Friday, November 18, 2005


Winters here in Edmonton were supposed to be harsher, weren't they? And yet I see a chinook arch out the window of my office today. Ah well. I guess it's not so much different from home.

Conditions came off the purchase of the house yesterday. The furnace may be original, but it's running all right, and the only thing that really needed to get fixed right away was a leak from one of the hot water tanks, and some backwards wiring in one plug in the kitchen. So we've officially bought a half-duplex in St. Albert now, and Mike got word yesterday that his transfer to Edmonton is a go, starting December 13. Things are really coming together!

Friday, November 11, 2005


Two Fridays ago, I got a new job.

Last Friday, we sold the condo.

This Friday, we bought a half-duplex in St. Albert.

By next Friday, all the conditions should have come off.

Possession is December 9, a Thursday. Darn, it doesn't fit.

The job is going well. Really well. All I have is good news. I'm just... tired. More later.

Saturday, October 29, 2005


Perhaps the redesign was a little premature...

Yesterday I accepted the Executive Director position with the Alberta Fencing Association. So perhaps I still am the Queen of Swords...

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Overheard today in a Chapters washroom...

"Mummy, why does pee make the water turn yellow?"


"Mummy, I wish I didn't have ears."
"Why, honey?"
"Because if I didn't have ears, then I wouldn't hear all the loud noises."

Ah. Children. :)

Saturday, October 08, 2005

A Sad Post

Fondly, we bid farewell to Sherman and Herman. You were with us such a short time, but alas, I fear the tanks were too clean for the likes of you. We have learned from you, though, and in your honour, we rename the live plants housed with Ferrari and Ducati Sherman and Herman. May they live and prosper as you did not.

Yesterday, I gave up fencing. By Monday, my equipment will be washed and packed, and will be stored at Mom and Dad's for the duration of my exile. When my hands are better enough to be at the computer for more than just work and the occasional post, I will redesign my weblog to reflect that no longer am I the Queen of Swords. This is so painful. I can barely think of it without being brought to tears. And so this post ends.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Fishy picture's late, and I can't come up with a better title. Here is a link to a picture of where Ducati and Ferrari live. It's changed look a little, as we had to replace the marbles with gravel to support the live plant we put in each tank, but it's still pretty much the same. Oh, and we added a snail to each tank. Their names are Herman and Sherman. ...err...don't ask... Close-ups may have to wait. It's hard taking pictures through plastic and water.

Friday, September 23, 2005


In the absence of any suggestions, we have named the fish. -es. Yes, I said fish, as in two of them. In an impulse last night, my grandparents bought me another fish, this one red, and very temperamental, but we'll get him to eat eventually. So our first fish is named Ducati, and our second fish is named Ferrari. I smile to think about the looks on people's faces when we tell them we have a Ducati and a Ferrari at home... They are lovely, and you all need to meet them. I have decreed.

I must stop typing now. My arms hurt.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Mom and Dad's Grandfish

Today, a new member of the family made his entrance into the apartment, with as little fuss and bother as we could accomplish. Now, five hours later, he is comfortably nestled in his 2L tank with his three fake plants, flattened marbles on the floor, and a light which will keep the water temperature just right. We have no photos as yet, but hopefully soon we'll be able to share our little bundle of joy with the rest of you. In the meantime, if anyone can think of a good name for a blue and red (with a little green and purple mixed in) betta fish, please post in the comment section. Currently, we're playing with three from the movie Finding Nemo: Crush, Jellyman, or Sharkbait.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Extolling the virtues of tape

What a marvelous invention! It can hold together packages, can protect fingers when doing immense amounts of paper folding, can be used as a lint remover, and, properly applied, can hold a person in proper posture for approximately 24 hours. At least, that seems to be my maximum so far.

The good news is that I've noticed some improvement so far with physio. The muscles are loosening and strengthening as required, and are now only being held back by my inflexible nerves. I'm working on it, slowly. Don't want to hurt myself worse, but I am pushing them each day.

On Sunday, I am refreshing a friend's memory of foil, and will hopefully try one bout. We shall see.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

In which Ness gets busy again

As if I ever stopped? My goodness!

No, I have signed up for a correspondence course through Athabasca University for the fall term. The simple facts are that none of the fall courses even came close to fitting into my schedule, and Athabasca was offered up to me by the undergrad advisor as a viable alternative. I leapt. Come September, I will be fervently studying Canadian Drama. It has a video component. I am thrilled!

Winter is still up in the air, but I can't actually apply before Monday, so I'm going to take some time this weekend to work out which courses might work for me, and email the professors to see about their permissions.

Physio proves to be interesting. My God, the muscles they're having me work are weak! Weak, weak, weak, weak, weak... I also shocked myself by not freaking out when the physiotherapist did acupuncture on my arms, and pushed the needles in my elbows in about three centimetres. I freaked out the next day with my annual blood test, so I suppose it evens out. I'm also a little disturbed by how not flexible my nerves are. Ten reps of the "neural flossing" stretch is enough to send tingles and numbness through my hands. Pick an arm on any given day; the one that's worse seems to switch about that often.

Fencing tonight has me bringing my epees and sabre so the beginners can play with them. *cries*

Thirteen days until take-off for Denmark. I shall be working Saturday to try and get caught up enough that I can leave knowing I did everything I could.

Two more months, I believe, and Mike is officially my husband, if only commonlaw. Where did four months go? Can I have them back? I'd like to savour them, every second.

And when I get a moment, I'm going to redesign this damn blog, 'cause I can't figure out why the post is popping down below the image. Damnit! :)

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Getting on with my nerves

Monday was my first physio appointment regarding my hand troubles. After being variously stretched in all kinds of fun and interesting directions, the physiotherapist told me that, in both arms but more so on the left, the flexibility of my nerves is atrocious. Nerves, he said, are not like muscles. They are not particularly interested in being stretched. In fact, stretch them too much, and you will pay (and pay and pay). They really don't like it. But if I can walk the fine line between just enough and too much, then sensation will return to my hands, and I will start getting better.

So, after two visits, I have one stretch, four exercises, and have been alternately taped into proper shoulder position, which was more and more painful the longer I sat in my (soon to be replaced, hopefully) evil office chair, and had six pins stuck into my arms (considering my needle phobia, I'm surprised I didn't absolutely freak out with how far they buried the ones into my elbows!). What I don't have is carpal tunnel. Huzzah!

Taken in perspective, of course, having something wrong with my nerves isn't the best either. If the problem had been muscular... Well, muscles take stretching a lot better than nerves do. Each of the four exercises inspires some tingling and numbness in my hands and arms. I'm going to have to take it very slowly and carefully. A bonus, of course, is that some muscles will be worked, stretched and strengthened as a result.

This will be a slow process, but I have hope now, and I know what the issue is, and that's better than wandering around in the dark and (let's face it) making things worse.

In other news, Harry Potter VI was briefly in my possession, before I wisely gave it over to my parents for safekeeping. I am determined not to read it before the trip to Denmark. But it will be... hard...

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Golf Epiphany

Most of you may know that I haven't been fencing in what probably approaches six months, the more I think about it, which of course has had a detrimental effect on my overall physical stamina. Yesterday being the company golf tournament, which I was persuaded to participate in by various parties, this became very, very apparent.

I'm no golfer, and we had carts, but at the sixth hole, I stared at the score card and thought to myself, "Good lord, there are twelve more holes?" Before I stopped competing, I could make it through a fair sized round robin, followed by at least one, if not two, direct elimination bouts, twice in one weekend, and felt about the same as I do today. This is sad, very very sad.

On a more positive note, my wrists do feel better. There is still a lot of tension and pressure in my hands, but the pain seems to be less. Either that, or I'm just getting used to it. On this, at least, I will attempt to be optimistic, and say that they hurt less. Whether that translates into a return to fencing for me will be up to the physiotherapist, as soon as I can schedule an appointment.

Sunday, June 26, 2005


You know you need a vacation, or at the very least a good long night's sleep, when you try to open the elevator door with the "Unlock" button on your car remote, and then can't figure out for about three seconds why on earth it didn't work...

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

A Much Delayed Update

Being a point-form list of all the important news:

-I have not given up on blogging. :)

-Mike moved in March 25.

-My class is finished.

-Spring cleaning is time-consuming, but so satisfying.

-My wrists are bad. I'm not happy.

And now, an expansion on the above:

I'm back! Sort of... You would think that once two of my commitments ended or took a break, I'd have time for other things, but sadly no. Other things come up to fill the gap. But I haven't given up on blogging, and I have many exciting things to report.

First report is that I no longer live alone. As of this Friday, Mike will have been living with me for a month. Granted, he was on nights for half of that time, so it only feels like a week and a half, really, but, as he says, he officially moved in when his computer made the trip over and found itself a permanent home. I thought it would take more getting used to than it has. But I find that I don't really fall asleep until he's come to bed, that I'm starting to remember that all my clothes are on the top bar in the closet instead of both, and that I'm not cooking and overeating now, because it's much easier to size recipes for two than for one. The only thing I'm having trouble with is remembering that it's not "my place" anymore, but "ours." Old habits die hard.

Second report is that I just got my final marks for my theory class. My lowest grade over the course, barring the dismal first quiz that I rewrote, was an A-, and the highest (for class participation, not surprisingly) was an A+, so it looks like I aced it! It was wonderful, and I had so much fun taking it, even if I did start to burn out at the end there. I'm really looking forward to August, when I can figure out what course I can take next! Sometime this summer, though, I'm going to try to get an appointment with the undergrad advisor (on the advice of my prof), and talk to her about what courses I need to be a viable Masters candidate. Hopefully she can meet outside of work hours...

Third report, spring cleaning. I admit it; I let the housekeeping slide a little while I was in school, working, fencing, and trying to have a life. And I also admit that parts of the apartment need a good deep cleaning, and a good purge of material as well. And, with Mike moved in, I can really see the crunch on space, and the need to be efficient. And Dad built some shelves for the storage room, which are wonderful, because now I can actually start storing stuff down there. All of this together meant that it was time for spring cleaning. So far, I've done the kitchen, under the bed, and the bathroom. That's the majority of it, though it still leaves the closet, which is... scary. But I am determined. Getting the kitchen done was so satisfying, because now it's just clean and there's room in it! I do so love the feeling of clean, and I'll be ecstatic once it's all done.

However, I have to take it slow because of the fourth report. I haven't actually been fencing for about two months because my wrists have been bothering me. A lot. And it's been getting progressively worse. I now have two numb points on my palms, just below my thumbs, the second joint on both pinkies constantly hurts, and at the end of the day, I have to really concentrate on fine motor control. I just got two splints, and if a hand is really bad, I sleep with that one on at night. I'm hoping through a combination of general fitness, stretching, and massage, I can at least stop it from getting worse. But I'm going to ask my doctor for an assessment for carpal tunnel anyway. If that's what it is, I need to catch it early, or I won't be able to work, play, or do anything after a while. Needless to say, I'm not pleased, but I'm doing what I can about it.

So, a post! It was more a news report than a discussion of anything important, but what can you do when you've been bad about posting... I promise to be more reflective at a later date.

Monday, March 14, 2005

I guess it's not just the Queen of Swords... :)

Would I survive a Zombie film? Hmmm... Apparently! That's good to know...

Armed and Dangerous
Congratulations! You scored 84%!
You made it out, alive and well supplied. You probably even kept most of your party alive too. You know what to look for, what to take, and when to just run. You even feel a strange inkling to go back. If you did, you'd probably do just fine.

My test tracked 1 variable How you compared to other people your age and gender:

You scored higher than 98% on survivalpoints

Link: The Zombie Scenario Survivor Test written by ci8db4uok on Ok Cupid

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Calgary Pretends It’s Spring

Early March. I know, know mind you, that it is not spring in Calgary. Winter waits in the mountains for its last three or four kicks at us; experience tells me this. And yet, life is doing a damn fine imitation of spring. Why? The weather is gorgeous, the sky is lightening in the mornings, and staying light longer at night, I’m seeing more roadkill on the drive to and from work, and I have my nasty evil spring cold, which keeps me from enjoying all the above. Well, except the roadkill. I don’t particularly enjoy that, so the illness is not keeping me from it…

Class is gearing up for the last rush towards the final, and though this cold has put me very behind schedule on my term paper, everyone around me is sure I’ll get it done just fine. Of course, I’ll likely get it back on the last day of class, reread it, and think, “My God, what was I on when I wrote this?” and then remember that I was sick, but it won’t be the first time! I must say, in presumptuous retrospective, that I’ve really enjoyed this class, the whole going back to school thing, though I am/was a little concerned about the lack of spare time. I have a feeling it’ll only get worse when I finally do get accepted into the Master’s program, but that’s just something to accept and deal with.

Plans roll ahead for the summer. I’m making a list of things I want to do, and I’ll try to squeeze hopefully most of them in around work (which is really, really busy), and our two-week trip to Denmark in August. I’m also hoping to update here a little more often, once I can actually think about other things again. This, along with the birthday and anniversary cards I haven’t sent yet, makes me feel guilty. I hope you all know that, in those few minutes between consciousness and unconsciousness in the depths of night, you are all in my thoughts!

Tuesday, February 08, 2005


Mom told me today that weekends are supposed to be for relaxing. I had just finished telling her about my weekend last, and saying that I was pretty sure that I slept, but it sure didn't feel like it. I suppose I should think about getting to bed early tonight, but the dishes still have to be done, and I haven't done any research for journal articles yet. Maybe they can both wait until tomorrow when I get home from work...

I have next weekend "off," though. While I do have to work on my term paper, I have a feeling that I won't know what to do with myself, as there are very few appointments to keep, and nothing to do but spend time with Mike, and his grandfather Abe, trying to write down recipes as they come out of Abe's head. It should be interesting.

I was described as a "computer geek" at work today. This is a compliment, but odd. It's an office full of engineers, and yet the onsite IT guy told Mike this. I don't pretend to be versed in computers. Yeah, I know something about them, and I've built three, but that doesn't make me an expert. I know where my limitations are. And yet... such a comment pleases me in a strange way. Hmmm...

Mike plans to pimp out my computer when I can afford it. That should prove interesting!

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

A review... There might be a post later...

If I hadn't had to watch it for class, I probably never would have picked up Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India. Even if I'd known it existed, flipping over to the back and seeing the running time (224 minutes) would have probably made me put it back. After all, running time is the biggest reason I haven't seen Sunshine yet. But it was assigned, and so I watched it, and since I liked it, I thought I would review it.

Lagaan is by no means original or surprising. It's an underdog sports movie, with a cultural love triangle, discernable familial and cultural conflicts, and a very strong nationalist sentiment. Does the fact that it reminds me a little of Canadian films mean that the post-colonial experience is Empire-wide? I have no idea. But although there were parts of the culture that flew by me, I identified very strongly with the Indian characters and their struggle with identity and power.

I was, of course, watching it from a post-colonial theoretical standpoint. But whatever else it might be, Lagaan is an easy-to-watch sports movie, where the sport is cricket, and something more important than bragging rights are on the line. And in the same way as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon can make people believe they speak Chinese, this one almost made me believe I could speak Hindi. It's well acted, well conceived, and even the musical numbers (yes, there are some) are believable in context.

That said, it's FOUR HOURS LONG! There are some scenes that are repetitive and could have been cut or rewritten to introduce something novel to the story. But it could have been a lot worse. I've seen two-hour movies that are a lot worse, actually...

I do recommend it, if you have the time and inclination. It really is an enjoyable watch.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

I was right...

...sleep is definitely low man on the pole. I'd best get used to it, I suppose. But no reading tonight, Ness, no matter when that book is due back at the library!


Happy New Year! These are my wishes for a joyous and prosperous 2005 for one and all!

I rang in the new year with jazz and good company. Despite the less than ideal seating and the at-times interminable wait for food, I had fun. Now, however, I'm looking forward to settling into some kind of routine for the next four months. I have a feeling that sleep will be the low man on the totem pole, unfortunately. So many other things will take precedence.

In other news, I've been asked for anecdotes of myself behaving in a less than angelic manner in my youth, and I'm having trouble coming up with some. I think I was always the good girl, but I must be wrong. I must have behaved somewhat badly at some point in my past. I must have just blocked them all out. If anyone has any examples for me, please email me or post them in the comments.

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