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Manderz Musings: December 2008

Manderz Musings


Monday, December 29, 2008

It's Been Hectic

Well I survived the trek to Fort McMurray.  My first impression of the city is a good one.  It's really pretty with trees everywhere.  It also seems relatively small for a city (at least compared to Calgary), which will be nice for a change.  We'll see what I think once I get stuck in rush hour.  :-s  

For now, we're staying in Jason's rented room.  The house is so messy.  Yuck.  I'm really looking forward to moving into our suite.  It will be nice to have our own space.  And to unpack.  I usually travel relatively neatly (everything gets put back in my bag when not in use),  but this trip I've been really messy.  And mess equals stress for me.

Today I am feeling really lazy.  I dislike job hunting on the best of days.  I also need to go grocery shopping since Jason doesn't have any food that I want to eat.  I'm a picky eater.  I know it, I admit it, and I'm not ashamed.  Hopefully my car will start though.  Jason couldn't get it to start this morning when he left for work.  It's warmed up a bit now (to a balmy -29 C or -38 C with wind chill) though.

I'm going to keep it short today.  It's taken far too long to write what little I have already.  Hopefully I can get back into posting on a regular basis again.  I also need to catch up on all the blogs I followed.  If nothing else, it will give me something to do until I get settled and start to meet people.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Long Overdue Visit

Tonight was absolutely fantastic.  Why?  Because I got to see my friend Kaylee!  We haven't seen each other in two years.  Which is insane to think about, but life does that sometimes.

You know you have something special when that much time can pass and you can get together and it's a continuation of what you had before.  We talked for 3 hours.  About everything.

I shipped a couple boxes up to Jason today.  Just random stuff.  Like my yoga blocks, yarn for my next knitting project, some picture frames, some dvds, and a bunch of hangers.  Stuff that I want/need, but not necessarily right away.

I also officially withdrew from SAIT.  So that chapter of my life is complete.  Which means, yes, I am rid of that disgusting laptop that never seemed to work quite right.  And I am happy to report, my "new" laptop is working wonderfully.  :-)  I'm playing around with some of the features still, but it's coming together nicely.

My room looks a bit like a war zone at the moment.  I have odds and ends strewn everywhere.  Hopefully tomorrow I can get most of it sorted and put away.  I need to before I can easily access the clothes in my closet!  I keep planning on packing my clothes, but have packed other stuff instead.  Tomorrow is my last packing day though, so it's not really an option anymore.  It shouldn't take too long to do though.  Theoretically.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Letter from the Past

My friend Jill wrote this for me back in high school.  I found it while packing today.  It made me smile, brought back some memories, and reminded me of all I aspired to be back then (which sadly, I've lost – but at least I know I need to find it again).

Me & Jill

A list of everything I adore about my amazing BEST FRIEND Mandy:

- She is really good looking.  Ugly people put me in a bad mood sometimes, but her sexy cheekbones and abs make my day.
- She tries to make me save my money instead of spending it on silly things like lingerie.  It is very cute to watch her feeble attempts to make me less shopaholicy.
- Mandy always agrees with me when I'm mad at the Jew.  So if I hate him, she hates him too, but most of the time I luuuuurve him so she luuuuurves him too.
- But she did call him defective Wal-Mart merchandise, which was really funny.
- Whenever I'm REALLY upset, she always makes sure to do something very ditzy to make me laugh forever.  She has said, "Whrrr....chop, chop, chop!" and broken a laundry rack (after making it fall down the stairs) just for me.
- I can talk 'sexy' encounters and she doesn't get gross or judgemental.
- Mandy always wants action.
- She is a super librarian.  She can shelf read like nobody's business.  Hell, she did the CDs forever.  That's amazing.  She can also carry many books at a time and agrees with me on shelving methods.
- She isn't afraid of me.
- Mandy used to come to fencing tournaments and cheer me on, even though she didn't know what was happening.
- She makes good iced tea.
- And there is always some in her fridge.
- She gives me gum and only charges me a hug.  Those machines at the mall and at the entrance to Safeway charge me twenty-five cents per piece.
- When I'm being REALLY stupid, she tries to give me the 'look' but winds up laughing at me, because I am a crazy, overly medicated girl.
- She takes photos.  And is REALLY good looking in photos, too.  I'm sort of jealous of her for that.
- I'm REALLY jealous of how together she is, because she is always on top of things.
- When I'm being too dramatic about things, she lets me know in her own little way and then everything feels a lot better, even though I feel a bit stupid for being such a drama queen.  Again.

HOWEVER.  She needs to learn the following things:

- That designer clothing is fundamental to life.
- That it is okay to fake sick, take a day off work and spend the day crying in bed.
- That skate shoes went out with the Spice Girls.

Here are more things I love about Miss Mandy:

- She tells me not to cry when somebody (usually a boy) upsets me.  It never works, but then I know that I can always count on somebody to look out for my pride and to make sure I don't let silly things like guys get me down.
- When I think about her, I feel special because nobody else has such a great friend, so it makes me think that everyone else is a sucker and that I kick ass.
- Sometimes when I am down (because my Prozac dose isn't quite right), I can always think of my Mandy, who loves me dearly.  Then I get happy again.  Seriously.  It is like a bloody Christmas special.  WARM AND FUZZY.  Bite me.
- I just want to jump around and scream about how happy it makes me that I have somebody who is practically my sister.  I mean, I have a sister, but she makes me mad, not goofily happy.
- When I sleepover with her, we cuddle a bit and it is the warmest feeling in the world.  Warmer than my dad's Arctic conditions coat and snow pants.  Warmer than cuddling in front of a heat vent.
- Even though I said this above already, it makes me feel super cool to know that barely anybody in the whole wide world is lucky enough to have an amazing best friend who loves you no matter what you do.
- She has a letter fetish.
- Also, she reads all of those paperback romance novels, and someday I think they will turn her into Samantha from Sex and the City.
- Mandy kills all her fish.  It is pretty entertaining.
- I like looking at Mandy and imagining what she's going to be when she's older.  She'll be SO AMAZING because she's smart and gorgeous and everything else that a person needs to just be fanbloodytastic.  Looking at her is like looking at a Chanel dress and thinking about where you'll wear it.
- Mandy is fearless.  She throws herself off various bits of metal and wood with her feet strapped to an oval shaped orb and isn't afraid.  Me?  No way.
- Her bruises always look hot.
- Including her hickies.
- Mandy is like a backup disk for me.  So if I ever lose sight of myself and who I am, she will be right there to put all of that information back into my hard drive.
- Mandy doesn't need a backup disk.
- But she lets me be her backup disk.
- She inspires me to stay up until 1:30 in the morning writing a list about how much I love her.


I do apologize for not writing in however many days.  Too many, that’s for sure.  I had 2 finals this week.  But they are over with (thankfully), so now I only have a couple of assignments to finish.  Oh, and packing.  Lovely packing.

Right now I am attempting to set up my “new” laptop.  And by new, I mean my “old” laptop that my dad rebuilt.  So nice of him.  But this means I need to re-install all my favourite programs (such as Windows Live Writer, and Mozilla Firefox).  I’m ok with that though, since my SAIT laptop is going back tomorrow.  And not a moment too soon.

I’m not sure how much I’m going to be posting in the next couple of weeks.  I’ll try my best, but it’s looking to be a very busy time.  I will be sure to get back on track as soon as possible though.  Thanks for bearing with me.  :-)  And I promise I will catch up on all your blog posts.  Just maybe not right now.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Lessons Learned

Working at the vet clinic has taught me a very important lesson - I do not have grace under fire, I do not handle pressure and stress well, I am not the ideal person for a fast-paced environment.  My pulse speeds up, my shoulders creep up towards my ears, I run around like a chicken with its head cut off, I forget what I'm supposed to do, I say stupid things (today's example: "You need to bring your dog in ASAP....Yes, he could die if you don't bring him in ASAP." For the record, the dog ate 2 boxes of chocolate.  However, who says ASAP?  And really, there are much nicer ways to tell a person that their pet's condition is potentially fatal without appropriate and timely care (like that way perhaps?!)).

However, I have also learned that some things I do that I see as nothing special, don't go unnoticed by others.  Such as my knack for filing.  To me, it's just a natural ability since I've worked in a library for 5 years, 3 of which was spent shelving books.  Alphabetizing just comes natural.  As does picking out the files (or books) that are incorrectly placed.  Or are missing labels.  I just can't help noticing these things.  I'm detail-oriented like that.  It's the same with finding grammatical and spelling errors.  My supervisor at the vet clinic today commented on how they're going to miss my filing when I leave.  Turns out I've helped them catch up from when they were understaffed.

When I'm job hunting, I think these are facts I should be keeping at the back of my mind.  If I could find someplace that's not high-pressure and fast-paced, I'd do a lot better.  And if there's a mess of filing system, bring it on.  Sometimes it's hard to get facts like this out ahead of time though.  Especially since everyone has their own opinions that influence how they see everything.

Tonight I am chugging away on green tea.  And I even through in an entire glass of water.  This is very strange for me.  Perhaps it is the cold weather.  And if that is the case, then Fort McMurray will do wonders for my body.  Because I don't drink anywhere near enough water.  I don't notice any effects, but that's probably because I don't re-hydrate myself often enough so notice anything different other than the much more frequent bathroom usage.

Last night I did not blog because I went to bed for 9pm, with lights out less than 30 minutes later.  It was fantastic.  If I had turned on my laptop, it would have been closer to 11pm before I hit the hay.  that's just the way it works.  I'm hoping for 10:30pm tonight.  Even though technically I'm getting up an hour earlier tomorrow.  I picked up a short morning shift (7-11am) at the vet before my library shift (12-5pm).  Because I do feel guilty for leaving.  And I want to help out where I can.  And honestly, the money wouldn't hurt right now with the current job uncertainty.

It's funny though.  I can't get up for an 8am class.  But an 8am start at work every Saturday hasn't been all that difficult.  Maybe it's the one day a week thing.  I don't know.  But the last 7am start I did wasn't overly difficult either.  So I'm thinking motivation has a lot to do with it.  Living with Jason is definitely going to help with my mornings.  Mainly in that I'll be going to bed earlier.  Like 10pm early.  Every work night at the very least.  Perhaps I'll become slightly less night-owlish and slightly more morning-birdish.  I mean, an owl is a bird, so it shouldn't be too difficult a switch....right?!

I'm feeling much more positive.  It's a great feeling.

My computer is being stupid.  Windows isn't working.  But my writer, and internet are working just fine.  Well, I should say my internet was working fine.  But that has stopped now too.  Only a matter of days left with this laptop.  Which means I need to transfer everything over again.  That's always the annoying part.  My dad was able to install Sims 2 on my other laptop though.  Which is fantastic.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


I don't have much that's very happy to write about now - so it's going to be short.  I've been struggling with AutoCAD, and I'm nowhere close to where I need to be.

I am quite excited for Whitney's side path from The Hill's into The City.  I think it's going to be another awesome show.

My ex messaged me again.  Why won't he just go away?  He doesn't seem to understand that a)telling him "Please don't talk to me", and b)ignoring him mean to leave me alone.  It could be worse.  But still.  I'm sick of randomly getting messages.  Because I'm always lured into that false sense of "it's finally over".

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Today was semi productive.  Semi because I slept into 10am and didn't do any homework whatsoever.  Motivation (well, lack thereof I suppose) is becoming even more apparent this last week.  But only 2 more days.  So I can do this.

I wrapped about half my Christmas presents tonight.  While I was watching TV.  Multi-tasking.  Woot woot.  I also added a few more things to my packing pile.  I'm planning on having my parents ship a couple boxes up right away.  There's just so much I want to take with me.  My parents have given me 1 year to get everything I own out of the house.  Which I'm ok with.  I'm committed to me and Jason. 

So it turns out I know the girl in Aaron Line's "Cheaper to Keep Her" video.  That's crazy!  I didn't realize it until I creeped her pictures on Facebook (in my defence, she's a "friend").

I'm staying up too late again.  My laundry is still sitting in the washing machine, meaning I need to hang it up before I can go to bed.  Blegh.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Another Day Done

I wrote a final today.  I was planning on studying last night - and then I watched Sex and the City.  So I was going to study this morning instead.  But I slept in.  Meaning I wrote my final without studying or even reading anything from this course in probably 3 weeks.  And I actually think I did really well.  Which might annoy some people, but I guess I'm lucky like that.

I can be a really good student without putting in a whole lot of effort in most cases.  Just showing up to class will often suffice.  There is definitely a part of me that wants to get through school while this is still the case.  Because this is an ability that I could lose at any time, especially if I don't use it.  But I know that I'm nowhere near motivated enough by this program to finish it.  And I don't know where my interests are right now.  So it's going to have to be put on hold for a bit.  I've got my fingers crossed I can find some sort of program to pursue soon though.  Most likely through night school, since Fort McMurray is way to expensive to not work full-time.

I've been feeling rather lethargic today.  It's a sign that I'm not getting enough exercise (well, to be honest, I'm getting pretty much none).  Exercising makes me happy and energetic.  I know this.  I just can never seem to motivate myself.  If I have a partner, or a group, or a registered class, then I have no problems going.  But I always have excuses when it's just me.  Like being too busy.  Tonight I had to watch TV for 3 hours, the shows were too interesting to go to a yoga class.  Stupid Mandy.  Stupid.  At least I dragged my butt off the couch before I hit the 4 hours of TV mark.  I did accomplish something tonight - scanned some more recipes for myself, and put them in the binder for my mom (her birthday/Christmas present - which she knows I'm doing, so I'm not spoiling the surprise).

I'm a bit worried about how I'm going to pack everything in the amount of time I have.  I've got 3 full days to pack.  Which would probably be more than enough for lots of people.  But I'm not sure if I can be one of them.  Besides, I'm trying to cram in as many visits with friends as possible.  I have no clue when I'll be able to see them again - I have doubts that anyone will come to Fort McMurray.  Then there's my To Do list for Christmas, and just general cleaning and organizing.  I'm not stressed about this, and I'm hoping I can keep it that way.  In hopes of keeping stress at bay, I put a few things from my bedroom floor into my "packing area" in the basement.  The first of many that will be making the trek.  My room feels a bit more open now, so that will help with the stress of everything too.

Tomorrow I'm meeting with my program director to get the first of four signatures that are required for me to withdraw from SAIT.  It's nice to be setting something else into motion.

Physical activity of some sort needs to be a priority this week.  Even with all the assignments and finals.  Because if I don't, then I know I'm just going to get depressed, stressed, and completely overwhelmed.

On the good news side of things, I am now two thirds done my blanket.  Which is super exciting.  I rolled two balls of yarn last night, and I have one to go.  I used to leave them in their skeins, but although they unravel fairly easily, I still manage to buy ones that are tangled.  The rolling is time consuming, but it makes for a much more pleasant experience when I'm actually knitting.

Monday, December 8, 2008

A Bit of a Delay

Well it's crunch time at school.  And my blog (and my journaling) are paying the price.  But I went to bed at 3am Saturday night, and 2:45am last night (and this morning I was up at 6am).  Blogging is for fun - not something to stress over.  So...I apologize...and I will apologize for those nights I will miss in the next week and a half.  Because they will probably happen.

Tonight I took a break from homework and studying, and watched Sex and the City: The Movie.  I absolutely loved it!  It made me laugh out loud, and it made me tear up a bit.  And I think that's pretty cool.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Too Much To Do

I have way too much homework and studying over the next couple of weeks.  It's stressful just thinking about it.

Here's what I accomplished tonight (neither is done).

This was done in SketchUp.  Elissa and I designed it last night.

I'm supposed to colour the house in using Photoshop.  I am much better at picking out complementary colours in person.  I promise.

I decided I'm going to try to change my blog theme every month.  Just to keep things fresh.  And hopefully keep me semi-inspired.

I'm not sure what will happen with the headers though (this month's is pretty bad at the moment, I know), seeing as I'm losing Photoshop when I get rid of this laptop.  That's one downside to giving it back.

I went to school today.  First time this week.  And I managed to get some AutoCAD done.  But I did find out that set of drawings is worth 55% of my mark in that course.  Oh, and there's no final.  Which is what I was going to use to help me pass the course (if I work hard, I can do well - as proven by the 100% I got on the midterm - too bad that was only 15% of the course).  So I need to play MAJOR catch-up on that.  On top of everything else that needs to get done.

I put a grand total of one shingle on in Construction class today.  Interlocked it, and put 2 nails in.  I'm so proud.  Not really.  I just didn't feel like doing much work (especially since I got there late - and class ended within 30 minutes of my arrival).  I'm going to miss the opportunity to swing a hammer every week.

I'm putting the job search on hold for now.  I need to focus on school.  And if I'm stressing about changing my resume, writing cover letters, finding opportunities, etc., then school is just going to become that much worse.

Lovely.  My internet has decided to crash.  I've tried restarting it twice.  No luck.  So this shall be posted tomorrow.  Thankfully I have an offline blog writer.  Still not impressed though.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Hump Day

It's Wednesday.  And it's almost over.  Which I'm happy about.  It means that this weekend is that much closer, meaning school is that much closer to being complete, Jason is that much closer to coming home, and I'm that much closer to moving to Fort McMurray.  All great news!

I got together with Elissa today to work on a project.  It's due Monday, and there's A LOT of work left to be done.  Jacqulyn was supposed to meet up with us, but she had a bunch of excuses (was she telling the truth? perhaps, but I'm not feeling too kindly towards her right now).  So I have lots to keep me busy over the next week.  I just need to get motivated, and do it.

I attempted to start working on another assignment tonight.  Only to become completely frustrated because I couldn't do anything.  I managed to figure out how to make a header using Photoshop.  But I can't colour a house using it.  Argh.  It's hard to get motivated when I get frustrated before even making any progress.  There's a reason why I'm getting reading done, but that's about it at this point.

This laptop is going to be a blessing to get rid of.  I'll be typing away, and it will randomly jump up a line and continue typing from there.  Or the screen will go into a hibernate mode, but you can't get out of it without rebooting.  Plus I can't upload any pictures from my camera to it.  And the bilingual keyboard means I'm constantly hitting "\" since they moved that key from above the "Enter" key to between the " ' " key and the "Enter" key.  Plus they added the same key between the "Shift" key and the "z" key.  Stupid people, my typing has become horrible since I'm constantly making mistakes with it.  At least it makes me appreciate the normal wireless keyboard I have at home.

I can feel another breakdown coming on.  Last night I cried for half an hour for no reason before going to bed.  No reason whatsoever.  I turned on my music, went to go get ready for bed, and instead sat down on the floor and cried.  I seriously hate how I've turned into such a crybaby lately.  That's just not who I am (and definitely not someone I aspire to be).  It seems that it's become my release since I've become too uninspired and too busy to hit the gym or go to yoga.  They're just both so inconvenient, which makes them even harder.

School has pretty much reached the impossible to catch up point.  Which is frustrating, because there still is that part of me that wants to do well.  But the clock is ticking, and I've wasted too much time.  And then I never know whether to try to catch up on stuff that I missed (and stay behind), or just jump up to what I should be working on (and not truly understand since I missed learning a lot).

There just seems to be way too much to do.  I haven't started packing yet, there's multiple final assignments to be done, lots of notes to catch up on, I need to go do some more Christmas shopping (a slight change in gift-giving plans means try to fit in another shopping trip when I don't really have time for it, or brave the crowds closer to Christmas, which I've been trying to avoid), plus there's a lot of time that I still need to put into making my Mom's presents (birthday and Christmas).  My room is becoming a mess again, and the little things (like the mess of electrical cords under my computer desk) are starting to drive me insane.

I've definitely realized that me and stress do not get along at all.  I am not one of those people that deals well under pressure.  And while deadlines sometimes keep me motivated, more often than not, they do the exact opposite, plus stress me out.  It just seems that I keep getting myself into lose-lose situations.

Trying to stay positive is proving to be a lot more elusive these days.  The job hunt in Fort McMurray seems to be becoming stagnant.  And this is made even more apparent by job opportunities (and even some job offers!) anywhere but there.  And opportunities that I'm interested in - not just ones I'm applying for because it's a job that I'm semi-qualified for.

I feel I should apologize for this downer post.  I've been trying really hard to keep focused on the positive in my blog.  To not draw more power to the negativity.  But keeping it in is just making it worse.  So hopefully this will be the vent that I need, and I can get back to focusing on the positive.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Today was not such a great day.  Actually, it pretty much sucked!

Here's what was good though:
• I got a bit more of my AutoCAD project done;
• I made my bed properly, so it'll be great to sleep in tonight;
• I watched half of Ugly Betty, Season 2;
• I watched another episode of the Dog Whisperer;
• I was able to knit ~10 more rows on my blanket; and
• I talked to my Jason.

I just found out about some political upheaval from Facebook.  That's pretty sad.  But I don't really watch or read the news.  I really dislike politics - mainly because I just don't really understand (and find it too boring to put much effort into learning).  Trying to read news articles is only confusing me.  Lovely.  Maybe I should just become a nomad.  And go live in Switzerland (they're neutral, so I shouldn't become trapped because of a terrorist attack or anything).

If anyone can explain in simple English (and remain completely unbiased) what's happening, it'd be appreciated.

For now, I'm going to eat some more frozen marshmallows, and catch up on my blog reading before going to bed.

Monday, December 1, 2008


Today was not productive as far as school or homework went. At all.

I did get some more items checked off my moving list though. I'm more or less down to the packing now. So mostly everything that was stressing me out last week has been dealt with.

I rented Sex and the City: The Movie, plus discs 1 and 2 of Ugly Betty, Season 2 with my Blockbuster pass things. I have a week to watch them. I will probably a)have it on one computer screen while doing homework on the other, or b)get some more knitting done while watching.

It is late. And I am tired. Plus I am going to attempt to shower at night (see if I can switch my schedule around again - wet hair in winter is never a good thing).