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Concord Pacific Vancouver Dragon Boat Festival

21 Jun

Normally my posts are recaps of something I have done or seen but this time I’m giving you a chance to take part, via your computer screen, with something I will be doing this weekend. Oh the excitement! lol πŸ˜‰

This weekend (June 22-23, 2019) is the Concord Pacific Vancouver Dragon Boat Festival. That is a mouthful! So from here on out I am just going to call it Concord, k?

 

 

Concord is the largest dragon boat festival in North America. The racing takes place over two days, Saturday and Sunday. Opening festivities are Friday evening but I have never been to those because I am always working. Teams come from all over the world to take part, for competitive teams it is a qualifier (think of how some marathons are qualifiers so runners can take part in the massive marathons, like the Boston Marathon), even if you are a rec team the festival is still a big deal. For my team, we race other races during the season but our big one, the one we say we practice all season for, is this one.

No pressure or anything. πŸ˜›

For those who can’t get to the festival to watch in person, or who want to avoid the crowds and ever changing weather, you can watch a live feed online, which is how you can (sort of) join me this weekend.

The link to the live feed is:

http://concordlive.ca

Races are from 8am to 6pm (approximately) and are about every 11 minutes. There will be an announcer explaining everything you are seeing, which is useful because it can be hard to tell when watching a race the order the boats cross the finish line. There is a whole reason behind that but it is too lengthy to get in to here, just know it involves buoys, water, and angles.

I remember from last year that after the weekend was over you could go back and watch the feed for at least a couple days, I don’t know how long it was left up, I just know I went and watched our races because I wanted to see what they looked like. I point this out so that any of you who are in drastically different time zones can take a look when it is over instead of staying up late and being half asleep while glancing at the feed…which I realize is me making a large assumption that any of you will actually watch but hey, a girl can be optimistic at times, right?

So yeah, not much else to say at this point, I’m going to go get my gear ready and meander my way to bed, I’m psyched for the weekend and hope we do well! If you watch, awesome! If you don’t, that’s cool too, but maybe send some positive vibes my team’s way, you know, for good karma points if nothing else. πŸ˜‰

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Paddles Up!

 

 

 

 

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Ninja Squirrel

16 Jun

The other day I encountered a Ninja Squirrel. Now, maybe what I saw is normal in the world of squirrels but it sure didn’t seem like it to me!…though, when I think about it, I suppose the only thing I know about squirrels is they are cute, so not exactly a font of squirrel knowledge over here lol

I came around the side of the house, heard a scrabbling noise, looked up, and saw a squirrel running along the side of the house. Not on an awning or ledge or anything, just on the wall, like how Spiderman climbs buildings, only noisier and with less spandex. πŸ˜‰

spiderman

Picture a squirrel doing this, only going length wise instead of up.

So there is this squirrel, running along the length of the wall and I’m worried he is going to fall and hurt himself so I stop and watch, I suppose thinking he needs a witness to his death, or maybe I can catch him when he falls…which yes, I know, bad idea!

Ninja Squirrel gets close to the end of the wall and I’m relieved thinking he will go around to the front, get to the porch, and safely go on his way. Well, apparently that is not what the squirrel was thinking because he turned around and started coming back along the length of the wall. Up high, so so high. He stopped at an upper window, didn’t go on the window ledge for a moment of respite, just snuck a peek through the window like a not so subtle spy. Guess he didn’t see anything he liked because he turned around and started retracing his path. By this point I finally got my act together and was reaching for my phone to take some video because this was definitely something to be shown to friends and what does he do?

Gives me heart palpitations is what he does! The little brat leaps, leaps like he has a death wish, free falls through the air, and actually manages to land on the top of the fence.

How? How did he do that? It was crazy to see!

When he landed he didn’t even take a moment to have a deep breath, or consider the magical feat he just accomplished, or take a bow, he just scampered off like this was all just one more day in his awesome Ninja life.

Is this what squirrels are doing when we are at work all day? Scaling walls to look in our windows then flying through the air as part of their escape plan? I wonder if he comes to the windows to annoy the cats…

ninja squirrel

I think my neighbourhood Ninja Squirrel needs a new outfit.

Book Review: The Silent Patient

29 May

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides.

The Silent Patient

Read the book.

There, that should be all that is needed for a book review. Right? A simple line saying either to read it, don’t read it, read it with low expectations…things along those lines. And yet, reviews are never that short, which means this one won’t be either, though I will do my best to not spoil anything for you, in case ya know, you actually go read the book.

The Silent Patient follows two story lines, Alicia’s and Theo’s.

Alicia is an artist who is in a psych hospital for killing her husband. The book is called The Silent Patient because Alicia stops talking, doesn’t say anything to the police who find her and her dead husband, not a word to her lawyers or other family members, not to any of the psychiatrists who try to treat her. Eventually she is committed and it looks like she’ll never get out. Her art becomes more valuable and there is a mystery around what really happened.

Theo is a psychotherapist who works at a different hospital but jumps at the chance to work where Alicia is when there is a job opening. He has been fascinated by her story since it first hit the news cycle and he is convinced he can help her.

The writing goes back and forth between Theo’s life, (his childhood, how he meets his wife, how his personal life is, through to some not so great parts about his personal life that I will refrain from mentioning so as to not ruin everything for you) and the time period in Alicia’s life leading up to the murder of her husband.

We get insights in to both characters personal lives, what they are thinking and feeling, we see how others treat them and how they cope with adversity.

Then the twist happens and boom! All the stuff you’ve been reading aligns in a slightly different way, clarity hits your brain, and you’re all “holy crap, I didn’t see that coming!”

Which you’ve got to admit is pretty great considering how often you can predict what the twist is going to be and how the book is going to end.

One thing, about a third of the way in to the book, it starts to drag and I got bored. Bored to the point I put the book down for three days and it was a max seven day borrow from the library, so not like I had three days to just waste. I only picked it back up because I hate leaving books unfinished, and I’m definitely glad I picked it back up. So prepare yourself for a potential loss of interest and push through it. Keep going, it’ll be worth it.

All of that to say…

Read the book.

When Nature Attacks

17 May

For all that I go hiking and for walks and dragon boat I wouldn’t call myself an outdoorsy person. I can handle being outside for various activities as long as nature keeps its distance.

Well, a couple weeks ago I was out walking with a friend around Burnaby Lake and nature attacked! It was brutal, and tragic, and involved the end of a life, and I hope it never happens again.

A small black flying insect suicide bombed in to my eye. My eye! And I don’t mean it came near, I blinked in time, and it bounced off my eye lid, or that it hit just under or over my eye, no no no. I mean it flew right in to my eye ball, made contact, and died. Now granted, it might have died when I rubbed my eye because a bug just flew in to it, but whether it died from the impact or my reflexive action is irrelevant. The end result was a dead bug…in my eye! Ugh.

So. Not. Hygienic.

The plus side to that day, and the walk I did the week later with the same friend at that same lake, is the other wildlife, you know, the ones that aren’t deciding to suicide bomb in to my eyes.

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So sure, the only wildlife I took pictures of were the Canadian Geese but c’mon, did you really want pictures of the slugs on the trails? No, I didn’t think so. And who can resist little floofy baby geese? They are so adorable, especially the ones that are all chilling on the grass in a row. Let’s all just admire the adorable while we can, because soon they will be grown and mean, it is their destiny after all. πŸ˜‰

Race Day, Port Moody Style

29 Apr

Ok so yes, race day was two days ago but hey, I’ve been busy, and tired, so it took a while to write about it lol

We competed at the Inlet Spring Regatta in Port Moody this past Saturday. It is the second year of the festival, and the second year we have competed in it. Both years have been great!

inlet spring regatta

https://www.inletspringregatta.com/Β  – here’s the Regatta’s website if you want to check it out.

You know those jokes about Canada where people tease about how you can experience all possible weather patterns in one day? That was what Saturday was like.

There was wind, sunshine, more wind, cloud coverage, even more wind, rain, hail, did I mention wind, then sunny…with a side of wind. πŸ˜‰

Each team was supposed to race 4 times but the water conditions became too dangerous and they cancelled the last two races of the day. Doesn’t happen often, so you know it isΒ  bad when!

What I found slightly amusing is that after they declared races 3 and 4 cancelled, did the math to figure out who placed where (based on Races 1 and 2’s results) and the medals were handed out, the wind calmed a bit and the sun came back out. So personally, I think we could’ve kept going, but it was too late at that point. Can you imagine trying to get all the teams to return their medals so they can go race again and hopefully still win them? Not a thing that would go over well lol

For this festival they don’t hand out medals, they hand out woodals, because they make their medals from wood. They are really nice, and unique, oh, and did I mention yet that my team won one? πŸ˜‰

We won Gold in Division B, were ranked 5th for the entire festival, definitely not a bad way to start the race season!

 

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My team being goofy πŸ™‚

 

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The day after at work, yes I know I look tired! The filter couldn’t save me this time lol

 

When I’m Old

25 Apr

How will you move when you’re old? How will you get in to bed? Or out of it? How will you maneuver around your home, your yard, your neighbourhood? What habits do you have now that you’ll have to change in order to be safe?

Do you ever think about things like that? I do.

I often joke that I’ll be that person who dies alone in their apartment from a totally preventable fall and is nibbled on by their cat before being found a week later. It sounds ghoulish and stupid, but is a thing that could happen.

I’m lazy, and used to being tall and able to reach just that little bit more so I can grab something I need. Which means, instead of walking around an obstacle to get what I want, I lean over it. Leaning to the point where I’m on tiptoes on one foot, while the other leg is kicked out behind me to balance out how far forward I am leaning and I’ve got one arm stretched out in the hopes I can reach with my fingertips what it is I’m after. If I try this when I’m old for sure I will topple over and if not die, get injured.

My thinking right now is I’m capable, so who cares? Except, what if I don’t recognize in myself the signs that signify change, that will make that maneuver unsafe? What if I don’t notice my balance isn’t as good, or my core strength, or my ability to stand on one foot? Maybe I won’t be acknowledging to myself how I am more prone to injury, or that my arm can’t stretch as far as it used to, or that the strength in my arm might not be good enough to pick up that item I want. There are a lot of things that change within our bodies as we age, some changes happen slowly and we either adjust without realizing or don’t realize the changes, don’t adjust, and then harshly get confronted with our decreasing ability when we have a fall.

It is so much easier to see the changes in others, and so incredibly easy to ignore the signs in ourselves.

It might seem obvious to you that a man in his late 80’s shouldn’t be walking a distance that leaves him shaky, weak and sweaty, to run a couple errands when he could easily have those items delivered. But to him, being able to make that walk, run those errands, is proof that he isn’t as old as the years say, he is still capable of taking care of his wife and himself, he has usefulness.

In our bullheadedness to prove we are useful, and not old, we make stupid decisions, refuse to make lifestyle changes, all to prove to ourselves and others we what? Have value? Are independent? Are capable?

Society takes away so many things from our seniors that we grow up thinking are markers of entering adulthood. Their drivers licence, living in their own home, making medical decisions, cooking, working. And sure, some of those things might not seem like a big deal to give up, I mean c’mon, who really wants to be cooking everyday? Not me! But if all of a sudden my microwave and toaster were taken away and my cook top was disconnected, so I can’t cook, even if it is for my safety, how will that affect my self-worth?

Just to be clear, I’m not saying things like licenses, and living alone, and solo medical decisions, are things that shouldn’t be changed. Eventually we all become unsafe drivers (some much sooner than others lol), we all become unsafe living without some level of care, we can become isolated and depressed from being alone so much (do you know how many seniors are isolated and depressed? A lot! Go visit your grandparents people!).

I thought, because I work with seniors, I already knew all this and I dunno, was aware? But oddly enough, I saw a series on YouTube by The Try Guys about becoming old that made me think about aging in a more specific, how will I be physically affected, kind of way.

There are four videos in the series, I recommend the first and the third. By wearing a special outfit they physically feel what it is like to be old, their range of motion is decreased, their stamina is lower, a bunch of things are affected, and they try to go through their regular day like this. It showed how grocery shopping, baking, exercising, simple walking, all these things are harder, and in ways I hadn’t really thought of.

Did you know your arm won’t reach as far up as it does now, so getting things from the top shelf at the grocery store will be difficult? Even though I have contact with seniors on a regular basis, I never put that together in my brain. Sure I know their range of motion for arms is less than mine, but in how many simple day-to-day tasks does that affect them? A whole bunch more than I ever thought of I bet.

The videos got me questioning things but it all culminated in my head when I was getting in to bed one night. I like a high bed, I climb in to my bed, one arm holding a hot water bottle, the other holding my iPad or a book or the cat, so I put one knee on the bed, and climb on to my bed with no arms keeping me balanced or providing aid. And remember, I like a tall bed, so I’m going up on to a bed, not down or level with where my knees are when I’m standing. I do this, every night, without thinking. Just sorta climb up in to bed, then scoot around, get comfy, and pull the blankets up.

One day I won’t be able to do that. Hell, one day I’ll have to acknowledge it is unsafe for me to be in a high bed and get a lower one, and the only way I’ll be able to get in to it is by sitting on the edge and slowly swinging my legs up on to the bed. The entire way I get in to bed will have to change to accommodate my aging body. It might seem a silly thing to be contemplating, how getting in to bed will change for me, but it is one small thing that will be part of a larger amount of life changes I will have to make.

I’ll probably have to change the style of living room furniture I have, I have a low chair but I’ll need to invest in higher ones, I’ll have to have less items in my little hallway so it can be clear of any hazards, I’ll have to have more lights because my vision won’t be as good, I’ll have to stop leaning over things to reach items, I’ll have to leave outlets exposed instead of hidden behind furniture, there’ll have to be fewer cat toys lying around waiting to trip me up.

All these things are silly I suppose, but they have been occupying my mind lately, the changes I will have to make to accommodate my body as it ages and becomes less physically able to do the things I want it to. I wonder, will I be the person who acknowledges the changes I have to make and adapt to them willingly, or will I be the person who insists on doing things I shouldn’t be doing anymore to try to prove I still can when in reality I’m just putting myself in unsafe situations? I think I’ll probably be a mixture, adapt well to some changes but poorly to others.

To think, all this introspection because of some YouTube videos! I should be more careful what I watch lolΒ  I’ve linked to the two videos I’m talking about just below this sentence, in case you want to risk watching them. πŸ™‚

 

Sauerkraut

17 Apr

This is the meal where I discovered sauerkraut is not the condiment for me, and I love condiments!

sauerkraut

This was my dinner last Sunday, and yes I know, that is a hella lot of gravy but I didn’t plate it and it’s rude to judge…just sayin… πŸ˜‰

It is beef, with potatoes and veggies, as well as the gravy and sauerkraut. I decided to splurge on this dinner since my normal Sunday dinner is a sandwich, or maybe a bowl of soup, nothing as protein filled and tasty as this promised to be.

The meal was delicious, as I fully expected it to be lol Too much food for one person, but what I ate of it was yum!

Since the sauerkraut was there, and apparently it is a condiment used with beef, I figured why not give it a try? Uh yeah, bad plan there, it was um, well, kinda gross. No, that’s not fair, because I know some people really like it (you weirdos you! lol), it just wasn’t for me. I think part of it is that I liked the taste of the beef and didn’t find the sauerkraut complimentary to the beef, rather, it was over powering.

It’s like when people season the hell out of their vegetables and now their vegetables no longer taste like vegetables, instead they taste like the seasoning. I just don’t get that. Veggies taste great, why hide the taste underneath a bunch of seasoning? That’s how I felt with the sauerkraut, why hide the taste of the beef under the sauerkraut?

Maybe I’m just some sort of weird food purist at heart…says the woman who firmly believes ice cream is an acceptable option for dinner…not dessert, dinner. Yeah, let that sink in and wonder who decided to let me adult! lol πŸ˜‰

 

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