Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Laura Lippincott or is it Lippencott?

I have read one of her books and started another. (recommendation of New York Times). They are v.g.+ suspense. If you are looking for another author, check her out. Kind of reminds me sort of writing style of Dennis Lehane. I hope she is not related to one of Lippi(e)ncott, Williams & Wilson publishers of textbooks. They seem to have a cartel on academic books and make, I would presume, an extraordinary amount of money.
I have to go study for another exam for my mental health course. I dreamt last night that i went into the exam, not having done anything for it, but can't remember how i did on the exam.
I will make some coffee to encourage myself to buckle down, instead of surfing the internet while listening to Emmy Lou Harris-Wrecking Ball. This album always makes me want to sob.

Monday, February 25, 2008

you win some, you lose some...

We had our Varsity fencing match with Aberystywyth (say it with me: A-ber-IST-i-with) on the weekend. It went pretty well, considering, in that the men's team kicked their butts and the women's team (sob) lost by one point. That said, Aber is in the BUSA league, which is the British Universities sports league. We don't even have a proper women's team and pulled one together in a month. So really, they should have beaten us definitively, and the fact that they didn't means I'm claiming a moral victory.

We won the foil and epee competitions and lost the sabre pretty dramatically. However, all three sabreuses (myself included) were asked to do it at the last minute and had about three lessons and two weeks' practice under our belts. I lost all of my matches but didn't embarass myself, and then in a surprise move was called to do epee as well, as I was the reserve epeeist and one of the main epeeists had two bad matches in a row. That went a lot better - I still lost, but got five points on them which was well better than I was expected to do (and also well better than the girl I replaced from the epee team). So in the end, I was quite pleased with how it went.

It's the Welsh Universities competition in Swansea this weekend. Don't expect to rank very high, but it should be a fun weekend nonetheless.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Where the Heroine Deals with Expanding Foam and Plaster Chips

I've been doing some home stuff this weekend: starting to polyfill wall holes & ceiling cracks and caulking in the basement where the dryer vent is. And today I'm pretty crabby. Not sure if this is due to work, or just because it is Sunday and I usually feel morose on a Sunday. It is good to be making progress, though. Even though the ceiling now has a large de-chipped area, it feels good not to see the cracks there.

Our local library association is doing a book drive for the women's prison and for the Bissell Centre; we're hoping to pull together books / money to support the libraries in both places. I did a little brochure using Microsoft Publisher -- although the template looks a bit more 'junior league' than 'library advocacy'. And I realized that I forgot to change the photo on the front -- so it's a picture of a bridge and a city that you *might* be able to mistake for Edmonton if you weren't looking. Oh well.

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Woonsocket, woonsocket

I forgot about that one.
I am tired after my 1st day back on unit-12 hour shifts. the 1st couple hours I thought, ug, too early, I'm tired, plus kind of nervous after not being there for 4 months. Plus, there was a general feeling of unorganization, which I dislike. Also some people who are general slackers at work.
However, by 11 am, I felt much better. And as I was walking down the hall after talking with a patient, I was smiling and thought, this is why I like working here.
Richard and I both bought new jackets from Far West. Gore Tex and 70% off. V. G. +.
There were 5 postings for jobs at work, so I applied to all of them.
Doubtful I have enough seniority to get any of them. I have to say that I find it annoying that if applying for any DC1 job (which means entry level, with no supervisory duties etc, basically a floor nurse), it is based simply on seniority and not on job performance at all. It annoys me that someone who is not doing a very good job gets a position because they show up for shifts only.
And just to ward off potential "Lisa, see what unions do?' this doesn't mean I disapprove of unions in general, just that the previous manager should have been doing his job and documenting/getting rid of people who stunk. Plus, I do believe there should be an incentive to perform better at work. Though, also having worked many years at a non-union place, I don't think being outside a union means that you work harder anyway.
Sigh, I think the world may just have a certain number of people who do the minimum, or less, of work.
I'm going to go have a glass of wine, a bath, read Middlesex, and go to bed so that I can get up at 515 again tomorrow.
As I was listening to my iPod this morning I realized that I have to remove a certain Cat Stevens song because I was hearing: I'm being followed by a woonsocket, woonsocket, woonsocket . . .
Thanks Al.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Aber what?

"The Varsity fencing match with Aberystywyth . . ."
Give us a pronunciation of that place, won't you Anne?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

shopping success

Grace, Jovita, Minnie and I went to West Ed yesterday to shop for grad dresses. (Gave Jude the opportunity to accompany us, but oddly she didn't return my call.) It wasn't too bad, there are some fancy dress shops all together and we found a dress for Grace without too much trouble. We were able to buy it off the rack so don't have to order and go back. Jovita ordered one. So that was successful. I will say a bit about the dress, but contrary to how it sounds, it is very nice. It's black with gold polka dots, strapless, quite fitted on top, and fuller near the bottom. Totally different fabric and style than she thought she wanted.
Sam's home for reading week and graces us with his presence once in a while but has not been here much.
Talked to Anne on the weekend, she has found a bed and breakfast for us.
We went to a Valentine's couple night at the church on Saturday, which was a lot of fun.
We had to miss Grace's hockey game because of that, but there was another one on Sunday. I think there are three games next weekend. Will this never end?

Friday, February 15, 2008

Wow, we are almost at 350 posts on this blog! Talkative bunch, you are.

So, I have a wee bit of news. I've been busy busy busy for the last little while and have been very overwhelmed. But one of the things I was working on was a PhD application for the University of Guelph. My supervisor has a former postdoc who is working there who she says is really good and she wanted me to apply to go work with him. However, I was almost two months late for their application deadline and haven't written the GRE (a required test), so I didn't think there was much hope. But my supervisor gave me a good reference and it turned out that they were willing to waive some requirements on the basis of that. Sent everything off at the beginning of the week.

So... I got an unofficial email today telling me they've accepted me onto the program! Basically, if I go there, my PhD will be fully funded and I'll get paid to do it. (Peanuts, but never mind). However, I still want to apply for Bangor and see if I can get funding for here, since I really like it here - so some tough decisions to be made depending on the timing.

Oh yes, and it's been nothing but sunny and gorgeous here for the last two weeks - and the crocuses and daffodils are up! So mom, you can stop worrying about "rainy Bangor".

One last piece of news: I've been chosen to be on the Varsity fencing team despite being rubbish, and we have a Varsity match with Aberystywyth next weekend where I'll be fencing for the uni. Yikes! I'll let you know how it goes.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Birthday Geoff!

And many happy returns.
We still ahven't mailed your card, but hope to organize ourselves today

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Just heard from the doctor. All is good with my kidney. So that's one thing off the list.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Winter Blahs are gone (I hope)

Well the past 3 weeks I felt tired and just dragging myself around. All I felt like doing was sleeping, and playing spider solitaire. The weather was so cold, it was all I could do to get to work and then home again. But this weekend I started feeling more like myself, and as though there was a light at the end of the tunnel. With beautiful weather today, I think things are looking up. I think a person needs to take a winter holiday Jan or Feb and go somewhere sunny, 1 it gives something to look forward to, and 2 a dose of vitamen D would be great.

I did go to see a couple of movies (inspite of the freezer like temps). First was Charilie Wilson's War, which I had no expectations of, I like Tom Hanks, so that was enough incentive to go. I really enjoyed it, I just finished reading the new book by the Kite Runner Guy, and it was set in the same time frame, but the book gave the Afghan view and the movie the American view of the same time in history. I also went to see Sweeney Todd, which I loved. I have seen the stage play a couple of times, and I found that the movie really worked well. Johnny Depp sings (who knew?) and Helena Bonham Carter also has a good voice.

So that is about it for me.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

thai it

Sammy, thanks for the Thai cookbook. I made ginger chicken and broccoli rice noodles for supper tonight. Delicious. Can't wait to try more recipes.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Talked to Anne this week. She got her Christmas parcel! We mailed it November 26.


ordered tests

Just got back from Red Deer. I had to go for a CT scan. I was quite excited at first. Just like House! But then I realized that CT scans must be second-class. They never show them on House. It has to be an MRI to be really diagnostic.
I told my doctor I wanted to be checked for an aortic aneurysm so he sent me for an ultrasound. He called me back after in the evening (a call from the doctor at night is enough to stop your heart) and said there was no evidence of an aneurysm but that they found a cyst on one of my kidneys. He had ordered an abdominal ultrasound so they check all the organs. He said they aren't usually a problem but once they are found they need to be checked so he was going to send me to Red Deer. I immediately ran to Google kidney cysts and to save you the trouble they are usually nothing and 50% of people over 50 have them and never know.
Anyway I took the whole day off, did a bit of shopping in RD and came home to make bread and do housework.
It was the hockey girls' tournament here last weekend so we were at the arena a lot, watching games and doing our share of tournament work. Grace's team didn't do very well, but they did tie a game and Grace got a goal in that game and MVP. And I won an iPod docking station in the raffle, which I gave to the MVP.
Betty Anne and Greg were in Red Deer last weekend for Matthew's volleyball tournament so they came out to Rocky and took us to supper at the Martesa. Delicious food, actually cooked, not just heated from frozen.
We've had a couple of warmish days but cold weather is supposed to be on the way again.
Judith, what's this I hear about Hawksley Workman? (I wish that was his real name.) You better not lead my daughter astray in our absence. Or let her lead you.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

I Am Legend In Moving

I just finished moving my clunky (but wonderful) big metal desk into the bedroom. No scratches on floor. I thought it wouldn't fit but figured out a way to make it so. Only 6 weeks after I moved in. In the next 6 weeks, I will put the drawers in the desk.

I had a work dinner on Friday -- I was pretty 'hmph' about it -- who schedules a work meeting dinner on a FRIDAY? But it was actually quite fun. It was the Dean & a couple of professors from one of the health faculties, and we went to the Faculty Club (I had pork; yum), and had a really interesting discussion about how students look for information, and how they use the internet, and how they know sources are good (I like this kind of discussion). And then we talked about some ways the library could give them some collections types of stats that will be useful for them. Although this is a nerdy form of 'outreach,' I felt very good. I think the thing I like best about library work is how you can connect people to things that help them.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

A Good Book

I am reading Random Family by Adrian Leblanc. It was recommended by The New York Times best books of 2003 (I think that was the year).
Is non-fiction account of 2 women who come from the Bronx, living inner city, Puerto Rican and where their lives go. Author manages to write about them without bias and gives what seems to me to be a very clear account of their lives. Apparently she followed this family for 10 years. It is a great study of poverty and how systems work..often against the people who they are trying to help. This one woman had 4 kids by the time she was 22 or something like that. My immediate reaction is "Why are you having these kids that you can't possibly look after?" But reading the book, you see how she is a good mother, really loves her kids and makes all these sacrifices for them. Of course, lots of parents do, but somehow I don't think of that when I read or hear about these types of situations. I just presume that they couldn't possibly know what they're doing...mostly because if you're that poor, you don't deserve to have kids right? I read an interview by the author who was talking about response to her book and how people often have that same reaction that I do. And she makes the point that having children is not just the domain of the rich:

Having children is not a class privilege. The moments in the book when people become pregnant and people are born are part of a lifeline. We like to freeze the frame of this lifeline at the moment when a girl gets pregnant, because that is the moment when you can turn the story of social injustice into a personal blaming session. As if you can pinpoint the social problem on a single person, and then you can get into that whole useless discussion about "choice."

But in fact, I think it starts much sooner. There's also sex education, after-school programs, gender orientation. To jump ahead and say, "Let's talk about someone when she's 15 and pregnant," I just think it's a way for people to remain situated in a judgmental place that allows them not to feel the pain, and the sadness, and the shame we should feel, really -- the shame that these young people are not protected the way they should be.

That's another thing about judgment -- it's a way to stay separate from someone else. I think people do it in policy, people do it personally, and they do it literally when then they are confronted with the facts. These comments about teenagers and sex, for example. I mean, teenagers are getting pregnant everywhere, they are having sex everywhere, not just among the poor.

I thought it was a very interesting quote.

The book really mad me evaluate my judgement towards people living in poverty...and I like to think that I'm somewhat openminded. The best thing about the book is that the author writes with no judgement, even about situations that seem horrific and so easy to slip into judgement.