Monday, March 19, 2007

Cyborg Executive Assistant's Routine Update #2355

A bunch of random news..

1. My new job.. yes it is mail carrier, and yes, the company is what you think it is. Haha! I'm not gonna type it out because I know blogging about work can be.. detrimental, if one intends to stay for any length of time. Anyway, I'm beginning week two of training. Today was a very long and boring day learning about safe driving. Picture video upon driving video made by the national government. The last one, about winter driving, was very funny and I had to hide my snickering. It featured a slow-talking, happy-go-lucky guy with a French accent who kept trying to outrace the 'good guy' who was driving the company van. French guy kept accelerating into snow drifts and having to dig himself out, while 'good guy' drove on by, slowly and safely. Last week I actually got to spend a few days sorting and delivering mail on a 'footwalk.' It's a lot more work than it looks. Tomorrow I start three days of 'mobile training,' which means delivery using a truck. I don't think this job is going to be a 'lifelong career,' so I'm just treating it as a learning experience and as something that fits for the time being.

2. Remember the pleasantly plump receptionist at the orthotics place? (Ok, 'pleasantly plump' is me being very polite. She's quite hefty.) The last time I was there, she told me about how her sons were skiing at Whistler, but when I asked if she went skiing too, she said 'Are you kidding me? I'm too old for that stuff! I stayed in the hot tub!' She looks about 40. She's not even done half her life. And she seems like such a nice cheerful person with a young face.. it's a shame she limits herself like that. The funniest part, though, was when she said 'Have a good weekend!' and as I was halfway out the door she added "Oh, and try to gain some weight!' I thought I heard wrong, so I said "Try and what?" Try and gain some weight, she reiterated. I was a bit shocked, but I said "I'll try." You don't even want to know what I would have said if I'd spoken my mind. If I went around telling fat people to LOSE weight, I'd probably get beat up. Why is it okay to tell people to GAIN weight? Thin people need political correctness too!

3. This past Sunday I went hiking in the Lynn Canyon area in the pouring rain. We did a three hour loop on this closed-off trail beside a raging river. The water levels looked higher than the trail we were on, and I think we were actually pretty stupid to attempt the trail. We came across two landslides that had wiped out trees that were probably about 20-30 years old. The fresh conifer scent was delicious though. The trails were so waterlogged, they turned into rivers themselves, and we just sloshed through them because staying dry was no longer an issue. Overall, a great day.

4. I change interests faster than the weather. I think I have the skills required for fashion design, but I don't have the patience. Sewing takes patience and careful planning. I think I'm happiest just coordinating my own outfits, or at the very most, coordinating other ppl's outfits, but not sewing from scratch. So now I'm obsessed with survival, ecology, botanist, indiginous culture, and plant identification books. I've been reading a whole slew this month, including Bradford Angier's How To Stay Alive in the Woods and Ray Mears' Bushcraft Survival. My latest thought is it would be nice to in a few years get a bachelors and a masters in ecology, biology or environmental science, and somehow combine it with art and indiginous culture. I'm really interested in local first nations, such as the Nuu-Cha-Nulth clan on Vancouver Island. I'm also particularly interested in jungles and rainforests, including ours in B.C. I think it's better for me to pursue interests as hobbies first, before allowing them to influence my career. Part of the reason I chose the letter carrier job, for example, is to see if I can stand the rigors that would be associated with ecological fieldwork.

5. Aren't we cute smurfs? Katherine has alighted upon the town of fluffy sheep and green hills (aka Aberyswyth, Wales) and prior to that, we feasted on KOREAN BBQ at Insadong, which is said to be the best Korean BBQ place in Vancouver.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Lucid Dream

Ever lucid dreamt? Or had sleep paralysis? Or dreamt of the 'Old Hag?' They are all very common and if you google, you'll see that the Old Hag exists in all cultures. I think I dreamt of her because I've heard other ppl talk about such dreams, and wanted to have one myself! I had been woken up earlier, and was lying on my back, which are two common ways to ensure sleep paralysis occurs. I was awake enough to see that the room was bright, through my closed eyelids, but not awake enough to move or open my eyes.

In my dream, I was running through a huge circuit of connected buildings, looking for the 'haunted' one. I knew before I went in that I had found the right room, and as soon as I went in, there was an earsplitting, pervasive sound like standing next to a fire alarm, or a chainsaw. There were a whole bunch of action in the room.. the most chaotic, frantic movement by hundreds of thousands of beings that I couldn't see. And the 'old hag' was standing right in front of me, but to my left, in my peripheral vision. I couldn't see her face, but she was all in black and had super thick black hair piled over her shoulder.

As the chainsaw screamed and the room swirled, my arms and legs slowly raised. All this time I was conscious I was dreaming though, so I had some control over it. I said "hey, sexy" to the death hag (hahahahahhaa.. I can't believe I said that!) but she didn't react. So then I ran out of the room, and the ringing stopped, and the spirits disappeared. Then I ran in again.. two more times, and each time was just as terrifying as the first. When I woke up, I was extremely stiff and rigid, and was conscious that I had been whispering things while in my dream I had been trying to yell. And my feet were a little elevated whereas in my dream, my hands and feet were raised way up. And my room was super bright, like it had been in my dream.

I'm so screwed next week :(

The director at my job in the Surrey location has proven to be more and more incompetant over the past six months.. I lost 80% of my students there in the past month for example. I told him on March 1st that I start training for my new job on March 12th. I even sent TWO resumes of friends who are interested in replacing me. One of them I had to RESEND because he overlooked it when I sent it in January. My training starts Monday March 12th, and runs from 7 am to 3 pm. That means I have to get up around 5 am, and with the time change it will really be 4 am.

So I'm gonna be exhausted from training, and now, because he still hasn't hired anyone, he's begging me to work Monday and Wednesday. That means an hour and a half window to SPEED from downtown to Surrey during rush hour traffic, teach four hours, come back at 10, and get a maximum 7 hours sleep before waking up at 5 am again the next day. I feel so stressed just thinking about it, and I'm worried it might affect my knowledge retention at my new job.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

On Turning a Quarter Century..

I turned 25 today! At first I was sort of dismayed at the prospect. But now I'm okay with it, I guess. Sera took me out to Capone's tonight and totally spoiled me with sparkling wine, three tapas and three desserts! We had goat cheese bruschetta, salmon wrapped prawns, crabcakes, chocolate cheesecake, mango and raspberry sorbet, and mango creme brulee. We also went shopping beforehand. The boy got me the SAS survival book, and mini Vancouver plant identification pocket guide, both of which I was going to buy myself. So very intuitive gift.

Also went for goodbye dinner #2 with Kat and her close allies at Insadong (Korean BBQ). It was great having galbi again, and introducing people to it! And the night before, my family and boy went to Banana Leaf (Malaysian) which is also very good. One hour wait time though.. egads! Anyway, I spose its nice being 25 because you mellow out a bit when you're older and hopefully get a bit wiser. I wish I could be mellow, wise and 19 though. :(

Friday, March 02, 2007

Rods and Cones.

How do you view life? Is it cone-shaped, wherein you do all your exploring at a young age, and then narrow down into a select few activities you do when you are older? Or is it rod-shaped, whereby you are always trying new things, and make sure each and every synapse in your brain is ready for reception should something new come your way?

So I got a new job yesterday. It's a federal job and it involves lots of walking. There will be two weeks of training before I actually work. I'm a bit hesitant to give up the comforts of my current job, because, well, it's downright terrifying to suddenly jump into a brand new career when your current job is not too shabby. The only thing my current job can't offer me is more hours, and that's why I'm changing.

Anyway, because of all the walking that is to ensue, I went to see a podiatrist today. I was chatting with the receptionist, this pleasantly plump early-40-something lady. We talked about my first job (waitressing), third job (teaching English in Korea) and new job-to-be. She was remotely intrigued about Korea. Was it big and crowded? No, it didn't feel like it. In fact, I said, Vancouver felt more overcrowded upon my return.

Then she mentioned how it was good I got that travelling done and out of the way before I settled down and had no money (Cue perfect timing as she handed me the bill for $400). I nodded complacently and smiled but inside I thought, "ARE YOU SERIOUS??!!! What a defeatist way of thinking! I couldn't disagree more!

Why do people feel they have to be bound to things like a traditional office job, a mortgage, kids, marriage, boring jaunts to the local coffeeshop or drinks at the local watering hole as the only excitement in life? Who wrote the rule that you can only travel when you are young, that it's a frivolous, irresponsible thing to do, because you'd best be coming back to your home country to make babies and swim in debt?

I don't envy those people one bit. I want to continue to travel all through my life if I feel like it. Life is too short to conform to norms while reminiscing about the excitement you had when you were young. Life is too precious to waste it away wishing you could live in a hut in the Amazon rainforest, or sell all your belongings and become a surfer, or get a PH.D, or start a new business, or become an award winning photographer, when you could just do it now.