” I guess you could compare me to George Kostanza.

Then there are those conversations where people at the lunch table are discussing things of their childhood, like Strawberry Shortcake dolls, TMNT, and Cabbage Patch Kids. I look at them and they say, you remember those. Well sure I do, but normally the students I taught played with those, not me. Then they laugh and say you aren’t THAT old. Hmmm wanna bet? I was born in the ’60’s. The look on one of the gals faces was priceless. “SHUT UP!” “No” I said, “It is true”. Apparently I am  a couple of years younger than her mom. Only I don’t seem old. Wow, Thanks?

I am not old, I am middle aged. I am old enough to be the granny of all my students. I said that to one of them and she said, my grandma is old you aren’t. Cool, when a 5 year old says you are not old, then it’s all good!

I am currently reading Stephen King’s 11/22/63. The concept is pretty cool. It is about traveling back in time, changing an event and witnessing a different outcome. The problem being, each time you go back you start back at zero. You undo all the things that were previously done. Cool concept. I particularly liked how the main character talked about the taste and smells of things from the past. Rootbeer being full flavored.Yum!

I remember things tasting …more or smelling…more I think it has a lot to do with preservatives and chemicals altering our bodies and the food we ingest. I don’t think going back in time means to a simpler time, it was just different. Having a head full of useless knowledge would make it more interesting. Betting on sports events, stocks or even being at the right place at the right time for a change.

I think about what I would to change things in my life and perhaps history itself. The nifty part being, if I don’t like the outcome I could just pop back and grab a coke in a glass bottle and call it a day. Things would be right as rain again. So what would I do? Where would I be?

A girl friend of mine in high school went to Boston to go to college. That sounds good! Another friend spent a year in Italy, wow that sounds good too! I think I would not work at the ski hill in high school, then I would NOT meet a certain idiot stick. Then I would want to go to a proper University right off the bat. I would love to go away to school. My cousin went to Scotland for University for one year. I would choose New York. Then see what happens. How cool would it have been to be there for Mark Messier winning the cup? Too fabulous to even think about. Get my business degree in human resources and work for Tiffany & Co on 5th avenue? Yes Please! Okay, that is what I would do and live of the avails of gambling on sports teams to finance my whimsy. Useless knowledge could be a financial boon for me.  If it sucked? I would just come back. How could it suck? Diamonds, New York, Mark Messier… it’s all good.

Being old has it’s advantages. It also gives me the hindsight to know if I had done those things, then the offspring wouldn’t have a change to do these things

These Boots are Made for Walkin’

BOOTS Nancy Sinatra's all-time hits
Image by Nesster via Flickr

No I am not singing the Jessica Simpson version. I have the Nancy Sinatra version with her kick a$$ white gogo boots in my head! I have been thinking about distances since I blogged late last night.

My dad has always been a record breaker, he writes down every book he reads to see how many he can read in a year, then tries to break that record. He keeps track of how far he runs so he can break that record. I am going to take a page out of his book and give it a go!

I am planning on walking/swimming to Tiffany & Co, located on 5th Avenue, New York City. I google mapped it and if I walk a half marathon every day, I would get there in 181 days. I am not sure what pace google thinks I should do it in tho. If I include swimming, I could make it there in 35 days. Maybe add a few more for sight seeing.

Google warns me the route has toll roads and a ferry and worst of all, it crosses through Canada! Well Google, how else do I get out of Canada if I don’t walk across it? True, you would make me walk through hanis parts of Canada called Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Not that there is anything wrong with that, it’s just flat. Flat that goes on forever in a flat non interesting way. Once I cross the border in Manitoba and into Minnesota, I imagine it looks similar. I can’t remember, it’s been a while. I would take the ferry across Lake Michigan, or I could swim. But I think that lake is colder than most glacier fed lakes that I have been in, so I will rest my bone weary feet and take the ferry. Which reminds me…

I will need to budget for new shoes. Apparently I need to replace my shoes ever 400km. That means I would need 10 pairs of shoes x $189 = $1890!!! AND THERE IS NO RED SOLES?!?! That isn’t taking into account the toll roads…screw that, I will walk in the ditch and save me some coin. I would carry a sleeping bag and sleep in Wal-Marts across North America! Or some farmer’s field along the way. I will live off the land eating berries, muskrat and the odd gopher or two. I have enough Facebook and Blogger Friends, I am sure I can bunk in their goat house or balcony along the way.

So far I have walked 125km since April 19th when I started training for the half marathon. I have swam 138km so far this year that makes 263km since I started my fitness journey. That number seems so small compared to the soreness I feel in my muscles. Okay, I am officially depressed!!! CRAP this is going to take me a while.

263km means I have walked to Marsden, Saskatchewan. All I saw was a couple of moose and a billion mosquitos. It has taken me 12 .5 days. I think 181 days is more accurate.

The reality is, I am not walking a half marathon a day. So maybe it might take me a year, but I am going to keep track. I will let you know when I get there.

Ready Boots? Staaaaaaaaaaaaaaart walkin’!

The Edmonton Tourist’s Handy Pocket Guide for the Directionally Challenged

I just finished watching the Tony Awards. I wish I was there. One day I will get there and I cannot wait!

ChatterBox and I are planning a road trip to Calgary with our friends PollyPocket and her daughter  Harpo. ChatterBox is very excited about going to Tiffany’s in Calgary but thinks we should drive to New York instead. For the weekend? Seriously?

ChatterBox, we live in EDMONTON CANADA, New York is a bit further…just a bit. 3092km to 5th Avenue New York. 44 hour drive non stop on the I-80E. I don’t think so. Not today Zurg.

As sad as I feel to say this, Tiffany & Co in New York is a tad too far for a weekend road trip. It also pains me to know my ChatterBox is directionally challenged, just like my friend The Reader. One would think being an avid reader one might be able to read maps. I had the pleasure of reading her facebook status tonight. She got lost going to Calgary, Alberta.

For those of you who are from out of town, Calgary is down the road from Edmonton. When I say Down, I mean South on the ONLY ROAD. It’s called The Queen Elizabeth 2 HWY. QE2 for us locals. It goes NORTH out of Calgary to Edmonton and South out of Edmonton to Calgary.  I have developed a handy pocket guide for the directionally challenged friends I posses. Seriously, I love you and all the support and love you give me. This is why I feel you need this handy pocket guide. I would hate to read about you on twitter (my primary news source) telling me you wandered into a farmer’s field and mysteriously disappeared.

The Edmonton Tourist’s Handy Pocket Guide for the Directionally Challenged

  1. When you drive south in the afternoon, the sun should be in your eyes, thus the reason to wear those fab D&G sunglasses. *Disclaimer* only in the Northern Hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere the sun would be in your eyes driving North.
  2. Red Sky at night sailors delight, red sky in morn, sailors scorn Ausfart means EXIT in German. Your GPS will not list it as a town.
  3. The GPS calls a traffic circle or round about a ROTARY. Heads up people.
  4. On a map “N” is north. When you turn a corner you must ALSO turn the map. Keep the “N” pointing north. See #1 for tips to find north.
  5. Maps refer to STREETS and AVENUES, not minor points of interest like the 7-11
  6. Do not follow the guy in front of you. He does not know where you are going either.
  7. ONE WAY is not pronounced OWN EE Way, in spite of what Fred Flinstone called it.
  8. 15 year old gas attendants don’t know where you are going either. Their mom drove them to work.
  9. Red is Port, Green is Starboard, unless you are in a car. In your car, Red is STOP and Green is GO.
  10. Do not ask directions from a Fung Shui Map expert. For example, if a house’s facing direction were determined to be Southwest and the front door was also facing Southwest, one would align the bagua map with the front door. The “North” sector of the home would then be where the front door was located, even though that door is technically facing Southwest, correct? So when a feng shui practitioner says that a kitchen should ideally be located in the Northwest sector of the home, are they talking about compass NW or bagua NW??? This will not help you if you are driving to a new city
  11. AND finally, bring a navigator who can READ a map or set a GPS….just saying

Epic Fail? I don’t think so…

Frowny
Frowny Face

A few days ago I had several appointments I had to keep for the offspring and myself included. Late in the day I had a lovely conversation with a gal who was very interested in how I set goals. I wish we were talking about scoring goals, but alas it was the personal, attainable goals she was referring too.

I explained to her, there were the large picture goals. Such as finishing my degree. That came out of a work goal at evaluation time. Then there is the “where do I want to be in 5 years” goal, and the always popular “one day…” goal. She gave me one of those frowny faces and said “Ed, I want to know how you set short term goals”. I looked at her and matched the frowny face and said I don’t have a short term goal.

Apparently, I fail at short term goals. The frowny face proved it.

This made me think about short term goals. I guess in the bigger picture, I see my life as a series of calendars. Months go by, then years and there is  hope I will achieve a goal or two along the way. Apparently this is a GIANT FAIL! She never said it to my face by the frowny face said it all. Then she said, those goals are vague, not attainable. She didn’t mean pursuing my degree, that apparently is an actual goal. She wanted to know how I decided what I was going to achieve  goals within my week, and more specifically, my day. I explained that I get up, follow my routine for morning prep, get grouchy if it deviates from it, like have to make lunches on a day that is not on my schedule, leave the house and head into the office. Once I am at work, I have a serious of tasks that I need to do to help clients meet goals.

This is where she stopped me. I help clients meet goals, but can’t make a single goal for myself during my day? Again with the frowny face…EPIC FAIL! I make it sound more dramatic than it was, she was very kind and interesting. How am I possibly able to make into next week if I don’t count myself and my goals as important? Good question Frowny Face.

This reminded me of a conversation at lunch. Wally Banana was telling everyone she works full time 6 days a week. So She pays two ladies to come in and clean her home for $150.  Everybody yelled “WHAT?!?!?” Wally B exclaimed, but I like it! The Bionic Woman wants to clean Wally’s house for $150, so did Polly. I didn’t. I had that job one summer, it is HARD WORK. It is bad enough I do my own house….blah! Then Wally was telling us about her massage she had. We all groaned. Of course we are jealous. We want a cleaning lady AND a massage too! Wally then said, “well, I guess I am selfish. Maybe I shouldn’t do this.”  All I could think was, ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?!?!?!

Why is it that women put their self last? Why is this? Their children come first, I think this is really important! Children can’t fend for themselves in the wild, that is why they have moms. Putting them first doesn’t mean they can have every single little thing they want. Food, Love, Affection, Clothes & Shelter should be high on the priority list. After that, fun stuff. Should children get more fun stuff than the mom? Hmmmm…..

I told Wally she deserves everything she gives herself, enjoy it, embrace it, ignore us because we are jealous. I am jealous. So I need to do something about it.

Frowny Face suggested I make a simple attainable goal everyday. I write in a red journal everyday, but this isn’t my goal. I decided to write a goal in the top right hand corner of my journal every night. The next morning I read it and think…Oh YA! I forgot about that goal! When I achieve it I give myself a happy face. If I don’t achieve it Frowny Face will be placed on that page. Once I get good at setting daily goals, I will move on to weekly goals. When I set a BIG HUGE goal for myself I tell the Universe about it. I say in my car out loud, I AM GOING TO DO…. The Universe needs to know if it is going to help me achieve it. I decided I need to tell the Universe my daily goals too.

Yesterday, my daily goal was to give myself some ME time. After dinner, I took myself to Chapters for some Chai, and Book browsing time. The Universe rewarded me with $2 book sale, meeting with some old friends that I use to work across the hall from, a very delicious extra hot beverage with no foam or water, and I facebook checked in to Chapters and the universe gave me a 40% off coupon for a regular priced book! WHOOOHOO! Thank you Universe! I used the coupon to help me tell the Universe about my next big goal.

I bought the Lonely Planet Travel Guide to New York City. Did you hear that Universe? I AM going to New York City. Don’t worry Universe, I don’t expect that trip to fall into my lap, I am willing to work for it. I called Santa and told him I would like to be  a Face Painter again. I am buying myself a lap top for school, then saving the rest of the money for New York City. Am I spreading myself too thin? Sure I am! Do I like that? Secretly? I really do. Face Painting takes up a couple of hours every so often. Not so bad. I don’t have to say yes every time Santa emails me. I likely will, but I don’t have too. I am willing to work hard for what I want.

Do you hear that Frowny Face? I am making daily goals, AND I am working towards what I want.

The Universe has my back, we’ve got this.

So it will be either an EPIC FAIL or a SPECTACULAR ACCOMPLISHMENT. I will win, because I am competitive like that.

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.

Let’s get on with the Show!

Lower Central Park at 1:00 p.m. Photographer's...
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My Christmas Vacation is almost over and here I am feeling sorry for myself.

In spite of my best efforts to dig deep for the Christmas Spirit and downsize the amount of holiday hullabaloo, I still find myself run ragged and dreaming wistfully at destinations beyond my scope of reality.

I find myself fantasizing about living in a home where it is always clean and tidy. Where items are located where they ought to be. A home where peace and quiet mean the TV isn’t on and people use their “inside” voices. I had a bit of a meltdown today when it all got to be too much. I stood in the shower and a thought about a vacation to a far off place where I could explore it alone.

I’ve told you before about the family I come from. We are a clan of people who like our space and we like LOTS of it. That means, alone time is incredibly valuable. Christmas with my family was great fun but it ends almost as quickly as it starts. We meet for dinner, we eat, we unwrap gifts, we laugh we go home. It ends in a few short hours. Conversely at my Honey’s family gatherings we meet, we visit, we get around at some point to eat, we visit some more and then watch the hockey game, then visit some more, THEN hit the road! I had a lovely time. It was nice being pampered at their home, teasing people and teased backed and laughing. Two very different experiences, but both overloading me on social niceties. Doesn’t that make me sound like an Ogre?

There is something about me that enjoys solitude. The older I get the more I crave it. I crave it so much, that a dream come true would be a week or two on vacation by myself. Indulge me if you will and shall describe to you what a solo dream vacation sounds like.

I would purchase a single ticket to fly me to New York City. I would get to sit in an airplane seat, sitting next to a stranger, not having to talk about anything. I could read or listen to music uninterrupted! That alone sounds like a vacation! Expedia says I could fly at spring break and stay in Midtown for a week for under $1700. There is so much to see and do I wouldn’t know where to begin. But of course I would have a plan. The first nice sunny day would be spent exploring Central Park. I want to see it all from the Belvedere Castle to Strawberry Fields. I want to grab lunch at a great Jewish deli and eat on the Great Lawn. I want to take myself out to a great dinner, somewhere so fantastic that I will need to shop at Bergdorf Goodman first. This will indulge my Doris Day A Touch of Mink fantasy. I want to go to a Broadway show or six. I want to wander the halls of the Met and the MoMA. I want to go and play at F.A.O. Schwartz and take a peek at Rockefeller Plaza.  I want to go to Mulberry Street and look at the wondrous things Dr. Seuss said I could see.

Then I would come home. Rested, excited and wishing I would have brought my family with me.

I am going to do this. It may not happen this year or the next. There are several steps I need to make before I can indulge myself. The first step has happened. I am in school. I will finish my degree. The second step will happen tomorrow. I am making a call to change my lifestyle habits. My Doctor will assist me. The third step will happen on my way home from work everyday. I am going to swim again.

That’s not asking for much. I want to be healthy, wealthy and wise.

The Edmonton Tourist rides again!