Friday, 29 June 2007

Should I stay or...

Canada Day is my favourite holiday, second only to Halloween (uh, hello, strangers giving you candy that you're allowed to eat? Score!).

This year, we seriously debated going away; most of our friends are heading off to cottages and things, or have "moved beyond" the downtown crush (ie. have kids and/or are expecting). Aside from having a class that I didn't sub out on Saturday (Attack at noon at Rideau - any takers?), one important factor stopped me from making those plans. No to camping, no to cottaging... I gotta be downtown.

I have spent only one Canada Day away from Ottawa since I moved here in '91. I went to a family reunion outside of Windsor. There is, of course, a road trip story involving my plucky little Snotmobile, a 12-hour drive (Snotty could barely break 100), and being woken up by the cops because they thought I was a dead body, but that's not important right now.

The preparations begin...this was taken Friday, June 29 at 12:35 pm.
I get to hear the sound checks from my office.
(check out the live Hillcam)

The important thing is that, once I got the police escort into town, where I found a GoodLife to shower at, there was nothing going on.

For some reason, in Amherstburg, there weren't 400,000 friendly, inebriated Canadians, faces painted, waving flags, hooting and hollering, and randomly breaking out into "Oh Canada". No high-fives, no boom-boom-sparkle-sparkle. No all-encompassing crush of humanity. No full-on, 100% this-is-what-Canada-is-about community spirit.

There were lots of "closed" signs in shop windows, however.

A lot of people say that they don't like the crowds; the press of people that surrounds them, everywhere they go. The long lineups for porta-potties, cold water, and restaurants that charge more that day than any other for a reduced menu. They don't like the store-bought firecrackers that go off every few minutes, or the open beer bottles being carried around. Or the pervasive smell of marijuana, and the fact that the cops don't do anything about it, if just for one day. They don't like making human chains to get them -- winding through a sea of other human chains -- from their prime fireworks-watching spot to wherever they left your car, or sardining themselves into the bus for a long -- and squished -- ride home, where they eventually pile out, sweaty and tired.

And I would never argue with them. They're completely entitled to their opinions.

I'll be on the hill.

Canada Day 2006. I am on the right.

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Run, baby, run

I found a SuperCool site today, while I was reading the Star Tribune, from Minneapolis. For some reason I read this online paper as often as I can -- it's a window into another society, but one more similar to Ottawa than the other papers I read (Chicago Tribune and Miami Herald). Lots of gun crime, but of course, guns don't kill people; I keep forgetting.

And no, I don't read local newspapers very often. I suppose I should. In fact, I'll bookmark one now.

But, back to the SuperCool site. is a Reebok-sponsored site that allows you to enter your own running routes on an interactive map, plots the distance, and shares it with other runners in your area! Very neat! The bugs still need to be worked out: it's rather slow to load, and sometimes forgets what it's doing, mid-load, and also doesn't seem to have "distance in kilometres" as a setting, but I really like the idea.

My "favourite" run. (Quotes used because I haven't actually run since the last day in Sydney.)
(Oh, the shame.)

Monday, 18 June 2007

Oh, and before I forget

All honeymoon photos are posted here.

Browse through the slideshows at your own risk, and at your own pace!

Enjoy! (we sure did)

(and YES, wedding photos are coming, one day...)

Friday, 15 June 2007

Welcome to NowWhat, population me

If I could have lunch with any person, living or dead: Douglas Adams. Brilliant writer, amazing sense of humour, and apparently, he was full of joy for life, for adventure, right to the end.

One of his creations in the HHGG series (I forget which book) was NowWhat, a planet discovered and populated by a group of people, who, after crossing the universe for years and years, finally reached it. Then, these brave and dedicated space pioneers looked around the damp, dismal and depressing new world and said, "Now what?"

I feel for them.

Let's see: Graduate university. Get sensible job. Get married. Check, check, check. So where am I left? (Kids can wait a few (19?) more years.)

In NowWhat.

I see several options. The one that makes the most sense (ish) is to work on my career, and hard. Get training, get advanced, make connections, take over. But then, another part of me thinks, why? If we do have children eventually, I'll have to leave work (and be a taxpayer burden - I mean, more than I am already) for a year. Longer, if there is more than one childer involved. And why work to make yourself indispensable if you'll need to disappear from the workplace, one year at a time? (And land, depressingly, on ThenWhat, the planet one goes to once all life steps are completed?)

Or perhaps I should "turn Martha." I figure that Chris would embrace this option, too, except that he would be the victim of the decorating, scrapbooking, gourmeting, and napkin-folding... and the many, many disasters that I'm sure would ensue.

Take my "last chance," maybe, with fitness competitions? Go back to my chicken-and-veggies-and-train-till-it-hurts lifestyle? This, to me, is somehow the most attractive of my options. With each option, though, I have a feeling of marking time, marching in place (treading water/writing metaphors, so to speak) until the next big life change (aka a Baby) comes along.

This is probably just the post-wedding blues: nothing big coming up; bills to pay; loss of identity (Karen who?); sense of stasis; search for meaning; a sudden loss of direction... ah yes.

I know where I am now.

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

A Huff by Any Other Name

Long time no update, I know. No more honeymoon photos have been sent, no wedding photos, nuttin.

I blame the G8 Summit, because, frankly, that's what's taken up all my time. In the two weeks after my month away, I earned 5 more days of vacation; that's how much overtime I did. The worst night went till 10, but we ordered pizza around 7:30, so that was ok. (Best Pizza Ever, by the way, but it could be due to the X-treme levels of starvation and stress, since I also had the Best Diet 7-Up Ever, too.)

I digress. The Summit is on, and my life has gotten quieter, if not easier.

What's in a name?

I just went across the street to claim a pair of pants from the dry cleaner. I had put them in for a broken zipper a few weeks ago, but was too busy to remember to pick them up. I went in today, they asked my name, and I said "Power", of course. She looks at the ticket and says, "But your ticket has you as an 'H'".



The name change thing is taking a while to get used to. I guess my main difficulty is that I'm not officially official yet; that is, I don't have the certificate back from the province, which will allow me to change my driver's license, health card, banking info, etc. However, I'm fully Huffed at work - both emails, my pay info, phone, and building pass all have my new name. But if I ever have to produce TWO pieces of ID, I'm in trouble.

I sort of feel like a fraud, not one or the other.