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Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Things I'm grateful for today:

- The guy who let me merge onto the bridge today, despite the mile of gridlock due to everyone going snail speed in the frigid, slippery weather.

- My brakes for holding and the city for plowing AND sanding the road when the guy in front of me slammed on his brakes for no reason.

- Chapters for having the new Jeffery Deaver book in stock... finally.

- Julie getting her citizenship test notice in the mail! She writes it on Valentine's Day.

- My first day back to work only being horrible and not excrutiating

- Having a warm place to live and a car that works (mostly), especially in this weather

- Not living with my mother any more, especially now that she's extra bitchy when it comes to work. Tonight, I bet all my parents do is run down work, not completely understanding what the hell's going on.... oh, to be on the other side of things. Sigh... :(


Current temperature: -29C / -20F
Windchill makes it feel like: -47C / -53F

Yesterday's temperature: -31C / -24F
Windchill made it feel like: -52C/ -62F

It is FUCKING COLD here. Watch out, Stacey... this brutal Western Canadian weather is headed your way!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Post Op


Arrived at hospital at 11 am. Changed into hospital garb and was hooked up to an I.V. Was told I wouldn't be taken down to surgery until 12:40 pm but less than five minutes later a bed was at the door and I was taken down to the surgery holding area. I was down there for maybe 15 minutes and then I was taken into the operating room. I moved on to the operating table, got strapped in, was given a painkiller through my I.V. that nearly made me retch and then all I heard was, "And this is the second one..." and next thing I heard was, "Jennifer... how are you doing?" I was all groggy but felt pain worse than when I was hit in the face by the puck. I tried ripping the oxygen mask off my face, but couldn't really get it higher than a few centimetres. I managed to say "Pain..." so they gave me a shot of morphine. I was still in agony five minutes later so I was given another shot. Ten minutes after that, when the pain had not subsided enough to be comfortable, I was given another shot in the I.V. and one directly into my arm. Holy cow... after that, I barely remember anything. I left recovery and went upstairs for another hour before Julie was allowed to take me home. We stopped at the drug store to fill my prescriptions and I must have looked like a zombie in there. The pharmacist was really nice though and understanding of my being drugged out of my mind. After that we went home and I was tucked into bed. I remember my parents stopping by (the first time they had seen the apartment) and my sister coming by with baby food to feed me (in her words, "I feed people all day like this" while trying to coax apple sauce into my mouth). Aside from being really itchy from the morphine, I was relatively comfortable.


The next morning, I had to remove the packing from my nose. Talk about painful.... holy fuck. It's amazing how deep the sinuses are. After that, I couldn't really get rid of the pain all together, but stayed as drugged as possible to escape from it. Ryan made us dinner down in his apartment - breakfast food in honour of my not being able to chew big things. I couldn't taste a damn thing but ate everything on my plate. The details of the rest of the day are kind of fuzzy...


Work phoned me about 15 times due to fiscal month-end stuff. Ugh. There's nothing like being drugged up, laying in bed and having the phone ring over and over again. I ended up getting up and turning the work laptop on to do a few things before using up all of my energy and telling them all I was done for the day. Of course then my boss phoned to ask me to attend a conference in Minneapolis Feb 3 - 6th and then called me back twice while in the process of booking it. After that, I received a call from my mother and my best friend asking how I was. Julie was depressed all day so I was pretty much on my own while she sat on the couch and read and/or surfed the internet. I had never seen her so down before so I felt really bad because nothing I said or did helped. I get like that sometimes so I understand... but it still sucked. She decided to do a load of laundry at some point this afternoon and accidentally washed her lip balm with her shirts so now all of her shirts have melted lip balm on them. I'm sure that really helped her mood a lot. I told her we'll go out tomorrow and buy her some new shirts. She's been looking up ways to remove the lip balm (it involves WD-40 and something else) so we'll see what happens. Then earlier this evening, after eating her homemade lasagne (her first attempt ever), she ended up sick in the bathroom... actually, still sick in the bathroom. Poor girl. :(

Back to watching the first season of The West Wing...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The day before

Surgery tomorrow... kinda nervous about it. I have to be at the hospital at 11 am and my surgery is at 12:40 pm.

Man, that sucks about Heath Ledger. I feel bad for his daughter. :(

Jules is addicted to that stupid Nancy Grace show on CNN. I can't stand it. I rather get a million root canals than watch that show. It just has one granule of a story and it loops it over and over and over again until the viewers are insane. We've had arguments about it...

I'm so damn tired from rushing around at work, trying to tie up loose ends while I stay at home for the next three days. Naturally, a whole bunch of chaos erupted this afternoon and I ended up having to stay until after 6 pm. I think I'm glad to have some time off, even if I will be in pain.

I think I'm going to watch an episode of The West Wing and then go to bed...

Today I'm grateful for:

* Canadian health care (that I pay for monthly) that allows me to have surgery without paying for it (cuz it's necessary and not cosmetic)
* My girlfriend, even though she drives me nuts sometimes
* My apartment
* Monday evenings

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Sore Throat and The West Wing

My throat is sore. :( I really hope I'm not coming down with something less than a week before my surgery. :(

My humidifier that worked so well when I first got it has died. I suspect it's because I did not clean the heating element as often as I should have. Now very mad at myself, I have refused to buy a new one and Julie jokes it's because I'm not over the other one yet. Yep, pretty much. I have a $50 humidifier that is less than three months old that is now broken. Like I really feel like paying another $50 for a second one... but I think I'll have to get over that soon. It's way too dry here in Edmonton. :(

Continuing through the first season of The West Wing and now pretty much hooked. Will need to stop it soon though as I have hours of work ahead of me today that I was forced to bring home due to my having to take most of next week off for the surgery. Yuck.

Ryan has a new boy that he's seeing. He looks like he's about 16 years old (actually 23 or something) with multiple piercings that make him talk with a lisp. I think Ryan could probably do better, but then what do I know.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Snow, wax, bones and zombies

Today the weather was horrible. It snowed all day and we even had lightning in the morning before I left for work. I drove pretty slow on the way to work and yet still almost slid into a utility pole. Luckily I was able to steer out of trouble and missed it by a whole metre. ;)

After work I went to get my eyebrows waxed. I'm all about the eyebrow waxing. I HATE plucking my eyebrows and rather have a professional wax them into shape. I normally go once a month or so but since I had my nose broken, I haven't been able to get it done. When they pull the strips off, it's practically impossible not to flinch a little and up until a couple of weeks ago, it really hurt to flinch. Also, if the person doing the waxing were to bump my nose, I'd probably cry. I decided that my nose was healed enough to withstand a couple of light bumps, so off I went. Holy cow, it was the roughest waxing I've ever had. I think she must have hit my nose hard at least six times, causing my eyes to water and my vision to blur. I told her my nose was still healing from the fractures but apparently that didn't mean anything to her. It was sheer torture while she banged me up, but at least she ended up doing a good job. She received the smallest tip I've ever given at that place though. All the way home, my head felt like a balloon and I considered pulling over to wait it out, but the traffic and weather made it impossible. I just drove a little more cautiously than necessary and focused hard on the road. When I got home I just collapsed into bed for a while.

When Julie got home, we watched a couple of episodes of The West Wing and then went down one floor to Ryan's apartment where he cooked us dinner. After dinner, we watched Dawn Of The Dead (Ryan's choice - he wanted me to see it... he's totally into zombies. Strange for a gay guy, isn't it??) and now my head is filled with images from the movie and it's bedtime. Um.... yeah, like I really feel like going to sleep now. I totally know I'm going to have nightmares. :(

I need to catch up on e-mail. I haven't been checking it this week, which is weird because I normally go into it every day. I need to stop napping after work and stuff....

Today I'm grateful for:

* My girlfriend
* The fact that zombies aren't real
* My peaceful apartment
* Tomorrow being Friday

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Sorted and in working order.... right then.

Well, the toilet was repaired yesterday and so far, so good. Julie has promised to never touch it again, so it should work well for quite some time. ;)

My pre-op appointment at the hospital went alright... pretty much just asked me more questions about myself and told me what to expect the day of the surgery. It'll be about six hours in total that I'll be at the hospital, apparently. Hopefully all goes well next Wednesday.

The doctor there gave me a seven day prescription trial of a drug that may help with the nerve damage in my left index finger. It was brought up yesterday because I asked them to not clip the little monitor thingy on that finger when I go in for surgery. I have to take it three times a day and it may cause drowsiness. I'll have to see how it affects me. I'm excited at the prospect of potentially having less hypersensitivity in that finger though... I swear, I'd give almost anything to get rid of that pain.

Julie made me watch the first episode of The West Wing tonight. It was pretty good, I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. She has all of the seasons on DVD so I may end up getting into it.

Queen Latifah and Diane Keaton were on Larry King Live tonight. I absolutely love Queen Latifah and I don't mind Diane Keaton, but she was acting pretty nutty towards the end of their segment. Jules turned to me and said, "Well, clearly she is medicated." LOL... yeah, I think she might be right.

Today I'm grateful for:

* Sleep
* Weekends
* Weekly paycheques
* Living away from family

Monday, January 14, 2008

Tired Monday

Toilet still leaking all over the place. I'd be surprised if the neighbours under us don't have water leaking from their ceiling because the bowl under the leak fills up pretty fast. The plumber won't be here until 9 am tomorrow. Jesus. So much for emergency.

I'm watching Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles which has Lena Headey in it. Mmmmmm..... Lena Headey. Girls kicking ass... not bad for a Monday evening on television.

So far, life moved in with Julie is pretty good. It's so nice to come home and relax instead of having two televisions on, people talking over each other, banging, clanging, etc. The best is no talk of work, which is a huge relief.

Two months less one day until I'm 30. Ugh... where did my twenties go?

Tomorrow I go for a pre-op appointment at the hospital. They said it was going to be something like four hours long. I have no idea what they're going to do to me or what I have to do. Should be interesting.

Today I'm grateful for:

* Long shot shows getting a chance
* My girlfriend
* Brief warm spell this week

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Plumbing Emergency

Julie broke the toilet. The stuff in the tank is in three pieces. Not sure how she managed it. It started with her cleaning around the back of it and it started leaking because she turned the water on more than it already was... then it overflowed... then she bent the ball thingy and a piece broke off the column. Now we have the water turned off but it's still leaking. The plumber is coming tomorrow hopefully...

Saturday, January 12, 2008

January 11th Memories

Yesterday was my mom's 50th birthday. We're celebrating it with dinner at my grandparents' place tonight. I told my grandmother that I have moved out of my parents' place and moved in with Julie. God knows how awkward tonight's dinner conversation will be once the question, "How many bedrooms does the apartment have?" comes up.

Yesterday was also the 7 year anniversary from my layoff at [company edited]. The new-ish Manufacturing manager was deciding on layoffs yesterday, ironically enough, and was asking me about the procedure that we follow for it. I told her about my experience and she cringed. They were really shitty about it, I think. It was the end of the week, I had just finished working a ton of overtime for the busy season and was fairly confident that they were not going to lay me off because I was such a team player and very good at the job. Yeah, well two new people were relatives of the then Manufacturing manager, so they stayed on and at 4 pm, I was sent to the board room where they basically said that I didn't make the cut and was laid off, effective immediately. I was so upset, I couldn't even say anything. I remember that they terminated two other people and they were already in the locker room crying when I got in there to collect my things. I remember seeing a co-worker and asking them to tell my mother that I would be at Burger King (the closest place to sit down without being noticed too much) and then I walked the five blocks and cried the whole way there, cried the whole time I was there, and then cried the whole rest of the day. Needless to say my mother's birthday was ruined that year.

The layoff threw me into a massive depression because I just could not figure out why I was laid off when I worked my ass off. I couldn't get out bed or leave the house for weeks and finally I went to the doctor and got a prescription for anti-depressants so I could get out and find a new job. In November of that year I re-applied because I heard they were hiring and I was unemployed again after a brief move to the Vancouver area (long story there) and now seven years later, I have had four promotions and two department changes and now plan production, projects and manage all raw materials at the plant and inventory of our products in multiple warehouses across Canada. I travel on business to corporate headquarters in Minneapolis, other GMI plants in the US on occasion, and last year went on a personal visit to the Canadian corporate headquarters where I met the entire sales and marketing management team (whom the plants rarely have contact with). That visit, although on my personal vacation (thanks for lending me your car, Stacey!), was invaluable relationship building on my part and for the plant.

It's strange to type out my role at the plant now because when I started there, I was just an assembly line worker and occasional line operator. I never, in a million years thought I would eventually move up in any way. I do not have any formal education for my position, although I would like to take classes eventually. It just goes to show that if you can get the door open a crack, it can eventually open wide and lead to something bigger and better. Never say never, I've learned. You never know where you'll be in five years, even with a plan!!

I think I've mentioned this on the blog before, but my most rewarding part of being promoted was when the then Manufacturing manager acknowledged that he had made a mistake in laying me off back in '01. That to me was the validation I had been seeking since the day I returned to that place.

Alright, well, Julie is up from her nap so I think it's time to put up the little shelf we bought for the bathroom to go over the towel rack. I'm feeling like it might be my turn for a nap though....hm....

Today I'm grateful for:

* My job
* Second chances
* My apartment
* My girlfriend
* My family

Thursday, January 10, 2008

More things to look at

Well, I hit my monthly limit on flickr today, so I guess no more pictures unless I upload them onto blogger. Bleh. I don't use the damn account for months and then suddenly have pictures and now I have to wait...

Oh well.

There are some random pics of Philly and NY up now in my 'Trips' set after the Toronto/Niagara Falls pics.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


Pictures of the new (then empty) apartment can be found here.

Monday, January 7, 2008

What I wish I were having for breakfast this morning

Mmmmm.... Caramelized challah french toast stuffed with farmers cheese and bananas topped with vanilla bean maple syrup from Sabrina's Cafe in Philadelphia. The strawberries would be extra. Eating half of this is a triumph, if you ask me...

I took this picture last Friday while dining with Wendi. She had some pretty awesome sweet potato fries happening on her plate over to the left.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

The Move, Part 1

Holy cow, it sucks to move to a new place. I, personally, have not started to move, but this weekend we moved Julie from the basement to the third (top) floor of the building. I ache in places I didn't know I could ache in. I took pictures of the apartment before we really started moving stuff on Friday night and I wanted to upload them to put on here but I forgot my camera at the apartment tonight. I'll get it later this week and put 'em up.

We actually managed to do it in 24 hours, which I thought wouldn't take as long because it's only a one bedroom apartment. Man, can stuff accumulate in six months! Julie keeps all sorts of things that I would consider junk and she knows this. We discussed it and decided that while moving, I would put things aside of hers that I thought should be chucked or donated. She would then take a look at the stuff and plead her case for any items she really wanted. About six trash bags later it still looks like there could be more weeding out. We went through her clothes this morning and two bags are going to charity or the garbage bin.

"Babe, I like this shirt a lot."
"When was the last time you wore it?"
"Um... I don't remember."
"I have never seen you wear it."
"Oh, alright then." (said in a dejected British accent)

The only thing I absolutely made her throw out was her wedding dress. The rest she had a chance on. She didn't put up much resistance on the dress though...

And yeah, this won't be one-sided. My stuff will be weeded out next. A one-bedroom apartment with a little storage room is not big enough for two women's possessions unless there is serious chucking done. I'll be doing that this week while I'm back here at my parents' place. I also have about three loads of laundry to do because I haven't done any since before I went to Philadelphia. It seems like a long time ago but that was less than a week ago. Wow. This week has felt like a month long! This weekend was the longest I've had in a long time, mainly because this is only the second Saturday I've had off in about three months. Thank goodness for the busy season being over at work (although it's still super stressful due to low inventory, but whatever...)

Oh, speaking of work, I found out on Friday that I will be making more on vacation this year than I will working normally. The reason for that is because vacation rate is based on a percentage of what I made the previous year. Well, due to having no back-up last year, I worked an insane amount of overtime (which unfortunately also bumped me up into a higher tax bracket that I wouldn't normally reach), this year's vacation rate is based on all of that money as well.... so this year, even after my 5% cost of living increase, I'll be making just over $3 more an hour on vacation! Last year was the other way around. Due to getting a raise for being in my position for a year, plus hitting over five years with the company and getting four weeks of vacation time from the previous three, it somehow worked out that my vacation rate was over $4 less than my hourly rate working normally. It killed me to use vacation time last year because it was such a reduction in pay. This year will make up for it though, yay!

Okay, time to get my ass to bed. It's nearly 11 pm and I'm going to be dead tomorrow!

Today I'm grateful for:

* My American twin updating her blog
* My understanding girlfriend
* My humidifier
* Half the moving finished

Friday, January 4, 2008

And I wonder why I'm moving...

The main reason I'm moving in with Julie is because my relationship with my mother is pretty strained these days. We work for the same company and started out at the same level, except now after six years, I have a higher position in a different department and make a little more money (only about a dollar more an hour, I think) than she does. She has never really gotten used to it, even though I've been in this position for three years and for a year before that was actually her supervisor. It's just a really sucky situation to be in because she will come home and complain about things at work and I will see and know the other side of it, so naturally we get into an argument or she'll blame me for something or she'll get mad at me for not speaking to her (when really I'm just trying to avoid a bad situation). She is not liking her job right now and I feel bad for her, but it's really hard to shoulder the stress of my position plus the stuff she's worked up about. And then there's the fact that she doesn't treat me very well at work. She takes out a lot of her frustrations on me, mainly because she can get away with it, and also because I plan production so if I've scheduled something she doesn't like, she lets me hear it.

I think that being away from her after work will definitely help things a little. Personally, when I leave work, unless I've brought something home to work on, I don't want to think about it at all. To come home and hear bitching and moaning about some thing or another, well, it feels like I haven't left work at all.

So... I decided that I should move out. The problem is that there are not a lot of nice places for rent (that are finished being built) in the area that aren't smoke-smelling basement apartments or rooms in houses. And the cheapest rent for the scummiest dwelling is $900/mo. Anything even worth considering is between $1200 and $1600/mo. I definitely cannot afford that on my own, so that's where the moving in with Julie thought happened. I didn't want to move in with her just to have someone to share the rent - I wanted to do it for the right reason. And, low and behold, I think I'm ready to take a step I've never taken before.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Next Step

Well, it's decided. I'm moving in with Jules sometime in the next couple of weeks. She's moving from a one bedroom basement apartment to a one bedroom third floor apartment with a balcony... and I'm moving in with her. We were hoping they'd have a two bedroom available, but not at this time. Actually, Ryan, our mutual friend, took the last available one. He's moving in this weekend and now we're moving Jules this weekend as well.

This is quite a step for me, I must say. I'm mildly panicked about it and I'm going to hate the commute, but at least it's only a six month lease, so we can look for something closer to where I work in the summer. As it is, her work is right across the street from where she lives. With her moving upstairs and on the other side of the building, I was joking that she could now tie a cable from the balcony to the roof of her work and slide down in the mornings... y'know, to cut down on the commute across the street *rolls eyes*. For me, it'll take about 35-45 minutes, which isn't the end of the world, but I have to go through the busiest part of downtown in order to get to the suburb that I work in. Not looking forward to that, but for now it's the easiest. We were looking for something here in Sherwood Park, but there are slim pickings around here - what we did go look at looked terrible and definitely not worth the price.

Time for bed. Hopefully I don't have nightmares about moving!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

My New Year's

On New Year's Eve, I was asleep by 10 pm, drugged up on painkillers. I woke up around 12:10 am, looked at the clock and passed out again until 11:30 am. I then had an agonizing day of hobbling around and of course cramps that decided to happen all damn day. I took more pain meds in the evening, fell asleep around 10:30 pm and didn't wake up until 3 am when Jules had a nightmare and yelled right in my ear, "GET OUT OF MY ROOM!", to which I nearly had a freakin' heart attack, woke her up and told her she nearly scared me to death. Her response was to say, "I just had a nightmare and you're worried about your hearing?!" and then she promptly passed out again. It took me a while longer to get back to sleep. Yeah, later on in the morning I filled her in on it and she couldn't stop laughing at how ridiculous her statement was. She was like, "I remember when you woke me up, I was laying right next to your head, so that must have been really loud. I'm sooooooooooo soory!" Heh... it's funny now.

Anyway, my point was that I think I finally caught up on my sleep because when my alarm went off at 5:45 am, I didn't feel comatose. I actually had energy to do stuff at work. I haven't felt like that in a long time. Of course I've been working long hours for months now, so I'm pretty sure that's why. I hope that this will continue now that my hours have returned to normal. I'm excited just thinking about having Saturdays off again...

I have pictures I took in Philadelphia and New York but I'm too lazy to put them up yet. I think I'm going to go watch another episode of CSI - seventh season.

Today I'm grateful for:

* My girlfriend
* My grandparents
* My kitties
* Great friends
* Weekends off