Sunday, March 21

Ouch

And so...my first running blister...


What did I learn? Wear socks that fit! As soon as I put my socks on today I thought..these feel a little small. Sure enough, they fell down, but I didn't stop running and ta-da..the blister arrived.

Friday, March 19

Running

(here)

So I've decided to try running. That's not to say that I have never ran a day in my life...I've ran..I just haven't ever enjoyed it. The other day I was at my local Goodlife Fitness Club when I noticed a posting for a "learn to run" program being offered by a woman named Laurie. I have been saying for several years now that I am envious of people who love running. When I see random people out on the street running, I can tell by looking at them the level of intensity and passion they have for the run. I can only hope that one day I can understand that passion and partake in it. Laurie has promised to make me love running and eventually be able to easily take down a 5k run. The program only costs $85 for 16-1 hour classes, something I feel is quite reasonable. I signed up. Today I got a phone call from Laurie, giving me the run down on what to expect from the program. I've got to admit, I am pretty scared to try this out. The fear of failure I guess. 2 days a week, 2 hours a week isn't too intense, but getting this to coincide with my work schedule could be a problem. Laurie says she will be sending us home with "homework" after class...wonder what that will be.

(here)

Before I started this thing I needed to verbalize or formulate some goals. (I'm kind of goal oriented...it's the sports psyhcologist in me [LOVED that in university])

1. To feel comfortable running on my own
2. To be able to run 5k non-stop
3. To willingly decide to "go for a run" because I love it
4. To meet friends I can go for runs with
5. To attend at least 1 class a week

Having formulated some goals and decided to join this group, I realized that I did not have appropriate footwear to do nice running. I've only recently discovered that you should only keep a pair of running shoes for 300-500 miles...who knew! I needed to go out and purchase a good set of running shoes. I went to the Running Room only to find out what I already knew was true - I have wide, long feet. There were several amazing pairs of shoes, but the store only had 2 pairs that really fit decent. Neither made me feel great. I ended up leaving the store, after a 1/2 hour shopping time, empty handed. I trekked it over to Sportcheck and saw an even larger selection of running shoes. The clerk brought out several boxes of shoes that were good for wide, long and high arch feet that have tendencies to evert. I tried on 2 terrible pairs and then...the magical pair and I met. Immediately as soon as I put my feet into the shoes I felt it. The cushiony softness of the gel insert, the sheer width of the shoe, the way the shoes breathed (I mean the way air flew through them),the roominess...I knew they were the ones for me. The Asics Gel 310 fit the bill. While I can't say I love the colour immensely, they were amazingly comfortable. I can't wait to try them out at the gym tomorrow to see if they treat me nicely on the treadmill. Here they are:


(here)

Wish me luck. I'll try to post about how I am doing with my running goals and how my opinion changes about running.

p.s. update on my 30 before 30 list:

- I am learning German and can carry on a very basic conversation in terms of whether I understand, or know, something, how I feel, where a certain street or place is, whether I am hungry/thirsty and how to ask someone if they are. Woot woot

Wednesday, March 17

P.S........


HAPPY ST. PATTY'S DAY (even if I had to stay sober because I work first thing tomorrow. Hope the rest of the world is having a hay-day!)

I love my friends!

Right now I am living roughly 1.5/2.5 hours away from my closest bunch of friends, roughly 21 hours from my BEST girl friend and roughly 17 hours from my BEST guy friend. I relish every chance I get to spend time with these people, although it seems more and more often that I am being forced to choose taking shifts at work over spending time with my friends - a fact that is really starting to get to me sometimes.

Unfortunately in my profession new hires are considered the bottom of the food chain. We are the last ones to get called for available shifts, given the crappy shifts with other medics who are grumpy bumps and forced to fight amongst each other for seniority ranking in order to have a chance to one day successfully and skillfully acquire a contract. Most often it is only a couple of hours that separate one person from another on the seniority list, but those few hours really make a difference. Currently I am 5 from the bottom. There are many full-time contracts coming up within the next couple of months due to maternity leaves. Ideally, I should be eligible for one of these contracts...but I can't take time off or turn down shifts. I always have to have my cellphone handy in case I receive a phone call from one of the supervisors asking me to come into work. Now, this can be really annoying because these calls come at all hours of the day and night. I have been called in at 2am, 4am, half an hour after a shift has started....it never ceases to amaze me. This joyous factoid has made getting together with my friends and making plans extremely difficult. How am I supposed to be able to drive 1.5 hours to visit my friends, think about consuming alcoholic beverages, or make plans if at a moment's notice I have to come running back to work. I have had to back out of some really amazing plans at the last minute due to these wonderful call-ins. Whenever this happens I have to think to myself, "at least the money is amazing!"

Well, back to the "friends" topic. I have always considered my friends to be the family that I choose for myself and I don't let just anyone into my family. Being in a newish place without this circle of comfort and joy is very hard. I find myself without the time or opportunities to venture out on the town to try and make friends. Sure, there are work friends here, but no one who I have actually clicked on a deep spiritual level or even slightly considered including in my so-called "family." This past weekend I decided to book some time off work to spend an evening of bliss with my friends. I missed them all terribly and I was willing to take any repercussions by marking myself unavailable (it ended up being an okay thing though. Shifts have been few and far between lately).

My good friend Amy recently bought a home and joined the 1/4 century group on Saturday. We all went to her house for a house-warming and birthday get-together. It was great to see my friends. We did shots, laughed hysterically, ate delicious snacks and spent quality time together. It's times like these that keep me going. I was lucky enough to not get called into work on Sunday, so I took a road trip to Waterloo and spent some more quality time with two of my other great friends. I love my friends!

Here's some shots from the weekend.




Wednesday, March 10

The joy of alterations

I'm not sure whether this is something to be proud of but, I have never had to have any article of clothing altered. That was...until now. When I first got hired for my paramedic service, I was sized for my uniform. The pants were supposed to be specifically tailored to suit only me. The man who did the sizing was not only creepy, but clearly a little kooky as well. Comments like "spread 'em," without a hint of laughter or comedy, and "nope, you're a 41 - the tape doesn't lie," left me feeling like this man was clearly out of his mind. More about the whole "you're a 41" thing. This man measures my waist and decides that I am a 41 incher. Now, I don't know about the rest of the world, but to me, 41 inches is an astronomically huge waist size for a woman of 5'7.5", especially seeing how in jeans I am between a 32 and 33. At first I was shocked. I thought, "NO WAY!" Then I verbalized my concern to this man - "I am not a 41." He said, "the tape don't lie."

Sure enough, when my pants came in almost 3 months later (which by the way I also feel was a really long time to wait for pants) they were ginormous. My fellow medics were telling me this is the norm for this man and I should just deal with it or get my pants altered. My supervisor told me to go to a cleaner and have them done and then to forward the bill to the county to cover - doesn't sound too shabby to me! I finally got around to taking them to a cleaner today to get them altered. I switched from my comfy jeans into these large baggy pants so the seamstress could begin her magic. She started poking and prodding me in various regions, assessing the amount of "taking in" she had to do. She sadly told me that the bagginess in the leg region was pretty much unalterable due to the crazy pockets, reflective tape and ugly creasing down the front of my pants, which look like this.


(link can be found here)

She accidentally poked me with pins several times but didn't seem to notice. As I was disrobing to switch back into my jeans I loss my balance and stepped quite heavily on the hem of my paramedic pants and landed on several of these pins again. In total I counted 5 pin prick marks on my body following this joyous ordeal. I can only hope that this is the last time I will ever have to worry about having an item of clothing altered. It was not a pleasant experience.

Tuesday, March 9

30 before 30 list

So many of the blogs that I currently read have posts about "30 before 30" lists. I've decided that this is something I would like to do - seeing how I just hit the big 2-5, it would be nice to have some things to aspire towards during the next five years.

1. Have a down payment for a home (preferably 10% or more)
2. Get back to my university weight
3. Leave Canada for an official trip (doesn't have to be exotic but somewhere further than day or two's drive)
4. Trade in my Grand Prix for a Jeep YJ or something like it
5. Get a Mac book
6. Learn how to properly apply make-up
7. Successfully obtain my RN degree
8. Become a full-time paramedic or part-time paramedic/full-time nurse
9. Deliver a baby at work
10. Go hiking in a higher elevation zone (Alberta, BC?)
11. Learn how to drive a motorcycle - maybe buy one too?
12. Finish my side tattoo - how many more stars???
13. Learn how to use a sewing machine
14. Finish scrapbooking all of my extra pictures
15. Purchase a high-quality camera
16. Develop my skills at photography
17. Stand up on surf board
18. Brew my own wine
19. Write a song that actually sounds half decent
20. Learn how to play guitar
21. Go fishing in the Atlantic or Pacific ocean on a charter boat
22. Design and build a piece of wooden furniture
23. Take a cross-country trip, preferably by car
24. Learn how to make home-made dim sum
25. Do a photo shoot in downtown Toronto
26. Build up a professional wardrobe - enough of this young adult/kiddie stuff
27. Find a really nice pair of boots that fit perfectly
28. Swim in the Pacific ocean
29. Go somewhere European on vacation
30. Learn how to speak German

I'll have to post whenever I have successfully completed something on the list! Stay tuned!

Monday, March 8

Day on the town

Yesterday I took a trip up to my favourite Ontario city: Toronto! I love the little communities that make up that whole huge metropolitan zone. The ethnic food, the AMAZING little shops and the gorgeous buildings are just some reasons for my love. My mom lives there just north of an amazing Greek foodie district near the Danforth. We decided we wanted to hit up China town and then Kensington Market. No Sunday morning is complete without a stop off at a Chinese restaurant for some Dim Sum. I love dim sum! Those little delicious morsels of fried or steamed bits of food...just thinking about it makes me hungry!

Before brunch we did a little bit of shopping in some Asian stores near Dundas St. I found an amazing set of blue feathery fans to use for a remake of the "Sisters" routine from White Christmas. I was clearly ripped off because I found better fans in another store a couple down for less money, but oh well. Brunch was great, not as many dumplings as I would usually like but they had shrimp har gao and pork shu mai. Brunch was finished off with some delicious little egg tarts that were simply devine! From there we hit up some more Asian stores; my mom bought a cute little clay teapot (only to realize when she got home it was ruined...too bad).

After about an hour of Asian stores we sauntered over to Kensington market. There are so many cute vintage stores as far as the eye can see. I saw tutu's galore, amazing purses, 60's style dresses (which I am a huge fan of right now). Some examples:

1.
(This dress can be found here)

2.
(This dress can be found here)

3.
(This can be found here)

I took a couple of pictures of random things that I liked along the way or thought were humourous. This teeny tiny top hat made me burst out laughing...then I tried it on a fell in love! It was so cute. I almost bought it but came back to my senses realizing that I had no idea where I would ever wear such a thing.


There was some interesting grafitti on the buildings and interesting logos for stores. Some of my favs:




I ended up making a couple of purchases. I found a knock-off coach purse for $20 and some really cute berets for $9.



That's all for today I guess. I'll try to be a little more artistic the next time I go to Kensington market so I have better photographs to share.

Thursday, March 4

Kitty likes bubbles

Does it really need an explanation? Hahaha