Lucy I’m Home

I’m blogging again. You’ll notice some changes over the next few weeks. Instead of solely writing about things that happen in Vancouver, I intend to focus my blog on my life in Vancouver.

My absence from blogging has occurred for a plethora of reasons, primarily health difficulties. For as long as I can remember I have never had as much energy as my friends, I was constantly sick, moody, and in pain. Over the years I heard a number of diagnoses; depression, borderline thyroid disorder, side effects from my chronic migraines. It’s been frustrating; no treatment has ever worked and I always wind up at square one.

One of the first things that happened to me after moving to Vancouver was another flare up. I had no energy, I was incredibly moody and in constant pain. After various treatments and more diagnoses, I was finally diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) in mid summer.

Since then, life has been quite the struggle and I’m only still functioning because of the amazing treatment I’m finally receiving and the constant support from my loving boyfriend. Thanks to both of them I’m actually well on the road to recovery and can get back to living my life.

Because my life has been so tumultuous recently I want to change the focus of my blog for the next while so I can write about getting better. I don’t talk much about my illness because I can’t stand people feeling sorry for me and I will likely write little about my actual physical condition. I intend to focus on what I’m doing to get better and the progress I’m making.

Please, when you read what I write, don’t feel sorry for me. The last few months have been some of the hardest of my life but I am getting better. If I hadn’t been as sick as I was the doctors wouldn’t have found out what was wrong with me and how to treat it. I’m looking forward to this journey.

While it’s only a small gesture and in no way can fully express my thanks for the amount or magnitude of support he has given me, I dedicate this post to my other half, The Patmeister of Too Much Geography.

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Be Afraid Be Very Afraid

Airport security has always scared me. When I was little I used to purposely leave tinfoil in my pockets to see if the metal detectors would go off. They never did. I haven’t tried it recently; normally I’m racing to catch my flight.

I was scanning the Twittersphere today and noticed a Tweet by Douglas Coupland where he said he was cleaning out his carry-on luggage and found a sharp stabby knife that had made it through security. I know this isn’t the first time this has happened to someone.

The same thing happened to my father a few years ago. He used to fly between our home in Edmonton and his home in Ottawa about every two weeks. When he had moved apartments in Ottawa he had put a butcher’s knife in his carry-on to take to the new place and being my absent-minded father promptly forgot it was in there. The carry-on luggage probably made about 10 round trips between Edmonton and Ottawa until my mother discovered it when she was borrowing the luggage for a trip.

How does this happen? How do people get on planes with weapons when my former roommate can’t even get through with tooth paste and I get questioned for 10 minute in Bangkok about my hairbrush. It literally doesn’t make sense.

We’re so busy installing all these new devices to make flying “safer” and we can’t even properly use the ones we have. Perhaps that is what we should focus on next rather than making up stupid rules and restrictions.

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Can I have your attention please

I love Skytrain; I love the speed; I love how often it runs, even late at night; I love how easily Translink can respond to increases in ridership with increases in service and I love the security presence on the trains and at the stations. All of the things I love are directly related to the fact that the trains are driverless; however, it still frightens me that the trains don’t have a driver. It might be all the Sci-Fi I watch, but I always worry that there will be some mechanical failure. This fear is compounded when I read about mechanical and technical failures in other countries. I always worry that something like this is going to happen because of some kind of Transit Fail.

BC is famous for forest fires and it is almost as famous for never putting aside enough of the budget to pay for fighting these fires. As fires rage on in the interior of BC and the province goes at least $4 million dollars over budget there is something to be thankful for. At least BC residents don’t have to worry about radioactivity in the air; even with only a small risk, I prefer not having to worry that the air I’m breathing might cause me to grow gills.

It’s a bird; it’s a plane; it’s a superbug with no cure.

With the the federal government abolishing the long form census, there has been a lot of grumblings about the state of democracy in Canada. Luckily, with the exception of Alberta where you have to buy a Conservative Party membership to vote for the Premier, Canada still remains. Burma on the other hand just pretends to be a democracy. Being jailed for your political views is something Canadians don’t have to worry about that, or is it.

I think women deserve flowers for this. I like orchids.

This has always been one of my favourite pictures and now it is a meaningful way to commemorate World War II. It makes me wish I was in New York.

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Vancouver; it’s good to be here

I’m in the middle of spending my first summer in Vancouver and I’m loving it. In honour of my admiration of summer in Vancouver I’m putting together a top five list of things I love about Vancouver in the summer.

Bard on the Beach
There isn’t much you can say that is negative about Bard on the Beach, Vancouver’s annual Shakespeare festival. Held at Vanier park, Bard offers audiences the chance to enjoy high quality Shakespeare in tents on the beach. Last year I had the chance to see Othello and this year I caught Falstaff, an adaptation of scenes from Henry IV parts I & II. After seeing years of fairly terrible Shakespeare adaptations at Edmonton’s Freewill Shakespeare festival, I am always exceptionally impressed by the quality of the performances at Bard. This year, Battlestar Galactica star Alessandro Juliani is portraying Henry V in both Falstaff and Henry V.  His acting was impeccable in Falstaff, even shedding real tears during his final monologue. I expect his rendition of Henry V’s St. Crispin’s Day Speech to be spectacular and can’t wait to see it. The only downside to Bard is tickets can be on the pricy side; however, early afternoon matinees are incredibly reasonable.

Celebration of Light
Lighting up the skyline in Vancouver since 1990, the annual Celebration of Light is an international fireworks competition where competing countries perform fireworks displays set to music. The fireworks are launched from two barges in English Bay. Watching the fireworks and hearing the tide along the beach is a piece of paradise.

The Beach
I’m loving just packing up my cooler and jumping on a bus or in a car and being at an ocean beach in less than 45 minutes. Swimming in the ocean while looking up at the mountains is an incredible experience and I can’t believe that I can do it any day of the week.

Edmonton is one of the least bike friendly cities in the world so I haven’t been on a bike in ages. I recently bought myself a second hand bike off Craigslist and have been trying to bike around the city as much as possible. I still want to give the Burrard bike lanes a try.  Exciting fact: According to Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, the Burrard Bridge bike lane has had over a million people go over it in the year it has been open. I just have to get over my fear of the bike racks on buses and, coming from a flat city, get used to the hills.

The Sun
As an Albertan, I spend much of the rainy months missing the sun. Vancouver is a much more beautiful place when the sun is shining and it isn’t raining. You really do feel like you’re living in paradise.

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Directed Attention

I’m bringing over a few posts from my old blog. The links are slightly outdated, but they’re still fairly interesting.

You could be arrested for adding that to your pasta: I always worry that I’m going to make a big error in my school work that will cost me a grade, or a mistake at work that could be costly or embarrassing. Now, any  writing error I make seems rather minuscule compared to the costly and offensive mistake of this Australian publisher. Perhaps it is difficult to proof read cook books, but given this isn’t a cookbook for racist cannibals, I’m pretty sure this one is easy to catch.  

Will your past always haunt you? Roman Polanski has been in the news a lot recently. So much in fact that I named my aloe vera plant Roman Plantski. While my plant just has to deal failure of my watering skills, the real Roman is still dealing with a sexual assault case from 1978. I don’t have much sympathy for him in this case; however, the girl who he was convicted of assaulting has lived with this case over her head for her entire adult life. Should she be able to have a say in whether or not the case should continue? Or does her desire to have her life back impede the justice process? My call, the justice system needs to prevail. While it is damaging to the woman’s psyche, it is far more damaging to create the precedent which could lead to more victims. 

Cant text that? Anyway who has ever had a work email account or cell phone is aware that companies and organizations have policies on using work property for personal uses. Should they? or does it violate the right to privacy? What about the person on the other end of the message? Do they have the right to assume that their message will be read only by the person on the other end? The supreme court is looking into it.

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