Heading off for an actual vacation?

But first I will go to LSSP/ICON in Alabama and then to a wedding in Victoria… with some visiting with friends and relatives along the way.

Vancouver will be the location of a 'real' vacation (after the planned events, not that they aren't fun either, because they're more than fun!) but I haven't planned out anything of that part of my stay, but am collecting contact info for those I want to get in touch with while I'm gone, and of course hoping to catch up with so many people.

Tomorrow it'll be to CKI-land (is there such a place?) and many familiar faces, service projects galore and yes, eventually a convention.

It feels strange to realize that I won't be attending the entire convention though. The reason is a happy occasion which I look forward to with gladness! To fun and adventure I will go!

15 Books

Rules: Don't take too long to think about it. List 15 books you've read that will always stick with you. They should be the first 15 you can recall in no more than 15 minutes.
(please excuse my spelling errors etc.)

1. Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
2. Arrows of the Queen Trilogy by Mercedes Lackey
3. The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham
4. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
5. Skim by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki
6. Harper Hall Trilogy by Anne McCaffery
7. Macbeth by William Shakespeare
8. The Princess Bride by William Goldman
9. Blackbird by Michel Basilieres
10. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
11. The Electrical Field by Kerri Sakamoto
12. Justine by the Marquis de Sade
13. The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
14. Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by Cohn and Levithan
15. Flashforward by Robert J. Sawyer

Getting to know you quiz from Brittany

Getting to Know Each OTHER…
copy all questions, write response, and tag other victims. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you – in a creepy stalker kind of way. 😉

1. What time did you get up this morning? 9:30ish was when I finally got out of bed.
2. How do you like your steak? Medium or medium rare. I'm actually not hugely picky.
3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
4. What is your favorite TV show? Well lately I haven't watched much, but I really want to watch more of Castle. I mean really: Nathan Fillion, crime and books! What's not to love?
5. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? I like it here, actually.
6. What did you have for breakfast? I just ate a multi-vitamin and a nectarine. I will eat soft boiled egg and bread.
7. What is your favorite cuisine? Interesting food. Japanese food is comfort food though.
8. What foods do you dislike? Cilantro!
9. Favorite Place to Eat? Too many good options…
10. Favorite dressing? I like a wide variety… but I most often use the Asian one at the salad bar at work.
11.What kind of vehicle do you drive? I don't.
12. What are your favorite clothes? Gosh, I love to dress up, so mostly my skirts and dresses!
14. Cup 1/2 empty or 1/2 full? all full! Don't forget there's air too… unless there's a vacuum but that would just be strange.
15. Where would you want to retire? I don't know. I like where I am at the moment though.
16. How is your mood in the early morning? depends on the morning. Lately I've been grumpy because my sleep pattern is off.
17. What state/Province were you born? BC
18. What is your favorite sport to watch? Gosh, I like watching ice sports the most I think.
19. Who do you think will not tag you back? Why is tagging such a big deal?
20. Person you expect to tag you back first? *shrugs*
21. Who are you most curious about their responses to this? I'll read anyone's responses
22. Bird watcher? occasionally. But nothing serious
23. Are you a morning person or a night person? Both actually. It's the middle of the afternoon that I suck at.
23. How is this different than Q16? because Q16 is asking about my mood.
24. Do you have any pets? No.
25. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share? I'm starting to look forward to August travel.
26. What did you want to be when you were little? A writer and a librarian and a parent.
27. What is your best childhood memory? Gosh, I have to choose ONE?
29. Are you married? No.
30. Always wear your seat belt? If at all possible.
31. Been in a car accident? no.
32. Any pet peeves? There are a few… the biggest lately are missuse of apostrophes and quotation marks!
33. Favorite Pizza Toppings? unusual stuff! Like broccoli, artichoke hearts, carrots, beansprouts, etc.
34. Favorite Flower? I don't know. I like red though.
35. Favorite ice cream? Gelato!
36. Favorite fast food restaurant? Steak n' Shake, or In&Out Burger or…
37. How many times did you fail your driver's test? haven't tried.
38. From whom did you get your last email? Uh… Facebook?
39. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? I wouldn't!
40. Do anything spontaneous lately? *shrugs*
41. Like your job? sure. This doesn't mean I'm not looking forward to the fall though where I will be working less hours here and more elsewhere.
42. Broccoli? One of my favorite veggies!
43. What was your favorite vacation? Gosh… so many good ones. Vegas, NYC, Orlando, Nashville, BC, Europe… wow.
44. Last person you went out to dinner with? Uh… I went to Brittany's birthday dinner.
45. What are you listening to right now? Of Montreal — She's A Rejector
46. What is your favorite color? Red
47. How many tattoos do you have? none.
48. How many are you tagging for this quiz? n/a
49. What time did you finish this quiz? NOON.
50. Coffee Drinker? NEVAR! 🙂

Relaxing at home aka. recovering from wisdom teeth removal

So for the last several days I've been lazing about at home. For good reason of course: On Friday afternoon I had all 4 of my wisdom teeth removed (plus a cyst) under general anesthetic. It was the first time I've ever had anesthetic or surgery of any sort so that was kind of novel. The procedure itself went pretty seamlessly it seems. And I was waking up in the recovery room when their sterilizer malfunctioned, spewing toxic fumes into the air. I began coughing of course and was whisked outside into a wheelchair to get out of the really noxious fumes.

Regardless I got home all right and have been recuperating relatively well. My face is mildly swollen, but far better than what I've seen from some other people, and the pain I'm in is also relatively mild, though it's definitely uncomfortable. My tongue keeps playing with my teeth (and the loose threads from stitches) and I'm running low on good ideas for yummy soft foods, but all in all I'm enjoying the respite from the daily stresses of my normal daily life. I've mostly been reading books, watching TV and spending time at home with my parents doing things like walking. I've been trying to get some sleep too with some success (once I figured out that the T3s were keeping me awake rather than making me drowsy as it was warned they would do).

I enjoyed watching the storm from the window — no significant damage to our things etc. which helps, though seeing the size of some of the fallen trees is pretty remarkable.

Anyway, it's been good relaxing and not spending much time online or otherwise occupied with the normal concerns of my daily life. Hopefully I'll be up and about soon enough, and that I'll be able to eat more normal-ish food by my birthday on Friday. It does feel good to spend time with my parents again.

I really haven't been updating regularly…

… but I'm in an odd state of mind. My Facebook status points out that I'm totally in a read, eat snackfood and hermiting myself mood, so to speak but I guess I should point out some of the stuff that's happening.

– I'm really looking forward to my August travels, especially as they are looming large. Alabama, Victoria and Vancouver are all things to get excited about, for many many reasons.
– My birthday is swiftly approaching, and I look forward to seeing many people whom I don't get to see nearly often enough. (plus possibly play board games? I'm in withdrawal or the nearest thing to that that I can think of)
– I'm realizing yet again that I want a haircut. But I really want Jackie to cut it (I think I don't quite trust a lot of other people with my hair)… *sighs*
– I do need social contact to be a happy camper. So, I've been quite happy when I have been getting out of my apt and seeing people.
– I've had one nightmare about getting my wisdom teeth out. Otherwise the prospect really wasn't bothering me. We'll see what happens on the 17th and thereafter.
– I'm selling so many CapitalEx ride-all-day passes lately that I kind of miss the idea of going myself. Too bad I won't know how I'll be feeling until after the 17th.
– My thanks goes out to Josh yet again because his provision of comfort literature is making my urge to read books so much more fulfullable!
– Kiwanis is occasionally stressing me out. CKI stuff isn't though… which I think tells me a bit about where my priorities lie… or what I'm most mentally ready to deal with at the moment.
– I am stressed. I am also less motivated than I ought to be at the moment.
– And I think I'm just going to have to get around to seeing some of the Shakespeare festival if I'm up to it at some point before it ends. This all depends on how the wisdom teeth removal treats me.
– Oh and Harry Potter comes out soon! I totally have to see that movie!
– And no, my bike still hasn't made an appearance on the roads this summer. I have however walked a LOT and have wonderful sandal tan-lines to show for it.
– Oh and I adore *sarcasm* my breathing problems/nerve injury sometimes. It makes going and *ACTUALLY* swimming so much more difficult than it ought to be.

The 17 states I have visited

For a Canadian, I've made it to quite a few states apparently. I'm also indicating why I've visited these areas.
Put an X by the states you have visited. The average is 8; how do you match up?

Should you choose to play, here's what you do:

Copy my note. Delete my Xs and add your own. Just for fun, put an O beside the states where you have lived. Change the number at the top, and add your title.

Once you've saved, don't forget to tag friends (including me) on the right. Tag the same # of people as the # of states you've visited.

PS: Airports don't count.

[ ] Alabama (though I'm going there soon!)
[ ] Alaska
[ ] Arizona
[ ] Arkansas
[ X ] California (CKI)
[ X ] Colorado (CKI)
[ ] Connecticut
[ ] Delaware
[ X ] Florida (Kiwanis)
[ ] Georgia
[ ] Hawaii
[ X ] Idaho (CKI, trip with Family)
[ X ] Illinois (CKI)
[ X ] Indiana (Work, Kiwanis)
[ ] Iowa
[ ] Kansas
[ ] Kentucky
[ ] Louisiana
[ ] Maine
[ ] Maryland
[ X ] Massachusetts (CKI)
[ ] Michigan
[ ] Minnesota
[ ] Mississippi
[ X ] Missouri (CKI)
[ X ] Montana (CKI)
[ ] Nebraska
[ X ] Nevada (Vacation)
[ ] New Hampshire
[ ] New Jersey
[ ] New Mexico
[ ] New York (Friend's wedding)
[ X ] North Carolina (CKI)
[ ] North Dakota
[ ] Ohio
[ ] Oklahoma
[ X ] Oregon (CKI)
[ ] Pennsylvania
[ ] Rhode Island
[ ] South Carolina
[ ] South Dakota
[ X ] Tennessee (Kiwanis)
[ X ] Texas (CKI)
[ X ] Utah (CKI)
[ ] Vermont
[ ] Virginia
[ X ] Washington (trip with Family)
[ ] West Virginia
[ X ] Wisconsin (CKI)
[ ] Wyoming

I blame the Kiwanis family for a LARGE portion of my American travel, evidently!

65 questions you've probably never been asked

I got this from Devon. It's been a while since I've done a quiz.

1. First thing you wash in the shower? My hair
2. What color is your favorite hoodie? Navy
3. Would you kiss the last person you kissed again? I guess.
4. Do you plan outfits? Sometimes: mostly when I'm packing to go somewhere.
5. How are you feeling RIGHT now? My legs are sore, I want to spend time with people, and probably could use a hug, but for no particular reason, really.
6. WhatΓÇÖs the closest thing to you thatΓÇÖs red? the yogurt container from which I was eating.
7. Tell me about the last dream you remember having? Uh… I remember something about CKI and Kiwanis and dark corridors with strange lighting.
8. Did you meet anybody new today? No.
9. What are you craving right now? Food but I don't know what in specific.
10. Do you floss? Yes.
11. What comes to mind when I say cabbage? Cabbage patch kids… that or groceries
12. Are you emotional? yes.
13. Have you ever counted to 1,000? I don't think so.
14. Do you bite into your ice cream or just lick it? uh… depends on the ice cream
15. Do you like your hair? yes… but I don't like its split ends
16. Do you like yourself? usually.
17. Would you go out to eat with George W. Bush? I won't rule it out but I wouldn't seek out the experience.
18. What are you listening to right now? Jonathan Coulton songs
19. Are your parents strict? Nope. They rebelled when they were younger and gave me the freedom to make my own mistakes
20. Would you go sky diving? maybe. It's not on my list of things to do, but I wouldn't rule it out either
21. Do you like cottage cheese? yes
22. Have you ever met a celebrity? Yes.
23. Do you rent movies often? no.
24. Is there anything sparkly in the room youΓÇÖre in? probably. *looks around* a ribbon.
25. How many countries have you visited? Canada, US, Mexico, UK, France, Taiwan, Italy, Switzerland… that's 8?
26. Have you made a prank phone call? no.
27. Ever been on a train? yes.
28. Brown or white eggs? It doesn't matter to me.
29. Do you have a cell-phone? not yet. Eventually, perhaps.
30. Do you use chapstick? I use lip balm/gloss of some sort.
31. Do you own a gun? No.
32. Can you use chopsticks? Of course!
33. Who are you going to be with tonight? I dunno. I should probably eat something though.
34. Are you too forgiving? I dunno.
35. Ever been in love? I've been in lust. I've been in relationships that I value. I love many of my friends. But love? Not the love that I need to be being in, no.
36. What is your best friend(s) doing tomorrow? *shrugs*
37. Ever have cream puffs? Yes. One was part of my lunch at work.
38. Last time you cried? I dunno.
39. What was the last question you asked? How many staff are you short? to one of the managers at work.
40. Favorite time of the year? Spring and fall
41. Who did you last call? What? I call people? No way! But realistically speaking I haven't really called people lately except to call people back when they've called me. No one answers when I initiate phone calls.
42. Are you sarcastic? Rarely.
43. Have you ever seen The Butterfly Effect? nope.
44. Ever walked into a wall? of course.
45. Favorite colour? red.
46. Have you ever slapped someone? I don't remember having done so, but I bet that I have.
47. Is your hair curly? wavy.
48. What was the last CD you bought? Uh… some Cirque CDs.
49. Do looks matter? yes, to a certain extent.
50. Could you ever forgive a cheater? depends on how they are cheating.
51. Is your phone bill sky high? No.
52. Do you like your life right now? It's interesting.
53. Do you sleep with the TV on? No!
54. Can you handle the truth? I prefer to hear the truth.
55. Do you have good vision? I wear glasses occasionally but my vision is better than most people's who have glasses.
56. Do you hate or dislike more than 3 people? I don't think I do. I tend not to dislike people but their actions instead.
57. How often do you talk on the phone? rarely. I have a hard time REACHING people on the phone.
58. The last person you held hands with? was/is a very excellent person.
59. What are you wearing? a Powell's Books T-shirt and an Easter Seals Wisconsin Camps pair of shorts. High fashion I am not.
60. What is your favorite animal? Turtles, Elephants, butterflies etc.
61. Where was your default picture taken? At the photographer's father's house. Several years ago (2004?)
62. Can you hula hoop? yes, but not well.
63. Do you have a job? yes.
64. What was the most recent thing you bought? lunch.
65. Have you ever crawled through a window? yes.

The return of the birthday wish list

Every year I tend to post a listing of things that I wish for for my birthday. Some items are reasonable physical objects, others more intangible. Regardless, partially because people ask for such things, and partially because it becomes a decent record of my headspace I'll do the same here. Don't feel obligated to get me anything of course, but there are things in life I would appreciate. And for the most part I am listing wishes: things I'm unlikely to get for myself, but will definitely appreciate. In no particular order:

Nice Girls Don't Explode (1987) — It's only available on VHS in this area of the world, but I would rather like a DVD copy made. Regardless I rather do want it.

A Wii with a Wii Fit — okay, so I'm normally technologically backward. I'll admit that. But it's high time I have a gaming console, and the Wii is my favorite out there right now. I realize I have a tiny TV, but honestly at this point I don't care. I really want the Wii Fit because I've learned that it is something that I would ACTUALLY use. I love the gym and all but the travel time taken to get to and from the gym (usually walking, so exercise too…) often means I don't go often enough, particularly in the winter time (or times of adverse weather), especially since Jackie and I stopped going together, and this will help me be less couch potato-ish. To put it frankly, I REALLY want this, but have failed to mention it up to this point. Heck I think it would help me this school year a lot. I just can't possibly afford to purchase it right now, given all the known expenses (eg. tuition, summer travel, wisdom teeth removal etc.) in the coming months.

A short stool to rest my feet on while sitting at my computer. About 4-5 inches off the ground I think would be perfect. My feet dangle if I want my chair at the right height to be ergonomically comfortable, which often results in my legs going numb which rather concerns me because it takes a rather long time for them to regain normal sensation. Particularly given the fact that an increase in school work will likely result in more time at the computer, I think I definitely need a such footstool.

Time spent with friends. I feel I often neglect to spend quality time with people who mean a lot to me. I really want to reconnect with people with whom I have lost touch, and have better relationships with those with whom I do spend time. Yes, I realize I don't yet have a cell phone (still looking for the perfect cell phone, though Beth from Florida had one I rather liked) but that shouldn't mean that I shouldn't be social.

That '70s Show Season 8. This is the last remaining season that I have not yet seen. I really want to own it, and complete my collection.

Movies: Quebecois ones, Angels in America, Johnny Depp, Topher Grace or Natalie Portman ones.

Book of Enchantments by Patricia C. Wrede. Stories set in the world of The Enchanted Forest Chronicles!

Music: The Fugitives. Band out of Vancouver from whom I'd like to hear more.

True love! 😉 One cannot help but dream, of course!

Great experiences. I love to spend time with friends and others travelling, trying new food, seeing theatre, etc. Honestly, experiences are worth so much to me.

Board Games. While I do have a rather lot of them, my tendancy to have board game nights (and want to have more of them) means that the more excellent ones, the better! Ones that have caught my eye lately include: Bananagrams, Settlers of Catan, Puerto Rico, Thebes, expansions for Munchkin (I have Need for Steed), expansions for Killer Bunnies, etc.

Help with my Kiwanis club. In order to do more service to the community of course, help is always needed. And we're so new to Edmonton that there remains so much to be done… but this is difficult with so few of us.

Hugs. Laughter. An ear to listen. A person to talk to. Someone to walk with. Friendship. Smiles. Moments. Emails. Facebook messages. LJ posts. etc. Sometimes I do not feel well enough connected. Sometimes I get lonely. Sometimes I just want company. I oscillate between being too busy and the opposite. And my outlet for stress tends to be in being somehow active.

Nashville in a nutshell…

So a week ago, I got home from Nashville. Since then, I've been so busy that I haven't had the chance to properly put my experience in perspective. Photos are, however available here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2160613&id=120402019&l=625edd19dc and here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2160621&id=120402019&l=315d07afbc

I think I will number Nashville among my favorite American cities to visit. There is just so much to do and see by way of live music, sightseeing, amenities, and yet, like Edmonton the city has a smaller town feel to it. I highly recommend visiting (in particular I recommend people who really like music [of ANY type, not just country], like my father to go!).

Convention itself was one excellent time, overall. I enjoyed running into familiar faces nearly everywhere I went — there were fare more CKI alumni present at this convention than ever before in my recollection. I also ran into many other CKI supporters including my fellow DAs (past, present, and future plus assistant admins), current CKI members and of course KI staff who were very familiar. Then there were some of my favorite Kiwanians, new friends and new faces, and of course my very familiar We-Can Kiwanians.

Highlights include:
— The Grand Ole Opry (with amazing stars! Did you know that they have real commercials?)
— Jack's BBQ (so yummy!)
— Broadway Brewhouse (72 beers on tap — we counted the taps!)
— The Past Perfect Restaurant (the decor and atmosphere was excellent even if the server did forget to serve me a few times)
— The Country Music Hall of Fame (including Elvis' Gold Piano and Gold Cadillac)
— The Parthenon (yes, Nashville has a scale replica of Athens' Parthenon)
— The Ryman Auditorium (the Church of Country Music)
— The Wildhorse Saloon (we had a private party there! Booking the whole place, and had great live music, buffet food, drinks, dancing, line dancing lessons and more!
— BB Kings for the SLP Alumni reception (great to convene with some of my CKI 03-04 Governors, and my fellow Admins among others… including Paul Palazzolo, 09-10 Kiwanis International President)
— The Stage (one of the Honky Tonks with continuous live music — the band took no breaks and ONLY played GREAT songs!)
— The pedestrian foot bridge and great photo ops
— Swimming at the hotel pool
— Having a ridiculously awesome hotel room (at the Hilton)
— The Nashville Social (for guests from not-the-USA — I met people from Panama, Japan, and Canada among others)
— Judson Laipply (of The Evolution of Dance fame! I even got my book signed, and met him yet again)
— Denver and the MileHigh Orchestra (great music! Reality TV can select some decent music sometimes)
— Sweet Tea (oh how I love this delicious stuff!)
— yummy southern BBQ food
— the swing in the park
— Celebrity Impersonators (including Dolly Parton, Minnie Pearl, Elvis etc.)
— Loads of great experiences with far flung friends!

Suffice to say: I can't wait for next year in Vegas! Perhaps I'm a Kiwanis convention junkie or something, but what can I say — these are some of my favorite moments — reuniting with some of the most awesome service-minded people plus some great sightseeing and fun for good measure!