After a long (short!) week of work I am off to Whistler for a skeleton weekend. It’s my first session of the season and I am excited and also scared. I wonder what we’re going to do this weekend and I wonder how it’s going to feel! I’ve got better clothing this year, so hopefully I stay a little warmer. I’m also stronger this year, so hopefully things are a little easier. We shall see!

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!

Oh my god so much sweet potato!!

september 22nd, 2013 – vegetarian chilli

september 23rd, 2013 – blue cheese yam fries and grilled steak

september 24th, 2013 – slowcooker pot roast with barley, and roasted sweet potato

This was from a Canadian Living recipe. It didn’t turn out as nice as I hoped. The beef wasn’t very moist, which is weird because usually everything comes out super tender from the slowcooker! :(

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I’ve been putting this post off for a long time, because I didn’t want to be all “LOOK AT ME I’M SO GREAT AT FITNESS” and then end up not sticking with it and looking stupid. But it’s been 6 months now and I’m still going to the gym on a regular basis so I think it’s safe to say I’m somewhat committed.

Before six months ago I hated exercising, I thought. But actually I think I really just hated running. I did the Couch To 5K program a couple years ago and hated every second of it. When I got home from a run I felt like puking! People say things like ~you never regret a workout~ but when I’d come home from running with a purple face, shins hurting, and feeling a thousand times worse than I did before the run, I DID REGRET THE WORKOUT. I was quite content on the couch before I went out!!

But then I got into skeleton. Skeleton isn’t really the sportiest of sports (probably part of the reason I like it), but even as a beginner it does involve walking up inclines, carrying really heavy things around, and keeping your body really tight on the way down. And I sucked at that. So I joined a gym.

I started with the cardio equipment because they weren’t as scary. But upon further research I realized I really needed to be in the weight room. I got a bunch of books on weightlifting from the library and tried to memorize some of the exercises [this was pre-smartphone] and slowly started trying more and more things out in the weight room. It was terrifying at first!! Weights are intimidating! I mostly stuck to the machines and dumbbells at the beginning, and only when it wasn’t very busy. [Getting my new phone later helped a lot because you can sneakily look things up while at the gym.]

I followed the dumbbell only routines from The Body Sculpting Bible For Women for several weeks. They were fun and challenging and not too complicated. The best thing was writing down the weights I used in a little notebook [eventually replaced by phone] and seeing the numbers go up and up every time. Super addicting! I finally understood what people meant when they said they never regretted a workout because I always felt great after a sweaty lifting session.

Over the past few months I’ve progressed from those timid dumbbell moves to exciting stuff like deadlifts and power cleans with the barbell! I’m a million times more confident at the gym now. It’s been a fun journey, thanks to watching other people, reading on the internet, and coaching from my skeleton friend.

My original weight lifting goals were to try not to embarrass myself at the skeleton tryouts, but then they took out the weight lifting part anyway. My new goals are to get my benchpress to 100 lbs, and my squat and deadlift to bodyweight. And to be able to do pull-ups and handstands.

I may be smiling in that picture but actually I felt like puking from nervousness!! I was so so so scared to actually do the tryouts. Scott had to drag me there, pretty much. I felt more nervous than I do before giving presentations!!!

Thankfully it ended up being a super small group (5 people) and not super intimidating. My sprint performance was pretty pathetic but I apparently had the best broad jump form. (THANK YOU YOUTUBE!) I jumped 1.78 m which is only about ONE METER TOO SHORT. Lol.

But I guess since so few people actually showed up I made the team? I’m just kidding grandma. I don’t have the time/money to actually do that anyway. Even though it was slightly embarrassing I’m still glad I went and glad I got the chance to show Ivo that I am still really interested in skeleton. I guess it worked because he talked about bringing us to Calgary to try running starts in the icehouse in a couple weeks!!

BTW my skeleton goals:

  • Year 1: Break 100 km/hr. DONE.
  • Year 2: Move up starting positions. DONE.
    • break 120 km/hr (this was mostly Chris’s goal but I beat it first so it became my goal too). DONE.
  • Year 3: do a running start!