Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Yearly Newsletter

So, about once a year (or so), i am ambitious enough to write a newsletter. Here is the 2009 version! hope you enjoy!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Photos

I snuck the camera, and got a shot with the tree :)

My Uncle (Mum's younger brother) and I.

One of the centre pieces at our dinner table... my aunt sure knows how to make it beautiful!

Apparently, there have been about 3 million of these pairs of Vancouver 2010 mittens sold.
There were 4 that turned up in the Patterson household this Christmas. My cousin, Nicole, and I

The Christmas tree, with all the presents gone.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas Video!

Hi All... in the mode of the season, I thought that i would put a bit more effort into my post today.

A little video for you. enjoy!


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

christmas smells and relaxed days

I think that is exactly what christmas is supposed to be about.

I am currently in Mississauga, ON. which, is a every present western suburb of Toronto. If you are reading, and you are Canadian, you know that going to Toronto for christmas is not necessarily what everyone wants to do. I have even had a sympathetic "oh. i'm sorry." statement. THat is... unless, of course, you are *from* toronto. Then, it is the only place you want to be! ohhhh, the irony of being Canadian, and your opinion about Toronto.

But, to me, right now, it is pretty much P.E.R.F.E.C.T. this is the first time in years that I have spent christmas with family. And, this is a family of which I have not maybe *Ever* spent christmas with. And, can they do christmas. I am sitting beside a wonderfully smelling, decorated tree, and, downstairs my cousin is wrapping presents in the kitchen (i am already done!), and my aunt is baking cookings, and cooking meals for tomorrow.

It is such a relief to not have to do anything. I have no schedule, no work to do (well, hardly any work), and no one that I have to see. I just do what I want to do, and I relax. and I watch movies. And, i write letters. And, I work out. and, I eat. and i breathe a sigh of relaxation of having nothing to stress about.

It is kinda neat, because this year, my family on this side has had a large amount of "coming" together, when it has not happened like this before. I am out east, so I get to spend time with the pattersons. My cousin (who is here), got into law school in Edmonton, so she is living at a house which is owned by our other cousin, and gets to see him more often (which is the part of the family that she has not seen much over lifetime, but, I have). so, these [re]connections are being made throughout our family. which is really nice.


two things which are happening during this week, though, which I have had to just laugh about.
1) I am eating meat. probably will be consistantly over the next two weeks, while here. how, if you know, I am a mostly vegetarian. but, since I don't like to be a big hassell when other people are cooking for me: meat, i will eat. we shall see how it goes... ha ha! all I gotta say is that my GI defininitely feels a little different...
2) I don't have my bike here. So, I am limited to what I am "allowed" to do in the house. I can ride my uncle's bike. but, apparently, not until after christmas eve. because my Aunt doesn't want smelly sweat workouts downstairs until *after* christmas. (which, is *totally* understandable.)

love it. love christmas.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

TMI kids...

so, I would just like to make a comment...
remember how a few days ago, i was missing my Teen Missions Team kids?

well, still kinda at that point. and, i just watched a video of two of them... here it is. it just shows you how awesome, and hilarious, they are. boys will be boys!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

i was just thinking...

about so many things...

about the things that have happened this past week.
about poverty.
about what i like about triathlon.
about christmas events and the current advent season and the feeling in the air...

Earlier this week, I had the unfortunate occurrence of having my wallet, apartment keys and cell phone stolen out of my pocket. Even more unfortunate, it was at a place where things are meant to be safe. A place where people should be able to relax, and not be worried about things going missing, or whatnot. and, this is the second time that something of mine has been stolen at church. and, it is quite ironic. but, i choose to go to churches that have outreaches to individuals who are of lower income, individuals who may be homeless, individuals who live in poverty.

and, i have been dealing with poverty on a number of different levels recently, but, this incident got me thinking about a few things.... not as much of the *Causes* of poverty, but what effects poverty causes... things like decreases health, and lack of attainable education, and a drive towards addiction, and lack of access to adequate housing.
but, beyond those things, how poverty can make someone feel scared.unwanted.desperate.

was i upset about getting my things stolen?
of course.
am i worried about "identity theft" in the future? well, maybe. i mean, yeah. it is in the back of my head.
am i ticked off that this is the second major theft that I have had at church? definitely. it stings a bit.
am i angry at the individual who did it?

no. not really. i am angry at the things that drove him/her to do it. and, i am incredibly saddened that they felt so desperate that they had to be driven to steal from someone that they know.

it also has tainted a few opinions i have. I mean, i try to give people the benefit of the doubt. I try to think 1st: no, it was me. I mis-placed it. then, when i know i haven't that: "well, obviously these people need it more than me. maybe they will buy groceries."

but, then when they travel down (using my bus tickets...) to the local liquor store, and then charge up 50$ worth of alcohol on my visa... well... really. 'comon. you are definitely living up to stereotypes that people place upon you. but, jokes on you: you just stole from the poorest, non-homeless person in the city! ;)

but, remember: the poor. the homeless. the desperate. they are always with us. and, they aren't just in africa or asia, or in the slums. open your eyes. they are all around you, and know that sometimes, they don't necessarily look like you think they do.
and, i will return to that church. And, i will return to the church in vancouver where my computer was stolen last may. Because, i will not let anyone, physical or spiritual, discourage me from sharing meals with the homeless.


on a much lighter note:

it is coooooold outside. and it is wintery. and when I breathe, my boogers freeze. and, when i blink, sometimes i feel like my eyes are going to freeze shut.

but, yet, i run. :)

because, it *is* beautiful. this morning when running, i got plenty of sun. I saw people that have become recognizable during my saturday morning runs. I like how in the park, there is music playing around the area where there is a outdoor skating rink. i like how in that same park, they *plow* tobogganing routes down the hill.


during my run this morning around the park, and I got thinking about the crazy things we do as athletes. and, also the reasons why i like training for triathlon.

some of the crazy things that I, or other people I know, do in the name of sport:
  • wake up at obscene times of the morning. like 4:30 am.
  • in those insane times of the morning, and we know that if we try to call each other, it isn't like the other person will be sleeping.
  • we do *a lot* of laundry.
  • we brave the frigid air bundled up with numerous layers, and balaclavas around our faces, in order to not go on a treadmill. or, alternatively, we run outside in shorts, when there is snow on the ground.
  • we towel ourselves off like we just got out of the pool, after we have been sitting on a bike in our house for an extended period of time.
  • sometimes we exercise for periods much longer than 2hours at a time. in fact: we celebrate if our day only has 2 hours of exercise in it.
  • we spend a lot of money on athletics. think about it. we pay for 3 sports, not just one.
  • we prefer to date people who go to sleep at 9:30. that means that they will understand our schedule better.
  • we eat all the time.
some of the things I like about training:
  • it makes running the 10 blocks to the metro much easier when i miss the bus in the morning.
  • it allows me to watch t.v or movies when otherwise i would not have the time, thanks to setting up my computer in front of my bike when training (today on the schedule? Ice Age 3!)
  • i get to eat all the time.
  • racing allows me to take fun trips: i have raced in Amman, jordan (my first 1/2 marathon, 2007), LA (a 1st place athena finish at the olympic distance in 2008), and New Orleans (my first 70.3, april 2009). i have also traveled with rowing, all across north america.
  • i get to wear really tacky outfits when outside, with the excuse that I have to be warm, and layer up.
  • it makes me a better student. i can concentrate better, and release the exam stress by working out.
  • sometimes, i get to sleep for 12 hours straight (like, for instance, last night!)
  • my training, and my racing, inspires other people.
so, that is about it for now. I am sure that the next time that I post, I will be in Missisauga for the holidays. yeehaw! (oh yeah. and, i'm not sure if you got it. but, i am not in new york state. scheduling just didn't work out. oh well. no worries. instead, a nice relaxed weekend at home catching up on a lot of things!)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

ready for a holiday!

believe you me. I am ready to split from this town for a few days.

This week has been unbelievably unbeliveable. Let's just say that irony has shown its ugly head, and I was not happy about it. At any rate, I look forward to leaving on *friday*

plan is:
go to syracuse on friday. see my friend from college, Daniel Van Vliet, and his wife nicole, and their son who I have never met.
hop a bus on saturday to Rochester. go see my coach!
then: get my fat pinched, and my run video recorded, and my swim looked at, and my bike speed tested. and, a "meet the team" run on sunday morning.
then: monday bus to toronto.
and bask in family love!

woo! all of that makes me excited just to think about! :)
and.... i got my garmin back in the mail today. yesssssss! Heart rate monitoring, you and i are back in the game!

so, things are okay today. but, just okay. and, i am okay with okay. because it is a lot better than really *hitty. which have been the way things have been in the last few days.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


went out last night with the nursing girls, and this was just as we were leaving.
i thought it was the *only* good photo of me in the whole night.

Memories


So, I am working on something right now for the kids that I went to Haiti with. For some reason, I have been missing them a lot recently. Taking this saturday to relax, to work out, and to catch up on things that I have been putting off during exams.

It is a beautiful sunny, snowy, and *cold* day out there. but, one of those days that you just feel happy to wake up too.

It is amazing, because I remember when I had returned from my first trips with Teen Missions interational to Africa, and how long it took for me not to think of those trips from a day-to-day basis. How hard it was to adjust to life back in "the real world." And, so, I wonder how they are doing right now.

When I look at the photos of these teenagers, I just know how some of them are going to really continue to excel in the future. I know that for some of them, it is going to be a struggle. I know that all of them are going to continue to face the challenges that arise in being a teenager these days. and, if this is the closest that I can be to knowing what it feels like to watch a child move forward in life, and have to give up some of the direct influence, knowing that for that time, you did as much as you could do? Maybe like a parent feels when they watch their kid move away, and battle the adult world. then... wow. it really takes work.

But, man. I miss them. What a incredibly special priviledge it was to play a part in their lives!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

pharmacology



so! it went wayyyyy better than thought it was going to be.
and, i find that very ironic. but, GREAT! so.... it just started the day well.


and, to end the day, i got to watch the olympic flame relay. but... since it is late, and i have to wake up early...

i will post on it tomorrow. but, it was so neat! :)

outlook on pharm

so, my classmates decided to stay up late and study.
I decided to sleep.
I would rather be rested, and do poorly, than be tired and do poorly ;)
it just makes dealing with the stress *that* much easier.


I just had a reminder while i was getting dressed about what I am doing here, and how I am meant to be doing what I am doing. and, two quotes that i have posted by two inspiring pictures of female triathletes came into my head.

Because my God is a big God,
I will think big with confidence, knowing that
MY THOUGHTS CAN NEVER
BE BIGGER THAN MY GOD.

God did not call me to a life of failure,
but to a life of SUCCESS.
this being so,
I CANNOT FAIL
as long as I do his will,
allowing him to work in me and through me,
motivating my very thought.


i like to think that god has got.my.back. on this.
so, i have a new outlook than i did last night.
it is a wonder what a sleep and a workout can do. :)
will post after the exam.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Snow day

so, every once and a while, I post a "hilarity of life" tag.

today is one of those days.
it started snowing in the early morning today. probably at about 6 or 7am. I write my physiology exam this afternoon, at 2 pm, and my pharmacology exam tomorrow morning at 9am.

So, after my 8hours sleep last night, and good breakfast (ps... i *gotta* ween myself off bowls of quinoa for breakfast. as delicious as it is, i think it needs to be a treat, not a habit. sigh....) of quinoa, a banana, yogurt and coffee, i made the trek to school. and, any reasonable person would have taken the public transit.

but, not i.
i decided to walk.

and, i find it hilarious that i put on the same clothes that I would wear out on a weekend winter hiking trip on the west coast, in order to go to school.

so, this is why they call canada "The great white north."
at one point in my life, i remember the wonder that came with the snowfall. maybe i have become jaded with my living in somewhat temperate climates for the last 8 years. yes, it is pretty....but... when you expect the next 8 months!? and, as i was walking, i was laughing because this is ridiculous! it has only been snowing for about 4 hours, and we already have 6cm or so.

and on the day of the two biggest exams this semester. sigh. irony.

ha! hilarious. i looked hilarious this morning. i wish i had a photo.











so, it is now post-physiology.
and, i guess "the hilarity" continued. sigh. but, this was not the good part of the hilarity. I don't understand how something I was feeling so confident with seemed so hard. and, i am so frustrated right now. it was like, i forgot some of the most basic things, and i don't know why. and, if this was the way it was with physiology, i am now scared to s*it about my pharmacology exam tomorrow. ARGH.

so, i am going to get on my bike for my workout, before i start to cry.


but, now that the wind has stopped blowing... the snow *is* rather nice.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

post secrets.

I *love* post secrets. today on sunday secrets, frank posted a video. this is the link to it. it takes about 5 minutes, so take the time to watch!

it is amazing. really interesting to see people, rather than just the postcards. very very touching.


PostSecret: Confessions on Life, Death and God from Frank Warren on Vimeo.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

T-4 days.

so, I have my finals on wednesday and thursday.

Physiology on the afternoon of wednesday, and pharmacology on the morning of thursday.

it seems so close, and so far away.. all i know, is that I will be burrowing my nose into my books, and into my notes for the next couple days. One of my classmates and i have come up with a good solution to "Studying" together. via skype. we just sit studying, and when a question comes up, we internet chat about it. pretty good solution, but, am tied to my computer right now, and that is annoying.


I ran a santa shuffle this morning. My first 5-km "test." My tri (life?!?!) coach will use this as a marker for my progress. And, my shuffle was a bit quicker than a shuffle, which i was happy about. I was a little concerned that since all I have done in the last 4 weeks is bike and swim, that my running legs would be questionable. especially that ankle. but, needless to say... it was pretty darn good. The weather was nice (about 3 or 5 degrees), dry, and no wind or snow. There were probably about 75-100 people there, many with santa hats, and elf feet. so, festive. i like festive things.

and, it gave me a time to stop thinking about GABA receptors, and Brain structure, and teratogens and hormones and the nervous system and... and... and....

and, a funny note on all of this, we have been talking "contraceptives." and, in looking up info about it, i came across this. pretty ridiculous in my books, for sure. sure, you go ahead and try that. sit in a sauna everyday for 2.5 months. then let's see if we can't get preggers. that screams reliability to me. :rolleyes:


shoot, I am ready for a 2 week break over christmas. two weeks from now, i will be calmly sitting in the house of my extended family :)

oh yeah. and... i am thinking of making a move away from Facebook. just letting you know. but. don't tell anyone. but, if you read this, and are a facebook friend, don't be offended if one day, i am just not there anymore...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

big goals...

yesterday, I had my end of term review with my clinical instructor at school. And, it is amazing, because despite the fact that I have enjoyed clinical, I am r.e.a.l.l.y h.a.p.p.y. to be done with geriatrics. If you read a few days ago, you know that some of my experiences have been less than ideal.

we learnt about what our placements for Ped's and Post-Natal will be next semester. And, let's say that "nothing is set in stone," but, with the declaration that this area is going to be the clinic that I am working in absolutely thrills me. i was able to ask the clinical coordinator after class: "so. well. a TB clinic. does that mean.... well, that it will involve a lot of immigrants and people in lower socio-economic groups....? since, well, you know, that is where TB exists?" [thinking....please say yes!] and, her response was, "yes. of course. you like that, eh? I thought you might." (and she said that the placements were random. ha ha ha! i don't think so....)


at any rate. my meeting. All i got was positive feedback. and, some assignments back. and, it is funny, 'cause i don't think my instructor is allowed (or something) to give a A. cause, i get an assignment back, and it is .25 less than an A. but, within the paper, there are no places that say "this is where you went wrong." kinda funny. and, if it was a graded class, i would be annoyed, but it is a pass/fail. so, i'm good with it.

but, we got talking at the end of the meeting about the "Do you know what area you might want to go into?" and, of course I do. and, i voiced it like this... "heh. well, you know, sometimes when people ask me that, i hesitate, because people think it is way too big of a goal."

and, i guess, that is the thing about it.
sometimes it seems like too big of a goal.
sometimes it seems like i have no idea how this is going to pan out.
sometimes it seems that it would be way easier to just stay in north america, and settle.
sometimes that is why i look for people and places where i can settle.
but, that is not me.
that is not my dream.
that is not my passion.
and, that is not why i call this blog dreaming over the ocean.

and, so, i dream that my dream is not too lofty, and not too ridiculous that someone can tell me otherwise.

I have been to africa, 3 times. you can see some pictures of my second trip at that link. and, it was on that trip (i was 18), where i knew that my life until whenever was going to be a walk back towards africa. [why africa?! i am not quite sure. it is just where I have grown a passion for. the place where i feel totally at home. the place where most of my heart lies. sometimes you can't explain that].

what is my dream?
i dream of having a clinic.
a clinic in a remote area, that reaches people who would have to walk for days to get adequate medical care.
people who have limited access to health care, and rare contact with the western world. people who live and love their culture. people who live on sustenance. people who can teach me what it means to be grateful for what i have.
i want to be able to have a clinic where people can come and receive care for everything from the small, to the large. a clinic that can treat not only the physical, but the spiritual, and the psychological, and the societal, and the emotional needs.
a clinic that not only has nurses, but a physician, and therapists, and teachers, and students.
a clinic that welcomes first the locals, and secondly, people from western cultures.
a clinic that is a place of learning, and of teaching.

i dream to have a clinic that can change "my little corner of the world."

and, if you have ever listened to "Johnny's camaro" by david wilcox, what is where the name of this blog comes from. about a girl who went to africa, came back to north america, and her life was forever changed.


and, for those of you who are curious... yes... there are triathlons in africa. could you imagine?! ha ha! a tri in lake victoria?! "um, excuse me Mr Crocodile while I swim through your eating grounds..."

Sunday, November 29, 2009

week ahead

can I say, that i am excited for the upcoming week!? and, i don't know why i am still awake?

tomorrow, U2 tickets go on sale. at noon. that equals nerve racking. i hope hope hope i can get a ticket!!!! eeeeee. I so remember this whole thing in senior year, when I bought 6 tickets while sitting in the library with zach and i at computers and refreshing, refreshing, refreshing.

exciting training week ahead... after about a month of doing a lot of "brick laying" and no running, we are starting to mix it up a bit more. some functional strength, and adding in running again. Yay! perhaps, a 5km running race on saturday?! hopefully. we will see how the running goes on the ankle. but, santa shuffle?! here i come! (hopefully).

today I wrote a somewhat strange facebook message to someone. I hope i get a response. cause it would be pretty dang funny.

last week of classes. that means less stress for time related items, and increasing doom of exam period.



phew... tell me again why i am still awake at 10:30pm? it might be my excitement....

Friday, November 27, 2009

end of semester and last clinical day.

so, you know the neat thing about being a student, is the stages of the semester that you go though, and knowing that everyone is right along there beside you.

I have one more week of classes, no more papers, and two final exams on the 9th and 10th. So, it is definitely a feeling of relief. I arrived here in Montreal, with not many expectations, but knowing that I am here to do a program that I firmly believe in. I totally believe that I am 100% in the right place, and that I am doing what I want to be doing for the rest of my life. And, that, is such an amazing feeling.

I am taking on nursing, at a skill level that is a little intimidating. I am in a direct-entry master's program. What that means, is that we are doing nursing at a graduate level, but none of us are already nurses. We come from science backgrounds. Anthropology. Film and photography. psychology. a huge diversity of people from different places and different experiences. and, we all want to be nurses. so, the most common thing amongst us is that none of us know what we are doing when we step into client care.

we have had 3 clinical experiences this fall. one day a week at a convalescent hospital (geriatrics), one visit a week to a healthy older adult, and the task to follow a prenatal class. Today was my last day at the hospital, and I think I made the presumption that I was going to be going in, and it was going to be a semi-quiet day to finish off the semester. well, was I ever wrong.

started off the day with getting a new client, because one of my co-students felt a little overwhelmed with her care last week (patient 1). Then I had a patient that I have been working with for a while (patient 2), and finally, a patient who would be totally new for me (patient 3) I went in the morning to meet each of my clients for the day, and to make a long story short, it was go go go from moment number one.

with patient #1, I had anxiety, diaper changing, and a bathtub that didn't want to plug. I am not going to get totally into it, but all I know is that hopefully diaper changing and wiping peoples... butts!?!?.... gets easier. cause, what do you do in a clinical situation when you feel like you are going to throw up!? that is right... you are thinking exactly right. nope, i didn't throw up on a patient, but definitely gagged. you should've seen my clinical instructor trying to determine with me if it was "abnormally foul" smelling. all i said was "err... well, i don't have much experience in this area, but i know that my experience is that it was very foul smelling..." oh sigh. the next time she had to use the washroom, i definitely did not want to go in. but. i. did.

at the end of the day, though, you put yourself in the clients shoes.
you remember how it must feel like a loss of dignity for someone else to wipe your ass.
you remember how embarassing it must be to not be able to control those actions.

with patient #2, I have been working with him for a while. He is not old, been active, semi-retired, and has recently had his first stroke. He is very independent, pleasant, and very motivated. TOday was a day for him to have his bath, and he was finding that no one was there to help him. So, I asked his nurse in charge, and PAB (nursing assistant) if I could help him. We are taught to ask the client questions that can allow them to feel mastery in their situations, and to consider what the client wants to do... essentially "the client is the expert" in most cases. So, we go in, I ask him what are normal procedures for his bath, and he tells me. We get him ready, and I ask "okay, so, do you need help with bathing? Do you need me to stay?" no. so, i think "okay, well, he says that he feels able to do it himself." I tell him, "okay, here is the call bell, I will be close if you need anything, just let me know." and, i leave. I walk down the hall, to check in on someone else...

3 minutes later, bell is ringing, and people are looking at me, yelling. PAB goes crazy on me, nurse is asking me "where are you!?" and someone else is all "why did you leave!?!?" I go in to see what is the problem... he can't figure out how to properly turn the showerhead on. (ummm, i have that problem a lot of times in strange showers!)
but, it turns out, that you are *never* to leave a patient alone in the shower. this makes the incident seem short, and not very interesting, but let me just say that it is really good that I am who i am.
that i don't lash out at others, that i am somewhat passive aggressive (not in a bad way though. I just know how to deal with judging when it is a good time to respond, and when to let it go), and that i am able to take reactions with a grain of salt. Was i in the wrong? well, yes, sort of. i shouldn't of left the patient alone. but, on the other hand, I took the patient for his word, and I didn't know that I am not able to leave them.

so, learning experiences.
all learning experiences. ass wiping. adverting my vomit. being yelled at by 3 different people at once. and "terminating relationships" with patients.



it was a big day.

and now, it is time to bike.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

long day of paper writing!


Sunday was an exceptionally long day of paper writing. I have 3 short papers (about4-6 pages each) to write to finish up my clinical semester. I am trying to get them done early, so that they are not hanging on my neck for the remainder of this week, when I am starting to get ready for finals. I got one done, and was able to get a good handle on the two others. and the two are "reflective journals" so... they aren't so bad.

yup, finals. they are just around the corner! Only 2 more weeks of classes, and that is shocking to me!

this past week has been exceptionally busy, but filled with everywhere from the awful to the wonderful happenings. and, so, I present you with the highlights (holy moley this is a long post!):

late night wanderings:
last thursday night, we had a wonderful rowing dinner. Filled with videos, fancy people (have i mentioned that i love the fact that word for "fancy" in quebecois is "chic." for example: comment chic vas-tu se soir?" translates into: how fancy are you going tonight?" love it.), nice food, and lots of laughs. I was quite chic, with a red/maroon dress, and a pair of black heels that i borrowed from a friend to make me far taller than 6 feet (as if i need to be taller. but, i figure: if you have legs, show them off! but that was a mistake: re
member that ankle!?)

at any rate, i had a rotation at the hospital the next day, so i knew I had to leave early: it starts at 7. so, from where I was, it generally takes 20/30 mins max to get home. What happened next was something that people just have bad dreams about. i hopped on a bus, that just happened to be there when i stepped out of the restaurant, presuming that it was going to go to a local metro station.
It was about 12 o'clock, so, would be okay to catch the metro before it closed. but, before I knew it, we had passed all the local stations, and we were heading *north* and I was too far to get off, and go the opposite direction. Finally, we make it to a metro station, in la la land. (oh, and, have I mentioned that i forgot both my watch, and my phone at home!?!?). so, i walk down into onto the platform and wait. and wait. and wait. 20 minutes later, a worker comes down, and tells the 5 of us on the platform... there are no more trains! oh crap. so, i walk outside, no idea where i am, but with a general idea how to get home. and, it is starting to rain. I hop a few more night busses (this also included the times standing in the rain at remote bus stops, and seeing a cops lights flashing...) and arrive at a different metro station, only slightly closer to home. and, it was at this time, where i think "damn. sigh. i have no desire to wait for another bus that might not get me home again." find a taxi (i thought about this earlier, but there was no taxi to be found)...

and, alas. one drove by. such a relief. I hope in, with just short of 14$ in my pocket. we get home, and it is about 17$ and change. so, no problem. use my card. but... did they have a card machine?! NOPE. ARGH! really!? so, we drive away to go to a atm. but, thankfully, the cabbie was amazing, and then said "you know what, don't worry about it." and turned around and dropped me home. I went to bed at 2:15, and work up at 5:30 for a day at the hospital.

awful. awful. awful. and, you know what... it was one of the scariest moments that i have had in a long time. I can hold my own. I am 6ft tall, and not a small girl. But, there i was, in a place i didn't know, in the middle of the night, with no phone, and wearing a dress with high heels. if i was dressed in jeans, it probably would have felt different. but, i wasn't wearing jeans. and, it was scary. and, i was so relieved when i got home.

but, onto better news...

holidays: my mum surprized me earlier this week with random phone calls back and forth about our time share that happens every two years
for a week, in southern BC. She said "if i booked it, will you come!?" i said "if you pay for my plane ticket, of course." she said "well, would you like to go to somewhere hot?!" I said... "of course!!!!" she said "okay, let's try to plan. where would you like?" that ended up being a bit of a condundrum, with most places already being booked full. but, after a day of back and forth calls with the time share exchange company... we are going to the bahamas! WOOOT! so, from Feb 20th-Feb 27th, I will be staying here, i will be scuba-ing (they have reef sharks there! awesome! running on an island, and open water swimming (well... they have reef sharks there. yipes!) and, of course, spending time with my mama. you know, never in my life have we *Ever* had a hot holiday.

job possibilities:
this only happened yesterday, but, I had a meeting with a prof who teaches Exercise Pathophysiology at McGill. I had applied to TA her class, and she loved my CV: that i have a background in exphys and rehab, and that i am in nursing now. she loves that i looked at muscle histology ('cause some of her students are doing that!!!), and she commended me on my athletic accomplishments. and, i knew I was in a good place when I saw that she had an Ironman lanyard for her keys!? so... i asked... and no, not her, but one of her best friends. cool. she is at least a tri spectathlete! so, very very good possibilities to be have a job in an area that I love (i would be responsible for the exercise testing component, and also teaching 2 or 3 classes.... such a great experience!)

love:
as mentioned previously. my best friend Christina is married. To Dave. Here is her facebook profile pic. they "eloped" to Key West. but don't worry, it wasn't a secret that they were eloping.

prayer:
this past weekend, i spent friday evening, and most of satruday at a "meditative and contemplative prayer retreat." and, despite being a bit hesitant about it, it was wonderful. Most of the time was spent in solitude (like, long times!) on saturday, 3 times we would be quiet, and just sit, pray, meditate, and contemplate for anywhere from 1.5-2 1/4 hours. it was amazing. and, what i needed. and, i like that. to sit, and to escape. the retreat was held in this beautiful "villa maria" architecture catholic church in the eastern part of the city. so, a perfect place to "contemplate." and, you know, there were definitely tears at some points. we got to contemplate... ourself: then god: then our mission. there was definitely times of self examination, and times of talking sternly with God, and times of worship.

and, that is not always easy. but, always necessary.

training:
yesterday, I had a *hard* day of training. Hopped on the bike, and HR soared. and, was exceptionally unmotivated to go swimming. Found my legs cramping up a bit, and all of that. it was so strange, and I had no idea why it was happening. I wondered if it was an overflow of getting 3 hours sleep on thursday night. or if it was cause i ate lunch in too close of a proximity of my ride. or what.

the weather has been really nice here recently, and that allowed me to go and ride my bike outside on saturday. And, you know... i suppose that a benefit of riding inside all the time is that you really appreciate those days when you are outside. I don't think that there is anything that compares to feeling the wind, and the glide of a bike under you.

some of my girls with rowing have been on a "We want to be lightweights" kick. which, is not bad. they are not far off, and they have the ability to lean up. But, it is funny, because they ask me a lot about nutrition. Something that is constantly on my mind, and something that I am constantly learning about. but, it also got me thinking about something else, something that I read about recently in rowersworld:

when athletes are sedentary.

you might ask, what do you mean?!?!

what i mean, is this: the athlete, who, during the time that they are training work fairly hard. but, as soon as they go home, they eat a *huge* meal, or allow themselves to think "mmm, since I am an athlete, and working out ..... hrs a day, I can eat whatever I want." and
"mmmm, since I am an athlete, and working out ..... hrs a day, I can sit around and be lazy for the rest of the day. I can lounge while watching tv or on the computer, and i can take the elevator, and sit around all day and drive to the gym."

I think this is absolutely true. i think that as athletes, we definitely to use time between workouts to recover, and not overtrain. but, any time that we sit for long periods of time, and don't move, our bodies hate it. There are so many studies out there which show things about increased bed rest leading to increased muscle atrophy, or how movement decreases muscle soreness, and the such. And, maybe it is a key as to why some people can be more successful with weight loss than other people... but, that might just be mho.

what do you think!?


yikes! did i mention that i have papers to write!?!?!?

Friday, November 20, 2009

quite the story...

(i know, on saturday, i said i was going to post on sunday. it is now monday. blame it on papers.)



so, my best friend is now married. She is no longer "christina L." She is now Christina S. and, i don't know if her new last name has quite the same ring to it. but, it is her new last name! yay!



so, i have a story that involves me and a dress and high heels and getting only 3 hours sleep last night before my day long "stage" at the hospital today.


yup, i know.
you are curious now.
wait for tomorrow.


Meanwhile, please enjoy the following video that I have put together for the rowing team that I coach!

Monday, November 16, 2009

week number two

so, today will start the second week of no running in my workout plans. ugh. just as i was getting into it! and, it is funny, 'cause when you drop one out of the 3 out of training~ it just seems so monotonous! I was talking to a friend last night, who is an RMT that specializes in swelling, inflammation, and lymphatic drainage. and, we were laughing 'cause i told her the whole ankle story, and declared "ugh, stupid ankle." to which she responded: "yes, im sure. it's the ankle that is stupid."

gee, thanks Rach. ;)

but, taking these weeks off will allow it to heal better. and, so will those anti-inflam's that i am on. I am actually starting to be able to see the shape of my ankle bones again! I know that cankles are cool (if queen elizabeth has them, why can't I have them!?) but, its nice to know that my single cankle is disappearing. the thing about rest... well, it just generally is good for allowing the body to heal. hopefully I will still be able to do a 5km santa shuffle on Dec 5th...

Yesterday, after my bike in the evening, i wrote the following: I don't know why one workout seems so much easier then the next, day to day. Yesterday, 1hr bike: seemed like forever, and I couldn't wait to get off.. HRs seemed high, and sweating like i just jumped out of a pool soaking wet.

today: FANTASTIC. was not bored (maybe it was the "planet earth" video playing on my computer (nothing like a cheeta chasing down prey to motivate you...) or what, but i felt like i could go forever, and the HRs were low... 148, 152, 152, 148, 154, 151. (ps... have i mentioned that it is really hard to get acccurate carotid pulses while you are sitting on a bike? i find like my ability to count goes down the drain! can't wait to get the HRM back... my shop in vancouver is going to be taking care of it.)

but, really... what *is* it that makes day to day workouts sometimes feel so different!?


on saturday, I was talking to my mum about the races I want to do this year. I am thinking two 1/2 iron distances. Do i want specifically labeled "i-dot" races? i don't know. There *is* some odd appeal to them, but, i can't quite identify what they are. as of right now, I am thinking mooseman, and muskoka. I just need enough money on my creditcard to be able to register ;)


this week looks like it is going to be less busy than last week. I am starting off on a good foot, with a productive weekend that just past. end of term writing assignments are starting to pile up, but, that's okay. cause, I still have time. And, the end of this week has things to look forward to: end of year celebration/recognition dinner for rowing, and a contemplative 1 day conference at YWAM montreal.


Friday, November 13, 2009

it's fridayyyyyy!


so, sometimes I like to think that I am not a morning person. sometimes i tell myself, and many other people, that I am a night owl.

it is 5:24, and I have clinical today. But, I woke up early to do some school work. and, normally I wake up early to go coach a rowing team. Or, I wake up early to go exercise. I just can't seem to do things with as much focus in the evenings. maybe it is serotonin levels.


maybe, it is because I like the mornings. I like that only a certain end of the population bell curve is awake. there is something calming about it.

I am feeling a bit behind with work right now. So, a weekend of school work is planned. also time to start studying for finals.

Every day, I get a quote in my email from outward bound. Today's was an aristotle quote. ANd, it is one that was graffiti'd on the bridge in Morgantown, and so we would row by it every day. I *love* it~ words to go by:

we are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.


so, here is from me to you in the mornings: Enjoy your day!!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

sore ankles and birthdays


well, sore ankle. just one.

Remember how I twisted it two weeks ago!? well, you know how it goes. You don't want to stop. So, you don't. And, then it turns around and bites you in the ass. Finally went to the Doc today at the sports medicine clinic. fortunently, my sprain (most likely) is only a second degree... 1st degree is what people do frequently. 3rd degree is surgical. Apparently, mine is somewhere in the middle of that, leaning towards the 3rd degree, but the Doc didn't seem to be wildly concerned. she just said: stop running! keep biking and swimming!
and guess what!?

my coach already told me that ;)

so, here we are.

Today, is the 14th birthday of one of my most favourite people in this world. I remember this day, 14 years ago, very very vividly. My life was changed with beautiful Makayla came into this world. My brother had his first daughter when I was 12. And, we have been close for a long time, and the only thing that I regret with her is that I cannot see her every
day. So, here are some pictures

*Makayla* if you read this: you are beautiful and so loved and worth more than you can ever feel and you bring joy to everyone around you and life would not be the same without you in it. I hope that this next year presents amazing surprizes around each corner, and more blessings than you can imagine. I LOVE YOU MORE THAN YOU KNOW!

Here are some pictures from over the years, from most recent, to some older ones...

At Shawnigan Lake Triathlon, May 2009


Caving in Canmore Fall 2008

On a whale watching/Hot spring going boat in Tofino, June 2008

Jericho Beach BBQ, June 2008

Fall 2006, at Dimsum, in Edmonton


mmm... must be before 2005... I still had dreadlocks!
me, my mum, and my neice

Saturday, November 7, 2009

wanderin' free..

wish i could be... part of that world...

so, i have a new look. it is sunshiney, and it has a bike. but, it lost all my web connections, which i am slightly annoyed with. argh! if you know that I read your blog, please make a comment, so I can reconnect with you!

so, it has seemed, that recently, a theme in my life has been one of surrender, freedom, and trust. a friend of mine, that i have not seen in a long time, but holds a special place in my heart reminded me of surrender, and it was definitely not a long way off of a conversation that I had recently with a different friend of mine...
and, i know that in times of transition, those qualities are perhaps the most important things to remember... "make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love."

yeah. good advice.

today went *totally* different than planned. I had nothing planned. maybe a coffee. maybe lots of homework to do. but definitely grocery shopping. and, definitely picking up a 5$ mini shelving unit that I found on craigslist. and, bike for an hour. and all of those things happened.
i woke up, caught up on long awaited emails, and eventually headed out to "coffee" at a cafe that I had written down as a place to try. so, bring my computer with plans to do work.

in the heart of little italy, was it a cafe? yes. was there anywhere to sit and do work... no! i walked in, and there were walls of beans, and shelves of coffee makers, and italians standing at a counter drinking espresso, and the smell of heaven. i mean, the smell of fresh ground beans. that was it. i ended up leaving with a free espresso, a new french press, and 1/2 a kilo of a magic blend of beans! HA!

walk my way down the street, with intention of heading to Marche Jean-Talon get distracted by a small Vietnamese resturant. 13$ later, and filled with steamed curry veggies and tofu, i walk again to the market.

i walked in, and... it was like I had just walked into the man of my dreams. my heart fluttered, my breath picked up, and i couldn't find words. I had to phone donna. was it true? does food have the same effect on me as attractive men?!?! shocking! ha! spent the next 2 hours there buying fresh veggies from local farmers, and fruit in baskets, and fish from vendors who think that sustainable fishery lists are lies, and organic local dairy products. sigh... amazing. and, now, some of those things are cooking in my oven, and that is why I am writing, cause when i leave the kitchen with veggies roasting, I often forget about them, and they get too crispy.

but, markets. what an amazing way to spend an afternoon. I spent more money today than expected. esp with the french press. but, it was such a wonderful day. filled with colours, and smells, and interactions with lovely people, and reminders of the beautiful things in life.

and, it is days like this (oh, i also did the other things as well... and, ps, can we just mention that if you are sitting in your room biking, and going nowhere, it passes wayyyyy faster if you have something to watch!? thank you CBC shows online!) that remind me that despite the difficulty of surrender, and the difficulty of trust, we have to sit on the small jewels of life. because those moments are made for you and me.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

more east coast adventures...

wooo! I am figuring out how to effectively add things to youtube! yay!

so, if you have 10 minutes, and want a video tour of maine, nova scotia, PEI, and the car we rented, feel free to enjoy the following:




and, can we just talk about how much I am procrastinating right now!?!?

videos are stupid, and triathletes are weird...

first off, I think that I am going to take off my RSS feed to facebook... I have too many people who have access to my profile, and if you want to read my blog, you should read my blog. So, all you facebook followers, cruise on over to my blog at dreamingovertheocean.blogspot.com. and, then bookmark it, if you are interested.

I have been really frustrated with youtube in the last day and a half~ I have wanted to upload a hilarious video, and i can't. it keeps giving me error messages. I have no idea, and I am not techy like that, so I don't know how to fix it. But, as soon as I do, get ready to laugh.



yesterday, when I was sitting on my bike, i made a funny realization. i have frequently made fun of Triathletes... the gear heads they are, the funny clothes they wear (can we say arm warmers with a sleeveless jersey!?), the ridiculous length races they do, the obscene time of day they wake up at, and, in general: the strange strange habits.

Every since I participated in my first race, back in squamish in july 2008, I have had a hard time calling myself a triathlete. I tend to consider myself a person who does triathlons. is there a difference?! perhaps... but, now i have a 70.3 under my belt, 4 olympic distance tris, and even a coach that I pay. so... maybe i am a triathlete. anyway, as i was sitting on my bike, i realized that i had taken it inside~ that i was sitting on a trainer, in my room, staring at a wall, sweating on my floor, and realizing that i am one of those people that I make fun of.


but, what is life, if you cannot make fun of yourself?!
it is nothing, my friends.
take a look at yourself today, and have a laugh. it's good for you.


master's yesterday at mcgill was amazing. soooo nice to be back in the pool... :D

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

east coast movie!

and, in addition, i am learning to use my new toy...

a little video for you today, from my east coast extravaganza. if you have 53 seconds to waste (and i know all of you do!) watch this! i find it quite hilarious. in fact... sujan and I are hilarious. and, i like to make people laugh. and, i think you. will. laugh. when. watching. this. video.

i am trying to get the longer video up, but for now, this will have to do :)


(ah ha... success....!)

a little bit of everything...

so, here is a post about a little bit of everything.
well, not really. all it is about is my life.
so, if you are interested.....





read on! read on!
ha ha... okay, done with the ridiculousness. (well, okay, am i really *ever* done with the ridiculousness?!?! i think not)

today, i went to get a new battery for my garmin. get the new battery put in, and guess what? it now works less than it did before. *crap* so, guess what is getting sent to garmin international on warranty? guess who doesnt have a HRM for a while... yup, that's me!

remember how i rolled my ankle last week while running in the park? well... let's just say that the swelling hasn't gone down. *crap* can we talk about how much i love ice on my foot. well, i don't. but, ice+foot have been a common theme recently.

i have recently been getting annoyed with having to carry about 10 million bags to school each day. i carry school stuff, work out stuff, lunch stuff, coffee stuff... you get the picture. my backpack is definitely not big enough. but, now it is. cause, you are talking to a girl who got a new one! yeah 140$ bag for 90$! yeah deuter futura 32!

remember how i used to swim? well, tomorrow i am starting with McGill Masters Swimming. i am a little worried, since i haven't been in a pool for months, but, as mary said: just give it a few weeks!

i would like to mention something that has been on my mind lately. i would like to point out how many of my friends are doing "grown up" things. like having babies. and getting married (ahem, christina and dave, erika and jay). and buying houses. and retiring from their first job. and making careers. and, here i am, getting excited about a new backpack that can carry all the stuff that brings me to school and back. i love what i am doing right now, i love that i am here, and the choices that have brought me here and back and around. but, on the occasion, i think about being 26, and knowing that i am an adult. and, sometimes i feel like i am 22, because i am still a student after forever. and, i very much live like a student. but, on many other occasions, i feel like i am "older." that i should be past the student thing. that i should be in the young professional stage. that i should be in many other stages.

but, i'm not. and, i know that is okay. because this is where i am meant to be. but, sometimes, i wish that society would stop telling me that i should be somewhere else...


(argh! ZCM! i am hating your satellite connection right now!)

Saturday, October 31, 2009

a little rowing photo



So, i don't really know if i quite call myself a rower anymore. but, every once and a while these days, I jump in a boat. So, this was at head of the fish regatta last weekend. Lots of fun, in a mixed boat of the four coaches from my team, and 4 of the rowers. 7 seat, how i love sitting in you. donna, how i miss having you sit in front of me...
2009-hf008-874f_large

2009-hf008-873f_large
Club d'aviron Montreal | Mixed Collegiate Eight

Thursday, October 29, 2009

2 hours later...

so, I woke up at 4:45, with the intention of going to le bassin d'aviron, to coach this morning. this, to me, is normal.

remember how I have said that something strange happens to me every day in Montreal. Well, it is 7:30, and I am sitting in a cafe, not at practice. My girls are probably just coming off the water now. first off, I missed my bus, by about 15 seconds* At that point, I though: "hmmmm, so this is how the day is going to go..." so, i speed walk 15 minutes down the hill, to get to the metro. get into the metro on time, and wait for it to start (if I ride it to practice in the morning, I have to get the first one.) We hear the electricity start up, and promptly in about 1 minute, there is an announcement: Le service de metro est introrumpter pour une temps indeterminer. The metro service is down for an undetermined amount of time.

oh crap.
so, I wait. and wait. and wait. 45 minutes- an hour later, i determine that there is no point in going to the basin, and i proceed to walk out of the station, and head in the complete opposite direction, towards the residence of my community client. since it is super early still, I am going to wait for an hour before i go to visit ;) I can't believe I have missed two practices on the week of the Canadian University Rowing Champs. i feel pretty stupid about that.


in other news, I had a physiology exam last night. Wayyyyyy better than the pharmacology exam last week. ANd, I would like to note that the more I think about it, the more I love physiology. Call me a nerd, but I think it is fascinating. And, I am glad that I didn't use any credits to skip this class. in addition, the next section: muscle physiology. and that, my friends, makes me extremely excited. I love muscles. And, i love when they work. and, i love it when people have strong ones. because, as someone who motivates and inspires me once said, "Strong muscles are healthy muscles." and, i couldn't agree more.

finally, yesterday, when walking home, i realized that I am back on the bandwagon. I have been off the bandwagon, I would say, since last June. Probably just after I arrived in florida for my Haiti trip, and started eating insiduous amounts of refined carbs (ughghghgh!), since that was what was on the menu for most of the summer.
"what bandwagon?" might you ask...

the... triathlon bandwagon! Tri is on my mind again these days. despite the fact that the next one I might do is months and months away, I am getting excited about it again. I am google searching races. I am trying to stick better to healthy eating. I am excited about exercising everyday, and having a coach to tell me what to do. I am even back in the gym for strength/functional training (see the paragraph above about strong, healthy muscles!). and, all of that makes me super excited. and, it is kinda neat to think that I have other people who are on that bandwagon with me** and, sometimes it is funny, cause I tell people I have gotten a coach, and they get all excited. "oh! how often do you get to see her? where is she in the city?" ha! how about... never!? how about... well, in New York state. How about... i might get lucky if i see her in june, or some other time over the course of the next year... but, I am okay with that. 'cause inspiration and motivation doesn't have to come with direct contact. I think it comes from both intrinsic and extrinsic factors from a multitude of people and forms.

and, because of that, i am excited.



* yes, my bike is still in the shop. they keep on telling me "we will call you!" and they never do. Not so happy about that. they have had it a week now. let's not talk about it. unless of course, you want to complain about it with me.
** if you are a Train-this athlete/teammate, leave a note in the comments! I will add you to my blog roll.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

day in the life...

just sent this email to a friend of mine.

life is funny...

Have a physiology exam tomorrow night. sigh. so much work these days! but, i *love* physiology, so, that is okay. I am just worried that they will ask tricky questions....

rolled my ankle on a root last night on a evening run through the park. it was dark. ouch! and, i thought "oh, it will be fine." today, icing and elevation last night.....swolllllen!

made a decision about my first 70.3 in the spring... MOOSEMAN! in new hampshire, in early june. Yay! so excited!
when I was walking to school yesterday, I saw a man fall on his face. ironic thing was that it was about 50 meters in front of the door of a hospital. but, blood gushed *everywhere* and i was able to practice my "firstaid/nursing" skills :)

and, i think my contacts are in the wrong eyes this morning... ugh.

ha ha, that is about it! just a day in the life of amo!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

in saratoga...

for a regatta this weekend, coaching.
and it is raining.
a lot.
it sucks.
had to deal with an almost hypothermic girl this morning.
bad weather is not what i miss about rowing, and i am sooooo glad that I do not have to be on the water right now.





.... Despite the fact that is was sooooooooo wet today, (pretty much i stopped caring if i were walking in shin deep puddles with DC shoes on) we had a great day~ one of my girls one a medal in a single, and there were a couple of other strong performances and top 3 finishes! wooo!

at the end of the day, I was able to take off for a little 30 minute run. And, it was amazing. so beautiful! Saratoga Springs is so beautiful! the fall colours on the road that I ran down were incredible, and breath taking. And, it stopped raining. And, i could *smell* and *see* and *feel* and *hear* the fall. and, i remembered why i think the fall is my favourite season.

good day today... good day.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

the day just kept on getting stranger...


so, i woke up this morning, with the intention that I was going to ride my bike to rowing practice. It was a bit damp outside, but, okay. I can deal with that. but, I was still hesitant, since I have not been riding it as of late. but, today was the day that I was going to drop it off a shop. So, here we go... got on my bike, and left. cruised down the hill.

and, the weird thing about it is that i ride my bike to practice every morning.* nothing new, here. but, i was riding, and then i crossed the bridge, and then i looked up. there i was, in the middle of who-knows-where. same path that i take everyday. and, all of a sudden, I was lost. It took me a good 7 minutes to figure out what was happening, and where i was going.

i mean. comon'. who gets lost on a bike ride that they take every day?!?! [apparently: i. do.]

got to the boat house, and realized that i didn't bring any "regular clothes" for the day. only warm "morning practice" clothes, and lycra "go to the gym" clothes. yes folks, i love lycra. i also realized i forgot my cell phone.

lost in the morning. forgot clothes. wet feet from biking.

then, things were fairly normal. went to breakfast with the rowing team. (you get 1/2 price at that resto, before 9am! woo!) then dropped my bike off at "Cycle Pop". we shall see how that turns out. then, walked to school, and had pharmacology class. yup, i was wearing tight-ish fleece MEC pants, a puffy down jacket, and DC shoes. it was quite hilarious, i might say. it pretty much looked like i was ready to run up a snowy mountain (more on that later!). Then, lunch with my mum's close friend. (Most normal part of the day!).

then, off to the gym. Apparently, the athletic fees that we pay don't include the "fitness centre" at the athletic complex. sure, you can use the track, the pool, etc. but, nope. no fitness centre. anyway, i go, pay my 35$ for the semester (which is 15$ more expensive then the undergrads pay!), and attempt to find my way to the weight room.... can you say sketchy?! because i sure can. the trip to the room included a long hallway, stairs which seemed to lead to nowhere, and no windows. it started to downpour while in there, and when i exited to make my way to go visit my "community client." hopped on the bus, and then proceeded to fall asleep.

somehow, between the time of getting on the bus, getting off, and trying to make my way into the metro, i lost my bus ticket. ugh. so, go to add some more rides onto my card, and the machines "debit, and then refund" my purchase 3 times. really!?!?! finally get on the metro, then transfer to the last bus to get to the residential home. bus rear-ends the car in front.

yup. for real. i get off (at the same stop that i *always* get off at) and turn left. Not a problem, if i am meant to turn left... but, i am meant to turn right. Didn't realise it until 4 blocks in. so... semi lost. second time in a day...

going home, i was hailed on. and it was cold. and, it was windy. and, i didn't like it. then the bus fogged up so much that i thought that i was going to be in bus crash #2 of the day. so bad that the driver was saying "merde." it's a swear word ;)

i decided to call defeat, and go home, instead of arriving late for a "mcgill global health" talk/meeting. sigh.
but, i am now safe at home, and quite liked some of the big snowflakes that were falling when i got off the bus, and ready to have a weekend of coaching in Saratoga, New York. after a "nursings explorations" coference tomorrow. not mandatory.***



* please see the cutout newspaper article about my rowing team!**
**But, don't bother if you don't speak french.

***however, you know how it goes in a master's degree.
everything that is not mandatory is (in reality) mandatory.