Tuesday, May 31, 2011

How hockey made me think of dog penis booze

As a Winnipegger, i feel obligated to make a comment about getting an NHL team again. Yep, the big announcement was made today, and all those Jets fans can finally celebrate the return of pro hockey to our city. So, given it's the top news story, and i'm right where the action is, i suppose i should say something. Um........... Yay. No, really, i mean it. I'm not a sports fanatic, but i do love having a team to root for. I go bonkers for hockey during the Olympics. I was so tense and agitated during that Canada-US gold medal game, i thought i'd have a heart attack. Now I'll have a local team to get me all wound up!

I like the feeling of community over all this. All those people gathered together, cheering, singing, and bonding over this team. Everyone's so happy. I'm happy! I'm a part of this! Granted, I didn't go down to Portage & Main or the Forks to join the festivities, but I smile when I hear hoots and hollers from the street. What? It's cold and wet and bloody miserable out with wind gusting to 80 km/h; I'm staying inside!

So now comes the issue of getting tickets. Everyone seems to be talking about splitting season tickets due to the high costs. Thinking about how much they charge makes me angry. Which makes me think about how much players get paid, and it seems ridiculous. Of course they make loads of money for their owners and so on up the chain, blah blah blah. Same with actors and other superstars. I get annoyed at the fact that so much wealth is in the hands of so few. Who on earth needs to be worth billions of dollars? It's preposterous. I half-jokingly think maybe communism isn't such a bad idea. That in turn leads me to think about my time living in China. I remember how bribery was rampant. I recall that people would often include really expensive sea cucumbers as a part of a "gift". Sea cucumbers are such a weird food. But that definitely wasn't the oddest thing I saw for consumption. That honour has to go to a bottle of dog penis infused baijiu (alcohol). Yuck.

And there we have it, that was the meandering train of thought that led me from the Jets to dog penis booze. Get back on topic, Amanda. Go jets go!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

super sleuthing

disclaimer: i'm not a stalker, but....

last night i decided to try and track down some long lost friends. i've tried in the past, to no success. but every now and again i give it another go, testing if their old email somehow works again, or if they've decided to join the rest of the world and get a facebook account. unfortunately for me, these still came up as dead ends. ok, regroup. so it wasn't going to be easy, but surely in this age of technology there was a way to find them. i've got the world wide web at my fingertips. WORLD WIDE!! i just need to dig...

so both of these people are friends i met in New Zealand, back in 1995-96. I did a fairly good job at keeping in touch, especially considering the lack of email in the beginning. that's right, we wrote letters. on paper. envelopes and licking and stamps and the whole old-fashioned rigmarole. sadly, i lost touch with one of them sometime while living in the UK in 2001, and the other a few years later, maybe 2003ish. but time to reconnect, i am on a mission!

my first endeavor was to find my old flatmate Cathrine. i knew her maiden name, her married name (although the marriage was a sham to get her a NZ visa so i had no idea if she still used it), and i knew she'd moved back to Norway at some point. with that, i began googling. eventually i stumbled on some Norwegian home buyers page that, after translating to English, listed her (with maiden/married names) as having bought a house in some little Norwegian place i'd never heard of. after a bit more googling i found her again - this time with a new last name but the same address i'd just seen! and with that new last name i found her on Facebook!! no photo available, but when i checked out her friends list i saw some other familiar names from all those years ago. it was her! on top of the facebook find, i also located her on a NZ "old friends" site, although not sure when she last used it. But, i learned she has a kid. wow, what a fruitful search! i sent her messages both through facebook and the other site, and now wait with bated breath for a response. i have no idea how often she logs in - if ever - so all this could still leave her out of reach.

next up: mike, another kiwi friend. after meeting him in '96, he came to visit me in '98 or '99 and we took a road trip to NY. i last saw him in 2002 when i stopped by Auckland on my way home from SE Asia. he doesn't exactly have a unique name, so googling him wasn't giving me any concrete leads. however, my search was not a complete bust. i found his name associated with a company in Auckland. no contact info. i googled the company. no website but it comes up in that "old friends" site because someone has listed it as a former employer. who? not mike, a girl. my stomach flips. now that i see the name, i remember that was his girlfriend's name. maybe they worked together. she has a photo up, and although i only met his girlfriend once, and that was almost a decade ago, i think it might be her. her blurb mentions living with her boyfriend of 12 years. the timing fits. and i see she worked in Australia for a bit and i remember they moved there briefly. it has to be her! so i send a rather awkward message asking if my friend mike is her boyfriend. again, i have no idea when she'll get that message, i just have to cross my fingers that it will reach her and she'll respond.

i went to bed much later than should have, but totally wired from all my exciting detective work. i'm closer than i have been in a decade, and i may actually reconnect with them! now i keep checking my email, hoping to see something from one of these long lost pals, trying not to get my hopes up, but really it's too late. oh, i'm so close, so close!! please still use those emails and websites, please don't let my messages get spammed out, please get them and read them and write back!

ok, must chill out. for now i should congratulate myself on my excellent sleuthing skills and just give it a bit of time. i mean really, that was way tougher than trying to find carmen sandiego. fingers crossed!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

number 36...

first, let me express my outrage, disappointment, and - above all - hurt feelings, at the fact that i have lost a follower. did you think i wouldn't notice? i only had 23 followers, of course i noticed! i just lost almost 5% of my following! why? why did you leave me?? just because i don't blog regularly? just because my entries are boring? just because the pointless drivel i do post is presented in an aesthetically dry and bland fashion? that's it??? i never thought you'd abandon me like this, not you! ok, so i don't know exactly who the deserter is, but that doesn't make it any less devastating. oh well, their loss, now they miss out on my exciting news.

i'm going to Denmark! it was a very spontaneous decision after seeing a fantastic price on a flight to Copenhagen. $450 return after taxes and everything! woohoo!! i can't even get to vancouver for that cheap! unfortunately, it's a super short trip, but that was all that was available. we were thinking of booking july 3 - 17, but as i was online looking at it, it sold out! so we're going july 10 - 17, the only option. i had never considered a trip to Denmark, so i know nothing about it. Ok, not quite true. I've heard of Tivoli Gardens, and i know there's a statue of the Little Mermaid, the Carlsberg brewery, and of course Legoland. And if i believe the stereotype, everyone is blond. and a viking.

Also, since looking online at accommodation, i've learned that although the flight may have been cheap, the rest of our visit will most certainly NOT be. But who cares! I get to dust off my passport, see new things, and make Denmark the 36th country I'll have the privilege of traveling to. yahoo!!

if anyone has any recommendations or suggestions, please share!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

joining the fancy future

almost a week ago something awful happened. i mean, we've had our issues and setbacks in the past, but we've always been able to get through it. i guess i naively hoped we could keep on doing that indefinitely. but the moment this happened i knew things were different. i gasped, my head reeled, i felt helpless and lost and didn't know where to turn. everything i'd done to salvage things before had just been temporary fixes. tape over a crack, reset and pretend nothing happened.

i'm not being figurative, i'm talking about my cell phone. my darling little Nokia flip phone that i had for 3 and a half years. so simple, so easy, so reliable. sure, i dropped it a few too many times and the battery was held in place by packing tape. and i called rogers every other week because my texts stopped sending or i didn't get notification of voicemail. but other than that things were great! i thought the tape added character and i always had very pleasant calls with the rogers staff. i scoffed at my friends who told me to ditch the archaic relic and get with the times. no, i loved my flip phone and it was all i needed or wanted.

but then, six days ago, the screen died. nothing but a tiny panel of blue. i hung my head and grieved, and finally acknowledged it was time for a new phone. i managed to get a last hurrah with my Nokia, as the screen still worked if i only opened the phone half way. i had the fleeting thought that maybe i could live like this and spare myself the painful separation, but realized that was ridiculous.

I begrudgingly went to the mall, scowling at all the ugly phones and snooty blackberries. i just want my simple flip phone. i don't need anything fancy schmancy, just something that makes and receives calls and text messages. basic. i repeat: BASIC.

Anyhoo.......... i ended up getting the new Sony Ericsson Xperia arc. yeah, it's fancy schmancy. i don't know what happened. it was just so pretty! it has a camera that's better than my actual camera was! and my sister kept saying that fancy phones are "the future". i have 13 days left to decide if i want to keep it. i tell myself i went this long without a fancy phone, i can most certainly continue with having a phone that is just a phone. but can i go back to having just a phone phone after this? and will i want to?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

look, i'm being topical!

so, lots of stuff going on lately. big news stories and such. even for someone who generally only gets their limited news knowledge from yahoo headlines or jon stewart, even i couldn't be so oblivious as to not know what was obsessing the media. it was an event filled couple of weeks.

for weeks i couldn't watch tv without coming across some will & kate show on at least 2 channels at all times. their relationship, their engagement, their style, their families, the guest list, the plethora of royal wedding tchotchkes, etc etc etc. i didn't quite get the infatuation that some people had, whether it be in their hoards of tacky souvenirs or determination to travel halfway around the world to be in London on the wedding day. it seemed to me that the whole thing was getting much more attention that it deserved. really, i thought to myself, what's the big deal? who cares? then i heard that apparently two billion people cared. WHAT? two billion people are going to watch this wedding?? wow, that's a whole lotta people. that's almost a third of the whole world! and that was it, i got caught up in it and became royal wedding viewer 2,000,000,001. i didn't have enough enthusiasm to get up at 4am or anything, but that's what PVRs are for. and it was cool. i liked the ceremony and tradition of it all. but mostly i liked being a part of something with 2 billion other people.

almost eclipsed by the wedding was our federal election. in general i don't much care for politics. i don't keep up on all the nitty gritty or the who's who of what riding blah blah. i have an overall idea of what the parties stand for, the primary issues on the table, and that's about it. it may be basic, but i know who i like and who i side with. and i always vote. it makes me sad that voter turnout is only about 60%. i know that it often seems futile as one little ballot in a sea of millions, but we should not take our right to vote for granted. when the votes are all counted, i might not like the results. but what bothers me more are the people who complain about the government only to sit on their ass on election day.

and most recently, bin laden is dead. well that's good i guess. one less bad guy in the world. i'm not sure i have any more to say on this one. 9/11 still happened. all those people are still dead. the repercussions of that attack aren't going to dissolve just because he's dead now. i've never celebrated anyone's death before, and i'm not going to start. he's dead, that's that.

so there we have it, my thoughts on some of the world's happenings, instead of my usual self-centred babbling. hey, i said it was topical, not insightful.
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