Monday, October 30, 2006

feelin' like some word association

I'll start with something obvious, and see where I end up...

halloween. witch. salem. stake. dracula. the count. one two three. strikes. baseball. yankees. NYC. central park. killer squirrels. acorns. the giving tree. life cycle. mortality. existence. resistance. persistence. achievement. dream. land of nod. Mercutio. Shakespeare. English. Buckingham Palace. tea time. crumpets. curds and whey. nursery rhyme. mother goose. mother nature. nurture.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

condo remodelling

I feel so rebellious, writing this while I’m at work, but I’ve worked my tail off for the last few days and I need a break. Saturday morning, after a quick breakfast, Dad and I hit the road. The road from Calgary to Edmonton is so straight and uneventful, that it becomes a challenge to stay awake and alert while making the trip north or south, and generally, I hate to do it alone, which is why Dad came up with me this time. We took his new car which comes equipped with the GPS navigator that impressed me so much last year in Japan. We entered my address into the system and waited until it had plotted our course north to see what lay ahead. The route was a straight line. Literally. We zoomed out to over 16x and still what lay ahead of us was a line heading straight into the horizon.

I was tired, but not sleepy enough to nap on the drive, so I just stared out the window watching the scenery pass by. It really amazes me how different things still seem to me sometimes. I remember sitting on the train in Japan watching buildings and power lines and bill boards screaming past the windows. It was so rare to see a plot of land that wasn't developed in some way, especially between the big cities, but here in Alberta, despite the mountains peaking in the distance, the land is so flat, and bare, and boring. Field after field after field. Sure there's the occasional farm or tree parked along the highway, but the highlight of our drive is usually a few cows or horses straying near the side of the road. But even that has become so common that the livestock barely raise an eyebrow.

By the time we reached Red Deer (half way, and the only place large enough to be worth stopping in) Dad's stomache was growling so we grabbed a light breakfast at Tim Hortons before continuing our trip. We made it into Edmonton around 4 and began our shopping excursion at WalMart. A few weeks back, Dad heard from an associate of his that there was a company in Calgary that rented out furnished condos to Oil & Gas Executives that were in the city for long term stays and didn't want to be in a hotel. We were curious if they handled any condos in Edmonton, and after calling to speak with the manager of the company, we were told that they were interested in expanding to include Edmonton in their management portfolio, but there were a few items that needed to be in the condo before they would consider it. He then forwarded the list to us via email, and the short list turned out to span 2 columns over 2 pages, and unfortunately for me, there were a number of items that I couldn't immediately check off as I went through it. Thus, the trip to Edmonton.

Before the man heads up to Edmonton this coming week, Dad and I rushed up for the weekend to buy, assemble, and clean all of the missing items on my list. Some of them seemed logical to me, such as white linen sets and towels, laundry soap, toilet paper, etc. Some of them.. well... not so much. I mean, how many of these long-term executives want to spend their nights off sitting at home baking muffins? A muffin tin, pizza pan, roaster w/lid, a cheese grater, and both the auto-shut off coffee maker and auto-shut off kettle seemed a bit excessive to me.

Anyways, the biggest change for my condo was that after 3 years, I said goodbye to the makeshift table I'd inherited from Lauren, and a trip to Ikea brought a new glass table and 6 chairs into my home. Dad and I worked late into the night on Saturday assembling the set, but now that it is finished and in place, it looks fabulous with the rest of my furniture. The glass helps keep the eating area feel open and spacious, while the rod iron legs of the table and chairs brings a sense of continuity with the light fixtures from the bedroom and living room, and forms a sense of harmony. With the table and chairs in place, I set the table and moved some art around to enhance the new look for the kitchen, and by the time we left for Calgary on Sunday afternoon, the place looked awesome. So much so, that I really regret taking a job in Calgary. I miss my home, my condo, my life in Edmonton. It is great having friends all over the world that I can talk to and correspond with in both English and Japanese, but there is still something special about the friends that live nearby with whom you can go out for lunch, catch a movie, stop by and visit at work (and vice versa) and just generally hang out with every now and then.

And as much as I miss these things about my life in Edmonton, I'm faced with a decision to make. The property manager I mentioned above is going up north sometime later this week. If he is interested in my condo, I can let him rent it out for me for a decent amount of $, or I can bite the bullet and say goodbye, and list my condo for sale. My neighbor, the realtor, seems to think that now is the time to sell. Richard wants me to sell. Dad wants me to sell, and Stephen, in his own words, thinks I should sell 250%. Mom seemed to identify more with my struggle to make a decision, because she went through this herself just last year, and yet with more time and more details, I'm sure even she would want me to sell. I in turn want to sell, sometimes. And other times, I think I should hold onto my condo because to me it is so much more than a piece of property; it's home.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

transitions

so many thoughts running through my mind

can't find the answers

don't know where I should end up; where I'll want to be


do I follow my head? or my heart.

Monday, October 16, 2006

peanuts and crackerjacks

good grief charlie brown

8 hrs a day, 5 days a week, with a couple of stat holidays in the mix, and they expect me to fill this time with the teensiest bit of data entry and filing? I was taking my time today, trying to double check what I was doing to make sure there were no first-day-errors, and 3 times the woman training me told me not to rush (I wasn't), and that I didn't have to finish everything in one day. Huh? What kind of work ethic do they expect me to come to work with??

I came home and after a brief catnap, decided that my newfound goal in life is to learn to work slower. I'm going to think of my day at work like a game of baseball. The slowest and most boring sport I can think of.. it will motivate me to pace myself, and limit the amount of work I get done by thinking of each hour as a seperate inning. My work station comes with a decent PC and internet, so I keep an eye out for the other team (superiours) while I steal bases (hours surfing the net). By the end of the day, my 7th inning stretch will be a nice leisurely visit to the staff room where the fridge is full of cold beverages and there are drawers brimming with chooclate bars. And then off to wrap things up and finish the game, and hopefully without any overtime. If I'm lucky, some days might even be called on account of rain!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

another hockey night in Canada

SCOOOORRRRREEEEEEE is all I heard coming out of the family room as I stood at the kitchen sink cleaning up after a minor water-bottle-snafu. Unbelievably, after a pitiful first period, the Flames had managed a defensive goal in the 2 minutes I was out away from the TV. Giordano, the 7th (ie pinch) defensemen for the Calgary team snuck past the Maple Leaf defensemen to slip the puck into the goal. Then, within 5 minutes, the Flames miraculously grabbed the lead with 2 more goals, including a short-handed by Lombardi, and Giordano's 2nd ever NHL goal. The rookie defenseman is so getting a raise after tonight's game.

As the 2nd period nears its end, the Flames lead is dissolved by an unlikely goal while Kiprosoff lied tangled in his defensemen almost a meter in front of the net. Urged on by their momentum, the Leafs gun a 4th goal reclaiming their lead, and the final period of play promises a surge of action, goals, and penalties.

Friday, October 13, 2006

friday the 13th

that's it. nothing else, just felt like mentioning it.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

re: transcripts :: 証明書成績について

質問:
吉野先生、

アルバタ大学のパルさー・コリーです。ご面倒ですが、先学年の成績証明書について尋ねていいでしょうか。およそいつ千葉大学から成績がもらえますか。

お忙しいところをお邪魔しました。

コリー
返事:
コリーさん

こんにちは。その後お元気ですか。
こちらは、日本語コースが今日から始まります。

成績証明書についてですが、まだ届いていないのですね。お困りでしょう。
私ではわからないので、留学生課の人に返事をしてくれるように頼みました。今週中に返事がなかったら、また私に連絡してください。


吉野

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

an update of sorts

let's see... I've been giving in to the loneliness of living in Calgary by isolating myself from friends online. For some reason, I spend most of my time on MSN/AIM/etc invisible, not knowing how to talk to people from the past without anyone in my life in the present. There are times when I've found myself frustrated with my current situation, but I feel so stuck in it, that I can't figure a way out. Until Chiba U sends my transcripts, my university career is frozen in a giant undeterminant mess. Will I graduate? Do I need to enroll in another class or two? Do I need to be in Edmonton for any of the credit transfer process, or should I get started on moving my home and my life back to Calgary?

Everybody here (ie family) keeps asking me what is going on, as though I have some secret knowledge that I'm keeping from them. It only makes me feel more helpless and the frustration level rises, and I want to see them even less, which makes the depression worse. Getting out of bed is a struggle, returning phone calls and emails, nearly impossible. The urge to write has even diminished to the point where I sometimes stare at a blank screen for hours not knowing how to express what is going through my mind, and at the same time, wondering why that matters since writing is something that I do for myself for pleasure and a bit of therapy.

I think I've found a job. I don't really want it, and it is certainly nothing exciting, but with Stephen starting work today, and the thought of being stuck at home all day long with his dog and a big empty house is extremely depressing. I sent off a couple resumes back when I had an incling of wanting to work, and of the calls I got back, I think an office position with one of the banks (ATB) is the most promising. I went for the interview last week, and they've called me back in for a 2nd, which virtually means they are offering me the job. The 2nd interview is on Friday, which means I need to decide by then if I'm going to take the position or not. I'm broke, and the money would be nice... but this isn't a career or anything like that.

Blah. 4 days to decide.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Battle of Alberta

The Flames Home Opener began with an introduction to the team, a trophy for Kip, and a banner raising to commemorate the strength of the team last season. The game wasn't the best I've ever seen, but the dome was packed, tbe fans riled up, and the 3 periods included 3 goals and some unbelievable saves. There were times when the Flames couldn't catch a pass to save their lives, but their penalty kills were awesome.

Flames Home Opener
Oct 6, 2006 - 27 Photos


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Finally, we can be together again.

After a 2 year absense, Hockey has finally come back into my life. It was devastating when the strike hit during my last year in Edmonton. No more hockey meant no more life-size ice play on my big screen TV, and no more teasing Stephen everytime the Flames got their asses kicked, which in the past happened WAY more than he liked to admit. (ha ha, Carter too I'm betting)

The winter felt longer, the school year more gruelling, and it was only the thought of a year in Japan that kept me going (ok, I might be exaggerating a teeeensy little bit...). In an attempt to get my hockey addiction satisfied, I tried watching a couple of the university games, but their skill levels just weren't what I'd been hoping for. And their audience? Unenthusiastic. No loyal fans in their team jerseys, nobody screaming at the referees, and perhaps the most shocking of all, no food vendors walking up and down the stairs between playtime.

Then, after the strike was resolved and with the new season ahead, I left for Japan, a county that while I love for so many reasons, does not share my passion for the sport of Hockey. I knew there were a number of places where I could have joined fellow Canadians to catch a few games now and then.. I was even invited a couple of times to Shibuya's Canadian Bar - the Maple Leaf - to catch the playoff games that were being aired despite the little soccer thing happening in Germany at the same time. But, at the time, I felt it would be better to wait. Better to wait for a time when I could get into the game and the enthusiasm of the audience and my friends and be the hockey fan I know I am in my heart.

There was a time when year after year, I labelled myself as a Vancouver Canucks fan. I knew the players, the team stats, and even toyed with the idea of getting myself a Jersey a couple of times. In the pre-strike days, I watched my favorite player retire, I tried to make sense of what happened with Bertuzzi, and I waited to see my team bounce back from the slump they'd fallen into. But now, after 2 years of absense and uninvolvement with the game, I find myself staring at a team roster full of names that I don't recognize. All the players that I once respected and cheered for are spread out across divisions and teams that seem so foreign t0 me, that I no longer know where my loyalties lie.

And so, this Saturday night at 8:05 MST, I will be surrounded by cheering fans as the Calgary Flames take on the Edmonton Oilers for the Flames' first home game of the season. There will be a banner raising to celebrate that the team came in 3rd in their division in 2005-2006, and the goalie will be awarded a trophy for his incredible skill and talent that placed him 1st amongst fellow goaltenders and 2nd overall in the league. I will cheer alongside my neighbors, and I will applaud the goalie I have endearingly called "Kip", and I will cross over to the other side as I re-label myself a Flames Fan.


#34 - Miikka Kiprusoff
goalie extraordinaire

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Woo Hoo!

I just got a call from my neighbor back in Edmonton. He's been helping me by playing landlord for my condo and he was calling to tell me that my tenant is gone and I'm free to finally move home whenever I want!!!!!!!! This doesn't mean I'm moving anytime soon, but at least I know that when I do, my place is ready for me. Yay Yay Yay!

humbug

nobody else is blogging anymore.. and people I never expected keep checking mine for updates.. it's bizarre really, why someone like Finland, who lived down the hall from me for a year but never said a word to me if she could help it, checks my blog more than anyone else. Out of curiosity, I checked hers just to see what she's been thinking, and after searching for my name in all of the archives, this is what I've come up with. (smirk)
Nov 21/05: then when i finished with classes, i went with Cori and Claudia to have some ramen...that was really expensive! Plus, i just can’t deal with those people…I don’t know what to say to them, and I feel like Cori doesn’t even like me that much…I mean, we live on the same floor, but we never associate with each other…which is perfectly fine with me, I don’t really like her that much either…
Mm hmm, I remember this night. Both Claudia and I thought it was bizarre when Finland invited herself to eat with us, but even more strange that after almost 2 months in Japan she'd never eaten ramen (Chinese noodle soup) . I guess I must have made a real nuisance of myself when I kept phoning to give her directions, waited outside in the cold, and did my best to come up with conversation while we were eating. I'm so sorry that she invited herself to "deal" with us, but honestly, was it my fault that she was miserably unsociable?

May 1 (her birthday): Haa...so everyone in class gongratulated me. ^^) Oh and I even got an email from Cori in the morning! (she doesn't like me & the feeling is mutual)
Um.. my little birthday email was important enough to mention on her blog? Must have been a lonely lonely birthday. As for how I feel or who I like, I didn't realize I felt that way, but who am I to argue with you Finland? And you say this feeling is mutual.. so why do you check my blog so often?
-whatever-

back to me. so little is happening these days that I don't have much to write about. Instead, I've been going back to fill in missing entries.. so much happened in such a short time, I couldn't keep up with it in Japan. I guess now is my chance, before the memories fade.

And just before I head off to dreamland, a quick hello to some unexpected visitors. Germany, hey, thanks for stopping by. You know you're not welcome, but I know you're never going to change. Missouri, thanks again for the phone call, even if it was for bad news. Sometimes reconnecting like that really helps ground us. Thailand, 久しぶり、空港から何か聞かなかった事は気持ち悪くなったん。それから、私立ちの関係あまりわかんない。説明してください。Austria, there are no words left. I said my goodbye, and you chose not to do the same. Either be the friend you once claimed to be and find a way to talk to me again, or disappear and let the pain end.