Friday, August 31, 2007

I'm watching the Lion's game, so here's something to tide you over.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Nothing But Bad News?

As I've stated before, I sometimes have to "shut down" the news around here, as the bad news really sticks with me and that's all it seems to be some times - nothing but BAD NEWS.

And this weekend's a good example of that.....

Garbage is piling up in Vancouver as workers are on strike, afffecting the entire city. This doesn't impact us here, in Richmond, as our workers managed to pull a deal together. I wouldn't be affected anyhow, as we pay for private pick up. But, while this is "bad news", it's nothing compared to what else has been happening in and around the city here.

As Gled touched on earlier in the comments, there was a horrific hot air balloon accident in Surrey on Friday that resulted in fatalities. People heard "pops" as they were loaded into the balloon's basket and, as it took off, it burst into flames. It lifted into the sky on fire and many made the split second decision to jump out as the balloon quickly ascended. It ended up crashing into a trailer park where, luckily, noone else was injured there. A mother and her daughter were killed in the accident and several others were injured...God awful.

Also, 6 were killed and 17 injured on Friday when a pre-wedding procession was mowed down in the road by a pick up truck. Reports are that the group of 30-40 people carried lights as they proceeded down the dimly lit road in a traditional Indian ceremony. They'd been at a house party in the area and were going door to door, singing and playing music afterward.

The driver was in his 70's and is obviously shook up over the accident - there were no alcohol/drugs involved in the crash and he's been released by police. While initial reports suggest that the procession was on the shoulder of the road, I find it hard to imagine that a group that size would fit on the side of a rural road without some spillover to the street. The devastated group is expressing some anger towards the driver over the accident....but I hope they might also consider that parading down a dark, rural road in a large group at that time of night (11 pm) isn't the safest of plans. Perhaps the "jaago" (the traditional parade) needs to be reviewed and the celebration could be a daytime thing or held in a park or somewhere other than the side of the road??...just my two cents. Anyhow, while they appear to be putting the onus on the driver, I think that quite possibly this was an accident that could've been prevented if all parties had been more careful....we'll have to wait and see what the investigation reveals. I just think that right now it should be a time of mourning, more than one of blame. In the meantime, it's horrible and my heart goes out to the families who lost their loved ones. Overall, a tragic weekend here in BC.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

As you may have noticed, I'm not posting much lately and there's no particular reason for that. Quite frankly, I don't want to bore you all and I just don't have much on the go or to say.

I'm in a bit of a funk still...I know it has everything to do with Mom and the huge void that I'm feeling. As the season shifts and the nights are getting shorter, it's hitting home with me. These are the evenings that I'd be hanging out with her and I'm just kinda lost right now. It's normal and I accept it as that. It's been a little over four months now and I guess the inital shock is wearing off and reality is settling in its place.

Anyhoo...I've been doing all my usual things. I've been riding my trail (hard) and that always feels good and releases things for me. I'm getting in great "riding" shape, as I can fly through my route now without even tiring. When I started back into it, it was a real struggle. But I feel really good and one day I'd like to try some kind of race...I've been considering it for some time now. I've dreamed up a type of race (mountain bike) that I think would be so cool...when I ride I use visualization alot and I often pretend I'm in a race and that helps me push it to my limits. So my imaginary race would go like this ....

It would be held along winding trails for the first part, with the end of the race being on a very long straightaway (road?) that would be set up with piped in music. The trail part would be done first and then the racers would fly down a little hill into the straightaway and toward the finish. But the deal would be this - each racer would have some "music" selected pre race - good, high energy stuff that they like to ride to. Whoever would be leading coming into the straightaway would determine what music would be cranked for the final leg of the ride. And it would be played until the rider is passed, at which time the music of the new leader would be pumped through. A neck and neck race would be tricky, then you'd have to let it play until someone pulled away. Kind of a battle of the tunes to the finish, determined by the race leader with spectators lined up along the final straightaway, cheering on the racers. Kind of an X-games type environment. That's my imaginary race that I have with myself on many of my bike rides. I know, I'm a little whacko.

Music always is a huge part of my ride, and this is just what I imagine sometimes as I'm biking, to keep the adrenalin up...that I'm the lead rider and I have to really "give 'er" to keep my tunes playing. Hey, rides get awfully stale if you don't do something...this works for me.

So back to today's ride - I encountered more than usual in the snobby fucks department - you know the ones...the women with the double wide asses Prego strollers, dog/leash combo stretched across the path who refuse to move over one inch so you can squeeze by on your bike. They always seem to be "looking" for something in the stroller and have it parked sideways across the entire path. I used to be so polite...but I'm afraid not so much anymore. Seriously, I used to smile and say hi, but usually got nothing back in return so now I just try and spew rocks at them from my tires. Today there was a "pack" of them...they saw me coming from up the trail. Now understand here, it's a walking/biking trail and leaves little on either side to manoeuvre around, therefore it must be "shared". And this pack saw me coming. It was a woman in front with a kidmobile, and trailing behind was her whiny toddler on this bike and the fed up father behind him. Now that would've worked...single file is good. But at the last moment, just as I approached them, the fucknutted husband pulls around the son and alongside the wife to make the red rover game even more interesting. Again, the cheery Deb would've probably worked it out somehow, but not today. As the guy pulled up beside her and was head on smack dab in my path I veered around him and said "for fuck's sake" so that his prissy wife and kid heard. I know, so wrong of me (but it felt good). It was the second incident like this in a matter of about 45 minutes so I wasn't amused. The people here can be so trendy and rude. They looked shocked and the guy stopped on his bike and glared at me - for a split second I thought he might've turned around and chased me down. I wasn't worried, I would've left him in my dust.

This is how it is now in Steveston. The snobs who can afford the places here think that they're special and they seriously lack in any manners or courtesy. And they're newcomers and treat the people who've been here for decades this way. Over time, they've eroded my patience and I'm not very friendly at all anymore when I ride. It's sad, because it's not what I'm all about. But it is a dog eat dog world and damn it, I've had enough. And it's not just me feeling this way...I bump into old friends who also ride (that have been here for years as well) and they say they're experiencing the same arrogance.

Steveston was a very "neighbourly" community when I grew up there. Everyone knew everybody else and that doesn't happen by accident - you say "hello" when you pass and, over time, friendships develop. These "noobs" better get their act together or we'll have to oust them.

Anyhow, some pics from Friday's ride.....

Uh, looks like somebody needs to learn the rules. Deb's rock, remember?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

O.K., I'm back to happy land.

I just learned that #16's back for his 16th season as a Canuck.

And that's reason enough to celebrate for me.

We have been Linden fans in this house since day one....that escalated through the roof when we witnessed his heart and soul during the '94 run. I will round up my pics later...basically, the guy was beat up and broken down but still gave 110% every game.

When we let him go, a piece of my Canuck heart went right along with him but, somehow, I always had the feeling that he'd be back. The day that we did reacquire him is one that I'll never forget. Dad called and said "guess what?....Trevor's coming home". We were hesitant to believe him, as Papa was a prankster. But would he really mess with something so important to us? When we finally established that it wasn't a cruel joke and that he really was returning, it was like frickin' New Year's Eve around here.

Trevor is one of those players who's just a qualiity individual. He's always been approachable and we've interacted with him on more than one occassion. He does endless volunteer/charity work in the community and is a wonderful role model and devoted family man.

I'm on limited time here, so will continue my "Trevor story" later...remind me to tell you about Ty's birthday "brunch" next. And I'll round up some of my pics (including the one my ex took when he insisted Trev was "checking me out" from the bench at the Superskills competition one year. I wish.)

Today is a good day.

Monday, August 20, 2007

I Don't Like Mondays

Not much to blog extremely boring weekend with nothing to report on. I'm feeling a little sorry for myself as I just haven't been away in ages and everyone and their dogs are blogging about their vacations or going on vacation (I'm happy for you, I just wanna come along!). Our internet service has been God awful to top it all off and even my poker is being affected by broken connections and slow loading. So life sucks at the moment, that's all. I'm stuck at home and I may as well be sending smoke signals than logging on...would get the message across more efficiently.

Allison's gone away, adding to my sadness. I know she had her reasons and did what she had to, I just hope things are alright. I'll miss her hand clappy posts, filled with art and graffiti and music I've never heard before. So long dear friend, I miss you already.

Barb's heading out on a road trip with her family, whitenoise has just returned from a week with his, lala's in Vegas, tk's just been there and junky's off to Hawaii in September. I've got one question....can any of you fit me in your suitcase? Please?

Anyhow, thought I should check in here before work....I'll leave you with this:

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Matt Good Countdown.....

Well in a little over a month we'll be heading to Matt's acoustic show (YEA).

For those of you attending shows in other parts of the country, let's compare notes, o.k.? And, for the rest of you (without tickets), I suggest you find some ASAP or you'll be sorry.

As a prelude and to get you all totally pysched, here's a video Linds shot from last year's show. How'd she manage to get so up close and personal you ask?....well she sat on the floor, smack dab in the middle of the aisle.

This particular song is bittersweet for me...while it's a "favorite", it's also the song that I played the day I admitted Mom to the palliative ward at the hospital, knowing full well that she'd never be coming home again. It was Christmas day and I came home alone with a bottle of wine, sat down cross legged on the floor by the Christmas tree and cried forever. I played this song over and over...the line "and when I wake up you won't be here" was the trigger each and every play (still is). If he plays it this year, I'm quite sure I'll crumble.

FTR, Linds has a few more videos from that show that she's still got to upload...I'll crack the whip. She's a bit of a procrastinator (like her Mom).

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I Promised One For You Gleds....

This is from one of my favorite movies (Fly Away Home)'s beautiful and inspirational. Based on a true story, I recommend that everyone see it. I actually took Linds and a group of her friends to this movie for one of her birthday parties and never expected to even enjoy it. Funny how things go sometimes.

Anyhow, this song is beautiful and it moves me to tears everytime. Just did as a matter of fact.

Footballs, Pucks & Whales

Last night my BC Lions battled hard against Calgary to come up with a tie in an amazing finish to a football game. Anyone who thinks the CFL is boring needed to tune in last night...despite the fact that several of our key guys have gone down to injury, we hung in the game and our third string QB rose to the challenge and got the job done. We exchanged TD's back and forth in OT (including one to the endzone where we were 2nd and 22 after a bad penalty) and the game resulted in a tie (which is probably fitting as both teams deserved it). Well done.

I'm getting excited about hockey as the season draws nearer. Negotiations with my hero, Trevor Linden, are still underway and I'm hoping he returns for another year...he's indicated that he wants to play and that he intends on finishing his career here, as a Canuck. I say he's got at least another good year in him...especially during the playoffs - he's "dependable".

So yeah, most of you will find this post boring - but I'm in my "sports" mode right now...bear with me. This too shall pass (NOT).

This is encouraging news and I'd love to actually see something like this with my own eyes...they have "whale watching" tours originating in Steveston and I'm thinking about checking it out ($$).

Whaling was very common years ago off the west much so that it was actually my Dad's first job. He left school at 14 years old to go whaling and, unfortunately, we pretty much wiped out the blue whales. While there were once estimates of about 300,000 of the species worldwide, it dwindled down to 10,000 or so, even after a ban on whaling. The blue whale has made a return to southern California, but never did here, so this is exciting news.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Junky tagged me and I really don't know how this'll fly...I'm just not that exciting. I'll update with some pics later, for now I'm off to work (bleh).

Anyhow, the point of this tag is to tell 8 random facts about myself and then tag 8 others to participate. So here goes:

1) I swigged red wine out of Eddie Vedder's bottle.
2) I love water skiing and am a kickass slalom skiier who can do "beach starts".
3) I spent my wedding night alone because my ex was out partying all night with my relatives (now you know why he's an ex).
4) I stole "borrowed" a moped once while in Hawaii with my girlfriends ("tipsy") and rode it through a hotel lobby.
I then managed to talk my way out of the impending charges (I'm ashamed to say that when you're young/blonde you can do that).
5) I can wiggle my ears.
6) Before I'd hit 21, I'd saved $15,000 and owned property in the US.
7) I was considered one of the most popular girls in high school but am now a loner (by choice).
8) I've known 3 people who've committed suicide and at least 3 more who've OD'd/died.

And now it's YOUR turn:

busterp (ha, you're not getting off that's the baker's 8)
Mike M
whitenoise (welcome back)



Thursday, August 16, 2007

This one's for you gled.....

(This is "CAKE")

and, yet another version.....

and, lastly.....

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Just Stuff

I've sure been slacking it, haven't I? This tends to happen with me in the summer...I flit about and don't have any real time to settle down/focus.

I am feeling sad that everyone and their dog seems to be cabining or laking it lately...I'm dying to get away. Next year I'm outta here. Somewhere. We're extremely lucky in many beautiful places to see. Only problem - the word is out and you have to book a year in advance.

Anyhow, a "recap" of my weekend goes like this:

Friday night - football game with Ty. Don't wanna talk about it - The Bombers beat us by ONE. AND we were surrounded by annoying Winnipeg female football sluts fans...where the fuck do they come from? Oh yeah, Winnipeg. Send 'em back, they're getting on my nerves.

I bought one of those plastic football horns so I could blast them away but couldn't garner up enough air to get the thing to do much more than squeak. It was quite hilarious...I thought it was defective and wanted to return it. At least I entertained Ty. I sounded like a baby elephant with nasal congestion. (I guess I blow suck.)

* * * * *

Saturday...I had my 5 am poker tourney. Don't wanna talk about it - was moving my way up the ranks (128th out of 1800) when I got knocked out with 3 aces (jack kicker) by some nimrod who stuck around with a pair of eights. Caught the third 8 on the river to make a full house and piss me off supremely. A lot of river rats in internet poker...I hate them. They should be suffocated. There was 30G in prizes, including a trip to Barcelona up for grabs...oh well, that's poker for ya.

Our "getting to know the neighbours" barbecue was later in the day. I already know them, like most of them. We've decided that "our" end of the complex is the "good" end. It was the perfect opportunity to connect with everyone and was quite pleasant, despite the fact that I normally hate these gatherings. A couple of my neighbours are just great....they're the ones doing the q'ing in the pics below. They're a lot of fun - good, down to earth types. The ones from the other end I avoid like the plague....they're weirdos. One reminds me of a pedophile. Another drools and can barely put a sentence together. Then there are the ones that, when they heard they were invited to a "free" barbecue put on by the council (our $ anyhow), felt the need to invite 30 of their "close" family members. Freeloaders...must be from Winnipeg.

* * * * *

Sunday...hit the track with Dad, Fiona and Ty. Do you see a gambling problem developing? Nah, seriously though...I "blow" what I can afford to (mad money)...I always expect to lose and anything brought home is a bonus. It's all about the outing.

I never won a race, but don't care about was a perfect day and any time spent with Dad right now is quality time. We just got his results back and he has yet ANOTHER aneurysm bulging behind the first...this artery's a lot smaller and of more concern. RGH is solidly booked (because the Olympics are more important than sick people), so he has to wait for his CAT scan. They're trying to bump him up by sending him out to UBC. Fingers crossed, prayers are being sent, all that crap. Let's hope it works.

So before I leave you for another 3 days, here are some pics of our weekend. Should be self explanatory. Take care and have fun, life's too short.

("pssst, DUDE, could you please tell #3 to get his ass moving next race?")

Friday, August 10, 2007

Oh and here, got something for you guys......

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Back to work today (blah).

So, in order to fire myself up, I needed something....ah, Gord Downie can always get things moving along, can't he? Check out THESE moves Barb.

This one's for you Alana.
Oh, and a little something for Allison.....

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

If you've read this blog for anytime at all, you'll know I like my poker. This is something that's been handed down to me, as my Mom's entire family loved to play. In Steveston there used to be a taxi stand where a game was always underway...apparently my uncles, aunts and Mom could all be found there at any given time. And Mom developed into a very good player...she'd amassed a nice little stash of cash for herself made up of her winnings.

Growing up, it wasn't unusual for us to be sitting around the table when a deck of cards would be pulled out and a "couple of hands" dealt. Although I was never too interested back then, I've found that recently I've really gotten into poker and enjoy it immensely. The internet's helped with that.

Anyhow, the point of all this? Well poker is opening up a whole new world for me...I'm meeting friends "at the tables" who are wonderful people from all over the world. Just like the blogosphere, the poker scene is a good way to connect with others and, over time, you get to "know" the regulars and establish friendships with them.

One fellow I seem to be sharing a table with a lot lately (at a couple of different sites) is actually someone I didn't really like at first...initially he rubbed me the wrong way. He is an aggressive player (as I am), but I thought he was more of an amateur who ruined the game for others by "all inning" on a regular basis. There are a number of reckless players that spoil good games by playing like idiots, and I'd pegged him as one of them. But I quickly learned otherwise and that he, in fact, was a very good player...we've "battled" head to head on more than one occassion. Lately we've shared a few laughs over this and I've really taken a shine to my new friend. We landed on the same table again this morning and, I must say, it makes it much more enjoyable when he's playing. We talked hockey (he's a Detroit fan, although he lives in Toronto) and I learned some interesting things about him. He's actually friends with Stevie Y's former agent and made a replica of his jersey (out of Lego!) for his retirement party.

As it turns out, we're both on a site that recently held tournaments leading to a big European tourney and have each won our way through the ranks to the finals. We'll be competing August 11 (@ 5 am!!) for a good chunk of change and a chance to go to Barcelona and play in the big showdown (with a huge payout structure). Secretly, my dream is to play on the WPT....who knows, maybe one day I'll actually make it. I feel like I've got Mom on my side and I'm doing her proud. And, in the meantime, I'm sure meeting some wonderful people along the way (hey "tlta" know who you are...I see you got in the top 20...I just won the whole dang thing!). Funny, just as I was about to sign off, another person has approached me...."hey ww, are you the same ww that plays on hp?". And yes, in fact I, with that, I've gotta run - my other "peeps" are calling.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Yesterday was a weird one, kind of a roller coaster ride of nothingness around here...plans made that eventually fell through, good stuff, followed by some bad. Y'know, one of those days that, by the end of it, you're completely exhausted and could use a stiff drink (or twelve?). And you've barely left the house?

I was up early and planned on seeing Linds off to the Pride parade. She and her friends go every year and she was totally stoked about it. They get so into it that last year they were photographed and featured in Xtra West magazine (and they're not even gay for chrissake!) I'm proud of her attitude...I think it helped a bit that my two best friends next door were lesbians and it was a non issue for me. When I recently asked her why she felt such a strong need to be in attendance, she replied by saying, "I like to support my friends who are gay". Well good enough then.

But she woke up with a dreadful headache and was very disappointment that she didn't feel she could make it...a good decision, based on the sweltering hot day and lack of shade on the route.

So she'd decided to meet up with her friend afterward...I said I'd drive her, so I hung around waiting for the call. CJ eventually did call, only to say that she'd get back to Linds a little later - she had a few things to do first. I went for my bike ride, expecting to drive Linds over when I returned but apparently the plans had changed (as they usually do when CJ's involved) and Linds was no longer going. And she was fairly disappointed by that...she hasn't seen CJ for much of the summer and she'd been looking forward to it.

No biggie, except that Linds is somewhat depressed and I don't like to leave her here all day by herself on a beautiful day after she's been away so much...her tendency is to sit up in her dark room (she likes it that way), breaking her eyes on her computer. I tried to convince her that we needed to get out, but she wasn't biting. So I decided to lay low here with her.

I sat down at my computer, only to learn from a Facebook friend that Holly McNarland was playing in town and tickets were on sale, so I rushed down and snagged a pair (she's our favorite female artist). Although tickets were advertised at $19.50 each (which prompted my rush out to get them), by the time convenience and handling charges were tacked on they came to about $800 each. O.K., well $33. Oh well, such is was a happy, happy, joy, joy moment anyhow, as we celebrated the "win" and the prospect of finally seeing our girl live. That'll be two concerts in two weeks in September...a good thing, as they fall between Mom's birthday. The distraction will help with that I'm sure.

Anyhow, after pissing away the entire day "waiting" around and getting nothing done, I'd resorted to the fact that my long weekend Sunday was pretty much a bust and nothing much was going to take place. I'd settled in for some TV (I don't think I've had the thing on in a month) and was even starting to doze off when the neighbours next door decided to party outside. The woman's laugh is similar to a braying donkey in a tunnel with a megaphone - so much for peace and quiet.

I went back to my computer to play poker...spent the better part of two hours in a tournament and was 3 spots away from the payout pool when I was knocked out by a totally bad beat/river suckout. In poker terms, that means someone had horseshoes up their ass and stayed in a hand that they had no business being in. And did me in....GGRRRRRR.

Anyhow, it was at that point that Linds came down, very obviously upset - tears streaming down her face. I quickly learned that her first attempt to transfer her video footage from her new camcorder to her PC had gone terribly wrong. It hadn't worked and, in the process, "ate" her tape and caused her camera to shut down. We couldn't get the camera back's now officially "dead" as a doornail.

The footage she lost has devastated her....the trip to Seattle with her Dad to see Bright Eyes, The White Stripes concert, some funny stuff of her Nan (and me, playing my FP "keyboard"), an hour of her and her best friend who she rarely sees anymore...stuff like that. How do fix that? You don't, that's how. You stay up half the night completely feeling her pain, trying to trouble shoot things on the internet (with no success).

I'm a little peeved because the fellow who "fixed" her computer and installed the firewire port and the program for uploading her videos ($650) told me there was nothing to know...just "plug in and go". Obviously that didn't work and I'll be going back for some explanations...she'd done everything by the book.

So that was my Sunday...a whole lot of nothing that ended in tears. I think I'll go back to work now.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

A quick hello.

I have a pretty important post tomorrow and after that we'll see what happens.

I'm devastated tonight...although we had good news the other day regarding Dad, today a follow up test is not so good. I knew it...he had an appointment this morning and I asked him to call me at work to fill me in. I never got that call.

He's ready to give up. Like losing his wife of nearly fifty years wasn't enough. Fuck.

I went for a long ride and cried my eyes out behind my sunglasses. As I sat on my rock in the sun an overwhelming sadness fell over me. I was sitting in the very heart of where it all happened - Mom and Dad grew up together in these parts. Everyone in this town knows them. Everything is connected to a story about them. Losing both of them just isn't even something I can comprehend....I still haven't even begun to digest Mom not being here. Everything I pass on my ride reminds me of both of them and tonight it was too much. I haven't allowed myself too much time to grieve over Mom. I'm starting now.

Dad's voice told the story...he was quiet, withdrawn, empty. Papa's usually the joker - the glue that keeps it all together. He needs me now, bigtime and if I'm not around much, chances are I'm with him. He wants to go transfer the house over to me next week...although it's sensible to "take care of business", I just don't want to. I feel like talking and planning will make it all happen. Our track record isn't so great lately.

I'm not giving in to this...he'll be o.k...he has to be.