HULLO AGAIN.

As you probably already heard, I passed my exam. What a relief. I still think about it sometimes and revel in the amazing feeling that I don’t have to become a taxi driver.

But funny (?) story, I got another email last week from my new case officer that said “as your application deadline is rapidly approaching and you still haven’t told us if you passed your exam, do you want to withdraw your application?”. WAT!!?! I did not think that I would have to tell THEM that I passed THEIR exam. But apparently I did, and then my registration was finalized a couple hours later. Ah bureaucracy, so fun.

And then speaking of silly bureaucracy… I got a letter from the Australian Electoral Commission saying that I was not registered as voter at this address. Umm duh. So then I had to send THEM back a form telling them that I’m not a citizen! WHY ARE THESE THINGS MY PROBLEM??

I wonder what else I haven’t notified people about.

Anyway so I’m finally able to apply for jobs. I applied for all three that are posted right now. I have absolutely no clue how much competition there will be. Hopefully it doesn’t take too long for me to get a job.

It was real hot today. 35ºC. And the forecast for tomorrow… 16. Melbourne, you crazy.

Some pictures:

We had some friends over to watch hockey a few weeks ago. I made Nanaimo squares for the first time ever! They turned out DELICIOUS! Although Scott and I agree that the middle layer should be the thickest, not the bottom layer, so I would probably adjust the ratios when I make them again.

I used this recipe, but had to use smashed up cookies instead of graham cracker crumbs because they don’t exist here.

L-R: Kathy (aunt), April (niece), Brett (bro), Beau (nephew), Vicky (mum)!

April had her 3rd birthday party at a park. It was watermelon themed. There was a bbq, and footy kicking, and presents galore! I think she had a good day.

We also went to Blairgowrie for a night, way down near the tip of the Mornington Peninsula, on the other side of Port Philip Bay. We stayed with Shaun and Karen and baby Archie, and the boys went golfing one afternoon. We got to try fresh abalone that their friend caught that afternoon. I didn’t take any pictures the whole time though, whoops.

That’s all I can think of right now.

So it’s been a week since I wrote my exam.

I’m not sure I passed, and I’m not just saying that in a fake humble way.

I definitely knew a lot of the questions for sure. But then there were a whole bunch that I either had no idea at all, or I could only narrow down to 50/50… and then I got home and looked up as many as I could remember and almost all of them I guessed wrong. Soooo… not good. I feel like I probably got 74%, and I need 75%+ (they decide after they look at the results) to pass.

I won’t get the results for another 1-2 weeks. Please cross all your fingers for me. I’m really not sure what we will do if I failed.

In the meantime, I have been surprisingly busy! I had a great week at the gym, with a new PR benchpress x5, and random strangers complimented me EVERY DAY. Weird! I have also been running errands, doing all the dumb tasks I had put off while studying, cooking, and crossstitching. That’s pretty great. And also brainstorming for a new Etsy business idea I have.

Tomorrow we are having people over to watch hockey, and then Sunday I fly to Adelaide to visit Cassia for a few days.

All for now, I need to go to bed because we are getting up early to try and get some free Icebreaker clothes at the newly renovated mall early tomorrow morning.

I’m super stressed. My AHPRA certification exam is next Friday.

I’m not that worried about the stuff I’ve done in real life, or been tested on already… but I’m TERRIFIED about the stuff that I don’t even know I have to know. Like one of the questions on the practice exam was about a CT table that I never even knew existed. Oh dear oh dear oh dear.

The reference list is not super helpful either as it includes about a dozen entire textbooks, and a couple dozen papers that I can’t get. Hgkjghgjjj. Edited to add: I was wrong, it has THIRTY THREE textbooks on the list. O_O

On a completely different note, I liked this quiz about boardgames. Scott and I both rated really high on Conflict and Strategy, which you (cough) might not be surprised about. Yes I do like blocking people for no personal benefit. SO WHAT. Hahaha. Let me know what your results are if you do it!

Alright, back to work.

It’s been an incredibly busy fall. I’ve been working almost full time, weightlifting at Terminal City Training twice a week, training on my own, push training at the Richmond Oval about once a week, walking home from work when I can, working on a really complicated project, meeting up with tons of visitors, and more! OMG.

Everything is going really well though. I am not complaining about being busy at all.

It’s actually the one year mark of me joining Al’s weightlifting gym. I’ve added about 30 lbs to my press and benchpress, and 60 lbs to my deadlift and squat!! Sweet sweet noob gains. Group training is the highlight of my week, tbh.

Push training is also pretty fun. It’s a flat track with a metal skeleton sled on wheels and an emergency crash pad at the end. It’s fairly realistic, although the sled is quite heavy, and there is no chance of popping the groove. We can run as far as we want basically and then you drag your toes to slow down. Running bent over, while trying to accelerate a sled without actually putting much weight on it is very difficult!! I don’t think I will ever be a very fast starter but hopefully it’s still helping me get BETTER.

The Whistler skeleton season starts November 4th, by the way.

Scott walks home from work almost every day now. It takes him about an hour. It’s saving us a lot of money, and he gets his daily exercise. Win win! I walk sometimes, but definitely not as often as Scott. I did walk home from UBC once though, haha. It suddenly started taking 5ever to get home on the bus when the university students went back to school so out of frustration I decided to just walk home. It took 3 hours and it was quite boring and my knees hurt. But I will probably do it again if I’m at UBC again on a Friday.

We’ve been super lucky to have lots of visitors lately!

  • I met up for bubble tea with Anna, one of the German girls I camped with in Bowen, Australia while we packed corn and beans. She had been living in rural Saskatchewan trying to get her Canadian PR but the restaurant laid her off and she had to go home. What a bummer. She came through Vancouver on her farewell Canada tour and it was really nice to catch up after 6 years.

  • My friend Chris, from Halifax stopped through Vancouver too, on his way to his next WWOOFing place. I hadn’t seen him since 2007!! We went to the Richmond Night Market and ate takoyaki and fish sticks and deep fried cheesecake that made our teeth hurt. I was too scared to sit on the Throne of Rotato.
  • Leslie visited from Victoria (so nice that we at least live in the same province again!) for Thanksgiving. She helped document the whole spatchcocking the turkey project (more about that later), and get ready for our potluck Friendsgiving Thanksgiving dinner. We made tons of food and delicious cocktails (hello Automnal Cinnamon Apple Whiskey Sour!!) and had a really nice dinner. I love hanging out with old Ace Gang members.
  • And last night I met up with Catty and Samir who were in town for a conference. Again, I hadn’t seen her in years too! We went out and watched the Blue Jays game with Scott and then went out for ramen with Rosemarie and Lauren. All was good except for the Jays losing, and a super long hair in Samir’s ramen… blech.

Rosemarie is doing her last semester of uni now so she’s very busy these days, but we still try to squeeze in as much hanging out time as possible. We spent one afternoon making 9000 dumplings: some pork and some shrimp. We’re not very good at being able to seal them when the dough is thin so they ended up pretty pudgy… but very very very tasty.

We also went bouldering for free at The Hive, because we voted. They were supposed to offer more free days too but apparently it’s again election law, ha oops. I struggled because my hands are in such bad shape (dry and cracking… gross and painful), but Scott climbed A LOT!

How about that election eh? I watched the election results like Scott would watch the rugby world cup final, hahaha. So relieved we have a non-conservative government again. Scott was pretty happy about being able to vote in Canada for the first time too!

What else what else…

GE randomly threw a free nuclear medicine conference, which a bunch of us from VGH went to. They had a wine and hors d’oeuvres and we… had fun. Closed down the bar. The talks to the next day were pretty entertaining, and I learned a few new things too. It was fun to see a lot of techs from other hospitals that I hadn’t seen since being a student as well.

Scott won tickets to a Canucks pre-season game from work. We actually got to sit pretty close to the ice for once! They Canucks lost and the security people confiscated my bag of cherry blasters I tried to bring in. :/

We had another games day with Marjorie, Latif and Phil. We played King of Tokyo, For Sale (a super simple real estate card game), Galaxy Truckers, and an epic long game of Lords of Waterdeep with both expansions, which I won by 1 point. :D That’s my favourite game lately.

I got a haircut. It’s nice to not have so much hair. It took the girl 2 hours and 20 minutes hahahaha. Fun times at the Aveda Institute. At least is only cost $21.

Oh and like other years, we watched the AFL Grand Final at Moose’s Down Under. We had 20 people this year! Mmm those parmas were delicious. The game was not super exciting, but it was still fun, as usual.

Alright! I think I’m caught up. Until next time my friends!

I originally planned to do separate posts on all of these topics but now I’m sitting here in YVR airport about to leave for 2.5 weeks thinking I’d better just write a big post to catch up instead.

Scott and I are on our way to Melbourne for #jornapalooza via Guangzhou, China. Apparently we are allowed to leave the airport in China (thanks 72 hour transit visa) so we may explore a bit there too which I am pretty excited about. The subway goes right to the airport so it should be pretty easy. Unfortunately they speak mainly Cantonese there so I won’t be able to dazzle everyone with my sweet Mandarin skills though. But it would be fun to get some street food and look around a bit.

Australia is going to be fun too. The whole family has rented a big house on Phillip Island for the first few days, then Jessie comes to Melbourne for Easter and a baby shower, and then I go to Adelaide for a few days to visit Cassia! I am iksidid.

Anyway that’s pretty much all the updates about what’s coming up. And now to catch up on the last month…

Calgary was super good this year. We spent a week at COP training in the icehouse and on the skeleton track and then competed in an Alberta Cup race on the last day. I had a lot more success sliding there compared to last year. I have learned SO MUCH this season and understood the track and sliding so much more. My starts were very very slow compared to everyone else and I would start each run in last place, but I must be ok at driving because I ended up gaining spots every run. I ended up coming 4th in the race (out of 7 competitors). My goal was not to come in last place and I definitely succeeded in that so I was happy.

This year I stayed at Ally’s house the whole time and that was awesome. It’s always great to catch up with old friends and her and Scott are very fun. I was busy a lot of the time I was there but we still squeezed in going to a nice oyster restaurant, going out to the barn for a ride on her horse, and going to watch some of the Brier curling. BTW curling is really fun to watch live!

Sliding in Whistler was going pretty well too. Sliding from the top was getting less and less scary every day. Every session I would try and push just a tiny bit faster. We ended up having quite a big turnout for our last race of the season, BC Champs, including OTHER GIRL SKELETON SLIDERS!! I came in 4th, aka last place, but I was competing against World Cup/ICC level sliders so that was to be expected. I was still pretty happy because I got a huge PB time on the first day of the race, and then another PB on the second day.

BCBSA ended up giving out medals to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd places, and then a separate medal for the #1 BC slider. Originally they gave the BC medal to Jane, because she is from North Van (although she hadn’t even been in Whistler all season). But after the awards she came over and put the medal around my neck. She said I should have it because of my two PBs. :’) It meant a lot to me, that was really nice of her. So I now have my first skeleton medal.

I took a pretty big hit on my last run of the race so I decided that was a pretty good time to end the season. It has been nice to have spare time again, tbh. It was such a good season, with our new coach and new friends and new teammates. I learned SO MUCH. And now I have 6ish months to try and get stronger and faster on land before next season and tryouts. My goal for next year: an international race… which should be possible because I should be able to at least do the Whistler NAC race. Fingers crossed.

What else?..

We’ve been going to trivia every couple of weeks. Our team is called Patty O’Lanterns and we rule. We plan on doing a lot of trivia over the summer so let me know if you want to come sometime. We also plan on doing a lot of patio time at our house too.

Once I get back from Australia I am starting weightlifting lessons two times a week (instead of once a week) so next time you see me I’m going to be ripped.

All joking aside, this was actually a really tough week. Wednesday morning at work we all found out that our boss had unexpectedly passed away the day before. It was a huge shock and a huge loss for us all. He and some of my coworkers had worked together for more than 20 years, and his partner also works in our department. So so so sad. He was such a great guy and definitely a lot more than just a boss to us. Our work family lost a good friend. I will miss him.

Well we are getting pretty close to boarding time so I’m going to post this and get ready to go. Until next time (hopefully not for so long).