Archive for May, 2006

the credit card company made me cry

Posted on May 31, 2006. Filed under: Uncategorized |

I was just about to turn in early last night when I spotted a letter addressed to me. As I opened it and read the contents, I burst into tears. Now, I usually only cry when frustrated, and these were definitely tears of frustration.

About 6 weeks ago there was a huge fradulent charge on my AMEX from Bell Mobility. I called both Bell and AMEX and they claimed they were both looking into it. Well, the letter read: "as of today, the merchant has not provided us with the information we need to resolve this matter" and they're reinstating the $700 fee to my card which apparently can be adjusted accordingly after I pay it. Ya right.

I couldn't sleep at all because I was so angry, and called Bell first thing this morning. They are still looking into it — and I have been "escalated", but they say that AMEX never contacted them (but they won't contact AMEX) and I'd imagine that when I phone AMEX, they'll say that the merchant has to contact them. I can't call them just yet, I just can't deal with it right now. I'm exhausted.

All I can say is that this had better be resolved by the time I get my next AMEX bill and Bell had better give me lots of loving and attention.

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joan smith and the huxtables

Posted on May 31, 2006. Filed under: Friends |

I just came across the website of a girl I went to Queen's with — Joan has a killer voice, and if you're ever able to see her perform, you'll be absolutely blown away. She'll be at C'est What in Toronto on July 8 at 10:00 pm if you want to drop by. Check out her site here.

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going to finish the trip i started three years ago

Posted on May 31, 2006. Filed under: Family, Travelling |

I booked my ticket for my trip to the UK in August! I’m really quite excited, kind of sad because of the circumstances that brought me home three years ago. I started talking about my trip here and so far have continued
here, but am not quite done telling the tale in between.

The conclusion, however is part of why I’m going to finish the trip. I was on a 6 week vacation (you know, the post-university, pre-grad school thing to do) and my grandfather fell ill. Now, I was very close with my dad’s parents because I grew up in the same house as them (we rented the apartment in their house), and they were very smart, articulate, loving people. Well, I had to make a mad dash back from the UK to see him. So, I woke up one morning in Galway, Ireland, hopped on a train and made it to Dublin. Now, in Dublin the tensions were high because I was stressed and upset. Here’s a tip: NOTHING MAKES SENSE IN DUBLIN, DO NOT USE PUBLIC TRANSIT!!

I asked a few bus drivers how to get to the ferry (I had booked a ticket online) and they directed me to a stop. There was a bus there, but no driver. Afer waiting forever, a driver finally appeared but he wasn’t going to the ferry. He pointed to another bus, who said that he wasn’t going until 12:45 — the ferry was leaving at 12:15 and it was already getting close. I spotted some people who had also been waiting pile their luggage into a cab, so I approached, asked if they were heading to the ferry and if I could share the cab.

Yes and sure! Yay! One victory.

I caught the ferry to Wales and watched very old episodes of Friends to distract myself. I remember buying my grandma a Irish pin and my grandfather some of this favourite candy. I made it to Wales in a few hours, and as I was getting off the ferry I met a couple from California.

I mentioned that I had to get home, but didn’t mention why and took the train with them as far as it could go towards London. They were absolutely the sweetest people I have ever met. I mentioned that I hadn’t had a chance to do laundry and apologized for being disgusting. I also spoke about the fact that I didn’t have any pounds left, so I’d have to find a place to get some Canadian money changed over. They insisted for a long time to give me a twenty pound note, which I refused for a long time, but they pushed it and I really had no other options, so I accepted and said I’d pay them back. We got of to change trains and they gave me hugs and pressed the note into my hand.

I remember watching them as I crossed the platform and then I lined up to get a sandwhich for dinner; I was starving. I went to pay and they had folded two twenty pound notes together. I started to cry.

I ran out to try to find them, but they were nowhere to be seen.

Deep breath.

The next leg of the journey I shared seats with a young father and his daughter. He was dropping the child, stroller and all off with her mother. Literally. We got to Watford and he dropped her and the stroller off at the platform. Then opened a bottle of wine, which we shared to London.

Finally arriving in London and then switching over to the tube to get to Heathrow. After all of this, I get there and there are no more flights for the day. I totally broke down at the counter, not that the guy working showed any compassion (this is where my hatred for British Air came into play).

He booked me on a flight for the next day and as standby for the first 2 flights.

It gets better.

I found my family in London and stayed there for a few hours of sleep before trying to beg my way onto a flight in the morning.

Back at Heathrow and it’s insanity. There are so many people, there aren’t even lines any more. I finally get to the front to be told that the flight was overbooked, and there aren’t any more seats. I’m directed to a room, where I’m told I’ll be on the next flight. Since it was also a standby flight, I’m not sure if this will happen, but I go to the room. The sheer idiotic behaviour of the people working there was ridiculous. I mean, they overbook flights EVERY day, so you would think they’d be able to have a system set up. Nope. They accidentally threw out a stack of boarding passes they were working from, and I didn’t get on the the next flight either, because the plane that showed up was smaller than expected. They also wouldn’t let me switch with a woman who offered.

And let me tell you, I wanted to kill the girl who got a ticket and wined, it a bitchy voice to say:

“Oh, but I wanted a window seat”.

Slap.

I go back to the standby lady, and explain AGAIN my situation and she tries to put me on standby for the flight I actually have a ticket for. No. No way. I finally got an actual ticket. I went and bought Fast Food Nation and McDonald’s because I figured it would be the last time I would want to eat it as I wouldn’t want to after reading the book, and waited. And waited.

The plane I had a real ticket for arrived, and I ventured to the gate without much optimism. The screens indicated that the previous two flights were both delayed by at least 4 or 6 hours; they hadn’t left yet anyway.

I started explaining my day at the airport to a woman from Ireland and said:

“There is no way this plane is taking off.”

Therein lies the rub.

They started pre-boarding, which looked optimistic. The people with babies and small children ventured out onto the tarmac.

Then, something strange happened.

They turned around and came back.

Damn. No! Something was wrong with the plane. The flight was cancelled.

Tears.

I’m telling you, there were so many tears because I just wanted to get home to see my grandpa.

I called home to tell them about the ordeal, went and used the four pound meal voucher that I received from evil British Air (bought McDonald’s again, because what else can you afford for 4 pounds at an airport!?!).

I did get home on the next flight, but after I had called my family to say I wasn’t on a plane yet, the hospital had called and my grandfather had passed away.

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i forgot to mention

Posted on May 31, 2006. Filed under: Friends |

One highlight of the night last night was that all of the customized awards are made in the little village I grew up in and live in. They had a little video clip explaining the creation of the glass awards and the artist and they mentioned The Glen! I’m definitely a Glen girl through and through (right Kendell? you are too for sure).

When we were younger, we used to climb up on top of the roof of the school in The Glen. Now, to do this, you had to balance your one foot on a slender pipe, while leaping with the other to gain a footing on the window sill of the girls bathroom. Then suck up the pain as you grabbed onto the steel cover they put up (to try to prevent people from going up on the roof). The hoist yourself up. Well, we did this a few times when we were in middle school, and then one night we just couldn’t do it very well. So, I had the brilliant idea of throwing Kendell’s sandal up onto the roof, because then we definitely had to go up there to get it. I can still vividly picture the entire scene and her look of disbelief as I tossed the shoe.

It gets better, because I suddenly really had to go pee. So, we walked (her with only one shoe) over to the park so I could use the bathroom. After the bladder was empty, we returned to get the shoe (by now I was starting to feel a bit guilty and wondered if perhaps we may not be able to get get it back).

Success. We made it. Carved our names in the metal and marvelled at how cool it was up there, trying to be all badass and rebellious.

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CNMA awards

Posted on May 30, 2006. Filed under: Uncategorized |

I went to the Canadian New Media Awards last night and it was a lot of fun, though a late night. I realized that I didn't really know too many of the companies who were up for awards — which I should perhaps remedy if I want to work in the industry…hehe.

I love going to these sorts of functions, but I realized last night that I just don't have the same energy and gumption to meet a whole bunch of new people. I really enjoy networking and meeting new people, but I know that I don't do it as soon as I have people to talk to. This used to be quite different. At university, I'd go out with a few people and then end up talking to several other groups of people and often not leaving with whomever I went with. Thinking back, perhaps this could have been perceived as mean? I think that's why I like traveling by myself, because I do a lot more and meet way more people. As soon as I'm travelling with one other person, I don't meet a soul.

Don't get me wrong, I had a fantastic time with the girls I went with. We had a lovely candida-friendly meal before venturing off to the Carlu and had a really good time together — and, despite waiting for a cab forever, the cab ride itself was fun. Maybe now it's different because I'm in good company to begin with, so I don't want to meander away to find anyone else to talk to… Hmmmm… that could be it. But still, I'll have to work back to mini-go-meet-people ventures where I go by myself from time to time.

Another advantage of going with people is that often they won't want to talk to someone, so I'll go do it instead. This happened quite often at school as well, and I got an almost sort of rush of being able to just approach and talk to anyone. I'll have to redevelop that skill; I'm out of practice.

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backtracking to backpacking part 2

Posted on May 28, 2006. Filed under: Travelling |

I started reminiscing about my backpacking around the UK, and I thought I would pick up on the next leg of memories.

The post-Glasgow leg of the trip was entertaining to say the least. I hopped on the train (the rail pass was the best purchase I ever made) and headed to the Isle of Skye. The train ride there was gorgeous and we got to go over the bridge that is now famous because of the Harry Potter movies. It was actually pretty cool.

I stopped for the night at a hostel just on the other side of the water (after a brief ferry ride that I can’t actually remember at all right now, but it must have happened because there’s no other way to get there…no wait, I now remember walking up from the boat and hearing my first set of bagpipes playing and then continuing the trek up to the hostel where no one was there to let me in).

Since I had nowhere to go, I walked up to the bus stop, and soon learned that the times were posted about 5 years ago and no one went by them; you just have to flag a bus down. Feeling too timid and tired to do so I walked for a bit and stumbled upon a castle Armdale (or something close to that). It was in ruins, but still gorgeous. I meandered through it and through the museum there until the hostel was open and then returned only to learn that the only place to buy food was probably closed. After finding a tin of spaghetti, I returned to my room to find another girl unpacking. I was telling her the stories of Glasgow and the funny thing about meeting a girl from Queen’s and turns out that she also went to Queen’s (we really are everywhere).

The one person I remember distinctly at this hostel was a man in his eighties who used to be a sailor. He had been around the world a few times and had so many interesting stories. He was in the little town we were staying in to learn Gaelic. He had grown up on the highlands and was worried about the culture losing their language and heritage. I remember an anecdote he told us about a time when kilts were banned, but the boys in the highlands still wore them. When he started to go to school, he was bussed into town. He and another boy wore their kilts and they were told that they had a class the next day called PT. Well, this was gym class, and he still wore his kilt, not the uniforms that they were supposed to wear, and not the requested underwear, and was sent to the principal’s office because as they were participating in gynmastics, his kilt flew up and there was nothing under it.

Next stop in the story was Portree, a bit up-island, and a place that was gorgeous and fun and will have to wait until next time.

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worriedness another oldness indicator

Posted on May 28, 2006. Filed under: The boy(s) |

So I’ve only spoken with Brian for about 15 minutes since he went back to Arizona last week. Not a problem, but he was going away for the night about an hour and a half from Tucson and was going to be heading home for his radio debut that was at 5 am his time. But, then he disappeared. I mean, I didn’t freak out and assumed that he was just busy, but there was this little nagging suspicion in the back of my mind that something had happened; they had been in an accident on their way home, or were stranded in the middle of the desert, or well, no other scenarios, just some worry. He did call after I left a message wondering if he was alive, and that if he was, could he call to let me know? I’m definitely not one of those call and let me know where you are kind of people, but I do start to worry when you’ve been off in the mountains for a night or two and I haven’t heard a peep. Damn, another indicator of getting old? There have been a few too many of those these days. This should be the “indicators of getting old” blog, because clearly the scandalous days that would have been way more interesting for you to read are far behind me. I’m going to have to drag them up from the recesses of my mind for your enjoyment, and to let me re-live the craziness that existed pre-real-grown-up-job and pre-the-dyingness.

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playoff hockey memories

Posted on May 28, 2006. Filed under: School |

Remember when we were still in Kingston, but most of our furniture wasn’t. It was playoff time, which meant it was also exam time, but we had finished our final fourth year exams. We filled up our Nalgene bottles with alcohol and walked over to Dustin’s place to watch the game — getting updates from people watching on their front porches (disheveled couches moved onto front lawns for comfort). Then onto the bar where we were sitting front and centre, as all the boys left and we were the only witnesses to Vancouver’s tie-it-up goal with something like .8 seconds left on the clock to send them into overtime. Remember that the TV was gone and we really wanted to know the score so we would hit refresh every ten seconds on our computers to find out if anything had happened. The suspense was more exciting than actually watching the game live.

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opening day and crown mouldings

Posted on May 27, 2006. Filed under: Family |

It’s opening day for soccer in town today — since there are some 4000 or more kids in town who play, you basically get to see everyone you know in one fell swoop. I stopped by my little bro’s fundraising table to purchase some raffle tickets (fingers crossed that I win the fire pit or at least something), then went to buy super cheap shorts at the mall (which I found at the evil empire of Walmart for $5 and, sadly, I did buy them) and then proceeded to paint 18 pieces of crown moulding for the new house. I did a pretty good job if I do say so myself, but my shoulder hurts — how pathetic is that — my shoulder hurts from painting 18 pieces of wood.

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Brian’s first radio broadcast is tomorrow morning

Posted on May 27, 2006. Filed under: Music, The boy(s) |

CBC Radio Two will broadcast our National Conductors' Symposium concert "OPUS  Glimpses of North American Choral Works"  on Sunday, May 28 at 8:00am.

Here's the schedule.

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