Saturday, December 31, 2005

things i've learned this year (that i can still remember)

This was a pretty dramatic year for the whole world, with the aftermath of the tsunami, all of the hurricanes, the Iraq war continuing, celebrities being even crazier than normal, etc. It's funny how many things can change, but everything really is still the same. People are still being born, still dying, wars happen, peace happens, drama happens, people struggle to make money, while others spend more than I'll ever make in a lifetime. I love sitting for a minute at midnight to imagine scenes from all around the country and the world just at that moment. Definitely keeps a person humble to be reminded of our small (but still important) role in the world.

Things i've learned this year:

  1. Hangovers can last for more than one day.
  2. Pregnancy tests are NOT clear, regardless of what they tell you, and figuring them out can be just as dramatic as 9 months of pregnancy.
  3. Life can resemble TV a lot more than I ever realized.
  4. People often want something or somebody that they can’t have, only to change their minds completely when the object of their desire isn’t so unattainable.
  5. Florida SUCKS at the end of March – seriously, never go there during the last week of March! Busiest time of the year.
  6. Dinner with Disney characters can turn three tired and cranky grown ups into little kids.
  7. Airline employees can be trained to become members of a flight crew in less than two hours (and yes, this is from personal experience and an 11 hour delay at the Orlando airport)
  8. It is possible for people to learn the inner workings of a cell phone that does email, instant messaging, surfs the internet, downloads ringtones, takes pictures and videos, and plays games – without taking a course in college or university.
  9. People from North Carolina are the most polite people in the United States. They also have amazing food.
  10. I totally suck at body surfing and wake boarding.
  11. I love Greek food, country ham, hush puppies, peach cobbler, and sweet tea.
  12. It's almost impossible to take pictures of lightning.
  13. I’m very good at navigating my way through strange places.
  14. It’s possible to run from one end of the Detroit airport to the other in 45 minutes, while carrying a laptop, two heavy bags, and still have time for the duty free store.
  15. Several people I expected to keep in touch with after moving away disappeared from my life almost instantly.
  16. I will never ever name my daughter Katrina.
  17. CNN should only be viewed for short periods of time... and people should watch something funny for at least a half an hour immediately afterwards.
  18. 90% of landlords are not nice (understatement of the year).
  19. Moving stuff from a large two-bedroom apartment to a one-bedroom apartment is ever harder than it sounds. (16 hours, two hour drive, one SMALL elevator, and four people)
  20. “42” may very well be the answer to life, the universe, and everything – but none of us will ever be able to explain why… which makes sense if you think about it.
  21. Several people I expected to lose touch with after moving away have become closer friends than when we lived in the same city.
  22. It is possible to love somebody not related by blood so much that you can’t help but call them a relative.
  23. Old friends are the greatest friends and I’m incredibly lucky to have these few people in my life.
  24. New friends are great too – and I can’t wait for some of them to become old friends, although I have learned that most won’t be around forever.
  25. I still can’t lick my elbow. Or do cartwheels.
  26. I can read a 250 page book in an hour.
  27. Some songs are always going to remind me of the past.
  28. I still talk too much!
  29. New Year's always makes me a little bit too sappy and nostalgic, but this is better than being regretful and sad.
  30. I am going to be a teacher someday... just have to find my classroom.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Notes from the day before the last day

Wow the end of another year. I don't know why New Year's has always been such a big deal for me. Even as a little kid, I used to love staying up to watch the ball drop with my babysitters while my parents were at parties with their friends. I got to watch Dirty Dancing for the first time (without my parent's permission) one year, played with noisemakers and fireworks, and have had several great parties of my own out at the lake.
I never imagined that I'd be in this city celebrating another New Year's eve, this time with just Jeremy and I - although we do have champagne and sparklers for midnight :)
I guess I'm feeling a little philosophical about things, since this next year is going to be pretty intense. I graduate university - again - and will be back out into the world trying to find a career - again. This is not to be taken as a complaint, because I know that I'm going in the right direction with my life. It's scary though, being out in another new city, without knowing where I'll be celebrating New Year's next year...
It's nice to have Jeremy with me though, and without sounding too sappy, I don't know how I'd be managing this year without his support. Student teachers have to be very careful about not talking about things that they see and hear - it's crazy how quickly stories get around. I'm lucky to be able to come home and vent about things when i need to, and not have to worry about things being repeated.
So on to the last day of 2005 with high hopes for the new year and the new direction that life has taken me...

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Notes from a frustrated hockey watcher

Okay, so I was going to write about my great trip around Ontario, visiting friends and family, while the World Juniors (Canada vs. Norway) plays in the background. But I'm so completely frustrated with this game that I can't not make a comment on it.
I guess the good thing about having a blog is being able to say whatever you want, and I've gotta say that the officiating in this international tournament is TERRIBLE. Anybody who knows hockey understands that with the "New" NHL, things are a little different this year. More penalties, less fights, more goals... according to Gary Bettman this is a "great" change and will bring more fans to the game while making old fans happier. Being an old fan of this game, I have been repeatedly dissapointed by the number of penalites and some of the other changes to the game. But, some of the recent games have been good enough to give me hope that my favourite sport will evolve back into what it used to be.
Unfortunately, this evening, I am interrupted by the ridiculous number of penalties that have been called during this game. Not having the official stats at this time, I can only guess at the amount of minutes that have been spent with 5 on 5 - I'm thinking a little less than 4 minutes... There have been so many penalities called that both teams have had a 2 man advantage twice. This is only the second period!
It's gotten to the point that the crowd (in Vancouver) is now booing penality calls for both Canada and Norway. This makes me wonder at what point can an official be kicked out of the game??

The only redeeming part of this incredibly frustrating game is that we're winning 3-0.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Notes from Christmas Eve

It's amazing how worth it driving for hours to get somewhere can be ... as long as there is family on the other end. I know not everybody feels like this, but I'm lucky enough to not only get along really well with my family, but also my boyfriend's family as well. We're spending our third Christmas together, starting in Port Colbourne, then heading up to Sudbury to see my parents. I just love this time of year...

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Notes from the road

Yesterday, I drove from Windsor to London. The drive was good, although the number of trucks on the highway definitely took away some of the enjoyment of the drive. Luckily, there was no snow at all, and I happily sung along with the radio for two hours. The instant I got into London, it started to snow. I think it stopped sometime through the night, and the “trace” of snow predicted by our ever-accurate Weather Network turned into several centimeters. I’ll only worry if it snows while I’m driving home though… otherwise it’s nice to have so much on the ground for Christmas.

The trip to London went much as anticipated… filled with a lot of emotion and joy, I finally met Kim and Steve’s little son. Gordie is so amazing and SMALL! I lucked out and got to see him awake for a little while. Those people who have not been blessed with holding a newborn baby can never understand the connection that can be made just by looking into their eyes. This little person knew that it wasn’t his mother or father holding him – he was curious about me and tried to keep his eyes open for a longer look, but sleep won him over. I think I watched him sleep for 45 minutes before handing him over to his mommy (I’m still getting used to Kim being a mommy) so I could take a few pictures of them together.

I hated to leave. But it was dinner time for this little family, so I moved on to the next mommy and new baby. Ledawit (the other mommy) had somehow managed to make a roast beef dinner with all of the fixings and to add to this, Addis fell asleep in his swing for the entire dinner. Getting to spend time with the girls is a rare occasion these days, with me being away for school.

Today will be my first time visiting a mall since I moved to Windsor… interestingly it is a mall in London that I’m going to. It’s not that I don’t like shopping – just the opposite – but when you’re on a limited budget and can’t resist shoe sales, it’s a good idea to avoid temptation altogether. I’m spending the day with Ledawit and Addis, and the experience of shopping with a 3 month old baby is going to be very interesting. I know we’ll get a lot of stares because he’s so adorable – it’ll be neat to watch her get to show off her baby a little.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Kim and Gordon at the hospital

Pregant Kim (about 5 months along)

Ledawit and Addis

Notes from Windsor

Well this is my first time trying out a blog. Having been inspired to send my thoughts out into the void that is the internet, I am instantly curious about the people who may end up reading this. Even if nobody does, I can't deny the therapeutic nature of writing.

I am a unversity student hoping to make it through teacher's college so that I can get a job and pay off my crazy school debts already. The year is officially half over, and I am looking forward to spending some time with my friends and family for Christmas. It's ironic that I spent so much time wanting to move out of my parent's house and get away from Sudbury only to know count the days until I can return. This year the need to go home is even stronger because I'm not somewhere that I really like to be. I have watched two of my closest friends in the world become pregnant in the last year, and although I'm only two hours away - it might as well be on the other side of the country.

I missed out on my oldest friend going through a terrifying birth and subsequent complications of an emergency c section. Thank God they are both okay, but I won't be able to relax until I can see them both for myself - something about the visual reminder that they are doing fine. So tomorrow I'm off to London to visit my friends and their beautiful little babies...