Tag Archives: UBC

long time no post I must say

19 Jul

I haven’t been super busy or anything, just haven’t been posting.

I have a little more than 2 weeks left teaching Explore at UBC and then right into the 3 week English for the Global Citizen at ELI at UBC. And then I’ll be done on August 24th, thrust again into the land of the unemployed.  I will be teaching a once a week evening Business English course at Langara College for 8 weeks starting in October, so that’s good. But other than that, no idea yet again.  ESL seaason is winding down but I’ve sent out my revamped resume to different places but who knows. I’m hoping not to have to live on my (small amount of) savings for too too long. 

A few of the folks I used to work with at the corporation – 3 to be exact – are now working at another downtown school that has the exact same initials as the corporation except for one letter.  Tis how international school works – most are blah blah international college, with the word college being used very very loosely. I was quite shocked that one of them has gone back to that world – she had vowed never to.  Uh well.  Luckily for me in a way, the international schools are wrapping up their busy season and laying people off so that I don’t have to live that particular nightmare again.  But I get why folks are choosing to go back – the need for a job, for routine, socializing, money to live on, etc.  I have the exact same needs of course if not more so – sitting around for me is so so bad.

The Explore program, I am not going to kid you, is most definitely not for the faint of heart to teach for many reasons none of which I will go into here!  Don’t want to be seen as anything less than super positive about teaching up at UBC.  But it is by far, by far, the most exhausting teaching I’ve done in 13 years.  But having said that, I still vastly prefer it to the radical boredom I came to feel at the corporation.  For me and I of course only speak for me, that radical boredom transfers to any downtown international school, and the pay would be almost non-existent.  At UBC, I’ve managed to save a bit for the next round of unemployment, which is nice but which, yes, will go quickly.  I’m also LOVING the building I am teaching out of – at UBC, you kinda get moved to whatever classroom in whatever building is available.  So for four of these five weeks it is at the Sauder School of Business – well, just two of the five classes of which i am one.  Swanky-o-rama.  Built in computer and two projectors and all sorts.  Well-modulated air conditioning and lots of windows.  Not bad, not bad at all.  Makes me feel like a professor.  The other four teachers are unfortunately stuck in the Math building which is apparently far less swanky.

I’ve been insomniaing again a lot a lot and such.  So today I went for a massive bike ride – first I rode to UBC and then after down to 43rd and NW Marine Drive and up hills and hills and hills and a few hills and back.  I may not sleep well still, but a few hours after I am SO MUCH calmer it is amazing.  When I used to jog that had the same effect.  I have to remember this and I have to do this every day.  Might rid me of the muffin top eventually too, though one can’t spot lose fat.

Have you ever seen yourself on video?  Yikes, that is terrifying!

My awesome 15-year-old niece, C, lives in Ottawa.  She is off this week with Global Expeditions Mexico Baja on a sort of mission trip.  I’m proud I have to say.  It’s amazing how emotions sneak up.  Global has a FB page and are posting photos of the kids (haven’t seen her pic yet) and each time I look I just cry and cry (not in a bad way!).  There are some things that are deeper than words.  It is a rare thing to find a teenager who will raise the money and head out on such an adventure.  She’ll never forget this and neither will I. Well, until my memory fails and I only remember that I like orange jello.

I need a job that doesn’t end!  Uh yes, that too shall come.

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I shall stop forsaking the blog

15 Jun

My fanbase has deserted me and I don’t blame you.

I haven’t blogged since May.  No!  No!  I say.

No excuses really.  I think my wee temp. job is causing me stress and this has somehow frozen me blog-wise.

Although the weather has been so bad in Vancouver that I could literally actually freeze.  Today is sunny and the first day that has been sunny in awhile.  Tonight the rains are a coming and it is to rain every day for at least a week.  Sheesh, I say, sheesh.

The Quebecois students in the Explore program I am teaching also say eeek.  They haven’t had any nice weather during their almost 5 week stay here.  This weekend they are all going to Tofino and it is supposed to pour, poor dears.  The next (and last for the year) Explore starts in July, so hopefully better weather for those folks.

A friend pointed out yesterday that I have a muffin top.  Sigh.  Well, the body it does change once one is say, past 40.  Sigh.  Sigh.  Do men have muffin tops?  I really do notice my body changes and even in my face, getting a bit jowly or some such.  The brain definitely stays younger than the body!  I find it all depressing but then most people do I imagine.  Men often age better although some bloat out (Al Gore, John Travolta) or kinda get frail (Bill Clinton, George Clooney a bit).  Women have a harder time of it.  Oh, the shallowness of it all but still something one does think about.    Especially when one is single.  Oy.

Speaking of exercise, I’ve been absolutely thrilled to be back at Kitsilano Pool, even though it has been cold!  The water is heated to 25C which is great.  It’s just the getting out that is chilly chilly and brrr.  I walk home in 8 minutes or so and then take a hot shower.  I look forward to the (hopefully) coming days of summer when I can lounge in the sun (or shade) afterward.  When first back, I was having trouble getting my breath and had to stop several times.  This is improving so that’s good.  Today I will definitely go swimming, yee haw.

I think I’m losing my blog ability or maybe like swimming it takes awhile to get it back on track.  Your patience is appreciated while I undergo construction.  We will be open for business during this transitional period.

So I’ve now taught 4 of the 5 weeks of the first of two Explore programs at UBC.  Next week is the final week, filled with tests, dinners, interviewing and evaluating.  Should be quite busy but two free dinners so really, not so awful.  Then an (unpaid) ten days off (due to the July 1st holiday it’s a nice stretch), then 5 more weeks of Explore, then 3 weeks back at ELI and then back to unemployment! Well, at least I’ll have had 13 weeks of solid work.  My EI is all but done so I’ll be living on my savings come August 24th.  Eeek.  I’m going to try and get a few irons in the fire before the end, as it were but the job market remains tight and ESL, the career I am still trying to get out of but realistically am still in at the moment,  gets a whole lot smaller come fall/winter.    Wow, the will be my second September unemployed!  Wow.  But what a tax return I will get at the end of the year!  That’s a good way of looking at it me thinks.

On the week off in between programs, I’ve already got a couple of appointments (non work related) set up and am hoping the weather is good for a lot of kits pool lying around (er, laying around?).   I don’t really need a week off seeing as I’ve had a bunch of weeks off over the last while but I will gladly take it.  Explore is intense – the students are intense, fluent and demanding.  Some are lovely, some are awesome.  ALL are demanding.  And it is some work developing curriculum from scratch!

But we’ve had three nice field trips – we are required to do three field trips per session, hopefully in something related to what we have been learning.  We went to the Beaty Biodiversity Museum at UBC – a fascinating museum that has as its calling card, the skeleton of a huge blue whale from PEI.  We watched a 45 minute film on how they got this whale from PEI to Vancouver -very interesting.  We went to Chinatown.  It was rainy and cold unfortunately but the students enjoyed it.  The big hit, though, to my surprise, was the CTV tour we did yesterday.  CTV isn’t giving tours at the moment due to massive construction but I know people who work there so lucky my students!  Apparently the CBC tour others did wasn’t so good, with a less than enthussiastic tour guide.  Our CTV tour guide was really great and the students LOVED it which surprised and thrilled me.  They can most definitely be a picky picky bunch of folks.  So, relief.  It was nice to be downtown again too, I miss the downtown vibe type thing.  So of course I went to Chapters and spent money and to MAC Cosmetics.  I rarely go to MAC and when I do the stuff I get lasts a long time.  Phew, it’s hard not to spend money when you get a paycheque, even though I know I need to be saving most of what I make for my upcoming rainy days. It’s kinda like a trick of the mind thinking I can actually spend money on something other than food, cable, internet,  transportation and hydro.  Oh and chips.

Today the students are working on their presentations and I am blogging.  The Wifi at UBC drops and undrops, kinda like a mystery.  I therefore learned how to download videos I wanted to show which saved a lot of stress.

These students are smart smart and most are having great fun with the weekend trips, the week night activities and club hopping.  They are exhausted though and most have caught rather vicious colds, which they gave to me last week.  No surprise there.  I muddled through until last weekend where I hermitted up even more than usual which I think helped me to get better much more quickly..  Achoo, etc.

What else?  oh geez I’ve been commenting on a few different Mormon blogs now – an odd obsession really.  I must stop picking on the Mormons!

More later.

Overbiked me thinks

13 May

Hello, wee wee fan base (also known as:  small fan base). Well, the sunny and warm days are rolling out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Twas hot yesterday (20C) and even hotter today.  I am going to sit on Kits beach in a minute, perhaps in the shade this time.  I think I got a little heat exhaustion from yesterday.  I had a lovely afternoon sitting at the beach with C. and her dog and then had coffee with Karen Moe (two names given so you know that I am not talking about myself).  I worked with her for many years at the corporation and now she is running her own dog photography/people portraits business and doing quite well too.  She took the self-employment program through EI after she left the corporation. She is already an artist and such so it’s an excellent fit.  She puts in mega hours and I’m quite proud of her, sniffle.  Now mind you, I hadn’t really eaten that much yesterday when I saw her – something about overbiking and heat makes me not so hungry.  But wowza was I ever dizzy/zoned out with her.  So after a little while I headed home and stopped at a Japanese place to buy some overpriced takeout.  This I should not do when I’m not reallly so much employed.  The expensive part is the vegetable tempura – which I love love love.  Or raher, let’s be honest, I love the breading.  And some beef teriyaki = a lot o money.  Twas needed though in my tummy.  I need to stop messing with the not eating right as it well, messes me up.  Why am I so dizzy/lightheaded/fainty?  I wonder.  Oh yes, I haven’t eaten in three days, that might be it.  Then I have to eat stuff like veggie dogs from the Trout Lake canteen.  Lord have mercy.

Speaking of eating, tomorrow is my first meeting for my job that officially starts May 22, after the long weekend.  It is at, and I know I’ve mentioned this but bear with me as I’ve never evver had a lunch meeting before, the Sage Bistro at UBC’s University Centre. Wowza – I looked up their menu online and it is posh and expensive.  I wonder if they have a set lunch for these types of meetings – no fish!  no fish! people and there is a whole lot of fish up there at that bistro.  I’m even going to dress up all businessy – well, out of my shorts anyway.  (Phew, says the wee wee fan base).  I have some great skirts actually accumulated from WHEN I HAD A JOB but not really shoes or tops to go with them.  Alas, I’m not going to be buying a lot of clothes since my jobs is temporary. So I hope that I learn more about the job and get a good idea on how to start prepping.  I’m a tiche nervous about that – as I say, there is no curriculum whatsoever,  just some very general guidelines.  I want a key or something to a photocopier so I can come up this week and like photocopy and such.  Mind you, you never really know what you know till you see the whites of the students’ eyes.

Oh!  And Kits. pool, which should be open today since it is so nice out, is opening on Saturday.  I’m hoping the weather holds.

Speaking of changes (well, I was originally but then I deleted some of it)- NBC cancelled the brand new series,”Awake.” Now I’ve seen a whole lot o tv shows in my time, starting with Sesame Street (which thankfully has not been cancelled yet.  Knock wood!!!!  Wood knock!!!!!) to the Waltons (like manna from heaven) to thirtysomething (Maggie May loves this show more than I do, as does Gail) to Greys Anatomy (really?  A plane crash?  My theory is that Arizona will be a paraplegic and have a super hard time dealing with that which will be shown when she is caring for her and Callie’s baby and drops something and can’t pick it up.  This will take up all of next season.  Lexie is the one who will die I think (some major character does but not the original six we are told).  Alex will stick around Seattle Grace to help out Arizona and the rest of the gang will stay too in order to properly process Lexie’s death and help to push Arizona’s wheelchair. (wow, that was insensitive) and Iknow for crappy TV and have watched it to soothe my soul.  But Awake was really, really good. It had a kind of science fictiony concept which I don’t usually like but it also was a procedural detective drama, a drama about a family and a drama about a man living in two worlds and not knowing which one was real.  A great cast, even the actress who played his wife who of course was too young for that role was excellent.  It had me riveted, partly because you never knew what was real and what wasn’t and there were clues everywhere.  So, of course, because it was intelligent and different, it was cancelled. Sigh.  Two more episodes I think.

Back in the day – TV had a chance to build an audience – heck, thirtysomething wasn’t that popular its first season.

Anyway, you can find Awake online and you might want to watch all 13 of its episodes, in order.

Uh well, life goes on.

I’m going to go sit on the beach.

Make sure you know your bib number

8 May

Well, tiny fan base (also sometimes known as wee), I actually did a bit of volunteering over the weekend.  It was just three hours but volunteers did not build Rome in a day after all, or something like that.  And I got a t-shirt!  The BMO sponsored Vancouver marathon was this past weekend.  I’d wanted to volunteer on the actual day, but they had me up for Saturday at the Vancouver Convention Centre, where runners signed up and where there was also the ‘health’  fair or some such buy stuff from us thing.

My role was to stand in front of boards with bib numbers, which runners needed before they could register farther down the line.  “Make sure you have your bib number!” I said as they walked past, over and over and over.  I did not mind this, although my back got soreish.  It was kinda fun.  Although I kept saying ‘bin’ instead of ‘bib’.  I think bin is easier to say when you have to say it repeatedly.   Hmmm, interesting.  A few people asked me questions about where to eat, where the skytrain was, etc.  Many many international folks  were running in the marathon.  And people of all shapes, sizes and ages too.  42 kilometres!!!!!!!!  I quiver at the thought.  There was the half-marathon too.

I used to run (er jog) and got quite serious about it too – at one point ran up to 90 minutes.  It was the best way to lose weight, I found and the best natural anti-anxiety.  But, alas, my knees complained but more importantly, my ankles.  My joints are naturally loose and my ankles, one long ago badly sprained, started to give out at random times and I’d tumble to the ground. This still happens sometimes but usually only after I’ve been wearing bad shoes or some such but still.  Even after I do the elliptical I find this.  Yikes.  So now I fair weather cycle and swim (Kits pool opens on May 19th!!!!!!).  It’s going to be chilly but I shall be there, I think with Glenda unless she is still in Italy.  So really, during the winter months, I don’t so much exercise. On Friday, I rode 20 miles or so, up to UBC and then around NW Marine Drive to 41st and back to Kitsilano.  And yesterday to Queen Elizabeth Park and back.  A lot for an old gal, I’m telling you.  I’d texted my epic ride to my former UBC boss.  She texted back, saying she had just done the Grouse Grind.  And this woman is older than I am by a bit and a half.  “Uh yes, I texted back, but did you ride your bike up the grind?”

Anyway, on Sunday morning the full length marathoners were running by a block from my place at around 10 am.  I stood out there for about half an hour cheering them on.  One woman, a volunteer, was shouting out their names (which are on their bibs) and you could see that it was so encouraging for them.  I teared up actually.  People were running in this incredibly long race and others were cheering them on.  Sniffle, sniffle and outright crying on my part.  The fellow who won the marathon is from Ethiopia I believe and came in at around 2 hours and 21 minutes, which means he ran faster than a four minute mile the whole way.  Whoa, whoa and whoa. 

And so that was my volunteering.  I’m sure I could have volunteered more but I didn’t know when I signed up if I would be working or not.  Tricky.

Hmmm, so I’m still free until the first teacher/coordinator/head of dept. meeting on May 14, up at a bistro at UBC. I believe it is a free lunch!!!!!  Yee haw, I say.  It’s kinda unpaid but I don’t mind so much.  At that point we will meet our team teachers (morning classes are shared by two teachers) and hopefully get more of an idea on how to prep.  Then aa week to prep and boom, May 22, although we don’t meet the students until May 23 when we test them in the morning, teach in the afternoon and go on a 3 hour welcome cruise with them around Burrard Inlet.  I believe there will be alcohol on board (all students must be at least 19 to attend Explore) so should be . . . interesting indeed. 

Three months of work with a week off at the end of the first session – unpaid but what can you do.  Of course I’m already thinking ahead to August 24 when I will be unemployed again!  UBC”s student numbers have been very low and all sorts and the next short programs don’t begin until Feb and they often only use the teachers they already have and etc.  Sigh.  Yes, I know, I know, thinking too much ahead!  Aw . . . . just being realistic.  ESL peaks in the summer and dies in the fall/winter.  However, the three months of work will be a great chance to be at UBC and to be like a normal (well) person again and etc. and not just spending money.  I really do have to start to try and wake up early again and etc.

What else?  I thought there was something else?  La la la la la la.  Oh, I did watch a documentary about a woman who loves objects and married the Eiffel Tower but really, that is just disturbing and sensationalistic and thus great to watch.

Kits pool, wee wee fan base.  Be there.

 

 

12 roofers roofing

23 Apr

Well, actually, far fewer today, thank goodness.  They have moved the noisy air compressor to the other side so it is much more tolerable.  And they are banging less.  Their ladders and such are all in front of my bedroom window though which I’m sure has nothing to do with the fact that I am entertaining guests in the bedroom.  I joke, wee fan base, I joke.

Oh, just now it is loud again with those loud drilly things.  Oh, we had been doing so so well.  They are either speaking Spanish or Tagalog.  Sometimes I think Tagalog, sometimes Spanish and sometimes I think like maybe a dead language like Latin.  Why would the roofers be speaking a dead language like Latin?  True.  But why not?  I’ll stick my head out in a minute and ask if they are speaking Latin and if so, I will ask them to come inside and perform a traditional Catholic mass but not with communion by intinction as we all know that is how I got that never ending virus from that communion time at my wee United Church. 

“That is not how you got it,” insists Rev. Beth, since she notes that I no longer partake in the monthly communion.

“Is too,” I say.

Rev. Beth is in Seattle this week with Mr. Rev. Beth (also a minister) as they are taking a course.  If I have a spiritual emergency (or if anyone in the congregation does), they are just supposed to ‘suck it up.’  Ha, I joke.  Actually, the Wed. evening Hebrew scholar bible study minister that I enjoy is the emergency contact.  Good, good, comforting.

I woke up this morning (for which I am thankful for) and was all in a twitter because I knew it was going to be another long unemployed day.  Oh, now the roofers are suddenly making a whole new loud noise.  Anyway, I paced for a few minutes.  I sent out a few more resumes, obsessively checked my phone to make sure it worked and etc (actually, it broke down for a few minutes this afternoon, horrors).   Pace, pace, a welling of panic.  My teeth throbbed, my heart throbbed (as a youth, my main heart throbs were Shawn Cassidy, Leif Garrett, John Travolta (eww) and Anson Williams.  Oh and Matthew unspellable last name from Little house on the prairie (he played Albert).  I sent him a long fan letter I remember but it came back, address unknown. Sniffle.  Oh and Richard Dean Anderson!  Pre-Macgyver days, General Hospital days. Apparently I wrote him some poems because I remember getting a postcard back with his pic on it, some generic typed stuff and IN HANDWRITING HIS I AM SURE  ‘great poems!’ I remember this so clearly.  Wish I’d kept the postcard.  Heart throb throb), etc.  It’s tricky this week after week after week, never knowing when it will end, when an actual job that lasts will turn up.

So I biked up to UBC and had coffee with my ELI former great boss, S.  We are very similar in our love of yakkity yakking.  And I thank her, because I had a whole lot of yakkity yak stored up which she let me, well, yak out.  We even talked a little celebrity gossip!  And our mutual love of Johnny Depp, although I pointed out that I think he’s gone off the rails as of late.  Man-child type thing.  She didn’t know of the Jolie-Pitt engagement so I filled her in.  It’s not often that you can yakkity yak with a boss.  I enjoy this boss even though she has zero pull in getting me more work.  That’s true boss love, people.

Tomorrow morning, oh the excitement, I am going to one of the new employment centres and getting a new case manager.  I even have an appointment time.  This case manager can’t actually do anything for me but an appointment!  I put it on my calendar in case I forgot that I have an appointment!

The Latin roofers’ drilling sounds like a dentist’s drill. Mass shall begin at 5.  Come on by if you like.

Hello.

3 Apr

How are you?  How are things?  What’s new?  Are you stil having phantom pain from where your newly amputated foot used to be?

Phew. I’m keeping my ‘hello’ gambits from getting rusty.

Hmmm, I want to keep my wee blog active but I’m not feeling that creative at the moment so I don’t have much to say!  Hmmm.  I’m, as always, struggling with the lack of routine and the general inertia that is resulting.  In an attempt to counteract said inertia, I did go for a long bike ride yesterday which was nice (and challenging).  There was a bit o sun yesterday but today and for the rest of the week it is to be cloudy and raining.  This, I have to say I have to say, does not so much help my inertia.

After the bike ride, I came home and felt inert again but convinced myself to go to my writers’ group.  It is ALWAYS a good thing for me to be out amongst people instead of holed up in my little abode.  I’m kinda freaking out (me?) thinking that I will never actually get a job again.  I’m applying and am on some sub lists etc. but still the days are long long and long.  And they are long.  Should I move?  Should I change cities?  I don’t know.  I do know I have way too much time to think.

The corporation is still open, oddly enough and apparently picking up more students for the summer.  It’s been a hellish ride there the last 6 months I’ve heard, with firings and all sorts.  Folks are beaten down.  And yet, they are still employed so good on them.  And if my blog can make just one of them feel better about still being employed there, then I will have done my duty, ha.  I think I blew my chances of going back there to sub (EEEK!) when I wrote at one point to the boss, “I honestly don’t know how you in good conscience can continue to work at the corporation.”  This was during the whole T4 fiasco (which still may be unresolved).  And really, cheques are still bouncing and other, uh, interesting things are still happening so I know I must be way down to even be thinking about them.  I’m not though, not in any serious way.  I think I still pine for the salad days there when the money was flowing, there were crossword puzzles at lunch and etc.  But I remind myself again and again that it is no longer like that, that many many good people have now gotten fired so that the new owners can save money and screw up T4s and that for the last 3 or 4 years I was bored out of my mind on the job.  These are things I’ve written againn and again so sorry to bore you, wee fan base!  Really, I’m just trying to give myself a bit of a pep talk more than anything.

“Take  up a new sport,’ texted an acquaintance.  “Volunteer.”  Yes, yes, true true.  The thing is, I actually need a job, a little income.  Hmmm, a lot of income.  And regularly please and thank you.  Uh yes, back in September! when I got laid off I was filled with hopes of getting a writing job, of changing careers and the like.

Kerplunk.

Gak. (R. used that in his story last night so I’m cribbing it.  I do like that word, ‘gak’.)  GAK.

I’m realizing that for now, I’m needing to stay in the boundaries of ESL-ness.  Although I did apply for a great short term writing contract job last week but . . . cyberspace black hole.

So I’m sending out the old resume to some places and seeing what pops up, while still looking into other kinds of work.  I’m exercising regularly darn it and that kind of thing and I’m trying to do all of this through the inertness of it all. 

Mind you, I don’t want to write a depressing blog about my depression.  That’s depressing.  I’ve read blogs like that and wowza they are painful to get through.

I need to get back to thinking about the Masters in TESOL and such like that. 

The thing is, while I’m inert, I am also anxious about it all.  Some folks just get the feeling like a lump part without the anxious part.  That seems a bit easier to me. Although really it is the anxious energy that keeps me from must lazing about all day.

I am going to actually go to the mindfulness meditation later this morning instead of just thinking of going and then making an excuse not to go. And then I have a doctor’s appointment in North Vancouver in the afternoon so excitement all around really.  Ha.

Tomorrow I’m going to see E.  We reconnected on FB after years of not seeing each other but when we were on the phone yesterday it was like no time had passed at all.  Nice.  And Thursday I’m going to see Maggie May and her wee ones!  That sounds like a band but it is not. 

Sigh.

What else?  Oh!   the Mormons, it seems, have their very own Youtube channel!  I may have mentioned how I am obsessed with (but  never want to be obviously) Mormons and their Mormonism! but in an ironic way.  What a treat!  They’ve just had their national convention or whatever it is called and some of the (all male, all middle-aged, all tie-wearing) speakers are on youtube!  SO BORING!  I couldn’t get through even one speech.  I can only imagine that some Mormon heads in the audience were nodding off.  It was like, ‘blah blah, ‘monotone, ‘blah blah blah, I am one of the 12 chosen to be the new apostles blah blah blah.’  Now the blog, Modern Mormon men, that is way better.  Mormon men (and women, oddly) write about contemporary things as they try to be contemporary I guess.  La la la, so intriguing!

the Mormon missionaries never come to my apartment building, which is too bad.  Years and years ago they knocked on the door of a house in North Van. I was living in at the time.  I was the only one home (probably another unemployed stint) and I remember I was wearing shorts and drinking a Slurpee.  Must have been summer.  I invited them in then proceeded to ask about spirit babies and the ‘mark of Cain’ on African Americans and how they weren’t allowed into the priesthood until 1978.  My mistake is that I questioned the more experienced of the two young men, instead of the trainee.  Twas fun really.  Oh, yes, that house in North Van.  It was a quasi Christian community and rent was cheap.  But really, it was the owner’s home and she invited whoever she wanted to live there, even for awhile that sex offender guy who was like a son to her.  Her boundaries were all askew but she was sweet and had a lovely house an garden.  Oh to have cheap rent again!

I just need like a benefactor who will pay me $2000 to just be me and to write my blog.  That would cover my basic costs and then I could take up a new sport and volunteer!

And remember folks, the contest is still on!  Fifteen comments on one blog entry – I draw (at random!) a winner from the commenters and that person gets many New Yorkers!  My writers’ group people didn’t seem to think this was such a great prize but I do!  The New Yorker, people! 

Anyway, thank you for reading my less than happy happy blog entry.  And let”s not forget – UBC needs me for three weeks in August so if I can just wait 4 months and then live off of 3 weeks of work for the next 49 weeks, I should be fine.  Hey!  I love UBC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

another new post!

29 Mar

Stop the presses and etc!

First, I would like to thank Maggie May and Rev. Beth for taking my numerous calls and texts today.  Boredom breeds me calling a lot.  You two were always kind and never once said, “PLEASE STOP INFLICTING ME WITH YOUR BORED AND NIHILISTIC COMA.  I HAVE MY OWN LIFE.”    Very kindly.

Well, there was that moment of sun earlier so around noon I thought I’d better get outside and do some exercise. If I didn’t, I knew I would laze around and play internet backgammon all day.  Not that there is anything wrong with that.

Out came my bicycle.  I headed off, not really knowing where I was going. I ended up on the walking/bike path to Stanley Park, which was of course a whole lot less crowded today than it was on Saturday when there was something called sun.  Twas windy!  I’m still not back in tip top shape so I was huffing and a puffing.  I decide to bike to Denman and Georgia,, then catch the bus to North Van and yes yes, the North Van library.  Well, might as well use March’s bus pass I say.  I thought that the #240 to Vancouver smelled of alcohol but when I was in the library, I realized that for some reason I smelled of alcohol (interesting, as I don’t drink.  Shame, really.  That would fill the days – drinking and then say a little AA).  So I was standing by the new arrival books sniffing my jacket.  Let me just say this, people, a little more deodorant on long bike ride days would not kill me. 

I took out four books, all non-fiction sadly.  It’s been difficult to find fiction that I like lately.  Hmmm.  One of the books is by the wife of that soldier who 6 years ago got axed in the head.  It’s about his recovery, which I’ve seen on The Fifth Estate.  These books are generally ghost written but the quality of the writing is usually not that great, but the topic is.  TIt for tat or some such.  I also got, ‘The Science of Empathy’ by Sacha Baron Cohen’s brother, who is big in the field of autism.  And one on the 2008 mountain climbing tragedy on K2 and one on modern day India, written by a young fellow who went there to do his research and worked at a call centre. Interesting.  This should do me for the next day or so.  That would be an impressive reading speed but I think it just means that I don’t have enough to do! 

Took the bus back and was pleased to see that my bike hadn’t been stolen.  Oooh, the ride home was difficult!  Many uphill situations.  I often shout out,”Aaargh!!!!!!”  I had to stop at Starbucks for a cookie. Had to be done.  I really should stretch now.

Tonight, I have my wee bible study at my wee United Church.  This is the bible study taught by the Hebrew scholar who doesn’t in any way take the bible literally.  I haven’t gone for a few months but I do enjoy it.  I’m always the one repetitively saying, ‘and you study this book why?”  I find her knowledge fascinating and quite challenging intellectually.  Fascinating to know the contexts and the original meanings of the words.  My friends find it all rather hilarious, as I tend to rail against Christianity when given the chance.  “So you are an atheist who goes to church?” queried one.  Well, no, not an atheist.  On Sunday I was late to F’s birthday park afternoon because I’d been signed up to read the scriptures that morning and I’d skipped so much I was trying to have a shred of integrity.  “So you are going to be late because you need to go to your wee church and read from something you don’t believe in and make way too many cutting comments about that are hurtful to some?”  Well, that isn’t an exact quote but gives the general idea.  I realize there is the she ‘doth protest too much’ argument but that is not the case here.  Anyway, yes,a wee bible study.

I can tell the owie bike ride has invigorated me since I seem to have much more to write.  I just wrote a ‘hello’ note to the head of programs at ELI and she wrote back that they can only guarantee me August work and won’t know about June and July until the beginning of May.  No problem!  I said.  Realistically, I can’t sit around for April, May, June and July doing nothing but I told her to pencil me in for August.  I suspect something may come up ahead of that and that she is being extra cautious as you have to be. Either way though, nothing would get under way until the end of May and I’m not thinking I can wait that long either.  And then it will all wrap up in September.  So, hmmmm . . . . I do note that things pop up at times that I least expect them to (as the most recent UBC gig did) so that’s good too.  Realistically, of course, I can’t continue to  live in the most expensive city in Canada without work.  But I don’t want to move – my people are here!  And as you get older, people are harder to find. I have long standing friendships here that mean a lot to me and for someone with my brain, really keep me going, not to put too dramatic a point on it.  I’ve of course lived in different cities and all sorts but I’m not really eager to again.  Last time I mentioned this, some suggested I move to Ottawa.  I’m still thinking not on that one.  I do love Vancouver, as much as I complain (me? never) about the constant rain.  Tis my town, Vancouver is.  If I can make it here, I can make it anywhere.  It’s up to you, Vancouver, Vancouver.

What I really feel like doing is going to London again for a visit.  Alas, no money of course.  I wonder if the government would sponsor me to go there?

Also, I keep meaing to write the premier as she seems to be promising all of these jobs.  I want to ask her where my job is.

The giveaway is still on.  Let’s make it happen, people.