Posts Tagged ‘life’

h1

2012: A Year in Review

December 27, 2012

IMG_4490

January.

Stuff we did: Went to the Vandusen gardens for the first time, it was also the last day for the Christmas lights there, so it was busy.  Attended the wedding of one of Orgle’s coworkers. Apparently, I attend one wedding a year, this was it! The biggest snowfall of the year came and went, to Orgle’s dismay. I saw my favourite band, Fitz and the Tantrums for the second time in less than a year. We got free tickets to an Oilers-Canucks game here in Vancouver – even getting to sit in the box of the Oilers’ owner. (With whom I’m less and less impressed.)

Travel: A terrifying trip to the interior to go skiing – from freezing rain on the way out to white out conditions on the way back.

IMG_8135

February.

Stuff we did: Strapped on cross country skis for the first time since I was a child.  It was NOT like riding bike.  I have forgotten everything I once knew. I got really sick midway through the month. I also got around to finally printing some of my pictures in a darkroom.  A lot of fun.   Sad to think this hobby will soon be difficult – or even obsolete.

Travel: Up to Whistler for a week to ski (I end up only getting one day in due to pneumonia-related symptoms). We went because Orgle’s dad and brother were visiting.

Life events: Meeting Orgle’s dad and brother. Later that month my mom retired – joining my retired dad on the Island full time.

IMG_8453

March.

Stuff we did: This was probably the most relaxed month of the year. Some skiing (both downhill and cross country), lots of cooking, dinners with friends…

Travel: Off to Vancouver Island to celebrate my dad’s birthday and to ensure my parents weren’t driving each other insane, living together 24/7 for the first time in many years.

IMG_5139

April.

Stuff we did: I was a speaker about online legalities at the RTNDA BC conference. I joined a women’s team for a soccer tournament in Squamish.

Travel: We went to Seattle and Portland with my parents, my brother and his wife.

Life events: Celebrated a year with Orgle (with dinner at Chambar). I sincerely can’t say enough nice things about him. His unwavering support through my unemployment has been monumental. He is a caring soul who believes in me even when I do not. I didn’t know I could love someone this much.

IMG_5304

May.

Stuff we did: This is as active as I got all year.  I bought a bike to ride to work, I’m still playing soccer and now volleyball a couple nights a week. This would come to a crashing halt six weeks later. I was a speaker about the future of news online at the BCAB conference.

Travel: Third annual take-over of my parents place in Cedar.

Life events: At the start of the month, Orgle tears his ACL playing soccer. Eight months later and he is still up to 5 months away from surgery and another 8 months to a year from recovery.

IMG_5712

June.

Stuff we did: I was interviewed to be the head of the new Huffington Post BC edition. (The first of many interviews through the rest of the year.) Finally got Orgle to the Alibi Room – a big deal after some failed attempts.

Travel: Camping on Orcas Island.  Boy did it rain.

Life events: In a soccer game, I badly sprained by ankle. Six months later I’m still recovering. Hoping to play again in January. Also, this blog turned 7! (Meaning two months later I celebrated 7 years in Vancouver.)

IMG_0246

July.

Stuff we did: My balcony garden really started to take off. Sure, I planted my tomatoes too close together, making them tall and skinny instead of bushy.  I also accidentally put the mint in with other things.  I think I managed to separate it out, but we’ll see what sprouts in the spring! I started a cider blog and Orgle reconfigured our wine fridge to fit in more beer as he keeps cellaring it.

Travel: A trip across the country to Newfoundland (More pics here and here), where the people seem warm and welcoming even if you’re not entirely sure you know what they are saying.  It’s a beautiful, rugged landscape and every meal seems to be served with fries. We also are off to Vancouver Island again, this time to celebrate my mom’s birthday – my oldest friend, Sabrina, happens to stop by!

Life events: Tell my boss I’m quitting in August.

IMG_0664

August.

Stuff we did: It’s Orgle’s favourite day of the year – Dog days of summer at Nat Bailey.  It’s a night where people can bring their dogs to the stadium for baseball.  Orgle loves pups.  We wander the Richmond Night Market, gorging ourselves another night. We officially become Whitecaps supporters. We bought a five game pack with friends and watched most other games on TV. We head up to Britannia Mining Museum – familiar ground for Orgle who once worked at an underground mine.  Despite his knee and my ankle, we get out for some hiking through the summer. We hiked near Whistler and then went to the spa afterwards. Some of my final shifts at the radio station are spend working at The Fair at the PNE.  Orgle wanders the grounds for the first time, even taking a zip on the wooden rollercoaster.  He also goes to his first (and last?) CFL game.

Travel: Whistler for hiking and spa.

Life events: Walk out of the radio station for the last time.  I spent nearly five years working there and it was time to go. On the last day of the month, we head to the airport, Australia-bound.

IMG_1083

September.

Stuff we did: More than half of the month was spent in Australia. The rest was spent celebrating birthdays and, well, starting the process of figuring out what to do with my life.

Travel: Having been with Orgle a year and a half, it was time to fill in some of the knowledge gaps.  In other words, it was time to visit his homeland, meet his mom and other sister, see pictures of him as a baby and get to know his friends. We spent just over two weeks in Australia. (Pictures: Brisbane/Sunshine Coast, Melbourne/Great Ocean Road, Adelaide/Wine Region, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary), It was a painfully short visit (planned as such with the hope that I would be able to get it off work, which in the end I quit over).

Life events: Celebrate my 31st birthday and Orgle’s 29th. We’ve also been in our little apartment a year which, if my moving history suggests anything, is a milestone.

IMG_9766

October.

Stuff we did: I read career help books and applied for dozens of jobs. Orgle worked.

Travel: Taking advantage of my unemployment and Orgle’s decent vacation day allocation, we drove down to Seattle and caught a flight to Iceland for just over a week. It’s a beautiful country built on lava rock. It’s like they say, Iceland is green and Greenland is ice. (We flew over Greenland.) – If you consider Australia an island (which technically, it is not), it was our fifth island in less than five months. We also went to Vancouver Island for Thanksgiving.

Life events: At some point you realize your relatives aren’t going to be with you forever. I’ve lost my dad’s parents and the inevitability of my mom’s parents passing is upon us.  I have a grandfather who doesn’t remember me, nor the answer to a question less than five minutes ago. My mother recently made an astute comment that modern medicine is keeping his 87 year old body in relatively good shape, but is it worth it if his mind is going… going… gone?

IMG_2365

November.

Stuff we did: We watched Obama win again. That was pleasant. We were hiking North Shore mountains into November without snow or legitimate cold (this would soon end). Other fun things included hosting a clothing swap, convincing Orgle we needed to go to Ikea, learning how to make bread and going up to Squamish to look for eagles and dead salmon (finding a great out of the way meal too!).  I signed on with CBC to do some casual fill in as an associate producer for current affairs programs. I also got more involved with volunteer and political work.

Travel: Our second annual group getaway to the Sunshine Coast. It’s an excuse to sit in a hot tub and play board games (not at once).

Life Events: Three months without a full-time job. To be fair, if I wanted a job, I could have one by now. But I don’t. I’m terrified by the idea of taking something I will hate again.

IMG_9953

December.

Stuff we did: Started the month at Orgle’s company Christmas party, then woke up early the next morning to catch a ferry to Nanaimo. My brother and his pregnant wife were there visiting my parents. Unfortunately, I was only able to spend a day there before heading back to Vancouver for an interview with CUPE. Alas, it wasn’t worth it as I didn’t get the job.  Like November, it was a month of lots of interviews, meetings and rejection calls.  In less depressing news, Orgle got himself a case of Westvleteren – I’ll let you google that one. Friends joined us for a potluck on the 15th and karaoke on the 21st. I’m blessed to have such wonderful friends (and more Christmas cards than ever before!) We even got a little snow just before Christmas, and more presents than I deserved under the tree.

Travel: Took Via Rail to Edmonton to give Orgle the real Canadian winter experience.  It was -23 degrees when we got off the train. Christmas lights are better in the snow.  Also spent Christmas in Cedar with my parents and relatives.

Life Events: Another year over.

Next post: Looking forward to 2013.

h1

Five things I want to do in my life

November 29, 2012
Iceland House

Someone probably built this house by hand. (Skaftafell Park, Iceland)

I used to have a “30 things to do before I’m 30” list. While I didn’t accomplish everything on it, I gave it a try (25/30). I figure I got the big things done: Before 30 I managed to save up some money (which is allowing me to have an extended unemployment as I find something I really want to do, rather than just jumping back into an unfulfilling role), I established a career, I traveled a lot (celebrating the big 3-0 solo in Japan last year), I fell in love with a man with whom I’d like to explore the rest of my life, and I think I have a better grasp on who I am then I ever did in my 20s.

So instead of having a short-term deadline like last time, I’m looking big picture. Read the rest of this entry ?

h1

24 Random things about my trip to Australia

September 28, 2012

The list starts below the photos. You knew there would be photos.

1. Just over 2 weeks is not enough.

2. It’s not cool when your partner gets upgraded to executive class and you’re left in the middle seat between two strangers for 15 hours.  Don’t ask about this, Orgle is done talking about it. It sucked.

3. Koalas are amazing. They are so soft and have such dexterous fingers. I love them. My pictures prove this here and here.

4. The trip was good for my cider blog. Turns out Australian consumers have much more choice. However the craft beer selection is still a couple years behind us in the Pacific Northwest.

5. At first dining out seemed more expensive. The price of a beer or an entrée* was more than I expected, but without tip and having tax included, it was pretty much comparable and easier to calculate. Big fan.

*6. An entrée is an appetizer.

7. There are very few major differences in terminology. When I was trying to go shopping, mall is something different. Gas station seems to be “servo”. At first I wouldn’t say anything when I walked into a store because I didn’t know how to answer the question, “How you gettin’ on?”

8. I heard about all the dangerous things in Australia. The snakes and the spiders and the sharks… but the most dangerous thing appears to be motor vehicles. There are dead kangaroos on the road everywhere. I didn’t see any of the others.

9. It’s beautiful. I think in terms of pure beauty, the Sunshine Coast and the Barossa Valley were my favourites. We travelled the Great Ocean Road in pretty miserable conditions. I’m sure it’s a sight when not so grey outside.

10. Orgle’s mom is a wonderful cook and one night she cooked up some Moreton Bay bugs. A trip highlight for sure.

11. The trip lowlight was hurting my neck again.  The middle economy seat coming over followed by a bumpy flight to Melbourne really put me out.  It was the worst it has ever been. I don’t know how Orgle has the patience to deal with me sometimes.

12. AFL. It’s ironic that I’m putting out this post on the day of the Grand Final between the Sydney Swans and the Hawthorn Hawks. At the start of the season I decided to be a fan of the Fremantle Dockers. Against some odds, they actually made it to the playoffs and through the first round of games. It was one of many I watched on the TV there. Even made it out to see a Brisbane Lions game in person. It’s a dynamic sport that I wish could find an audience here – not just because of the tight shorts and sleeveless shirts.

13. In an Instagram photo I posted of Adelaide, I said: Adelaide is the Edmonton of Australia. People make snide remarks about it but when you ask when they were last there, they’ve never been.  As well, it’s bigger than most people think. I thought it was a really pleasant city, surrounded by gorgeous grape-growing regions and the ocean (so it that respect, not Edmonton).

14. Aussies love Utes. See Wikipedia. I always thought they were called a trucar. (Like a mix of the words truck and car which appears to not work as well when typed, leading me to believe I just made up that term as a kid.)

15. I watched 7 movies on the flight to and from Australia. The one I liked the most was “Safety not Guaranteed“. I really enjoyed it. (It has 93% on Rotten Tomatoes, so I am not alone.) The other movies I watched were: Five Year Engagement, The Avengers, Moonrise Kingdom, One Week, Snow White and the Huntsman, and Ghost. I also watched 8 episodes of Modern Family and most of 500 Days of Summer played as I did word puzzles.

16. Orgle’s friends seem cool. Yesterday I added a bunch of them to my Facebook. Most accepted the request. Maybe we can convince some to visit here sometime?

17. The other strange Aussie animal I really liked is the Echidna. They are way cute. After I say this, most people say, “what’s an echidna?”

18. Possums, however, get the big thumbs down.  Creepy buggers.

19. I also don’t get cricket. Orgle says it’s a thing because what else are you going to do in hot, humid summers? I suggested surfing. He agreed.

20. Home auctioning seemed to be a big thing.  It was hard to get a handle on real estate prices in Melbourne because of it.  It was less of a thing in the small towns we went to.  Seeing one hundred year old homes in the Barossa for $500K had me rethinking my life plan.

21. I’m now committed to convincing my parents to get chickens. Orgle’s mom has some. It seems to be working out for all involved.

22. Orgle’s dog is getting old. I don’t know if she will be around next time we visit. It makes me sad because I see how his face lights up around dogs. It’s only a matter of time, and finding a pet-friendly rental, before we have our own.

23. Is Australia like Canada? Yes and no. I would say there are probably more US-Canada connections but due to geography, that makes sense. But it’s not dissimilar. You can see that the origins were similar. I’m sure I annoyed many Australians with A. The way that I pronounce Australia with all the full syllables in it and B. My constant comparing of the two countries.

24. I will go back. Tasmania is on the list, so is Sydney and the Blue Mountains. Don’t tell the Aussies, but I’d like to see some of New Zealand too if I’m in that neck of the woods.  However, first I have to find a job and save up money.

I’m sure that’s what my next blog post will be all about.

 

 

h1

August, Australia and Dawson’s Creek

July 29, 2012

Here we are, just days away from August.

Summer starts every year.
And then you have a realization that it is running out.
That’s where I am now.

The season started with some ligaments gone awry. I hoped my ankle would be a quick fix but nearly six weeks later it’s still not close to soccer and volleyball-ready.

As you may have noticed below, we had a pretty spectacular trip to Newfoundland. And the travel doesn’t end there.

Every month of our relationship, Orgle and I have gone somewhere.

At the end of this month, we’re off to Australia. Read the rest of this entry ?

h1

Salut!

May 8, 2012

ImageCan you believe it? It’s been two months since I last checked in.  I actually kept up with my #444photo long after I stopped posting them here. I also kept taking pictures, took a family road trip, and watched as the Canucks stumbled out of the playoffs (photographing them just prior).

I started a second job, teaching social media and blogging at the Vancouver Film School.

(Note: If my students find this blog, they should realize I’m not using good SEO techniques. But I’m also not trying to parlay my blog into a world audience scenario, it’s merely an exercise in finding my voice that has lasted nearly 7 years.)

I celebrated a year with my wonderful Australian, #Orgle. It’s not that I was an unhappy sourpuss before (I was), but now, despite the ups and downs, I am genuinely happy. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that it happened with him around.

We are off to Newfoundland in July to explore St. John’s, Gros Morne and L’Anse aux Meadows. It won’t be the end of our travels this year though anything else is not quite so planned. 😉

I’m struggling to figure out how to use this blog again. The Photo Throwdown breathed some life into it last year but my photos are better suited for flickr and tumblr (which is really just an Instagram feed).

Maybe I should start posting my favourite tiny houses. It’s one of my obsessions. When I sit in court, listening to the details that wouldn’t come close to being part of my already short 35 second radio voicer, I design them. My RSS reader is full of blogs about tiny houses, interior design for tiny spaces and other oddities of architecture. Free Cabin Porn is my porn. (My favourite one today.)

Seriously. I love the idea of living minimally. I like having stuff, but if I don’t have room for it, I don’t have it. If I could convince someone in Vancouver who has a big yard they don’t use, or a garage just taking up space, I’d love to build a laneway home.

One of my biggest beefs with society (and despite my recent happiness, I still have beefs), is people living beyond the space they need. It forces people into commuting. It forces people into cars. It forces people into spending less time with those they love.

It forces people into making a choice, one which seems highly unsustainable.

Anyways.

I’ll find something.

Mostly this is just my way of saying, I’m here.

h1

The year in (200) photos

January 2, 2012

2011.

How about we recap the year in point form?
If it was down to one word, it would be “happy”.

Places I went:
Mexico: Barra de Potosi & Zihuatanejo
Vancouver Island: Victoria, Nanaimo & Tofino
Alberta: Canmore, Calgary & Edmonton
BC: Lower Mainland, Whistler, Sunshine Coast, Mayne Island, Harrison Hot Springs & Predator Ridge
Japan: Tokyo & Kyoto
US: Skykomish & Leavenworth, WA & Portland, OR

Life events:
Ended relationship
Started amazing relationship with Lefty the Australian
Won a broadcasting award
Turned 30
Moved from my Oak Street apartment
Moved in with Lefty the Australian
Got rid of my car
Changed role at radio station – now a reporter again

Seriously, it’s been an amazing year. Some hard decisions were made, but I couldn’t be happier with the results.

Lefty is the most wonderful man I’ve ever known and his presence has changed my life.

Can’t wait to see what 2012 has in store. 🙂

h1

317: Home Decor: Collage!

November 14, 2011

20111114-162437.jpg

 

A photo, every day, all year. We’re into final weeks here with Andrea Woo.