Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Private *UPDATED*

I'm taking things private for a while till some stuff gets sorted out. 99.9% of you are welcome to view my blog. But there are certain things - like my life - I'm just no longer comforatable with certain people having access to. And it's no-one who's told me directly that they read my blog, just so that's clear, nor is it strangers.

Email me at bygrace253 at yahoo dot ca (or preferably my other addy if you have it) if you'd like me to email you an invitation. Don't be shy! If you read even occasionally - and even if you never comment (it's you I'm most sad about potentially losing!) - send me an email and I'll send you back an invitiation to continue reading. It'll be easy, I promise! Emailing back may take a few days, but I will.

Things may be wacky on here for a few days while I get things sorted out, so if you're reading this on a feeder and it doesn't show up when you click through, don't worry. Just email me.

*UPDATE* - Sorry, but there's a time limit on this. I need to hear from you by Thursday at midnight if you want to get an invite to my blog. It's a pain, I know. Sorry.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The showdown

I've been dealing with these shenanigans for months. I've tried to be nice. I've tried to deal with it. Wednesday was the last straw. No more Ms Nice Girl. The showdown has begun...

I've written about this situation here a few times before, but let me give you a rundown.

My car has been misbehaving. It's different than the ol' Beastmobile misbehaviour. That was just quirky and stuff I just let go, resigned to the fact that some things just didn't work. This is the "expensive" kind of misbehaving.

July. She was overheating. I gave her a new water pump.

November. She was overheating again. I gave her a new water pump, fan, and computer.

End of December. What a hottie. Dang car just wouldn't keep cool. Oh, and she vented her frustration by billowing large clouds of white smoke out its tailpipe and chugging along like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang on drugs. Everyone thought she was asking me for a new head gasket, but she behaved just enough that her doctor wasn't convinced. So she got another new water pump, fan, computer, and a few other tweaks, bells, and whistles.

Beginning of January. Nope. She's definitely asking for a new head gasket. Poor baby. So, being the good car momma I am, I gave her one.

March. She's been leaking for a while. I've had her fixed once, but to no avail. So I took her to the leak specialist, who fixed her up good and dried her all out.

Beginning of April. As evidenced by my friend's wet bum after five minutes of sitting in my backseat, the car was not completely dry. In fact, you know the sound of squeesing a soaking wet sponge? Weeellll, that's about the sound that my back seat made when you pressed on it. So I have my car a trip to the drier. Complimentary, thank goodness, but still a pain to have to take in. My patience with her was running low.

Last Wednesday. All is running well. All is dry and happy. All is cleaned, vaccuumed, spic and span. The only gentle request was for some gas - which I was happy to provide. Excpet I was running late for bootcamp. So I pushed the envelope a little. She's usually quite good to me that way. I went from bootcamp to work, again pressed for time. And then from work to tutoring accross the city. Then to Bible study. Gak! Below the red! Be good to me, girl! Be good to me!

As SOON as I could on the way home from Bible study, I stopped for gas. (And no, I didn't run out of gas, thankyouverymuch!) Reached down to pull the little lever to open the gas tank.



I pulled again. Nothing.

Turns out when they were putting my car back together, they put the little plastic cover that goes over the trunk lever and the gas tank lever on incorrectly, basically incapacitating the gas lever. Soooo, there was no way to open the door to fill the tank. Which was below the red, and had been for two trips accross the city already. I still had to get home. And back to the shop in the morning. Accross the city again.


Here's a tip. Don't EVER ask gas station attendants to help you with anything other than pumping gas. I asked if maybe he had a jimmy stick or whatever that might pop the gas cover open. Instead he took a metal rod and pried the door open jsut enought that it stuck out from the body of the car. "Well, I opened it a little bit!" Uh, no buddy. You bent the door to my gas tank. Grrr!

So, gas-less and driving on a prayer, I drove home. And then to the shop. Again. They fixed it up and gave me $20 of liquid gold (hooray!), but then ol' Civvie and I had a wee little talk.

A showdown, if you will.

Eyeball to headlight, I told her straight.

"Look. I've been taking good care of you. And for the most part you've been taking good care of me. But these shenanigans of continually breaking on me? They've got to stop. Right. Now."

She stared me down without saying a word. I couldn't tell if she was hearing me or just waiting till my little rant was done.

I told her she'd better behave or she'd be sorry, but I think my threats fell on deaf mirrors, as I heard her mocking me silently as I walked away. Then today, almost as payback, her brakes have begun to squeal.


Any readers out there thought this story was gonna be about a person? Sorry to dissapoint!

Oh the marvels of a quick round of hangman

Wow. What kids will do for 10 minutes of hangman! My class was so rowdy this morning, but at the promise of some hangman action, they worked quietly for nearly an hour straight!

"Miss Hillary, we'll do anything for hangman!" one student told me.

Duly noted!

Thursday, April 24, 2008


Hoo boy. You won't believe my last couple of days. Oh there was a showdown in my world, let me tell you. Details to follow...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day!

Do something kind to the Earth today... and then keep doing it!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Tids and bits - volume ???

Not really sure what volume this is. It's my usual "holy cow I haven't blogged in so long, time to catch up" post. I keep trying to come up with new creative names, but I give up. Tids and Bits it is, I'm just gonna start adding numbers. Let's call this numero uno! :)

So, yeah. Lots going on lately, hence this post is kinda long. I should have included pictures to distract you from this fact. Maybe tomorrow.

First up, one of my very bestest friends, Strudelie-oodle, is back! (er, ok, her name is really Trudy. Her and our friend Becca have all kinds of wierd and wacky names for each other. Becca is Rrrrebecerrrino. Rolled r mandatory. I'm either Hillerbum or Hilla-ree, Hilla-rye, Hilla-roo-rah-ray. That one get's its own song. I feel so special!) Aaaanyhoo... Trudy was in Africa - Niger, to be specific - for six months and she came home nearly a month ago, making all us Vancouverites very very happy! There's been much silliness and rejoicing since her return!

Also, do you remember this? Well, the magazine came last week! Holy shneikie! It really came! I'm famous! :) Well, ok, maybe not, but I'm now officially a published photographer! Woohoo! And man, that picture takes up over half the page! I was shocked! My name's even there... in tiny little letters... hidden in the spine. Oh well, I'll take what I can get!

Next, the weather. I wouldn't be a good Canadian if I didn't talk about the weather. Now seriously, folks. A few weeks back we had crazy insane hail storms for like a week straight. Some areas even got snow. This annoyed a great deal of people. Now come on, don't give me this "Canada (ahem, Canadia) is the land of ice and snow, of course you got hail." This is VANCOUVER. Lotus land. The tropical paradise of the Great White North. We're more like the Great WET North in these parts, but it's TEMPERATE here (what a great selling point! Come live here! It's temperate!). But then, as it always does, it bucked up and got beautiful two weekends ago. Like, nearly 20 degrees beautiful (that's nearly 70F for you American types)! And it was sunny! And glorious! And bees were buzzing and birds were chirping and a choir of angels sang hallelujah. Well, not so much the angels, but was was GORGEOUS!

So Trudy, Laurie, and Becca - who was 39 weeks pregnant at the time - and I went for a hike. Oh yes. We figured we'd stay low to avoid the snow, but alas. There was tons! So off we tromped having a grand ol time. We joked (um, ok, maybe we were a little serious!) that we were going to make sure to stay in cell contact and that one of us should have packed some clean towels. You know. Just in case. The baby has yet to arrive, thank goodness! Delivering a baby wasn't exactly on my list of things to do that day! Eekers!

After the hike, Trudles and I went down to the beach for some yummy Thai takeout, a glorious sunset, and some serious silliness. Marvelling at the flowers, the cherry blossoms, and the balmy weather, we kept shouting, "It's suuummerrrrr!" That is, until we began breathing fire and the aliens blew off our heads. *

Now cut to this past weekend. With visions of our glorious Saturday still fresh in our minds, imagine Trudy's and my surprise to find if dumping with snow on Friday night. D-U-M-P-I-N-G. So naturally, we did what any sane person would do when it snows on APRIL 18. We went out, bought McFlurries, and found a park to frolic in. We built a snowman, had a snowball fight, and ran around catching snowflakes in our mouths. Trudy has a very special and specific technique for this endeavour. As she puts it: "First, look straight up at the sky so that you can see all the flakes swirling around and zooming down towards you. now, pick out a specific flake that's falling. chase the flake and catch it in your mouth! (if you can incorporate jumping and eating noises... all the better!)" Aurmph! Aurmph! Aurmph! Also heard on this snowy, freezing Friday night in April? "It's suuummerrrrr!" Best said with giganto snowflakes on your eyelid.

Seriously. Silliness like this is good for my soul!

In other news, dancing is still trucking along. I'm taking a blues dance class right now from my west coast swing teachers, which is giving me a whole new range of moves and styles to incorporate into my swing. It's great! We learned these crazy dips last Thursday that had me so low my hair was brushing the floor. So awesome! Um, except for the part when I pulled/strained my quad muscle and have been hobbling ever since. But seriously! My hair! On the floor!

Now normally I wouldn't have worried too much about the leg thing, but I've been training since January to run the Vancouver Sun Run - a 10km/6.2 mile race through this gorgeous city. My leg was sore on Friday, but I just thought it was from a good workout. But, er, it was only one leg. It was equally sore on Saturday. I began to wonder if I'd really be able to run the Sun Run, and I was getting really upset. I've been training for this for so long. It's the first race I've ever done, the farthest I've run in my life, and I really, really did NOT want to bail the day before the race. I decided to see how I felt on Sunday morning...

When I woke up, my leg was mostly still a big ball of owie when going down stairs or bending with any weight on it. But no way in heck was I NOT going to do the Sun Run. Off I went in the freezing cold morning (they think it was the coldest Sun Run on record - a wee 4 degrees (39F) in the morning!) to run my little tail off. It was my goal to run the whole way - no walk/run intervals: run the whole time. I really wasn't sure I could do it, as I nearly died on a mini run Thursday afternoon. But I tell you, with over 59,000 other runners, 12 bands playing live music all along the route, and people cheering you on the whole way, the adrenaline and excitement really gets you going! The farthest I've ever run in my life before Sunday was 9km, and that was with walk/run intervals. I ran the whole. darn. thing. AND I finished about 10-15 minutes faster than I thought I would! My official time was one hour and eleven minutes, and I came in 22,747th! hahaha! That's SO hilarious! BUT, I felt like a million bucks at the end. I DID IT! YEAHOO!!! Thankfully my leg didn't bother me, and it's feeling mostly better today, so I'm glad I didn't end my ability to walk for the rest of my LIFE by doing the run. I'm already looking forward to the next race. I think I'm going to head down to Seattle for the Iron Girl - another 10k - in September with a few girlfriends. Gotta beat my time, ya see!

And just cause I'm a sucker for punishment, I finished the Sun Run yesterday (holy cow, was that only yesterday?) and started boot camp this morning. Three days a week, 6:30-7:30am. Work out central, baby. I'm gonna HURT tomorrow.

And with that, I'm off to put away groceries. Yeehaw. If you're still reading, you're my hero! I don't think *I* would be! Ha! You're clearly a better person than I! :)

Ta ta!

* You're really gonna have to see the photos to make sense of this one. I'll get 'em up soon.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Baby Audrey

One of the things I love about blogging is finding posts - no - finding people like this. Angie and her beautiful family, even through their sadness, shine light and hope through the story of their precious daughter, Audrey. Thank you, Angie, for posting so openly, so beautifully.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

So many blog posts, so little time!

It is really starting to annoy me that I have SO many post ideas but just don't have time to sit down and write. I really like sitting down and thinking through a post, tweaking it, getting it jsut right, but that takes so dang LONG that I rarely do it. I jsut don't have time.

For example, this week...

Monday: Work all day, rush off to tutoring, rush off to young adults, do a mini presentation, stay for the evening, out for drinks (and dinner, cause it was nearly 10 and I hadn't eaten yet) till 11:30. Home and work on a power point presentation till about 1.

Tuesday: Work all day, stay till 7:30 prepping , organizing, & planning, come home, do dishes, work on powerpoint, stay up obscenely late again doing something, I forget what. Probably the powerpoint.

Wednesday: Pro-D day - Underestimate how long it would take to get downtown for the conference/goal setting day. Rush into friend's visitor parking at the last minute and get to park for free. (SCORE!) Work all day. Go for run along sea wall. Ok, attempt run along sea wall with nearly 10 pound backpack (purse, coat, clothing, dress boots, litre of water). Dumb community center had no lockers. Walk back. Go to tutoring. Jump dead battery. Drive around for 20 mins to charge it. Stop to buy dessert for dinner & Bible study. Go to Bible study. Come home around 11:15. Finish poweroint. Go to bed past one for the third night in a row. (See that time stamp? That's when I STARTED writing. Why am I blogging now? Cause I'm WIRED)

Up for Thursday? Work all day, including behviour roundtable discussion and earthquke drill. Rush off to Summer school meeting after school. Either go back to work to clean/plan or go home to laundry and more powerpoint/movie maker. Dance lesson at 8:30, will probably stay for the dance till 11 or so.

Friday? Work till noon, go for the run I should have done today, stay till 5:30/6. Either go to wedding shower or drive to Abbotsford (an hour away) for a meeting/info night (related to all these powerpoints!).

Saturday, for the love of all things Holy, SLEEP IN.


No WONDER I'm so bleeding tired.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Out damn spot!


Some people hate them. Some people (like most of my students) love them. Me, I'm kind of ambivalent. As long as the kids aren't playing with them during class time and they stay in backpacks until recess and lunch, I don't really care if the kids have them at school. I kinda don't get the digital pet thing - play with it, feed it, watch it grow - but whatever.

Well, Amanda* is a grade one girl in my class who has one of these things. I'm cracking down on the class time fiddling these days, and I had to take it away from her just before lunch yesterday. I told her she could have it back at the end of the day. She wanted it for lunch time, but I said no, she could have it at the end of the day.

At the end of the day, I made sure the whole class was aware of the Tamagotchi policy: if you are playing with it during class time, it will go live in my desk until Friday. If I take it away Monday, it lives there till Friday. If I take it away Thursday, it lives there till Friday. (I had the urge to use the Italian term "capiche?" but methinks the six and seven year old ESL kids that comprise my entire calss probably wouldn't get that reference, hey?)

Well, guess who had her Tama-whatzit out again today? I swooped in and took it. "You can have it back on Friday." Amanda didn't argue - she knew the drill. But at home time, she looked up and asked me, "Miss Hillary? Will you take my Tamagotchi to your home tonight and feed it?"

"No, I'm sorry, Amada. I'm not going to take it home. It will stay in my desk until tomorrow at home time."

"But if you don't feed it, it will die! And it will poo. You have to clean it up."

I reiterated that it would stay on my desk, and Amanda went home.

So now, it's twenty after four, I'm working on my supply order for next year (OH, there is SUCH a rant brewing there, but it's best I bite my tongue on that one. *takes a moment to seethe*), and the Tamagotchi just started beeping.

I ignored it, and it stopped. For about five minutes.

It beeped again.

I cast a sideways glance at it, thinking of poor Amanda asking me to take her butterfly pet home to feed it. "But if you don't feed it, it will die!"

I picked the thing up and tried to puch a few buttons to see if I could feed the thing. Ugh. I should have paid more attention when she was talking about it at show and tell. I don't know how to work the dumb thing.

And so here I sit, feeling guilty I'm gonna kill a six year old's little pet butterfly. I don't want that digital blood on my hands!

GAK! It beeped again, and now there's a little skull and crossbones on it. I think it's dead!

Ummmmm, good thing there's a reset button. I'll have to show her how to use that one tomorrow...

* name has been changed

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

So sleeeeeepy

What is with me these days? Seriously! I'm out like a light by nine o'clock and can't get anything done. Like blogging. Or dishes. Gah! There's a backlog in both areas!

And so dear bloggie friends, this is all ya get. I've got to go to work. Or maybe back to bed.

No! To work!


Oh and also:

Good news: I finally got back into training for the Sun Run (10km/6.2mi race on April 20) and ran 9km in just over an hour (holy crap! I ran for AN HOUR!) (And yes, I'm ok with being a turtle)


The end.