Saturday, April 28, 2007

Bits of Randomness

ummm.... ok, so that little rant on Thursday night was a tad extreme. I wasn't planning on ranting when I said "stay tuned" either. A combo of the day I had had an the frustration of the class, and YIKERS. Raging Hillary.

I'm not a rager, really! I promise!

Aaaanyway... as I was driving to work yesterday, I heard a sad little story on the radio. Some famous person or other had been getting a bad rap (wrap?) for giving their dog Paxil a while back. But it's got people thinking (not terribly intelligent thoughts, but thinking nonetheless), and apparently they're now coming out with a brand of Paxil for dogs. So many dogs apparently are having this separation anxiety, or whatever it is when dogs freak out because they're left alone too much, that they want to develop a sort of Paxil for Pooches to calm them down.

Really? Are we really such a self-centered society (duh, yes) that we have to develop doggy drugs for people who want the perks of having a dog, but aren't willing to actually care for it properly? "Hey! Look at my cute little puppsy wupsy! ... walk her? spend time with her? Nooo, I don't have time for that. But it's ok! I just pop her Puppy Paxil. See how calm she is?" Sad, I tell you. Very very sad. If you want a pet, take CARE of it, for heavens sake.

On the brighter side... as I was driving to the theatre last night for Improv (hilarious!), I was following the most curious vehicle. It intrigued me and made me laugh and captured my attention for the good five minutes or so that I was behind it. I don't know why, particularly, but it totally brightened my day.

It was a little Vespa or something scooter-like. The driver was a girl, judging by the long skinny blonde braids coming out from beneath her helmet. She had striped blue and teal and white and turquoise and purple legwarmers on, and a large backpack strapped to her back. Strapped to the backpack and nearly twice the height of her head was a longboard, brightly coloured wheels spinning with the wind. She had one of those Canucks flags* flapping off the back of the seat, and a Rainbow Brite sticker on the fender. Just over that was one of those Jesus fish bumper thingies, but the one that says " 'N Chips" on the inside. I swear I would have noticed more had I not had to turn off. It was hilarious.

Welcome to Vancouver.

And finally, as I do every morning, I check my For Better or For Worse comic feed. Here's today's. All I can say is.... yep. You bet.

* Go Canucks Go! Aw, I'm such a bandwagonner. I only follow hockey in the playoffs IF the Canucks are in, but after that ridiculous 4 period OT game in the first round and the spectacular game 7 win last week, I'm in! Pretty much it's a fun excuse to drive around and honk your horn obnoxiously after a winning game. Heh. Down with the Ducks!!!!

Thursday, April 26, 2007


Nearly every. single. minute. of today made we want to bang my head against a wall.

Car frustrations. School frustrations. Student frustrations (oh my goodness, I nearly LOST it today). Time crunch frustrations. Mess frustrations. Professional practice frustrations (as in, what the heck am I doing???). Parental frustrations (the kid's parents, not mine!). Food frustrations. Technological frustrations. Weather frustrations.

And then there was my photography class.

Ho-lee crapoli.

I keep hoping it's gonna get better. And it gets worse. This guy CAN. NOT. TEACH. He is the worst instructor in.... well, ANYTHING that I have ever had. Ever. He is all over the map. He is totally unclear. He gives NO background knowledge about what is actually going on in the camera, he just gives us whacked out scenarios (like taking a picture of the sun and making it look like a star. Making daylight look like night. Why? For what purpose? Or taking pictures of the TV screen. "Cause what if you don't have a picture of that good looking guy or girl on the screen?" Seriously? Huh?) and settings to make them work. But he doesn't explain WHAT the camera is actually doing.

This is supposed to be a beginners class (as evidenced by the fact that he has told us ALL THREE WEEKS that to take pictures we need film in the camera. Yeah. Ya think?) And yet he hasn't even TOLD us what aperture actually IS. Luckily I know a little bit from a few mini lessons from a friend a while back, so I can KIND of piece together what he's attempting to tell us. But tonight he totally lost me. Something about hypermode? And how it relates to depth of field? I think if I had a digital SLR it would be at least a little better cause I could take pictures and try stuff out in class to try and figure out what the hang he's talking about. But oh man.

And don't try to ask the guy questions. Oh, he gladly takes them. But there's just one teensy little thing. HE DOESN'T ACTUALLY ANSWER THEM. Last week he did not answer ONE single question I had. He just yabbered on about whatever he thought was kinda sorta maybe related. I was persistent to the point of near b!tchiness in trying to get an answer. I kept it polite and turned it around on me ("I'm sorry, maybe my question isn't very clear...") but WOWZA that took some effort.

I would just stop going, but there's JUST enough info I can pinch out from this otherwise colossal waste of time - perhaps 15-20 minues of the two hours is productive - that I'll stick with it, agonizing as it may be. And it's not just me. Everyone else is equally baffled at how this guy can continue to run this course. Oh man. It is B-R-U-T-A-L.

What if he finds my blog, you ask? Well, he makes absolutely ZERO effort to even TRY to learn our names, so he wouldn't know it was me anyway. I was asked for my surname on the first night so he could check the list, and now I'm "the little AE-1* girl." Yippee. [*AE-1 is my camera model]

OK. Now I feel bad. He's a jolly fellow, and really friendly. As a person, he's great. Kinda like a jovial older uncle. And he knows his stuff. But as an instructor? He's-a makin' me cray-zay.

Aaaand... nowI feel the great burning need now to take out some positives from my day. There has to have been something... hmm....

Oh yes. My kids totally cracked me up today in PE. We were playing skittle ball, which is kinda a combination between bowling with bean bags and dodge ball. They were flinging bean bags across the gym right left and center, and trying to knock down the wooden skittles (kinda like bowling pins) and trying equally hard to hit their opponents feet to get them out. They were SO INTO it, and it totally made me laugh. I had to get in there and play, too. Most of my time was spent running like a flailing fool back and forth along the front lines making "nah na-na nah boo boo" faces at the other team, trying to either distract them or make them try to hit me with the bean bags. At one point I was laughing so hard I couldn't even stand up straight. I'm sure they all thought I was insane.


Like I always tell them, "Hey! You'll aaalllways remember the crazy ones!"

Funky CLICK!

Yeah, that title sucked. So sue me.

I can't believe I haven't talked about my two new classes yet! I think I mentioned I was taking them, but I'm three weeks in already! Yikers!

First of all, my west coast swing obsession has spilled over into a new area, and I signed up for a new funk dance class offered by the same studio. Funk is basically a mix between hip hop and street jazz - veeeery different than West Coast Swing, for sure. And what a workout! Each week we learn a new routine, which is usually fine, but those suckers get LONG and apparently I have some kind of memory issue and either the latter part of the routine just doesn't stick with everything that's in my head already, or the beginning gets blasted out of my brain as new moves come along. I apparently have about a 16-24 beat memory. Kinda too bad when the routines are 32. It makes for not-so-funky me. But still totally fun. Hopefully by the end oft he class I'll have a modicum of the funk attitude. Right now I'm just awkward white girl.

OH! And I ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY PERCENT made a totally and complete FOOL of myself in front of my kids last week. I was intro-ing our dance unit - I'm passing my obsession on! - and so I told them that I'd show them a bit of the routine I had learned in my last funk lesson. I TOLD them that I was just learning this dance, and that I wasn't very good, and that I'd probably have to stop in the middle to remember what came next. Buuuut, for some reason I still thought it would be a good idea to show them. So I did the first 8 beats or so, which included a lot of jumping down and up and a body wave and shoulder jabs and all kinds of things. Two beats into it they were laughing. Cracking up. IN HYSTERICS. They couldn't stop laughing. Which made me laugh. And feel a wee tad stupid. But is WAS pretty funny. But seriously. They couldn't. stop. laughing, even long after I ceased humiliating myself in front of 27 11-year-olds.

Until I reminded them that, "Hey, this is what YOU are going to be doing!" That shut 'em up pretty quick. Muah ha haaa! It was pretty amusing!

Then there's my intro to photography class. I have borrowed a friend's SLR camera and I have been really wanting to learn to actually USE it, so I signed up for a class. I have it tonight, so as I need to leave for work now and I'm sure I'll have better fodder for continuing this post after I get home, I'm gonna stop now.

Stay tuned....

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

By golly, so THAT'S how we can fix this climate conundrum!

With apologies to the great (and very intelligent!) bloggers who live in Arkansas...

Click for a larger view. If you dare. Thanks Brad, for sharing.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Fun Times in Grade 5

I haven't blogged too much about school/work lately, but we've been doing some really fun stuff! (At least, *I* think it's fun!) But here's a warning. If you're weak of stomach, you may want to skip this post!

A few weeks ago in Health and Personal Planning, we finished a nutrition unit where the kids logged everything they ate or drank for a week (supposedly), the compared that to the Canada Food Guide. We learned about nutrients, food groups, serving sizes, and how very, very bad fast food is for you. I showed the movie Super Size Me. I didn't have time to preview it, though 3 or 4 teachers assured me that, other than one or two "S-words" and him puking out the window of the car, it was totally fine. (I would really rather not have had the swearing, but the message of the movie was too good to not show it cause of that.)


They neglected to mention the part where his girlfriend is recounting the effect Morgan's all-Mickey-D's diet was having on their sex life. In rather graphic detail. Unfortunately we didn't have time to complete the entire video that day, so had to cut it short. Right after that part. Soooo, the kids went home with, "Yeah, he has a really hard time getting it up... I mean, the sex is still good, but it's not what it was... He's just too tired... I have to be on top all the time..." being the last thing they remember from the movie. Yes, I DID make a mad dash from the pack fo the class to hit the stop button, but it was too little too late. Whoops.

Morgan had just been talking about how he was tired and was having a hard time doing other tasks before this, so I desperately tried to emphasize that part of things instead: "See? He's not getting enough NUTRIENTS and he's TIRED all the time, and has no ENERGY to do WORK and EXERCISE. That's what happens when you don't have enough NUTRIENTS! Think of the NUTRIENTS! The NUUUUUTRIENTS!"

I cringe at what the dinner table conversations would be that night. "So, Johnny, what did you learn in school today?"

"Gee, mom, I learned that if I eat McDonalds I won't be able to get it up."


Hopefully the next thing we did in the nutrition unit redeemed me... swiping the idea from another teacher who had done this a few years ago, I decided to show the kids what was really in a Big Mac Meal. It was thoroughly disgusting. They loved it.

Step One: Buy Big Mac, large fries, and a coke.

Step Two: Bring to school, making kids all drool, beg for a fry, ask me why I'm torturing them, etc. Set up meal on cart in front of class. Ask them to predict how much fat will be in the meal. (Yeah, kiddoes, it's NOT gonna be 95%. Sorry.)

Step Three: Dramatically tear up burger and place in blender with saucy bun, wilted lettuce bits, and congealed "meat" in plain view. Add fries for effect, and some coke to juice it up. Don't forget to squeeze out a few pack of ketchup into the mix. Try not to laugh as cries of "Eeeew!" and "That's disGUSTing!" and "Yum! Can I try some?" (there's one in every class!) erupt from students.

Step Four: Read blender settings. "Hmmm... which setting should I use? Blend? Chop? Puree? Whip? ... LIQUEFY!!!" Students will burst out chanting "Li-que-fy! Li-que-fy!" You will be amazed at how quickly burger liquefies. Try not to puke. Add remaining fries for visual effect and blend fully.

Step Five: Pass around blender for students to see and smell. When met with cries of disgust, simply say, "What? That's what it looks like in your stomach?" Laugh when student comments, "Yeah, but we don't have to SEE it when it's in our stomach!!!"

Step Six: Pour into pot and send students down to staff room to stir concoction until it is boiling. This process will separate the fat from the rest of the putrid brown goo.

Step Seven: Pour goo back into blender and let congeal at the back of the class for the rest of the day. Put in fridge overnight. The next day, examine mass quantities of fat globules that have formed throughout.

Step Eight: Never eat another Big Mac ever again. I tell you, the stench of that thing still lingers.

Who says learning can't be fun? .... er... and revolting?


Friday, April 20, 2007

Oh no they di-in't!!!

There are very few things that flip my b!tch switch. I do not normally go on a random rampage when things tick me off. Few things really tick me off that much - I like to think I'm fairly laid back. Hopefully those of you who know me aren't laughing your collective butts off right now. I'd like to think that's fairly accurate.

But, there have been a few shining moments when somebody has done something really stupid or really wrong, and something in me just screams to let them know about it.

Like when I chased down and told off a driver who ran a red light, nearly mowing me down as I crossed the crosswalk - ironically enough carrying the two bags full of the contents of my very recently totalled Beastmobile. Totalled, I might add, by someone who ran a red light.

Or the time I was driving home from work after a sucky, stressful, kids-making-me-want-to-wring-their-necks kind of day, and some punks were walking along the street pelting rocks at cars. One hit the side of mine. The new one. The glorious replacement for the Beastmobile. I was in a pissy mood already, and that was the last straw. I wheeled the car over to the side of the road, unbeknownced (sp???) to the punks, as they were walking the opposite way and were nearly a block away by then. I once again chased them down, and, upon seeing the head punk launch another projectile at the oncoming traffic, screamed, "HEY! Yeah, YOU! WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING???" He grunted something about it just being chocolate. What the? "I don't care! You're gonna cause damage to someone's car! You just hit mine!" sputter, sputter, lame excuse, lame excuse... "Come on!" I carried on. "GET SOME RESPONSIBILITY!"

Seriously? Get some responsibiltiy? Did that really come out of my mouth? That just may have been my most school-marm-ish moment ever.

But I mean, come on.

So today I got home from work and checked my messages. THIS is what I heard:

Ok, first off, it's pretty hilarious. The drawl on that guy is spectacular. But still... advertising? On my voice mail? The message had been playing through my whole greeting, and it wasn't even done when my answering machine (bless it's soul) cut it off. SHEESH!

They're not the first ones to do it. I've had random companies leave ads on my voice mail before. And it's not right! Ads on magazines, fine. Ads on TV, fine. Radio? Sure. Billboards? Whatever. Flyers in the mail. Kinda annoying, but I suppose accepted. But on my voice mail? Not that that's sacred or anything, but still... there really isn't ANYwhere where one can escape stupid spam. Come to think of it, I suppose it's more spam than advertising.

Whatever it was, it really annoyed me, so I made a phone call. I told the customer support dude (while making it clear I wasn't mad at him, and thanked him very much for his help at the end of the call) in no uncertian terms that I did NOT appreciate advertising on my answering machine, and take my number OFF whatever list it was on, and that that is NOT a marketing ploy that is ok with me.

On the other hand, "Ah coould wee-ehn thahyat!" Maybe I should go play a hand or two!


Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Really, now. This has GOT to stop.

Lately I've been having kinda strange dreams. Most of them I can kinda see where they come from, because they are at least in very small part related to something that's happening in my life - minor things that take a bizzarre twist in the dream.

Like doing laundry for example. I had a load in the dryer when I went to sleep last night.

Then all of a sudden I am flying to Amsterdam for the wedding of somebody I don't even know and my plane leaves in an hour and a half and I'm not even packed and I have wet clothes in the washing machine of a high school laundromat. I'm trying to figure out what to wear and am asking advice from the friend who I'm going with while her friend is telling us that we should just go naked, cause that's what they do in Belgium. Belgium? I thought we were going to Amsterdam. For some reason I don't even have anything to wear to the wedding, and ALL my clothes are still wet in the washer. I go back to put them in the dryer, but it's lunch hour at the high school and all the dryers are taken up by pimply faced kids who are drying the afghan blankets their great grannies have knitted - and two of the dryers are fiulled with mac and cheese - and WHAT THE HECK AM I GOING TO DO MY PLANE LEAVES IN ONE HOUR. It is CRITICAL that I get on this flight. Oh, AND, I've made dinner at my parents house and have to get all the dishes washed before I go, and figure out what to do with the knee high tweety socks my cousin stuffed in the closet so they didn't stink up the whole room when she was sleeping over the night before.


Or how about this one? Yesterday I drove past the little parking lot of the scuzzy little neighbourhood pub that's just around the corner, and I recall thinking that since the video store moved out of that complex, I haven't been in there. (The lot, not the pub!)

Suddenly I'm IN that lot, standing beside the open door of my car, which isn't parked, just sitting idling in the lot. I don't know how I got there or why my dad is there, either, but there we are. We were having some discussion about something when he started singing/chanting "tilly tilly tilly" or "toobie toobie toobie" or something like that over and over. He was just being silly... playful banter or something, but I was trying to talk to him, and he wouldn't stop. I even pulled out the, "OK, I'm really serious! Stop it!" but to no avail. So I start screaming at him. "Pleeease stop! ... Stop it ... stop it ... STOP IT!!!" Still he continued. I ran away screaming and crying in frustration, taking off around the building, bawling and raging and so entirely frustrated. I was heaving, I was so upset. I ducked into the pub for a few minutes to calm down. But I was so upset that when someone asked me what was wrong (it might have been my mom...) I just burst into tears. By the time I went back out, my dad had parked the car and was sitting inside like nothing had happened.


These last two dreams were both from last night, but there have been others in the last few weeks. I don't remember what was happening in those ones, but I remember tehy were other highly, highly stressful, frustrating, and/or emotional situations.

The problem with these dreams is that they are so real that I WAKE UP still feeling stressed out from the dream. Each time, I wake up with a raging headache and I'm all tense and my tummy feels funny. As if I don't battle being stressed out enough, my dreams are adding to it. ARG! How do I stop this?

Off I go to take an advil or two. I have to recover from my sleep before I start my day.

Saturday, April 14, 2007


Sah-WEET! It's done - a brand new shiny blog template (hit refresh if you can't see it)!!!

I've been wanting to change my blog for quite some time. Yes, perhaps I've been a little obsessed with "new" these days. New hair, new seasons, new classes, new outlook. But hey, it's spring - why not, right?

And now, may I point out (just cause I'm tickled that it all came out ok! Humour me in this "Look, ma, I did it!" style announcement :P )...

- New header. Hopefully it's not too huge anymore. And it shouldn't overlap with anything important. Let me know? Thanks to Brad and Paul for teaching me about transparent backgrounds and for tweaking the image.
- New sidebar. Yup, it's officially an orchid theme. My landlords gave me the flowers, and I used them as inspiration! And it's all flipped around and everything! Hee hee! Plus, the sidebar is waaaaay less cluttered now. Check out the photos, the links, the blogroll - they're all up to date
- New drop down menus. Just click the boxes and they'll expand. Faaancy! Thanks to Jenn, from whom I yoinked the code.
- New footer. Scroll down. Waaaay down. It's even pretty way down at the bottom! hehe

Here's the old template and the old sidebar (ew!), just for kicks and giggles. OK, OK, I'll stop now. Thanks for putting up with me! :D

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Loadin' up

First term was crazy. I was brand spankin' new to having my own class, and it was pretty overwhelming. It still is, but I've at least slipped into an "oh my gosh, I'm going to DIE" routine, and I'm getting kinda used to that feeling now. Heh. But first term, I was also trying to do quite a bit - involved with a few things at my church, taking my west coast swing dancing class, and spending quite a bit of time with one particular person... It was all good, but it was too much, so for term two I decided that I would cut out all extra cirricular activites (not people!). Except the swing, cause we all know by now that I'm pretty much addicted!

So term two, I had no classes, no involvement at church, just time for a breather and time to focus on school. Except that that almost killed me, too. I am learning that I need to have at least something going on. Swing didn't seem to quite do it, as it's on Sundays, leaving my weeknights free still. I was really not a happy camper with nothing to do. Like, really not at all.

Soooo.... near the end of term two (early March?) a few things changed - including the boy situation, which flat out got decided FOR me - I decided that I need to pick up a new activity.

Ah, but what to choose? Helping with Alpha at church again? Italian classes? Funk dance? An intro to acting class? Photography? What to pick? What to pick?

I got it all narrowed down to two, but still couldn't choose, so I picked 'em both! AAAHHH!!! I'm really excited about it (but I hope that this doesn't swing the pendulum back into the crazy zone again!).

As of this week, I am now enrolled in something I never thought I would do - funk dance - and one I've always wanted to - photography. And of course, swing continues, too. It feels pretty good. I love doing new things, and I get a chance to do something with my body (wow, is that funk class a WORKOUT!) and with my mind, both of which are rather creative. Whodathunkit?

All I have to say is, BRING IT!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Your input, please! *updated*

Well as you have seen, I've been changing up my blog template lately. I wanted something more springy... My landlords gave me those orchids you see up at the top there yesterday (from their surprise wedding on the weekend! How cool is that???), so I contorted myself in all manner of directions and took a few photos - you should have seen it: I was standing on my counter, one leg bracing a light balanced on the chair, one hand on the camera, one hand on the ceiling so I didn't fall... a studio photographer I am not! hehe! I kinda like the banner, but there's definitely too much white in the template. Springy green as a background? I'd like that, but it looks funny with the orchids. I could keep the banner background white, but a big white box on green looks kinda funny. I could jsut get rid of the borders for the sidebar and the content and have it all white... or something totally different! Suggestions? Anyone? Anyone?

*Yep, that header is H-U-G-E, particularly on lower resolution screens. I'll change it, but probably not till the weekend. Till then, um, happy scrolling?

Monday, April 09, 2007

Things that make me happy

My rule for this weekend was that I was only going to do things that make me happy. And boy, when you decide to do that, moments just pile up on top of each other and overwhelm you! It was really such great weekend!!

The first thing that made me happy was getting my reports in on Thursday after school. YAAAY! I was officially free to enjoy the weekend. (I'm just going to pretend that little stack of marking isn't staring back at my from the basket on my 'dining room' floor - where I tried to hide it!) Sleeping over 12 hours on Thursday night also made me happy!

Friday morning I went to my church's Good Friday service and was really struck again by Jesus' sacrifice, and by what it meant for where I'm at in my life right now. It was nearly audible (nearly! I wasn't hearing voices or anything!), him saying, "Hillary, I died so you wouldn't have to carry all this. Lay it down. Let me take it." How freeing it was to just give it up. I'd been trying to carry way too much, and I don't need to. God is SO good.

A bunch of people went out for brunch afterwards, walking through the neighbourhood of old heritage homes - beautiful gigantic homes along tree lined streets, the warm breeze and cherry blossoms filling the air. I had a good conversation with my friend Lloyd on the way there, which really built me up and encouraged me. He is one of those people who is just generous in every way, and every time you come away from talking with him, you feel good.

Brunch was great, and after that, I went home and began shoveling out the masses of paper that had seemed to breed and were threatening to take over my desk! There's nothing better than the windows and doors open, the sweet smell of the jasmine flowers outside my door wafting in, and doing a good, hearty clean-up. It felt sooo good to be able to see my desk again! hehe! I might post before and after pictures, but then you'll know how bad it really was!!! EEK!

Oh who am I kidding? Here ya go, before and after...

Afterwards, I headed out to another friend's house for a big Easter dinner (the one that would have been way less fun that hanging out with charm-boy) and guess what? It was SO much fun! Lloyd cooked a HUGE dinner for about 10 people - turkey AND ham! - and we ate, drank, and made merry. I learned that I'm still not very good at holding my liquor. A glass of wine, a chocolatini (mental note: buy chocolate liqueur!!!) and a daiquiri, even over two hours or so and a with a large dinner, and I was NOT ready to go home for a few hours! I suppose that would definitely fall into the category of "things that make me happy," albeit in a slightly different way! Ha!

Saturday was more of the same - brunch with my grandparents, more house shovelling - you know, taking care of all those little corners that you don't usually get to but that stress you out when you see them? Ah, it felt good. Then my friend Brad called and informed me that I was going to his house for dinner with him and another friend. :D I was treated to another yummy dinner (thanks, Brad! It was scrumptious!), and then Brad and Ian came back to my house to watch a movie while I cooked and prepared Easter dinner/lunch for the next day.

With no extended family Easter dinners this year, and my mom having hurt her back a few weeks ago, I offered to have my immediate family over to MY house for something to eat after church on Sunday. I made it very clear that I was not doing EASTER DINNER, but that I would make "something to eat after church." The EASTER DINNER label was a little more than I wanted to take on at this point in time. But Sunday turned out to be great, too! My parents came to my church (which was their church when they were growing up, and all the way till I was in grade 4), and shock of all shocks, my brother and sister came too! (If you're reading this, K & B, I'm really glad you came, it was nice to have everybody there!)

Church was AWESOME - I love the way my church tries to incorporate the diversity within our congregation. The readings, the art, the decorations, the music, the sermon, the testimonies - all were triumphant declarations that Christ is risen! AND? We even sung the song that I posted yesterday morning! Yay!

Lunch went well (no-one got poisoned! ;) heehee!) and we had a nice afternoon just goofing around and talking. It was neat to have the whole fam to MY house! My mom says this officially makes me a grown-up. I say, "Noooooo! I don't WANNA!"

And then? Sunday evening? What better happy-maker than to go for a walk on the beach with a friend? I called my Vanessa up and asked her if she wanted to head out with me.

"Uhh... it's kinda rainy here."

"Eh, it's ok. It's not raining here, we should be ok."


This is Vancouver, and rain hurtles in pretty quick in these parts! By the time we got to the beach it was POURING! Well hey, that's ok! It was easy to find parking!

Vanessa and I ran around at the beach in the POURING rain, laughing at the ducks and taking goofy pictures of ourselves. In a "Oh, what the heck? I'm supposed to be doing things that make me happy, right?" moment, I took a flying leap off a grassy knoll - and then anything else I could find - and landed with both feet into a colossal, sandy, muddy, and rather deep PUDDLE!

(click any image to make it bigger:
you can read the rock and see the splash of my insane puddle jumping shenanigans!)

Let me just say this: PUDDLE JUMPING MAKES ME VERY VERY HAPPY! I repeated the act a number of times, creating little sandy lakes inside my shoes and making my jeans so wet I had to cinch up my belt another notch so my pants wouldn't fall off with the weight! Vanessa was content to watch the craziness unfold, so she was the official photographer. AH! It was glorious!

Especially when it was finished off with hot chocolate, whipped cream - dry pants!! - and Amelie, the most happy-making movie ever! - back at my house afterwards.

Today I allowed myself to sleep in and just wake up when I woke up (8am! grr... I'll have to work on that!), and I'm headed off to Home Depot's garden center to buy some baby flowers to plant in all my pots on my patio. I didn't do anything with my patio last year, and I missed it. I'm going to go make a little garden. Inch by inch, and row by row, I'm gonna make my garden grow...

And those? Those are all things that make me happy. Have a great Monday!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

In Christ Alone

I was going to add my thoughts in and around the lyrics of this song, but it really speaks for itself. It is one of my absolute favourites; it makes me cry almost every time I sing it. It is the whole arc of the gospel in a single song, and I love it.

No power of hell, no scheme of man, can ever pluck me from his hand. Till he returns, or calls me home, here in the power of Christ, I'll stand...

In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm

What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand

In Christ alone, who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save

‘Till on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again

And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost it’s grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ

No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life’s first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny

No power of hell, or scheme of man
Could ever pluck me from His hand
‘Till He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand

Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

How NOT to ask a girl out

He’s already asked me a few times to go out for drinks with him. I’ve been busy with report cards, so haven’t been able to go. This was the latest:

I.: whats happening with you tonight?
Hillary: heading to a friend's place for dinner
I.: and later tonight?
Hillary: not sure, I imagine it'll be the whole evening at my friend’s place
I.: well i'm heading out to an irish club/pub in cloverdale [a suburb about 45 mins away]
I.: u interested in going after? u can bring ur girl too
Hillary: ?
Hillary: oh, the friend... it's about 10 people, my friend Lloyd is cooking an easter dinner for a big gang of people
I.: oh wow
I.: ur not going to leave early then

Hillary: no, heading out to cloverdale probably won't work
I.: ur not wanting to come out with me?
Hillary: what?
I.: u should come out tonight is what i'm saying
Hillary: no, I think this'll be the whole evening, and I don't want to head all the way out to cloverdale later on in the evening.
Hillary: simple answer: sorry, but I already have plans
Hillary: there, that was way less complicated! :P

I.: or way less fun
I.: one or the other
I.: :(

Hillary: you sayin' my friends are boring?!? :-O
I.: naah
I.: i'm saying u should come out to enjoy my company
I.: that's all

OK... #1 – it’s over MSN. You at least CALL a girl if you want to take her on a date. Duh.
#2 – he’s asking just a few hours from when he wants to go out. Nuh-uh. You want a date? You give me notice. Read the Rules.
#3 – he tells me my plans are going to be less fun than heading out with him. Um, HELLO??
#4 – apparently his company is so desirsble that I really should cancel my plans and be amazed by his stellar charm. Not, “I’d really like to get to know you better.” Not “I’m looking forward to spending some time with you.” But “u should come out to enjoy my company.”

Yeah, I don’t think so, buddy.


Friday, April 06, 2007

How Deep The Father's Love For Us

How deep the Father's love for us, how vast beyond all measure
That he should give his only son, to make a wretch his treasure
How great the pain of searing loss, the Father turned his face away
As wounds which mar the chosen one, bring many sons to glory

Behold the man upon a cross, my sin upon his shoulders
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice call out among the scoffers
It was my sin that held him there until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life; I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything: no gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ; his death and resurrection
Why should I gain from his reward? I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart, his wounds have paid my ransom

~ Stuart Townend

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

It's half FULL, dangit, half FULL!

I'm getting kinda sick of seeing that video up on top of my blog, but I really can't think of much to say. What? Hillary speechless?

How about this... stay tuned for pictures of pretty much the best science experiment ever. Um, well, there's nothing exactly scientific about it, but it will be good for teaching my kidlets a lesson. And it will be gross. Even better.

Speaking of those kidlets... while writing my reports (still ongoing...) I came accross a few kids for whom I just have nothing to say. Yeah, that's right. I said "for whom." Point is, every time I go to try to write the little personal comment at the beginning of their report, my brain comes up blank. "So and so is a cheerful... nope... friendly... um, not particulary... polite... umm... hard working... heck no.... ah ha! 'energetic.' That's one of those words that is good-but-kinda-not-really-but-still-is-ok. Yay! That'll work.... oh crap! That's what I said last term!"

I feel terrible that I can't think of something positive/personal to say about some of these kids. It's only one or two, and it's really not that there's nothing good to say about them. I just can't seem to put it into words. Arg!

Which kinda leads me to my next thought, I suppose, which is that I feel like I've been a little miss grumpy-puss lately and it's starting to affect how I see things. I need to start whistling that little Monty Python diddy again: "Always look on the briiiight side of life! Doo doot, do-doot do-doot do-doot!"

So... starting right now, here are three things that made me smile today:

1. I noticed for the first time this year that glorious strip of cherry blossom trees that stand up against the backdrop of the North Shore Mountains on my way to work. In the mroning, the sun is on them, and it's bee-oot-i-ful!

2. I got a lovely email this evening from Pam, one of the other grade 5 teachers in my school. She astounds me with the amount of kindness and caring and generosity she showers on people every single day. I am SO grateful to have a co-worker like that. She is incredible. (and no, she won't see this)

3. One of my kids totally made me giggle today when he gave me a box full of Easter chocolate as a little gift. "Full" of course, being a bit of an overstatement. What it actually was was a leftover box from some chocolate easter creatures that he got and promptly ate, then tossed 4 or 5 little chocolate eggs - you know the ones, all wrapped in foil? - inside to rattle around on the bottom. He gave it to me, then said, "Uh, yeah, sorry, I ate the real ones.... but those eggs are good, too." Ha! He cracked me up!