I quit my data entry job, kinda. Working 55+ hours a week at two jobs was really bumming me out, so after much deliberation I told my boss that I was too busy to work there any more. It was a hard decision because once my training at the hospital is done, my hours will drop off a lot. Thankfully he said if I want to come back later… I can! Great news!

Working at the hospital is going great. I am pretty much working full time until the new year. I am getting tons of training, and also covering some vacation. It’s been nice working on my own. Injections seem SO MUCH EASIER now that no one is watching me, haha! So far I have done a week on the MIBI cameras, and two weeks of hotlab training. Next week I will be doing cardio.

Skeleton last weekend was super fun. I was pretty nervous before the first session. I wasn’t sure what the coach was going to get us to do. Thankfully he suggested doing a few runs from Maple Leaf (curves 11-16) and then deciding if we want to move back up to Lower Ladies (curves 7-16). (Here is a little track map/infographic.)

I did three runs from Maple Leaf. The first one was crap because I was way too far forward on my sled. Then the second and third one were awesome, so I moved up to Lower Ladies. I did three more runs from there, beating all the boys, with a top speed of 117.51 km/hr. Then my neck was too tired so I skipped the last run.

The next day I started from Lower Ladies right away. I did four runs from there, beating all the boys again. The track was a little slower, so my top speed was only 116.09 km/hr. After four runs my neck was tired so I did the last three runs from leisurely Maple Leaf. Even though Maple Leaf seems so slow and boring I think it’s still worth doing because that is more track time for me. I can use those runs to think about things like making sure my heels are touching and what the corners look like.

I can’t wait until the next session because I am finally figuring out where I want to be in each corner (last year I was just along for the ride, haha!), and should be able to improve my times and speeds a bit. It’s been hard for us to get ice time though, because of those dang Olympics. Fingers crossed I get to go again by mid-December.

Morgan and I had a nice ladies night with wine and a fire and a movie and popcorn.

I finished a few more audiobooks since my last post.

  • Paper Towns by John Green, a YA novel that was entertaining, but nothing remarkable.
  • Allegiant by Veronica Roth, the third book in the Divergent series. I heard some people say they didn’t like it, but I thought it was fine.
  • 1984 by George Orwell, which I enjoyed, once I figured out that this was NOT the book with animals.
  • The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell, a pretty boring book about small things that turned small things into BIG things.
  • Steve Jobs – The Biography by Walter Isaacson, an interesting book that convinced me that I really do not like Steve Jobs. He was such a jerk to so many people!! And all those characteristics of Apple products that I strongly dislike (closed systems, glass screens, high prices etc. etc.) were pretty much all due to Steve Jobs himself. I would not have got along with him in real life.

Kevin asked me at work the other day how Scott was, and I replied “I have no idea.” because 1) I was only home for about 3 minutes in the last two weeks, and 2) he is growing some kind of horrific mustache and I refuse to look at him.

We have to clean out the pantry this weekend because we leave for Hawaii on Wednesday after work and then Rosemarie will be coming home with us! As far as I know she will stay with us in December and then find her own place for January. I’m looking forward to lots of sister time next month!!

Also HAWAII!!!! I can’t wait, I can’t wait!!!! (said Arthur)

I haven’t blogged about anything non-food in almost a month!! OOPS!! So now I will attempt to catch up in one giant update post.

We bought a car!! It’s a 2005 Subaru Impreza wagon. It has a fair number of km on it but it’s in very good condition. We are very happy with it so far! PS insurance is so expensive here!!!!! It doesn’t help that I’ve only had my BC license for three years so I don’t get a big discount. :( The car will make getting to early morning hospital shifts (if/when I ever get a job) and Whistler a lot easier though.

Also Brett (Scott’s bro) is coming to visit in less than a week! It sounds like his visit is going to be spent watching as many different types of North American sports as possible. It will be great to see him here, and I know Scott is really looking forward to it.

Our TV is broken. It still has a red light on the front but instead of turning on it just makes clicking noises. Anyone know anything about this or what’s the best way to get it fixed? It’s a Samsung and had a two year warranty but it has been 25 months. GROAN.

I passed my exam (not sure if I already wrote about that already), and graduated. Still no job though.

The graduation was small and somewhat annoying (we had to go four hours early to rehearse standing up and sitting down while being sniped at by a lady we didn’t know) but it was very nice to see our class again. Only one more person has been hired since the end of the summer, bringing the grand total to 3 out of 14. Stuff is definitely happening right now though… lots of internal staff rearrangement… which hopefully opens up a couple more casual jobs for us. Cross your fingers for me please!

I am grateful for being able to go straight back into my old typing job. At least I am working full time, making (some) money and keeping busy. A lot of my classmates are also looking for side jobs and struggling with that a bit so I am relieved it was simple for me to find something. I asked my boss about continuing to work there in conjunction with working at a hospital (theoretically) and he said he needs me for a fixed schedule, which doesn’t really work as I need to basically be on call for the hospital and that is my priority. BUT, he also said I could work in the evenings, so I will most likely do that a few days a week.

We went to my friend Tanie’s house a couple weeks ago to play Ascension (with 80 million expansions). I didn’t do very well but it was still fun. Scott downloaded the game onto his iPad (surprisingly it is free), and since then has played approximately 90,000 games (±500). That probably means that next time I will do REALLY bad.

Lesley came over after graduation for a games marathon. She moved to Cranbrook for a nuc med job so we don’t see her often any more. It was good to hang out, I missed her. We played multiple games each of Settlers, Carcassonne and Wasabi and drank multiple drinks, hehe. Then we had extreme couponing Church’s Chicken (coupons on coupons on coupons) for dinner. Thanks Lesley for treating us!

A Dutch friend I met on Fraser Island in Australia came to visit Canada and stayed with us for one night. I already mentioned this in my daily dinners post but her and her bf rented a car and drove from Vancouver to Alaska to Whitehorse to Banff and back to Vancouver. Such a cool trip, I would love to do that some day!! They saw lots of cool animals and beautiful landscapes. We went out for sushi dinner. Femke’s first time eating sushi and we took her to the Eatery?! Banana sushi was the hit of the evening. If she ever has regular sushi she’s going to think it’s so boring.

We went to the UBC apple festival for the fourth year in a row. It’s a tradition! We went with Gillian and Bryan again (this could have also gone under the Friends category!!) and enjoyed the much less damp weather from last year. I was worried my face would get all itchy from eating so many apples but surprisingly it didn’t. Scott and I bought a bag of apples each but mine haven’t been very good. I do enjoy a soft apple but my Fiesta apples are all bruised and marked and a little gross inside. Disappointing considering how much they cost. We also bought a sampler pack of three types of balsamic reductions, and a piece of apple pie (for Scott).

Vancouver has had CRAZY fog for the past few weeks. Our lovely view of the mountains turns in to total greyness for 20 hours of the day. It looks kinda cool sometimes, but is also very very damp. This blog post has a whole bunch of really cool Vancouver fog photos.

The skeleton season is starting and I am SO IKSIDID!!! I’m going up to Whistler today to watch the Canadian selection races (where they decide which level of competition circuit each athlete will get to do this season–the first step for them to qualify for the Olympics). I’m excited because all levels of skeleton people will be there and I already follow A LOT of them on Twitter… and now I’ll get to see them all in real life! Some other countries have started doing their selection races too and it’s really interesting (to me) to see how they all progressed over very intense pre-Olympic summer training. I could ramble on much longer about this but I don’t think anyone else is as big of a skeleton nerd as me, haha.

As for myself, I will be going up in a couple weeks for my first skeleton school of the season. I am excited, and scared. Can’t wait to fly down that track though, and I’m super super curious to see how much my weight lifting and core work has paid off.

I have been doing a lot of different fitness stuff lately! Last week I did two weights sessions and two cardio sessions (I never want to do cardio, so this was an accomplishment), and this week I did one weights, one cardio, and two bikram yoga sessions.

My 10 class yoga groupon is about to expire so I finally went to redeem it. I suck at it so far, but that is to be expected as I have never done yoga at all before. Today was a bit easier than Thursday and I imagine my next class will be even better. PS holy moly, sweat was pouring off me like an actual rain shower. DRIP DRIP DRIP DRIP. I like how nice and loose and relaxed I feel after the class.

We’ve been really busy lately, and my awkward 10am-6pm work shift has made it pretty hard to squeeze in exercise, but I am getting better at finding time. It astounds me how much my attitude has changed in the last 6 months, and that I actually want to make exercising a priority. WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME??!!

Since my last book post on October 3rd, I finished (via audiobook):

  • Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn, her first book, a thriller like her others
  • How to Approach and Flirt With Women by Carlos Xuma, because why not, an insight into what dudes think about
  • Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon, a historical novel about two cousins, and comics
  • Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace, the world’s longest book, which I found pretty tedious
  • Looking for Alaska by John Green, a YA novel to revive me after Infinite Jest. Short and sweet.

And I started Paper Towns, also by John Green. He really loves the manic pixie dream girl type, doesn’t he. :/

That list looks extremely short to me for nearly a whole month, but Infinite Jest took TWO STRAIGHT WEEKS of 7.5 hour shifts to finish. Man that is a long book!! I didn’t even really like it that much, but by the time I realized it was boring I was already about 1/4 of the way through and then I just wanted to finish it for the sake of finishing it. There were some interesting parts, I liked the story lines of the half way house people, and the kids at tennis school, but a lot of the rest was zzzzz.

DID YOU KNOW, that if you don’t have a Costco membership you can just get someone to buy you a giftcard (with your money), and then you just show that at the front entrance and they let you in! And then if you buy more than your giftcard you can just pay the rest in cash. Loophole!! We did this and got veggie burgers and base layer and jalapeno poppers and soap and all sorts of other junk. But they didn’t have any samples at all and I was sad.

OK I’m out!

Working at the data centre has been fine. It’s very boring and repetitive but it’s also very easy and low stress. My audiobooks get me through the day.

I already finished:

  • Gulp by Mary Roach, a book about the entire alimentary canal, from eating to pooping. It was interesting, and at times gross.
  • The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom, a book set in 1790 about slavery and stuff.
  • Freakanomics by Steven Levitt, a book using economics to explain random stuff. It was interesting I guess but I can’t trust anything anyone says if it’s only based on one person’s research.
  • Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls by David Sedaris, another one of his usual books. Entertaining.

and I started Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn today.

I seriously love love LOVE that part of the job. Who else can say they finished four books in four days?! If any of you readers have boring jobs I highly recommend audiobooks.

Although fingers crossed I get a nuc med job soon…

Until that happens I will continue to paint my nails multiple neon colours. Those awesome food nail decals are from my internet friend Sara M Lyon’s Etsy shop, btw. They were pretty easy to apply and are super cute! I love everything that she makes.

The week ahead:

I’m going to the Fraser Valley Food Show this weekend, as a food blogger. I get to be driven there by a car service. FANCY. Hopefully we make it in time for the sausage making competition. I haven’t been to this food show before but it sounds pretty similar to Eat! Vancouver and Eat! Vancouver is AWESOME. So I’m excited.

I also need to figure out how to accomplish things around a 10AM-6PM shift. I meant to go to the gym in the morning before work but I’ve been semi-sick all week and it’s only happened once. I love sleeping in! Problem is, by the time I get home from work and eat dinner and check my internets things it’s dark and late and I’ve wasted away the whole day. Hopefully next week is more productive. I woke up before my alarm today so that’s a good sign.

Today I went back to work at my old data entry job from before BCIT. It was scary how fast everything came back. Obviously this rewind of life is not exactly ideal, but I’m happy they took me back so I have something to do while I wait for the hospitals. I’m putting my earnings in my skeleton fund.

I already finished one audiobook, haha. (We Need To Talk About Kevin – Lionel Shriver – BBC serialization – very good)

I kind of wish I could rewind of life my hair back. I mean I guess my DIY ombré turned out fine (although a touch too orange) but when I see how soft my hair looks in that before picture…. I sort of wish I still had that. I never had split ends before and yesterday I found a hair that branched into 5 pieces, LIKE A BROOM. Oops I killed my hair.

Oh well though, at least hair grows.

Oh my goodness catching up on blogging is taking AGES. Good thing I don’t have much school work to do this weekend! I’m almost done though, I’ve finished my Fiji recaps and my next (DOUBLE) daily dinners post is almost finished and ready to post on Monday morning. Hooray!

Today I thought I’d just tie up a few loose ends and get completely caught up.

My overall impressions of Fiji are AWESOME. I LOVED my trip and I’m so grateful that I got to see and do so much. I feel like I got quite a decent picture of Fiji since I got to see it from so many different viewpoints: as a tourist, as an international student, as a local etc etc. It was great having Rosemarie to show me around and introduce me to her friends from Fiji and all over the place.

Fiji is a little more expensive than South East Asia but it’s also so much less stressful because (almost) no one tries to scam you! It seems that Fijians are very honest people. I found the prices to be generally fair and there were no tricks. I’m sure there are exceptions to this but really I didn’t have any problems. It is also handy that there is no language barrier.

One thing about travelling in Fiji though is that you have to be pretty willing to eat whatever is made for you. At a lot of the resorts you don’t get any choices and your dinner will just be brought out for you already served up on a plate. This is pretty much my favourite way to dine, so I was happy, haha. But if you’re a bit picky you might go a little hungry and I would pack some extra snacks.

I would totally return to Fiji. It’s really not too far from Australia so I’m quite confident we will return some day.

It was also soooooooooooo nice to spend so much sister-time with Rosemarie. She was fairly busy with school while I was there but we still managed to squeeze in a lot of visits. YAY! And then the family reunion at the end of the trip??! Even better! (It would have been perfect if Scott could have come too. :()

Oh kokoda, how I love you. I ate this FOUR times in Fiji. The first was homemade by Rosemarie. Then we ate it together for lunch at Beachouse. Then it was available for lunch at Octopus Resort, where my gushing convinced EVERYONE at the table to try it as well. And then finally they had it at my last meal (lunch) in Fiji on Robinson Crusoe Island. I WAS SO HAPPY.

I read 8.5 books on my Kindle on my trip. KINDLES ARE AWESOME. I read Hopeless, Safe Haven, The Silver Linings Playbook, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, The Power of Habit, Warm Bodies: A Novel, White Teeth, The New Rules of Lifting for Women, and half of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (no insignificant feat!).

I went to Trader Joe’s in Los Angeles again on the way home and they were sold out of cookie butter AGAIN! I seriously almost cried. I am cookie butter cursed, I swear.

Since I’ve been home I’ve just been at school mostly. I’m back at the gym too following a new weight lifting plan that I’m very excited about. And we had a games night the other night with Lesley. I don’t have very much school work so this weekend has been nice and relaxing. I am so so so close to finished school!!! (5 more weeks of classes/clinical, then 3 months of clinical over the summer…. at SURREY!! my first choice!!!). Then DONE!!! I CAN’T WAIT!!!