Back to Slush

DECEMBER 21, 2008
Flight canceled. That's how it goes when you travel in wintertime at Christmas. YVR was *not* fun, but most people were at least pretty mild about it. A few outbursts here and there in baggage claim, but there was no problem finding a taxi to take us back home. Sucks having to spend $100 in taxi fare just to go to the airport and home again hours later. But that's life.

Sim's family still is having problems arriving in St Lucia, and they left last night. Sim's parents missed their connection in Toronto, and so Sim's mom is flying out of Montreal tomorrow (probably the flight we were due to be on) and Sim's dad ended up booking a whole new flight, and is flying through Chicago->Miami->St Lucia. That probably cost enough. Sim's brother is also still in Toronto for the night.  The only person who managed to make it to St Lucia on time was Sim's 92-year old grandfather, who flew in from England. Thankfully Sim's parents arranged to have a taxi waiting for him when he arrived and he's enjoying the 5-bedroom villa on his own tonight.

So that's all there is to it. We may be able to leave on Christmas Eve and fly through the US and make it down to St Lucia just before or on Christmas, but otherwise we will likely not be able to get down there til next weekend. Christmas at home? Eh, we can make it work.

Anyway we're meeting with the travel agent tomorrow to find out our options without spending an arm and a leg on it. So we'll know more tomorrow, I am sure. Mother Nature threw us a curve ball. That's life. Silver lining is I get to sleep in my nice comfy bed, rather than on the floor in the Montreal Airport.

filed in Travel | by Christine at 9:35 PM on 2008-12-21 | permalink | 1 comment

Slush to Sand

DECEMBER 21, 2008
I'm dreaming of a white warm christmas....

I cannot believe we're attempting to travel today. Sunday the 21st. For Saint Lucia, in the tropical West Indies. When Greater Vancouver is getting hit with 15-20cm of snow. In Michigan this would be just an everyday Sunday. But in Vancouver? Where snow usually only falls in the mountains? This is pretty substantial. From where I sit, this is what I see.

Snowy at YVR Snowy at YVR

And for good measure, here's one of us crazy kids:

Travelers, not yet weary

So far the flight remains on time. Departs in about an hour. So I'll pack up my laptop pretty quickly and visit the ladies' room so I'm set for the flight. At any rate, follow along with our adventures  at our photo set on Flickr. And follow along short-term on my Twitter feed, as I will likely be updating more often there.

Can't wait to see the sun, for the win!

filed in Travel | by Christine at 1:42 PM on 2008-12-21 | permalink | comment

Bush & Shoes

DECEMBER 16, 2008
And here is the unedited feed of Bush and the shoeless Iraqi man. Of course, C-SPAN comes to save the day, while the others sit on their thumbs. At the face of this event is the hilarity, of course. An Iraqi reporter throws his shoes at Bush, who does an amazing job dodging them. His shoes. Without the mess of the war behind it, one could just point and laugh. But in this video, you hear the man's screams. And even if you don't speak Arabic, you can hear the desperate anguish in his voice. And that is nothing to laugh at.



Well after the shoes are thrown and Zaidi is dragged out of the press conference, there is a video on Bush's face, smirking and shrugging. One is left looking deeper there, and wonder if he is trying to cover up the fact that he is bothered being hated that much, or if he just does not give a damn about anything.

filed in Politics | by Christine at 10:07 PM on 2008-12-16 | permalink | comment

Christmas Came Early This Year

DECEMBER 10, 2008
My camera is here! My camera is here! It's all been a very exciting day and I haven't been able to focus on a thing.

I wasn't the expecting the camera for another day or two, but today I got the knock on the door and the postman was there with the box! I could barely contain myself as I signed for it and he likely heard my squeal of delight as I closed the door.

There she is!

Sim's is scheduled to be delivered tomorrow by courier, also. So I'll just open that up enough to start charging his batteries and let him unbox his own camera after work. Two cameras for our two-week trip to Saint Lucia. I am so excited I could burst. More photos, we must have more photos.

... The back

Isn't she pretty? I've taken quite a few shots and a video also, and I can say I'm most definitely impressed. I have a feeling I'll be taking the manual to bed with me tonight.

Feel free to have a look at the rest of my unboxing photos here.

filed in Photography | by Christine at 7:40 PM on 2008-12-10 | permalink | 2 comments

New friends, new inspirations

DECEMBER 4, 2008
Last night, Sim & I went to The Wolf & the Hound in Kitsilano and met up with a bunch of fellow local photographers to have a little winter party & photo swap. The premise behind it was that each one of us brought a print and we put it in a collective pool, then drew numbers and swapped photos. It was a neat concept, even if Sim ended up getting my print (we swapped with another person, so it's all good). Any reason to meet new friends is fine by me.

The photo I received in the swap was from Heather, who's also from North Vancouver. Upon receiving it, I gave her one of my cards so she knew it was from. She came over to me later in the evening and said my name sounded familiar. And then she asked if I had a blog. I thought after this long reprieve, my blogging days would have been forgotten. But she said she recognized my name and we had a long chat. She has her own blog over at fubsy.net, of which I also recognized her domain name from the past. She and I both agreed that Twitter has taken over both of our blogging lives. It's far easier to compile a little 140-character news update than to write pages on a blog. We had a good laugh, and she's inspired me to start blogging again. So here I am, people! Feel free to prod me with a stick if I lag back again.

In other news, it's bloody December! And it's bloody cold! We're going away for Christmas and New Years' this year. Sim's mom worked out a villa to rent in Saint Lucia for the two holiday weeks and so seven to nine of us will be flying down to the Caribbean for a beachside Christmas party. I was a bit sad at first to be away from the traditional tree and cookies and all that, but then I realized I will have two week break from the rain and will have so much fun swimming and snorkeling in a beachy paradise. Also doesn't hurt that I may be getting a new camera in time for the trip!

I've really been sucking lately at blogging and I really should do better at it. And I'm sorry, although I'm falling in love with twitter, it doesn't replace the classic blogging medium. Here's to a new profound effort.

Cheers, all.

filed in General | by Christine at 1:42 PM on 2008-12-04 | permalink | 1 comment

O

NOVEMBER 7, 2008
It's well after 3am. I should be asleep. I tried to do just that. But it didn't happen. Normally when I can't sleep, it's due to the stresses of life and anxiety about upcoming trips, tasks that must be taken care of, or disagreements where I regretted what I said. Tonight's not like that, though. Since Tuesday, I can admit to not being able to sleep easily. I've been the insomniac because I feel an excitement growing within me.

Yes, as all the pundits said through all of Wednesday, we are in a historic time. They spent the full day talking about how the future face of America being not quite white. Of course, I give it complete respect. The countless times I saw MLK's 'I have a dream' speech on Wednesday made me tear up and cry along with the rest of you. It's big that America has advanced itself to do what I thought was impossible. Fifty years ago, we were in midst the segregation. And now our blackest president to date is moving into the whitest of houses. But I'm not talking about race here. I'm talking about renewal. Can you feel the electric energy that's pumping into America's veins? I feel it. It's like the last eight years have all been a bad dream (a bad dream that's still happening) and yet, we can see the end to this nightmare. January 20, 2009. I count the days. I never knew I could be so excited by cabinet appointments.

I'd have to admit, this week does feel a bit surreal. I'm not sure what to do now. We did it. We actually did it. As of next year, we have a new Democratic president and a strong majority in the House and Senate. And not just any President. The beautiful orator. The intellectual introvert. The cool-as-a-cucumber candidate. The underdog who was expected to be beaten by Hillary, then John. Barack Obama. And this comes as a surprise to me, but I think I'm more impressed by him now than I had been before November 4. You would think after two grueling years campaigning, the man would put his well-worn feet up and take a little rest. But no, he has already announced his new Chief of Staff, phoned up nine world leaders, and unveiled a transition website where you can submit comments, read platforms and action plans, subscribe to the blog, and even apply for a job. He hasn't even started his first day, and he's at it gung-ho. If he's been faking his servitude to the people and the nation, someone needs to get him that memo telling him that he has already won. Doesn't he have some brush palms to clear somewhere in Texas Hawaii? ;)

Now, don't worry. My head's not in the clouds. After these god-awful eight years, I am realistic. I do not think he's a Messiah annointed by God to save the world and our souls. And I surely hope the rest of you don't, either. He's a man. He's done a few votes that I would have disagreed with. All I expect him to do is to work hard and reverse some of the damage that Bush II has done. I fully expect to review all of what he is doing and put his feet to the fire when I feel it's necessary to do so.

But you know what? Unlike Bush, I'm thinking that's what he expects and even wants. Tonight, I spent a considerable reading through Obama's plans for technology and innovation. I think one of the biggest reasons I wanted Obama to win was because he's a candidate who has his mind on the future and is pushing for greater transparency in our government. He wants to put it all out there for us. He wants to include us. He doesn't want to hide and conceal like Bush/Cheney had done all these years. Instead, he wants to use the power of the Internet in the government to include the people more. He actually wants us to become involved. No more sheeple. We must be people. I really like that. We are not to fear the government, but include ourselves with it. Because that's what true democracy is.

I won't be so bold to say that we've just elected the greatest American President. I have no idea how his presidency will be. Maybe he will have a good start but get bogged down in the politics. Maybe all the personal attacks on him will finally get under his collar and he will crack. Maybe the economy's woes will keep him from the greatness we are hoping he's capable of. I hope not, though. I like to think I have a pretty good instinct in people, and he seems to be the real deal. Not some pussy politician who kisses babies and wears big flag pins. Did you notice that he didn't do too many of those embarrassing photo ops that we normally groan from. And his campaign was tight, a well oiled machine. It's obvious the man knows how to use his resources well.

Whatever the case, these are exciting times. I actually look forward to the future.

filed in Current Events | by Christine at 3:07 AM on 2008-11-07 | permalink | comment

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