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Dog Shaming

Lately Dog Shaming has been making my life.  I’ve been secretly (sort-of) hoping that Kona would do something worthy of a submission, and then last night this happened:

Kona's Shame

“I ate mum’s lip balm and then she wouldn’t share her dinner with me :( –Kona”

I’ve sent it along to the site and will hopefully find this gem up there in the near future.

For the record, he’s actually a pretty good dog – he just can’t seem to resist tubes or pots of lip balm.  He’s also kind of a whore for ballpoint pens.  Plus, when he was a puppy he ate a set of our vertical blinds as far up as he could reach.  But other than that, a pretty good dog…

Rejected

Have you ever seen that animation Rejected?  Lately I’ve been thinking about that short a lot.  The premise is that the animator, Don Hetzfeldt, is commissioned to creat some promotional spots for ‘The Family Learning Channel.’  The promos are progressivlely more bizarre and deranged, leaving you to wonder if the animator is losing his grasp on reality.  In the end, they are all rejected and, one assumes, Hetzfeldt does not  take it well.

While I admit that I am probably not losing my mind, I can certainly relate to this fictionalized Hetzfeldt’s sense of malaise as something that seems certain slowly slips from his grasp.  About three months ago I applied for a job in my field at an organization that I really love.  I thought it would be such a great opportunity since I had the required skill set and it would mean working for a company that I strongly support.  I spent several hours tailoring a cover letter to the job and I sent it off to the hiring manager by email.

After six weeks with no contact, I figured that perhaps my efforts were in vain.  Maybe my stellar cover letter was not as good as I thought, or I’d over-shot the available budget on my salary expectation.  I decided to leave the application in the past and just as I was forgetting the whole thing, I received an email.  They wanted me to come and interview for this amazing job!  We arranged a mutually agreeable time the following week, and I took time off to go in and meet the manager and another staffer to learn more about the job.  I thought our meeting went very well and I had a couple of connections to the organization, so I was hopeful that something would come of it.

Again, I heard nothing for three weeks.  I gave up on myself a second time and was ready to move on when I received another email saying I had been short-listed and asking if I could come in to meet their COO!  I was nervous but excited and confident that I could impress the woman in charge.  After all, I believe in this organization and what it’s doing.  I am an avid supporter with ties to them both in and outside of their business operations.  Our meeting day arrived and I again took time off to meet people at their headquarters.  I spoke to their HR person and we discovered her kids and I attended the same high school.  I mean, COME ON!  It seemed like fate.  The COO was very nice as well and we had a good chat for about 45 minutes.  We also shared some common ground and I was feeling optimistic about the impression I had left.  How could they NOT want me with all these odd connections and coincidences?

When I left, I was told they would be in touch shortly.  Again, I heard nothing for over a week.  Finally I was asked to provide references, which I did the following business day.  It sounded promising.  And then they never called my references.  I waited, hoping that things were just very busy, and still heard nothing.  I checked in with my references and they hadn’t been contacted.  My opinion (and that of the numerous business connections I spoke to) was that when you short-list a candidate and have them meet your COO, you at least let them know if they were not selected.

I waited some more.  I checked their employee directory online to see if there was suddenly a new person on it – confirming my growing suspicion that they had hired someone else.  Nothing.  After three weeks the wait was making me crazy so I composed a brief thank you email.  I mentioned that if there was ever a future opportunity I would love to be considered.  I thought this would finally prompt a response.  Even a ‘thank you for taking the time, but we’ve offered the job to someone else.’  Still nothing.  After three months of waiting, giving up and then being given a glimmer of hope, I’ve decided it’s time to walk away.  I’m giving up.  Throwing in the towel.  Surrendering my soul to the crushing defeat that is my current job.  Okay, and being overly dramatic too.

I used to have such good ‘new job karma.’  I guess the universe got over that…

 

My First Half!

Yesterday I completed my very first half marathon!  I am feeling pretty proud of myself, despite all of the aches & pains and a slower finish than I was hoping for.  After suffering through a month long chest cold, I am ecstatic to have actually run (and okay, walked a lot through KMs 15 – 20) 21.1K.  That’s a big running goal checked off the old life list.

The First Half is a beautiful – and FLAT, thank god – race that starts on Pacific Boulevard in Vancouver before looping around BC Place and then heading out  along the Stanley Park Sea Wall.  I was rocking the run up until about the 8 mile mark, but then my legs started to give up.  This isn’t surprising to me since the furthest I’ve run so far this year is 11K last Wednesday.  I know I could have been so much stronger if my running hadn’t been on hold for most of the last month.

Through this run I’ve learned some valuable things about training and preparing for a race.  Things that I will take with me into future events, and I’ve got a few of them coming up: the Victoria TC10K and the BMO Vancouver Marathon.  I’m still feeling a bit crazy in signing up for a full marathon, but I’m also kind of excited about it.  Look for lots of running related post in the coming months and over the summer.  I suspect that my race list is only going to get longer as my training increases…

Me, in all my neon glory, crossing the finish line!

The Weekend Come (& Go…)

I spent last weekend in Victoria visiting my lovely friend Cassie.  We had the most wonderful low-key but fun-filled weekend.  A testament to our friendship.  We hung out with friends, sang songs (not me so much – I was hacking up a lung all weekend), ate comfort food, knitted (Cassie) & wound yarn into balls (me), read books and watched chick flicks.  We even went to the sports bar to watch some Super Bowl action and saw Madonna kick ass at the half-time show.

I’m always struck by how much I love Victoria when I am visiting.  There are beautiful old houses with actual yards (no monsters that stretch within inches of their property lines on every side), friendly folks (mostly of the dirty-hippie variety) and it’s sunny (and windy) more often than not due to it’s geographical location close to the southern tip of Vancouver Island.  It’s the kind of place that has the charm of history on it’s side.  It makes me lust after the old brick buildings with newly renoed lofts above cool storefronts in downtown and the beautiful old homes on rolling hills that are all within walking distance of downtown.  I’m sure there are downsides to life in YYJ but I’ve romanticized this city since I was a young girl and if I ever had the chance to move there, I would probably jump at that opportunity.

I spent my Sunday run with my island girls studying the houses we passed and deciding which ones I’d want to live in.  The theme seemed to be older homes with wrap-around porches and large yards with gardns.  There are SO many gardens in Victoria!  My running buddies even pointed out one house that allows people to help themselves to the vegetables they grow.  It was a nice distraction from the running – I’m still trying to recover from some sort of chest cold that has been hanging about for over a week.

The cold is a bit nerve-wracking, as I’m meant to be running my very first half marathon this upcoming Sunday.  I’m so excited to get out there and finally finish a half, but I’m worried because my training has suffered since the beginning of the year with various maladies that don’t seem to want to leave me be.  The course is nice and flat and it will be very scenic, but it’s still a longer distance than I’ve ever raced before.  This afternoon I’m heading out for (hopefully) 16K and to test out my running mix before the big day.  Wish me luck!

Projects Galore!

A few months ago, I decided that I’m not applying myself enough in life.  So I volunteered for a committee.  Then I signed up for a running group.  There’s also the usual life stuff: the bff’s baby shower, around-the-house-projects, school and the holidays, and suddenly my life is looking pretty full.  Despite this, and my own better judgement, I’ve also decided to participate in NaNoWriMo for 2011.  Should make for an eventful and very busy winter!

To give a bit of background on some of the projects I’ll be working on in the coming months, I’m very excited to be on the Board of Directors for next year’s Golden Spike Days Festival .  I’m not sure what role I’ll fill with the organization (that’s up to our awesome exective – include my buddy Christina, who is VP this year) but I’m looking forward to pitching in for the biggest annual event in my ‘hood.  I think I’ll learn some new skills and meet some interesting contacts.  Plus, the party at the end will be a lot of fun.

As for the running, I’m back in the race to compete my first half marathon.  I’ve set my sights on The First Half, which is a scenic (and flat) tour of downtown Vancouver and Stanley Park.  My running clinic actually started last week, but I was given free tickets to The Foo Fighters and missed it.  After a hectic week with events and commitments, I also missed the two practice runs last week so tonight will be my first run with the group.  This makes me nervous, for no logical reason at all.  Hopefully it goes well.

On the academic front, I’m completing one class right now: Intermediate Financial Accounting.  Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?  I was supposed to be done this month, but I accidentally missed my exam registration date and so will have to take an extension.  My goal is to finish before Christmas, which I think is totally doable.

Also necessary before Christmas is organizing Joanna’s shower.  Since she’s due at the end of February, we’re aiming for a late January date.  This means I have to get stuff organized and invitations sent out before the holidays to ensure people RSVP.  I also want to have lists put together for decorations/foods/games/etc. so I’m not frantic over this after the holidays, when the January blahs set in.   I’ve got some good ideas in mind and it’s just a matter of putting it all together at this point.  I will be a task-list making machine so that this goes off smoothly.

Last, but certainly not least, there’s NaNoWriMo.  I was going to give it a whirl last year, but just never really got going with it.  I’ve got an inkling for a YA novel that I’m mulling over and I plan on getting an outline flushed out this evening after running clinic.

Looks like it’s off to the races for me!

One of those days…

Today is turning into one of those days.  You know the ones where every little thing gets under your skin and you just bristle when you hear anyone approaching that might want, or worse yet NEED something from you?  I’m not sure if it’s just Tuesday, or the fact that I’ve got a million things on my to-do list this week, but I am definitely a supreme grouch today!

I’m going to try and snap myself out of this funk with a post-work run around the inlet.  Hopefully the wamer weather and the company of my small mutt will help this mood out.  If that doesn’t work, there’s always the ribs & corn on the cob for dinner tonight!

A Bang-Up Birthday

On Monday my wonderful boyfriend is turning 32 and this year I decided to break our pub dinner & drinks tradition and try something new.  Chris & I have often talked about getting our gun licenses and after doing some research on certification courses, discovered that there is an indoor gun range less than 15 minutes from our house.  When we mentioned the range to friends we learned that there was a great deal of interest in trying this out, so I thought ‘what better way to spend Chris’ birthday?’ Turns out that I couldn’t have been more right!

Since the range is a bit pricey, we had a small party of 8 interested in shooting (including Chris’ mom!).  This meant that we weren’t able to make a reservation so we showed up about an hour and a half before closing to find the range incredibly busy.  Who knew so many people wanted to shoot guns on a Saturday afternoon?!? Lucky for us, we were told we would be able to get in, and that we would likely be the last group of shooters for the day.  All of the staff were very helpful, despite being a little frazzled, and our range ‘guide’ was not only informative, but also incredibly humorous.  At the suggestion of the check-in staff, we started off with a series of four guns (9 mm, 40 & 45 cal., shotgun) and a box of ammunition for each.  This meant that everyone was able to try each gun and most of us got to shoot 2 or 3 rounds with our favourites – I especially liked the .45!

Once we had spent our rounds, a few of the guys were interested in trying out the Desert Eagle (of course) and our range helper talked us into also trying the 460 Smith & Wesson revolver.  He assured us it was the most fun of their guns to shoot, and we wouldn’t be disappointed.  Once he had brought in both guns and the necessary ammunition, he also predicted that only half of the six shooters would hit our target with these larger calibre weapons.  He was proved wrong however when all of us were able to make our mark with the Desert Eagle, most impressively with an almost perfect headshot achieved by our friend Alicia (her dad is a retired cop – it must be in her genes).  When we moved on to the 460 though, we all agreed with our range helper that it was a LOT of fun to shoot.  The revolver most definitely made all of us feel bad-ass and we were all amazed at the heat that came off of the gun as it discharged.  It was an incredible experience, and we all succeeded in hitting the target yet again!

A sampling of casings from the different guns we tried out.

When all was said and done, we had waited about 45 minutes to shoot stuff for almost an hour and a half.  A good rate of return on our wait!  While it wasn’t a cheap adventure (about $75 per person), it sure was a fun one.  I’m definitely looking forward to the licensing course and future gun range adventures.  Maybe once we’re certified the bf and I will buy annual memberships.

Now off to finish making my honey some cinnamon buns