Thursday, March 31, 2005

The Big "O"

Yesterday I took a big step. I changed my permanent address.

Since moving into Jason's house, I've had my mail forwarded from my old address (the condo that I currently rent to tenants). I've been doing this since October. Why, you may ask? Search me.

When I decided to move out of my condo, Jason and I weren't ready to move in together, so I got a shared accomodation. I paid rent to my SA for two months and didn't sleep there a single night. Ridiculous! Jason asked me to move in to see if we could make a go of things, to see if we were ready to start a life together. Both of us knew that we would be fine cohabitating, we get along like a house on fire. But there were some doubts. Jason was still recovering from the death of his wife. I was still having problems believing that the rug wasn't going to be pulled out from underneath me - leftover issues from a past breakup. So both of us were skating carefully on what we perceived as thin ice.

But we are strong together, we make each other smile. And that seems to have gotten us through a lot of really hard times. We didn't need to worry about being so careful with each other, for some reason we just "work". I no longer worry that I will wake up one morning and my world will be turned upside down.

And so yesterday I had an epiphany. Instead of thinking of things in terms of me and you, I started thinking about we. OURS. That was my big "O".

A couple of times, I've heard myself say it. While financially, it is Jason's house, it is our home. When I take Bella out for a walk, I feel like she is my dog too. I even think of the truck as ours, even though I stalled it 6 times the last time I tried to drive it (damned stick shift).

Strange. This has never been such a big thing for me. In my past long-term relationships (and trust me, I've had more than I care to admit!) I've always been the first to open the joint account, pick out furniture... hell, I've even signed a mortgage and bought a vehicle with someone. But this feels different and I can't explain why.

But it's a good different. That much I know.

Monday, March 28, 2005

And I ran... I ran so far away...

Yay, running!

This morning in my physiotherapist's gym, I ran for the first time in 3 weeks! I ran for 4 minutes!

Yes, I know... it doesn't sound like much. And I even had to ICE afterwards. But damn, it felt GOOOOOOOOOOOOOD.

I'm pretty sure that I won't be doing the 1/2 Ironman anymore, but at least I can check out the course while Jason does it this year. In fact, he signed up for a full Ironman in September. Maybe I will sign up for that 1/2?

In other news, this weekend Jason and I travelled to Port Alberni to see my sister's rapidly expanding waistline... AKA the first grandchild to my parents, great-grandchild to my grandparents, and neice/nephew to me and my brother. It's pretty wild to put your hands on her tummy and feel that baby kicking around. June will be an interesting month!

We went for a 35k road ride yesterday early in the morning, uninterrupted by cars, other riders, or intersections. It was so peaceful! I remember how I used to bike out to see my friends on my yellow bike with the banana seat, front basket and streamers trailing from the handlebars. It was 5k out to my old elementary school, and I think of how far that used to seem! Riding out there now takes minutes instead of hours.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Working from home...

Bella mooning the camera - I'm laughing so hard I look like I'm in pain! Pic by Nutmilk Posted by Hello

This is what happens when I work from home... I drink copious amounts of Earl Grey tea, eat half of a 70% dark chocolate bar and play with my blog.

In two days I am going to my hometown, Port Alberni, to watch my carnivorous family eat turkey and ham and see my sister. She is seven months pregnant and I haven't seen her yet. Apparently she is 3ft around! Anyhow, I'm sure I will leave, rubbing my tummy despondently. That always happens when I'm around babies or pregnant ladies. Sigh.

Okay, back to work.

Jason, Bella and I - pic by Nutmilk! Posted by Hello

Monday, March 21, 2005

Feel like Pythons, look like Pipe Cleaners

My arms.

They hurt.

I decided on Saturday to see if Andrea, Jason's sister, would like to join me on my Sunday training bike ride. Sunday morning looked dismal and Andrea asked instead if I wanted to join her at "the Club" for a workout. Jason's dad and Andrea both belong to the Arbutus Club in Vancouver, quite posh! So I jumped at the chance, just to see what the big hub-bub is about.

Well the towel service, the skating and curling rinks, the weight room... fairly impressive. I have to say though that my own little YWCA downtown is a lot newer, with better cardio equipment and class selection. No restaurant though, no tennis courts either. I guess that's what $1500 a year will get you. Ouch!

Anyhow Andrea is a former forest fire fighter. She's 165lbs of muscle that can kick my ass from here 'till Sunday. That being said, I tend to get a little competitive in the gym which is why I usually work out by my lonesome. Damned Type A. If you saw me, you'd know why this is ridiculous. I'm 100lbs soaking wet. Pretty intimidating! We did a bunch of bike work together, and then hit the weights for some upper body. What was I thinking?

I woke up this morning wondering whose arms had been attached to my body. My pecs are so sore that when I walk down stairs, the weight of my boobs pulling down on the muscles hurts! And don't get me started on getting in and out of my backpack. Yowser.

On the plus side, my knee is on the mend! My physio is working out really well and I've been a very good little patient... doing the endless squats and icing and bending myself into all the weird contortions I've been taught. Hopefully I will be zipping about next week! Good thing I don't need my arms for that though, it might be that long before I can lift them!

Friday, March 18, 2005

Golden Handcuffs

Why oh why is it that everytime I come up with a fun way to spend my stock options, the stock price plummets? I've caught myself in a vicious circle.

1. Have just finished paying off debt, have stock options to vest.

2. See discount flights to Europe, feel itch to travel.

3. Buy said flight tickets, hoping to use vestable options to pay for them (i.e. discount is now more like FREE)

4. Stock price plummets.

5. Put tickets on line of credit to wait for stock price to rise.

6. Stock price never rises. Discount ticket is now paid price, plus interest on line of credit.


I know the obvious fix for this is to cash the options first and THEN spend the money... but this rarely happens.

Double GR!!!

I think I'm going to treat myself to a nice coffee. I'll just put it on my line of credit.

Thursday, March 17, 2005


Well it's be a whole two days since Jason left town for Valdez Island. Oh, how I envy him! He packed up his guitar, his painting supplies, a giant cooler of gourmet fixin's and a few bottles of wine to spend a week with the dog in a cabin of a family friend. I like to think of Valdez as "our island" since that is where we finally decided to give "US" a go. That was August long weekend of last year.

So I am left in this house alone, no one to cuddle with or talk to. Sigh. I used to feel weird being in this house by myself, I felt like a bit of an intruder - the villian! That is because this was Jason and Ang's house. Since Ang died, things in this house have changed drastically, few things of hers remain and all of the colors and textures are different. But I can still feel her presence even though I never knew her. Weird, I know. But today it feels like the world has shifted a bit. Although I still feel her here, I'm not struggling to find my own place. My picture fits on the mantle, my photo albums fit on the bookshelf, my quilting table fits in the den. Bella doesn't bark at me when I come home from work, instead I find her on the couch with her tail thumping hello. And of course there is Jason, always waiting with a Solly's cinnamon bun when I've had a bad day, leaving funny messages to me on the computer screensaver or dancing like a robot when he's talking on the phone.

Sometimes I wonder how things would be different if I had known Ang. Sometimes I feel like I know so much about her that I did know her. I'm happy where I am right now, truly. I love the little life Jason and I are carving out together - slowly but surely. No pressure, no timelines. Life never turns out the way you plan it, that much I know from experience. Jason obviously feels the same. Letting go of the reins and letting the cards fall where they may is the way we both approach things these days.

I always get all reflective like this when Jason leaves town. That and I'm injured, so I can't really push things to the back of my brain the way I can when I've got a million things to do, races to train for, etc. I guess it's not so bad to check in once in a while.

I got a raise yesterday, along with a glowing performance appraisal and an assurance that I am being looked at for promotion to senior status over the next year. That made me very happy, of course, but it also makes me reevaluate what I want in the next few years. So many things to consider.

There are too many songs in my MP3 list that have lyrics that directly coincide with my life. Does anyone else ever do that? Listen and think,

"That's exactly how I feel! Man, that Sheryl Crow just seems to GET me!"


Monday, March 14, 2005

Light at the End of the Tunnel!

EUROPE BABY! Booked flights today to get Jason and I to Frankfurt in May... spending three weeks on our bikes touring and camping through Germany, Austria, Czech Rep, ??? Hopefully we might make it to Budapest. SO FUN! Got a great deal on airfare too!

Full-time work is so much more fun when you have something like a big trip to look forward to! You can spend all that time in meetings, thinking about your travels rather than the drab and mundane world of real-time systems. Okay, maybe it's only drab and mundane to me. I really need a change!

On that note, I was talking to a 4th year physiotherapy student from UBC doing a practicum placement with my physiotherapist. Apparently you only have to do one placement outside of Vancouver, rather than all 7. So maybe doing my Masters in Physio is still worth pursuing?

On the knee injury front, things are looking up... sorta. I went for my second physio appointment and my knee is feeling a lot better. Well, until I spend half the day walking/bending/hurrying for buses. It's funny how going for a 25k road ride out on the windy flats around Iona Beach yesterday felt really good, but then grocery shopping afterwards felt like crap!

To my surprise, my physio didn't tell me that I have to stop running. In fact, I'm allowed to run for a whopping 20 MINUTES at a time, and only if I do run/walk intervals of 2 minutes. That's a far cry from the half-marathon portion of the 1/2 Ironman in June! But, baby steps. I will honour my body and try not to push it. I can still bike and swim.

Right now my feet are taped too, looks like I might need orthotics. It feels like my lil' feet are trapped in sausage casings! Also, my physio gave me some good quad exercises to do as rehab, plus some correction stuff. This may be more effective at building quad strength than simply telling my quads to "think BIG thoughts".

Sadly, I've had to stop teaching my learn-to-run clinic and have left my running newbies in the hands of a co-worker. That sucks! I really wanted to follow through on that, but I guess it was not meant to be.

Anyhoooo, off to think TRAVEL thoughts during my next design meeting...

Wednesday, March 9, 2005


I'm broken. I'm hobbled, limping, lopsided and slow. Did I mention grouchy? Yeah, I'm also a tad grouchy. I'm not very good at being injured.

I like to go fast - biking, running, rollerblading... I have a need for speed! Swimming is the only exception, but that is because I would swallow half the pool if I tried to go as fast as I want!

Much to my chagrin, my injury has come as a result of helping others attain a bit of speed. I have been teaching a learn-to-run clinic through the hilly Burnaby terrain for the past 4 weeks. According to my physiotherapist, running at a slower pace than I would normally (and possibly shorter stride) for extended periods has done quite a number on the meniscus of my left knee.

This is the first time in my life that someone has told me that I shouldn't slow down! A little part of me is rejoicing! Unfortunately it means I might have to give up teaching the clinic, which I have taken quite a lot of joy from. You have no idea how gratifying it is to cheer someone on through their first 10 minutes of running with no breaks, or their first 10km distance. Such a positive and fulfilling experience.

Aside from the sharp, stabbing pain sent up from the side of my knee if I try to bear any weight on it, I now have a sore right side from compensating. So basically I am supposed to sit on my butt like a bump on a log for DAYS.

I'm sure to be a tightly-coiled spring by the end of this hiatus. I feel sorry for anyone who has to deal with me this weekend, and send apologies in advance. Surely there are other people like me out there that rely on exercise as a stress reliever and general unwinder...

Tuesday, March 8, 2005

Chopping Block?

Yesterday, my company announced a new president. They do this type of thing by sending us all an email minutes before they send out the press release, so that the valued and trusted employees have no chance to leak to the outside world this priviledged information. So this morning, as usual, we were subjected to the dreaded all-staff meeting.

All-staff meetings at our company are particularly unpleasant because we don't actually have a room that is large enough to hold us, nor are there enough chairs to seat the number of people is CAN hold. So a lucky few are positioned around a large oval table, while the rest are sitting on the ground, standing against the wall, and listening in from the doorway. It looks like a cross between a board meeting, a lineup for a bar and a 40yr-old kindergarten class.

Regardless, you can feel the tension in the air and the heat in the room rise as it fills with nervous engineers. I think everyone in this company has been through a lay-off, so we're all a little cynical and know when to start worrying. Myself, I'm looking forward to my next lay-off and severance package, but that is beside the point.

As the words were being fired at us from a Polycom in the center of the table, I imagined myself deflecting the catch phrases with a big shield... Peeewwmmmmm! Zippo! Zaff! Actually, this mental imagery got me through most of the meeting. I think there should be a ban on such phrases:

- streamline our organization

- develop a taskforce

- transfer the reporting structure

- etc, etc.

I've emerged unscathed, and yet I patiently await the falling axe...

Thursday, March 3, 2005

Goodbye Britney Spears

I have this pair of jeans that I call my "Britney Spears Jeans" because they are pretty tight and low-riding. Actually, calling them tight might be a bit of an understatement. When I put them on after they come out of the dryer, I have to hop around the room to get them on, then do a couple of deep knee-bends to put them into proper wearing shape. I'm only 100lbs soaking wet, so these are some pretty small jeans!

Anyhow, my brother calls them my "hooch" jeans. I have other pairs of jeans that are the somewhat similar, since that is all they seem to sell these days, but none quite like the BSJ. I put them on for work yesterday and once I got to work, realized that the pocket in the back had ripped a tiny hole in the material covering my butt cheek. ACK! Unbeknownst to me, I had been parading my butt cheek around all morning! Okay, maybe you really couldn't see it that clearly. But I was a little worried, so I walked around for the rest of the day with my hand over my butt.

Anyhow, it dawned on me that maybe this was a sign. A sign that I should no longer be wearing Britney Spears hoochie clothes... I AM 28 now, after all. Surely I should do away with the little Roxy t-shirts that just cover my belly and the low-riding jeans with the little skater belts?

I don't know much about fashion. I think I need a wardrobe intervention. Jason's sister Andrea is quite a fashionista, she keeps insisting that I need a $400 pair of leather boots made just for me, a pashmina scarf, etc. etc. She wears nice tailored slacks and turtlenecks. I wear little skirts with flip flops. She is a businesswoman. I am a code monkey.

Do I really have to?

All that fashion would require makeup and hairdos too, I think. I like my two minute blow-dry mop and my chapstick makeup regime, it suits my lifestyle. I have nice makeup in matching little black cases from MAC, but it takes up too much room in my back pack and time after teaching a class to bother.

Does growing up really mean I have to stop dressing like a high-school kid? All I know is that, more and more, the functions I attend require more than jeans and a nice sweater and I end up wearing a skirt that I've had for over three years with a schmarmy top.

I think I need a personal shopper.

Wednesday, March 2, 2005


I'm beginning to have my doubts about my training schedule, and the mayhem it's creating with my full-time job and my LIFE in general!

Monday - teach spinning 5:00pm

Tuesday - teach running clinic 12:00pm, masters swim 6:30pm

Wednesday - teach step 6:30am

Thursday - teach running clinic 12:00pm, masters swim 6:30pm

Friday - pilates and weights

Saturday - long bike ride 9:00am

Sunday - long run 8:30am

I've been holding up this training for a while, but still need to do more bike work according to most half-Iron training schedules. I don't know where to fit it in! I feel like I can't eat or sleep enough! ARG!

How do normal people do this? I had no problem training for sprint and Olympic distance triathlons. How do other people make the jump and still have a life?

I'm frustrated and tired today, and it's only February. My plan was to do one year of sprints (2002-2003), one year of Olympic (2003-2004), a few years of half-Iron (2004-2006) so that in the year I turn 30, I will do a full Ironman. I don't want to put the kibosh on my plan!

This is supposed to be fun.

6:30am Step Circuit

As it goes every Wednesday morning, I wake up to the sound of two Timex watches going off at 5:35am. Jason insists, so that I don't shut one off and go back to sleep. Anyhow, without turning the lights on, I pull on the spandex I've laid out the night before along with my bandana, hastily brush my teeth and grab my prepacked bag to head out the door. Jason and Bella might sleepily lift one eye open as I kiss them each goodbye, but mostly I manage to slip out under the cloak of darkness.

The neighbourhood is quiet, there is only one or two cars travelling on the usually noisy King Edward Ave. I munch on a homemade powerbar and make my way to the bus stop. The same bus driver always picks me up at 6:02 exactly, and the same people are always on the bus in similar states of open-mouthed, head-bobbing, eye-drooping quasi-slumber. We look like a band of stoned head-bangers all rocking in unison to the bone-shaking rhythm of public transit.

Main Street Station looms up above, and I can see the skytrain coming on the track as I hump it up the stairs to the waiting area. As usual, my barely-digested powerbar is sitting at the base of my throat as my body's equilibrium is nastily shaken from my trip up the two flights. But I make it. You might think that another few minutes waiting for the train shouldn't make that much of a difference, but I have this timed out to the minute.

The skytrain lurches to a halt at Burrard Station and again, I rush to zip up 4 flights of stairs. This time, my powerbar has had an extra five minutes to digest and rests heavily in my still-sleeping tummy. Into the YWCA lobby, grab my towel, slam things into the instructor's changeroom and pull on the stark white aerobics sneakers that give me blisters.

Yes, I know, I should just suck it up and buy new shoes. But I only use these shoes for one class a week and they are so damned expensive!

With moments to spare, I run into Cardio Room 2 where my regulars have thoughtfully placed my step in front of the awaiting class:

Choreography Bob: 70-year old that can outshine me and my futile attempts at step choreography with his eyes shut.

Hip-Replacement Mary: likes to wear paper towel around her neck.

Leaves-before-Stretching Beatrice: her job must be quite demanding!

Too-short-shorts-Dan: need I say more?

No-name-Lisa: nothing terribly outlandish, except that she's the only one under 50 in the room besides me.

I fumble madly with the microphone... "Test test..." I try to pull the earpiece through my tank top to hide the cord and end up tangling myself in the process, dropping the little fuzzy piece and showing people half of my boob.

Basic right! Oh crap, I'm on my left. Egad, I'm too tired for this.

All this for a free Y membership and discounts on my master's swim.