Tuesday, March 22, 2005


"Culture of Life"?

Guh. I am SO not afraid of dying. Pain and unpleasantness, yes (though not really fear, per say.. not just really excited about them). The end point, no. Spirit of the West really sums it up well in their song "Unplugged": "I will not burden those I love, I will not be a spoon fed __bird?__ or beg for mercy from above, oh let my cord.... become unplugged."

That debate currently going on in the US, between the husband of a woman who has been in a coma for 15 years, who wants her feeding tube removed, and her parents, who don't.... makes me want to clarify things for my friends and family and other loved ones, though as I search for the words, I understand more that it will be hard to provide for every possible outcome.. so I'll just try to get the general scope across:

1 - No long term comas. If a reasonable time (days or weeks, not months) has passed with no sign of improvement or recovery, let me go.
2 - End my suffering, and yours, sooner rather than later. If I can't communicate in any way, and you sense my pain, take the plug out.
3 - No guilt about the choices you make on my behalf. (side note: I'm truly grateful for my parents to have always been vocal about their wishes that we shouldn't ever feel bad about moving them to a care facility when they are too old to safely stay at home. Danka!)
4 - No guilt about ending a relationship with me, if "me" has changed to being a person you can't relate to.
5 - The order of people who get to make the call: 1 - any current partner, 2 - sister Heather, 3 - Mom n Dad

If you want clarification of any of this, or have suggestions about how I can make it more concrete, let me know.

Water: So much water. I'm teaching an NLS crash course right now, so I'm in the water at 7:30am for MY swim, two hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon with the course. Wetwetwet. Plus showers, so I don't have chlorine drying on my skin all day long.

Chai's: three yesterday, one so far today, more to come I'm sure..

Craft project: Sweater is done, if I didn't put that in before, and am on the bottom two inches of a pretty green cotton tank top, with columns of faggoting

Wardrobe: work shorts, Birkis, and a green polo shirt the swim coaches brought back from CIs. Flattering, not so much. Comfy, yeah :)

Music: Been really digging a complication CD for American artists supporting MoveOn.org. I am aware that I have been lumping all Americans into my image of rednecks who wage war, but I know that isn't true, and I'm working at killing the stereotype. Really particularly enjoying Blink 182's song, for the piano content.

Enough.. oh, weather is SUNNY yet brisk... good to be swimming in the outdoor pool in March :)

Monday, March 14, 2005


The Beginnings of a List...

(and if the artist mentioned isn't the original one, it may mean that I don't know the original, or just that I like the remake better...)

"Don't think twice, its alright" - Bob Dylan

"Ray of Light" - Madonna

"Lovers in a Dangerous Time" - BareNaked Ladies

"Paper Moon" - Natalie Cole

"Cecelia" - Simon and Garfunkle

That opera song that Canada Post used in its movie trailer commercial about six years ago.

"Man of the Hour" - Pearl Jam, from the Big Fish soundtrack

"This Bouquet" - Ani DiFranco

"King of Spain" and the entire "Bargainville" album by Moxy Fruvous

"Monster" - Paula Cole

"Hard to Laugh" and most of the "Love Junk" album by The Pursuit of Happiness

"Curious Grey" - Sarah Harmer (which prompted my first attempt to play along with my dad's upright bass.. and I did not half-bad!)

(just put on the BNL song, and my mood has lifted measurably....)

Enough for now.. been a slightly rough day, spending a bit too much time in my head, but I'm saying a mental thank-you to the people who brought me out, either knowingly or not... danka.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005


Days when I love my job...

Monday, aside from the whole doctor's visit, was an incredible day in work terms.

Red Cross has changed their water safety lesson program yet again. I did "Colours" (Heather made me fail Grey), and taught "Colours" before they switched to "Aquaquest" and will now be managing the switch to "Red Cross Swim".

Back last fall, when they announced the new program would be ready to go in early 2005, I decided that my pool would switch over to the new program in May, to give us a fresh start ("Winter" lessons end in March, and then our staff all get April off for exams and whatnot, before buckling down to make some serious dough all summer) and to let us work the kinks out before hitting our busy season in July.

Sometime late December, I heard that UBC appeared to be the first pool to do the transition. Alrighty, then.. let's boldly go where no one has gone before!

Early February, I started looking for materials. I wanted level details, I wanted posters and graphics, I wanted samples of all the marketing tools, badges, progress cards... I wanted it all. The "Rollout" of materials was now announced for late March. Instructor Trainers wouldn't be updated until late April. I started to panic. Lots.

Our staff, heading into exams in April, had agreed to doing an inservice night in early April, to get it over with. So.. I needed to find an Instructor Trainer to run the session. Oops, no one would be trained in time.

Our final Winter lesson set would be ending late March, so.. I needed to help the parents get comfortable with the new program before expecting them to register in it on the last day of lessons. Oops, no materials would be ready in time.

Our new Red Cross Instrucor Trainer program would start early May, so I would need an updated Instructor Trainer to commit to the dates of the course far enough in advance that I wouldn't have to stress about it as our Spring lessons actually begin. Again, no one knew if they'd be trained in time.


Last week, I started emailing the Red Cross Call Centre (in Calgary, I think), and our Lower Mainland Regional Representative. Lots. And Lots. And More. Begging, pleading, hoping that just MAYBE they might be willing to let me look at a few things before the "official" launch date. Explaining my deadlines. Whining. (Wait... did I whine? Hm... well, maybe a little)

I got emails back.. the first few directing me to the resources already published on a temporary site with update information. Nope, wouldn't cut it. The next couple explained that the launch date of all the stuff was just a couple weeks away. Still not quite working for me, due to pressure of time crunch. Last one said "Hey. We don't have it yet.. it isn't that I don't want to give it to you early, but National hasn't actually given it to US at all!"

And then one more: "Wait! I may have something for you on Monday!"

I got an email from the CallCentre, with the graphics I had been asking for, so I could create the promotional posters explaining the new system, with something more than just plain type.

I got an email from the Regional Rep, with an advance draft copy of the staff training outline, that would be easy enough to follow that I could do it myself if an IT was unavailable.

I got a voice mail from an Instructor Trainer who has been involved in the revisions process, was highly familiar with the new program, who came highly recommended by the Regional Rep, and who was available for ALL THE DATES OF THE INSTRUCTOR COURSES!

It was a damn fine day.

So fine, that in my glory of Red Cross Love, I went to an Aquatic Programmers meeting today, and wound up inviting all of the Lower Mainland pools to send representatives from their facilities to attend our training session and experience the changeover as we were attempting it.

I haven't told Katie yet. She's the Head Guard here, and the person who plans the general training sessions. I might have to make her some beads.

Anyway.. this is the type of work that I really love.. the planning, the design, the implementation... and then anticipation the kudos as everyone agrees that I'm just damn incredible, talented, not to mention lovely AND modest. Teehee.. looks like it will be a good month.

Weather: From grayesque (gray? grey? Can anyone help me remember this?) to amazingly warm and sunny... very lovely.

Chai's so far: one morning, and one evening. Not bad... and neither in a paper cup!

Water exposure so far: morning bath, a quick dip at the start of polo practice before coaching it (including the two teen boys in LONG {ie, incredibly dragging and heavy} shorts who decided they wanted to give it a try), sitting in the swamp that was the hot tub with BAAAAAAD chemicals, then actually using soap in the shower to rinse off the weird sticky residue.

Craft project in progress: I'm on the collar! WOO! The meeting this morning, plus a mini stitch-n-bitch last night, gave me enough time to finish re-doing the shoulder decreases, so I've short-rowed the yoke (so the back sits higher on my neck, and the front scoops down to my clavicles) and started doing K1, P1 for the collar! MIGHT be done tomorrow....

Another day of no music... except for brief moments of preschool-aged songs at the meeting

Wardrobe: Old Navy top n bottom.. new beige tank, to be worn under new cardi when done, and my long dark jeans, plus my black Birki slides... comfy :)

Monday, March 07, 2005


Sticky Breasts and Dropped Shoulders

I could be talking about chicken parts and designing sweaters, but I ain't.

I just got back from having an ultrasound done on my right breast, checking out the "lump" (my words) and "thickening" (my new doctor's words) that have been troubling me for the last, oh, five months. Good news, nothing showed up other than lumpy breast tissue... again. This is actually the second time I've gone through the worry, the denial, the admiting-yet-not-doing-anything, and then the intense stress that actually occurs when it comes time to get the actual examinations done. .. and then the four-inch drop in my trapezius' (trapezii?) and shoulders when the "all clear" is sounded, and I relax again.

My tension hangs out in my shoulders, upper back, and neck. When I'm angry, my spine stiffens (and, I turn red in the face and cry, but that's .. well, okay, that's embarrassing is what it is, but whatever) and my shoulders bunch up, and it usually takes me the better part of a day to relax.

Y'know, "gut feelings"? Mine are higher... if someone creeps me the wrong way, up come the shoulders, I stand a bit taller... and apparently "The Wall" becomes quite evident (at least to the people who aren't completely obtuse as well as slimy). Gut doesn't have much to do with it... except when it comes to having butterflies in my tummy, but I'll leave that sort of tale for another time.

Weather: Sunny enough this morning that I got slightly red after sitting outside a Starbucks for half an hour while knitting

Chai's so far: Two. One was free, from a Starbucks girl who liked the beads I gave the staff as "tips"

Water so far: one bath, cut short by fire alarms and remembering that the landlord was due in my apartment in about ten minutes, plus a quicky tub and swim on my lunch break, about to head into waterpolo in mere moments.

Wardrobe: Old Navy jeans, blueberry long-sleeve T from MEC, black flip flops. Comfy, not so pretty.. went with the mood this morning.

Music: Whoa... didn't have any today, actually. Weird.

Oh yeah, Craft Work in Progress: am dropping a few hundred stitches at each shoulder section of my sweater, because I decided I didn't love the decrease pattern enough to keep it... so, rather than ripping back all the rows, I figured it would be easier just to go down and knit the wedge back up at each point. Still not sure if I'm actually saving time, especially since I've redesigned the decrease TWICE already, and will have to redo the previously redones again. Its so hard being a perfectionist.

Saturday, March 05, 2005


Siblings with Similar Mis-Spellings?

From a conversation my sister and I had on MSN yesterday:

We also share similar hair colour (hers is wavier), similar bust size (hers is..bustier?), and a rather sardonic outlook on life, while yet retaining a good spark of silliness that rears its head often enough to keep us secretly (and not-so-secretly) amused.

She used to beat me up... but also threaten to beat up the boys who were thinking about dating me. We would both steal money from our parents and blame the other one, but skip out of church together and go shoot pool at Tommy's, the local billiards place. She trashed the car that I was supposed to be able to drive when I turned 16, but happily let me drive us both around Toronto in a rental car even though it meant we got lost a few times, and saw a couple fields more than once before we managed to find the highway...

In short, Heather's the ideal kind of sister. Helped shape the person I grew into (by whacking the stuffing out of the person I was), and since we became actual friends after moving to different cities, has been the one person I am unafraid to tell anything. Anything at all. Yes, she knows EVERYTHING... and if that frightens you, well.. maybe I just won't tell her where you live.

Anyway.. get to know her a bit better by checking out her blog again (way back there in my first or second entry), or by hanging out with us next time she's in town.. she's a good one.


Grey, a bit of drizzly rain.... typical Vancouver, like it used too much sunshine last month and needs to cut back now.

Chai's so far

One, at my Chapters stop to finish reading the book I started last night. I'm soooo bad.

Water exposure so far:

Morning bath, about to go in for a swim (ugh, long course due to swim meet) before the racers get back in... body is a bit stiff again, but that's normal for all the schlepping we did of lane ropes and deck equipement yesterday.

Craft project in progress:

just bought buttons for the cardigan from the nice lady at Button Button, who is thinking of selling her store (gasp!).. very sad, but the nice metallized shell buttons go well with the Teddy Bear colour yarn.. the cardi is coming along well, too.. I'm up on the yoke part, working raglan decreases with the sleeves attached to the body, and having fun improvising the cable interactions as I go.


Knee socks, Mary Janes, and that A-line denim skirt I bought last month, plus a long-sleeve, deepscoop neck black sweater that shows off my clavicles. (funny how things stick in your head from high school.. my chum Karin told me that I had thick ankles, but good clavicles... and I'm still surrepticiously checking out my lower legs to see if I know what she was talking about..)

Music of the Day:

Doesn't fully apply, since my CD player has decided to conk out again.. but I'll share this: The soundtrack from Big Fish is lovely.. "Man of the Hour" convinced me to buy it, but some of the oldies (Buddy Holly and others) are fun, too.

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