Hey everyone. According to my parental units, this blog is being passed along to many people. Oh, the calamity. I’ve been super-busy as you may have guessed, which is why I have not updated recently. But now I have some free time at work to update! It’s my last day at work so I’m taking some liberties (Although I have already taken many by running away to play the keyboard constantly) and updating. Hooray!
I apologize for the attempt at being artsy in my last post. I was getting over a sickness and feeling sentimental. Or maybe just mental, I don’t know. Speaking of sickness, I came down with the stomach flu 2 weeks ago. 9 other people also came down with the stomach flu. This is one of the things that I dislike about living with 11 other people. 1 person gets sick, we all get sick. Katimavik is not helping my immune system.
Today I got more chocolate from Heather and also the greatest reference letter ever. It’s my ticket into a career in Social Work/Gerontology/Event Planning! I did some research for my future and I’m thinking of applying to George Brown college for Activation Co-ordinator & Gerontology and then fast-tracking to Ryerson for a Gerontology degree. Then I can work with the elderly or use my activation experience and turn that into an event planning job. How sweet would that be? Plus I could pursue music on the side because of the flexible hours. I’d have to apply soon though if I want to be in the college for Fall 2008. I have to explore all of my options with all colleges and universities. My future is looking bright. I should invest in a pair of shades for my birthday.
My birthday is next week and I will be sending out an e-mail to my parentals about what I want. Basically what it comes down to is an iPod or a iBook. What can I say, I have expensive taste. But I don’t want to lug around a iBook, so that may wait until later. Also, I have my address for my new house in Montreal, so I’ll send that out in a mass e-mail. We’re 6 or 7 blocks near McGill U, so that’s exciting. I can’t wait for Montreal, although I must admit I am a little frightened of the interview for our new work placements next week. I’m going to do it all in French, but I may have a cheat sheet in my lap to help me if I forget a word to conjugate or something. Other than that, I’m very excited.
This weekend we have to pack up and clean for the adventure ahead. On Monday we’re heading back to Fingal for our Debriefing (bow-chika-wah-wah) Camp. On the 5th we will take a bus to Montreal. The following day we will celebrate my birthday somehow! Or we may just celebrate on Saturday because it is Gaby’s birthday on the 4th. We’ll have a double birthday! Woo!
I can’t believe today is my last day here at The Lodge. I’m really gonna miss it here. The residents were so nice and the staff were very welcoming and really inspiring. Yesterday I had a farewell party and it was a blast. I got loads of chocolate (’cause they know I have a sweet tooth) from the staff as a present and I also got a cougar. “A cougar?” Yeah, a cougar. One day the secretary invited me out to lunch at Crabby Joe’s and I turned her down because I had no money at the time and that she’d be seen as a cougar. From that point on it became a running joke. So I got a cougar for a parting gift. I named it Susan. There was also coffee and danishes for everyone to nosh on. To wrap up the party I played the piano and we all sang Christmas Carols. It was very sweet.
Not only was I a performer, I got to be a dental hygienist too. I shined a light into people’s mouths, helped them rinse, cleaned up blood and plaque, grimaced at the rotten teeth that were pulled out, and marveled at some of the filling jobs these senior’s had received (gold and silver teeth were the style back then. Now we have grills).
Later on at night, the community was doing the Jingle Bell Walk/Run & Teddy Bear Shuffle. The Teddy Bear Shuffle is for the children of Ingersoll. The kids bring a teddy bear to the 1 km walk to donate and at the end of their walk they get to take home a new teddy bear. I got to do something that I’ve always wanted to do but never got the opportunity: to be a mascot! I got to be the Teddy Bear that led the walk! I had a blast! I was dancing and waving and hugging people and giving high-fives to kids and doing exercises with the runners. I was also (surprise) warm the whole evening! That does not happen to me outside. Ever. (Unless you’re Jeffrey and you’re a human furnace of love). Let’s do a little math:
Ed + Ugly but effective Columbia Jacket * Cold = Not as cold Ed
Ed + Columbia Jacket / Teddy Bear Costume * Cold = Warm Ed!
I was a happy camper and I didn’t find it hot or stifling in the costume at all, unlike the other Katima-mascots (there was a Solider, a Sleepy Bear, and a Gingerbread Man). The feet of my costume didn’t fit me, so I was a teddy bear with kick ass running shoes on. Pictures to come later.
Thursday November 29th was one of the best days of my life. Absolutely nothing went wrong. It should of been my birthday yesterday. Loads of chocolate, pretending to have a job I would never take, exuding sunshine and teddy bears as a mascot, and talking with a Jeffrey that recovered from his own brand of stomach flu. Most. Awesome. 24. Hours. Ever.
Speaking of hours that have a number in front of them (as well as speaking of Jeffrey), my 48 hours was last weekend. It was great! My Dad came to pick me up and took Lucia and Jess with us to Union Station. It was the Grey Cup that weekend and the traffic in TO was messed up to the max. But Dad, being the weasel and Torontonian that he is, got us through the traffic in no time. We dropped off Lu and Jess at Union Station and then headed home, where I had Sausage and Penne for dinner (OMG MEAT). I haven’t had meat since billeting and it was a nice change. I love vegetarian meals and all but I just love meat a little more. I played loads of piano that night and caught up with my parental units and Dan (I taught them about how politically correct I’ve became in my language… some of my Katima-people will disagree and say I have a long way to go. They’re right). I also had wine with my meal (OMG ALCOHOL). That was just the beginning of my alcohol consumption.
The following day I got my hair cut and colored (I’m a warm brown with the tiniest hint of red now). There is a dog at my salon that kept bringing a toy to me to play fetch with. I think the owner was quite amused. At least it kept him away from his client. As I sat down to get colored, I bashed my head on the heater twice. Once on the way up, once on the way to get my hair washed. Klutzy much?
After getting sexy in my hair back, I then went to Sherway to go shop a little and say hi to my BR peeps. Talked with Chad for a while and shopped around the store. We have really cute guys sweaters right now. Go get ’em! Afterwards I attempted to go to Bulk Barn to get some candy because Jeff wanted sour jujubes but the Outlet Mall was so packed that I couldn’t even park.
Defeated, I went to Shoppers to go pick up some essentials and Pringles. I trekked over to LCBO and was greeted by a promo for some all-in-one-bottle cocktail company thing. I ended up picking up a bottle of Cosmo and having a sample. Yummytastic. I know that Jeff wanted some white wine from Australia, but I couldn’t remember what brand he wanted. So I called him and I waited for a phone call back. While I was waiting I called home to see if they wanted anything. I ended up picking a 40 of Canadian Club and Bacardi. My parents are old school because they call 1.14 L a 40 oz. I didn’t know the exact equivalent so I had to ask someone. How embarrassing. I’ve worked at Cali’s for god sakes, I should know what a 40 is. Oh well. Jeff called back and didn’t care what kind of wine I got. Ironically, we didn’t end up drinking any of the alcohol that I brought for him.
After spending $100 in booze, I went home and my parental units hopped in the car and we went to Bulk Barn where Mom and I speed shopped for ingredients for Christmas Cake and Sour Jujubes and Gummy Worms. After our guerrilla style shopping we drove to York Mills to get Jeffrey. From there we drove straight to Jeff’s house. It’s pretty bacheloresque. Err, gay bacheloresque. Poor gay bacheloresque. But it’s his and Brenda’s and they enjoy it.
Jeff and I sat around and caught up with Brenda, listened to Elmo and Rosie sing Do You Hear What I Hear? (Baa baa) and went out for dinner at Milestone’s. For some reason I had the thought in my head that Milestone’s was vegetarian. It’s more like a Moxie’s or a Canyon Creek. Chad mentioned to try the Bellini, so I did. It was like a slushie with rum in it. Mmm. I had lamb (OMG more meat) and some really yummy spinach and tomato side dish. We also had the spinach and artichoke dip which was good as well. Jeff had a 11 oz. steak, ’cause he said the 8 oz. was wussy sized. After our meal we went home, picked up Brenda (who donned his platform boots while wearing women’s jeans. Oh so rainbow-fabulously gay) and went to 7 West café, the café where Jeff and I went on our first date (awwwwww, it’ll be a year soon). We had a bunch of drinks and had a really nice time.
Woke up the next day, went out for a disappointing breakfast at Wimpy’s (my food was cold, lukewarm at best) and then shopped a little at the Eaton’s Centre. I got a black button up shirt from the Gap (I’m a company whore!) and nothing else. Funny thing is, I planned on buying way more stuff that weekend but I ended up buying a shirt I didn’t even have on my list of stuff to buy. Ironic much? Or maybe just stupid…
Jeff and I took the subway home and then Dad picked us up and drove Jeff to his aunt’s house where we said our goodbyes. Then Dad and I drove back to the house, I had something with meat for dinner and then the parentals, Dan, and I drove back to Ingersoll. Time really flew by that 48 hours. I felt like it was too short but there’s always the next 48 in Montreal to look forward to.
Billeting was also a break from the Katima-house. I got to spend it with 2 very special people. I was chosen to be in their family because of a 5 minute event that happened in the Lodge one day: I was working in the activity room with a resident, sorting out her books because she used to be an author. A woman came in who was her daughter and talked with us for 5 minutes. It turns out that the daughter of the resident was a billet family and that she wanted me to join her with her husband for the 2 weeks. So I got to live with a billet mom and dad that lived just down the street from the Katima-house and I got to hang out with a billet grandma every day I went to work. Pretty neat stuff considering that the grandma is 101 years old and can still talk and do things on her own. That gives me huge amount of hope for the future.
For my 2 weeks with my billet, I got to explore Ingersoll and the surrounding area and learn about the history of their family. We went to Trail’s End, an awesome farmer’s market, a ham dinner thrown by a church, many local shops that I had never been in before, and a very interesting museum called the Tilsonburg House. This was the house that the founder of Tilsonburg lived in. I couldn’t take any pictures, but the architecture, ceilings, furniture, everything was so rich and well crafted. The house is being restored fully, so it impressed me to know that people in the 1880s could live so well. What was even more interesting was the servants quarters. The servants were basically not apart of the house, and their portion of the house was shabbier and less refined than the side that the family lived in.
The billets and I attended a stag and doe for one of their nieces or something (they’ve got a huge family, there was always someone over. They also know everyone in town) and I had a blast. Got kind of drunk due to free jello shooters and extra alcohol being poured in my drinks. I sang quite a bit of karaoke that night and everyone loved it. Maybe they were a little plastered too. Speaking of performing, I did a lot of that in billeting as well. I performed every chance I got. At Woodingford, at Oxford Manor (another retirement home that has a electronic baby grand), and at their house. They have a keyboard and a wall of sound (quite literally. The billet dad has a wall of speakers that he uses). I got to learn how speakers work and how to manipulate sound to make things sound awesome.
The best part of billeting had to be the fact that I got a chance to get away from the Katima-house for 2 weeks. I had my own room (which was a loft and very private) which I shared with a fat cat named Stinky (he would always meow at me. I’d be sleeping and he’d be all “MEOW! MEOOOOOOOOW MEOOOOOOOW!” and I was all like, “Whatever”). The billets have 2 very affectionate dogs. It was so nice to not have to tune out snoring or Francophone English sleeptalking. When billeting was over, we learned that Derek was no longer our PL. He got fired let go quit got something and left. None of the group knows what happened but we did figure out from the HR of Ontario that he got canned. Using our awesome powers of deduction, we know that Derek would of stuck out his 3 weeks if things were going bad. But they were not going bad at all. We loved him, he loved us, all was well. We later learned that he decided to go back to school for Business Administration, which means he’s turning a negative into a positive.
For Derek’s replacement we got 3 people each week. We had Shawna for a week (Front to front to front MAH PONIEEEEEEE!), then Tracy (super organized and kept us on track) and now Emily (fantabulous person who has basically traveled around the world). The group has moved on from Derek and we’re closer than ever, which is fantastic considering most groups would of fallen apart. But we knew that we would of had to leave Derek 3 weeks later anyway, so we were just getting over things sooner.
Montreal is so close. Time to get packing and cleaning. See you all in Montreal!
P.S. Here’s a song I covered for the holiday season (to access it, just enter the 3 letters you see on the screen and click Download. Then wait 25 seconds. Then and only then, can you listen to my song). It’s Bjork’s Frosti. It sounds way cooler on the keyboard because I had a quadruple tap on, but it’s a nice song nonetheless. Enjoy!