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[icon] Nora K
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Time:09:07 am
Tomorrow  I'm going on vacation!  YIPPIE!  First real vacation since starting work, and a much needed one I must say.

I'm flying to San Francisco, then taking the train up the West Coast -- Portland, Seattle, and finally Vacouver.  Everything's all booked and ready to go, the only thing I'm lacking is a hotel in Portland.  I decided I will treat myself for the one night I'm there - with hostelling in San Fran, overnighting on a train and couch crashing with James and Linsky, I figure I can afford ONE night in a hotel :D

GAH I can't wait.  I'm looking forward to escaping the insanity that was the last year.  I'm a little nervous, since this is the first time I'm going to be travelling alone in a few years, but the last time I did it I stayed with Gabs and have nothing but good memories of that trip!  I'm sure I'll have no difficulty enjoying myself ... and meeting random peopls at the hostel to go for dinner with.

I have so much to do before I leave, and motivation has dwindled for a variety of reasons.... but I guess I should get back to work and stop dreaming about vacation.  mmm.. vacaaaatiooooonnnnnnnnn....
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Subject:and this is why I love Maria...
Time:06:03 pm
so while at work, I tend to send a lot of emails.  Today, my email conversation with Maria went something like this...

me - wanna hit up francofolies tomorrow?
me - hmm.  wanna come over tonight and vert?  I have beer, chai and ice cream.
her - chai.  I'll stop by Pushap's for takeout on the way home.

Holy sweetness batman.. Pushap's (aka.. greatest Indian food almost ever) is on her way home.  I can taste the bhartha now...

Also good news, I am no longer the only single person at work.  New engineer is also young and single and also enjoys checking out the security guards, heh :)
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Time:07:26 pm
I had a particularly bad bout of crazy last week.  I think (hope?) it's passed.

What do you do when completely frustrated with your job, and exhausted to the point that you have little energy for a social life?
I'm pretty sure that's the point when one needs a vacation, but I have no money and was really hoping to hold out untill the fall to take a holiday.
I think I need to find an "at home" project.  I need to nest, or whatever.  Make my home super comfortable and bake cookies.

I also think I need a body-clock reset.  I'm not sleeping enough.  I took yesterday as a sick day and slept untill 11!!  That's just not right.
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Subject:Painful memories, thanks to Facebook
Time:06:06 pm
There are a few incidents in my life that have received a significant amount of wite-out in my memory.  To recall these times, I generally have to strain to bring up anything specific.  One of these times is from grade 8 when all of my friends had a sleepover, collectively called me, and told me I was no longer their friend.  These girls then proceeded to intervene in any attempt to make NEW friends for the remainder of the year.  Well I showed them all right!! I focused my friendship energies on band geeks and other borderline social misfits and had all but forgotten about them by the time summer rolled around.

But then I get this Facebook friend request.  I've been getting a lot lately from random highschool people who I barely knew.  I don't quite understand what they hope to acheive by having access to the mountains of drunk photos of me that exist on facebook, but whatever...
So I get this request from a girl named Kimberly Haeck.  The name and the picture are completely unfamiliar, and the only person we have in common is Sophie Morin.  I took me a while to figure out who she was, untill I remembered the school bus I took with Steph Longpre, Sophie Morin, and these twin girls who started St Matt's in grade 8.  The twins who, in later years, were simply referred to as "those bitches" - Kimberly and Tiffany Haeck.  There was a third girl included in the "bitch brigade" ... Tiffany something-or-other.  She was short, and wore too much makeup.

So like, WTF?  Grade 8 was I don't know how many years ago, and the only time I felt emotional about the incident in recent past was when my mom told me the same thing happened to my cousin Becca (who got over it in pretty much the same way).  And like, how sad would your life be if you still held a grudge from when you were 13.  But what posessed this girl to go out and search a person she barely knew for only a few months?  To send not one, but TWO separate friend requests?  And what type of communication does the think is going to pass between us?  "OMG LOL like do you REMEMBER grade 8?  like it was like sooo OMG.  So tell me about your bf and your bffs and what you've been UP to!!!"


It's more likely to be - you were a fucking bitch who ostricized not only me but many people after me.  You were a plague on the class, and when you mysteriously vanished no one gave a shit.  Why are you bugging me on Facebook, the lowest form of all Internet communications?

Ok, so now I'm reminicsing about grade 8.  Does anyone know what happened to Renee Johnson?  I should Facebook her....
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Time:08:58 pm
you know you've been single too long when you go to see Prince Caspian and you find your mind wandering to inappropriate places regarding the cast members, mainly Prince Caspian, but also Peter a little bit.  Both actors are in their 20s, so it's not creepy... right?

I went home this weekend for the May Mega-Birthday Bash.  I don't know what it is about my family, but it seems like two-thirds were born in a single two week period.  So, we had a party.  The key party person in my mind was Joseph, who turned two yesterday. He's a pretty funny little character.  He would run back and forth yelling "Look at me Auntie Nora - I'm RUNNING!! I'm RUNNING!!!!!"  Yes you are JoJo, yes you are.

His sister, Lauren is also quite the character, who I enjoy manipulating in to saying my all-time favourite Lauren Line.

"You're a little monkey, aren't you?"
"No.. I'm not a monkey!"
"then what are you?"
"I'm a GIRL!  See, look at my LONG HAIR.  Girls have long hair."
"you know what else has long hair?"

... then she looks at me doubtfully.  Go ask Daddy if you don't beleive me! He'll tell you!
But she doesn't ask Daddy, because she knows Daddy's just as likely to mess with her mind as I am.  She's a clever one.

We also had a great time with bubbles.  All the cousins joined in, but it didn't last very long.  See, my cousin Jenny's daughter, Emma, figured out how to open the bottles of bubbles and had fun pouring them everywhere.  To her credit, she DID get a lot of it in the dipping tray, which is impressive for a two-year-old.
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Subject:dangers in the 'hood
Time:12:24 am
I'm not easily phased by the strange things one encounters on a late night walk home.  Homeless pan handlers, the overly drunk, creepy men winking or attempting an awkward conversation - these are mostly harmless.  The prostitutes, druggies and dealers, the group of thuggin' teens on the corner, mind your own business and there's no real danger there.  I walk through Montreal's night time city scape confidently, not making any stupid decisions obviously, and I always feel safe.

However, there is a new addition to my diverse and colourful neighbourhood, one that strikes more fear in to my heart than all other night time characters combined.  For the first time, I crossed the street to avoid danger, and continued my walk with my heart pounding in my chest.  Twice now I have come across it ... there is a skunk in my neighbourhood.

The first time he was busying himself sniffing out a patch of grass.  I tiptoed by him, his tail high in the air and ready for attack, without him taking notice.  This time, we both saw each other at the same time.  We both stopped short in our tracks, he hissed slightly.  I slowly tried to creep forward, but he started, and I retreated.  I slowly, carefully, went in to the middle of the street and walked around the parked cars to get passed him.  He followed me with his eyes, turning as I walked past.  I returned to the sidewalk about ten feet ahead of him... his tail always high in the air... hoping I was safely out of his spraying range.

This little guy gives me the creeps.  I think I might have to start varying my walk home to avoid him.
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Subject:yes, yes, YES!
Time:04:27 pm

 This article was sent to me this morning..

A fix for gas emissions? Pond scum could help

"Backed by oil companies and utilities, Canadian researchers are plowing ahead with plans to develop algae farms that will convert carbon dioxide from oil sands projects and coal-fired power plants into biofuels, chemicals and fertilizers."

It gets me really excited to think that they might consider this.  Algae has an incredibly high oil yield, and needs very little nutrient to grow.  Most of the pollutants caused by industry can be very good food sources for algae, which is disastrous in the natural world because it can disrupt the natral balance, but in a controlled setting can be an EXCELLENT way to turn waste in to a resource. 

Biofuels have been in the news almost every day recently, as food prices rise and farmers opt to sell crops to biorefiners, it's the wrong way to go about it.  It makes me really nervous, actually.  I think it's good to legislate in biofuel requirements but ONLY if you're also INVESTING in energy-from-waste options.  It makes me giddy to think that oil producers are considering this as a carbon sequestration option.  I can't wait to read more about it.

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Time:10:42 am
I'm drowning in mess.

The desk of my borrowed office is piled in papers, binders, CDs, DVDs, cold pills, safety equipment and gum.  The floor is covered in clothes, samples and more binders.  I think there are like five winter coats in here.  The computer desktop has so many stupid files, because it's a borrowed computer and my network drive isn't mapped.  The phone is blinking with messages that likely aren't for me, not that I can check them anyways.

I'm going to get a new office soon.. and a new computer.  I was the only one without a laptop, and now I'll have one. woohoo!  I'll also have a drawer, to put my papers, and then I can start organizing the mountains of crap I have managed to accumulate on this desk.

I couldn't sleep last night.  Well, that's not entirely true.  I passed out on the couch while watching a movie, but as soon as I moved to my bedroom I was wide awake.  Ugh.  Then this morning I drank a second cup of coffee, which I know is a bad idea cuz it just makes me feel more high-strung... 

I was about ready to kill this kid on the bus this morning.  I don't understand how people can spend so much money on an ipod, so much time loading it up, sacrifice their hearing in order to drown out the outside world, yet DON'T INVEST IN PROPER HEADPHONES.  Seriously people, do the world a favour and ditch the garbage earbuds that came with the thing, because everyone else can hear your obnoxious base line, and you really don't need to be pissing people off that early in the morning.

on that note, I'm back to a normal schedule, and back on the bus.  It feels kind of good to have a bus pass again.  It's like, freedom!  I'm also back to apartment hunting.  yippie.  I'm going to look further east, to cut the commute time down.  On the way to work I keep checking the time at each metro station thinking, wow, if I lived out here I could sleep an extra X minutes in the morning...
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Time:07:40 am
dawn was particularly beautiful today.  The sky was an aqua green at the horizon and faded in to a deep, ocean blue.  By sunrise the sky was clear blue - rather nice considering it was dark and cloudy at sunset.

At the beginning, my shift started in the dark, and ended at dawn.  Now I see both sunset and sunrise... Spring is coming.

The interesting part of my job started tonight.  It's both exciting and terrifying... maybe terriying is an exaggeration but it's never nice to have a reminder of how little you know.  But I'm learning, a lot.

My greatest lesson of the night - slow down and think, ask questions, and don't feel rushed into action.  It's tough to be surrounded by people with different levels of experience, who all look at and ask what to do.  With limited experience and understanding, it's stressful!  But by asking questions and trying to get the full picture, the solutions become more apparent.  It's an investment, because jumping on a solution could result in more time lost than taking half an hour to think.

Second greatest lesson - sometimes the only thing you can do is sit and wait.  This is hard for me.  EXTREMELY hard.
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Subject:happy birthday to me :P
Time:05:42 pm
So Lynn came up for the weekend, and we had a good time.  The overall goal of the weekend was to see Ember Swift in one of her final shows before moving to China.

It has been over two years since I've seen Ember.  The last time was at Blue Skies, with Simon and Jenn Hardy.  It was quite the blast from the past, sitting there with Lynn and Kristy, as we remembered the first time we saw her all those years ago at the Folk Fest, at the same show where we heard Siobhan for the first time, and danced barefoot untill the gravel cut.  I then remembered that Zaphod's show, where Kristy and I diligently stuck posters all over downtown Ottawa in order to get on the guest list, only to be told "be absolutely sure to bring ID, we're very strict here!" and then devising an exceptionally complex plan to assure our alter-ego selves (ie, our fake ID names) were on the list as well.

I've loved Ember's music for years, and every time I see her show i still love it.  It's wonderful, because I go back and listen to the old stuff and it reminds me of who I was, but it's no longer my style.  Over the years she has matured and grown as an artist, while I guess at the same time I've matured and grown as a person.... I mean I'm still 5, but I like better music now :)

Other B-day celebrations?  I bought myself a new DVD player, one that lets me hook my external HD and watch my downloaded stuff on my TV.  I watched ALL of the Oscars, delighting in the fact that Once won for best original song, and then watched I Met the Walrus which was aired afterwards.  Today a co-worker who shares my birthday baked a cake, and I received a STUNNING bouquet of flowers from the love of my life, Miss Linsky (I had to walk quite  a ways from where they were delivered to my office... and now everyone thinks I have the nicest boyfriend ever ahah)

I'm working slightly more human hours for the next few weeks, and have decided to take advantage by going to as many concerts as possible... buy the tickets and try and see if people want to come with me afterwards.  Looking forward to Matt Costa, Emm Gryner and (ooh baby) Hawksley Workman.
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[icon] Nora K
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