Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The longest short week ever

Four times a year I organize face to face board meetings for my day job. One is always in conjunction with our Annual General Meeting and three (February, May and November) are just standard meetings held in Vancouver. They start with dinner at 6pm on Thursday and run through Friday as long as necessary, usually into the early afternoon.

The weeks leading up to board meetings are always crazy busy. There are hotel arrangements to be made. RSVP's to collect, catering and AV to coordinate and TONS of handouts to prepare. The handouts are the hardest part. I have a full page spreadsheet detailing what I need to have, how many and who I am getting it from. I generally start working on them the week before the meeting. It's always lots of pressure to get them finished as soon a possible but I CAN'T finish them until I get the information FROM everyone so it's lots of following up and hounding people. Something I don't particularly enjoy.

Then there's the handouts that *I* have to prepare. One of which I am procrastinating on right now. I'll go do it though. You have to practice what you preach right?

Before that though, back to the title. Because our meetings are evening/continuing in the morning and in Vancouver (about an hour away from home) we just stay over night. That means that we're ("we" being my boss, our accountant, one other staff member and I) out of the office from mid-day on Thursday and basically through Friday (we generally stop by and drop off our stuff before heading out for the weekend). So that techincally makes it a 3.5 day week but it is by FAR the longest week of the year.

And then to top it off, this week I also had a volunteer board meeting and I came back to the office last night after that one to get a different handout done when the office was quiet.

Tonight I work at the store.

Yep. It's a LONG week.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

City in the Country

The tag line for my hometown is "City in the Country". It's a description that fits me well. I am a city girl with country leanings. This morning, and for the past week plus, the local farmers have been doing their best to remind us city folks that we do live in the country. The smell of fresh manure has been pungent. Strong enough to burn your nose hairs out. I don't really mind it but it's hard to drive when your eyes are watering from the smell!!!

Someone needs to remind them that it's still only February.

Monday, February 25, 2008

The most beautiful thing

The most beautiful thing under the sun is being under the sun. ~ Christina Wolf

So I survived my first weekend without a computer at home. Well, first weekend in a long time. It helped that I still have the tv and it was gorgeous out. Saturday morning I ran errands in the sunshine and then took some "required reading" to the park where I had an impromptu picninc lunch and soaked up some vitamin D. In the afternoon I went over to the office and was going to do a bit of work but when I got there I realized I didn't have my key with me. Instead I went up to the library and used the internet there for my hour of alloted time. Then it was back to home in time to get ready for Melissa's birthday dinner. (That's Melissa and I on the left)

Sunday I worked all. day. at the store. It was a waste of a gorgeous day but what can you do? The morning at work started out painfully slow but it picked up in the afternoon and was actually kind of fun. After that I came home and watched the Oscars while I cleaned up and organized. Normally I would have been online during the broadcast but I did okay without that connection.

For now I'm not in a big hurry to get a computer but I may in time. There's just other things that are a priority right now.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Saying good-bye, again

Seth is officially moved out. The arrived on Wednesday evening (while I was at the concert) and packed everything up yesterday. His bedroom is almost completely empty. In the rest of the house it feels like he took random things but it was mostly the stuff that was his. The toaster, microwave, coffee tables, a picture off the wall, the cabinet the tv was on...but he left the tv (sweet!!!). He also took his laptop :( (not sweet). He took one frying pan, and a few assorted dishes, half the towels, oh and the other big thing, his bookshelf. So my house looks somewhat raided. I need to vacuum and clean up my stuff that got moved. Now to make a decision on what I am going to do. I was able to put it off for awhile but no more. He's officially gone.

On a brighter note, I got to spend Thursday night with them. Them being my Uncle Tim, Aunt Candace, their three boys and Seth and Robert. We went for a walk around the lake and then back to my parents house for dinner. Afterwards Tim, Seth, Robert and I played a loud game of Dutch Blitz and then we convinced Dad to join us for a round of Risk (Tim won). It was fun but way too short. I definitely need to get to Alberta to visit them all soon.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Corb Lund and the Hurtin' Albertans

Last night, for her birthday, Jenna and I went to the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver to see Corb Lund and the Hurtin' Albertans. It was *late* concert. Doors opened at 8pm, and the oening act, Hayes Carll took the stage at 9pm. Because of that we didn't leave home until after six and were still there in plenty of time. We chose to sit at a table on the first level instead of up by the stage like we were when we went to see Dierks (the night I fell in love ;))

The first and last (until last night) time I was at the Commodore was to see Dierks in 2005. Those were the first tickets I won from the radio station and the first time I got to see him up close (before that was when he opened for George Strait at the Pacific Coliseum but we were up in the second level). Being back at the Commodore was great. It's crazy to think of all the acts I've seen since I was last there. Probably 3 dozen already!
This concert was a lot of fun. Hayes Carll is considered an "Americana" artist and, from what I understand, is pretty big in Texas and other areas of the US. He doesn't get airplay up here so I wasn't familiar with his music but I enjoyed it. Even the irreverant "She Left me for Jesus". He was a good fit for Corb too.
Corb Lund I am much more familiar with. For one, he's Canadian and two, he gets airplay. He's not a mainstream country artist, his MySpace categorizes him as "Folk/Country/Alternative" but with his last three cd's he's developed a healthy fan base here in his home country. I also have his last three cd's so I was able to sing along quite a bit.

Corb has toured extensively. He was in Dallas the night I was at Billy Bob's and he's going to Australia when he finishes this Canadian run. His songs have a lot of Canadian references. He is *VERY* proud to be from Alberta and definitely makes that known. He also loves poking fun at the Americans which made for lots of jokes ;) Above all they're catchy and fun and make you want to clap and dance along.
The Commodore is an 19 and over venue so there was lots of alcohol flowing and "smoke" blowing. At one point Corb looked at the crowd and commented "that doesn't smell like a normal cigarette..." Hey, welcome to BC Corb!

If you get a chance to see him, I'd definitely recommend it. It's a fun show and I'm really glad I was able to take it in...even if I didn't get home until 2am.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

White Rock

I had a super busy weekend. I worked Friday night at the store and then went over to Jenna's for a short visit. Saturday I worked from 10-2 and then went to my first Close to My Heart party.
Sunday after church I had lunch at my parents and then the three of us decided to go take advantage of the beautiful weather. Normally after dinner Dad likes to take it easy for a bit and have a coffee but Mom and I convinced him to stop at Tim Horton's on the way out. Of course he accidently spilt half of his "medium, two creams, one sugar, one shot of almond, coffee" (Timmy's is getting tobe just as bad as Starbucks!) so my car smells like coffee.

The sun was warm but it was still cool out. My mom was bundled up and wearing winter boots. It looked funny on the beach and I told her "you must think it's still February or something" LOL

We weren't the only ones who had the brilliant idea of getting out and enjoying the weather. White Rock was *packed*. It was okay though, everyone was there for the same reason. We walked along the beach to the pier (my actual destination was the bathroom LOL) and then along the street back to where we had parked. We gave in to the temptation of fish and chips and then ended up waiting for almost an hour for them to be ready. I'm glad we did though. By the time we finished and were walking the rest of the way back to the car, this is what the sky looked like. Absolutely gorgeous. I haven't seen a sunset like that at White Rock in a long time.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

I have a reputation

I went over to my friend Jenna's after work last night. On the way in I stopped and said hi to her husband Will and friends who were playing poker in the game room. He greeted me and then said "You know, not a day goes by that I don't flip by CMT and think of you. I'll see Kenny Chesney and go 'we should call Heidi and ask what his middle name is or something'". He was poking fun at my...shall we say "knowledge" of country music triva. I just looked at him and said "Arnold" and walked away. LOL

Friday, February 15, 2008

Oh the Drama!

AKA why today was a bad day to not pack a lunch

So I'm standing in line at Subway between a big burly construction dude that keeps backing up and threatening to squish me and a group of high pitched teeny boppers. Just as I reach the counter my phone rings.

Me: "Hello"
Caller: "Hello, this is XXX Security Company. We have a report of a breach at your home"

I'm thinking WTH? I don't have an alarm?

Security Company: "At XXXX XXXXX Street"

Oh, that' my parents. Apparently I'm on the call list

SC: "Are you at the residence right now?" (meaning are you the dufus who set off the alarm?)
Me: "No"
SC: "Would you like us to dispatch the police"
Me: "Uh, yeah that would make sense"
SC: "Can you go to the residence"
Me gazing longingly at the tasty looking sandwhiches on display: "Uh, yeah I guess so"

So, off I drove in the rain. Calling my dad, home, and any place my mom may be in turn. Halfway there Dad finally calls "Where are you?"
Me: "Headed to your house, where are you?"
Dad: "About 10 minutes behind you coming from the same direction. I've called {a friend} too and he's going to go over and check"

So I arrive at the house and our friend is there. I have a key so I enter, disarm the alarm which is ominously blinking "POLICE" and check all the doors. Everything is secure (Huh?) The reason we're all panicky is because about a year ago someone DID break in and cleaned out the place. They took the brand new computer, monitor, the tv, Robert's guitar and amp, Aaron's PS2 and some other things.

Everything seems to be in order so the friend leaves. I call work "Yeah, I'm going to be late coming back..."

Dad arrives a few minutes later. The only thing that is "off" is the shower in Aaron's bathroom is warm and wet (that sounds wrong LOL) We finally deduce that his friend who stays over on a regular basis must have tripped the alarm on his way out.

Dad calls the alarm company and has a lengthy talk. (He sold alarms for years so he knows how to use all their lingo like "entry point" and "contact" etc.) THEN, FOURTY full minutes after we received the inital call, the policeman arrives. Now I get that they have to attend false alarms all the time but come on. That is horrible response time. His only redeeming grace was that he was cute LOL

And after all this, I still hadn't had lunch! I hit the drive thru on the way back though.

So there. That's my excitement for the day.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Was I not the cutest kid ever?

I was looking for something else last night but when I ran across an "autobiography" I had done as a school project in Grade 11. A precurser to a "Book of Me" ;) I thought I'd share a few pictures just cause I'm so cute LOL

The one of me on the phone is part of my "career" page. Remember that I did this project way before I startd working. At that time I put my interests as "receptionist" which is what I did for seven years. Looks like I started training early!

The date on this photo is October 1984 which would have made me about three years old. That's my mom behind me sitting at the kitchen table. She used to wrap my arm up in a "sling" ALL the time. I *loved* pretending that I had a broken arm. I remember one time (a few years later) when I was trying to learn how to ride my bike with one hand, Mom put my arm in a sling and I rode the whole way around the block like that.

It should be noted that the cloth she used was a diaper. Seth would have still been wearing them when this picture was taken and Robert wasn't even around!
I remember the day this photo was taken. It was around the same time as the previous photo. I was only three but some how, using wood blocks, I figured out how to spell my name all by myself. I remember it being really early in the morning and when Mom got up she was SO proud of me :D

Monday, February 11, 2008

Good Time Dancing

Last Monday at dance I was invited to a seventieth birthday celebration for one of the ladies that I dance with. Her name is Olga and she is an absolute sweetheart; one of the ones I tend to gravitate towards when we have our breaks between tips. Her “party” was to be held at Kennedy Hall in Surrey which, it turns out, is a dance hall almost as old as our own. The difference is that our hall is out in the country. Kennedy Hall was probably out in the country when it was built in 1941 as it is right by the train tracks, but the city has built up around it. For the locals it’s at 88th Street and 120th Avenue. Two incredibly busy streets. It even shares its parking lot with an Arby’s now.

This hall hosts an “Good Time Dance” with a live band every Saturday night and has for YEARS. I don’t know exactly how long but they had articles on the wall about different people who have played there and I know one gentleman said he has been dancing there for over 30 years himself!

Olga’s friend Grace is the pianist for a group called “Grace & the Guys”. (Seen on the right) Olga goes in with Grace regularly so it wasn’t an issue to get her there. We just all showed up to surprise her. And surprise her we did. It was great! Every time she turned around there was a new familiar face. About a dozen people from dance, her two sons and their significant others, her brother flew in from Alberta for the evening, and a bunch of other friends. We had cake for her, some gifts, and sang. It was a blast.

The band was very, very relaxed. They’ve obviously been playing together for forever and one would strum a bar and they’d all jump in to the song. I told my dad that I was going and I mentioned that it was “Country Western Music”. It’s a running bone of contention between us. I call current radio stuff “Country” but he insists on calling it “Country Western” I will conceded that this was “Country Western”. They were all plugged in (including the fiddle) but it was so relaxed. They played everything from Willie Nelson and Anne Murray to “Yellow Rose of Texas” and “Down on the Bayou” and some great Polkas. (I say great because they’re fun to dance to…even if I really didn’t do very well LOL)

It reminded me a lot of my grandfather and hearing him play the fiddle and of some of the weddings my prairie cousins have had. Fun times and a great way to spend a Saturday evening (even if all the available men were 50 years my senior ;)) I tell you though, some of those people can MOVE! I mostly just sat back and watched them dance. It was highly entertaining.

At one point they called a square dance for us...the problem was the moves they called were removed from the list like thirty years ago!!! It was pretty bad but we did have fun.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Or Not

It looks like I won't be giving up my keys to the store after all. Apparently the new MIT's husband got a job in Alberta so they're moving. Don't y'all just love the play by play updates on my life? LOL

Friday, February 08, 2008

"I have three brothers"

Last fall Stacy asked "What will be the title of your autobiography"
I came up with some goofy options at the time but I never developed the idea so I never posted them. I've finally figured it out though. My book will be called:
"Heidi's Story: A Life with Three Brothers" Seriously. That has become a motto for me. A tag line. A defnition of my life. It explains so much!

Here's why (with appologies to Jeff Foxworthy)

If you laugh at fart might have three brothers

If you don't take the bait when someone is intentionally annoying might have three brothers

If you hit definitely have three brothers

If you burp at the dinner might have three brothers

If you can roll your eyes so far back in your head that they look totally might have three brothers

If you get why guys are in to might have three brothers

If you've ever addressed someone using any, or a combination of the following adjectives: poop head, loser, nerd, jerk, freak, idiot, geek or snot might have three brothers

If you've ever been called "princess" and not in a complimentary might have three brothers

If you've ever played video games for hours on might have three brothers

If you aren't grossed out by blood, bugs or dead might have three brothers

If you enjoy sports and understand might have three brothers

If you've ever been in a car going over 150 kms and hour, and not been might have three brothers

If you've ever discussed the consistency of human might have three brothers

If you've ever fallen into the toilet in the middle of the night because someone left the seat might have three brothers

If you've ever used the line "he who smelt it dealt it!" might have three brothers

And by the way, I credit my wonderful father with teaching them everything they know!

Having three brothers explains SO much about my attitude towards life. I find myself saying "don't worry, I have three brothers", "I have three YOUNGER brothers" ALL the time. It's actually kind of funny. There's a converstation on SS right now about farting in front of other people which inspired me to finally post this (I actually drafted this list a few months back) You can anticipate additions to this in the future :)

~Heidi...big sister to three brothers


I haven't laughed this hard in a long time. It must be the full moon. First I get an email from a guy telling me "you all have some doosies" in reference to some photos he wants to use.

Then my co-worker gets a very formal letter from the National Parks Service informing her that her letter was undeliverable because the location she sent it to was "a public restroom facility"! Also known as a "comfort station".

THEN, I call this guy who had faxed us a purchase order for something we didn't order and he goes "Dadgumit, I sent it to the wrong company!" Ya think?!?

So so far we've had "doosies", "dadgumit" and a letter to a bathroom.

I love my job.

She Giveth and She Taketh Away

First they give me keys then, they take them away. It's all good though. One thing that really sticks with me is when I first started I had asked my boss about staying after Christmas. At that time she said "the needs of the store are always changing as are the needs of individuals" That has really helped me through the changes that are inevitable in a retail store.

So why did they take my keys away? My boss is planning on moving to Texas as soon as she can get all her paperwork in order (probably summertime). In anticipation of this the district manager hired a new "MIT" (Manager in Training) The manager gets 40 hours a week, the MIT gets 32 and that leaves about 20 hours to be split by the rest of the staff (currently, it will go up in time) So, that means that, since my availability is limited, having me as a key holder is redundant.

Things will probably change though. The other key holder (not manager) is in the process of adopting. When she does her availability will go way down and I'll probably take back over.

It's the ebb and flow. I'm not worried. It's just kind of funny if you really think about it :)

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Random Memory #5: Keyboarding 11

A lot of my highschool memories are fuzzy. Not because of drugs (thankfully) or time (yet ;)) but highschool was something to be endured. I read books of people who have super clear memories of certain periods of their life and I wish I was the same. One thing that is clear is my Keyboarding 11 class.

To graduate in my district you had to take a "Career and Personal Planning" (CAPP) class. That course only lasted half the year and for the other half you could chose an elective like wood working, cooking or, in my case, keyboarding.

I had five very close friends in that class. We took up the back two rows (three computers one each row) which was weird for me because I almost always sat at the front of the room in my other classes. We started with file folders over our hands so we couldn't look at the keyboard while we typed. We had these excercise books that had built in stands and we would type "asdf jkl; asdf jkl;" over and over and over. I remember being excited when we progressed to the second row of letters "qwer uiop qwer uiop" because I could actually spell my name!!!

Our teacher, Mr. Spann, (affectionately called "Spam" original I know :P) let us listen to the radio during class. Now anytime I hear Celine Dion singing "My Heart Will Go On", Shania Twain's "Don't Be Stupid" or Savage Garden's "Truly Madly Deeply" I am instantly transported back to that hot stuffy corner classroom with the sound of keys clicking methodically.

When Mr. Spann left the classroom, much to the chagrin of our male classmates, we would CRANK the radio and sing at the top of our lungs. I remember having it so loud that I couldn't even hear my own voice! Good times :)

Each of us were given a 3.5" floppy disk to store our exercises on. During the spring of 1998 (when this class took place) the movie "Titanic" was the biggest thing going (hence the Celine Dion song). All of us had huge crushes on Leonardo DiCaprio and we would practice typing his name over, and over, and over. (The modern incarnation of doodling all over your note book I suppose.)

My paternal grandmother passed away that Easter and I remember calling one of my classmates from Alberta and asking her to delete the document with Leo's name before handing my disk in for marking.

I am so thankful for that class. It was a pain to learn but now, if I couldn't type correctly and as fast as I do, I wouldn't have this job or my current career. It definitely makes a difference. Thanks Mr. Spann!

Friday, February 01, 2008

Friday, February First

I don't actually have anything intelligent to say. I just thought that sounded cool. Friday, February First. Friday, February fifteenth will be my brother Robert's birthday. Today is just (finally) Friday :)