Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Strange man, nice pictures

I suppose it was nearly three years ago now when I first met Brian. It was at the Squamish Triathlon, and we started chatting because we both had dalmatians. We were standing and chatting, it was at least 10 minutes before anyone expected to see a rider come off the bike, and Paul came whipping around the corner. I took off after him, yelling and cheering, snapping as many photos as possible before he zipped off for the run, and was gone. Brian came and found me again to enquire about who the heck that fast guy was, and a strange sort of friendship was born.

Brian coaches for a local triathlon club, so while he doesn't race, we bump into each other at nearly every local race. We're both support crew, and it's nice to have someone else to talk to while our athletes are off being important. It's nice to have someone who understands the role being played behind the scenes, and how important it is. And it's nice, though a little weird, that Brian feels compelled to take a picture of Paul and I at every race we are at.

And he finally sent me some. The top one is from The Tour de Gastown last summer, where Paul and I were both spectators, and Brian was there. I think it's a horrendous picture of me, but I like the picture as a whole. The one down below is more recent, from the First Half Marathon in February, where Paul placed 10th overall, and ran a personal best. I like that picture a lot. It says a lot about us as a couple, without saying anything at all.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Buddy Trant - King of the Avulsion

Poor Mr. Bubbaroo. Nearly 1 year to the date of his infamous Big Bad Birthday Walk, when an unfortunate misunderstanding with a German Sheppard left him in stitches - about 20 on the side of his rib cage, he does it again.

This time he does some spectacular damage to himself. Anyone who has ever knocked on the front door to my parents house has experienced what I like to call the 'Bark N Slam'. Upon hearing the knock, Buddy launches himself down the hallway, screeching along the hardwood floor so fast he can't stop, slams his whole body into the front door, and then continues the barking and growling. If you didn't know there was a 12 year old 65lb dalmatian behind that door, you'd think it was a 2 year old 150lb rottweiler trained to attack. Buddy has given himself some pretty nasty nosebleeds via the 'Bark N Slam', but never an injury like this.

Yesterday afternoon, a friend of my brother's knocked on the door. Buddy started hurtling himself down the hall, as per usual, and as the viewing window at the top of the door was open, Buddy could see someone out there. So not only did he launch himself at the door, he also launched himself upward. Will, my brother, said the dog was literally airborn for a few seconds, and splatted himself against the door cartoon style. Somehow, and no one has really figured out how, he did some damage to his left rear leg, tearing a triangular avulsion, and exposing tendons.

Now, normal people would bundle their dog up in the car, and take him to the vet. My family has never been normal people. My mother, as some of you already know, is a doctor. A people doctor, that is, but she seems to think that she is a doctor to all creatures at some time or another. She also seems to think that Krazy Glue and Duct Tape are all she needs to fix the dog. She also wanted to break the pet rat's neck one time, but that's a whole nother story. One time, one summer, when Buddy went into some other dog's house, and that dog told him to get the fuck out by biting him in the leg and tearing a chunk open, my mom attempted to fix the dog by first gluing the wound together* and then when the dog kept moving around and the glue wouldn't stick, she thought it would be good to wrap the tape around his middle to help hold it shut. My Dad eventually made her take the dog to the vet, and explain why he was covered in tape and glue. Furthermore, my parents being the thrifty type told the vet that a general anesthetic would not be necessary, so they simply froze the wound, held the dog down, and stitched away. He was pretty good. Last year, when I took him on the Big Bad Walk, the lady whose dog bit him drove me to a vet before my mom could get to him, so he did get properly stitched up, but again, we refused the general, and all held the dog while he got his stitches. Well that was $400 well wasted, since the skin never took, the stiches fell out and he just had a gaping wound on his side, which eventually healed into an impressive looking scar. I guess old Bud figured now that he's 12 and all, he doesn't have so much time left to impress the ladies, so better up and get some more scars. Back to the current wound . . . yes, you guessed it, Momma T fixed him up herself. Not with tape and glue this time though, she went to her office and got a proper suture kit, and some freezing, draped the kitchen table with a clean table cloth, hoisted the dog up there, and while Dad, Pamela and Will held him down, Buddy got 15 stitches.

And now he has to wear a cone.

* My mother isn't totally insane, they use krazy glue type stuff in operating rooms now.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Things I will do when I have more time

I've made a hefty decision not to take any summer classes. Furthermore, I've decided not to kill myself with contract teaching, working 16 hour days this summer. No, all I will do for the months of May - Aug is work one full time job. And probably teach the odd NLS pre/recert, or something like that, but those are quick one or two day jobbies, so I'm allowing myself that. I mean, I've been going at this pace for two years (and before I went back to school I used to do a lot more contract teaching, so I've really been going at this pace for much much longer) so it'll be a lot to get used to having all that free time in the afternoon.

Here are some things I intend to do:

-A thorough spring clean of each and every room in my apartment, which will include going through EVERYTHING and tossing stuff out.
-Steam clean my carpets, which will hopefully remove the splotches from cleaning up bike grease
-Go and purchase some additional shelving and reorganize the storage system in my living room/kitchen/dining room areas.
-Finish knitting the cabled hoodie (started a year ago)
-Finish knitting the alpaca scarf (started 18 months ago)
-Finish knitting Muchi's hat (started in Dec. His b-day was in Sept!)
-Start and finish knitting Chris Lee's hat (b-day was in Jan!)
-Knit Tatjana's hat OR go to Nanaimo for a weekend and re-teach her how to knit it.
-Finish the quilt I started BEFORE Paul and I moved in together (should be more inclined to do it now that I have an actual sewing area set up in my apartment).
-Make Dolmades, which I bought a jar of grape leaves for over a year ago.
-Make creme brulee, or SOMETHING I can use the blowtorch I got for Christmas on.
-Do something with my VSB credits. Another sewing class, or maybe cake decorating?
-Go visit Jacquie and meet her new baby (Brenna, born in Nov!)

That oughta tide me over for a while! And of course, spend time with all my neglected friends and family, dust off my social skills, and have a good ol' time. Friends welcome to participate in any of the above activities, especially the cleaning ones!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

moments of clarity

Every so often, every once in a while, comes a defining moment in my life. A moment where I realize I have to do something, change something, say something . . .

I've had a few this week.

The important one, between spells of vomiting, is that I do not believe I can continue to live my life at it's current pace. I want to be happy and healthy, and I am currently neither. It does not matter how many classes other people think I should be taking, or if other people think I'm working hard enough, it only matters that I know I am challenging myself, and doing what I need to do for me. I need to find a balance. I need to find some me time. I need to find my sewing machine and my knitting needles and my blow torch (mine is for melting sugar, not glass) and I need to find my sanity, and that place in me where I feel good, and empowered, and like me again.

The other one is, it is rather important to use the finger guard included with your mandoline.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Where She Been?

I've had a few emails and other gentle nudges this week reminding me it's been a WHOLE WEEK since I updated my blog last. Shocking.

Here's where I'd like to explain why I am currently a bad friend, a bad partner, and a bad blogger;

I work full time. It's effectively a 40 hour work week, plus more some weeks, depending on the current state of chaos at the pool. Plus I go to school, which is 11 hours a week of actual in class time, and they say for every 1 hour in class, you spend on average 2 hours out. I'd say between studying, doing assignments, being with my study group or my tutor, that's pretty accurate, making school a 33 hour a week engagement. If you put the two of those together, that's a 73 hour work week, every week. Now that doesn't include travel time - it takes me 15 min to drive to work in the morning (I go a smidge faster than I should since there are no other cars on the road at that time of day), and about 25 min to drive from work to school, park far enough away that the parking is free, and walk to school. I typically eat at least 1 meal a day in my car, while driving from work to school. Another 25 min to walk back to the car, and drive home at the end of the day. So that's 65 min travel time every day, 6 days a week. That's 6.5 hours a week commuting. I try to do most of my cooking for the week on Sunday and Monday, and have everything well organized so I don't starve or become malnourished the remainder of the week. But if we average it out, I'd say it's about an hour a day, including making breakfast and lunches, which I pack with me to work, prepping dinners, baking muffins and bread for our packed meals. So that's another 7 hours a week. House work, including laundry, dishes, cleaning, probable 2 hours a week, and Paul and I have agreed we just won't freak out if the place isn't totally clean and neat until May . . . there are little piles of stuff happening all over the place . . . chem notes, clothes, triathlon gear.

So if we add that all up, that's an 88.5 hour work week BEFORE I've done anything for myself, including. I do manage to get about 7 hours of sleep a night, which I would simply DIE without, I'm so god damn tired all the time as it is, so that's 49 hours, and there are a total of 168 hours in a week, minus 88.5, minus 49, that leaves 30.5 spare hours in the week in which I'm supposed to eat, exercise, rest, relax, spend time with my partner, see my family, spend time with friends, knit, craft, have fun, and update my blog. Okay, so I'm currently updating my blog on the company dime, but perhaps now you can see WHY it doesn't happen as often as some of you would like. Or WHY I still haven't finished that sweater, or any of those hats I've promised a few of you.

Until April 18th, which I believe is the last day of my exam period, I will continue to be a bad friend, sister, daughter, partner, and blogger, and there isn't a whole heck of a lot any of you can do about it (except maybe come out for a few cocktails at the end of it all).

I told Paul the other night, through tears of fatigue and stress, sometimes all I want to hear from people is 'You know what Katie? You're doing things the hard way.'

And he said, 'You know what Babe, you're doing things the hard way. But you know what? You're doing it, and I'm so so proud of you for that.'

And that made my week okay.