The Daily EO: February 5th, 2014

What felt like pinpricks for my husband, felt like plastic injection molding into my arms.  He went first – announced “Doesn’t hurt!” and easily slipped his shirt back on.  I am the other hand, had to hold firmly to the chair with other arm to avoid violently reacting to the cheery nurse stabbing my arms with her life saving medicine.

But I have this strange feeling of being protected – like getting a power up on a video game – a little glowing shield all around me.  Ha ha! Hepatitis A!  Watch me walk right through you!  I can engaged in risky behaviors – like eating food from a street cart in Costa Rica without repercussion!!  (Though I’ll admit the traveller’s diarrhea could get me  – I couldn’t stomach the $85 for a 67% reduction in chance)

From time to time I reflect on the great gift that we have been given in Canada and North America.  Few families have to watch their children die from what seemed a cold or fever at first.  Rubella, Whopping Cough, Smallpox, Polio, Measles, Mumps, Influenza – we don’t need to worry about our children (or ourselves) catching these diseases.

Or do we?  For some reason – despite the risk to society – some parents choose not to vaccinate their children.  And while this may on the surface appear to be a decision that affects only that child – it doesn’t.  It increases disease prevalence, and creates a situation where other children – who may be only 97% protected due to their vaccination – could catch something that could maim or kill them.  Suddenly – historical sounding diseases are showing up again because selfishly some families want to impugn the rights of others to impose the minority opinion on the rest of us.

Yeah, I know – I’m opinionated on this topic.  And I don’t even get a flu shot.  So you could say the same about me risking others with my flu-y self.  But seriously!  Come on!

February 5th, 2014 Extra-Ordinary:   I secretly like my smallpox vaccination scar.

 

 

The Daily EO: May 19th – 22nd

It was my friend Lisa’s 40th birthday on May 21st and she asked me and some other friends to join her at Tigh-na-Mara in Parksville.  Well, that is kinda true – she asked me what I thought – should we go to Montreal, Las Vegas, a West Coast spa or camping in Golden.  I mean, really?  What?  One of things is not like the other ones!  Golden is nice, yes, but camping?  Camping is a pain – you have to haul in a whole bunch of stuff to try and make it feel more like home, get a lousy sleep because your poor hip doesn’t have the cushioning it needs on the hard ground, and stay dirty.  Why would you do anything of these things?

Yes, I am not a camper.  So, I was relieved when the consensus going to a spa resort for a couple of days.   We started off well with a wonderful ferry ride up to Nanaimo from Horseshoe Bay.  A peaceful crossing full of possibilities – so I know I am going somewhere.  The four of us all met up around 5 pm at the resort and immediately the wine started flowing.  The sun was dropping in the sky so a walk on the beach was in order.

I then invented a new photography technique that I call “blind photography”.  I am sure many smart photo users have engaged in this activity unknowingly.  It’s when you try to take pictures with your phone despite standing directly in sunlight.  You have no idea what you’ve snapped – the horizon could be crooked, the focus out of whack – you just do not know.  Here is one of my best:

Blind Photography
Blind Photography

The rest of the night is a little fuzzy.

The next morning, I got up and ran.  Yes, despite the wine and the early morning wake-up from the skylight, I run through the trails of Parksville before breakfast and a spa day.  I think it was to assuage the guilt I felt knowing I’d be missing work during a really busy phase.  Directly after breakfast it was to the spa.  At this spa, there is rules, you must where a robe at all times.  I got a pedicure, Lisa got a facial and we met our friends for Endless Tapas.  Endless Tapas?  What is that?  Well, you pay $50 and they bring you tapas until you cannot eat any longer.  If you liked something particular, you order more – no charge.   This is dangerous when all your tight-fitting clothing is in the locker downstairs and all you have a loose hide-it-away robe expanding with you.

There was no wine that night.

The next day we got more spa treatments and then combed the beaches.  And I mean it, we combed the beaches.  We were looking for glass rocks on 5 different beaches in Parksville.  Frankly, I think Lisa thought the world owed her something for her birthday.  So we searched and searched.  But to no avail.

We made arrangements with the resort for a “fire kit” – which un-kittingly was one item – and marshmallow roasting sticks.  When it got dark, a fire on the beach complete with s’mores was planned.  We finally dragged our spa-ed bodies out the front door to find it was pouring rain.  We wanted s’mores, but we were not that dedicated or skilled to be able to do it in the pouring rain.  Fortunately, I knew an option.   So munching on s’mores and watching So You Think You Can Dance, we wiled the rest of the night away.

May 19 -22, 2013 Extra-Ordinary:  Time a way “on the island” with a friend who shared my formative years at university.

The Daily EO: November 29th, 2012

My e-reader ran out of battery.
I didn’t bring any papery books.
My laptop had no internet access (or games) and no files to work on.
My pen ran out of ink.
I had read the magazine on my way down there.
No entertainment system.
My phone was about to run out of battery.

November 29th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  The longest 2 hour plane ride ever.

The Daily EO: November 27th, 2012

I spent most of the morning worrying about the number of pairs of shoes to bring.  And how long it would take me to walk to the Skytrain.   And did I have my passport.  And how casually should I dress for the flights?  I am travelling with senior members of team afterall.

I am travelling to Utah for work, and I am more worried about the stupid things than anything at all important.  Should I take a snack?  Will I take a travel mug?  Where should I put my business cards?

Have I packed my passport?  The flight leaves at 1 pm, right?

I’m excited to travel to Utah – I am catching up to Emile.

When I am actually on the plane, I start to finally relax a little bit – except for the germy, phlegmy old man sitting beside me.  I don’t want your germs.  I’m leaning into the aisle.

Why am I going to Utah?  Does it matter?  Something about wooing a new customer or something.

Where’s my passport?

November 27th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  Minutiae distracting me from what’s really important.

The Daily EO: November 19th, 2012

One year ago Emile and I were in Grenada to celebrate his 40th birthday.  He didn’t know about the trip – I managed to pay for it with my tips.  6 good friends came along and we had a great time staying in our rented villa and soaking up the sun.  Emile didn’t really know what was going on until we pulled into the airport and got in line for at Caribbean Airlines. Even then, he couldn’t quite absorb that we were on this vacation and that I had pulled the whole thing off with him being completely unaware of anything.

I loved organizing the trip for us, but I fell into a habit of watching everything I said around him.  It got to be second nature to hesitate before I spoke, to keep my thoughts to myself and lie to Emile.  It took me a bit of time to get back to normal where I share almost all of my thoughts with him freely again.  The simple pleasure of speaking to one who gets me and doesn’t ever judge.

We aren’t doing anything spectacular for his birthday this year, but we are full up on spectacular right now.   But yet. . .

November 19th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  4 more boxes unpacked and put away.  And perhaps Sayulita next . .

The end of a Beach Day

The Daily EO: September 26th, 2012

When I first moved to Hamilton, Ontario, I sat at light ready to turn left.  It turned green bt then started to blink.  I sat and waited while the cars behind me started to honk.  I sat in the middle of the intersection uncertain how to proceed.  The cars on the other side were not going, yet there was no advance green.  After careful checking, I finally proceeded through the intersection much to the relief of the drivers behind me.

After consulting with local Ontarians, I found out that a blinking green light in Ontario was actually an advanced green – normally signified by an arrow or separate bank of lights in BC (where I grew up).  It took me quite some time to get to used to this in Ontario – though I find that many lighted intersections use arrows to indicate advance lefts now.

In BC, a blinking green light means a pedestrian controlled intersection.  So, normally the light stays green until a pedestrian comes along and presses the button to cross the street.

September 26th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  Trying to break myself of the learned habit of advanced lefts on blinking green lights.

The Daily EO: September 14th, 2012

Greetings from Coquitlam, BC and the Lydell Family Residence!

Hours on the Road: 10 hours
Kms Travelled: 846

I found myself alone in my mom’s house as everyone left for work.  It was 7:30 am.  It was weird having nobody to wave goodbye from the front porch or at the airport gate.  But I pulled out and heading on the “Crow Highway” or Highway 3 “Shortest Route to the Coast”.

I love the drive from Cranbrook to Vancouver, it is filled with amazing mountain passes with cities dotted along about every 1 hour.  There are multiple passing lanes so when you are going down an 8% grade behind a large truck, you can pull around and make a more speedy descent.

I haven’t driven this drive alone for more than 15 years and I enjoyed the solitude.  Alone with my thoughts I wondered “Have we made the right decision?”, but mostly I just sang along to my iPod.

As I passed through Creston, I considered purchasing fresh fruit, but decided I would bring it from Osoyoos instead.  I love the romance of roadside fruit stands.  I imagine family orchards three generations deep with luscious peaches and crisp apples in their blood lines.  I am sure it is much more corporate today, but I love to stop.

I stopped for gas and lemon Perrier frequently – the latter causing my bathroom breaks being a little more often than a tank of gas.

In Osoyoos I stopped and purchased a large basket of nectarines and large McIntosh Apples.  I cannot return to BC without enjoying a case of BC Macs.  I love them – it tastes of crisp weather, Hallowe’en, and raking leaves.

I drove without incident until about 15 kms out from my destination and then entered the construction on Highway 1 and the Port Mann bridge.  It slowed my progress tremendously, but I was still able to roll into town just in time for dinner.

September 14th, 2012 Exta-Ordinary:  I’m here.

The Daily EO: September 7th, 2012

Greetings from Cranbrook, BC and the Levang Family Resort!

Hours on the Road:  7
Kms Travelled: 606

Today was a short jaunt home comparatively speaking.  Just 1/2 of Montana left to go until Cranbrook – Emile flies to Vancouver on Sunday.

I was anxious to get started being so close to home, and I watched Emile intently while he tried to enjoy a leisurely breakfast.  And today promised not to be a 15 hour marathon – there were only really 600 kms to travel – it was nothing really.  But I am coming home to British Columbia after 16 years away.  I wanted to get home for that reason and because I was so tired of seeing the inside of the Honda Fit.

Our travels took us through the flat prairies right into the Rocky Mountains.  On the way, we journey through Glacier National Park and Cut Bank “The Coldest Place in the Nation”.  Doesn’t that strike you as odd?  The coldest place in the nation is in Montana?  Not Alaska?  Or maybe just considering the lower 48, Minnesota or something?  Nonetheless, someone found the time and money to build a talking penguin statue that makes the claim.  And seriously, if a penguin actually talks to me, I tend to believe what they have to say.

Weird

The BC places started to get more and more prevalent as we neared the border.  At the gas station in Eureka (10 kms from Canada), there were more Canadian plates than American ones.  I understand first hand the challenges that a strong Canadian dollar gives for Canadian companies trying to do business in the US, however, as a consumer, it works out pretty well.

We stopped at the duty-free shop in Roosville, Montana, USA called “First and Last Chance”.  I am not sure who in the dark, dingy bar/store/casino was on their first chance, but there were some hard living people in there.

I insisted on a stop in Cranbrook before heading home because I wanted it official:

After 16 Years

 

September 7th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary: 

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