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Tuesday, April 29, 2008


My uncle passed away this morning. He looked so peaceful... like he was finally getting a deep, restful sleep. His laboured breathing yesterday was heartbreaking... at least he's not in pain anymore.

My family is incredible. More on that when I can actually function after getting some sleep....

My uncle died on his brother's birthday. That really sucks. :(

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Goin' to T.O.

Booked airfare to Toronto... $586 total. I'm amazed I found anything under $600!


Yesterday was an emotionally exhausting day all around. It began with my mother phoning me to tell me that the doctors now say my uncle had weeks to live instead of months. After crying my eyes out for a while, I showered and drove to my hair appointment. After I got my hair done (just straightened to match my sisters), I raced across the city to West Edmonton Mall where I got my make-up done. First time I've ever had full make-up... I barely recognized myself. After that, my sisters and I came back to my apartment where we met up with the professional photographer and had an hour long session both indoors and outdoors. Posing with my sisters was trying at times because they both like to ham it up and I'm like, 'can we please just get this over with??'.

After the photo shoot, I took my sisters and Jules out for dinner and then we all headed to the hospital to see my uncle. My dad had been there from 8 am and my uncles two kids flew in from Vancouver and Calgary as well. My one cousin called his wife to bring up their two little ones because my uncle looks so bad. His wife is eight months pregnant so I'm sure that was a comfy three hour drive from Calgary to Edmonton. She arrived with the kids just after we got there in the evening and the kids perked my uncle up a little. We left the hospital around 9:30 pm and went to the hotel they are all staying at. Once the kids went to bed, my two cousins, my sister and Jules all went down to the bar to have a couple of drinks and catch up on the years we haven't seen each other. Three sips into my drink the freakin' fire alarm goes off in the hotel and bar and strobe lights are going off and it's just chaos. The hotel had to be evacuated and the fire department came and 45 minutes we were allowed back in. Some jackass took a fire extinguisher off the wall and used it (for fun, there was no fire) and it triggered the alarm. After shivering outside and trying to keep little ones warm, we were finally able to get them settled again and go back to our drinks. By the time Jules and I got home, we just collapsed in bed exhausted from all of the excitement of the day. My mind was racing with a lot of different thoughts but I think I still passed out within two minutes.

My uncle wants very much to go home from the hospital, but unfortunately his home is 5 hours North-West from here. The hospital initially put him on the waiting list for a bed up where he lives and they would air lift him there the moment one opened up, but the whole family is against it because he'd be completely alone up there with no family and we have family from Ontario and Quebec flying across the country today, tomorrow and Tuesday to see him. One of my other uncles is driving my grandmother up from B.C. to see him as well because she's too old and frail to fly. Another uncle is flying for the very first time in his life in order to see his brother before he dies. I bet they haven't seen each other in at least twenty years. One of my aunts is flying in from Ontario today and the other aunt cannot afford to get here, so my dad is buying her airfare to get here. All in all, it's unbelievable how his siblings have just dropped their lives (and cleaned out their bank accounts) to get here as soon as possible. It makes me cry just thinking about it. It's moments like these that make life incredibly beautiful.

Anyway, after the doctor examined him yesterday night he told us that he is going to put a hold on the request to transfer him up to his home town and told us it's time to get the family here. He's in absolutely no condition to be moved anywhere... but we will not tell him he's not going... we want him to hold on to his hope.

His last living birthday he'll ever have is today. I don't know his exact age, but I think he's either 49, 50 or 51. He'll be celebrating it with the family he grew up with... the family who sat around the kitchen table when he celebrated his first birthdays in his life. I get teary-eyed again just thinking about how special that is.

Today I'm grateful for:

* Family
* My girlfriend
* My health and the health of my friends and family

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

No cavities

The dentist is a rip-off, even if I do get most of it back through insurance. I left work early in order to go home and clean the heck out of my teeth before going to the dentist to get them cleaned. Why do that, you ask? Well... the cleaner you can actually get your teeth before going, the less expensive it is. The part they call 'scaling'... which is really them scraping your teeth with what feels like a razor sharp hook... costs $50 per unit. Each unit is 10 freakin' minutes!!! When I got in there, she tried her best to find something to scrape off my teeth but had to give up in less than a minute and actually exclaimed that my teeth looked great.

Yeah... whatever. I got the bill and on it were two units of scaling. WTF?!?! Total rip-off. This happened at my last dentist as well. I have a feeling that the dental hygienists are trained to blab away and draw out the entire process so that, if questioned, they can actually say, 'Yep, I started at 1 pm and finished at 1:20 pm...' never mind the fact that they didn't even have an instrument in your mouth for 18 minutes of that time but were actually gesturing with them in their hands while telling you about their trip to Mexico they have coming up in May. Clever...

Anyway, I have no cavities. Yay!

After the dentist, I went to a jewellery store to pick up Jules a amber necklace. I'm going to give it to her on May 6th, the day she has her Canadian citizenship ceremony. :) She loves amber, so I think she'll like it a lot.

It's finally not snowing anymore... but more snow is apparently coming on Friday for one day and then the major melt continues. The roads are still horrific because the city refuses to plow when they know it'll melt in a couple of days. Bastards.

Today I'm grateful for:

* My job
* A nice place to live
* My girlfriend
* My girlfriend getting her Canadian citizenship
* Insurance

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Merry freakin' Christmas

So, it's been a constant blizzard for four days... finally ending this afternoon. We received about 40 cm of snow in total, I believe. Absolute nightmare driving anywhere, especially in residential areas. Heck, I got stuck just trying to get out of my parking stall at home. At work, the snow fell off of the awnings and buried five vehicles... crazy. I blame this all on Jules who bought us outdoor furniture for the balcony last week.

I've been in a lot of pain for the past week and have not been doing much of anything aside from work. I waited too many days between acupuncture appointments and the constant throbbing pain in my finger (so acute it feels like more than one finger) every few seconds returned for DAYS. Holy freakin' hell.... I would not wish this constant pain on anyone. I rather have the flu or my wisdom teeth removed again or my nose broken again or my hand cut off than have this pain. Anyway, I was practically counting down the minutes to my appointment on Monday and am now mostly pain free again. I'm waiting to get in to see my doctor again to tell her that I need something done about this... I don't care if a surgeon has to cut my damn hand off... I can't live with this pain and I can't keep paying $60 every three days to manage the pain.

For the second time in a year, I have an uncle dying of lung cancer. Both of them are the only uncles I've actually lived near, so this really sucks. The one uncle died last August and now this uncle has about 4-6 months to live. :(

On Saturday my sisters and I are getting our hair and make-up done and then going to get professional pictures taken for my mother and grandmothers for Mother's Day. The last time any kind of family picture was taken was before my youngest sister was even born, and my sisters and I have never taken a picture all together so we think my mom will really like this present. The reason we're getting our make-up done (by my sister's friend) instead of doing it ourselves is because my youngest sister still looks really ill from having been on meth. We're hoping that the make-up will make her look a little healthier. We'll see how it goes...

Today I'm grateful for:

* Pain management (expensive as it is...)
* My girlfriend
* My job
* My family
* My friends, especially the far away ones :)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Week at a glance

The past week at a glance:

* I received my tax refund in the mail on Wednesday and paid off the balance on my credit card.

* Went to get a tune up on my car on Thursday and found out my water pump was leaking, my timing belt was near death, the thermostat is near death (no wonder the car never seemed to heat up until I was almost at work during the winter)... Yeah, $825 later I had to put the balance on my credit card (so much for paying it off)

* On Friday the nerve damage on my index finger decided to throb painfully every couple of seconds and would not go away. I barely slept Friday night and was beyond cranky on Saturday. We decided to see if there were any acupuncture places open and found one in Chinatown willing to give us an appointment. So, $75 later, my throbbing finger had improved to a more bearable level and I felt super relaxed.

* My parents were going away for the weekend to my grandparents' cabin but caught wind that my sister was planning on having a gathering at their place on Saturday night so she asked Julie and I to stay over and just be a presence there in case my other sister decided to bring her outlaw boyfriend around and their friends. When my sister found out that Julie and I were staying the night, she was all disappointed but I assured her that we would stay upstairs and not cause embarrassment to her so she didn't cancel. We ended up falling asleep to them singing for some Playstation 2 game I can't remember the name of that is really fun...

* On Sunday, I finished the Harry Potter: OOTP game on the Wii and started the ultra lame CSI: Hard Evidence game. It has a billion load up screens and is just plain boring.

* Yesterday I had a horrible day at work. One of my colleagues, at another location in Canada whom I talk to on a daily basis, had a heart attack at his desk and died first thing in the morning. I was just in a dazed state of shock all day. I went for another acupuncture treatment (another $60 on the ol' credit card) after work. In the evening, a new friend of ours came over for some company (she just broke up with her girlfriend... they were the girls we met a month ago... so sad) and I lent her my 'It's Called A Break-Up Because It's Broken' book which I hope helps her as much as it helped me get over my ex.

* Today, while driving home from work, my check engine light came on. Great. Fan-freakin'-tastic.

Also today, Julie surprised me with the entire Xena series. Wow... I love my girl. :)

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Wii Games

Sending much love to Stace & Angele over on 2 girls in love...

Julie has become obsessed with trying to find a place to pre-order Wii Fit. She's worried that once it's released, we'll never find it unless we pre-order. I guess I'll have to take a look online to see if I can find a place. I don't really want to have it mailed to us though... I'd rather pick it up at a store.

She's slowly coming around to liking the Wii but has no interest at all when I'm playing the HP: OOTP game or especially Big Brain Academy: Wii Degree. Me, I love Big Brain Academy and could probably spend hours at a time practicing and testing the various skills. When my youngest sister, Samantha, was over for dinner the other day, she and I played for a couple of hours and I could tell that she and I think very alike. Our other sister, Chantel, is quite different in comparison. Chantel is artistic and cannot spell to save her life... Sam and I can barely draw stick people and excelled in school. Chantel is very patient and compassionate... Sam and I... well, I'm working on that one!

I purchased the CSI game a few weeks ago because Julie showed interest in it. It's still in it's plastic wrapper though because I want to finish HP first. To finish HP though, I'm going to have to look at a walk through because I'm hopelessly stuck. Thanks a lot, Hermione! Some help you are!

Title change

Alright, I went from 'Re-Connect' to 'Grown-Up Endeavours'. Why you ask? Well, I'm no longer trying to re-connect to society anymore. I was going through a very hard time and felt very lost and behind in how to function as a helpful, happy human in my life and the lives around me.

Done. Cross that one off the list.

Now? Holy cow, I've really grown in the past six months. I moved out of my family's home for the first time in my life (I'm not counting the two months in the Vancouver area that did not work out due to my having mono and not being able to find a job because I couldn't muster the energy to walk to the end of the block, never mind down the street to the Tim Horton's) and I'm living with my girlfriend. I have never lived with a girlfriend or boyfriend before... mainly because that's really frickin' committed in my opinion and let's face it, scary. Not now though! I really enjoy living with Julie. Well... 95% of the time, anyway. There are always a couple little things that drive us insane, but we work through them.

I also turned 30 this year. I'm definitely a grown-up now, whether I like it or not. I do feel like a grown-up though... I've welcomed new responsibilities and commitments and have been thinking a lot about children, houses, cars, etc., lately. 25 freaked me out, as did 29, but 30 feels like a challenge. Sometimes I feel like I wasted my 20's because I did not motivate myself in any particular direction, but my 30's feel like a new page where I can start new plans and nudge (I wouldn't want to push) myself in any direction of my choosing.

In other words, I feel like an adult and I'm excited about my life for, probably, the first time in my life. Better late than never... or perhaps not late at all, but right on time.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

The coolest program on TV

Aftermath: Population Zero

It's shown on History Television every few days. Sooooooo cool.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

April Fools

I'm reading "Don't Sweat The Small Stuff"... I love it. I'm already driving slower and feel less stressed. :)

In Edmonton, the fine for jaywalking was raised from $40 to $250 today. Holy cow... apparently this is a huge issue here or something. I almost always use a cross walk when walking around, but I'll definitely watch where I cross now!

My dad told me a few years back that when he came to Western Canada from Quebec, he jaywalked and a police officer stopped him to give him a ticket. When he told my dad he was being fined for jaywalking, my dad looked at his feet confused... he couldn't figure out how he had walked in a 'J' across the street.

Today I'm grateful for:

* Spring weather
* life experience
* Good books
* My doctor