30 September 2012

I'm still still here

Okay, I did go away for a while. I was at sea for five days last week. Five solid days. It was the longest sustained trip I've done in over a decade. When I was out earlier this summer, the longest we were out without touching land was four nights, but this trip was five days and five nights. And two of those days were very rough seas. Not so rough that it was unsafe to fish, but rough enough that you learn to do everything one-handed because you use the other hand to hold on. And my legs are covered in bruises I don't remember getting. I was land sick for two days after we got back. I almost fell over in the shower.

This time I was just off Seal Island, NS.


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I had a dream about the island one night on the boat. I dreamt that the island was full of volunteers who reenacted battles for the entertainment of the people on boats as they sailed by. But the battles they reenacted were between hunters and the penguins that used to be native to the island (dream biogeography is rarely accurate). So there was a bunch of people in penguin suits running away from people shooting arrows at them from bows. In the dream we were sailing by and watching, and one of the penguin people was actually hit - but it was all faked for the reenactment.

26 September 2012

I'm still here

I've just been neglecting my little blog. The fall has proven to be very, very busy and I don't think things are going to calm down until Christmas. I'm not going to complain, though, because I still have a job to take up all my time and some people don't even have that.

I haven't quite finished writing about my Ontario trip. I got to spend about 12 days at my cabin. The first part of it was with the Core Four and the second part with my BFF, and the third part with my parents and their giant of a puppy, Barkley The Forlorn.

Sad, giant puppy

17 September 2012

Wonderland

As part of my three week vacation, I spent a couple of days in Toronto. One day with my brother (Hurricane Michael) at Wonderland and one day to visit with friends in the city. I hadn't been to Wonderland since the ¾ of the Core Four 30h Reunion Extravaganza two years ago. I really wanted to go this year because I had the time and they have a new coaster I really wanted to try. So my brother got a day off work and we went on the Monday of the last week in August. Since returning from my trip, I got this email from my brother:
"A woman I work with somehow ended up at a function with the guy who designs the rides for Canada's Wonderland (talk about a great job).  He told her that the week we went, historically, is the busiest week of the entire year at the park.  So we got ridiculously lucky."

16 September 2012

Atlantic Canada Saturday

I had an awesome Saturday yesterday. It was a beautiful day - a bit cloudy but mostly sunny. In the early afternoon I went kayaking in St. Margaret's Bay. It was pretty choppy towards the mouth of the Bay. That made for a fun ride, but tough paddling, so we stayed more inland. After that we went swimming at Cranberry Cove, with a beautiful view of Peggy's Cove. I've gone diving there before (lots of giant lobsters), but never just hopped in for a swim. We ran into some divers we knew there who had been out. They said that water was nice - if you were in a wetsuit. We went in without them, and it wasn't that bad. It was a little numbing at first, but it didn't take too long to get used to it. It was the first time this year that I've swam in the ocean.

In the evening we went to a midnight showing of Grabbers as part of the Atlantic Film Festival. It was a fantastic movie - very funny. And, as if always the case with the AFF movies, the audience was great. If you get a chance to see this movie, don't pass it up.

13 September 2012

History!

My dad was in Ottawa recently and apparently he spent a lot of time looking for Laurentian Terrace, a place his aunt lived during the war. It was a home for unmarried women working in the city during the war.  I'd never heard of it, so upon googling I found this in a 2000 book ominously titled Whose National Security? Canadian State Surveillance and the Creation of Enemies:


The aunt in question is the Winifred Moyle mentioned in the book. Fun! Aunt Win was one of my spinster aunts, which may be ironic considering she had a degree in home economics from U of A (Class of 1926, 82 years before me). She worked in the RCAF before working at Laurentian Terrace for almost 20 years, eventually becoming director.

10 September 2012

I've been downgraded to a tropical storm. How embarrassing. But there is hope"[Leslie] will possess high winds for sure, whether it will be at hurricane strength or not, that still remains to be seen." The really good news is that puny little Michael "will likely be pushed northward out of the area by Leslie." Because the maritimes are my territory, bitch. 

09 September 2012

Lego


When I was back at my parents' house last month, my dad brought out my old Lego for my niece and nephew to play with. My oldest brother was all, "it's my Lego, I never said you could have it." He then proceeded to spend the entire day playing with it, building shit like this:

07 September 2012

A constant source of disappointment


http://thechronicleherald.ca/
At least my hurricane is still faster than my brother's hurricane. At least I have that.

Happy Friday!

Today, instead of an comic or a cute picture, I give you hope.

The Liberals said Thursday they will elect their new leader next April. But the result is a foregone conclusion: Justin Trudeau will enter the race and he will win.

DNC

I can't sleep, and I got sucked into streaming the DNC. I didn't cry over Gabby Giffords, but I almost did. That was pretty incredible. Speaking of crying, was Biden tearing up? That was weird. I had no idea he was  a good public speaker. The intro video for Obama is narrated by George Clooney. Because of course. It's a very convincing piece. I would totally vote for this guy. And he comes on stage to City of Blinding Lights by U2. And he and Michelle are so cute. Why can't he be Canadian?  Obama believes in climate change. Be still my heart. Okay, maybe it's the sleeplessness, but this speech is really good. I love the foreign policy burns. I'm literally nodding in agreement. Wow.

I want to live in the America in Obama's head. 

05 September 2012

Hurricane Day on Ellie Fish

It should come as little surprise to long-time readers and friends that I place a lot of importance on names. It's the logical consequence of being saddled with a name like "Leslie" your whole life. I like my name right now because I get my own hurricane, but I will shortly go back to disliking it.

I do think it's a nice little coincidence that me and my youngest brother are hurricanes at the same time. That makes me happy in the same way that small-world stories do. And, as an added bit of awesome, I saw this on Hurricane Tracker:

Sounds like me

"Leslie is expected to wobble slowly along a general north-northwestward track for the next 72 hours or so ...." 
Read more at http://www.wunderground.com/tropical/at201212.disc.html#880Jr2WmUDgJ9peQ.99

But not my brother:

"Michael has become a little better organized this morning."
Read more at http://www.wunderground.com/tropical/at201213.disc.html#UvDHmL3Ep8YGlq2C.99

Hurricane Leslie

Welcome back to hurricane season, my friends! I love hurricane season.

I missed J and K, but the L hurricane is afoot. Her name is Leslie. Yeah! What's even better is that my hurricane and my brother's hurricane are totally battling it out for hurricane supremacy.

http://www.weatheroffice.gc.ca/hurricane/track_e.html
So far, I'm the fastest. That must mean I win, right?

04 September 2012

Road Trip: Day 2


The second day of the road trip was dreaded by me. It was the day we drove through Montreal. Since I moved to NS in undergrad I have heard nothing but horrible things about how hard it is to drive through Montreal – how crazy the drivers are and  how confusing and poorly labelled the highways are. Well, Oz is a master navigator and driving though Montreal was a breeze (for those of you interested – we took the 40 through the northern part of the city). Quebec City, on the other hand, was less breezy because the exit we wanted to take to connect to the 40 was closed. I didn’t have a proper city map for Quebec City because I had no intention of getting off the highway there, so that caused me some panic. But in the end we got on the right highway – in the right direction to boot, so it was fine.

We didn’t do any touristy stops that day. My French is horrible and Quebec makes me uncomfortable.  I did, however,  buy gas and conduct the entire transaction in French. I am so proud of myself. I believe the exchange went something like:

Me: Bonjour!
Cashier (in French): Good morning. That will be $53.76 please  (or something to that effect)
Me: (displays my Visa to indicate method of payment)
Cashier: (does cashier stuff, hands me the card machine, prints off receipt, hands it to me)
Me: Merci! (leaves the store with chest puffed out with pride).

We got to Ottawa pretty early, just before 3pm. We eventually found the place where Oz was staying, and I headed off to my brother’s place in Kanata.

03 September 2012

Road trip


I mentioned in a previous post that Oz was visiting. The reason for her visit was twofold – to see Halifax for the first time, and to be my road trip buddy on my drive to Ontario for my summer vacation.  I took three weeks off work and planned a fairly comprehensive family-and-friend-visiting-vacation tour of Ontario. A grad school reunion with my closest U of A friends was part of that, so Oz hitched a ride with me.

We didn’t do anything fancy on the drive from Halifax to Ontario (our first destination was Ottawa). We left Dartmouth around 7am on Saturday morning. Our first stop was Second Cup, so I could get coffee and we could get oatcakes for everyone. We stopped for gas outside Moncton, then we stopped for lunch at park in a little town called Meductic in NB. We also stopped in Grand Falls, NB, to look at the titular falls. The signage to the falls failed to work and we got a bit turned around, but we found them eventually. The falls were interesting, but would be more impressive during the spring melt. 

Meductic, NB
Grand Falls, NB
The first day of driving was pretty easy. It rained on and off, we couldn’t seem to escape it.  We ended our day at the Motel Loupi in Rivière-du-Loup, Quebec.  The motel was perfectly fine. I would stay there again. The rooms had coffee makers and fridges, which is a nice perk. It was also in a great location and had a nice view of the town.