Wednesday, May 31, 2006

It appears that my string of good luck continues. At lunch I went on the Kids Up Front Community Leaders Field Trip on the Big Bus. They had a draw for a pair of theatre tickets and I knew even before they pulled it that I was going to win. I did the right thing and donated them back as much as I wanted to keep them.
JC has just come around to see if I am interested in the FIFA pool. YES SIR! With this most recent victory he is reconsidering whether I should be allowed to play.
Thank you lt. dan for sending me this link. Iheartbacon

Check out their bacon rating system! Sweet!...actually Salty might be more appropriate!

All this bacon talk has made me a little nostalgic. Here are just a few of my favourite bacon memories

  1. Coming home from church as a kid to the smell of bacon wafting out the kitchen window...mmm bacon/eggs and fried bread!
  2. Getting the G&G gang to chant "We love Bacon" to calls of "Who loves bacon?" in Hawaii
  3. The CF thinking my I Love Bacon shirt was about him
  4. AN's face when on our first date I asked him how he felt about bacon. I think he thought it was a trick question and didn't know how to respond. Luckily he turned out to be a kindred spirit when it came to the bacon
  5. Scooper telling me at brunch one day that he thinks he eats way more bacon since I have moved to BC despite having brunched with me only twice.
  6. Having a discussion with Craig Davidson online about how bacon is a great ice breaker..mental note - next time I go to one of his readings I must remember to work up the courage to use bacon as an ice breaker with him :)
Last night Robert (rowed 8's with him) and I decided to give the double sculls a try. Not as easy as it looks. Our goal for the evening was to remain in the swimming in False Creek. I thought this rather ambitious after spending the first 10 minutes just trying to stay steady, but we did it! We actually had a few good stretches where the boat actually felt good. It didn't help that the girl coaching us seemed to like to wash us out a lot when we had enough wake to deal with what with all of the water taxis, sailboats and stupid dragonboaters! Ahh I understand why the rowers all hated us down at Sunnyside.

In other news, I feel like I haven't been eating enough bacon lately (ok...I did have a bacon & tomato sandwich last night for dinner and bacon at brunch on Sunday) so I am going to start a little quest for the best bacon in the city. I figure some one's got to do it and why not me. Look for my bacon top 5 on the right panel if I can figure out how to play with the code and get it in there. DD...pls expect my desperate calls in about a day and a half when I admit that simple cut and paste of code is really beyond me.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Talk about a small world. I was standing on the corner near my house last night waiting for a friend when a car drove by me and then stopped suddenly and began to reverse. Heard my name which I thought was strange as a) didn't recognize the car and b) many people do I know here? Well it turns out to be Mike Sommers who moved to Van on Sunday! How crazy is that?

We had our last class at Kits House last night. It was bitter sweet as there was a huge turnout and it was a great class but its the end of a Kits institution. Even the local cat turned up to say goodbye. Speaking of cats, the Kits Kats team is coming together. I'm just looking for cat ears for us to wear and we will be set!

Monday, May 29, 2006

Had the big rowing regatta this past weekend. Our team managed to squeek out a respectable 3rd place finish in the Defender 8's. While the rest of the crew was disappointed by this finish I was pleasantly surprised as I far lower expectations based on the troubles we have had each week at practice. So I have my first (and most likely last) rowing medal to add to the special box. There was discussion on whether it warranted a position in said box but I have decided it does. It was a new challenge and although I don't love rowing I can respect the amount of effort and skill involved in getting from point A to point B with out getting hit or having someone crab.

Sunday morning NB and I ran the first 15K of the Scotia Half marathon course. There's a great downhill which was most enjoyable though the people running up it didn't seem so glad to see my smiling face and cheerful hellos.

Also checked out the Kitsilano Yacht Club. It reminds me a lot of the TSCC. The have some beautiful new Huki's there and the sailing lessons seem competitive. NB & JB have joined as JB And Neil are keeping their new boat there. If I take sailing lessons there then I can apply the cost to my membership...I just need to find out about the outrigger program. KYC is about a 5 minute walk from my house so it would be sweet.

Friday, May 26, 2006

I've signed up to participate in the 2006 Camp Moomba Yogathon which helps brighten the lives of Canadian children living with HIV/AIDS. I've really embraced the whole Pay it Forward philosphy out here and figure its the least I can do as the yoga has really helped me settle into life out here and get through those tough first few months.

If you are interested in sponsoring me as I do 108 minutes of yoga on Saturday June 3rd I am registered under my full first and last name and our team name is the Kits Kats!


Thursday, May 25, 2006

I don't know what it is but I am totally loving Frank Black's Big Red today. Followed up by I Could Stay Here Forever I've got myself some good tunes going today!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

At lunch I wandered over to TicketMaster to pick up some Xavier Rudd tickets for June 2nd. He's playing at the Malkin Bowl, which from what I can figure out is an outdoor venue, perhaps a little like Molson Ampitheatre...minus the Molson. I expect that they won't need the beer as the air will be filled with something else there that night. Check out Xavier's Messages song if you haven't heard it yet. Very Simon & Garfunklesque.

Ok... I paid over $35 in s/c's for 3 tickets at TicketMaster. Its daylight robbery I tell yu!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

I'm adding a new link to the blog that I ask all of you to check out. I went to grade school with Kevin and his blog Parker's Battle with ADA details his young son's battle with a very rare disease. They are holding a fundraiser at the Rivoli on June 16th to help raise money needed to take him to Italy for experimental therapy..if you around please think about checking it out.

Donations can also be made to any TD/CT branch in Canada
Account #: 590 6267228
Plans for a relatively quiet and restful weekend didn't quite pan out.

Had a great run Saturday morning. 13.5 K into it I still felt like I had just started. A set of stairs and a sprint to catch up to the group took care of that. Headed out to Bowen Island mid-afternoon. Once on the island we were treated to seeing quite a few deer and their fawns was awesome. The eye was quite the conversation piece...if you ever want to meet people at a party just turn up with a black eye. While I met many lovely people I was also a little frightened by the advances of a very tanned, bleach blonde 50 year old man who wanted to know which one of the guys at the party was my husband. Times like those when a boyfriend would really be handy. On the other hand I'm not sure that it was worse than GV fending off the advances of a 40+ desperately single woman who didn't seem to care that his very pregnant wife was there with him. Please shoot me if I ever start to resemble either of those two people. Caught the last ferry back to the mainland then headed out to a party held by one of the guys from ball hockey who as it turns out lives right around the corner from me. Again the black eye was quite the party hit.

Sunday was chores and laundry day. My little balcony is starting to come together slowly. I bought some more herbs (basil/chives) and some lavender which I've planted in pots. I also bought a big fern which adds some nice colour and fills the space out well. Just need to get some flowers to add some brightness and paint the bistro set then I am set.

Monday morning it was off to do the Grouse Grind. Met up with RR & GV at the base along with S&S at 9:30. I'm not sure how people think this thing is fun because it is anything but. Stairs..never liked them and like them even less now. It took me 1:09 +/- a few seconds to complete it, almost 10 minutes more than RR & GV. The first quarter really knocked me out. I should have known that letting RR set the pace for me was a mistake. Once I let the rest go ahead things started to get a little better. I slowed down and took some breaks along the way. The top half I found was much easier than the bottom half where I struggled to get a good breath of air each step. Ughhh...and now I have agreed to go back and do it again as my time is anything but respectable.

Friday, May 19, 2006

*Sigh* Got an email earlier from my old boss in TO earlier sending everyone home for the long weekend. Stupid 3 hour time change!
Dear god...I think I may have a wee bit of a hang over. Met the Easterner crew (NB/JB/Sully, Neil, LE plus S&S) for some drinks and eats at Nevermind. Only had what I thought were two very weak martinis. While the Porn Star and Hot For Teacher were tasty I think they must have been laden with sugar, never good for the morning after. Also could be the late night, this little girl isn't used to going out drinking on school nights..well who am I kidding, I've never been a late night person and I don't drink often enough to have any tolerance for more than a drink or two.

No major plans for the long weekend.

Starting off with a little yoga tonight and then a run tomorrow with my Saturday running group. I think we are doing a nice 15 K all around Stanley Park and along the Seawall. GV is also talking about kicking off the Grouse Grind season this weekend too. Looking forward to that.

Saturday night I'm heading over to Bowen Island for a 50th birthday celebration for a friend from work's husband. Should be good times.

Was originally hoping to paint my bathroom and bistro set this weekend but with the house guests I think its a little too tight for that. No worries, I am sure a rainy day will come along at some point when I can tackle those chores.

I'm not sure if I have introduced my house guests yet. I have the lovely Sandy & Stefan (S&S) staying with me until they find a place of their own here in Van. Sandy is a friend of a friend, though we actually went to the same high school briefly when I transferred to Laurier for my last semester. Sandy has been living abroad for close to 9 years now and Stefan is her Kiwi boyfriend. They've decided to give Canada a try for a year. Stefan is a bit of a kiteboarder (read PRO) so I am hoping to get me some lessons this summer. Anyways they are great guests and although it is tight it seems to be working out ok.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Woo hoo X 2! I've just received an email that I have now won the Amazing Race pool here at work. I'm afraid if I woop it up too much JC, the organizer, will make my other eye look like this one.

The ipod delivered me a little Stir it Up this morning just as I was crossing the bridge on my walk in. Nice choice little buddy! It's like you could tell just what I needed.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Have just booked my trip to the Big Smoke.

Arrive late Tuesday June 27th and leave Saturday July 8th.

My rough itinerary looks like this:
Tues June 27th - arrive close to midnight
Wed/Thurs June 28/29 - work in TO
Fri/Sat/Sun - Canada Day long weekend WOO HOO
Mon/Thurs - Michigan July 4th celebrations
Fri - Return to TO
Sat - Return to Van
I feel like everyday is a vacation out here. The weather is spectacular and its so beautiful that its hard to believe I really live here.

There is this old closed down hotel in Tofino right near Cox Bay. It would be perfect for a surfers hostel. Walking distance to the beach and right off the main road to Tofino. Would definitley need some say the least!

Now...just to find out if its for sale.

Monday, May 15, 2006

On the elevator earlier.

First Guy: I hate to see what the other guy looks like.
Me: It was my surfboard
Second Guy: Ohh I thought maybe it was from rugby or something like that
Third Guy: Yeah...I was wondering about it
Woo hoo! I just won $75 in the office Survivor pool.

My woops of joy are being met with threats to blacken my other eye.
Please be warned that the following picture is not pretty.

Score 1 for Big Yellow. I ate it on one of the biggest waves I have ever seen and took the board in the face yesterday afternoon. Thought it was just a wee scratch so I continued to surf. I guess the cold water kept the initial swelling down because as soon as I got out it started to swell up and turn some beautiful shades of blue and purple.

Cox Bay was awesome yesterday. It was sunny and warm with set after set of beautiful deep waves. I couldn't' believe the number of people out on the water, I can only imagine what it is like in the summer. My surfing is definitely improving, I'm starting to be able to turn and feel much more comfortable on the board. I was even getting some thumbs up from other people when I caught a good wave. If all goes well I'm hoping to be able to give a mini a try by the end of the summer. Its a little smaller, around 7'3" and is more manouverable than the long board.

Big thanks to the super nice couple parked beside us who gave me ice for my eye. You're what its all about!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

After about an hour of waiting for good waves at South Chesterman's yesterday I made the executive decision to throw the boards in the back of the truck and jump over to Cox Bay. What a good decision. It was set after set of huge (by our standards) beautiful waves. It was awesome to catch a great ride into shore but then it took all we had to get back out to the break.

After some banana chocolate chip pancakes and bacon we are going to pack up and head back to Cox Bay. After a few hours of surfs up we are going to head back into Tofino to return the kids rentals and then its off to Sobo for our last meal.

ML & AL joined us last night at the Tofino Legion as they are in town too celebrating their first wedding anniversay. While there was some dancing had last night it was nothing compared to Blake and I letting loose at their wedding last year.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Picked myself up a wetsuit today. Storm was selling last years rentals for $75 so I got myself a sweet 3 season O'Neill suit. Just need to pick myself up some gloves, boots and a hood and I will be set.

Waves weren't great today but it was still sweet to be able to just pick up my board and walk to the beach. Wave report doesn't look much better tomorrow so maybe we will go check out Cox Bay.

Our plan for Saturday night has changed, we are now going to see a HipHop band play at the Tofino Legion.
We arrived in Tofino just before midnight to find our cottage was much more than a cottage. The main floor is wide open with the kitchen, living room and breakfast nook looking out onto the ocean, which is less than 100 meters from our back door. Upstairs the master bedroom also looks out onto the ocean and one kick ass bathroom to boot!

This morning we woke to beautiful sunshine and the sight of people walking the beach in the low tide. The plan is to head into town and pick up boards for the others and wetsuits for all. Tomorrow night we are going to head to the Raincoast Cafe and catch Jeremy Walsh's show. He's described as groove driven folk laced with echos of pop, rock, country and traditional music. Sounds like a good time...I do hope there is dancing!

*NB has just realized that we can just walk right out to the beach and not have to pack all of our gear and load up the car. She is quite excited.


Thursday, May 11, 2006

Surfs Up! Checking out now.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

I've just gotten off the phone with NB. Have convinced her to do the half too at the end of June (I signed up this morning).
Woo hoo, I have discovered that the walk to work takes only 30 minutes.

LA over at Victims of Circumstance has a hilarious Sesame Street clip of Bruce Stringbean and the S Street Band singing "Born to Add". It may well be Bruce's greatest hit.

Off to Tofino tomorrow after work for a few days of surfing. We've lined up a cottage right on Chesterman's Beach so its going to be sweet! I plan to eat, sleep and surf. It's all about the R&R this time!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

I've added a link to the new Sunfish Glossary. This should help those of you who have mentioned that you don't know who some of the people are by their initials.

I do actually have a lot of work to do right now but I think I'm just feeling a little brain dead after the past couple of weeks.
Wow...I said awesome a lot in my marathon posting.

The Canadian Tire story

Last Monday night after a meeting at BC Place Stadium I decided to stop in at the nice new CT store on Cambie. I park on the top level which is their seasonal area. I go do my shopping, stand in line and pay for my purchases. Heading out to my car I realize that I had meant to pick up some potting soil. So I throw my bag in the back of the Santa Fe then wander over to look at the potting soil. I decide on the one I wanted, the Promix 35 L for $6.95. I go back in the store and get in line again.

It's finally my turn and I tell the cashier what I want. She looks at her potting soil code list and can't figure out which one it is so she starts trying different codes. I am keenly aware that there is a long line up and only this one cashier. As she brings one up I say I will take it, its the one I want but double the size. She wants to keep looking but I'm like its fine, there is a line I will take that one. She then decides to call the guy working on the floor. He comes over and they discuss it and he wants me to go outside and show him the one I want. He keeps saying I need the ticket for the soil, that I should have grabbed it outside. I again say I will take the one she has found and just find it outside. . He refuses to let me do this so I said that I didn't want one after all, that it just wasn't worth the hassal.

I leave the store, a little frustrated by the experience but not all that angry. As I am walking back to my car I decide to take a look for these tickets you are supposed to grab. I'm a little confused as I see nothing at all that looks like a tag your grab and take it to show which one you want. I turn and head back to my car. All of a sudden I hear yelling and I turn to see the guy from the floor come running out and he's yelling at me. So I stop and he's screaming at me to see my receipt. I'm now at my car so I open the back and reach into my bag and show him the reciept. He then says he thinks he saw me put a bag of potting soil in my car. I'm flabbergasted (love that word). So I say "I'm sorry....did you just say you think you saw me put a bag of potting soil in my car?" He states the same thing again at the top of his voice and I almost laugh as it is absolutely outrageous. So I then say, "Are you accusing me of stealing a bag of potting soil" and he once agains says he though he saw me put a bag of potting soil in my car. I'm not sure how many times we said "A bag of potting soil". Through all of this I am just stunned at the allegations and I explain that I was just looking for the tickets he said I need to bring in. He then denies ever having said anything about tickets and tells me I can go back and ask the cashier, she will back him up. Next he wants me to go back into the store with the bag of soil I originally wanted and pay for it. I said to him, so let me get this straight, you now want me to pick up the bag of soil, walk back inside, stand in line and buy this bag of soil". It was in fact what he wanted. At that point I said I was leaving.

I was too stunned at the time to do anything about it and now a week has gone by and I think its too late to complain.

Anyways...that's the story. I always thought that I looked rather innocent, not like the thieving type.
It looks like it will take me a few days to recover from the marathon, and I'm not talking physically. My desk looks like a whirlwind has passed over it and its starting to look like a going out of business sale what with the marathon stuff, the yoga mats and now the exercise balls left over from the Expo.

A few thoughts on the half marathon:
  1. It might not be such a great idea to be both an organizer and a participant
  2. The first 5 miles were awesome
  3. Having wet feet for 13 miles is not fun
  4. Having dry shoes to change into unlike thousands of others is good
  5. If you put your head down and just go, Prospect Point is nothing!
  6. Seeing familiar faces on the course really does make a difference
  7. Diggs may have beaten me but I can walk normally
  8. Meredith Jenkins is awesome
  9. Having a VIP pass that allows you to hangout right in the finish line chute is very cool
  10. Hamburgers post race taste awesome!

My little running group is now planning to do the Scotia Half at the end of June in Vancouver. Before Sunday I was not interested and now I can't wait. I'd really like to see if I can improve my time with a little pre-race rest.

Monday, May 08, 2006

I did it!

1845 716/4345 F 161/753 F3034 2:01:00 9:14 11713 Jennifer Stanford Vancouver,BC 1:58:53

Special thanks to NB for the delicious home cooked dinner Saturday night and to Sully for the healthy dessert. After setting Diggs up on the air mattress it was off to bed as we had an early wake up called scheduled for the morning. Battle Oatmeal came to be when Diggs stated he didn't need to eat anthing before the race and I inhaled a double serving of quaker instant oatmeal. Then it was off to the races as NB...being the marathon fairy that she is (I just came up with that) was kind enough to pick us up and drop us off at the stadium for 6:00 AM.

After some volunteer chaos at the stadium I was finally able to switch to participant mode about 15 minutes before the race was to start. Things were not looking good heading to the start line as we hadn't found our regular running partners and it was pouring rain. The gun went off...actually we were not even sure about that and I started off with PD one of the ladies I run with on Saturday mornings. The first 5 miles felt awesome and i felt strong right up the Prospect Pt hill. Diggs and I finally found one another again going down the hill and stayed together until about 2 miles to go. At this point Diggs realized that I was in fact beating him having started a few minutes back from him. It was at this point he took off like a bat out of hell and finished the race with a 14 second lead over me.

Big thanks go out to ML, NB and LE for cheering me on as came into that final stretch. Thanks ladies!

The pictures below really are great as they show me finishing the race. I'm smiling as I can see two of my friends (JM & EF) at the finish line. What's really cool is that they even caught us hugging. EF had a great run and came in around 1:55 and JM got to hold the finishers tape.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Please don't let me forget to tell you the story about how I was accused of stealing potting soil at the Canadian Tire last night. It's quite a story.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Nothing sucks more than making yourself a kick ass lunch and then leaving it on the kitchen counter. sigh!

6 days left now until the half. I'm feeling well prepared. We ran 10K in the Demonstration forest Saturday morning. To say it was hill would be an understatement but it was a great run none the less. I did it in just under 55 minutes which included a short walk at 5K when we turned. One of my running partners EF reminds me a lot of another girl FD who I used to run with on the women's team. Neither of us being particularly strong runners we worked really hard one summer to improve. Who ever was a little faster each day would do their best not to let the other pass. While EF is definitely faster than me, I am starting to catch up. On Saturday we stayed pretty close until the last big downhill when she pulled a head and I just couldn't keep up. I can't seem to get my legs to move as fast as the others on the downhills (thank god I can power up the hills). With about 1K to go I decided to try and reel her back in so I put my head down and started pushing it. I got to about 25 metres behind her when she started to hear my footsteps. She glanced over her shoulder, saw it was me and immediately drove up her rate and started to widen the gap again. We had a good laugh at the end when I called her on it but in all truth it was very motivating to know that I'm starting to appear as a threat!

The apartment is starting to come together. My herbs are starting to grow and I've started work on sanding down my bistro set in prep for a new coat of paint. I think my little balcony is going to be a lovely little oasis once its all done. These photos were taken between about 7-8 PM. I get full sun on the balcony for most of the day as I am south facing.