Do Not Feed Or Molest

Sep 30

On Saturday we took Katie the Niece and Mags the Dog to Brazos Bend State Park. We had told Katie to make sure she was up early because we wanted to get an early start. We arrived at 11 am. The niece was up at 6:30. The grandmother raised an eyebrow.

So off we went. Someone didn’t check into exact location of the park, so we drove around pointing at shacks, trailers and dumpster saying “that’s your house,” until finally stopping to get directions. The dog insisted on laying on my lap so she could see out the window leaving me coverd in little white hairs and dog-breath face. As we hit the turn off to the park, John started with the warnings…

“Don’t let the dog get too close to the water. Alligators lurk by the shore and they have been known to jump out and eat people’s pets.”

“Make sure you keep the dog on the leash.”

“Stay out of the tall grass, there are alot of nasty, poisonous snakes here.” Etc.

At first I thought he was exagerating, which I have learned is the Texas way, (Everything sounds alot bigger in Texas) but as we entered the park there were many signs confirming his warnings.

We drove up to the gatehouse and pay, at which point I repeatedly pointed out that I had spent 2 summers working at a conservation area where I was the one at the gatehouse collecting the entry fee. Upon finding a parking spot, we doused ourselves in mosquito repellant in an attempt to fend off the West Nile, and marched out into the woods. The first thing of interest is a giant sign that says “Please Beware of Alligators. Do not feed or molest.” Molest an alligator? That sounds like one hell of a fetish. I told John that we really needed to get ourselves a digital camera so I could better blog these moments.

Unfortunately, our failure to get an early start left us hiking around in less than comfortable weather, so we headed back to the truck and drove over to the visitor’s center to get water for humans and dog. We sipped while sitting on a bench in the shade, saying “Yup,” and “Yup, yup yup,” to each other like a bunch of old cronies. We watched Katie race around with the dog, and vowed we wouldn’t come back until the cooler weather arrived.

We didn’t managed to catch a glimpse of any poisonous snakes or alligators, but on our way out we did see a full family of deer…. they didn’t didn’t jump out of the bush and try to eat my dog either.

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Another Reason Why 27 Makes For The Happiest Day Of The Year

Sep 27

I just wanted to congratulate muh bestest friend on finally settling her big court case. It was a year and a half of total BS and she deserves everything she got and more. I wish I was there to celebrate with you too, girl!

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Everyone Wave At The Birthday Mobile

Sep 27

Birthday wishes go out to Val who recently turned a very cool 27, and Adam who turned a luke-warm 20.

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Man Opens Fire In INS Office

Sep 26

BD: You must wear flak when you go back next.

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27 random things about 27

Sep 26

1. I was born on the cusp of Aquarius and Capricon, but my chart shows that I am an Aquarius with Capricorn tendancies.

2. I have moved 23 times in the past 11 years.

3. I have won awards for public speaking.

4. I was year book editor.

5. I have only been fired from a job once.

6. I am a university drop out.

7. My parents are divorced.

8. I am an only child.

9. I have travelled from Vancouver to Montreal to Toronto to Houston with my dog, Maggie.

10. Throughout my life when I’ve told people my name, many have said, “My [insert type of pet]‘s name is Dusty too.” This is why I gave my dog a “people” name.

11. Maggie was named after Maggie Simpson, because she never speaks.

12. I quit smoking cigarettes when I was 27.

13. I once spent a week sleeping on the floor of a run down shack on Vancouver Island.

14. I have also lived out of my car.

15. My past career aspirations in chronological order: teacher, dental assistant, lawyer, politican, aerospace engineer, journalist, novelist, employed, magazine editor.

16. I never aspired to be a graphic designer, it just sort of happened. I lucked into the post graduate program (i’m not even a graduate …see item #6) and my first interview resulted in a job.

17. I failed OAC Finite Math – twice.

18. When I was younger, I used to talk to the grandmother that died before I was born, rather than pray to god.

19. At age 13, I ran for jr. vice president and gave a speech infront of my entire school while dressed as a cowboy.

20. Throughout most of my life, I have been a tomboy.

21. I am a media junkie. I am adicted to magazines and have been known to watch too much tv.

22. I have been an avid reader ever since I learned how to read.

23. I like to read while I eat.

24. I believe that each person has the power to change their own life.

25. My drink of choice is Rye and Ginger (that’s whiskey and gingerale for you yanks).

26. I am proud to be Canadian, but i don’t consider myself to be patriotic.

27. Yes, I have a staring problem.

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ET Phone Home

Sep 24

Well, after the Not So Friday Five, I started up the Stay-Touch-Mobile and got the wheels in motion by sending an email to Rich, formerly of 90 Ontario, currently of somewhere in coastal BC. Well, not only did he respond right away, but he sent me a link to their (his and his partner Pia’s) website. Nothing, I tell you nothing pleases me more than discovering my friends have websites with weblogs to boot.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some catching up to read. *grin*

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Love And Marriage …And The INS

Sep 24

Well, at long last, Friday afternoon we waved bye bye to my I-485. For those not knowledgable in the ways of US immigration, this means that I have applied for permanent residency here. It was a relatively painless procedure except for the butt ugly adit photos and the minor squimish at the photocopier.

Last week marked another, rather different milestone in our freshly married lives: we got our new personal cheques! I guess they’re actually “checks” since I’m in America now, but the point is, they have both our names on them! Weee! Aside from being a typical newly-married event, this will be instrumental to my I-485 as we will have to present proof that we have living together as a married couple.

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Not So Friday Five

Sep 23

1. Would you say that you’re good at keeping in touch with people?

Alas, I am awful about keeping in touch with people, and have been since I first left my hometown 11 years ago. Those that have maintained contact with me through out the years have done so with incredible persistance and sometimes intense searching.

2. Which communication method do you usually prefer/use: e-mail, telephone, snail mail, blog comments, or meeting in person? Why?

I guess i prefer blog form. But I’m open to any method, I guess. Maybe I prefer in person… oh I don’t know. You pick.

3. Do you have an instant messenger program? How many? Why/why not? How often do you use it?

I have AIM, but i often use trillion when i feel like chatting in IRC. I use it pretty much every day. I used to use it 24/7 but I’m on the wagon these days.

4. Do most of your close friends live nearby or far away?

Far way. /cry

5. Are you an “out of sight, out of mind” person, or do you believe that “distance makes the heart grow fonder”?

Well, you don’t know what you have ’till it’s gone (-joni mitchell) but if I try not to think about you, I won’t miss you as much. And for your information, punctuation always goes inside the quotation marks, mmkay.

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Who Blew My Cover?

Sep 19

Up late trying to induce sleep thru (not so) random websearches. Imagine my suprise! I had no idea I was such an accomplished activist.

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I Am An Island

Sep 18

My mom has always tried to be a good example and has never hesitated to draw big red circles around her mistakes so that I won’t accidently repeat them, despite the fact that our lives have been so different and the parallels are far and few between. When there are parallels, I am more than grateful.

About 10 years ago, my mom left Toronto and moved to Montreal to live with her future husband. She didn’t really know anyone there, she didn’t speak more than a few words of french, and the language barrier kept her from getting a job. Those were times when our relationship was hot and cold and I was never struck by the gravity of her situation.

When I announced that I was moving to Houston, she had alot to say. It was clear to her that I was doing the right thing for me, but she had her own personal experiences to share, which I took with my usual 10 grains of salt. These days it’s sinking in.

It’s been hard for me to talk to anyone about how I’m feeling these days, mostly because I don’t want to give the wrong impression or hurt anyone’s feelings. I can’t begin to express how happy I am to be here, married, with John and Maggie and Kitty. I have a great place, everything I need and pretty much whatever I want. I like Houston alot, despite missing the conveniences of Toronto like better transit and everything within reasonable walking distance. Even when it’s raining, the sky has the costal quality that I loved so much about Vancouver.

Even still, I’m starting to feel like a rat in a cage and although I can leave whenever I like, there isn’t much out there for me. I have no where to go outside of my usual errands, nothing is waiting for me, nobody near to hang with when I just need to get out. Despite the fact that I am settled in and feeling at home, my life here sometimes seems like a big house with lots of empty rooms that still need filling up in order to really be able to call it my own. Is it growing pains or adjustment? It’s everything my mom had told me.

It’s not been easy but I’m working on it. I’m just grateful that I have John here with me, my mom in Montreal to understand what I’m going through, Debbie in Toronto to miss me, and Maggie beside me nudging me to get up, go outside and explore our new home.

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