Life is a busy adventure…

… and we are all growing older. This weekend reminded me of this fact, and not only because of birthdays.

Friday I met up with many people I hadn't seen for far too long. I got a marvelous haircut from Jackie (thanks!) before moseying to the Sugar Bowl to hang with fellow Huco students (and our graduate coordinator). Good fun, really. It had been far too long since I had been to the Sugar Bowl. Perhaps I'll frequent it more frequently in the future?

Then I went to Mike's (Kip) place for a board game party. It was good fun, particularly as we played the Game of Life Electronic edition. Sure, my team didn't do amazingly well, but I met some excellent new people! I also got to see all the great renovation work he had done on his house, and chat with people about summer weddings, houses, work, school etc. Yes it does feel like we're all growing up somehow.

Last night I went to Nicole and Brad's wedding. I bussed there, which was an adventure in and of itself, as I had never been to that golf course (what reason do I have to go to golf courses but special events?). Before the ceremony I ran into Jeff (Kepi), who I hadn't seen in years (other than brief passings at the grocery store, really. It was good to know someone who wasn't deeply intwined with the wedding party. We got to catch up and I even eventually dragged him onto the dance floor for a bit. Nicole and Brad looked amazing. Nicole's dress was outstanding (to put it mildly). Brad, wearing the red serge, looked so official and dashing. The reception included some great entertaining moments, and the dance included some truly fun songs. I had a great time, and am very happy to know such amazing people!

First day on campus provides perspective…

… in other words, I think I'll be able to handle things just fine, regardless of the fact that apparently the first month will be spent learning xml (which reminds me of Hanne's comments about her crash course this summer… and somehow the fact that it'll be a month's worth of learning rather than just a weekend helps). I think php is also on the agenda (among other things) and I think there might be at least one crash course in things like html (which I've partly forgotten, so it'll be a good to have a refresher).

Apparently I should look into software — I took notes but some of the programs listed include Turbopad, Zotero (an add-on for Firefox) and the thirty day free trial of Oxygen. I dunno how much of that I'll get (or of the other programs we discussed, like Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop etc.) but somehow I think that I'm going to learn a thing or two about computers this year… just maybe… 😉

I'm also supposed to start a blog of my research (what research?), partly so I know how to blog (I think I've got the 'knowing how to blog' thing covered though)… so we'll see if I get around to doing that separately from LJ or not… if I need a separate blog for any of my classes, I'll definitely get one though — It's not as if I don't already have online identities that I can very much use.

The orientation itself went smoothly. I figure that there's probably less than 10 of us starting the MA/MLIS program this year (I met 3 others at orientation). Tomorrow I'll likely catch some fellow students at the Sugarbowl too which'll be good. The HUCO program is rather small, but I think I like it that way. I'm not sure I liked how the GSA just cut the person who left the exec out of the picture they used at the sessions, as it reminded me of a CKI faux pas from a few years back (my board year).

In other news, I enjoyed walking about in Edmonton today. It was one WARM day. And I'm so glad to finally have a GSA agenda book, with SPACE to write things in.

Oh and I think I'm like the only non-laptop carrying cell phone brandying person in HUCO (or at least in the orientation group)… and I'm not sure what I think about that one. Am I actually going to change?

The Road Home (from Regina)

Saturday of convention went excellently. My speach was well received (thanks again to Louis for the hard work he put into the powerpoint presentation — without it, I would not have been able to present it nearly so well). Books for Africa actually generated a fair bit of buzz from the Kiwanians. Ian's Key Club speach was also quite entertaining. Workshops will hopefully help generate the momentum we need as Kiwanians to build our organization in the coming weeks and months.

House of Delegates was great — we elected our first ever female governor-elect. Lori will do an amazing job I'm sure — and it helped that she brought such delicious bribes (yay for fresh Bernard Callebaut chocolates!), not that she needed them. All went as expected, and I enjoyed checking everyone into the House with John.

The banquet was good as well — I sat with Walter and Bernice, which was excellent. It was good to catch up with both of them, as I don't see either of them often enough. I lost an earring unfortunately which means I'll have to start checking out antique shops for earrings again (I don't have pierced ears). The hospitality suite was the largest ever (size of room-wise that is) which was also entertaining — I got to catch up with Hanne and meet her dog. The bartender for the evening was also exceptionally good.

Sunday morning the memorial service ended early and so we were on our way soon enough. Our scenic route home took us to Canada's longest pedestrian food bridge (part of the TransCanada Trail) in Outlook, Saskatchewan. It was such a beautiful area, I hope one day to walk the entire length of the bridge and back…

We stopped in Rosetown, Saskatchean for lunch at a nice Canadian-Chinese restaurant. In Macklin, Saskatchewan, we checked out the world's largest Bunnoc. All in all it was a great trip home.

So now I'm back in Edmonton for the time being, catching up on everything and getting ready for a crazy school semester. Yes, I'm having a hard time saying 'no' but I'm doing it, as I think I'm going to have to make some difficult decisions as time goes on. I'm not superhuman, afterall, as much as I would like to be!

Hilbilly Hoedown and other adventures

After a day's board meetings, Ian and I went walking. We found a Korean grocery store where he bought shrimp crackers (in a massive bag!) before walking down toward the Casino and back, and then heading toward Victoria Park. Victoria Park was wonderful for people watching among other things: Ian climbed a tree! Plus there was some fun public art as well.

Opening session was incredibly brief: far more casual than usual because of the brevity — but this brevity was very welcome. Many missed opening session because of this fact and also because the golf tournament ran late.

Soon we went to Buffalo Point for our Hilbilly Hoedown. Everyone got a new Hilbilly name for the evening. Mine was given to be Desiree Mae Bob. Ian was Doc, and there were many other great names in the crowd. Dinner was excellent bbq food — it seems that this is my summer of bbq what with Nashville and Birmingham and Regina…

The live band was excellent! I got to dance quite a bit with excellent dancers. Wayne was particularly skilled for example. It was great country western tunes, and Ian even learned to dance a bit himself. We closed out the party, leaving on the last bus… a great ending to a busy day.

In Regina…

Yet another hotel room, though this time, a familiar hotel. I've made it safe and sound to Regina, and am enjoying my stay as of yet. Last night was a Kiwanis District board dinner at The Diplomat restaurant (loved the decor!), which was a pretty fancy steakhouse etc. It was good to see the board again — particularly in a relaxed setting like this one, though I was sad that the Alberta Ltgs are unable to attend (we miss you!).

Getting to know the Key Club Gov, Ian is really great as well. I'm definitely pleased with that opportunity. He seems like he'll be a great leader to help bring this 'fake' Key Club district (to apparently quote Mike Downs, so Ian explains) closer to charter strength… as it is I think Edmonton has 6 new Key Clubs in the works for the fall… so who knows!

Today is board meetings, until the actual district convention opens. Things should get interesting!

Three Things

You are supposed to write a note with the 3's of YOU.
——————————————————-
3 names I go by:
1. Ali
2. Ali Kira
3. Ali G

3 jobs I've had in my life:
1. Cashier
2. Hostess
3. Bartender

3 places I've lived:
1. Edmonton
2. Montreal
3. Revelstoke

3 favorite drinks
1. Juice
2. Sweet Tea
3. Smoothies

3 TV shows I watch:
1. CSI
2. Numb3rs
3. Criminal Minds

3 Places I've been:
1. Vancouver
2. Victoria
3. Birmingham, Alabama

3 places I want to go:
1. Geneva, Switzerland in 2011 for Kiwanis Convention!
2. Regina (tomorrow!)
3. University (very soon…)

3 of my favorite foods:
1. Sushi
2. Red Bean Bubble Tea
3. Huckleberries

3 things I look forward to:
1. Actually knowing a bit more about what I'm doing this school year
2. Future Travels
3. Catching up on various online things.

Overwhelmed…

I'm still not caught up on emails, but the deluge of school-related emails has begun, and I'm understandably worried. Not so much from the Library side of things, but… heck, while I'm *relatively* computer savvy compared to the majority of the population, I guess, my pseudo-ludditish tendencies might be my downfall. I don't know a thing about programming. I don't. I'm more than just a titch overwhelmed by the idea of developing an alternate reality game (of ANY sort) in a week's time. Heck sure it means that two of my classes will be cancelled for the first week of school, but 4-6hrs of work on this project a day is more than just a bit overwhelming. And yet, I somehow don't want to NOT do it.

Must I always be such an acheiver? *sighs* This does sound like an incredible opportunity though — and I suppose my experiences playing games/writing/reading etc. might be of use? I'm familiar enough with the idea of alternate reality games I think?

I felt better today than yesterday though — but I'm also a bit confused by a sensation of general weakness that I seem to be occasionally contending with today as well. Perhaps I'm not eating right? I don't know really. I don't think that that's the issue. I'm not sleeping terribly well, and one of my teeth is super sensitive lately, but I have no idea whether any of this is related or not.

I dunno. There is simply a lot to contend with. And I'm certainly not invincible. Just writing about this has made me less stressed about it.

A Crazy day (aka. yesterday)

So I had finally decided to go to the Fringe yesterday. I had already determined that I would be unable to see Captain Hook vs. the Zombies due to work/travel time constraints, among other plays, but wanted to see at least a bit of the Fringe. I bought tickets, planned my stay and otherwise was prepared for an awesome day.

Work began well that day. I was feeling great, looking forward to the Fringe and whatnot. I was perfectly a-okay until probably 1:30pm. Sometime between then and 2pm, I began yawning uncontrollably at my till. This wouldn't have been a problem except for the fact that at 2pm I felt ill enough to need to leave my till entirely. I basically ended up lying down and not wanting to stand or even sit up. Mara and Sara were awesome in their care of me — providing water and a safe place to feel better. I had felt like I was burning up, and my mouth was dry, I was nauseated, and didn't want to stand up. Apparently my skin was clammy too. Regardless, within an hour of relaxing (relatively speaking), drinking liquids (water and chicken broth) and once I was no longer feeling overly warm (I was really cold) being wrapped in my jacket and a blanket, I was feeling well enough to finish my shift at work. This was quite bizarre. It is thought that I was dehydrated? I would compare this experience to several in the past — I've even had my blood sugar tested during one of these experiences, and it has been normal… *shrugs*. Regardless, I was a bit weak for the rest of my day.

Instead of walking all the way to the fringe I attempted to catch the streetcar and bus (missing the ones I wanted to catch) before taking the number 9 across the bridge and walking the rest of the way. I ran into Nick on my walk, and then also ran into Mim upon my arrival at the Fringe grounds. Once at the Fringe, I met up with Chris.

We wandered around and I grabbed a crepe for dinner (it was topped with pizza toppings). We stopped by Second Cup where Susan met us and I got some Kiwanis stuff done. We all waited out the storm under the Second Cup awning. Eventually we returned to the Fringe grounds. Once there we watched the end of the Arial Angels show before catching an awesome performance by Apocalypse Kow!

Next was She Came From Planet X! This was far better than I even dreamed it would be. I totally loved the announcer, the commercials, the outfits, the plot, and acting… heck I really loved the whole show, including the soundtrack. Andrea outdid herself!

We wandered after that, finding Fren's aunt's Bubble tea shop (Bubble Juice) which was barely open (we knocked on the window before getting some service (so yummy!). I was highly impressed by Fren's artwork everywhere! The colours, flavours, signs — really Fren's aunt told us Fren did a LOT for the hopefully eventual success of the business. I was very impressed!

We walked back to the Fringe grounds where I had churros and we wandered aimlessly. Such fun! The night ended with our viewing of Late Night Cabaret which was a variety show. I enjoyed the Wheel — the randomness was great though the flying candy was not. I was rather impressed with Jemma(?)'s performance during that night's entertainment. I really think I like live variety shows.

Trip wrap up (yes I'm back in Edmonton… temporarily!)

Thursday morning Aliana called, and I walked over to her place to spend some time with her. She was baking some VERY delicious muffins and butter tart squares. I also ate blueberries, and drank orange juice. She was a great host! The visit wasn't terribly long, but it was good to see her, especially since I was staying so nearby.

Colin and I went out for all you can eat sushi afterward. It made for a good way to spend a relatively rainy afternoon. We also did some walking, and watched a movie in the evening.

Friday morning was mostly spent reading (I devoured the first 5 Sandman Graphic novels during my stay at Colin's, plus many other graphic novels, including some Serenity stuff), until my cousin Trisha and my aunt and uncle came and we went to Lonsdale Quay (in North Vancouver)for lunch. I got to ride the skytrain and the seabus to get there and back. Trisha and I had excellent soup at the Quay and we also ate gelato and went for a walk down the Trans-Canada Trail (it is a short trail). On my return downtown, Trisha and I went shopping and stopped at Propaganda (it's a clothing shop) where I bought a jacket. Yay for sales! My receipt stated a 68.somethingerrather% sale price (crazy, really). Fun stuff!

Colin and I walked Stanley Park again (we spent SO much time here!) checking out the hollow tree before going for Thai food. He has such good taste in food/restaurants. After that we stopped by Little Sisters again to brouse before heading to Granville for the Queer Film Festival, where we caught a film (Barely! We were in teh Hope line, and somehow got in) called Ciao. It was good, but could have used some shortening — it was a really slow film.

Saturday morning we went to a local farmers market where I found an awesome t-shirt, some great cheese curds and some necklaces (plus Colin got some yummy blackberries, yum!). We went out for Korean food for lunch and I got a bubble tea before we went to Stanley Park to sit and read in the beautiful sun on the seawall. It was a good end to my vacation before I flew back to Edmonton. Waiting for the bus to the airport, we ran into a bunch o' zombies so that was an interesting end to my vacation!

And now I *AM* home. I'm working tonight and so will know shortly what my schedule is like for the next couple weeks. I'll be going to Regina for a Kiwanis convention on the weekend, but before that I'm hoping to catch at least SOME of the Fringe. We'll see. I'm going to have to visit Vancouver more often though — it was a great vacation!