Thursday, August 25, 2005


So, I work in an office. A pretty cool, interesting office, but an office all the same, with cubicles and supply closets and gossip and filing cabinets and petty disagreements and many people sharing the same windowless, airless space.

A hazard of such environs, as I'm sure many of you can attest to, is the sharing of germs. I'm certainly not afraid of germs (heck, I ride the ttc every day), but there's something really disturbing about one person at work getting sick...and then a week later the rest of us coming down with curiously similar symptoms...

Anyway, one of my coworkers, an absolutely lovely lady whom I very much enjoy working with, has a very bad habit of not feeling well and COMING IN TO WORK REGARDLESS. I appreciate her dedication. However. I do NOT appreciate having to share her illnesses on a regular basis!

It's seriously like clockwork. A couple of weeks ago, she came in while demonstratively (I'll spare you the details) not well. Three days later, I was getting ready to leave work early to go to a walk in clinic. sigh. I was pretty sure I had caught her case of strep throat, having suffered through strep a few times when I was in public school. ANYWAY - I get to the walk-in clinic (The Doctor's Office in the Atrium) and get my deli-line-up-esque numbered ticket to await my turn. The place is literally deserted - there are two nurses giggling over Jennifer Aniston's Vanity Fair interview behind the counter, the bored receptionist staring at her computer, me sitting beside a sad-looking aloe vera plant, and that's about it. After nearly half an hour (oh how I hate waiting rooms), they bring me in to the examination room and ask me to take a seat on the paper-covered examination table.

Now, I'm short, so I hate hopping on to those slippery suckers at the best of times, but there was no stool here, so I literally had to 'climb up'. It was difficult. The paper didn't make it. After another fifteen minutes or so (fifteen minutes - long enough for me to inventory the office: 18 tongue depressors in a jar on the counter, one pair of rubber gloves in the trash can, two prescription pads, box of what looked to be assorted syringes, large sign saying "we do not, under any circumstances, prescribe narcotic analgesics such as tylenol 3, codeine, hydrocordone, levorthanol, morphine or anileridine". Obviously I'm in a high-class joint. I'm thinking about calling my firstborn 'levorthanol'. Thoughts?) the doctor finally comes in. He doesn't bother with introducing himself, just walks over to the counter (with the tongue-depressors and syringes) and, keeping his back to me, asks me what he can do for me today.

I explain that I suspect that I have strep throat, and he grunts, opens the tongue depressor jar, takes one out, turns to me, asks me to open my mouth and say 'ahhh' (seriously - just like sesame street). Then he says, "yeah, it looks inflamed in there. So do you want the test, or do you just want me to write you a prescription".

Whaaaaa? Am I there to self-diagnose and self-prescribe? What if I don't actually have strep throat? What if it's something much worse which has similar symptoms? More importantly - what would he do if I asked for a narcotic analgesic to dull the pain?

I asked for the test, and he most begrudgingly administered it. Ten minutes later it turns out I did indeed have strep, and he did indeed write me a prescription. However, I am completely appalled at his drive-thru, cavalier approach to my health care. Thank god my real doctor is a little more....well, curious, about me and my health. She's involved. She cares. Now if only she had convenient office hours...

Monday, August 15, 2005

July Redux...2 (...3? Does the botched try count?)

Alright, when last we visited our heroine...

I'd left you hanging with good ol' T.Bay. The Tunder. Birthplace Strange little place, isn't it. (When my family moved to Vancouver Island in 1989, we were highly amused to find out that on the Island, there is a 'Thunder Bay Reunion' hosted every summer at Rathtrevor Beach. Yeah, we never went.) Anyway - there are three reasons I keep going back to this particular small town.

1. Visiting of grandparents and other assorted family members.
2. Persians (scroll down - second entry, after the 'Hoito')
3. McKellar confectionary burgers - the best online reference I could find was this listing: McKellar Confectionary. Across from the now defunct McKellar hospital (ed. note - also birthplace of moi). Doesn’t look like much (and it isn’t) but good burgers, etc for lunch. The owner has a peculiar habit of lining up hotdogs on his forearm while he dresses them (hmm-mm). You haven't lived 'til you've had one of these arm-dressed babies.

Yes, I'm aware two of three are food-related. I welcome your speculation in the comments field.

Anyway, as previously mentioned, I was in Thunder Bay for my grandparents' anniversary. And yes, I played the song. The song I sweated and slaved and bled over. It was a smash hit. At least, I prefer to tell myself that the tears in everyone's eyes were caused by overwhelming sentiment as opposed to gut-wrenching physical pain caused by my awkward transitions. Another fantastic Thunder Bay thing is tubing down the Kaministiquia (bonus points to anyone who has never been to Thunder Bay and figures out how to pronounce that). Picture it - myself and 30 of my immediate family members all wearing assorted bathing suits and sun-gear, sitting in giant individual inner tubes (with a sling thing in the middle so you can't fall through), PLUS three very important cooler/snack (oh, okay - beer) tubes, all attached into one giant floating mass, cruising down the river for a couple of hours. Let me tell you - as long as your younger cousins know you well enough to fear retribution if they try to tip your tube and dump you into the river - there is no better way to spend an afternoon. All in all, it was a really great family visit. I could totally do it again. One day.

Next vacation stop was supposed to be Cuba...but due to circumstances beyond my control (namely - JuGo's budget!), I ended up staying in Ontario. Spent a weekend with CaHaBe at their cottage in Gravenhurst - lovely. Then I picked JuGo up in our swish rental car and we headed up to her aunt's cottage on Kapikog Lake (by MacTier, beside Lake Healey, just off Georgian Bay, second star to the right). Kapikog has a couple of Islands in it that are Crown Land, so we parked at the Aunt's cottage, loaded our gear up into the Aunt's canoe, and headed out to the nearest Island for a little wilderness adventure. We are total survivor champions, by the way. No flush toilets, fire ban, wasps - you name an inconvenience or danger, and we faced it. ha. Seriously, though, it was awesome. I was filled with the spirit of our Voyageur ancestors and much to JuGo's chagrin, was inspired to burst into song halfway across the lake. Come on, if you can think of a better time for a rousing chorus of 'Land of the Silver Birch' , I'd like to hear about it.

(Holy crap I love those last two links - what is it about Canadiana that calls for chee-zee midi files? I'm marking them in my favourites, and I suggest you do the same. Quick, before you lose them!)

During the morning of our fourth day chez Island, JuGo's Aunt pedaled the paddle-boat (paddled the pedal-boat?) over and invited us to upgrade to luxury accomodations for our final night. We thought about it (for about two seconds) and happily accepted. So our final night of vacation was spent being spoiled by JuGo's lovely, incredibly hospitable relatives and their seemingly bottomless wine cellar. Good times.

Post-camping (as in, the very day after we returned to civilization), I attended the second of the two weddings I was obliged to attend this summer. I had to sing a song as part of the reception (accompanied by my fabulous friend FeWi), and was supah nervous, but apparently my fears of nerve-induced-lack-of-breath-control were ill-founded as the performance appears to have been well recieved. Phew. Something from this wedding to add to my ever-growing list of bad things said during wedding ceremonies - the Pastor/Priest went on at the beginning about how marriage is a sacred covenant between a man and a woman (I could already sense trouble brewing), and how in terms of sacraments, blood sacraments are acutally the most holy (Is that an axe and a bleating lamb I see behind him?) and how of course, marriage is a blood sacrament because the BRIDE is designed to BLEED on her wedding night!!! Swear I didn't hear another word until 'may I present to you for the first time Mr. & Mrs...'. HOLY FUCK. What is WRONG with that man? And the worst part is that most of the attendees just sat there smiling and nodding, as though it were the most natural thing on earth. How do I end up at these sort of weddings?

As a final treat, and much needed post-traumatic-wedding-ceremony recovery period, I spent the long weekend in the company of several lovely friends at a beautiful cottage in the Gatineaus (on Lac Dam, to be specific). Slightly rainy, but fantastic nonetheless. I am spoiled. July was a great month.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

oh god

So, I spent the last hour or so finishing the second half of my July update...only to hit 'publish' and find out that Blogger was DOWN for an hour.

I lost everything.


For fuck's sake, it was a good one, too. I can't face trying again tonight. But soon. Promise.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

July Redux...1

Yes, as a few of you have oh-so-rightly pointed out - it has been a while. Though if you know me well enough to be reading this thing, you probably know something else about me - I'm lazy. And easily distracted. What can you do?

Here's an as-brief-as-I-can-make-it breakdown of the busiest month of my summer.

1. The wedding of S&S. Typically there's not much involved for a wedding, work-wise, unless you're one of the dudes getting married, or are related, or a member of the wedding party. Or, in my case, have a big freaking mouth. That's right. In a flurry of excitement (hormones?) over an office lunch room wedding detail discussion (specifically - how expensive wedding cakes are - who knew?), I spontaneously volunteered my co-worker JuGo's and my services in the area of wedding cake making. Oh God. My only explanation is that I may still have been high off a recent baking success, for my friend LaTr's birthday. ANYWAY, here I was, committed to baking a cake. We held a trial run (and an icing fight), which was wildly successful. Actual cake-making commenced a few days before the wedding, and much to our proud surprise, turned out not bad at all. The wedding was ok, too.

2. A first date! Yes, even though it was the busiest month of my summer, and even though I was technically 'off the stuff', I managed to somehow MEET someone. Who is totally great. I figure anyone who can gracefully handle a first date that is a blatant attempt to multi-task my social obligations (I took him to a screening of Kaeja Dance at Camera - my friend ElCo works for the company and I'd promised to support her event) is worth keeping around for a while. More on him later, I'm trying to work chronologically here.

3. A trip to Thunder Bay! ...and crap, I'm outta time. I know it's cruel to leave you on the edge of your seats like this (humour me), but I seriously have to leave. More on the busiest month EVER soon. Promise.