Sunday, December 31, 2006

Just what I need, a 15-hour wait in emergency ...

Been fighting a bad infection for days now, since my birthday in fact, but thought I could stave it off with meds I had at home and lots of fluids. Nope, couldn't tough it any longer. Too sick.

I would have liked to have gone to a clinic, but by the time I found one that was open and drove over to it, it was "full", meaning not accepting any more patients, NO ONE. That's the difficulty about the holiday period. No medical care. The clinic was still "open" when I called but "closed" within an hour later. I missed the boat.

Only other alternative ... the hospital emergency ward. Yay! (this is sarcastic for those who can't hear me) No way was I going to wait 12 hours+ with two kids in tow. We stayed an hour for the triage then off we went to GB's for a tasty but simple supper prepared by .. me! GB was house-sitting and boy, the kids were happy to discover the 50"+ wide-screen television hooked up to a PlayStation. Lego Star Wars from 4 feet away! 7th heaven!

So absolutely no need to worry about them by the time I had to head back to the hospital. Yup, I ended up waiting and waiting and waiting. Lots of ambulances, which made me wait even longer. The receptionist told me that one came in with a baby whom they had to intubate. Sad. I hope he made it. What a horrible way to end the year.

I saw a woman faint on her way to the bathroom. Seems she had been waiting for a while and had some stomach pain. Someone made a joke about the need to pass out to finally get some attention.

Another man who was left sitting in a wheelchair by some unknown person finally came to and started spitting up stuff on the hospital door close by him. Security was called and it turned out that no one had registered him at all and he himself barely knew who he was. The nurse and two other men eventually came out of triage, fully masked and gowned, and wheeled the unknown spitter into the examination office. He never came back out, so I suppose he got treated right away.

Maybe I should have started horking up stuff too and spitting on the windows.

When they finally called my name, I was so happy! I thought I'd be able to get back in time to get an hour's sleep before having to wake the kids. Nope. Just a false alarm. "Could you please put this on?" I undressed and slipped on the flimsy hospital gown. Great, it was nice to wait there in the examination room half naked for an hour and 20 minutes with the ventilation blowing cold air on me.

Got back to GB's just in time to wake the kids. Needless to say, after driving them back to their dad's, I was happy to finally get home, take my meds and get some sleep.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Happy Holidays!

Hope you had a Merry Christmas!

I can't believe this week is just whipping by! Busy, but at the same time, relaxing. Kids were happy to get a chance to play on the super old Nintendo I have ...

Christmas was full of typical delicious indulgent fare and cool presents, like this super nifty running headlamp ... Thanks KillerChops! I will now be able to run on the mountain at night. Grommit, did you read that?

I have definitely eaten too much and slept too little. Too many late nights, and to top it off, this miserable cold that I have is not helping. Alright, alright, I will make one New Year's resolution ... get back to a regular training program. Dirk, my trainer and good friend from Miami, called me up and wants me to do Ironman Kentucky with him ... Hmmm ... it's only a 10-hour drive away ...

Christmas day, the kiddies and I drove to Bromont with my friend DC to check out the slopes. Beautiful day, crisp but not cold, sun shone brightly. So strange to see grass covering most of the mountain except where they were making snow. We shouted "YAY!" as we successfully slid off the first lift up. It has not been uncommon for us in the past to tumble together in a huge loser-like mound, twisting various body parts in ways they shouldn't. Happily, I can now say we finally mastered getting off the lift :-)

So much fun to snowbard again ... and planning a lot more of it this winter. Snow was granular and sometimes too deep, very slippery at times, but well worth the trek since there was hardly anyone else out, therefore no wait at the lift! Can't wait until my quads get back into shape and I can go down the slope without so much b-u-r-n ...

It was a special day yesterday ... I turned 29 again! How cool is that?! Enjoyed the day tremendously with friends and family and more delicious food!

Friday, December 22, 2006

I talked about it and now it seems that everyone else wants to talk about it too ...

In my last blog post, I wrote about leaving one's comfort zone. Funny, last night I had supper with my friend, DC, and he brought that exact subject up in conversation. In fact, since I posted, several friends have brought up that subject too on the phone. And then while putting up my Christmas tree in the wee hours of the morning, two ladies on some talk show on the tellie were being interviewed about planning to do just that, leave their comfort zones to go on a "journey" that had been calling them for some time.

I think my comfort zone is actually in taking risks. I get bored quite easily and love a challenge. I am so used to turbulence that when I don't have any, things feel static. I like when things change. I feel comfortable when things get shaken up ... it's exciting. Nothing too much though, turmoil is not a good thing, especially emotional turmoil. But heck, it's not like I've never experienced that ... I always land on all four paws.

Everything in life is transitory.

I remind myself of this when I am living a difficult moment. I take a deep breath, hang on, and realise that everything must change. And with time, I know I will get through it, stronger and wiser, with faith that the universe will open a door to a better and more beautiful moment.

Take a listen to Oleta Adams singing "Everything must change". The 30-sec sample doesn't do the song justice though, cuts off the actual title words of the song, but you get the gist of how haunting the song and how truly incredible Oleta's voice is. I'll have to repurchase this album which got stolen years back along with a lot of other goodies ...

Everything must change
Nothing stays the same
Everyone must change
No one stays the same

The young become the old
And mysteries do unfold
Cause that's the way of time
Nothing and no one goes unchanged
There are not many things in life
You can be sure of
Except rain comes from the clouds
Sun lights up the sky
And hummingbirds do fly

Winter turns to spring
A wounded heart will heal
But never much too soon
Yes everything must change

The young become the old
And mysteries do unfold
Cause that's the way of time
Nothing and no one goes unchanged

There are not many things in life
You can be sure of
Except rain comes from the clouds
Sun lights up the sky
And butterflies do fly

Rain comes from the clouds
Sun lights up the sky
And music
And music
Makes me cry

Thursday, December 21, 2006

To you, with love ...

Been meaning to blog for quite a while now, but it seems like as soon as I get one thing done, there is another thing that pops up to say, "Hey, me too, me too, what about me?"

Thought I could at least manage the pool thing, but it seems that the Gods are against me. Only slipped in two short sessions during the last little while ... skritch, skratch ... hmmm, can't even remember when. I just remember being kicked out of one pool after only a brief 15-20 minutes of doing laps. My fault completely - didn't read the schedule properly. At least it was a refreshing way to start the morning!

I would have swam tonight too but again, my fault, I chose to catch up with friends on the telephone semi-sort of making loose plans for the holiday visiting/activity schedule so that I would be able to pack in as much as possible, all the while balancing the need to do absolutely nothing.

It's been a full year, folks.

So what have I been up to recently besides NOT training? Hey, no criticisms allowed folks, and those individuals know who they are ;) I feel like I've trained enough this year to be worthy of some good time off. In the past 5 1/2 years, I've run 7 half marathons, 11 marathons, and completed one sprint, one Half Ironman, and one full Ironman triathlon. I've also raised over $30,000 for various charities - that's a lot of work! Throw in two kids, work and acting contracts and my passion for social dancing into the equation and we've got ... "WHEW! I'm tired!"

Recently though, I held my last charity event of the year, a private birthday dance party, with proceeds going to the Canadian Diabetes Association. I won't say when my birthday actually is, but I held it early seeing that people are more interested in half off sales on this particular day than in cutting cake. What a wonderful party it was! My good dance friend, Steve, showed up from the States to help me demo the coolest dance in the world, West Coast Swing. Awesome! So to those who attended the party, thanks for coming out to celebrate with me, thanks for your generous donations, and thanks for putting up with my almost crying before I cut the cake when I made the speech about my mother and why I had to do the Ironman.

What else have I been up to recently? Well, a lot of instrospection. It's that time of year, you know. Lots of loose ends to tie up, knots to cut loose or untangle ... decide how to start the New Year. Why should January 1st make such a difference? It's not the date that makes the difference, it's the ritual. I don't believe in making resolutions though but I do believe in following your dreams and making things happen.

My friend GB and I were discussing this the other day ... making your dreams reality. The sad thing is, we realised that there aren't many people who actually get around to doing this. They talk a good talk, dream a good dream, but when it comes down to actually taking the risk to fail so that they can have the chance to succeed ... People too often choose to stay in their comfort zone of mediocrity or sadness. This familiarity of having learnt to cope comforts them in a strange way. They refuse to go outside the bubble and risk falling.

If you don't break that bubble, you can't find out that you can FLY!

Be bold. Take the risk. Choose to live your dream. You can have it if you want ... You create your own reality. You decide your life.

And it can be an absolutely stupendous, happy and fantastic one if you want it ... GO FOR IT!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

One of those crappy days to gripe about ...


I woke up to Day #3 of my headache. And codeine hasn't helped.

Yesterday's bright neon lights in the background performers' waiting area almost killed me. Also froze my butt off since the heating was at a minimum at most. Felt nauseous last night when I got back home from my shoot and had some soup and noodles for supper, having lacked an appetite all day. Then I lay down for an hour nap, telling myself that I would get up for a late swim. Never got up again that night and ended up sleeping 12 hours before finally did. It's incredible how a headache can knock you out. And to top it off, it's still with me ... I just want to lie down again.


First on this morning's agenda. Going to Chevrolet Clermont where I bought Greta, my Chevy Aveo. Good little car, especially for the price. Bad service from the horrible salesman, Guy Gariepy. Don't go to him since he's not a man of his word.

He had sold me two ski racks last Feb. which he himself could not install, since physically there wasn't enough space on the roof racks. So he said he would have a garage technician to take care of it and after weeks and weeks of waiting and trying to get something done, I had to contact Chevrolet Canada and complain. At this point, I was frustrated and angry at being ignored and I wanted a reimbursement ... only makes sense, right? I'd been paying for something I couldn't use, since winter was now over and they still hadn't installed the two ski racks as promised which I paid for.

Of course no one at the Chevy dealership on St-Denis St. wanted to take care of my complaint and it took many many more calls from the head office before anything got done. And that was due principally to my going in personally to the dealership to see what the huge problem was - why weren't they going to deal with my complaint?

The sales director finally agreed to promise to install the ski racks next season for free. And that's what I did today.

The director of the garage ended up installing the racks himself, which took almost 2 hours to do. Problem? The two ski racks didn't fit onto the roof rack. Duh. I had been sold something that I shouldn't have been by a seriously incompetent and negligent salesman who totally ignored me after he *made his sale*, insisting that the racks would fit. The nice garage man had to modify the racks by drilling holes and moving parts to make it fit.

Good thing I stood up for my consumer rights last spring or I would have been stuck with a second ski rack that would have been IMPOSSIBLE to install myself.

So get that right folks, don't go to Chevrolet Clermont (Plateau Mont-Royal) and specifically DO NOT go to Guy Gariepy to buy your car. Post-service sucks royally.


I picked up a few groceries and one of the bags broke and my milk and peanut butter spilled out. But that's alright, it was at home on my porch and I lost the PB in my car.


I met up with a friend for lunch at his favourite restaurant. They looked like they had interesting lunch specials. He told me he usually ignored them since he always ordered the duck soup which was not on the menu. I am not a fan of duck and proceeded to ask the waiter what "Beijing sauce" was on the tofu special. He said, "Some type of sauce." Good answer, good answer.

So I chose Szechuan Shrimp. I mean, how bad could this be? I learned a lesson about fake Chinese food today ... got served shrimps served in some horrible gooey fake red sauce that was definitely not Szechuan but more like a bad sweet and sour with a side of almost tasteless fried rice.

Ugh. I ate what I could since I haven't been eating enough recently and left the sauce.

But it was good to see my friend and catch up a bit, though my headache played on me and I felt listless and drab and a horrible conversationalist.


I was at home this afternoon working at my computer when I heard a banging on my back door. What is someone doing banging on my back door? What is wrong with the front door?

I went to answer it and it was a man who asked if he could take stuff away from my backyard. He and his friend in their yellow pickup were collecting scrap metal. I looked at him and asked him what he was doing in my backyard, which is private. I told him he had no right to be there and to leave right away. I told him I would call the police. He made fun of me and jumped back over my fence to the truck and then backed out of the alleyway.

I called the police and complained about the guy trespassing. They passed the buck and told me to call the local post. I did, and the local post said they couldn't do anything unless the general office, which I first called, dispatched a call.

I told them it's not a good thing someone willing to jump over fences into private yards to check out stuff to haul away and that probably this person was up to no good.

Sheesh, for all I know, the guy would have robbed me had I not been home, or perhaps maybe he's the arsehole who stole my kids' bikes last summer and was just checking if I was at home. Or maybe it's this same arsehole who's robbed several neighbours today.

Of course the police didn't do anything. Nothing like a good citizen voicing a complaint about a suspicious person. TRESPASSING. I always thought there was a law against that.


Not enough time in the day and I feel like I've gotten nothing done. I have a birthday supper to go to right now and have to get ready. I had a choice between training or blogging and I chose blogging because I had too many unhealthy gripes to keep pent up inside myself. Doesn't matter ... I will dance my butt off tonight at a friend's Christmas party. Woohoo!

I've decided to wear pants. Don't feel like getting a run in my panty hose.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Darn pool!

Plan A: Thought I would treat the kiddies and I to a bigger pool and headed down to the Olympic Stadium where they've got lots and lots of space and super long lanes. Nope, wasn't meant to happen. The main pool was being worked on and wouldn't reopen until the end of January. The basin was still open though, but this being not much bigger than a regular pool, I figured it wasn't worth the $18 it would cost the four of us (2 kids & 2 adults) to get in to piddle-paddle for the remaining 50 min.

Plan B: Back to the free neighbourhood pool. I tried jumping off the diving board, feet first of course, not head first, and even that gave me the heebie-jeebies. I've gotten over my fear of water, but only partially, you see ... almost couldn't even bring myself to jump at all. But I didn't want to get too much of a reputation as being a water wuss. I have an Ironman reputation to uphold now ...

Tonight's plan: S-l-e-e-p ... Shot today on a television show, just one episode and though it wasn't an extraordinarily long day, I guess the recent lack of sleep has caught up with me and I suppose .... zzzzzz

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Wish me luck!

Went to the Y pool yesterday late afternoon with the kiddies for a quick dip. Lo and behold, it was closed so that the employees could attend their Christmas party. Just my luck. Today, we're going to try the pool at the Olympic Stadium. Hope there's no special event going on there ...

I don't know where the year has gone. Christmas is around the corner. And so is my birthday. Difficult thing about a birthday so close to Christmas is planning a party. People are either busy or all partied out. Sometimes I think I should plan my birthday party in the summer but with my luck, people will be on vacation out of town.

Here's my laugh of the day ... It had me crawling on the floor cramped over from laughing for so long. Note: It's in French ...

Friday, December 08, 2006

Fallen trees, fallen morale - clear away the debris

We had an ice storm last week and it took down some huge branches from my tree in the backyard. This picture doesn't do it justice since you can't see some of the other big branches ... but you get the gist. One particular branch took out both clotheslines and a telephone cable. Scary loud. Lots of power outages everywhere. Happy I wasn't out there. And happy that I have friends with power saws.

I went to the pool last night. It was closed for repairs. Sucks. Finally get my butt out after a long day of reorganizing and cleaning and an even longer period of inactivity and I don't even get to work out. It was friggin' freezing outside so the idea of running with a ski mask just did not feel appealing so I went back to reorganizing. Gearing up for the new year, you know. New beginnings, fresh starts, HOPE and FAITH renewed, staying positive.

Am finally able to trigger my back muscle to move my arm forward though it isn't reaching nearly as far as it should. I will have to be diligent with the excercises my physiotherapist prescribed. The muscle is sore but I'm happy that I've made huge progress since Wednesday when I didn't feel like I was moving it at all.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Bad day for the old injury ...

Since my car accident, I've had problems with my left arm. I knew something was really wrong when I had trouble lifting it and keeping it up. I couldn't hold my cell phone up to my ear or even keep it up to hold the bottom of the steering wheel while driving.

The physiotherapist has done a lot of work on this problem caused by nerve damage in my neck but every once in a while my neck gets really bad and my arm is once again heavy and achey. Today is one of those days. Even holding the weight of my purse was difficult. Wish my injuries would go away. Sigh.

So today my morale feels a little low and I don't feel like training. But I've decided to be productive and do some tidying in the office.

Came across my sewing kit and noticed one of its small drawers completely stuffed with safety pins, though I don't ever remember buying any. Then it dawned on me ... I've been saving my safety pins from all the bibs of races I've done.

It's a good thing I don't run local 5 and 10k races or I'd need a new sewing kit with bigger drawers. Preferring to travel to race cuts down on my safety pin collection and in fact, I have rarely run a race in Montreal, only two ... Montreal Half Marathon in April 2003 and a 5k walk at the Montreal Festival de la Santé 2005 with my kids.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

10-hour naptime

I think I'd like to lie down in a hot bathtub, totally skip supper then lie down in my bed to watch a flick, eat popcorn and drink a nice cup of tea.

It's been a busy week. Had a pretty intense west coast swing dance workshop this weekend that I organized for a friend of mine. I learned a lot and had lots of fun dancing. No time of course to train and definitely not enough time to sleep. I love to dance and I do miss training, but it's nice to have some time with one of my other passions, one I had to put off during all those months of training for the Ironman.

But it's time soon to rejoin a gym, perhaps even a triathlon team, and whip my butt and gut back into shape. I've been a sloth for long enough.

Funny, in helping my friend renovate his house, I realise it's time to take care of my own and get things into better order. Always room for improvement, especially at the end of the year ... you know, out with the old, in with the new. New beginnings and fresh hope are always wonderful.

And today there is snow on the ground ...