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October 14, 2011


See. I told you I'd have blog droughts for nigh on a fortnight. I kept putting off blogging because there was lots to say, and then there just kept being MORE things to say. Vicious cycle. And then when I had all of this stuff to say, I started getting really busy with work. So I'm going to start dishing out subjects:


After my first week of work, it got much better! My first job had been way too fast with hard words. My jobs the second week were slower and easy car accident ones. Car accident examinations are easy because there are similar words and phrases in all of them: scene of the accident, before the accident, after the accident, intersection, skid marks, etc... This makes a court reporter's life much easier. However, since I started working, I have had a lot of car accident examinations, and driving does not sound like a viable option anymore. No siree. No life-long injuries for me. Or no lying about life-long long injuries in lawsuits for me.

I also got my first paycheck. Oh, that's a good feeling. It was for my first week when I only did one job, which didn't order, and then two no-shows, and it was even impressive for that amount of work. My last three weeks have been way more impressive. I've had lots of jobs and lots of them have ordered transcripts, which bumps my pay up considerably. My next paycheck is going to be beautiful.


Eric and I got a kitten! No, it's not Annie. Eric and I were done dealing with the SPCA and their shenanigans. If we'd stuck with them, we wouldn't have gotten Annie until the end of October. I was done waiting for a kitten. So we adopted Abby the tabby on September 29th through a kijijiji...ji...ji ad. Take that SPCA.

We love our little Abby. She goes through spurts of being the sweetest little angel, cuddling with us, doing cute little kitten meows, following us around, and then she turns into a little demon, tearing around the apartment, running from couch to couch, clawing up our pants. Ah, kittens. So glorious. Eric and I have kitten scratches all over us. Delightful, little demon.

At night, she has taken to cuddling up by our feet under the blankets. I have never had a cat that likes to go under the blankets. She gets under and tickles our legs and feet with her whiskers. Sometimes she'll venture upwards, though, and sleep in between us by our heads.

I had hoped to upload a video or two of the kitten being hilarious, but I think I'm going to need to download a converter for my videos to be able to upload them to my blog. A picture will have to do for now.
Here's the adorable little demon cuddling by Eric's shoulder in bed.


October 9th was mine and Eric's one year anniversary! Hurray! The 9th was a Sunday. So Eric and I did our anniversary playing on the Saturday. We got all dolled up and went to a French restaurant called Le Crocodile. It had gotten really good reviews, was fancy shmancy, and was right across the street from us. So we'd wanted to go for awhile, but thought we should wait until it was a special occasion.

It was amazing. So freaking amazing! I want to go back. I'm almost certain they put something addictive in their food. It's called butter. Oh, man. Just thinking about it now is making me want to run over there. The service was impeccable. It was one of those places where you take a sip of your water, and then someone is there to pour you more water.

Eric ordered pumpkin bacon soup for an appetizer, and I ordered escargot. If you haven't tried escargot because you're being all squeamish about the fact that you're eating snails, get over it because escargot is amazing. If you haven't tried escargot because you're a vegetarian, pff, lame. If you haven't tried escargot because you live in the sticks where there are no fancy French restaurants, fair, but you should try to get out to a French restaurant with escargot.

I've decided to take a page out of *Hyperbole and a Half's book and illustrate my blog with my own amazing and superb drawings. You will be impressed. Here is my diagram of  escargot:

The escargot at Le Crocodile was the best I've had thus far. They had little pastry shells with them, which I'd never had before. It was phenomenal. I think my drawing sums it up quite nicely. Eric's pumpkin bacon soup (isn't that such an awe-inspiring combo) was really good too. I think I liked it better than Eric did.

Before they brought us our appetizers, though, they brought us complimentary duck foie gras tarts. Now, Eric and I watch a silly amount of (a) TV, but also (b) the food network. On the food network, we've seen much praising and drooling over foie gras. What's the big deal? It's freaking duck liver! Right? WRONG! This tart was like taking a bite of heaven. Literally!

For our entrees, Eric got prime rib with a fancy sauce, and I got veal cheeks with pappardelle pasta ("Huh?" "They're really big noodles"). Eric's prime rib was amauzing (do you watch Happy Endings? Well, if you don't, you should, and then you will get my reference here). Beef cheeks are a recent discovery for me, and they are fantastic. Such tender meat. And throw in the innocence factor of veal? Winner! *vegetarians vomit in rage*

We were pretty stuffed while eating our entrees, but we really wanted to have dessert. So we decided to not try to finish our entrees, and we'd just have them for dinner on Sunday. For dessert, we had profiteroles ("Huh?" "fancy cream puffs") filled with ice cream and topped with hot Belgian chocolate. The chocolate was drizzled on top of the profiteroles when they brought it out to us. It was such rich, rich chocolate. By the end of our meal, I was ready to sprawl out on my bench seat and have a nap. Luckily, we only had to walk across the street for me to get into my comfy clothes and out of my ridiculously high heels.

So besides that, I am continuing to get more and more work (oi!), and Eric is still looking for work (oi!). Come on people! Use your connections and get him a job!
"Can we STOP this CRUEL GAME! And allow the boy to keep one shred of dignity! I can't stand to see him in all this pain!" - Herlihy Boy

*Also, I mentioned Hyperbole and a Half earlier. Her blog is hilarious, and I highly recommend it.

And that's some of what's been going on here!

Eric and I hanging out in Stanley Park. Note: I photo shopped this picture to make us prettier than we actually are.

September 18, 2011

22 = POO!

Guess what! I turned 22 on Wednesday! And it sucked!! Well, that's not completely true, but it wasn't the happiest of birthdays to date. It's my own fault that it was a craptacular day for me. It had started off as such a good day too.

Let's start off with me starting work. Well, I FINALLY STARTED WORK! Hurrah! On Monday I went into the office to have my mentor, Pat, set up all my equipment. As soon as I got there, she asked me if I'd received my BC designation in the mail yet, to which I replied, yes.
Pat: "Oh! How would you feel about working tomorrow?"
Me: "Buuuuuh..."
It would seem that they were short reporters and needed me to work. So why not? Baptism by fire? Sure.

Pat prepared me for everything that was essential to know for the next day, and I was on my way. The next day, I was an official, little court reporter. All dressed up in my fancy-shmancy, working-woman clothes; my slick, new, white Diamante stenograph machine; my new, matching white Toshiba laptop. No job shadowing, no supervising. I was big stuff. And you know, I did a pretty good job at playing a court reporter. I may have been dropping about 90 percent of what was being said, but hey, they didn't know that. To them, I was top notch! Luckily they didn't order the transcript...yet... Hopefully they never do. That awful mess should be destroyed.

I already had a second job set up for Wednesday, my birfday! It was suspected that it would be a no-show. A no-show is when the witness is supposed to come in for an examination for discovery and they don't show up. The court reporter is required to stay a half hour after the examination was supposed to start and then the court reporter signs a non-attendance form and can be on his or her way. The court reporter receives a cancellation fee for this. And that is exactly what happened on my birfday. I thought it was a phenomenal birthday present: I showed up for an examination at 10:00 a.m., sat there until 10:30 a.m., and then was on my way, having been paid for my troubles.

After the no-show, I was supposed to go back to the office to meet with Pat. I have a lot to learn. So Pat and I have to meet as often as we can, typically at lunch breaks since she has to work. Pat had a job on Wednesday, but it wasn't starting until 3:00 p.m. So I went to the office expecting to be there for quite awhile. I got there and Pat wasn't there yet. Since I live so close to the office, I walked home and was planning on going back when Pat got in. Turns out, she got in right after I'd left; however, she had just gotten a back order, a past job that is now ordering a transcript, and she didn't have time to meet with me. Sooo... I went into work, did nothing, got paid for it, and then didn't have to go in for a meeting afterward. I was done at 11:00 that day! Not that I mind working or meeting with Pat, but it's pretty freaking sweet to get off super early on your birthday with pay! AND THEN -- Pat told me she wasn't going to be in the office on Thursday. So I didn't have to go in on Thursday either!

Eric and I were pretty stinkin' excited that I was off so early and that I didn't have to go to work or to the office the next day. We didn't have much planned for the day, just going to Red Robin's for dinner. It's our tradition for my birthday.

Great movie.

We've been together for three of my birthdays now, and every time we have gone to Red Robin's. Yum. So other than going to Red Robin's, the day was pretty much open.

Some back story: Eric and I love kitties! In fact, this pretty much sums up how we feel about kitties:Cat Proximity

We have wanted to get a kitten for sometime, but our apartment in Edmonton was iffy on pets, and we didn't want to get one while we were both still in school. When we found our apartment in Vancouver and that it allowed pets, we were pretty stoked. We had initially expected to wait a couple months until getting one, especially because we had planned on getting a pure breed called Singapuras. This, however, would have taken around six months and would have been quite expensive. My impatience drove us to look for an average house cat. Since this decision was made a few days before my birthday, we decided Eric shouldn't get me any presents that he'd been planning on getting me because my birthday present would now be a kitten! HURRAH! KITTEN!

Because I'm very particular about my kitties, I took it upon myself to do all of the kitten searching. Ever since I've been little, I seem to gravitate towards female tabbies, either brown or gray, that are short haired, very tiny, and are not likely to get fat. This is the formula for every cat I've ever had. Since my preferred cat is just your average, typical house cat, they have never been hard to find. I figured I could just look on Kijiji or Craigslist, and any kittens I found would be very inexpensive. Easier said than done.

I found only a few kittens that met my strict standards, and when I e-mailed the owners of the kittens, none of them replied. I was starting to get very frustrated that I wasn't finding my perfect kitten, and my birthday was drawing nigh! The night before my birthday, I decided I would give up on Kijiji/Craigslist and try the SPCA. I'd had an irrational trepidation towards the SPCA for some reason. I think it's because I don't like the idea of going to a place with a whole bunch of cats and dogs in cages and not being able to take them all home with me, but at least I know that at the SPCA they aren't going to be put down.

I found a kitten on the Surrey SPCA website that was perfect! Meet our little orphan Annie: 

Dah! She's adorable. Everything meets my specifications. She's even the runt of the litter -- just like me! -- which I love! The runts always stay nice and little, and they're full of chutzpah -- just like me!

So that's great. I found the kitten I want. By this point it is Tuesday night, and the SPCA is closed. I get very frustrated when I'm determined to do something and there's nothing I can really do to further my purpose. The best I could do that night was to print out an adoption application and fill it out with great plans for the next day to adopt my little Annie.

So back to Wednesday. Everything started out great, as I said. No work, still getting money, didn't have to go into the office, home by 11:00 a.m. I went right to work trying to get my kitty into my arms. I called the number they suggested for when the animals are in a foster home. Nothing. Just the option to leave a message, which I did. I called the Surrey SPCA. Their answering machine said that the Surrey SPCA branch was currently closed due to staff illness. Great! On my birthday when I need to get my little Annie.

I e-mailed the Surrey branch, I called and e-mailed the Maple Ridge SPCA branch, I called and e-mailed the Vancouver branch. At some point during this process I found out I could do an online adoption application. I did that and set it to get to the Surrey branch. Eventually I got ahold of someone at the Vancouver branch. I told them what the situation was: That I wanted to adopt a foster kitten from the Surrey branch, but the Surrey branch was closed. Could I do the adoption through their branch? I had done an online application.

The woman from the Vancouver branch told me that because it was a foster kitten, they could probably help me with the adoption, but I needed to redo my adoption application and send it to their branch. I immediately did so and tried to call Vancouver to see if they had gotten it. It took me forever to get ahold of them again. By the time I finally did, it was almost time for them to close. They said that they had received my application and it had been sent to the Maple Ridge branch for processing. I called the Maple Ridge branch to confirm that they had gotten it and when it would be processed and whatnot. They said that they hadn't received it! I tried to see if I could scan my printed application to the Maple Ridge branch, but my scanner didn't work! I tried to call Vancouver branch, but it was closed, and now so was the Maple Ridge branch. GAH! It didn't seem that my application had gone through, and I still had no claim on my Annie.

I immediately went into an awful slump. I had been working all day on this and had wasted my birthday! I had been calling and e-mailing all over the place, trying to work something out. All for nothing! And now I didn't even have a birthday present! And poor Eric was trying to cheer me up because it was my birthday and I was being all miserable-like. I carried on this way for sometime. I was even crabby during our traditional Red Robin's dinner! Oh, Paige. I was quite cheered by a package my dear mumsie sent me, though. A package of Funyuns! One of my favorite American treats! I ate WAY too many of these during the summer, and I was constantly insisting that anyone that went into town had to get me a bag of Funyuns:

Num num! I would have gotten a picture of me with the bag of Funyuns, but I ate them too quickly.

Eric eventually cheered me up, as he always does, when we were walking home from Red Robin's. There was nothing I could do about Annie that night, and I had resolved to stop fretting about it until the next day when I could get back to business!

Eric took me over to the IGA across the way and bought me a Fruit tart,

I'm so impish!
and we watched Alfred Hitchcock's Rebecca. I love old movies, and I especially love Alfred Hitchcock old movies. It was delightful, and I've got to say, I was pretty smitten with Laurence Olivier. Man, they don't make them like they used to. Except Eric. He's the exception. But that's another blog for another day: How exceptionally better old-time actors are when compared to nowaday actors.

The next day, I again went to work to get Annie. I eventually found out through calling around and e-mailing that the Maple Ridge branch had actually gotten my application Wednesday night after hours. They eventually processed it and told me I could go to the Vancouver branch to finalize the adoption, since the Surrey branch was still closed due to illness. Eric and I went right over. Finally! Things were moving along!

When we got there, however, we found out that adoptions cannot go forward unless you've actually met the foster animal and the foster parent before you adopt it. That was actually my bad. On the application was a question asking if all the members of your family have met the animal. I thought this had meant that everyone knew about the kitten and agreed to adopting the kitten. So because of this mistake, we had driven down to the Vancouver branch for nothing. They tried to get ahold of the foster parent while Eric and I were there, but were unsuccessful. Eric and I took a look at their cats, just to make sure there wasn't one there to adopt, but by this point I was totally devoted to Annie. She will be mine!

While we were at the Vancouver branch, we inquired as to the situation with Surrey branch and when it would be open again. The employees informed us that there was some fungal disease going around the Surrey branch and that it had already been closed for a week.

The employees assured us that Annie was on hold for us. At least there was that, but I still didn't have my kitty! The employees left a message with the foster parent and told me that they would get back to me when they heard something. Ugh, another dead end where I can't do anything to further my situation. And even when we did get ahold of the foster parent, we would have to drive to Surrey to view Annie, drive back to the Vancouver branch to do the adoption, and then drive back to Surrey to pick up Annie! Eric and I went home feeling dejected. We had thought we would at least be able to get the adoption finalized and everything, but nothing. It was a wasted trip.

A little while after we got home, I got a phone call from the foster parent! Contact! She had been informed of the situation and suggested that instead of having to do the whole drive around thing, why don't we just meet her at the Vancouver branch on Saturday because she needs to get shots for all her kittens anyway, then we could meet Annie there, do the adoption, and take her from there! Perfect! That's exactly what Eric and I had discussed would be a better solution to the problem, and I had e-mailed the Vancouver SPCA right before the foster parent called to see if that would be possible. It was all perfect now! We wouldn't have to do the whole drive around thing and we'd be getting Annie on Saturday! Phenomenal!

I had another no-show job on Friday, Yay! No work and getting paid. Me likey. I met with Pat that day after my no-show and all I could think about the whole day was that I was going to get my kitty the next day! HUZZAH! Victory is mine! I didn't get home until 2:00ish. Eric and I had planned to go out to dinner with my father-in-law, Delbert, and his wife, Dorothy, that night. We were going to go to a Malaysian place that they took us to our first night in Vancouver, ever. I loved it and was super excited to go again with them.

Eric and I were both tired. So we decided to take a nap for awhile before we went out to dinner. I just wanted to get Friday out of the way as fast as possible so I could go get my kitten. A nap and then dinner out in New Westminster was an excellent way to go through the day. As soon as Eric and I got home, it would be close to bedtime and then we'd wake up and go get the kitty!

We woke up from our nap somewhere between 4:30 and 5:00. We needed to leave around 5:30 to get to New West. in time for our reservations. I went and checked my e-mail and was thwarted ONCE A-FRICKEN-GAIN! The foster parent had e-mailed me while I was napping to tell me that the Vancouver branch said we couldn't do the viewing or adoption anymore! I called her to find out what was up. Apparently, the fungal disease at Surrey was ringworm! And any Surrey animals are not allowed to be viewed or adopted until they get the whole situation under control! AAAAAAAAAAGH!!!! I was pretty freakin' irate to say the least! It was almost comical how this process had gone. It was a roller coaster ride of emotion, let me tell you.

Eric called Delbert to reschedule dinner because I was practically huddled in a corner being a blubbering mess. Ooh, those SPCA guys sure pulled one over on me. Tarnation! I e-mailed all the branches I'd been in contact with to try to figure something out. Some way to get the adoption done regardless of what was going on and what the protocol was. The foster parent was sure that Annie and all the rest of her animals were fine and didn't have ringworm. I was furious that if we'd been able to finalize the adoption a day or two earlier and we had gotten Annie, this wouldn't have applied to us.

None of the branches would budge in regard to the protocol. They said I couldn't get Annie until the situation was under control at Surrey, which they suspected would be a week or two. CALAMITY! Sigh.

So that's where we are now. I am determined to have Annie. No other kitten will do. I have formed an irrational attachment to her. After this struggle, there is no way that anyone else can have her! Luckily, she is on hold for me, and she is still very young at seven weeks. Even if we do have to wait two weeks (PLEASE MAKE IT NOT BE TWO WEEKS!) she'll only be nine weeks. Lots of people won't even take their kittens away from the mother at that age. And the foster parent has been super nice about all of this. She wishes she could give Annie to me because she feels Annie is fine. She's been sending me pictures and videos of Annie to cheer me up too. I am definitely hoping that by some miracle everything will have been cleared up over the weekend and I can adopt her sometime this week. Please, please, please!!

So that is the great tragedy that has befallen me at age 22. That is why 22 = POO!



P.S. Thanks for all the birthday wishes everyone. They were much appreciated when I was going through all of my trials and tribulations! And thanks for the Funyuns, Mom.

P.P.S. Whitney, if you're going to say mean things about kitties, then you're not allowed to comment.

September 11, 2011

Home Sweet Home

My goodness, my blog was very well received! Who knew I was so awesome? I mean, I did, but who else knew? I can now see (1) why people blog -- blabbing about yourself, awesome, and receiving a myriad of compliments for blabbing about yourself, awesome -- and (2) why blogging is so addictive -- there are so many things to tinker with on a blog, and I could blab about myself for hours! So let's blab. 

Eric and I have been moved in to our new apartment since September 1st, and we are pretty fond of the new place. Eric is currently applying for HR positions, and I'm trying to get everything lined up to start work at Charest Reporting, which is a five minute walk away from the apartment -- fantastic. I can see the building from our apartment it's so close. 

I would have been able to start work by now, but I need to get a designation to be able to report in BC. This should have been a simple enough task, but when I set out to get it done, the government lady took off on a two-week vacation. Lovely. Then when she got back, she sent it to Raymond, but it didn't get there before Eric and I drove off to Vancouver. When it did finally get to Raymond, my parents were down at Lake 5 in Montana. They mailed it to me a little while ago, but the mail is taking for freaking ever! So hopefully it will be here tomorrow and I can get working right away. Eric and I are starting to be pretty destitute and need funds! "People! We need your money!" - Spanky, Little Rascals.

Since we don't have too much moola right now we haven't gone out much. Not that too much will change when we do have money seeing as how we're lazy bums. But we have a pretty decent gym in our building that we've been going to (put on too many summer pounds). So we're not being complete slobs. See! See! Not complete slobs! We're not allowed to be unfit slobs in Vancouver. I think you probably are fined in Vancouver if you don't do yoga or some other similar activity. And don't get me started on the obsessive compulsive recycling habits of Vancouver folk. 

So church here is...different. Not in a bad way, just very different. It'll be a good experience, but I do sit and chuckle to myself about some of the quirks of my new ward as opposed to Raymond or Edmonton wards (not that they aren't without their quirks!). The most amusing to me so far is that both of the weeks we've gone to church, Eric has had to do a mad grab to get the sacrament for us. I think that both the first week and the second week we were sitting by either recent converts or investigators, and so I don't think they really knew the formula of sacrament. The first week it was a woman, and after she had taken the bread and Eric had taken the bread, she went to hand the tray back to the deacon. Wait for me! Eric had to lunge forward and hold the tray down so I could get my piece, which was ginormous! When the water came around, we had wised up. She went to take the tray away again before I could get my water, but Eric latched on so I could get mine.

Today, we were sitting by a young man who didn't seem to know he should grab the trays and pass 'em on down. So the deacon had to lean over so Eric and I could get our bread and our water. When the young man took the drink of water, he put his cup back into the little cup holes, not the disposal area. Chuckle. Oh, mercy. Then when there was a musical number by the missionaries, this young man started lightly clapping at the end, then says to Eric and I, "That was really good." Can't say I haven't almost started clapping after a musical number, forgetting where I am. Then at the end of sacrament, I was saying the prayer, so I stood up to get out of the pew to walk up to the front, and I noticed it looked like the young man was sleeping, so I tapped on his knee so I could get by...nothing. So I basically had to crawl over him to get out and up to the front. And I'm pretty sure a man in Sunday school just made up a word today to sound scholarly. Church has been great. Something fun and exciting always awaits us there. Super nice people too. 

It's been so hot here so far! We were expecting it to be nice, cool, rainy, foggy weather, but it's been ridiculously hot and so moist! At least our apartment is staying decently cool. Our Edmonton apartment was awful for staying cool.

Well, how about some pictures of the new apartment, huh? I thought I'd put pictures up of our Edmonton apartment first so that we can compare the two.

We really enjoyed being on the first floor and not having to use an elevator, but our patio was in no way secure, and there was no view to speak of.
The bathroom spray's fallen brother in the trash there.
Our bathroom was huge! Way bigger than it needed to be.
So was our bedroom.
Trying to get the games down was always a treacherous task.
After having in-suite laundry, there was no way we could settle for any less. Mmm, Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
I haven't wanted to commit yet to where I'm putting stuff on the walls. So they are bare for now. This apartment is smaller than the Edmonton one by a tiny bit, but we feel the space is utilized better. 

In-suite laundry! Yeah, baby!

That door to the left is a den that will be my work office. The room has all the runoff of unpacking, though, so you don't get to see it yet. That's the hall closet on the right and the bedroom door up further on the right. The in-suite laundry is to the left before the den door.

We were pretty stoked that the whole apartment is either tile or laminate.
Those are our build-a-bears that we did for Eric's birthday one year. Mine is the brown bear and Eric's is the polar bear.

WALK-IN CLOSET! So nice. And it leads to the bathroom which is also an amazing feature.
Much less treacherous area for the games. It's a wider closet so they haven't had to be stacked as high.

The bathroom is a lot smaller than the Edmonton bathroom, but it gets the job done.

That's our beautiful, new TV. Eric's dad was amazing enough to help us with the funds to get it after our old TV broke during the move here. That stand is our current solution to needing a TV stand. It's an Ikea kitchen thing. I think it works just fine. And that's the women's American Open final. Serena's about to lose.
The chair looks so pensive and lonely out there on the balcony.

Check out our impressive spice collection there. You're pretty impressed, aren't you.

Chicken soup cooking in the crockpot. Yum.

Our cute, little table for two. It has leaves on both sides to make a BIG table!

I love having enough room to put my piano out in the living room area instead of in the bedroom like in Edmonton. I'd always forget about playing piano in Edmonton because I never went into the bedroom until it was time to go to bed. Then I'd want to play it at very unreasonable hours when I should have been going to bed instead.

Our apartment is basically as smack dab in the middle of downtown as you could be. So we have a pretty phenomenal view.
This is in the morning. Pretty mountains.

There was apparently a marathon or something going on this particular morning. It was very early and there were loud speakers.
I was not impressed.


The Sears and the Chapters there are where some of the Vancouver rioting happened. Had we been here then, we would have had a  bird's eye view!

On the upper-left corner of the intersection there is a two-level IGA. It's amazing to have it so close.

Japadog! Japadog has hot dogs with crazy Japanese toppings, or so is my understanding. We haven't tried it yet, but we definitely want to. Also, biking seems like a much more feasible option here as compared to Edmonton. Biking in Edmonton seemed like a terrifying endeavor.

This odd little area is called Robson Square. I have often seen people break dancing in those glass dome areas. Eric and I are very confused and intrigued by this area and plan to do some exploring.

Art gallery.

Where I'll be working.
Night time.This is much more impressive in person.

Oi, that was a behemoth of a post! You'd all better enjoy it, dang it!