23 June 2010

Mission #12: Watch a sporting event at a pub

Goal completed on June 14, 2010 at the Fiddler's Courtyard in Calgary.

In February I was totally stoked for the Vancouver Winter Olympics. Then NHL playoffs were to follow, but when it was determined that neither the Edmonton Oilers nor the Calgary Flames would be in the playoffs I stopped paying attention to that. sporting tournament. So when FIFA started to get notice in Canada (way too late) I felt like I had had my fill of sports.

Or so I thought.

Daniel started talking about it, then my friend Susi in Germany started talking about it, although she supports Italy (...what?), Shalon (who supports Spain) and my dad mentioned FIFA in separate conversations, so I thought, "Huh. What do I have to lose by following a team?" Since Canada wasn't in the running (again) my default team ended up being Germany.

I was in Calgary for a BBQ on Saturday and with Daniel's enthusiasm, dragged myself out of bed to watch Germany's first game on Sunday against Australia. Daniel and I were prepared with swag:

With Canada being such a hockey and winter Olympics nation, I always figured that the first sporting event I'd see at a pub or bar (and I don't mean the NFL or CFL that plays in the background when I've gone out with friends) wouldn't be a soccer game, never mind a match for the World Cup. It was quite amazing to watch Germany win, 4-0 over Australia. Since then I haven't been able to stop watching the FIFA 2010 World Cup.

And I finally get it.

I get why people go to pubs, if not each other's houses to watch sporting events. Even though you're surrounded by total strangers you're all sharing the hype, the disappointment, and surprise of a game or sport. It's like having that team camaraderie without actually being on the team or playing the sport.

It was kind of fun.

21 June 2010

Mission #17: Donate blood at least once a year

Goal completed on June 2, 2010.

This goal has certainly taken me longer to complete than I anticipated when I had first made it. After moving to Stettler I only had a very limited time frame as to when I could donate. One of two situations would arise: I was either working when Canada Blood Services would make their way from Edmonton or I ended up working the day after a donation, which I've discovered is a big problem for me.

Losing 610ml of blood (a pint) really lands me on my ass, and increasingly so the more often I donate. I feel weak and tired following a donation, especially the first day, and then for the next seven days. When I try to go back to the gym I feel like I've thrown myself into oncoming traffic, never mind what it feels like to work a 12 hour shift.

I find myself waiting longer and longer between donations because of this, and because the experiences I'm having donating blood aren't nice. OK, being a little dramatic, they're not awful, but I feel like it's a sign to slow down or stop (you know, because feeling ill isn't a big enough reason to stop). Clive has come with me for two donations, both in Stettler and both times something has gone wrong. The first time, a nurse missed my vein. Yes, missed my vein. I mean, really? Me? My big and juicy veins?

OK, when my hands are warm and I'm not nervous I have big and juicy veins. 

The second time Clive is with me somehow I don't manage to tolerate the blood loss at all. Apparently I can look paler than my already pale self and I had about four nurses come up to me and ask how I was feeling and constantly reassess me. I felt fine the whole time. One nurse, obviously older and experienced, was more forceful assertive than the rest and made some executive decisions.

Experienced Nurse: How are you feeling? You look a little pale.
Me: I feel fine.
Experienced Nurse: I'm just going to put your feet up. [to Clive] She looks pale doesn't she?
Clifford: A wee bit, aye.
Young Nurse: Why don't you grab her something to drink. I'll just bring some cool clothes over for your forehead and neck.
Me: Cool clothes? I'm cold. [whispering to Clive]Thanks for the support.
Clifford: [laughs and kisses my hand]

What a sweet man... I am never taking him to a donor clinic again.

So while I maintain that donating blood is a really noble thing to do and that everybody should do it, I think I will give it a miss for a year. 

19 June 2010

Book Review: The Memory Keeper's Daughter

Finished book 7 of 25. Its called "The Memory Keeper's Daughter" by Kim Edwards.

The story begins in the 1960's where it is still socially acceptable to institutionalize children with birth defects and mental retardation.

The first fifty pages are good and they drew me in, but the following 200 pages were such a drag. The story just seemed to observe this dysfunctional family and be overly dramatic.

The last 150 pages the book picks up the pace dramatically. And while the ending was good, and it did make me cry, I didn't quite grasp the point of the book: Secrets, assumptions, and expectations (and those unfulfilled) fueled the plot, but I missed the purpose behind the book, of telling such an emotional story.

To challenge our definition of family? To show the importance of communicating? To let our children grow up uninhibited of societal expectations?

Someone let me know, because I feel like I've just dragged myself through an emotional roller coaster for the last 2 weeks and I've been left empty handed of a moral.

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